Monday, March 27, 2017

First Attempts at Furniture Restoration

First Attempts at Furniture Restoration

I've been trying to learn several different crafts and household skills in the past few years. 

We found this little table many years ago at a yard sale. It had two sections that could be raised, lowered, or tilted. I took the smaller section off because its mechanism wasn't working. But the table was also really dinged up and way too small for me to spread out my books and writing stuff at the same time. I had been wanting to try my hand at furniture restoration, so this table was my first victim.

I decided to keep the base and replace the top. I went to Lowe's and bought a piece of pine that was the right size for my new top. Then I sanded it and dyed it blue in the same color as a foot stool I did a few months ago. I buy the wood dye at Michael's; they always have great deals that make it affordable.

I also bought a long strip of wood about two inches wide, the same length as the table. This was for a ledge to hold up whatever is on the table when it's at a slant.

I decided I wanted words on the ledge, so I penciled them on...

and then etched them in with a wood burning tool...

...and then dyed the ledge to match the table.

I flipped the old table over, and removed the screws holding it to the bracket. Then I screwed the new table top on. A cordless power screwdriver was a huge help to me!

I nailed the ledge onto the table in several places.

And here it is!


After doing the table, I got excited about trying other pieces. I found this vintage chair at a yard sale for $5. I'm guessing it's between 50 and 70 years old. The seat had been reupholstered with thick vinyl.

I decided to paint it blue. I mixed white milk paint, blue milk paint, and a little of the same dye I had used on the table. I also buy my paint at Michael's.

I made enough of the paint to cover the chair and a shelf.

At Walmart, I bought a "far quarter" fabric square in a coordinating color.

I attached it by hammering on tacks on the backside. I left on the old vinyl and even the old label.

I still need to screw the seat back onto the chair frame, but here is how it looks!

There is one more small piece that probably doesn't count as furniture. It was a small toy box that a set of blocks came in. After about 20 years of hard use, the box was dented and scuffed, and the train decal had partially peeled off. However, it was a good solid box, so I decided to see if I could restore it to a newer glory for one of my grandsons to use for his art supplies. I removed the rest of the decal with Goo Gone and a scraper, smoothed the wood sides with my electric sander, and burned my grandson's name and two owls on one side. I drew in a few accents - the owls' beaks and feet, and a little of the lettering - with an orange permanent marker.

I've had fun tinkering, and I'm happy with the results!

What do you think?


You might also like these related posts with my blue creations:

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

"Sainte-Chapelle, Nouvel Esprit" (Feed Your Soul for Lent #1)

"La Sainte-Chapelle, Nouvel Esprit"

La Sainte-Chapelle
The holy chapel, medieval reliquary
Where pilgrims honored holy fragments.
In my eyes it is the glory of Paris
Not for ancient remnants, now gone 
But for the soaring stained glass
With shimmering stories of the Word
Cut into fragments of centuries old colors
Today's fresh light streaming through.

A holy chapel I want to be
With the Holy Spirit, le Saint-Esprit
Living and giving life within me
The stories of the Word, translucent
Illuminated by the Light of the World
A radiant sanctuary of the sacred
Miraculously inside this fragile temple
Holy chapel, new spirit
Sainte chapelle, nouvel esprit.

I recorded this piece, along with several others, at a classical concert in Sainte-Chapelle in Paris in October 2016. "Chaconne" calls to my mind the drama of the passion and compassion of Christ on the cross. 

You can find more music, photos and links here: La Sainte-Chapelle, the Glory of Paris.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent.

It is a traditional season of fasting from physical distractions. That should give us an increased focus for feasting on what feeds our souls.

I'd like to spend Lent sharing goodies to nurture the spirit: music, art, nature photography, poetry, inspiring article links. 

Along this theme of saints of the spirit, this came across my Facebook feed today. Saint Fred is an article in Atlantic Monthly about Mr. Rogers, the beloved children's TV personality and ordained Presbyterian minister who passed away on this day in 2003.

I am still pinching myself that I had this amazing opportunity to visit Switzerland and Paris with my daughter Joanna, who was presenting at a mental health conference in Geneva. I only wish I had more money to travel!  I realize that I neglected to send all of my Europe photo posts to this blog's subscribers last fall. Here are the links. 


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