Decor, DIY, Furniture, Home and Garden, VIntage

Table and Tray Progress

And now for some results of the magazine table and TV tray makeovers. Don’t forget to read the first and second pieces of this saga.

I got out the Polyshades stain I bought and dipped an old t-shirt rag in it to wipe it on the magazine table. As I was applying it the first thing I noticed is that it didn’t go on as dark as I had hoped it would, and just made the dark spot on the top even darker. Also, it didn’t seem to go on very well. I got my glasses and looked at the can and on the back it said…”Apply with high-quality brush.” Oh, for heaven’s sake. I didn’t have my glasses at the store and thought I was buying a wipe-on stain. Arrrgh. That’ll teach me, I guess.

Stain not dark enough to cover spot.

So I went back to the shed and got out my old can of Special Walnut wipe-on Minwax stain and poly in one that they don’t make anymore. It is SO much easier to apply stain and poly by wiping them on than by using a brush, where you get all the brush strokes and have to keep a “wet edge” the whole time. I wiped the Special Walnut all over the table, including on the parts I had already put the Espresso color on. Here are photos of that result.

Blargh! It was not dark enough to cover any imperfections and didn’t stick very well to some places. At this point I considered this project a FAIL.

But wait! I decided to go see if I had anything else in the shed, and what do you think I found? A brand new can of this Varathane wipe-on wood stain in Ebony! That should be dark enough! There is also a can of Varathane wipe-on stain in Kona, which is a nice dark stain as well. Dries in one hour! Aha!

Dries in one hour! (It really didn’t, but…)

I left the magazine table to dry overnight and got back to it bright and early this morning. After scuffing the table up with some fine steel wool and wiping it off with a tack cloth, I got out the Varathane and started applying it with an old t-shirt scrap. (Keep in mind that at this point I’m sort of making things up as I go along to try to salvage the table.)

Scuffing up the top.

Hey, the ebony stain mostly covered the spot on top!

Will it cover the scratches?

It mostly did cover the scratches!

After I gave the table one coat of ebony stain, I decided to let it dry and come back for another coat. The front sides of the table that were sort of an orange color didn’t take the stain very well even though I scuffed them, and the inside walls and outside ends didn’t take the stain very well either. Here’s how it looked with one coat:

With one coat of stain. Better than before.

You can see how it didn’t take the stain very well on these pieces.

I let the table dry while I went on some errands. When I got back I put another coat of stain on. Here’s how it looked after the second coat of stain:

Eh, still about the same. Not great.

Meanwhile, during the second coat’s dry time, I started on the TV tray. I chose the Varathane wipe-on stain in Kona for the tray. It is a nice dark brown. I started on the underside of the tray:

Underneath first.

Once I stained the underside and legs of the tray, I let that dry and then flipped it over and stained the top side, and touched up in areas on the legs that needed it. It looks good and the next step for both projects is the wipe-on polyurethane to protect the wood.

Not bad.

I decided to try the wipe-on poly on the magazine table to see if it improves the look of it. There are a lot of weird spots where the stain is darker or lighter than other parts, and I’m hoping maybe the poly will at least even it out so it will be all one sheen. I had about half a can of the poly and needed more to apply multiple coats on both projects, so I ordered it and some more tack cloths since the items have to be sanded between coats. Since I am using oil-based stains, I will use this oil-based poly.

The stain on both projects needs to dry for awhile and tomorrow I have a hike planned, so I won’t get back to these for a couple of days.

Will the magazine table ultimately be a success or a fail? Will the TV tray turn out the way it’s supposed to?

TUNE IN NEXT TIME TO SEE REAL, ACTUAL END RESULTS (I hope)!!

Antiquing, Decor, DIY, Furniture, Projects, VIntage

Magazine Table

I got this cute little table for free on Facebook and it is in rough shape, although not too dinged up except in a couple of places. The woman who gave it to me just left it outside on her porch in the rain for me to pick up, so that didn’t help its condition. The Hubs said I should refinish it instead of painting it, so I’m giving it a go. It will be a “practice run” in anticipation of refinishing the top of our kitchen table.

It’s called a “magazine table” because it has the pockets on the sides where you would put magazines or newspapers (if anyone subscribed to the paper newspaper anymore at home).

Here is the table before cleaning (I did take some change, an earring, a lot of dust fluffs, and an old baseball card out of the magazine pockets. The Boy was glad to have the baseball card!)

Here is the table. Can you believe someone let their kids scrape the finish off and drip nail polish on the top?

Top of table. Ouch.

Bottom shelf.

Inside magazine pocket. There is a bit of wood missing from the curvy part, but I’ve decided to just stain over it rather than try to repair it. The sides of the magazine pockets are very thin and fragile.

First, I gathered my supplies. I chose to use Citristrip as the finish remover for this project, as it doesn’t have toxic fumes to worry about. You need a brush to apply it and a plastic putty knife to scrape the old finish off. Since it is a strong chemical (even though it is citrus-based) I got some gloves and wore safety glasses while applying the stripper. I used the instructions from a blog called DecorHint as a reference for the job.

After cleaning it with a damp rag, I set the table on some cardboard and brushed on a thick layer of Citristrip with a chip brush.

Next, you let it sit until it dissolves the old finish. Since the finish is fairly thin, in some places it was already working by the time I coated the whole table. I scraped off some of the stripper on the bottom shelf and one of the sides and the finish came right off.

It’s working!

I tried the top and the finish wouldn’t all come off, so I re-coated it and thought I would let it all sit for about three hours. To be effective the stripper has to stay wet, so I checked on it occasionally to make sure it hadn’t dried out. You can use plastic wrap to cover the stripper to keep it from drying out, but I decided to just monitor it and see how that went.

Re-coated the top.

I went out after two hours and checked the table, and it was pretty much ready to strip at that time. At least most of it was. The top seems to have a different finish than the rest of the table, so there will be more sanding there. It should be fairly easy because it’s mostly a flat surface. The edges of the top will also need more attention.

The top – still looks pretty dark.

These side pieces and the sides of the pockets turned out this color after the stripper was scraped off. I hope I can sand out and cover up the gouges in this side piece.

After scraping most of the Citristrip off, I wiped the table down with paper towels and cleaned it with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits. Here is how it looked after its mineral spirits bath. There is a bit of gunk still lingering, but it will be removed in the sanding step.

Sanding, and hopefully finishing, will happen tomorrow. I have another little project I’m going to interject as well while the magazine table is drying, I think.

Antiquing, Decor, VIntage

Fruit Bowl 2

You’ll remember in my last post I was trying to clean this silverplated fruit bowl, and this was the result:

No.

Well, the Tarn-X came and I got it out today to see what it would do with the bowl. I got some cotton balls and a rag and started rubbing the bowl with a Tarn-X soaked cotton ball like the bottle instructed, and not much was happening. Then I tried going after some of the carving, and a little bit of silver was peeking through. Finally, I got this:

You can see the difference in the grapes carvings, the one on the right has been rubbed with Tarn-X and the one on the left hasn’t. But the smooth silverplate is so pitted that it wouldn’t even come right with the Tarn-X. That’s when I decided that I was going to a lot of trouble for little reward. I’m going to list it on Etsy in its current condition. It was a beautiful bowl at one time, and I’m hoping someone else will still think it beautiful despite its flaws. I guess that’s what we all want for ourselves too, isn’t it?

Beauty
Antiquing, Decor, VIntage

Fruit Bowl

I got this antique silverplate fruit bowl at an estate sale last weekend. It was made by the Adelphi Silverplate Company in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Here is what it looked like after washing with soap and water:

Tarnish a go-go.
Not very nice.

I ordered some Weiman Silver Polish and when it came I went to work on the bowl. I polished…

Helper Cat is helping.

And polished…

And polished some more…

And this is how it turned out. Aargh. See all those pits and places where the silverplate has gone? I even tried getting into the carvings with an old toothbrush, and that didn’t work at all.

On the right is the polished side, left unpolished.

I’m pretty sure someone was using this bowl to throw rocks at. Or make mudpies (with rocks) in. Or maybe they had it strapped to the grill of their car? Seriously, it’s a fruit bowl. What kind of fruit does this sort of damage?

Not happy with results.

But I got an idea…it would be perfect in someone’s gothic-themed home or haunted house, wouldn’t it? I may market it as a goth or Halloween decoration!

I ordered some Tarn-X (Remember the commercials when we were kids? Takes all the tarnish off!) and it should arrive on Friday. Then we’ll see if there’s any improvement. Will post Tarn-X results Friday or Saturday!

Crafting, Decor, DIY, Projects

Decoupage

On Monday I decided to do a craft project that had been languishing in the “projects” bin for who knows how long. I had an old cookie sheet and I wanted to decoupage it with old sheet music to make a tea or dinner tray. It is the perfect size. Now that I don’t have to be planning for the PCT, I can get some projects done!

I got out the cookie sheet and found the Mod Podge, and looked at my sheet music stash. There were not nearly enough pieces of old sheet music to cover the tray, so I took the biggest page and photocopied it on my printer. I made seven or eight copies. The sheet music was a nice yellowed color that showed up a little bit in the copies, and I thought that would work fine. I didn’t want a bright white look.

Sheet music, cookie sheet, Outdoor Mod Podge, paintbrush

I ripped the music copies into long strips and started in sticking them to the cookie sheet. I started on the back side, 1) so I could see how I wanted to do it; and 2) because I wanted to fold the sides up from the bottom so the top would look nice; and 3) in case I didn’t like it at all and wanted to go a different direction.

Rip!

I used outdoor Mod Podge for the tray, because I imagine it would be more durable in case of spills, etc. Mod Podge is a glue and a sealer, you use it to stick your paper or fabric to your surface, and then brush it all over to seal.

You can brush it on the surface or apply it to the paper.

It stuck really well and I went on putting my paper pieces on the cookie sheet. I tore off some smaller pieces too. I decided to do the sides first with lengthwise strips, so they would be completely covered. The paintbrush I used is a lesser-quality one I had in my painting bin.

Sides first.

I made sure the sides were completely covered and that the paper overlapped the edges so I could flip it over to the top side. While you are decoupaging, it is a good idea to keep a wet cloth nearby for wiping your hands and another cloth to dry them, as the Mod Podge does get all over your fingers.

Here is the back decoupaged and with one coat all over of the Mod Podge. You are supposed to put a few thin coats on to seal the project.

While I waited for the back and sides of the tray to dry, I put another coat of white craft paint on this “Adventure” sign. I got it at Target awhile back, along with an “Imagine” sign. The “Imagine” sign came already painted pink on the lower half and is hanging on my office wall, but the “Adventure” was a dark yellow which doesn’t go with my office décor. I thought of painting it green, but since I’m going to hang it on the green wall it seemed like white might be better. I like words and I like to have them all over the house, ha!

I forgot to take a “Before” photo of this one. The toothpicks at the top are to mark where the nails go.

This one didn’t need to be modified.

Here’s the “Adventure” sign on the wall. It looks much better now.

I had to photocopy and rip up some more music sheets, so I did that while I waited for the bottom of the tray to dry. My method of pasting small pieces of paper all over instead of using one large piece used a lot of Mod Podge, so I decided to let the tray dry overnight before I attempted to decoupage the top side. In the morning everything was still tacky, so I decided to wait another day.

Since the way I did the bottom of the tray seems to have added way too much Mod Podge, for the top I brushed a thin coat of Mod Podge on the backs of the paper pieces themselves to stick them down, instead of putting it on the tray first and then having to put more layers on to get all the pieces to stick.

Brushed on paper instead of tray surface.

Then I brushed a light coat of Mod Podge over the whole top and edges of the tray. I hadn’t decoupaged in awhile, and I often do take the “scenic route” when crafting, especially when I have made up the craft on my own.

Scenic route or short cut — neither is great when crafting.

And finally, here is the finished product, all ready for tea! What do you think?

Up above the world you fly, like a tea tray in the sky…