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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Natural Progression

I guess it was inevitable really. After finishing umpteen doors, hundreds of feet of trim and molding and a crap load of windows I couldn't be happy. There had to be a void that needed to be filled. I mean, after all it has been several months since I held a heat gun in my hand or whiffed the aroma of shellac. What could I do to fill the void? There had to be something staring me in the face that I was missing. Then I realized that there was! About 4 years ago Deborah stripped the paint off an old chest of drawers then stored it in the garage where it has sat ever since. Every time I get in the car I would see it and say "One day I'm gonna finish that thing." Well that day (week) finally came. Since Elizabeth's grandparents have been sick for the last two weeks I haven't been able to get them to play the role of toddler sitter while I work on the "Crack House" so I was itching for a project that I could complete during the day while Elizabeth played in the front room. She played with her Barbies, ponies, puppies,crayons, did a jigsaw puzzle, chased the cats up and down the stairs (wait, she promised she would stop doing that), recited a score of nursery rhymes, read a couple of books and begged me to give her some Halloween candy. All this within a 15 minute time frame! Then I would get to play Candy land a dozen times followed by Saggy Baggy's Circle of Friends, Feed the Kitty, and the Dr Seuss Green Eggs and Ham Game until Elizabeth won and a couple more times until she won again, before being allowed to continue working on the chest of drawers.
It didn't need much in the way of stripping. The edges and corners of all the panels needed some attention and the mirror and arch needed to be stripped but that was it. It did need some sanding and of course a pass over with alcohol to remove some of the original shellac. Anyway, after much sanding, at least three coats of shellac and two coats of wax polish I present the chest of drawers which has been moved to the second bedroom where there is no room for it, just like there was no room for the stuff that it displaced and that will be hidden within its drawers.



I did get to do some work at the house on Sunday though. The back splash for the sink has been ground, polished, installed, grouted and slurried. All in the same day! Here is the current picture. That plumbing on the corner is a prototype for some side lights. Those plastic tubes on each side of the water valves will be replaced with copper that will hide the electric cable that supplies the side lights. Stay tuned for more, later!


4 Comments:

At 12/10/2007 9:49 AM, Blogger Kevin said...

The chest of drawers, what is the figured wood? I can't tell from your photo. Curly maple? Quarter-sawn white oak? It's gorgeous.

 
At 12/10/2007 10:59 AM, Blogger Gary said...

The chest is oak with a veneer on the drawer fronts. The wood has a fake broad graining pattern stained into it by the manufacturer.

 
At 12/12/2007 9:39 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

That sink looks amazing! Are you leaving the copper plumbing on "display"? It looks really cool like that.

 
At 12/16/2007 10:15 AM, Blogger Amalie said...

You've done some really beautiful things-- especially with shellac! That's why I thought I'd ask for your advice now that we've decided to shellac our antique heart pine floors. That's how they were originally finished, and beautiful warm amber tones-- from blonder to a deep red mahogany color. They were in need of a refinish, so we've sanded them and decided to go back to shellac. Goodwin Pine suggested using a 3lb cut of dark dewaxed shellac, thinned to a wash (wouldn't that be the same as, say, a 1lb cut?) and then using a water-based poly on top. We can only find regular amber shellac, premixed as a 3lb cut not dewaxed. Any suggestions on finding the flakes at a reasonable price? We also have no idea how much coverage you really get out of a gallon, or how many coats we ought to do...I guess that last one depends on seeing what we like as we go or if we get regular amber or garnet(which is better?). I just hate having to guess at ordering-- too much that's difficult to return or not enough that's gone halfway through-- or the wrong thing alotgether. It's the first time either of us has ever done much with shellac, so we're kind of in over our heads...Any advice you can give us would be really great!!!

 

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