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.


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.


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! 



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.


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.)


None of the three colors above was just quite 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.


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.


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


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


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 not to---to keep it as antique as possible.


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.


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!

Tuesdays at Our Home

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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Sandi Magle