Tales of my furniture makeovers and great DIY projects...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Finally for us "thick" girls AND a coffee table!

No, I don't mean fat!  I mean thick, as in THICK HAIR.  Those of you who know me, know that I have very thick hair.  Not normal thick, but abnormal thick.  Are you picturing it?  Now triple in your mind what you have pictured and that is my hair.  I go through stylists and elastics faster than anyone.  And, it's curly.  But, not good curly, so usually, my hair is in a pony tail.  Occasionally, I'll muster up the energy to straighten it like I've done the past few weeks, but normally pony tails are my style of choice.  NO gadget, accessory or banana clip has ever fit this head.  Until today.  Me and my sister went to the Maryland Christmas Show at the Frederick Fairgrounds and we stumbled across this guy who swore these pretty clips would fit my hair.  I strutted right up to him determined to prove him wrong, but I was wrong!  So, there was nothing left to do but buy one.  Right?  Just want to show it off:

It's also a plus to support a local husband and wife duo!

But, you don't really care about my hair, I'm sure!  Let's move on...

I bought this table from a lady through Craigslist.  I loved the wood planks that were the top.  But, it wasn't so pretty.  In fact, it was ugly.  And dirty.  And, even though he's been proven wrong time and time again, my husband thought I was crazy.  See:

Do you think I'm crazy?  Here's a closer look at the top:

Peeling paint AND stickers, bonus!  But, it had good bones.  So, I decided I wanted to strip the paint off the top, stain it and paint the body white.  That's just what I did.  In case any of you have forgot, I LOVE this product for stripping:

I don't know if I'm doing it the "right" way, but I just buy a chip brush (super cheap) and spread this on with it.  Let it sit for about an hour and use a scraping tool or wire brush to simply take the paint off.  It really is quite simple BUT super messy.  Through trial and error, I've realized that after you clean the wood off, it really needs to sit and dry for a day or so before sanding it, otherwise you'll just get gooey yucky stuff all over your sanding pad.  After sanding, sanding and sanding, I got this top:  (notice I started staining before I took this pic, but you get the idea!)

I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but there were still flecks of black that I just couldn't get out, they were deep in the wood.  I was a bit upset by this, but by the time I finished staining, you couldn't tell these flecks were black, they just look like divets in the wood, which add to the rustic style of it.  Score!  See how beautiful the top finished:

I painted the body in ASCP Old White, then heavily distressed it.  I also broke down and bought the AS Wax.  I'm glad I did, although about $20 more a can than the Johnson's wax, it doesn't smell.  I do most of my work in the basement and the Johnson's wax stinks up the.whole.house.  I've been banned from using it again, so I was super happy to find that AS doesn't have an odor, well, barely an odor.  I put 2 coats of wax on and it is beautious!  See:

And, of course, once again, I've made my husband eat his words!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A New (Old) Bedroom Set

Well, not a whole one.  But, if you are anything like me these days, you won't like a complete matchy matchy set anyway.  A few common pieces are nice, but having different things makes a room full of character, not like a showroom floor.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, the new (old) bedroom furniture.  It seems these armoires are pretty rare to come across.  Not from my experience, this is the second one like this I've redone, but most people seem suprised to see an armoire with cubbies like this and I guess are used to the ones with big television cutouts.  So, here is the armoire as I found it: (I forgot a before picture of the night table)

Here is the inside:

Seemingly in good shape, huh?  Well, the first of it's problems was it had that orangey hue that makes me gag a little bit.  The rest of it's problems were stuck all over the side in the form of hard mirror-y like thick stickers.  Luckily for me, they peeled of easily.  Whew.  The night table (nightstand?, sidetable?, I never know what to call them) had the remnants of a little girl named Emily.  How do I know that?  Her name was carved in the top.  Again, luckily, it was just a superficial carving and sanding away easily. 

I found this duo at a yard sale.  Not just a regular yard sale mind you.  This was the yard sale of ALL yard sales.  This was the day before Colorfest weekend in Thurmont, the day where THE.WHOLE.ENTIRE.TOWN has a yard sale.  I'm not kidding.  Really.  Anyone from this area will be my witness.  So, I hopped in the ole pick up and headed down to Thurmont.  I think I only got through about 5 blocks before I ran out of time and space.  I found these at my first stop, hence the running out of space quickly.

I used my "oops" paint from Lowes, that is a beautiful creamy white.  I added a touch of the unsanded grout, however, because of the orange hue, I did prime this with a heavy duty primer.  Then, it took just 2 coats of paint after the primer.  I have to say, it sanded great.  Certainly not like the ASCP, but I really wanted a very distressed look and that is what I got pretty easily. I topped both pieces with two coats of wax. Then, I painted the inside a great bright sagey green color to give it some POP!  Sorry I don't know the color, it was also another "oops".  I think I'm addicted to that small section of Lowes.  Hopefully, they won't issue me a stay away order anytime soon for lurking around just waiting for the paint guy to make an error.

Here is the finished job:

And, the pretty night table:

I really just love those crystal/glass like knobs.  I wish some of the other local (or not local) furniture painters/redoers/whateveryoucallit would give me a great hookup for where I can buy these cheaper and in bulk. (pretty please with sugar on top!)

Here is a close up of one of the real chippy spots:

And, the inside POP:

I really wish I was a better photographer.  Sigh.  I see so many of these blogs with these photos of furniture perfectly staged and nothing less than a brilliant shot.  But, honestly, I don't have the time to learn something new.  I'll just do my best, but never will win any awards.  HA!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

An update and a reminder...

We finished our Pinterest wreath!  Well, lets face it, I finished it.  Emma wanted to help, but really all she wanted to do was play with the hot glue gun.  And, since most would frown upon that idea, I finished once she went down for her nap.  Well, when I say "nap" I mean she is in her room.  With the door shut.  But, rest assured, there is NO sleeping going on.  It should be a fun evening in our house.

So, here is what we ended up with:

I really think this is ending up to be my favorite little spot in our house.  Although I still technically have this black dresser for sale, I'm liking it more and more and am positive I'm keeping it.  Someone came to look at it last week and I actually breathed a sigh of relief when she said it was a bit too big for her.  Anyway, she what I mean:

When I first suggested where I wanted to hang this, my husband thought I was a bit crazy to hang it like that, but I like it.  Now that it's there, so does he.  Why must he continually question my abilities?  HA!

This was SO simple to make.  All we did was have a fun afternoon outside last week collecting pine cones.  Then, with spray paint I already had, I just sprayed them in about 2 seconds flat.  I went to AC Moore and for about $3 I got a plain twig wreath.  You know the kind, just looks like a round bunch of sticks.  I arranged them how I wanted and got out the hot glue gun and in another 2 seconds flat they were attached.  I already had the ribbon also, so this whole project cost around $3.50 or so.  I mean, I did use 3 glue sticks!

Oh, my reminder...As I look back at my last post to the 2 pictures that originally inspired me, I realized mine definately looked homemade, whereas the sample pic looks like something you could buy in a high end store.  The differences?  My pinecones weren't purchased, they were found right outside my back door.  And, I had a 3 year old helping me.  Both of which makes this wreath more meaningful.  Also, to me, this is a hobby and I just don't have the time to perfect my skills!  I wish I did and could make a living doing crafts and DIY, but, sigh, I can't.

As a bonus, I had some pine cones left over and made this mini wreath.  Emma says it's hers!

Stay tuned, tomorrow I'll be posting my latest furniture project that (once AGAIN) I want to keep!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I know, I'm boring!

But, really I'm not!  I made a promise that I would be more attentive to this blog, but I'm finding I just don't have the time.  Just a reminder, in addition to all this crazy furniture painting and finding and rescuing, I actually have a full time Monday--Friday job.  We've been gearing up for a big trial the last few weeks only to have it postponed due to witness issues, so I'm still recovering from that.  Sigh, I'm making myself tired already.  I am working on a FAB new furniture project which should be ready in a few days, I can't wait to show it off!
In the meantime, I've been doing/planning some small holiday projects.  In my quest to learn more about Pinterest, I came across these two pine cone crafts and simply LOVE them:

Here is the other one:

We spent about an hour last weekend gathering pine cones outside, but I still don't think we have enough to do both.  So, my idea is to combine them!  Luckily, for my wallet, I had several bright colored cans of spray paint already.  I am going today to buy the ribbon and glue for the wreath and hopefully will have my final pics in a few days.  Emma is so giddy about this project.  Well, she was yesterday, who knows what today will bring.  But, I suppose that could be a whole other blog, huh?  The rantings and dual personalities of 3 year old girls.  Sigh again.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A donation...

My oldest daughter attends Loyola University Maryland where she has always been involved in campus activities.  Because Loyola is a community service oriented college, many of her activities are community service oriented. 

Although we have had a major disagreement about this one, I can't blame her for wanting to go on a mission trip.  It's very expensive and the school puts on a big auction every year to help pay for this mission trip.  Read more about it here:  Project Mexico Auction

So, although I don't have much money to give, I always have an extra piece (s!) of furniture around, I decided to refinish a table and donate it for auction to help the students on their mission.

In my haste to complete it, I forgot to take a before pic, but I think most of us have seen this style of table some time or another.  It's normally in a dark cherry color with a gaudy drawer pull.  I painted it in my latest fav, ASCP Louis Blue,  heavily distressed it, put on a wax topcoat and topped her off with a pretty glass drawer pull.  

When I posted this on my FB page just to add to my "album" I had some gaga remarks over it, so I'm hoping that it sells for a big fat chunk of change and it helps the Loyola students on their mission!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A space for ME!

I have been wanting and wanting a new desk/office space for a while now.  My old desk, while in good condition, was just one of those prefab Office Depot kinds, you know, there are like a million of them.  At the very least, I've been bugging my husband to take the hutch off because it was just too big.  Well, this weekend, I got my wish!

I found this desk on Craigslist and was able to negotiate a $25 purchase price.  It's a bit smaller than what I wanted, but it's pretty.  So, I caved.  Here is how she looked upon pick up:

I don't know why, but I always go gaga over those kind of drawer pulls. Yeah, I'm a dork.

I couldn't wait to dig in and paint her up.  Choices, choices, choices.  I'm really loving my ASCP Louis Blue, I could paint everything that color.  My husband, notsomuch.  I decided on 3 different looks since I couldn't make up my mind.  I sanded the heck out of the top and restained it a glossy antique walnut.  Then, I painted the base of the desk my own version of Chalk paint.  Homemade receipes are all over blog land.  I chose the latex paint mixed with unsanded grout since, well, that was the easiest to find at Lowe's.  I've used it before and liked it.  But, let me digress a moment...homemade chalk paint, while nice to work with, is no ASCP.  Sorry to those who think it is, maybe I'm doing it wrong, I don't know.  While it's a good alternative, it isn't the same.  It still gets kind of peely when sanding, not as much as regular paint, but still does.  So, I made my own creamy white chalk paint and painted away.  Then, I painted the drawers Louis Blue.  Let me digress a bit again about the chalk paint...darker colors make it worth it, but in my opinion, the lighter whites still take several coats and you really need to prime first.  Darker colors, even a Louis Blue, goes on like a DREAM, you hear me?  A DREAM!  The drawers only took one coat.  That's it.  You see how dark that desk is?  One coat.  So, here she is:

I have to say, that my husband doesn't really like it.  But, you know, I've thought long and hard about it.  The verdict:  I really don't care.  I love it and it's staying.  Maybe I'll change my mind in a year, a few months, or when I come across something a bit bigger.  But, for now, I'm keeping her!  And, again, look at those pulls...

Not to mention, the very chippy distressing.  Something that good ole (and expensive) ASCP offers.  I ended up (because it's all I had in my house and I just.could.not venture out again) spraying the drawer pulls with a flat black spray, then distressing and scuffing them up with sandpaper.  I like it. 

Then I remembered, VOILA!  I had a mirror in my storage room that has been there forever.  It's nice.  It's big.  But, it's gold and brassy.  So, one coat (ONE-you hear me?) of ASCP Louis Blue and it's back in style.  Plus, my sunroom/office area looks twice as big now with the mirror.

Here is my space before:

Here it is after:

I need to find something to cover the computer that is now sitting on the floor.  Perhaps a small white stand or something? Any suggestions? I also need to find a nice (and cheap) vintage chair I can makeover instead of our beastly black leather office chair.

For now I'm happy that I did something for myself.  This winter I'm also going to be redecorating our living room.  Besides the sofa and chair or loveseat (I hate buying those things used...) I will be redoing everything else.  I'm even going to try my skills at pillow and curtain making.  So, stay tuned...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Redone dresser & a small trick...

I bought this dresser MONTHS ago.  It's been sitting in my storage room but I've lacked the inspiration to do anything with it.  You'd think that I'd learn after all this time that every.single.piece I have seen done or done myself really improves with paint.  I've had numerous requests for dressers so I've emailed the before pics to people hoping they would pick the color of their choice.  I do believe it's hard for people to imagine the after, so I just decided to tackle it!  Here she is:

Pardon the crapola around and on it, like I said, it's my storage room!  Much like other pieces I have done, this is very heavy and solid, yet has that orangey 80's look.  You like those big wooden knobs?  As a bonus, it also came with this great mirror with the same carved detailing as the dresser:

I scored some great creamy white paint in the "oops" section at Lowe's.  I still don't quite understand how white paint is an oops, but hey, I'll take it, especially at $6 for a whole gallon.

So, I primed and painted.  I learned a lesson long ago from a painter who thought that taping was for amateurs, but he was talking about painting walls and trim.  He insisted that if I bought myself a high quality angled brush I should not have to tape around trim and ceilings, I could do it much better by hand and in about 1/2 the time.  I've become quite good at that, so any kind of taping bothers me.  So, when faced with painting the mirror, I loathed the idea of taking the time to tape it all.  I know paint easily comes off with a razor blade, so I just painted without taping.  Don't believe me?!  See:

It comes off EASILY with a razor blade, so heed my advice.  You don't need to take the time taping, just get to a paintin'

So, here is the finished product.  I'm sorry I didn't paint her sooner now that I see just how really beautiful she is!  And, the big wood knobs got the ax.  I was just going to paint them the same color but a few were broken.  Then, I really wanted some beautiful clear glass/acrylic knobs.  But, as you can see, there are 18, yes 18 knobs on this thing.  At $4-$5 per knob, that was a costly idea.  I found these simple and pretty silver knobs that really make this dresser classy.

Stay tuned for my next post this weekend, I have several pieces that I need some inspiration/advice on so I'll be posting some unfinished pieces for you to chime in!