Well, after a wait for the finish to cure and my being out of town, the Queen Anne Side Table is finally ready for its unveiling.
When I last posted about this table, the construction was complete and I spoke about the possible options for a finish. In the end, I went with a finish schedule consisting of: Boiled Linseed Oil, Garnet Shellac and General Finishes Arm-R-Seal as a top coat.
I started the finishing process by first thinning the BLO by about 25% with Naptha. This thinned mixture was applied liberally with arag and wet sanded in with 400 grit wet/dry paper. After the oil had some time to soak in I wiped off any excess with a dry rag. The wet sanding with the oil made for a silky smooth base to which I could apply the shellac and top coats. In the picture you can see the table after the BLO was applied.
As I mentioned in the previous post, I elected to use some Garnet shellac to add a bit of color to the table and to also act as a sealer coat between the oil and the top coat (though that’s oil-based too, so there was no real issue except for the BLO possibly not being fully cured). In the pictures, you can see the materials and the pad that I used to apply the shellac. The pad is just composed of an inner ball of a loose cotton material and an outer skin of cotton T-Shirt material. I first charged the pad with denatured alcohol and then squirted shellac onto the pad using the little squeeze bottle shown in the picture (you can also see how I store the pad between uses in a sealed plastic bag).
I applied the shellac quickly in a straight motion where possible slightly overlapping my strokes. Shellac dries quickly so I let each coat dry and then the let next coat dissolve into the previous coat to cover any areas that were not evenly coated. I applied three light coats of shellac in total and rubbed lightly with 0000 steel wool after the last coat to smooth the surface. In the picture you can see the table with the Garnet shellac applied over the BLO.
For the top coat I used General Finishes Arm-R-Seal, Semi-gloss. I thinned this just a bit with Naptha to get very thin coats. The top coat was applied with a paper-towel folded into a small rectangular applicator. I rubbed with steel wool before the third coat of finish to get as smooth a base as I could for that final coat. After vacuuming the table surfaces I went over the table with a towel an Naptha so that it was as clean as possible for the final coat. With all of the coats applied I let the table cure for about two and a half weeks. Then I rubbed the entire table vigorously with 0000 steel wool to even it out for a satin finish. Finally, I applied paste wax with steel wool as an applicator and buffed the dried wax with a rag.
The hardware for the table came from Horton Brasses. I ordered two pulls and a matching escutcheon in brass with a semi-bright finish. As you can see in the the picture, the style is reminiscent of Queen Anne styling. I centered the two pulls vertically on the drawer face and aligned them over the center points of the scroll work left and right of center. The escutcheon was applied in the center of the drawer, about 1/16″ below the edge of the detail at the top of the drawer, just slightly higher than the pulls.
I’ll leave you with a few different views of the table (click for a larger view). I decided to take the pictures outside on a nice spring day. There are a couple of close-ups of the drawer, the knee and knee block and the pad foot. I really enjoyed this project. Working on a period piece was interesting and allowed me to develop some new skills. I guess all that is left is to decide which period to reproduce next!