May 30, 2012

Pretty Little Aqua Dresser

Well, we're still working on the deck and we're almost ready to sand it, power wash it, then paint it with the product Deck Restore. I think we're going to get it from Ace Hardware instead of Home Depot, it would just be nice to have a worker to talk to about it before getting started, and Ace is better with that. :)

But in the mean time here's a little project I worked on a few weeks ago. A piece of furniture for another niece! This time my crazy, funny, talented niece, Ali :)

This was a beautiful piece of furniture to begin with. I didn't get the before picture until after I had removed the old hardware and sanded the whole thing down of course ;)

My niece's bedroom is very colorful and she wanted this to match her aqua curtains so I decided to use latex paint this time. I sanded lightly and then rolled on two coats of primer. I like to use those little foam rollers just like this one. Sorry I don't have a picture!! They work really well with latex paint on furniture and leave a nice looking and feeling finish.

After rolling on 2 coats of the paint (Aqua Spray by Behr in an eggshell finish) I brushed on one coat of semi gloss polyurethane. 

Ali picked out the new knobs at Hobby Lobby. My sister and I were actually less than thrilled about them, they are big and swirly. But once put on the dresser they looked great! They almost look like a big rose bud!

Here's Ali with her new dresser in her room :)

May 25, 2012

Preparing the Pool Deck

Well, summer's here already! 

Just like every other year we have a plan of what we would like to get done around the house and then throw that plan out the window and dive into something else ;)

The basement windows were the plan for this Spring/Summer but when Scott found out our son, Casey, was having a birthday pool party in a few weeks work began on the deck! He's been wanting to work on it for years anyways.

So what's the deck's problem? The yahoo who built it used nails instead of screws, a LOT of nails. I can call him a yahoo because it's Scott's cousin ;) We bought the house from family years ago and we LOVE it :)

So now all of those nails are popping up and some of the boards are warping and there are splinters galore. We can't sand it to refinish it because of all those popped up nails. So last night Scott started pounding in all of the nails with a nail punch and hammer while I drilled holes in each board and we both took turns drilling in the new screws to finally hold those boards in place for good. 

It was back breaking work. We hurt. We hurt bad. And we're not even half way done.

Here's what it looks like after we've finished a row.

And a close up. There's three nails that have been punched down and two screws to hold it down for good.

There's a section like this on every single joist. Here's a bigger photo of the deck for you.

See that row of nails and screws next to me? Then see the next row that's right under me?? We are talking about a TON of nails and screws to deal with here.

The plan is to get all of these nails down and screws in and then cover the whole deck with Deck Restore from Home Depot. It's a super thick, textured paint like product. It's 10 times thicker than paint and has elasticity so it fills in cracks and holes and can hold up to the Chicago weather. 

Ow, my back hurts just looking at this.

Casey was my photographer for the evening. I liked this shot, it kinda makes me dizzy though. There's Lainey having a grand old time no matter what we're up to :)

Eventually even Casey was put to work sticking screws in the holes I had drilled. He even came out this morning at 6:30 while I was working on it again, he really is a great help!!

I just got back from a Home Depot run for more screws and it seems Scott has changed the plan of action. He is now prying up an entire board, knocking out the old nails from the bottom and then screwing the boards back down using the old nail holes. No word yet on how well this method is working!

Oh well, I'm off to celebrate my friend's birthday with some pedicures and maybe a glass of wine!! :) 

May 23, 2012

Nana's Antique Rocking Chair

I have a sentimental makeover for you today :)

About 2 months ago my Nana passed away. She fought a good fight against hodgkin's lymphoma but it eventually took over. I miss her and always will, but I take comfort in the fact that she was a Christian woman who loved the Lord and most certainly is now praising Him for an eternity in Heaven :)

She had a home full of beautiful furniture, most of it antique. She and I were able to talk in the days before she passed and it meant a lot to me that she wanted to pass some of it on to me to makeover. She was very supportive and excited about my new business and hobby.

First up is this adorable rocking chair for my beautiful niece, Etta.

As you can see it was a dark wood with a floral print seat. The wood had plenty of nicks and scratches and the floral was not exactly my 4 year old niece's style ;)

My sister in law picked up some pretty striped fabric from Joann Fabric to go with Etta's room. After taking off a few old layers I added white fabric and then the striped. This way the white stripes looked whiter and brighter.

I painted the chair with Annie Sloan's pure white, distressed, then protected with clear wax.

I know Nana would LOVE that this chair will now be in Etta's reading corner and I know that Etta will make some rockin' good memories in it! ;)

The main piece of furniture nana and I talked about was her antique secretary desk that I'm going to makeover for my younger sister. She just closed on her first house today with her husband and I'm so excited and honored to be getting this special piece of furniture ready to go live with such a special couple. Working on this desk will be a true labor of love :) I can't wait to get started on it!

May 8, 2012

Refinishing Antique Wood Chairs

Hello all!
Today I have some antique chairs to share with you. My mother in law's friend had these two chairs that were originally a wedding present to her grandma. Giving smaller chairs like these is equivalent to us having folding chairs now. We did the math and decided the wedding must have been somewhere around the year 1918!!

They had seen better days, some pieces were missing from both of them and even though they were lovingly and beautifully painted they were now getting old and in need of a refresher. 

Yes somehow that is the best before picture I took :( When I started on the first chair I thought "I'll take a pic of the other chair." Then when I started the 2nd chair I thought "I already got a before pic of the other one." Arg!! 

Their owner wanted them restored back to their original, beautiful wood finish. I love painting over wood but it's fun to do the exact opposite from time to time!

I use Klean-Strip paste stripper, I don't know why it's called "paste" I'd describe it more as a gel. Anyways, it's available at Home Depot for about $10. I buy packages of the cheap chip brushes to apply it with because it's easier to just throw them away after each use. 

After applying a thick coat and waiting about 10 minutes it's ready to be removed. 

For flat surfaces a metal putty knife works great but on all of the spindles I found using a rag to wipe it off worked best. I bought a "roll-o-rags" at Home Depot in the paint area for about $4 and cut each rag into smaller squares. 

I love these things. I've been using them for paint stripping, stain applications, and wiping off excess furniture wax. They feel just like my husband's white t-shirts that I used to cut up!

After I had stripped the whole chair I started the sanding process. 

(ready to be sanded!)

I started with the flat surfaces using my palm sander with 80 grit sandpaper. Then to sand all of the legs and spindles my sweet neighbor brought over some sandpaper strips that I had never seen before. They looked like this.

He cut me a piece long enough that I could wrap it around the spindle and just pull back and forth and back and forth from different angles until the whole thing was sanded. It was still hard work, but I'm sure it saved me lots of time. After that I still needed to go into all of the crevices by hand with small pieces of sand paper and then over the whole chair again with finer sand paper to get a smooth finish.

(ready to be stained!)

I stained the chairs with Minwax stain in the color Provincial and then applied three coats of polyurethane in a satin finish. 

They turned out beautiful and I just love that they're a family heirloom. I can't wait to give them back to their owner!! :)

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