Well, this one took me darn near forever to do.  After my downstairs flooding three times, then having to rip up 1000 square feet of carpeting and replace with wood flooring myself (I did have one solid helper, and 2 part time kids in the process), painting and putting up a shiplap wall…..

“Steele” is finally DONE!

A back story on this piece though…..

Met someone through a battle game I play back in November.  We hit it off great as friends.  Played the game, and had long talks about life and other stuff, on the side.  First person in a very long, long time that I could talk just about anything too.  So I had this buffet sitting in my living room that I had bought, and decided to design the piece around them and the game.  They both essentially became my "muse".

Then they started getting kinda of weird and I began to question them about it.  The back and forth on this kept going on and I finally had to remove myself from the situation.  I’m pretty sure it was due to the things that happened in their past and that’s something I don’t have control over, but I do recognize the damage from it.  I knew a lot about them, so it made sense what was happening.  After pulling my own self out of a bad 25 year marriage, I couldn’t handle emotional drama like this.  I couldn't handle the mind screwing that was beginning.  

So I said “bye-bye” and closed that door.

There was a lot more I could add to this, but because of the privacy nature of both them and I, I'm not gonna be a "tell all" here.

But I still had this buffet to finish and it was very, very hard to do because they were gone in my life and it hurt just to look at it.  So it sat in the corner of my living till I could.

Then God sent the 3-time flood (sump pump issues and a really, really bad plumbing company), in my downstairs to start the process of snapping out of it.  He knew what I was going through and he knew it would take something huge to bring me out of all of it.

Did I mention huge?

Well, his plan worked; but doesn't it always.  

After removing 1000 square feet of carpet, repairing and sealing the concrete, laying new wood flooring down, painting, and making a shiplap wall….. I was physically exhausted, but emotionally ready to return to finishing “Steele”.

This is what he started out as:

This is what you look like when you're left on someones carport for about a year.

This is what I had to do to him.  He had a lot of layers of crap to take off (could be a reference to real life here).  I literally had to strip and clean this piece down to his bones because the veneer was SO bad and the backing was even worse. 

 Does anyone else get excited after revealing what's underneath old veneer?!

Then we got down and dirty with the design….

Since I was making a buffet/desk designed with a commander of an alliance in mind, the piece absolutely HAD to have an emblem reflecting that.  This is where my mind sometimes goes a little crazy.

Since the piece is named “Steele”, it had to be a steel emblem.  Paint just would not do…. not in MY head.  It had to be made of metal.

So I set out to do a LOT of research about what I was thinking of doing.  WEEKS of research…. then DAYS of practicing.  I learned through practicing that I only had one shot at doing it.  This is why it is my trade secret now.  Many have asked how I did it because it’s a new technique now.  It’s just something I am not comfortable with everyone doing in this market though since I spent so much time figuring it out myself.

Some things are best not taught in painting classes..
So, my lips are sealed.

So I carved the emblem into the shelves I had already made for the side cabinets.  The old ones were a mess and wouldn’t stand up to what I was doing.  Then the metal went in.  My hands were shaking so bad when I first started because I was SO nervous about messing it up, because it HAS to go in right the first time.  So I took a short break and then laid that stuff in.  Perfect on the first try.  I continued this process on the top of the buffet as well.


  • Frames were made for the cabinet doors fronts so the hardware would look like a commanders medals in a frame.  
  • I left the old veneer on the cabinet door and drawer fronts because those were being designed to resemble black old leather.  
  • Faux leather lined the inside of the drawer.  
  • Old World maps lined the inside of the cabinet doors as well. 
  • Legs were designed in antique pewter to resembles swords a commander would carry. 

Now THAT was messy to do!
And it's all about the details too!

Everything else was a process of paint and stain combinations to resemble old wood and old smoke from a battle field.  A new backing was put on the piece... some trial and error, until Steele became what he is now.

I only wish the real Steele could see it though.  

If he does….

This is for you Steele.  
Thank you and I'm really sorry things turned out as they did.


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