Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Turquoise Love Affair...

For months I've been meaning to show you my favorite piece of furniture that I've painted. For you new followers, that's what I do...paint vintage furniture. I hold a sale twice a year and sell it all to you! Many times when I drag a piece home from the curb, craigslist, auction or garage sale, I first "test" it out in my own house. I mean, really, would you want to buy a piece of furniture if it weren't tested first? Certainly not (I keep telling myself this). It makes for an ever changing, revolving door of fun pieces in my house, that's for sure.

I think this piece, however, will stay for good.

I bought it from a craigslist ad late last summer, with full intentions to sell at the October barn sale. But when I got it done--holy cow--I decided I had to bring it in!

Since I paint at least 80-100 pieces of furniture between my two barn sales, I have a pretty tried and true process for painting...and no, I don't use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I still have yet to purchase any! I know, I'm probably the only one who doesn't use it, but I'm a satin latex kind of girl.

Sadly, I don't have a photo of the china cabinet before I started, but it was very drab walnut stain, and was missing it's shelves. Here's the basics:

1) Give it a good cleaning to get old grime and dirt off. My favorite product is Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda, which is in the cleaning supply or laundry aisle of the grocery store or WalMart. You won't believe how much dirt, old varnish and wax, and dirty build up will come off the surface. I've also used TSP to remove grime and at the same time "prep" the surface for painting.
2) Start sanding. Sanding preps the surface so paint will stick. I use an electric mouse sander at the start. Wipe all dust with a tack cloth, which you can pick up in the paint department for about $1.00. If you don't want to buy one, just be sure you get all sanding dust off. Wet wipes work good for this too.
3) To prime or not prime? It's rare for me to prime a piece of furniture. Mostly because I distress almost every piece and I don't like the white primer showing through the distressed areas. It's just a personal preference. Now, if you paint with Annie Sloan, priming isn't an's not needed, nor do you have to sand I'm told.
4) Begin painting...I always use latex satin and a foam brush. I paint with so many colors at one time that I don't want to be cleaning my paint brush all day long. So, I use a foam brush and then just wrap it in a plastic bag until my next coat. The more time you can wait in between coats, the better. At least half a day--over night is best. I always use at least two coats of paint, depending on what distressing technique I plan to use. But most jobs take two coats. If it's a table top surface or dresser top, I wet sand in between the coats of paint. Wet sanding gives a very sleek, smooth surface when you're done. If you take this route, be sure to use wet sand paper, not regular. It's black and much finer than the brown sand paper. Now is when you'd also paint any decorative trim, such as I did on the cabinet door and legs. After second coat is dry you're ready for your glaze and top coat.

5) This piece was glazed with a dark brown paint. I just pour glaze into a styro bowl and then drip some paint into it. I don't have exact measurements, but maybe about 2 parts glaze to 1 part paint. I dip a cotton rag into the glaze and dab/wipe it into the areas with crevices, grooves, trim, etc., then wipe off excess before it dries.

 I use to always finish with a satin latex polyurathane, usually Varathane brand. But now I almost always use finishing wax in clear or dark, again depending on the look I'm going for. For this cabinet, I chose dark BriWax. Always read the directions on the can, each wax is different. I have found that I don't wait as long as the can says before buffing. If the wax dries too long, it's difficult to buff it out shiny. Some wax should not come in contact with water for any period of those waxes are not good for dining table tops. For my clear wax, I use Johnson's Finishing Wax.

I usually put on two coats of wax on the surfaces that will get more table tops, dresser tops, etc. Sides and legs usually get one coat.

6) Now you're ready for finishing touches like hardware. If don't already know, Hobby Lobby has the best selection of knobs and drawer pulls. They are frequently 2 for 1.

Here's the finished piece.

Then I started to fill her up...

 It's been moved three times already in my family room, and here's how it stands right now.

I'll let you know if I decide to sell this turquoise beauty. In the meantime, jot down my barn sale dates, June 15 & 16th. I'll have a boat load of other pieces for you to pick from! See you then.

Hop on over to:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Problem Solved...

I just re-decorated my tiny master bathroom but wasn't thrilled with any of the choices for toilet paper holders that I found in my local box stores. (You can see the finished bathroom project here.) You see,  I like to use incorporate re-purposed items as often as I can, and I thought the bathroom is the perfect place for that. After spending weeks of listening to my husband complain question when I was planning to get one, I finally hit on the perfect item. I remembered a pair of vintage extending curtain rods that I had stashed in the hall closet. I had no where to use them, but hated to get rid of them (you know how that goes). So, a drill and two screws later and wa-la! Problem solved. (I'm thinking maybe the matching rod would make a cute towel holder!)

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Monday, April 23, 2012

Single white female seeks fun loving people...

She got her hair done, is sporting a new wardrobe, applied her makeup and mascara, and is ready for a night on the town! Ladies and gentlemen, come inside to meet the new Doris...

She's not all the way full yet, but most of what you see in this post will be for sale, sans the light fixtures, window curtains, and bedding.

Her dining room..featuring original turquoise and tan floral fabric seat cushions, lace curtains, and delicate mini-chandelier purchased at last month's Vintage Market. The brown light fixture above the table is the original gas lamp.

Her kitchen...original paint on stove, hood and refrigerator and original counters and backsplash. She's outfitted with vintage rotary dial phone, irontstone dishes, crewel work prints, wicker, lace and iron.

Her boudoir...the bed is original. She's covered with a lace curtain, leopard throw and floral print pillows.

Dual light fixtures are located on both sides of the bed, and each contain a separate night light behind the shade too!

This darling hand stitched dresser scarf was a gift from my good friend Judy at The Empty Attic for my birthday last year...unfortunately it's not for sale!

Bedroom window is covered with vintage lace doilie scarf. The magazine rack is original to the camper.

I love this's for sale!

Her privacy curtain!

Her hand-painted floor (which still needs distressing and finish coat, but I was so excited to show her to you I haven't gotten to it yet)... 

Her view out the door...

 Her yard...(we just moved her today--still plan to broaden her patio, add more plants, vintage fencing and canopy)...

She'd like you to come sit a spell...

And in case you don't remember our fair lady before her extreme makeover...

Not a bad for a 45 year gal from Forest City, Iowa, huh?

Stop by to see her at the Nellie's Barn Sale, June 15 & 16th...she'll be waiting for you with open arms.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Finishing touches for Doris...

As you know, I'm getting Doris ready for the barn sale. Her floor is all that remains before I fill her up with goodies for you to buy. Rather than buy the peel and stick tiles, I decided to paint the floor myself. Yesterday I got the taping and first coat done--even though I had my dog right under my nose while doing it. You see, it was thundering here, which causes her to be even closer to me than she normally is! You can see how close she was in the third photo--truly, right under my feet.

I'll post more photos when I'm done! You have to look beyond the kelly green tape and the dots of tape in all the white squares. The dots are so that I don't paint in the wrong square. Believe me, it's easy to get confused! The finished floor color will be the cream and a dark turquoise. This is only the first of two or three coats of the turquoise. Then some embellishing, sanding to age it, and some wax to finish her off.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dog Gone!

As many of you have seen from past posts, I have a silly dog who follows me everywhere. Her name is Macy, and she is glued to my hip.

I love her to death, but when we leave the house, I don't fully trust her...on the carpeting. When we first got her, I used to put her in her crate when we'd leave the house, but it breaks my heart to do that...and, it's very difficult to decorate around a dog crate. You know what I'm sayin?  So now I pen her up in our family room which has a tile floor. If she has an accident while we're gone it's no big deal to clean up. My dilemma has always been this...I have two doorways leading into this from the dining room and one from the hallway. The dining room doorway is a normal width, so I use a lovely baby gate at that door (getting rid of the baby gate is next on my list). But the door at the hallway is four feet wide, and I've struggled for years on what to use as a "gate" to keep her penned in. It had to something that looked half way decent...and a whole lot better than a baby gate!

After many makeshift gates, here's what I came up with today...a vintage shutter gate!

It was easy...I collected eight shutters from the Re-Store store...a whopping $1 per shutter! I purposely wanted different heights and widths. I rummaged through my extensive collection of spray paint, and decided on light blue, turquoise, granny smith green, white linen and navy blue.

I lined the shutters all up on my make shift paint table (an extension ladder spread out over two saw horses) and started spraying. I didn't worry about 100% coverage. I was going for a rustic, worn look anyway.

I wanted to make sure that when I folded the entire gate back out of the way, it would fold like an accordian-type movement...flat up to the wall. In order to achieve this, I had to remove the hinges from the edges of the shutters and instead attach them to the flat front/back surface. (I realized later that I should have removed the hinges first before I painted). I pre-drilled the holes for my screws, and then re-attached the hinges, alternating the folding mechanism on each shutter. I came up short on screws, so I only used two screws per hinge instead of four.

And here's the finished product...I love it, but Macy? Not so much!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Beadboard Bath with birds and twigs!

All winter my intention was to really buckle down after Christmas and re-do both bathrooms, and then paint my living room, dining room and bedroom. Needless to say, I didn't get it all done...and I changed directions a bit. Instead, I hired my brother to install board & batten paneling in my front entry and hallway, and then what was to be a simple vanity install turned into a whole new look in my mini-master bath.

You have to know that I live in a 1977 midwestern ranch. There's nothing special about the house itself...typical contractor trim, moulding and no real architecture to speak of. We moved in nine years ago and had the advantage of living at my parents house down the road (where I grew up) for two months while we stripped wallpaper, ripped up nasty, deteriorating carpet, painted every surface, installed Spanish tile floor, new carpeting, and a new kitchen. I left the bathrooms "as is" because I figured I'd get to them soon! Wow, was I wrong. I can't believe I've lived with these bathrooms for nine years. I did at least take the time to paint the vanities, remove the vanity doors and use baskets instead, and framed out the contractor mirror in the main bath.

My master bath hardly lives up to the term "master". It's barely big enough to turn around in, and there's no way that my husband and I can get ready at the same time! The worst part was I had no drawers in the vanity! The lack of drawers had moved me to find clever ways to store everything from hairbrushes to hair products. Over the years I've had almost every type of cupboard storage hanging above my toilet that you could possible think of, from a nine hole chicken roost to a vintage cabinet with a door.

Let me back up to nine years ago--to what we had when we moved in:

So, for the next eight years, it looked more like this...soft yellow paint, dark woodwork, new tiled floor, painted vanity (which later I removed the doors for easier access), small shelf above sink, new toilet.

Then, a year ago I painted the walls tan, the woodwork white and gave a fresh coat to the vanity, and added turquoise accents, new bird pattern shower curtain and fashioned an easy window treatment from a few yards of burlap and some cording. I don't have a full view, but here's a few close ups:

I thought that would hold me for a few years...until I decided I hated my vanity and really, really needed at least one drawer to put a hairbrush in. That's not too much to ask is it? So a few weeks ago when I found a 30" vanity on craigslist for $30 that had three drawers in it...I jumped on it. But as I drove away after picking it up I had one of those "oh, shoot" moments. I apparently had forgotten the earlier conversation my husband and I had regarding the wish to have a taller vanity to fit our taller bodies. Oops! So I called my carpenter brother to ask him about building it up higher. No problem he tells me. Great...let's get started. 

We decided that after he "raised" the $30 vanity to a taller 35 inches, we'd have to cover the exposed side with something...which we decided upon beadboard. Then I thought, why stop with just the side of the vanity? Why not add more beadboard to get the total cottage look? So, we did...and I added a solid white sink (thanks to my friend Kim who convinced me to get all white), oil rubbed bronze faucet, and I painted the mirror again a soft blue. We kept the same toilet, light fixtures, tan paint and accessories. I did away with the heavy wood cabinet above the toilet and opted for open shelves. I really need storage in this small bath, so I decided to add a long shelf the length of the room above the window. And another two shelves above the toilet for baskets and such.

I racked my brain for two weeks on what type of shelves and brackets or corbels to use. I really didn't want to cough up $10/bracket seven times over (four above toilet for 2 shelves, and 3 for above window). In the end, I had a brainstorm idea for'll see what I mean...without further adieu, welcome to my cottage bath...

You enter the bath from either my bedroom, or this door off the family room. I decorated both rooms with similar colors for a nice cohesive feel as you walk from one to the next.

Can you see what I did over the window? I didn't even need brackets! I cut the shelf the "exact" width of the room, and laid it directly on the door trim at both ends of the room. Wa-la!

Here's my "al-natural" look for brackets. I visited my backyard, cut some branches, glued them together into bracket shapes, and hot-glued them to my "L" brackets on the underside of the shelf!

I'm so happy with the way it turned out. Now, the minute the barn sale is over, I'm planning on hitting the main bath with a heavy hand! I'm leaning toward a vintage buffet with the sink cut into it! Stay tuned for that one!