DIY THURSDAY: REUPHOLSTERED DINING CHAIRS & A FEW NEW PURCHASES!

Ok ya’ll, let me start by stating: I am NOT a professional reupholsterer by any means. In fact, this was my very first attempt at reupholstering and, well, it isn’t my best work. But luckily, I practiced with very inexpensive drop cloth so…no harm no foul! And practice does make perfect, right?

So with that said, let me share with you my perfectly imperfect dining chairs!

Dining Chairs 3

I had been in search of new dining chairs for over a year when I discovered these chairs in the hands of a dealer and friend that I work with. Needless to say, I immediately fell in love – they were exactly what I was looking for! She had two of them in her space and when I sputtered my love for them, she mentioned that she just so happened to have two more in storage – SCORE! I snagged all four of them for an exceptional deal and went home a very happy camper indeed (thanks Ellen!!).

I painted two of them fairly quickly, in my go-to ASCP Old White, but they then sat around for a while as I got up the nerve to replace the stuffing and reupholster the seat. Let me tell you, it looks exceptionally easy but after pulling out hundreds of old, rusty staples, you’ll think otherwise!

I had a bit of trouble with 1. cutting the thick foam stuffing, so the seat corners ended up much more squared than rounded and 2. properly folding the drop cloth around those edges, so I simply folded the whole thing just like I would wrap a package. Whatever works, right?!

Dining Chairs 2

I have now finished two of them, have another painted and waxed and ready for reupholstering (waiting as I once again get up the nerve!), and one more needing the complete works.

Dining Chairs 1

Perhaps guests should think twice before sitting at my dining table…between seatless chairs and large dogs under the table, it could be dangerous!

But it’s coming together, slowly but surely!

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I also recently snagged a few pieces that didn’t need the slightest bit of upcycling (which makes me very happy!):

Pie Safe

Ok, the mirror needs upcylcing, but the pie safe is pristine!

I had absolutely no intention of purchasing any furniture on my most recent thrifting trip – I have so many projects in the works that I’m already up to my ears! But when I came across this pie safe, I just couldn’t resist. Not only was it in perfect vintage condition, it was something I had every intention of keeping for myself. And when it was offered to me at an incredibly lowball price, I knew it was meant to be. I can’t wait to fill it with more ironstone!!

Next, I can’t say enough about a little town called Farmville, about an hour South of Charlottesville (VA). If you’re looking for furniture, this is THE place to go! In search of a new rug for the library and a glider for the nursery, my husband and I browsed through 12 warehouses and 700,000 square feet of showroom space that is Green Front Furniture. And holy moly! We ended up spending thousands of dollars and came home not only with exactly what we were looking for, but also a couple pieces that we weren’t. Like the leather chair you see next to the pie safe in the picture above (my husband is a very happy man!), and this guy…

Console Table

It’s the perfect industrial-rustic touch for the library (aka Man Room).

With all these purchases, I think I’m going to need a bigger house soon!

NESTING & NURSERY PROGRESS!

Well hello my friends – I can’t believe it’s been a month since I last blogged! (Time flies when you’re having fun). Yes, I’ve been in full nesting mode and have been working on a handful of projects that I’m excited to share with you.

First, I have finally made progress on the nursery! You see, I’ve had an idea in my head from the moment I realized I was expecting, but have been dreading the process of actually bringing it to reality – specifically, the painting process. Sure, I do paint for a living, but painting multiple stripes on multiple walls does not sound the slightest bit appealing to me. Add to that a 100 year old home with crooked walls and floors and it’s a recipe for disaster!

But one rainy day I decided to go for it – if it didn’t work out I could just paint over it, right? And after much measuring, taping (a roll and a half of frog tape, to be exact!), and more than a few hissy fits, things finally began to take shape…

Nursery Progress 1 copy

(ps…I love, love, LOVE this diaper bag I got from Skip Hop!)

A day and a half later, the straight-ish lines were complete and the crib put together…

Nursery in Progress

And now comes the fun part – the details! I can’t wait to start shopping for the baby blankets, artwork, and pops of color…10 more days until I find out the gender!!

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Obviously, I’ve had baby on the brain, but I have also managed to complete a few projects not at all baby related.

Like this dresser that sold in less than a day, and it’s now very lonely counterpart…

Dresser & Nightstand Set

Or this outdoor table (built by my wonderful husband) that I painted in ASCP Old White and stained using an aged vinegar and steel wool mixture…

Patio Table

Thank goodness I put on multiple layers of spar urethane before the downpour! Now to purchase new chairs….

And as usual, I have a few other projects that I’m working on simultaneously that I hope to finish after this non-stop rain!

Projects Galore

With a little help from the dogs, of course!

But back to baby….almost 21 weeks (on Wednesday)!

20 Weeks copy 1

20 Weeks copy 2

20 Weeks copy 3

Obviously this was taken on a productive painting day!

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: ONE DOWN, A DOZEN TO GO…

I mentioned in this post the dozen or more unfinished projects I have sitting around my house, and I have every intention of finishing each one over the month! As a matter of fact, I just finished this guy:

Piano Bench Unfinshed

Please ignore the mess surrounding the bench, my office was in flux at the time!

I had already sanded down the top by the time I remembered to take a photo, but the entire piece was a distressed (and not in a good way) mahogany. So I lightly sanded down the base and began painting it in my favorite go-to color: Annie Sloan Old White.

Piano Bench Unfinished

With a couple layers of Old White, I then distressed the base and left it as is….for months. It didn’t look terrible, it was usable, and I became distracted with other, more challenging, projects. And so it sat. Until this morning.

To add that pop of color that I oh-do love, I painted the interior (yes, the top opens!) in Valspar’s Brushed Orange. I then stained the top in Walco’s Danish Oil in medium walnut, waxed the entire piece in Miss Mustard Seed’s wax, and viola! Finally, a finished product:

Piano Bench Complete

Piano Bench Opened 2

Simple and sweet. Or better yet, business on the outside, and a party on the inside!

And yes, those are real tulips you see in the picture – I needed to give myself a little spring hope in this frigid weather…

Tulips

Oh Spring, where art thou?