Friday, August 3, 2012

One Way To Rehab Delaminating Furniture

 If you've ever built anything from scratch, you have a certain appreciation for the time and skill it takes to create something from start to finish.

I guess that's part of the reason I want to rescue everything.  I find value in the materials and respect for the artisan who created it.

When I see a forlorn piece of furniture like this cabinet, it's like looking into sad puppy eyes for me.  I just want to adopt.

There was quite a bit of delaminating; too much for me to try and tackle replacing so I'm grateful for "shabby chic"...thank you Rachel Ashwell for making it cool.

 My best advice when you have a piece that is delaminating is to take a five-in-one tool and just start peeling off anything that wants to come off.  In this case, both sides of the top and the crossbars were delaminating so I had to actually do a little deconstruction to properly delaminate.  I removed the top to get to both sides.  Then I took the legs apart and took the crossbars off so that I could remove the laminate from the crossbars as well.

Then it's just a lot of sanding until you can get everything smooth.  The top had three layers which took a bit of time and patience but don't give up, you'll get there.  To decide when enough is enough, I rub my hand over a surface and close my eyes or look away.  It should "feel" perfect.

During the dismantling process, I decided to remove the two front pieces and add a thicker shelf to make the storage space more functional.  Because of how the front pieces were installed, a great deal of wood filler was require.  Using a good quality wood filler, I filled in layers and allow each layer to dry thoroughly before adding more.  After a good sanding and paint, you won't even notice.

I painted the inside and the shelf a robin's egg blue.   The outside was painted a creamy white and given a little crackle finish.

I use Fiddes Supreme Wax in Rugger Brown to give it that antique looking finish that highlights all the scars and details.  It's a tobacco color with a little yellow in it which warms up the white and turns the blue a sort of vintage looking green.
I prefer to apply the wax using a chip brush and wipe away the excess with rags made from recycled teeshirts.  After the wax dries within a few minutes, use a pine brush attached to a drill to buff the whole piece.  Then wipe it down again with a clean rag.

When possible, I like to just wax the tops of furniture that might receive a lot of wear and tear.  It's easy then to just spruce up the top with a coat of wax instead of having to refinish it when it gets a little...shall we say "character".

So, the next time you come across a sad little piece of furniture...or maybe you already own one...don't take it to the dump....if you're not up to the task yourself, place it on the curb with a free sign on it and someone like me will rescue it and nurse it back to health.

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