Tag Archives: Rumage Sale

Get on with it …

15 Mar

I often pick the hard road and I don’t know why — especially when it comes to refinishing furniture. I never choose to strip a piece of furniture that is only varnished … No, I always choose to paint over those things for some reason. But when a truly neglected and over-painted piece of furniture comes into my life I always seem to choose to strip it … and often regret it …

Enter Olivia’s dresser … my Mom picked up this 1930’s/40’s maple waterfall dresser for $10 at her local Fall Rumage Sale. Yes, I said $10.

However, it had seen some hard times … I thought that I could revive it by stripping off the horrible paint jobs that it had endured over the years … The top two coats were a patchy navy blue spray paint job and then a sparse attempt at rolling white over it … Ugly. Unfortunately the bad paint job hid many things from me … Like extensive veneer damage. So as I stripped off the gross old paint with my favourite paint stripper, Citristrip, it became evident that while the wood was very beautiful, it was also very damaged. So after all that work, I ended up having to paint it. I LOVE the end result though, it took to some light distressing well and made the veneer damage seem purposeful. I actually plan to distress it even more! I haven’t sealed it still, even though she has been using it for two years … The best part of it all, is the inside of the drawers … I painted them Wilton Blue and they are such a nice pop of colour everytime I open them up! I know there are lots of people who frown upon painting inside drawers, but now it is so easy to find good low VOC or No VOC paint, go for it! Make those drawers sing! Your clothes won’t smell like paint! I promise. Just make sure the drawers are completely dry before putting them back in!

I recently rescued a deadly heavy nightstand from the garbage garage in our townhouse complex and of course, it is thick with paint and I started to think about refinishing it.

I was a little worried about it’s composition. Since it is SOOOOO heavy I was thinking it might be made of MDF. So I started my detective work by taking off the ugly drawer pull to reveal that the wood underneath is nice, solid hardwood … I think it might be Walnut … I was inspired once again to pull out the paint stripper … So off I went to Home Depot … looking for this …

Only to find it wasn’t there! I have used every paint stripper on the shelf at one time or another and Citristrip is IT. Nothing else comes close to being as easy and effective … Plus it is safer for you and the environment. So I had to take the plunge with a new product. I sat there staring and Mr. Somewhat was getting impatient. Do I try an new stripper or do I buy a Heat Gun? He pushed me into trying the “new” environmentally friendly stripper on the shelf – Safe Coat.

The hardest part of paint stripping is the dwell time, how long to leave it on before scrapping it off, hopefully with all your paint. Citristrip made it easy, the paint bubbled up and that meant you were in business! Safe Coat has been less effective … after three hours (the minimum dwell time) there was no bubbling and after 24 hours (the recommended maximum dwell time) there was only a handful of areas bubbling. I started scraping anyway, worried that letting it dry might make things worse for me in the end … And it became very evident this was not ready to go …

It was turning into some gross paste, as you can see. I think I counted 6 layers of paint to come off the outside shell – the ochre, white, royal blue, light lavender, and then probably two more coats of white. Inside the shelves is just one rock hard coat of paint that is STUBORN. It sits the same in my basement right now. I know that I want the paint off, I am just not sure going for try number two with the Safe Coat is worth it … I think that a Heat Gun might be the way to go. I just really want to get this over with!

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