Friday, August 31, 2012

Gold-ifying anything I can get my hands on...

Yeah, I am. I was inspired by this post on Style Me Pretty. I had a pile of vases that I picked up a few months ago from Dollarama for some undetermined project... until I decided to liquid gold leaf them, along with a whole bunch of junk I gathered up from around the house. I literally hunted through the house, grabbing anything I thought I could paint. Hence this scene:

And yes, those are boxes of wine on the table. Jealous, aren't you? Moving on... I ended up with a couple vases from previous flower arrangements, a couple votive candle holders from Home Sense that I've had for years, a bunch of Dollarama vases and a few from the grocery store that I bought for my girlfriend's shower last year. I used this:
I really wanted to try the new Martha Stewart gilding paint but apparently you can only get that in the Michael's in the US (ps. Michaels, it would be great if you could differentiate that on your website... just saying). So instead, I picked this up and used a 40% off coupon along with some sponge brushes that were on sale for 10 cents each. Really?! Yes, 10 cents each. I refuse to ever pay more than a dollar for those from now on. Now that I know they cost nothing. I ran out of paint just shy of finishing the second coat on the last 2 vases so picked up another one. Oddly enough, they seemed totally different in consistency and colour. The second jar was way runnier, separated after about a minute and had a deeper, rosier tone. Whatever. Who really cares? When it's all said and done, each piece cost about $2.25. I'm down with that.

Anyway, now I'm finding homes for them all... including the hutch that I am slowly filling. I need some art for frames so me and some paint need to play soon. I've also sidetracked myself with the obsessive need to make a burlap and lace table runner for my table. Obsessive. What has you inspired these days??

Happy Long Weekend, friends!!


Linking up to:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hutch: Completed!!!

You read that right. I actually finished the hutch. I am pumped. This was my first furniture makeover of this size (and importance, being my Grandma's hutch), and well... this, my friends, is not for the faint of heart. Or faint of diy furniture refinishing. It is a BIG undertaking. Lesson learned.

 Just to refresh your memory, here is what it looked like before, in all of its orange oak-ey glory:
Without further ado, here is the completed makeover... drum roll please:

So here was the process that I followed:
  1. Sand with palm sander and sand wedges where needed using medium grit
  2. Wipe/wash down
  3. 2 coats of primer - Zinsser Cover Stain, 6 hours between coats, 24 hours dry time after last coat
  4. 2 coats of paint - Benjamin Moore Advance in White Down, 16 hours between coats
  5. 3-5 days of "curing time"
  6. 2-3 coats of soft wax (Apply, dry & buff each coat) - Clear Briwax
  7. Cure time based on wax instructions
  8. Measure and cut fabric for backing, use anti-fray on edges and adhere to back of hutch using "404 Permanent Repositionable Craft Adhesive" (used in quilting apparently)
  9. Re-assemble, decide whether to rub n buff the hardware - I decided against it
You'll note I crossed out the waxing - that's because I decided it was unnecessary I was impatient, and skipped it. The paint is enamel, so dries to a hard shell finish. I still need to find a drawer liner that I like to put in the drawers, and then fill it back up! I will be back later this week once I have styled it... right now, I have a massive pile of stuff on the kitchen table to play around with.

In the meantime, I'll just sit and stare at the hutch. One more time for your my viewing pleasure:


If you want to follow my progress as I went, check out my planning post here, the first progress report here, the second progress report here, the third progress report here and my diy-er roadblock post here.

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Furniture Feature FridaysTDC Before and After

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hutch Stall

I've run into a slow down - the weather has been sosososo hot (30+, not that I'm complaining) that I can't finish the painting on the drawers and doors. I have to wait it out. It was hot enough when I was painting previously (high 20's) and it was causing problems then!

In the meantime, I've been stumped. I originally really wanted to use foamcore board for the back of the hutch as an insert that I could paint a fun colour, maybe stencil but it wouldn't be permanent. BUT. I realized that the board would have to be cut into 4 pieces to fit inside (because of the panels for the doors and the inside is taller than the opening). So, that's probably not going to look all that attractive with big fat seams. I could still use it and cover it with fabric but the idea doesn't thrill me. I thought about using canvas but it strikes me as a huge pain in the you-know-what. I don't know how I would get it to stick up there without looking crappy and still being removable.
See what I mean? "Bars" across the front and the actual opening of the hutch is smaller than the back of it.
The back is just a thin particle type board, so I know I could remove it but that seems like way more work than it's worth (and would likely pull paint off since I was heavy on the trim/corner areas).

So, any ideas out there?? I do really want to be able to change out the back without breaking out a paint brush each time. I also might poke my eyes out if I ever have to paint it again. So, let's get creative people. Put your thinking caps on. Mine's got holes in it.


ps. here's where I left off with the hutch last time.... Check out my planning post here, the first progress report here, the second progress report here and the third progress report here

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Fast, Easy and Healthy Snack!

We had a summer BBQ to go to on Saturday, so decided to make a simple and healthy snack to take. I loosely follow a recipe for Hummus that was shared with me by a friend I work with (thanks, Marlene!). Here it is:

1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 big handful of cilantro (half a bunchish)
1 big gob of tahini
Coupla tablespoons of jarred, sliced jalapenos
Coupla garlic cloves
Juice of one lime (or more, to taste)
S & P
Add olive oil as needed once you start blending (you don't need much at all, just pay attention to the consistency)... you can also supplement with water or white vinegar to keep it healthier

I don't measure a thing. Nothing. I make it to taste, and probably differently every time. I use my food processor to mix it all together but you could also use a blender (I've done it). I dump everything right in with no pre-cutting or slicing. Here was my process, you'll notice some substitutions/changes in my product choices. Oh, and I actually did a double batch so that's why you see the finished results in two different containers... one for me, one for the BBQ! The Wisecrackers were going to be served with the pita chips, carrots and celery sticks but I ended up with enough pita chips that I didn't need them. Don't get confused by seeing the cumin in these photos - it's for the pita chips!

I also made pita chips to go along with the hummus (and carrot and celery sticks but you don't need a recipe for that!). I bought whole wheat pita pockets, sliced them like a pie to make 10 triangles and then pulled the pockets apart. So 1 package of 4 pita pockets made 80 pita chips. Way better and cheaper than the expensive, tiny bag you get in the stores!

These are simple. Once sliced, lay them out on a baking sheet (you can see I covered mine with aluminum foil, the height of laziness... so I don't have to wash the baking sheet afterwards). Lightly brush them with olive oil, sprinkle on some cumin and a little salt and pepper. Bake at 300F for 15 minutes (or till they are as crunchy/soft as you like). 

That's it! Quick, easy and healthy. It makes a great veggie dip too, just adjust the heat/jalapenos as per your personal taste. Yum!


Oh yeah, and the hutch is still curing... I'll post an update soon!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hutch Progress: Part Three

The waiting game is on and I am so impatient.... this will be the last (and purposely out of focus) shot you see until it's complete. I have all the coats of paint complete (with the exception of the door and drawer backs), and now just have to wait out the curing time, which is supposed to be 3-5 days. Then to throw on the wax (not sure if it even needs it?) and cure again. I did notice that the paint was ready for coat 2 way earlier than the paint label said which was 16 hours. So hopefully, this trend carries through the curing time too :)

So far, this is where I'm at:
  1. Sand with palm sander and sand wedges where needed using medium grit
  2. Wipe/wash down
  3. 2 coats of primer - Zinsser Cover Stain, 24 hours dry time after last coat
  4. 2-3 coats of paint - Benjamin Moore Advance in White Down
  5. 3-5 days of "curing time"
  6. 2-3(?) coats of soft wax (Apply, dry & buff each coat) - Clear Briwax
  7. Cure time based on wax instructions
  8. Re-assemble, decide whether to rub n buff the hardware
Hopefully my sore muscles recuperate over the curing time! I must say, it sure makes a paint sprayer look awfully appealing!!!

Enjoy your weekend, friends!


Check out my planning post here, the first progress report here and the second progress report here

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Hutch Progress: Part Two

Omg. Omg. Omg. Everything in my body hurts. Painting for 10 hours in a crouching position = full body workout. 

But I made it through the primer step, two coats complete on almost every piece. It's probably too hot for the paint because I started seeing some drag so had to ditch the brush and rollers I was using and switch to new ones. I think the paint was drying in them and getting gunky. Other than that, it was just a looooooong day of painting. I do think that the primer covered pretty well though.

So these door frames only have one coat of primer right now because I didn't have a spot to put them (had to wait for the other doors to dry first). So these will get one more coat today, and then all of the drawer fronts, doors and the shelf cap will need two coats on the back sides. 
So my plan for today is to complete the priming on the small pieces and then do some light fine grit sanding by hand on areas where the paint drag was a problem or there's some roller marks just to even it out before painting. We'll see how the day goes, if I get through the sanding and wash them down at a decent hour, maybe I'll get the first coat of paint on!


Check out my planning post here, and yesterday's first progress report here. 

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Hutch Progress: Part One

Whew. This is a freaking big project. Bigger than I anticipated. 

I picked up all the supplies that I wanted to use on Saturday, and yes... we bought almost everything new. I wanted to make sure everything was fresh and in good condition to use because I don't want to risk any problems with it. We decided to use the dining room as our painting space for a couple of reasons - I didn't want the garage to be out of commission for our vehicles for the next 2 weeks, and the hutch is HEAVY to move. So it just made sense to paint proof the dining room and do it there.

We did have drop cloths but they are filled with spray painting dust of all colours that I didn't want to drag through the house or get all over the hutch. We laid one of the plastic drop sheets on the floor with canvasses over top, and the other plastic sheet was cut into 2 pieces and hung like curtains for sanding to protect the rest of the house from dust. 

I followed advice from Kate at Centsational Girl when choosing products because she is a furniture painting guru! I referenced a couple of her posts: this one about her favourite products for furniture and this one about painting an oak table. So, I went with the Zinsser cover stain (picked it up at Home Depot) and Benjamin Moore Advance paint. And uhhh... yes. I thought we owned a palm sander. Turns out we had borrowed it in the past and there was no way that I was hand sanding the entire thing. Needless to say, we couldn't borrow the sander because they were out of town so we are the new owners of a palm sander. It's not like it won't get tons of use, right?! And new rollers (we only had big ones).

Ignore the wax paste - we bought the wrong one. Home Depot only had this one single type of wax (really?! really.) and it is "natural" coloured which will not work on white! Back to the store it goes.... so I have ordered clear Briwax off of Amazon. I had very little patience to pick a white again so I asked for help from the lady at Benjamin Moore. I went with the shade up from their classic trim paint (Cloud White), White Down. It's a warm white and I didn't want the trim to look dingy (which is what happened when I used bright white on the board and batten downstairs... oops). I am really nervous and hoping that I went with the right shade - we'll find out!
Welcome to the plasticized slaughterhouse (and no, my husband is not conservative with tape. Clearly.):
Yesterday, I managed to empty the hutch and move the contents out, remove the hardware and take it apart. I got it sanded (which was not fun in yesterday's muggy heat!) and washed down, prepped for painting. Lots of help from hubby despite it being my project (don't worry, I haven't forgotten). Haha. I was relieved that he helped me out because some things just take manly brute force.

Here is my starting point for today. All sanded and washed, ready for primer. Fingers crossed!!

My plan for the hutch is to follow these steps:
  1. Sand with palm sander and sand wedges where needed using medium grit
  2. Wipe/wash down
  3. 2 coats of primer - Zinsser Cover Stain, 24 hours dry time after last coat
  4. 2-3 coats of paint - Benjamin Moore Advance in White Down
  5. 3-5 days of "curing time"
  6. 2-3 coats of soft wax (Apply, dry & buff each coat) - Clear Briwax
  7. Cure time based on wax instructions
  8. Re-assemble, decide whether to rub n buff the hardware

Wish me luck... I'll check in again tomorrow!


Saturday, August 04, 2012

I loves me some new lamp shades

I have been wanting to find new shades for these lamps foreveeeeer and haven't found the right price, shape or colour... Till now. Or a few weeks ago. Here are the old shades (eww)

Everything was always the wrong shape (I wanted drum shades), the wrong colour (I wanted white) or mucho, mucho expensivo (sorry Pottery Barn).

You'll note these are not white. But they are pretty awesome. Kind of a mix between linen and burlap. They are perfect in our bedroom and now that I have these, I think white would have been too much white. These add a little texture and colour variation to the room. And all for $14.99 each at Home Sense (which is like the American version of Home Goods). Seems appropriate since these lamps came from there too, a few years ago.

What do you think?! I'd show you photos of the whole bedroom except that it was a mess when I took these because I just rolled out of bed to take photos.

Thanks for the hutch feedback (and if you didn't leave any advice yet, feel free to do so here!), I'm picking up my supplies today and beginning the prep work! I will be posting about my progress as I go along so check back! It's supposed to be cooking hot here this weekend, so I'll be fitting in looooots of sunshine time too.... what are you up to this weekend?


Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Help a girl out... with her Hutch Makeover?

So.... I need a little advice. 

I have this solid oak hutch that my Grandma gave me, along with a matching table and chairs. I don't really have any intention of doing anything to the table and chairs for a couple of reasons - the chairs would be a lot of work and I already recovered them (therefore I know how many staples are underneath those seats). And I actually like it as is (despite my avid dislike for oak). I can see maybe darkening the stain in the future but that's about all at this point. That being said, the hutch is aching for a fresh look. Kris was adamantly against me painting it but has finally relented after a year of me pressuring him. Personally, I would like to own it because I love it. I want to be able to look at it and think that it looks fabulous instead of, "omg, could that room have more frigging wood in it?!". So it's happening. I have next week booked off work, and I'm making this my personal project for the week. 

Now. To the advice portion of this post. I know I am going to paint the hutch off-white. I am not going for an antique look, so skipping the chalk paint. Going with BM Advance paint, and will pick the colour this weekend. I am following all of the great tips from Centsational Girl to plan my process. What I don't know/can't decide on is:
  1. Do I do something different to the back of the hutch? Paint it a different colour? If so, what colour?
  2. The shelf is glass with a wood cap. I would prefer all glass or all wood... which should I do?
  3. What to do with the doors... take them off altogether? Replace the glass? Paint the etching?
  4. What to do with the hardware? Paint it? Replace it?
Here are a few photos (can you tell I have not touched this room at all? You can see it in all it's hot mess glory):

Let er rip. I want to hear your ideas!! And.... go!


ps. i promise to actually make an effort with styling it once it's done!