On Second Thought, the First Thought is Usually Right!

In my last post I showed you a neat little way to store your bits and baubles. At the very end, I mentioned that I considered adding elastic bands across the front of each shelf.

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Well, in tidying up before heading to bed last night, I barely tapped the edge of the cabinet and… well, you can see the result! I guess that “might” has turned into a “definitely” be adding it! Once is quite enough of picking up those bottles!

Saturday, I started work on painting the six chairs for the dining table. I had spray painted them white as a primer and had initially wanted to continue with spray painting with the final red color. But after spending the better part of an afternoon working through five cans of paint, I am less than enthusiastic about how it is turning out. For whatever reason, the coverage is not as good and in the process of trying to get good coverage, I am getting drips and too heavy coats. Not to mention that the overspray coated me such that it looked like I was sunburned and took a bit of scrubbing to get it all off. I had to wipe down areas on at least four of the six chairs, which then required re-priming. Sigh.

This set me back a bit. Which is why I decided to take the day off from working on it today. Just wanted to clear my head and rethink my next steps. Instead, I’ve been working on something fun and relaxing and watching old movies.

Hope y’all have had a great weekend too!

julie

Work Continues… We’re Drawing Closer to the Finish Line

I’ve always been a bit myopic in my posts, especially this one. I have always sort of seen the value of the completed project over the path of creating it. I know that it is wrong, that one thing people search out is the process of creating, in addition to the beginning and end projects. I just haven’t been the best at doing it… and I am always trying to address it.

I have several projects in the works, I talked about them in my previous posts. These particular projects have many steps, and often each step is but a few minutes and then waiting. Painting and waiting for it to dry. Staining and waiting for it to dry. Waiting for the staining and painting to attach the legs. Waiting to attach the legs so that the skirt can be attached. And it goes on and on. I’m sure you get the bigger picture.

So, today seemed to be momentous. It seemed that real steps forward were taken and results achieved. Still not done yet, but we’re getting there.

DSCN3768The door (for the dining table) has been stained and polyurethaned with two coats each. In between each coat is a light sanding. The coloring turned out gorgeous! (I am telling you, this particular project is going to be very hard for me to part with!) In this photo, you can see the underside of the door… I had to flip it over to finish – silly me, not thinking – since the door has a large piece of glass in the middle of it, you will be able to see through it! Duh! So, the table skirt also had to have more painting… again, not thinking! But the red against this deep stain color is just stunning!

DSCN3759The top of the sideboard has gotten the same treatment, although because the type of wood differed from the door, it required an extra couple of steps and some experimenting to get the color to be the same. All in all, it turned out perfect!

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We moved the sideboard (sans top and drawers) into the garage. The drawers has all the previous holes filled as I’ve finally made a decision on what hardware is going to be used. So, it took a little sanding and then re-priming and re-painting the drawer fronts.

DSCN3762DSCN3765I cleaned and painted the hardware, which was salvaged from an old piece. I used a deep metallic brown that has just a hint of sparkle to it and I think it will be spectacular when we get it installed. It has a bit of a fifties flare, I think.

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I am considering using the same paint for two additional head chairs and did a color test. I want to give it a chance to dry and perhaps a second coat before I make the decision. Light might help too. 🙂

DSCN3766Next up, the six chairs have been moved onto the driveway so that I could complete the priming. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous and I wanted to take advantage of the sunshine and mild temperatures. The fresh air helps when doing all the painting as well. Six cans of premium white paint and the six chairs are finally ready for their color.

Our neighbors to the right of us are having their house painted, so to protect our cars from overspray, we moved them down to the street. Thank heavens for the large circular semi-cul-de-sac that we live on, having them parked out there doesn’t interfere with traffic. Its almost too funny to think that when we bought a house with a three car garage, we thought we would actually park the vehicles in them!

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The wood appliques that I ordered online finally came so that I could finish the pink ombré head- and foot-boards. I like the appliques, but wasn’t paying close enough attention when I ordered them. I thought I was getting 7″ x 7″ but in reality they were 7 cm x 7 cm, so much smaller than I thought.

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But they are just enough and add that something special that I was looking for. Now to get the side boards done. They actually came with a different head and foot board – I was just naive enough to think that they would work on any old antique bed frame. Nope! Different attachment mechanism entirely. Now I have to figure out if I can modify the ends of boards themselves or the connecting hardware in the bedframes. Sigh. Nothing ever seems to be easy.

Shown with the bed side boards on top of them

So, with that, this day is coming to a close. I am beat! Now all I want to do is take a shower, put my feet up and finish the beading project that I’ve been working on. I am this close…

julie

 

 

Back to My Red Roots!

I have done so much of the pink that I think I am seriously on burn out from it. There is pretty much no creative process in it any more, it has become almost an assembly line. Yes, it sells and it sells quickly and for decent pricing, but from a creative standpoint, it isn’t doing it for me! Once I have the head- and foot-boards complete (waiting on some appliques), I think the pink goes on the shelf for a bit.

So, I’ve been working on a new line of furniture. I’ve been working on Home Depot’s line of pinks and reds for a while and noticed not so long ago that they’ve changed up the colors. So, of course, I want to use up what I have left and start working with something else. Well, a red caught my eye (and you all know how much I love red) and have set out on the quest of bringing red to the rest of the world. Ha!

“No More Drama red”.  And by wonderful accident, it matches the red that Rust-Oleum has in their double coverage high gloss spray paint! How’s that for a lucky accident?

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A while back, we picked up some furniture from the warehouse of a religious school and church. I have a 8 foot office door, which is heavy duty wood with the inset glass. In the same run, we bought a 5′ pew, four wooden school desk chairs and 8 wood seating chairs. I think in all, we paid less than fifty dollars. Of course I forgot to take “before” pictures of the door, but I have already sanding down both sides and filled in the holes from the hinges and door knob. My plan is to re-stain it fairly dark, add a skirt and legs and turn it into a dining table. My guess is that anyone who ever went to a Catholic school might just love it! The legs will be this new wonderful color red that I found.

I swear I turned to The Kid and mumbled about replacing our round table with this one. I haven’t even started the paint and staining and I already know that I will love it! The wooden chairs will go with it, could probably seat eight comfortably and I just happen to have eight chairs! They are going to get the red treatment as well. Sanding the door took about four packages of sanding paper and many, many hours and really not looking forward to spending that kind of effort on eight chairs!  Maybe the two head chairs will be stained… gotta think about it though.

Here are the chairs…. does that take you back to the days of school?

My work shop/garage is always packed it seems. We’re not that far from snow and ice weather, so eventually I have to finish some projects or the cars will sit on the driveway. It is so much nicer to not have to scrape off from the windshields and protected somewhat from the cold.

I also picked up a long dresser that would become a sideboard or buffet cabinet. We are replacing the pressed wood top with real wood and it will also get the same stain as the door/table top. The body and drawer fronts are this new lovely red. You can see that I have a head start on the drawer fronts. All that red is making me giddy!

julie

 

 

 

Disclaimer! For those interested, I am not being paid for nor sponsored in any way for the mention of any products or stores in this post. I just like the way that these particular products work and want to share.

Regal Red Benches for a Country Kitchen; Repurposing Headboards and Footboards

So, we finally finished the big project that we’ve been working on for a while. I think this one took so long because I really don’t want to let go of these benches…. I think I was looking for a way to keep them while we were working on them; it would explain why I was ‘dragging my feet’ on them.

It is what I would envision for my kitchen, if I had more of a country kitchen. Even so, I think they could work in my kitchen if I didn’t already have a dining room set that I am in love with. Sometimes I wish I could have two kitchens. We did away with the formal dining room in our house almost from the day we moved in (we had the open formal dining room closed with french doors and made into my home office), so I don’t have the room for a second dining room set. And the area that it resides in just off the kitchen is too small to accomodate anything other than the round dining room table. Sigh.

A while back, I finally took the step of transforming a head- and foot- board set into a bench. It was a small, cute little bench perfect for a little girl’s room… like a reading nook where one could curl up with a favorite teddy bear or doll and a book and be happy. That experiment turned out pretty well (at least I think so) and it sold really fast. The only thing I didn’t like was that the seat was too deep, IMHO, such that an adult couldn’t sit comfortably in it. But in the end, it really was designed for a smaller book reader or readers.

2014-12-30 16.46.34If I had made this to keep, I would have added a thick foam seat upholstered in a nice long wearing fabric.

Fast forward to today. I did the final touch ups last night (which explains the blue tape in some of the photos). Today we moved them into the foyer to allow more room for new projects; I already have two more projects underway!

2015-03-26 13.41.54 2015-03-26 13.41.38Okay, where to begin. It is a pretty straightforward task of taking the head- and foot-boards and turning them into benches. Sawing the foot-boards in half and then placing each one on either end of the head-board. Actually, learning the lesson from the previous bench construction, I realized that I needed to pay attention to the depth of the bench. It was my intention to make them benches to be used, perhaps at a big old country table, replacing individual chairs on either side.

Using one of my dining room chairs as a guideline, I marked from each end of the foot-board 16″ and then made the cuts. Each piece was then attached to the legs of the head-board. Our choice of construction is to drill through the leg and into the cut half, this seems the most solid method. We also added quarter round to add a little more strength. Then a board is cut (we used 1″x8″ pine) and attached to both ends of the foot-boards.

2015-04-02 19.53.24It was at this time we noticed something different between the two benches. Do you see it? I’ll let you in on the secret at the end, if you don’t figure out while reading this post.

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Next up was to attach a similar board to the back between the legs and then we measured and cut the seats. I knew from the start that I wanted to stain the seats, so we did not permanently attach the seats at this time.

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Both benches were then primed (I bought a primer and had Home Depot tint it red, the idea to make painting take less coats of paint. It helped, but not quite as much as I hoped. There was still five coats of paint applied! Red is a bear of a color to work with, but I think it is well worth it.

2015-04-19 13.56.14You can see in this photo that we were also working on the two pink ombre dressers at the same time. The garage can get a bit packed at times. 🙂

2015-04-22 18.08.38The bench seats are in the forefront, I had spent this particular day sanding and edging and preparing to stain the wood that would become the seats. I think sanding is my least favorite thing to do. Necessary? Absolutely yes. Fun? Nope. The seats were then given three coats of stain with a light sanding in between, followed by three coats of high gloss polyurethane (also with light sanding in between). Whew! That’s a lot of sanding! The Kid really, really doesn’t like to sand, so I make deals with him about what he can do while I sand.

Time to assemble; the way this is designed, the seat just sits on the four bases but is not attached in any way. I think this makes it a little more maneuverable, in the event of an uneven floor or if it is to be used outdoors. Also means that there is less stress on any of the joints, which is always good.

2015-04-27 14.27.02For me and The Kid, these projects have almost become rote. However, we thoroughly enjoy all of the projects we undertake, though; especially me getting to spend time with my about-to-be-twenty year old son.

Now for the big reveal!

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A few of the pictures show a little blue painter’s tape… that was done to make a few touch ups. Its amazing how different lighting can make you see something you missed the first time through!2015-04-29 10.57.52 2015-04-29 10.57.44 2015-04-29 10.57.33Have you noticed the little difference between the two benches yet?

Red Benches DifferenceWe only noticed it just late enough that we couldn’t change it. Or, I suppose we could have, but we thought it would be fun to have something just a little different between the two benches. I think the foot board must have come apart at one time and when it was repaired, it was replaced upside down. A little extra charm!

Before&After Red BenchesI thought long and hard about making a table to go with these benches. And pick up a couple of similar, but not exactly the same, chairs for the head and foot of the table. Paint it all up to match. Seemed like a bit too much investment right now, though, see if they sell or not. Maybe if someone asks, we can take it to the next stage.

The weather is finally started to feel like spring and it makes working in the garage so much easier. We might have to take some time over the next few weeks to get back into my strawberry beds: weeding and planting additional plants. We also have to get someone to dig out a large hole in the backyard so that we can dump the equivalent of three 55 gallon barrels of compost under the garden bed. The Kid has some definite ideas about what he wants to plant this year.

So, I hope you enjoyed today’s reveal. We’ve already got lots more to share!

julie

Another Round of Dressers and Benches

Sometimes it seems that if I didn’t stay organized, I could easily be tempted to just kick back on the couch and watch streaming movies and work on my cross stitch. And speaking of, I have managed to get more completed – I figure I am about 30 – 35% completed. I have to make sure that I did a little work on it continuously, I don’t want it to go unfinished.

Today, The Kid and I worked on the head- and foot-boards, turning them into benches. They are turning out pretty cool, although I am having some difficulty in figuring out what color to paint them. I briefly entertained the idea of sanding them down and refinishing them, but they have those round spindles and I don’t particularly enjoying sanding, staining or painting anything round… so, painting it is.

2015-03-26 13.41.54I picked these up in an auction for a mere ten dollars. I totally could see the potential. I am now getting probably thirty or forty percent of my pieces through this auction business.

2015-04-02 19.53.18I love working with The Kid. He is so talented when it comes to wood working and he has experience with all different tools. Thankfully, we continue to purchase better and new tools all the time; with funds from sales of finished products.

6961-1This piece is a very nice dresser purchased from the auction site. After we started taking the drawers out, we found that three out of the five drawers needed serious attention. In fact, on the of the drawers actually came in five pieces; thankfully all of the pieces were there and in good shape, just a matter of gluing it all back together.

2015-04-02 19.53.47Tomorrow I get to start sanding. This purple paint on the cabinet and drawer fronts is peeling badly and I need to get all of that knocked down before I can start priming.

Another little project that I’ve been working on is another faux stained glass. I keep an eye out for interesting material; mirrors, glass, unique wood pieces, what have you. This project was a result of a large slab of glass I picked up.

First, I picked out some wonderful clip art, worked with it a bit until I had a design I liked. Then had the design printed onto a full size sheet of paper and laid the glass on top. (This has been sitting on my kitchen island for at least two weeks and I am sure that my family is getting tired or working around it!)3Hearts 17.5x43

Then it was a matter of laying down the faux leading… this turned out to be a lot of exacting work. I made it a point to lay a few pieces every time I came into the kitchen.2015-03-26 15.51.18

Finally! The leading is done. Whew! I thought I would know what colors I would want to finish this piece with by the time I got to this point, but I am conflicted on whether doing them all red or all pink. Or maybe one pink and one red and one white. Perhaps two red and one pink? I am still thinking about it.

DSCN3236And speaking of colors, here is how the paint chip cards look in the morning light. While I was leaning to the left bottom color in evening light, this morning I am leaning towards the right middle color this morning. I am planning to just live with the chips for a while. Would love to hear your comments!

photoWell, I need to update tomorrow’s list and get ready to hit the hay.

julie

Wonderful World of Paint Stir Sticks

A while back I ran across some decorating schemes using paint sticks. I’ve been using paint sticks for many things, from whole projects to repair. The one I am going to show you today was actually The Kid’s idea. He came up with the idea and did all the work. I am so impressed, and happy too.

DSCN2386See, this is how I’ve been storing my glass paints. I started with those tubs, left over from cookie dough, but I soon filled them up and expanded to a small cardboard box. But when that overflowed, I knew I would have to do something a little more ‘constructive’. I started talking about it with The Kid, mentioned that I had a few dresser drawers that might work, but left the design and build to him.

And this is what he came up with:

DSCN2387This is a bunch of paint stir sticks. Lots of cuts and glue. But this is so cool! I loaded it with the paint bottles head in, so that I could see the color from the bottom. It also keeps the glue at the tip, which is handy since you’re not supposed shake this paint, so keeping the paint at the tip makes it easier to use right out of the box.

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I buy paint from Home Depot constantly, so I don’t feel bad about taking a handful each time I go it. You can see the branding in orange paint.

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Here it is loaded up. The dividers are placed with just a hint of a downward angle, to keep the bottles from falling out when moving it. He added a handle to the top to move it easily.

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This is a little chart that I put together (work in progress) that shows all of the different colors of paint dry. I have found DSCN2393that this is essential, as many of the colors look nothing like you might imagine they would be dry. I have had to remove some paint on a couple of projects when I found that the color dry was nothing like the color wet. I have a list of the colors and their numbers that gets stored behind the frame. Its an interesting piece of art all on its own, I think.

So, I had promised to write a few posts about what I use paint stir sticks for. This is the first. I also used them a lot when building the doll house, especially in the kitchen. I glue them side by side and then use them as thin, yet strong boards.

In thess photos, the fronts of the bottom cabinets and the little cabinet next to the fridge were built using the stir sticks. Also the pub table and stools. They are made of 100% pine, so they are wood, and can be used in any way that one would use wood. At least in small portions. Which when working in the scale of doll houses, is perfect.

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The little wood box next to the fireplace was another project. I’ve made numerous and varied sizes of boxes, sometimes just to hold supplies.     DSCN1893

The doors and shelves were a perfect place to use the paint stick wood. Nice and thin, yet strong and paint-able. The perfect size when working in miniatures.

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Some more shots of the wood as it was used:

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DSCN1876I find that whenever I go to Home Depot – which is often – I stop by the paint department (if I am not already going to that department specifically) just for a handful of sticks. And sometimes I even use them to stir paint!

We’re having a wet and cool stormy day here in the Midwest and I am thinking that not much is going to get done. At least not anything outdoors.

julie

 

 

PS…for those interested, I am not being paid for nor sponsored in any way for the mention of any products or stores in this post. I just like the way that these particular products work and want to share with you!

Playing ‘Catch up’!

It seems that the big projects always get the attention here. So, while we’re still in the midst of the big project of redecorating the Kid’s room, I thought I’d throw up a few of the smaller projects that have been skipped in the past month or so.

First up is this gorgeous rocker. I had originally picked this up thinking it would be great for my mom, so on nice days she could sit on her patio and enjoy the sunshine. Unfortunately, she didn’t love it as much as I did. 😦

I picked it up from the local Goodwill store and I couldn’t believe what awesome condition it was in. The seat and arms were a bit worn – this was obviously a piece that had been loved and used in the past – so structurally I didn’t have to do anything to it, but a bit of sanding and painting. I chose to do this with spray paint to get a nice, smooth finish and I used this dark blue/navy color. It was a pretty straight forward project although the dark paint required several/many coats of paint to get a nice even coverage.

Up next, is a small night stand. If you recall, I did a gray ombré dresser and sold it to a young man who after a couple of tries at getting furniture that he loved, finally settled on the piece I restored.

When we delivered it, he mentioned that he would be interested in a night stand if I had one. I told him I would keep an eye out for a piece. Well, I did find one and here it is completed (again, I forgot to take a ‘before’ photo):

I am constantly amazed by what a good paint job can do to a piece of “trash”. I live and die by the statement that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

On to another quick project, repainted a round mirror. It could be used to accentuate either of the gray ombré dressers or would work on its own.

One more to share with you. This one was pretty challenging with the spindles and curves of the chairs. Here is the before picture:

There is just something about this black paint that we’ve chosen for the Kid’s room. “Deep Space” black, Behr paints from Home Depot. I really wanted to try something unique on the table, by routing out the center of the table just deep enough to accommodate some glass tile. I was hoping to do something in shades of grey or perhaps white and blue and then paint the table top and chairs to match. Here are some tiles that I am considering:

But before I started working on the really nice table I purchased for this special treatment, I wanted to see how the paint would turn out. So, on with about six coats of my favorite black paint. It is really a pain to have to alternate positions of the chairs to be able to get every nook and cranny painted, especially when using a roller! I will probably work hard to avoid using roll on paint again and opt for spray paint for this type of application in the future.

Here is the final result:

I actually had one matching chair and one more that was very close to the same style. You really have to look close to noticed the difference.

And for your convenience, here is a ‘Before & After’ photo:

Today is Thanksgiving Day and I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a wonderful holiday and weekend. As one who wasn’t overly obsessed with holidays, the Kid and I are simply using the day to kick back and do some of our favorite things. And our dinner selection is our three cheese lasagna. It is made with ground turkey, so it sorta works out. 🙂

So wishing everyone their version of a perfect Thanksgiving! And happy crafting y’all!

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