Saturday, August 2, 2008

. . . dreamed of sawdust

For the past couple of days, I have been sanding furniture to the point that my arms vibrate even when I'm not holding the hand sander and my dreams are filled with removal of varnish. My plan was to have as much furniture as possible sanded and primed so that I could take some of the smaller pieces down to the studio/basement to finish.

I read on the internet that Zinsser BIN was the stuff to use to avoid sanding. It was supposed to stick to any surface and allow for repainting. It dried fast, and was even supposed to let you paint formica. So I took off to the hardware store. I asked the paint manager about it. He had never heard of it, but I think I sold him on the stuff as we discussed it. He had a project that he had put off at home because he didn't know the easiest way to proceed, and apparently this BIN stuff was just the ticket. He kept saying, "It's shellac-based, wow." I never did understand the reason for his amazement.

I told him what I was doing. . . painting furniture. He was appalled. . . why would I paint good wood? It was a crime. I tried to explain to him that I wasn't painting good wood furniture. . . I was painting furniture that could never again be pretty with just a layer of stain or varnish. . . like that fake French provincial chest with the fake gold accents and the formica top. Or the nasty buffet that was water-stained beyond hope.

So now I have four small tables more or less ready to finish. The Zinsser BIN stuff worked pretty well, although I still needed to sand in a few places AFTER I primed it, mostly because I got sloppy and careless and was in a hurry to finish. Also because neighbor kids Grayson and Morgan were watching me, and Grayson took a paintbrush out of a pot of water and started to paint the driveway. Then they got curious and smelled the ammonia solution that I use to clean up the BIN (I probably shouldn't have told them specifically to stay away from the stuff) and I had to take time out to tend to their various symptoms.
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