Sunday, June 29, 2014

From TIY to DIY

I think I just got a high from sanding.

And I can't say wearing a mask or respirator would have prevented it. It's the kind of high that comes after beginning a project that's been shelved for months, or even a year. It's the kind of high that comes after even the slightest bit of success, where you can see that things are going in the right direction. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a "talker" and not a "doer" when it comes to DIY (so I guess that makes me a TIY-er?). Which is why I'm patting myself on the back right now for [partially] dismantling my naked Ikea Tarva chest, fumbling it out to the patio, and giving it some love with the sander.

I was on the fence about sanding everything. One of the best pieces of advice I've ever received was from a fellow crafter (Sara), who told me to "just paint that sh*t!" This was in response to the story of how I spent nearly 3x the money on supplies and tools to rehab an old credenza. Instead of just painting over the existing white paint, my boyfriend (Eric) and I insisted on sanding the whole thing down, priming it, and then painting it. In retrospect, I would have been just as well off following Sara's advice.

Eric on the other hand, is a huge advocate of sanding for surface prep. And not just sanding, but sanding three-fold. So I figured, what the hell, it's a nice day out, I've got the supplies, might as well! 

The surface of the wood on Tarva furniture is already quite smooth and soft IMO. But with Eric's advice I did the following (with a circular sander):

  1. Sanded the entire surface with 80 grit sandpaper (to "open the pores of the wood")
    1. noticed how rough it had become
    2. considered the fact that I was potentially ruining the dresser and almost ditched the sanding idea 
  2. Sanded the entire surface with 150 grit sandpaper (to "make the pores smaller" or something counterproductive like that)
    1. noticed how wonderfully smooth it felt
    2. almost considered calling it day, because how much smoother could it get?!
  3. Sanded the entire surface with 220 grit sandpaper (to be thorough and appease Eric)
    1. ran my fingers across the surface
    2. holy smoothness!
Post-sanding (can't you tell?!) and re-assembly

In addition to being super smooth, it is noticeably lighter in comparison to the other unsanded Tarva dresser. I'm not sure if this is because Ikea put some sort of protectant on it, or if the sun altered the wood color over the past year. Regardless, sanding it evened out the tones in the wood, and also got rid of a lot of careless stains that were acquired over time. To protect the top in the meantime, I've put down a table-runner.
My next victim. I swear it's darker (and more yellow) in person. 
Notice how there is more contrast in the wood grain though.

No comments:

Post a Comment