Thursday, 14 February 2013

The Story of Long-Sylvia

Don't you just adore those instances when someone else just doesn't see the beauty in a piece of furniture, but you do.

When I picked Long Sylvia up from a young couple's house it was love at first sight.  She (and her matching tall sister) were sitting dejected and forlorn in a dark garage underneath a taxidermied moosehead.  I was told that the dressers belonged to the BF, but a swift ultimatum of 'It's me or the dressers' by the lady in question promptly saw an ad posted on Craigslist.  Enter me.

I was so happy to see that they were in great condition.  Although they were manufactured in the 1960s, there was nary a scratch on them, and their shape was just beautiful. Classic mid-century modern.  I loaded em up and the happy lady even through in a double bed for free. Thank you very much.

I tackled long-Sylvia first (as opposed to tall Sylvia).  I decided to go with a trendy midcentury two-toned look.  I used pure white on the drawer fronts, and I restained the entire body of the dresser in Kona and American Walnut mixed together.  I had trouble with the stain on the top of the dresser drying.  Days passed and it was still tacky to touch.  I realized I didnt sand back far enough, so I spent several more hours resanding off the stain, and then really sanding all the way back to the wood grain.  It was a serious hassle, which by the end of it had me swearing off stain for all of eternity.

I realized after reapplying the stain that I should have used a pre-conditioner, because the stain absorbed funny and left a weird hazy looking film that looked really milky at certain angles.  I wiped off some of the excess stain even further and in the end I wiped on some polyurathane which did help cut through that hazyness a bit.  But it still wasn't perfect, so I applied some wax and buffed that out.  Well, that seemed to do the trick, because the hazy/milkiness was virtually gone. 

It was a learning curve though, I realized that stain really isn't simple to work with, it takes time, patience and a fair bit of knowledge.  I have since stained other pieces, but it still isn't my favorite thing to do, fortunately, I am getting better at it.

I kept the original pulls because I thought they were gorgeously angelic. 

With all the sanding, re-sanding, and re-staining.  I think I spent about 13 hours on this dresser.  A little long, but I think she turned out lovely in the end. 

I forgot to snap a before pic (Doh!), but I have a picture of a dresser in the same colour, so you get the gist of what colour she was.



This last picture shows the milky/hazy look after I restained. I did some research and some other people have experienced the same thing, but I didn't find much online by way of a soloution.

1 comment:

  1. Such a lovely color combo. The dark stain with the white is so inviting. :)