An Arts & Crafts Magazine Stand

It’s no secret in my family that my favorite style is Arts and Crafts, so when I saw a need for a stand to store our magazines and catalogs, I decided to make one in the Arts and Crafts/Mission Oak style from, what else? — oak, of course!

I started as I do every project: with a light sanding using #180-grit sandpaper. This not only removes minor nicks and scratches, but the sandpaper also opens up the pores of the wood so that they will accept our stain and finish.

While you can select any color of stain you like, I opted for Coffee in the  Minwax® Gel Stain line because it brought out the grain of the oak and matched the color we so often find on antique Arts and Crafts furniture. You simply rub on the Gel Stain, let it absorb into the pores for a few minutes, then wipe off any extra stain.

Whenever possible, I stain my boards before assembly, using protective rubber pads on my clamps to prevent them from leaving any dents in the wood.

After the glue had dried, I sealed the stain and protected the wood with two coats of clear  Polycrylic® Protective Finish in the semi-gloss sheen. I also could have opted for clear  Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane, but since it was too cold to open the garage doors while I was applying my finish, I elected to use the water-based Polycrylic, which has no fumes needing to be vented.

And here’s a quick finishing tip:  to duplicate an authentic vintage Arts and Crafts finish, gently rub out your final coat of dried finish with a fine synthetic pad dipped in  Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax in Special Dark. As soon as the wax begins to harden, buff it out with a clean, soft cloth for a finish so smooth your friends will assume it was done professionally.

Here is my completed magazine stand next to a vintage Arts and Crafts library table in my office. The combination of the Minwax® Gel Stain, Polycrylic® Protective Finish, and the Paste Finishing Wax really came together to give the new oak boards an authentic Arts and Crafts look.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

A Cure For Musty Drawers

It’s a sad truth:  the worst thing you can do to a piece of furniture is to store it. Not only will mice set up housekeeping in it, but dirt, mold, and mildew also appear, along with the musty odors associated with all of the above.

A shop vacuum with a bristle brush attachment will dislodge and remove the dirt and mouse droppings, but what about the odor left behind?

I’ve tried every suggested home remedy, from moth balls and cedar chips to baking soda and bleach, but they either are ineffective against strong odors or take too long to overcome the smell. So, instead of trying to pull the odor out of the wood, I simply seal it in — with a few coats of the aerosol version of Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish.

Not only does the water-based finish seal in the odors, but it leaves behind a protective finish that makes the inside of the drawers look as good as the outside. Its a two-for-one advantage!

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

A Not So Lazy Susan

A few weeks ago I turned a weary and battered three-drawer nightstand into a handy rolling stain-and-finish cart, loaded with my brushes, rags, stirring sticks, openers, and gloves.

Yesterday, while going through some drawers in my workshop, I came across the mechanism for a turning Lazy Susan that was leftover from a television project. Rather than let it go to waste any longer, I had an idea.

I attached it first to the bottom of a circular table top I had once built but never used (sense a pattern here?) because an unsightly crack developed down the middle.

After giving it an extra coat of  Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane for protection, I then attached it to the top of my rolling cart, making it possible for me to spin it to bring something from the back to the front. Or I can spin it while spraying or brushing a stain or finish on a small project, making it easier to get to all sides. Two unused items = one useful project.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

A Corner TV Stand Made to Fit

After growing tired of one of our televisions sitting on a wobbly metal cart, we went looking for a corner cabinet in a furniture store. As it turns out, we did not have many to choose from — and none that would fit our particular corner – so I decided to use some pre-glued pine panels from my local home improvement center to build my own.

After a light sanding with #180-grit sandpaper, I cut out my five pieces:  two rectangular sides, two triangular shelves, and a triangular top, shown back on my first photograph.

This was a perfect project for Minwax® PolyShades®, a one-step stain and finish. I wasn’t sure which color of Polyshades® would compliment both the pine boards and the rest of the room, so I tested three different colors on my scraps, then picked my favorite.

The Pecan version of Polyshades® gave me the exact color and finish that I wanted, adding just enough stain to the pine to give it some character, while still letting the grain show through.

Once each piece was dry, I assembled my corner cabinet in my garage, using finish nails to hold the shelves in place.

And now you can see the finished project. The Pecan color matched the recycled heart pine flooring, while remaining slightly lighter in color than the recycled pine wainscoting. This enables the corner cabinet to stand out against the slightly darker lower section of the two walls.

Got time for one more tip?

I cut narrow strips from one of my scrap boards to go across the back of each shelf to prevent any CDs, video tapes, and books from falling off the back.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce