Monday, February 27, 2012

A Bumpy Start

These past few weeks have been busy ones. I have been working quickly so I can finish all my pieces on time for customers. I had a local customer call me to have one of my dressers for sale custom painted. She had seen the Old White and Paris Grey antique hutch I painted about a month ago and loved it. She wanted the dresser to be similar but she was going to be using this dresser to hold her T.V. I love when people use furniture for something other than it was intended for. She gave me free reign to paint my own interpretation of the hutch as a dresser. I had a lot of fun but also some unexpected bumps in the road.

The sheen on this dresser beforehand was amazingly shiny. I don't know what was on it but it was slick. I cleaned it off as usual with Simple Green since it wasn't too filthy or grimy. I used my air compressor paint gun to paint the base coat of Old White. It just wasn't sticking the way ASCP usually does, it looked like the paint was separating in some places and when it dried it would flake off in huge chunks. I like the peeled paint look, but it wasn't the "look" I wanted for this piece. I thought maybe I should break out the brush, maybe it would stick better or at least it wouldn't blow off the dry cracked paint. I ended up having to sand down the peeling spots so when I painted over it it would be a smooth surface. The brush seemed to make all the difference. Bump one, conquered.

The second bump in the road was the hardware. I don't know what it is but for some reason every time I plan on using original hardware, one breaks in half. I had some cute knobs that I bought at Michaels that I just have been dying to put on something. I thought I might be able to pull off the non-matching hardware. I thought it worked out nicely with the light blue and black songbird.

Once I saw all of this together, the last and final bump presented itself. I don't always have a clear picture of what exactly I am going to do, it just comes a little step at a time. After I saw the hardware on, I felt like we needed to tie in some more black. I was envisioning a beautiful stained ebony top. I love a good stained top. I would sand every top and stain it if it was up to me. It's just so much more durable and I love beautiful wood. I proceeded to sand down the top that I just painted (Argh... money in paint down the drain, I really need to have a clear picture before I paint). What was under the paint and crazy shiny layer of poly? Composite wood. That's right, really smooth composite wood. I decided I'd break out the ASCP graphite and do the next best thing: paint the top.

So there you go. I added some clear and dark wax for protection and patina. I put on several coats of polyurethane on the top for protection and called it beautiful. I also talked my customer through a little tip or two about painting with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint since she is planning on painting one of her own dressers. ASCP is so easy to use, anyone can do it. I can't wait to see how hers turns out. Good Luck!

Here's my cute daughter. You can't see it but she's taking a picture of the dresser too. She loves to get out her camera and do a little photo shoot of her own.

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Guest Blogger! Time for a Husband's Point of View

Hello there everyone, this is Jenine's husband Brandon and I'm taking over the blog for today. As much as I'm ashamed to admit it, I look at quite a few furniture blogs too (I know I know, please don't tell my guy friends). The bloggers are always women and a lot of them are married, but their husbands are always a faceless, mythical creature that pops up every now and then as brief mention in a post, or maybe as a pair of hairy knuckles holding a circular saw in a tutorial picture. Not anymore. Now it's time for our voice to be heard.

You've probably heard the saying "behind every great man, there's a great woman", and now I'm going to go on-record as saying behind every great woman (blogger), there's a great man. Ok, so I guess that's not necessarily true, it would be totally possible to be a single woman and have a great furniture/craft/cooking blog, but I like to at least think I make it a little bit easier. I spend a lot of time on Craigslist looking for those slightly flawed $20 dressers that have amazing potential, or sitting at the computer at 6:59 PM on Thursday night so that Jenine's latest project can get a good linky party "spot" at Miss Mustard Seed, or proofreading blog posts and customer emails, not to mention the slightly manlier things like gluing and clamping furniture, filling old hardware holes and drilling new ones, and just generally using my huge muscles to move giant wooden things around the garage.

I can't speak for everyone, but I'm sure a good number of these beautiful furniture redos and revivals owe a good chunk of success to the poor neglected husband/boyfriend/dad. Well men, I know the hard work you're putting in behind the scenes and I'm here to recognize and applaud you for it. We know the women are the true talented, creative geniuses, but dangit, we do awesome helpful stuff every once in a while too.

Alright, so now let's get down to some projects. A couple of months ago, I was driving around the neighborhood the night before garbage day, and saw this cool table sitting on someone curb. I don't think any of us can pass up any free furniture that has even a glimmer of hope, so I scooped it up and brought it home.

It was missing the glass on top, and the legs were barely attached, but free is free. Well Jenine worked her magic and decided to make it a crazy flashy piece and spray painted it silver, then put me in charge of cutting some thin plywood to fit in the two places on top. Then she was going to cover them with textured wallpaper and paint that silver also, so that it would look like aluminum tiles. Well... it didn't quite work out that way. I spent some time gluing and screwing the legs onto the table to get it sturdy again, but then things went south. My jigsaw and I had trouble getting 2 pieces cut PERFECTLY to fit, then when the wallpaper was added, it was up too high above the rest of the tabletop, then we discovered that the wallpaper wasn't the most durable thing to use for a table top. So that wasn't going to work out, and everything else we thought of for the top either was too expensive or wasn't very plausible. Well... look at these awesome silver legs- we just couldn't let it all go to waste. (Yep, that's a dirty garage and a jerky gun)

So now it's on to plan B. We have a piano sitting in our living room that doesn't have a bench, so Jenine came up with the idea to use the cool legs from this and make a piano bench out of them... and I'm in charge of it. I have no idea what I'm doing, but stay tuned for a piano bench tutorial coming up soon!

This post seems to be getting a bit long now, so let's wrap it up. Our brother-in-law made this awesome faux-brick backsplash in our kitchen a little while ago...

And Jenine has been prodding me for a while to put the same brick around our fireplace, which right now has this hideous tile around it.

So sometime in the nearish future, I'll be ripping that tile out, making a template for the brick panel, then cutting and attaching it, and I'll be back to post that up as a tutorial for you also. Anyway, I'll be back soon, representing for the supportive men out there. Thanks for reading!

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Louis Blue Buffet

Happy Presidents Day! I hope everyone was able to have a nice three day weekend. I took a little time off from furniture this morning to get out and go on a much needed hike. I had a great time with great girls and my dog. Now that I'm back and refreshed I'm ready to show you what I've been working on.

A local customer here in Vegas is looking for a few pieces of upcycled furniture for her home. We went through some craigslist ads and found this one-of-a-kind art deco style buffet. She chose a sweet Louis Blue Annie Sloan Chalk paint. She wants to do her kitchen in a vintage type feel so I went ahead and hand distressed it, followed by clear wax, and some dark wax for added age and patina. I then added some new hardware for the final touch. Beautiful. I hope she loves it.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fleur de Lis Nighstand

Here's what I've been up to so far this week. The first piece is a nightstand. It was originally black, but now it has been given a fun new look with ASCP Paris Gray. The stripes were painted with ASCP Old White. The whole piece was dark waxed. Last but not least, the hardware is a new Fleur de Lis pull. It will be available for sale in my shop.

The next piece is one I painted for a client. A little while ago, I painted a dresser for her soon-to-be-born baby boy. She already had a beautiful piece that she just wanted to match the room better. The dresser and the nightstand were painted with DIY chalk paint and had a good dose of dark wax.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day

In honor of Valentines Day I thought I'd give a quick shout out to my Hubby. He has been amazingly supportive of me starting my own business. Instead of thinking I was going through a mid life crisis in my mid twenties when I told him I wanted to refinish furniture, he said "let's do it". He comes to thrift stores with me, he looks on craigslist more than I do, he put together my blog, he edits my posts, he picks up and drops off furniture, the list goes on and on. There is no way this blog would be possible without him. Let's just say I'm technologically challenged. I am the kind of person who still uses a Samsung phone because it is the first kind I had and I can't figure another brand out. I have learned a ton from him. Thank you for supporting all my crazy ideas. I love you.

Of course I can't forget to include my two year old Laila. She brings indescribable love and joy into my life. She is what keeps me going (even when wearing me out) and makes me want to be a better person. I can't believe I ever lived life without her sweet, sensitive, and always loving personality. I live to see her smile.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Matching ASCP Aubusson Nightstand

I sold my Nautical themed roll top desk to a nice local couple here in Vegas. I can happily report it found a great home in their boy's room. Luckily for me, they were in need of a matching nightstand. I got onto my favorite website, craigslist, to find something perfect for his room.

I found this. Doesn't it look so handsome and sophisticated? I just love the nailhead trim. The nightstand was seriously filthy with this thick gray matter stuck in every cranny. I got my TSP out and and old toothbrush and went to town. Not even the tooth brush was going to cut it. I seriously would have used one of those pine tree shaped, tiny brushes that you used to clean in between your braces. Since I wore braces 7 yrs ago I didn't have one, bummer. I settled for q-tips. The inside of the drawer had a velvet like lining that was also disgusting with a lot of water damage. I pulled that out and lined it with some wallpaper that I bought at a thrift store.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

ASCP Provence Armoire

A few months back I found this wonderful brown armoire with ornate carving and flowers. I refinished it with Louis Blue Chalk Paint, dry brushed Old White over it, added a little dark wax and... tah-dah! It sold in a matter of minutes on Etsy. I have since kept it in my Etsy shop for examples of custom painting. I have received TONS of messages with customers saying they want one exactly like it. I wish I could find that armoire again. Finally, I managed to find one with similar shape and size.

A wonderful client scooped it right up for custom painting. She had a great idea and wanted to swap the Lois Blue color for Annie Sloan Provence. I think it was a great call. It looks beautiful. It is painted with Provence and has a light Old White wash with moderate distressing. This piece is still due for a little dark wax for the finishing touch before I ship it to it's new home.

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