Tuesday, September 25, 2012

French Country Table & Chairs Makeover

Chairs BEFORE.
French Country Table & Chairs Makeover
I picked up this table and chairs set a few months ago with high hopes of refinishing them into something be-you-ti-ful! They did not disappoint!

The pretty fluted legs and molding details are really what make this set special. I knew with a little love (and a lot of sweat), I could bring out those details, so I got to work. First, as always, is the sanding. Lots and lots and lots of sanding. The trouble with pretty little details is they don't like to be sanded. But I did my best.

Next was painting. I used an ivory latex color to coat the whole thing except, of course, for the top of the table. That got a dark walnut stain. Gorgeous!

After painting, I distressed with some sandpaper, glazed with a mix of acrylic paint and water, and sealed it all with spray-sealer. After staining the table, I sealed it, too with a matte finish Mod Podge. Three coats. They were brushed on with a sponge brush (you can find these cheap in Walmart's paint section).

Pretty details.
Ugly cushions
Finally, I had to cover those hideous chair cushions. While in great condition, the fabric just screamed ugly. Loudly and annoyingly. So I covered up that nasty jungle print with faux grain sack that I made myself. I bought a darker muslin fabric and also a striped fabric. Then I printed images from The Graphics Fairy and used Citra Solv to transfer the images onto the fabric. This is like magic. The kind you only dreamed of as a child. You can find out more about Citra Solv image transfer here. FYI, I washed the fabric directly after transferring the images, and yes! They do stay!

Despite a few imperfections, I think the table & chairs are beautiful! I'm only sad that my Porch will most likely be closing down soon for winter. :(

AFTER! So pretty!


"Grain Sack" Cushions.

Love the details!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Shabby-Chic Nightstand

So, my daughter sent me a frantic text saying her friend's neighbor had just put some furniture out on the curb and would I be interested? I texted back saying, "Send pics!" THIS is the result of that fateful text.

I decided to ask my teen daughter if she'd like to take on this little nightstand and keep the profits. Like any American kid, she perked up when she saw the dollar signs and agreed to make-over the nightstand. It was a pretty little thing with good bones. I knew it would turn out great!

So, my darling daughter began sanding and scraping off veneer. It was a lot of hard work, and I honestly expected her to give up and lose interest, but she didn't! She persevered and by the end of the day had scraped and sanded that little nightstand so much that we actually had to get out some wood filler to repair the little dents.

She painted a couple coats and then got very busy with school. So, I decided to put the finishing touches on it myself, wondering if I was stealing her thunder. I knew it was a mistake. She was disappointed she didn't get to, "Put the little knobs back on" herself. I should've let her finish the work she'd begun, and I promised next time to let her do it all herself. But when she'd heard that it had sold for $55 on Craigslist, she forgave me. ;)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hutch Makeover

All sanded.

What I Did
Something I realized over the past two weeks is that refinishing furniture for a client is SCARY. I don't know if I want to do it ever again. See, when I buy something from Goodwill and decide to fix it up, the worst thing that can happen is it looks bad, or I dent it, or I just can't sell it and get my thirteen bucks back. Really, the consequences aren't all that dire. But when I'm working on someone else's furniture, I have to worry a little more about if I'm doing everything right and if it will stand the test of time.

Left unglazed. Right glazed.
That being said, I really did LOVE working on this hutch, despite my fears. And in my opinion, I think it turned out BEAUTIFUL. The client seemed happy, too, which was my biggest fear.

How I Did It
First, all the hardware was removed. Yes. All of it. Next, I sanded the whole thing. Yes. All of it. My fears here were if I didn't sand it, the paint would slide right off. It's a lot of work, but in the end, sanding really pays off.  Next step was priming, then painting with a creamy satin latex paint. It took a few coats to cover it all up. After that, I sanded all the
I also painted the hinges to match the
new hardware.
edges to bring out the details of the molding. Next, I glazed it with a mixture of burnt umber acrylic and water, brushing it onto the surface, then wiping it away, leaving just a hint behind for that aged/worn look. And finally, I coated it with a clear acrylic sealer. I used spray matte finish Mod Podge and then also brushed on few coats of matte finish furniture-quality Mod Podge.