Variation on a Theme with Recycled Wood

Last week we found 20 or 30 small pieces of molded trim that came out of a turn-of-the-century house in Grand Rapids, Michigan. These pieces are about 12″ long, 5″ wide nearly a full inch thick with a 3″ molding at one end. They also have multiple – at least 4, possibly more – coats of lead-based paint on them.


Since I have no desire to sand lead-based paint, I soaked a test piece in paint stripper, which did a good job of removing nearly all of the paint.


A scraper and some mineral spirits took care of the rest of the paint.

The piece was then cut to 3″ wide on the table saw – after I found and removed a couple of almost hidden finishing nails. The drum sander cleaned up the top and bottom and a bit of hand-sanding touched up the sides. A reveal was cut into the bottom using my recently completed router table. The WoodDot accent was added and wells were drilled to accommodate the sampler glasses and votive candles. (Tea light candles fit inside the glasses for another possibility. ) The unfinished piece was a hit at last night’s dinner party.

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Today, a finish of hand wiped mineral oil was applied. The oil brings out a golden glow in the flat surfaces which contrasts nicely with the exposed grain of the molded shape.


This was a fun practice piece and I am looking forward to expanding on the concept (joining two pieces together to hold three or five glasses/votives, experimenting with different widths, and testing different finished). While this particular piece will probably stay in our household, the design/item is listed in the WoodDot Designs Etsy Store.