Friday, September 27, 2013

Sabrina's sofa table

I've been learning a lot in the last year in reference to furniture and paints and such. For example, just yesterday Marinette taught me the difference between a buffet and a sideboard. I also learned that what looks like one piece of solid cut tree might not be. It could be several pieces glued together...who knew?!?

Today I'm gonna tell you about what I've learned about paints, color in particular. 

Sabrina has this sofa table she uses on a wall that is pretty much bare... Just this wood sofa table she bought at a steal and some family portraits hanging above it.

(These photos were taken by me before I got busy working on it.)

It's a beautiful table with details to die for....did you see those legs?? Even in its original state it's a pretty table. But, like most of us women, Sabrina needed color!

I asked if I could take a sample of her inspiration color, which was a table runner made from this material

She wants the blue color for a pop of color in her living room.
Easy enough, right?
(Insert laugh out loud here)

I took the fabric to Lowe's so they could mix me up some paint this exact color. They use a machine that basically takes a picture of your sample and finds a matching color to mix. The guy was great. He mixed it up and dried the sample to show me and we compared it to the fabric.... But I knew...... Man...I just knew. It was actually too green for what Sabrina wanted. Under those fluorescent lights at Lowe's it was a perfect match! I like to take it outside, though, and see how it looks in natural light. MORE GREEN!! No, no, no, no, no!

So what do you do?? You text your client and say can you meet me at Lowe's in the morning because I'm not putting an inch of paint on this piece until you pick out a color that we both are certain you will like! I explained my dilemma to her and luckily for me she was calm about it!

At first glance this color really doesn't appear to have green in it though...the "blue" in that fabric. But when compared to color swatches that are seriously blue it really does have lots of green.

The white paper with the splotch of color on it is what the computer generated as a matching color.

So the moral of this story is that the color we have in our head doesn't always play out right in front of us! Luckily I already had a feel for the color Sabrina was looking for and I knew sage green was not in that picture! Here's what she picked out.

Yes, the lighting is a mess get the idea though!

This is the table after one coat of her color in a chalk paint mix.

And then the finished product, which is lightly distressed like she asked for, then waxed to seal the paint. The finished table:

And the table set up in her is beautiful!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Vintage record player cabinet repurpose

This is how it started.....

It's an RCA record player cabinet from 1974 (the year I was born!). The record player is we ripped that sucker out! I knew immediately when I bought it what I was gonna use it for. But what color??? Neutrals always I thought cream....

I looked around on Pinterest (my fave go to spot for inspiration!). I knew I wanted distressed, but I wanted a multi-layered color distressed look, which is totally NOT my norm.

I began with my base coat, black, I wanted some black to show through in the distressing. I used plain old black acrylic paint by brushing it on with a small paint brush here and there, just kind of randomly.

I know, it totally looks wild lol

Then some red...

Yeah...too wild, I know...
But I had big dreams for it!
I couldn't find my Vaseline so I used a bit of soft wax for the areas I wanted to distress. And then decided green was next. I mixed up some chalk paint but I was going by a recipe I found on another blog that called for Plaster of Paris. If you know Plaster of Paris like I do you know it gets very hard. Heck, it's what they used to make casts of for broken bones! The good thing is that it sticks to almost anything, so it's really handy for pieces with a glossy finish. I used half chalk, half Plaster of Paris with this in mind. 

The chalk paint without plaster feels kind of "soft". I don't know how else to describe it... But remember I said they used to make casts out of Plaster of Paris, and those things were hard as rocks! What I should have done at this point is sand the areas of the red/black I wanted to show through....notice I emphasized SHOULD have done!! I painted a similar mixture of cream chalk/plaster on top of the green instead.

I forgot to get a shot of the cream before I distressed it at all, but it was pretty thick. Now if you remember, I wanted heavy distressing with all these colors coming through. OMG...that is UGLY though!!

The paint was super hard.... I couldn't distress by hand like I normally do AT ALL. I had to get the electric sander. 

Hindsight is 20/20!!! The past is always so much clearer than the here and now, isn't it?!?
I should have gone with my gut and went back over this with a shade of green.... But I didn't. (Surprise, surprise) I used my Miss Mustard Seed Shutter Grey. Which, if you remember my "Mr. Ebert's secretary desk, it was a beautiful color. That was a darker walnut stain, though. On top of this cream, the Shutter Grey looks very baby blue!! I must make a mental note of that, and you might want to as well!

I did find my Vaseline before applying my milk paint. So I put it on the areas I wanted to show through, painted the milk paint, two coats...(letting every coat I've applied thus far dry at least 30 mins between coats, of course) then got my electric sander and here you have it:


I do have to say that I actually love it. I put on a coat of clear wax, then a coat of tinted wax that I mixed up. I keep touching it every time I walk by! I can't keep my hands off it, it's so smooth lol.

I had a totally different vision for this piece! While I do love the way it turned out, I still wish I'd gone with my gut and went with the green for the final top color....if only I had that Luckett's green milk paint...
A girl can dream, can't she??

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Michelle's table and 6 chairs

I've been working on this blog for some time...smaller jobs have come up and I've been able to do them and I've just been a blog-slacker!! No excuses, right?

Well let me tell you about this table makeover I did. The plan was to have the this table she had for about ten years go to rehab! It's just outdated and no longer fits in their taste for style. 

She wanted a black table top, and black on the seat tops (where your booty goes), and the rest an oatmeal color. But all of it would be distressed! The black will show oatmeal as the base, and vice versa. Whew. I underpriced this job!! Oh the lessons we learn!

Did you see all the spindles on those chairs??? There are actually SIX chairs to do! I don't have a paint sprayer! I paint with a good old fashioned paint hand! 

Enough about that.... Base coat first. This is just black chalk paint that I mixed up. It took a couple coats to fully cover.

And now the oatmeal. I realize in the pics it looks white, but I promise it isn't! 
Michelle uses a set of oatmeal colored plates in her every day table setting and that's the color she wanted. I think she thought I was crazy when I asked if I could take a plate! But I had a plan....

I took the plate to our local Lowe's and asked them to match the paint color. Smart, huh? It took them a couple tries, but we got an almost perfect match.

Did I tell you I DESPISE spindles now??? Haha! I hate them almost as much as cracking and peeling veneer. 

Again, I mixed up my own chalk paint with this custom color. You literally can make chalk paint using any color you can imagine! 

Oh! I almost left this part out....Vaseline! I added a touch of Vaseline after the base color dried in the places I wanted to "distress". Luckily our tastes were similar on this. I don't typically like heavy distressing. I like a "natural" distressed look. The look you get after years of owning a piece of furniture. I only added the Vaseline in places that you would assume would get the most "bangs".

I was pressed for time on this job, so I had to call on a couple of friends! They are hard at work with my favorite paint brushes! Thank you ladies!! Heather and especially Amanda were a blessing!

Am I the only person in the world who paints herself as much as the furniture??? This is typical for me!!

All six chairs are done!! Whew! Have I told you I hate spindles??? I do, indeed!

These chairs are just plain out pretty! Or as we say in the south, purdy!!

I used a sheet of sandpaper on this (or 5). I was using very cheap sandpaper, which I do NOT recommend! Splurge a little on a name brand sandpaper! Don't skimp out on this! It may be waaaay cheaper, but the aggravation isn't worth the money you're saving. The cheap sandpaper basically crumbled up on the job.

So invest in good sandpaper!

I put on a coat of Minwax polycrilic to seal the paint.

And now it's all done! It's so pretty!!

This is a pretty table and chair set now! Paired with her barn red walls this set truly stands out now! Michelle and her family are enjoying it!

I hope you like it! I did my absolute very best to take a good bit of pictures as I went on this.

Oh! Funny story! Michelle had said she wanted me to send her pictures of my progress on this set. I sent the first photos of the base coat on...she started to panic!! She thought I was confused about the color she wanted everything lol.i assured her that I was confident in how she wanted the finished look. I politely explained that this is why I don't like to give updates via photo of what I'm freaks ppl out lol.

The good news is that after asking about a million questions, I felt I had a clear vision of what she wanted! That's the most important thing.... I always ask a client to do their homework and find pictures as close as possible to how they want their finished pieces. I even ask them to show me the pictures and tell me what they like and dislike. So far this has worked really well... I've been able to ask good open ended questions and pick through their minds and thoughts to pick out the most important parts ;) 

Thank you for stopping by and happy fall y'all!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dreamy vanity redo!

A customer of mine had this adorable little vanity for her daughter that she wanted me to paint. Even in its original state it's cute as a button! It even has this cute little stool that someone already covered the seat with a more modern fabric.

Her daughter picked out a color from my previous customer, the owner of a beauty salon called Tangles in Hazelhurst, Ga. It's the color of one of the walls in the salon. Now, it's a pretty color for a salon, but I just didn't know how it would look on this vanity! Especially since her room is already hot pink and black!

Nevertheless, I got the paint, mixed it up just right for the color she wanted, and got to work. 

CRAP!! Can you see how shiny that finish is on that vanity?? I don't think that even chalk paint is gonna stick to it! People say chalk paint will stick to ANYthing, but that's not necessarily true! I've had a couple of pieces that it wouldn't stick to! 

What the heck am I gonna do?? I don't want to spend hours on hours stripping and sanding this varnish! I'd heard of a "liquid sander" but my local Lowes store had no idea what I was talking about....are you kidding me! If Lowes doesn't carry it I'm screwed!

I rode to our small town True Value hardware store and asked....they had no idea either! Omg! I'm ruined! We scanned every shelf and read every bottle and can and finally found this lifesaver!

I followed the directions on the back... Basically you just wipe it on to clean the surface, then rinse it off and it kind of "dulls" the finish. I let it dry overnight.

The surface was definitely a touch "deglossed" but I just didn't know if it was going to be enough to make my paint stick! I wish I'd have thought to take a picture to compare the finish from before to after!!

I normally mix my own chalk paint. When I first started mixing it I used Plaster of Paris. I DON'T recommend using that in regions where there's heat and high humidity!! It "beads up" way to much. Now I just use powdered chalk. Works a hundred times better! I've been told that I get the same finish with my chalk paint as those more expensive name brands. I usually just mix about 3-5 heaping teaspoons (just a cheap plastic disposable spoon) with a little water. You don't want it pasty, but you don't want it too runny...just enough to dissolve the chalk. Then I pour about a third of a quart of paint in. I just eyeball it so sometimes I have to add a little more of chalk or paint to get it to the right consistency.

But in this case I needed to make SURE the paint sticks! So I cut my normal amount of chalk and replaced part of it with my Plaster of Paris. That should do the trick!

And it did!! I painted on the first coat and here that is:

I let that dry about thirty minutes or so (chalk paint dries super fast!). I kind of "scratched" at the paint in a discreet place on the vanity to test my work....and it didn't scratch off!! YAY!!!!! 

So I painted my second and final coat. Once that dried I put the original knobs back on and hold on sweet Jesus it is pretty!!!

This was the original seat fabric on the stool, and it's going to be replaced by the customer.

Isn't she just a dreamy little vanity?? I'm pleasantly surprised with how she turned out!!
My customers daughter is one lucky little girl! For a minute it made me long for a little girl ;) 

I hope you like it!