Sunday, February 10, 2013

Furniture and Drywall

Nothing too exciting to report, but I at least have some photos.

I just did another small batch of drywall repairs in 3 rooms.

Around the new vent in the Office:

The corner seams on the Living Room cold-air returns (to Master Bedroom):

And the long seam in the kitchen.

The furniture portion is the "sprucing-up" of the little Art Deco night table trash find. Here was the "as found" photo:

Step 1 was to remove the awful Mac-Tac stuck to the bottom shelf. It was pretty well stuck down, but with a little bit of heat from a heat gun (on low), it softened the plastic film enough to get it started, and most of it came off fairly easily. The finish under the Mac-Tac turned out to be in near perfect shape, so that was a big bonus. With old furniture, sometimes you just never know. There could have been a big stain, scratches, failed finish, or all kinds of other horrors under a later covering (or paint), but sometimes you get lucky.

The drawer handle was removed and cleaned (just warm water and dish soap). It's a cheap die-cast alloy metal with a gold paint finish. The upper part is a semi-transparent celluloid plastic with marbling.

While I was working on the drawer, I noticed one side was unglued. I just coated the mating surfaces with a bit of carpenter's glue, and clamped it back together. If this were a heavier wearing item, I would have taken more time to scrape out any old glue first.

The back plywood along the bottom shelf was warped and loose, so that was nailed-in with additional new nails.

If this were a more high-quality item, I would have taken the time to also repair the loose veneer along the back of the bottom apron (near hammer tip in photo), but it wasn't worth the trouble on this guy. This area is never visible.

The top had a few issues as well. There were two smallish holes through the veneer, and the side pieces, which are made of a cheaper wood that was painted (it was done this way originally on many pieces) a brownish red colour to match the Walnut veneer, was chipped along most of the length on both sides. The original shellac was also chipped and damaged over the entire top surface.

The holes were filled with a dark red (matching) wax, and the chipped edges were touched-up with a specialty furniture touch-up marker.

The entire piece was given a rub-down with a stain/scratch cover polish.

If I wanted the top to look new, I would have stripped it, and refinished it (just the top not the entire piece), but I wanted only a minimal (quick) restoration on this piece. The stain covered most of the imperfections, and I went over this with a light spray of satin varnish (aerosol). The spray varnish was done ONLY on the top. All the rest of the finish on the piece was fine.

This is the finished piece. It still needs a quick coat of wax polish (which won't take long) but I'm waiting for the top varnish to fully cure (it could take several more days). The final waxing won't make any noticeable difference in the photos, though.

Note: there were also a whole bunch of chipping/raw wood edges that were showing on the rail over the drawer, and along the bottom shelf. Those were also touched-up with the marker.

The top. Not perfect, but very serviceable. Can you spot the two holes? I can't.


  1. BTW, your drywall post reminded me of one of our old discussions. On Saturday I had to shop for drywall (I need to replace the kitchen ceiling in a friend's 1960 apartment) and noticed that there were stacks of 9.5 mm drywall in various sizes right next to the regular 12.5 mm. So at least in Europe it's readily available.

    1. The thinner (3/8" here) drywall is still readily available here, but most people prefer to use the 1/2" and some even prefer the 5/8" thick for exterior walls (which is a bit overkill). So I have no idea why the people who did the renovations here didn't bother to ask about getting 3/8" instead of 1/2" which caused all kinds of problems around the doorways. The 3/8" is a bit more expensive (12$/sheet instead of 10$ for the regular 1/2" sheets) but overall that's not really a big difference.

  2. Love that Art Deco night stand. If I could find 2 just like that, I could totally see us using them in the master bedroom. There was a time when I would have thrown it away because I thought Art Deco furniture was ugly - but it really has grown on me lately.

    1. Art Deco is not my favourite either, but it was free, it's walnut (my bedroom furniture is walnut), and it was in good shape. I believe they call this style "waterfall" front. Personally, I'd much prefer an Empire style mahogany side table as a night stand...