Everything old is now old again. Wait…say what!?

So, I have heard of people using steel wool and white vinegar and have always wanted to try it. I thought to myself why not now. I had just scored this amazing buffet from craigslist. A ‘Tell City’ piece constructed of solid hard rock maple for only $55 green ones!!!! It had plenty of wear and water stains. The original stain was a bit on the orange side and wouldn’t go with my decor at all. However, the overall integrity of it was fully preserved. It was the perfect candidate for my little science experiment. Muhahahaha!!!

Now wait a ‘dawg’ gone minute, what is it?

For those of you who haven’t heard of the whole steel wool and white vinegar thing, let me break it down for ya. Basically, it’s an oxidation process that gives the wood an aged look, much like reclaimed wood. It can take on different colors depending on the type of wood used, how long it steeps for and how many times you apply it. (Mostly it takes on an ashy brown or gray look) The more tannins your wood has the more saturation you will end up with. If your wood has low tannins there are a couple tricks you can do to get a better finish. You can brew either black coffee or black tea and apply it to your wood first before your steel wool and white vinegar solution. I’ve heard the black tea gets better results. (You can do a small test application somewhere you won’t see it.)

How do I make this steel wool & white vinegar solution?

You will need a large bottle of white vinegar, a bag of very fine steel wool #0000, and an old jar with lid. Using a couple of hunks of steel wool, tear it up into small pieces, and place them into your jar. Fill your jar with white vinegar all the way up, seal your lid, and let it steep for about three or four days. Give it a little shake shake every so often. This will help speed up the process. (At this point singing Luke Bryan’s Shake it for me girl is entirely optional.) The steel wool will break down in the white vinegar and your solution will be ready to go. (*Note: You can keep the solution to reuse anywhere from 6 months to a year. However, if the mixture starts to take on a ‘rusty’ look simply dilute it with more white vinegar.)

How do I apply it?

Just like you would a wood stain. You can use an old cloth, a brush, or a sponge brush. It’s really up to you. I used an old rag for my solution. Then allow your wood to fully absorb the solution ( I only applied one coat). Lastly apply poly like you would over top of a stain (for this I used a sponge brush). Then do your happy dance! (cue Luke Bryan again!)
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What you will end up with is a beautifully aged piece that will last for years to come! I think you will agree it certainly gives the antique a rich patina. Remember, the goal is to have fun with this, enjoy yourself, all while (like ol’ Bing & Mary sang) counting your blessings! Check out my before and after pics below. Until next time….sign-off-2
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DIY: Upholstered Toy Bench

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So, it’s been a while since I’ve had a good upholstery project and anyone who knows me knows I can’t stay out of Hancock fabrics. I can’t stop it! I. Have. A. Problem. (At least I can admit it. That’s the first step, right!?….………right!?) Well at least my addiction fuels my creativity and it will yours too, I promise! In fact you should pay them a visit and see all the beautiful fabrics in the upholstery section. They always have a great sale going on and if you didn’t know they also sometimes have an extra coupon on their website you can use along with the sale price. Who else does that?! No one. Seriously, no one, because they aren’t cool. Anyway, last time I was there I found this geometric print in neutral tones that was absolutely perfect for the toy bench I was making for my son. I had checked out some well known children furniture sites and their prices were ridiculous for what they are. Sheesh! It would be cheaper to do it myself and I could decide the overall dimensions of it as well.

Getting started: What wood to use? I decided on roofing plywood for its durability and price tag. Also because I was upholstering over it and no one can see it or feel it, it doesn’t matter what it looks like. I unfortunately did not take pics or video of the cutting and assembly of my toy bench. I know bad blogger, bad! However, instead of me trying to explain this process it might be better for you to see it. So, I found a video on youtube that is really close to how I did it. You can check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uEoRb6zkTs

Upholstery: Once the box was assembled (leaving the lid off) I began upholstering it. I started by using Nu-foam which is densified batting. (This will make your bench look great and keep little ones from bonking their noggins’) At Hancock’s they have large rolls that can be cut to long lengths and go around the outside of your entire toy bench. This will leave only one seam you can hide in the back. I purchased enough to go around my toy bench and my lid. (Around 4 yards) Then using my nail gun (1/4″ crown staples) and air compressor I began stapling the foam to the bench. Begin with the end of the foam in the back center. (We’re going to wrap it around horizontally) Staple it to the back board so the staples are vertical leaving a few inches of excess foam hanging over the top and bottom of the bench. Wrap your foam horizontally around your bench and meet the other end you started with. Staple them together to create a seam. Now, you no longer have to hold it up. (Thank goodness my arms would fall off if I had to deal with that mess!) Taking the excess you left on top, fold it over the top lip of your box and staple it on the inside of your box a couple inches down. (Always work from the middle out and leave your corners for last and remember to pull your fabric/batting taunt while stapling.) Do the same for the excess on the bottom and wrap your lid using the same method.

Moving on to the fabric now, you will wrap your lid the same way you stapled the batting. Now, the box is a little different because I didn’t want to railroad my fabric. Railroading is when you turn your print so it follows a different direction. Since I wanted mine to run up the roll (vertically) like intended I would have to cut my fabric. I cut my fabric so there’d be one piece for each side. I left several inches of excess on each end of every piece. (You can always cut away fabric but you can’t add it back 😉 )  Pinning your fabric pieces end to end and sew them together. Wrap it the same way you did the batting.

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Final touches: Using a black thick finishing fabric, I applied it to the inside of the lid and box to hide the plywood. I attached them with a hot glue gun (Watch those fingers! Wow it’s HOT!!!) and crown staples. (I would recommend using an old paint stirring stick to push the fabric down when gluing. It’s long enough to reach into the box and will save your fingers from a trip to the ER.) Glue down your fabric in the bottom along the perimeter of the box, then glue up the sides, and fold your fabric under then staple to box slightly over lapping your print fabric on the upper inside. Lastly, attach lid using hinges and support arms. That’s really all there is to it. Now stuff it cram full of toys and enjoy your clean nursery!

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Leave the night on

Hey there friends!
Recently, my mama was cleaning out her basement. She came across two nightstands and gave them to me. So, I took them to see if I could do anything with them. I lovingly came to call them Oscar and Felix, which I felt was more than appropriate since the only thing this odd couple had in common was their height. Unfortunately, they didn’t really have that going for them either :/ I knew I had to marry them together with the same finish and hardware and of course solve the height problem. I just needed inspiration and whilst out shopping at  Z Gallerie I saw some amazing pieces in an metallic finish. Eureka! I loved it except I would have to tweak mine a bit to give it more of an antique look. Buzzing on my new found inspiration and caffeine I got to work!

 

I removed all of the old hardware. So long 1980’s brass! I then sanded down everything to remove the old polyurethane so my paint will properly adhere to it. To solve the height problem I decided to raise them up by using coffee table legs that you can get at any hardware store. I drilled pilot holes for them and simply screwed them in. Then I primed everything using a miraculous bonding primer by Valspar (You can find it at Lowes). This stuff is amaze balls!!! After the primer I spray painted both tables in a couple coats of metallic silver. I followed the silver up by spray painting both pieces in metallic gold. However, you don’t want to cover up the silver. So, hold the can further back until you can gently mist the furniture. This will allow the silver to show with just a hint of gold.

 

After the paint was fully dried, I applied an antique glaze by Valspar. Using very little of it on a 2″ Purdy brush I painted it on using a dabbing, up and down motion to get the texture I wanted. Do your best to keep the look uniformed all over. Once you are finished with the glaze you must allow for it to set up for 24 hrs. Although it is fully dried after that, remember it is still just a glaze and can smudge or rub off (More on this later). I felt like my pieces needed a little more visual interest. So, I found this french scroll frame that I loved online. I printed it to the size I needed. I covered it in box tape on both sides and then cut out the design using an exacto knife to create a stencil. Using some acrylic paint and a small stencil brush I dabbed it on where desired. After it was completely dry it needed protection.

 

Remember how I mentioned the glaze could smudge or rub off? Well in order to prevent that from happening I found that Valspar’s clear coat in spray paint form is key. It covers evenly with the same protection as the original poly. For this project I really wanted my antique metallic finish to POP! So, I selected a semi-gloss in my clear coat. To finish off my look I replaced the old hardware with some beautiful new ones in an heirloom silver finish. I will let the results speak for themselves. Let me know what you think and if you are trying the look for yourself and have any questions, feel free to ask! Until next time…

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Feature: Britt Shelton + A Taylor Grönkvist //DIY Industrial Bookshelf

Hi there! My husband and I recently moved from a one-bedroom apartment into a 1930’s bungalow in Nashville. We loved our first little place, but let’s be real, this extra square footage is what dreams are made of. But what … Continue reading

A tale of three tables

Once upon a time, in a not so far away living room, were three french provincial tables. Much like Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetCinderella, they too were in need of some help. They were fortunate indeed for a fairy design mother appeared and gave them each a fabulous makeover! The old finish showed years of wear and neglect. So, she sanded them down, not with her wand but with her new orbital sander. Once with a 60 grit, the second with a 100 and lastly with a 220 grit. Now feeling smooth as fine silk they received a gorgeous new coat in an exquisite pickled oak finish. To complete this magical transformation 3-4 coats of water based poly in a regal satin. Oh how they sparkled and once again shined, the tables paired not with two glass slippers but with mercury glass lamps on each side. Now this tale is over I’m sorry to say, but these three little darlings will live happily for all the rest of their days.

                                                                             ~THE END~

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Tree Whimsy

I recently went went with my husband and son to visit my family in Kentucky. We had such an amazing visit, full of adventures and even on vacation I apparently still had to take on at least one project! Haha! It came about because my parents have always wanted a tree swing. They own land that use to be farm land with some of the most beautiful trees you’ve ever seen. So, obviously they needed a swing! After scoping out the perfect tree my dad and I got to work. I dug through a pile of old wood my dad had stored away. I came across a piece that was perfect with a gorgeous knot and lots of character. We cut it down to 42″ in length giving just enough room for two, how romantic, cue the “Aww’s”. Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset
Using my dad’s router, we softened the edges all the way around on both the top and bottom of our plank. Drilling two (1″ in diameter) holes on both ends for the rope to slip through. We measured them in about two inches from the outer edge. This was pretty special because my dad and I drilled the holes using an antique hand drill that belonged to my great grandfather. After we had our holes drilled we took our router to them and softened the look of the hole openings.
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Then came the fun part! I wanted a more distressed look (I wanted it to look really old like it had been there for years). So I decided to take a chain and hammer and beat the plank to death (it’s much cheaper than therapy). I think it’s worth mentioning, when distressing wood don’t hit it too hard or it may break the plank (that may or may not have happened to me before :/ ). Next I lightly sanded down any rough areas on the plank. Gave it a two tone staining with a honey and dark mahogany and protected it with some poly. Processed with VSCOcam with b1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with b1 preset
Lastly, we strung it up by using a beautiful and simple nautical knot, finishing the look off with some poms that add just a touch of whimsy. It was such a fun project to work on and getting to do it with my dad made it even more special. Hopefully, it will be around to enjoy for years to come.Sign Off 2Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Nautical side table gets it’s sea legs

 

This week I came into possession of  a beautiful, nautical wood table just in time to refinish it for a pool house. This side table was gorgeous back in it’s day I’m sure. However, somewhere along the way it’s warm stained finish had been compromised. Since it was damaged it was a perfect opportunity for me to completely reinvent it’s look. Originally, it’s finish was dark and heavy and garnered a beautiful mural of a ship at sea. I absolutely loved the mural but unfortunately it was a veneer. Fortunately, it didn’t have any damage whatsoever. The rest of the table I had to completely sand down to remove the nicks and scrapes.

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The pool house decor and material selections were of light breezy hues you would find in the most scenic beaches. With that in mind I wanted to keep the table in line with the overall pool house design. So, I chose to give it an antiqued finish with light distressing in a silvery-minty green. I wanted it to feel light, yet still old with a story to tell. After many painting techniques I finally reached the look I was after. The only problem left to solve was the pretty mural veneer. I didn’t want anything to come along and destroy it because one nick and it would have been done for. The water based poly was plenty of protection for the table but it just wasn’t going to cut it for the veneer. After much debating I went with an epoxy resin by Famowood (The high gloss stuff they use on bar tables. One coat of it is equal to 70 coats of polyurethane!!! Sheesh!!!!) This step was extremely tricky seeing as it is extremely messy. Also I was only doing the recessed mural not the whole table top, I had to tape it off and pour the perfect amount of resin onto it so not to overfill the recessed area. ( Oh and did I mention you only have 15 minutes to work any air bubbles out of the resin? I think I was holding my breath the entire time, lol!) Luckily, my first time working with it turned out to be a success and honestly it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was gonna be. If you yourself choose to work with it pay attention to your time and don’t stress out about it. Also, remember if you do mess up it can be fixed and the wonderful people at Famowood will gladly talk you through on how to fix any mistakes.

 

I really had a lovely time refinishing this pretty little side table. It turned out better than I expected and is now ready to sail the high seas once again! I hope you enjoy this project. Remember, if you have any questions about what you see here, click on the comment icon and drop me a line. Check out the before and after pics below and as always a big thank you to my loving husband and mama’s little helper!!! Thanks for stoppin’ by!Sign Off 2

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Kitchen Fable

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Hey y’all! I’m super excited to be talking kitchen tables with you this week. Not so long ago I rescued a 1980’s solid oak corner bench kitchen table. As this craigslist find sat there looking decrepit and lonely I could hear heart wrenching Sarah Mclachlan music playing in my mind. I could feel guilt, yes guilt welling up inside of me and I knew I couldn’t leave it behind. Darn you Sarah Mclachlan! So, thanks to guilt and the flashback of caged animal commercials brought on by one, Mrs. Mclachlan’s heavenly melodic tunes, I will be proving that even a common craigslist find can transcend into something inspiring.

 Following the vision in my head I ditched the the corner seat and one of the smaller benches. (Don’t worry I didn’t really throw them out. I just used them for something else.) It was also clear that the old 80’s finish had to go! So, with belt sander in hand I worked the wood until it was smooth as silk. I stained it a beautiful hue called River Rock and protected it with a few coats of water based polyurethane. This alone already looked a thousand times better. However, I was far from finished with this piece.

 

For added comfort I upholstered both bench seats with an easy to clean faux leather. I also knew I wanted back cushions, which I achieved with the help of my dad. I didn’t want to attach back cushions permanently to the bench in case I wanted to change the look later on. So together we came up with an idea that worked out better than Ellen Degeneres’ Covergirl partnership . Using two rectangle-shapeed plywood boards I glued one piece of 3″ thick foam of the same size to each piece of plywood. Then I upholstered them using batting and the same faux leather as the seats. To attach them my dad came up with the idea of using industrial velcro. Which allows you to remove the entire back cushion to clean any spilled drink or food that might get behind it. (Refer to the diagram below to see how I upholstered the bench seating.)

 

Bench drawing

 

After my table and bench seating was complete I wanted to add a seat to either end giving an overall total seating for six. I know I could have just kept the other  bench and corner seat for maximum seating. However, I wanted to elevate the look by injecting personality and style. Adding chairs would create the perfect opportunity to do so. I acquired some beautiful antique chairs that I fully restored and upholstered in a fabric that marries together the table finish and faux leather. (You can see my whole antique chair restoration process by checking out my blog post: Vintage Dreams.)

 

To complete the look and continue the conversation between the pieces, I crafted a lumbar pillow for my the larger bench using the same fabric as my chairs. As for the details, I gave it welting, and I embroidered a capital letter “B” to give a final personal touch. In the end I achieved a high-end look that has a defined personality, and comfortable sophistication.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 

I hope this project inspires you to attempt your own makeover and if you have any questions don’t forget you can submit them by clicking on the comment icon. Be sure to check out the before and after pics below along with mama’s little helper. Thanks for stoppin’ by!

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How to get a chic sink!

So, you walk into your bathroom looking around and although the decor is indeed lovely, it happens. WAHBAM! You’re temporarily blinded! No, not by SCIENCE, but by your unsightly old vanity. It’s a doozy too with it’s outdated faucet, finish, and lack of hardware.   It’s enough to send anyone running. Ah but what to do? You don’t have the money right now to sink into a new sink!!! Relax, I’ve got ya covered.
What you will need:
Sandpaper 100 or 220 grit/Purdy paint brush/Primer paint/Paint in either Sherwin Williams Black bean or Dove gray/1 can of spray paint for metals in a brushed nickel/Water-based poly/Foam brush/Inexpensive faucet $20-$30 range in a brushed nickel finish/Hardware in brushed nickel in the $1-$2 range (this is optional if you don’t have hardware and you will need a drill)/car wax/screwdriver  *Reminder-Always wear protective eyewear and masks when dealing with paint/poly. Warning: Some old paint may contain lead. So, if your vanity has been painted do some research to make sure it’s safe to work on.

 

Let’s rock this: Begin by removing any drawers and any hardware/hinges off the drawers and cabinet doors. Remove the old faucet and pitch that sucka in the trash. Sand the entire exterior front and two sides of your wood vanity just enough for the paint to grab hold of. Sand the front sides of the drawers and cabinet doors.

 

Paint it up: Using your Purdy paint brush paint the front and two exterior sides of the vanity cabinet along with the exteriors of the drawers and cabinet doors. While thats drying take your old hinges, screws and hardware (if you have any) and lay them out on some old newspapers. Spray them with spray paint you bought specially formulated for metal application. This will give them an updated brushed nickel appearance. You will want to give them 2 thin coats and allow for drying in between. Now that your primer on your vanity, drawers and doors is dry, paint over the primer with the Sherwin Williams hue you selected. Be careful to catch any paint runs while it’s still wet with your brush. Let that dry and paint a second coat of the color. Let that dry.

 

Poly: With your cheap little foam brush go ahead and apply a thin coat of poly over your paint job. follow the directions for drying times and the recommendation for the amount of coats to apply.

 

Hardware (optional): If you are adding hardware measure and find the center of your drawer and make a mark with a pencil. Use a drill bit that is one to two sizes bigger in diameter than the screw that comes with your hardware. This will allow the shaft of the screw to easily pass through and still be small enough that the head of the screw cannot. ( Sometimes the drawers are thicker than the cabinet doors and the screws that come with the hardware aren’t long enough. No need to panic though because they sell longer ones at your local hardware store. This is a common problem.) Now that you have measured you will drill your hole and screw on your new hardware. Super easy! As for the cabinet doors obviously you want the handle on the upper corner of the opposite side of the hinges. (I usually measure down 3″ from the top for my knobs.)

 

Final touches: To perk up that old vanity top use a little carwax on it and buff it afterwards. It will bring back some of the shine and help fill in any light surface scratches. All that’s left to do is screw your hinges and doors back on, put your drawers back in, and finally install your new faucet. Remember, take your time with this and you will achieve a high end look for very little green.

 

Below are some before and after pics of a bathroom vanity I just reloved. Hope you enjoy and feel inspired!

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Chalk it up to a bad dream…..

This weeks challenge was converting a tacky vintage dresser into a more modern media console. Now, I’m sure this dresser was fine in it’s day but today it simply won’t do. I did choose it however for its fun, heavy hardware and lovely details. I feel like it has a lot of personality and spunk! Haha. I also just wanted an excuse to use some chalk paint!!!! (If you aren’t familiar with chalkboard paint, you can get it at your local Lowes and they can tint it to any hue you desire or you can invest a little more into Annie Sloan’s brand.) I know what you’re thinking but stick with me. It will leave you with a slate-looking finish that is absolutely stunning.) There really isn’t anything complicated about this process. Begin by removing the drawers from the dresser, and remove all hardware with a screwdriver. Fill any problem areas with wood putty. Once dry, a good sanding with a 100 grit will scruff it up plenty enough for the primer to stick.

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Which you guessed it is the next step. Paint the entire frame and drawer fronts with a couple coats of primer. You don’t want the wood absorbing your chalk paint. Its so much cheaper if the wood absorbs the primer. Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetWhile the primer was drying I laid my hardware out on a large piece of cardboard. I spray painted them with a special paint formulated for metal in an oil rubbed bronze finish. Then it was time to apply the chalk paint. I ended up doing two coats because I didn’t care for how it looked after just one. This is where I took a detour from what most painters do. Instead of applying soft wax I went with polyurethane instead and I’ll tell you why. Since I was intending it to be used as a media console I knew how warm blu-ray players and game systems can get. I couldn’t have it melting my wax but I still needed durability. Also, with wax you have to reapply it every few months and I don’t know about you but I ain’t got time for that! Shew! So I turned to old faithful, water-based poly. A couple of coats and voila! You can chalk that old dresser up to just a really bad dream. Enjoy the before & after pics below along with mama’s little helper!Sign Off 2photo 3-23photo 4-22Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 preset