Saturday, November 11, 2017

Faux Brick Wall

I have been in LOVE with brick walls lately. I actually dream about doing one on the largest wall of my home, sigh, but that would be a BIG job, and I'm not sure it will happen. I did, however, do a faux brick wall for staging my pieces, and I could not be happier with it!

The good news is, it was so easy, pretty inexpensive, AND you could follow the same technique to do this in your home!

So here is what I did. I bought two faux brick panels from Lowe's. Here is the link. They cost me just over $27 each. I also bought spackle, because I was going for the German Smear look. I only bought one, but had to go back later for another one. So a good rule of thumb is one for every panel. Here is the one I bought. You can buy whatever kind you like. This one is inexpensive and comes pre mixed, and even has a putty knife. So all in all, I spent about $75 on the wall.  (I also bought another panel, that looks like a  wood floor. It's awesome, here is that link if you are looking for something similar.)

The first thing I did was mount the panels to the wall. I did not worry about the seam, because I am only using this for photo staging, but, if I were to do this in my home, I would have cut the half bricks out and fit the two pieces together in a staggered pattern, being careful to leave the grout lines spaced like the rest of the bricks. This would help you get a seamless look. Since the is a garage wall, and the cement footing sticks out, I just screwed some 2x4s in to the studs of the wall, and then used my finish nailer to attach the panels to the 2x4s. at the bottom, I used some liquid nails to glue the panels to the cement.

Now it was time to begin spackling (I don't know if that's an actual word, but I don't know what else to call it...). I wanted to get the technique down before I tried to teach anyone,  and I hate climbing on a ladder, so I decided to do the top half first. It was after the top half that I ran out of spackle, so I took a break to get some, and then I got back to work. I did not know how to explain this, so I created a small video clip to provide a visual. I am very self conscious sharing this video, so please be kind! I am not a person who is comfortable on camera. You will see that it really is simple though, and hopefully this video makes you feel like you can do this on you down, because anyone can!

So, I did the whole thing. And here it is finished, with my floor panel in front of it. The seam is definitely visible, but it's fin for photos. This is why I would do it differently inside my home. 

Note: when it's all dried you will need to seal it somehow. If you don't it may become discolored, and it may begin to fall apart. Some people do a paint wash, but I didn't want to change the color, so I just sprayed mine with a clear matte sealer. This is what I used. You will want to make sure that if you use a clear sealer, it is water based. Oil based polyurethane products yellow over time.  If you don't have a sprayer, you can brush it on. I just choose fast and easy because I can. =) 

Here it is from an angle.

I was so excited, I just had to test it out. These chairs weren't quite finished (they needed cushions, obviously), but these are the first two photos I took. I love my wall! So much better than ugly garage photos! You will be seeing a lot more of this wall!

Thanks for reading! 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Deconstructed Upholstery

I got these chairs a while ago from a friend. They had belonged to his parents, and they were lovely. Just old. I have had them in my basement for well over a year, and I had wanted to send them to someone else to be upholstered.

Well, that can get expensive, and the only way to improve my own upholstery skills is to practice, right? So I went for it! I decided on the deconstructed look for two reasons. First, because I like it, and second, because it's less work. Win, win, right?

Here is what they looked like before. For some reason I can only find a photo of one. You can't see it well, but the wood was pretty beat up.

I actually started tearing the old upholstery off at one time, months ago, and then walked away from them only about 20% finished, and didn't start again for a LONG time. In my opinion, tearing down upholstery is one of the worst jobs on the planet! Thank goodness when I decided to go at it again, my husband was willing to help me. Even so, the two of us probably spent a good four hours tearing of fabric, and pulling out staples. So here they are, finally all ready to get started. Luckily, the foam and padding was in good condition, and didn't need to be replaced.

The next step was painting. I really wanted to keep some wood grain, but the wood wasn't in good enough condition to fully strip and stain. Especially the parts that used to be covered with upholstery, that would now be exposed. So, I did some really thin paint layering, and glazing. I used some washing technique, some dry brushing technique, and also some distressing, and was really pleased with the finish. You can still see some wood grains, and it looks perfect for a deconstructed chair.  I didn't actually plan to blog about this originally, so my photos are not the best, but here are the photos I took for my social media.

At this point I had to wait for my fabric and coffee sacks to be delivered, which was perfect, because it gave my finish a few days to cure before I stared upholstering. I ordered my coffee sacks from Amazon, in a variety 10 pack, and I shared the variety in a video on my instagram. If you aren't already following me there, go check it out! @sealedwithloveonsundaydrive

Once I got my fabric, I got right to work. I started with the seats.

The seats were the easiest part. At that point I forgot to take pictures until it was finished. I'm Sorry! I wish I was better about that, but I was in the zone and working toward the finish line. I can tell you that I did the coffee sacks next, and then I put the padding back on the back, and did the back. I used plain canvas for the back. Lastly, I glued thick, jute trim to finish it all off, and I love the way they turned out! 

You might be noticing my stunning staging wall! That was another recent project, and hopefully I will be blogging about it soon. Don't you love it?!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Difference a Door Can Make!

I love making subtle changes that add character to my home.  So far, our kitchen is where we have done the most customizing. We have added light fixtures, cabinet hardware, backsplash, and window trim. Hopefully I will get around to blogging about all of those, but today, I want to share my most recent, and one of my favorite updates, and that is my pantry door! Here is the kitchen right before we moved in, and now. The floor is still covered in the before photo, but nothing else changed before move in day (except appliances).

 I have known from day one that I would want to change my pantry door. I searched for months for the perfect antique door, but couldn't find anything the right size. I could have cut a door down, but with most of them, I would have been left with half a door knob hole, or something else just as weird, so I had to get creative.

I found a new, unfinished pine door on, and I knew I could work some magic. It was under $200, and only 1/4" too wide. Once it got here, it sat in my garage for at least 3 months... It's always hard to get to my own projects, because my customers come first.

I wanted my door to look old, so I got to work. So many people have since asked about the stain, so I wish I had done a tutorial, but I'll do my best to explain how I got the look.

First, I wiped the whole door down with Minwax Special Walnut Stain. Then I took both Classic Grey, and Dark Walnut, and wiped them on sporadically and blended. After letting it dry for a few days, I came out and sanded most of it off. I know that sounds weird, but It really helps with the aged look, because it looks like it's been refinished a few times. Here is how it looked at that point.
Next I wiped Special Walnut over the whole thing again. While the stain was still damp, I added a really thin paint wash with a light grey chalk paint. After that I just needed to seal it. I used Minwax water based polyacrylic.

At that point we went ahead and hung it. I knew I wanted to do an obscured glass treatment, to help hide the inside of the pantry, but figured I'd get to that gradually. I was so excited about how it changed the room, so I went ahead and shared this photo in a few of my favorite forums, and on my Facebook page, with mention that it wasn't quite finished.
I received a lot of compliments, and a lot of questions about why I didn't just want to leave the glass clear. A lot of people were unsure they liked my glass idea, and I got a lot of opinions on what I should do differently. My favorite comment was, "I highly suggest just cleaning and organizing your pantry." I had to laugh out loud. I considered my reply carefully. I could have explained to the commenter that I DO clean my pantry... a lot... but 5 people live in my home, and 3 of them are children. Honestly, if they actually make an effort to put something back in the pantry, I'm happy. I am not about to criticize how they do it. I opted to thank her for the suggestion, and tell her I hadn't considered that possibility yet! Haha! Humor in everything, right?

I did the glass treatment gradually, over a couple weeks, a pane at a time. I used a product called Gallery Glass  Window Color, by Plaid. It was easy, and fun!

Here is the door all finished!

I am so pleased with the outcome of my glass, and sure enough, the masses love it too! This time I DID  do a tutorial, and it's on my YouTube. Here is the link if you are interested. I am NOT a professional YouTuber, and it's definitely not the best tutorial you've ever seen, but I do believe you will be able to do this after watching it, and that was the goal. Enjoy! Subscribe if you want! I plan to do more!

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Paint Plug!!!

I'd like to take a moment and give a shoutout for Fairy Chalkmother's Single Step Paint!

You all know know I love me some chalk paint, and I like to give new brands a try often, to make sure I'm not missing out on something. I have a few brands that I like, but this one has definitely become my go to, and over the last couple years, it truly is the brand I use most. Here's why:

1.  I like the paint. Plain and simple. Goes on smooth, adheres well, great colors, I can spray it, etc...
2. It's local. I love to support local, made in the USA, small businesses.
3. It's convenient. There are a lot of retailers near me (and probably near you), so I can usually get my hands on what I want, really soon after I decide I want it. (I'm not the most patient when I want to start a project.) You can, however, order online if it's not local to you.
4. Last, but not least: The Fair Chalkmother, herself, is truly an awesome person! I liked her paint before I met her, but I have learned over time that she is not only talented and fun, but a very kind, generous, and giving person. Makes me want to support her business even more! All the ladies that I have purchased her paint from are pretty awesome too! It's a great little community!

You can check it out for yourself at She can even make custom colors for you!

The color pictured above is Linen. It's one of my favorites, and the one I used on my bedroom furniture. Since we are sharing, here are some pics of it in action! My dressers are linen on the body, and FCM Noble Brown on top. I love them, and get compliments on the rare occasion people see my bedroom. ;)

Monday, February 27, 2017

How to Paint Your Piano!

I have been promising more tutorials for a long time, so here they come! Bear with me though, as I am not so great at tutorials so far. Hopefully I will get better with practice!

Also, I am really going to try to keep the blog updated more frequently, however, keep in mind I am a busy mom, and my business is busier than ever. I'm sure I'm bound to fall off the blog wagon now and again. I'm sorry!

So, let's get started. This is how I refinish a piano. I have seen a lot of other tutorials, and they all do things a little differently. To each their own. My personal motto is "You will never regret doing too much prep work! You will, however, regret not prepping enough!" So, to some, my method may be a little over kill. I don't care. I want my pieces to last, regardless of what paint I use.

So, here is the lovely before of this piano. It has been in the family (my client's family) for a long time, and has taken some abuse. Mainly in the form of water rings. Kids! Use coasters AT LEAST! Haha! I say that because my kids get in trouble for this all the time! Not to worry though, this piano will be beautiful in no time!
Close up of water ring damage. 
So, first thing I do is start taking it apart. I like to disassemble the entire front, so I can get every piece fully, and also be sure to really mask off and protect the inner workings of the piano. This is a little different with each piano, but I just start by opening up the top (usually on  a hinge), and taking off one piece at a time until it's all off. As I go, I take pictures of the screws next to their holes, so I won't have any trouble putting everything back in place.

It seems like it will be easy to remember, but trust me, it can get confusing if there are a lot of screws.  If you have a magnetic dish to put the screws in, that's great! Comes in handy. If not, grab a ziplock baggy. This piano was missing a screw or two, but I found them inside the piano. Wahoo! You may find some treasures you've been missing. Most definitely some pennies! Every piano I have done has pennies! haha!

Then I remove the two outermost keys, just so I can fully paint the wood blocks next to them. Sometimes I have removed all of the keys, but I find it's unnecessary, unless the piano needs a lot of work inside there, more than the usual dust collection. The bottom piece usually pops right out, and you are done. Here it is all disassembled. The top pice is still on, just opened. I should have taken a picture closer up of the two outer keys removed, but they are off, and just laying on top of the other keys for now. This is a good time to clean up a bit. I like to blow the dust out with my air compressor, but you can vacuum. Just be CAREFUL. There are light, important things, like little felt rings, and you don't want to suck one up accidentally. ( Ahem. I may have learned from experience on my own piano...)

These are the blocks I was talking about, when I explained why I remove the outer keys. You will see the insides when you press these keys down, so i want them fully painted.

Now it's time to start taping off the insides for protection. I use paper, or plastic, or whatever I have, but I prefer paper, it's easier to work with. Make sure to mask off the wheels, and the pedals, as well as all the open parts of the piano.  (Yes, I had already masked before taking the last photo. It was kind of an after thought.)

Then I lay out all the other pieces on saw horses, or whatever I can find. 

Okay, now we are ready for the real prep work. First, sand. Yes, you have to do it! I know there are those that say you don't, but wouldn't you rather do it, than regret not doing it? Yes! So I sand everything possible with my power sander, whichever kind you have is great, and then I go back and hand sand in the details, and anywhere my power sander can't reach. I don't sand to bare wood, just give everything a good scoff, and make sure any loose finish is gone. I don't have pictures of sanding, so you'll have to take my word for it. 

Then it's time for a thorough cleaning. You can use tsp, or mineral spirits, or really any grease cutting cleaner. I opted this time to scrub it down with steel wool and a liquid deglosser. This will help with any spots that may not have been sanded as well, like in the grooves. Make sure you wear gloves meant for chemicals, or you may get burned. 

Once my deglosser was dry, I went back and wiped everything down with a wet, lint free cloth, and made sure it was all perfectly clean. Now, this next step is just preventative, because I have yet to paint a piano that doesn't have bleed through. Usually, I prime, paint, and cover any bleed through spots with shellac, but I have found that when I am painting a white tone, sometimes the shellac shows through as yellow when I distress, and I want to avoid that. S,o I am giving the whole thing a coat of shellac FIRST this time! Maybe I can save myself the bleed through. I use Kilz Primer, and it is supposed to be a stain blocking primer, but on pianos, I always have some sneak through anyway. Another reason to use shellac, is that there may be some texture variation, since there are places with bare wood (i.e. the water spots), and places with the old finish still. This will give everything an even texture before you start. It dries quickly, so you'll be able to get back to work fast.

I am using chalk paint, and I have prepped really well, so I can use primer, or not.  Chalk paint adheres really well, so I would feel fine skipping primer. However,  I am going light, and if I prime first, it will save me paint. So, time to prime! I'm going to be using my HVLP sprayer, but you can roll, or brush, or whatever you choose. Sanding between coats will help keep your finish smooth.

This is right after I sprayed the first coat of primer. It's still wet. It's important to point out that you'll need to push the pedals down while you paint the part just above them. Some pedals are taller than others, but you wan to make sure that you haven't missed any spots the pedals may be blocking. I managed to do a good job of painting my hand and my fitbit. You may want to wear gloves. ;)

Okay, after two coats of Primer, I let it sit over night and then I started painting. Unfortunately, I still had some bleed through to deal with, so I sprayed more shellac on the bleed through spots, and just continued to layer shellac and paint until I had it covered. I did two coats of paint all over, and then even more on the bleed spots. 

Once it was all painted, it was Saturday, so I let it sit until Monday, and prayed no more bleed through would come through! On Monday morning, I got right to work distressing. I like to distress all the edges and details, and really make them pop. then I just give the whole piece a nice sand with a really high grit, to make sure it's all silky smooth. Then dust. I blow all the dust off with with my air sprayer. It's fast and easy. Here are a few shots. Now It's ready to seal!

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For Sealing, Always use water based sealer for projects like this. The paints are water based, so it makes sense, but the biggest reason is that oil based will yellow. You do not want your white/cream piece to yellow, and even darker colors will change as the poly ambers.  If you like wax, you can use it. I personally don't. For this  project I used Varathane Spar Urethane. It's an outdoor water based poly.  I like outdoor because it's uv protected, and water resistant, which makes it a little more durable.

I went ahead and did 3 coats of poly, letting each coat dry a minimum of 2 hours. After that, I was done, and I let it cure over night before reassembling, and taking these beautiful photographs! (I say that with sarcasm, because these photos do not even come close to doing justice. I the lighting is bad, there are shadows, and I am clearly not a photographer! This piano really is stunning though! I swear!)

 Enjoy! Isn't it lovely? The bench is a whole different story, and I'll be saving it for another post.