Family Heirloom Updated for Generations to Come

Once in a while, a piece of furniture comes into our workshop that is truly an honor to work on.  This particularly large hutch was definitely one of those as it defines the importance of family and preserving memories.

This gigantic hutch was handmade by our customer’s great-grandfather, grandfather, and father.  It is a piece of this family’s history as it has a consistent presence in childhood memories and even in the background of countless family photographs through generations.  We found it stored neatly in a locker where it was waiting for both a new family home it could fit into (did I mention it’s HUGE), and a little bit of updating to fit into a modern home.

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This was such a fun, quirky piece to work on with lots of decisions along the way to make sure it’s character was preserved while the finish was updated to fit into it’s new home.  For instance, we found a ruler built into the top of the upper doors (it must have been just the right size to fill a gap).  Of course, we made sure to preserve this bit of historical character and not paint over it.

 

We also understand that the scallops along the front were traced using a handy dandy coffee can so they were also kept intact.  The mirror along the back had warped over time and provided for a curved, fun-house appearance, so the decision was made to replace that with an updated shiplap.  And, while my first inclination was to sand off all of the drippy shellac layers and fill and sand smooth all of the dents and divots…I needed to stand down and go with the character of the piece to preserve those bits of history.  Ultimately, I hope we balanced preservation with modern utility.

 

This turned out to be like working on two large pieces of furniture at once. For the hutch top, the large, curvy “fun-house” mirror needed to be removed first and the space updated with shiplap.

 

 

Then, doors were removed, crown molding was installed, and a few areas tightened up.  Unfortunately, the hinges had been shellacked over at some point in the past, so they were incredibly difficult to remove intact.  We went hinge shopping! A bit of Midnight Blue paint started to pull the top together nicely.

We worked on the doors, drawers and hardware separately. The owners decided to keep the original hardware for historical integrity and simply update the look with paint, so the hardware was cleaned and painted with Fusion’s Vintage Gold Metallic.

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Next, we see the process for prepping and finishing this piece.

1) After washing thoroughly with TSP Alternative,

2) the shiny shellacked surface was lightly scuff-sanded to provide some tooth for the paint to adhere and then cleaned again to remove sanding dust. After that,

3) two coats of Midnight Blue were applied using microfiber roller and Staalmeester brush.  After 3 weeks cure time for the paint to evaporate all water residue,

4) two coats of polyurethane (FUSION Patina Gel Stain and Top Coat) were applied.

This is an example from the cabinet doors; the whole process was applied to the entire piece.

Now onto the bottom half!

One side had originally been built-in to adjoining cabinetry or a wall, so it wasn’t finished on the end.  This is a good view of the plywood sheets the piece was largely constructed from. Patching, painting, and building out the trim to match as well as possible came next.

SFO and Gel Stain were applied to the top to get the best possible color and finish.  Keep in mind, this top is made from a sheet of rough plywood, so trying to update the look without losing the character and charm of the homemade piece was a challenge.

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A piece this large shifts and adjusts under it’s own weight each time it is moved.  While this may have been level at one time, by this time, the plywood bottom wasn’t even or finished off in a way that I would want dragging across my wood floors.  We added adjustable metal feet to help level it and protect the floors in its new home.

Once we flipped it back up, finished up paint and started reassembling, it really came together nicely!

 

Just a few odds and ends like adding magnetic latches to the bouncy lower doors and this piece was ready to be delivered!  And that’s where it gets scary! Anyone who lives in the Northeast understands the state of the roads by the end of winter after a season of plows and salt has opened gaping potholes all along the roadways.  We double-triple wrapped, strapped and tied these pieces in our enclosed trailer and crossed our fingers for the entire 45 minute drive!

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BEFORE

Here she is in her permanent home!

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AFTER!

This wall looks like it was made for this piece of furniture; and the customer’s color choices are spot on for the interior of this home!  Thank You so much, Stacy, for trusting us with updating your family heirloom for the next generation!

Revive. Refresh. Restore. Lakeside Restoration.

 

All of the FUSION products used to transform this piece are available (along with personal instruction!) at both our brick and mortar locations and our online store.

Lakeside Restoration 1476 Monroe Ave Rochester, NY 14618

Vintage Matters 7060 Ridge Road Sodus, NY 14551

Online store:  Online Shop Link

Please leave us comments, read our other blog posts, share our blog and be sure to Like our Facebook page so we can continue to bring you these stories about our furniture revival adventures!

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!!

Choosing & Caring for your Staalmeester Synthetic Blend brushes

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What’s all the buzz about??!! A brush is a brush…right?

Once you use one of these, you won’t remember how you painted anything without them!  Staalmeester has been manufacturing high quality Dutch brushes for over 70 years.

http://www.staalmeester.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Image_full_Staalmeester_1100x400.jpgThe Staalmeester synthetic blend brushes can be used with all types of paint, but perform particularly well with Fusion Mineral Paint.  Their unique synthetic/natural bristle blend has a short china bristle, blended with a longer, silky synthetic bristle.  The natural bristle ensures better paint absorption while the synthetic bristle allows for a smooth, even application with minimal to no brush strokes.

This top quality brush has a traditional beechwood handle and a coppered ferrule with deeply set bristles which is ideal for painting small projects, complicated moldings, banisters, window frames, ledges, doors, and of course, furniture.  Staalmeester round and oval synthetic blend brushes have a band of orange string that is to be kept intact, as they give the bristles direction and the perfect tension. These brushes are versatile, so depending on your painting technique, you can achieve a smooth, flawless finish or a unique, heavily textured appearance.

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Styles

Round #22 Series 2010

2010-H-Staalmeester-RoundPerfect for furniture that has flat surfaces accentuated with moldings and beveled edges.  Also good for cutting in.

Pointed Sash #18 Series 2012

The pointed sash brush is ideal for painting detailed furniture edges, moldings, banisters,2010-H-Staalmeester-Pointed window frames, ledges, doors and furniture.  The pointed head makes it perfect for edging work and cutting in.

Oval #45 Series 2010

2010-H-Staalmeester-OvalThe oval shape makes it easy to shift between narrow and larger flat surfaces with the same brush.  It can be used on small surfaces such as spindles and window frames, but also on larger areas found on dressers, vanities, cabinet doors, etc.

Flat #20 Series 2010

Perfect for medium to larger flat surfaces such as desks, dressers and doors.2010-H-Staalmeester-Professionele-Platte-Kwast.FSC_large

Bent Radiator Brushes

2010-H-Staalmeester-BentSuitable for use on difficult to reach surfaces, due to the curved head.  Fabulous for painting the insides of bookshelves, cabinets, and the cubbies in vintage desks.

Self-Cleaning!

Don’t allow you brush to sit still for too long as the paint will dry onto the exterior bristles making it much harder to clean.  If, (ok – When) you get interrupted during painting, wrap the bristles with a damp paper towel so the paint does not dry on the bristles.  After you are finished painting, submerge your brush in water and rinse for a few minutes.  It is incredible how much paint is absorbed and held in these brushes so allow it sit upright in water up to the ferrule for a couple of hours and the paint will fall out of the brush and settle in the container bottom.  Change the water until it is clear after the brush has soaked in it for an hour or so.  You can even submerge the brush up to the ferrule and leave overnight.  Once the water runs clear, you know all paint has been removed.  Use the hole in the handle to hang the brush to dry.

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Using brush soap every-other cleaning is a great way to condition the natural bristles.  If there is still paint remaining in the brush, and it is allowed to dry, the bristles will become quite stiff.  When cared for properly by removing paint from the bristles before drying, these brushes will last for many years.

Additional TIPS

When starting off with a brand new dry brush, briefly dip into water up to the ferrule to slightly dampen the bristles.  Give the bristles, including the string, a squeeze with a cloth so the brush is only damp – not wet.

When dipping your brush into the paint, there is no need to submerge the full length.  ¾ of the bristle is the most you will ever need, and probably less for most purposes.  There is really no need to get the paint up to the edge of the string.  This will make cleanup easier and make your brush last longer.

Most importantly, dive in and have fun!

STAALMEESTER HAS NEW ADDITIONS TO THEIR BRUSH ARSENAL!!  We will be updating our blog soon with the new Ultimate Brushes ans artist brush selections.

Purchase Staalmeester brushes herestaalmeester-brushes

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Battered Buffet

Oh how I have been in search of a buffet to paint!!

I finally found this set in an online auction and was pretty excited about the possibilities. The tricky thing about an online auction is you rarely have the opportunity to see the pieces live and “kick the tires”…it’s all reliant on photos.

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In this case the photos didn’t really show the whole picture, and it’s even difficult to see in the photos I have posted here.  The wood veneer on the china cabinet is, in fact, more gorgeous than these photos reveal.  And I mean in a “holy cow no one should ever put paint on that beautiful wood” kind of way.

 

 

The buffet had, however been quite battered, including chipped veneer, poorly applied ancient shellac, and structural cracks.  Perfect for Paint!!!

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Luckily I was able to find a home for the china cabinet with someone who was as in love with the wood as I was and planned on sprucing up only the interior with some color. Whew!

First step after washing and scuff sanding was to remove the doors, drawers and hardware.  After that it was on with stripping the old finish off the scratched and stained top to see what condition the wood was underneath.

A few coats of Citristrip later and it looked pretty good with the exception of some character-building dings and a single light burn mark from a hot dish.  That helped to make the decision for a dark stain on top to blend in the burn.  Here’s how it looked after two applications of Minwax Jacobean stain and a several thin layers of Polycrylic Matte for a topcoat.

 

 

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For the body, I started with a good cleaning with TSP, light sanding and scrub with some odorless mineral spirits to remove any residual wax.  A few repairs here and there (and everywhere…) – including repairing the top finish after some precariously stacked boards in the overstuffed garage were accidentally knocked onto the curing finish…yes, a variety of words were said.

A base coat of FUSION Concealer helped to solidify coverage for the first coat of FUSION Raw Silk.  It only took two coats of Raw Silk to get great coverage overall.  I used a microfiber roller on the flat spots and my go-to angled 2 inch flat brush for the rest.  I was EXHAUSTED after working the flat brush into all of those curves on the legs…and I still missed a bunch of spots.  This strategy was Not going to work.

Enter Staalmeester!

I had a set of Staalmeester brushes I have been wanting to try out, but frankly didn’t anticipate being wowed by any cutting edge paintbrush advances…I mean, it’s just a paintbrush, right?

Folks have been buzzing about how great the pointed sash brush is for getting into nooks and crannies, so I decided to give it a try since it couldn’t get worse than what I did with the flat brush!

H-O-L-Y    C-O-W   was I totally Wowed!!!!

The #18 pointed sash brush at the very bottom if the picture became my new favorite tool.  It slid effortlessly into all of those nooks, held tons of paint, and laid down a smooth, even layer of paint in half the time it took me to attempt the base coat.

I will Never paint curves again without it!!!

After that valuable lesson, I have lightly distressed and partially antiqued this piece.  I also reassembled the buffet and painted a few coats of concealer inside the cabinets and Chocolate inside the badly beaten drawers.  Here’s a peek at the progress so far…

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 There is much more finishing work to be done  – MORE TO COME!!!