I was talking to a friend about writing my dissertation and they mentioned that their house had never been so clean when they were studying, as it provided that excuse to get up from the computer.
Well, my house is a bit of a mess, but I found my excuse to escape into the garage and finally unpack some of my tools after the move. I had come by an old chair which had reminded me of the one my Grandpa had in the kitchen, although this one was painted in a dark brown varnish and looking a bit sorry for itself. I’m often on the lookout for furniture as it tends to be hard wearing and has a style about it that isn’t the IKEA catalogue (although to be fair to IKEA, I do love my sofa). There are lots of places, such as local auction houses, car boots or good old eBay that have these items for very little money compared to new items. Some will need a little bit of TLC, but its worth it to bring a vintage piece back into the home.
So, the first step was to strip the layers of varnish down and see what was beneath. At first this always seems like fun, when the liquid makes the varnish bubble up and you scrape back to reveal the wood. However, after a bit the knees and back start to hurt a little and there is always the bit that you missed! Having got rid of most of the varnish, it was time to take it out into the garden to spray with water to get rid of the residue. I have to say a big thanks to the man upstairs for providing fantastic sunshine, so it dried quickly.
Of course this is the bit you notice the bits that have been left behind, and its time to get the sander out. Having stripped it down it was time to give the wood a little bit of nourishment by covering the chair with beeswax using some very fine steel wool. I let it soak in overnight and then rubbed it down the next day. Finally, I was able to move it into my bedroom, where it is making it self useful by collecting clothes!
So time for me to get back to writing this dissertation, although, I have just found an old kitchen step stool on eBay, I’m sure it wouldn’t take much……..