DIY THURSDAY: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE STRIPES.

A few weeks ago, I purchased my very first quart of CC Caldwell’s chalk/clay paint. I’ve been anxious to try it and compare it to Annie Sloan as I heard there were a few noticeable differences. So I picked up a beautiful shade of Green (Tundra Green) and waited for the perfect project to begin my experiment.

When I stumbled upon this adorable antique dresser while browsing Craigslist, I knew it had to be mine. I loved the original castors, the lines, and the engraved detail and immediately envisioned what I was going to do with it – it would look beautiful in a tundra shade of green!

Antique Dresser copy

Of course, in my excitement, I forgot to take before pics but the gal I purchased it from was kind enough to email me one of the pictures she had posted on Craigslist.

So on the first good weather day (what is going on with all this rain ya’ll?!), I went to work. As I began applying the CC Caldwell paint, the first thing I noticed was that it wasn’t quite as chalky as the Annie Sloan paint. CC’s is also a noticeably darker shade when wet (due to the clay in it) so you can easily see how quickly it is drying. This may initially freak you out as it did me – your masterpiece will look awful and quite blotchy until the paint is fully dry!

As I continued painting multiple coats, I also happily noticed the lack of odor in the CC paint. Don’t get me wrong, Annie Sloan paints have little odor but it seems to be non-existent in the CC paints! For a pregnant woman, this was a huge plus.

Once I painted on several coats of tundra green, I realized that the dresser needed just a little more oomph. So I pulled out my measuring tape and frog tape, and taped away. For the stripes, I fell back onto my beloved Old White (Annie Sloan). And what a difference the stripes made!

Antique Dresser Unfinished copy

Not the best picture – taken with my phone….

Once the piece was fully dry, I lightly distressed with 180-grit sandpaper, and began waxing. Now, I have used multiple waxes, from Minwax to Miss Mustard Seed Beeswax, to Annie Sloan’s waxes. So I thought I’d give the CC Caldwell wax a try this time around and I must say, I wasn’t disappointed! The can could be a little wider in order to fit in a wax brush, but instead I just used a cloth and it went on nice and light – not streaky at all. And again, there was practically no odor! As you put on the wax, you’ll notice the paint become a darker shade, but again, once it is dry it will go right back to its original color so don’t freak out!

To be quite honest with you, I’m not the biggest fan of the Annie Sloan wax, although I use it often. It’s a little too gloppy and…waxy for me. It seems to streak just a little more than some others. Plus, there is most definitely an odor with the Annie Sloan wax. So far, my favorites have been the MMS wax and now, CC Caldwell’s. Both go on incredibly smooth, have very little odor, and leave a nice streak free sheen. But to each there own!

And voila, after a little buffing of the wax, the dresser was complete:

Antique dresser Macro

Antique Dresser Green

Yep, it’s definitely all about that stripes. This lovely dresser is now in the shop so stop on by 7572 Greenwood Station Rd. in Greenwood, VA (540-456-4681) if interested!

DIY THURSDAY: GLAMOUR WITH A VINTAGE TWIST

I’m actually super excited to share my most recent DIY with you today. I veered a bit from the norm, took a risk, and think it turned out amazingly (if I do say so myself…). As mentioned, it sold in a single day so I must have done something right!

Console Table

As soon as I saw this piece, I fell in love with it. The faux marble top wasn’t ideal, of course, but I loved the lines and at 60% off, I just couldn’t turn it down! So I lugged it home with a few other goodies and immediately began my grand plans…

Now, I’m typically inspired by the clean, crisp whiteness of a room, but lately my eye has been drawn to bold, jewel tones and pops of color. Like these lovely interiors:

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

Perhaps it’s the thought of warmth and sun and clear, blue skies, but cobalt has become quite the favorite color of mine. Pair it with a deep, glossy black and you have instant glamour! So with the thought of adding a little glamour into my own life, with a vintage twist, I went to work…

First, I sanded down the top and wiped down the table to remove the dust and grit. I then painted the entire piece in Annie Sloan’s Graphite and allowed it to dry for a day. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures in my excitement so I ask that you use your imagination!

Once the base layer was dry and settled, I brushed on a layer of Martha Stewart’s crackle medium (available at Michael’s). This is a medium you apply between layers of contrasting colors, and I was not shy in my application – I ended up using the entire bottle! Per the instructions, I allowed the medium to fully dry and then began painting my final layer. For the base, I used Valspar’s Fjord Blue in satin and for the top, I used Valspar’s Kettle Black in semi-gloss.

On a side note, there were actually quite a few things I was nervous about during this whole process: 1) how the crackle would turn out as I had never used the Martha Stewart brand before…if the crackle was too small, you wouldn’t be able to see the Graphite Black underneath, and if the crackle was too large, it would simply look like a big mistake! 2) If I went with too much gloss for the table top. I wanted it to look slightly muted with the Graphite black showing though from the crackle, but it could easily turn out looking like a bad paint job. 3) If I chose the right blue to contrast the black. I’ll let you be the judge…

Once the final layer was dry, I sanded the entire piece, used a bit of gold leafing (also available at Michael’s) to add that little touch of detail (which I also very lightly sanded), and finally, I gave the table a nice protective sheen using Annie Sloan’s clear wax.

Voila! You’ve got yourself some vintage glamour, baby!

Blue Console

Blue Console Macro

Blue Console 2

What do you think…a little too much or just right?

DIY THURSDAY: ANTIQUED EMERALD SIDE TABLE…

Well, I’m obviously a little late in the game today. After my post on the 2013 color of the year, I felt inspired to add a little emerald to my own life and had the perfect piece to begin my experiment. Unfortunately, that piece took a bit more sanding, filling, and gluing than initially expected! I’ve spent the last day and a half refurbishing a piece that should have taken no more than a few hours. But it was fun, nevertheless, and kept me entertained far into the night last night.

Side Table Unfinished

You can see how beat up the table was!

A large chunk of the laminate was peeling off, so I tore the whole thing off and power sanded the top:

Side Table Sanded

I then used a quarter of a bottle of wood glue and almost an entire bottle of wood filler fixing and filling miscellaneous cracks and holes! Once the glue and filler were fully dry, I wiped down the entire piece and finally began painting the base layer in Annie Sloan’s Graphite

Side Table Graphite

(It was getting dark and cold outside so I had to lug the table into the warmth of my home for the paint to dry!)

With the base coat on and without any sanding between coats, I began applying Valspar’s Green Suede…

Side Table Green Suede

Emerald loveliness!

A single coat of the Green Suede over the Graphite actually looked fabulous – something I’ll keep in mind for the next project! – but I had a different vision with this piece so I applied a second coat, allowed it to fully dry, lightly distressed with 180-grit sandpaper, and then started applying the wax.

First, I used a small amount of Miss Mustard Seed’s furniture wax (just my preference these days, but any clear wax will do!), allowed it to sit for about 3 minutes, and then applied Annie Sloan’s dark wax. As usual, I always work in small sections using the dark wax, brushing on, and then buffing off with another coat of clear wax.

After the table was fully waxed and buffed, I decided to add in a little gold (you can’t go wrong with emerald and gold!) so I spray painted the drawer pull and also added a bit of gold paint detail…

Side Table Macro

And voila!

Side Table Complete

Side Table Macro 2

I love its style and the pop of color it brings. And as much as I’d love to keep it for myself…I have no more space in my house for miscellaneous furniture pieces! So come January, this little gem (get it??) will be in my space out in Greenwood.

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DIY THURSDAY: THE PERFECT LITTLE SEWING TABLE THAT ISN’T USED FOR SEWING….

I’ve confessed on multiple occasions that I simply cannot sew. I haven’t tried that hard, really, but it’s something that I tend to avoid for no reason at all, other than the fact that I think I’ll be bad at it. I don’t even know why I think I’ll be bad at it – it’s just one of those weird, quirky feelings that I get. Do you ever feel that way?

Anyhow, I came across this hideously adorable sewing table at a price that I couldn’t refuse, quickly snatched it up, and immediately began sanding down the dreadful mahogany stain job and the goopy, glossy overabundance of polyurethane…

Sewing Table Unfinished

No, this table would definitely not be used for sewing, but I did have an idea brewing in my head, inspired by a furniture piece I had seen via Miss Mustard Seed’s Pinterest board: (apparently originating from www.fadedplains.com)

Perfect for sewing table I'm working on - could look good as bedroom night stand?

So I sanded, and sanded, and sanded some more, filling in a few holes and repairing a few cracks along the way, and then finally began painting the drawers with my beloved Annie Sloan chalk paint in “Old White.” After a couple coats of white, I began hand distressing with 180-grit sandpaper, and then sealed the painted portion with Annie Sloan’s clear wax.

For the top, I stained it with a mixture of Minwax stain, which admittedly, I haven’t quite completed yet  – I still need to get to my desired color. Once I have actually gotten to the desired color, I will seal the stained top with a very light layer of polyurethane.

Here’s the current state it’s in…

Sewing Table

Sewing Table Close

I’d actually like to darken the stain just a little, and as mentioned, I still need to give it a nice sheen with the polyurethane, but I think it turned out pretty cute! I’m also in the process of finding that perfect vintage table lamp, similar to the one in the inspirational photo but with just a little more patina.

The shelving you see above the sewing table are actually sewing drawers that I found for $7. I simply tacked in a couple D-rings on the backside of each drawer and viola! Quick and easy shelving.

ps…don’t you just HATE the enormous headboard that seems to overwhelm the picture above? I’m still trying to convince my husband that paint is the answer to this eye-sore. Yes, I think a little bit of paint and a plush down comforter would do the trick nicely….(perhaps a few reader comments expressing the same will help me convince the man to let me take a paint brush to it!).

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DIY THURSDAY: MIRROR, MIRROR, ON THE WALL…

Call me vein, but I love mirrors. They can add light and depth to any room; they can be an architectural element, an intricate detail, or a bold surprise. So when I come across large, framed mirrors on my pickin’ trips (for a good price, of course), I immediately snatch them up.

Take this guy, for example…

Gold Mirror

I came across this mirror while at a junk store out in Richmond, VA, and I couldn’t resist the amazing detail – but the color was this gaudy, spray-painted gold that hid those intricate details. So in my typical DIY fashion, I broke out my paint brush, a can of Old White Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, some sandpaper, and Annie Sloan’s clear AND dark wax.

When working with details like this, the dark wax works wonders – truly! It gives the piece that aged, antique look while really making every little detail pop with that perfect patina.

So after painting the piece entirely white (two coats), I hand distressed it with 180-grit sandpaper, waxed the piece first with the clear wax, buffed it, and then added the dark wax (*unless you want to attempt to use the dark wax as a stain, ALWAYS wax the piece with clear or natural wax before using the dark wax). When using dark wax, you really want to get it deep into the grooves and details – don’t be shy!

Gold Mirror Waxed

Typically, it’s best to work in sections, dark wax on, clear wax off, allowing the dark wax to stay in the nicks and grooves, but waxing/buffing the majority off with the clear wax, leaving only a tinted patina behind. See how the details really begin to pop?!

After rubbing in the dark wax, and buffing off with the clear wax, I ended up with this…

Large Mirror Styled

Large Mirror Macro

Not too shabby, eh?

Any mirror can be painted, and with just a little TLC, you can change the whole dynamic of a room. A few more examples:

Tuscan Mirror

BEFORE: I’m just starting to paint the piece in Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey.

Tuscan Mirror After

AFTER: Hand distressed and with a hint of Annie Sloan’s Duck Egg

Tuscan Mirror Macro

Or, here’s something that has no intricate details at all, but still turned out pretty awesome…

Large Mirror

Unfortunately, I don’t have a true “BEFORE” picture – this is the mirror painted in Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey.

Reclaimed Bookshelf copy

AFTER: hand-distressed, dry-brushed with Old White, and dark waxed.

Large Mirror Macro

What do you think – do you have a mirror needing a bit of an update? If so, I’d love to see before and after pictures!

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DIY THURSDAY: CHECKERS ANYONE?

Happy Thursday my dear friends! I just finished a fun little something this afternoon that I’m anxious to show off…

Checker Table Unfinished

(Don’t worry – this is the before picture!)

I picked up this table months ago and as I tend to do, left it neglected in a far corner of the house until I felt the creative motivation to actually do something with it. I finally felt the motivation yesterday, and with a very vague idea in mind, went to work.

It’s difficult to tell the exact size of the table from the picture above, but it’s actually quite odd – too small to be an end table and too big and bulky to be a plant stand or miscellaneous corner table….what in the world was I to do with it?

The line detail on the top of the table gave me the idea to transform this awkward little thing into a checker board table. Without a color scheme in mind, I started off by painting the entire piece in white – my go-to color when I’m at a loss and without a strategy. I suppose it just gives me that blank canvas I need to get the creative juices (hopefully) flowing!

Once the piece was nice and white, I measured the top, calculated the measurements so my checker board would be evenly centered (3” from each edge), and then created a 12×12 square in the center, marking each individual square at 1.5”. I then taped away using Frog Tape – my first time using this particular brand and it really does work far better than the usual blue painter’s tape. I highly recommend!

Checker Table Taped

Once the piece was taped to my liking, I decided to paint one set of squares in Annie Sloan’s “Louis Blue” while leaving the other set white, which also meant that I would have to repaint the current white border in a contrasting color…

So with a bit more taping, re-taping, and more than a few disgruntled moments, I finished painting all of the squares to my liking and created a custom light grey for the border, which I also used to paint the rest of the table.

After a bit of distressing and detailing, I’m actually happy with the finished product!

Checker Table

Checker Table 2

The perfect little game table. Now I just need to find (or make) complementing checker pieces! Any ideas?
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