Staining and painting unfinished furnishings

by brae  

I love kits, but sometimes a partially built or fully built unfinished furniture piece fits the bill.  First, there are some rather fancy unfinished pieces on the market that have no kit equivalent.  Second, sometimes the built piece saves headaches as well as time.

Today, I finished a store counter from HBS.  These are great pieces at a great price, but all unfinished furniture pieces have their issues.  Sometimes, the grain of a piece is too large for scale.  In other instances, glue has seeped out during assembly.  When you build furniture from kits, mishaps with glue are always a problem so it's best to stain before assembly, masking off the areas to be glued.

My counter had large obvious stripes in the grain but only minor glue mishaps.  I sanded the pieces smooth and removed the glue as best as possible before staining the piece with Minwax English Chestnut (two coats).

Here you can see the large grain on the top of the counter.  I took this photo after starting the touch-up process, but you can see the thin, light lines across.

To fix these issues, I used a tiny brush to apply thin strokes of Traditional Burnt Umber by Americana.  I applied only a small section at a time.

Working quickly so the paint did not dry, I used a bristle brush to pull the paint in the direction of the grain.  If you get things too dark, you can wipe away the paint with a damp cloth but then you'll have to wait for the area to dry before trying again.

This method takes some practice, but it covers bare spots and large grain while keeping in line with the wood grain.  The top now has a more even and subtle grain finish. 

Here is the front with the light grain portions painted over.  The stain leaves a sheen while the paint is matte, so the fixes look obvious at this stage.

I rubbed the surfaces with a torn bit of paper bag to soften the painted spots without lifting the color the way sandpaper would.

I applied Delta Ceramcoat Satin Varnish.

Now the paint and stain look like one grain.  #HBSCreatinContest2016


by brae  

I have a new mini bird in my life, but this one I didn't make.

I've named him Sam, though his beak is true to life rather than cartoonish like the one of his namesake Toucan Sam.  :D  Man, I haven't had Froot Loops in a long time!

Sam is a gorgeous Toco Toucan made by Katie Doka of FairiesMiniatures on etsy.  He's quite perfect.  In fact, he's so lifelike I half expect him to blink and fly about the house!  Birdie wanna go outside?!!  :D

No and yes...

by brae  

No, I haven't been in the milk.  My chin?  No, that's not milk.  Nope, nope.  Nothing to see here.  But, yes, that is the Creatin' Contest build on the table.

Jasper is trying to give away my secrets.  :D

That's it! I'm leaving!

by brae  

Or "leafing" is perhaps the word I need here.  :D  I finally had some time to work on the maple tree again.  This is three hours of work, so that ought to tell you just how much time this will take.  I foresee many movies and TV marathons in my future.

I made 425 additional leaves to add to the approximate 800 from the Easy Leaves sheets, for 1,225.  I still might need more, but for now I am starting to apply the leaves to the tree.  I can make more as needed.  Each leaf is applied using a mix of Aleene's Quick Dry and super glue gel using a toothpick; the glue is applied to the stem only.  Long, slant-nosed tweezers are a lifesaver.  :]

I've spaced the leaves apart.  I will go back later and add in more to fill in.  Right now they are also flat, but once they dry I can bend them down, up or sideways.  By applying the leaves to all the branches, I can keep going until I reach the fullness I want without overdoing one section and ending up bare in another.  Plus, I want to use the slightly smaller leaves from the Easy Leaf sheets throughout.  By working all around, these will be evenly distributed even if I end up with more of the manually paper punched leaves overall.  #HBSCreatinContest2016

Little Milo

by brae  

Little Milo has passed away.  :[  He was two years old and still getting around fairly well though I could tell his health was failing.  These little hamsters live about two to three years.

He came to live with me during the transition between homes back in 2014.  He jumped up and down as I looked in the cage next to his at the pet store...I guess he knew he wanted a quiet life with me.  :]

This morning, I knew the time was close.  I said my goodbyes and wished him a safe journey.  I told him he could come visit any time.  He passed sometime today in the very spot I saw him last this morning.  I will miss my sweet little friend.

investigating the sea chest in the barn on Milo Valley Farm

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