Head on over to the NEW SITE to find out how to make this easy festive garland!
Head on over to the NEW SITE to find out how to make this easy festive garland!
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.
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:
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…
(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…
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…
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.
With the holidays very quickly approaching, I thought it an excellent idea to offer an inspirational tutorial for a gift any “hostess with the mostest” would adore.
I strongly believe that one can never have too many bread boards. Seriously. Not only do they offer a multitude of serving opportunities, they are fabulous as home décor: to be hung, piled, filed, and everything in between. You can paint them in chalk board paint to serve as a menu board, you can convert them into trays, you can use them in floral and fruit arrangements – truly, the possibilities are endless!
So whenever I come across vintage breadboards on my picking adventures, I immediately snatch them up (and always on such a dime!). Of course, “vintage” tends to come with a bit of wear and tear so needless to say, a little TLC is necessary with these purchases…
First and foremost, you need to sand the suckers down! I started with my electrical sander on the flat surfaces and then hand sanded with 150-grit sandpaper along the edges and corners.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take “before” pictures prior to the sanding, but here are the boards post sanding:
Once the boards were sanded to their original grain, I washed them with soap and hot water and let them fully dry before sanding again with 220-grit sandpaper to smooth down any raised grain. I then wiped each board down with a damp cloth to remove the dust and then began staining.
*Now, with bread boards it is important to use food-safe oils such as teak oil, danish oil, mineral oils, or designated butcher block oils that cure IN the wood rather than ON the wood. I chose a butcher block oil for the larger board and a danish oil in a medium walnut stain for the smaller board.
And when applying these oils, I like to use a small a small chip brush – you can purchase an entire pack for only a few dollars at your local hardware store – but this is merely a preference and a clean, soft cloth will work just as well.
Here are the boards with one coat of oil:
It is also important to note the drying time for any oil that you use as the boards ARE NOT food safe until the distillates are FULLY cured. This can take days or even weeks so please be sure to read the instructions fully and carefully!
Once the boards have cured, you’re done!
Simply wrap them as you see fit, slip in a card, and voila! The perfect hostess gift.
For an additional challenge, or if you’re flea market search doesn’t pan out, you can also consider making your own!
Want to add a few cheeses to go along with the bread boards (because who doesn’t love cheese?!)? Be sure to refer to Joanna’s handy, dandy cheese guide and you can’t go wrong.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned on multiple occasions the love/hate relationship I have with my kitchen. It’s cute, but in an adorably dirty little kid kind of way. Yeah, it’s small, it’s in need of a new paint job and a good scrub, it desperately needs more cabinet and counter space, and frankly, it’s just a bit embarrassing.
I’m not kidding! Take a peek for yourself…
Obviously, per the upper right corner, we will be repainting very soon – as soon as my husband and I can actually agree on a color….(he actually loves the color the kitchen currently is, but considering that I spend far more time in it than he does, I put my foot down and demanded something a little more mellow!).
This window is one of the rare things I love about the kitchen. It brings in so much natural light and manages to keep me fairly entertained while I cook.
But this is where things truly begin to go downhill – oh, the horror! I love open cabinets otherwise, and our kitchen has many of them, but this pantry needs to be behind closed doors, period.
Needless to say, a renovation is necessary, so over the last few months, I’ve been collecting ideas that we could incorporate into this less than ideal kitchen. Here are a few things that I found:
Image via here.
Image via here.
With this in mind, let’s go back to the current state of my kitchen with a few plans written in…
With a roof to replace and a studio shed to build, we are probably going to renovate a little at a time, starting with the painting and the bead board, but I’m certain even that tiny bit will go a long way!
What do you think – good start? Any suggestions?
Well, I somehow managed to get sick for the second time in one month. Tis the season, I suppose, but I fully blame the overly-crowded DC metro on this one!
With my head a bit fuzzy and my nose feeling as though it’s about to burst, I decided to forgo the planned DIY project for this week. I was resolved to post something equally entertaining, however, and was wracking my brain on what it could possibly be when my Aha! moment hit.
Who doesn’t love before and after pictures?!
I’ve lived in my home for just under 2 years now, and while the progression has been slow going, it’s still a world of a difference from what it was before we moved in. So without further ado…
LIVING ROOM: (repainted in Valspar Chalk Green)
(You can find the tutorial on the wall gallery here.)
DINING ROOM: (repainted in Valspar Oatmeal)
(DIY shelving tutorial here.)
(Architectural décor tutorial here.)
HALLWAY: (repainted in Valspar Oatmeal)
(Barn door coat rack tutorial here.)
Needless to say, it’s still a work in progress, but I can’t deny that I’m happy with the progression! Next up: the kitchen and the library!
What do you think? Do you have any befores and afters you would like to share? If so, feel free to send them my way and I will share a few in Next Thursday’s post!
First, I want to say THANK YOU to all my wonderful readers out there! It amazes and delights me that my words don’t fall on deaf ears. You are all my inspiration and I feel honored and incredibly lucky that my blog can inspire you in return. And please, never hesitate to get in touch! Questions, comments, thoughts, opinions…I want to hear them all and I promise to reply in turn. Thank you again and I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you.
I hope everyone had a chance to enjoy this beautiful weekend! I, myself, spent the majority of it outdoors….repainting a side of my house that was beginning to look a bit weathered. Oh, the joys of home ownership!
While painting, my mind was able to wander a bit, and I began thinking about all the other home improvement projects I wanted to do over the next year to really make my mark on this house. I want to redo a huge chunk of the kitchen – repaint and add bead board to the walls, build a butcher block counter/cabinet space, and purchase a bigger, better fridge, amongst a few other things. I want to plant French lavender along the entirety of the exterior side of the fence. I want to build a studio shed in my backyard for me to escape to, work in, and feel inspired by…
But there is one thing that I wanted to do from the very moment we moved into this house, and that is build a chicken coop! If you happen to read my About Me page, you’ll quickly realize that I’m a city girl at heart. But I’ve taken to the country quite well and nothing says country like a bunch of clucking chickens. As soon as I realized that the county allowed these adorable creatures, I was sold.
And this Spring, I will have my chicken coop (take note Mr. Carpenter!). So in preparation, I thought I’d do a little research and find some inspiration…
I absolutely love Heather Bullard’s chicken coop, which she and her husband designed and built themselves, but I have a slightly different (albeit very vague) idea in mind and this doesn’t quite fit it. If this is a design that works for you, however, you can purchase plans here!
Now this is more like it! I have a small shed that could possibly be converted into a miniature version of this. I love how she took care to hang a chandelier and insert vintage pieces to really personalize the space. It’s a rare thing that someone would put in so much effort into making the interior of a coop look so inviting. It’s a space that even I wouldn’t mind nesting in!
Do you have chickens of your own? What do you think the pros and cons of owning chickens are? I’d love to hear your stories and see photos – feel free to send them my way!
I’m a huge fan of those old, chippy, and occasionally rotten wooden architectural pieces. In fact, I’d like to have far more of them in my home. Unfortunately, it just so happens that they often come with a hefty price tag, or they are so rotten that they simply fall apart in my hand! So until I stumble upon those pieces that speak to me – without instantly crumbling into dust – I have to settle with what I have or simply create something similar…
Aha! Some of you may remember the barn door turned coat rack I put up in place of this piece:
Well, today I finally decided to do something with it. A few swipes of paint and a dab of dark wax would transform this piece into the perfect architectural décor for my French door frame. So off to work I went…
First, and quite obviously, I needed to remove the hardware, so I grabbed a Phillips-head screw driver, removed all the screws, pulled off the hooks, and put them to the side for use on another project.
I then sanded down the holes a bit and filled each one with wood-filler. After allowing the filler to quickly dry, I lightly sanded again, wiped down the entire piece with a damp cloth, and began painting in…you guessed it, Annie Sloan’s Old White!
With two light coats of chalk paint, I gave it time to fully dry, and then once again lightly sanded the piece down, distressing at the corners and along the edges. After wiping it free of dust, I began waxing the entire piece with Annie Sloan’s clear wax. Once the clear wax was buffed, I then began applying dark wax, making sure I really worked it into all of the nicks and grooves:
With the dark wax, I tend to work in smaller sections – this piece was small enough for me wax on half the piece with dark wax, and then wax off with clear wax before the dark wax fully dried. I then repeated the process on other half. This process removes the majority of the dark wax, leaving behind a light stain on the majority of the piece, and a darker, almost dirty-like stain in the nicks and grooves. The final product looked like this:
It took me a while to hang it above the French doors – I really could have used a second pair of hands! But after struggling with it a bit this morning, I finally managed to get it in place, and fairly straight too!
It’s a little more brown than I would typically paint, but I think it mirrors (pun intended) this piece directly across from it quite nicely:
What do you think? Do you have miscellaneous items laying around that, with a little TLC, can be transformed into architectural décor? Time to start rummaging around in your garage!
I’ve been waiting with bated breath for Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint to arrive (via Red Posie) and the big moment finally arrived yesterday afternoon. It was a bit like Christmas morning opening the box and a shiver of excitement came over me as I peered down at my powdered paint. I couldn’t wait to use it!
Unfortunately, it was already late in the day and since I was only 85% recovered from the bug I had caught earlier in the week, I decided to give it one more day….but come this morning, I popped out of bed and went straight to work (well, after a cup o’ joe or two, of course).
Now, I’ve been saving a particular piece for this paint – a piece small enough to finish quickly and cheap enough that if I screwed it up, I wouldn’t be heartbroken.
A cute little student desk!
I’m embarrassed to say, but this piece has actually been sitting in my kitchen – sort of as a kitchen island – for almost a year while I’ve been (very patiently) waiting to repaint and lightly renovate the walls and pantry. Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures! Needless to say, when I got wind of the MMS line of paint, this was the first piece that came to mind.
So, with the powdered form of milk paint in hand, I happily began the transformation.
Before I get into the details of the project, however, I must give you a pre-painting tip that is particularly useful if you’ve never used milk paint before: I would highly, HIGHLY recommend watching the MMS milk paint tutorials! In my excitement to use the milk paint, I decided to forgo this and immediately regretted this decision when mixing the paint. Frankly, I had no idea what it was supposed to look like, what consistency it was supposed to be, etc. It is very different than your typical latex, acrylic, or chalk paint!
With this said, I added just a little more water that I should have and ended up with what I like to call “skim” milk paint rather than what should have been “whole” milk paint. Hence, when applying the paint, it was a bit runny.
I went with it, nevertheless, and after sanding the top of the desk to its original grain (which took a heck of a lot of sanding!), I painted the base with the first coat of my runny milk paint in Ironstone…
You can’t quite tell from the above picture, but when the milk paint begins to dry, you can see areas in which the paint doesn’t fully adhere and actually begins to chip. If this is an affect you’d rather avoid then make sure you mix the bonding agent in with the paint mixture! I happen to love the chippy affect, so I left the mixture as is.
I allowed the paint to dry for approximately 30 minutes then took a putty knife to very lightly remove the chipping pieces. I then added a second coat of milk paint and repeated the process. Once I achieve my desired “chippy” look, I added one coat of MMS clear wax to seal the paint and give the piece a nice, natural sheen. Finally, I brushed on a coat of Danish Oil in medium walnut…
One coat of Danish Oil down, which you can see is still a little wet.
…allowed it to dry for 30 minutes before applying a second coat, and voila! After allowing the second coat to dry for another 15 minutes and wiping the whole piece down with a cloth, it looked like this:
Did I mention that we’ll be repainting soon?! As you can see, it’s much needed!
I actually love how it turned out (I’m still working on my photography so the piece looks a bit better in person…) and particularly love the chippiness of it, but it’s definitely important to be aware of how milk paint works before applying it! What do you think?
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…
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)
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…
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!).
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…
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!
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…
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:
BEFORE: I’m just starting to paint the piece in Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey.
AFTER: Hand distressed and with a hint of Annie Sloan’s Duck Egg
Or, here’s something that has no intricate details at all, but still turned out pretty awesome…
Unfortunately, I don’t have a true “BEFORE” picture – this is the mirror painted in Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey.
AFTER: hand-distressed, dry-brushed with Old White, and dark waxed.
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!