Saturday, November 26, 2011

At last, Big Frenchy!

This project took just a little longer than I hoped. But then, it is BIG.  I mean, really, REALLY BIG and incredibly solid.  Here is where we began, a little dated with the orange-y finish, but still, in my opinion, timeless and very pretty.  And did I mention BIG?

My kitchen was totally overtaken by this project.  Yeah, I refinish furniture in my kitchen.  I can make a mess because I'm the one who cleans up.  Those are the rules.
As I did with the server last month, I painted the base in Pure White chalk paint, and stained the top in Kona.

I love how the top came out. Dark and shiny, so you can really see the curves in the wood.

A little clear wax to shine up the finish.

Some judicious distressing:

Painted the hardware a dark silver metallic:

Finished just in time to start the Christmas decorating.

The new dining room is really starting to come together.

Now I just have the table and chairs left to do.  And painting the walls.  And laying new flooring.... maybe AFTER Christmas!

Linking up to Met Monday, What's It Wednesday, White Wednesday, Potpourri Party, Furniture Friday and Show & Tell Friday.  Whew, that is a lot of partying!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Plate Rack Update

Last January I got this shelf from my friend Michelle, who no longer had space for it in her kitchen. I've been shuffling it around in my sunroom ever since, trying to find it a home. Here it is sitting on top of my old stereo cabinet shortly after I got it home.

Since I got the French Provincial dining room suite several months ago, my sunroom has been reassigned as my new dining room. And, since this room is going all white and neutral with touches of blue, the dark, dark green paint (it only looks black, it's actually green) was not going to work out. So I painted it to match the other furniture, in Annie Sloan Pure White Chalk Paint, and hung it on the wall.  To hang it I bought a 100 lb cleat at Home Depot, but after I put it up I was just really nervous piling stuff on it, so I put 2 inch drywall screws through it into the studs.  It's not going anywhere now, it's locked on tight.

I love the style of this piece, but then I've always been a sucker for a plate rack.  I really can't say I like it better white, but it will blend much better in the room.  I have not actually begun Christmas decorating just yet, but I couldn't resist adding some new greenery for the photos.

Still torn on painting the walls a creamy beige, or going with a soft washed out blue.  I don't think either one is happening until after Christmas since I'm still painting furniture, one piece at a time.

So guess what I'm hoping to show you next week?  Big Frenchy is underway:

Have a nice weekend all!  I'm partying at:

Feathered Nest Friday
Potpourri Friday
Show & Tell Friday
Furniture Friday

Sunday, November 13, 2011

No Mantle? No Problem!

With the holidays coming, I started thinking I'd really like to have a mantel to decorate.  Problem is, I don't have a fireplace and I have no room for an actual mantel.  In fact, the place I really wanted to put the mantel is way too small for any mantel I've run across.  What to do?  If only I had a sort of tall-ish piece of furniture that is sort of small but has a nice top.... hmm.  Wait a minute!  What about the crappy dresser in the garage?  I bought this little dresser off Craigslist a few months ago for $20.  I didn't look very close when I picked it up, just pulled out the top couple drawers and looked it up and down, said ok and loaded it up.  Not terribly smart.

When I got it home I discovered the bottom 3 drawers were way too warped for everyday use, so I left it in the garage and stewed on ideas of turning it into a bookshelf or something.  Now I'm glad I left it alone.  It took maybe 2 hours total (note to my worrying daughter, I spread the 2 hours over 3 days, so I didn't overexert myself) to sand, paint in ASCP Duck Egg and wax in clear, plus do a stained and polyurethaned top.  It may not be a mantel, but I think I got some bang of of my $20 and a little paint:

So, now I can hardly wait to decorate for the holidays.  Not sure what I'm putting on it  for Christmas yet, but I'll have fun playing around with it.  For now, an all-seasons look:

The bonus to this is that unlike an actual mantle, this has storage capability so I loaded it up with candles, gift wrap, ribbons, bags, tissue, all of which I don't access often enough to be bothered by warped drawers.

I'm linking up at Met Monday and Show & Tell Friday.  Have a fantastic week!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Flea Market Junk of the Week

I went to the flea market this week and turned up just a couple little treasures.  On Sunday I found a $5 pair of cute white leather ice skates which I will use in my Christmas decorating, as well as a pile of doilies for a quarter each, and a little tarnished silver tray for $3. 

Wednesday I found a $15 white pitcher and bowl to add to my white pottery collection in the downstairs hutch.

I also repurposed some junk this week... this little shelf got a makeover.  My dad helped me by cutting the wood and drilling the holes, since I am power tool challenged.  It went from this:

To this (and I may paint it again because I'm not in love with the Old White finish on it):

An old green box with some engraved advertising that was an auction find years ago got a paint job in ASCP Duck Egg with dark wax, going from this flat John Deere-like color:

To this muted, shiny finish that lets the advertising stand out a bit better:

To illustrate how dramatic the effect of the dark wax is on old wood, here is a side-by-side of waxed and unwaxed in Duck Egg Blue.  When I got the dark wax and initially played around with it, I sort of thought I wouldn't end up using it because I like a cleaner finish, but on something old like this it just brings out all the character of the rustic wood.

And my auction find picnic basket got a whitewash from this:

To this:

That is my junk of the week!  Partying at Beautiful Junk Saturday.  Thanks for coming by!

Frenchy Server Redo

I've started to refinish my dining room furniture, which I got from Craigslist a few months ago, with the hope of having it finished by Thanksgiving weekend so I can put my mess away and decorate for Christmas.  Here is a reminder of where we started with the server:

It doesn't look too bad in that photo, but below is a good pic of the top, and you can clearly see what needs to be done here.  This piece was actually the bottom of the hutch, and you can see where the top piece used to sit.  I've swapped it out with the actual server because I like how this fits under my windows.  Anyway...

I needed to strip the top down.  I like to use this product, which just sort of eats off the finish, and you rub off the goo with steel wool.  Effective and quick, but on this piece I was going through a lot of steel wool.  This finish was so gooey that I gave up after a pack of steel wool, and went with Citrastrip to finish it up.  Either one works, but maybe I will just use this product on smaller pieces from here out.

So here you can see the bare wood that was under the old finish.  I cleaned it, conditioned it, and stained it with Kona.  Its darker than Antique Walnut and takes fewer coats to get a nice dark finish.  This I learned from Kristy at 4 the Love of Wood, who is like the Yoda of furniture refinishing.

Here we are, mid-way through the refinish with the top stained and the bottom in a coat of Pure White ASCP.  Can you tell I like the white bottom/stained top combo?  I have done this to six pieces already.  Hmm... maybe I need to change things up.  But not just yet, the dining room is all going to match!

The top is just beautiful with the dark stain and 3 coats of poly...

Here is the finished piece... love!  I'm thinking next are the table and chairs, but I am getting a little sidetracked at the moment with another piece that I just HAVE to redo so I can use it for Christmas decorating in the living room.  Hopefully that will be a quick one!

Partying at the following:

Furniture Friday
Feathered Nest Friday
Show & Tell Friday
Potpourri Friday

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Antique Vanity Redo

I have shown you my vanity before.  It came to be mine when my ex spotted it for sale for $50 in someone's yard and bought it for me about 15 years ago.  I've always loved its trifold mirror, graceful lines and curvy legs.  Not so much the dull finish and chipped veneer, but it's something I use every day and like many things, after a while I stopped noticing.

Around mid-September I decided it was time for a makeover.  I didn't have any helpers around so I did the whole makeover right here in the corner of my bedroom.  I stripped the finish off the two cabinet tops using Minwax furniture refinisher and steel wool (wearing heavy rubber gloves, always!) and cleaned off the rest of the cabinet with TSP.  Then I used a wood reconditioner on the cabinet tops, restained in Antique Walnut, and did 5 coats of poly, rubbing with steel wool in between coats.  Shiny!  The body I painted with Martha Stewart paint, which was very nice to work with.  After a nice pretty paint job, I smacked it around a little bit with my palm sander, to give it a little character.  I did nothing to the hardware, I kind of like it the way it is.

I really wish I could have moved it into better light, but moving all the furniture for a photo shoot was not a do-able scenario on my own.  And I have to tell you, photographing a trifold mirror without getting yourself or at least your tripod legs in the shot while you are in a small room is not all that easy!

Below I am showcasing some of my antique treasures while showing you the edge detail on the center console.  The gold perfume vial in the purse opening belonged to my Grandma, everything else was a "junking" find.  I wear those beads all the time.

A little close-up on the details:

This stuff will stay on display, but I will add more "stuff" because I'm cluttery like that.  I just wanted you to be able to actually see the tops in the photos.  :)

This little corner is considerably brighter now, I'm loving my little vanity in white.  I forgot to photo the insides but I painted the drawers in Martha Stewart "Rainwater", a pretty blue-green.  I may do a lighter wash of that color on my walls.

Thanks for coming by.  I'm linkng up with some parties:

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