Sunday, November 6, 2011

New Front Door

A few weeks ago my parents took Greer and me out to dinner, first insisting that we needed to stop by Lowes.  I'm always up for a trip to a home improvement store, so there was no argument from me.  Once we arrived, the truth came out- they were surprising us with a new front door!

The old door:

Greer knew about it ahead of time but it was a surprise for me.  So we spent an hour or so picking out a door we love and all the little details about it.  We ask for it primed but not painted so we could pick our own custom color.  It was due to arrive in about 4 weeks, but it came within 2!

So last Saturday we spent some time pulling out the old door and replacing it with the new, gorgeous, window-y one.  And by "we" I mean Greer and Dad.  

The light makes such a difference in the living room and stairway corner.  

A little blurry but you get the idea.

Oh by the way, the antique record cabinet is nearly finished.  Post coming soon!


I love walking downstairs in the morning to a bright sunrise, or turning on the porch lights at night for the home-y glow to float in.

I am completely undecided on a front door color.  I would love a bold, Mediterranean blue door...

Or how about some of these.....

I dig the rosey pink but I'm not sure sure Greer will appreciate it.  I hadn't thought of lime green until my Google search for "colorful front door" but I do really like it!  It's a nice change from yellow, which I love but everyone is doing.  My challenge is figuring how to balance a bright, colorful door with a gray house with brick-colored shutters.  I wish I could wave a wand and change all the colors!

You'll have to come back to see what color we choose!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Daisy Girl Finds a Home

You may have read about a poor, homeless, giant painting of Daisy Girl (as we affectionately call her).  Greer picked her up at a thrift store with me in mind.  Daisies are a recurrent theme in my family as they were my grandmother's favorite flower and they were the flowers for my wedding

I thought the whole painting and frame were too dark to hang; I wanted something lighter.  Greer didn't want to paint the frame because a) he didn't know if it was antique and b) it would be a pain to get the painting out.

Finally, after sitting in various rooms in the house, we agreed on painting the frame. 

What a difference a light frame makes!

Participating in:
Weekend Wrap-up Party @ Tatertots and Jello

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What I've Been Up To

So I have been absent from projects lately, which I am super sad about.  Where have I been?  Locked away in libraries and my studio/office/guest room studying Anatomy!  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is the most time consuming semester, because our Anatomy course is 8 weeks, but still covers a full semester's amount of material.  What does that equal?  Incredibly stressed out OT students.

I thought I'd share a glimpse into my studying just for fun....

Drawing/mapping out arterial systems on my giant mirrors (didn't know they'd be so useful...)

Going a little crazy because of it.

Oh and this was the night my sister in NYC was seeing Pitbull in concert with my favorite Zumba peeps, Beto, Tanya & Gina.... jealous.

Group study sessions in the library with lots of caffeine.  Here we were racing to keep the exact same level of liquid.  Just for fun.

But today I took my Anatomy finals (both of them).  Let's hope I get some time back...even though we're moving on to Neuro....

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bedside Table is DONE!

Finally!  I found the time to finish the bedside table I started in August.

Okay, well I didn't "find" the time.  I ignored my studying to finish the daggone table.  Look, it had to be done.  It's been driving me crazy sitting unfinished in the living room.

Would you like to see??

Before I made this table, I was using the little guy I re-did as a bedside table.  It was crammed with everything I tried to fit on there.  I certainly needed more space.

I used Ana White's plans for Farmhouse Bedside Table and followed her plans pretty closely, making only minor adjustments suggested by my father (master carpenter extraordinaire).  You can read about my progress while making it here.

Now I have way more space and a drawer!

I love, love, love it!  I'm still deciding what to put on the bottom shelf.  Maybe some books and a decorative vase?  Or possibly baskets to hold cabooshes of things? (I just made that word up).

The hardware is antique and very pretty.  I like that it adds some curve and elegance to the otherwise box-y style of the table.  It was also free from my dad's drawer of metal drawer pulls that he stumbles across while taking down houses or dumpster diving ;)

One last shot in place....

Since Greer's side of the bed is much narrower, I plan to make the same table but half the length.  However, Greer has requested that first I make a tv console so that we can get the antique record player out of his shop (it's finished!).

Participating in:
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Masterpiece Mondays @  Boogie Board Cottage
Amaze Me Mondays @ Dittle Dattle
Furniture Feature Friday @ Miss Mustard Seed

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hoosier Cabinet Top: Strippin'

So I've inherited a Hoosier Cabinet top from my dad who was going to throw it in the dump.

Excuse me?

Thank you, Greer, for telling him to see if I wanted it first.

Is it even a question?

Anyway, I'm pretty excited to start the process of refinishing this baby.  She's not in the best shape but believe you me she is gonna look goooood by the time I'm done with her.

If you want to read about how I on ...
So the process begins (while the paint and stain dry on my Farmhouse Bedside Table) with stripping!

I was so scared of using the stripping agent the first time simply because my dad said, "If you get it on your skin, it's gonna burn like hell."  Remember that note?  Well, I was wonderfully safe about it because I still haven't had any burns and hope that good streak continues.

...haha...listen to me...stripping and streak....


I started with the doors figuring it's always nice to start with the smaller stuff so I can feel accomplished before tackling the bigger chunk. 

Before using the stripping agent, I used a paint scraper to scrape off any loose paint flakes.  You'll know when there are no more loose paint flakes because the scraper will sound like it's running across a glass plate (i.e. you will shudder).

When all/most/some of the loose stuff is off (or you can't take the noise anymore = me), don those rubber gloves and get ready for some fun!

Use a crummy old paint brush and old container (coffee can, unusable Tupperware) you can dedicate to furniture stripping.  Dump some of the stripping agent into the container and slosh the paint brush around in it. --- I prefer to err on the side of using less because I am not about to try to get the unused stripping agent back into the original tub. ---

Using the paint brush, slap the stripper onto the wood everywhere you wish to take off paint.

Give the stripping agent a few minutes for the chemicals to eat away at the paint.
Pick your paint scraper back up and just scrape away the layers of paint.  It may take a few rounds of applying the stripper and scraping to get off all of the paint.

When most of the paint is off, sand the entire thing.  I start with lower grit paper, then finish with higher grit like 300 or so to smooth everything out.

You're ready to paint!

***This should also be used with furniture that is stained because most likely it has a wax finish.  You'll need the chemicals of the stripping agent to eat away at the wax finish because paint will not stick to the wax.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Greer's Stencil

Hi friends!  I'm sorry for my lack of posts....  grad school kicked in it full force and I had two Anatomy exams this past week.  Hence, I've done nothing but study.

I did want to update that we finally hung something in our bedroom!  Greer has been working on some stellar Alice in Wonderland stencils.  I meant to put up more of them but I don't have all the pictures yet, so I'm posting my favorite.

Are you ready?

Originally he had some colored paper behind it but I prefered just glass.  At least for this room.  And it also seems more "through the looking glass" that way.

I haven't hung Daisy Girl yet because I'm not sure where to put her.  I think I've mentioned Daisy Girl, but if not.... here she is.

Greer found her in a thrift store for me and I just have no idea where to put it.  It's not quite what I was going for in our room color-wise.  I also want to paint the frame but Greer's not a fan of that, so we'll see what happens.  She's a cutie though, huh?

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Antique Record Cabinet: Primed Pink??

So Greer, the amazing love of my life, has been working every night on the antique record cabinet.  (I think it helps that I just bought him the MP3 album of Eddie Vedder's Ukelele Songs!)  He sanded and sanded.. and now priming.

I just want to say that he is using plain old white primerBull's Eye brand.. nothing special....

I thought maybe some sanding residue was causing this, but he claims to have cleaned it all first....

Say what?  Pink?  The pictures do not do this justice.

I guess this means more and more coats of primer?  We're not planning to paint this thing I'd rather not have those undertones!

Any thoughts friends??  ¿Qué pensaís?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Simple Spray Paint Projects

I snagged two little finds at a thrift store that I thought would make some fun wall hangings.  Of course I only remembered to take pictures of one... but the other is just a frame anyway.  You'll see it in the finished product photos.

You may like it the way it is and that's completely fine.  Isn't it just fun to spray paint things?  And to have a project you can finish in a day?!  That's my favorite part.

The shadow makes it a little hard to see.

I chose the ever-popular Rustoleum 2x Coverage Satin Heirloom White (couldn't find it at Lowes.. had to go to Home Depot)...

[You can see two works in progress..recycling center and end table.. oh! The frame is in the background]

And transformed the wall hanging and frame to these....

I didn't care about taking out the frame backing... a little lazy on my part but what is it hurting?

Do you have a favorite spray paint project?  I'd love to see!

Bedside Table Update

Hi friends!

If you've stopped in lately you may know I've been working on Ana White's Farmhouse Bedside Table which I am super duper excited about.  If you know me, you know that it takes weeks for me to finish a project because I am involved in so many things (grad school, grad assistantship, Zumba instructor...).  The table is so close to being finished I can smell it!  Well...actually I smelled it from the beginning.  I believe I need a face mask to work in my dad's shop....

Neither here nor there.

So I've got the drawer and table frame sanded and painted a beautiful off-white Valspar paint color called Belle Grove Antique White, one of the National Trust Historic Colors. [btw-- don't trust Lowes online paint selector...completely off when I looked up this color].  I wanted white, but not sterile white.  I picked up the paint chip, loved it, and then noticed it was Belle Grove... which is very close by to where I live (see it here).  Done and done... and I'm very happy with it!

The bottom shelf and table top are cut, glued, screwed, sanded and stained (Minwax Provincial).  All that's left with these babies is polyurethane coats and  wax finish (I use an orange-scented beeswax finish). 

Top shelf

Bottom shelf

I cannot wait to assemble this sweet thing and get it in place on my side of the bed.  I seriously need the table space, shelf and drawer like whoa.

After this project, I will have a brief furniture interlude to start on a Christmas gift for my neice.  Another Ana White plan but I'm not giving away which one just yet!  You'll have to come back and see.

Que pasa bien la semana!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Some New Projects

Yes, I know.  I have still have to put the stencil on the end table.  My bedside table is not quite complete.  Why am I taking on even more projects when I am back in school?  Taking anatomy no less.

Because this is all just so fun!

I've already mentioned I inherited the Hoosier cabinet top in my furniture stripping tutorial.  Not much news there.  Still stripping.

My wonderful father gave me and Greer an antique record cabinet that was in an old house he and Greer were taking down.  It is not in the best shape and is missing all the guts, so it isn't worth any money but it's worth loads for us.

We need someplace to put Greer's record player and store at least some of his records.  Now we have the perfect thing. 

Greer already took out what was left of the guts on top to make room for the record player.

Look at all that storage!  Records on the outside shelves because they should not be stored horizontally. 

Close up on the leftover hardware (and lack thereof).

Since I took these pictures Greer has been sanding away the original finish (he didn't feel like stripping it so we're trying to go without). 

A few things that will need to happen:
- Reattach lid with new hinges
- Replace old non-functioning wheels (or just take off)
- Fill holes from old hardware
- Replace hardware (including door hinges..they are weak)
- Install door closure magnets

I'm sure we'll find more that needs to be done while we're working on it.  That's the nature of recyclers!

Recycling Center

I am so proud of my recycling center.  I found the plans at (where else?) where it is used as a laundry basket dresser.

It's made of four peices of plywood from the dump that I shoddily spray-painted limey green.  I am so very proud of this project because I did it all. on. my. own.  (Following directions)

This includes cutting the long L-shaped aluminum rods with a hand saw and using the drill press to drill holes into them so they could be screwed into the sides.

I installed the L-rods (or whatever they are called) for the top two baskets but decided to simply rest the bottom one on the floor.

Everything with this project went fine... until I screwed the plywood together incorrectly.  I assembled it with the sides on the inside margins of the top and bottom, rather than outside margin (as seen in photos).  I was so mad I took a week off from the project.  The following Saturday and disassembled the thing, made some more cuts, reassembled and bam

Recycling center.

There's just one finishing touch that needs to happen.  The sides bow outward (I left them in the sun..don't do that) so the middle shelf is very sensitive.  It falls off the L-rod easily.

To remedy this, I plan to screw a plank across the back that will pull the bowed area inward for better support.

Hooray!  We no longer have to walk across the yard to throw recyclables into various crates.

Unrelated: Marzipan and the End Table

I love my cat.  I am just that kind of person.

She found her new favorite place white I've been storing the end table in our living room until I paint the stencil on.

Poor thing.  She'll have to say goodbye to it someday...

...but that day is not today.  I have yet to paint the stencil on... it's intimidating.  Especially since I made things harder for myself in trying to "touch up" the yellow rectangles.

My friends... don't do this.  Maybe you don't even need me to tell you this and that is fantastic.  This is a picture of primer over top of blue spots on the yellow paint that I intended to paint over and make everything nice again.


Yellow over white is not the same shade as yellow over yellow.  So I ended up priming the both dag-gone rectangles over again and putting two coats of yellow paint overtop. Again.

She knows when I do something dumb, doesn't she?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Wood Filler Mini-Tutorial

I love wood filler.  I hate holes, so I love wood filler.  It's so easy to use and after the furniture is painted, you can't even tell there was ever a hole there.  Would you like to share in my bliss?

Since my father and I recycle old wood for projects, the wood can come with nail holes and any number of "defects" (put in quotes because sometimes I like the character those "defects" give).  How we fill the holes depends on the finish for the peice.
Stain = no wood filler. 
Paint = yes wood filler.

The bedside table I've been working on has quite a few holes that have needed patching.  For once I remembered to take progressive pictures for you!  I decided I'd give you a run-down on wood filler.

Here we have pretty little bedside drawer.

It is pretty sturdily put together, not just with screws but with notches as well.  Just the same, I would rather the screw holes not show up in the finished product, especially those in front. (Can you spot them on either side of the front?)

So I grab the Elmer's wood filler to start patching things up.

Just take a little peice and start pushing it into the hole.  Make sure you cover the entire hole, putting a little extra around the edges. 

You also want to leave a small mound because it tends to shrink as it dries.

The amount of drying time depends on the size of the hole.  Small holes like these probably take about 15 minutes for drying, while larger ones can take an hour or more.  The directions on the side of the box have more advice about that.  I've left it for days, actually, because I haven't had time to get back to it.

After the filler dries, you simply sand the area so it's even with the rest of the wood.  Bam! No more hole.

Prime the project like normal and you're good to go.

If you're like me and eager to get the thing done, you may notice after a coat of primer that you missed some holes.

No worries here!  Simply repeat the same process- filling, drying, sanding.

Then give it another coat of primer and take you out of the oven 'cuz you're done!
Hope some of you found this as useful as I did.  You can also use wood filler for peices that you're refinishing, not building from scratch.

Remember- don't use wood filler if you are going to use wood stain!  It is for paint only.

Hooray for holelessness!