Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Armoire – Part 1b

7:13 AM Comments 0

Armoire – Painted & Stained Alder

Gluing Armoire

We began construction on the armoire by tackling the upper cabinet first.  We milled and glued up the top, sides, doors, and shelves of the armoire from solid 1″ thick Alder, and the base from 1.75″ thick solid Alder.

Sanding Armoire

Here we see my younger brother, Colby, sanding a door panel smooth using the stroke sander. A stroke sander is not as even and perfect as a wide-belt sander, but it is more aggressive, depending on how much pressure you use and what grit of sandpaper you are using, and allows us to be more targeted in our sanding.

Painting Armoire

After we had sanded and distressed all the pieces, and glued the armoire cabinet together, it was time to begin the finishing process.  Since the upper and lower sections are being finished totally differently, we proceeded with finishing the upper cabinet before we had even begun construction on the armoire base.

The first step in the finishing process was to paint all the parts using a custom-color vinyl base coat paint.  We did not prime the pieces before hand, thus allowing more of the grain of the wood to show through the bright, brick red color of the paint.

Glazing Armoire

After a day or so we glazed all the painted surfaces using Sherwin-Williams Van Dyke Brown glaze.  Since the surfaces were so large, we had to apply the glaze on very heavily to keep it from drying before it could be wiped off.

The purpose of the glaze is to settle in any depression, crack, or groove which adds a nice, rich, dark look, accentuating the overall color of the piece. But the glaze needs to be wiped off the surfaces, leaving just the slightest darkening effect. If the glaze dries on the surface, it can become quite difficult to remove and will darken the surface up way to much.

Wiping Glaze

With the glaze thoroughly covering the surface, it is time to undo all that previous effort and wipe it off.

We applied the glaze before applying any sealer coat to the paint, which allowed the glaze to somewhat penetrate the Alder and darken the red paint color quite a bit. It also really accentuated the grain patterns of the Alder, since it soaked into and darkened the softer grain much more than the harder grain.

After the surfaces were glazed, we followed that up by using a brush to added some dark glaze effects to all the edges of the doors, shelves, and cabinet, and sprayed on two coats of a dull rubbed conversion varnish.