Game for Flame! - Furniture Revival by Way of FIRE

At the beginning of the year, I made a decision to stop refinishing antiques to move in another direction. After giving away most of my materials, selling the inventory and declining requests to revive pieces, I was contacted by a leading, national newspaper to take on a refinishing project like no other. BURNING furniture! Yes - scorching/torching/charring with Fire! I'm that gal who favours a chain saw over a shopping cart, a motorcycle over a mini van, so the answer was a no-brainer. ABSOLUTELY!
The adrenaline junkie in me sprang from the sofa to buy a propane blow torch and bring the ol' phono player up and out from the basement. I assembled the torch ad stared at it with a thrilling and nervous feeling before firing it up.
Let me tell you - the smell of the smell of burning hair is bad. Seriously nasty. Yep, the façade of the piece went up in flames! Not to self: (and you) do NOT torch veneered furniture! Plan B: search out a piece that was SOLID WOOD. And it wasn't easy ! I went to 5 places before finding a table to take home for incineration. It was only $24 but the look o the cashiers face when I told her what I had planned for it? Priceless!
I like to think of myself as a divergent thinker so concluded that the piece wouldn't be consistently burned. Instead, I opted to give the illusion that the fire had come from the left. Different valve pressures of the flame held at various angles and distances worked to get the effect.
The original brass pull were passable but didn't quite cut it so I dug around in the hardware box and came up with brass & oak knobs to burn. (This girl is on Fire!) and backed them with patina' diamond shaped plates.
Viola! She was transformed to resemble a charred remnant from Tara in Gone With The Wind! And can I tell you - the smell? Crazy wonderful. Think campfires, wood burning stoves and fireplaces. For the most part, the feel of the finish is smooth but there are areas seared more than others for texture and authenticity.
There's a beauteous ominous presence to the piece I just love.
The experience was scary and empowering. With the 1/2 can of propane left, I'm looking around the room for another piece to be kissed by the flame. (Good thing my kitchen cupboards are solid wood!) ....are yours? Muuuuaaaahhhhh
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Tana, Little Red Bag Productions

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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  • Linda Premo
    on May 10, 2019

    Hi Tana, well now this is amazing. I love your torched piece. The singed black front makes the design really look beautiful. I’m confused about which knobs you used. I love the burnt ones with diamonds and the flowers. Remember to never burn any particle or pressed board because the adhesives used are very toxic and urethanes or any leaded paint would also be extremely dangerous to inhale. You might try using a wax seal because burning the wood can be very drying and it might crack in time especially if you live in an area with weather extremes. I don’t know if you are now a pyro or a power woman but you turned this from okay into an artistic creative hot looking piece of furniture!

  • Joni
    on May 24, 2019

    If you send it then stain it it brings out natural beautiful colors of purples reds finding out what kind of wood what colors looks a lot better than just the charred look I have done this for years

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