Tuesday, September 28, 2010

When you look good on the Outside, you feel good on the inside!

The sun peeked out from behind the clouds today. It was the first time it's done that in a few days. The rain's been holding on as long as it could. Although I don't mind it, we needed some rain. Apparently we were close to drought weather. Hopefully this slow and steady rain will catch us up some. I do miss sunlight, especially when I'm trying to take pictures. The light in my room is terrible, it's still not 100 percent, so that's why the pictures are terribly fuzzy today.
I continued to avoid the blue box. It spotted me in the hallway, but I pretended I didn't see it and kept on walking. It waved, I pretended to check my cell phone. I wasn't so lucky with the sewing chest. It dove in front of me, narrowly missing my toes. With it blocking my path I wasn't able to successfully skirt it. So I picked it up, dusted it off, and did some work on it.
However, I did nothing about cataloging the inside drawers. That post is coming though, you will just have to be patient to get it. The second part of drawer one has been photo edited, so I just need to get around to actually writing the blog post. Today instead I worked on the outside of the sewing chest. I've been wanting to do this since I got it. Since it's an older wooden piece it's gotten a variety of scratches in it, not to mention the sticker someone slapped on it for the estate sale. My father took most of it off when he got it, but part of it was still attached to the top. I did some research online about removing stickers from wood, since that was the most offensive part about it. The scratches, however unattractive, do add some character. What I learned is that the adhesive from stickers could actually pit the wood. I most certainly did not want that! There was a bit of issue with finding out what I should use to get rid of the sticker, no site said the same thing. Also a lot of them warned about things that could in fact damage the wood. I didn't want to do some harebrained scheme that would not only not work, but would actually ruin the piece. A lot of sites recommended testing the product on a small part of the wood that couldn't be easily seen. Since this was on the top there really wasn't any part that wasn't easily seen. It was pretty frustrating.
I did ask my parents for help, they recommended walnuts. It's an old trick. If you rub walnuts over the scratches in the wood they just disappear (not really), it really just darkens them to match the finish. It's something to do with the oils that are in the walnuts. My Grandmother's been using this method for a while, so I wasn't to worried about any long lasting issues. But, try this at your own risk, it might not work for everyone. I started off with rubbing them all over the top. I really saturated the sticker in the oil. When I was waiting for it to do it's job I worked over each scratch, my brother helped too (Did you know I have a brother? I have a sister too, but she doesn't live with us). Basically coloring in each one. It's a bit amazing the way the scratches just disappear. They're still there, it's not magic, but it really masks the damage. Looking over at it now it's still amazing the change between before and after. I ended up pulling it away from the wall and doing it to the back too. I had to take it out anyway and sweep up all the walnut pieces that fell underneath. You're really grinding down the nuts as you do this. (No crude jokes please, I've been making enough of them on my own.)
I left the oil to soak into the sticker, so it would be easier to peel. Even after letting it sit, I still had to use some muscle to get it off. And, and, and in the process I added a tiny little scratch to it. Although, I was being really careful too. I guess I was just adding just enough pressure with my fingernail. I used more walnuts and you can barely see it anymore, thankfully. There's still some spots that I need to do again, and I'd really love to find some polish to use on it, but that's for another time. Right now it looks so much better than before, the walnuts really did wonders for it. I love this cabinet! It gets prettier every day, I still can't believe it's mine. I'm a lucky boy!

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