Many of you asked about before and after pictures of my friend’s kitchen, unfortunately I can’t show that to you. She has lived here for almost 7 years and while the kitchen was in a shambles when she rented it living in a place that long you begin to feel a sense of responsibility for how it looks. She is embarrassed about how it appears and doesn’t want me to share pictures of the room itself.
Had I thought to snap pictures of the first drawer I could have shown you the finish which was very dark but the best I can do is show you the after of this one particular drawer for now. While she and I talked about painting the kitchen when it came time to begin working on the room her boyfriend announced no painted cabinets, he likes wood. These cabinets have solid wood fronts with a dark veneer. The pulls were very old, tarnished and dated. I knew she wouldn’t be able to refinish the cabinet bases herself and had to assume they would remain dark so here is the drawer that was sent to me which started the process in saving her kitchen.
When this drawer arrived it was in pieces with various screws and nails attempting unsuccdessfully to hold it together. I immediately set to work removing the screws and nails then gluing it back. I was excited to have a challenge to work on that the idea of pulling out my phone to snap pictures never entered my mind. Sorry about that. With a bit of help from my staple gun this baby won’t be coming apart any time soon. Then I went to work sanding off the veneer. As I sanded I tried to think how this drawer would work if the bases weren’t going to be refinished and it dawned on me that I could leave a bit of the dark stain on the edges to show off the raised panel and tie in with the dark base. Then it was a simple matter of finding 13 of the same pulls that would work in this kitchen.
I decided to go with this Lucite pull which is large enough for a man’s hand yet wouldn’t distract from the wood and is easy to clean with no details to scrub around. I had to keep in mind this is a rental and wanted to use something that wouldn’t accumulate grime or tarnish.
An ongoing project
While I have whined enough about the weather it really has been hard on me this winter causing pain I don’t normally have. I had a mental list of things I wanted to do this winter while stuck inside but have not accomplished even half of them. One that has been a long time coming, is still ongoing. That is this bed frame found in the trash last May when the students left for summer. I knew i wanted to keep this for myself so it was put on the back burner. I’ve worked on it here and there, but always after working on things for other people.
The children get so excited to see a new project and ask to be able to sand and repair them. Here’s a picture of the bed frame as we found it.
This is a wood frame with a veneer that was primed and painted with black enamel, although they stopped with the black on the inside of the foot board so that may be easier to sand down. I finally finished the headboard….with a lot of help.
This is another of those pieces that I start with very little idea how I will finish it. There is a section which is offset from the rest which I felt needed something but I had no idea what at the time.
In the end I decided to leave this panel alone as the black ties in with other items around the apartment including pretty much every picture frame on my walls.
The children are so much fun to work with. They understand which way to sand (with the grain not against it), they know where the rags are, and which ones work best to clean the dust, and they really have fun with the process. They give me some great ideas as well because they don’t look at the trends or are swayed by how things should look. This piece I kept simple and while listening to their suggestions passed on them this time.
With the headboard completed I had my friend, yes the one with the kitchen, send down the rest of the pieces to work on. My grandson asked if he could come spend a day with me so he could sand. I accepted his offer gladly. :-) I figure I can set down the side rails one at a time and let him “have fun”.
Not a great angle but you can see how it turned out. After sanding off the layers of paint I wiped it down to remove all the dust and then simply gave it a coat of polycrylic which brought out the natural color of the wood. Hopefully I will have the completed frame to show you in a week or two.
Facing a dilemma
One project I have been putting off has been the reupholstering of the free loveseat. I have no intention of spending a lot of money to replace cushions and recover it but I do want it to be toxic free when I finish with it.
I removed the arms (which were one piece with the legs) when my ex broke the one side off and replaced them with the legs you see above. These legs were table legs given to me by another friend who spotted them out for trash pick up. I had them cut down and the other portion went to make a stool by another friend to set in front of her favorite chair in her living room.
But here’s where my problem comes in. I have been told exposure to latex can cause an allergy over time. That eliminated latex as a choice. I’ve looked at soy but then found that while this is an expensive option soy cushions aren’t all soy and are still very toxic. I don’t want to go with the standard toxic cushions so this sits here, torn and shabby looking. I want this to have one solid cushion. I toyed with the idea of trying to attach these two into one but they have no support left. A very informative post on the soy cushions is by Oecotextiles.
What would you recommend? I’d really like to get to work on this loveseat. I can see how it will look, it’s just a matter of deciding on inner materials.