Sunday, July 20, 2014

Refinishing furniture... not as easy as it looks!

So I have some nice furniture pieces that I obtained many years ago - very nice quality.  But after kids, dogs, country life... it all took a toll on the lovely finish.  So to go along with my French Country feel, I decided to paint and then wipe stain on it for an antique-y vibe.

Other bloggers make it look EASY.  It's NOT.  It takes time, and lots of it.  I spent at least 8 hours on this one piece.  That doesn't include the trips to Hobby Lobby for the fixture, or Home Depot for the drill bit.  And it was hard work!  But I think it paid off.

I followed this blog entry, over at Sweet Pickins - How I Glaze Furniture. The one thing I did differently is not put the stain in the glaze, I just wiped the stain on the cabinet.  I have a matching coffee table to work on as well, and I'll definitely add the glaze.  You have to work really fast with just stain.

Let's have some pictures!

This is the cabinet/side table/end table/whateveryouwannacallit before - sorry for the bad photos, they're all from my phone... and choosing a piece with beaded board in the front and back was probably not the best choice for a first-time project, but I'm happy with it!

Let's do a light sanding, although the paint I used, Behr Premium Plus, really didn't require it.
After sanding, wipe it down with a damp rage - I used a chunk of an old t-shirt.

This is the paint color - sort of a light vanilla, called "Innocent."

Let's get it started!

I used two coats.  The first coat was not very smooth, kind of blotchy, but that's ok.  Second coat pretty much covered everything.

Now the staining part - no photos, because my hands were in rubber gloves, and I had to work very quickly in the short time between wiping it on and rubbing it off.  Hint:  Be careful where you sand for distressing.  If you sand over the paint, like on a flat part, your stain will catch in there.  Be sure you have straight lines!  I used Minwax Jacobean - the same stuff I used on the basket from a few weeks ago.

Here is the difference between painted, and stained.

Time to add the new fixture - the original was just a plain wooden knob.  I think this one adds more character, and it was half off!  Also notice how I made sure the stain was kind of "puddled" at the bottom, because that's where dirt and stuff would be if this were an older piece.

Finally, about 2 pm Sunday afternoon, after starting around 11 Saturday morning, I'm done!  I love the hardware, and think it will make a very pretty place for... hmm... not sure.  Maybe the tv will go on top of it.

What do you think?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Back from the fabric outlets....

...and my feet hurt!  I was in and out of every outlet store in Dallas (off Harry Hines and Perth Street) for what seemed like - wait, it was - hours.  Finally, at the new location of Wherehouse Fabrics (where Best Fabrics was, til they moved across the street) I found it!  A lovely tan-based jacquard with a floral print.  And 25% off!  As an aside, I found a nice rug for the living room too!

Here's the rug and soon-to-be curtains.

I also picked up a few pieces of chiffon - I'm going to try my hand at making some scarves!

So... yeah, tomorrow I'm going to tackle the curtains.  Updates as they happen!

A quick little project....

Here's a quickie project I did over 4th of July weekend.  I had a shelf that had been hanging around for years - honestly, like 15 years - and I always thought of doing something with it - but what?

Since I had painted an old dresser for my bedroom, I decided to paint this shelf the same color.  At Home Depot I found some vinyl-covered cup hooks for dirt cheap, added those, and lookey lookey, a new way to display my scarves!  Previously, my scarves were hanging in my closet on shower curtain rings, but that never worked well - the rings all slid to one end, and before long, the scarves slid off the rings.  This way, they're nicely hanging, and I can see what's there!

Before painting, I used a spray-paint primer, since the original shelf was stained and I didn't want any bleed-through.  Then two quick coats of paint - I used Behr Premium Plus Ultra - it's supposed to have primer built in to the paint, but I'd rather err on the side of caution, and used a Krylon spray primer.

Here's the final result!  Sorry it's just a phone photo.... but you get the drift!  It looks crooked, but... yeah, it might be.  Hanging around all those years... oh well, I like it.

I have a few other projects waiting in the wings - refinish another dresser, a coffee table, and an end table, and a door.  I was given (or swapped rather!) a 36x80 steel exterior door in exchange for a western-style big decorative hook.  Since my scheme is going French country, it just didn't fit, and I knew someone who would love it.  The door is going to be my cutting table.  All it needs is a little sanding, and a coat or two of glossy spray paint.  And the desk, oh yeah, the desk... another find for my sewing room... Lots to do, and limited time.  

Off to be creative....

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Up and Running!

Umm... yeah, so it's been awhile.  Hey, what's a few years between friends?

In the past two years I've done a few things.  Returned to school - studying for my certification as a paralegal, and lemme tell ya, it ain't easy.  Keeping an average above 3.5 though.  Yay!

My son has officially moved out.  *sigh*  It's hard when the baby birds spread their wings and leave the nest, but it's a good thing.  He's involved with Heartland Master's Commission and will be finishing his third year this fall!  Then he'll be looking for a position as a worship leader.

I think the biggest issue I dealt with in the past two years is breast cancer.  Only through God's grace was I diagnosed with a non-invasive type, and only had to have a lumpectomy to remove the cancerous spot, and six weeks of radiation treatment.  No chemo!  So far, everything is great, and I have my one-year follow up mammogram in August.  Ladies, get your mammograms!

Ok, now - I'm reviving this blog because I'm getting started in a lot of DIY projects.  Painting, staining, sewing, all are on my plate for the rest of the summer, so my place of residence can look like a home.  So be prepared for (duh duh duhhhhh....) tutorials!

And here's my first - staining a basket!

I'm a huuuuge thrifter.  I don't think I've bought anything new (well, I got a new car, kind of an "I survived" gift to myself) in ages.  I find designer fashion at some great thrift stores for pennies on the dollar.  Furniture?  Ha.  Wait til you see what I'm a-gonna do.

Today I went shopping for a big basket, because I'm the type who kicks her shoes off right after coming inside.  I'm just not a big "shoe-wearer" so off they go.  And I needed a better way to keep them together.  Off to the local thrift shop, and voila!  I found a big basket for all of two bucks!  (And some toile and ticking chair cushions, but that's another post!)

I hated the color, so out came the stain!  I used Minwax in Jacobean - it can get really dark with multiple layers, but I just wanted to knock the color down a bit.

Ok, step one - make sure everything is covered with a plastic drop cloth, because this stuff... uh... stains!  You'll also need a cheap brush - you're gonna mess it up digging into all the little crevices, so an expensive brush is not necessary.  Finally, a clean rag to wipe down the basket.  I used an old t-shirt.  Of my son's.  And he's not here *sniff*....

Here is the basket, fresh from the thrift shop.  It has that almost orange-ish color that really has no personality.

I cleaned it out thoroughly, then went to town!  The stain is like water - I was really surprised how much I used, about 3/4 of a small can.  I guess wicker is dry, and soaks up the stain like a sponge!

Here's the bottom - I did this part first, then flipped it over and did the other side.  You can already see the stain bringing out some nice detail.  I only wiped it lightly with the cloth, as I wanted to keep a good bit of the stain on there.

Remember I said you have to dig in to make sure everything gets stain on it?  Smush that brush in there!

The final product!  Sitting on the porch outside, drying.  Be sure to let it dry at least overnight in a dry climate, longer in a humid climate.

What do you think?  I like it.  I put extra stain along the edges, just for... cuz I liked it.

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