Projects

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.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
So, where to find magic in the everyday world. Maybe in the corners of musty antique shops, or in tiny, out-of-the-way thrift stores. There, I may find something that only masquerades as an inanimate object, but in fact has acquired sentience over the years. I guess the caveat is to avoid picking up something malevolent. So far so good...

A few weeks ago I found an old railway lantern at one such shop. Its paint had deteriorated to the point where its metal surface was clearly visible between patches of chipped green paint. I took it home and put it in a corner where it was mostly forgotten. Then today I figured I'd commence Reanimation...

First I removed the chips of green using a paint stripper. Under the paint was a brass top and what appeared to be a tin body. Right now it's still waiting for the last of the green paint to dissolve. Once it's free of paint I'll leave the brass part unpainted and polish it with brass polish. The tin part will be painted black. The glass front of the lantern is a deep blue color. It will be nice to see it lit when it's done. A 7-day candle in glass would probably fit perfectly.

I believe it is looking forward to being lit again, once it recovers from the Reanimation...

A few days later: I painted the lantern with "Hammered Black" paint. This paint was supposed to give the surface a hammered metal effect. Once it had dried, the finish looked very durable, but I didn't like it -- the vapors had smelled awful and the result looked like shiny plastic. I had some metallic purple tempera paint available so I applied it as the second coat. So now the lantern is metallic purple. Rialian likes it. I don't know where I'm going to put this monstrosity. It's certainly reanimated. So.... how do I put it back to sleep?

April 2010

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