How to recycle an old door – Part 2

Heres the second part of how to build a door desk! Now that it’s done, I am more than excited about it and it looks super great! Also, I now have double the work space before which is perfect! So here is how I finished her up…

The door was super dirty by the time i got back to the project, my brother decided it would be a great place to store all of his power tools. Typical. Let lets just say it took a lot longer than i thought to clean this sucker up! Heres the handy dandy supplies needed:

– paint pan

– large paint roller

– smaller sponge roller (not required but came in handy)

-small paintbrush

– Primer. I used Behr Enamel Undercoater Primer & Sealer.

– Paint: I used a white satin acrylic based paint

-Sand paper blocks

Sanding

Maybe one of the most important steps! Before you ever even think about painting; sand, sand, sand! In the picture above you can see there was some filler that needed to be sanded off as well.  This helps smooth out surfaces as well as prepare the surfaces to really hold on to the primer and paint. I also sanded in between the two layers of paint to smooth out any drips.

Primer

Primer is not always necessary but it helps cut down the number of paint layers and really makes the paint stick. Its great on slick surfaces even laminate and really holds the paint. Its also less expensive than paint so one layer of primer might save you from one or two additional layers of paint!

Primer was necessary for my table because i used nothing but scraps – as you can tell there are at least three different types of wood in very different shades; one white(ish) door, red oak and plywood. The primer (top right) really levels out the colors and makes the paint smooth and even.

Paint

I have a small obsession with thick paint. All of my paintings have dozens of thick layers and textures of paint so when painting furniture i tend to go too thick. This time around i made sure to do thin, even layers and it really came out beautifully. All it needed was one layer of primer and two thin layers of paint. So my final desk is perfect! It has plenty of table space, clean, modern design, room for storage (i have a thing for boxes and baskets… so much better than boring drawers!) and best of all, it was free!

So heres my new office – its definitely a place where I sit down and automatically feel comfortable, stress free and ready to be creative. I love it!

Have you guys been building anything lately? Refurbish one man’s junk to make something rad? Speaking of, i have some oh so lovely goodwill finds to share soon! Woot!

-Rachel

Furniture Stripping!

Thats right, i spent my sunday strippin my Stereo Cabinet. Track my progress so far and what i have left to do here.

Here she is in her craigslist add… doesnt look too bad from far away, but up close she was a wreck. Read about tearing out her insides here. It’s pretty amazing how much of a difference a little stripper and sanding will do to bring a piece back to life! Meet the helpers:

Sidenote: No, that is not sorbet. That orangyish goop is the Strypeeze (not striptease like i thought it said) Other side note: Don’t you love my cute new chucks?!

Ok, before we move on… beware! if you have an unusually pansy-ish stomach, you may not want to read on. Stripping was actually pretty yucky. The varnish came up in a bunch of gunk. Anyway, step one: just start paintin!

I threw on two fairly thick layers because it was unusually tough varnish. I actually attempted to use the refinisher first and epic fail. But lo and behold, the varnish had nothin on this orange goop. 15 minutes later and you’ve got this:

Those beautiful little bubbles and wrinkles are from the varnish getting whooped by the sorbet stripper. booya. Next step, get your scrapper and just go crazy. It should come off pretty easily, if not, either wait an extra 10 minutes or go back over the splotchy areas a second time. Usually if it doesnt come up right away, it’s just because you were too excited to wait the entire 15 minutes (might have happened to me a few times!)

Oh i know, that stuff looks like Dino snot. Still, very exciting how effective this stuff is. Here is the lid to show you a good before and after:

Now I know what you’re thinking… “wow, the before looks so much better!” Well of course it does! We are stripping, not finishing! This is a bit of a process but keep in mind, you are stripping down to the bare wood to then refinish and restain to make her look brand stinkin new. Just wait till this next part… After i stripped all the wood, i went back over it with the furniture finisher and steel wool. It helped take more of the stain off as well.

That part was pretty rough because i was really scrubbin the crud out of it. My sweet boyfriend even helped:

And check out the oh so pretty results:

Who knew there was actually wood under all that crap?!  i went on to sand it to get out some of the deeper scratches. I sanded pretty lightly since it was veneer but enough to smooth it out more. Most likely there will still be some scratches (she was pretty beat up!) But really that just adds a little vintage character, but i also plan on a slightly darker stain which will make the scratches less noticeable. Don’t forget to always, always, always, always, ALWAYS sand with the grain! No circles, no angles… just straight with the grain. Just trust me on this one. Well there ya have it!

Next week: rebuilding the inside and front panels! Super excited and I plan on doing it all for free with scraps! What what!

Before & After: Stereo Cabinet Inspiration

If you’ve kept up with my blog you know I’ve dreamed of refurbishing a vintage stereo cabinet with updated gadgets including new receiver, speakers, ipod dock and a working record player. Eventually maybe finally purchase a tv (its true kids, i dont own a television! duh duh du naaaa!) maybe a flat screen to put above it attached to the wall. Well i found a great buy on craigslist that needs a lot of love… the pictures are rather misleading – looks like a quality piece but the front panels are actually plastic and all the electronics are about as useful as an ejector seat in a helicopter.

Anyway, here is the first stage of Gregory’s project. It actually looks very similar to my cabinet at step one (there is hope!)

Here he guts the cabinet (the stage where I’m at currently)

and then he sanded it…

Sadly I’m having to take a much longer route and use a chemical stripper to remove the varnish. The issue is mine is veneer so sanding is always a bit of a gamble incase you completely sand off the veneer!

And here is the final piece!

I love the mix of vintage with modern. Sadly he just turned this into storage and never put the electronics back in (which is really that part I’m struggling to figure out!) I’ll post pictures soon! I plan to work on her more this weekend.

Heres links to Gregorys whole progress on the piece:

Part #1

Part #2

Part #3

Part #4

Part #5

Part #6

Part #7

Ok, ok, i admit it…

You know how this weekend i snagged some records for only 5 bucks? Funny thing is… i don’t have a record player yet. But for the record (haha, get it?) I’ve been on the lookout for a record player for the last few months. What I’m looking for is something like this:

Rad, huh?! I would love to find an old, ugly broken one and fix ‘er up… what i would REALLY love is a console like this:

Maybe throw in some brand new speakers… an ipod hook up and then youve got a beautiful multi use console table! And then i can play my fancy new Frank & Ella records 🙂 Now just waiting for a good priced one on craigslist! (*fingers crossed*)