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The Finished Funky Dresser

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Painting furniture in the Garagemahal during a southeast Texas winter is tough. It is either too cold or too humid to dream of painting. I usually take on smallish projects that I can finis in the house during winter. This fall I found a dresser that I wanted to turn into an unusual entertainment center. It was $20.00 at Huntsville Goodwill. It is a 1950’s wooden dresser that probably went in a boy’s room.

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I had been looking for something to turn into a funky dresser after finding this dresser a year ago at the Mainstreet America Christmas home tour.  It was over a thousand dollars but it was so cool.

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The dresser was originally destined for my brother in law and sister in law’s  new house near us. It took me so long to surprise them with the piece done that they already bought a beautiful entertainment center out of whiskey barrel oak.

I wasn’t sure what I would do with it at this point, until I sanded the top corner. There it was: “I love e b”. My hubby’s first and middle name begins with e and b. ( In his family he goes by Eddie Ben.)  I knew it would have to be something that would end up with us.

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I struggled with what to do with each drawer and redid three of the drawers at least twice, one of them three times.

I determined that I did not want to spend much on this project. I have a large collection of hardware, a pile of paint and everything needed to give the wood a weathered finish like the inspiration piece. A bonus is that the colors on the piece will be colors I already like and have in my home.

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What you see above is just a small sample of the hardware I have. Notice how many of the pieces I photographed I actually used in the final shot.

Saturday afternoon the skies cleared, the humidity dropped and I had about two hours to work.

The dresser went from looking like this Saturday …

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To this by mid-day, Sunday.

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I glazed the turquoise because it was a little too bright for the rest of the piece after this photo and I added  a license plate and some letters.  I am not sure it is finished but it is coming along.

Soon, I will tell you where I hope it gets to go.

Here are a few close up shots I took after adding the license plate from 1969 that we found in the dirt at my husband’s family farm.  The numbers are the year of his birth and the S  is our last name initial.

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Did you notice I used a different license plate than what I pulled originally?  I decided that I wanted to use the one with browns and yellows.  It is great that I have options.  I collected quite a few plates from my husband’s farm.

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I love it.  I am proud that I did this almost all by myself.  I cut trim, drilled holes, selected colors, and rethought it when I wasn’t happy.  I did have a meltdown on the white bottom corner “drawer” (it is actually one long drawer made to look like two) and had to get help on that one.  I could not get the trim to line up.  Thanks, Hubby.

All in all I have less than $10.00 in supplies in the dresser along with the $20.00 investment for the dresser I think it turned out well.

Funky Dresser dresser with different drawer colors painted mulitcolored dresser

I have a random bunch of french provincial hardware that I would love to do a little girl’s dresser with one day.  The possibilities are exciting.

Thanks for reading my blog.

I would love to hear what you think about my funky dresser.

Blessings,

Karen

Turquoise French Provincial Furniture

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I am getting ready to show you my fabric painted teal chair with lime green legs as soon as I finish one more little item for the chair, but I realized  That out of context the chair would look a little Dr. Seuss-ish.  You still may think it does when you see it but it will fit in this room.

Just before I started blogging we did this furniture fore the Lovebirds.  They were getting ready to set up house and we wanted them to have some fun furniture.  We bought the furniture from an estate sale.  The furniture had a great story.  The children, who were holding the estate sale had all pitched in to buy the furniture for their parent’s 25th anniversary.  I don’t understand why they did not want to keep it but for $150.00 we got a great set.  I do not have any pictures of the before but we are babysitting the dresser and armoire while the lovebirds are living in far away lands.

turquoise french provincial

 

Right now the bedroom is a mix of our stuff and theirs.  The walls are painted Behr Ice Cube and the dresser is painted Behr Rapids.  My son loves wood as much as my daughter in law loves painted furniture.  We compromised by painting the dresser base but leaving all horizontal surfaces wood.

french provincial and wood

 

The painting says Always Kiss Me Goodnight in case it is bugging you.  I painted it for them as part of their wedding gift.  In their home they have grey bedding with dark purple accents.  Our bedroom is yellow, teal, turquoise, and lime green.  Crazy huh?

french provincial mirror

I love this mirror.  It is so pretty and well proportioned.

 

glazed mirror close up

 

We painted the furniture and glazed it with a dark glaze.

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close up of turquoisedresser

 

The hardware on the set is so ornate.

armoire

 

My son’s belongings are in this upright chest.

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The horizontal part of the armoire at the middle being left stained breaks up the armoire.

 

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I love the top.  The herringbone painting usually lives above the bed, but it looks good here, too.

We learned a lot about painting furniture when we painted this set.  I am happy with how it has held up after two years and three moves.  Before the kids get back we have a few touch ups, but not many.

The teal chair will sit in front of the giant windows.

 

Thanks for reading my blog.  I hope you take a minute to pray for my kids who are far away from home.  It has been a long few months already.

 

Blessings,

Karen

Painted Fabric Wingback Chair

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Unless you are a junker, like me, you might not appreciate the presents I get from my friends. Recently I got a load of treasures from a friend that included this fleshy colored velvet wingback chair.

The chair was solid, there were no tears in the fabric and it wasn’t even too worn.  I knew it would work for a project I had in the back of my mind for a while.  I saw this amazing pink couch a while back.  The company ( Faux Real Design Company) rents the couch out for showers, photo shoots, etc.  I could not believe it when I learned the couch had been painted.

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I have been thinking about painting furniture ever since I saw this over the top couch.  I would never in a million years want it in my house full time but what a fun piece for a photo shoot or a shower.  Ashley at Faux Real did not use the same paint I did, and her couch is frankly much softer, but after a lot of searching online I did discover you can paint fabric with latex paint and something called fabric medium.

I knew when I saw this beauty that teal would be the only thing that would make me happy.

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Teal Chair

I chose Behr Real Teal.  I bought the fabric medium at Hobby Lobby.  It is mixed one part medium to one part paint.  I bought three bottles using my 40% coupon  three times.

You mix the fabric medium to paint 1:1 and spray down the fabric  with water between each coat of pant.  I got a cheap water

I will admit that the chair looked terrible after one coat of paint.  I was a little terrified.

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The photo above is of the chair all sprayed down with water.

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The paint goes on very thin and looks very transparent on the first round. (I was more than a little worried at this point.)

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It dries more opaque, but as you can see above,  the first coat was splotchy.

It took three coats of paint to get the solid look I wanted.  I decided to go wild with the legs.  Lime green.  the guest room can handle the color because it makes sense there.

lime green legs

I also added at lime stencil to the back of the chair.

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Here is the chair in the room.

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I wouldn’t say that the finished fabric is soft, but it is no rougher than burlap of canvas.  I definitely does not feel like velvet any longer.

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See?  In this room a teal chair with lime legs doesn’t look crazy.  Right?

This is some art work in the room.

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Do you see the colors?

This year our fall dance theme was glow in the dark.  The kids designed the photo booth space and I knew exactly what it needed to add some fun…

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Yes, you can paint fabric.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

I hope you have a wonderful day.

 

Blessings,

 

Karen

The Fear of Being a One-Hit Wonder

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Okay, here is a quiz. What is Carl Douglas famous for?

How about The Knack?

Do you know what Rednex is famous for?

I will bet you know their work.

Do you remember “Everybody was Kung Foo Fighting. It was fast as lightning”?  Kung Foo Fighting was   Sung by Mr. Carl Douglas

 

How about My Sharona?  The Knack knocked that one out.

 

Rednex is famous for a song that is played at least once a night at almost every Texas bar… Cotton Eyed Joe.

After that these bands/singers either broke up, stopped singing, or just never produced another hit.  I guess it really ages me that I do remember all of them, and they were pre-music video era.

I jokingly say I am a one hit wonder, too. You see, my mudroom bench is without a doubt the single most viewed and pinned post I have ever done. All the rest of my posts combined would be about half what the other posts have been viewed. I think of the mudroom bench as my one hit wonder.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that bench.  It is the first thing I use when I walk into the house every day and my last stop on the way out the door.  But, I like other pieces I have done just as much.  They just didn’t get noticed like that one did.

I think it was the lighting in the photo I took.  We are after all visual folk.

Finished Mudroom Bench

I wonder if it would have been as popular if this was what I put out for the world to see?

The Finished Mudroom Bench

 

Here are a few of my other projects that I think get looked over.  It may have been when they were posted, how they were photographed, or maybe I really am a one hit wonder who just got lucky the one time.

western dresser

 

My Western Dresser for the lake house Bunk room.   It makes me smile when I walk in the room, still.

Finished Yellow and Grey Guestroom

 

The yellow and gray bedroom.  It all started with a table I picked up on the side of the road and a son moving out.  In case you are wondering, yes I stenciled the wall.  I still love the look.  I miss that room the most of all the rooms at the city house.

green sofa table

 

The green buffet table.  This was a thrift store dining table turned into a more narrow buffet with a reclaimed wood top.  I love this table.  Baby boy says it is his favorite piece in our house.  It is about to get an addition.  I am adding a hutch to the top for my milkglass that is about 80% complete.

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Our farmhouse table.  It has at least ten, 1-0 coats of poly on top and I am crazy about this table.  It started out life as a white tile and golden oak table and cedar siding from our lake house.  I am about to change the color of the legs so that it plays nice with the buffet and hutch.

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Finally, the second most popular post is the beverage station.  I have now made three of these with numbers four, five and six in the Garagemahal waiting for their turn.  I have made a green, bright blue and navy blue.  Soon a burnt orange, a green and a cream colored one will be done.

I love showing you all what I do and I really do value your input.  Thanks for taking time out of your busy days to see what we are up to in the country.  I hope your day is wonderful.

Blessings,

Karen

Eclectic Office Makeover Revealed

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Are you lucky enough to have a space to work in that reflects you, your personality, and makes you feel at home?  For the first time in my career, I can actually say that my office at work is a reflection of who I am, it reflects my somewhat  “off kilter” personality, and I feel at home in the space.

People don’t get too picky about what you do to a space that once was a storage room in a library.  Yep.  The sign glued to the wall outside my office says “Resource” A fancy word in a library for stuff.

Before:

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Here is a tour of my finished space:

Office makeover

The office from my doorway.

reclaimed wood wall

It took two hours to put up this reclaimed wood wall.

 

giant marquee letter on reclaimed wood wall

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Behind my desk is a giant marquee letter we created.

suitcase shelves suitcase wall

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The suitcase wall is amazing.

 

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The colors in this Mae Chevorette artwork are repeated around my office.  While the office is overall pretty neutral, I do have turquoise scattered around the room. Mainly in globes, art, my map chair (not pictured but int he corner), and printer table.

office clock

 

I bought this clock at Sears.

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My least favorite wall.    I am not in love with this particular combination. I think that very soon it will become a wall of mirrors to add light to the space. I also like the idea of being able to write on the mirrors with dry erase markers. I can use one for reminders and others for inspiring quotes.

china cabinet

 

My china cabinet serves as a bookcase.

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As principal of a school that has a focus on preparing for a four year university, I think of my office makeover as an” Oh The Places You’ll Go” office. I plan on adding maps of the cities they move off to for college and sprinkling photos of them at their colleges and universities.

I love the suitcase wall,  my reclaimed wood wall, My Marquee letter I, and my china cabinet bookcase.  If you click on the links, you can see the blog posts for the projects.

The hospital blue walls have been painted Castle Path by Behr.  It is a beige with a hint of gray in it to make it get along with the blue carpet.  I chose beige because painting my desk- which is golden oak (insert frowny face here), could not be painted. It was built by incarcerated folk in Huntsville, Texas years ago and belongs to the district. Gray would have clashed with the golden oak.

The furniture got moved around to give me more space, and the decor is a better reflection of my eclectic style and I added drop leaf kitchen table to the side wall. I can easily pull it out for meetings of up to six and it provides a place for the stuff that accumulates the rest of the time.

 

I hope you are lucky to have a space that reflects your own space whether it is modern, mid century, shabby chic, or something in between.

I would love to hear what you think of my office.

 

Blessings,

 

Karen

Headboard and Footboard into Bench

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This past winter we got busy turning several headboard/footboard units into benches.  They turned out great, but I think know I frustrated my husband with so many projects all at once…during prime fishing season.   This particular set was purchased three years ago and has hung out in the garage waiting for me to get busy.   We actually cut this one up at the same time we did the other benches but it was moved over to the “finish later” pile when I could tell I would need help moving this one around and Mr. Math was in no mood to drag it around.

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Fast forward to the end of summer.  I mean maybe it is not so fast, but forward progress none the less.  This weekend we decided to knock it out.  I call this bench our hurricane bench because it is so sturdy that the house would blow away before this beast goes anywhere.  Hubby even used a 2X12 for the front cross beam.

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The headboard and footboard are not old, in fact I would guess it is from the 90’s.  It was in rough shape when we bought it and hanging out in the Garagemahal for three years didn’t help it any.

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When I got busy on the bench the first thing I did was unscrew the wrought iron on top.  I immediately started second-guessing myself.  I wasn’t sure that the iron should go back on.  As always, I shared my angst with my Facebook friends.  They were united.  It should go back on.  More on that later.

I feel like I say this a lot, but we love our paint sprayer.  I mean LOVE it.  It makes getting paint on so fast and we have learned that we can even spray on primer.

Here are a few shots of the wood filler in the holes, the sprayer and the coming rain that kept me stressed out.

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The paint color is sea salt thanks to my Facebook friends, again.  I was torn between red, black or white.

The seat is deep.  The slats for the seats are 23 inches long and stained with Minwax Jacobean.

I knew I wanted the bench to be heavily distressed.  It turned out exactly the way I saw it in my head, in spite of the high humidity and rain showers that kept coming and going.

Here it is all finished up.

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You may notice that it does not have the iron on top.  In spite of my FB friends telling me to leave it on, it sold before I could finish it and the new owner didn’t want the iron on it.  She lives in an area that is close to the bay and since she wants it outside on her porch she was afraid it would rust.  I did take a picture of what it would have looked like with the iron in case you are wondering how it could have turned out.

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We have three more headboard sets in the Garagemahal, so I guess there are more benches in my future.

While we were spraying polyurethane, we  poly-ed a china cabinet that will be for sale soon.  It would be really cute in a nursery.china cabinet makeover china cabinet spray painting

 

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  I appreciate your comments and advice more than you will know.

 

Blessings,

 

Karen

Pulling from Pinterest to Personalize a Bathroom

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I am sure that you are tired of hearing about my bathroom, and probably wondering why in the world it is taking so long.  Well, my husband has been great about getting his part of the bathroom remodel done, but he has had to wait on me to get my parts done.  I really want my bathroom to be more of a reflection of my rustic, vintage, eclectic, style and not something that could come straight off a showroom floor.  Crazy, right?  Almost everything we are adding has been customized. What can I say?  I live in a beautiful suburban tract home.  There are at least 80 homes in this master planned neighborhood that are a version of our floor plan.   We were lucky that the original owners did spring for upgrades that some homes may not have, but they are all still options that other homes, some on my same street, may have.   I really needed one room to look like me and not “upgrade 34 in plan 27”. As usual, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration and decided that I would:

  • Refinish an oak dresser for my sink vanity so that it resembled a Restoration Hardware finish.  ( It took over a month to find the dresser I wanted. Then several weeks to perfect the finish- which I absolutely love.) (Click here to see the Pinterest dresser inspiration)
    • So far:
      • The dresser is refinished.  It looks amazing.
      • The sinks have arrived and the holes are cut in the top of the dresser.  I love the square sinks we chose.
      • The wall has been painted, the board and batten has been installed, primed and painted.
      • The new vanity will have feet so Hubby has installed tile in the open spot where there was no tile installed before.
      • The outlets were moved to accommodate the board and batten.

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Here it is being fit into the space. It literally fits like custom furniture. Hubby had to sand the edges because it was too tight after the bead oar was added.

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Before the Board and Batten                                             After

 

  • Add a chandelier.  Believe it or not, I bought the chandelier on clearance in March and it hung out in my seldom used garden tub for a while waiting for inspiration.  I liked the shape and scale for the space but it had purple and green beads with a silver metal frame.  I actually found the EXACT chandelier on Pinterest redone to look like wood and was thrilled.  It took me several days to get it painted, stained and reassembled before could get the electrician to come and squeeze into our attic to run the wires.  It is soooo very worth it.   (You can see the Pinterest inspiration here.)

wood bead look chandelier over the tub chandelier beautiful chandelier

  • Add board and batten walls to the bathroom.  Right now Hubby is 95% done with this project.  He is down to the finish work that will happen after the vanity is installed.    Thankfully the mirrors are done and waiting. (You can see the Pinterest inspiration here.)

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  • Add some sort of fun towel holders.  I settled on making this part of a door into a faux zinc hat rack that will hold towels for Hubby and for me.

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In my crazy mind, I thought that I could get more done this summer.  I did not figure in the toll that 10 hour work days takes on me or how much the heat and travel would slow everything down.  I get home from work and turn into mush.  It is frustrating to know you have projects waiting when you literally have no energy to get them done.

Still to do:

I want to add some sort of rustic art work in the bathroom or black and white photos. Still thinking on that one. ( Pinterest inspiration here.)

 

and possibly…maybe…if I can get the energy, I want to add reclaimed wood to the toilet closet in the form of an accent wall.  (Pinterest Inspiration here.)Mandy-Jean-Chic-pallet-wall-1-450x600

 

 

Easy Zinc Finish on Wood Furniture

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Type in “Zinc Finish” into Google Images and you get this set of images:

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I really like the aged metallic look that appears it has been around the block a time or two.

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Source

I like the patina colored zinc the best.

I have been looking longingly at Restoration Hardware zinc finishes. I would love to have a giant mirror like this one if it were still available and did not weigh 80 lbs:

zinc mirror

Source

 

Alas, it was not meant to be.

I started looking for options to get the look I like at a price that I could afford.  You can read about that here Getting a Zinc Finish

I read, and read, and read some more.  Then decided that there had to be an easier way.  For once, I was right.  There is a much simpler way to get the look.

This is what I used:

soft iron

and Color Smart ( Michael’s) silver metallic paint mixed with glaze.  ( I used some Behr Faux Effects Glaze I had on hand.)

craft smart silver metallic paint

I had a part of a door that we turned into a coat rack hanging out.  It was hanging out because I never really liked the finish.  It was a perfect piece to practice the process on.

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The steps were simple:

First spray paint the entire piece with the metallic paint.

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Next, paint on the glaze then rub it in.  Follow the individual boards with the direction to rub in/off the glaze.

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Spray the whole thing with a flat or satin sealer when you have the look you are going for.  Tah Dah.  Done.

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This shelf is going to be a place to hang towels in the new and improved bathroom.  Photos soon to come, I hope!

This project was super easy.  Even easier than I anticipated.

 

I used the same process on a small table and I wish I had painted the whole thing first with primer to eliminate the look of the wood grain.   I still like the table as it is, but it does not have the “made of metal” look

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I will be taking what I have learned and looking for a mirror to do in the near future. It would be super easy to do this finish on some of those cardboard letters that are in every craft shop.  They would look like expensive metal letters.   I think there is a beautiful metallic mirror in my future.

A Quick and Easy Thrift Store Chest Makeover

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If you are too busy to read my wordy post today I put a quick DIY with photos at the bottom of the page.

My brother in law and sister in law built a home recently in Durango, Colorado.

Durango Home

In case you are counting, this is home number four for them. We stayed at their vacation home in Costa Rica over spring break,

boca raca

boca raca condo

they have a beautiful, huge hilltop home in Austin that is currently for sale,

25 swiftwater

and are building a new home in one of my favorite small cities near our home in Montgomery, Texas.

Montgomery home     IMG_7396

Their plan is to live in Durango half the year and in Montgomery the other half. They rent out the Costa Rica home most of the year but visit frequently. It is a tough life, but someone has to do it.

When they moved into the home in Durango three weeks ago, they literally moved up to the 2600 sq ft home with what fit in a UHaul and their car. We arrived for a visit to find that they didn’t have things like mixing bowls, or an egg turner, or spoon rest. They have been so busy getting settled in that cooking wasn’t high on the list.  They were also a little short on furniture. They had purchased or brought beds, two couches, chairs, barstools, a dining table an outdoor bench, and a bookcase. I was proud that they had been shopping at local resale and thrift shops for items and had purchased a few accessories at the shops. I think I may be wearing them down… a little bit.

What they did not have were end tables and coffee tables in their main room or the upstairs den. We set out shopping for stuff our first day there. They took us to the shops that they like. I liked the stores, too. They were unique and interesting pieces, but wowser, the tables were very expensive. Like $900 to $1200 per table expensive. I would much rather spend that money on supplies and thrift store furniture and a whole lot more.

When I saw a little $20.00 solid pine toy chest that had several of the most unfortunate paint jobs, I knew it would work as a coffee table with some love. It was painted with a really thin blotchy black color. Someone along the way had painted it white, and there was also an attempt at painting flowers on the chest with red streaks.

The steps are simple:

Strip down to smooth, but not bare wood. Wipe it all down and get clean.  I used Lysol wipes.

This had to happen so I could knock down the thick ridges from the painted flowers. I used Citristrip on the whole thing to knock off the black layer and then focused on the flowers. (As usual, I forgot a before picture.) Here it is with the first layer off:

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Spray paint the whole chest. I sprayed the chest twice, letting it dry completely between coats. The paint color was Rustoeum Seaside.

rustoleum

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This is a project I did on the fly with very limited supplies or space. All the spray paint work was done across the street in a vacant lot because the valley where the house is located was windy and the thought of getting turquoise paint on the car or house was scary.

Not a bad view while I worked.  I understand why they have moved to Durango.

Sand away at the paint, following the wood-grain.  You will know the paint you are sanding is dry if what you are sanding off looks like chalk dust. I hand sanded using this awesome sanding block with a handle. (You can see the sander in the box to the left of the chest.)

sanding block

 

In some places go all the way to bare wood and in others go down through paint to the colors below.

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Once I was pleased with the amount of sanding, I stopped. There is no magic formula.

Once I wiped it all down again I rubbed in glaze mixed with dark brown latex paint. The gaze to paint ratio was about three parts glaze to one part paint.

I used a dampish cotton cloth to literally rub it in. It did not take very much at all with each coat.  It took two coats for me to be happy with the look.

I rubbed it down with paste wax when I was finished to give it a luster.

minwax

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Here it is finished.  I really like the look.  All in all it cost about $20.00 in supplies which were all bought at a pretty small Walmart so they are readily available.

 

Getting a Zinc Finish on Wood

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One of the metallic finishes I am interested in learning to replicate is Zinc. I came very close to painting he mirrors for the bathroom with a zinc look…but I chickened out. I like the old weathered dullish metal that looks like it has been around a while and has a story to tell but it is expensive. If you follow me on Facebook you know that this was big discussion, with strong opinions. My friends really care about my bathroom mirrors apparently. 🙂

Restoration Hardware has some beautiful tables, mirrors, and dressers in zinc. I am crushing on them and would buy one, if only I weren’t such a cheapskate.

This particular side table is $420.00

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Restoration Hardware Zinc Table
So I did what any good Pinterest follower would do, I started searching for Zinc DIY.
Here are a few results from my search:

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Source:  Lovely Crafty Home

 

I love it when someone does all the work for me!

 

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My favorite look was this from Freckled Laundry

 

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Source:  Freckled Laundry  Warning.  The videos are informative, but there are a lot of short videos and you have to watch a 30 second video for each.

While we do not have the same taste or style, the idea to use spray paint was something I wanted to try.

 

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Source Segreto Secrets
Even this fancy room got a zinc topped breakfast table using two colors of Krylon spray paint.  I have found some Rustoleum paint I plan on trying.  I am also whipping out the Rub N Buff.

I decided to start with a straight forward oak table given to me recently. It is a simple shape that will translate well with the zinc finish.  Oh, and it was FREE!  I love free.

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My plan of attack is simple:

Sand, prime, hammer in some nails around the edges, paint rub, glaze, rub some more and pray it all turns out.

If I like it I am moving on to a mirror as promised.

Wish me luck, I am going in!

Blessings,

Karen

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