Saturday, December 5, 2015

Farmhouse Bench

My first furniture build is in the books folks and here she is! I got a referral from a very nice girl I had met through a local buy/sell group to build a bench. When I built my Shanty-2-Chic floating shelves, I definitely got a confidence boost that I could build furniture. So when I got asked to build this bench, I was very excited to build it. From Shanty-2-Chic's website, I came across the Rogue Engineer and follow them on IG. So when I got this order, I immediately logged onto his website and came across this plan.

I started searching for some similar legs that I could get locally. Home Depot had these beautiful legs and of course there were only 3 when I got there. Just my luck. So I found someone to see if they had more in the back and he pulled them up for inventory and saw they had 5. Well, there was one more in the box next to it! Phew, so I grabbed them and the wood and couldn't wait to get started.

The build for the bench went well for my first time. The Rogue Engineer's plans are great. In total, I spent about 3-4 hours building it. If I had to do it again, it could be completed in 2-3 hours. Here are some pictures of the build.

And there she is all put together. Next was the stain. I chose to go with Rustoleum's Kona stain for the top and then Varathane gel stain in natural for the base of the table to match the clients current dining room table. To seal the bench and protect it, I went with my favorite polyurethane in satin. I am in love with this bench. If only I had a big enough dining room for my own. Someday.

Thanks so much for reading!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Dark Grey Bassett Dresser

Happy November! Sorry I have been a little MIA, been busy getting ready for the holidays and I took my mom on a trip to Palm Springs, CA. We both had never been to that area of California and I would highly recommend it. We had beautiful weather and spent most of the time at the pool. The nice shuttle driver for the resort was convinced we must not have pools in Wisconsin. Ummmm... we do, but we only get to use them about two months out of the year! We stayed at the Westin Mission Hills and here is a view from there. My favorite picture I took while we were there.

OK, now back to the snow, cold weather and talking about this grey dresser. I had found this on CL quite some time ago. Ok.. like back in March. Ugh that sounds horrible, anyways. I finally got around to it in October. I thought it would be a good candidate to try spraying on since it was small in size and if I ruined it, I wouldn't be heartbroken. So, I took all the drawers out and lightly sanded everything. The color I used for this dresser was a custom mix with Behr's Orion Grey and Downpour. Now that I have been getting more familiar with how certain colors change with other main colors, I have really been enjoying making custom colors. That also means the color is very original then too, which I love. 

I forgot to take a complete before picture, so this is the best that I have. Next I got to spraying. With this, I learned that I definitely need to make some drawer skirts (inpired by The Resplendent Crow). I sprayed two coats of grey and the one coat of General Finishes high performance top coat in matte. 

Here was one of the drawers as it was drying.

Here, I was almost done with it. Just doing some little touch-ups on it. And you can see my other inventory/mess/workshop/garage. See anything you like?

And there she is, all done!

Thanks so much for reading,

Linked up to: Thirty Eighth Street | A Stroll Thru Life

Monday, October 26, 2015

Painting with a Sprayer

Well, it finally happened. I bought this sprayer from Amazon a few weeks ago and finally got it out and painted this past weekend. It is amazing, I wish I would have done it so much sooner. My favorite furniture bloggers all spray their furniture for the most part and I finally decided to get it a try myself. 

I started testing it out first with cardboard and water to get a feel for how it sprayed and the different settings. 

Once I thought I had a feel for it, I thinned out some eggshell black Behr paint I have had for awhile from the Home Depot oops rack. It suggested to thin it down about 10-15%. with water. Once I had the paint thinned down, I poured it in the container and got my garage and the piece ready.

I was so nervous at first and I don't know why. Once the first coat was finished I waited a bit to see how it started drying and it looked amazing. It was so great not to see any brush strokes and I think it took me about 8 minutes to get the first coat on. 

I let this dry overnight and then did another coat early on Sunday and then staged it late in the afternoon while the sun was still out for pictures. I am still learning, but overall the first piece went well. I also did a chair since I had mixed way too much black paint, The set/up and cleaning take the most time, I am still trying to master the cleaning process. I thought I had it all cleaned out and then some black paint still dripped out of it an hour later. And I even bought the cleaner that attaches to the sink/hose as well. Hmmmm. Anyways, I would highly recommend this product. It saves time and creates a flawless finish on furniture. 

Anyone have any tips for cleaning?

Thanks for reading,

Friday, October 23, 2015

Antique White Dresser

I received this beautiful dresser as a custom order. There is an entire set with bed frame and tall dresser that I will be working on as well.  This has been in my client's family for a very long time and they wanted to change the look and now use it for their adorable baby girl's room once she is out of her nursery. 

It had been painted previously in a green color with a glaze. Here is a picture of the color, unfortunately I did not get a great before picture that included the entire dresser.

I lightly sanded the existing paint with 150 grit paper and then applied primer to make sure nothing came through with the white paint. The below picture is after one coat of primer. I then added a second coat to get more even coverage. I think that was mostly due to me not mixing it properly the first time. That is also my crazy garage where I work on projects and have my currents WIPs.

This piece had the original hardware, but it was very tarnished. I wanted to save the hardware as much as I could to keep the history of the piece. To clean it, I used bar keepers friend, hot water and a toothbrush. I spent a good amount of time cleaning, but was very happy with the results. Look at the difference! 

For the paint, I used General Finished Antique White milk paint and it took about three coats even with the primer. White is one of my favorite colors to paint, but if definitely requires a lot of coats. The Antique White milk paint coverage is great and it is such a beautiful shade of white, perfect for the beauty of this dresser. Next, I used General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in flat to seal the dresser with a foam brush. 

This is one of my favorite pieces I have done, hoping to come across more pieces like this soon. The detail on it is incredible as well as the quality of the dresser.

For my staging, I think I need to start hanging items on the wall, but I am afraid to put a bunch of holes in it. Does anyone have any tips for that?

Thanks for reading, 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Grey Bamboo Desk

It has been almost a year since I picked up the desk that started my passion to give old furniture new life. As I reflect on the last year and look at old pictures and pieces, it's interesting to see how my pieces and style have changed over time. There are two major points that I have learned over the last year that I think would be helpful to anyone looking to refinish furniture:

1. Be very selective with your pieces. I used to buy anything just because it was a good deal when I first started. This led to two problems. One, it loaded up my one car garage because I was buying faster than I was finishing/selling and I lost the ability to work in my garage. And 2. my boyfriend thought I was crazy because it started overflowing into my condo. Then, I got sick of items and lost interest in them over time because I realized they weren't that great of quality from the start. That led to a few (about 7) trips to Goodwill to give back a lot of what I had bought from them. Good thing they didn't have to re-tag everything.

2. My style and quality has changed. When I first started, I just loved the idea of fixing something up and reselling it. Now I spend more time really working on pieces (cleaning them, fixing up dents, scratches, taking off veneer, etc). I feel better when I finish the pieces. I also used to love to refinish big dressers, but I just don't have the manpower to do that and I was killing the interior of my car doing that as well. So now my focus is on smaller pieces that I can lift myself, unless I get a custom order.

Anyways, onto my next piece. I have found it interesting that the furniture bloggers I follow and love from the west coast (The Weathered Door, Phoenix Restoration and NAK Home) really find a lot of different styles of furniture compared to what I find. One for example, would be bamboo style furniture. I have rarely come across any here in Wisconsin in my year of doing this, but one day (probably four months ago) I came across this amazing antique bamboo desk at a local Goodwill.

It sat in my garage for awhile (drawer included), and I recently brought it up to work on it. When I took the drawer out, I tried looking for a label or date since this piece was so unique compared to the usual furniture I find. On the bottom of the drawer, I found this inspection stamp from 1916. I couldn't believe it, this piece of furniture it almost 100 years old. It is always amazing to me to think about where these old pieces have been and the story they carry with them.

For this piece, I was inspired The Weathered Door with her amazing bamboo nightstand she recently finished. Lately, the cooling Wisconsin weather has me liking the greys  lately and finally off my white kick from summer. I am trying to be good and use up most of my paint before I go and buy more (I have a lot). When I was going through my Behr deck of colors, I came across Double Click and tried to match it. I made chalk paint with Plaster of Paris and water. I used 5 parts Down Pour from Behr and 1 part Seagull Grey from Behr, all from previous projects.

Then I started hand painting. It took a decent amount of time to make sure the bamboo shapes of the desk were fully covered with paint. I did about two/three coats on the desk. Here is how it looked after one coat.

When I was done painting, I wanted to add something to the desk to emphasize the ornate trim the desk came with. I bought a gold paint marker from Jo-Ann's and used it to fill it in. I then used General Finishes high performance top coat in Flat (a very nice birthday gift from my furniture friend Kim back in April). Here is how she looked when she was done.

What do you all think?

Thanks for reading, hope everyone is having a great week!

PS - I finally bought a paint sprayer! Can't wait to try it and give you all a review soon.

Monday, October 5, 2015

DIY Halloween Countdown

So after my Shanty-2-Chic floating shelves, I had some left over wood and a desire to use my saw again. I saw a cute Halloween countdown while searching Pinterest and though I would create one. I created the lettering in Microsoft Publisher and printed it all out on regular paper.

Next, I used one of my sanded pieces of plywood and laid out the board how I was imagining it. Once it was all measured out, I then went to used my miter saw to make the final cuts. For the frame, I used a 1x2x8 piece of Cedar and cut 45 degree cuts to make the frame. I then stained it with Minwax Jacobean stain.            

For the back of the board, I used chalkboard paint that I bought @ Home Depot by Rustoleum. It slightly curved the plywood when it had dried, so I used lots of jars and wood glue to hold everything down in place for it to dry.

After 24 hours, I removed all the jars and all the wood had stuck. Yay! Here is a picture of it after I was completed with this step.

Next, I added on the text part of the sign. With all the font cut out, I individually chalked (with regular chalk) the back of each piece of paper. I then placed it down where I wanted it and traced the lettering with a pen. It left an outline in white chalk. I then filled it in with paint markers and left the center of the box empty so you can change your countdown daily. I love projects that I can finish with leftover supplies. What do you all think?

Thanks for reading,

Linked up to: The Crowned Goat

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Shanty 2 Chic Floating Shelves

Back in 2013 when I first found Pinterest, I came across this amazing Pottery Barn inspired plan for this DIY Wall Art. I had just started dating my boyfriend and that was when he would still help me with my projects, even though he did mostly everything. He was so nice and cut all the wood for this project with no miter saw and it came out amazing. I think the only part I did was stain. Oh how things have changed, along with my picture taking abilities. Here is a picture of it in his home.

I then came across Shanty 2 Chic's floating shelves and fell in love. I just never had all the tools and confidence to build something like that on my own. I bought Ryobi's air compressor and nail gun kit when they had it on special at Home Depot around the holidays last winter in December 2014. If you are in the market for any of these tools, I would highly recommend waiting a few more months if you can to purchase this kit. I got the air compressor, brad nailer, finish nailer and crown stapler all for $150. The compressor alone is currently listed for $160. Then in 2015, I have slowly acquired a Kreg Jig and sliding compound miter saw.

With all these tools to finally build these shelves, I finally took it upon myself to do so. My condo came with a cheap chrome towel bar right across my toilet, that sits too low for it to be useful. So my plan was to build three shelves there. I brought the plans with me to Home Depot and they were nice enough to make most cuts in the wood that I needed. Next, I then brought everything home and finished cutting everything myself with the miter saw. It was very intimidating at first with how loud and big it is. But after the first cut, I felt invincible with it. As you can probably tell from this picture below:

This saw worked great and made all the cutting very easy to finish, especially with the ability to cut up to 12 inches with one of the boards to the top of the shelves being 10 inches in depth. With everything cut, I started to assemble the frame. I learned that I wouldn't be able to put the first shelf as low as I was hoping, so I could only put two shelves in my space. I was able to line up the frame and find the studs (after a few attempts) and drilled them in.

Then I used my brad nailer and air compressor and started assembling the rest of the shelves. The brad nailer and air compressor were intimidating as well after reading the instructions and seeing how loud both were. The noise and facts in the manual (about using the gun as a weapon and having the tank possibly blow up) are still scary, but I just went with it. I also had to patch up the holes from my chrome towel bar as well.


I then used my frog tape to tape off my walls. Sanding was the next step, I did this with both loose sand paper and a sanding block. Then next was the stain, I was debating between the Minwax Jacobean and the Minwax Dark Walnut . There were some extra pieces of wood leftover so I tested it out on both. Jacobean was the ultimate decision as I liked the color and how it brought the grain out in the wood. My bathroom is very light colored so I want to bring in some dark colors and I thought the Jacobean stain did this well. I made sure to cover all the area beneath the shelves with old towels and a drop cloth and started applying the stain with a lint free cloth and gloves.

The smell was fairly strong after applying the stain so I made sure to run my fan in my bathroom and keep my condo well ventilated for about a week. I think it finally went away or I am just used to the smell by now. Either way, I am very happy with how they turned out. I finally got them decorated last night with decor I found from Home Goods. Still looking to add a few more things as I find them.

Hope everyone is having a great week and thanks for reading!