Monday, 27 August 2018

Interior progress

Hi Everyone

I hope you are all well and have been enjoying Summer. We've had lots of sun and blue skies which, like so many of you, results in less time spent mini-ing!

I've done more on the interior of the private rooms above the shop - where the owner will live and entertain friends and clients. Despite liking the shape of this cabinet I wasn't in love with the overall finish of it. The colour was the bog-standard faux mahogany and the internal shelves in the display case were too low to put anything of interest in. I decided to give it a much needed makeover - please bare in mind I've never done this before of even come close to a faux wood finish, hence it not being top notch. I started by cleaning it down with a kitchen wipe (hardly a step from the Cabinet Maker's Guide to Furniture care!). I then removed the glass and all the shelves and then painted it over in umber or sienna - I'm afraid I just grabbed what came first.

In the picture below you can see it in place against the back wall of the upstairs sitting room.

It took about three coats before I was happy with the coverage. Next up I sprayed the whole thing with matt varnish to seal in the paint (to prevent it from pulling off when I applied the darker wood finish on top). I also gave the inside of the display cabinet a coat of cream coloured paint. I would be fixing a light later so wanted to optimise the internal light.

Next up I mixed up various acrylic paints in brown, red and black until I reached a colour that I felt resembled walnut; added a splash of acrylic paint thinner to prevent the paint from clotting up and allow it to drag over the yellow base coat. Then it was time to start throwing the paint at the cabinet. There was no plan and I had to act fast before the paint began to dry. I knew I wanted to create a grained inlay effect and a touch of burl walnut across main areas but aside from that I made it up as I went. I'm afraid I was so focussed on this part that I didn't take any pictures.

I have to say it came out a lot better than I ever thought it would - more luck, than judgement! Once dried (or should I say baked) in the sun I gave the whole thing three to four coats of satin finish varnish. next up I added a light and replaced the three wooden shelves with one clear acrylic one to let the light through and allow taller items to be stocked. I decided to turn it into a drinks cabinet as there will be plenty of room for books later and I thought the bottles of wine and glasses gave it a slightly more contemporary feel (it needs a lot more stuff but you get the idea).

Here's a quick shot with the curtains temporarily in place. I'm happy with the end result and it's come a long way from where it began.

I've also been thinking about the front of the shop. I was never happy with how the brick came out. The colour wasn't right with the lower part and it was so obvious (and distracting) where the bricks ran off in a slop down hill! I had considered trying to remove them all and starting again but it would have been a lot of effort and [quite frankly] I just couldn't be bothered. I got to thinking how this would be remedied in real life. How do you disguise shoddy brickwork on the facade of a building?? And then it hit me - I'll paint over it all, coins included. This way I don't have to change the bricks, the colour will tone better with the ground floor and my wonky brick laying will be less obvious and could even come off as "ye olde worlde"!??! I'll show more in the next post.

I've also been battling my inner demons to start a different project altogether - a larger house!!! After spending weeks thinking about it and worrying that the shop would become redundant in a forgotten corner I struck upon an idea - why not add a building next to the shop and create more of a street appearance! I'm currently planning that and will post about it all when I have more to share.

In the mean time, keep enjoying your minis and the Summer - and thanks for making it this far!

All the best...