I'm really loving the way this is turning out so far, it would be nice to get it completely finished this summer but good things take time! We can now sit on this and use it as it is.
I've used a combination of paints on this so far, all of the beautiful coloured pieces are Cuprinol Colours, the wood coloured ones are standard indoor wood varnish and the pretty patterned ones are decoupaged using tissue paper or napkins. There are also some natural, sanded wood ones there too. All pieces start off by being cut to size and sanded so they're nice and smooth with my trusted orbital sander.
These are the natural pieces, I picked out pieces that had beautiful grain and knotty bits to really show off the beauty of the wood. I sanded some pieces really smooth so you just see the wood grain. With the third one down I didn't sand it as much and left some of the saw marks to give it a lovely textured look. I sealed with exterior varnish and these were ready to go on!
These are some of the varnished pieces, I used standard indoor satin wood varnish as I'm sealing everything with exterior varnish later. Initially I sanded the wood with my orbital sander to give either a really smooth or textured finish (the middle piece), Then I applied a generous coat of the varnish and let it dry, I was lucky enough to be doing these pieces on a beautiful hot day so they dried nice and quickly!
Once the varnish was dry I used the orbital sander again to bring out the grain and texture. I used 180 grit pads to give a really fine and smooth finish. Once I was happy with the result I wiped off the dust and gave each piece 2 coats of exterior varnish.
There is now a huge range of coloured exterior wood stain, I love the extensive range that Cuprinol have and these are the ones I've used here. Some of the pieces I just used tester pots as I had a load in the garage, they do go a long way if you're not looking for a solid colour finish like this. I've also started using Ronseal exterior colours as you can apply these to wood and metal, the range isn't as extensive as Cuprinol but they do have some great colours!
As with the varnished pieces I started off by sanded the pieces with the orbital sander. A generous coat of colour and it dried pretty quickly out in the sun. I used the orbital sander again until I like the look, wiped off and sealed with the exterior varnish. I'm planning on doing another coat of exterior varnish once everything has been screwed onto the frame.
The patterned pieces were slightly more time consuming but they were worth the work and look amazing! This look is so versatile and simple to achieve, it's definitely one of my favourite techniques from this summer. The hardest part of this was finding just a few patterns I loved, napkins and tissue paper come in so many different and beautiful patterns now!
For these pieces I sanded the wood so it was fairly smooth and then moved inside to do the messy work with the glue. With a previous piece I used this technique on I did it outside on a sunny day and the glue dried sooooo quickly that the paper didn't stick very well, it was a lesson well learned!!
I applied a layer of watered down PVA, I found this a much cheaper option for bigger projects. I applied the paper straight onto the glue and bushed it over with another layer of glue. and then left it to dry. I was quite happy to have wrinkles in the paper as it dried but if you want a really flush finish the put a layer of cling film over the top and then smooth it out, the cling film with help to smooth it out without ripping the wet paper.
If you are using napkins make sure you pull off the top layer and only use this one. If you apply all of the layers then is will not work and end up in a mess!
Once the glue was fully dried (I left it overnight) i sanded to get the distressed look I was after. I used the orbital sander but it doesn't take very long at all to get the look so be careful! I sealed again with a couple of layers of exterior varnish.
I've still got to get all of the wood ready for the other side of the arms and think of something to do on the front of of the arms but it's ready for using just as it is. We'll be enjoying summer evenings on this with the chimnea going and enjoying a cold drink :)
See how this sofa started out here.
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