Saturday, February 7, 2009

the difference is like mid morning to afternoon

finally! got around to restoring our new/old end tables and coffee table (inspired by the arrival of my beeeeeeeautiful spinning wheel which my honey got me for my birthday - love, love, love i am i) decided that if i needed to stain the wheel before putting it together i should do all the stinky tasks at once. so, windows open i took stock (read: pictures) and gathered my supplies: 1) howards restor-a-finish
2) gloves

3) steel wool 0000 super fine

4) scrap cotton jersey cloth

5) optional drop cloth -i put down an old nasty rug but didn't end up needing it

6) face mask - i didn't use one but i had a whole wall of windows open - the stuff smelt like strong nail polish remover and was gross but not gross enough to motivate a trip to the garage to dig around for a mask

7) i had a little container on hand to pour the restore-a-finish into but ended up just tipping it directly onto the steel wool instead

#1 the coffee table - 30-40minutes

loads of water stains, scratches, dents and a few chips. since i've never refinished anything before i decided to start small and try the restore-a-finish before attempting any of methods i found on the internet (e.g. mixing cigarette ash and mineral spirits, or maybe oil and rubbing it all over, stripping off the old finish with crazy chemical strippers etc.)

after wiping down the table i poured a bit of the restore-a-finish stuff onto the steel wool and rubbed with the grain of the wood (i don't know if it's cheating but i went back and forth along the grain lines) i had to scrub pretty f*in hard on some parts but i saw the difference pretty quickly. i only worked on a small area at a time and wiped it down with my cloth before i moved on to the next area- some of the really dirty areas i wiped with the cloth, then re dipped my scrubber and went at it again i cleaned the rounded legs and rails by wrapping the steel wool around it to cover more surface areathe entire table probably took 30-40 minutes and while there are still scratches and dents i am quite pleased with the difference considering the minimal effort/time/tools it required

#2 end table one: before

(my camera can't decide on its color pallet)

#3 end table two: before

after :
3 steel wool pads, about 2 hours and 1 very dirty wipe cloth later i have 3 greatly improved pieces of furniture! now i just have to email the photos to the nice fella who sold them to me so cheap off of craigslist- thanks michael!

1 comment:

  1. omg!! are you kidding me! your blog is amazing!!!! and thanks for the props-