Monday, April 14, 2014

Poppy Red Nightstands





I painted a pair of these nightstands in a fun poppy red color. I custom mixed the paint color using some General Finishes milk paint in Persimmon and a slight amount of Coral Crush mixed with some red latex paint I had on hand. I sanded before I began with 150 and 220 to even out the finish, fixed some trouble spots and filled the old hardware holes. Red is a color that doesn't have good coverage (or at least the red latex I mixed in didn't) so each nightstand took 4-5 coats of paint. I especially had trouble covering the previous hardware holes that I filled with wood filler- it just kept showing through! I made sure to sand with high grit sandpaper before the last coat and then after the last coat before sealing them with wax. A new silver and white pull was added and I lined the drawers with colorful paper in a funky print. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Geometric Mid Century Dresser






I love geometric designs and mid century furniture. Last year I painted a geometric nightstand and had to bring the design back for this Dixie mid century dresser. When I bought it, the finish was not in great shape. It had a lot of scratches, areas where the stain was rubbed off, dings, and just needed some love. I first painted the design on the drawer using regular Behr white paint and primer in one (straight off the shelf), Sherwin Williams Loch Blue, and General Finishes Lamp Black. It definitely takes time and patience, but it pays off! I wanted to change those pulls out since I don't think they fit the piece, but I don't know what to replace them with.

For the rest of the dresser I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to remove some of the sheen and get any gunk and years of build up off. After cleaning it off I gave it one coat of Rustoleum's Ultimate stain in Dark Walnut. I applied the stain with a staining pad then wiped it off. It just enhances the tones of the wood and makes all those surface imperfections disappear. Once it cured, I finished off the whole entire piece with General Finishes High Performance Satin Poly. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Federal Blue Milk Paint Dresser with Light Blue Knobs







This dresser is looking so great in its new blue milk paint color. I loved that it had antique charm and style while having clean lines, so it's not too girly. I chose this color because I love blue, but it's a brighter color and not as toned down and neutral as I usually go. 

Somehow I scored it at goodwill (I never seem to find anything good at thrift stores anymore) and you can check out the before on Instagram or in the Before & After section. I loved that is had that old, bumpy-crackly finish (if you've worked with old furniture you probably know what I'm talking about) and I wanted to keep that texture so I just gave it a light sanding and sealed it with Shellac to prevent any bleed through. I used 3 coats of paint and love that random variation this particular color gives. I've used it before on the Layered Blue Dresser and a small table, and each time the color slightly varies - it's awesome! It's sealed with 1 good coat of GF high performance poly and then a coat of clear wax and to finish it off I added these light blue, scalloped knobs. It's such a sweet little dresser!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

An Orange Milk Paint Dresser with Bone Knobs







I'm so happy with this piece and excited to share it with you! I've been searching for the right piece to paint orange for a while. This one was perfect because of its clean and simple lines than can take a bold color. I wrote a separate post showing the before of the dresser and the plan for it. It took a bit of prep work and I ran into some problems getting the glue off of the top after removing the veneer, but stripper and a sander got it nice and smooth. 

This dresser is painted in 4 coats of pumpkin orange milk paint. It's Sweet Pickins Milk Paint, and if you are local you can find it at Designs by Mara in Lynnwood. I went for a finish with less variation and very minimal distressing. It's sealed with a coat of General Finishes High Performance poly followed by clear wax. To finish off the look I added round bone knobs and I love their oversized look.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Grey and White Claw Foot Pedestal Coffee Table








Look how awesome those feet are! This coffee table makes such a statement, but its subdued colors lend a softer, cottage-like feel. It was originally a full sized table, but the previous owners cut down the base and screwed it together. I chose lighter colors to keep it from feeling too heavy, and the two-toned paint job gives it some separation. The whole piece was sanded, primed and then painted. The bottom is painted with multiple coats of white and the top is painted in General Finishes Seagull Grey and sealed with their high performance poly. It's far from the dark green and gold ivy look it came with when I got it, and it's ready a new home.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Removing Veneer and a Plan for a Dresser

I'm taking the plunge and painting a dresser orange. Yes, you heard that right, orange! I've been waiting a while to find the right piece, but now that I have it I'm excited to see it come together. I was set on finding a great antique or vintage dresser that wasn't super ornate and had cleaner, straight lines. I love a dresser with turned legs and carved details, but with a color like orange, I tried to find a piece that was less "girly" and could work in any space or kids room.

Update: You can see the reveal of the orange dresser here.


I picked the dresser up off of craigslist. I asked all the usual question to find out as much as I could about the piece and its condition, but when I arrived I was surprised to see the top was not in the condition I expected. It was bubbling and lifting in some areas (the center of the top). Someone has re-veneered the top in 4 section, so there were multiple seems that were now coming apart and that baby had been shellacked... and it was not done well. Even though it had problems, it still came home with me :)


Normally I stay away from pieces like this, but sometimes it's worth it. I've personally never taken off veneer, but my mom has done it before with a wet towel, kettle of hot water and an iron. To take the veneer off the top of a piece, the iron technique took almost 2 hours. I decided to try a new technique that involves a putty knife and hair dryer. That's it. 


I saw this tip from Helen of Picked & Painted when she shared it a while ago on her facebook page (go like her page!) and decided it was at least worth a try. I used a crappy old hair dryer for this, just held it over the corner for 10 seconds or so, then slid the putty knife under the layer and continued heating then sliding the putty knife, and off the first piece came. Some areas were glued better than other so it took a little bit more heat and some strength (ha!). I just kept working my way across the top. 


Once I got a section of the veneer lifted, I broke it off with the putty knife so it wasn't in the way and I could keep working. All in all it took about 20-30 minutes to do the whole entire top of the dresser. Will definitely be using this technique again. Now, just using a hair dryer worked well for me because this veneer was glue on top of old veneer and wasn't adhere super well. If I were removing veneer that is well glued, I would use a heat gun. I haven't invested in one yet because I tend to stay away from pieces that need veneer removed, but for the next piece, that will most likely be the route I go.


The top still needs to be sanded down and the rest of the piece prepped, but I'm on my way! And, here is the plan for the dresser. It's getting painted with milk paint in the color Pumpkin. I am hoping it's not a bright, bright orange, but more earthy toned. I found this dresser on pinterest from Poppyseedliving and it's for sale in her Etsy store. I love the tone of the orange paint on it, and I'm hoping for a similar color. For hardware, I'm changing out the pulls (which I do love, they just aren't part of my vision for this piece) for some large bone knobs. I'm keeping it neutral with the hardware since the color will draw so much attention.

Linking up with:

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Grey Buffet with a Green Interior




I went back and forth about painting this buffet grey because every buffet I have ever painted has been grey. There were some other color options in the mix, but grey won out and the pop of green I had considered for the piece ended up on the inside. It's painted in custom mixed color of General Finishes milk paint. It's mainly Queenstown Grey and Seagull Grey mixed with the smallest amount of Coastal Blue. I originally distressed it more that you see now, but then covered up some of the spots because that amount just isn't for me. The inside is painted with a custom mixed green to match the Anthropologie pulls I added to it and it's fun to open the door to some spring green!

Linking up with:

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Light Blue Empire Dresser with Anthropologie Knobs








I was super excited to paint this piece because I loved its shape and style to begin with and the fact that she is a mix of the federal and empire styles. Now, it had problems and currently still has a problem that I could not fix, but it is in in far better shape now than when I picked it up. The lifting veneer on top was re-glued, clamped and the missing chunks were filled multiple times and sanded smooth. I chose a light blue for the dresser instead of a darker color to keep it from being too heavy. It took some different sealers and finally Shellac to stop the bleed through, but it was worth it. It has 3 coats of a custom mixed milk paint color and some slight variation between the layers. I finished it off by lightly sanding to create an extra smooth finish, waxing and then adding new anthropologie hardware. I don't know if these will be the ones I keep on it when I sell it, but since she's staying with me for now, that will be decided on later :).

You can see the before and during photos here.

Linking up with:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Life Lately...

I'm giving you an update today on the things I have been working on and what I have been up to over the past few weeks. If you follow me on Facebook and Instagram you have probably seen lots of these.

Incase you didn't know, I'm in college (I'm a sophomore), so a lot of my time the past two weeks has been spent writing papers, studying for finals and doing projects as this quarter comes to an end. While that didn't totally keep me from furniture, it definitely did limit the amount of time I spent prepping and painting pieces. Here are some of the things I am currently working on. All of these have given me problems and are taking much longer than I anticipated, but I'm determined finish them and know they'll end up looking great.




You can read more about the mid century nightstands here. The coffee table is almost done being painted, but white paint takes so many coats and I need just one more before I seal it. My favorite piece I currently have is that federal empire dresser (first picture). It needed a bunch or prep work done because the veneer on top was peeling off and chipped in places. After glueing, clamping and filling the top, I attempted to paint it a light blue, and it had the worst bleed through, so Shellac came to the rescue!


I also have just realized that I am addicted to buying awesome hardware for furniture. I organized the stash I keep around, and then this week I ordered 4 more sets. So I'm about to have 34 more knobs added to my collection - and I am super excited!


Lastly, this week my suitcase side table competed in Better Homes and Gardens Makeover Madness, and although it did not make it to the next round, I am just grateful to be recognized and be one of the 16 projects in the contest. If you haven't checked it out, you should! There are some awesome bloggers and projects who are competing to be in the final four. 


Since I had time to work more on the dresser, I'll have that one finished up soon so you'll get to see the before and after early next week. And now that I get a bit of a break before the next quarter starts, I'll have some quality time to work on painting and finding more pieces to transform!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mid Century Nightstands Furniture Fail

Usually I have a nice before and after to share, but that's not the case today - I've got to show the bad too. I bought two mid century nightstands with awesome lines a few weeks ago and the plan was to stain the frame of them and the handles, but paint the drawers for contrast. Whoever refinished them before did not do a great job. The finish was different on each plane, and the two nightstands didn't even match that well. It think it was some sort of gel stain or a stain with the poly built in, but it hid the wood grain more than showing it off. And whatever sealer was used was drippy and someone needed glasses, because they missed some spots. Pictures don't show the real condition of these before.



I really wanted to do these justice, so I took on the job of sanding both nightstands down to raw wood in order to stain them and I am so thankful these were solid wood and didn't have a veneer. 4 hours later, (don't worry, I spaced this out over a few days) they were as good as I could get them with using an electric sander and sanding by hand. I ran home during my break between classes yesterday to give them each a coat of stain and I was excited that Spring showed up and it was almost 60 degrees.

Well, I really don't know what happened, but when I stained them, they turned into these rustic looking pieces with the most uneven finish I have ever seen. I expected the top of one of them to look a bit odd because of the funky grain the wood has, but even the areas that were totally bare and looking mighty good have weird patterns and spots that showed up when I stained. Some areas soaked in the stain a lot more than others. So, not I am left with the dilemma of what to do. I still don't want to paint them because they would be so pretty in a dark walnut stain if only the wood took the stain well. I've stained other mid century pieces, tops of dresser and drawer fronts without any problems, but this time these babies threw me for a loop.





I guess I am going to have some rustic, mid century nightstands when I'm finish only because I really don't want to paint them. Normally I can run with these problems when I run into them. Weathered, rustic wood is awesome, I just always prefer nicely stained walnut on mid century pieces. They're too nice to chuck to the curb (and I've put too much time into them), but I am tempted. Any advise or idea? I'd love to hear!
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