Monday, August 30, 2010

It's not ALL about paint!

Sometimes paint just isn't the way to go...and yes, I know what I'm saying. Case in point: this chair (scroll to the end of the post). It has been restored to it's 1884 glory, and that's just as it should be.

"D" also had this amazing coffee table. Once again, I don't have a before picture--but the finish was faded and the varnish was peeling, and the whole thing was very wobbly and shaky.

Stripping and sanding this table was a nightmare! Look at all the amazing details on the legs and on the top edge.

I took the whole table apart so it could be re-glued. I finally found a use for the two boxes of copy paper I bought a couple of months ago--they made the perfect weights! I stained the table with Minwax Dark Walnut stain, and then I used Minwax hand-rubbed polyurethane for protection (I love that stuff).

I told "D" she is NEVER allowed to paint it! I love it just as it is. It still looks old, but it glows now.

Then she had another little table that belonged to her mother (no before picture here either ). The original finish was some yellowish-fake-wood-grain looking thing--I'm sure there's an actual name for that style, but I have no idea what it is! Then, because that was unattractive, it was painted white. The original wood was beautiful underneath.

I finished this table with a different product: Minwax Polyshades in antique walnut. Ugh. I don't care for it, and I wish I had stuck with the winning combination on the other table! However, the end result is still pretty.

The marble is original to the table, but it's not the "in" thing right now. I think we need to find a vintage-y covering for it now!

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Custom Memo Board

My friend "D" wanted a BIG memo board to organize some of her office stuff--and make it pretty. Censational Girl posted some great instructions on how to make one here, so off I went!

"D" wanted her memo board to be 3 ft x 4 ft. I chose to use a thin sheet of Lauan, mostly so it wouldn't be enormously heavy! I covered the board in a thin batting, and then with a brown twill. The ribbon is a cream-colored grograin, and it took almost 15 YARDS of the stuff!

Buttons for decoration were going to be expensive--but then I was inspired. In the jewelry-making section of JoAnn's, I found two strings of flat beads that would work instead! I used exactly two strings, and they were buy-one-get-one-free. You can't see it in the picture, but they aren't just plain brown, they look like stone with all the pretty variations and colors.

I like this one so much, I think I need one for myself now, above MY computer! I'm thinking something big...and bright...with flowers!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I really have been busy

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Life has been extra busy lately, but something that has me feeling good is the completion of a new project--another bench! I found this treasure at a garage sale:

Isn't she purty?? Let me just say that there was a LOT of great furniture at this particular yard sale, but the owner obviously thought VERY HIGHLY of what he had! This little bench, however, with the caning completely missing from one side, was a good buy!

My friend "D" had been wanting a bench for her bedroom, so I sent her a picture of this one immediately. Sold!

The plan was to put an upholstered seat on the bench. I had a piece of plywood cut to the general dimensions by my table-saw-owning friend. Then I made a pattern out of scraps of wrapping paper to follow the curves and corners of the bench. I taped the pattern directly to the plywood, and...

Look at this! I cut this shape out my very own self with my very own jigsaw! (I bought the jigsaw a couple of months ago. Had to wait until it was properly "aged" to use it, you know.)

Please ignore a couple of little zigs into the wood. I promise they won't show.

First a layer of 2" Nu-Foam went on the plywood, and then I stapled a layer of batting on with my pneumatic stapler (another fun toy) to give nice smooth edges.

Next came the fabric! Do you recognize it? It is the same that is on this bench at the end of my bed! I had just enough left.

Oh, I probably forgot to mention the paint job. I used Rustoleum's flat black paint, and then distressed it to show the pretty details.

I love the pretty curved handles.

I added three buttons on top. I used my stapler to staple through all the layers of fabric and foam, and then hot-glued the buttons on. That particular method seems to work just as well (and it's a lot easier) than stringing them through holes in the plywood.

Here she is in all her glory!

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chalkboard Dresser & Chest

I remember seeing this article when it was originally published in Better Homes & Gardens, and I was struck by the cleverness of using CHALKBOARD PAINT on furniture, of all things! Since then, I have used it on a window and two desks, with great results. Then I saw the Isabella & Max makeover, and although I didn't have any cool *pink* chalkboard paint, I decided I had to give the dresser idea a try!

These pieces I found at Deseret Industries a few weeks ago:

They were in excellent structural condition, but the finish had yellowed over time.

The chest of drawers had one double-deep drawer (it just looks like two), and the dresser had two.

It even included the mirror! Best of all the pieces were by Bassett Furniture--a very good name.

I painted everything with two coats of flat black paint before starting with the chalkboard paint. Everything got at least two coats of that, as well (the tops got three).

Where it used to have pale bluish-green accent stripes, I chose to go with silver.

The knobs are original, but they used to be gold with that same bluish-green center. They all got coated with silver spray paint and a clear coat.

The top drawers of both pieces are beautifully curved!

I didn't forget the little metal caps on the bottoms of the front legs--they got a coat of new silver paint as well.

I am so completely envious of those bloggers who have the space to "stage" their creations! For something like this, my garage is all there is! But if you look in the mirror, you can see other projects waiting in the queue!


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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The lure of ORB

You don't have to hang around decorating blogs very long before you come across references to ORB: oil-rubbed bronze spray paint. It receives much laud and admiration--so I had to try it out myself! This was my first experiment (I used Krylon brand).

Here are two lamps I found for $6 each at a now-defunct thrift store!

Gotta love all that brassy goodness.

I used the spray paint on the bases, harps, and finials. I covered the sockets with Saran wrap and painter's tape.

Oooh, it totally lived up to my expectations!

I gave serious thought to keeping these for my bedroom, but in the end I went with glass lamps. These, however, helped to pay for the glass lamps!

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