My apologies for the blog silence – my grandmother passed away last week, and while we knew it was coming, I was still really sad when it actually happened. I am lucky that to have had her in my life for as long as I did (she was 94), and my kids also got to know and love her, which is really exceptional nowadays. So, my motivation level has been low for the past week, as you might expect. But, I’m focusing on the good, and the fact that she lived a long life, and have lots of memories of her to take with me.
I love old photos to begin with, but this one of her for her First Communion is one of my favorites. She sure looks feisty, doesn’t she?
Here’s one of me as a toddler with her and my grandpa – back in the day when the only recording going on was with a tape recorder.
Again – so glad she and my kids got to know and love each other. What a blessing. We will miss her.
From the blog/furniture/painting side of things, I have been working on a couple of mid-century modern pieces that are works in progress (and have me questioning my judgment at the same time), despite my attempts to visualize and sketch out my plans. Worst case, I can re-paint/re-stain/
refill my wine glass, right?
Let me preface these pieces by telling you that when I drove to pick them up and walked into the house, I realized that the homeowners are smokers. Silly
stupid me, I didn’t even think to ask when I inquired about the dressers for sale. On the upside, I have experience in dealing with smoking situations, so I decided to bite the bullet and buy them anyway, knowing there would be more work involved on my end.
My apologies for the grainy iPhone photo, but this dude is heavy and we took the drawers out to move it, so I snapped a quick “before” photo while it was in the garage. Good bones, the homeowners added the hardware (which I’m changing), but it’s a solid piece that needs some elbow grease.
Here is the second piece (minus the removable legs). This one is my favorite of the two. Less work involved, and I like the look of the drawers, and the fact that it doesn’t even need hardware.
Some serious cleaning and touch ups were in order though.
Due to the smoking issue, I had to pull out the big guns and use the Zinsser BIN Shellac Primer. I have a love/hate this stuff (it stinks and it’s just yucky to work with), but it works wonders in terms of stain blocking and sealing in odors, which is key.
These rags that I used to clean these pieces give you an idea of why working with furniture from the home of a smoker requires additional prep work (and this isn’t even all of them). I know – yuck.
Here you can kind of see what it looks like when you’re cleaning it. I had sprayed my Krud Kutter on it, and the nicotine literally runs off of it. Again, I know. Gross.
Once I got her cleaned up, sanded and primed with shellac primer, we’re in much better shape.
I gave the drawers a good sanding, and then sprayed them with the General Finishes Walnut Stain and Satin Poly Topcoat mix that I’m loving right now. It’s great because you don’t have to sand down to bare wood to get a beautiful finish.
This dresser is almost done, so I’ll save the full reveal for another day. Let me get back to where I’m having a bit of mid-century modern furniture painting remorse.
It’s with the “heavy dude” dresser. I’m rethinking my direction. Here’s the progress.
Gross and dirty top of dresser before:
Cleaned and sanded after:
Primed the frame since the wood wasn’t in the best of condition (namely the top):
Stained the drawer fronts, with the intention of doing some painting embellishment on them because the hardware holes I filled in were still visible (not so much in this photo, but close up you could still see them). I’m planning on staining the legs – I think.
So I taped it off for painting.
I discovered that I still had some General Finishes Coastal Blue in my paint stash. So far, so good (although I spent a great deal of time debating about having more wood exposed in the center of my color blocking experiment).
And then I decided to paint the frame of the dresser coastal blue as well. This is where the painter’s remorse kicked in.
I know I don’t have a photo of it with the drawers installed (and I haven’t even installed the drawers just to look at it myself, quite frankly), but I’m already thinking I made a mistake by painting the frame blue. I like the contrast of the white (even though it’s primer) against the dark wood and the blue. Should I go back to white? Maybe add a stripe of white on the drawers to tie it all together? I have to add hardware too since these drawers don’t pull out easily without it.
Can you visualize it? What do you think?