Blog Archives

232|365 The Plaque Says It (8/24/11)


Last fall Keith restored his great Aunt Jane Dunaway’s secretary and tonight he put a plaque on it identifying it.  It’s been in the family since Dr. Jane bought it in Noble, Oklahoma circa 1909.  She probably used it during her medical practice.  Now, we keep old family items in the bookcase portion and wines in the desk portion.

For photos of the before restoration and some history of the piece visit my other blog to read about Dr. Jane’s Secretary.


230|365 Loaded & Delivered (8/22/11)

Finally, I got them delivered!  Keith finished the two chest of drawers yesterday and tonight Travis came and helped me get them loaded onto the truck and delivered.  Now Travis and Kelsey each have a chest of drawers and can unpack the rest of their boxes.  I know this isn’t the most exciting or great photo but it is such a relief to finally have this done and I never dreamed it would take over 2 weeks to refinish them.


The best part of my day was the 2 1/2 hours I got to spend with my son.  Kelsey wasn’t available so I didn’t get to see her.

224|365 Determination (8/16/11)

We’re so close to being done.  We have some finishing things to do that will not affect the look so I can share the results of this painful project.


Below you can see photos showing the progression of this project. Refinishing these chest of drawers required us to muster lots of determination, I sure hope it will be worth it in the long run.


222|365 Please Take This Coat (8/14/11)


We sanded the first coat of the polyurethane and Keith put another coat on the chests.  I’m hopeful that the wood will take this coat well so we can finish these chests.

We got the lawn all manicured today and the front flower beds cleaned up.  I did the dreaded bills and the laundry, which is no big deal anymore with the kids out of the house.  Now, it’s almost time to go to bed and start another week of work.

215|365 Nitty Gritty (8/7/11)

My body aches all over.  I didn’t want to get out of bed today but I did.  When I loaded the washing machine, it kept giving an error message and I tried to fix it but couldn’t.  Once Keith was up, he started working on it but there didn’t really seem to be anything wrong. Tonight, it seems to be working fine.

Keith and I decided to go ahead and sand the chest of drawers again to remove the stain we put on last night.  Oh my gosh did that take forever, we used 60 & 80 grit sandpaper to try to get all the fine specks of white off.  And now it is done.

Keith re-stained the drawers to see how the wood looks and I think it’s going to be fine.  The photo shows portions of both chest’s drawers and I like the waviness of two of them.  Perhaps we’ll get the frames of the chests stained tomorrow as I’m hardly able to think straight right now.  My feet are throbbing as is one of my shoulders.  This vacation has been productive and I’m bushed.


My mother-in-law’s good friend Pete went back home to Scotland earlier this week and today she learned that he just died.  He loved to read and had a boisterous laugh.

203|365 The Last Project. I hope. (7/26/11)


These are some of the pieces of what I hope is the last of our refinishing projects.  It is the top and the drawers from another sewing machine cabinet that belonged to my mother-in-law’s mother.  Keith took the sewing machine out and disassembled the cabinet tonight.  That top has definitely seen better days.

201|365 Satisfaction (7/24/11)


My morning began by opening yesterday’s mail, which included the family history from a Keithley cousin I’ve been expecting.  I made a cup of coffee and began reading it.  Soon Keith was awake and we carried the front door to the backyard where the morning shade was strong.

As Keith was preparing for his work, he discovered that we have two toads living in our backyard.  So, he turned the water faucet on to a slow drip and one of the toads loved it.  He got as close as possible and you could hear the water as it hit his body.  He continually moved to get all of his body wet and was mindful that I was watching him, actually take photos of him.

By mid morning the shade was gone in the backyard so Keith put up a canopy tent.  It was ridiculously hot out today, officially 104 but when I drove by a bank the sign said it was 108.  Keith took breaks regularly and had something cool to drink.  By late afternoon he had the door stripped, sanded, stained and hung back up until the next step in a few days.

I used our carpet steamer’s upholstery cleaning attachments to clean the chairs in our garage.  Oh my gosh, it was kind of scary to look at the water when I finished but I guess that means the equipment did a good job.

When I went out to water the flowers this evening I saw a baby toad trying to get into the spray of the water.  Then he saw a spider that was about the size of his head.  He turned his body and watched the spider for a couple of seconds and then super quickly, he lurched and got it!  I had to close my eyes.

I stained Cleopatra, the unknown chair, and decided to paint the inside of the pockets/drawers metallic gold.  It looks pretty cool.  When I started to paint the front inset gold the detail brush I have was shedding and made a mess.  I’ve got to figure out some other way to do that.

Keith and I get a great deal of satisfaction from accomplishing things.  I just couldn’t really decide on one photo today so I’m sharing several.

200|365 Knock, Knock (7/23/11)

Just when we thought the projects were almost done, another one comes knocking.  Keith remembered that our front door needs to be refinished.  I suppose when you see it every day you get so used to it that you just don’t ‘see’ the condition.


This afternoon Keith took the door down and stripped one side of it then he put the door back up.  Tomorrow he plans to strip the other side then sand and possibly stain the door.

I got the unknown purpose chair, which we’ve decided we’ll call “Cleopatra”, stained today.  Tomorrow, I’ll begin putting the polyurethane on it.

This evening we went to a wine school at a friend’s house.  Several folks came and each of us brought a red wine that cost between $15-$20 that we’d never tasted.  We sampled each one, taking care to examine, sniff and taste them.  I had a fun time and enjoyed the experience of sampling the wines and visiting.

197|365 What Could It Be? (7/20/11)

I bought this in 2006 at a thrift store, which is really a just a junk store.  I thought it was interesting especially since it was only a couple of bucks. It’s been in Kelsey’s room, collecting dust mostly.

It’s our latest refinishing project.  I had to take the glass trim off to strip it and I’m not sure what, if anything, to put back on the front area.


Below is a group of photos from 2006 that show all of the item’s features.


We’ve used it as a seat and as a TV stand. Got any ideas for what it’s original purpose was?

196|365 Together Again (7/19/11)


Putting the sewing cabinet pieces together again required turning it upside down to get to all those hidden places.  Then Keith did a bit more brush work on it and now it has to dry for the final time.