Sunday, April 15, 2018

bedroom armoire and chest of drawers finally done, installed

here is our clothes storage furniture as of this morning installed. it's done. done is good.
it replaced this temporary solution established in 2016 during an aggressive remodel of the kitchen, and bath. a wall of depressing chaos over the foot of our bed. but this is what you deal with when you insist on making all of your damned furniture.
my last blog post left off with showing the chest of drawers ready for finish, the armoire casework was completed before, and only had the drawers to complete here, in the same style as the chest
I picked up a few 3/8" rare earth magnets with metal cups that are secured with screws. these would be the cabinet door closures. they work nicely. next time i might just go with veneering over them so that they're not visible and dont "click" when they contact the door. also, as an aide to extract the magnet should i need to, i filed a slot into the side of the cup, and then fabbed a small hook from a piece of coat hanger to pull out the magnet. works.

I can't get past the milk paint layering technique that i discovered by reading/watching videos on windsor chairmakers like curtis buchanan and peter galbert. and so i set forth on another laborious and mostly unsatisfying endeavor on finishing these pieces using a black washcoat, burnished over a red one. THis time I used powdered milk paint from the old fashioned milk paint company. it i think sands better than the premixed stuff by general finishes, which to me handled much like an acrylic paint, and would gum up my abrasives when burnishing it.

anyway, black, is a merciless paint to work with. it stunned me how many small blemmishes stood out. i have a lot to learn about card scraper technique, and being more careful to be mindful of plane chattermarks. i used a cambered plane iron on the smoother. it leaves a pleasing ripple along the fibers which shows in the light and when you run your hand along the edges.

Red in the substrate. first layers of milk paint do not instill hope, but subsequent layers will improve. I sanded with 400 after the initial red coat, and scuff sanded the following layer of red. after that, a wash coat of black, and then another one.
I used some worn out 400 paper, but mostly a few scotch brand abrasive pads and then #000 steel wool for final burnishing. and then a couple layers of general finishes armrseal. the overall effect was not quite what i had in mind with some patches of black scrubbed off more than others. but the red is still very subtle underneath. it shows through on the edges of the handle facets and in a few surface patches where i scrubbed too hard. i denfinitely would like to try this finishing schedule again, but perhaps on something with a bit more assertive grain, such as pine. maybe oak? I'm kinda tired of poplar.


  1. Wow, Adam, this is a beautiful piece of work. Such a strong, balanced, elegant design, such fine detailing and finishing. A treat to look at! And I can imagine a treat to use. Bravo!

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  3. Looks great I like the two colors of milk paint..