Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Coffee Table in Linen

This coffee table was another "rescue".  Hubby was going to take it to the dump and asked me if I wanted it.  Sometimes even I have a hard time seeing the potential in a piece, and I almost said no!

 What's funny about this piece is that the worst part of it ended up being the focal point. There's not much to this table and the base is pretty standard, so the oak ended up taking center stage. 


Yowzas!  I think somebody used it for a work bench and spray painted something on the top of it. It had lots of scratches and some were too deep to get out, but I think they just ended up adding character. :)


Thanks to a grinder with 80 grit paper I was able to get all of that hideousness off.  
I then smoothed it out with 150 grit.  Here's a little tip.  Even using finer grit paper on wood can leave tiny scratches.  If you notice swirlies or little scratches just sand in the direction of the grain and it will take them right off (even using the same grit paper that put them there).

Then I used two coats of Java Gel, letting the first coat dry for a couple of hours before doing the second coat. Followed by 3 coats of Varathane in satin. 

I absolutely love that wood can take such abuse and be restored to its former glory!

 The body got two coats of Linen from General Finishes then was lightly distressed and sealed with Varathane. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Antique Pedestal Table in Linen

This table was another piece destined for the dump,  It had been sitting in a storage unit for a while and it was pretty rough.  It's quarter sawn oak and was really dry, so the grain was really open.  I don't like oak to begin with and when it's dry it's even worse!  The drawer was stuck tight and took some major muscles (not mine!) to open it.  Once open I had to sand down the top edges and sides so it would slide freely again.

I had a vision for this piece and when I was part way through was not liking it at all.  I finished it, stared at it, hemmed and hawed about it, fretted about it,  and then decided to undo what I had done.  I was so much happier when I did and new inspiration struck.  Love when that happens.  

I haven't distressed anything too heavily in a while and got a little carried away on this one and had to go back and repaint parts of it. Lol.  It's still more distressed than I normally do, but I like it that way. Especially with all that dark wood showing underneath the light paint.  Still makes my heart go pitter patter. 

I love how it is soft, but still has presence.  I'm loving the pedestals and chunky feet.  But, my favorite part is THE KNOB!  It's amazing!  It was the only one.  If any of you shop at Hobby Lobby you know they have their knobs in bins and on the front of the bin there is a little hole drilled with the knob (that's in the bin) attached to the front of it so you know what's in the bin (did any of that make sense?).  Well, there were no knobs in the bin, but I just could not walk out of there without that knob, so I unscrewed the one from the front of the bin and away I went.  I was looking around like a ninja because I felt guilty.  I don't know why, it was a sale for them that they wouldn't have had otherwise! :)


You can see the damage on the wood of the base (icky spots) and the top looked the same. My sweet hubby started sanding on it with the grinder (I normally do my own sanding but this table happened to be in his shop so maybe he was feeling a little possessive or maybe he just wanted to see what was under that nasty stain or maybe he was just being a super nice guy!) and stopped about 30 seconds in and says, "We didn't get a before pic!"  Awww...love that guy!


I can't believe how good it turned out!

 I had originally painted the drawer front, the feet, and the trim at the bottom of the pedestal a deep greige and heavily distressed them.  It just didn't look right.  The dark drawer messed with the slim profile of the table skirt (visually chopped it in half) and the dark trim at the bottom of the pedestal made the legs look short.  Kinda reminded me of the rules of What Not to Wear. Lol  I decided to use paper on the drawer front instead and found one in my stash that just happened to be the color of the table!  I love how there is a balance of the green and cream so it draws the eye right across the front without making it look like a block in the middle.  Know what I mean?

 The. Knob.

.  It draws the eye down from the dark top to the intricate bronze inlay, and the rustic cream edge allows it to pop against the green paper.  I would sleep with it under my pillow if that didn't make me the biggest weirdo ever!

Chunky feet! 
 Thank you Sausha from Sweet Pickens for making me aware of chunky feet!

One of my most favorite things is light paint over dark wood.  

The top actually wasn't too bad once we sanded the bejeebers out of it.  We started with 80 on the grinder and then I smoothed it out with 150 on the orbital.  I hardly ever use two coats of Java Gel from General Finishes but this puppy needed it.  There were a few dark spots, but now they're hardly notiecable.  It's pretty Tiger Oak and the little hole in the top (see it on the left side?) just adds character. I didn't want to fill it because I wasn't sure how it was going to stain and with all the grain it would have just looked like a dark spot anyway, so I left it. 

 I'm happy. ;)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bookcase in GF Basil

This is the final bookcase from the set of 3 I finished this week.
Roxanne from The Rustic Shed was nice enough to let me do what I wanted with this one.  The first was finished in Linen from General Finishes, the second in stock black from Sherwin Williams, and this one is done in Basil and Linen from GF.  

I've never been able to do the same piece of furniture 3 different ways before and had so much fun with it!  I  normally try to picture a piece in several colors before deciding and doing these made those visions come to life!


*This one actually did not have the drawers in the bottom.  I believe it was probably the middle piece in the set as they were all attached at one time. 


I do believe this is my favorite one of all three.  It's a little less formal and so my style. :)

 I decided to pick out the details in Linen and then distress to let the Basil peek through. 

 Normally I don't like "buttons" on furniture, but I did like these.  Thought they just added a little something. 

And here it is from beginning to end...to end...to end! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bookcase update part II

This is round II of project bookcase makeover this week.

Many times when I get a piece of furniture I can see it in more than one color and have to make a choice.  I always wonder what it would look like if I had chosen the "other" color.  Well, this time I have 3 to work with so I do get to see it the other way! :)  

Roxanne, at The Rustic Shed, did want to keep these pieces neutral because she is selling them at her store (which is fabulous, btw).  So, the first we did in Linen and the second in black.  You can see them together at the end of the post.

*pssst, she agreed to let me do the third in Basil, so be watching for that one too! :)



Here are the two together.  Preference?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bookcase in Linen

Hello!  I'm still alive! :)

My client, and I'm happy to say, new friend, brought me 3 of these pine bookcases.  They're pretty blah, but I thought they had so much potential!  Cute details and a nice shape.  

I just recently started using General Finishes milk paint line (which is an acrylic not a true milk paint) and absolutely love it.  It has great adherence and levels so nicely.  I've used Tuscan Red and knew there were more yummy colors out there to choose from.  I was lucky enough to find a retailer within 45 minutes from me and picked up a can of Linen and Basil Green.  

My friend owns the cutest little store in Bonduel, WI called The Rustic Shed and these bookshelves are going to be for sale (and used to display all of her wonderful merchandise) so she wanted to keep them fairly neutral.  I thought Linen would be perfect. 



I love how soft and pretty this one is now.  Linen is more of a light beige than a cream.  It's not yellowy or pinky, so it's the perfect neutral.

 Aren't these drawer fronts adorable?  And I'm crushing on these knobs, too!  So pretty!

Here's a better pic of the bottom.  I'm of the opinion that a cup pull can update any piece of furniture, so I happen to be minorly (if that's not a word, it is now!) obsessed with them.  This piece has definitely come a long way since the 80's!

I didn't tell her that I want to keep this for myself....yet. :)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Side Table in Swiss Coffee

 I feel like I've been MIA for a while now.  I have a good excuse reason...ok, maybe I don't but I'll tell you what happened.
We moved into our current house 14 years ago.  It needed a lot of help and my amazing husband has done an incredible amount of work for me.  We've done new siding, new roof, new windows, added a garage and two decks, took out windows and added French Doors, new flooring, new appliances (some twice), new countertops, partial remodel of the kitchen and, of course, a ton of painting over that time period. 
The one thing we've never touched are the kitchen cabinets.  Our house is 100 years old and the current kitchen is actually a remodel and addition.  When they redid it they put in oak cabinets.  You know how I feel about oak!  Especially the color that was so popular in the 80's.  I've lived with it for almost a decade and a half and last year I asked Craig if I could paint them.  He is a typical man and likes "good" wood and, at first, told me he did not want me to paint them.   I acquiesced to his request and dropped it...for a while.  I've asked him several times since and he hasn't said no, but I know the look that says no. :) 
Fast forward to two Saturdays ago.  He's going to help a friend on his farm and is feeling badly about leaving me on a Saturday and says, "You could always paint the cabinets while I'm gone."  What?!  Now, I would be lying if I said the only reason I haven't tackled that project is because he didn't really want me to.  The main reason I haven't painted the kitchen cabinets is because it struck fear in my heart.  It's a big freaking project!  Just the thought of taking every one of those doors off and removing the hinges, and cleaning, and sanding, and painting multiple coats seriously made me want to cry.  BUT, I was going to take advantage of this current situation, so when he walked out the door, I turned to my daughter and said, "Let's do this."
An hour into it I was regretting that decision but there was no going back.  So, I started painting, and a week later finished those blasted things!  I am so glad I did!  I LOVE them!!  The problem?  It made everything else in my kitchen look like trash!  The floors looked horrible, the walls looked horrible, the countertops blended in too much.  Boo!  Well, the floor needed replacing anyway because it was 10 year old linoleum in a high traffic area.  Nuff said.  So, what started out as painting the cabinets turned into a full scale kitchen remodel. 
I'm so excited, but I've been busy with that and have not painted much.  I don't know about you, but once I get out of the swing of things it can be difficult to get back in, if you know what I mean.  We're talking a serious lack of motivation here.  So, yesterday I decided I better do something about that and had this little table stashed in my garage.  It was small and I thought it was perfect to get me back "in the mood". ;)
(When you read the "before" under the pic do you think, "My gosh, we knooow. Lisa!"  Haha, it's habit I guess cuz I'm really hoping you know it's the before without me telling you!)
There's not much to it, but it's a sweet, little thing and great for storage, too.
I painted it Swiss Coffee by Behr because that's what I used on my cabinets and it was still out! ;)

The top was another one of those faux cherry things, so I sanded it down and stained it with Java Gel.  The grain isn't very pronounced, and I like that it looks a little more rustic than cherry or mahogany would.

And, that's it.  Have a few bigger projects next week, so I'll be back at it. :)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Painting MDF: An 80's redo

I can't believe I forgot to take a before pic!  I hate when I do that--sometimes you just can't appreciate where it's at unless you've see where it's been! :)
This was a typical 80's style dresser with those hideous, fat "airplane" pulls (as I so fondly refer to them as).  My client wanted to update it with black and cup pulls.  When I started working on it I realized it wasn't wood.  No part of it.  It's MDF with, what I call, a "sticker" over it.  Lot's of people think you can't paint this type of furniture, but you most certainly can and it looks just as amazing as the real thing.  Another fallacy is that all "particle board" or MDF is junk.  That's simply not true.  Now, certainly any piece of furniture purchased from Walmart, or the like, isn't going to be high quality, but I've worked on plenty of pieces that have been particle board and they were good, solid pieces of furniture. 
*I would not paint a piece of furniture made out of particle board if the existing finish is in rough condition, meaning bubbles, peeling, or open spots where the MDF has been exposed.  These can't be smoothed out by sanding. 

I do go over this on my "How I Paint" tab, but I'll just give a quick run down here of what I did.  First of all, this piece had a high gloss finish on it.  I used 150 grit sand paper to take of the shine, but did not get too aggressive with it as you don't want to sand down to the actual MDF.  After I gave it a good scuff sanding I primed it with Rustoleum Painter's Touch primer which is meant to be used for wood, plastic, metal and apparently MDF with a sticker on it! :)  You could use a good adhesive primer as well.  The trick is to not go too heavy with the first coat as you don't want to saturate the surface with wet paint.
Then I just gave it too coats of All Surface Enamel in stock black from Sherwin Williams, let it dry really well, and then finished with 2-3 coats of poly (I'm back to Varathane again). 
The finish is just as nice as on a real wood piece.
 We updated the hardware with cup pulls and new knobs to bring it into the right decade and I just sprayed the existing handles on the middle doors with Rustoleum Painter's Touch in Semi-gloss black.
It's sharp looking now and ready for a modern bedroom. :)