Monday, September 15, 2014

Antique Curio

I had a curio in my living room, that was given to me for free, by one of Brandon's uncles. It was okay, but I never loved it, and I didn't really have the stuff to fill it. I did put my china in it, but it was meant more for collectibles.

When I sold everything in my living room, I decided to sell it too, and find myself a really cool antique, to hold my collectibles instead. I LOVE antique furniture, especially buffets, hutches, and curios. I sold my curio for $100, and set the money aside to spend on the perfect antique.

Most of the pieces I found were priced well above my $100 budget, but I am patient. Then one day, I found this...

It had paint splatters, it was missing the glass, and it was really worn (or possibly chewed) at the feet, but I was in love! So, I brought it home, and brainstormed what I wanted to do.

The first thing I did was give it a thorough cleaning. Very thorough. This piece was from 1926. Who knows what kind of grime, was on there. Also, I inspected for any signs of spiders, bugs, and anything else I wouldn't want to bring in my house. This is my least favorite part. Since this piece is so old, it smelled a little musty too, so I wanted to remedy that before bringing it in as well. 

Step two, a light sanding, followed by another cleaning. I can't emphasize the importance of cleaning enough.

Once the piece was clean, it was time to take care of the smell. I use Zinsser spray Shellac any time I have smells, or bleed through. Both of which tend to be a problem with old or knotty woods. It dries quickly, and can be sanded over without unsealing. The best part is that it is clear, so you can use it between paint coats if you notice bleed through, and you don't have to completely start over with your paint coverage. I did two coats, and left it outside to dry until the smell was gone. The shellac smells very strong. Never use indoors, and wear a mask.

At this point, I moved the piece inside. It's easier for me to paint inside because I can do it while the kids are playing, and still keep an eye on them. Plus, it was so hot. I use chalk paint, which is VOC free, and safe to have in my house as well.  

I wanted the inside to be different from the outside, to make whatever is on the shelves pop. I decided to paint the shelves a lighter color, and add some fabric to the back panel. I painted the shelves and side panels first, then sealed them, so they were completely finished. I gave them a couple days to cure, so that I wouldn't mess them up when I worked on the back panel. Also, I knew the adhesive would be messy, and I wanted to be able to wipe it off the shelves and sides of the unit easily. I use a product by Shabby Paints, called Vax. It's awesome! I will do a post in the near future, where I tell you all about it, but let's get back to the fabric adhesion...

 This was not easy, and I could not have done it alone.  Brandon and I worked together. We used spray adhesive and we worked from the center, out, from top to bottom. We used a straight edge to smooth it and wedge it into the corners. Then Brandon cut the edges with a razor blade. I was too scared I would ruin it. 

With the inside complete, I was ready to paint the outside. I had decided on Annie Sloan's Duck Egg Blue because it matches pretty closely with my cute accent table that sits in the same room.

I painted two thin coats over the entire thing. Dipping my brush in water periodically, to help the paint spread smoothly and evenly. This is just a personal preference when working with chalk paint. Here is how it looked.  

I wanted it to look aged, since it is an antique, and I wanted to help the details stand out, so I went ahead and did some wet distressing, and then I sealed it with a coat of Vax, followed by a coat of Hazelnut ReVax. The revax is just a tinted Vax, that works like a glaze, but has the sealer in it, so you don't have to seal on top. Then I fnished it off with a new knob. Here is how it turned out. I absolutely love it! I still need to replace the glass eventually, but for now, it is just fine!

Friday, September 12, 2014

It All Started With Some Counter Tops...

Life really is crazy, my friends. You never know where it might take you. One day you are plugging along, doing the things you have always done, and the next day, everything can change. We have been getting really good at dealing with change around here, some good, some bad, some easy, some hard.  Maybe changing everything in our house was a subconscious choice, because I needed to feel like I had control over something, I'm not sure, but it has been fun... Mostly!

Let's backtrack a bit... Okay, more than that. Let's backtrack 5 1/2 years. This house was ugly. Especially the kitchen. Here's a pic:
We painted the walls, changed the hideous floor, and replaced the light fixtures, and eventually even got new appliances. It was much better, and I could live with it, but I HATED the counter tops. (Forgive my lack of photography skills.)

I said over, and over, that they would be the first thing to change in the future. Fast forward a few years, and they were still here, and I still hated them. Only I hated them worse than I thought. They weren't just ugly, the finish was ruined. They were permanently sticky, and stained, and hard to clean. I told Brandon it was time to get serious about changing them.  After saving for a while, and then asking for money to put towards new counter tops instead of birthday and Christmas gifts from our parents, we got new counter tops last July. Beautiful, beautiful counter tops. I BLAME THEM FOR ALL OF THIS =)
They were lovely, but suddenly, everything else was wrong. Everything was ORANGE. The oak cabinets, the counters, the back splash, the caramel colored walls, even the window valances... I couldn't take it... And it all exploded from there. We painted the cabinets, but then the walls had to go, so we painted the walls, and that meant all the rooms had to be painted, and at that point, none of the decor matched. So there you have it. Everything changed! 

Now, I feel the need to add a disclosure. I know, somebody out there is wondering what we were thinking. You know we have been struggling with unemployment over the last few years, and you might be thinking that we could not afford to re-decorate.  I want you to know that when we got started, things were fine. We had purchased the majority of the supplies when things were going well. I sold the decor I didn't want anymore, and used that money to replace it. I have gotten very good at buying used, and making it my own. You may have noticed that I have been refinishing a lot of furniture, but I can paint a lot of things. I have made some extra that way too... I am going to start using my blog to showcase some of my work, but that is for another post. The point is, you can decorate on a tight budget. In fact, I dare say, I did it for free. Even earned money along the way. You can too!

Anyway, this post is about the kitchen. The rest of the rooms will be coming soon after, since we didn't stop there. I wanted to finally share our kitchen "After" pictures, though, it is not done. Is anything ever "done" when it comes to houses? It is as close as it is going to get for a while, because I haven't found all the right things, and some of it has to be saved for. Here is a list of what we have done so far, and what I would like to do eventually:

Kitchen Project

  1. Granite Counter Tops
  2. Glass Tile Back splash
  3. Add Extra Pantry Cabinet
  4. Add Island Trim
  5. Paint and Antique Cabinets
  6. Paint Walls
  7. Trade Some Decor
  8. Crown Molding
  9. Window Treatments
  10. New Flooring
Here are the photos. I am a terrible photographer as usual, but you get the gist. I am loving the kitchen now. What a difference!

And, finally, the afters...

P.S. If you noticed the hutch by the table... It's not complete. It's one of the many projects I am working on. Can't wait to share!! Also, things are going well on the job front. We are hoping that we can finally settle in and settle into a routine. 

Thanks for reading!