Category Archives: Restoration

Repurposing a Vintage Crate

Tools Needed:

  • Minwax Wood Cabinet Cleaner
  • Minwax Water Based Polycrylic
  • 4 casters
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Dust cloth

Old vintage crate ready to use in refurb project

I’ve had this old wooden beer crate so long I couldn’t recall where I got it. But when my son Eric, who enjoys a good craft beer, asked me to keep an eye out for a vintage beer crate, I was still able to recall where I had stuck this one.

1. Clean the wood with a wood-cleaning spray

Using Minwax wood cabinet cleaner spray to clean old vintage crateNeedless to say, it had accumulated some barn dirt, so the first thing to do was to clean off the dust and grime with Minwax Wood Cabinet Cleaner and a soft cloth.

2. Apply a protective polycrylic finish
Minwax polycrylic spray

As soon as it dried, I applied two coats of Minwax Water Based Polycrylic, knowing the clear finish would protect the original stenciled letters without affecting the color. The aerosol can made getting the polycrylic inside the crate even easier than using a brush.

3. Attach casters to the bottom of the crate

Attaching casters to old vintage crate makes it mobile

Then to make it easy for Eric to move it around in his apartment, I added four low casters to the underside of the crate.

Finished vintage crate project with casters

And with his birthday coming up, Eric will soon have a unique, vintage beer crate in his apartment for magazines, books — or whatever he chooses to store in it.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

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

 

 

 

Finally! A beautiful nightstand makeover.

By: Minwax

Sarah of Thrifty Decor Chick loves sharing simple, inexpensive ways to decorate your home. Check out her latest project using Minwax® products.

This post is sponsored by Minwax®. I only work with and share brands I know and love!

Hey there!! I’m SO excited about this project my friends! It’s been so very long since I’ve been able to focus on a DIY anything since my back injury. And this one has been such a long time coming — I finally finished this up with the help of Minwax®. I work with throughout the year and their stain made this project shine!

We’ve had these nightstands for years! Goodness. I mean…this is one of my biggest procrastinations ever. 🙂 Here’s a reminder of the Tarva dressers (from IKEA) I started with:

These are small dressers but were the perfect size for a nightstand as well. I really wanted something with storage. 👍 When I put them together years ago I cut down the legs with my saw. It makes them the perfect height for by the bed and I just prefer the shorter look.

I went back and forth on a look for these forEVER. Here’s a reminder of how they looked in our old master:

I replaced the wood knobs with random IKEA ones we already had — not sure why cause it didn’t do a whole lot to help it out. 😉

I always knew I’d use stain somehow and add some trim. The exact details I wasn’t sure of. But when we moved into this house it all fell into place. My inspiration is a project for our master I haven’t even started yet — I’ll share with you (hopefully) soon!

I wanted to use a deep blue color and a dark stain. I went back and forth on whether I should stain the front of the drawers or stain the trim and top. I decided on the latter mostly because the pine these are made of isn’t necessarily the best. Lots of knots I didn’t want to accentuate.

So I started painting with no primer. I’m a total rebel! I knew I was going to have to do multiple coats no matter what. After the first coat it’s important to do a light sanding to knock down the texture that pops up with paint:

You’ll have to do that with primer as well. No need to go crazy with it — just a light going over is fine. Wipe it down with a rag or tack cloth before moving on to your next coat! (This pretty blue is called Gale Force.)

What a difference another coat makes! The grain becomes less and less noticeable:

I started on the stain while I waited on the paint to dry. I wanted to go darker this time and went for an old favorite, Jacobean by Minwax:

It’s just a yummy color! I used it on our hardwoods in the old house and it’s a beautiful dark brown without any red tones.

I use gloves and a rag to stain. Makes it super easy to apply and I find it quicker than using a brush:

It really gets the stain into the wood too — you’re really rubbing it in.

I only do one coat of stain but if you want to deepen the color you can do one or two more. Do be sure to wait till it’s dry in between coats or you’ll have a gummy mess.

Make sure your stain is dry before starting the protective coat as well. I used their fast-drying semi-gloss polyurethane because I have absolutely zero patience. 😂 Never shake your poly — it will create bubbles and bubbles are the enemy of a beautiful, smooth finish. Always stir:

Staining is my favorite because it’s immediate gratification, but poly is a close second because it really brings out the beauty of the wood:

You want to smooth out that finish as much as possible. It’s helpful to use your light source and look at the item from the side to see what needs touching up. I find a few lighter coats work much better than one heavy-handed coat.

It already looked SO good! But I knew the final addition would make it even better. I used this inexpensive lattice wood trim I’ve shown you a million times to trim out each drawer front. I stained the pieces first and then cut them down to the correct size:

A nail gun makes for quick work (I used very short nails — make sure they won’t go through the back!) but you could absolutely use glue too!

You’re going to have a rough edge if you trim them out like I did. I could have mitered the edges but I’m still using my handheld saw and miter box. (You can (affiliate) get your own here!) I knew the mitered cuts would take little more finesse. Turns out our saw was lost in the move and I need to get that figured out with the movers.

I preferred to have my rough edges facing to the side of the drawers, so I did a long piece along the top and bottom. A bit of stain covered them right up!:

And then when dry, it was time to poly these as well. See how using the light helps?:

I’m absolutely THRILLED with how this came together! Gah! I love it!

The top of the dressers stained up much prettier than I thought it would!:

I’m impressed because we’ve been using these for years without any protection. I tried to stay on top of any spills and avoided leaving drinks on them, but still, I was surprised.

I used pine trim to match the top. Different woods will stain up differently and even the same will have small differences. Pine is definitely a more rustic look, so plan accordingly:

I got the hardware half off at Hobby Lobby weeks ago and just LOVE them on here! My whole plan for this space is kind of a rustic elegance design and the nightstands fit that perfectly:

The blue looks navy sometimes, sometimes a blue green. I like them both. 🙂

I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve been looking at the pine dressers for so long or what, but I’m smitten. They’re just so pretty and…finished. 😉

I still have to finish up my husband’s side though — so close to having these done after years! Sometimes it’s a good thing that I procrastinate. I didn’t have a great vision of what I wanted until we moved into this house.

I had the lamps — I thought I had returned them and went to the basement looking for something else and there they were! I must have known they’d work perfectly!:

Of course, like usual, one finished project starts a series of changes. I plan to change out the bedskirt eventually. It looked great with our old wall color but I don’t like it in here with the drapes and dresser color:

But that I can deal with!

That photo above makes the dresser look really navy, but this one is the more true color. I am obsessed with it! It’s such a pretty blue:

Because you know I have to do it…here’s the before of this dresser:

And this is the after, with some paint, stain and beautiful hardware!:

YAY!! I’m not going to celebrate too much till I finish the other one — but YAY. 😉

If you have any questions about this project let me know! It feels so very good to get things done again after nearly six weeks!!

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