Change the Knobs, Not the Cabinets!

When I saw this set of maple kitchen cabinets I was just as impressed with the contrast between the porcelain knobs and the wood as I was with the wood itself — and that’s saying a lot for me! The owner explained that the cabinets first had wooden knobs, but they got visually lost in front of the wood cabinets. So, she simply got a set of porcelain knobs and a screwdriver and upgraded her cabinets in just a few minutes. Next time you’re in your local home improvement store, swing by the hardware aisle and check out your options for your kitchen or bathroom cabinets.

Until our next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

Vintage Recycled Wainscoting

It may look like a major project, but in truth putting salvaged wainscoting up on a plain, boring wall is pretty easy. I simply cleaned these old tongue-and-groove pine boards with Minwax® Wood Cabinet Cleaner, then protected them with satin Wipe-On Poly. After cutting them to length with a hand saw, I used a lightweight nail gun to attach them to the wall, then hid the ends (and the nail heads) with baseboard (bottom) and chair rail (top). If you can’t find any old boards, you can stain and finish new unfinished wainscoting available in home improvement stores.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

Making New Wood Look Old

I have always collected antiques, even having stuffed a large oak rocking chair in my tiny dorm room in college. But antiques today don’t fit every budget or every house, including those with active children and pets with claws! So here are a few tips for making a new, inexpensive piece of unfinished furniture look like a vintage antique. First, sand it with #180-grit sandpaper to open the pores and smooth out the wood.

Before you go crazy “distressing” it, study real antiques and duplicate their signs of age. I use coarse sandpaper or a file to round sharp corners, soften edges, and add a few scratches.

Rather than beating the top with a chain, I use a hammer to carefully place a few shallow dents.

I then grab a small nail and use it and the hammer to produce a few clusters of worm holes, often found in antiques that have been home to some powder-post beetles.

Next, a coat of one of my favorite shade of brown, Minwax® Wood Finish™ in “Special Walnut.” Normally I would first apply Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner, but since that product did not exist a hundred years ago, I skipped that step. The resulting blotchiness in pine is usually something we want to avoid, but since we are making this piece look old, we want some unevenness in our coloration, right?

The final step: two or three hand-rubbed coats of Minwax® Antique Oil Finish for a satin, yet protective, sheen. We get the best of both worlds: the look of a vintage antique combined with the protection of a modern finish — all for a fraction of the cost of an antique!

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

Texas Memories

My wife Leigh Ann grew up in Texas, where she spent weekends riding her horse on her grandfather’s cattle ranch. Somewhere along the way she picked up this handcrafted, wooden longhorn steer, which I spotted today on the floor in our horse barn. All it took was a quick cleaning with Minwax® Wood Cabinet Cleaner and a light coat of aerosol Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish to bring it back to life….

and when she gets home from work tonight, she’ll find her longhorn steer resting alongside a picture of her grandfather on the mantle in our family room.

I think she’ll like it!

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce