Building New Skill Sets: I’m Refinishing Furniture!!! – Dr. Plastic Picker

Building New Skill Sets: I’m Refinishing Furniture!!!

| Posted in Reduce/Reuse/Recycle, Weird Things I've Found Litter Picking

Refinishing Furniture.

June 20, 2021

by drplasticpicker

430AM is so much better than 245AM. My sleep cycle had shifted with everything that was happening, and I had been getting up too early. I was getting sleepy during the afternoon and then napping. That was not safe especially when you have to drive home in the afternoon at around 2-3pm when one’s cortisol hormone level is at the lowest (thank you 2/3 endocrine fellowship!). But working through things, I am better now and 430AM – 5AM is about the normal time I wake up. So I am better and the world is quiet, and I can do some climate work.

What I do in the mornings is that in between writing the blogpost, I do all my climate work. Most of it is organizing, emails, writing papers and proposals. I kind of meander through my mornings writing or making trash art, sending out important emails, and then sometimes trying a new recipe or puttering around the kitchen in the early morning at least 3-4 hours before everyone else is up. I live an entire life in the early morning by myself. I think this is why I know myself so much better these days. It’s just me and my cup of coffee, and finishing up what I think is important to me.

But it’s gotten too heavy on this blog. Yesterday’s blogpost was important for my emotional growth but I get a bit shy after writing something like that. There is nothing to be ashamed of and I’m proud of that piece, so I’ll leave it up. That is the entire point. Being hurt as a child is not the child’s fault. It’s 100% not. And the adult me is acknowledging it the child me, that it was not okay. And that is the healing part. Some of this was prompted by this new conversation as a country that we are having about ACES, adverse childhood events. I’m sure many people throughout this readership are going through the same. What has given me strength to continue on this journey of growth, is realizing that I’m one of many. What I’m going through is not that exceptional. To truly heal the earth, we have to heal eachother, heal our communities, and heal the literal soil!

But let me talk about something fun today! The past is the past, especially if I’ve worked through some emotional issues. And the present is truly wondrous. I’m refinishing furniture! It is so much fun. I feel really powerful. It’s a set of six solid wooden chairs that we “found” on the alley. Yes our two neighbors were moving out and sold their house. It’s a sad situation as we were very close to our immediate neighbors. The patriarch passed away and his children had to sell the house. They parted ways with my in-laws and said their good-byes.

So we did take the wooden chair set, but I think it actually belonged to the neighbor two doors down? They moved out to and a lot of people put what they think will be useful household items in the alleywall in hopes someone will take them and reuse them. So we took the chairs, and we let them know. I think they were glad. And now I am refinishing them.

Both chairs have been sanded, and the one on the left has a coat of primer on it. I have now learned that the higher the number of the sandpaper, the finer the sandpaper is. The lower of the number of the sandpaper, the coarses the sandpaper is. I am using a hand sander I bought about 2-3 years ago, and it’s so satisfying sanding off the old chipped paint. I use our daughter’s science goggles for eye proction and a K95 respiratory mask so I don’t breath in the particulate matter. I think we all have a lot of those masks! I use workgloves I bought. I wear one of Mr. Plastic Picker’s old white coats that has already been stained for one of my daughter’s previous paint projects. I reuse smallish plastic bags to decant the dust. I am using old paperwrap we had in the garage to protect the garage floor for the primer painting. Reusing all these things we have around the house has been very satisfying. I learned that you don’t have to sand off every piece of old paint, but most of it and to really rough up the wood so it will accept the new paint. I learned that I have to wipe down the dust before applying the primer paint. I learned I only need one coat of primer.

It’s been a lot of fun just taking some time to do this project. I just kind of wander over to the garage area and work on it when I need a break form work work or climate work. It’s great to do something physical inbetween all the emailing and patient charts. It’s actually going quicker than I thought. Our daughter wants to pain the chairs a dark red. We will probably go to Home Depot and get that paint color. And that is it! Just wanted to share a fun project I’m working on. I’m learning how to refinish and repaint some nice solid wood furniture! Buying a similar set of likely less quality wood , would cost us about $1600 or so a set. The same number as a perfect SAT score back in the day. But even if it does not come out perfect, it’s a DIY project and one of a kind. All of us are one of a kind. Don’t you forget it!

Two bags of ocean beach plastic pollution I recovered. It was so good to hear the waves and see the birds.
My favorite succulent continues to bloom. I trimmed some of the little babies and planted them somewhere else.
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