Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Dresser Redo

I have a couple of pieces of furniture that I needed to redo and while searching for various ways of refinishing, I came across a tutorial on using chalk paint.  Since we live near the flea market, which is a DIYer's paradise, I was well acquainted with antique furniture painted with chalk paint and I love the look.  But, I didn't have any idea about how it was done.  I imagined that it was the same ol' process of stripping and sanding like anything else.

When I read the tutorial, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that just about any surface can be painted with chalk paint without having to be stripped.  That was the deciding factor for me.  I found a local "stockist" for Annie Sloan chalk paint and went to buy my supplies, which included the chalk paint in Pure White, wax, and a wax brush applicator, right away.

Here's the first piece of furniture I wanted to get done.

I decided to set up in the house since I wasn't going to have to use stripping chemicals and I preferred to do this in the comfort of my home instead of out in the barn.  I laid plastic down to protect the rug.  Then I washed the whole dresser down with TSP (trisodium phosphate).  Boy, was it dirty!  

I'm not going to do a tutorial because there are plenty of those on Pinterest, but I do have one important tip.  The Annie Sloan website says that some pieces of furniture from the 1930-40's era have a finish that may bleed through the chalk paint and if this happens, to just paint it with a coat of shellac, let it dry (it takes just a few minutes), then paint over it and that should stop the bleed through.  Well, being me with my attitude of "it won't happen to me" and "hurry up and get to the final reveal", I ignored that warning.  If you never listen to a word I say, at least listen to this...if you're going to paint a piece from that era, go ahead and paint on the shellac.  Just do it.

Here's a picture of the top with two coats of paint.  The original finish was still bleeding through.

So...thankfully, I had bought some shellac for another project I thought I might do.  I put a quick coat on over the paint.  When it dried, I put another coat of paint over it.  For the top, I did a light sanding and put yet another coat of paint just for good measure.

After painting, I applied two coats of the Annie Sloan wax and did a light buffing.

The wax gives it a nice glow.  I think if I used my electric buffer, I could have gotten it a little glossier.

I lined the drawers for a little pizazz. 

All done.  I finished this dresser in four days with lots of breaks in between.  If you have the uninterrupted time available, this could probably be done in one or two days.

This was a seriously easy project with instant gratification....right up  my alley.  I just might be chalk painting everything in sight.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Yard Birds

Only one of Broody Hen's chicks survived her last broody episode.  I took it from her when it was a couple of days old because she had killed two others.  I didn't want her to kill the last one.  It had hatched at about the same time the guineas hatched, so I took five guinea keets and the one chick and raised them together in the guinea coop.  The guineas have a way of disappearing one by one and I wanted to make sure that at least the unusually colored ones survived, so those are the ones I took.

After we got the chicken coop remodeled it was time for the chick, who thankfully turned out to be a hen instead of a rooster, to be integrated into the flock.  I put her in a cage and kept her in the coop for several days.  Integrating her in that way had two benefits:  (1)  Chickens are mean to each other, especially when there's a new chick in town.  Keeping her in a cage kept her safe from the bigger hens pecking her, but allowing them all time to get to know each other.  (2)  Keeping her in the coop for several days "coop trains" her so that she knows it is her home that she will come back to each night after free ranging all day.

The coop training worked, but the hens are still mean to her.  She's pretty much a loner, except when she hangs out with old Tubby, our original Rhode Island Red rooster.  He's nearly eight years old now and is showing his age.  He's still big and glossy, but not nearly as grand as he used to be.  He limps, doesn't have his beautiful arching tail feathers, and the ruff around his neck is looking a little more "rough" than "ruff".  So, he doesn't go as far afield as he used to.  He mostly stays close to the coop.

I call this chick Shaun, after Shaun the Sheep.  Why?  Because, either by injury or birth defect, her beak is wonky and reminds me of how Shaun the Sheep's mouth in the Shaun movies.
Double click the pic to see her wonky beak.  I'm surprised she can eat or drink, but I guess she's doing just fine.

And, for some reason, she is very personable.  When I go out to clean the coop, she runs to me, getting in my way, and even jumping up on the roost so she can be right in my face, like a parrot, as I clean the roost area.

Tubby in the foreground with his stubby tail towards the camera, and Shaun in the background.

As for the other yard birds, the guineas, I kept the young guineas in the guinea coop until they got most of their grown up feathers, then I opened the door to let them come and go as they please.  Since then, two have disappeared.  We have a predator that is picking them off, but we don't know what it is yet.  We've also lost three of the adults in the past month or two.  I suspect a coon that can get up in the tree at night while the guineas are sleeping and the dogs can't do anything about it if it's happening up in a tree.

This silver guinea is the one I really want to survive.  I want to see what she looks like all grown up.  We had one hatch last year, but it disappeared right away.  The only way I could think of this year to ensure its survival is to keep it penned up until it was big enough.  But, still, there is no guarantee.