Thursday 26 December 2013

Emerald nightstands

Emerald anyone?  I love how these beauties turned out!  And I love how quick their transformation was.  You see, I am currently working on a china hutch (which will be revealed soon) which is the most time consuming project I have EVER done.  Who knew, but painting out the upper portion of a china cabinet (inside and out) by hand with a brush is tantamount to insanity! So many corners, so many edges, so many faces - so many risks of drips.

So, I needed to treat myself to an easy project, which why inbetween coats of paint on the mammoth china cabinet, I decided to do this cute pair of nightstands!

I picked them up from a neighbor who was updating their bedroom furniture.  They were pretty ugly, but I could see the possibility.  Plus, they were solid wood!

I planned to keep any imperfections straight from the start, so sanding was pretty much just a good scuff, I didn't go deep and try and remove any blemishes.  After wiping down all of the dust, I removed the cupboard doors and hardware.  I realized that they looked better without the little doors, so I just threw them away and filled the holes where the hinges had been.

I used a coat of primer tinted a similar colour, and then I used DIY chalkpaint in a custom colour.  I actually get tint directly from my paint store, and it allows me so much freedom to mix up my own colours.  For these, I started with a forest green paint.  I added a bit of white, and then I also added some turquoise tint.  I had to tweak it once between coats, but the end result is great.  They are actually more green in real life...but SADLY SANTA did not bring me that new camera for Christmas so they look a little blue as all my pictures do.  A kind reader gave me a tip on how to fine tune my settings to get my colour balance right, but I havent tried it yet.  

I lined the drawers with some trendy gray/white paper I picked up from homesense.  It adds just that little bit of detail. 

I gave a super light distressing on some of the edges.  I also glazed over the chalkpaint before I waxed.  I used a black glaze and kept it really light and worked like a lightening bolt as I didn't want it to be too heavy.  I waxed with MINWAX brown wax.  It isnt heavily pigmented so the end result is only subtle and I find I can skip the clear wax as it doesnt tend to stain the paint like some dark waxes can.

I traded out the old 80s hardware for something a bit more glamorous and chic.  Can you see me in the reflection?

And here is the before.  You can see what I mean about the cubboard doors.  They didn't do anything for the 'look' of the nightstands, so I thought they were better off in the bin!

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Just another two-toned MCM

And Voila!  Another two-toned mcm.  This piece was awesome, I loved the wood pulls that stick out at both the top and the bottom of each drawer, it doesn't come out well in the pics, but in real life they add some great visual interest.

The piece itself was in really good shape.  There were a few dings and nicks in the top and sides of the unit, so after sanding back, I filled with two coats of wood filler, sanding well after each to smooth things out.  That took care of the problem and she looked good as new!

After cleaning off the sanding dust I primed the entire body of the dresser with 2 coats of GRIPPER.  I only started using this primer recently and I really love it.  It gives fantastic coverage and has awesome adhesion. I didn't sand back to the bare wood on this one, just a good deglossing, so fortunately I didnt need to whip out the Zinsser BIN for bleed through.

The drawer facings were in great condition and they have a wonderful colour that features warm amber/reddish tones, so I just gave them a good clean and left them original.

I considered staining the legs, but opted to paint the out instead to create a sense of airiness under the dresser.   I then painted with my Dulux Diamond in Pearl (2 coats) which I custom tinted to a creamy off-white.

She turned out great and was definitely worth the drive to pick up!

Sunday 8 December 2013

Two-toned Hollywood Regency Dresser

I picked up this dresser a while ago and it has been sitting dejected in the corner of the garage ever since.  I wasn't neglecting it out of spite, it was just that I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with it.

At first I thought gray, but than I reconsidered because the wood grain was just so lovely.  I didn't want to paint out the entire thing and cover it up. 

Than I thought 'hey, how about a 2-toned!'.  But again, I didn't want to cover up that grain on the at last, after much deliberation, I decided I would do a reverse 2-tone.  I decided to paint out the drawer facings in white, and re-stain the body of the unit in dark walnut (I usually do it the opposite way).

The finish came out great.  I protected with tung oil, followed by a few coats of wipe on poly.  the result is a nice low-sheen finish.

I really love this piece, I think she looks very chic and has that great retro feel as well.

I left the inside of the cupboard original wood (it was in great condition) to tie in with the body of the dresser.

Here is the before.  She was in excellent shape.  There were divots and nics though, so it did warrant a strip and re-stain.

Ornate White Dresser

Believe it or not, I have done this exact same dresser before (here)!  About a year ago I found and fell in love with this dresser and painted it a turquoise/blue

So when I saw the same dresser again, I snapped it up super fast!

I decided to paint this one out white, which was very similar to a similar style of dresser I painted (here) which also had beautiful hardware.  I used a pure white and did many coats. I absolutely adore the vertical hardware, and the ornate raised detailing.

Getting the paint into all of that raised detailing took ALOT of work!  I think each drawer took about 8 minutes to paint per coat!  Very time consuming, but the end result looks great.

I custom added the legs, which is something I didn't do to the other version of this dresser I did.  I love the extra height it gives.  The dresser now stands at over 35" tall.  I like the extra versatility it gives, as it no longer looks only like a dresser.  It could easily be used in another room.

I used a technique on the hardware to get a pewter type of look by spray painting with silver and than glazing with black.  It contrasts nicely with the white.

Lots of pictures, I know!

There are six drawers, all very large.  I love that when they are closed you almost think they are cupboards, than you open up and go 'wow, these are drawers not cupboards!'  Very exciting.  ;)

Here is a close up of the hardware, all the blackish bits are where the glaze really got into the grooves and divots.

And of course, the before! I remembered to snap a pic.


Sunday 24 November 2013

It's Time for Another TWO-TONED MCM!

Ok, Ok.  So this is nothing new and innovative.  I know I have done this look oodles of times before, but I really do love a nice mcm dresser with a cool two-toned outfit.

I sanded, primed and painted the entire body of this beauty.  Because I virtually stripped most of it back to the wood, I had tons of bleedthrough!

I did a coat of Gripper, then a coat of clear shellac to block the bleeding.  I then did another coat of gripper, but was still having bleed through, so I then did a coat of Zinsser BIN.  I then FINALLY was able to do two coats of an off white on the sides and front, and three on the top.  

The drawer  facings got a light sand, and were then re-coated with gel stain in dark walnut.

And voila, another two-toned mcm gem!

Have a great week!

IKAT Gone Wild!

And here is my latest.  This was quite the transformation!  I was given this dresser by my next door neighbors who were moving house, and didn't quite have the energy to take this piece with them.

I picked up this great IKAT paper and knew I wanted to do a modpodge project with it.  This pine dresser was the perfect opportunity.

The IKAT pattern wasn't quite complete.  From a few feet away it just looked like polkadots.  Do I decided to use permanent marker to fill in some black ikats in the middle section. It worked great.

After sanding I primed in a similar shade of blue and I painted out the areas that would be getting modpodged white so that the paper would still be bright and not get that look like when you wear a black t-shirt under a white blouse.

Above is the pic right after I applied the paper.  It went on really great with no bubbles, and as a bonus the marker didn't smudge at all when I topcoated.

Because this was just a 'bland' pine dresser, I decided to help it have some statement by adding legs to it.  Mr Chuckles helped me with it.  It was a bit of work, but it looks so much more grand with the legs and the extra height they give.

Initially I was planning to change the hardware, but I realized after modpodging that the hole were not centered on the drawer, they sat pretty high up and the hardware I had chosen sat way too high.

I gave the piece a light distressing to make it look a tiny bit weathered, and little more whimsical.

This piece is currently for sale! Contact me if interested.


Monday 18 November 2013

Potterybarn-esq Sidetables with Chevrons

Sometimes when you just mind your own business, good things can happen! There I was, behind the wheel of the Mazda, bee-boppin' to some tunes, looking forward to a snack when I got home, when about a block away from my house I spotted a pair of wood end tables out on the curb. Just sitting there, abandoned and lonely. I saw them raise their eyebrows with hopeful longing as I drove by. Well I am a sucker for a good pout.  I promptly pulled over and gently ushered them into the hatchback.

5 seconds later I was home, and as  I unpacked them and had a little inspection and realized that someone had already gone to the trouble of stripping these down.  Remarkable that someone would go to all that effort only to later to cast them out to the curbside!

Not that Im complaining!  I set about painting them (no need to sand for once!).  I did a light gray wash, I basically just slathered the paint on and scrubbed it around really well to get a real minimal coverage.  I wanted them to look white-washed and rustic.

I painted out the little cute piece of trim in white.  Again, I kept it really rustic, I actually used a damp cloth to apply the white and just smeared it along, keeping it light and imperfect.

The tops are where the fun-factor comes in.  I used some gray and white chevron paper and modpodged it to the table tops.  It went on great, no bubbles or issues.  I personally find modpodge works better with a thicker paper.  I have used super thin paper before and it crinkled so badly.

I also find that when using modpodge it is really important to make sure that you use a good amount of modpodge.  If you apply it too thin you can't 'move' the paper around on top of it to get the perfect positioning.

On a side note, I have just down loaded the free photo editing software called 'Picasa' and really like it.  I am on the hunt for a proper dslr canon camera, but at the moment I used use my phone camera and edit the pics.  I haven't had a proper 'play' yet, but so far I really like picasa. I actually shot these pics on a super-duper gray and dreary day.  They are right beside a door, so there is some light coming in from the left, but it was not nearly as bright as it looks in the pics.  With that said, Santa, if you are reading this, feel free to stuff my stocking with a new dslr!