Thursday, October 18, 2012

Table makeover. Fresh to weathered.

I'll admit, it was a bit of a science experiment.  The table was fine, really it was.  It was sturdy and in good shape, but I just can't seem to leave well enough alone.
I'd been seeing alot of raw and weathered wood out in Inspiration Land, and I saw this blonde tabletop (not really a fan of blonde wood anyway) as having good potential for a weathered look too.
I started by removing the clear finish with Formby's Refinisher, and lots of sandpaper.  I thought I was down to fresh bare wood so I proceeded with a few different recipes for aging and bleaching wood.  Peroxide, baking soda, vinegar...just to name a few. 

Try try again.  I backed up a few steps and tried a few more things to get the top to look consistently weathered.
Besides some more vigorous sanding, the answer was again found in Inspiration Land...white vinegar and steel wool in a jar.  Seriously.  No expensive gadgets or caustic solutions.
Simply fill a jar 1/2 full of white vinegar, then add some steel wool.  Now some say to let it sit overnight before using, but I found that the longer it sits in the jar, the darker your wood will be after application.  So for just a gray weathered look, I let the solution sit for 2-4 hours.  Then I pulled on my gloves (because I didn't want to smell like vinegar) and actually used the steel wool to apply the vinegar to the wood.  Then walk away and let it dry.  Repeat the application until you get the look you want!  It will permanently alter the color of the surface of the wood through oxidation, so be careful where you set your jar and gloves if they are wet.
And just a tip for those who try this application.  The longer the solution sits in the jar, the darker it will become as the wood dries.  Instead of gray, it will start turning the wood brown and if the solution sits around long will almost turn the wood black.  So have fun with this, you may never have to buy stain again.  :)
Here is the table as displayed for JunkFest. 

Linked to:
MMS  Furniture Feature Friday

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

So Much Burlap~So Little Time...Old Chairs Made New Again

Seriously. Would anyone in their right mind tackle a project like this?



Looking back at the “sprung” springs I have to wonder if I actually was in my right mind at the time of taking on this challenge. Unfortunately, or maybe a better word would be “luckily”, the only thing worse I could show you is the real before photo (which I did not take!) so you could see the horrific velveteen fabric that once resided upon the chairs. It was almost as scary as the purely antique stuffing that was inside. So like a muddy child coming in from the puddles, the chairs were stripped of all but the bare necessities, which included adorable wood frames, remnants of burlap and the loose springs strewn this way and that.

Once down to bare bones, I was able to repair and recreate the lovely form previously sported by this pair of chairs. Springs were tied back in place; shape was renewed with foam, batting, burlap and straps.
Then carefully and cleverly, I placed coffee bag burlap over the cushioned areas and stapled in place.
 The decision I made at this point turned out to be the most gratifying of all, and enhanced the chairs with the touch of character that made them better than great.
 I left all the raw edges out and the staples exposed to give the chairs a bit of a robust chic quality. It was a look that was all me and would have fit into my diverse style of mis-matched and rugged d├ęcor quite effortlessly….but instead they made their way to mingle amongst the JunkFest merchandise and chose their new owners without hesitation.

This project, as time consuming and tricky as it was, turned out to be a labor or love. The chairs found a renewed and refreshed look instead of their demise at a landfill...who could ask for anything more! And in conclusion, I would like to thank the dear Lord, my husband, and even the academy for making my life easier though the ownership of air nailers and staplers. Without them, I would still be working on these creatures of chairs…
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