|Project by Paul||posted 06-17-2008 09:48 PM||3866 views||0 times favorited||6 comments|
I failed to take a “before” picture, but this piece was primed white and painted rusty milk paint red with gold paint “gilding” on the thumbnail molding profile around each window pane.
I sometimes wish pieces could talk. This one has an interesting lost story. I asked the owner if she knew anything about it but she had purchased it inexpensively out of a dealer’s estate and knew nothing of its history. This piece was obviously made exclusively with hand tools. The boards are hand planed, the rails/stiles/sashes have molding profiles either cut with molding planes or a scratch stock. All the joints are pegged with hand-made pegs. In my opinion, an old “handyman” piece made by a skilled farmer/rancher. The drawer cases are just nailed together and obviously constructed again, with plane and handtools. I wouldn’t be surprised if the wood was cut, dried and milled by the crafter.
The wood-type was a mystery to me though. I thought it was walnut at first, but the more I stripped and scraped and sanded, the more a reddish/salmon colored wood emerged. After a little research, and living in Texas, I thought it was perhaps mesquite – but unlike the description of mesquite, it isn’t a hard/dense wood. Quite soft, in fact. Doesn’t smell like cedar. For density and grain pattern (in some places), it reminded me of Mahogany, but the color? It didn’t look good with a clear finish test spot though – very unattractive, in fact. So, I used dark stain and laquer top coat.
Since it was clearly a “primitive” piece when it came to me, I did sand it some, but I actually tried not to remove all the rough spots which give it its character (and someone had tried to cover with paint).
-- Paul, Texas