helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I finally finished the front of the chest of drawers/huge cabinet that I'm refinishing. This doesn't sound like much, but I only have weekends to work on it (some of which have been otherwise occupied), and each square foot of surface area takes hours to complete, because I want to achieve that silky polished wood feel over the entire surface. The areas I've finished look good, or so I've been told. More importantly to me, though, when I run fingers over the surface, it feels like silk. I'm now working on the top, the two front legs, and the left side. The right side and back legs are against walls, so the cabinet will have to be moved before I can complete them. I think the back of the cabinet may be unfinished, which would be great, but I don't remember (it's been about 6 months since it was placed against the wall where it is).

Moving it to finish the rest of it and repair the broken back leg will be difficult. It is extremely heavy. Still researching how to repair the leg, and gathering up the tools to do it.

Slowly inching along with this project. This has been much more difficult than the other, lighter-weight pieces I refinished earlier this year and last year.

It occurs to me that I'm now working on two projects that involve dust and fumes of varying toxicity (the other project is painting the Rockville house). I wear a face mask and goggles while working, but I'm sure some of it gets through. Most of the people I know who refinish furniture or paint houses on a regular basis are a little strange. I'm not sure if that's because strange people are attracted to these lines of work, or they became strange from breathing sawdust, paint dust, and fumes. Maybe a little of both. I hope that does not happen to me. I don't want to become a strange little old lady with a fume-pickled brain who spends most of the time reanimating relics from the era of bad paint jobs.

Maybe after I'm finished with these two projects, I will take a break from indoor projects for a while.


Oct. 12th, 2009 12:42 am
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Several months ago, Rialian's brother asked if we wanted a chest of drawers someone was throwing out. I asked what condition it was in, and he said it was fine except one leg needed fixing and it was painted a weird blue color. When he brought it over, I realized that 1) it was not a chest of drawers - it was a huge cabinet, 2) the leg was broken entirely off. It needed a lot more than just a minor fix. It needed serious carpentry, as in inserting a dowel in it to reattach it without damaging it even more, and 3) "Blue" was not exactly the right descriptive term for the "color" it was painted. Rialian asked if I wanted them to take it away, but I decided to keep it and refinish it and fix the leg. It would make a great tool cabinet.

This thing is huge and heavy and old. The top section has two doors, and if you open them you can see some shelves and a set of smaller drawers. The lower section has four large drawers. I can organize each kind of tool into separate drawers - one for wrenches, one for screwdrivers, one for various types of blades, one for clamps, etc. The inside of the cabinet has a beautiful wood finish. Unfortunately, however, the outside of it is another story. Someone lacquered it dark brown, which wasn't that bad (but not as pretty as the wood finish). The problem is, on top of the brown lacquer, someone else had painted over it with some kind of see-through bluish-whitish-greyish ... "color" (using the term loosely). I'm not sure exactly what effect they were trying to create, but the whole thing has to be stripped down to bare wood. I'd started to do that but then hurt my wrist. It took a couple of months to get back to the point where I could put pressure on it and do repetitive motion tasks like sanding, and after it was ok, I didn't feel like getting back into it. Last weekend and this weekend were the first weekends that I got back to stripping the finish (maybe it's a cool weather thing). I'm looking forward to seeing what it will look like when it's done.

April 2010



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