School Desk Chairs to Outdoor Bench

First, I have to start this post with an apology. I normally think of myself as a very organized person, but when I sat down to write this about two hours ago, I found that my photos are anything but organized! To compound things, I have two cameras as well as the camera on my iPhone and I use three different computers based on where in the house I am and what I am doing. Those two hours were spent trying to locate the photos to go along with this post. (I guess I know what I am going to work on next!)

I cannot even locate the ‘before’ photos. And I know I have them. Somewhere. Sigh.

I found one!:

So, while this is not the actual item, it does represent what I started with. Or rather with four of them:

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I picked these up a year ago this past summer and have been moving them around in the garage waiting for both inspiration to strike and some free time.

The middle of November found me done with my professional contract and now having time. The ultimate goal was to clear out the small garage stall in order to bed my sports car down for the winter and these chairs were currently taking up a lot of space. I had moved them to the larger side of the garage and I had lined them up, hoping for some inspiration. What happened was they were bumped around until them ended up out of line and that is exactly when I got my idea. A curved bench.

Since there were four, I figured I could use one as ‘parts’ to fill in the gaps between the chairs. (I swear I have some really good photos of this process!) I disassembled the most damaged and least attractive, but they were all really in good condition. Using just my eye and a band saw and sander, I started to fill in the space between the chairs. Once I had the pieces cut and sanded, The Kid drilled holes and we used wood dowels and glue to attach the dowels to the chairs and then attach the chairs to each other. (Dang, I wish I could find those photos!)

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This was way into the process – almost done, in fact, but you can see what I mean about filling in the gaps between the chairs. The front of the chairs actually touch, so I used a couple of metal straps to attach them.

At that point, the whole assembly was sanded, primed and painted. I used the deep red/burgundy color as it was intended to be placed on my front entry and my door is this color. (Or at least it was when we bought the house… it too, needs a paint job.)

Then came the process of creating the seat. I started with two 12″ wide boards which were glued and joined together. I placed the original seats into their original location and then laid a scrap piece of wood across them and screwed them into place. Then I placed that assembly onto the wood prepared for the new seat.

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I then traced around the seats so I would know where to cut. It did take a little finagling to get the new board into place but it eventually got there. Then I made a line on the front and sides, allowing for about an inch overhang. I kind of do this with guesswork and experience from other projects. I also like a little extra to allow for sanding and possible re-cuts.

The Kid then gave it a nice rounded edge using the router, and then it was a matter of sanding all the edges smooth as well as the seat top. I didn’t worry too much about the underside, since it wouldn’t be seen. It was given three coats of a medium/medium dark stain.

To help protect it from the elements, it was given not just two or three coats of polyurethane, but five! This included the actual chairs as well. While there is some protection from the elements on my “porch”, it is outside and I’d like to last for a while.

Then it was just a matter of placing the seat back onto the chairs assembly and using the original screw holes, attach it nice and firmly.

Viola! It was moved into place and we were done!

Now, I don’t claim to be an expert, I am more like my Dad who just tried things and learned what works and what doesn’t. I am not a stickler for the details, so don’t look too closely! 🙂 There are places where just a little more level or a little less sanding might have added to the overall project, but I like how it turns out and that is what matters!

dscn4822You can see that the door has faded… come next spring, that is on the list!dscn4821You can see the slight curve of the seat… I wanted something different from what everyone else does and I like how this worked.dscn4820For the seat, pine was chosen for the 1″x12″ boards. You can kind of see where the saturation of the stain soaked dark on the edges and where I missed cleaning off all the glue on the seat. But that is what makes it unique and special.

The front entry has a tiled ‘floor’, which i did when I first moved in. It gets slick in the winter from water, ice and snow, so we put down nice mats to prevent falls.

By the way, I still have the four original seats and desk writing arms which are from a very nice solid hardwood. If you have ideas on what I could do with these, I am all ears!

julie

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Finally! The Grand Reveal of the Church Table

I have a bad habit (sometimes) of starting projects that take me a while to get around to finishing. Actually in this case, I actually did finish it, but have been wafting back and forth about a final finishing piece. That, and I never got around to taking the final pictures either. And because of its sheer combined size, it isn’t like I can just drag it out and set it up and shoot the photos… and I always used the excuse about that final flourish to put it off.

Well, time is up for procrastinating. This coming weekend, my neighborhood is having one of its two annual garage sale weekends. I’ve combed the house and really collected from every nook and cranny anything that I could live without. I have to admit that lately the house has been creaking from the excess that I’ve collected these past years. We’re going to have a really big sale!

So, since we’re already using the driveway as a sales floor, I might as well as to it some of the furniture projects that I’ve recently completed. Including the dining room table and its eight chairs, as well as the the matching sideboard. So, me and The Kid dragged it all out and arranged it artfully on the lawn (partially on the neighbor’s lawn too) and took photos.

I’ll just start with photos… now that I have them!

DSCN4529The table was made by combining a salvaged door that I picked up from a Catholic church that was closing its school. The door was from the main office and I could only imagine had been pushed open by the hands of hundreds of little kids in cute school uniforms.

I removed the hardware, replaced the holes with wood and sanded, sanded, sanded. The more layers of varnish I removed, the more beautiful the wood I was revealing. The Kid helped in creating the skirt and attaching the legs, but we simply recreated the same mechanism that held together my original oak table that was purchased when I first got married (it still is working to this day!). Before we attached it to the door, it was painted my favorite shade of red. (Have I mentioned that I love red?)

The chairs were all from the same Catholic school… all of these were well worn, used and loved by students from that school. It took hours of sanding to remove doodlings and scratches but unbelievably, there was not a single wad of gum stuck under the seats!

As you can see, six of the chairs became red, but wanted to create accent piece (or in this case, pieces). What better color to contrast with red than turquoise?

Even better, I created a piece to accompany it. A mid-century piece, this is all wood. The drawers have dove-tailed construction and great detailing typical of the fifties. I love the spiral details on either side and I was able to fit it with a great set of vintage hardware that I painted black. The Kid and I have refurb’d many dressers and desk drawers, so bringing this piece was no challenge. The drawers glide beautifully and silently on their tracks and fit within their frames nicely.

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This is one of those times when I wish my house was empty (and I didn’t love my replacement round dining room table)! This sideboard rivals even my newly built piece, although mine has a little bit nicer top.

DSCN1864So, finally, I can mark this one off the list. Now just to get it sold and be able to reclaim the space in my garage would be the icing on that cake!

julie

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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