Friday, June 28, 2013

Dresser Turned TV stand

Me and Craigslist have a love-hate relationship. Sometimes I think craiglist it the most amazing place where you can find almost anything you need for dirt cheap (or sometimes free)- its like the ultimate garage sale and we all know how much I love garage sales. Other times I loathe how flaky, sneaky and down right rude people can be. Don't get me wrong, we've met some people who are so kind, but we've had other experiences that either leave me frustrated or wanting to cry. 

I'm currently trying to sell my old bed set on Craigslist. I was researching what other people are asking when I stumbled on this beauty-
A vintage 9 drawer mid-century dresser from the 1960's. Problem was they aware asking $140 (I'm completely broke and won't be getting paid until school starts again), and we didn't need a it...but I had fallen in love! I offered $90 with fast pickup and they countered $100. That's a lot of money to spend on something you don't really need. 

I knew I wanted to turn it into a TV stand. Our old TV stand worked perfectly fine. I hadn't even concidered getting a new one until I saw the dresser. After thinking about it all day and talking it out with Mr. Wonderful and my mom, I decided to drive all the way to Dover to look at it. We ended up in a sketchy trailer park with about 6 run-down trailers total. The house we needed to go in looked like a place full of treasures. There was junk on the portch and under the carport. Mr. Wonderful was neverous about going inside, but I was gung ho. I wanted to see more. Inside there were vintage things EVERYWHERE. I felt like I was walking through an antique store. Many things had been repurposed. There were trinkets all over. Nothing really went together but it worked. I would call their style eclectic with a lot of southern charm.

As soon as they showed me the dresser, I knew it was the one. It was even prettier in person and in excellent condition for its age. Check our some of the details

We took it home and set it up right away.
As I said before, our old TV stand was fine but look at what a statement this one makes. 

The drawers are perfect for holding DVDs 
Now all I need to do is convince Mr. Wonderful to let me drill holes in the back and keep the cable box, router, and ps3 in the top drawers , so it doesn't look like this.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Another great find!

 When we were buying our house the people selling it offered to sell us some of their larger furniture. I don't think they wanted the hassle of moving it. We payed $300 for their kitchen table and chairs and the matching hutch. Thing is I hate the table and don't really like the hutch either. We bought it because we needed something and didn't think we could find something that cheep. The sellers also left a queen sized four post bed (that Mr. Wonderful's mom took), a wooded chest (now found in Allie's room) and a chest of drawers 2 end tables that don't match (which are waiting to be painted)

The table isn't ugly- just not my style and in my opinion its WAY too busy. It has hand painted flowers and vines all over it. See

I like to decorate my table with runners and centerpieces, but I couldn't because of all designs. It was too much visually. I couldn't even put a simple bouquet in the center. This is the reason I HAD to get a new table first thing with our wedding money. You can see it here. Well, it just so happened that while garage sale-ing I found this for $50

Wonderful isn't it? It's so me. It's not an antique but it has that feel. It looks fabulous in the piano room. We used Mr. Wonderful's parent's van to transport it home. It hung out the back so my mom sat back there holding it to insure it didn't fall.

Now I have matching kitchen table and hutch for sale....wonder how much I can get for them?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Painted Chair Tutorial

Last week I shared my kitchen chair transformation

Since this was my first big painted furniture project and I wanted them to come out perfect and last forever ( or at least a really long time), I did a lot of research before starting. Many people recommended using chalk paint, but after looking into it I thought better not try it for my first project. Chalk paint has a lot going for it. Probably its best selling point is that little prep is needed. You can just start painting over about any surface even if it has a shiny clear coat on top. It wasn't the paint that detoured me (although the price of it wasn't helping); it was the applying the wax that I wasn't sure I could do. After reading many posts and watching a few tutorials on YouTube, I realized there is a learning curve with the waxes. People recommended starting with just the clear wax until you get the hang of it. I knew I wanted to give these chairs an antique finish, and to do that with chalk paint you must use the dark wax in addition to the clear wax (which means more $$). Not good for my first major project. I also read that the wax must be reapplied every so often
to areas that get a lot of wear and tear. My kitchen chairs are going to get a lot of heavy use and didn't like the idea of having to re-wax, so I decided to use regular latex paint and stain to add the antique finish.

Here is what I used:
-Medium grit and fine grit Sandpaper
-Tack cloths
-Chip brush
-High quality brush (I bought an expensive Purdy one)
-Oil-based bonding primer (I like Zinsser)
-Latex paint in the color of your choice (I chose Sherman Williams hazel)
-Flotrol- optional but it makes the paint so easy to work with and reduces brush marks big time

Not Pictured:
-dark stain (I used what I already had- Minwax Stain and Poly in 1 Step in antique walnut)

Here is what I did step-by-step:
First I removed the cushions by unscrewing the bottom. I kept all screws in a plastic bag so they wouldn't get lost.
Then I sanded everything with 80 grit sand paper so the the primer would have something to grip. I used my power sander on the big flat parts to speed things up, but I had to do the legs and detail on the back by hand.
Next I put a coat of primer. I started my using a can of primer and a throwaway chip brush but I didn't like how thick it went on, so I sent Mr. Wonderful (you like that name huh?  I love how all these blogs use secret names for their hubbies so I decided to give Dedee a Pseudonym too. What do you think?) to get spray primer. Here he is helping out.

Next I sanded again with fine 220 grit sandpaper. Now it's time for color! I added Flotrol (recommended by
Centsational Girl) to the paint before starting. I believe this made a huge difference in the reduction of brush marks. I also sanded between every coat. This is crucial in getting a smooth finish. 3 coats and a few days later, my chairs were looking pretty AWESOME!

Finally for the scary part- applying stain for the antiqued finish. I was terrified to start. I loved my chairs and worked so hard on them. I'd cry if they got messed up. Everything I'd seen seemed pretty easy. Wipe on stain; Wipe off. (Remind you of the Karate Kid? Must be an 80's baby.) Once I worked up the courage to dip my brush on the stain, it was simple.

I used Minwax Stain and Poly in 1 Step in the antique walnut color. I chose that satin because I had it in the garage from working on my armoire, but I think any stain will work fine. I simply brushed it on using a chip brush making sure to get it in all the crevices, and then used a rag to wipe most of it off. I left some of the stain in the cracks on purpose. Warning- the stain changes the color of the paint slightly. It made the color warmer.

Make sure when you do this you work in small sections. Did you hear me? Work in small sections! This is critical. (I did this at first, but then I got overconfident and started working in bigger sections- mistake! I put too much on and it was drying faster than I could get it off) If you find that stain is tacky and hard to remove, you can re-coat that area with stain and then wipe immediately. I found that doing this made those tough areas easier. (I wish someone told me this before I panicked and did this)

After reupholstering the seats (more on that coming soon), screw them back on and voila!

A few tips:

-Use a high quality brush and flotrol to reduce brush marks.
-Sand using fine 220 grit sandpaper between every coat of paint.
-Apply thin layers of paint. You don't want it to get all gooey in the cracks and crevices.
-Place nails in the bottom of the chair legs to raise them off the ground for easier painting (Pinterest tip that worked)
-Work in small areas when applying the antique finish.
- If the stain gets too tacky and its hard to get off, apply a little more and it will come off easier

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Officially the First Day of Summer Vacation

The typical question toward the end of the school year is "What are your summer plans?" Most people are going somewhere. Visiting family, traveling abroad or simply spending time at the beach. Not me. At least not this year. The wedding really set us back. We really can't afford to go anywhere on vacation this year, but that doesn't mean I won't be busy. I have a lot of home improvement projects to work on. Here is my summer To Do list:
  • Transform the kitchen- this means painting the kitchen counter tops, hanging some sort of window treatment and painting the wall and hanging shelves above the sink
  • Add board and batten and paint the front bathroom.
  • Paint the laundry room and make a clothes drying rack
  • finish stenciling and hanging chair rail in the dining room. 
  • frame bathroom mirror
  • Repaint accent wall in living room and hang curtains
  • Seal the outdoor chase I got off freecycle
  • Make a bench for entryway

Other things on my To Do list that are not home improvements include:
  • Officially change my name
  • Re-finance our house to eliminate PMI
  • Make Hawaii photo album
  • Host another pinterest party
  • start an Etsy store
I also set a goal to learn how to cook one new meal every week over the summer. What are your summer plans?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dining Room Chairs Turned Kitchen Chairs

So I mentioned before how I found these 4 dining room chairs at a garage sale for $15. I got them for my kitchen table knowing that I'd need to paint and upholster them so they would be more casual. I decided to paint the chairs a mint green color and go with something with a pop of color for the cushions. Check out the before and afters.



 Pretty awesome for my first painted furniture project right?! I'll share what I did step-by-step soon.