Tuesday, February 28, 2012

BlogHer Winter Home Projects Program: 3 Wood Working Skills Every Girl Needs

If there’s anything I’ve learned over the past year of professional furniture up-cycling, it’s that MOST of the work in creating a beautiful piece of painted furniture happens long before you crack open a can of paint.

What? You mean I can’t just slap on a coat of semi-gloss and expect to see a Pottery Barn finish? Well, if you’re extremely lucky maybe, but let’s face it -- most of us are redoing furniture because we’re trying to use our creative skills to save a dime. We want the look, but not at the price. Slapping on paint without doing your homework ends up looking like . . . well, like you slapped on paint. You get the idea.
So here’s a little tutorial to help you get the skills to make furniture rebuilding and mending easy and professional.
Sorry, I’ll apologize in advance. You’ll never be able to buy a new piece of furniture again.
Welcome to world of “hum, I think I can build that better . . .”
It’s the planet right next to “hum, I think this recipe would be better if I just added this . . . “ Which is of course in the solar system of “Oh, well I can just make that . . .”
Here’s my before pic of a little volunteer dresser.

Looks cute, right? Well, it was not really the quality I put in my store. Parts were sound, but the drawer bottoms were broken and the back was a cardboard replacement. Well, I’m gonna show you how to turn this candidate for the local dump into a cute storage, shabby chic shelf.
Let er’ rip! I stripped the back off with a hammer claw and ditched the drawers, except for the one that had a nice bottom. I used that same hammer to bang out the side, front and back cleats - the pieces of wood holding up the drawers. I cut two pieces of ¾” hardwood plywood for the new drawer shelves. No, table saw work is not the skill I’m talking about, I have Home Depot cut this wood for me.

Skill 1:
Clamp, Glue, and Screw.
90% of the furniture fixes I do require clamps and a drill, so these are great investments for any novice furniture repairer.

Why am I not just nailing it together? Yeah, right. I might get one nail in straight -- after I spend 15 minutes driving them in crooked. For this project I needed to attach the new shelves to the existing cleats. I applied a thin layer of wood glue to the cleat, clamped the plywood and cleat together, and used 1 ½” screws in 6 spots. The clamps make this job soooooo much easier since everything holds in place while I put the screw in. The glue will ensure a quality connection.
Skill 2:
Counter sinking screw holes.
Ok, not a biggy, but really if you want a professional finish you need to recess your screws just a bit so that you can hide them with wood filler. There are two ways to do this. One, just buy a drill bit for counter sinking screws. Use this before you drill for your screw and it makes a nice big well for your screw to hide in. See the photo below.
Two, drill your screw hole as you normally would. Then using a bit slightly larger than the head of your screw, drill down just ¼” to create a little well for your screw.

Skill 3:
Wood fill your holes, dings, ouchies, and boo boos.
I tell all my students: "Paint doesn’t hide, it highlights!" If you can feel it before it’s painted, you’ll be able to see it once it’s painted.
Since wood filler shrinks while drying, overfill your hole. This first application really needs to dry at least 2 hours if it’s thick.
Next, sand it down with 120 sandpaper till it’s smooth. The next step is critical.
Don’t skip the second layer of wood filler.
Apply another layer of wood filler with a putty knife to ensure a smooth finish.
Allow the filler to dry completely and sand with 220 sandpaper until you cannot see or feel a ridge. See the photo below -- look at the left side where the wood filler almost seems transparent. Like that.

I added wood fencing to the back for a rustic effect, and it turned out perfectly. A friend took the piece to her store to be a cash register stand.

I painted the entire piece in a color called French Linen, and the trim in Old Ochre. A coat of poly seals it all and new knobs on the bottom drawer add a bit of pizazz.

Some wood lathes worked perfectly as trim.

And there you go! Gotta love a dresser with a new lease on life. Have fun projecting!
Thanks for stopping by!
All posts in the BlogHer Winter Home Projects program are 100% editorial content presented by a participating sponsor. Our advertisers do not produce the content. This post is made possible by Home Depot and BlogHer.
Furniture Feature Fridays

Monday, February 27, 2012

For the Love of Drop Center Vanities

We fawn, we gush, we reminice in the golden days of yore. We see ourselves sitting there at our vintage vanities in satin robes with jewels and soft flowing hair just like a movie starlet from the 1930's.

But in reality, we want somewhere to put our lap tops and printers.

Ok, I know we all love them.

We also have no idea what to do with them! Yeap, I'm talking about drop center vanities. Unless you can get a chair under the center so we can use it as a desk, it's really just a 'pretty' piece, not necessarily 'useful'.

On the other hand, we all need side tables right?? Voila! Problem solved! Ok, I know some of you are going to start sending me hate mail--but really, unless it's a "real" antique, in fantasic condition, I am totally an advocate of making furiture something loved AND used, not just loved and sitting in the basement of grandma's house.
This little gal started as a low center vanity with a full oval mirror. The mirror will still find new life after some veneer repair.

Sorry, no before pic. After 2 hours, 2 computers, 2 hard drives, I've given up on finding the before pics!!

Lot's of wood filler and a coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Country Grey and clear wax later:
You can see on this angled shot both the original outside on the top side table, and the bottom inside on the bottom side table. I was lucky and on this set the center pulled out easily and I only had  bit of wood filler work to do.

 Remember--two rounds of wood filler for a smooth finish!

Thanks for Stopping by!

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Magnetic Chalkboards

Here's a fun Annie Sloan Chalk Paint project!
  We had sheet metal cut to size for our picture frames.

Then we painted the sheet metal with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite--3 smooth coats.

The edges were painted in Emperor's Silk Red with clear and Dark wax and Barcelona Orange with clear and dark wax.  So easy and soo fun!

And just to save you the $20--magnetic paint hasn't worked in my experience. That's why we've gone to sheet metal. 

Thanks for stopping by!


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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Graphite and French Linen Buffet

Here's one of my favorite pieces so far, and wouldn't you know it . . . I only had my camera phone and the worst lighting possible to gets photos!! So, I'm afraid these aren't the best photos, but I think you'll catch a glimmer of the prettiness of this piece . . .

 Painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint 3/4 Graphite 1/4 French Linen and heavily distressed back to highlight the original dark wood stain.
I then added 3 coats of dark wax, dry brushing the wax for a heavily antiqued look.  Not sure if that makes sense--but I WANTED to see the dark wax variegated, not completed smooth. I felt this added extra texture and depth to the final finish.

This was a custom order, and so it is not for sale.

Check out our Facebook Contest and also my March class schedule is up on the side bar---

Thanks for stopping by!
Furniture Feature Fridays

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tutorial: Sprayed Bronze Black Drawer Pulls

Hey, I actually remembered to get photos for a tutorial!! Wahoo, miracles happen!

So here is a little tutorial for upcycling your exisiting drawer pulls with spray paint. It's pretty durable and a fun way to update old, dated drawer pulls.

And BTW--I just realized I used all Krylon products for this tutorial--just by chance, I'm not being paid or anything, and i I do use lots of different sprays. I guess this just happens to be what I had around at the moment!

 Lay out your drawer pulls upside down, or as close as you can get.  Always start your knobs upside down.

Ok, anyone see the headache  about to happen in this photo??

 Yeah, ok, TAKE out the screws so you can flip them upright for the second coat. Now we're ready for the primer.

 I use a metal primer for metal pulls. If they were wood I would use odorless, oil based Kilz spray.

Once the bottom is sprayed and dry, flip them over to do the top.

Ok, top done!
Remember, primer is just a sticking coat, not a coverage coat, so it's ok if it doesn't seem solid.

 Now on to the pretty coat. I like Krylon's Oil Rubbed Bronze spray because it's more subtle than other bronzed black sprays, but you can use whatever color you like.
 Again--flip your knobs over to do the bottoms first so you don't miss any spots or ding up the pretty side by doing it first and then having to flip it over. Your goal is to not have to touch the knobs at all once you spray them do you don't chance putting dings or fingerprints on them.
 And spray with 2 coats of spray paint. Once they're dry, flip and do the tops. 
 oooh, close up.

And on the dreseser:

This cute little 10 drawer dresser is painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Emperor's Silk and then Clear Waxed and Dark Wax Glazed (Dark wax with mineral spirits).  It is a custom order and not for sale.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

yeah! I'm back!!

OK, so my computer has been rebelling lately, and it locked me out of my blog for 4 days! Turns out I picked up a virus somewhere . . . Yuck!

Well, for my welcome back party I have a pretty little nursery makeover done for momma to be . . . sorry for the not amazing back drop, but sometimes you just gotta work with what you have!

Painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
1/2 Old White, 1/2 Pure White. 

 Makes me almost want to have another baby . . .

Yeah . . .  NO.

My little squishy might be growing up, but he still fills these arms!

 I'll just hold yours, k? ;P

On to news for locals:

Tons of treasures in the shop marked down on sale, so if you've been waiting, now in the time! ;) Check out the Finished Pieces Button.

Also, I still have spaces in my Annie Sloan Workshops this month!  See the side panel for the calendar.

Buy One, Get one half off special on workshops throughout the month!

Thanks for stopping by,

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Suede Finish Boy's Dresser

 Lately I have been absolutely addicted to creating a soft, suede finish with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

It doesn't just looke like suede, but the texture is absolutly scrumptious as well! 

 This is accomplished with a tinted wax finish and no buffing. Most Annie Sloan Stockists offer classes on these advanced techniques, so I won't go into too much detail. 

But wow! Love, love this look!

Top stain was Kona by Rustoleum, wiped back as much as possible. With 3 coats of Rustoleum Matte finish poly. This is going to be a changing table, we were going for super scrubability.

Bottom was Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Aubusson Blue with Old White Tinted wax finish. Not buffed at all to preserve the matte, suede feel and look.
 This is for a little boy's nursery. I think it almost looks like denim.

This was a custom order, ergo it is not for sale. 

But I can always make one Just for YOU. ;)

Thanks for stopping by! Jessica

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