Monday, June 20, 2011

Re-Invent Your Furniture!

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Re-Invent Your Furniture
Fall Back in Love with What You Already Have!

Our latest project involved re-finishing a king-sized four poster bed and matching desk from Henredon.  The furniture was good quality, but was finished in the "whitewashed" oak stain that was popular back in the 80's...great look 20 years ago, but it needed some updating!  The finish had yellowed somewhat, which is typical for lacquer and oil-based finishes.  Oftentimes, people don't think of the application of a "faux finish" to furniture or cabinetry, but it is a wonderful, economic way to "re-purpose" and update what you already have!

Here are the bed and desk before.  Both are in great shape, just in need of a facelift!

When it comes to furniture, there are really only 4 options:

1.  Buy a new piece of furniture. Great option unless your budget is limited; or maybe you love the piece, but the finish just doesn't work. Many people just hate the thought of scrapping a "perfectly good" piece, especially if you are talking cabinetry, which can be a messy, not to mention expensive, ordeal!

2.  Paint it. Though this is the easiest option, it may not give you the look you want.

3.  Strip the old finish and re-stain it. Though viable for small, simple pieces, stripping is a toxic and messy process that is best done outdoors. The gummy residue is difficult to remove from grooves and corners, and all the digging and scraping can result in scratching the wood. When it involves cabinetry, believe me that you don't want this in your house!

4.  Faux finish it. This is where we come in. By layering glazes over the original finish, we can achieve whatever look you want without the mess of stripping, or the expense or waste of buying new.

In this case, our client wanted a simple stained wood look, changing the bleached oak to a darker, mocha color.

Here is the approved sample showing the new custom "stain" color, which is really a faux finish, imitating a wood stain.

Jesse Reyes of Reyes Movers delivers the bed and desk to our shop.  Jesse does great work, plus he's not nearly as scary as this picture makes him look!

First things first.  We clean and hand-sand every piece to ensure good adhesion.  Here my 16-year old daughter Madeline earns some extra summer money while learning the finer points of the "grunt" work!

The glazes are applied by hand to ensure a quality result.

Here is the desk in progress.  Each inlay around the perimeter of the desktop was finished individually.  The sample is always nearby to ensure accuracy.

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