Saturday, April 26, 2014

Antique China Cabinet- Part 2, stripping the paint

Lordy is paint stripping exhausting. It is tedious, monotonous, stinky, dirty, and seriously tests your patience!! Not to mention my feet, quads, and knees are KILLING ME! I have to say I really enjoy it though! There’s something rewarding and therapeutic about it. I love peeling way the layers and finding what’s under it and bringing it back to it’s original beauty.
With the exception of Avery's field trip Friday morning, we actually did not have anything planned this weekend, so I took full advantage and got busy on the cabinet.
Since this really isn't a tutorial, I will not give step by steps but will show pictures I took along the way.
I got the drawer all sanded down so the next step was to clean out the carving. It was so full of gunk. Who knows what all was in there. It was nasty! I used the corner of my scraper some, a flat head screw driver, and even got out my dental tools (what? you don't have dental tools laying around?? lol)
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Next was the daunting task of stripping the big piece. This is where patience is key! I used Citristrip since it was the safest one I could find. It says it has no smell but it does! A mask (and obviously gloves) was a must! I actually didn't take any pictures during the stripping phase since it was so messy I didn't want to get my camera out. It took 2 full days of 6-8 hours of work but I got it stripped down.
As you can see I didn’t mess with stripping the inside. It was not chipping as bad and I will have to paint it anyways so I will just sand a little and it will be fine.
The turned legs were tough! I didn’t get it perfect but I think what’s left can be sanded off. Using those really rough sponges you get in the kitchen section worked the best since the scraper doesn’t get into the grooves as easily.
The carving on the front bottom was also tough. I used a tooth brush to help get into those curves. The trick was to wait as until the stripper was pretty dry before removing it. If it is too wet, it just gets goopy and smears more than falls off.
Here's another close up of the detail carving on the front. I had to scrape out the goop on all of these carvings. This section needs a little help since there is a piece of the laminate missing.
I got some wood putty and filled the missing spot and glued down the corners of veneer that were coming up. They are clamped right now in the garage till tomorrow.
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This is my favorite glue in the whole world! I use it for everything and I have yet to find something it doesn't work on. I buy it from a basket making website and keep several bottles on hand!
Hoping to start sanding in the evenings this week.  
After stripping it, I don’t think I will be able to stain it as I had hoped. With all of the puttying and veneer and different colors of wood, it just isn’t restoring as well as I had hoped. I will probably end up going with a white since that is the “safest” color and I don’t want to do anything trendy with it; I want it to be a classic piece that will last in our family for many many more years!
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Friday, April 25, 2014

Hello Spring!

What a beautiful thing to see first thing in the morning when I opened the living room blinds. Our first magnolia bloom of the season!
I love spring! I love the color, the sun, the warmth, the smell, the sounds of baby birds tweeting, the start of new life in nature. (we have found several baby turtles this year!)
Spring is the arrival of LIFE back to the world. Joy.
The simple thing of a beautiful flower in a bud vase makes me so happy.
I just love flowers. God must have so much fun being the master artist creating such beautiful things!
Go outside. Enjoy the air, the warmth, the smells, the liveliness. Enjoy Spring!

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bubbles Bikes and Cars

It was a beautiful 82 degree day with very little humidity down here in Houston. One of those rare days that we HAVE to enjoy every second of! After school, we spend a few hours outside playing with the bubble machine, Avery practiced riding a bike for her Trike-a-thon at school, and Jackson got to take a ride in our Cozy Coup car. Love is an understatement when I describe how much fun he had. What is it with boys and cars??!!
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Look closely at the next picture. There's a bubble right over Norah's eye! what are the odds I’d catch that?? Couldnt have got it if i tried.  lol
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His first set of wheels.
Avery loves her brother so much! she insisted that she was old enough to baby sit him by herself. She is way too anxious to have a baby at 4 years old!
I love this picture below. I don't know why, but Jack puts his arm outside of everything he rides; like he is trying to be cool. haha
Driving One handed
Enjoy the weather people! It wont last and we will soon be complaining about the heat and humidity!
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Antique China Cabinet- Part 1 stripping off veneer

I was lucky enough to get this beautiful piece of furniture from my grandmother. I believe it belonged to her grandmother. Not entirely sure, but nonetheless, it is OLD! It was sitting in her garage just rotting away and I convinced her to let me take it home to give it some love and make it beautiful again.
Unfortunately, it has been sitting in my garage now for about 6 months waiting on pretty weather to start!
I actually needed to test it for lead paint since it is so old, but luckily it came back negative! I got out there this weekend and started to poke at it and figure out where to begin. I’ve never done a piece this big or that needed this much work. It is going to be a learning piece but I plan to take it very slow and do it right!
I enlisted the husband to help me remove all of the rusted screws and hardware. I do think that he was enjoying himself! ;)
Next, I (we) removed the door, glass, shelves, and drawer. I decided that the first step would be to start scraping off the peeling veneer from the drawer. I started with a flat head screwdriver just to see how much I could pull off easily.
I was so worried that I would loose the beautiful detailing and designs but it seems to actually be carved into the wood beneath, not just the veneer. YAY!!! Here is a close up of the design on the front
I really didn’t get much further with the screwdriver than you see in the picture above, so then I had to figure out what to do to get the glued on veneer with out destroying the drawer front.
I did some quick Googling and read several sites that said using an iron is the best way. So this is how I did it.
**disclaimer: please do not use this as a tutorial. I am learning as I go so if anything, it can be used to get some tips but I am NOT A PROFESSIONAL
Step 1. get your supplies together.
  • Iron. One that you are willing to destroy
  • rag. old one is best
  • bowl with water
  • measuring cup with water to fill your iron
  • hammer
  • paint scrapper
Step 2. Heat your iron and set it to the hottest setting with steam all of the way up
Step 3. wet your rag. doesn’t need to be dripping but very wet
Step 4. lay the wet rag over the veneer that needs to be removed
Step 5. place the hot iron on the rag for about 1 minute and let it steam and heat up the veneer. You are melting the glue here so some pieces my need longer time and others may not need as much time.
{the girls were pretending I was a dragon blowing fire every time the iron steamed! haha}
Step 6. remove the iron and CAREFULLY remove the rag. IT WILL BE HOT! (duh)
Step 7. acting fast while the wood is still hot, use the paint scrapper and hammer to gently pull the veneer away from the wood. Be careful not to gouge the wood! It should pull away much easier now.
Repeat when it becomes hard to peel again.
I was able to finish the drawer this weekend. The rest of what you see will easily sand off. I also plan to put a thin layer of paint stripper on there to remove the red paint and gunk from the carving lines. I had set the girls up to finger paint in the garage with me to keep them entertained while I worked but sure enough, that got out of hand so I had to stop. These days, I am lucky to get 10 minutes to myself to work on something like this so I was pumped!
Next, One of the sides of the cabinet is peeling too so I will have to tackle that next chance I get. Then I will be on to stripping the paint. I will update when I can!
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Updated Family Photos

Hello out there! I realize I probably don’t have any readers, however, I am peeking my head out from my “motherhood abyss” to show off my new family photos by my cousin at Tanya Pabor Photography. Here's my favorites that I plan to make a big wall collage of.
I also updated my banner at the top with a new silhouette using one of these photos. Hope you like them!
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