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

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A small whitewashing project

As you all know, I just switched my daughters' bedrooms recently.  Emma's room is complete, I thought I still needed curtains but have since decided that the faux wood white blinds look pretty and I don't want to clutter up the room with more fabric.  So, I was left with Santina's room that was pretty bare.  Even though she isn't going to be here much longer, she still needs a nice place to stay when she comes home, right?

I'm too overwhelmed (and broke!) with things to do at the moment to think about painting it and buying new bedding.  I'd love to paint it two shades of a very nuetral beige and get some bright teal bedding, but again, budget, budget, budget.  I have to work with the purple, which still is pretty, just reminds of a younger childs room since it was a nursery at one time.  I found a cheap purple coverlet to attempt to match a bit.  The chair rail is white and so is the dresser and nightstand.  

My plan all along was to buy an old door and repaint it, hang it sideways and use it as a headboard.  Alas, I realized I couldn't exactly do that with the chair rail where it was.  I kind of put that idea on the backburner until I came across this:

Please click on the pic to get a better shot, each space has a design inlay carved on this old rustic wood shutter.  The wood is just beautiful, but was just a bit to boring for me and didn't fit it with purple and white.  You know, I love me some paint!  I didn't want to just paint it and have it lose it's rusticness (is that a word?) so I decided to do a whitewash although I've never done it before.

It's really quite simple and there's no messing it up.  I didn't want stark white, even though it would have matched.  I thought an off white would help keep the old look of it.  I add a tiny bit of ASCP Old White leftover, I'm actually suprised I still had the can, I kind of thought I had already gotten rid of it there was sooooooooo little in there.  I added some water and stirred.  I dabbed just a small amount on the brush, then rubbed the first stroke on a piece of cloth, then just dragged the brush all over, going with AND against the grain of the wood.  Going against the grain of the wood allows the paint to settle on the top grooves.  I just kept at it until I got the look I desired.

There are spots where the paint is thicker and my original plan was to sand them down, but really does paint wear evenly?  NO!  So, I left it as is and hung it just over the chair rail.  It's a combo headboard/art piece.

Again, please click on the pic to get a bigger view.  The wood is still very evident, I just toned down the "brown-ness" of it, if that makes sense??

I had, had, had to buy this when I saw it.  My usual furniture/home decor motto is that something else will always come along if this isn't the right time.  However, I don't see things like this coming along often, it's so unique.  And, at $35 how could I NOT buy it?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More furniture for a little girl!

This story starts back WAY before Christmas when I finished a matching armoire and side table.  The same set I ultimately used in Emma's room I just posted about the other day.  It was for sale for a while and I had several interested buyers but nothing definate.  Well, I thought nothing definate.  I'm so worried about being pushy to people I know who want to buy my stuff, I tend to not take them seriously.  My friend/boss was really interested but I didn't want to be pushy.  I didn't realize how interested she was, of course, until after I had made the decision to keep the set.  I felt SO bad telling her but assured her that we would find something else.

Fast forward to the week after Christmas...she was on a mission to get her daughter's bedroom redone, which included wanting an armoire and side table.  We scoured Craigslist, found a beautiful one, but it was $350.  As pretty as it was, I just thought it was too  much to spend for something that had to be painted and fixed up.  Later that same day an ad for a pine armoire for $50 was posted without pictures.  There were a few things she definately needed.  The top of the armoire where the doors opened had to have storage, not the kind for a TV, but something like shelves or cubbies, and the bottom had to have drawers.  I responded right away and he assured me the top had shelves.  We set up a time the next day to meet so we could look at it.  We were really quite a sight, all dressed in our work clothes, hopping in my big ole pick up truck and meeting some stranger at his storage unit.  We meant business!  At first sight, my heart sunk, I wanted this to be it so bad, but the whole back was cut out for a TV and there weren't any shelves.  Boo.  But, then he picked the shelves up off the ground and showed me they fit right in.  After a second look, I realized the back could be replaced, but of course, being the cheap, cheap person I am, talked him down to $40 instead of $50.  Yay!  Here is what she looked like, very sad and orangey, knotty pine:

Good bones though, right?  I mean, look at those cute ball feet!  Here's what she looked like open:

Not exactly good for using as a dresser, huh?

Then, we start poking our head in his storage unit.  He asks us what else we are looking for and we mention that she also needs a side table.  What luck, he just so happens to have one in the back of his pick up truck.  It's like it was meant to be.  Such a cute shaped table, but it definately had seen better days.  He tells me to make an offer and I blurt out..."how about $15?"  There is silence for a few seconds, so my partner in crime blurts out..."how about $20?"  I think he would have sold us the table for my price, but she felt bad.  Either way, great deal, even though my cheapness may have suprised her a bit!  Here she is as we found her:

The detail on this table is fabulous, I didn't really realize that until I got it home and got a closer look.  OK, so my $15 was a bit low...But, check out those gaudy drawer pulls.  We thought one simple knob would be better.

Then, I got to work!  I knew I would be using ASCP but was a bit undecided between Pure White and Old White.  Ultimately, I really think Old White was what she was looking for.  The room was going to be decked out in Pottery Barn pastels of pink, green and purple, so the off-white look makes it more vintage-y.  Is that a word?

The first think I did was measure the back and go straight to Lowe's.  For those of you who don't know this, you can get any kind of wood cut to your measurements at the store, they do it right there for you.  The backing wasn't heavy solid wood, but just a thinner particle board, so an easy $10 fix:

I also filled the holes from the drawer pulls in the side table.  Some simple wood filler does the trick.  Fill in, let dry, sand down, done.  After 2 coats of paint on each piece, some heavy distressing, some waxing, another trip to Lowe's to get shelf hanging thingy's (thats a technical term) they were done.  Well, almost.  My friend ordered the knobs from Pottery Barn to match the curtain rods she had ordered so I had to wait for them for the final pics. 

I would have been over the moon as a little girl to have a set like this:

Some close ups:

Although it's not a matching set, it doesn't have to be, does it?  They look GREAT together, dontcha think?  Of course, I can't just do the outside of an armoire, can I?  Check out the FAB inside, no hole, shelves installed, painted a great soft green color:

I really hope they like them and the bedroom turns out perfect!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Emma's new room...AGAIN!

For real this time!  The whole project is done.  (Well, not really, but pretty much!)  If any of you remember, I posted here about a minor room redo during some transitioning.  Well, the transition is over, me and my sister worked like crazy today, so besides needing some new curtains, Emma's room switch is complete.  Disclaimer:  I am NOT a bad mom!  I switched my girl's rooms because Santina is never here and Emma would get much more benefit from the bigger room.  OK, I can move on...

Of course, no before pics.  Duh on me.  But, if you can imagine a bedroom that has basically been neglected for 4 years.  My daughter hasn't even come home for the summer for the past 2 years while away at college, although she has come for visits, never more than 4 or so nights at a time.  I'd just bust in every once in a while with a vacuum, maybe wash the sheets, but her room has basically been ignored.  There has been crap laying all over while she packs stuff, ignores stuff and just moves on.  Her room basically looked like a high schooler lived there.  I'm not even going to get into how dirty it was once I moved the furniture around and out of the room, because I don't want to embarass her, but more importantly, myself.  Besides that, the walls were NEON LIME GREEN.  I'm capitolizing for emphasis because that's kind of what it felt like when you saw the walls.  BAM, in your face. 

So, I cleaned and cleaned yesterday.  Moved out all of the furniture, even borrowed my in-laws steam cleaner for the rugs.  I took everything off the walls.  I spackled until I could no longer spackle.  Then, I went to Lowe's to pick out paint samples.  For anyone who is about to paint a room, I strongly recommend getting a few samples.  Come home and paint spots of your sample colors around the room before making a decision.  I ended up with a color that I never thought I wanted, but couldn't be more perfect.  I got 4 different shades of pink and purple and as I was waiting quickly grabbed a very light green,really, to only make my husband happy.  Turns out, the green I picked (Spring Reflection by Valspar) has to be about the prettiest color I've ever seen for a room.  You can tell there is color on the walls, but it's neutral enough to be able to add all the girly pinks, purples, greens and blues with wall hangings.

Here are some different views.  First, standing in the room looking towards her bed:

How about the owl canvas above her bed?  B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L, huh?  So freakin' cute.  Me and my sister spotted it a few weeks ago at Target.  She begged me to buy if for Emma.  I didn't because I didn't have the extra money, but secretly knew that she wouldn't be able to stand the thought of that pretty picture at Target without giving it to Emma!  Oh, and the kid is pretty cute too, huh?

Here is a few shots looking into the room from her door:

The purple/pink flower canvas?  Also from my sister.  Also from Target.  Same story!  But, the crazy thing I'm most excited about is the closet.  I'm weird but organization really turns me on!  Emma's closet before was sooooo tiny and stuffed full of all kinds of crap from when she was a baby, bags of clothes a good friend had given me but wouldn't fit Emma until next year, bags of clothes that were too small for her, etc...etc...I made my Goodwill bags, stored bigger clothes in the basement and moved her bookshelf into her closet as a shoe rack and toy holder. 

The hanging pink rack is going to be used for outfits of the week.  If any of you have girls, you may know the craziness that comes with getting dressed in the morning.  So, we are going to pick out Monday-Friday outfits and lay them in each section.  Then, we are sticking to it, no arguing about what she is going to wear.  As for the weekends, she can wear whatever she wants, like the nightgown and tights she sported today.  Here's another view closer to the closet that I think shows off the Spring Reflection nicely plus shows off the cute pics she's had in her room since she was born.  I just couldn't leave them out!

And, one last pic just because Emma is so darn cute!

I also want to remind everyone that this room reno was done on a budget.  A serious budget.  I paid a total of $35 for the armoire, side table and bed frame.  I repainted them myself and added glassy knobs, which were about $40.  I got the bedding on sale at Kohl's for $34, which included bedskirt, quilt, sham, flat and fitted sheet and pillowcase.  The pictures, well 2 of them were free, you know, from my sister.  And, the rest was stuff I already had for her.  It can be done people!  Just ask me!

Friday, January 13, 2012

I made a MESS!

I've had a very sick little girl on my hands going on 6 days now.  Boo.  The only day I went to work this week was Tuesday because my husband was able to take off.  Thankfully, she is on the mend, but had a very nasty stomach bug and almost ended up in the hospital.  The bad part, of course, is I hate seeing my baby sick, but also cleaning up all of the "mess" has been horrible.  However, the one silver lining (if you can call it that!) was that she took crazy long naps.  So, instead of sitting around on my b-u-t-t, I tackled some projects.

I got these end/side tables a while ago, like beginning of summer I think.  These are the last of a load I picked up from a really nice lady having a yard sale.  I originally stopped because she had an antique vanity right on her driveway, but the more I talked to her, she showed me more furniture she wanted to unload in her garage.  I wasn't even looking for a yard sale, it was a Friday and I was on my lunch hour heading home to pick something up.  She wanted $50 for the vanity, which really was a steal, but I just wasn't mentally prepared to spend any money.  For those who know me, I'm anything but a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of gal.  After some negotiating, I ended up getting an armoire, 2 side tables, plus the vanity for the same price.  I was totally Sanford & Son driving back to work that day with the pick up truck strapped down with furniture!  But, I couldn't unload it myself, right?  Those 2 tables sat and sat in my storage room.  They were that real clunky wood from back in the 70's with huge gaudy gold pulls.  I ended up painting these in steps.  I took off the pulls and cleaned one day, then about a week or so later, I put the first coat of ASCP Granite on them.  Then, they sat for a few weeks before the second coat.  Then, they sat for a few more weeks before thinking about waxing them...you get the idea, right? 

I experimented with the color.  I had a bunch of ASCP Granite left, but again, not too crazy about the dark gray.  So, after talking with the stockist at my local ASCP outlet, I bought the dark wax to try and give the tables a matte black look.  Voila, it worked!  My husband says he still sees some gray, but that's OK, they turned out pretty.

As for the mess I made?  I SWEAR I had before pics, I know I did, I know I did.  Alas, I can't find them anywhere.  My photo folders are all jacked up now and need to be reorganized.

Here is the finished product:

Not too shabby, huh?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Mini Makeover

If you read my last post...yes, I'm still working on the armoire and side table custom job.  In fact, it's done, except my friend (and boss!), who I'm doing the makeover for has ordered the knobs she wants from Pottery Barn and the wrong color arrived, so just waiting on those for the final reveal!

In the meantime, I found (yes, found) this side table on the side of the road.  One half of me is incredibly embarassed to admit this, yet the other half of me is so impressed that a better deal is not possible.  Do any of my dear friends think less of me for rescuing (grabbing) old discarded furniture from trash piles??  How about this one?  Sorry to admit, I stripped the top before I realized I forgot my "before" pic, but I think you get the point:

Pretty sad, huh?  I still for the life of me can't figure out why people throw wood furniture away, I mean, come on people, just call me! 

Don't be jealous ladies, as romantic as it sounds, my darling husband bought me an orbital sander for Christmas.  Score!  Yeah, I'm weird.  If you would have asked me 2 years ago what I would have thought about that, I'd have a completely different reaction.  But, it was one of my favorite gifts...next to the Keurig.  I slapped an 80 grit sandpaper circle on it and the top was stripped of all stain and poly in seconds. 

I stained the top with 3 coats of Minwax Polyshades in an Antique Walnut color.  I like this because you don't have to stain, then poly afterwards.  I don't have all day to wait and because the Polyshades alone takes 6 hours in between coats with some steel wool scrubbing, that's all my patient nature can take!

I also had my ASCP Louis Blue on hand so I put on a coat and let dry.  One coat was plenty, no sanding, no priming.  Good stuff.  I distressed it heavily, and topped it with my AS clear wax.  Then, as a final finsh, I had an extra glass knob leftover from a package I had bought for another project. 

And, once again, made my husband look twice and even remark about keeping it!

The really good thing about this table (besides being free) is that it's small and can fit in any of those hard to fit places that are just dying for some extra storage or a place to set your glass.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Another custom redo...

I did another custom dresser for someone that contacted me and I have to be honest, it stressed me out.  I really wanted to make it perfect, but it was so old, there was peeling veneer and the sides were all veneer.  It has a beautiful shape and is obviously an antique.  So, I spiffed it up the best I could.  She wanted all white, no distressing.  Again, like my last post, the no distressing really does make me sweat because it really has to be perfect.  It turned out quite nice as soon as I let myself realize I wasn't rebuilding the entire dresser and the goal was to make it pretty.

Here she is:

I really do think it's beautiful now, I've got to stop stressing so much!  Hope you enjoy!

I've been working on a great armoire and side table project.  It'll be a great post, right down to me and one of my bosses jumping in my pick up truck on our lunch hour to meet a guy at his storage unit...stay tuned.