Let’s begin at the beginning. I purchased this oak cabinet (I believe it was the lower half of a hutch at one time) at an estate sale a few months back. Given it’s construction, it is around 100 years old, and unfortunately was faux finished at some point. The first step was to find out what was lying underneath all that paint. I removed all the hardware and drawers, then came the process of stripping the paint off. As you know from previous post, I use Citristrip on most of my projects because it’s less caustic to yourself, and the environment. Remember to put it on extra thick, and don’t be impatient, let it do it’s work. The paint stripper sat on the piece for about an hour and a half. If it’s bubbled and crackled it’s working.
When the Citristrip was finished, I removed the bubbled up paint with a plastic putty knife (the metal ones will gouge the wood, so use plastic.) I like to scrape the gooey stuff off into an old plastic container because it keeps the drop cloth from getting slippery, and you don’t track it all over the place. The pictures below are what it looked like after the paint was stripped off. You can see in the first picture that there is water damage to the top of the chest. After sanding, the marks were still visible.
This is a photo of the piece after it was sanded down with a 120 grit and then a second sanding with a 220 grit sandpaper.
Normally I like to bring pieces like this back to its original condition, but with the water mark damage that wasn’t possible, so I chose to do something a bit different. I decided to change the chest into an entertainment console. I also thought I’d try something a little different for the finish. Minwax makes a tintable water based stain, that you can have mixed into almost any color you’d like. I chose to do the piece in True Blue, and it seemed like a great idea at the time. Unfortunately, True Blue on a yellowish tone wood looks ugly. In the photo you can see that small strip in the middle, that was the True Blue stain directly on the wood.
Back to the drawing board! Thought about it for a few minutes, and decided to do a light grey wash over all the wood, and then use the True Blue stain. In the photo above you can see the difference between the stain directly on the wood, and on the left, the stain on top of the grey wash.
The pictures above are of the chest and the drawers with the grey wash. To do the wash technique I used about 2 cups of Sherwin Williams satin finish Filtered Shade with 1/4 cup of XIM extender and leveler. I brushed on a medium coat of the paint mixture, and then wiped it off right away with a soft cloth. The wood grain is still visible underneath, and it toned down the yellow hue. Next came the True Blue stain.
On this I also brushed on a medium coat of the stain, and then used a soft cloth to wipe some of the stain off and leave a light coating of the blue. You have to work quick with the stain because it is water based, and dries quickly (even with the XIM extender mixed in.)
Next I spray painted all the original drawer pulls with a brushed nickel satin finish paint, and then did a very fine mist of a satin finish gold. You can’t really see it in the photos above because that’s the back side of all the pulls…someone is really bad at taking pictures of the process. The last few parts of the project were putting the door back together after I removed the wood panel and replaced it with glass. Then I did 3 coats of Minwax satin finish polyurethane, and last the casters on the bottom.
Finally! The finished piece.
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