Sunday, February 23, 2014

Building and Finishing a Step Stool - Part 3 with a GREAT OFFER

This is the design I put on my stool to make it extra special. I used a stencil from Muddaritaville which was provided to me at no cost, in exchange for trying it out and blogging about it. Their stencils are cut from 10 mil mylar and are strong and completely reusable. (I was NOT told what to say about the product, all results and opinions are my own) 



This is what I started with, and blogged about in my two previous posts:

I made this stool from pine, but you could use an old stool and use the same finishing techniques as I did.  Because mine was raw wood, first it was stained.  If your stool already has something on it you may not need the stain undercoat.  After staining it was painted with white milk paint. 

The bottom step looked to me like it needed something extra.  That is where the stencil came in. 



I taped the stencil on each side and then used a small stencil brush and black craft paint to fill in the cut out areas.


Normally, I hand paint designs on furniture and signs, but I thought it would be nice to try a stencil for a change.  I'm sure if I had hand painted it would have taken me well over an hour to trace the pattern and then paint it.  With this stencil, it took me only a couple of minutes!


Did you know that stencils are cut with bridging? These are the small areas that hold the pieces together that would otherwise fall out without the extra "bridges."  You can see bridging here below in the "P" and also in the "a" of the word Paris:
Below you can see where I have filled in the bridges with a small brush:

Many people do not realize that the bridges are meant to be filled in, and don't paint in the bridged area.  I suppose some people leave them unpainted by choice, but I've seen stencilled work where it is obvious that the letter or design should be painted where the bridging was.

After the painting I lightly sanded over the whole stencilled area:


 Here is the whole bottom step, so much nicer with the stencil, and so easy to use:


 I hand waxed the stool after sanding.

 Although this stool is new, it looks like it has been around for a long time, don't you think?

As I said, I got my stencil from Muddaritaville. Muddaritaville has many stencils you can use on furniture or to make signs with. Please go to their website to see them all.



Muddaritaville is offering you a 20% discount on any stencil purchases totalling $25 or more, for being a reader of my blog.  You will need to go to the Muddaritaville website and use the coupon code "fyh" at the checkout.



I hope some of you take this opportunity to get a beautiful stencil to use in your creations.  Please share the results with me, which I will post at my blog.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Building and Finishing a Step Stool - Part 2

In my previous post I showed how I made two step stools and now I'll show how I finished them.

As I said in that post, I had a buyer that wanted a stained step stool. Her preference was for a dark stain, so I used a Minwax Gel Stain. It's easy to use, just rub all over the stool (I do sections at a time) and then wipe off any extra.  I find it a bit messy and need to use rubber gloves, but you really can't go wrong.

You need to let this dry at least one day, or the stain will come off when you clear coat it.  I used four or five coats of wipe-on polyurethane.

Here's the first step stool:




I made two stools and decided to use white milk paint on the second stool. So, I stained the stool with the same stain as the first one.  Once that was dry, I painted it with the milk paint and then distressed it. Since the pine is a light coloured wood, staining as an undercoat allows a darker wood to show through the distressed areas.

 Here's a close up of the same photo:

Now I find this to really need something extra, don't you?



In my next post I will show you how I made this stool look a little better using something I have never used before.

I also will have a special deal just for you, my readers... stay tuned!


Sharing at the following blogs:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Building and Finishing a Step Stool - Part 1


I have been making a LOT of signs recently, but also have requests for furniture, which I enjoy making.  I had a customer ask if I could make a pine step stool for a visiting granddaughter.

Being a woodworker with tools to make furniture from scratch means that I can make parts to any size from rough wood.  I also am able to design pieces, so that I don't need to buy plans.


The first thing I do with a request like this is to ask what the buyer had in mind, what size, what style, and what finish. Then I go online and search for samples and we narrow it down to a preferred piece, using a photo as inspiration.


So, we will need five pieces:
                 two sides, a brace, a step, and a top


This is the (right) side piece, with the two holes drilled on the inner face, for the brace.  The holes do not go through to the outside, this way no screws are used and therefore no screws show in the finished stool:






This is the back brace, which sits between the sides.  I glued two dowels on each end which will fit into holes drilled into the side pieces:













This is the step piece, for the bottom step.  It has holes drilled right through for four dowels, two on each side:






The top is the same size as the step piece and has the same holes drilled through.  This buyer wanted a handle cut into the top which I did with my drill press and jigsaw.  You can see how I did this here, when I made my storage boxes.







Now we have all the pieces, and we can assemble the stool.


The following photo shows the brace fitted against the inner (left) side piece.  The end of the brace and the dowels are glued to the side piece:



















I use a long clamp to hold the brace in place while the glue dries on both sides:



Then I sit the top and step pieces on the sides and (after centering them there) I mark where holes need to be drilled in the top of the side pieces:


 The holes take dowels that are glued level with the top and step pieces and right into the sides:




In my next blog post I will show how I finished the first step stool.  Oh, I suppose I never said, but I made two of them. I often do this because then I can sell the one I was commissioned to make and keep one to sell later.


Sharing at the following blog parties:

Monday, February 3, 2014

Cabin in Snow Watercolour

Thank you for all the kind comments on my previous watercolour painting.

Here's another watercolour of mine, I really must get back to painting these: