Tuesday, July 7, 2015

She's Crafty

      This week I broke out my glue gun for the first time since November when I crafted my fabulous tacky Christmas sweater!  I got these bull horns from a booth in the store where I work but I felt like they needed some pizazz....so I went where they sell the pizazz by the cart full- Dollar Tree.
I purchased six dollars worth of fake flowers and came home and heated up the glue fun. About ten minutes later, I had this:
Isn't it fun!?!

I spent about three days gathering things - luckily I work at a home decor store and can bring things home on approval. This helped me - having all possible options at my fingertips! 

After holding piece after piece up, I ended up with this:
Remember this buffet? It's the piece of furniture that forced me to start a blog. You know, I painted it and it was too bright, then I dark waxed it and it was too dark. Well, my fellow painting friends told me to rub it down with mineral oil - who knew?!?!   Let me remind you-

It's just so much better with a little of the dark wax wiped off.

Up next, I am going to do an art wall above my sofa. I have a sectional that fits in the corner. It's not centered on the wall so I wasn't quite sure if I should center artwork in the center of the wall or the center of the sofa- so I figured an art wall would solve the problem.  

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Heavy Metal

Over the Forth of July weekend I spent a lot of time relaxing. Relaxing in my cozy new orange chair! Y'all, I love it and the more I sit in it, the more comfortable it gets! I only got around to one project this weekend- a heavy metal table.

I got this work table in the same old man shed where I found my lockers and bins a few weeks ago. This is what it looked like before-
Well, this isn't a true 'before' picture. Before this- it was covered in spider webs and gunk! This is after a little Fabuloso and a water hose!  This was a super simple project. I purchased some pre cut thin strips of wood at Lowe's. This would have been awesome with pallet board but let's be honest- Lowe's is air conditioned and ripping pallets apart isn't. Plus, I just wanted to have a simple and quick project for once. 

So, all I had to do was stain the wood using Java Gel by General Finishes.  While they were drying, I scraped off all the old gunk from the sides- caulk maybe? I also coated the whole piece with General Finishes, satin clear coat...just to hold in the rusty parts and seal up all the good patina.  When the stain was good and dry, I glued the boards on with construction adhesive. Super easy.

Here is the finished results:
Pretty cute, right?  The only downfall- this sucker is ridiculously HEAVY! 

I finished "The Girl on the Train" and have moved on to a little guilty pleasure reading: Holly Madison's tell all book about life with Hef.  Somehow, I find THIS book to be more terrifying than "The Girl on the Train." 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Painting Upholstery: Part Two

The painted upholstery project is finished and here are the results:
I love it!!   It does feel totally different now but now bad. It feels like a Naugahyde chair. It's still squishy, it's still comfortable. I liked it more and more as I painted coat after coat. It just seemed to look better and better. 

The little skirt was the hardest part to paint. The tufts weren't a problem at all. The first coat was the worst because the paint soaked into the fabric so much.   The other coats were a breeze. I ended up using a whole quart of paint and two bottles of fabric medium. The total for this project:

1 quart of paint: 15.95
2 bottles of fabric medium: 17.90
1 Chair: 35.00

So, $68.85 for my new chair. I worked on and off on this project for several days. I would estimate it took a total of 6 hours.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Oh Say Can You CeCe?

***Though I did receive products from this company, all opinions, thoughts, and ideas are mine.***

   So a couple of months ago I was chosen to be a brand rep for CeCe Caldwell's Paints. If you know me, I will paint anything and everything that sits still long enough. In the Deep South we have a saying that goes something like this: "If you can't fry it, spray paint it gold."  I'll wield a spray can, a sponge, a paintbrush- whatever. Just give me something to paint and I'm happy.  So, this new "job" as brand rep was right up my alley. 

    All through May I excitedly watched as the other reps got their packages.   I knew my time was coming up soon and I could not wait!  When June got here and more packages were arriving and getting posted online by the other reps, I could hardly contain myself. What colors would I get? What new products would I get to try? I would rush home from work everyday to check my mailbox!   Then, it finally showed up!  I opened the package and was quite relieved to find two of my favorite colors - an off white and a grey as well as a satin finish. 
I thought and thought about mixing the colors, layering the colors, using one as a glaze over the other.... But I'm pretty simple in my techniques so I decided to stay true to myself.   

     I looked at the cans and I thought to myself:  "How far will this paint go?"  It retails for $34.95 a quart which might scare some people.  So, I decided to do a little experiment and see how much I could paint with only one quart of paint! I'm a thrifty person so I thought this might be a helpful experiment for people who have not quite committed to spending $34.95 for a quart of paint.  At this point, I have only opened ONE can of my paint and you will not believe the how many projects I have completed!

   Let me tell you a little about the paint before I show you the projects-

     This paint is Natural Chalk + Clay Paint.  This was also my very first time using this brand of paint so I had no idea what to expect.  First of all, I loved the container. I know that sounds weird but it's true.  It's made of a recycled plastic and it's super easy to open and close. I hate nothing more than tapping those metal lids back in place...they just never seem to fit back together right. 

    Second of all, I like that the container's mouth was nice and wide. The side of the package clearly says to "remove enough paint for your project into a clean container...." But, again, if you know me- I'm not the best at following directions. Let's get real, I just want to dip my brush right into the can and start painting!  

      The paint is also very thick. I would compare it to pudding. In this case, vanilla pudding!  I liked that it was thick. The reason: I paint in my dining room and I have been known to knock a can or two of paint over in my time!  I figured the thickness would give me a few extra seconds to get that can upright in case I knocked it over.  Am I the only one with this issue? Of course, if you follow the rules and put your paint in a container first, this might not concern you.

     Like I said, I paint in my dining room so I was pleasantly surprised that this paint had absolutely NO odor! It was fabulous.  Something else I really liked- it was super easy to clean up! I have been known to go to work with paint up my elbow, clunked in my hair, and always, always, under my fingernails. No problem with the Ce Ce Caldwell's paint: it washed right off with soap and water!  Also my trusty painting sidekick, Todd, always gets paint on his tail so it was easy to wipe off with a pet wipe. I know I just showed you Todd in my last post but the boy just gets cuter every day.... So, here he is again:
     Okay! So on to the projects...

First, I painted this sad little nightstand that I picked up at an estate sale for $15-
Add a little CeCe Caldwell's Vintage White Natural Chalk + Clay Paint and voila!
I added some updated knobs and a handle. I lightly distressed it by hand with sand paper and sealed it with a satin finish. Then, I did something I never do: I decided to keep it for myself!  This piece had a wooden body but more of a Formica-ish top and the paint covered both perfectly with no prep.

    Next, I decided to paint this cute little chest that I picked up at an auction for $60:
This piece is antique and solid wood. Again, I didn't prep it at all. I just started painting. Here it is after I painted it in the Vintage White:
     Again, I added new knobs and finished with a satin finish. I did use Java Gel Stain by General Finishes on the top just because that's what I had in my stash.  I actually decided to keep this piece for myself as well.

     Next, I wanted to see how CeCe Caldwell's Natural Chalk + Clay Paint worked on something besides wood and Formica. So, I rolled out this ugly little crate my husband picked up at an estate sale a few years back for a measly five bucks!

Because the top was black and white and the sides were brown, I decided to just give it a first coat with some paint scraps I had in my stash. I wish I could remember what I used but I really just emptied out some blues and greens for my bottom layer. Then, I added the Vintage White and heavily distressed it. I actually broke out the orbital sander for this one. I wanted it to look very worn, rugged, and industrial.  I also hand stenciled letters and numbers on the side to give it more of an industrial look. The 2XAH stands for Two Times AH. My husband and I are Aubrey and Angela....
     Isn't it cute? A little roll away side table that will double as storage!  I didn't seal this with anything because I want it to look flat and rustic. The CeCe Caldwell's paint worked great on metal! For the third time in a week, I decided to keep this piece for myself! I have been watching a little too much Chip and JoJo on HGTV so I have a little redecorating energy buzzing around in my mind. 

     Next, I have this piece of furniture my husband and I built several years ago. It was long before I started painting furniture.  We had the idea that we would start building things out of pallets. Well, that idea lasted through this project and this project only.  But, it's cute and I've enjoyed it. I painted it with left over living room paint because that's all I knew at the time...
     This was an old stereo we found on the side of the road. We gutted it, added a pallet back, a new top, and a shelf. So yeah basically we kept a box with no back or top and a decorative bottom. See that smudgy part right on the front? That's from Todd. Against this shelf happens to be one of his favorite napping spots. So, we will just have to see how this Vintage White works out.  Again, I didn't prep this piece, I just started painting. Here is the after photo:
    Reading all of the posts from the other brand reps, I kept noticing them saying they "wet distressed" pieces. I had NO IDEA what that meant! So I Googled a few things and got an understanding of it. Many of them like to wet distress with baby wipes. I didn't have baby wipes so I just wet a bath cloth. I gave the paint a little scrub, and what do you know- the paint wiped right off! I kinda loved this! It was easy ans mess free. I have a little cold this week and this kept me from having to breath in anymore dust. 

     Here are a few close ups of the wet distressing:
     So, that's it! If you have been keeping up, that's FOUR not-so-small projects I completed with only one quart of CeCe Caldwell's Natural Chalk +Clay Paint. So, that equals out to only $8.74 per project! That's a pretty good deal if you ask me!!  

     I still have a quart of Seattle Mist that I can't wait to pop open! I will post those projects soon! 
     I am still waiting on my fabric medium to arrive so I will also be finishing up the painted upholstery project from the last blog post soon as well! 

     I'll leave you with a before and after montage:



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Trying Something New: Painting Upholstery

     We have a really soft sofa and a really soft bed. I think when I picked them out I must have had "Mama Bear" syndrome. They are too soft. So soft, that I can't get comfortable. All I have wanted to do all week is curl up with this good book:
   But my back hurts every time I sit still for too long! So, I decided I would get myself a new chair.  Now, I had two perfectly great chairs a couple of years ago. I custom designed these chairs at the furniture store. I picked the legs, the fabric, the arms.... They were beautiful! When we got rid of our sofa, we decided to get a sectional and I did not have room for my chairs. Instead of storing them somewhere, I sold them in my booth! They sold right away and I have never looked back - until now.  So, I decided to get a new chair. This time though I didn't have an extra $500 to buy a new chair so I decided I would buy one at the thrift shop. 

     My only problem is that I don't like bringing home upholstered things from the thrift shop. I don't know why, it just grosses me out. So, I started "googling" and decided I would try my hand at painting upholstery.  Somehow, I think painting it will seal off all the flesh eating bacteria that I JUST KNOW is somehow all over it.   

    So, I needed:
     1. A Light Colored/Not Very Patterened Chair
     2. Some Latex Paint
     3. Fabric Medium
     4. A Paint Brush
     5. A Squirt Bottle
     6. A Mixing Bucket
     I ordered the fabric medium on Thursday night and by Saturday it was at my door! I thought it might take a few weeks to find the perfect chair and I wanted to be prepared when I found it. I drove up to the Salvation Army and there was not just one but two perfect sized and shaped chairs!  I quickly tried one out before the flesh eating bacteria could start snacking on my skin and loved how it was not too soft and not too hard but juuuuust right. 

     So, I broke the first rule- the one about it being light colored and not very patterned - and I got this:
     This morning, I woke up all ready to start this project. I decided to go to Lowe's to get some paint.  Now, you may not know this but Lowe's is a dog-friendly store. So, I put Todd's bow tie on him and loaded him up for his second ever trip to Lowe's. 
     This is Todd. He loved going to Lowe's. He patiently waited while they mixed the paint. He met some new people. Then, he pooped in the checkout line. Oops.

   So, back to the point. The chair. I picked this color:
     I was almost ready to start but I couldn't find a spray bottle. So, I took a quick trip to Dollar Tree.  I went in to get 1 spray bottle. 

I came out with fake hydrangeas:
Three fake pears:
     .....and an assortment of sweet treats. Fourteen dollars later, I was back in my car and ready to paint.  

   The first step is to clean the furniture with a damp rag. Now, I didn't clean mine because:

     A: It wasn't dirty
     B. Obviously, I'm not doing a great job at following the directions

      Next, mix the paint and fabric medium. This is 2 parts paint to 1 part fabric medium.
     It will look like this at first, just give it a good stir. 

     Next, you are supposed to spritz the furniture with warm water and start painting. When I spritzed my furniture and painted it, it sort of beaded up on me and the paint would not stick in places. So, I set aside my fourteen dollar Dollar Tree water bottle and just started painting. Here's what it is looking like now:
As you can see, you can still very much see the fabric through the paint. As I have been blogging, it has dried and I am about to put on the second layer.

Okay- now I have put the second coat of paint on and it is looking much, much better! Whew. I was worried there for a while but I think it's all going to be okay!  I ran out of fabric medium and I still need to work on the cushion and a few parts I skipped the first go around... Like the area under the cushion and the bottoms and sides of the cushion.   So, the fabric medium has been ordered and it will arrive on Tuesday. This will give the chair a good long time to dry before I put a final coat on. I have read a few other blogs that suggest a light sanding to soften things up so that will keep me busy until the package arrives.   

     This is what it looks like now:
It has taken on a totally different look than I expected. I didn't think it would turn out shiny like this. I kind of like it though.... It looks like orange leather!

I will be back later this week to show you the finished piece. I must say, this has been a really fun and interesting project so far!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Coral Crush

My way younger first cousin is getting married this Saturday!! I could not decide what to get her for a wedding gift so I decide to paint a piece of furniture for her.  I let her pick from my stash. She chose a small china hutch and wanted me to paint it CORAL!  How exciting!! I just so happened to have two packages of Sweet Pickins Milk Paint in a color called 'completely coral.' It must be meant to be!  

Here is the hutch:
 Here is a little back story on the hutch:  I purchased it off of a Facebook bidding site. The opening bid was $85. I won it two days later for $85. I was the ONLY bidder! Trust me, the picture they put up to sell it didn't make it quite look this cute, but I could see beyond the harvest gold circle glass and 'eagle' handles. I could tell it had good bones.  So, I contacted the guy and we picked a mutual, public, location to meet.   So, I got there first and about twenty minutes later the guy drove up- In. A. Car.  My first thought: "Oh, hell no!" (complete with a little twist of my neck). So, I cracked my window about a quarter of an inch. He came over to my truck and told me to follow him to his house!   Before he could even get the words out, I was saying: "Nope."  I told him I would have never come alone if I thought I was going to go to his house. His idea was that we would meet up and see that the other one was completely harmless and go get the furniture. Well heck yeah I look completely harmless- I'm a forty-one year old woman who looks half my age (okay, maybe half my age might be stretching it but I mean I DO look young)  and has the voice of a child!   So, I told him I had to call my husband. I called Aubrey. He 'warned' me to stay locked in the truck and said he would be right there!  So, fifteen minutes later, Aubrey showed up, the guy checked out, and we went to his house. He was fine but learn from me-- NEVER ever go to anyone's house alone and ALWAYS meet in a public place! Even if they look okay. So, back to the furniture- here it is in coral:
...and a few close ups:
...and this is what I did to replace the gold glass:
I love the way it turned out!

So, I was supposed to take it to her right when I got off of work today. Then, I saw this in someone's yard:
So, I did what any crazy, deranged woman would do.  I pulled over and knocked on a total stranger's door and asked him if he would sell it to me....and he did.

   So, I know I just told you a story about being careful and not going to someone's house followed by a story of me busting up in a stranger's yard.  All I can say is do as I say, not as I do.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Good Things Come to Those Who Paint

I have had a string of good luck on the "junk front" lately!  Let me share just a bit of what has been going on:

1. One Tuesday I had a few errands to run on my way to work. I left my house early to make plenty of time. When I finished the errands way ahead of schedule, I decided to treat myself to a donut.  When I was attempting to leave the donut shop parking lot I was finding it impossible to make a left turn because of traffic. So, I took a right and took a totally different route to work. I was driving along, enjoying my donut holes when I spotted this:

It was just sitting there on the side of the road!! The only problem, I was in my car.  I tried to call my husband, Aubrey, but I got no answer. A car with two other ladies drove up and they got out and immediately started putting things in their car. In the meantime, I was calling my friend, Kim, with my 'emergency.' She told me to get out and claim it before the other ladies did and that she would be right there! So, I hopped out and the ladies immediately thought I was there to get on to them about going through the pile of garbage. They sort of held their hands up and said: "We were just getting some of this wood." I must have looked pretty serious. Haha.  I explained to them that I wanted the furniture and that my friend was coming.  Then, the lady suggested I 'hide' it behind the dumpster and helped me move it!   A couple of minutes later, Kim arrived and we loaded it up. 

2. The following weekend, I made a list of yard sales to check out on Saturday morning.  The weird thing about this: I NEVER go to yard sales. Never.  Ever.  I left my house at around 6:15am to cruise by a few that started at 7:00.   I drove by four or five and just as I expected: clothes, shoes, children's toys. When I got to my sixth one, I spotted some furniture. I got out and was immediately told that the sale didn't start until 8:00. It was only 6:45. So, I got back in my truck to go to a few more stops- a couple of more yard sales on my list and a swap meet that is held once a month.  Again, I ran into shoes and clothes and toys. I wanted to hurry and go to the swap meet and head all the way back over to the other side of town for the sale that started at 8:00. As I was turning around in this sort of remote area, I saw a sign on someone's mailbox that said "Everything must go. Make an offer." This was an unadvertised sale that I accidentally found! But, I didn't have time to stop. 

     I made my quick trip through the swap meet and then back to the sale with the furniture. I got there at 8:15 and there was already a pile of everything I love sitting by the checkout table. Things like old leather suitcases and old ornate wooden framed mirrors.... I assumed it was someone's 'pile' and my assumption was right! Now, who on earth would have a pile of things that I would normally pick out.  Nobody ever wants the old 'junk' I want! There were two ladies there piling up all of the good stuff! So, I stepped my butt in high gear. But all day long I was too late behind these spunky sisters! They asked to look in a shed and before I even knew they were in there they had purchased a chippy, Kelly green painted crate with lid ON INDUSTRIAL CASTERS for EIGHT BUCKS!!! So, I spotted another shed and started speed walking toward it only to find a RED industrial work table that had just been sold for FIVE BUCKS! I was apparently losing my mojo. So, after claiming a few things in the shed, I decided to walk around the outside of it. I found a huge wooden ladder just hanging on the side. I took it down only to be told it wasn't for sale!!! What?!? I had a small tantrum and the lady was all: "Okay, just make me an offer." So, I felt a little better. I loaded up my things and needed to go home to empty the truck.  I had lunch and cooled down a bit and was almost tempted to just take my second shower of the day and call it a day. But, some nagging feeling was telling me to go back to that unadvertised sale. 

     So, I drove up to the unadvertised sale and a lady and two guys were sitting outside with a few little things on some tables.  Nothing I wanted though.  Thinking back to the spunky sisters at the last sale, I asked if I could look in the shed. The guy said "sure."   Now, most women have a favorite store, mine just so happens to be an 'old man's shed.'  There is just something I love about industrial stuff.   I walked in an immediately got cold chills because I saw this:
     Yikes!!  All these thoughts flashed through my head: whywasthissaleunadvertised?aretheygoingtokillme?ididnttellanyonewhereiwasgoing.ohmygoshlookatthosebins!

These bins:

Then holy moly look at that!
I hit the jackpot and suddenly I was glad I was all alone!! I ended up with the lockers, the bins, an industrial table and stool, and I actually bought some porcelain enamel light fixtures right off the celing!!!   
It was awesome. I suddenly realized why I was taken on the path I was taken on that morning- to find this sale!  

3.  Then, I was given a call by this guy who was moving. He had a piece of furniture he wanted to GIVE me! Here it is:
Then he had another piece I was interested in. He told me to make an offer. Well, I didn't want to insult him with my offer since he had just GIVEN me furniture so I really didn't know what to say. I didn't know if he was thinking $100 or $50 or what.... So I asked him to just give me a price and he said $10!!! For this:
It has beautiful feet and the wood is so pretty dare I say I probably won't paint it! The two bottom drawers were not in it but he had every piece to each drawer so the drawers just have to be put back together! The missing handle was even in one of the small drawers!  I absolutely love this piece of furniture and will probably keep it for myself!

4.  Just when I thought my lucky streak had to be coming to an end, I went to the Salvation Army Store yesterday just as they were UNLOADING the truck!  The only problem: the managers weren't there and they could not price anything. The nice guy who works there though told me to come back later in the afternoon. He remembered me from buying a China Cabinet and desk before. He said he 'never forgets a pretty face' -haha. Whatever works. So, I went back that afternoon and he had pulled some strings and had gotten the things priced!! I got this:
I really love it! The top is Formica but I think I can work with it. I also picked up a little French Provencial dresser and a couple of books- all for under $40! As if that wasn't enough, I went to an auction last night and scored a heavy wood 3 drawer chest for TWENTY BUCKS! 
    It's been quite the week for me!!  What have you found this week?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Not-So-Bold Gold

I am about to share with you the piece of furniture that forced me to start this blog:
I got this buffet about 7 months ago. Although I have painted hundreds of pieces of furniture, I have never painted a piece for myself! This was going to be the piece.  I really thought long and hard about what color I wanted to paint it. Mustard, curry, gold, sunflower, maize....those were the colors I thought of most often when I pictured this piece.  I think that's because I absolutely loved this chest I painted last Summer:
I loved the way it looked with my dining room paint and my curtains. Maybe, it was just because I didn't get to enjoy this piece. It sold one hour after I delivered it to my booth. So after months of hesitation, I painted my buffet with a chalk paint in a shade called curry. It was horrible. It was exactly the same shade of a diaper or two I have encountered.  Not a problem though, I was planning on the final coat being milk paint in Sunflower by Sweet Pickins. I love working with milk paint. I like how it has a mind of its own and it chips where it wants to chip, not where YOU want it to chip. It looks more authentic that way. I thought the bits of curry behind the sunflower would be perfection. So, I painted the whole thing -again- in milk paint. Boy, did it chip! The only problem: it didn't chip off and reveal the curry, it chipped off and revealed the original white!
I liked it. But it still seemed a little, I don't know, bright. Plus, those pretty details weren't showing up. So, I decided to seal it with a dark wax. Antique it a little. Of course, there was another problem: I didn't have any dark wax. I have hand tinted wax before but I was scared with a piece this big that I couldn't be consistent with my tinting. Why not just buy some dark wax? Because I live in a small town and we just don't have things like that here....or do we? We do sell a wax where I work. I've never paid much attention to it.  Would it work on painted furniture? So, I did what anyone would do, I Googled it. Yep. It should work. I chose a dark wax and couldn't wait to try it! 

     Here's a quick thought on this wax. My first "review" if you will....
I loved, loved, loved how soft this wax was. It was very easy to work with. There is also a wide variety of shades. I put it on and immediately buffed it off. It seemed to "stick" pretty quickly so there was no turning back once you started. I scrubbed parts of my furniture and the dark wax would not budge. I was hoping for more sunflower and less dark brown but once I started, it was on. I really like working with low odor products and this was definitely not one of those! Lord have mercy does this wax stink!!! It was rough. I suggest working in a very well ventilated area with this stuff! It was 90 degrees today and I ended up having to open my door to get some of the smell out of my house! Now, it's several hours later and I can STILL smell it! 

Okay- so on to the furniture- the whole time I was waxing it I had a feeling of no return. My gold buffet was slowly turning golden brown. I wasn't sure what to think. I scrubbed and scrubbed trying to get some of the bold sunflower to poke through but it just wouldn't! So, here it is:
It really is beautiful in person.  It's just not the Sunflower gold I was dreaming of. If this was a piece I was painting to sell, I might consider this a " happy accident" and move on. But this was my first ever piece of painted furniture for my house and it kinda just doesn't go. I am going to place it in the designated spot though. I am going to live with it a while. Maybe I will sell it. Maybe I will repaint it in a few months. Maybe I will just fall in love with it. We'll see.