Tag: diy

Bar Chair Makeover

Ten years ago, my sister found this wooden, Pier 1 bar chair for $5 at a yard sale. Score! It had several coats of paint, the latest of which was ivory with some hand painted flowers. So very floral. We gave her a fresh coat of white paint and put her to work at the end of our kitchen island.

After doing hard time in my kitchen, those layers and layers of paint were a little worse for wear. I decided to strip the chair down to the raw wood and see if I could achieve an English pine look. Little did I know how time-consuming this project was going to be!

We used CitriStrip to remove all that paint. I like this product because it does the job without the overpowering smell of most chemical strippers. We used a small wire brush to remove the paint in the carved detail of the legs.

Rabbit Trail: One time, I saw wire brushes for sale at a home improvement store and they were mislabeled as wire “brishes”. I’ve called them brishes ever since. #imadork

While stripping the wood, we were surprised to discover that the factory stain was ebony which was deeply ingrained in the wood. We used Formby’s Paint & Poly Remover to try to remove the dark stain. We applied it and scrubbed with steel wool, but the grain of this wood is so tight that it just didn’t penetrate very well. I would use this product for final cleaning before staining raw wood, not for removing old stain.

After the Formby’s, we used Clorox gel bleach to continue removing that ebony stain. Working in small sections, we applied bleach to the chair and used a small wire brush to work it into the wood. This worked very well and did not leave harsh bleach stains. Note: I would not recommend this on antique pieces or anything rare. We felt okay with risking bleach stains on this piece because we could sand them out if necessary.

Once we were happy with the paint/stain removal, we began to sand the chair. And sand. And sand. And sand. This is the time to crank up the tunes in the garage and zone out. Such boring work. Thank God that I don’t sand furniture for a living! We started with 100 grit sandpaper and worked our way to 220 grit for the final sanding.

Once the chair was a smooth as a newborn baby’s butt, it was time for the star of the show: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Wax in Clear! I ordered it from Carolina Pine Country Store. This was my first order with them, and I had a fantastic customer experience. They’re very responsive to questions, and even though I didn’t pay for expedited shipping, my order was delivered with lightning speed. 10/10 highly recommend!

Can I just tell you how excited I am about this wax? Using a lint-free cloth, simply smooth it onto the wood, rub it in like lotion and let it cure. It’s amazing. I was concerned that the final finish on the chair would look yellow, but not to worry. This wax delivered on a soft, beautiful finish and I couldn’t be happier with it.

We’ve done two coats of wax and will likely add a third coat. Let’s just take a moment to admire this beauty in her natural habitat, shall we?

See that island? It’s on the short list of furniture needing a makeover. Soon. Very soon. I’m thinking something in the tiffany blue-turquoise range for the cabinet and maybe some more Annie Sloan clear wax for the top?

I’m not in partnership with any brands referenced in this post. I’m simply sharing products that I use and enjoy, and I hope you will like them too!

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Antiquing Technique for Painted Wood

There are a couple of go-to techniques that I use when antiquing a painted wooden item. One of them is the wax resist technique that I used on the race medal holder. Today, I’ll share how to antique a piece using stamping ink.

Painted wooden item
Chocolate brown ink pad – water based, not pigment
Small paint brush – use an old one
Rag – for wiping excess ink off the piece
Spray sealer – optional

It’s important to use water based stamping ink. Because pigment ink is so thick, it will smear over the surface of your project, not soak into the wood.

When distressing a painted piece, focus on the areas that would be naturally worn through use. I’m distressing a child’s canoe paddle, so I’ll sand the handle and sides, where the paddle might bump into the canoe. Sand down to the raw wood.

Because you’ll be rubbing the ink into the wood, use a paint brush that you’re okay with ruining. Kid’s craft brushes are perfect for this project. I’m using a foam brush. Dab the brush onto the stamp pad and then onto your project. Make sure to cover the exposed wood completely. Keep a rag handy so that you can wipe excess ink off as you work.

Once you’ve antiqued the raw wood, use the brush to lightly sweep a little ink onto a few of the painted sections of your project. Rather than leaving the painted areas pristine, this gives the piece an overall look of age. I inked a few places on the word “cabins”.

If your project will be handled during use, seal it to protect the finish. I like spray matte sealer.

This antiquing technique can also be used to age paper crafts. For that application, I would use a kid’s craft brush and gently dab the ink on until the desired coverage is reached. I’ve seen this used in dollhouse miniatures to give a time-worn look.

I hope you’ll give this technique a try on your projects!

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

How I Remove Rust From Cast Iron

Now that we’ve made it through our rainy, Virginia springtime; we’re overdue for some outdoor chores. At Arthurized Home, we use cast iron for our everyday cooking. We’re careful to season it regularly so rust is not a problem. However, I just bought a cast iron pot with some pretty severe rust on it. It’s not pitted, so that’s good. Actually, I would have passed on buying pitted cast iron. No amount of TLC can bring that back.

A quick Google search shows countless methods for removing rust from cast iron. The process I’m using is one that I have used successfully over the years. I burn the rust off the cast iron in a fire and then season it in the oven. This method avoids using noxious chemicals and hours (and hours!) of obnoxious scrubbing.

My cast iron is good quality and very serviceable, but solidly average. It’s not rare or valuable. I would not use this method on Granny’s heirloom cast iron. For that, I would get out the steel wool, get to scrubbin’ and develop tendinitis.

I can’t speak to whether vinegar baths, oven cleaner (seems toxic), electrolysis and lye baths work on rusty cast iron, because I haven’t tried those methods.

Cast Iron Care: Take care not to shock your cast iron, which can cause it to crack. Bring the cast iron to temperature along with the heat source. Never place cold cast iron onto a hot stove, into a hot oven or fire. Never place hot cast iron into the fridge/ freezer, cold water or an ice bath. Remember ‘hot with hot’ and ‘cold with cold’ and your cast iron will be just fine.

Pa Kettle decided to get in on the action by providing an actual kettle that he found in his basement when they bought the home. It’s been unloved and in Basement Purgatory for 50+ years. I’m not sure if it is salvageable, because the rust is thick and the pot is severely pitted. But, why not throw it in and see what happens?

This is a good project to start in the morning, as you need several hours for the fire and several hours for cooling. To prepare the fire, I placed a few logs into the fire pit and laid the pots on top. I positioned the pots so that as the logs burned down, they drop toward the center of the fire, not out of it. Then I covered the pots with more logs. The idea is to have the fire reach the entire pot, including the undersides.

Bring out a few of those great fire starters and put them to work. Once you have a roaring fire, it’s time to relax.

Contemplate the meaning of life, sing a few campfire songs and break out the hot dogs or s’mores fixin’s.

Without leaving the fire unattended, burn the cast iron for a few hours (I like a minimum of three hours) and then let the fire die out.

Don’t pour water to extinguish the fire, as that could shock the cast iron.

Once, the ashes cooled, I pulled the pots from the fire pit. See that red stuff? It’s red rust. This is oxidation at high temperature when raw metal is exposed to the air. Not to worry, though. A quick scrub with a paste made of baking soda and a splash of water, will take most of that off. I’ve read that a thin coat of red rust helps the first layer of season to bond. I have no idea if that’s true, but I’ll soon find out!

Pa Kettle’s pot will need another turn in the fire.
I would like to get all of the brown rust off of it before moving on to the next step.

Thoroughly rinse the baking soda off of the cast iron. If all the old season has been removed and the raw cast iron is exposed, the pot should be matte grey.

I placed a large baking sheet onto the lowest oven rack and put the pot on the top rack. I turned the oven to 300° and left the pan in for about five minutes. This ensures that the pan is completely dry before seasoning.

After drying the pot, let it cool a little, then season with oil or grease of your choice. I spread an extremely light layer of bacon grease over the pot, coating it entirely. Wipe excess grease off with a paper towel and place the pot back into the oven upside down. This allows any excess grease to drip out of the pot onto the baking sheet below. I usually season my cast iron between 375° and 425°, so I crank the oven up at this time.

After about an hour in the oven, I turn it off and let the cast iron cool down. Then I repeat this step. Again. And again. And again; building thin layers of season each time. Once the season is built up on the pot, it is ready for daily use in the kitchen.

A few more tips on cast iron care: Moisture is the enemy of cast iron. Never let cast iron soak in water. After use, and while your pans are still warm, quickly rinse, dry and re-oil your cast iron. If there are food particles cooked on, use a plastic scrub brush to remove them.

Cast iron is for cooking and baking, not food storage. You’ll need some vintage Pyrex refrigerator boxes for that. *winks*

Because our kitchen is small, we stack our cast iron for storage. Scratches can damage the season, so we place a microfiber cloth between each pan.

Take good care of your cast iron and it will serve you for a lifetime. Who knows; maybe the grandkids will fight over your collection one day?

For more reading on caring for cast iron, here’s an interesting article:

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Window Boxes on the Garage – An Upcycling Project

The garage at Arthurized Home once serviced our small neighborhood.
The previous owners supported themselves and their 14 children with income from this garage. (As much as I love a good exaggeration, that’s not one. They really raised 14 children in our 950 square foot cottage! But that’s a story for another day.) The garage has a pit for changing oil and a beam for hoisting engines. There’s a fireplace out there; you can see where someone closed up a 4′ x 8′ window (yet another story) and blocked up a bay door. We’ve got some future goals for fixing it up, but for now it’s a utilitarian eyesore.

Why yes, that is a leaf blower hanging in the window!

A few years ago while my sister was visiting, we stumbled upon the Funky Junk Interiors website. She made the brilliant suggestion that I should “junk up” the garage. I started with some upcycled window boxes made from discarded metal sawhorses.

Here’s how: Wearing safety glasses and heavy leather gloves, my husband cut the legs off of the saw horses, leaving the attachment and folding the cut edge down into the box. (You could file the sharp edges if you like. We didn’t bother.) He then drilled holes for hanging along the back of the window boxes using a drill bit for metal. Next he positioned the boxes and marked on the wall where the screws would go. Then he drilled pilot holes into the cinder block using a masonry drill bit. He aligned the boxes with the pilot holes, placed a large washer over the holes and secured each one with a masonry screw.

Using my coffee filter trick, I blocked the gaps on the corners and filled the planters with soil and flowers. Because the planters are shallow, I use a moisture retaining potting mix. I feed and water these on the same schedule as my other outdoor container plants. When it’s hot outside they get a drink twice a day.

While I wouldn’t recommend installing them on a playhouse, (hello, potential sharp metal edges) these window boxes would be great on a deck, a potting shed or other outbuilding. A she-shed? A chicken coop?
I could go on all day.

If you make this project, I’d love to see it! Email your pictures to arthurized dot home at gmail dot com.

Copyright 2019 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.