Friday, January 10, 2014

Dreary Desk- AKA my first sale!

Last summer I was on my way home from an estate sale with my decorating guru/coworker friend, Laura. She was shopping to furnish a home she and her husband had purchased. I was on the lookout for something to paint. I am always looking for a piece of furniture that is inexpensive but interesting. I'm still working on my painting "how to's", so price is important. We stopped about a mile from home at a garage sale, and there she was...
"before" garage sale desk

This desk had been in a garage a long time! It was a real mess but I loved it. It was finished on all four sides w interesting braided trim, and I loved the hardware.I spent a good bit of time cleaning and sanding this piece.Eventually I decided to paint it the color of silly putty and stain the top. I ended up painting the top black instead because the top was too far gone to refinish. I used 2 coats of my homemade chalk paint on the body and the top w sanding after each coat.I distressed the desk a good bit to try and disguise how beat up it was. I lined the drawers w pretty paper, I waxed the entire desk w Fiddes and Sons wax, and I sprayed the hardware w spray paint to finish it up.Here she is after many many hours of work:

I've had the desk in my garage for a few months trying to decide what to do with it.I decided it was time to pass it on and make room for another project. Plus it was in the way of my husband's roadbike. I listed it on craigslist. Ugh.  Craigslist is a story for another day...Anyway, a wonderful woman came over and bought it today saying those beautiful words , "it's just what I've been looking for." Aaahhh. Plus she gave me money. Not a lot, but more than I paid for the pleasure of painting it.I liked her so much that I threw in the ugly glossy red chair from my first post for free :) Yes,it was great to get some $$ for a piece of painted furniture.

Things I learned from the dreary desk:
  • Learn to take better pictures!!
  • look a piece over carefully before buying. This one was almost too far gone!
  • craigslist buyers are very unreliable! My desk purchaser was an exception!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Drop Leaf Table

I love my drop leaf table "after" product. I found this little table at a local thrift store. I had been looking for something small to paint. I had read about chalk paint and wanted to try a homemade chalk paint recipe. I actually found a local supplier of Annie Sloan products and had gone to check it out. My biggest beef was the price. I was just getting started painting furniture and I wanted to try different colors, styles, etc. I didn't want to be stuck w a quart of 1 color and feel like I had to paint everything that 1 color. I loved the idea of chalk paint and cutting back on prep work, i.e. no oil based primer for adhesion. Anyway...I found the somewhat beat up drop leaf table at a local thrift store. 
thrift store drop leaf table

drop leaf table before

One of my boards on Pinterest is called "furniture rehab" and I've pinned lots of pics of painted furniture. I love looking through them and reading the links about how they were painted and seeing the" befores" and "afters". Anyway, I decided to try a homemade chalk paint recipe with this little table. I stripped the top of the table and gave it a good sanding and found the top to be very pretty. I stained it w a light minwax stain for starters. I cleaned the body of the table with tsp and water. Once it was dry I used my homemade chalk paint. I painted a thin coat, let it dry and lightly sanded it because it was pretty gritty. I used a tack cloth to wipe it down and painted a 2nd coat. After it was dry I lightly sanded the gritty surface again, then distressed the edges. I again wiped it w a tack cloth. The paint was dull looking. Not very pretty at all. I applied Fiddes and Sons wax, buffed it up and voila! A very cute table.

The table is smooth and has a nice sheen to it. I love this soft easy-to-use wax. I tried Minwax paste wax on another project and I think there is no comparison. I love Fiddes and Sons, both the ease and the beautiful finished product.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Mary's first furniture rehab attempt

The idea of painting furniture started with my daughter introducing me to an interesting thing called "pinterest". You have probably heard of it. And you probably joined it years before I ever found it.I became caught up in the idea of painting and rescuing old furniture. This was my first attempt at "furniture rehab" as I began to call it. I found a chair at a local thrift store for $2.50. Here are the before and after pictures. I'm not at all happy with the result but I thought I would start out honest and show the good, the bad and the ugly(this is both bad and ugly)  I now see the chair looked better before the ghastly gloss red spray paint! 

thrift store chair before

chair painted and lightly distressed, seat recovered

The redeeming factor for this chair is the cute fabric I covered the seat with.And also the fact that I have learned a lot with each piece of furniture I have painted.

Things I learned from the thrift store chair: 

  • prep is important
  • spray paint is not going to give me a quality finish
  • gloss paint is bad bad bad
  • think the piece through before you start painting!