Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dressing Table Completed

It's taken a lot longer than I expected due to health reasons, but it's finally done. (Except for some fine tuning).  

The brass ringlets on the feet were the biggest challenge to me, not the rusty screws that broke and remained in the holes, nor the ones where half the head broke off, but by some good fortune I was still able to remove.

These lovely things were so tarnished, that even brasso just bounced off them with no effect.  I tried the boiling method, nada. Ketchup..nope.  Coca Cola on the other hand cleaned them fabulously, with the help of my little wire suede brush.

I'm so pleased, as I really wanted to use them to hide the join of the new feet. Since one of the castors was seized and the other broken, there was no hope of keeping them.  The beauty of the rings is that they have a lip inside, one part fits the table leg and the other was hopefully the perfect fit for the new feet.

First thing I did was clean the whole desk, followed by removing all that could be removed. Top drawer units came off, as did the back lip.  Took out the front drawer and the two panels.  Removed the castor feet, this required a bit of effort.
Next I sanded down the whole thing.  The top I took back to the natural wood, filled in the holes with wood filler and stained with antique pine before varnishing.  I did the same to the drawer fronts and panels.  I added a bit of wood to the front and two underneath for drawer rails, all of which were missing.

The legs I obviously had to sand by hand so that the paint would bind. I used Gloss paint from Woodies DIY, I have to say I hate gloss painting, but this was so easy to apply.  The first coat just got soaked up, so I let it settle for a day or so before applying the second coat.   Waiting for everything to dry fully is not one of my strong points, but it has to be done.  Since I was doing this outside, I was also hoping that it wouldn't rain! Of course the second coat was done indoors for 2 reasons, it rained and it turned very cold..... no good for painting.

For the new feet I bought pine knobs, stained with antique pine then varnished same as the top.  I had to drill bigger holes into them and made my own dowels to fit, because I came home thinking I had some, only to find out that they were too small.
I also wanted a really cool liner for the drawers, seems to be plenty choice in the States, but here appears to be very limited.  You could use a nice wall paper or wrapping paper.  I just went with a Nordic folk print design, which I tiled on paper and printed out.  For the small drawers this is easy but for the big on I had to use 4 sheets and glue the tiles together.  I could use sticky back plastic to protect the paper, but for now and the photos this is it.

So just to remind you, this is how it started off, very rough and a bad paint job.

And now it has been turned around into my little treasure, and is a keeper for sure.  If I put a mirror standing in the center it can be a dressing table.  Or I can use it as my craft desk as it is.  I'm really pleased at how it turned out.
So keep your eye on Shabby Shik Emporium and you might find a little gem too.  Don't be afraid to ask if they have project pieces. You can find all the links to them in my other post.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Brass Handles from Desk clean up

Well you know from the previous post that the brass handles on the desk were pretty dirty and painted over.  Here's a recap.

Now I tried the brasso first and nothing happened.  So I pondered for a moment, then decided to use my nail varnish remover (sure turps or white spirit would do).  I soaked them in a tub for a couple of minutes, then took an old toothbrush and gave them a scrub. Sure enough the paint, stain or whatever came off.

Step 2: Get an old pot, add 1/4 part salt to 2 parts vinegar, & 2 parts water, throw in the brass and boil for a minute or two.  It will go red or black, this is part of the process, don't fret!  See the pic below, the top one has been rubbed with brasso but not buffed.

Step 3: Rinse with water and dry.  Get the brasso and polish away as normal, buffing to a lovely shine. 

And there you have it, good as new handles.  Of course being me, I forgot to throw in the little screws and had to do the whole process all over again!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

New Project - Edwardian dressing table

I've been drooling over those lovely shabby chic retro desks and dressing tables for a long time.  Now after the move and re-arranging of where things go.  I noticed I needed some sort of desk, but I didn't want a modern one, I wanted something solid, which in my opinion is usually an old piece of furniture (they don't make them like that anymore).

Just by chance I took it into my head to have a nosey at what was around.  I came across this little gem for sale by Shabby Shik Emporium, by pure luck.  I'm so excited about it I just had to share.

Sadly one of the castors is broken so I can't use them. It was originally a dressing table and is missing the mirror on top between the two top drawers.  I'm fortunate in the fact I can see potential in almost everything.  Yes it has certainly seen better days and some would throw it out, or use it in the shed.   Even my other half just shook his head at me when I arrived home with my bit of treasure (he thinks I'm crazy, but knows I can transform it somehow).
I had taken it apart, then popped it back together to take a photo, as you can see the castors have been removed. One of the screw heads had split in half so I was a lucky girl to get it out.  I'll have to find a replacement for them to raise it up so I can sit with my legs under it.  I've given it a good wash, so that is step one done.  It has been treated for woodworm, which it needed as there were some in the back legs and table top.  I think this might limit my options a little, as I had planned to sand it down and maybe just varnish it, as the original wood is light.  
Idea no.2 is to paint it all cream, except for the drawer fronts and top of the desk which I hope to sand down to the natural wood and just varnish.
The middle drawer has no support, the wood is missing from underneath, so that will be replaced.  I'm thinking about adding drawers to either side too.

So if your looking for Antiques or other little treasures, I strongly suggest you check them out.  At time of writing they have stock for sale on Donedeal & Etsy, you can follow them on Facebook and you can read Jeans blog.  I can say that their little cabin is just a treasure trove, with furniture, teddies, leather bags, jewelry and loads more.