Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Girl's Throne

So I had these promising chairs in my shop for custom painting for a long time, but not a soul uttered one peep about wanting them. I admit they were pretty appalling to look at, but I knew that they were different and had great potential. I thought a little about them in the back of my mind... would I put them with a table set? Well I hadn't given too much thought to them until two days ago.

I am kind of on a race against the clock. We moved into our home and noticed that all the houses around us would have the same plumbing truck in their driveway on different days. Strange coincidence, I think not. So I asked my neighbor if she knew anything about it. Sure enough, all the homes in our area were built with some plumbing material that has be recalled. GREAT! To make a long story short, the plumbers are scheduled at the end of April to spend five days in my home and garage completely re-piping my house. I will have to have my garage (also known as my shop :)) cleaned out.

Since there will be strange men traipsing in and out of my house with the doors open all day, we decided to visit the in-laws. Open doors means missing 2 year olds, a dog and cat. I will be scheduling a visit at my favorite, but expensive, boarding facility too. Yay! I'm being sarcastic if you can't tell. What other choice do I have really?

Anyways.... On to the chairs. When I first saw them, they had a kind of old world King's throne chair. I haven't seen a lot of Kings around, but I have noticed a lot of girls who would love to have a princess throne. Wouldn't one of these chairs be perfect for to go with a girls desk? I painted one chair in Duck Egg Blue and the other in Henrietta. I had a little left over fabric from another project I'm doing and it just went perfect with both chairs. I put the chairs in my daughters room to take a picture and my husband was afraid as soon as I got one in there I'd change my mind and keep it. I've been known to do that:) Lucky for him her room is tiny and she already has a chair. Anyway, I hope you love them, I know I do. They're up for sale in my shop and on Etsy, feel free to check them out.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Marriage Chest

Earlier this week I promised I would show the after picture of my mom's marriage chest. I was on a "vacation" to my hometown and told her I'd paint some furniture as her birthday present. My parents have had this chest forever and I have a lot of fond memories from this piece of furniture. This is an old cedar chest and has the most lovely smell in the world. My mom would store all her most prized possessions from other countries that she and my dad had visited. I would often sneak a peek at all the beautiful dolls, tablecloths, and lacquer painted boxes my mom meant to keep away from us kids.

She also stored all of our Christmas stockings away for the year in the chest. I loved the cedar smell that would come pouring out of it as we would excitedly decorate for Christmas.

I chose to paint the chest white, I felt it was a "busy" piece and needed to be lightened up. I didn't dark wax it, I felt like there was just a lot going on already with all the faux drawers and hardware. I put some ornate antique silver knobs and did a small amount of distressing. I would never dream of painting the inside and risk covering up that real cedar wood smell :)

Now that I'm older and wiser my parents have bought me a chest of my own. I have since painted it and recovered it and will probably paint it many times, but it will always hold many prized possessions that I hope to pass down to my family. It is however, lacking the most important part, the smell!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Break

Today I am writing from one of my favorite places on earth... the home I grew up in. My husband is off of school for the week so we came to Utah for a wedding and to visit with friends and family. One thing I love about Utah is, one day it will be a blizzard with record high snow and two days later 65 degrees and sunny. I was in desperate need of fresh air and some adult conversation. I'm happy to report I have had both. Every morning I get to go out on a long walk with my three favorite dogs down the river and through the fields and trees. Nothing is more therapeutic than a walk with my boys. I bought movie tickets with my mom and sister for Hunger Games on Saturday, I can't remember the last movie I went to. My daughter is having the time of her life playing with all her cousins. She's getting some much-needed kid time.

Well, I haven't slacked off on my work too much while on vacation. I promised my mom for her birthday I would paint a few of her ancient pieces of furniture that are desperately ready for a new look. My dad thinks my style of furniture looks like it was dragged behind a truck, but I think even he likes the new look for his dresser :) J/K he is very supportive of me and helps me with my furniture needs all the time.

So here she is before. My parents told me that they bought her from an Estate Sale in Illinois when they were first married. They still use this to hold the T.V. in their bedroom.

I painted the dresser with my mom's choice of color. She is planning on repainting her room and giving it a much lighter and brighter look, so she chose Duck Egg Blue. You can't ever go wrong with that. The whole piece is covered in dark wax and lightly distressed (lightly for my dad). It has been finished off with faux crystal knobs.

I didn't have any of my usual tools from home and just planned on using my dads. He had this awesome buffer that just slipped onto his drill and worked amazing. Waxing and buffing is by far my least favorite part and it made buffing quick and breezy. It's less than 24 hours later and I've already bought one for myself.

I will be here for a few more days and will be painting an old marriage hope chest for my mom as well. I should be able to show you that on Sunday, so be sure to check it out. Here is a sneak peek at the before picture.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Silver Leaf End Table Tutorial

Lately there has been a lot of silver leafing out there. I knew I wanted to try it but wasn't sure on what yet. One day I saw an ad on craigslist for a warehouse that sold furniture from foreclosed homes they had cleaned out, so I thought I'd check it out. I almost left with nothing, but on my way out I spotted this beauty.

I loved the shape of it but it needed a ton of work. It had previously been spray painted gold and had names carved in the top. To top it all off, someone had used some acrylic paint to hand paint some lady bugs on it, and this was clearly not the work of an adult. Since the end table wasn't wood, it wasn't a candidate for sanding off the raised lady bug and painting it. Normally, I would have passed on something like this, because even chalk paint couldn't save it. Luckily a light bulb came on in my head before I left with nothing- this would be perfect for silver leafing. It would cover up all the crazy stuff going on underneath.

So how do you silver leaf? Well I'm going to write my second tutorial ever so bear with me.

First of all you'll need supplies.

1. Silver leaf- You can buy this at crafts store or the Internet in thin sheets. I bought mine on eBay. I looked at my local Hobby Lobby and was unable to find any.

2. Adhesive- The brand of silver leafing you buy has a glue that is sold for this specific purpose. I had read somewhere that someone just used a spray glue so I opted for that because it was cheaper. It worked great!

3. Paint brush

4. Sealant of your choice, I used a clear Minwax water-based polycrylic

First, I primed my end table with a spray primer like Kilz.

After the primer dried, I applied one coat of cheap black spray paint. I wanted a darker color to show through on any cracks and crevices for an antique look.

Once your paint is dry you can officially start applying your silver leaf. I suggest starting with a flat surface first such as the top. Spray the glue adhesive on a small section. Then take your silver leaf sheet by grabbing the silver leaf liner and lightly press it down. The silver leaf is very delicate and rips easily if you grab it directly. Pull off the silver leaf liner.

Next is when your brush comes into play. Use your brush to gently push it down into place. Again the silver leaf is so delicate using your hands is out of the question. I overlapped my pieces and also applied ripped pieces, because I didn't want my end table to look like a whole bunch of squares put together. It's especially hard to get the silver leaf to stick into tiny little details and crevices, but I have read that some people use a wax product called Rub N' Buff to fill them in. Amazon sells it here if you want to check it out. I wanted it to have an authentic look, so I let a lot of the black paint show through for an aged feel.

The last step is just to seal and protect your beautiful new piece, so just apply whatever sealer you decided on. Let it dry, put the hardware back on, and enjoy!

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Ugly Duckling

For some reason these old armoire-like dressers have been in high demand. I can see the convenience of something looking like an armoire but having drawers inside. I guess I'm just not a huge fan of the very blocky shape, but despite that, I have had several people who wanted me to find one for them. I scoured Craigslist constantly and found a few. I will be showing you just one of them today.
This beast of a dresser reminds me of the ugly duckling. It was hideous. I am so grateful for my client being able to see past the ugly picture of the dresser I sent her in an e mail, and see the potential it could have. I thought for sure I'd scare her away and she'd think I was crazy for even suggested this particular dresser.

It had some crazy huge flower knobs that just weren't doing it for me. It was also the heaviest piece of furniture I have yet to come across. Just one drawer had to be like 30 lbs. It clearly had been left in the sun in someone's yard for awhile because the wood was so dry. The old poly was peeling and I had to sand down the peeling top.

I outlined the piece in Old White and was planning on doing the rest in Aubusson Blue chalk paint, but I was running low on that particular color at the moment. I thought I'd call up my stockist and have it shipped since we don't have any stockists here in Vegas. While I was waiting for it to ship I was just going to do all the white painting first. I ran into a BIG problem though- everyone at the paint shop was out of town for an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint convention and wouldn't be able to get it to me in time. AHH! It seems that things never go the way I plan so I always plan for change :) I ran to lowes and had my Aubusson Blue color-matched perfectly. My plan B was DIY chalk paint. I have tried this once before, it works well enough. I just add a little bit of plaster of paris powder and water to my latex paint. Then it becomes like chalk paint in that it will stick to any surface without sanding and priming beforehand. I don't think it has the same luxurious feel as real chalk paint and it is much harder to distress. But hey, it gets the job done.

I had first painted the white and then when it dried I taped off the white to paint the blue. When I ripped the tape off it pulled some of the paint off with it. Normally, I would have been opposed to this and painted over it again, but since the wood was so dry it peeled the white paint off it just the right way. It looked awesome, like it had aged and ripened to the perfect amount of "peeling chippiness."

I also found all the deep grooves from being so rough were just accentuated beautifully by the dark wax.

It turned out pretty cool and unique. It's not my usual style but it's fun to think out of the box at times. Oh and be sure to check back in on Monday because I will be posting a tutorial for a beautiful French Provincial nightstand that I silver-leafed today. See you then!

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Romantic French Dresser

I wish I had a before picture of this beauty, but I finished this dresser before I started my furniture blog. I'll just paint you a picture of the dresser before I got my brush on it. It was your typical 60's-70's french replica style. It had that yellowed shell-like paint and gold trim. I hate that shell-like oil based paint, it's such a pain to sand. I sanded down the top and was going for an uneven, slightly white washed look. I stained the top with Minwax english chestnut and watered down some ASCP Old White to wash the top. I painted the dresser Old white with French linen. The whole piece was glazed rather than dark waxed. I used a mocha glaze and a metal patina glaze to help add a little sparkle and shimmer.

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Media Cabinet Reveal

I was really excited when my sweet sister-in-law told me she was looking for something to hold her TV. She is currently using a small coffee table in her new beautiful home, and the best news was she said she'd drive down to pick it up. My brother and sister-in-law moved to Wyoming a few years ago and we have yet to make it to each other's houses. That was the best deal I've made in a long time.

I was also really excited because she was looking to have it painted in warm colors. I used to love warm cozy colors like red, black, brown, and cream. I still do love them but since moving to Las Vegas my style has changed. Why, you may ask? Well, my front living room is full of these beautiful warm reds, golds, and natural browns but when it's summer and 115 degrees... I see those colors and just cringe. Everything is so hot and bland out here, I want to bathe in ocean blues and clean whites when I walk into my home. Now you see why I am in need of a living room makeover.

Anyway, back to to the media cabinet. I painted it in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Graphite and Versailles. I did some heavy dark waxing to darken it and add some depth. I also did some light distressing to let the original cherry wood show through. I took the original hardware off and put on some hardware from an old armoire I had finished previously. I spray painted the hardware with some bronze Rustoleum and called it done. My sister-in-law loves it. I definitely need to return the favor and get my butt to Wyoming to see it at her new place. I think I'll wait until August though when I'm craving some cool weather and greenery :)

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Liebster Blog Award... and a Sneak Peek at my Next Project

I have been given the Liebster Blog Award by Stephanie from New Again! I have to be honest, I had never even heard of it before tonight, but I'm still excited and honored :) The award is designed to recognize and promote blogs that have less than 200 followers, aaaaaaaand there's 5 rules that go along with it:
1) Thank the person that gave it to you. Thanks Stephanie!
2) Link back to their blog
3) Put the award in your blog
4) Present the award to 3-5 blogs with less than 200 followers
5) Leave a comment to let those blogs know that you've recognized their awesomeness!

So here are 5 blogs that I love and follow, check them out!
A to Z Eclectic
Inspire Me Designs
Bad Rabbit Vintage
Decorating Insanity
I Know the Plans I Have for You

I just got a whole bunch of silver leaf, so I'll be silver leafing (is that a verb?) a few nightstands and making a tutorial to go along with them. Right now I am working on a media cabinet for my sister-in-law and brother. Here is the before pic- check back in a couple of days for the reveal!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Black and White Beauty

The next project is a small four drawer antique dresser. This was a real antique- I don't think I've painted anything this old before. This dresser was a custom paint piece and she wanted to go for a french black and white look for her room. I went with ASCP Graphite. The knobs are the original and were painted white with Old White ASCP and covered with poly spray. The whole piece has been lightly hand sanded and clear waxed. The drawers have been lined with some crazy but fun black and white paper. I'm really in love with the color combination of black,white, and brown right now. Can't get enough of it. I couldn't help but stage it accordingly. I can see a living room makeover with these colors :)

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