Feast Watson Re-Love Project
I am thrilled to be part of the Feast Watson Re-Love Project for 2015 with all proceeds going to one of my favourite causes, the Salvos. The project combines two of my favourite things, opp shopping and furniture restoration. My entry, this lovely nest of tables, was discovered at the Salvos Tempe store in Sydney for a total cost of $165. Like any good shopper, I considered the cost and justified it to being the equivalent of three solid pieces of furniture at $55 each. A good buy therefore!
Seeing the potential in a second hand piece can be a bit of a challenge. I tend to look beyond the dust and search for a piece that has good shape, is well made and sturdy, worthy of my love and attention and, overall, a piece that has the ability to be transformed into something completely modern and eye catching.
I'm delighted with the outcome of these tables. They were indeed a labour of love and were incredibly time consuming to work on but so worth it in the end. I do hope they not only raise plenty of much needed cash for such a needy cause as the Salvos but that they also go on to be thoroughly appreciated as 're-loved' furniture and enjoyed all the more, the second time around.
Bringing the love back
To take the tables back to bare timber was important to me. I wanted to see what I was dealing with and sanding these beauties was by no means a small task. Many hours and sanding pads later they revealed their true selves. They had great bones and a beautiful blonde grain. Here was when I had to make a tough decision, should I take the easy road and simply stain each table a different colour or stay with my original plan of modern marquetry? To create such a complex geometric pattern using multiple stains on the bare timber would have been tricky as the stains would more than likely bleed into each other and not create the pattern I wanted with sharp definition between each.
Keep to the plan
I chose to stay with my original idea and got on with preparing the tables ready for veneer. The first part of the transformation began by re-staining the legs and inside surfaces with Feast Watson Japan Black Proof tint Stain. I love this product for it's deep, dark molasses hue. Amazing on furniture and bare floor boards for that warm black everyone is after right now. The remaining surfaces would be left bare, ready to be covered.
Now things would get a bit tricky as I have never veneered such a large project before. Where do you even find the stuff? After a bit of research I was delighted to find a supplier in Mt Kuring-Gai, Sydney known as New Age Veneers. They were fabulous to deal with. Not only a font of knowledge on the subject but even donated all of the sheets I would need for the project as was for The Salvos. Worth a shout out, such great service!
Each sheet would require a light sand to smooth the grain before the stains were applied. I stained one full sheet in Feast Watson Japan Black Prooftint stain. For the others I chose three Liming Whites from Feast Watson in shades: Armadale Ash, Danish Dust and Provincial Coast.
On your marquetry
With each sheet of veneer stained and dry, triangle templates were made in sizes to suit each table. A step worth taking as this would keep cutting every piece as accurate as possible. Cutting the veneer was possibly the most time consuming part of the whole project. It's super fiddly stuff and wants to snap at the drop of a hat! It took two full days, a lot of patience and a very sharp blade to cut all of the triangles needed.
Working one side at a time, a colour sequence was established and each triangle was carefully glued down using PVA woodworking glue. To prevent the corners from curling and lifting while drying, flat boards were placed on top, weighed down by dumb bells overnight!
Once dry the edges were carefully trimmed using a blade and touched up with extra stain here and there to sharpen the look. To finish, three coats of Intergrain Ultraclear Satin Varnish were applied for a super durable finish.
Great DIY. :)
Tara is one of television’s most recognised faces and has been presenting decorating, style and craft segments continuously for over fifteen years.