Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Cleaning, Easter Weekend and the Buffet ...

This weekend turned out to be productive ... really productive. I cleaned out my dresser, packed up my winter clothes, cleaned out our "junk" closet, spent an entire afternoon with friends - drinking beer, watching hockey and eating pizza, made deviled eggs, deviled ham and turkey burgers, hosted an Easter egg hunt for Jesse and Drew, AND started working on the buffet!

I thought about sharing all of the nitty-gritty about my spring cleaning and giving you the recipe for the deviled eggs I made on Easter, but I know that everyone's probably more curious about the status of the buffet. {Check out my first buffet post here and the "voting" results here} So without further ado, here's the progress I made this weekend.

But first, one last before picture. From here on out I'll be posting pictures of my progress, and then the final product!

Here's what I accomplished this weekend:

1. I decided how I want to refinish it.
2. I bought sandpaper (80, 150 and 220 grit - I wasn't sure what I really needed).
3. Drew dropped off his dad's power sander (again, not sure if I need it, but it's here just in case).
4. I removed the hardware from the left door.
5. I got so impatient removing hardware that I decided to start sanding ... by hand!

What, you're not impressed? I'll admit, it doesn't sound like much. But here's the thing, I'm trying not to rush into anything and mess it up. Plus, this is the first piece of furniture I've ever redone, so I want to make sure that I don't wear myself out before I finish it. And according to my loving husband, he isn't expecting it to be finished until at least our 10th wedding anniversary, so I've got plenty of time to make it perfect. :)

#1 - Refinishing Plan
After reading a lot of blogs, talking to several family members and really thinking about what I want to bring into the dining room, I've decided to go with an ivory paint on the body of the buffet, with an olive green/black glaze and distressed finish. At this point, I think I want to stain the top of it, to play off the wood furniture, but I'll see how the sanding goes. I'm not sure if I want to stain it to match the table (dark wood) or the chairs (medium honey), but I still have a little more time before I have to make that decision. Here are a few newer inspirational pictures that I've been ooh-ing and ahh-ing about.



I love the coffee table, but I probably won't distress the buffet quite as much. As for the dresser, I like the glazing that she did, along with the hardware. The squid doesn't quite fit with my decor, but to each their own.

#2 - Sandpaper
Here is the sandpaper that I bought:

The guy I bought the buffet from taught me that the lower the grit, the rougher the sandpaper. He also said that I should start with the lowest grit for the first round of sanding and then use a higher grit for each additional round of sanding. I am using the 80-grit to do my initial sanding, which should remove the glossy finish from the wood. Prior to priming, I will probably quickly go over it with the 150-grit to make sure there aren't any rough patches. And after priming, I'll use the 220 to smooth it out before painting. I'm not sure if I need all three steps, so if anyone has any insight, I'd love to hear it!

#3 - Power Sander
Drew found out that his dad has a power sander, so he picked it up for me this weekend. After talking to my mother-in-law about the quality of the wood, I'm a little nervous to use the power sander on this piece. Not only have I never used a power sander, but the wood is in really good condition, so I don't want to do any damage to it. Again, any tips or pointers?

#4 - Prepping
I decided to start sanding the doors first because I'm still thinking about cutting out the center of them to add glass. I figured if I mess them up, it doesn't really matter because it'd be a good excuse to justify the glass! I removed the first door from the buffet, which took a little longer than I expected. It doesn't look like the screws have been removed since it was built, so it was hard to get them off. I still need to work my way around the rest of the buffet to remove all of the hardware, but last night I just wanted to test out the sand paper and get a feel for the road ahead.

#5 - Sanding
Which brings me to sanding. I started sanding last night, but only made it through the first door before we had to leave for Jesse's soccer game. I knew I only had a little bit of time, so I thought it would be a good chance to try my hand at sanding - literally.

I think it went alright, but I'm feeling anxious about how much I took off. My mom said that if I'm going to paint it, then I don't need to sand it down all the way to the wood - just enough to remove the glossy finish. I tried not to press too hard, but I also didn't want to create an uneven texture by not sanding enough. I'm a little worried that I over-sanded, but nothing I can do about it now.

Does this look like a light sanding, or did I do too much? If I did too much am I stuck sanding this much for the whole piece? I don't want to do more work than necessary, but I also really want to make sure that I end up with a nice piece of furniture. These are the questions looming in my head, making me wonder if I'm making more work for myself than necessary.

After thinking about the buffet through most of Jesse's game, I decided to come home and check out a few of my go-to furniture blogs {All Things Thrifty, Twice Lovely and Primitive & Proper}, to see if I could find any tips. Here's the problem, I got too impatient and it was late. One post talked about how to prep, but as far as sanding goes, it just said to "lightly sand" - ugh, that's what my mom said too. Can I get a picture of what "lightly sand" means? I knew that all of those blogs had better descriptions/how-to's/tutorials on their sites somewhere, but it was close to 1:00 in the morning, which was WAY past my bedtime. I decided to call it a night and try again today.

Imagine my surprise when I logged into my Google Reader today and saw that Kate from Centsational Girl had a whole post dedicated to painting wood furniture! It's almost as if she knew that I was going to struggle with this project. While she didn't post any pictures of "lightly sanded" furniture, she did have plenty of useful tips about sanding, repairing/patching wood, priming (that will be my next step), and of course, painting. Her post is just what I needed to regain my momentum! One thing I realized is that I probably need to buy a sanding wedge if I am going to keep working by hand. I should also probably hit up a paint store to see if I can find a few of the products that she recommends.

Before I start sanding again, can anyone give me any insight about where to go from here? Should I keep sanding at the level I have been or should I lighten up for the rest of the piece?

As soon as I figure out this sanding conundrum, I'll be back with more pictures and details about the next step!

1 comment:

  1. hi susan! usually i prefer completed redos at the party, but go ahead and link up and maybe you will get some good ideas! let me know if you have any specific questions- i am happy to help! and i saw that octopus dresser a few weeks ago and LOVE it! i also saw that yo are in alexandria- i am just up the road in severna park, md!!!


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