Just this past autumn (yah, nearly a year ago), while I was at work, I saw that an old solid wood bookcase was being left to the elements…with the ultimate destination being the wood pile. I just couldn’t let that happen to a solid wood piece of history. So, in traditional fashion, I figured I’d take it on as a salvage project. Of course, having been left outside, it had certainly seen better days. I’m not going to say it was an easy project, but it sure looks a lot better than the dirty, wet, moldy piece of furniture that I somehow was able to squeeze into my car (with assistance, of course).
Here’s a bit of a glimpse of how my whole process with furniture works. First, I’ve got to clean the entire piece…top to bottom. For most things, I use Mr Clean (http://www.mrclean.com/en_US/antibacterial-liquid.do). Then, it is time to repair whatever needs repair. This usually involves wood filler, caulk, etc. The repairs seen in this photo are only a tiny bit of those that I actually ended up doing on this piece. Next comes the priming. Since I work with so many wood or wood-like surfaces, I use a primer that can work on multiple surfaces.
In between each coat of everything, I sand (both with a power sander and hand sanding) and sand, and sand and sand. After plenty of sanding…primarily with 150 and 220 grit sandpaper, I finally get to start seeing some color. With this green I love using, it usually takes 3 coats of color to get full-coverage. After the color is on, then, we get to put on two or more coats of Polycrylic (http://www.minwax.com/wood-products/interior-clear-protective-finishes/minwax-polycrylic-protective-finish). Figured out the hard way how to get a protective shell on these pieces. This polycrylic finish allows for me to work with my latex paints, but still give it some sort of protection. Sometimes it is a bit tough to use, but usually, I am more than pleased with the end results.
I’m still not sure if I’ll keep this piece or take a shot at selling it. Either way, definitely worth nearly a year’s work (off and on). I am glad I saved it from being burned or left to rot. Hooray for salvaged furniture!! Wait, when I think about it…nearly all of the projects that I work on could actually be considered salvaged projects. Guess I must have a thing for the underdog?
Oh, I don’t think I mentioned just yet that these shelves are fixed in place!! Can you just imagine how much work went into painting all possibly visible surfaces?! And, after I thought I was done with just about everything having to do with this bookcase, I figured I might as well paint the back…just in case someone wants to use it as a room divider. So, it is green, through and through.