How to Bring Back the Life in Wooden Furniture

Time for another post!  Well, this week I have been working on a new piece and I used the handy Furniture Bible to determine how to bring this antique dining room set back to life.  Recently, I was given this set from my mother’s friend and It was her parents’ originally.  Overall, it was in relatively good condition; however it was dinge and dull, so it needed a face lift.  The chairs (see the picture) had a lot of detail, so I knew that stripping this piece was out of the question as the details could too easily get damaged.  There were some imperfections in color and finish, so I couldn’t leave the piece as it was.  SO, WHAT TO DO?

refinish2

refinish1

Well, I flipped through the book and found this relatively easy recommendation.  I will bring you up to speed as to where I am at right now and will update you as I go – since I still have some additional work to complete.

  • Supplies – Tung Oil, Turpentine, Rags, and two glass or ceramic bowls
  1. Mix one part turpentine with 2-3 parts Tung oil.  In a second bowl, fill it 1/3 of the way up with warm water (not hot) and place the turpentine and Tung oil mixture on top of it.
  2. Place your rag in the mixture and start to wipe/rub down your piece.  You will want to follow your work with a dry rug to clean/dry the piece as you go.  I have had to do this process 1-2 times on this piece.  I still need to go back and complete this 1 more time on a few chairs and the top of the table.  Once you get one piece clean, you will see what “clean” looks like and know what I am talking about!
  3. Once you have completed this process, let the piece dry overnight.  At this point, the piece will look cleaner and the wood grains will definitely show more clearly.

Stay tuned for the next steps to complete your piece…

DIY Plate Hanger

Plate1
Up Close – doesn’t have to look pretty, because you won’t be able to see it…

PlateSo – I am sure I don’t have to do much explaining at this point as these photos paint a pretty clear picture..but, just to be sure, I will elaborate a little more…

  • Supplies – Krazy or Gorilla Glue and metal paper clips (size really doesn’t matter if you are dealing with your standard dinnerware; however, if you are using heavier or bigger plates, you might consider larger ones).
  • As you can see in the second photo, the entire paperclip does not lay flat against the back of the plate due to the ridge on the back.  This was the case with all of my plates that I had and didn’t prove to be much of an issue.  It did require the paper clip to be securely attached to the points at which it does connect, so I put on a TON of glue on these spots.
  • For most projects, I usually let the glue dry for a bit and then move on with whatever I am doing, but since I was dealing with a heavier object (that is breakable) I waited overnight before I proceeded with hanging these plates on the wall.

This was a great option for me, as I couldn’t find any nickel finished hangers and for my space I wanted that – it was even better because it cost me $2 for the glue (I had the paper clips already), while 5 plate hangers would have cost roughly $15 ($3 per hanger).  Gotta love that!

xoxo-Sonni

Acting as If

Besides working on furniture and dreaming up beautiful decorating solutions for empty spaces, I really love learning about and discussing the broader subjects of who we are and what we are here to do on this planet (individually and collectively).  I was just watching a rerun of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday (http://www.oprah.com/app/super-soul-sunday.html) online, where  the discussion was revolving around finding what makes us happy and spending more time doing it.

So, I wanted to spend some time additional time expanding on why I started this blog and why I am taking this leap of faith sharing what matters to me and makes me tick.  Over the last ten years since I graduated from college, I have been struggling to find my place in the world.  Until the last few years, I have been making choices and building a life in some regards based on pure survival, not joy or happiness.

For many years I have been one those people who was always looking towards the next better thing in life – – “oh, if I get this job, then I will be happy,” or “if I have this degree, than I will be able to get that other job, and then I will be happy”…or “if I move here than I will have more space and will be able to do this, this, and that, THEN, I will be happy.”  I think it all came to a head after I had my wonderful son and I realized, I still wasn’t fully content nor did I feel like I had found my true purpose in this life.  This was hard to admit to myself, let alone my family and friends because in many ways I felt like a failure and like somehow this meant I didn’t love my son how I was supposed to.  But, for me, it has been so amazing positive, because essentially my son was the catalyst for me to look within and figure out what I wanted out of life.  And to answer the question of WHO AM I REALLY?!?

Well, I have been on this official journey for 165 days (I have been keeping track in my journal…J) and am making progress.  SO – l hope you will indulge me as I will continue to share my furniture journey, but will also share my personal one, including what I learn and all my ups & downs.  This is the first leap I am taking; really, to follow what makes ME happy.  Since, I am not currently spending my days doing what brings me joy, nor am not exactly sure what that is yet, I am acting as if…  I am having an attitude of joy, love, and gratitude and am trying to live in that space every moment.   Keyword is TRYING – it can be very challenging at times!

Below is my very first set of business cards for Sophia Restoration!  I am trusting that my business will grow in whatever capacity necessary and that I will hopefully need these  – and just the idea of doing something on a daily basis that feeds my soul and allows me to be creative is enough for me right now.  I know that this is the first change of many to come that will help me live the authentic life I am yearning for, but am not exactly sure how that will look just yet.  I am putting my trust in the Universe to help me figure how the rest…

Business Card

Thanks for reading!! More to come.

Xoxo-Sonni

How to Fix a Broken Drawer

Good morning!

I thought I would share a new book that I was given for Christmas that might be helpful to those of you who enjoy restoring and working on furniture.  It’s called the “Furniture Bible” by Christophe Pourny.  This book is very interesting and extremely insightful, as Christophe shares the art of restoring furniture.  He grew up in Southern France and learned his skills from his father.  He shares how to restore and update various pieces and discusses his favorite techniques for doing so.  I found it helpful for gathering new ideas and to simply just be inspired!

Book

One of the most useful aspects of his book, is the portion that shares various methods for fixing some of the most common issues with used or old furniture.

Recently I bought a dresser from Good Will.  I brought the piece home and began taking the piece apart.  As I did, I noticed that one of the drawers had a split in it and was broken.  I was unsure of how to fix this properly, so thought I would see if the Furniture Bible had any suggestions.  Yes — he did!!  There was a very simple and easy remedy!  Let me explain.

Step 1: Measure the length of the crack or break.

Step 2: Pick up a piece of strong fabric, such as canvas, to cover the crack, as well as some Elmer’s glue and an inexpensive brush.

Step 3: Turn the drawer over and cut the fabric to cover the crack.  Using the brush to apply the glue, cover the fabric and the drawer bottom that is surrounding the fabric with glue. Please note, that it is important to completely saturate the fabric with glue.

Step 4: Let the glue dry overnight.  As the glue drys, it will tighten and make the drawer very secure.

DrawerCloseUP

Drawer

Once the drawer is dry and you turn it back over, you hardly notice the crack and will not have to worry that the damage will cause any issues going forward!  Simple and effective – who wouldn’t love that?!

I hope this is helpful – I would highly recommend this book!!  Lots more helpful hints inside!

xoxo-Sonni

My New Favorite Corner

Plates

Hello –

I am excited to share this picture of my home with you.  This corner has been in progress for about 2 months and is finally complete!

Since we moved into our home in late April of 2014, I have been working on decorating all the nooks and crannies.  This picture is one from my new favorite areas in my dining room and I finally finished it just last night.

So, let me give you the details – first, I repainted this beautiful piece of furniture.  Originally, this now bar was a stereo cabinet from my grandma’s.  It had a record player in it, but I thought it would be fun as a bar and would fit in our dining room perfectly.  So, I created a shelf where the record player was and painted it in this nice cream color.  I think it turned out great and fits perfectly.  🙂

Next, I found this cute lamp from Home Goods and I think it looks really great with the silver tray.  It brings the space together without being to matchy-matchy.

Lastly, I have been collecting plates for awhile in colors that I love and that fit our home’s decor.  I found some of these at Value Village, Good Will, Target, and Home Goods.  It felt like a little scavenger hunt searching for the perfect plates!!  Very rewarding each time I found just the right one!

Well – that’s all for today!  Thanks for reading!

xoxo-Sonni