DIY Techniques

Reloved Ottoman Part 1: Weathered Wood Feet

July 3, 2016

I’ve just finished reloving the busy blue patterned lay-z-boy ottoman that I shared on instagram awhile back… between the reupholstery and preparing the new feet I have over sixty photos to share with you to show you step-by-step how to reupholster and step-by-step of how make the wood feet to look weathered.  I’ve broken this DIY project out into two parts: Part 1 – Weathered Wood Feet and Part 2 – Reupholstery. Part 1 shows the stages of creating the weathered wood look using FAT paint washes and waxes on some great soft maple bun feet from Osborne Wood Products… at the end of this post Osborne Wood and I have got a little treat for you!  The steps in this weatherd wood tutorial can be used on other raw wood items to make them look weathered as well.

Lets get things underway! I’ve taken a contemporary ottoman that I found at a second hand shop for $50 and have given it a vintage beach house vibe with canvas and driftwood looking weathered wood feet.

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The leg on the left is one of the original legs from the ottoman… a super contempo dark brown stained foot.  The leg on the right is from the incredible Osborne Wood Products. It comes in a variety of wood types… but it is just the beginning of the options at Osborne Wood Products.  They have a killer selection of furniture feet, table legs, moulding, corbels… and all available in a variety of wood from traditional, to premium, to specialty wood types… and be sure to check their specials section!  You’ll find pieces for every project!… and their shipping is speedy!

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I chose the Bridle Round Bun Foot in soft maple as the style was exactly what I was looking for to create the beach cottage vibe ottoman.  I chose the leg to be a little shorter than the original leg height, on purpose, as the ottoman sat about an inch too high in comparison to our couch… the ottoman is rather large and will double as ottoman and coffee table so I wanted it to be just a touch lower.

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The feet come without the furniture lag screws for screwing the feet into the existing ottoman feet screw holes.  I removed one of the existing ottoman feet by unscrewing it out of the bottom of the ottoman and brought it to Home Depot to ensure that I picked up the correct size lag screw for the new feet.  I also grabbed two nuts that fit onto the screw end of the lag screw… these two nuts are used to screw the lags down into the wooden feet.

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Before the painting and finishing of the feet we have to prepare them for the installation of the lag end of the lag screws. Preparing and installing the lag screws before finishing ensures that you don’t damage your finished paint and finishing work with the drilling and potentially man handling the feet to get the lags in. Prepare the feet by drilling a pilot hole into the top of the feet.  Find the drill bit that is the size of the lag end minus the threads.  Now see that gold washi tape on the drill bit?  I wanted to make sure that I drilled the hole deep enough so I marked the corresponding length of the lag on the drill bit… I recommend creating this tape mark as it will alert you to the proper depth that you need to drill into the top of the foot, and why not take a small step that makes the process that much simpler!?

The wood round bun feet, as they are a turned wood product, have marks in the centre at the top and bottom of each foot. This centre mark can be used at the guide for location for the lag pilot hole that we have to drill…

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To ensure that I drilled a straight pilot hole I used a drill press to create the lag screw pilot holes… it. went. quick. Drill the pilot holes in the top of all four feet and then vacuum away any wood dust.

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Now back to those two nuts I mentioned earlier… to install the lag screws into the feet…. take the two nuts and screws them just onto the top of the screw…. using a combination wrench and a ratchet with corresponding socket tighten the two nuts together… once tightened down together these two nuts will enable you to drive the lag down into each foot using the ratchet! BAM!…

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Once the nuts have been tightened together remove the combination wrench and use the ratchet to drive the lag into the pilot hole in the top of each foot…

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This part is easier if you have two sets of hands… one set to hold the foot and then the other set of hands to drive the lag with the ratchet.  If you don’t have a second set of hands you can use a vice… just be sure to wrap the foot with a cloth so that it does not get damaged by the vice.

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Once the lag is driven down into the foot use the combination wrench and ratchet again together, but this time to break the nuts apart so that the nuts can be removed from the screw end and used for the next lag install on the next foot…

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TADA!… four legs ready with hardware to be installed onto the ottoman!… only they’re still naked… let’s get onto creating the weathered wood look!

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The fist time you try this method I recommend testing it out on a scrap of wood… how the wood looks wet is different from how it dries, and then once waxed it changes again!… Using FAT Paint greys, water, CLING ON brush and mixing bowl I create a wash by picking up a dab of paint of one colour, for the first application, and then two paint brush splashes of water and I swish this all together in my mixing bowl… have a piece of paper towel or rags on hand, and lay down some plastic on your work surface – this can get drippy.

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Apply the wash all over the wooden feet and set them aside to dry… they might look splotchy as they dry but don’t fret… have a glass of wine and relax until they’ve dried and are ready for you to continue…

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They will dry evenly if you’ve thoroughly mixed your paint wash… notice how light they’ve dried compared to how dark the paint wash looked?  This is why I recommend a few test boards – once you mix a couple washes, playing with the paint to water ratio, you will get a good idea of how much water and paint to mix to achieve the like that you like the most in the dried piece.  For my first paint wash coat I used a brown based grey… for my second wash I used a blue base grey…

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Again, for the second paint wash layer for my weather wood look, I mixed paint and water with my CLING ON brush in a mixing bowl.

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I applied this second coat that I mixed a little more paint heavy and then blotted off the excess wash… don’t be afraid to play with applying and dabbing away to create the weathered wood look that you like…

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I’ve taken a wet and dry shot again to show you just how much they will lighten once the paint wash has dried…

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Here are the freshly paint washed feet after I’ve applied the second paint wash… they look splotchy and dark…

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…and here they are after the second paint wash coat has dried!… just lovely… now they’re still pretty raw and porous… if a drink was spilled on them they would absorb the liquid and depending on what that spilled liquid was it could stain the wood… the solution to this potential problem is waxing to seal up the wood and protect your paint finish… initially waxing will darken the wooden legs… but I have a second layer wax trick that adds to the weathered wood look.

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When waxing large surface of dressers I like to apply the wax with cheesecloth, but when I’m applying wax to a smaller piece that has nooks and crannies I like to apply the wax with a stiff bristled brush to make sure that the wax gets every inside edge and over every detail… A trick to working with coloured waxes is to apply a layer of the clear natural wax first… this seals the paint and creates a slip making the application and working of the coloured wax much easier, and prevents the pigment in the wax from staining the painted surface…

Now like many things there is an exception to this ‘natural wax first’ tip when you are working with a very dark paint colour and will be applying a dark wax. If the painted colour is very dark and you are looking to deepen the details even further you can go right into using your dark wax to finish the piece off, skipping the layer of natural wax first… if you’re feeling hesitant about this do a small test on a scrap piece of wood to ensure that you will get the results that you want.

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Using a stiff bristled brush I first apply natural wax all over the surface of my weathered wood look feet…

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…let the piece sit for five minutes and fluff up a piece of cheese cloth to get it ready for buffing the wax that has been applied… if you cut the cheese cloth from a larger piece be sure to give it a shake to get any little cut fluffies out of the cloth. Also if plan to use something other than cheesecloth to buff the wax be sure that it is lint free… trust me! once I tried to use an old t-shirt to buff wax on a white dresser… it was a lint disaster!… now I’m a cheese cloth wax buffer!

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Using the cheese cloth be sure to buff the excess wax out of the grooves and give the whole feet a good buff overall.

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The natural wax brings out the wood grain and deepens the the colours of the paint washes… it creates a rich beautiful finish… but because I want a weathered look I do one more wax step past the natural wax… white wax.

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For more compassion to show the differences between the steps check this out… on the left we have the foot that has been paint washed and has dried, with no wax to finish it yet.  On the right is the paint washed foot that has been finished with the natural wax.  Quite different right!?

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To me, beachy weathered wood is much lighter as it has been washed out by the salty sea and bleached by the sun… my final step to created a weathered wood look is to apply a coat of white wax…

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In the same fashion as applying the natural wax apply the white wax with a stiff bristled brush ensuring that all nooks and crannies are well coated… on larger items and flat surfaces I apply wax inline with the grain…. as these feet are small and the grain varies I just slap the wax on there to make sure that all details have been well coated…

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Let this sit for 5 and fluff up your cheese cloth to get ready for a buff!…

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Now when I buff the white wax layer I’m not as vigorous in the areas of the grooves… I want to leave some wax build up behind in the grooves to make the details pop and to add to the over time build up aged and weathered look… and I don’t buff the overall surface as vigorously, leaving a nice layer of the white wax behind.

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A few more comparison shots to show how the finished look at the various stages so that you know what the various steps will result in looks wise as between the paint wash wet and dry and natural wax to white wax the looks created are quite varied… Above on the left we have a paint washed foot with no wax finishing… on the right we have the paint washed and finished with natural and then white wax… the layers of paint wash combined with layers of wax bring a depth to the flat finish of the paint wash…

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On the left we have a foot that has been natural waxed to compare to the foot on the right which has had the white wax applied… you can see the white wax in the crevices and the overall weathered haze that the white wax brings to our weathered wood finish…

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Here are the four finished weathered wood ottoman feet!… what do you think!? will you be painting up some pieces to feather your nest with the weathered wood look!? One of my fave things to weather up are wooden crates for storage around our home… the weathered look also looks great on boards that you can use for cheeky or sweet sayings to hang on your walls or stand on your shelves… or you could weather up some wooden shelves!… the possibilities to bring this weathered wood look into your home are endless!

Now do you remember that I mentioned that Osborne Wood and I have a treat for you!?

Well… right now until September 30 if you purchase the 4075 bun foot in soft maple from Osborne Wood Products you will save 15% off of your purchase by entering code FMN15 during the checkout process!

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Here’s a sneaky peek of the weathered wood feet installed!… stay tuned for the Reloved Ottoman Part II: Reupholstery!… if you want to be among the first to see the full reveal, and the how to, pop your email address in the little subscribe box at the top right side of the this page and hit submit!… then whenever I publish a post it’ll be sent right to your inbox!

Once you get some wood projects weathered up for you home please come on over to the Feathering My Nest Facebook page and share some photos of your weathered wood! I can’t wait to see what you make!




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