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Treacodactyl

Repurposing furniture

Actually I hate the word repurposing, furniture butcher is more apt in this case.

I've been picking up the odd bit of cheap oldish furniture for the house as it's cheaper and better quality than modern flat packed stuff. I've also picked up the odd bit of rough stuff for the workshop.

Whilst looking at bits you often see something that's not ideal for the house but just seems too good to go in the shed. For example, I've seen a small mahogany side board. Now it's a solid two cupboard unit that could be picked up for a 10, ideal for tool storage etc. On the other hand it's possibly 150 years old and it seems wrong to get it dirty or even drill holes in it for a vice. Shocked

Thing is, if I don't buy it it could well end up in a skip. So, to butcher or not?
sean

Use it. Stuff was made to be used. Or post some pics and see if we want it. Wink
sean

Re: Repurposing furniture

Actually I hate the word repurposing, furniture butcher is more apt in this case.


Upcycling is the word nowadays. Wink
dpack

deffo get it,chop it or use it with or without adaptations .it will have more than a few sq feet of good timber for less than the price of the same area of mdf

ive recently reused an old oak piano case for a variety of nice things such as gas meter box ,interior window sills etc etc and any odd bits of carcass,offcuts etc are good firewood
Bodrighy

I get a fair bit of my wood for turning from old furniture, off cuts, factory rejects etc. Some woods, spanish mahogany is a good example, are no longer legally available and elm in any decent size is scarce so often this is the only way to get this sort of wood.

Pete
Woo

Defiantly use it. we have a workshop full of huge old French dressers, buffets, to be turned into our kitchen in the near future. we will be cutting and chopping and painting it to taste. they all came from Emmeaus centres and none was more than 50
My Mum and Dad started being all sentimental about keeping it wood colour and its such a shame... but IMO its a means to an end and would be fire wood or worse landfill if not up-cycled!
we are looking at getting a cheep kitchen for this year as we are running out of time but were horrified at the price of plastic covered toot!
you would be honouring the artisan who sweated over the piece by putting your tools in it!!! Very Happy
sean

Defiantly use it.


That's the way to go. You can do what you like but you have to perform a clenched-fist salute before you do it. Wink
dpack

Laughing Laughing Laughing Treacodactyl

Re: Repurposing furniture

Actually I hate the word repurposing, furniture butcher is more apt in this case.

Upcycling is the word nowadays. Wink

Just as long as no one mentions shabby chic pale
Treacodactyl

ive recently reused an old oak piano case for a variety of nice things such as gas meter box ,interior window sills etc etc and any odd bits of carcass,offcuts etc are good firewood

Funny you should mention pianos, I saw one that was made of a superbly figured wood, thankfully it eventually sold and didn't tempt me any longer.

My problem is I buy something intending to cut/paint/modify and then can't bring myself to. I picked up an old Target metal and wood hi-fi stand, with spikes etc, for 1. Intended to use it as workshop shelving but then dug out my old hi-fi separates. Laughing

If it's damaged then fine, but if it's in very good condition it just seems a little wrong.
Cathryn

Re: Repurposing furniture

Actually I hate the word repurposing, furniture butcher is more apt in this case.

Upcycling is the word nowadays. Wink

Just as long as no one mentions shabby chic pale

Just shabby here. I am trying to nerve myself to paint quite a bit of ours. I do not want a bedroom full of old but dark, dark wood. I don't think I'm going to be brave enough. Sad

I am having serious doubts about the oak shelf I got Jack to put into an old clothes press. It's currently a much more useful cabinet for glasses and an awful lot of sloe gin. I looked at it yesterday and thought it was probably much older than Victorian. I'm not sure Victorians ever bothered with carefully panelling the back of anything.

Anyway Treac, we are expecting before and after pictures of waxed and carefully distressed edges, delicate sloan colours... Wink
Treacodactyl

Speaking of dark furniture, that's one thing I'll take up with any old ghosts I see wandering about the place. Why on earth was it fashionable to stain everything so dark?

I've got an nice roll top oak desk, very useful and well made. It would be lovely in natural oak but it's a bit dark at the moment as it was stained dark brown. Rolling Eyes Sadly it looks like a spirit stain so, apart from the worn edges, it's going to stay mostly dark I fear.

I don't mind painted furniture, by the way. It's the take-a-faily-decent-looking-piece-paint-and-then-scape-it-about-a-bit-to-make-it-look-worse-than-when-you-started look I'm not keen on.
tahir

We're "repurposing" MIL's sewing machine cabinet as a bedside. Old furniture is way better than new, that's why we ended up making some; everything we could afford was crap dpack

the dark staining of oak etc was a victorian gothic fashion statement that carried on up to the 1930s it was intended to simulate the colour of ancient wood that had many applications of linseed oil/wax/smoke ,oxidation etc etc .the real stuff started off pale but they missed that thought.

a bit like the "shabby chic"thing with paint and a wire brush.

if the timber has the depth to make it worth while a run through a thicknesser to take a few mm off the surface will often get down to the natural colour .it depends somewhat on the type of oak as some is non porous and some you can use as a drinking straw but tis worth a go .

a plane and a sander is hard work but will also do the job

ps what looks like stained wood is often a dark varnish that only sunk in a little which will come off with caustic or nitromors and a good sanding,at the mo im looking at a bit that was varnished dark and part of a fire surround which has come up to just darker than a manilla envelope colour by that method.

with good timbe tis worth experimenting before you go for the primer /uc and gloss Wink
Cathryn

dpack, did I ask you already? I want to paint floorboards white including the dark stained surround, you know proper Victorian edging round a carpet, finish. Will ordinary floor paint cover it or is it likely to bleed through? It's a bedroom and won't get much wear and nice and smooth so I don't want to fiddle with it too much. dpack

sand it,wash it with sugar soap and follow the instructions that go with the floor paint as to primer ,uc or whatever

i might be inclined to use a primer if the after sanding it is a bit patchy

ps a neat trick for caulking the gaps is to mix some of the sanding dust with animal size glue .spread it and press it in with a plastering trowel dont worry about bits on the surface ,dry and then give a final sand.

that mix sands off the surface easily unlike pva mix or fillers and soaks up paint to become strong and flexible.it lasts much better than squirted fillers etc etc . the edges between skirting and floor are best done with decorators acrylic caulk which has a good coefficient of expansion to allow for movement ,if you have a dulux decorator centre nearby their own brand stuff is cheap especially if you get a box of ten(if you are doing a whole house it will get used before it sets in the tube) and quite good

ps use a roller on a stick to do the painting. Wink

grease is your enemy on floors ,gravey,old make up ,candle wax etc etc will mess with paint so good prep is never wasted time.
dpack

ps i know you dont want to fiddle with it too much but sanding will proved a key for the paint which a quick wash will not ,it will last a lot longet and look a lot better with some prep.

a coat with a roller on a stick is very quick but some extra hours time on prep adds years to how long before it starts to look like it needs redoing
dpack

pps if it is undamaged(plumbers and sparks can be messy) tongue and groove you can omit the between board caulking but still do the edges to avoid drafts Cathryn

Good advice, thanks. I will lightly sand it and caulk the edges, it's huge though. Going to be a long job. dpack

a industrial floor sander will do it ever so quick if you hire one and get a few bands of 40 grit and a few of 120 gt about 20 quid from jewsons for 24 hrs + maybe another tenner for the belts you use(other hire firms might have different prices

two passes rough two fine should take half a day ish.by hand sander it will take a long time.you need ear defenders Wink
Mistress Rose

Dpack, you saying dark oak stain was used to give an air of age to furniture reminded me of the loom I had made for the 17th century village in Gosport Hampshire. I had a choice of pitch pine or ash, so decided on ash, which of course is white. Lots of people said the loom couldn't be of the right period because it was so pale, but they had only seen even Victorian ones that were of course the original rather than reconstructions. When they were made all of them would have been pale wood coloured as they would probably not have been stained.
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