Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Painting Furniture

A great way to revive an old piece of furniture is with a fresh coat of paint. There are many times you can find a raggedy old piece of furniture at a yard sale, thrift store, or for sale on the internet. If you do find that great piece of furniture and it is structurally sound, it can be fabulous with a little of your time and a small amount of money.

When we were moving I had a bunch of furniture that I wanted to paint.  So I took this opportunity to tarp off the driveway and take advantage of our friend's sprayer.  I first had to rough some stuff up and then I sprayed a primer.

The pieces of furniture that I was not going to paint white were set aside then I painted the remaining furniture white with the sprayer.  I have been asked many times about if it is better to spray or to brush when painting.  There are pros and cons to both methods, and it would just depend on you.  Since I had so many pieces that I had been wanting to paint I decided to try and spray it.  I used an eggshell paint which came out very rough.  I knew I would be sanding the furniture after painting and thought it wouldn't be a big deal, but it was.  It was very textured and required a lot more sanding to smooth it out then I had planned.  Overall because of the amount of pieces sprayed, it was nice to spray it, but it really wouldn't be worth it for one or even two pieces.  It still was a multiple day process that comprised the painting, sanding/distressing, and the clear poly acrylic top coat.  It was exhausting, but worth it to me. 


I got this sleigh bed many years ago and the it was getting very scratched up and the finish was suffering from years of kids climbing over the footboard.  I had been tossing up the idea of painting it white for years and I loved how it turned out!  It is still very sturdy and solid, it just needed a face lift and it's a brand new bed!


I found this table at the thrift store on half price day. It had some great lines and some fun little details. It was a little wobbly, but nothing was cracked, so it seemed like a great buy.
With the help of my trusty detail sander I needed to rough up the finish. This table had a thin veneer finish, that was chipping off. The sanding was able to even out the topcoat while roughing up the finish for the primer to grab better to the table.
While doing the sanding, this was a great opportunity to take the table apart and re-stabilize it. the table was wobbly but the screws were loose and a little wood glue on the dowel pins firmed things up a lot!
Once the table was all sanded and put back together, a coat of primer was added to assist the paint in adhering to the table. The finish on this table was very glossy and I really felt that sanding as primer was needed to assure a better paint job.

I brushed on a white finish and antiqued it with stain.  It is a great table for my foyer and only cost me $12 since I already had the paint and supplies.   
Now I just need to decorate it properly :)


The bed was an internet find and I loved the vintage touch. My daughter wanted her bed and table to be blue, so we headed to Lowes to buy a good robin's egg blue paint. To my luck I found just what I wanted in the oops paint and got a gallon for $5. I always recommend checking out the oops paint first. It will save a good amount of money if you can find the color that you want.

I found this bedside table at a yard sale for 5 dollars. I has a great little drawer and the shelf underneath for books. To give the table some personality I glued some bead board slats to the back of the shelf area. I love the cottage touch the bead board added to it. Now I am a bead board snob. You can find the bead board in sheets but I really like the tongue and groove paneling better. The beads are more defined and if you are just doing a small project, it's not really much more, but that's just my preference.

I did grunge up the paint job, which added to the distressed look. To find more info on distressing your paint project, check it out here.  I used a walnut stain and then put a clear coat over the top.

Finished Products:


This dresser was another garage sale find.  It was painted a bright blue and had yellow stars on it.  It was definitely in need of a re-do.  It was primed with all the furniture and then brushed red.  The knobs were courtesy of the 1/2 sale on knobs at Hobby Lobby.  The drawers don't work very good and will need to be rebuilt, but I use it for storage that is not accessed very much.  Another job for me down the road. 


We had bought this armoire years back for our bedroom TV.  As time went on and TVs became mounted on the wall, this became hall storage.  When we moved I was able to use our formal living room as my office/craft room.  This armoire was primed earlier and I brushed it with the same color my island in my old house.  (a little sentiment) Crystal knobs finished off the face lift.

Because this armoire was formally used for a TV, the back was cut out and wide open.  I got a 1/8 piece of plywood and cut it down to size to fit in the back of the armoire over the opening.  Rather than painting it, I took some fabric and spray adhesive and the back is now covered in a charming little fabric.  I love how it turned out.  It is a great place to store my crafting supplies, and looks amazing!!


I needed a desk for my craft room so I just search one the internet for a table for sale by a private owner.  I found this table that was in desperate need of a paint job, but had fabulous details!  I loved the scalloped edge and the details on the legs.  The top of the table even had a notched out detail on the corners.  The girl I bought it from, Laura, was a kindred spirit and initially wanted to paint this table too and just had too many projects on her plate.  She has a great blog called My Dear Trash, and she shares some awesome trash to treasure stories.
I got the table completed and love how it looks in my craft room (post to soon follow).  I put a velcro skirt around the 3 sides of the table to hide some baskets of fabric and a drawer caddy that I use, and it just looks so quaint.  The hard part was finding the fabric that I liked.

Here is a picture of the table at a church activity.
(The last picture shows the detail of how the skirt was attached with Velcro on the inside of the table.)

Other Painted Furniture in My House

Antique table that used to belong to my Great Grandma.
It was in desperate need of refinishing.
Ikea step stool, now on it's 3 coat of paint.  This stool sees a lot of wear and tear.  My distressing and antiquing beat my kids to grunging up the stool. 

Some book shelves found at a a consignment furniture store in Phoenix (J & K Furniture)

All of the furniture shown was painted with your basic interior water based house paint that you get at a home improvement store.  Many have asked about using spray paint, which is an easy way to paint.  What I like to use spray paint for is smaller jobs like painting frames, mirrors, and metal items.  If you have something already painted with an oil based spray paint you either need to prime it to paint with an acrylic enamel paint, or use spray paint.  Keep in mind when painting that water paints like to bond to water paints and oil based paints (spray paints), like to adhere other oil paints.  You will find out pretty quick if you have mixed the two items up when your paint will not stick and clumps up.

So here's to your next project!!  Good luck finding that great piece of furntiure that you can bring back to life and give it a touch of your own personality.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Let your patriotism show!

You can make this. . .

From this. . .

 When we painted our house, our raggedy old gate was in need of some love.  The gate didn't really even go with the yellow body and white popouts, so I petitioned our HOA and was able to do a white gate.  The metal was sprayed white and I needed new slats and use an exterior opaque white stain to do the slats.  So now I had all these old slats that were getting thrown out.  We had a fun ladies craft exchange coming up and I had a little inspiration from this Pottery Barn flag (that cost $129...yikes!!).  

I calculated with the wood I had from my gate that I would have enough to make 8 flags for very little cost.  I cut the slats to be 32" long and used 5 of them.  The overall dimensions end up being 32" x 17 1/2".  A furring strip was used to stabilize the wood from behind.  I used 1" staples with an air staple gun and drove them in on both side to assure they were on good.

The fronts were primed and painted white.  
 After the white was completely dry 1-1/2" masking tape was used to make the stripes and the blue square.  I tried to stay as proportionate as possible to the real flag and here are the measurements I used:

  • I first taped off the area that would be the square.  Note that the vertical piece of tape was only used for the lines for the red.  Later the blue will be taped off for the square.  The square ended up being 13-3/8" x 9-1/2"
  • For the stripes, the first piece of tape was placed 1" from the top, and spaced every 1-1/2" from there.  This left another 1" strip from the bottom. (The stripes by the square are 18-5/8" long)
  • Red painted was brushed in between the tape.
  • After the red paint was dried the vertical tape and small stripe tape was removed and another vertical pice of tape was put on to make the 13-3/8" blue square.  Be sure to leave the horizontal tape in place, this will serve as the border for the blue and still leave the white stripe.

This next part can be a bit tedious, but since I was making 8 flags it was well worth it.  
I had bought a blank stencil from the craft store and cut out 4 rows of stars with an exacto knife.  The bottom of the stencil had stars drawn on the stencil to use as a guide.  After the stencil was cut out the stenciling was quiet easy and went fast.  So when you are making a mass amount of flags and you are on your last flag a realize that you have stenciled all of the stars upside down, what do you do??  Me?  I just informed my friends there is no intention of any hidden message to this, and to just tilt your head a little to the left and the starts are perfect!  So the moral to to the story is to make sure you are stenciling the stars on the right way.  :)

When all the painting is done here is what you get:
But if you know me this is not done yet!!  I took some time and distressed the flag to make it feel finished off.  I like to look at the before and after pics and see the difference distressing makes.  I don't think many people really know how just that little detail of adding age to something can really be a dramatic finishing touch.  

Now you end up with this!!

The slats had a lot of wear and miscelennous knots and imperfections in the wood, this made it all the more perfect!!
 To finish off the flag I did spray it with a clear coat of matte spray paint and used some wire and screws to make a wire hanger on the back.  It is fixed to the furring strips. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Change in Life

You know it has been a long time since you last posted when EVERYTHING about blogger is different. I am going to have to relearn this stuff. I have had quite the change in life, hence the lack of posts. First of all I went back to school! Not only did I go back to school, but I hit the ground running! My youngest started school a couple of years ago and I knew that if I was going to go back to school, I needed to do it then. The hardest part was figuring out what I wanted to do, but once I figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was so fulfilling. (As many can judge by my writing, I am not an English major. :) ) So I figured out that I wanted to become a Physicians Assistant and I would have 5 years of full time schooling ahead of me. With the blessing and encouragement of my husband and children I could do this!! Right? I was wondering if my brian would still work or if I would feel weird being the old lady in class, but it has all worked out alright. 

I started school 2 summers ago and have been going full force ever since. Today is the first day of my first summer off in a long time. I stared at the community college to pay less for lower division classes, and now I just finished my junior year at Arizona State University as a microbiology major. So this is cause for a major lifestyle change. Now I take pictures like this: :)

We had to succumb to the housing bubble burst and had to leave our beautiful home where we raised our children. That was hard. We are in a rental home that we have been able to make feel like home, but we loved our little home. I don't have time for home improvement projects, so I guess that works out okay. I do have many pictures of projects that I have been doing that I will try and do as much posting about those projects this summer. So life has brought us many changes. 

Blogging has sadly gone to the bottom of my priority list, and I haven't even thought of getting on pinterest. I know I would totally get sucked into spending too much time on it. I do have a file of pictures and projects to share and will attempt to get those projects shared on here. 

My reason for blogging has always been about teaching and hopefully inspiring. I have loved learning to do new things and to teach others what I have learned has been very fulfilling. So if any of you stay at home moms are out there on the fence about going back to school I would just recommend to talk to your family. Going back has been a family sacrifice and I could not do it without the encouragement of each of them. My house is never clean and my older children to have to make dinner every now and then. Many nights my husband will come home from work and have to make dinner or help the kids with homework. I am so blessed to have the love of my family behind me. I often sit down with my husband and ask him if it is worth it and he keeps cheering me on!