Sunday, September 2, 2012

Antique Vanity Makeover - Part 1

I was looking for a kitchen island or cart for the kitchen, but couldn't find anything I liked - for the right price, that is!  I started looking for something that could work on Kijiji and found this vanity:

 The dimensions fit and so did the price ($60 - more than I would normally pay, but I could see the potential in this piece, plus it was for the house so I didn't have to worry about resale value).
I loved all the detailing, especially the legs and scrolls.  The vanity (which I'm going to start calling an 'island') has quite a few places where the veneer was chipped, and some was lifting.  For some excellent tutorials on how to deal with problem veneer, visit 4 The Love of Wood  out in Langley, BC.  You'll also get lots of inspiration there because Kristy's work is amazing!

I started patching up the veneer and other problem areas first.  I want to keep the top drawers 'au naturel' because I like the decorative veneer, but some of the drawers were missing large chunks in the corners.  My solution to this problem was to cut a clean edge on the old veneer on the drawer, and, using some salvaged veneer from another project created patches for the missing pieces. Because the pieces were right on the corners of the drawer, they were difficult to clamp so I used what I had on hand - painter's tape - to keep the veneer in place.  I used plain old carpenter's glue - it does the trick every time!

After the veneer pieces dried, I sanded the faces of the drawers.  You can clearly see the patches below.  I had some ebony wood stain on hand, so decided to stain the faces with that, mostly because I was too cheap and too lazy to go and pick up anything else.  And maybe also because it was 10pm and all the stores were closed!

I put extra stain on the 'new' veneer corners to help them blend in with the rest of the veneer.  It's not perfect, but its much better!  Stay tuned for Part 2 - where I'll show you some other prep steps before painting. 

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