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Berts
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:27 pm  Post subject: Snif ! how to keep the old, chipped paint and what finish to apply Reply with quoteBottom of PageBack to top



I have a pie-safe that is has little of the 'second original' paint left on it, and I want to keep that paint but put a coat of something over it so it does not 'shed' in the house! (I like the distressed look it has right now) Also, I want any restorations to be minimally invasive so as not to detract from its' value. I need to do some gluing, find some square nails, clean it up, clean the screens, maybe find a few pieces of molding that are missing.
___I need help and suggestion on all of this, from how to 'clean' it to fixing it.

Thanks,
Bert :|


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AsonnyA
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:22 am  Post subject:  (No subject) Reply with quoteBottom of PageBack to top

I've been mulling over your pie safe pic and what you propose the "fix" may entail and I highly suspect your approach is a bit off base.

First of all, lets get our definitions corrected: That pie safe's condition is not distressed. It is abused and/or neglected to the point of being in pretty bad disrepair. To plan a strategy for repair or fix-up, to your expectations, needs to involve understanding why the pie safe is in the condition it is in, i.e., why is the paint peeling off, why are the screen panels in poor shape, why are wood pieces/trim 1) missing, 2) have separated joints, and 3) whatever else we can't see is wrong with the woodwork... to name a few starting points.

From what I can tell, regarding the finish alone, you will not be able to simply brush off the flaking paint, then apply some clearcoat, and expect this rustic piece to be a nice, presentable, old looking hand-me-down. That procedure, to me, would turn out to be an eye sore and do more harm than good. That kind of poor "repair" would be noticeable even for a novice, in home decor/design.

What caused the paint to peel off? Was it moisture or was it oil in the wood? Cypress, sometimes, doesn't "hold" paint very well, because of the natural oil in the wood. What kind of wood is it made of?

Whatever has caused that paint to peel off is likely still at work, under neath the remaining paint. If you just brushed off the loose paint (and dirt and grime, and....), then applied a clearcoat over the remainder, your finish job may likely end up continuing to become loose and flake off. What little paint is remaining, is very likely not attached to the wood very well, at all, and may very well flake off at random, later. We can't see what is actually there and how well that paint is attached. It looks like it is on its "last leg" of attachment, to the point of not being able to be preserved as well as your thinking, expectations and/or hopes proffer it can be preserved.

Do your structural repairs, brush off any really loose paint, then re-evaluate what actually you have left, for preserving. Also, before we can start giving you reasonable advice, we would need to know more about the piece: Type of wood, possibly what caused the damage, etc.

And one last, possibly very important, thing: In all likelyhood, that paint is lead based! You might consider getting rid of that paint and preserve the remaining aesthic aspects. That paint might actually devalue the piece, especially in the condition it is in.

Sonny


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AsonnyA
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:41 pm  Post subject:  (No subject) Reply with quoteBottom of PageBack to top

Addendum: Why is that "second original" paint coming off? I highly suspect there was something wrong, or something wrong going on, with the first original paint, for the second to not have done the very job you are proposing to do with a third coating (clear finish?).... to apply a finish over a defective coating. Maybe the prep work for the second coat was poor... maybe poor paint was applied (someone's quick fix?)... lots of reasons, causes & effects, etc. to consider to prevent a recurrance of the same problem(s).

Sonny


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Bob Boardman
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:06 am  Post subject:  (No subject) Reply with quoteBottom of PageBack to top

Berts

Sonny "nailed" this one. Putting a new finish on top of 2 coats of finish/paint that's falling off is only going to give you 3 coats of finish that are falling off.

Also the lead paint comment is right on the money.

_________________
Bob "Boardman" Borders

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AsonnyA
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:03 am  Post subject:  (No subject) Reply with quoteBottom of PageBack to top

On a somewhat different note, that sure is some dark wood, under that paint. I would expect exposed raw wood to be lighter in "color', than the picture reveals... could be the picture quality, though, producing that effect, but that's a pretty good pic.

Not sure if you are here in the States, but if you are, it was common for folks, long ago, to get tired of the dark wood look, in their furniture, and paint furniture to brighten up the home atmosphere.

On the left side of the latch, the dark wood seems a little lighter.... from wear? This area would be an area most prone to being touched and worn.

Is there an old clearcoat finish under that paint and the paint is flaking off that clearcoat, and not from the raw wood, itself? If that's the case, you may have a nice distressed piece hidden by a faulty paint job (or two). An old clearcoat may/would help explain why the paint is peeling and flaking the way it is.

Sonny


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Berts
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:55 pm  Post subject:  great comments Reply with quoteBottom of PageBack to top

Sonny,
you have some great comments to attend to! The previous owner of the safe admitted the safe sat in a barn for years and covered out in the weather for two. I will look into the type of wood, etc., ...I don't want to erase its' value, but don't expect it to be a 'showpiece' of antiquity... just want it to be nice, and functional (I plan to stash current bills and paperwork and my wi-fi printer in it: all will be out of sight but not completely hidden.
I'll keep you posted, ..this past week was a wash as I worked out of town and then a big family weekend.
By the bye, I live in CALIF.

Thanks,

Bert


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AsonnyA
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:35 pm  Post subject:  (No subject) Reply with quoteBottom of PageBack to top

> .... the safe sat in a barn for years ....

Exposed to urine/ammonia fumes? This scenario just might be desirable and may have lent itself to giving the wood its dark coloration.

A note about the possibility of having an underlying clearcoat: It doesn't have to be a dedicated clearcoat, like shellac, lacquer, linseed oil or tung oil. It could be only wax applied to the original raw wood.

The pie safe doesn't look to be a high end or super-finely crafted piece. Generally, they were utilitarian pieces. Yours looks to be of pretty good craftsmanship, carries itself well and may have more value as a folkart piece, as compared to a finely crafted antique cabinet/hutch. I would assume any upper trim or "head" molding, as well as any base molding, is as uncomplicated as the half-round moldings of the screen panels.

You may get exactly what you are aiming for: 1) a good used look (rather than the term distressed), 2) a minimally invasive restoration, 3) increase (rather than decrease) the value, 4) (a bonus) end up with a pretty good showpiece, after all, if the paint can be removed without damaging that, what seems to be an, underlying coating or patina.

Some recommendations:
1) The type of wood may not matter, if there is some kind of underlying coating/wax under the paint.
2) In tackling the project, don't view the whole piece in totality. Approaching the project, that way, may contribute to your being overwhelmed by what-all may be eventually involved in accomplishing the whole mission. The whole job may consist of ~350 small jobs. Do the small jobs, one at a time.
2.a) Remove one piece (a molding) and work on it, only, i.e., clean it up, see if the paint can gently be scraped off (without damaging the (possible?) underlying coating/patina), etc. You will likely discover what needs to be done (and how difficult) with the remaining pieces. Work on the remainder of the pie safe in this fashion
3) Once it's all "cleaned up", I would, then, evaluate all the jointery, missing pieces, broken pieces, etc., to see what aspects need to be worked on and/or repaired, plan/plot how to *approach any needed repairs, etc. *Approach: If you have to disassemble something, to make a repair, will you be able to easily reassemble it, without having to do some other manipulating to some other unrelated (intact?) piece?
3.a) Push (a bit) on the top, side, of the safe, to see if the whole wobbles or shifts (major joints loose?). Do the same with a push from the front toward the back..... i.e., is it structurally sound.
4) Is everything level, does it sit on the floor well, will it need adjustable casters, are the feet (if any) stable, etc.?

Take your time, do a good job. I like projects as this.

Sonny


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Berts
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:54 pm  Post subject:  (No subject) Reply with quoteBottom of PageBack to top

Sonny,

You have been an invaluable source for this restoration project! I am finding most of the paint comes off with a soft toothbrush, I have large clamps to encourage some joints with glue, and neighbor Ed will provide a few square nails to 'square' the interest. I'll keep you posted. ___
Bert


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