Friday, October 21, 2011

Some Furniture Projects

Because I don't have a TV, I have alot of free time. So I do things like this.

First up, a heat lamp (?) thing that I found in my basement after the Great Flood of the Spring. Hence the crud.

Pow! Cleaning ninja strikes again. Scrubby + plenty of hose action and a dash of Brasso and it's super shiny and lovely.

Detail shot of rusty crud

Now it just has "patina"

Second project, a craigslist dresser scored for 30 bucks. I didn't really need a dresser. At all. But I could not pass it up. So I remembered a dresser from Chelsea Textiles Ltd. that I really liked and decided to actually paint a piece of furniture. 


It took alot. But, the drawer faces were laminate and the top/sides were covered in poly, so no "original finish" was harmed during the production of this project.

Start: Wash it down and lightly sand the surfaces. Go to Home Depot and get a sample of  Behr Premium Ultra interior flat in "Manuscript".
Chicken out and just paint the drawer fronts. Contemplate just the gray for a while. Wonder how hard it would be to remove the integral handles. Look for long drawer pulls on the interwebs. Gasp at the prices.

Proceed to buy some of that new Martha Stewart paint in "Antique Gold". Paint integral wood handles. (I'm still on the fence as to painting the rest of the dresser. I am leaning towards just going for it. I can always un-paint it. I'm really good at that by now.)

Hunt around for more things to paint "Antique Gold". Bingo! Antique plant stand that's been in my family forever. It's inlaid wood veneer top was ruined years ago by water, and the top has been ugly ever since. Martha to the rescue! 
So I don't have a better picture than this, but the whole top and cross braces and interior face of the legs were painted, and now it's gorgeous again. Win.

I've been a terrible blogger, part 2 of 1027764959

Hurricane Irene!

Let me just say that I know that this is barely a pinprick, considering 20 miles away from me, whole towns were washed away, and I count my lucky stars to come out so unscathed.

Project 2: The front door  to the vestibule finally got so water logged that it started to come apart. So off it came!

Psssshhh. Who needs a door with pieces that align?
80 years of paint had to come off the front. Peel Away 7, the environmentally friendly kind, got the paint off where the wood was really soft. Then I just heat gunned (at low temp) the rest of it. So a week full of nights was spent in my basement just removing paint.
It got to this stage and then we had another hurricane dump a bunch more water on us. So, of course, the basement flooded. Just a baby flood though. Still enough to deter me for a while. And then I needed to use epoxy and wood hardener. I couldn't find the good stuff (Liquidwood) so I picked up some nonsense from Minwax. It's so flammable I couldn't use it near any pilots lights, aka the water heaters I was 5ft away from. So I had to wait for a dry sunny weekend in September... Which never came. So we finally got nice weather the first weekend in October. I hauled the door outside. I promptly found a place to purchase the Liquidwood in Saratoga. Fabulous. Happy that I found the good stuff, not so happy that I wasted three weeks waiting to use the crap that would blow me up.

Braces on the bottom corner. Not pretty, but there were already two bolts attempting to hold the piece in place. Obviously that was not working anymore. These are on the inside and will be painted over so hopefully no one will really notice them. Unless you read this blog (ha!).  I straightened it all out the best it was going to be and then leveled off the bottom 1/8th inch with the jigsaw. It's currently primed and waiting in the basement for me to paint it this evening. What a way to spend Friday night!

Project 3: Ceiling in Vestibule caves in due to water from hurricane. 

At this point I'm pretty sure I'll never name one of my future children Irene. Note the menacing cracks. These correspond nicely to the panel of the porch floor that was cut out and put back in without any sealant around it. Workmanship abounds in this place... 

Fast forward two days. A chunk falls out.  So then I spend an evening ripping out the rest of the left side of the ceiling, which was also about to drop. Good thing that pesky front door already had to be removed so it wouldn't get in my way. Gaaaaa. It's still all tore up. Hopefully I'll get to that this weekend.

Project 4: Roof at chimneys starts leaking during hurricanes. Starts to ruin plaster in dining room.  Surprise! Both chimneys need new counter flashing! No pics, mainly because no way am I going on my roof. Hello vertigo. Still trying to get this done before we are dealing with snow.  They were quickly repaired with silicone caulking, but that's far from a permanent solution. It's holding for now at least...

I've been a terrible blogger, part 1 of 1027764959

I SWEAR I've been working on the house all summer. So in no particular order, I present various projects, also known as "why I don't have a social life" or my favorite, "my first gray hair".

Project 1: Ongoing Backyard Shenanigans.

Backyard Cleanup: Dead Tree is gone and no longer threatening to toppled over on my car!

Garden Time: Cleaned out bramble, roots, rocks, and debris for vegetable garden.

Bricks found throughout the yard and the house were used as a border.

Hard to see, but on the sloped part below the brick, we planted "Mojito Mile" - about 10 mint plants, to stabilize the soil and support our lifestyle. Which requires alot of mojitos in the summertime.

Old clay drainage tile and pieces of rock made nice little steps.

I used organic fertilizer on the plants about a week after they were planted. This stuff was plant crack, because they started growing and never stopped. It's October 21st right now, and I have to go pick green beans tonight. And I live in upstate NY! 
We used cut down saplings to "build" a bean trellis and tomato plant supports. Tomato plants which easily reached 6ft tall. I told you. Plant. Crack.
Also, I planted far too much basil. 24 plants. We're only two girls! It now resides in the freezer as pesto for those days in February and March when the weather makes you want to smother yourself with a pillow, so maybe not a terrible outcome.