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Episode 416 - Brownie Points
Cutlery Chest 1
First make the wood shine...
In doing a colour tribute, I figured, "Hey, let's go for maximum brownie points!" And re-finishing a cutlery chest is a project I have been waiting to do for a long time. It's a family heirloom that came to me courtesy of my mom. The cutlery chest is a beautiful piece of furniture to have in your home, great for storing your favourite service. If you don't have a cutlery chest, you can pick one up at an antique store or a tag sale, and voilą you'll be with one for years to come.

I began by withdrawing the two trays from inside the chest. They had been lined with green velvet, as well as elastics that had lost their elasticity. I removed the velvet lining, and then, using a knife, I scraped away all the residual glue. You must get the wood as clean as possible.

Next, I began to sand the chest using a medium grade of sanding paper, going in the same direction as the grain of the wood. This allowed for the removal of old stains and all traces of varnish. I sanded the top, the sides, everything! Then, I went over the wood with a finer grade of sandpaper.

Once the sanding was complete, I took a nice, clean, white cloth (you can use a pair of nylons if you choose!), and wiped off all of the wood surfaces. This took away all the dust that was left from the sanding.

Next step is staining the wood, and I chose an oak-coloured stain for my cutlery chest. An important thing to remember is that when using a stain, stir it often, because it has a tendency to settle. Using a medium-sized foam brush, I dipped it into the stain, pressing it against the container to get rid of the excess. Then, using nice, even strokes, I applied the stain to the wood. Because the wood had been sanded, it soaked up the stain immediately.

An important thing to keep in mind when doing a project like this is to make sure you do it in a well-ventilated area. After I finished staining the entire box I rubbed the stain back with a fresh, clean towel. As I set the chest aside to dry, I realized how beautiful the cutlery chest was going to look.