Tag Archives: paint

It Has Got the Midas Touch- a tired chair gets a golden touch on the cheap

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It Has Got the Midas Touch- a tired chair gets a golden touch on the cheap

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I don’t know how many tired, dirty saggy chairs I have passed up while thrift shopping for my projects.  Over and over I walk-on-by because somehow I had the impression that upholstery is an expensive hobby.  Perhaps it is all the tapes, nails and underlays that I see at the upholstery store – or the $50.00/yard price tag on some of the fabrics I drool over.

This project is proof that with a little creativity, a lot of staple pulling and some clever shopping – a dusty old thrift store find can become the golden girl in your room.

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Before you begin, grab a notepad or even your camera and document how you take the chair apart. You’ll be glad you did, trust me!

There is no need to break a sweat sanding every surface – just smooth out any chips, then paint with a can of your favorite spray paint. I got started with some heavy sanding first, then decided that it really wasn’t necessary.

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Money saving tip #1: Use as much of the original foam as possible. We added a thin foam underlay and a thick quilt batting to the top of the original yellow foam. A few whip stitches keeps it all together. Or if your foam isn’t reusable, find a camping foam or foam baby mattress to upcycle

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Pick apart the original pieces to make a pattern for the new covering

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Money Saving Tip #2 – Don’t buy expensive upholstery fabric.  Look for discounted tablecloths or curtains. Or, hit your favorite vintage shop and find something fabulous.

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Add a covered button for a little style – and to secure the fabric tightly to the curved back.

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Then put it all back together – and fasten where needed.

No longer tired and saggy – this chair has got some style.

Cost for this project:

Chair: $5.00

Paint: $4.75

Foam and Batting: 10.00

Curtains for covering: $11.00

Short and Sweet and to the Point- a handsome nightstand redone

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Short and Sweet and to the Point- a handsome nightstand redone

I have big dreams- and sometimes in my excitement to fulfill them I rush into activity.  But wisdom (and I guess I am getting to the age where this word is now part of my vocabulary) tells me that slow and steady trumps instant and rushed.

Here is one of my dreams: One day, I hope to have a community space where I can share my love of creating and recreating- visions of workshops, retreats and people working on their dreams together-  my little ‘ole heart just starts a-beating!

But for now, I am preparing.. and refining.

Part of this process is found in my garage – a small workspace carved out between my stored boxes of books and camping gear.  And here I get to create beautiful things for beautiful people.


This handsome nightstand, while small in stature, makes a big statement.  It reminds me of a suave gentleman, dressed out in his best white uniform.  (Can you see it too?)

This sat for some time, dejected in my garage, a lone piece that accompanied a set I had purchased.

 With handles missing and scars born in the many moves by its previous owners who were in military service, a little attention was needed.

One day, a friend spotted this nightstand, standing under dust in the corner and asked me to bring it to life for her new home. Now I think of it as an officer and a gentleman.


I didn’t have to work wonders on this piece – it was well made.  But I did have to do some cosmetic work and I was asked to give it a mildly distressed off white finish.

The new black handle pulls were just the thing to finish of his sophisticated look.


He now serves faithfully in my friend’s beautiful room- chivalry at its best 😉
Follow my blog to keep up to date on all my latest adventures.  – and don’t forget to leave feedback! I would love to know what you think

Because the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – A Family Tree for the wall

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Because the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – A Family Tree for the wall

I grew up listening to my grandmother recount all kinds of facts about her extended family – Great Aunt So and So who loved fine china and Great Uncle So and So who grew hops out in the country.  It was a blur of names combined with interesting stories of days gone by.  These days, it is my mom who is busy researching her family tree – and she has been pretty successful.  It certainly will make passing family history down a lot easier for me (Thanks Mom!)

This year, as a little token, I decided to make Mom a little family tree for her wall.  Not generations and generations, but just her offspring – because one day we will be not just a little sapling, but a grand old oak.

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I dug into my stash of salvaged cabinet doors.

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I loved that they easily convert to a “preframed” surface just waiting for something fun.

After a quick primer coat of paint on the front and back, it was a pretty simple process. (You can totally do this!)

Here are the items that are needed to complete this project:

  • 1 salvaged cabinet door  (mine was approximately 12″ x 24″)
  • Paint brush for base coat (1 1/2″ works well)
  • White primer spray paint
  • Painters tape
  • Black chalkboard paint (or black paint with a flat finish)
  • Acrylic paint in your favorite color (for the “frame”)
  • White acrylic paint pen
  • Clear Matte finish coat

Step One:  Prepare surface by applying a thin coat of white primer spray paint to the front and back.  This makes any type of cabinet surface paint-able. Nothing is more disappointing that putting time into something to have it bubble up or slide off!)

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Step Two: Paint the frame and back. It doesn’t take much paint, so a small bottle of your favorite color purchased from a local craft supply store will give you more than enough to put down two good coats. (hint: prevent “oopsies” by taping off the “chalkboard area” with painters tape)

Step Three:  Base coat the “chalkboard”. Two coats will give you a good surface, but if you have a quality paint, one coat may just be all you need! Again, it helps to tape off the portion of the surface that you don’t want to paint – in this case, the freshly painted frame.  Make sure the paint on the frame is completely dry before you tape, or the tape may lift off the paint.

Step Four: Free hand draw, or transfer an outline of a tree.  There are many images online that work well – and you can follow a simple method such as the one used here- to transfer it onto your surface.  While you are at it, you can also free hand or transfer printed text – perhaps your family name, or “Family Tree” – or your favorite quote. (search “curly tree” for inspiration)

Step Five: Outline the transferred image with a medium tipped paint pen.  These pens work great if you are patient.  Shaking them, then pressing the tip onto a piece of scrap paper brings the paint to the tip.  Once wet, it flows pretty smoothly, giving a nice steady line. Add the names of each of the people that branch off the family “trunk” – children on the main branches, and grandchildren on the smaller branches.  Add a sweet pink heart to the trunk of the tree using either a small amount of acrylic paint, or a pink paint pen

 

Step Six: Top coat to protect the painted surface.  Make sure that your work is completely dry before application.  One or two coats of a matte finish varnish or acrylic top coat provides scratch protection as well as some moisture resistance.

Final Step: Attach hangers – such as the ones shown below –  to the back of the plaque.

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Display your Family Tree with pride, because one day, your great-great grandchildren will thank you!

Little touches that take up big space- Guest Room Wall Art

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Little touches that take up big space- Guest Room Wall Art

My husband has a favorite hotel. It’s one where he stayed many times when he traveled for business. When he arrives, they speak to him as if they know him personally; the cook at breakfast remembers the way he likes his eggs; and when he walks into his room, he is greeted with not only a comfortable bed and chair, but a little box containing some refreshment and a newspaper.

Now that my children are (mostly) grown, I have a guest room! This brings me all kinds of happiness because I love having guests. It is important that they feel welcomed and a part of our family.  And it’s the little things that makes this happen.

One little touch I made for this room- that actually takes up quite a bit of space, is the wall art I made for above the bed.

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The process wasn’t too complicated at all and required minimal artistic effort.

First, I cut 4 boards to the same length. I have to confess – I’m “that lady”  who approached the work crews who were working on installing new siding to several houses in our neighborhood. Those long pallets were just so appealing! 20131104_143756

After sanding them smooth, I screwed a brace across the pieces to join them together. Depending on how long the boards are, a few may be required to hold it together firmly. All the nail holes and chipped edges added to the rustic carefree feeling I wanted for this sign.

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Next, a base coat of my favorite DIY chalk paint was applied. A light sanding makes the finish so smooth.

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The wording looks great and is so simple to do, thanks to my computer. I simply printed the letters out on my pc, and using transfer paper, traced the outline onto the boards. Once painted in, there it was! Beautiful text!                                           (Here is a helpful hint: outline your text with a paint marker for a smooth clean edged  letter). 

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Like the nightstand I painted for this room, I wanted to give it a slightly aged look, so I dry brushed and rubbed a stain into the nooks and crannies.

As a final touch to compliment my sentiment on the sign, I painted a sleeping bluebird and wrote out a favorite verse. 20131111_125209

To finish the sign, I rubbed it down with finishing wax and added some saw toothed hangers to the back.

A sweet sentiment which now defines the room as a place of rest.

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What do you think?

Once more a princess – the Cinderella table project

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Don’t you just love a happy ending?  One where the forgotten maiden, dressed in dust and rags, has her true beauty revealed and then goes on to live happily ever after?

I almost walked away from this little table. I found it advertised online.  The photos were cleverly taken to mask her true state.  When I arrived to pick her up, my heart dropped a little.  Her drawer was chipped and stuck, her leg was loose and she was covered in 3 colors of chipped, weather beaten paint.

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But looking at her a second time, I could see something beyond that – her graceful curve, the regal smooth top.  And I wondered…just wondered…if there was hope that she could be saved.  So I brought her home.

It took a little while to gather up the courage to begin stripping away all that nasty ivory, gold and black paint.  After struggling with scraping and sanding, my daughter encouraged me to get some stripper.  What a difference!  I found this product at our local DIY store and got busy.    (this is not an affiliate link – I just love this product!)

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and this is what wonder it made:

 

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(immediately after application and after it did its magic)

After removing all the goo – I finally began to see what a beautiful little table she was

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A little repair work, some sanding, paint and stain and there she was!  Here regal top had a beautiful grain, and her pedestal and legs got the attention they deserved.

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And she lives happily ever after with her new owner in a beautiful guest room palace.

I love to hear your comments – what do you think?

The Monster in the Room – An Ugly Bookshelf Made New

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The Monster in the Room – An Ugly Bookshelf Made New

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Years ago, we picked up a second hand bookshelf for my son’s room.  It was to be a rough and tumble catch-all for his collections of model cars, magazines and the occasional forgotten empty dish.  It was not a prized piece – particularly after a pen leaked all over the top.  It looked so much like a grumpy old monster – it just needed some eyes…and an encouraging thumbs upbookcase top

Now that my son is grown, this poor shelf has become the unwanted eye-sore in every room I’ve tried to place it (read: none of the rest of the family wanted it either).  So, it ended up in my room…and was crying to be redone.

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Now the monster is a princess – all the sanding, trimming, painting and aging has paid off – and this might just be worth hanging on to for a while longer.

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