Every project has a story and this one is no different in fact, this one is pretty special vanity. The vanity that I’m working on belonged to my great-grandmother and now my wife has the opportunity to use it as her own, so I’m going to redo it for her. I’m guessing this vanity is from around the mid-1900s I’m beginning this project in a little bit different way in the fact that I’m disassembling some of the vanity and most of the stool.
Now the reason for this is to gain a little bit more clearance in the height of the knee space and to shrink the overall footprint of the stool, so it can be stored in the opening of that knee space But first I need to sand down everything so I can paint it.
The actual finish of the wood has been refinished before so I don’t really feel bad about painting it and giving it a different look I’m keeping the drawer pulls in the original state, so I’m not doing anything to them I’m keeping all of the wood original, so it will have all the original parts, it’ll just have a different look to it.
Now, this vanity is smaller than the average vanity that you see today. I think they actually called this a dresser back in the 1900s So, but I need to make a few changes to make it functional. Now the middle section, the part that is dropped down in the middle.
I need to raise it up a little bit and I also need to trim the apron some to give me more height from the floor up to the bottom of that apron and The stool itself doesn’t fit into this knee space opening, so I need to disassemble that and cut a few pieces and recreate some of the tenons that I found.
The story of this piece of furniture is just unfolding as I’m taking things apart like the dovetail drawers, the nail pinned mortise and tenons, and the structural design. They’re all telling a story and it’s a story that can be appreciated nearly 80 years later.
I mentioned that I had to recreate a few tenons after disassembling and cutting the stretcher and two of the rails Now, I went about this two different ways, with the stretcher I used a sled on the table saw to nibble away the waist area and then cut the tenon to length and that seemed to work pretty good.
I took a different approach on the rails and used the band saw. I lined the existing tenon up with the blade and used the fence as I fed the rail into the blade until I reached my mark and I did this for all four sides. I could have very easily cleaned it up at the band saw using a miter gauge, but since I already had my sled set up on the table saw I used that to clean it up and cut the tenon to length. At this point, I could start putting everything back together.
So I started with the vanity. Now using a brad nailer I held the center section of the vanity in place and secured it with a few nails on each side, I attached the apron after trimming it a bit and then started on the stool. So to add a little bit more knee space I decided to trim the stool legs by just a half of an inch and I did this on the table saw using my sled.
Now I was ready to glue the stool back together. And once I had it all put back together, you couldn’t even tell that I had made any changes. I want to take a second to thank Rockler for supporting this video Rockler carries a ton of woodworking tools and supplies but in this video, I’ll be using their HVLP sprayer and let me tell you for someone that is a beginner and spraying I love this thing.
Basically, all I had to do was pour in the paint and turn it on. I’m not even kidding. I’ll leave a link down in the description of this video so you guys can check them out. Using a sprayer is something that’s fairly new to me. I mean before this project I had only spray finished one other project so I’m not a pro. I don’t claim to be one and I certainly don’t play one on TV.
I will say that I did have to find my rhythm and once I found that rhythm I enjoyed this. This was actually a lot of fun to spray finish this vanity and this whole project. But one thing I had to make sure that I was doing correctly was paying attention to the spray pattern. So depending on whether or not I was spraying left and right or up and down.
This particular model has a paddle switch to where you can change the direction or the pattern of the paint. So that was one thing that I had to keep in mind as I was doing this, It didn’t take long at all to finish the painting for the stool and the vanity and the drawer fronts and even the mirror frame, so that was really nice to have all this done in a short amount of time.
I also reupholstered the seat using the original wood and lightly sanded the corners of the vanity to give it a used look. With all the original parts like the drawer pulls, the accents and the details in the mirror. Be sure to visit our website at stoneandsons.net
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