Monday, December 3, 2018

OLD REDO: Repairing an Antique Tree Stand.

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Maybe you will remember this Antique Christmas Fence from my post: Vintage Christmas Downsizing from two years ago.

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I had dragged home a wonderful---OLD, very OLD---Christmas tree fence mounted on a slab of wood and wheels. When I used it for two years---I selectively edited to show only the undamaged pickets in my photos. Actually, it was missing many tips and a bit rickety.

Warning: This IS NOT an antique restoration, it is an OLD REDO repair. Since I'm not planning on selling this---ever---I just want it to function and not be so fragile. My desire was to achieve a look  close to the original finish from many years ago, not to duplicate it.


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I married a craftsman, and the missing pickets and busted corner piece drove him crazy.
He did the REDO of 12 pickets and a corner post on our Dremel Jigsaw. You could hand saw a few with a coping saw, but there were so many that were needed and we have the power tools here. We also have the luxury of a power nailer--which can use different 'nails', so he chose very thin pin nails---which would do the least damage to the original structure, especially the rails.

So after the rebuild, 12 new pickets and a new corner post ----my Craftsman wanted me to NEW spray paint (not a GREEN thing to do) the whole thing to match-----HORROR! He had replaced the rickety wheels---but then---many repairs had been made on this piece over the years. 
But, I couldn't spray paint the whole thing and lose all that ANTIQUE PATINA! 

YIKES!

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I had to convince him I would be able to match the original 100 years of dirt/paint treatment---somehow with NEW  'modern' paint and some careful mixing. Drawing from my color theory course and from the stash of paints I have in the basement, (I taught craft painting for over 15 years) I pulled some of my craft acrylics and also my Liquitex Perma Enamels to test all the reds I had. I also brought up raw umber, black and a charcoal gray which I didn't have to use. (I have craft paints from 20 years ago---I store them upside down---to seal damaging air out of them) A GREEN thing to do.

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Acrylic craft paint has basically a matte sheen to it, so after testing all the colors I decided to use the acrylic PERM ENAMELS. These are a water based acrylic that dry with a semi-shiny surface. They are fabulous on glass, plastic, and just about any other surface. Downside---they tend to be transparent--so you need multiple layers of paint. (I apologize if these colors are no longer available...companies change colors just like the designers do.)

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None of the three colors above was just quite right...so I used the middle 'Country Tomato' and bits of  
Red Red and Light Burgundy. I knew I would probably have to do three coats and I could tweak the color as I went along. When I got really close to paint---I realized the fencing had once been dark green. No wonder I was going to have a hard time matching the red on top. Colors over opposite colors can really affect a finished product.

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The first coat---told me I was on the right track. Nice part about enamels, you really don't need to pre-seal the wood-the first coat does it for you.

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Yes, I told you the Perm Enamels are semi-transparent---so I wasn't concerned that the coverage was weak at best.

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After three coats, from three feet away---you honestly can't tell, which were replaced.

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Closer, the five pickets on the right are the replaced ones and the corner post---you can tell..because all the old nail holes of the older pickets have a hundred years of dirt in them.
LOL, I have no bottles of dirt,
 although I have used burnt wood---to antique cracks before a final seal on REDO-ing furniture.
I resisted touching up all the other 'flaws' and scrapes....best not to---to keep it as antique as possible.

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Next was to match the soft dull silver on top of all the pickets and posts. I had two bottles of silver in craft acrylic. I chose to use the darker one on the left. I had tested these on top of the red dry mixtures on my plate.

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To not drip---I used a foam brush and just daubed it on---once. None of the old pickets were exact or pristine. I also touched up the four corner post tops lightly as these were the most scraped. Better less than too much. Even the craftsman gave his approval...Thank Goodness!

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Now, for some NEW snow, OLD animals and toys, the tree, and oodles of lights...
and it will feel like an OLD REDO fashioned Christmas.

Warning: This IS NOT an antique restoration, it is a repair. Since I'm not planning on selling this---ever---I just want it to function and not be so fragile. My desire was to achieve a look as close to the original finish from many years ago, not to duplicate it.


All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, unless otherwise designated. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.


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