Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Finishing the Interior

Well, I have been busy. I finished staining, shellacking, sanding and waxing the birch. A bit of this will be a rehash as I covered it some earlier. I had an area around the roof vent that wasn’t bad but was sagging, so I reinforced the studs and replaced that birch panel. I had a more serious issue under the front side windows, and these I just cut out and replaced as well.

I was trying to match up from scratch. I tracked down Watco stain in cherry and golden oak at an old hardware store for about $10 a pint.

These I mixed in a ratio of 10 to 1 oak to cherry as recommended on the groups and a couple other blogs. I hand rubbed the stain in according to the directions, wiping off the excess after about 30 minutes.

After the third coat, it wasn't close to blending.

After my fifth coat, it still wasn’t matching up. I think this was due to the original birch being more heartwood than mine and 50 years of darkening shellac.

So then I went back to Lowe’s looking for a way to speed this up before I pulled my hair out. (Oops, too late) I picked up a quart of Bulls Eye Amber Shellac for about $8 and tried it. Bingo, instant match.

Well, actually it was a little darker from my previous attempts at staining, but I just gave it a light sanding and then waxed it with Howard Feed-N-Wax for about $10 from the hardware store and it blended in great.

All of the birch had crackling shellac, so I sanded it down with some 320 grit sandpaper and then followed that with Howard Feed-N-Wax.

It turned out beautifully, bringing the grain back out, giving it a soft sheen and making it smell like Orange Oil and Burt’s Bees.

For trimming out the joints rather than cut strips of plywood, I used pine screen door trim for $12 for four eight-foot pieces. The shellac made it a nice amber match and the edges were cleaner than the originals.

Since I removed all the strips in the front, matching trim wasn’t an issue. I also used two sticks of ½” quarter round for $6 along the ceiling/wall seam on both sides.

I chose this so I could hide my 12-volt wiring, running from the kitchen cabinets to the front cabinet over the dinette.

Now about shellac, the stuff dries fast. I’m not talking about over night here; I mean it dries in minutes. You have to move fast. If I had it to do over, I would look into thinning it and would apply the shellac before installing panels. I suggest disposable brushes, having everything ready to do at once, and plan on two coats with sanding in between.

I got the interior done just in time to pick up my finished upholstery or so I thought. Turns out it wasn’t finished. We finally picked it up a few days later. We had a little trouble haggling on how much was owed, the original quoted price or the “oh, here is your bill with an inflated price,” price. Let’s just say I would have been more willing to pay more if I had any indication that the price would be higher than the quote. Unfortunately, this occurred at pick-up. The upholstery is beautiful. It ties in to the outside paint colors, the Formica, and the swooshes in the original tile. We ended up paying $460 for the labor on the upholstery, which I know those of you who have priced it will think is a steal, but it was the agreed upon price. It is the principle of the thing, you know? Anyway, we are very happy with the way it looks. My mother-in-law finished up all 11 curtains for us complete with the blackout liner to keep our new seats from fading, and they really finish the deal.

She did a fabulous job and saved us some dough having someone else make them. She worked hard to get them done in just about a week, and we owe her big time. I installed cheap café style rods and rings for about $40 to hang the curtains. With the added bulk of the blackout along with the already heavy curtain material themselves, the rings allow the curtains to bunch nicely without covering too much window when open, especially on the front panoramic window. I think everything turned out great, still looks period, if only with a little more modern color and really brightens up the space.

So, if you are following along, so far we have:

Trailer $900

Bearing Repack $100

Steel $10

Sealant $10

Fan-Tastic Fan $140

Three Sheets 1/8 Birch $50

3M Polish $18

Buffer Pad $12

Mothers Aluminum Polish $8

TSP Cleaner/Paint Prep $8

Rollers, brushes and trays $30

Frog Tape $10

Etching Primer $5

Goo Gone $3

Paint 3 Gallons $98

Foam $250

Upholstery Fabric $510

Curtain & Pillow Fabric $80

Glass $50

Glass Seal $72

Backframe Gasket $80

Pile Weatherstrip $6

Vinyl Weatherstrip $5

Silicone Discs $5

Butyl Tape $15

Screws $70

Chains $10

Harness $6

Teardrop Lights $20

Sway Bar $45

Metal Plates $2

Wire and Outlets $54

Power Supply $20

Water Fill Lid SOLD -$20

Watco Stain $20

Bullseye Shellac $8

Howard’s Wax $10

Trim $18

Upholstery Labor $460

Curtain Hardware $40

Bringing our tally to: $3,238

So, we are now officially over my $3,000 estimate, but I think it is almost there…

Until next time dear readers, shasta la vista...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much! This info about using the Feed-n-Wax on cracking shellac is just what I needed. I just bought a '58 DeVille (my Mother's Day present) and I was wondering what I could do for wood that is undamaged, but dry and crackle glazed.