6.19 2010

A Little Bling

I love how this antique desk came out!
Take a look.Before:


I picked it up for $40. It needed a some repairs, but considering the price, it was worth it, because all the drawers worked perfectly. I stripped the top because it was very textured and had a thick layer of lacquer. It sanded pretty smooth, but needed a lot of wood filling, too.
I loved the curved drawers of this style.
I wanted to try out metallic paint.
I painted the main desk in a silver metallic, then rubbed through here and there with steel wool. The drawers were painted a creamy white and I lightly distressed the edges. The hardware was sprayed with Rustoleum’s Satin Nickel and then rubbed through for a distressed look. After top coating it (3 coats on the top), I let it sit for a few days then wet-sanded it with soapy water, drying it off immediately. This gave it a smoother finish.

Paint: Ralph Lauren Ambassador Sterling Metallic Paint, applied with a brush, then smoothed with a foam roller.
Drawers: Behr Paint and Primer in Cottage White (semi-gloss), applied with foam roller.
Topcoat: Minwax Polycrylic, applied with a brush, then smoothed with a foam roller.
Hardware: Rustoleum Satin Nickle, rubbed through with #1 and super fine steel wool.
Inside Drawers (not pictured): Rustoleum Satin Nickle; sprayed before painting drawer fronts.
Tools: 220 grit sandpaper and electric sander, TSP, foam rollers, paint brush, #1 and 0000 steel wool, 600 grit wet-dry sandpaper sold at automotive stores.
6.18 2010

Fruits of the Spirit Table

This is the first time I’ve ever added decorative painting to my furniture, and I think it turned out really cool! Once again, I couldn’t get the lighting to cooperate to really show the true color.
I had some serious buyers remorse when I couldn’t decide what in the world to do with this table. I picked it up because of the chunky base. I knew it needed to be stripped so I could start with something fresh. I almost always strip the tops of my furniture because I like an extra smooth surface (unless it’s going to be really chippy and rustic). Somebody had applied lots of glaze to disguise a badly damaged table top. It needed more repairs than I was prepared for.
I decided to paint the edges black, then the whole thing creamy white. After I gave it an antique glaze and distressed the edges, thought it was a little boring and that it needed some words around the circle to make it sing! My mom-in-law was visiting at the time, and she gave me the great idea to do the fruits of the spirit. How fun would it be to sit around those words with your family every night? (Thanks for the idea, Mom!)

I printed the words in the font I wanted on the computer, then shaded the back of the words with pencil and traced them onto the table. I used a paint pen for the edges, then filled them in with paint and a tiny brush. After they were dry, I faded them out a bit with a damp cloth. Because the paint pen didn’t fade like I wanted, I couldn’t fade the words as much as I had hoped.

The base is so nice and chunky, and it will be easy to move chairs around it.

After 6 coats of acrylic polyurethane cured, I wet sanded it so that it is smoooooth to the touch. It looks and feels like glass. You can kind of see in this picture how smooth it is after polishing the final finish.
1) If you want to fade out your paint, I wouldn’t recommend using those acrylic paint pens. Use the bottles, dilute them with a little water, and use the tiniest brush you can get at the craft store. You will be able to outline your words or shapes nicely with a little patience. If you mess up, use a wet paper towel to remove the spot and start over.
2) My favorite tool for distressing edges is a razor blade. It is super fast.
3) Ben Moore Stays Clear in satin is the best topcoat I’ve ever used. It is made for wood flooring so it’s very durable! I let it cure for a week after applying as many coats as I can in a 2-day period so I can hand rub the finish for a super soft finish. I wet sand with soapy water (very soapy and wet, drying off as soon as I can), starting with 600 grit wet-dry sandpaper wrapped around an old, soft sanding block. I advance to 800, 1000, 1500 and even 2000 depending on the look I want. The higher you go, the shinier it’ll be. Don’t press too hard; just let the suction-cup feel do it’s thing. The key is letting it cure. Maybe a week is over-kill, but when it comes to curing, the longer the better and I don’t like to rush it. I don’t want all my hard work to be ruined by being impatient!
4) I like to store my foam rollers in ziplock bags and then in the refrigerator between coats so I don’t have to rinse them out.
Products Used:
Paint: Behr paint and primer in Cottage White, black paint for the edges (I had leftover Ben Moore Ironclad latex in black). 
Glaze: Normally I use burnt umber universal tint, but I used up some leftover brown glaze from another project (General Finishes Van Dyke Brown).
Words: Black acrylic paint from the craft store, thinned with water, and the tiniest brush I could find.
Topcoat: Ben Moore Stays Clear, satin. 6-7 coats applied with a foam roller in 2 days, not worrying about lap lines or roughness because the wet sanding takes care of all of that.
Tools: Foam rollers, chip brush for applying glaze, razer blade for distressing edges, wet-dry sandpaper in 600, 800, 1000, 1500 from automotive store.
6.14 2010

Drexel Duncan Phyfe Side Table from Goodwill


Today was a typical summer break morning. I was thinking about what we could do to have a little fun, and be a little productive. I knew we were destined for a Goodwill trip. I needed a furniture fix. The kids needed summer clothes.
Clothes shopping was successful. Some still had tags on them from Gymboree. Everything they took into the dressing room fit. That was weird.
We were so hungry after shopping for 50% off yellow tags, but I told them we were checking the furniture side real quick. Not even a whimper from my starving kids because they knew our Goodwill never has anything good, and the junk they sell is way overpriced.
I saw this table and took a closer look. It was solid wood – no veneer – and in great condition.
I think I stared at it in disbelief for several minutes before I realized…
I just got lucky at Goodwill for the first.time.ever.
$14.99? Am I at an Arizona Goodwill?
I looked underneath for a stamp, not expecting to find one.
I loaded that baby up and off we went. As soon as we got home,
I sprayed those brass caps with oil-rubbed bronze metallic paint.
I used some leftover Ben Moore Ironclad black paint to paint it. It was finished in 45 minutes. The next day, I distressed it and added the topcoat.
It’s perfect for this space between my 2 sofas (which were amazing deals on Craigslist).
6.8 2010

My Love of Milk Paint


Someone asked me to clarify what milk paint was, so I thought I’d write about it because I do love working with it. Milk paint has been used for hundreds of years, and is zero V.O.C. While you can still buy natural milk paint made with casein, I haven’t done so…yet. I think I might try it, but it has to be mixed from a powder, stored in the refrigerator, and it expires in 2-4 weeks. This website says it is a textured paint which will show brush and lap lines that can be sanded. I do run 0000 steel wool over my painted pieces most of the time, anyway, so I may try it one day. The colors are very earthy and beautiful.

I’ve been really satisfied with an acrylic milk paint product by General Finishes. I buy it at my local Rockler store. It goes on so smooth, better than any latex or enamel I’ve used. I can put on several coats in one day, one right after the other, because it dries instantly. What’s different about it than some of the other popular paints is that it dries nice and hard. I don’t like how some of the others feel (rubbery) and like they need a month to fully cure.

I’ve used Antique White on the table posted above, Lamp Black on this roll top desk, and I just bought Brick Red for a bench I’m doing. Antique White needs to be thinned a little bit. For the white table (and black desk), I just used a foam roller and I love the look of it. After I got enough coverage, I distressed it, then put on one coat of topcoat (two may have been okay or better) to have something slick to work my glaze over since this paint is FLAT. (Scrubby sponges are great if glaze dries too fast and you want to take more off.) Milk paint is very chalky, and when you use Lamp Black, it will even look chalky white when you rub your hand over it, but that all goes away when you topcoat everything at the end.

Milk paint can be purchased at woodworking shops or online:
I hope this helps! Let me know if you try it. I’d love to hear what you think!