Friday, December 30, 2011

Easy and Affordable DIY Table Transformation

Some of you may remember this table I shared a while back here that I found at my local DI for $15. Although it was missing it's leaf, it was in otherwise great condition for a refurb and all solid wood.

Using the same methods I shared with you HERE and HERE for sanding off the previous stain and finishes, I stripped the wood down bare on top and then wiped on several coats of Minwax Wood Finish Stain in Dark Walnut. 
After the stain had dried, I applied a few coats of Annie Sloan Soft Dark Wax.

I've had a few readers ask how to apply this stain on pieces like this where the grain meets together in the center without creating streaky lines.  Truthfully, I just use a rag and word with the grain in quarter sections at a time trying to "stay inside the lines" like I did with my first dining room table.

It takes a bit of practice and doesn't always look perfect but it looks good enough for me!  I haven't had much success in working against the grain or in perfectly straight lines that don't follow the wood.  If you've found it to work better for you another way, do share!

I've also found that even when I try to sand the tabletop down as evenly as possible, and pre-treat it with wood conditioner to prevent uneven color, sometimes the wood just takes differently.  That happened in this case and while I was so frustrated at first I eventually decided to just go with it and am so happy with the end result.  It gave it a more rustic and natural un-factory like finish.

Also, I have found that in nearly every piece I've stained that the lip below the main surface top always stains much much darker than the top.  Usually, the lip is made of MDF or similar so it absorbs the stain differently than the solid wood like maple, oak or alder does.  It doesn't bother me that it appears darker, but if it's not your thing then you may want to consider choosing a few shades lighter for the lip, or opt to paint the whole top instead of stain it.

Then, the easiest part was slabbing on a few coats of cream colored Behr Paint and Primer in One that I have on hand from one of my oops paint $5/gallon purchases.  After that dried, I glazed the nooks and crannies with a combo of Valspar's Antiquing Glaze and my Ralph Lauren Faux techniquing glaze in a cocoa color.  Lastly, I finished the apron and legs off with a few coats of poly spray for protection.  You know how I love the contrast of a dark wooden top with creamy white legs.  Sexaaaaay.

Then, I quickly beautified these cute little chairs that I recently bought from my friend's younger bro for super cheap.  Haven't all of you had a set like these in your house growing up at one point?  I know I sure did. 

Since the wood matched pretty closely to the tabletop I had just stained, I opted to keep a part of the chair in it's original finish.  I taped up the back dowels and spray painted the rest of the chair with Krylon Dual's Paint and Primer in One in cream.  (I started to paint one chair with a roller and brush using the same Behr paint I used for the table but with all the little spindles and legs, it was taking FOREVER so spray paint became my new best friend for the day).  After a few hits of sandpaper to the high points and some of my glaze concoction to the nooks and crannies, the chairs turned out like this:

Not quite like the ones you grew up with anymore, right?

So, here is how this cute little dining family of a table and 4 chairs looks together.

You don't have to have a lot of money or even a lot of talent to make a great looking dining room set.  This whole set cost me a whopping $35.  Yes, $35!  You can do it too peeps! 

I'm sharing this makeover with my friends here:  Go check them out for more inspiration!
The DIY Show Off


Domestically Speaking


Transformation Thursday

Furniture Feature Fridays



Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Very Merry (belated) Christmas

Hello, friends.  It's been a while and I apologize.  I have really milked this whole holiday vacation thing.  We were super busy up until Christmas Day with party after party, to the point that I was kind of feeling bitter about the holiday season.  Fortunately, we were able to finally stop and relax as a family on Christmas eve by spending a few nights at a condo in Park City, a local ski town near our home.  We had a blast watching movies, swimming, eating, sleeping and eating again.  Our sweet little Travis was most excited that Santa Claus found us at the condo and left him a Lightning McQueen.

I was most excited to finally relax and spend some quiet time with those I love most. 

After all that's how Christmas should be, right?  I must admit I've been pretty lazy ever since we got home.  I'm going to go ahead and enjoy that for a few more days (as should you) but I'll be back soon to share some exciting projects.

Merry Christmas, friends.



Thursday, December 8, 2011

Simple gift idea- DIY Christmas Pillow

I just finished a Christmas pillow that I just finished for a friend.  I love the way that it turned out.  My inspiration came from this fabulous Pottery Barn pillow that I stumbled upon through pinterest.  With a price tag way above my budget I decided to try and make my own version. 

I thought for about 2 minutes about cutting out a billion little felt leaves and hand stitching them on but then I remembered I am not an idiot and didn't want to spend 5 hours doing that.  *** Note to my sensitive readers- I don't think you are an idiot if you choose to go that route.  I'm a very impatient person and I would likely end up pulling my hair out and throwing a tantrum if I started a tedious project like this, so I personally would have been an idiot if I made that choice.  If you're patient enough to handle that kind of a project, my hat goes off to you.  :)  ***SOOOOO here's what I came up with instead to add a little flair and joy of my own.

Turned out pretty cute, right?  Best part about it?  My version cost about 1/10 of the PB price.

Here's what I did:

Following the same steps I shared with you in a previous post HERE, I quickly stitched an envelope pillow case out of bleached drop cloth, then using a cricuit machine, I cut out the word "joy"  on freezer paper and spray painted the stencil onto my pillow using a metallic silver paint (I prefer Rustoleum).

Last, but not least I picked up this darling rosette lace at Joann for about $5/ yard (cheaper with their 40% or 50% off coupon) and placed the lace where I wanted it creating a wreath and securing it in place with pins.  Then, I hand stitched from the back side between every rosette to secure the lace in place, and viola!  After about 30 min total, my pillow was finished and darling. 

Here she is in me living room.  I love Christmas decor that is subtle and still festive without red and green screaming in your face. 

I also made these holiday pillows for the seasonal front porch bench.

I intended to string a row of jingle bells below the "Believe" but just haven't gotten around to it yet.  Maybe I'll get off my lazy toosh and get to that.  Probably not...

Last but not least, I have to give a shout out to my new friend Ashley. She is a new reader who is also the lucky new owner of my latest Chevron chair.  I got to meet her in person last night and she was adorning me with compliments and praise left and right.  I didn't feel at all worthy for it, but she made me remember why I blog.  Thank you Ashley and all who continue to read and support this silly passion of mine.


Penny Wenny