Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Simple Wire Bottle Carrier Redo and Proof I'm Still Working on Furniture

I finally found MY thrift store in Houston. You know, the store where you always find great deals AND great furniture. It's the same place I got the mission style chair I recovered in burlap last week. Today, I saw this black wire basket while I was waiting in line to buy a cabinet (a post for another day). It's a bottle carrier, probably not vintage, but perfect for my tiny collection of 2 blue glass mason jars.

Now we all know we can't leave the basket as is! That would be criminal! So I took some jute twine and wrapped it around the top handle using hot glue. One side is a little thicker than other, but had to tuck some twine underneath so that there was no chance that the handle would unravel. I started messing around with some dropcloth canvas and considered covering the bottom of the basket with it, but realized it would cover up half of whatever I displayed in the basket. Then I remembered a piece of hardware I bought at the Round Top Antique Fair and hung it on the front using the twine. The result was cute, rustic, industrial, and whimsical! Oddly enough, it was exactly the look I was going for!

You like? I hope so! Now I just need 2 more bottles to make my basket complete! And in case you're curious, the bottle on the left is a Ball jar I bought at an estate sale and the right is a Atlas jar I also picked up at Round Top.

And just so you don't think I've abandoned the furniture ship, here's what I've been working on lately. Layers and layers of white paint on a headboard. Usually I wouldn't like this style of furniture, but I loved the round brass details on the top.       

The paint I'm using is pretty crappy. It's one of the cheapest brands you can find at Wal-mart and requires about 4 coats to cover any surface properly. I'm trying to use it up though because I hate for things to go to waste. I'll probably only use it for 3 coats and the use a different paint for the final coat. Also, I don't know if I'm going to keep it white or use some grey/blue on the details. A question for another day!

And remember this awesome coffee table I picked up at a yard sale? (on the right)

Well it's giving me a bit of a headache. The legs weren't strong enough to hold the table top so I took it apart to see what needed to be repaired. The previous owner used penny nails to reinforce the feet to the legs, but they're way too thick and won't "catch" the wood, so it's causing the whole table to be wobbly. Boo!!! It took forever to get 8 of those long nails out! So below are pictures of the state that the table is in now. My husband is going to help me sometime next week to reinforce the whole table correctly. Can't wait to get this beast transformed!

There you go! Furniture progress. Thanks to all for stopping by! I'm almost to 100 followers. Eeeeeee! I think a giveaway is in order, don't you?


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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wood Filler Tips

I should have posted this during the week but completely forgot! I had all of these pictures ready, but thought I had nothing to write about because I had yet to finish any new projects. Oops!

As most of you know, I've been working on my free curbside dresser. It's been slow going because I've only been able to find a couple hours a day to work on it. It needs a lot of work in the patching and painting area. The patching part isn't too bad, but it's been a learning experience. 

I had to get rid of the bottom two drawers because of the cracking and missing pieces of veneer and wood, but I couldn't get rid of the front right leg of the dresser. Structurally it was fine, but it looked like someone had taken a knife or sword to it!

Because this was a free dresser, I didn't want to spend any money repairing it (especially because I was thinking of keeping it for myself). But I realized if I repaired the dresser to a decent state, I might be able to sell it and make more money to buy more furniture! As we all know, you have to spend money to make money! Plus I figured this was the perfect opportunity to learn how to use wood filler. 

There's probably a better product out there, but I saw this Minwax Stainable Wood Filler in the store for about $9 and without looking up any recommendations from other blogs, I went ahead and bought it.

One thing I learned is that it's better to buy a tub of this stuff instead of getting the tube. The wood filler is thick and paste-like and for some reason it wouldn't come out no matter how hard I squeezed the tube. I think air built up in the tube every time I used it, so I had to clean it out with a toothpick a few times between each use. Pretty annoying. The directions on the tube said to use a putty knife, but I first tried to use a toothpick to apply the filler to the thin slice in the dresser leg. That was a definite no-go. The paste did not stick to the toothpick. The putty knife was WAY more effective. 

Another tip is to apply the filler directly to the putty knife if you're trying to get the filler in a small space. Initially I tried to squeeze the stuff onto the dresser, but most of the time it would just fall right off onto the floor. It was much easier to apply the filler to the putty knife, then slide the knife against the dresser leg to fill in the slice. And although the toothpick wasn't a great tool to use to apply the filler, it was helpful with removing the filler from the small details in the wood that I didn't mean to touch.

Here's what it looked like after I filled the slice and let it dry (about 2 hrs later).

I sanded the filler down after I took these pictures and used the toothpick to help clean up a few more areas. I haven't painted over it yet, but can't wait to see how it turns out! I'll make sure to post those pics once that's done. 

And although I forgot to take a picture of the second drawer ahead of time, here's what it looked like after I patched the left corner where a piece of wood was missing (I had already removed the veneer layer from this drawer).

Good as new! And hopefully it'll look even better once it's painted!