Author Archives: Bruce Johnson

About Bruce Johnson

Author-craftsman Bruce Johnson has introduced millions of do-it-yourselfers, craftspeople and antique collectors to the world of wood finishing and antique restoration. As the official spokesperson for Minwax®, the leading manufacturer of wood finishing and wood care products, Bruce motivates people to take the initiative to beautify their surroundings. Through his many books, magazine articles and columns, as well as frequent appearances on national television talk shows, Johnson is recognized as an authority in the do-it-yourself community. Appearing on PBS, HGTV, The Discovery Channel, and currently hosting “DIY Woodworking” and “Build A Log Cabin”, on the DIY cable network, Johnson has brought the illustrious craft of wood finishing to the forefront of the American home. An expert in wood refinishing, antique restoration, and home improvement, Bruce has published more than a dozen books on these topics, including Fifty Simple Ways To Save Your House, The Wood Finisher, The Weekend Refinisher, and The Official Identification and Price Guide to the Arts and Crafts Movement. For more than 20-years, he penned an antique refinishing advice column, "Knock on Wood," which ran in dozens of antique/collectibles publications. Currently, he writes a column on Arts & Crafts for Style 1900 magazine. A rare combination of craftsman and journalist, Johnson began his career as a high school English teacher, but left teaching to set up his "Knock on Wood Antique Repair & Restoration" shop. He spent the next 10 years as a full-time professional refinisher, but eventually returned to writing. Yet, Johnson says, he won't ever be without a workbench and a couple of refinishing projects down in the basement. Johnson is also the founder and director of the Arts and Crafts Conference and Antique Show held every February in Asheville, North Carolina, at the Grove Park Inn. The conference, which includes the largest Arts and Crafts antiques show, attracts more than 1500 Arts and Crafts collectors each year to its many seminars, tours, demonstrations and exhibits. Johnson is proud to have played a role in reviving interest in designers like Gustav Stickley, who founded the Arts and Crafts movement. His latest book, “Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Furniture,” was awarded the 2009 Thomas Wolfe Literary Award. These furnishings are treasured by such collectors as Steven Spielberg and Bruce Willis, among many others.

A Landing Rescue

Before

We had friends over for dinner the other night, and while no one said anything about our worn oak landing, I could imagine the conversation on the way home: “I wonder why Bruce hasn’t done anything about their landing?”

 

Cleaner

Guilt can be an even stronger motivator than a deadline, so the next day I grabbed a mop, a bottle of Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner and went to work. In just a few minutes, I had cleaned the floor and was ready to apply a fresh coat of clear finish.

 

Can

I could have used Minwax® Hardwood Floor Reviver, but our landing gets so much use (and abuse) that I chose something even stronger: Minwax® Ultimate Floor Finish.

 

Brush

After a light sanding and vacuuming up the dust, I brushed on an even coat of this strong, clear, water-based finish. Had I been doing an entire room, I probably would have opted for a wide painter’s pad mounted on the end of a four-foot pole, just to make it easier on my back!

 

Hero

And in less time than I would have spent explaining why my landing looked so bad, I was able to transform an unsightly first impression into a positive lasting impression.

From now through September 30th, take advantage of the Minwax® Fall Home Celebration rebate and save up to $15 on select Minwax® products that make and keep your floors beautiful! These specially formulated products enhance the natural beauty of your floors and can help protect them so they look great for years to come.

Be sure to check out Minwax’s new “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax.” campaign currently going on. The theme is ‘Find. Finish. Love.,’ celebrating the thrill of finding real wood pieces – sometimes in the least expected places – and the joy of making them into something we love.

Until next time,

“If you wait until you have enough time, it will never get done.”

Bruce

 

A Quick Fix For a Worn Floor

Daisy

I can’t blame Daisy alone for our worn bedroom floor. As you can see, we get a lot of sunlight and even some moisture around our exterior bedroom door. The door (not Daisy!) is on our list to be replaced, so I did not want to do a complete floor refinishing now. The wood did however, need something to make it look better — and to provide it with some real protection.

Cleaner

Instead of stripping, sanding, and refinishing the oak boards, I opted for an easier and faster route. First, I swept up the dirt (along with a few dog hairs), then cleaned the floor with Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner.

Reviver

Within minutes, the floor was dry, so I then squirted on the water-based clear finish called Minwax® Hardwood Floor Reviver. Unlike polishes that quickly evaporate, Hardwood Floor Reviver is an actual floor finish that dries, hardens and provides a thin layer of protection.

Mop

My mop quickly spread an even coat of Reviver across the floor. As you can see, the difference is amazing.

Hero

Since Minwax® Hardwood Floor Reviver is water-based, I did not have to worry about any fumes. And it dried so fast that Daisy never even realized what I had done before coming back to take her afternoon nap.

From now through September 30th, take advantage of the Minwax® Fall Home Celebration rebate and save up to $15 on select Minwax® products that make and keep your floors beautiful! These specially formulated products enhance the natural beauty of your floors and can help protect them so they look great for years to come.

Be sure to check out Minwax’s new “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax.” campaign currently going on. The theme is ‘Find. Finish. Love.,’ celebrating the thrill of finding real wood pieces – sometimes in the least expected places – and the joy of making them into something we love.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

 

A Boxed Herb Garden

Pine Box

A friend of ours who loves to cook has a kitchen with lots of counter space, but no easy access to the outdoors. When I saw this unfinished box in our local craft store, I had the perfect gift idea.

Stain Better

I started with staining the raised portions using Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain in “Green Tea.” Once it dried, I sealed and protected the wood using Minwax® Polycrylic™ Protective Finish.

4. Hardware

And to give it some special character, I then added some inexpensive hardware on the corners.

Jars

Next, I put some decorative rocks in the bottom of some Mason jars, then planted herbs in each one, as well as a few flowers.

Hero

When it was all done, we had a decorative box filled with herbs and flowers to give to our friend for her kitchen.

Be sure to check out Minwax’s new “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax.” campaign currently going on. The theme is ‘Find. Finish. Love.,’ celebrating the thrill of finding real wood pieces – sometimes in the least expected places – and the joy of making them into something we love.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

A Mountain Wall Shelf

1. Boards

Living within sight of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I was inspired to turn these two 1″ x 4″ oak boards into a wall shelf with a mountain theme. What I liked about this project is that you can make your shelf and your mountain design whatever size you want.

2. first mt

I cut my bottom board 22 inches long, then cut some shorter boards to create my first mountain. As I mentioned, this is your chance to be creative, experimenting with different sizes and shapes.

3. second mt.

I then created my second mountain peak at the opposite end.

4. last mt

Two more boards, and my three peaks were complete. I used both wood glue, and short nails, to hold them together.

5. stain

For this project I selected Minwax® Gel Stain in “Coffee,” applied it with a brush, then wiped off any stain the wood did not absorb. Once it dried, I protected the wood with two coats of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane in an aerosol can.

Hero

Once the last coat had dried, I hung my shelf on a wall and used it to display some of Leigh Ann’s antique bottles.

Be sure to check out Minwax’s new “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax.” campaign currently going on. The theme is ‘Find. Finish. Love.,’ celebrating the thrill of finding real wood pieces – sometimes in the least expected places – and the joy of making them into something we love.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce