Coffee Blog

Vanilla Hazelnut and Bewitched Blue

A vanilla hazelnut blend graces my mug this morning. It is a bit bitter but welcome and I sip slowly as I stare at the sky this morning. It is one of those mornings where there is blue sky but a heavy haze lingers as the atmosphere decides whether it wants to rain or let the sun shine down. I note that there is no breeze and the trees and plants within my view sit unmoving and settled in the quiet.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that on Wednesday I posted a picture of the school dresser that I had refinished; I used it for my photo prompt. I have since been working on re-refinishing 2 chairs. It was pointed out to me that re-finishing these pieces of furniture is a good healing process and basically a rebirth of sorts. The pieces that I have been working on are from my late mother’s home. Here is a picture of the chairs that I am working on. I am going for a farmhouse feel.

The project.
Painted in Bewitched Blue
Placed at my table and looks great.

I love the act of transforming the piece itself. Picking colours of stain and paint is so fun and selecting any needed accessories like material and handles…I love it. Gary A Wilson cautioned me last coffee share to be careful because I could catch the “refinishing bug.” If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am there. It really is an enjoyable process! In between steps on the chair I have started another piece. It is a small little dresser thing that I had in my room as a child and it had been my mother’s as a young girl. Anyway, she had taken it back into her own bedroom at some point and it remained there until she died. Now I have it and it has so many memories to it. Refinishing it feels exciting and like I am honouring those memories. I will share pictures of it when it is done.

If we were having coffee I would confess that the bulk of my spare time is going into the furniture. So, my puzzle sits unfinished and I haven’t been writing much. I am still reading The Druid of Shannara which is taking me an embarrassingly long time but I haven’t been focused enough to read lately.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I wanted to take a few minutes and hear about your week because we really haven’t had time for a proper virtual visit in a while. So, how are you? How was your week?

By Shari Marshall – 2020

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Eclectic Alli. I hope you have a chance to join us for a virtual cup: here.

6 thoughts on “Vanilla Hazelnut and Bewitched Blue

  1. Thank you for the coffee this morning and I LOVE all your refinishing work! I never thought about it but I can see the therapy in honoring your mom’s and families pieces and you are doing a beautiful job. Love, love, love the bewitched blue chairs! My favorite color is blue! 💙 It’s going to be 103 degrees this weekend here where I live so trying to get to my horses early to beat the heat. It cools to the 70’s at night so we do get some reprieve and the heat is a dry heat with no humidity. It still feels very hot! Lol 😊 I hope you have a wonderful weekend! ~Diana ❤️

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  2. Yep – you’ve got it my friend so I predict there will be more stories reveled as old finises are removed to release an old personality or history in prep for something new.

    In college I started a small painting and refinishing company in Washington State (just a tad south of you I think) and one of my customers had a home full of wood that she loved, but needed some loving attention. I knew just enough to know that I wanted her work and that I risked going broke doing it.

    You would love one story that came from it.
    She had a set of built-in cabinets that were about 9 feet above the floor in a hallway across for a set of high windows that each day allowed the sun to bake each door of those cabinets.

    “Please refresh them for me. They just look old and neglected.”
    “Okay, let me grab a ladder and check them out.”

    I did and what I found was scary. They were gorgeous tight grained wood with a bleached cherry color that I could easily re-stain before sealing with a matte clear coat but as I opened and closed each door, I noticed first that they were warped and not fitting as they must have when they were new.
    I looked closer and notice hundreds of small cracks per square inch that followed the grain, all too small to worry about the wood breaking, but why would this be happening, Those windows across the hall were the problem. The sun was baking the natural oils right out of the wood and over the years, the unbaked wood on the inside stayed as new while the outside baked and contracted from the daily sun.

    Now, the way good wood stain works is that good wood oil of some kind is mixed with a solvent like mineral spirits or good old fashion paint thinner. Dried wood easily absorbs the thin viscosity of the stain.

    I realized that this wood was not ready for coloring yet, but the outsides needed lots of wood oil infused back into the wood to reverse at least some of the sun damage.

    I sat down with my paint & stain store owner and we built a strategy of mixing down some of his best wood oil with thinner, wiping each door by hand, which would make it look wet, but as the thinner and oil sunk deep into the wood, it carried that oil with it. The thinner evaporated quickly and left the oil inside as deep as the thinner could carry it.
    I applied at least 6 very wet coats and came back the next day to see how they dried out.

    The result: that wood looked like new. All those cracks had swollen shut and the wood doors were, YES! no longer warped. They looked healthy and ready for it’s new coloring.

    I returned it to a new, but light cherry color she preferred and finished it with a porous matte sealer that would last many years and suggested drapes for those windows. She did not want to install drapes to protect them so, “That’s fine, but you’ll need to watch them and repeat this work most likely in several years.

    She ooo-ed and ahhhh-ed when she saw the final result, paid me well for my time and hoped that I was still around when they were ready for another treatment.

    I wasn’t. College finished up. My new wife finished her degree and we went after better paying jobs. Work then took us back to California but I still recall that cabinet job in Bellevue Washington and the love of rubbing solvents and oils into wood and how I caught the refinishing bug.

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    1. That is a wonderful little story, thank you for sharing. I can totally see how that would draw into the love of refinishing; what a satisfying feeling it must have been to see the great finished product!


  3. I’ve just recently taken to sanding down our kitchen table. It came with the house, a monster of a thing that’s had it’s bashes and bruises. Feels like I’m not the only one to have had a go. But not a very good one so I’m taking my time with it, and feels good to be making something right with the world.

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    1. I have a kitchen table to refinish as well. However, I plan to cut it down and make it into a coffee table. I will share the project once I get it started and finished. Good luck with your table.

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