Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Wednesday's Words on a Friday

The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles.

The aim of the words is to encourage us to write. A story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.
If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along and read it.


This month the words are supplied by Margaret Adamson and friend Sue, and can be found here.


This week's words are in fact not words, but a couple of phrases:


1. off one's rocker
2. hit the sack

here is my story:

Off one’s rocker” was the general consensus as I waxed lyrical about the joys of brush painting and the fabulousness that would ensue.
A day and a half later, I had to concede they’d been right. I must have been off my rocker to start this project. I stared at the mess a while longer, then hit the sack and fell asleep instantly, to dream of perfectly finished and polished antique tables and cabinets.
After rising the next morning, I sat, chin in hand, waiting for the kettle to boil, while looking at the half-done job strewn in pieces around the tiny living room. What had gone wrong? I’d painted furniture before, every lovely looking piece in my bedroom was testament to how easy it was. Where was my mistake?
I finished my coffee, rinsed my cup and got back to work. The sides and top of the chest had not gone well and were now several shades too dark, not to mention patchy, with some areas almost black. I realised I would have to recoat the drawers to match and set to work, no longer caring as much and dripping the gloss stain everywhere.
The drawers finally finished, I left them to dry. It would take a full day, I knew that, so I changed my now stained favourite khaki pants and went visiting. Hours later, after chatting to V (last week’s birthday girl), I walked in the front door here and began clearing away newspapers, rags, then cleaned the brushes and the stirring paddle.
The drawers were dry enough to move, so I stacked them in front of the chest and avoided looking at them as much as possible. But I couldn’t help stealing glances at the glossiness of the top of the chest. From all the way across the room (three and a half steps, ha ha, it’s a small room), it wasn’t looking so bad.
I realised what I’d done wrong. Everything I’d painted up until now, had been done with water based acrylic paint. Coloured acrylic paint, which hides imperfections in wood grains as well as being easy to apply and clean up after. I had already chosen a colour for this job, but many friends and neighbours were insistent that wood should not be painted. Stain was the way to go, to show off the beautiful grain.
The grain on these pieces was most certainly not beautiful, but I caved to "superior" knowledge and bought a stain/gloss mix. BUT, it was an oil based product and any experienced, professional painter (not me) could have told me this stuff is much harder to apply AND get right.  Boy, did I learn a lesson!
Morning three and the drawers were dry, finally. I screwed the knobs back on, put the drawers in the chest and started scraping dried drips off the floor.
Knock Knock on the door. Who’s this? Another neighbour. V and I are going to Mount Barker for lunch and a good scrounge through some op shops (thrift shops), would I like to come?
Heck yes! 
I topped up Lola’s kibble, gave her fresh water and locked the door behind me. We were gone a lot longer than I thought we would be, but we’d had fun and I’d found a few bric-a-brac pieces that pleased me, so it turned out a good day.
I packed all the things back in the drawers after I’d eaten dinner, just a sandwich and fruit and decided things hadn’t turned out so badly. I still had a useable chest of drawers, the floor was clean again, and I know now that I should stay away from oil-based paints and stains.
and here it is:
taken from across the room

see how dark the top became after much bungling on my part?

this is the colour the whole thing was supposed to be, the drawers here have only one coat and would have been finished with an extra coat of clear gloss, but the rest of the piece was already two coats darker :(












19 comments:

  1. I've got to say, while most of time I would say 'Don't paint wood' your painted pieces are fabulous and you have changed my mind on that one. Unless of course the wood is fabulous in it's natural state. The top of the chest looks good, the rest, meh - not so much. You were so right to want to paint. Oh well, lesson learned, right?

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    1. Grace; lesson definitely learned. From now on it's paint, every time.

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  2. Well I know it was a hellish experience but....it looks good.

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    1. only slightly confused; I almost like it now that I'm used to it.

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  3. I kind of like it. Seriously. Sell the idea that was exactly what you were going for and I bet you'll have folks wanting to know your secret so they can copy it. Innovation only looks strange in the beginning.

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    1. Arkansas Patti; you're thinking like I am, pretending that's how I wanted it is helping a lot.

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  4. Patti is correct. Go with it. No one needs to know.

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    1. Susan Kane; that's true, no one needs to know it didn't go as planned. Just all of you out there :)

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  5. Adding my two cents worth. It looks a LOT better than I had expected from your descriptions. I would be perfectly happy to display it. And oil-based products ARE more difficult to use - and clean up after.

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    1. Elephant's Child; I'm happier with it now that I'm used to it and it looks about the same as my bedroom chest did when I first bought that from a junk shop. Just shinier.

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  6. Maybe I don't have refined tastes...but I really like it!

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    1. Val; I'm liking it more now the bits aren't strewn all over the floor space and I found a lovely muted scarf in an op shop which is now draped over the top so the new finish doesn't get scratched. like a table runner.

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  7. Well,going out for lunch and OP Shop browsing saved you from going off your rocker. :)

    If you decide you're not happy with the rest, you can always paint over at a later date. :)

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    1. Lee; lunch was fabulous, fish and chips which I haven't had since Christmas and of course op shop browsing is the best antidote for a low mood.

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    2. I love fish and chips! :)

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  8. All look rather nice, you did a wonderful job.
    I remember you mentioned you were not happy with what you had done, but I like it but it's you have to.

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    1. Margaret-whiteangel; mostly I wasn't happy with it because it didn't go as planned, but now it's finished and filled with things again, I like it more than I did.

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  9. Well-told, and I'm firmly in the camp of staining furniture vs. painting it. I love it when the beauty of the wood is allowed to shine through, so I really like the way your dresser turned out.

    Years ago, some friends gave me their mother's old beat up desk when she passed away. It was in the days when you could buy some really nasty stuff from the hardware store to remove old paints and finishes from furniture, and that desk was in dire need of refinishing. So I put that goop on the top first and went through the whole nasty process of getting it down to bare wood. Beautiful! The wood had a lovely grain to it. To make a long story short, the sides of the desk were made of pressboard. (sigh) I ended up having to paint the desk.

    Have a super weekend!

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    Replies
    1. Susan; my coffee table and dining table are "something" with a very thin veneer of wood grain, so I can't sand them back and stain those either. What a shame about your old desk though, that would have been lovely stained and polished.

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