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

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Signs, signs and a table!

Whew.  What a busy week.  I had SO much to do this week.  So, of course, I was sick for two days, isn't that the way it always happens?  But, luckily I was a workhorse over the weekend and finished some projects. 
I had the hankerin' to make some wooden signs.  But, I was just blah about the "perfect" slabs of wood I was buying at Lowes.  I went to my local connection for pallets and began ripping them apart for my not so "perfect" slabs of wood.  I made these great signs for my space.  I'm still struggling with small stuff and signs are fun to make and I hope people like them!
Because this wood was bumpy my previous method of tracing REALLY hard with a ball point pen didn't work so well.  I ended up rubbing chalk all over the back of the paper that I had printed my letters on, then lightly tracing over them with a pen.  Worked like a charm! 
Along those same lines, a friend of mine has been wanting me to  make her and her husband a wooden sign that has their last name and year they were married.  While shopping at the Chartruese barn sale this weekend, I spotted some fabulous old wooden baking trays. I knew it would be the perfect thing to make a simple wall hanging, but also could be taken down to use as a tray.  My only regret is that I didn't buy like 20 of them.  Maybe they will be there next month also.  One can hope, right?  I used the chalk transfer method and just used some ASCP Granite for the lettering.  I screwed two drawer pulls on each side and ta-da!  I love how simple and rustic it is.  I really wish you could see all the detail in this wood, that's why I didn't paint the backround.
I want one.  Or, maybe we could just change our last name to Smith?  How awesome will this look hung on a wall?  Luckily there is a lip in the back perfect for a nail!
I also wanted to share a new (to me!) color.  I don't have any before pics of this table, cause, well, I forgot.  This color is ASCP Florence.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it.  I will be painting something in my living room this color.  So, my husband and daughter better not sit still too long!
This is one coat of paint, yup, that's right, ONE.  I topped it with a clear wax.  I really want to use dark wax over this color, I think it would be even more magnificent, but I thought this table was too feminine and pretty for all that jazz.  Plain and simple is my motto this post!
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Monday, September 24, 2012

Mini Sideboard

Okay, I'm sure it's probably just called a small buffet, but it's so cute, it's mini sized! 
I picked this up from a lady who had been storing some extra pieces in her basement that her in laws had given her and her husband when they first got married.  She just wanted to clean out the space and really couldn't figure out why I like this.  She said, "but, it's just so old!"  Ummmm, duh!  That's what makes it great!
Well, yeah, it's a bit tired and scratched up, but it just needs some refreshing!
I sanded the old stain off the top.  Sometimes I strip and stain, other times I just try and see how easily it will sand off.  This was one of those easy days and it worked!  I used some 80 grit paper and my orbital sander and had the top and sides sanded down in about 10 minutes.  No messy stripper, woo hoo! 
I couldn't decide what color, I wanted an off green so I bought a sample size of ASCP Country Grey.  It has a very green tinge to it.  But, it was TOO greeny for this, I still wanted something neutral, so I mixed it with some ASCP Old White:
I stained the top my go-to stain, Rustoleum dark walnut.  I  rubbed on one coat with some rags, waited for it to dry, then top off with some ASCP Dark Wax......beautious!
I think there is something wrong with me.  Pretty stained wood like this just makes me happy.  Sigh. 
I painted the rest in my custom color mix, 2 coats, then distressed by hand and topped with Clear Wax.  I rubbed a very small amount of dark wax on the bottom detailed part to make it really stand out.
Look at those pulls, so fancy!  And, the wooden decorative piece on top just finishes this off.  Of course, once again, I want to keep this.  But, she is going to my space at Ginger & Spice in hopes that everyone will be in the buying mood during the Fall Festival this Saturday.
If anyone is local, come on out, it should be a great time.  There are now 20 vendors.  I'm hoping I can sell some stuff because I know I'll want to buy everything I see also!
And, because it's so pretty, another picture:
Hope to see you at the Festival!
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Monday, September 17, 2012

I picked a color!

In my last post, one of my burning questions was...what color should I paint these stools?????
Sorry, these are my only before pictures.  I had been looking everywhere for stools with a back that also weren't too big as my table sits behind and to the side of the island.  With big chairs it kind of caused a traffic jam.  I had been using saddle style stools, but was always afraid my four year old would go tumbling back on my hard ceramic tile floor.  I found these at a consignment shop and they are the perfect size and shape.  The color, blah.  It's that light blond wood, or blah wood.
Since my island was just painted and distressed black, black was out of the question.  My cabinets will be painted Old White and we are getting neutral counter tops.  The walls will be painted the same gray you may see peeking through in the living room.  I just went with my old standby, ASCP Louis Blue.  One coat people, yup, thats right, one coat.  Best of all, the seats screwed right off so I didn't have to be careful:
I lightly sanded and waxed them.  I think they POP off the black and will really go well with the gray paint.
Wow, my lighting is really bad.  Hopefully, some of you will know what Louis Blue is like.  If not, it's in between the picture with the seats off and this one. 
I can't wait to finish my kitchen!
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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Do you ever feel like you don't "fit"? Is it OK?

I thought really hard about writing this post, but finally decided I just might get some great advice from those out there in blog world or other places that kind of "get" where I'm coming from.
I could make this reeeaaalllyyy long, but seriously, this isn't a diary, so I'll just start from now.  I've evolved my furniture painting hobby into a business, where I now have a space in a store with a lot of great other vendors/decorators.  I also have cruised the blog world and seen many different styles.  Through this process, I've always kind of been waiting for those in this business to discover I really have no idea what I'm doing.  I mean, I know what I'm doing when it comes to painting, I think I've learned TONS over the years but I'll just have to finally admit and say, my style is way different.  You see, I don't like stuff.  You know, lots o' stuff that sits on tables and up high on cabinetry or hogging all the clean space on my kitchen counter tops.  Don't get me wrong, I see other spaces and really admire them for the ability to accesorize like that.  But, I finally realized, it's not that I don't have the ability, I just don't care for it in my space.  Here are a few examples:
My living room.  I've decorated frugally, the coffee table, two end tables, my TV dresser (which you can't see in this pic) are all salvages that I have redone.  The mirror is a Goodwill find which I painted to add some color.  The bannisters were all painted a bright white by me to spruce it up.  I had every intention of making curtains from some great fabric I found, but found these for a steal and couldn't resist. 
The view from my living room into my kitchen.  Except for the few Halloween decorations Emma just put there, just one candle and a picture frame.
The view of the kitchen.  This is in the process of being redone.  The walls will be the same gray as the living room.  I just painted the island black and distressed it.  I just bought the stools second hand and am trying to decide what color to paint them.  (any thoughts?)  The cabinets will be painted Old White.  And, there is just enough left in the budget for new counter tops.  (any thoughts on color?!)  But, besides my Keurig, paper towels and some bananas (and my purse I just spotted sitting there!) nothing on the counters.  I normally don't even have those hand towels hanging from the stove, but my husband did that.
My bedroom.  I don't even have anything on my night table besides a lamp, my husband at least has a clock.  The two pictures hanging there are 2 of 3 in the whole room.  I do, however, have a nice stack of laundry I just noticed on the bench at the end of my bed!!
See that big open wall, yup, nothing there.
The entrance to the bathroom.  Oh, I did forget about those crazy candle holders that have been there for 8 years.  (reminder....gotta replace those with something else!)  The other picture, I just have to show you a close up because it's my favorite:
This is one of our wedding pictures, the first kiss at the altar.  Anyway, back to business...
My point is that I've been stressing myself out for over a month trying to find, make, figure out how to fill my space with small stuff. 
I worked at the store this weekend and after just walking around in there, around and around and around and around, I finally realized, it's just not me to have an eye for "stuff".  But, most importantly, it's not because I'm lacking or don't know what I'm doing, it's because I don't decorate that way.  And, that's OK.  That's MY style.  Don't get me wrong, I LOOOOOOVE all of the things I've seen, I'm not sure why it didn't all sell in one day, all of it!!  I appreciate the different styles I see, but I need to have confidence that just because mine is very different, it's still good. 
It's weird because I love all things vintage, shabby, redone, etc...but find the choices I make for my own home are more modern that I think I am.  I, of course, didn't show you all the pictures.  I have redone pallets hanging on my walls, a wooden apple crate at my door to catch shoes, an old picket fence hung on my wall with photographs, it's not all bare, but it's not small stuff, you know?
And, most importantly, will someone PLEASE tell me what color to paint those stools???  I want to paint them ASCP Louis Blue to pop off the black, my husband...notsomuch.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Stripping, it's not for the weak!

What can I say about stripping?  How about...I'd actually rather strip my clothes off in a room full of strangers than to strip paint from furniture.
I bought this great dresser with beautiful lines and my plan was to strip the entire thing.  What the heck was I thinking?  Do you know how many hours and hours and hours and hours something like that takes?  It also takes patience and a keen attention to detail.  Yeah right.  It also assumes that you will find pristine wood underneath, right?
Well, as you can see, the paint was just peeling off the top already.  I thought it would be easy peasy.  Famous last words.  I even thought it was going well as I saw the bubbling of the paint after I applied my Citristrip:
It really didn't just strip off like I'm used to.  It took about 3 applications of this stuff.  Did I mention hours and hours and hours and hours of work?  I get the top almost all stripped off and what do I realize?
Yup, you see it right.  That's some sort of putty fixing the broken veneer.  Not that big of a deal, I've used wood filler when fixing spots and painting over it, but this wasn't wood colored filler, it was like automotive putty.  Strong and durable?  Yes.  Could I stain over it?  NO.  So, I had just spent hours and hours and hours and hours stripping the top and the drawers and now I realize the top had to be painted.  Seriously.  Oh, pretty dresser, I really hate you.
I decide to trudge through and apply stain to the drawers just to see how they look.  Hmmmmm, looks really pretty.  So, I painted the body of the dresser in ASCP Paris Blue, then topped it with Old White so some of the blue would come through when I sand.  I used the same pulls, which I love.  Done.  Finally.  Did I mention it took hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of work?  Hopefully, you think it was worth it:
I'm taking her to Ginger and Spice tomorrow.  I'll be there all day working if any of my peeps would like to stop by and visit--21 W. Pennsylvanina Ave, Walkersville, MD.
Thought I'd update the dresser in my space.  I think my handmade burlap wreath looks great hung on the knobs, don't you?!
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A giveaway win, some crafts and FOOD!

I know I promised a more detailed post on how I painted my kitchen island along with my review of the new paint I used....and it's coming.  Soon.  I'm just soooooo busy.  To top it all off my husband is working crazy hours this week and has been going to bed at 6:00 p.m. so all night duties involving my 4 year old go to me.  I'm still trying to decide how to word my paint review, kinda one of those...not loving it while using it, yet like the end result...
Instead I thought I just give you a bit of what I've been doing instead of a furniture before and after.  I was on THIS great blog, Kammy's Korner.  On the cuff, I entered a giveaway.  I never usually do, cause I'm a big loser.  But, this time I did and won, woo hoo!  I won a great hand painted salt/pepper shaker set from THIS great Etsy store, Huckleberry Vintage.
I've got some blues, corals and green in my house so far so when she asked me what color I wanted, I thought yellow would be a great addition.  Sorry, this picture sucks.  Go visit her store, she has some great stuff!
I also wanted to share a few crafts I've been doing.  I've posted before about my pallet projects, so I won't bore you with details, but we made another pallet wine rack for my space at Ginger & Spice, but this time I mixed it up by adding a little message on it.  Whaddya think:
I'm really lovin' doing wooden signs and think I may add a bunch to my space.
Along those lines, I wanted to show you the wooden signs that Emma (my 4 year old) and I made last night.  I painted each one orange and black ahead of time because for some reason I didn't think she would have the patience to wait for paint to dry!  All I did was outline a shape and she painted it in.  She also wrote her name and "daddy", I wrote Mommy and Santina (my older daughter)
She is so excited to hang them up.  It's really a cheap craft, I bought a reaaaaaaaly long piece of wood from Lowe's and had them cut it into even squares for me.  The wood cost about $8.00 and I got 8 of these squares.  Of course, I already had all the paint, but little tubes of craft paint wouldn't cost much.  I am going to sand these a bit and put a tiny bit of wax on top, but this is basically how they look!
Lastly, I just HAVE to share my newest crock pot receipe with you.  Chicken Fajitas!  What's not to love?  This was easy peasy.  All I did was cut up green, red, yellow and orange peppers and an onion and lay at the bottom of the crock pot.  I then cut strips of chicken breast up and layed on top.  I added about 1/2 cup of chicken broth and squeezed a lime over it.  To top it off, I sprinkled 2 packets of Fajita seasoning on top.  You know, those bigger packets like they sell in the gravy aisle??  Yea, those.  I cooked on low for about 6 hours.  It came out PERFECT!  The peppers still had a snap to them and weren't all mushy.  I bought tortillas and served them with sour cream, cheese, salsa and fresh avocado.  We had company over and it was the perfect meal because I wasn't stuck in the kitchen all night. 
You know you want some, right??!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lane Cedar Chest--redone and another home improvement project!

I love cedar chests.  I have one almost like this in my living room as my coffee table, see:
It's great storage for blankets and pillows.
When I saw this one, I knew I had to scoop it up and redo it!
This one is considered the Princess style.  It was in great shape but most definately out of date.  The color was blah.  I stripped the top:
I stained it a dark walnut and then topped with some Annie Sloan dark wax.  I painted the body ASCP Cream.  I've never used this color, but it's really pretty.  It isn't really "cream" though, more like a light yellow.  Here is the top, I just looooooooove a dark top!
And, a front view:
I'm normally not to crazy about these types of pulls.  However, I feel like they belong on this.  I sprayed them a oil rubbed bronze and they really POP off the cream.
This "Princess" is currently for sale at Ginger & Spice, go see her!
We are also starting a redo on our kitchen.  New counter tops are at the top of our list.  But, of course, I want to paint the walls the same gray as I did in the living room, which leads to the cabinets not matching because in the living room all of the bannisters and rails were painted white.  So, the cabinets also need a paint job.  Exhausting.  I'm not normal.  One small project usually ends in a complete reno.  I decided I love the two-toned look of the cabinets a different color than the island.  I decided on a black island, distressed and an off white for the kitchen cabinets.  I used a new paint, I'll come back next time to do a review, still trying to figure out how to word it.  Here's a quick peek, I'll post the full story tomorrow!
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