Why Did You Paint That?!

So often, folks are appalled when others update vintage or antique furniture using paint.  It’s easy for them to blame us for “ruining” a piece, however they often don’t stop to consider that perhaps someone else ruined it already and we are just reviving a well-built piece so it can be recycled and enjoyed. 

If folks collectively took such great care of their furniture, then we wouldn’t end up with things like the following:

Discolored or Water-Stained Wood 

Sometimes it’s the old linseed oil finish aging gracelessly; sometimes it’s sun bleaching or water leaching.  Any way you look at it, it’s not pretty. 

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Damaged Veneer

Surprisingly easier to fix than you may think – if  painting.  It’s an enormous endeavor if you hope to patch with matching veneer and stain.   Most of these pieces aren’t going to be worth the time and effort of replacing with stain-quality veneer, so the choice is often to cut, patch and paint in order to keep it’s life going!

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Chips and Gouges

Life Happens

 

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Paint Splatters and Mishaps

Oh the stories some of these pieces could tell!

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Burns!

Cigars or cigarettes left on the edge of a table “just for a minute” only to burn down to a nub when forgotten; ashtrays that spill their flaming contents; and don’t forget the occasional candle left seriously unattended….

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Barns

(AKA Droppings & Mildew)

Don’t get me wrong – barns are great places to find buried treasure – you just need to be prepared for some serious cleaning….and then some more. Think sparrows, bats, cats, moist hay, rodents….but don’t think too hard about it or you may miss a real gem.

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So, why did I paint that piece?!

Revive. Refresh. Restore. It’s all about Sustainability.

Because Reviving beauty doesn’t always mean bringing it back to original condition;

Because Refreshing is restoring strength to piece of furniture;

Because Restoring function is what keeps a well-made piece in circulation and out of the landfill.

We would LOVE for you to share pictures here of some of your most desperate-looking diamonds in the ROUGH! 

All of the products to complete these projects are available at our Online Shop

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After
Before

After
Before

Explore other posts in our blog for more transformations and tips – and don’t forget to venture into the second page of oldie but goodie posts!

Vintage Fun

Have you ever looked at a piece with great bones, only to find rippled or missing veneer and decided it’s not salvageable?  This is a common problem that often lands otherwise beautiful furniture in the landfill, but it doesn’t have to! Repairing veneer damage on a solid piece is entirely possible with a little bit of prep work, a few tools, and some elbow grease.

 

These great dressers provide good examples of repairable veneer damage that almost left them both homeless.

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Wood veneer is quite common on vintage furniture; but what is it?  Wood veneer is a thin slice of real wood – often from a rare or otherwise expensive cut of wood with striking grain or coloration.   This is applied over a strong base of a solid, often less attractive species of wood that creates the structure of the furniture.  The wood veneer basically dresses up the structural bones of your furniture.

Below, you can see wood veneer that has been damaged over the years from moisture which has loosened it from it’s base and caused warping or rippling in the delicate wood covering. But all is not lost!  There are some beautiful, salvageable veneers on these dressers and the bones are healthy and solid!

 

 

Sometimes, a slightly lifted veneer layer can be re-adhered to the base with wood glue and a syringe; however this damage was beyond repair, so it needed to be removed: remember, there is a solid wood base under that thin damaged layer, so removing veneer will not harm the structural integrity of the furniture.

Since it is thin, wood veneer can be carefully scored with a razor to remove only the damaged portion (above). Next, a putty knife can be used to gently separate and lift the damaged wood from the base (below).

You definitely want to use gloves and safety glasses for this step to prevent splinters!

The area is then leveled up with wood filler and sanded smooth.

Once it’s smooth, the surface is ready for a finish coat.  I have not found a filler that takes stain well, so I plan on painting the patched areas.

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We decided Fusion’s  Midnight Blue was a good choice for these dressers as it would show off the wood and vintage handles well.   The exposed wood was cleaned with TSP Alternative and Mineral Spirits before being rejuvenated with Hemp Oil.

 

 And there you have it – salvaging gorgeous pieces by simply investing some time to remove and repair damaged veneer!

 Purchase this dresser!

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If you are enjoying our instructional blogs, please leave a comment and/or like our blog posts!

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All of the refinishing products, many of the furniture pieces and other items you see here can be purchased through our Online Store

Thanks for visiting and supporting us!

Dressing up a Plain Jane Dresser

This dresser is a great example of how Fusion stains can be used to rejuvenate a finish without stripping. This is the Prep stage of this dresser; it was washed and lightly scuff-sanded.  The top, however, had some pretty deep scratches.

For initial blending in of the coloration, we used one coat of Golden Pine Stain & Finishing Oil to soften some of the deeper discoloring.

Next: Double Espresso Gel Stain & Top Coat to the Rescue – first coat is still wet in the photo below.

This is basically a pigmented polyurethane, so it can go directly over an existing finish without sanding or stripping.  The pigmentation provides some opacity to obscure flaws and scratches like the ones we started with.  The more coats of this product applied, the more opaque the finish becomes.  I like to try and find the balance that allows for correction of the old finish while still showing through some of the original wood grain.

I prefer to apply this product with a wide foam brush, but it can be applied with a roller or bristle brush.  It’s very important to practice with it and find your preference!

Looking better after the the second coat!  Long, even strokes are key to an even finish.

Did you notice that along the way the body of the dresser got a nice coat of Sacred Sage?

And here it is after the second coat is dry.  Gel Stain & Topcoat has a matte finish once dried – this also helps to de-emphasize flaws in the surface so it’s a more forgiving finish.

If you look close, you can still see a few of the deeper scratches under the finish, but it is such an improvement over the original condition – and all without sanding.

Additionally, since this is an all-in-one stain and topcoat, it does not require an additional step to seal.

So, we spruced up the top, updated the color ….. And now, to do something about those blah knobs!  Woah!  These new knobs are anything but blah!

Kristin’s Kreations handpainted these one-of-a-kind knobs to jazz up our dresser with some personality!  There is So much detail in each one!!

These beautiful knobs are just what this plain dresser needed!  Thanks Kristin!!

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If you are enjoying our instructional blogs, please leave a comment and/or like our blog posts!

Also, please be sure to ‘Like’ us on Facebook, visit our Instagram and Pinterest pages.

All of the refinishing products, many of the furniture pieces and other items you see here can be purchased through our Online Store

Thanks for visiting and supporting us!

Liming Finish on Rough Antique Pine Dresser

I’d been itching to use Fusion’s White Stain & Finishing Oil as a Liming finish, and when I came across this previously stripped antique yellow pine dresser, I knew I had found the perfect piece! The previous owners had it professionally “dipped” to strip off the existing paint with every intention of refinishing it.  That’s a familiar prelude for many of us! After years of sitting and moving from residence to residence, they finally needed it out of the way.  By then, it was quite musty, battered, and generally “rough”.  A liming finish would seal and protect it, but also highlight it’s character rather than try to mask it.

The overall construction was fantastic, but definitely “rustic”.


Fusion’s Stain and Finishing Oil (SFO) is a penetrating oil stain that soaks into the grain, in addition to an oil-based topcoat to seal and protect.  Stain and Sealing in One step!

To use SFO on raw wood, I simply brushed it on, let it penetrate the wood for a few minutes, and then wiped back the excess.  Below you can see the process and half of the drawer wiped back with one coat.  I decided this was still too yellow, so I simply waited a day for it to dry, and then applied a second coat – brush on/wipe off.

Below, you can see the difference one coat makes on the drawer front and the dresser top.

Now for that musty smell…every single interior surface got a generous shellacking! Shellac is the only surefire way to seal smells away from your belongings.  The important part about sealing musty dressers is to brush or spray shellac on the underside, interior, exterior of each drawer (every side but the front) in order to completely trap odors away.  The interior body of the dresser should also be sprayed or brushed because it can also trap smells.

Here is the finished piece after it’s second coat.  It was That Simple!  One step Stain & Finishing Oil and a bit of shellac! It was a great way to update and bring out some of the details while preserving the character of this piece.

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This piece found its new home quite a while ago, but we have more unique refinished pieces available on our Facebook page Furniture Albums and our  Online Store

Fusion’s Stain & Finishing Oil comes in a variety of stains to highlight and show off your wood grain. SFO Colors

1920’s Dressers – So Versatile!

The Before

This is one of my favorite styles of furniture to work with; well made, lots of storage, easy to repair and open to any style of finish from traditional to rustic.  These pieces of furniture can be used in just about every room in the house too.  A server in the dining room, entryway storage, bathroom vanity, and of course, for clothing or winter blanket storage in a bedroom. 

This particular dresser is Enormous (50 inches wide!).  It had definitely seen better days. Although the wood veneer was beautifully grained, there were lots of scratches, a few gouges, several spillage or burn marks, and a few other hard-use scars that would require complete stripping and thorough sanding to bring back to beautiful wood – with no guarantees that all that work would save the deepest of the stained areas.  Not to mention, sanding something this size is an outdoor job; but not during the winter in Upstate NY.

The Top

With the level of discoloration on the top, I opted to use FUSION’s Double Espresso Gel Stain, which is a nearly opaque, tinted polyurethane.  It leaves a nice, durable wood finish while blending in some of the color variations. While it isn’t necessary to sand before applying, I hand-sanded as many of the stains out of the top as I could for a more uniform final finish.

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BEFORE

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AFTER Gel Stain

The Body

Homestead House Milkpaint carries a line of historic colors that look fantastic on antique pieces.  The finish can also be very rustic and chippy, which gives an authentic modern farmhouse look without having to deal with furniture originally painted with dangerous, lead-based paint. I love blues, and have been wanting to try Rideau Blue on a large piece! Keep in mind, authentic milk-paint must be in powdered form.  If it comes pre-mixed as a liquid then it is not actual milkpaint and contains all sorts of other fillers that are not part of historic, authentic milkpaint; this is often referred to as “simulated” milkpaint – and it won’t perform nearly as well as the real deal from Homestead House or Miss Mustard Seed.

Milkpaint fun!

One of the fun things about using milkpaint without adding a binder, is that it will perform uniquely and chip where it wants to in a natural, authentic way.  It can also be used as a more solid finish by adding an acrylic bonding agent, however I like to see how it’s going to go on it’s own first.

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After it dries, a light sanding reveals where the paint would like to stay and where it would like to randomly chip off.  Application of a little FUSION hemp oil brings out the true depth of milkpaint color and enhances the chipped areas beautifully!image_b9457dc4-784a-43e6-baea-8134b1951b8e.img_9539If you haven’t yet tried painting with milkpaint, it’s a must-try! It is capable of such a variety of finishes; a solid stain on raw wood, a solid rustic finish using binder, and a chippy farmhouse look – it’s so much fun! Lakeside Restoration and Vintage Matters will be offering milkpaint workshops in February, so keep an eye out on the events page on Facebook for your chance to play www.lakesiderestoration.net

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After applying Hemp Oil on the Left; Before applying hemp oil on the Right. You can see how it deepens the color a bit and enhances the chipped areas.

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Just a few minor repairs along the way to make sure the drawers are working well!

 

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It’s starting to come together!

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Oh, yes….the GIGANTIC mirror! I tweeked my back hefting this one in to place. But look at how nicely the mirror finishes off the piece!

 

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LOVE THIS!!!

After a thorough cleaning, the drawer interiors were in pretty nice shape for the age of this piece.  I opted to re-hydrate them and polish the interior finish using FUSION’s new Lavender scented furniture wax.  Not only does this wax brighten up and seal the wood, but it also smells incredible!!!fusion_mineral_paint-wax-lavender-200g

All of the products used to refinish this dresser are available at our shops, Vintage Matters at 7060 Ridge Road Sodus, NY and Lakeside Restoration 1476 Monroe Ave Rochester, NY  – or at our online store at https://lakeside-restoration.myshopify.com/

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FINISHED!!

Revive. Refresh. Restore. Lakeside Restoration.

 

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These Are A Few of My Favorite Things; Missing Veneer, Broken Handles, Mysteriously Absent Trim

This project is True to our Mantra:

Revive. Refresh. Restore.

BEFORE

This duo was on it’s last stop before the trash heap, so despite having no room … they came home with me.   After further inspection, most of the parts were contained in the drawers, and the interior was in great shape!  Bonus!!

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Transformation

Whenever someone suggests that simply slapping paint on wood shouldn’t take too much skill or time…. I recall how every clamp in my shop was doing double duty for weeks splicing these dressers back together.  And did you ever notice how a dresser seems to triple in size once you remove the drawers?  Then comes the washing (inside and out) dewaxing (yes, that is an invented word), and lightly sanding wood filler and years of blemishes.  Each drawer interior then gets cleaned and sealed, often with hemp oil for an invisible finish that freshens up the interior wood to look like new.

 

Midnight Blue to the Rescue

One of my all-time favorite FUSION Mineral Paint colors, Midnight Blue is the perfect Little Black Dress for just about any piece of furniture.  To obtain a smooth finish, I used a microfiber roller and a handmade Staalmeester Ultimate One brush for the Perfect Finish! I highly recommend the Staalmeester Ultimate brushes; with the caveat that you may never be able to go back to using a ‘common’ brush.

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Tip Top

I’m partial to the look of real wood on the top of my dresser, so after piecing veneer back into place (the ultimate puzzle!) and patching some spots on the tops, I used the subtle opacity of FUSION’s new Double Espresso Gel Stain to camouflage the repairs while providing a durable wood finish.  This product is great – especially for a piece that may not take well to sanding off the old finish to raw wood due to the veneer’s fragility.

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AFTER

 

Capturing the true color is challenging in my space, I’ll keep trying to get a good glamour shot – but the After is definitely an improvement, even with substandard lighting.  Along the way there was a brief trip to Rochester’s ReHouse Architectural Salvage to secure a single matching handle to replace a missing piece….that place is a life saver!!!

All of the products and tools used on this project are available for purchase (along with how-to instructions) at our shops on Monroe Ave in Brighton and Ridge Road in Sodus as well as at our online store;

https://lakeside-restoration.myshopify.com/

What projects have you painted in Midnight Blue?  We would Love to see them – share them below!!