Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A. Brandt Ranch Oak Update

    German immigrant August Brandt originally started the A Brandt Furniture Co. in 1900 in Fort Worth, Texas.  It wasn't until 1938 that his son, Paul began to manufacture "Ranch Oak" which became extremely popular.  In 1986 the Brandt family sold the company and within two years, it went out of business.  This particular table  is dated 1965 on the bottom, and since the Brandt company contracted to furnish military housing with furniture, this piece probably came from one of the nearby bases.  I have to admit.....I do not care for Ranch Oak.  Possibly because in our early days in Alaska we drove to bases in Anchorage that were liquidating their furniture and we bought quite a few pieces, because it was affordable and not what most of the people at the sales were going for.  Dealers would get there very early, come with helpers, and quickly go through the warehouse grabbing the tickets off of all the mahogany pieces......thus began my mahogany envy and dislike of Ranch Oak, lol. 
    All of that aside, you cannot beat the sturdy, all oak construction of these pieces.  This is all wood, sturdy oak, so aside from small imperfections, you could not find a better piece.  You can still see some of the deep grain of the wood in places. 
    Here the table is sanded and you can see the construction of the top and legs, and that they are pegged in place.  The legs come right up through the top of the lower half of the table.  They must have been split, to widen  so that they don't come out.  They resemble the top of a screw(remember this, lol!).  The top pegs are just round, with no split. 
    After sanding  I used a blocker, then painted with a cream colored paint.  I accented the table by painting the pegs a pretty rose gold.  The top pegs remind me of rivets and the bottom pegs remind me of large screws.
    A search of A Brandt furniture reveals that some people collect these pieces and recently a set sold on Ebay for $159.   So, some may not agree with painting them.  In this market, I felt that painting would be appealing to more people.  I think it's important to remember, too, that under the paint, it is still a solid oak  piece!


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Fresh look for tables

    One of my customers, that I have done several pieces for contacted me to see if I could change the look of some tables for her.  I only have a before picture of the end tables, but they match the coffee table.  They are very heavy and very sturdy.
    The first thing I did was sand them down.  They were quite a bit more orangey looking than  you can tell here.  I have gotten to the point where after doing a few repairs on a piece, I get the best results using a stain blocker before painting.  Too many times unseen stains can bleed through the paint and this prevents that.  I used a cream colored paint on the tops and a pretty teal on the body of the tables.  After that I did a wash of cream over the teal, lightly distressed the tables in some spots and then top-coated them.  I do take quite a while when finishing projects, but I do believe that attention to detail and extra care give me very good results.  Light colored pieces, especially, get many coats with at least a day between each, and I feel that gives a finished look that will last.
These will be delivered soon.



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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Fraternal Twin Nightstands, Miss 1955 and Miss 1961

   I managed to find these mahogany nightstands at two different sales while I was out picking last year.  These are beautiful timeless, classic pieces that are getting harder and harder to find in my area.  The one on the left was made in 1955 by the Drexel company.  Drexel is well known for its quality furniture.  The one on the right was made on 1961 by the Joern Company.  I had to look this company up, as it was unfamiliar to me.  They were also known for high quality furniture, but not too many pieces are found, because they turned their attention to medical furniture.
While the one on the right needed cleaning sanding and refinishing, the one on the left needed more extensive work.  While it had no structural damage (in fact the drawers and the slides are in amazingly good structural condition), it had some pretty serious cosmetic damage.  I'm not quite sure why someone would drill a hole in the top of a nightstand????  There was also a chunk missing on the top.  I filled using wood epoxy, repaired and sanded the damaged spots.  While you can still see where the damage was, I am pretty happy with how the repairs turned out.
Before, pretty rough, scratched, etc.


Damage and fixes
   In choosing the stain to use on the nightstands, I had to take into account that the Drexel nightstand was naturally a bit darker, so I chose darker  Bombay mahogany stain.  It really wasn't possible to make the darker one lighter by using the regular mahogany.  Therefore, there is a bit of a color difference between the two.  These are beautiful heirloom-type pieces and they are looking for a new home.
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https://mythriftstoreaddiction.blogspot.com/2018/02/vintage-charm-party-122.html#more

Saturday, January 27, 2018

End table

  Hi all.  Hope that everyone reading this is well!  We have been fighting and fighting a cough that just will not go away this winter.  It has slowed my progress on projects a bit, which is frustrating.  Luckily I have been knitting again, which keeps me busy while I wait for the paint/stain, to dry, or am just coughing too hard to do anything else.  Now that there are only 4 kids at home(TEENAGERS.....EEK),  I do have fewer demands and have a little bit more time for things I want to do.
    Anyway, the latest project is this sweet little table.  I think these are great pieces and so very handy.  I have had others in the past.  I had to do a bit of repair on this, but it is very sturdy and would be an asset to anyone's home.  It was sanded, repaired, and refinished in Bombay Mahogany stain and then top coated.  There are two shades of Mahogany that I use and this one is the darker of the two.  I really like both and this just happened to be what I had on hand.  This piece is dated 1958 and is another of the pieces that was used extensively on military bases.  They are beautiful refinished, sturdy and so useful.
    Positioned between two chairs or at the end of a couch, they can also be pulled in front of a chair for card and board games, serving beverages, etc.  This has a hard formica type top which is easy to clean and maintain.  The measurements on this piece are:  Between 23-24  in tall, 24-25 long, 16 1/2 inches wide, when the "wings" are extended, though it is 24-25 inches long.  This piece is available.
Shared at:
http://knickoftime.net/2018/02/talk-town-109.html

Monday, January 8, 2018

Modern Rocking Chair


    This project is quite different than anything I have done before.  I bought it last winter, after it was offered to me.  I was pretty busy at the time.  I honestly did not look at it very closely and it has been stored away since then.  While re-arranging my work space I had a chance to look at it more closely and I decided to tackle it. 
    This chair was made in Indonesia, out of teak, and I discovered that it was originally quite expensive.  I did some research on teak wood, since I had never worked on it before.  Teak is commonly used for outdoor furniture, and this piece had been out in the weather.  Left unfinished teak will eventually turn to a weathered gray.  There are treatments specifically for teak, but when left out in the weather it should not be treated with the typical varnishes.  Teak wood retains its natural oils and if out in the weather with a varnished finish, it can eventually develop mold.  This is because the oil will push the varnish up and allow moisture to get under varnish where the mold will settle and grow.  While teak is excellent for outdoor furniture it needs some maintenance.
    This piece had no mold but a lot of water spotting.  I cleaned it and sanded it.  I used Watco Danish Oil to restore the beautiful luster and finish to the wood.  While this finish does have some varnish, the oil helps it penetrate into the wood, and as long as it is in a protected area, all it will need is an occasional re-application to retain its beautiful look.
    This is a large, roomy chair, that would look wonderful near a fireplace with a buffalo plaid blanket!  It is large enough for an adult to comfortably hold a child in.  It stands 45 inches from the floor to the top of the back.  The seat is 19 1/2 inches from the floor.  The seat dimensions are 23 inches across and 20 1/2 front to back.
    This is a sturdy comfortable chair that would accommodate anyone!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Last project of the year

    One of the most frustrating things about this business for me is photography.  I have tried every way I can to show the color correctly on this set and I am done!  It is actually a teal color but I just can't get it to show its "True Colors."
    This vanity is typical 50's style.  The original frame that would have held the mirror was still with it, but not very attractive, and the mirror was gone.  I added this mirror that is meant to be hung on the wall and can be hung vertically or horizontally.  The bench came with it but I reupholstered and painted it to match.  I underestimated the fabric needed slightly, sigh.....
But it is securely folded under the frame and stapled...I just did not realize there was such a long space without print on the selvedge edge.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Fail and a Fix

    My daughter asked me to paint a nursery dresser for their baby boy due in March.  It is just the right height for them to put a changing pad on and it needed to be a pretty specific size to go into the space.  What I didn't realize was how specific the color requirements for the dresser were going to be.  Dad is a hard-core Star Wars lover and mom is a huge Harry Potter fan, so this little guy is going to have a room that combines these two themes.  They are working on very specific touches to the room.  They are really cool, but so much different than traditional baby nurseries used to be.
They are still adding touches to the room, but it is really sweet and such a reflection of their personalities.  I hope to get more pictures to add at some point.
    So, I totally failed on the color for the dresser.  It was way too bright and didn't fit what they wanted at all.  Boo, I messed up.  So, paint brush in hand I returned, sanded and repainted with a different blue chalk paint.  I can't remember the name of the color, but it is so dark that at first I thought it was black.
Fail:
Fix, yay!:
Matches the room so much better and my daughter is very happy with it now.  For the record, this is grandchild #14!

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