Hey guys! It’s been a long time coming and I’ve meant to release this blog post for many months, but life got busy and…COVID. Sure, I’m going to go with that. But really, 2020 has been a gong show and I’ve had no extra time to do side things like blog posts which I do enjoy!
I’d say in this biz the 2 questions I receive the most are: “how do you paint furniture?” which I’ve created an online e-course to help you to learn how I do what I do in terms of painting furniture from prep, what products to use, to sealing it/finishing your items for durability. You can click the link here if you’re interested in learning more. My number 2 question I receive is “where do you get those metal legs/bases on your furniture?”
That’s a tougher one to answer since I don’t purchase them anywhere. These are custom welded/designed by my amazing welder, Netanis and created for each specific furniture item.
I found Netanis in mid 2019 since I’d been inspired by some metal bases on furniture that MegMade had done. I thought wow – that really takes an item to the NEXT LEVEL! And to new heights – really. It can add height when needed. So my search began and I typed in “metal welder” on Kijiji (does anyone even know what Kijiji is anymore?) and found her! I messaged her immediately since her ad jumped out to me, and I didn’t even know she was a female until I met her in person. Not that it makes a difference in gender, I was just happily surprised because I really like to support female creatives like me whenever I can. Below is the first project we worked on together!
I sent her some inspiration photos for our first project and didn’t have to give many details at all, she just did it up and is a true magician and pro at what she does. I was so happy and blown away by her talent, she was a keeper and I think we make a great team whenever we work together. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I’ve found her!
I know many of you will have some questions about how she makes these, and honestly unless we’re all professional welders we just won’t understand how to *make them*. However, we’ve created some general Q&A’S on what to look for when searching for your welder and how to finish these bases.
D: What are the bases made out of – size, material, what type of metal, etc?
N: Most I make from 3/4” square, steel tubing. But I can do aluminum, stainless steel, different shapes of material, lots of options…I leave it up to the designer!
D: What criteria is the best for qualifying for the best base attachment? Are there items that wouldn’t be ideal for this look?
N: A good, solid piece…I attach bases in different ways depending on how the bottom is. Some are solid wood and some are just an edge around that is solid so I construct the base and how it attaches, accordingly. As far as items that are ideal? I leave that to the furniture artist! By solid I don’t mean solid wood, it can be particle board, I just mean I can’t fix a piece that is not structurally sound.
D: For someone who wants this same look but can’t hire you personally/locally, how do you suggest that they find someone, and what are some questions they can ask from a professional welder so that they can get this look where they are?
N: Good question! A lot of welders will advertise on kijiji or a similar site if they do side work or a small welding shop may be an idea. Welding shops in general may give you a lead of someone who can help you. A pic of what you want is always a great way to ask if a welder can do something. You want to know if they can get the piece to the point where it just needs to be painted…they should grind off any spatter, finish the leg bottoms, etc. Any good welder will be able to make sure it’s square, sits well, level, make it easy to attach and clean it up well to be painted.
D: What is more difficult to make – a single metal base or a double tiered base? Also – what is more difficult – a smaller item such as the night stands you’ve worked on, or a large sideboard?
N: Once a single base is made it’s pretty easy to make it a double. Most of the work is done, it just takes more time. I have to think ahead for a double as to how it will attach because sometimes I have to make the holes or do the brackets before I put on the second bar as I may not have room to work. The smaller are harder but only for cleaning, usually.
D: What do you look for when saying you’ll take a base on – the ability to remove the wood base easily? Flat is ideal, right?
N: I am not a woodworker, so yes, I can cut off a wood base with no problem but it needs to be fairly easy. As long as it has a good edge around the width of the metal, I can do a base…If the front and back are different heights or the sides are, I can usually adjust to that too.
D: Do you cut off the wood that is there so that it’s flat at the bottom so you can make a base?
N: I do what the designer asks me to do!! Lol! However, it does need to have a surface that I can attach the base to.
That wraps up my Q&A session with Netanis, however I’m sure there are still some unanswered questions such as how much do these generally cost to get done, and regarding painting the base.
COST – Anywhere from $250-$500 per base/item depending on how detailed the base is and how large the item is. But remember that small items are very intricate too so just because they’re small, doesn’t mean they should be on the smaller scale in price.
PAINTING THE BASES – I scuff sand all my bases prior to doing anything with them, just to give them some grit for anything to stick onto. Most of my bases are gold, so I find a metal rust adhesive spray primer in a shade that’s similar to gold. I like to use a beige spray paint by Tremclad. Just make sure whatever you use it says it’s adhesive to metal. Then I use my fave gold spray paint Rustoleum Metallic Gold. It’s good coverage over the base color. This is not going to be enough for durability. Legs can tend to take the most beating – think vacuums, mops, feet kicking them, etc. I like to protect my bases with Varathane Triple Thick polyurethane in Semi-Gloss. This stuff is kindof tricky to work with, but it levels out nice and gives good protection. The process of painting a metal base usually takes me a full day when done right and allowing proper wait times.
Steve the handy husband then attaches the base to the dresser and we’re all happy that it’s finished, hooray!
Above are a couple of items with metal bases created by Netanis that I currently have available and ready to be loved by you! But, when you read this, they could be gone!
Hope you enjoyed the BTS info of these metal bases! – Dani