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DIY Zinc Mirror

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I finally found the perfect mirror to give a zinc finish.  I knew in my head what I was looking for and that is not always a good thing because nothing but what I imagine will make me happy.  The elusive mirror was found in my all-time favorite honey-hole of a thrift store for $10.00.  Here is what the beauty looked like when I brought it home:

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If you ignore the painted flowers and the wood, doesn’t it have the same shape as the zinc mirrors from the fancy online stores I have been eyeing?

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zinc mirror

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Just in case you are wondering, the cheapest mirror I could find was over $500.00  I bought my mirror ($10.00) and enough supplies to do the mirror and several more projects for $10.00 more.

I am telling you folks, getting the zinc look is not as hard as you might think.  After sanding off the flower design, my first step was to do a Google search of zinc mirrors and looked at them all very carefully before I dove in.  What I think I like most about a zinc finish is the irregularity that each zinc piece has.

alhambra antiques Original Zinc and Wood Oeil du Boeuf Parisian Window Mirror french decorating ideas

Bjd Haus Design

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Eron Johnson Antiques

I love the mix of dark and light, the shine on the worn edges and the aged appearance.

The secret to the process is getting the right products and not being afraid to experiment.  Go buy yourself a cheap mirror at Goodwill and dive in.  If you hate it, paint it another color.

I used Rust-oleum Soft Iron metallic spray paint

soft iron

Cheap acrylic paint that is less than a dollar a bottle.  One of them was called zinc.  The other is a lighter gray.

craft smart silver metallic paint

Finally, I glaze it all with a silver glaze.

Spray the entire item with the spray paint.  Once it is dry brush on random places of the acrylic paint.  Make sure to use a really dry brush.  I dipped it in the paint then wiped the brush off on a paper towel.

Once you are happy with the acrylic paint, repeat with the silver.  I focused on the outer edges.

Ta Dah.

faux zinc mirror zinc detail

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My rescue, Lumi, cannot stay away when I am taking photos.  I decided not to fight her tonight.  She is a sweetie.

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Superwoman Is Not My Name

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At least once a week a comment is made to me about my hobby of restoring, re-purposing, and repainting furniture that makes me think people have a few misconceptions about me.  People have asked me how I have time to do this, usually followed by a comment that they would love to do something like this if they had the time.  Well, last night after I got the question about my time again, I decided that I wanted to dig into my vault of deep dark secrets.  Here is how I magically manufacture more time than the 24 hours a day others have. 🙂

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Source: http://www.raisingmiro.com

1.  I don’t watch a lot of television.  Please don’t hate me but I cannot talk with you about Downton Abbey, The Bachelor, House of Cards, or American Idol.  ( I did watch one episode of American Idol this season, but got bored.). I do watch The Voice, Biggest Loser, and The Blacklist (My really guilty pleasure).  Oh, and HGTV is on as background noise on the weekend. A lot of the shows are recorded and I can watch them when I choose and skip through the commercials.  Ain’t no body got time to watch denture cream commercials.  While watching television I usually am writing a blog or reading one of the 10 or so blogs that I read regularly- but not daily.

2.  I get up early and I am one of those people who usually wakes up “awake”  I clear my email , pray, usually do something homey like start laundry, pick up the stuff in the den, play with the dog and clear the counters before I leave for work in the mornings. Okay, I clean only if I am not running late!

3.  I eat lunch alone.  By choice.  I am really an introvert and need quiet time.  I use that 30 minutes to decompress, to think, read or take care of personal business.  It is my quiet time of the day.

4.  I have a housekeeper.  Yep.  Two times a month a wonderful lady comes to my house and changes the sheets, mops, dusts, cleans bathrooms and vacuums the house top to bottom.  This saint also cleans out my fridge and surprises me when she has time with things like organizing the pantry, the back porch, or cleaning up the linen closet.  Having a housekeeper is a luxury that I am willing to give up a lot to keep because the house being clean brings peace to my soul and someone else doing that two times a month means that I have time to do what I love.  She is able to get done in five hours what would take me all day because I would get distracted and she is just a speed demon.  The house does not stay spotless between the cleanings, but I know that under the clutter is a relatively clean home.

5.  My children are grown and I am not a grandmother.  (One day… I hope) My weekends do not revolve around sporting events, birthday parties, and sleepovers any longer.  I miss those days more than you will ever know, but it means that my free time really is mine.  People who have known me a long time often say that they had no idea that I had an artistic side.  The reason is simple; when I had kids at home I was a mom first and foremost.

6.  I do not enjoy cooking.  If I cook, it is something quick, simple and easy. Often out of a box. There is no spending the day in the kitchen for me.  That would be torture.  Thankfully, my husband is fine with that (most of the time) and pitches in or fends for himself if there is not a plan for supper.  He also goes to the grocery store for us about half the time.

7.  I usually have at least three projects going on at once when I am set up and working.  I try to group projects together that are going to be painted the same color- like my glazed cream color that is so popular.  While paint is drying, I can be collecting wood from the hoard for the next project and spray painting hardware.  By the time I get the second coat of paint on I am ready to move on with the other projects too.  As long as everything that makes dust is done first I can really move.  I make sure that sanding, and cutting are done at the same time and that there is no wet paint when sawdust in flying around.  I have about an 85% success rate with the keeping sawdust out of wet paint.

8.  My husband is a HUGE help.  He is a talented carpenter and can fix or build just about anything that I think up.  He supports my crazy ideas and helps them happen.  He also provides me with the voice of calm and reason when needed.  Together we get more done, and faster than either of us could do alone.

9.  We have the right tools.  Things go a lot easier and quicker if you have the tool to do the job.  Our arsenal is pretty impressive.  We are adding a drill press this week and I am excited.  We have a table saw, two drills, biscuit joiner,  three different sanders. a compound miter saw, jig saw, circular saw, grinder air nailers, two air compressors and a paint sprayer just to name a few.  I am not bragging.  I remember when we did not have all the tools we have now, or money to buy those things, and it was much harder to get work done.  It has taken us years to collect as Christmas presents, shopping estate sales, and saving up money to buy what we wanted in order to get what we have now.

10.  At least two days a week I leave the office at 3:30 pm.  I force myself to do that because I have learned that I am a much better employee and boss if I take time for me.  It means that I work really late at least one day a week, but it is worth it to me to go home when the sun is still shining.

I am no superwoman.  I get tired, I get really grumpy, I am perpetually frustrated that I cannot finish a project as quickly as I want.  I am terrible at sending letters and cards, I sometimes forget to call people back and I get so focused on what I am doing sometimes that I neglect my family.  I am glad that they still love me and accept me warts and all. I am also pretty lonely right now. My girlfriends are a distance away and I am learning that I am not very good at making friends in a new environment. I am working on that.

If you are able to successfully manage a family, job, your social life, and your creative side then my hat is off to you.  I would love to hear how you do it and I know that others would, too.

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I thought you might enjoy seeing me at the end of the day, hair frizzed, with dollar store readers on!

Thank you for taking the time out of your very busy day to read my post.

Blessings,

Karen

10 of My Favorite Posts and a Big Thank You!

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If things go as they have been for the last week, by the time I wake up tomorrow I will have had 50,000 page views on my little teeny tiny minnow of a blog. I will also be celebrating two years of blogging. There are blogs out there that get 50,000 page views a day and it has taken me two years.  I never said I was fast.  first and foremost, I want to say thank you, friends, for reading, thank you for commenting, and thank you for causing me to improve what I produce. I still have no idea what I am doing most of the time. By that I mean my husband and I are making it up as we go on our projects, and sometimes failing miserably. I am about the most technology challenged blogger out there. There have been many times when I did something on the blog but had no idea what I did, how to fix it, or if it was good, how to repeat that good thing. Between the time I started this blog and now both our children have married, my husband and I changed jobs, we sold a home, went a while “between homes”, bought a home and moved to a new city, my son and daughter in law have moved in part-time, I started a new blog called My Burb Home, and I have taken up photography as a hobby. Not bad for two folks in their 50’s.

This next year we plan to travel to two places on our bucket list, work on both our weekend home and our suburban home, build a raised garden, put in a fire pit,and continue to work on found furniture.  Life is good for this weekend loving couple.

I wanted to share with you some projects from the last two years.  As I looked back, there were others that could have or should have made the cut but I plan on rewriting several of them now that I don’t stink like when I started. Not many of you were around when I first logged in, set up an account and started rambling so some of the projects below may be new to you. Just click on the hyperlink and it will take you to the original blog.  I hope you enjoy.

10. French provincial furniture makeover.  I love that we were able to take a couple of homely particle board pieces of furniture and make them beautiful. I am seriously considering selling this set because I want to redo the room like now I recently saw on a home tour but I love the color combination and how much I learned on this project.

French Provincial Dresser

9. Western Dresser.  We found a homely little Goodwill dresser and made it something fun for the lake house guest room we call the bunk room.
western dresser

8. Table and Banquette seating out of reclaimed wood.  Wow! This is one of my oldest posts and my dinky little camera did not do this beauty any justice.  I will be re-photographing this set.  This was a collaboration between Hubby and me to come up with a solution to a tiny space using reclaimed siding from our house.  It is one of the most functional spaces in our home now.

Making Room for a Dining Area at Star Hill

7.  Farmhouse Table.  I love the look of a rustic table but man, they are expensive. Our $90.00 solution to this problem turned out to be one of my favorite pieces of furniture. It moved with us and was where we gathered for our first Thanksgiving meal in the new home.

farmhouse table

6.  Wedding Chalkboard.  I did tell you my kids got married, right?  I was fortunate enough that both my daughter and daughter in law wanted me to make personal items for their wedding.   I loved that they wanted things that I worked on as a part of their special day.  The link above is one of those items, an ornate frame my daughter in law, Sweet Amanda, found at a resale shop that I redid for the wedding and added a chalkboard.  I chose this one because it was the first wedding project. I love all four of my precious kids.

DIY Framed Chalkboard

5.  Map Chair.  Another piece of furniture that needs to be re-photographed.  This little chair would be easy to recreate for a friend moving to a new city or a college student who needs to remember where home is. I seem to have a thing for chairs.

Map Chair Seat

4.  Painted Suitcases.  I have made a total of seven of these painted suitcases now  The link is to four of them I did at one time.  I love finding cheap old hard sided suitcases, priming, painting, distressing, glazing then adding a chalkboard to one side.  It makes a great entry into a home when guests are coming over or to announce an event. If I ever started a business, I would sell these because I enjoy mine so much.

Chalkboard Suitcase

3.  Junk Fairy End Table.  The last three are easy.  They are my favorite, favorite projects.  They speak to my love of color, family and friends.  The junk fairy ( AKA The Social Planner) dropped off this homely table while we were gone one day. I did not need it, so posted a photo of it on Facebook and offered to redo it for a friend. Robin snagged it. I am happy that she chose green as the color for the table. I really like how the stained top turned out. I enjoyed it so much that I painted a table in my own home close to the same colors.
The finished green end table

2.  Beverage Station.  I am now working on number three of these babies. What a great re-purpose project for an old stainless sink and a sewing machine cabinet. I love the look and they make entertaining in a back yard or porch more inviting. My favorite blue color, Behr sailboat blue, got used here. My long-suffering husband gets major credit for the stainless sink idea here.
drink station
1.  Mudroom Bench.  When we moved this year I literally looked for homes that my mudroom bench would fit in. It is by far my most favorite project to date. I look forward to the day that someone sends me a photo of their version of the project.&nbsphttps://theweekendcountrygirl.com/2013/01/28/toilet-paper-roll-art/; A found dresser, waiting for heavy trash pickup, and a resale shop mirror turned into this beauty.
mudroom bench

I hope you enjoyed my little walk down memory lane. Thank you for taking the time to look back on my last two years. Thank you for allowing me to share what we do.

Media Center Becomes Home Office

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Remember those giant televisions from the late 80’s and early 90’s? The tube type televisions were thick, wide and heavy. Oh… and UGLY! Smart women figured out a way to keep them from being the center of all things in the family room.
The solution was usually some sort of media center. Ours was a big open shelving oak unit. Long gone.

Before we even moved into our new house I knew we needed a place to put the computer modem, charge the laptops and phones, put the bills and keep up with paperwork. We had a place in our city house to keep up with everything but there was no space in our new house. Before we even closed on the house I found an armoire style media center that would do the job and would be able to be closed up when we don’t want to see everything. It was designed to have a pull out shelf for a big television that swivels. It was an $80.00 cabinet that was solid wood (knotty pine), and was made in 1987 according to the information on the back of the piece. It is 7 feet tall and 40 inches wide.

knotty pine

missing trim- fixed by Hubby

\pine media center

 

knotty pine cabinet door

 

knotty pine media TV

The media center was bought and put into the storage unit the week we moved out of the city house. Once we moved into our new house it moved into the garage. The mail started piling up on the kitchen counter, the electronics started to be scattered around the house and my aggregation grew. Time to get after the home office.

I wanted the piece to be the color scheme of the Roadside Credenza. I knew that I wanted to paint the crown moulding and base moulding Behr Revival Mahogany and the body Behr Powdered Snow. Because it was knotty pine it actually took two coats of Kiltz primer to keep the knots from coming through. It was a workout to paint and took three weekends. Weekend one- primer coats, weekend two- two coats of paint on everything and weekend three- three coats of Kona floor poly.

behr powdered snow and revival mahogany

 

painting and glazing

glazing supplies

Essentials for glazing. Cheap brush, damp rag, glazing mix.

glazing up close

The glaze is Behr Faux Effects mixed with a little revival mahogany

using glaze to look like wood grain

I left the inside raw wood as a nod to my husband’s love of wood. It is going to have a bulletin board inside the back, a magnetic blackboard inside the door and some pockets to hold the bills and cell phones, but that is not ready yet. It is so tall that Hubby is going to have to use a bar stool when he is writing lesson plans or paying bills. Right now one from the lake house will work, but I have my eye on a great bar stool that is upholstered in teal. It may have to come home with me soon.

home office from media center

This picture is the best at showing the color. Color is tricky in our new house. I need to go back to class to figure it out.

painted and glazed home office

I still have not finished the curtains and it shows up here. Darn.

Home Office painted

 

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inside of home office

 

Home office pull out

 

printer spot in home office

 

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What do you think about this beauty?

The Beast Gets Delivered

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I have named the entertainment center that my buddy, The Social Planner, bought, the beast.  It is a mammoth Thomasville set from the early 90’s.  It is 80 inches tall and all added together is over 100 inches wide.  It took two truckloads to get it into the garage.

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This is the center section.

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It was longer than the bed of the truck.

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The end, display pieces were not light…as you can see from the guys expressions.

If you follow my blog you have seen progress on an entertainment center piece that was going into my friend. The Social Planner’s new home.

Once Hubby and Larry got it all disassembled and ready to paint it along with my china cabinet covered the garage floor.

The first painting did not go well.  Just like the china cabinet, it all had to be sanded down and repainted.  Hubby helped a ton with the repainting on this monster thankfully. I decided to glaze it all on the same day.  Big mistake.  It literally wore me out.  I started at 6:30 in the morning and finished about 4:00 pm.  I was hot, tired, and filthy.  I was in bed by 7:00 pm after taking two Advil. I will never take on such a large project again.  I used Bona Floor Finish Polyurethane to seal the finish because I wanted it to be hardy enough to stand up to wear and tear.  I spread the poly out over three days in order to get everything dry before I moved on to another part.  I like the shine that that the floor finish adds.  The brass hardware was sprayed with Rustoleum  oil rubbed bronze to match the hardware in their new home.

Thomasville Entertainment Center

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Painted Hardware Oil Rubbed Bronze

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Picking the piece up from Garagemahal and delivering it to The Social Planner’s forever home turned out to be just as much of a challenge.  This time Larry came with reinforcements.  He brought his brother in law, Ted.  The guys loaded the two trucks, tied it down, and headed out.  Unloading was accomplished without incident, but getting it into the house proved tricky.  Remember that The Beast is 80 inches tall?  So are the doorways in The Social Planner’s home. No way to get it upright through the door and no way to lay it down and turn the corner.  Back out through the back door sliders, across the porch, and after a little modification, through their bedroom slider.

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Here it is all installed and ready to be loaded.  The bedroom looks amazing.  I love the dreamy, romantic feel of the room.  The French provincial marble topped tables turned out so well.  I love the lamps that The Social Planner picked.  They are perfect for the space.  The art is not unpacked yet, but it is going to be amazing.  The main piece will be a large watercolor painted by their daughter in law’s grandmother.  A well-known local artist.

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Here is the beast in the room!  I couldn’t resist showing you all a peek at the rest of her room.  It is not quite done but looks awesome!  I painted and glazed the side tables to match the entertainment center.  They are marble topped beauties that she got at a resale shop for $25.00.

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I love the outcome.  There are not many people I would have done this for, but I am so happy that my work is a part of their home.  I love it!  As the room gets finished I will update the photos.

Wrapping Up Projects

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The Garagemahal is overflowing with projects right now.  I mean seriously overflowing.  The picture below was taken before the last load was put in there.

primed furniture

The riding lawnmower doesn’t fit in there right now!  Hubby won’t be happy if this continues.

What that means is I have to get myself busy early in the mornings and late at night.  Why you ask?  Well it is currently 100 degrees during the middle of the day here in the Sahara Texas.  Paint will not dry properly when  above 80 degrees so I figure right now I have about three hours a day to work.

My shopping list for the weekend included some interesting items so that I can get busy.

Project number 1- finish these beautiful French Provencal end tables for my buddy, The Social Planner.  She has been patiently waiting for them and I feel guilty every time I go over to her house.  Her bedside lamps are literally sitting on the floor.  I got one coat of paint on them during the week so another coat of paint, distressing, glazing and poly will end this one.  They have beautiful marble tops waiting to go on them.

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Project number 2- finish my china cabinet.  My first attempt spray painting was a disaster.  Hubby sanded it all back down for me and I get the opportunity to begin again.  This time with a brush. Yippee.  My sweet secretary is ready for all the stuff to be picked up off the floor in my office that I keep promising is going in the cabinet.  Two coats of paint, distressing, glazing and poly should save it from the disaster it is right now.

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Project number 3- The Social Planner’s entertainment center.  This piece is a beast.  2 coats of paint, distressing, glazing, poly.  There are two rounded shelves that go on either end of the piece too.

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The good news is that project 1,2, and 3 are all going to be the same color.  I can work on them together in stages.  I hope I can get projects 1-3 done this week.

Also waiting in the wings is a French Provencal dresser for my guest room with a mirror and headboard.  Still waiting for inspiration on this one.  What color should they be?  Help me!

bedroom suite

I need to upholster the chairs for the dining room

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this awesome fabric

 

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and finish the  sewing machine cabinet turned cooler for the back porch in a bright blue ( the picture below is my inspiration- but my blue will be deeper.)

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before I start painting the armoire teal, making a burlap covered bench and turning a bed into a bench for the back porch.  Oh and I have some end tables that need to be sanded, legs painted bright green and top stained too.   Finally, I have this sad chair that my dad rescued.  It is going to look so cool.  I already have the perfect cushion for it.

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We have a lot going on as you can see.  Does anyone want to come and paint with me from 9:00 pm until midnight?  I have bug spray and a fan!

 

The Paint and Products I Use

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At the request of a few friends I am going to sort of walk those of you not too board with this amateur’s attempt at furniture refinishing.

The supplies I use on solid wood furniture:

Liquid sand

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Palm sander

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Behr Interior Satin paint with primer

My favorite off white- Innocence
My favorite brown- Revival Mahogany
My favorite green- Happy Camper

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Behr Faux Glaze

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Purdy Paintbrushes

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Foam Sanding Block

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Rustoleum Polyacrylic

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Old cotton t shirts for rags

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Minwax stain
I love dark walnut

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What I do:

Clean the furniture with water. No chemicals. If the piece is going to be stained, sand it down with the palm sander. If it is ornate or just going to be painted, I use liquid sand. Wipe on, keep using a clean area on the cotton rag.

Use good brushes to paint.
Apply the paint in multiple thin coats. Sand between coats if you see ridges in the dried paint.

Glaze- I use one cup paint to 1/4 cup paint. I use a charcoal color for black or my Revival Mahogany for brown tones.
Paint on, wait a minute then wipe off-with the grain of the wood using a cotton rag. Leave a little extra in the corners and ridges.

Stain the wood pieces. Wipe on the stain with a rag wait a minute then wipe off excess with a clean rag. Reapply when dry if you want something darker.

Polyacrylic the finished piece with several thin coats of poly. Sand lightly between coats.

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