Wednesday, August 24, 2011

“Number 8? The Do-er will see you now.”

I know I haven’t been posting much, but I have been DOING! Yay doing (boo, not posting). I tackled the awesome wooden squares that I decided should be wall cubes that I found in the dumpster and have been “decorating” my porch.

See? Anyway, I felt that if I just gave them a little love, they’d love me back.

“What kind of love?,” you ask? “This isn’t going somewhere disturbing, is it?" Ye of little faith. 

I’ll show you, in this TOTALLY safe-for-work (unless they don’t like you not working, in which case you should probably come back later), completely G-rated (well, ish, no promises on not swearing), step-by-step tutorial on restoring unfinished, unloved wood. In this case, in the form of future decorative shelving.

Disclaimer: Do not use this tutorial to restore heirloom furniture or anything you’re REALLY attached to. I’m Google-ing this shit and making stuff up as I go along just like everyone else. I share so you can see what worked, but no guarantees, ok? Talk to a professional before putting nail polish remover on your grandmother’s credenza.

Ok? Ok. Onward.
  1. Cover yo’ face, fool! You’re gonna sand, and sanding creates dust, and dust is not good for
    a. Your lungs
    b. Your eyes
  2. Assemble your team. In this case, it was a paint-scraper (there was gum AND paint on these bad boys), a cheap synthetic paint brush, fine-grit sand-paper (I used 220, but you really don’t HAVE to go quite that fine), some wood-conditioning stain from IKEA, MinWax Tung Oil for varnish and moisturizing nail polish remover (not pictured).
  3. Remove extraneous crap from wood. This involved scraping off the gum (gross) and using nail polish remover to get rid of the random red paint on these things. I didn’t really expect it to work, but it did, fairly well, so that was cool. I did need to sand some of the paint off, tho, it was stuck on there pretty good, and there was a lot of it.
    No, it's not a DIY episode of Dexter.
  5. Moving on, sand the whole mess. All the sides, the corners, the crevasses: get to know your wood. Also always sand with the grain. If you know what this means, please tell me. I sanded the way that the wood lines go, except where it was too hard to do that, then I threw caution to the wind and sanded however the hell I could sand. You do your thing, I’ll do mine, but remember, this isn’t heirloom-wood restoration. Talk to a pro about that.
  6. Follow the directions on your wood stain. Mostly it’s paint, let dry, and rub with clean, dry cloth. But if yours is different, go with what it says.
  7. Finish with your Tung Oil. Follow the directions, but basically it’s paint, let dry for 15 minutes, then polish with a clean, dry cloth that you’re willing to throw out afterwards. That shit does not come out of fabric. (I sort of forgot that I was taking pictures at this point. Tung Oil Finish is STICKY).
  8. Repeat the Tung Oil step if it’s not shiny enough. I went with 2 coats, but you have to let it dry overnight between coats, so that’s only for people who are very good at waiting, like myself.

Now I’ve just got to hang these bad boys on the wall! (The hubs keeps the drill at work because he’s an engineer, so I have to wait for him to bring it home. “He” may be getting a new, at-home drill for his birthday. Is that really selfish? I might be a bad wife.) They’re going to go with my WW-II inspired kitchen/dining room (more on that later)!

Have a lovely day!

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