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

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A great chest! (keep your mind out of the gutter!)

I've been busy, busy, busy.  But, when I saw this chest I just couldn't resist.  Even though it was seriously dated and in desperate need of a makeover, I really could see the potential.  I love chests and dressers this size.  They can be anything!  Media center, Entryway table, Buffet for a smaller dining room, and of course, a great place to store clothes, ha!  Here it is all dated and sad:

And, I would be remiss if I left out the grungy top:

I can't even begin to imagine what this is, but these spots were all over the top.  Needless to say, the first thing I did was give this chest a good cleanin'!  Then, I got out the ole orbital sander and sanded away all the orangey brown stain from the top.

That top looks much better, huh?

I have to admit, when it comes to staining, I'm learning as I go.  My first try wasn't that great, but I got better.  I always used the stain/poly mixture and was happy with it, but that has all changed.  A few weeks ago while doing my pallet wall project, I sent my husband to Lowe's to buy stain.  I just told him dark walnut, but forgot about the whole Polyshades brand.  He came home with this:

Luckily, I also had some poly on hand.  I couldn't really tell with the pallets because they just soaked up the stain, but I really liked the color, so figured I'd use it on this chest.  I LOVE this color and the best part?  ONE COAT.  Yup, you heard me, no waiting 6-8 hours in between coats of stain, this covered evenly and dark in one coat.  I then put 2 coats of poly on top and it really is my best staining job yet.  The wood is so pretty!

I also decided this whole dresser needed a redo, right down to the drawer pulls.  I could have painted them, they probably would have looked fine, but I wanted this chest to be updated, made to look like it was just made.  I found some great drawer pulls at the Habitat for Humanity Restore.  So, after 2 coats of ASCP Old White, some sanding and waxing, it's done!  I really like the way it turned out.  It looks like something you would find in a store today and notsomuch like an old washed up piece repainted.

Just look at the great dark wood top in contrast to the Old White:

Doesn't even look like the same chest, huh?

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Which decade do you think?

I can't decide...60's or 70's?

What do you think?

Either way, not anything in THIS decade, but unique nonetheless.  So, what the hey, I'll try and transform it.  I decided it needed a really beach, chippy feel, but because of the size, thought white was the best color. 

I'm really beginning to have quite the collection of ASCP and I just happened to have some Pure White on hand.  It was a gorgeous day outside so this transformation happened on my back porch.  Now, some ASCP lovers may curse me, BUT, as much as I love her clear wax (especially because it doesn't stink and I can do it inside all winter long without stinking up the whole house)  I decided to go back to my old standby, Johnson's Paste Wax.  It's stinky, that's for sure, so do it outside.  I really love the way it goes on and at $5 a tub instead of $25 a tub, well worth it!

So, here it is, all chippy:

I'm really suprised how well it turned out.  Look at the huge drawer for storage!  If I had another, I think these would surely be my living room side tables.

So, do you know???  What decade is it from??

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pinterest and Pallets

Once again, damn Pinterest has got me!  I know that pallets and reusing, redoing, fixing them are all the latest rage.  But, when I saw this, I knew I had to cave in also.

Unfortunately, this was just a pinned picture on Pinterest, it did not lead me to a website where I could give credit where credit is clearly due.  Remember, when using Pinterest, pin the site where the pic came from, or at the very least, copy and paste the link so when reusing you are giving proper credit.  A lot of DIY and projects just aren't getting the proper credit with the whole Pinterest craze.  *stepping down off soapbox*

But, seriously, how great is that?   I've got a big wall in my kitchen where I just never could figure out what to put.  For the past 8 years I've had 2 big wrought iron circles that really belong in a yard hanging there.  They looked nice, but plain.  When I saw this, I knew exactly where it would go.

But, where to get pallets?  Do I buy them?  Put a ISO on Craigslist?  I did use Facebook to ask a few people, but I ended up just using my own great wit!  (haha!)  I was driving back to work from my lunch hour and passed a big plumbing warehouse.  It was a gorgeous day and as I drove by I saw some men unloading a bunch of cargo with pallets just strewn around the parking lot.  So, naturally I stopped.  It went something like this...

Me:  What are you guys going to do with all those pallets?
Guys:  I don't know, what do you want to do with them?
Me:  a few projects I guess
Guys:  How many of these pallets do you think you can fit in your car?
Me:  Car?  I don't drive a car, I drive a pick up truck!
Guys:  Well, back it up here and we'll load 'em on!

So, as I head back to work dressed as any professional would be, I pull into the parking deck, driving my pick up truck with the back FULL of wood pallets.  I can only imagine what others were thinking, but really, I didn't care.  I scored!

Just a warning, recovered pallets don't really look like the ones on Pinterest or other websites.  They are really very utilitarian, meant to sit heavy crap on.  It doesn't matter weather the wood planks are evenly spaced, or the same size, or even missing half the slats.  But, if you get plenty, like I did, you can use 2 or 3 to make one really good one.  Plus, the whole point is to have a rustic finished product.  Not a product that looks like you went to Lowes and had the wood guy carefully cut all your pieces.  I think my husband had a small heart attack when he saw our back porch:

But, I came armed with my printout of the project I wanted to do.  I think he saw the light!

I found the perfect sized one to use.  All I had to do was tear out the middle slat to make an open looking shelf:

I lightly sanded it, didn't want it too smooth!  Then, I stained it a dark walnut and topped it with a coat of poly:

I was able to get all this work done peacefully yesterday because the weather was fantastic!  My little helper got herself dressed and played happily while I worked.  Truthfully, I think even she thinks I'm just a little bit crazy, but anyone who picked out this outfit certainly can appreciate a little craziness, right?

So, here it is right at home.  I need to get a few little knick knacks still.  I'd also love to get a few small bunches of dried lavendar and hang them in the empty spaces to give it some more pop, but still, even not all the way dressed up, I couldn't be happier with the way it came out:

Closer up:

Once again, a reminder to click on the pictures to make them bigger to really see how great this is!  I love, love, love it.  Even my husband who had a case of severe angst when he saw the cluttered patio thinks it was well worth it!  Also, I have another project in mind for the rest, so......stay tuned!

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Two Toned Tables (catchy, huh?)

I hope everyone had a great Easter.  We had a really nice time, to include a visit from the Easter Bunny, Egg Hunt, and Filet Mignon dinner.  As I was cleaning up the dinner dishes though I saw the carton of hardboiled eggs sitting in the fridge.  Hmm.  Nope, they weren't dyed.  They were just sitting there.  Naked.  Fail, huh?  Will my kid be in therapy as she remembers her 4th Easter without dyed eggs??

Let's get to something that I think I did right!  I scored this set months ago and they just sat in my storage room for a while until I could decide what to do with them.

We've all seen variations on this set, right?  Structurally, all three tables were in great condition.  However, they were messy, messy, messy.  They also had a really high sheen glossy look. 

I'm thinking this was the nail painting station in the house.  Not too sure about this though:

But, with some elbow grease and an orbital sander messy means nothing to me! 

I wanted to get away from my normal stained top-painted legs look that I've been doing lately.  Don't get me wrong, still love it, but this furniture didn't seem the "type" for that.  I broke down and bought a brand new color of ASCP that I've really wanted to try--Coco.  It's like a creamy chocolate bar.  So, first, I cleaned, cleaned, and cleaned.  Then I turned the tables upside down and painted the ledges and legs in ASCP Old White.

Even with all that glossy gloss it still only took two coats.  Keep in mind, I knew I was going to distress and wax.  If I wanted a no distress, clean look, I would have put on a third coat.  I painted the tops Coco, then distressed everything lightly and topped with some clear wax.  I used two coats on the tops of the tables because I knew they would get extra wear and tear.  I also painted the goldy gold drawer pulls black, which I wasn't sure of, but think I really like the contrast. 

Here's the finished product:

It's such a pretty set.  Perfect for a smaller room as the end tables are tall and narrow and the lighter colors really soften them up.  Look at those curvy legs!

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Wax On, Wax Off, etc...

Well, this is not going to be the post I thought it was, blah.  Because my camera is still on the fritz, I've been using my phone to take pics, then emailing them to myself, then moving them to my pictures library.  I had all of my before and during pics on my phone.  Because everything electronic I own just can't seem to act normal, I started deleting pics from my phone to free up some space.  I made sure I emailed the pics to myself, but alas, the email didn't go through and I had already deleted the pictures.  I know, I know a post without tons o' pics gets boring, so how about a few pics just thrown in for fun?

That's me and my husband. 

Back to business...my sister is moving to Florida and getting rid of a ton of crap from her house.  She is also getting rid of some not so crappy stuff including a great buffet/chest.  I really considered not painting it, but it needed some new life.  So, I got out my sample color of ASCP in Duck Egg Blue.  Because I only had a sample, I mixed it with Old White.  After 2 coats and some sanding I just wasn't crazy about it.  Was it blue, green, gray, white?  Couldn't tell.  So, I mixed up my own chalk paint with some unsanded grout using a flat white color.  I only needed one coat because I did want some of the other color to pop through.  As I sanded I realized that although homemade chalk paint works nicely, it just cannot be compared to ASCP and they way it sands and ages.

Time for another random photo?  Sure!

That's Emma working her new LeapPad like a pro after only about 5 minutes!  Yes, she is in her PJ's.  No, it isn't bed time as evidenced by the sun blaring through the window.  Let's just say she is on a PJ kick and leave it at that, K?

I knew I wanted to also add dark wax to give it more aging but had never really used a lot of dark wax except with ASCP Graphite color and the goal then was to make the color look more black.  Just for the record, I have never taken an Annie Sloan workshop.  I wish I could, but I barely have enough time to do everything else.  So, needless to say, I've been winging it where her techniques are concerned.  I've also had some invaluable tips from other blog sites.  Mainly, always use the clear wax FIRST before the dark wax to have better control.  Done.  But, as I applied the dark wax and began rubbing off, it was DARK.  Crap.  I can't believe I'm gonna have to repaint this buffet AGAIN.  But, ta-da, I remembered reading somewhere that the clear wax will help remove the dark wax.  So, I tried it and it worked!!  I was able to control the amount of dark wax I wanted on the piece.  It turned out really nice even though it now had 3 coats of wax on it, my arms were killing me!  This baby is smmmmmooooooooth as buttah.   So, here she sits in her new home.  Well, her new home for now...

Look at these great dividers in the top drawer:

I need to stop being so cheap and just go by myself a new camera.  In fact, maybe I'll do that today.  I took the day off work and like a bad mommy, still took Emma to daycare.  I deserve it, right?

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