I love, like love, LOVE giving vintage furniture new life…..there are parts of the process I wish I could skip at times, but overall I find joy in doing this, it really is a creative process and I am excited to give you an inside look into how I take a before photo and make it into a stunning after. My favourite part by far is styling and taking the after photos, I get all excited to see it come to life in the photos. It is a very rewarding process but I know it is not everyone’s cup of tea. It is hard, messy and at times sweaty work and during no part of it do I look pretty…….I am constantly covered in dust, dirt, paint, glue, stain and varnish. But, I am always smiling, I can’t quite explain how much I enjoy what I do.
Today I am going to share with you all the tools and paraphernalia I use to take my furniture from blah to something a little bit special.
1. Power Sander – used for stripping paint and varnish. I use a course grit sand paper to strip and a finer one to finish so my wood is smooth. I usually only use a power sander after I have stripped with either a chemical stripper or heat gun first.
2. Heat Gun – I prefer to use this for stripping as I try to avoid chemicals.
3. Power Drill & Drill Bits – You will need a drill when adding new hardware and occasionally repairs.
Regarding power tools I am not into particular brands I tend to go for middle of the range (budget wise) – I never buy the cheap end as they tend to wear out quickly and I feel you just waste your money.
6. Screw Drivers – I have a complete set of both Phillips head and Standard Head Screw Drivers
7. Safety Glasses
8. Dust Mask – trust me you don’t want dust in your lungs, they are annoying to use in hot weather but when you are sanding you really need one.
9. Paint Brushes – I have several that I use but this brand and this size is what I use when painting.
10. Sand Paper and Hand Sander – I like to do all my distressing by hand so I use a fine grit (220 grit) sand paper.
11. Masking Tape – I use Bear Painters Gold Masking Tape on all my furniture projects, it is expensive but I know it does a great job so I am willing to invest in something I can trust. This is part of the secret to how I achieve crisp lines on my furniture projects without bleed through. I will share my other secrets in a later post 😉
12. Wood Glue – I use this to make repairs – the one shown is for indoor use only but they do sell outdoor glue also.
13. Scraper – To scrap off paint stripper I use plastic scrapers, you can buy metals ones but I find plastic are less likely to mark the wood.
14. Pencil – marking your measurements.
15. Wood Filler – I use this to make repairs and the great things is, is that it is stain-able so you can use it to make your repairs and then hide them with stain.
16. Screws & Nails – these are for repairs, I don’t generally have to use them but you never know!
17. Metal Ruler – on most of my furniture I replace the hardware (knobs & handles) so I need to measure and mark placement of holes to accommodate the new hardware. I like using a metal ruler versus a measuring tape as it stays flat and doesn’t try to roll back up on me!
18. Measuring Tape
19. Rags – for wiping off any excess wax and buffing.
20. Steel Wool – when stripping I use this to scrub the stripper off carvings and around awkward areas.
21. Chalk Paint – I have only worked with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and I use it on the occasional piece of furniture, I do tend to favour Milk Paint.
22. Chemical Gloves – you need heavy duty gloves when working with paint stripper, you do not want this stuff on your skin.
23. Milk Paint – I use both Old Fashioned Milk Paint and Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint.
24. Spray Paint – I exclusively use Rust-Oleum Spray Paint on all my projects as it adheres to just about any surface, if I want to change the colour of my hardware (knobs, screws etc.) I spray paint them.
25. Clear & Dark Wax – generally speaking I only use clear furniture wax but I will occasionally use dark wax.
26. Plastic Gloves – I use latex free plastic gloves when staining and varnishing, it keeps my hands clean.
27. Paint Stripper – I use Citristrip, it is expensive here in Oz but I like that it is the least caustic out of all the paint strippers I have tried.
28. Bonding Agent – for use with Milk Paint, I use this anytime I use Milk Paint….I don’t like chipping! (there I said it! I am a control freak and chipping freaks me out!)
29. Varnish & Stain – I use Feast Watson Matt or Satin Varnish and my favourite Stain is Japan Black
30. Tung Oil – I use this as a sealer on timber when I don’t paint it.
31. Clamps – I use large furniture clamps which I will show you during the process of making over a piece of furniture.
32. Wax Brush
33. Stanley Knife – For cutting masking tape.
34. Selleys Knead It – This is a repair medium that sets rock hard and can be sanded, it is great for larger repairs where you can’t use wood filler.
35. Knobs – I will be introducing you to a great hardware supplier in this series, so stay tuned.
A couple of things I didn’t photograph that I also use are paper plates when waxing, paddle pop sticks & plastic cups for mixing Milk Paint.
That is basically it, hopefully this gives you an idea of what I use and what you need if you want to do similar projects. I will be bringing you the next part of this series next week.
I taught my first Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Workshop at Tanawha House this week, which was both exciting and terrifying at the same time, but it went off without a hitch. We had the most amazing group of people in the workshop, everyone just got along so well and we chatted and laughed basically the whole time. It was everything I hoped it would be.
While I was at Tanawha House I managed to snap a few photos of the interior of the shop to share with you.
I love how the Milk Paint and Fusion Paint are displayed.
Yes, that is a COPPER dresser and yes, when I first saw it I may have had a little moment…..it spoke to me. We may be soul mates.
That is a little peak but I will be sharing more with you in another post and I will have a little chat with the fabulous interior designer that runs this gorgeous space.
Hope you have a lovely weekend, I will see you next week where I will reveal the before of the piece of furniture I will be making over in this series.