Monday, 4 July 2011

Go on, you know you want to

I have just entered my email address into the sign in box and for whatever reason, Google ignored my initial bit of typing. I glanced up and saw ''. Ok, so I have no pupillage interviews, but gin on a Monday morning! I don't think so Google, I'm a respectable laydee don't yer know. Whatever next?

And just for Michael (yup, I liked the fruit bowl btw), here's the Ercol court cupboard before, middle and after pics. I only finished it 4 days ago and sold it yesterday. Well that shut Barman up, who said that Duck Egg Blue was a bad idea and I'd be stuck with it forever. Oh well, seems that I shall not be able to assemble my own little court room in the garage after all. I'd have quite enjoyed pretending to be a barrister (hiya Andro - read your blog:-)).

And just for Michael - I decided against a bird of paradise; no room for all the plumage, so went for a hummingbird design instead:


simply wondered said...

you're good. is it too cheeky to ask what you got for it?

Barmaid said...

SW - you have mail:-)

Michael said...

Looks great - another super restoration job! :-)

Seeing as SW asked, I'm curious. ... s'pose you don't fancy mailing me what you got for it? :-) (I've got a figure in mind - just want to know how wide of the mark I was) - michael(at)

Barmaid said...

I always thought that gentlemen weren't supposed to ask a lady her price:-) And lawyers too, whatever next;-)

You got mail Michael.

Told you I was cheap;-)

Michael said...

I know - outrageous aren't I?! ;-)

Thanks for the email - I have responded!

white rabbit said...

Gin on a Monday morning. In my youth I had a rule...

Never smoke a joint before you get out of bed in the morning.

But rules are there to be broken.

Allegedly etc.

btw What is the best book to read on furniture restoration? I got plans :D

Barmaid said...

No book required WR and certainly no rules.
Sand it, wash it (thoroughly to remove grease and dust), prime it, paint it and wax it - job's a good un:-)
And if you want a really good job, send it to moi to pimp:-)

Michael said...

I like your no-faff approach to finishing! :-) You should write a book!!

What grades of abrasives do you usually work through and do you power-sand any of it at the start? ...maybe not if you're building up muscle tone in your arms? ;-)

Barmaid said...

I don't use a sander very often - perhaps a little to get me started if I have a great slab to go at. It's so easy to go too far with a sander, so I prefer to hand sand where possible, particulary where there are corners and carvings.

I don't tend to use medium grade paper - I use the course stuff (80 I think?), then straight onto the fine (120 I think). I find that by the time I've done 10 minutes sanding, the course paper has smoothed out to a finer grade all by itself, so there's no need to change to a medium. I keep the fine paper after use, when it's little more than smooth pumice texture and use it for finishing. I'm not a fan of steel wool, but have some ultra fine that I use with linseed to buff over wood that has too much wax or polish build up.

I'm a fan of oils and use various to finish wood - virgin olive oil is good with natural oak as it doesn't 'yellow' the wood.

There are no tricks really - but the key is preparation - 90% of the time I spend on a piece of furniture is doing all the boring stuff. The remaining 10% is spent looking for the hinges and handles that I removed and then once found, trying to fathom how they fit back on the furniture:-)

Family have bought me various electric tools that remain boxed and unused - I use 4 screwdrivers, sand paper, oils (teak, linseed, olive, sunflower), nice Harris Platinum paint brushes (get through 2 or 3 a week), lots and lots of old cut up t shirts for washing and wiping, fairy liquid, couple of buckets, hot water, white spirit, primer, paint, wax, spray matt varnish to protect the acrylic roses I paint on some items, shellac in about 10 colours, a soldering wand. Oh, and a darning needle for awkward, wax/polish/gunk filled crevices. That's about it apart from lots of coffee and cake and a swear box:-)

Michael said...

Sounds like a good strategy... I guess it depends how quickly the 120 grit wears down. I usually went to 180 grit and then 220 for woodturned stuff. I always preferred the cloth-backed abrasives - more expensive but much better and more flexible... particularly for your detailed work around carved/ raised areas.

I always found steel wool a bit of overkill but I think it depends on the wood. In oak, for instance, the little wire fragments can get stuck in the grain and react with the wood and go rusty. Never a good look. But, yes, 0000 grade used to rub down between coats can make a big difference. :-)

Your finishing strategy sounds very similar to professional woodturner Richard Raffan’s. I remember reading years ago that, as far as he was concerned, any fool can splash polyurethane over a nice bit of wood that had never done any harm to anyone, but achieving a genuinely attractive finish that lets the wood develop a beautiful patina over time and won't detract from it, is much more challenging. He favoured ordinary vegetable oil and candle wax!

And yes, what woodworker would ever be without an ample supply of coffee and a swearbox?! ;-)

Barmaid said...

I've had problems with steel wool leaving a grey residue on pale woods, so use it only on darker wood. I didn't realise that others used veg oil too - and yes, I use candle wax too (or vaseline)on my drawers when they are sticking (must be the hot weather):-)

Have never used a poly varnish, wouldn't know where to start tbh. The chalk based paints I use have a very 'rustic' textured, matt finish, so they suit a rough and ready wax without sheen. The Farrow & Ball paint has 2% sheen to it, so there's no need to add more bling.

I sometimes sand the chalk paints to give a smooth finish, but ultimatley my customers seem to prefer something with a bit of the 'hand painted' about it, so I try not to get too hung up about the 'perfect' finish.

I've just finished a sideboard and had to re-start/re-paint it half way through because the finish was too 'perfect' - it looked cheap, like cream plastic. Switched to a putty coloured chalk paint and it looked much more mellow and in keeping.

I'm just about to start a bird of paradise design on another sideboard that has a slight 'crease' in the top. The crease (caused by heavy items being left on the top over years) will hopefully be the 'outline' for the branch that the bird will sit upon. I might get away with it, I might not.

Oh well, here goes...

Michael said...

Sounds interesting... I hope there are going to be pictures? :-)

Tulsa Divorce Lawyers said...

simply beautiful!!!

Oklahoma City Divorce Attorneys said...

Loving the pics!!!

Oklahoma City House Cleaners said...

I'm not a big fan of fancy furniture - pretty pics tough~