Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
It’s been a while, so I thought I’d update you on the progress of the curio transformation…
I’m up to my elbows in this:
Chicken wire. Yup. I’ve started installing the chicken wire panels where the glass used to be and so far I’m liking the look. I’m not liking my el-cheapo upholstery stapler from the Hob Lob. Nothing against HL… I just bought this cheap stapler to redo my chairs a long time ago and while it worked great for that, it’s not that wonderful when dealing with a nice, sturdy piece of wood. Mr. home.made. has a much better staple gun, but the staples are too long and I, well, I just couldn’t wait!
I tried a different technique with my chalk paint this time around. I used a watered down mixture of the Paris Grey and it left a nice, smooth topcoat with very few brush marks. Then, after using advice from Jami from Freckled Laundry, I worked in the clear wax with a soft cloth, really working it into the paint as I went. This technique of waxing left a soft sheen right away, but I did go back and buff a little more in some areas for more shine.
I did not distress this piece this time around as I plan on going back later with some dark wax for more patina.
Not bad so far, right? Only four more chicken wire panels to go… and lots of diet coke breaks in between!
Hope to finish this up soon and show it off to ya!
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
This weekend was a pretty exciting one, cause one particular little girl turned the big
I can not even express the amount of love I have for my daughter… she fills my heart with joy until it is overflowing. I am one lucky mama.
I couldn’t leave you without some pictures of THE CAKE, right?! My super talented sister put her decorating skills to work creating all of these pink rosettes… but the pièce de résistance??
The zebra hiding inside!
My daughter was so excited about this… an idea I found on Pinterest from My Cake School. Having never done this before, I admit I was holding my breath until that first slice revealed that the zebra stripes worked! So cool…
Just perfect for my not so little anymore girl!
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Savvy Southern Style
The 36th Avenue
House of Hepworths
Miss Mustard Seed
Tatertots & Jello
Be Different Act Normal
Under the Table and Dreaming
Home Stories A to Z
How to Nest for Less
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
When my grandmother passed away, she left certain pieces of furniture to each of her grandchildren, all spelled out specifically in a letter that she and my grandfather had written years earlier as part of the will for their estate. Bestowed upon me were my grandmother’s hope chest and a curio cabinet, filled with various items she had collected throughout the years.
From what I’ve been told, my grandparents purchased a lot of their furniture through the U.S. Army when my grandpa was in the service. Most of their pieces were very similar – all solid wood with a dark cherry finish and all of them in impeccable condition.
The curio cabinet made the journey from my grandparents’ home to the first home my husband and I bought… then to storage until we moved into the home we built… and again to our current home. Unfortunately, some of the original glass panels did not survive all of these journeys, which was probably a blessing in disguise as this wasn’t exactly safety glass. (I cut my hands several times just in the process of installing/removing the glass!) So, since we’ve moved in, the lonely curio has remained but a hollow shell, waiting to be filled again.
After walking past this piece of furniture for over a year and dreaming of ways to return its function, I finally decided to follow my instinct and… *gasp*… paint it.
I know, there I go again with the perfectly good wood.
It’s funny… I used to be so sentimental about this furniture, feeling as if I was erasing memories if I changed anything about them. But then I read an article in, I believe, Better Homes and Gardens, about a girl who felt the same way that I did… but decided to not just admire her heirloom furniture but to add to its legacy by painting it a different color that suited her décor.
And I loved that idea… of building upon the memories already established with something that’s been handed down for generations by transforming it to fit your own generation.
And so I painted the chairs to my grandmother’s dining set, handed down from her to my mom and (by way of my big brother) then to me.
Baby steps, right?
I took a couple more baby steps this weekend and began another transformation…
(I started painting before I remembered to take “before” pictures, of course!)
From dark cherry wood-tone to Annie Sloan Paris Grey. It’s quite a change, but I love it already.
Now don’t be alarmed… but there are no “after” pictures just yet. I still have a few more things to do with this baby before she’s ready for a final reveal. We’ve been a little busy around la casa with Valentine hoopla and party-planning for a soon-to-be-7 year old!
(By the way… notice the new wall color in the background?? Nice, huh? As for that green trim… not so much.)
So how about you? Are you afraid to transform those family heirloom pieces like I used to be? Or are you going out on a creative limb and giving these pieces another story to tell?
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
All this painting has convinced me that just in case this nursing career thing doesn't work out, I definitely have a future in painting. Seriously. This is one of those areas of DIY where a little OCD is a good thing! That being said, I've also discovered that a painter is only as good as the tricks up her sleeve, so here are my tips for painting like a pro (even if you're not!)
Invest in Quality Tools
This is a lesson I learned the hard way. Being on a budget makes it easy to want to save a couple bucks by scrimping on brushes and rollers. Let me save you some time (and money) by telling you up front that this is not the way to go. Believe me, I've tried every level of brush (you know, Good-Better-Best?), and the Best brushes will give you the best results. Higher quality bristles are stiffer, allowing for more precision with cutting in and less splaying over time, as well as less of those annoying bristles that fall out and stick in your paint. If you take care of them, they'll also last you a lot longer than the cheaper alternatives. My hands-down favorite is Purdy, and no they're not paying me to say that nor have I received anything to review. It's my honest opinion after trying all the rest and learning my lesson.
You'll also want to invest in the highest quality roller brushes that you can, as they give more even paint coverage and leave behind less fibers than the less expensive ones. Trust me, nothing ruins a paint finish faster than those little pieces of cotton fiber gummed up with paint.
Prep Your Surface
I'll be the first to admit that I don't always prime my surface...
That being said, I'll 'fess up that in this case, do as I say and not as I do, mmmkay?! Priming not only helps cover up the previous paint color and any stains, but it provides a better canvas for your new paint. This is especially important when you're repainting a surface that you didn't originally paint. Different paint finishes, patches, adhesives, etc., that may be hiding behind your wall color will become quite evident when you repaint without priming.
In my first home, being the naive painter that I was, I painted the existing pink glossy bathroom a deep red without priming. Where the previous wallpaper border had been, the paint was left darker than everywhere else. AND, the paint peeled off of the glossy surface like bad nail polish. No lie.
Luckily, there's now paint with primer so you can technically kill two birds with one stone. That means there's no excuse for me either, right?
Never Underestimate the Value of Tape
For a crisp, clean edge, you can't go wrong with a good painter's tape. I swear by Scotch Blue, but I've also heard great things about Frog Tape. Whichever you use, be sure you clean your surface first with a damp towel to help the tape adhere better. That fine layer of dust that likes to collect on walls and baseboards can make for a less than ideal adhesive surface. Without a good seal, you can have issues with paint seepage, especially on textured surfaces.
Be sure as well to remove your tape within 24-48 hours if possible. The longer it's left on, the more difficult it will be to remove later and the higher the risk you run of pulling up some of your painted finish along with it.
Take Your Time
I am the world's worst about wanting a project done and wanting it done yesterday, but when it comes to painting, a slow hand leads to more even coverage, more precision, and a better end result. Case in point... I unfortunately paid a lot of money to have someone paint my kitchen cabinets before we moved into this home, and because he rushed and took shortcuts, I'm not only out the money, but I already want to repaint them!
Even if you only have an hour or two at a time, do what you can do as best as you can and save the rest for another day. The walls will still be there when you have time to tackle them again.
One wall at a time, sweet Jesus!
I*helpful hint* If you know you'll be revisiting the painting soon, save your paint and roller for the next painting session by covering it with Press and Seal. Works like a charm.
Don't Be Afraid
Last but not least, don't talk yourself out of it. Painting is sometimes a daunting and scary task, especially when you roll that new color on the first time, but it's something anyone can do! It truly is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to change the way your home looks. And best of all, when you change your mind, you can just do it all over again!
So what are you waiting for? Pick a color, pick up a brush, and color your world today!