Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Before and After: Peg Shelf and Side Table

Are you sick of before and afters yet? Sorry, but there are more today, and more to come later. Hang with me, okay?

This shelf was pretty nondescript when I picked it up at Idaho's Largest Garage Sale back in May. The finish was peeling and it just looked dated and tired.

After quite a bit of sanding, painting, more sanding and some new hooks, it looks totally different now.

I discovered the pretty hand painted ceramic hooks at my local Cost Plus World Market.

Aren't they pretty?

I found this table at the Garage Sale, too. It's your average, run-of-the-mill, honey oak side table with turned legs and a little drawer. Reminds me a lot of this one.

A lot of times when I'm doing furniture, I have a plan for it right away. It speaks to me right off the bat and tells me just what it wants to become. But sometimes it doesn't, and I have to wait for something to inspire me before I can work on it. This time, as has happened before, my inspiration was a can of spray paint.

This is RustOleum's "Oregano".

This table waited patiently for over four months, collecting dust in my garage. It's time finally came and it's much happier now.

Here's a closer look at my little vignette on top of the happy green table. Like my mini apothecary jar? I found it at the Bargain Center last week and was just dying to fill it with something cute.

All of these things look like they came from my back yard, but it's actually store-bought potpourri. I love that big hunk of wood in there!

Have you guys seen this stuff? It's at Michael's in the candle section and costs $7.99 per bag (unless you bring a coupon!). This is not your grandma's potpourri.

It still smells nice like traditional potpourri, but it's a lot more interesting than just a bunch of dried leaves and petals. Check this out.

Dried slices of fruit, seed pods, nuts, berries, little gourds, pine cones, raffia balls, big leaves- even an itty bitty dried pumpkin!
I counted about 8 different scented varieties of this stuff at my local Michael's. Some of them have a color scheme to go along with the scent, like the apple scented one is mostly red. There's even a blue-toned one that has seashells and drift wood in it! So if you need some interesting fillers for bowls, baskets or jars this autumn, take a trip to the craft store and see what you can find in the candle aisle.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Before and After: Ladder-Back Chair and Another Shutter

The Simply Content sale is this weekend, so I'm in high gear trying to get everything ready. My guest room is filling up with the finished items that I don't have room for in the garage. So get ready for a BUNCH of "before and after" posts!!

I picked up this chair on sale at a thrift store, but it sat for a while until I could decide what I wanted to do with it.

Inspiration struck in the spray paint aisle.

This is RustOleum's "Slate Blue". Pretty, huh?

No primer and lots of sanding bring back the nice weathered look that it had, but with some personality and color.

This next makeover is the twin to the shutter door that I posted about here. Starting off dark and dated, but with a little paint...

... now it's much more fun!

Same as the other one, I first gave it a layer of taupe paint, then applied a glossy red.

I took my friend's advice and put the spoon handle on upside down this time. I think I like it better this way.
This one will probably get a wreath tacked on as well, I just haven't had a chance to make one yet. Maybe that will be tonight's project after the kiddies are in bed.

More makeover reveals are coming, so check back soon, okay?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tutorial: Hand-painted detail, the easy way

I'll be the first one to tell you that I can't free-hand paint worth beans. Once in a while I'll try it, but I'm usually not very happy with the results. It takes patience, practice, a steady hand and skill. I really can't claim to have any of those. So when I want to add some detail to a piece, I have to kind of, um, cheat. A little bit.

Take this chair, for instance. I shared it a while ago.
It needed some more interest so I painted a bird on the back.

I DID NOT free-hand paint the bird. I traced it. I'm going to show you how I did the same thing to this shelf thingy.

Before I could paint, though, I wanted to take full advantage of the design of this shelf. I added a dowel rod to the bottom so that it could be a a shelf and a towel or blanket rack.

Now to paint the detail. First, choose your image and print it to the size you want. Then scribble all over the BACK of the design with pencil.

Turn the image face up, position it the way you want on your piece and trace it, applying plenty of pressure with your pencil.

This will transfer the graphite from the back of the paper onto your surface and give you a nice clear guide for painting.

Then it's just a matter of filling it in or tracing over the lines with paint. Erase any showing pencil marks after it's dry and you're done!

Bear with me- I had some fun dressing up this new shelf.

It'd look great in a bathroom.

Or in a kitchen.

Or anywhere just holding your treasures.

I'm linking up to Wendy's party!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Before and After: 'Tater' bin and Wooden Stool

What would you call this thing, anyway- a potato bin? I don't know. I just know that when I saw it, I knew it could be waaaay cuter.

I sanded off the paint, but it still left behind a light impression of the image. In the picture below you can faintly see the image of the basket still on the wood even after the paint is all gone.

So some major re-painting was required.

I knew I wanted to go with a country theme, so I searched the Internet for images I liked. I found several that I put together the way I wanted, then I used my trusty reverse-printer-transfer method to help me out with the hard part.

When I originally posted about this bin I thought of it as being good for holding pet food, recyclables or plastic grocery bags. But really, it could be used for just about anything now- definitely not just taters!

This next project was a simple one. I'd seen it at "the crap store" but passed it over. The next time I went back it was still there so I grabbed it and another item and only paid $2 for both.

The once-metallic-green-but-now-too-dirty-to-identify-the-color embossed vinyl covering the top was NASTY.

Once the old vinyl was off it actually didn't look too bad. Definitely an improvement already.

But I wanted to brighten it up, so Heirloom White came to the rescue.

Now, instead of rotting in the corner of a store so full of stuff and cigarette smoke that you can barely breathe, it can sit in just about any room of any home and look perfectly charming.
Breathing new life into unwanted items- that's what I'm all about here, people.