- The bed was natural wood. It was dry and had an open grain. The first step was to seal the wood. I applied two coats of shellac using my spray gun. Between each coat I sanded well with 320 grit sand paper. Shellac will shrink, so you do not want to apply subsequent layers too quickly. The consequence will be cracks in your finish. Be sure to read the label and follow the suggested dry times.
- To ensure the shellac had thoroughly dried I waited until the following day to apply a tinted bonding primer. This primer will stick to anything including metal and glass. Once dry sand again using 320 grit sand paper. Again, follow the instructions on the can, dry times can be as short as 30 minutes between coats and as long as 6 hours depending on the product and the brand.
- I waited a few days before coming back and applying two coats of lacquer. I used Luster Lac by Valspar wood. It can be purchased at Dunn Edwards or Frazee Paints. With lacquer it is important to remember that less is more. You do not want to get it on to thick. Sand between each coat using 320 grit sand paper.
- The following day I applied another two coats of lacquer.
- A few days later I used 0000 steel wool to hand buff the finish. The steel wool will remove any over spray, orange peel, or other imperfections in the finish. This step was one of the most tedious and time consuming, but it is very important to achieve a perfect, smooth finish.
- I used tack cloth to remove all of the debris from the steel wool before moving on to the next step.
- I used paste wax to polish the finish. I took a cheese cloth and folded it over so it was doubled, then I placed a big scoop of paste wax on it and wrapped it up. The wax is easy to apply in an even thin layer using this method, just enough squeezes out through the cloth. I used a circular motion to rub the wax across the surface. I waited about 15 minutes, as recommended by the manufacturer, and then I used a clean, lint free cloth to buff the wax to a lustrous shine.
- Last I used gold leaf in a squeezable tube to highlight the details of this bed. The gold leaf was applied with a small craft brush and buffed with a rag after it had dried.
Orange County, CA
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My mom is a DIY kind of gal. When I was a kid I remember trips to thrift stores, strolling the hardware store isles, and of course spending hours feeling fabric at the yardage shop. She was constantly transforming bargain buys into treasures for our home. With a fresh coat of paint or a new slipcover, she gave old furniture new life. We have always enjoyed being creative together and in 2008 we turned our hobby and passion into a business.
Alchemy fine living is a creative business. We offer furniture painting services, upholstery, and custom slipcovers. We also sell a few hand crafted items on Etsy.
I'm Deana, the author of this blog. My mom, Connie, taught me from a young age how to spot a deal at a flea market or a thrift shop. She could always spot the hidden potential of an old, worn out piece of furniture. I learned to sew when I was four years old and all through the years I helped my mom with DIY projects around the house.
In 2008 she & I turned our hobby into a business. We re-do old furniture and hand craft items for sale in our Etsy store. For those who, like us, love to DIY we offer lots of tips and advice in our tutorial videos. We also offer furniture painting, upholstery, and sewing services for those who don't want to tackle the project themselves.