My Foyer Pew Makeover

So, the holidays are over. I hope all of you enjoyed your holidays in whatever way you celebrate. Things were pretty quiet around the house, we mostly just relaxed.

But there was crafting going on here as well. I was able to complete several projects, as the weather was pretty mild and allowed me to work in the garage most days. And this allowed me to complete a project that I have been looking forward to… a project piece for me!

Some time ago, a church here in the KC area was doing clean up work on one of their warehouses. They were giving away a bunch of wood items: pews, chairs, tables, trim, desks, doors… you name it. I came and went at least three times over a period of a week. One of the pieces I picked up I knew I wanted to keep, but often the projects done for me take a back seat to the projects that I sell or do for others.

But now as I am working diligently to clear out the garage and my foyer, I made time to work on this piece. A pew. This is solid wood and heavy and simple in its finish. I opted to make my bench five feet long – it could have been longer or shorter, depending on the seat, there were so many to choose from. I could have used a weight support to make it longer, but I really wanted just the five feet.

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So, this photo shows the two ends, the supporting center and the actual seat and back of my pew. We must have had these in the garage for at least six months now… it always seems that projects I do for myself keep getting pushed back on the ‘to do’ list.

Initially, I wanted to refinish the pew. After about eight hours of sanding, it was pretty clear that the wood beneath it wasn’t going to be best for staining. I debated back and forth about what color to paint it… the off-white color of my house’s interior trim, my very favorite Deep Space black or of course, “Kitchenaid Red”. Red finally won.

Now all these months later, we started on putting it together. Of course, being the optimist I am, figured we’d just slap it together with glue and screws and be done in a matter of a couple of hours. This was not to be.

When we picked out the pieces of furniture we wanted to buy from the church, it was me and The Kid. I walked around this huge warehouse just pointing and deciding on everything I wanted. I noticed that the pews ends and seat/backs were numbered, like a giant jigsaw puzzle just waiting to be put back together. Little did I know when I sent The Kid back down for the second load, he didn’t pay attention to the numbers and just grabbed the nicest looking ends and seat/backs. Well, they didn’t go together like we hoped.

Seat EndsThe ends came with a bit of the former seat still in the grooves. You can see it in this photo to the left. I knocked those out easily enough – they were there to keep the grooves from swelling. But when it came to replace them with the seat/back that I had, they weren’t the same angle or length.

I had to widen and extend the grooves to the shape and angle of the seat/back that I had. Out came the router and other than bumping into a nail, it was a breeze to enlarge the space. The left side was first and not really knowing what I was doing, I did make the space a little too large at some points, but when it came to the right side, it was perfect. So well fitting that I could slip the seat/back into the groove and it held on its own!2015-12-27 19.03.44

I could have cut the seat/back into two and used the center support, but that would have meant having two seats of about two and a half feet rather than one long five foot seat. Its a beautiful piece of wood, though, I will do my best to use it in another project.

Now, it was time to permanently attach the ends to the seat/back. Using wood glue and screws, The Kid put together one end and then using the weight of itself to hold in place. The we flipped it over and attached the other end.

Oh, did I mention that hours and hours and hours of sanding? Thank heavens for electric sanders, for I know I wouldn’t be that enthusiastic about wood working!

2015-12-14 19.13.48Ready for priming. I settled on my old favorite (remember I’m keeping this piece!) red although I didn’t have any gray- or pink-tinted primer. I was quickly reminded why a tinted primer works best under red.

white primedWithout the tinted primer, it took more than four coats of red to cover the pew. Even after moving it into the house, in different lighting, more areas were identified and I actually ended up painting almost another full coat!

DSCN4275And here it is in all of its red beauty! I moved everything else out of the foyer to make room for this piece.

I am thinking about putting a row of low growing plants underneath it, if for no other reason than to keep it from filling up with shoes and bags and junk that gets shed when people come into the house (right next to the door to the garage as well as the front door). I am determined to keep this area clear.

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DSCN4274A couple more photos from different angles. Isn’t that shiny finish beautiful? I just love it.

I have more projects to unveil, it has been a busy week while everyone’s been celebrating. I’ve been having fun as well.

julie

Priming, priming and priming.

Today, The Kid made an offhand comment to me while I was working in the garage. Something to the effect of why I was going to so much work on the pew.

Today, after finishing the sanding, expanding the slots for the bench, the gluing, the screws with the countersunk heads, the supports, the trim… I prepared to prime the bench. His comment was innocent enough, after all, this piece is for me. Why put so much work into it?

Good question. Many people would look for shortcuts. There is a paint that is a primer and paint in one. Why worry about sanding off the old paint or varnish when you’re just going to paint over it? Why not just throw a few extra nails into it and slap some paint onto it?

I was raised at the feet of a master. Nothing my Dad had ever built had been viewed by the masses or sold for money, but they were carefully and artfully crafted and loved by the recipient of the gift. He believed in what he did…if it was worth doing, then it was worth doing right.

So, I spend the time and do all the steps. And hopefully, the work and treasures I build will be around a long time down the road. From starting with great pieces to using high quality products, I hope that they, too, become treasures to those who own them eventually. And why wouldn’t I put the time and effort into something being made for me?

Today’s work was a matter of, as I said earlier, priming. Simple enough, I guess, just takes time. I always use Kilz branded products and I use quality tools – brushes and rollers. Nothing really exciting today, but you can see the progress:

DSCN4240The pew primed.

DSCN4242The vanity that was taken apart to become night stands are now primed:

DSCN4241And the drawers to the nightstands are primed.DSCN4248I also made a couple of throw rugs from a hardy upholstery material that I found in my fabric stash (see the previous post for info).

After I washed the fabric to remove sizing, I cut the piece in half. Then glued non-slip rug material on the back. Dried overnight and now they will adorn the laundry room and the kitchenette in the basement.

DSCN4249You know me, I can never sit around and not do something! I have a couple of little projects that I’ve also been working on, more paint stir stick projects, that I want to write up in a single post. Thank heavens Home Depot lets me take as many as I need!

We’re making progress! Oh, and I think I’ve sold my dining room table and chairs set! I am so excited!

julieDisclaimer

Next Steps: Prime and Paint

So plans are moving forward. As many of you know, I am looking at dual knee replacement surgeries in about six weeks. For that reason, I am attempting to complete all the projects that I have planned or in progress and – hopefully – get them sold before I have those surgeries. I have to get my house and garage clear, so I am not tripping or falling over anything while I do my physical therapy. I also need to get my hot little sports car into the garage before snowfall – I am working diligently on keeping the mileage down and its value up.

Have I shown you my little fun car?

1010169_10201532414372325_693955612_nIt’s a rear wheel drive car with very little clearance, so it doesn’t really work well in winter. So, when the cold whether arrives, I cover it and store it in the garage. If it hadn’t been for the fact that the temperature has been unseasonably warm, the rain that has been falling for the last three days should have been snow.

The third stall of the garage has been holding the dining table and its chairs along with the matching sidebar. I have a great story about it, but am saving for another day this week. But once that is gone and I disassemble the ‘paint booth’ that I set up, the third stall will be mostly empty and James (my Mazda RX-8) can roll in.

So, The last couple of days, The Kid and I have been working on the re-assembling the pew. When a catholic church downtown shut down its school, I picked up a bunch of great pieces… including the parts to assemble a pew. Unfortunately, as we’ve been working on it, we’ve figured out that they are the pieces of the same pew and as such, they aren’t going back together easily. The funniest thing is that the ends and the seat/back were numbered… I think they did that when they took them apart. Unfortunately, when I sent The Kid down the second time to pick up the pieces we couldn’t fit the first time around, I made a last minute decision to get pew and neither he nor the gentleman there paid attention to numbers and we got mismatched pieces.

So, after some thought and some fumbling, I used a router to make the necessary adjustments to the channels where the back and the seat set into the sides. Today, The Kid worked on assembling the pieces together and adding some supports to make it really strong. I need to pick up some wood filler to finish off those areas where adjustments left some gaps, then I can get it primed and painted.

2015-12-14 19.13.59 copyThis is one of those projects I plan to keep. The current plan is to paint it my favorite shade of red and it will sit in my foyer. I imagine it won’t take long until it is covered with supplies for new projects, but I think it will be gorgeous and unique!

As you can see, this side of the garage is still filled with a bunch of projects we’re working doggedly on finishing. The name of the game this week is: “prime and paint”! Closely followed by “list and sell”! 🙂

I don’t ever expect the garage to ever be empty or stay very empty for long. Expected therapy and recovery is expected to be somewhere between 6 and 12 weeks with a complete recovery within six months. Then there is no stopping me!

julie

Finally, Work Has Begun on the Denim Rag Rug

I seem to be guilty of working on many projects at once, and because of it, they seem to get completed at the same time. When that happens, there seems to be a roller coaster effect on the blog… many posts in a row, then nothing for a bit, then more posts. I wish I was better at planning or managing my work, but it is what it is.

Right now, my focus is getting things done that will be a) in my way once I have my double knee surgery and b) those projects I won’t be able to do because of the recovery. So, the garage is once again full of multiple projects being sanded and readied for priming.

Let’s see… there is one dresser, one chest of drawers, that little vanity that is about to become a pair of nightstands, my entry way pew (I can’t wait!) and headboards and foot boards waiting to become a couple more benches.

I am also determined to finish a project that I started about a hundred years ago… a table sized regulation Scrabble table!

DSCN4206This is the table base. The top is almost done, its been painted and the striped… all it needs is the special squares marked (you know, “double letter score” etc) and a finishing edge to the table. I’ve made the Scrabble tiles and the holders and then just to put it all together. I can’t wait to actually play a game on it… its going to be awesome!

I’ve been working on a couple of other small projects in between the big ones. One is for The Kid and his recent love of vinyl. As in music records. Whenever we hit the second hand shops and thrift stores, there is always at least one or two worth buying. His 45 collection is growing quite nicely and he needed somewhere to keep them, rather than in a flat pile on the desk. So, I am building this:

DSCN4207Its been primed, and I am going to finish it with a coat or two of my favorite Deep Space black high gloss paint. I made this in a day using scrap lumber (the bottom is actually paint stir sticks!!).

Whenever I get overwhelmed with how much is going on in the garage or it is a bit too cold to work in the garage (note: buy kerosene for garage space heater), I escape to my sewing room. I’ve been purchasing and prep’ing old blue jeans in anticipation of making a denim rag rug. So, after removing waist bands, pockets, zippers and seams, I have a nice pile of denim. The next step is to cut it all into 3″ strips in preparation for braiding.

So, I spent many hours tucked safely in my warm sewing room watching streaming television. I am having a difficult time estimating just how much is going to be needed to make the rug I want… or how large of a rug I can get with what I’ve got. I guess I will see when I start braiding. Saved for recovery time!

And speaking of, I am also planning on hand quilting that quilt I found some time back.

2015-02-18 16.45.07I’ve replaced the torn patches and added a new border and have a great backing material. Then I went out a purchased a hand quilt frame in anticipation (along with the wool batting) for time to hand quilt it and have been mulling over what pattern but right now, I am leaning towards just ‘stitch in the ditch’ of each and every triangle. Maybe I am overestimating how much free time I might have?

julie

P.S. I’ve been thinking about redesigning the website, mostly because the design blocks reader comments. I’ve been wanting a OMCS logo for a while, to start attaching to photos mostly – as they are popping up all over the internet, many without redirection back here. I’d love to hear from y’all… suggestions?

Back to My Red Roots!

I have done so much of the pink that I think I am seriously on burn out from it. There is pretty much no creative process in it any more, it has become almost an assembly line. Yes, it sells and it sells quickly and for decent pricing, but from a creative standpoint, it isn’t doing it for me! Once I have the head- and foot-boards complete (waiting on some appliques), I think the pink goes on the shelf for a bit.

So, I’ve been working on a new line of furniture. I’ve been working on Home Depot’s line of pinks and reds for a while and noticed not so long ago that they’ve changed up the colors. So, of course, I want to use up what I have left and start working with something else. Well, a red caught my eye (and you all know how much I love red) and have set out on the quest of bringing red to the rest of the world. Ha!

“No More Drama red”.  And by wonderful accident, it matches the red that Rust-Oleum has in their double coverage high gloss spray paint! How’s that for a lucky accident?

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A while back, we picked up some furniture from the warehouse of a religious school and church. I have a 8 foot office door, which is heavy duty wood with the inset glass. In the same run, we bought a 5′ pew, four wooden school desk chairs and 8 wood seating chairs. I think in all, we paid less than fifty dollars. Of course I forgot to take “before” pictures of the door, but I have already sanding down both sides and filled in the holes from the hinges and door knob. My plan is to re-stain it fairly dark, add a skirt and legs and turn it into a dining table. My guess is that anyone who ever went to a Catholic school might just love it! The legs will be this new wonderful color red that I found.

I swear I turned to The Kid and mumbled about replacing our round table with this one. I haven’t even started the paint and staining and I already know that I will love it! The wooden chairs will go with it, could probably seat eight comfortably and I just happen to have eight chairs! They are going to get the red treatment as well. Sanding the door took about four packages of sanding paper and many, many hours and really not looking forward to spending that kind of effort on eight chairs!  Maybe the two head chairs will be stained… gotta think about it though.

Here are the chairs…. does that take you back to the days of school?

My work shop/garage is always packed it seems. We’re not that far from snow and ice weather, so eventually I have to finish some projects or the cars will sit on the driveway. It is so much nicer to not have to scrape off from the windshields and protected somewhat from the cold.

I also picked up a long dresser that would become a sideboard or buffet cabinet. We are replacing the pressed wood top with real wood and it will also get the same stain as the door/table top. The body and drawer fronts are this new lovely red. You can see that I have a head start on the drawer fronts. All that red is making me giddy!

julie

 

 

 

Disclaimer! For those interested, I am not being paid for nor sponsored in any way for the mention of any products or stores in this post. I just like the way that these particular products work and want to share.

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