Monday, August 19, 2013

The Project from H E Double Toothpicks

I've got to tell you about this dream I had the other night.

I dreamt I was at a fabulous estate sale.  So far, so good, right?  But every time I picked up an item I wanted to buy, something happened so that I couldn't.  First another customer grabbed it out of my hands. 

Then someone told me about another room full of goodies, and I put what I was holding by the cash station.  I followed them down a long hall, only to find there was nothing in the room.  Of course when I went back to the cash station, my item was gone!

I woke up in a cold sweat. What a nightmare! think the dream might have something to do with my self-imposed moratorium on buying anything until I finish some of the big pieces I have?

Or maybe its something deeper. Like I'm searching for something I can't a neat and clean garage and basement!

I've got to tell you, this not shopping hasn't been easy.  I'm having withdrawals.
But I'm determined not to buy anything until I move some of the pieces in the basement and garage. I had big plans to get a set of dressers done over the weekend.

Remember, I was working on this one.

Another nightmare.

These dressers have been the project from H E double toothpicks  since I first bought them on Craigslist.

First, somehow I lost the mirror screws for both pieces.  I couldn't find any at Home Depot, so I ordered some from Rockler.

I had to buy a couple of replacement knobs that matched the existing ones.  No problem since they were the simple wood knobs.

But I lost those too.  They're probably with the mirror screws.  I'm sure I put them somewhere "safe." So off I went to Home Depot again to buy another set.

Then the bottom of one of the drawers split, and I had to get it replaced.  Since it was curved, it wasn't something I could do myself. 

On the bottom of another drawer was decades old contact paper.  It would not come off easily.  Finally I got desperate and used Goof Off with an Exacto blade. 

It came off.

But now I have Exacto blade gouges on the bottom of the drawer.

I eventually got to the point where I was ready to paint.  I wanted to paint the mahogany dressers white.

But ... you guessed it ... bleed-through.

And this wasn't your typical bleed-through in just a couple of spots.  This bleed-through was all over the dresser.  Weird little spots on the top.

And big swatches elsewhere.

No problem, I thought.  I'll just use my Shellac trick.  But for the first time, the Shellac trick let me down.

My husband wanted to know why I was swearing and crying in the basement. 

I told him I hate these dressers.

He just didn't understand.


Anyway, so now I'm not sure what to do other than strip the whole thing; which I don't want to have to do.

I'm thinking of painting another, darker color over the white, but I don't know what color.  I need to make sure the bleed-through doesn't show through it, so it has to be pretty dark.

In the meantime  I'm at a standstill.  These are two of the biggest pieces I have in my basement, and I need to  get them done before I can move on to other pieces.

Any ideas?  I need help! (In more ways than one, obviously!) :)


  1. I always love the look of black over white with glass pulls! i just pinned a gorgeous girls room that was pale pink with black over white furniture. you can see it here:

  2. OH, I do! I'm sorry to say it will involve stripping again, but I SWEAR you won't mind this (as much).
    If Citristrip would let me do ads for them, I would. Free. So.. Get some. Or SoyGel, but I use Citristrip.

    You put this nice smelling stuff on thick. They say 1/8". Go to bed. Go to work. Go [whisper] shop. IOW, leave it alone!

    (If it's windy, layer plastic wrap or cut up grocery bags on it (print side OUT). You can do this inside and it's not toxic to kids. Of course if they eat this nice smelling pink stuff you've got trouble in River City.)

    It'll lift layers off in ribbons. Like bacon. It doesn't matter if it dries, that scrapes off as dust. You don't need gloves, safety equipment, nor a space suit. This stuff doesn't eat thru the floors of your house to the basement. Cleans up with WATER.

    So getting to the point of all this. Once you have your layers off and you're probably back to some kind of bare wood, layer on another coat. Leave it. When it bubbles up like BBQ sauce, use a scraper to get the sludge off. Scrape it into a bucket with a grocery bag in it. It doesn't eat plastic. But scrape well.

    Here's the amazing part: With what's left, take a kitchen scrubbie and WATER & scrub with the grain. It'll pull stain out of the wood like you would not believe.
    Now, it's a very good idea to let your piece sit a day or two until it's really dry to continue. This stuff doesn't really dry out much, so it's damp on your wood. Easy to be too vigorous (EXACTO BLADE OH, NO!) and dig into the wood.

    I am stripping 15 antique doors & have come across all kinds of different reactions by different layers. The one thing that remains constant is I can get my doors back to such bare wood that another application of Citristrip can't pull any more stain. I am taking these doors, without damage back to bare wood. It works so well that while one door is sitting, I've stripped 3 kitchen cabinets (in place) and my mahogany front door and sidelights. I'm currently stripping a giant tryptich of Buddha that was covered in weird wax-like white paint. Can't wait to see this!

    Sorry for the huge post. I just believe in this stuff! Your shellac layer would probably do its job if much of the stain were already removed. Then try a stain blocker primer (sorry, yes. primer) if it starts to bleed. You're painting it anyway.

  3. There is sponge looking thingy that replaces steel wood for a light sanding ~ then Kilz should prime and seal it. Good luck, Deborah.

  4. What's your shellac trick? Kilz should cover it.

    1. The shellac trick is to paint over the bleed-through spot with shellac, let it dry and then paint over it with the chalk paint. I've never had it not work before, but I've never experienced this type of bleed-through before either!

    2. Thanks for the reply, im a little late finding it!:) I've never used shellac, I'll have try...I just lookes at your post on covering it with black looks grear!


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