Saturday, 5 August 2017

Corner Chairs

Apologies for anyone who found the empty Music Room Trim post this morning.  I write posts as I do things and bank them.  A long time ago the trim post was just a heading in the right order of things that I intended to come back to and write up when I finished the trims in the music room.  Trims still not finished and no post filled in and worse still I forgot the cunning plan!  I can only say that for a year now real life has been chucking a lot of bad stuff at me and I am spending much time running back and forth between Edinburgh and Manchester so playing with my minis has been on the back burner for a very long time.

Any way I have shuffled the empty one along and here was the next one in line for your delectation.  

Again my apologies for the confusion.


While I was waiting for trims to dry between coats I dug out a pair of corner chair kits I had bought.  These were destined for the library.  Watch  this space.


You might want to spend time shaping pieces and smoothing the wood with your finest 'smoother' before you start as they have way too many creases and corners once they are glued together.

smoothed, shaped and all glued together
I use simple wood glue and toothpicks.  Try your very best not to let any glue squeeze out of the joins and clean it up as well as you can if it does.  Stain and sometimes even paint does not take over dried glue.  I clean up using another toothpick. I hook out the excess carefully and then tend to wipe it on my left hand as I go along (for speed).  This isn't a recommendation as it often creates a 'panic' moment when I go to wash my hands and wonder what strange skin disease I have acquired before remembering I was gluing a kit. 

Leave it as long as you possibly can for the joins to become really dry and allow the glue to set up properly - 24 hours is a minimum.  You can now give it another go over with your nail buffer/smoother and make sure you clean up any dust before staining.

Staining - This is what I use to finish the pieces.  You really should do a better job than this and there are instructions in the kit on how to do that.  

For me, I use wood stain, and a gloss application from a water based Ceramacoat product and a felt tip and old MinWax pen.  

I use the min wax pen to apply the stain.  You can't apply it with a brush.  The instruction on the tin recommends a soft cloth...waaaay too unwieldy.  I have a couple of Minwax pens that have pretty much dried up and I didn't do any good with them on 1/12ths (they were good for 48ths).  So now I decant some stain into a glass container and dip the pen in and away we go.  Do not decant the stain into plastic - I did that once and the stain ate the bottom of the pot and I had a desk submerged under a stain tsunami.  Stain works really well!!!

I do know folk who say they have a larger container full of stain and they simply dunk the whole piece in.  I have never done it with 1/12ths - not brave enough .... and don't have enough stain!  I did do it once (on someone's recommendation) with some 48ths and then broke my heart as all the lovely little things I had made fell apart as they were far too soaked in stain.  Took a week or more to dry out and then refused to be glued together again as, of course now all the joints were covered in stain.

Another useful tip is to decant the stain out of the tin into a glass jar as soon as you've got it home.  Who ever designed the stain tin needs shooting: there is no conceivable way to pour a small amount from the tin without making one heck of a mess around the top and sides of the tin.  I promise you my usable stain is in a Tesco Finest Mint sauce jar!

The small pen in the photo is a permanent marker in brown - this does a great job of going over any bald spots caused by leaked glue.

finished chairs
 The finish isn't wonderful - in part because I don't do the proper wood finishing steps needed and, to be fair to me, the quality of the wood in these kits is not the greatest.  When you see the lovely museum quality work at shows their creators always begin with the very, very best materials.

The choice of fabric may seem a bit chintzy especially as I have a ton of lovely silks to go at but as always I couldn't settle on one I liked and this looked nice against the wood and it works in a couple of rooms.... beginning with the library...... which is the room they were bought for.

I decided I don't like the mahogany with the desk and chair that I already have - Oh poop!

The colours go well in the hall but I am not really keen on cluttering up the hall with two chairs.

Oh well they were fun to make even if they never get used..................



  1. I really like how they look. Lovely color and they came out very nicely.

    1. Thank you. These kits do OK but they are never top notch and in this case my bad choice of colour firvthis room was the big no-no, but they are certainly godd enough to keep. Marilyn

  2. Hi Marilyn,
    Sorry to hear that things in RL are keeping you away from your mini dreams. The chairs are very nicely finished and it sounds like just the mini project you needed to take you away for a moment. Maybe they are destined to be the perfect fit in a future build. I hope life changes, as it often does, for the better and soon you'll be able to relax back into the project. The rug and the desk/chair look smashing!

    1. I am hoping in a week or so things may return to something like normal and I will be able to crack on with Dalton House again. Marilyn

  3. Felicidades por estos trabajos , te han quedado genial ,te deseo que tu vida se normalice y puedas continuar con tus preciosos trabajos.Feliz fin de semana:-)


    1. Gracias. La cosa está mirando mejor y espero conseguir algo hecho en mi proyecto esta semana.

  4. I agree that the corner chairs don't quite fit in the Library but they do look as though they fit well in the entry hall. However things don't always turn out as panned so if not for this house, perhaps for the next.
    Meanwhile I found your tip of using a felt pen for applying the decanted stain, to be very useful.
    Thanks for that EM, and I hope that the negative stuff which is going on in your RL, will be settled real soon.


    1. As you say they may find a niche sometime. The minwax pen does work really well I promise; neat and tidy too - no mucky fingers to deal with. As for the rest - think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.... M

  5. Hello Marilyn,
    It is a shame that they don't quite work in the library. You did a wonderful job finishing them. The fabric you chose reminds me of the curtains in the library of Chatsworth house. I have not used stain in years and appreciate the tips and ideas.
    I hope real life will be kinder to you in the months to follow.
    Big hug

    1. Yes, I could kick myself for not considering the colour before I did them as I really wanted chairs that snugged into the corner - ideal for this little library. Hey ho...sometimes I am just plain stooopid! Marilyn

  6. Love the style of chairs you selected to use in the library but agree that the stain used is not the best choice possible. Would it be possible to paint over the stain and still use them in the library? Failing that they look lovely in the hallway or perhaps tucked away and saved for a future project. Using a dried out stain marker to stain the chairs is a great tip...thank you for sharing! Cheers, Alayne

    1. Hello Alayne. Yes, I am a bit cross with myself for this pretty obvious error. The only excuse is that I hadn't seen the desk and chair in a while and had really sort of forgotten about them, let alone remembered what colour they were. Right now I might hang on to those if I can find a suitable mahogany desk and chair to replace them. They might be easier to use in another project rather than the corner chairs, which I still think are the right choice for those corners. Marilyn