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!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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!

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: MILK PAINTED DESK.

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.

Student Desk Unfinished

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

Student Desk Half Finished

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…Student Desk Almost Complete

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:

Student Desk Finished

Student Desk Finished 2

Did I mention that we’ll be repainting soon?! As you can see, it’s much needed!

Student Desk Macro

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?

LINKED TO:

homeworkPhotobucketFurniture Feature Fridays

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!).

LINKED TO:
shabby creek cottagePhotobucketKatie's Nesting Spot

Furniture Feature FridaysMade in a Day

HAPPINESS IN THE FORM OF FURBALLS…

Well hello my friends! I hope everyone enjoyed their extended weekend…my husband and I actually extended ours an extra day and had a nice “staycation” full of laziness, beer, and brownies (and probably a few extra pounds…).

Speaking of brownies, I delayed writing a post today thinking that I would be the bearer of most excellent news this afternoon – a new (furry) addition to the family in the name of – yep, you guessed it – Brownie! Unfortunately, upon an early afternoon arrival to the ASPCA with Ms. Mattie-Lu in tow to meet this new little creature that would potentially become her brother, we discovered that our Brownie was adopted just hours before. I’m not quite sure how to feel at this point – sad that our little man wasn’t adopted by us, or thrilled that this adorable little pup found a home! I think Mattie-Lu’s expression sums it up quite nicely…

Mattie-Lu Poo

(where’s my brother?)

Of course, my cat Simon had to put in his two cents as well…

Simon Face

(dreaming of a dog-free home…)

I must say, if you don’t own a pet, it is something that I would highly recommend. Not only are they a constant amusement, they give life that additional dimension, that extra vigor, and bestow such an abundance of love on body and soul that life can’t help but feel blissful, even in the worst of times.

Sure, the little critters can also be a bit troublesome and overly boisterous – I can’t tell you how many pairs of shoes were destroyed, lipsticks eaten, shirts shredded, and hairballs discovered – but it’s been worth it, truly, it has…

In the end, no matter the chaos they may cause or things they may destroy, I can’t imagine life without my furballs. Simply said, they make me smile and frankly, isn’t that what life is all about?

Simon in Basket

(can’t resist a comfy basket!)

Mattie on Couch

(you talkin’ to meee?)

The above picture of Mattie looking guilty on couch actually reminds me of a fun series on Desire to Inspire called “Pets on Furniture.” And, well, there’s not much more to it – animals on furniture, but with just a little more panache….

Oh my goodness! It was so hard to stop at just a few! Adorable animals + exquisite interiors = pure purrfection.

Do you own any animals? If so, do share! Email me your own pictures of “Pets on Furniture” and I will feature my favorites next Wednesday, 9/12. Original content only, please. The winner will receive a little care package put together by yours truly, with a little help of Mattie and Simon, of course.

…UH, AND WHAT IS IT THAT YOU DO?

If you’ve been following my blog and the few meager posts I’ve made thus far, you may be wondering what the heck I actually do. Well, I often ask myself the same question! The short of it is this: I collect vintage items that make me smile; I style, refinish, and distress furniture pieces that simply need a little TLC; I create or recreate pieces that I would be proud to display in my own home (if only I had the space! I think a mansion would do just fine…); I’m a home decorator and events planner, and, well, I’m a jack of all trades attempting to take experiences and passions and roll them into one, perfect business.

Am I certified in any of these things? Absolutely not. I’m a newbie in this old world of vintage; I picked up furniture refinishing due to a little curiosity and a lot of frugality; I’m a freshman DIY’er, a self-taught home decorator, and an events planner by default due to 1) volunteering for the responsibility in my previous job(s), and 2) getting married and planning my own wedding, which I thought was pretty darn awesome (if I do say so myself…).

Perhaps I’m too confident in my potential, perhaps I have my head a little too far in the clouds and my feet a little too much off the ground, but…whatever. Thanks to my amazing and hard-working husband, I had the opportunity to move forward and take the risk, and I chose to take it. It would’ve been a crime not to, even though it continually scares the bejesus out of me!

So, I’m getting a custom logo created and business cards ordered shortly thereafter, all with little more than a dream to strive for – hoping that one day, this little venture could turn into some kind of career for me. Fingers and toes are crossed…

In the meantime, here are a few images of my work…

Drum Table Complete

Click HERE to see before…

Green Side Table Profile 2

Before and After

Reclaimed Desk Macro 2

More Before and Afters…

The Colonels Pride Can Styled

Even More….

Child's Dresser Final

And even a few children’s pieces…

Child's Desk Finished

To briefly use my blog for self-serving purposes…you can find all of these and much more in my SHOP, once I have it back up and running!