Category Archives: Quick Fixes & Touch Ups

How to Restore a Framed Stained Glass Window (Again)

Tools Needed:

  • Minwax Indoor/Outdoor Helmsman Spar Urethane
  • Wood Glue
  • Hand Sander
  • Clamps
  • Cotton Swabs

Oak-Framed Stained Glass Window Damaged by Sunlight & Rain

Found: Stained Glass Window from Architectural Salvage

Twenty years ago (at least) I built an oak frame for this stained glass window I had found at an architectural salvage warehouse, which is the best place to find bargains like this! I gave it to a family member, who later hung it outdoors. When I recently spotted the window, it was stuck in the corner of a dark basement, falling apart. So, I took it back to my workshop.

Architectural Salvaged Oak Frame in Disrepair

As you can see, the weather had nearly erased the finish, but I knew I first had to deal with the four loose joints, as the rain had also broken down the glue holding the frame together. Follow along to see the steps I took to rehabilitate this stained glass window frame and give it a third life.

Loosening & Regluing Oak Frame Boards at Corners

1. Loosen and re-glue the boards.

I gently tapped the four boards of the frame apart, taking care not to loosen them to the point where the stained glass window would drop out of the grooves. I used a cotton swab to coat the inside of each joint with woodworker’s glue, then clamped them back together.

Sanding Oak Frame Down to Fresh Wood

2. Sand the frame down to fresh wood.

There was no possibility of saving the wood finish I had applied years ago. Besides that, the rain and sun had also discolored the surface of the oak frame, which all meant I would have to sand down to fresh wood.

Apply Minwax Helmsman Indoor/Outdoor Spar Urethane

3. Protect the wood with urethane.

Not sure just where the stained glass window would end up, I opted to protect the wood with Minwax Indoor/Outdoor Helmsman Spar Urethane, which has better resistance to moisture and sunlight than any interior finish.

Oak-Framed Stained Glass Window in Wood Shop

Right now the finished oak-framed stained glass window is hanging in my workshop — and both the window and I are hoping everyone will forget where it went….

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

 

 

 

Restoring a Vintage Bookstand

I never stop looking for antiques that I can bring to life back in my workshop – hopefully with just a little effort. So, when I spotted this forgotten, expanding bookstand I knew it had to come home with me.

I start each project like this, by first carefully vacuuming off the dust and dirt using the soft bristle attachment on my shop vacuum.

Since the original finish was intact but dry, I decided all it needed was a coat of Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax. I opted for Minwax’s darker version of the Paste Finishing Wax, as it also disguises any nicks and scratches in the dark oak.

Once it began to harden, I buffed the Paste Finishing Wax with a soft cloth to bring out a protective sheen.

And while this method of restoration does not always result in a dramatic change, it always feels good to know that you have saved a vintage piece while preserving its original appearance – all in just a few minutes time!

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

 

 

Making Those Missing Shelves

You may recall that I recently transformed a discarded 1990s microwave cart into this rolling serving center. However, each time I looked at the inside of the doors all I could see was the opportunity to add a pair of shelves to them.

So, I picked up some half-inch thick oak boards from my local home improvement center, then cut them to fit the inside of each door.

These thin boards were easy to glue and nail together, but I was left with some unsightly nail holes. To fill them, I squeezed in a small amount of Minwax® Stainable Wood Filler, which I sanded smooth as soon as it dried.

To match the rest of the serving center, I left the oak boards natural, but sealed and protected them using Minwax® Clear Aerosol Lacquer.

The lacquer dried quickly and it was easy to attach my shelves to the inside of the doors with small L-brackets positioned under each of the two shelves. Now when I open the doors, I no longer see a missed opportunity!

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

A Rolling Holiday Serving Cart

The holidays are always a time for parties, so when I took a closer look at this 1990s rolling microwave cart Leigh Ann had been using to pot plants in our garage, I got an idea.

All it had was a thin natural finish over the birch boards, so a light sanding with #150-grit sandpaper quickly removed it, along with the unsightly water marks.

Inside the cabinet was a single shelf and an open storage area, which I decided to use for a wine rack. Needing just four boards, it was easy to cut and nail together.

Under the shelf, I wanted to hang glasses. Using some scrap wood, I made some simple glass racks.

Birch boards always look great when kept natural, so I knew this was an ideal project to finish with four coats of Minwax® Clear Aerosol Lacquer. Note: see how I have my garage door open for ventilation? You can see, too, how the Aerosol Lacquer brings out the natural rich color of the wood.

Remember those dated round, white porcelain knobs? I replaced them with a more contemporary pair of square knobs.

When I was done, the rolling cart looked like this when closed….

And like this when open. The white center section is the original formica, after I scrubbed off the dirt from Leigh Ann’s potting projects. And in case you want a closer look at the interior….

Here it is.

So, the next time you are out hitting the thrift shops, keep an eye out for an out-dated kitchen cart you can easily transform into a contemporary serving cart.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce