Monday, March 1, 2010

Rebuilding a piece with multiple types of wood

This piece was a real project. In one of its past lives it had been painted completely white. Later, when it was stripped and stained, because the majority of the wood had deep grain lines in it, and the white paint was lodged so deep in these lines, that instead of taking the trouble to remove all the paint, the option was to use dark stains to cover up what paint was left.

I usually start by turning a piece upside down. That way, I can see what the underbelly of "the beast" really looks like. In this case, it seems it had been rebuilt at least once, if not more. The back was plywood and the pieces inside the seating part were veneer.

Back of the desk before

The trick to getting the left-over paint out was patience and a lot of sanding. I started with a mouse sander and 120 sandpaper, then worked my way through the 180, 220, 320, all by hand. The top was rough and it took some time to get a smooth finish down.

Back of the desk after

As I stripped and sanded, I saw different colored woods emerge, and I wanted to bring these colors out. I used Colonial Maple and Natural stains for the bulk of the piece, and I used a Red Mahogany and Dark Walnut as accent stains. Patience applied here as well.

Two coats of poly, some Brasso for the pulls, and the piece cleaned up nicely.

The desk after multiple rounds of sanding

Drawers after

Top view of drawers after staining and sanding

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