Dresser LOTUS – Part 1 – Looking for Modern ‘Oriental’ Style in Furniture

I apologize some 2 billion people in South-East Asia for the word ‘oriental’ as it is no longer politically correct and sounds ‘colonial’, but I needed this term to geographically place the style I was going to achieve for my next piece of furniture, the ‘Lotus’ dresser. The alternative names could be Buddhist, Meditative, Eastern, Mandala, but none of those words actually fitted as good as ‘oriental’ which sounded more universal to me.

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Coffee Table JAVA – Part 3 – Glass Top to Timber Top Transformation

The component elements were ready, so it was time for a final assembly. First of all, I glued the 12mm MDF substrate to the underside of the frame with my favorite adhesive The Dog’s B*ll*cks Adhesive and Sealant. It is like a clear silicone but tougher. It’s quite expensive but I use it for most applications as it really sticks to everything. When the glue dried up, I bonded the actual top to the substrate using the same glue.

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Coffee Table JAVA – Part 2 – Decorating using Self-Adhesive Stencil

From the very beginning the plan was to replace the glass top with a timber inlay that would fit flush with the steel frame. The issues I envisaged were: firstly, how to fit the new top discretely with no visible fixings, secondly, how to make it lightweight. Luckily, I found a piece of a 3mm thick plywood in my garage, that was veneered with something resembling walnut or another kind of dark wood. It was so thin that I managed to cut the sheet to size with a knife and ruler. But I still needed a substrate.

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Coffee Table JAVA – Part 1 – Rusted Metal Finish for a Rustic Look

I bought the fellow shown on the photo below in a charity shop at Stockbridge, Edinburgh and wondered what style it actually presented. The black steel frame looked a bit rustic but the glass top reminded me of a piece of office furniture rather, a total mismatch of styles. My first thoughts were: get rid of the top, give the structure a more rustic look and find some planks or driftwood for the top. I summoned the nature to help me and left the steel outside of my house to get it corroded to brown. After a week, the frame got rusted only a tiny bit therefore I ground it in some places to the bare metal.

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Console EL CAPITAN – Part 3 – Decorating with Gilding, Promotion and Final Assembly

My main worry regarding gilding the small finishing details was that the shade of gold on the painted strip would look different than that on the military emblem. For painting the gold strip I purchased Johnstone’s Revive Metallic Paint Gold from a local The Range store. I changed the routine this time, I ventured to find a cheaper quality masking tape as my yellow Frogtape ran out. Some searching and I decided to try Prodec Advance Precision Edge Masking Tape from Toolstation – half of the price of yellow frog. It did the job okay, very sharp edges, low tack, etc., the only downside was that the tape is much less flexible and tears more often.

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Console EL CAPITAN – Part 2 – Using Glaze, in other words, Home Made Stained Lacquer

‘A glaze is a thin transparent or semi-transparent layer on a painting which modifies the appearance of the underlying paint layer.’ That is the definition of glaze. I used to use it a lot during my Uni years in painting class at the School of Art. We usually painted with oil colours. When there was a time to apply a glaze, then we mixed a little of the oil paint with a larger amount of linseed oil or turpentine. The turpentine based glaze was drying faster but the oil one was giving a ‘deeper’ and nicer effect. I left my previous post with a question mark asking, what to do with the red paint finish on my console table that had turned too pale.

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Console EL CAPITAN – Part 1 – Painting with Stencil without Stencil

When Communism collapsed in Poland back in the late 1980s, there appeared lots of street vendors offering numerous Soviet memorabilia on boot sale markets. I was lucky to buy some Russian military emblems. Now I wonder if I can use them on my upcycled furniture. My next object to work on is the solid mahogany Console Table probably from the beginning of the 20th Century, the Edwardian era. Sometimes this kind of table is called ‘Demi Lune’ (crescent). As this reminds me of the front of a military hat a little bit, I decided to restore it to a Soviet theme with the Russian hat emblem fitted into the centre of the front down-stand. You can see the visualization of my idea below.

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Bench GATSBY – Part 4 – Distressed Finish and the Finale

The work that came next was not too exciting, just more masking. I taped the pink areas with low tuck masking tape. It is the yellow round box on the photo below, my favorite Frogtape Delicate Surface tape. I usually use this tape for most of my decoration jobs as it ensures very sharp edges and doesn’t peel off the paint below when being removed. It’s quite expensive as for a masking tape but the quality comes at a price. Larger areas I covered with a Mottez Stretch Film, which is a similar stuff to the standard kitchen cling film only larger and stronger.

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Bench GATSBY – Part 3 – Water Based Clear Lacquer versus Oil Based Polyurethane Varnish

Hi, that was the day when I progressed to the decoration of my bench. I had purchased a set of furniture paints ‘GoodHome‘ from B&Q. I wasn’t quite convinced before I picked those but the fact which finally tipped the scales was the notes on the tins saying that the paints were made in Germany, the paints are self-priming and also the small tin sizes (125ml) that were available to buy. I thought it would be better to start with the lighter mauve finish therefore I masked all areas to be later painted black with masking tape. I applied three coats of the mauve GoodHome Magome Flat Matt paint initially and my first impression was that the opacity of the paint was very bad, however, the final finish turned out to be satisfactory, nice velvety matt effect.

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Bench GATSBY – Part 2 – Sanding with Liquid Sander

As I mentioned in my previous post, I sanded my bench with a liquid sander. I purchased a bottle of Polycell Liquid Sanding from an online store. I can honestly say that I’m quite disappointed with the results. Here is how it worked. First thing I created a tool to rub the stuff into the white paintwork. I trimmed my old brush with scissors so that to get a better pressure when brushing.

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