Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

Posts tagged ‘Staining’

Painting It: The Dresser!

You probably see your dresser every morning. “What am I going to wear?”

 

Does it appeal to you as much as the items in it? Or, does it leave a dull impression every time you are around it? Or think about it?

 

Over a course of years, your dresser may have lost its allure also. This can be fixed easily.

 

By washing, sanding and painting, your worn out-looking dresser can appear like new. Spend a few dollars. Apply a lot of elbow grease. And, it can become a major attraction in your home.

 

Follow these steps. And, you’ll be on your way.

 

1. Find a place you can work.

A. Select a place with good ventilation.

B. Lay a drop cloth or some plastic sheeting on the floor.

C. Place your dresser on top.

D. Also, place blocks of wood underneath, so the piece doesn’t rest directly on the floor.

 

2. Take a screwdriver and remove all hardware – eg. handles and knobs.

A. Wood: Clean gently with mild soap and warm water.

B. Metal: Clean gently with mild soap or baking soda and warm water. Polish with metal polish.

C. Brass: Clean gently with mild soap or baking soda and warm water. Polish with brass polish.

 

3. Wash the surfaces of the dresser.

A. Use a sponge, cleaning brushes, and a suitable detergent.

B. Pay special attention to drawer edges, molding and crevices on drawer faces.

C. Rinse with warm water.

D. Let air dry; or force dry with heat gun or hair dryer.

 

4. Sand entire surface.

A. Use #220 sand paper or sanding block.

B. Fill imperfections with wood filler.

C. Let dry.

D. Then, sand smooth.

 

5. Wipe the entire surface down.

A. Use a tack cloth to remove any dust residue.

 

6. Apply a thin coating of primer to the whole surface.

A. Use a brush, and a low nap roller cover, three-sixteenth.

B. Or apply by spray painting.

C. Using spray cans may render a very fine job – whether you’re a painter or consumer.

D. Conventional spray or HVLP equipment is recommended, and generally used, by professional painters. Consumers that do a lot of painting, including furniture refinishing, also rely on spray equipment to get the job done.

 

7. Lightly sand surface once more, when the primer has dried thoroughly.

A. Use #220 sandpaper or #400 wet sand until surface is smooth.

B. Wipe down with tack cloth.

 

8. Apply the finish (top) coat using same method as in step 6.

A. A hard enamel or oil finish is desired.

B. I have found that an automotive grade acrylic enamel works quite well, also.

Note: It is highly durable and has superior color retention and wash ability. It does cost a little more than conventional paint.

 

9. Let the dresser’s new finish dry completely. A full 24 hours is ideal.

 

10. Re-install your hardware. Slide in the drawers and you’re all set.

A. Your dresser will look as good as your clothes inside it.

B. New-style tip: Change the hardware: Hinges, knobs, drawer pulls, etc.

 

A THINK TWICE TIP: Is your dresser an antique? 

  1. Carefully and gently clean with a soft cloth.
  2. Repair only the necessary parts of it.
  3. Gently rub linseed oil into all wood surfaces. Apply with the grain.
  4. Do not paint unless the piece has lost all of its value.
  5. CAREFUL! Most antique pieces of furniture maintain, even increase, in worth because of their signs of age, and their imperfections.

 

Want to perfect your skills even more? Or, do you want to try a similar creative project?

Maybe, your child’s dresser needs a facelift, too.
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DRESS YOUR DRESSER FOR SUCCESS!
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Have a great day!  And, thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting It: How to Stain a Wood Deck

Does the deck resemble a collection of mold-ridden, fungus-laden, algae-slick growths?

Then, you will know it’s been “neglected” way too long.

 

As long as the wood hasn’t rotted, there is still hope for improvement.

 

The easiest and first thing to do: Clean the surface.

1. Use a garden sprayer, containing a solution of detergent, bleach and water.

2. Spray the entire deck area.

3. Let set for 15-20 minutes.

4. Then pressure wash the deck.

 

TIP: The deck may look acceptable once it’s been cleaned. Carefully inspect the entire surface. In full daylight!

 

Does the deck surface still look dirty, unkempt and unsanitary? A good coat of stain will cure that unsightly appearance.

 

STAIN PRODUCTS TO USE

 

To carry out your project, consider using one of the following products. Both are oil-based stains.

1. Solid color Stain – simulates a painted surface.

2. Semi-transparent Stain – accentuates the depth of the wood’s grain pattern.

 

Once the stain is selected, the actual process can begin. Here are basic steps to finish any size deck.

 

HOW TO PREP THE AREA

 

1. Remove all moveable objects: vehicles, bikes, skate boards, furniture, planters, etc.

2. Securely cover all adjacent and accessible areas.

A. To use a brush and roller: Cover nearby vegetation and concrete with drop cloths or plastic sheeting.

B. For spraying the stain: Be prepared to cover considerably more.

—Mask off the wall area adjacent to the house/building, where the deck is fastened.

—Mask everything else nearby that can’t be moved: all plants and holders, open ground and landscaping, stationary furniture, statues, fencing, gutters/downspouts, etc.

C. Is everything covered that needs to be? Now, cover yourself.

—If you intend to spray, wear a disposable paper suit. Cover your head.

—Put on safety glasses/goggles.

—Gloves are a must as well.

 

HOW TO APPLY THE STAIN

 

1. Stain all hand rails, toe kicks and stair runners.

A. Apply as heavy and even of a coat as you can. Avoid producing runs in the stain.

B. The wood hasn’t been done in a while. So, it will soak up the stain fairly quickly.

C. TIP: After staining, exterior wood does not need to be wiped down.

 

2. Need to apply a second coat?

A. WAIT until the stain has penetrated enough.

B. It does not have to be completely dry for you to recoat the surface.

C. It may require two days to dry.

 

3. Stain the deck and steps last.

A. TIP: Since the surface is flat, the stain can be applied more heavily.

B. Generally, apply the stain in the direction of the wood planking.

C. Spraying on the stain is the quickest and easiest method.

—Using a brush and roller requires a lot more time and effort.

D. Don’t pay a lot of attention to staining in between the gaps of the wood.

Exception: Gaps are wide enough for you to apply stain on the wood surfaces bordering them.

 

WHEN TO APPLY THE STAIN

 

1. Remember: The deck wood must be as dry as possible.

 

2. Stain on a warm, dry day. This ensures that the stain gets the best penetration into the wood.

 

3. Avoid staining when the humidity is high, or detectable rain clouds are in the sky.

 

Follow these steps. Add on another year before your next application. Save precious time and money.

 

ADD LIFE, APPEAL, USE, and VALUE TO YOUR DECK! AND, TO YOUR OUTDOOR LIFE!

 

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Enjoy your outdoors. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting It: Chaotic Office with a Million Dollar View

The office overlooked South Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan. It was located on the fourteenth floor of the historic sixteen-floor Conservatory of Music Building. And, it came as part of the package agreement for the woman to manage the literary services division of Cosmopolitan Translation Bureau (CTB).

At first glance, it appeared that the view was the space’s only asset. The 15-foot by 42-foot open space featured very tall, unobstructed windows; a 15-foot high, discolored white ceiling; faded light green walls; chipped wood molding and wainscoting; and, badly scuffed green asbestos tiled flooring.

Discarded, outdated office furniture crammed the space. Every piece showed signs of extreme wear. Bulky steel, also antique wood, desks, chairs, file cabinets, and bookcases. Hidden behind and under some of the clutter were two leather sofas, fireside chairs, and two large upholstered arm chairs.

Before the work could start, the space had to be emptied. Most of the furniture was sold, or donated to smaller tenants on other floors of the building. Also, the building’s janitorial crew went in and thoroughly swept, cleaned and mopped the floor to get rid of built-up dust, dirt, sticky substances, etc.

 

PAINTING IT: CTB’s founder Professor Steen hired my father to re-paint the space. Four Saturdays, he drove into the Loop. He supervised the painting and decorating of the office. It turned into a modified restoration.

My father’s “crew” consisted of (1) Armando, CTB’s senior translator and an Encyclopaedia Britannica consultant; (2) Ed, CTB’s resident security officer and delivery/pick-up person; and, (3) me, the “go-for.” (I was ten.)

The project was divided into four Saturdays, and ten phases. Each work day ended with a clean-up of the area. All products, supplies, tools, etc., that would not be used again on the project, were packed up, and removed from the space.

 

SATURDAY No. 1

 

  1. AM. Cleaning and washing: Ceiling, walls; doors, windows, frames, sills; molding, wainscoting, dado, baseboard; fixtures.

Products used: Degreaser in warm sudsy water; vinegar in warm clear water.

 

  1. PM. Prep work: Spot patching, caulking, filling; two light, gentle sandings.

Products used: Restoration fillers, shellac stopping (eg. wax fillers), animal glue (for wood repairs), extra fine sandpaper (320 grit to 400 grit).

 

* End-of-day Clean-up. During the following week, the building’s janitorial crew went into the work area. They vacuumed, then mopped the tile floor again.

 

SATURDAY No. 2

 

  1. AM. Priming: All surfaces, previously painted.

Products used: Painted surfaces – custom-composition, thinned paint blend, developed by my father. Note: In the paint can, the product looked nearly clear. It went on like a white watercolor. By the way, commercial products were too costly.

 

  1. PM. Staining/sealing: Wood doors and frames, window frames and sills.

Product used: Special stain (formulated in 1887) used for furniture restoration; also large or built-in wood amenities. My father “thinned” the product using a formulation used by restorers with the Museum of Natural History.

Color: Edgewood Walnut.

 

* End-of-Day Clean-Up. Then, area was sealed off till Saturday 3.

 

SATURDAY No. 3

 

  1. AM. Light sanding and buffing: All surfaces, except ceiling.

Product used: Sheets of finest grades sandpaper (gotten through friend at Museum of Natural History), attached to sanding block on extension poles. Note: Very labor intensive; required very controlled light touch.

 

  1. AM. Surface dusting: All surfaces and areas.

Product used: Clean, very soft cotton t-shirt fabric. (My mother purchased a bolt from fabric store.)

 

  1. PM. Finish painting: Ceiling, walls.

Products used: Ceilings – Antique white; walls – Mint green.

 

* End-of-Day Clean-Up. Then, area was sealed off till Saturday 4.

 

SATURDAY No.  4

 

  1. AM. Finish painting: All molding, trims, wainscoting, dado, baseboard.

Products used: Sherwin Williams Antique white, special blend, semi-gloss; artists brushes, ½ to 2-inch brushes.

 

  1. PM. Finishing varnishing: Doors, frames; window frames, sills.

Products used: Clear, low-gloss varnish; polishing mop (brushes).

 

  1. PM. Painting and decorating clean-up.

Much of the clean-up had been done on Saturdays 1, 2 and 3 after each work day. Still, the final clean-up took time – and special care.

 

The varnish was still drying. And, some of the trim paint was “sticky.” So, we had to watch that we didn’t kick up any particles (eg. dust), or touch any of those wet surfaces.

 

On-site tool and equipment cleaning was kept to a minimum. Used paint and varnish brushes were wiped off with clean cotton rags. Then, they were placed into their respective wet-solution carriers. Paint and varnish cans were wiped clean, and sealed tightly. Materials, supplies, tools, and equipment were packed up, and placed on carts in the hallway. Dropcloths were folded carefully and also put onto the carts.

 

One week later: Moving Day!

 

The following Friday, A&S’s managing editor moved into the office space. Already in place were the furniture pieces that had been rejuvenated or restored by the furniture crew.

 

The pieces included one leather sofa (forest green), one arm chair (dark green slipcover with white piping), both leather fireside chairs (black), three wood desks with pull-out typewriter shelves (mahogany-stained oak), three swivel office chairs (repaired by Ed), two smaller bookcases (mahogany finish), two floor lamps (circa 1950s), and, two table lamps (one of them a Tiffany, retrieved from an unused office next door).

 

Two faded 12-foot by 12-foot oriental area rugs appeared one week later. Professor Steen sent Ed out to purchase a solid area rug (dark green) for the narrower entry area. Ed donated a wood-trimmed upholstered settee from his apartment on the 16th floor.

 

Over seven years later: Law firm moves in!

 

The space kept its restored look for over seven years. At one point, Professor Steen sub-leased the space to a young law firm. By that time, he needed to retire. And, A&S had been merged into a full-service communications firm, located two blocks north.

 

The law partners turned the space into a modular-type office suite. They maintained the restored ceiling, walls and trim. Plush wall-to-wall carpeting – a soft blue-green – was laid throughout the space. Then, they used a custom, wood-grained paneling wall system to create four lawyer’s offices – two with that Lake Michigan view. A secretary’s office and front reception set near the front entry.

 

The “million dollar view” from those tall, tall windows was preserved. The open window treatments featured dark green velvet tie-back drapes, with matching cornices and tie-backs.

 

Final note: Eventually, the building owners (Conservatory’s board) invested in the total restoration of the historic property.

 

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This blog is dedicated to my father – and to the historic Conservatory of Music building, South Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

Thanks, everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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