Friday, April 13, 2012

Little Yellow Barn

If you haven't noticed, I've disappeared from this blog! :) But for a good reason...

A friend and I have started a new blog, head on over and check it out! It's still the same concept- furniture refinishing, but with a lot more things going on! We're so excited about it and can't wait to see where it goes, so help us out and FOLLOW US, share us with your friends, GRAB A BUTTON, etc. 

Thanks for your support!


Little Yellow Barn

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

That's right. I said it. Homemade. Oh wow, I used to make so much fun of my older sister for doing things like this (sorry Kim!) and today I found myself calling her for a recipe for homemade soap. My skin is so sensitive and she made some homemade soap over Christmas, gave me some, I tried it and w.o.w. it's fantastic. Anyway, as soon as I get that recipe I'll post it, but for now, the agenda for tonight is...

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

4 cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 c washing soda
1/2 c Borax

Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water.   Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

Fill a five-gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken.

Stir and fill a used, clean laundry soap dispenser (or a gallon milk carton) half full with soap and then fill the rest of the way with water.   Shake before each use.   (It will gel)

Optional: add 10-15 drops of essential oil per each 2 gallons.

*For a front load machine add 1/4 cup per load

Yield: Approximately 640 loads

I'm not going to lie, I haven't actually tried this yet; tonight is a first. BUT I got it from my extended family website of a million chefs (not that you have to be a chef for this, but guess it can't hurt, right?) and everyone raved about it. Apparently it ends up being less than one cent per load and $2 per batch. Here was my cost:

Fels-Naptha Soap Bar: $1.79
Washing Soda: $3.59
Borax: $3.84

Total: $9.22
Ridiculous, right? The soda and borax boxes are huge also so this will last forever!

Where to Buy:
Fels-Naptha- I couldn't find it at Target, ended up buying it from Fry's, but I'm guessing any regular grocery store would have it. It was in the laundry section (obviously) in a white and green soap wrapper.
Washing Soda- Again, couldn't find it at Target, bought at Fry's. In laundry section. Made by Arm & Hammer. Yellow box.
Borax: Found at Target and Fry's. White box.

Obviously I'm super excited to try this. I'll keep you posted on what I think! :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Aqua Spray Paint Before & After

I refinished this cedar hope chest for my sister before I moved to Arizona last year, except I didn't have time to paint the handles and fix the missing lock hole. My sister promise she would do it, I even showed her how, yet every time I went back to Utah to visit the poor hope chest was still unfinished. :) Sooo, this past week I finally decided it was time. It had to be done. 

Here's a little bit of the process. I primed with KILZ spray paint (I think 2 coats) and sanded lightly in between. Then spray painted a few coats of this...
After that it looked like this...
Then glazed the entire piece with a black glaze. This picture shows what exactly glaze does. The left side is bare and the right side has already been glazed. It makes a huge difference...
Glaze up close...
And another before & after...
 It was hard to find a replacement for the missing lock so I decided to browse Hobby Lobby and see what I could come up with. I ended up with this cute little thing- I think I found it in the scrapbook section? I could be wrong though. Anyway, I just glued it on there and it ended up looking really cute..
Spray painted the handles with black(ish) metal spray paint...
And 11 months later she's finished! :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Espresso Paint

I helped my friend, Robyn, refinish a dresser before Christmas and it turned out awesome. It was so fun to have someone to paint with and definitely sped the process up a ton!! We had the thing sanded, primed, and painted all in 2 days. Here she is...

Before & After

I haven't painted anything this color yet- which is really weird, I know- so I was happy to try it out! The piece wasn't solid wood, so we:
1. Sanded
2. Primed with KILZ (we had Home Depot  tint it cream color so it would show through once we distressed it)
3. Painted with Behr (if you'd like the color leave a comment)
4. Distressed with good 'ol sand paper
5. Rubbed a little stain over it (because I love how it takes normal cream colors and antiques them a little bit)
We bought the hardware at Hobby Lobby (of course) but knew it would be too dark...
So we brushed on some extra cream-colored primer with our fingers (really technical :))...
Super excited with how it turned out and SUPER excited about the pictures I MADE my friend take of it for me :) Finally a decent furniture shot... thank you Jourdan!! ....

I always hate seeing furniture go, but love getting ready for new projects! :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Restaining Furniture

My husband recently went to The Biggest Loser Fitness Ridge in Malibu, CA and was gone for an entire month so I thought it would be a good idea to finish my kitchen table while he was gone. THOUGHT being the key word. :) It was actually great timing to do it, but way too hard being a single mommy for the month AND trying to accomplish all these crazy tasks I set up for myself. I make life way harder than it needs to be... but it's fun, let's be honest. So here's the table project...

Not the best picture in the world (especially with my sweet salmon colored walls I always complain about), but you get the idea.


We bought our table at an outlet store and it already needed lots of help. THEN somewhere in there I may or may not have spilled wood glue on it and forgot to clean it. Ooopsies. This is how bad my table was before...
I, with help of my awesome friends, carried the sucker out to my garage, took it apart and slapped a coat of stripper on it. You don't HAVE to use stripper, but it's awesome and saves a lot of time sanding. It lifts the stain without you having to do really any work, and it's great for all the crevices, sigh... I hate that word, it's almost as bad as "moist" :). Read the directions on the can... you want to be careful applying it, just brush it over one time, let it sit for 15ish minutes, then...
scrape it with a putty knife. A few layers of nastiness should come right off. (If it doesn't you've probably let the stripper dry on there too long.) ...
Tip: Use an empty box to scrape all the goop into, it makes the process a lot less messy. And p.s. WEAR GLOVES!

The left side of this table has been stripped once, the right side has been stripped twice (just to give you an idea of what the stripper does). ...
I stripped it one more time, then sanded the table almost all the way down to the bare wood. Most spots were bare, I left a few just to give it a little character. And, well, I was sick of sanding. :) As you get closer to being finished with sanding you'll want to use a finer grit of sand paper. I started out using coarse because I'm impatient, but if you're smart, start out with medium grit, then fine, then super fine...
After that I cleaned the table really well, then SHOULD HAVE applied a wood conditioner, but didn't. If you're doing this yourself I'd for sure recommend using a conditioner. Why? What happened? Well, I'll tell you what happened :) ... I started brushing my stain on and the table pretty much turned black! I wanted it dark, but not THAT dark! I used Minwax Dark Walnut and have used it plenty of times before and it's never been that dark so the table must have been super dry. So... I just decided to brush it on everywhere and hope for the best, and after a few hours it still looked sooo dark. I looked online to find any kind of answers and the few answers I did find weren't available to me at 11pm, so I came up with a little something myself. Maybe don't tell anyone. And keep this off the record, because I'm sure any professional would tell me I'm crazy and I totally messed up...  but ...

I totally Goof Off'ed my entire table. Yes, I said it. Goof Off. And did it work? Yes, it sure did! HA! Who'da thought!? The stain lifted just enough to make me happy. After that I ended up brushing stain on a few more times to get it just the color I wanted, waited for it to dry, then followed with a few coats of MinWax Polyurethane. Polyurethane (oil based) because I've read horror stories about anything water-based on kitchen tables - including this story HERE.

Then, and probably most important, don't use the table for 2-3 weeks. It may feel dry, but trust me, don't use it!

It's not a perfectly even job, but I like how it turned out with a little bit of the lighter color popping through! 6 years later and we finally have a nice looking table, phewsh!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Elf... and a Table

I found this on a blog last year and LOVED it! ...

This is also a preview of my kitchen table I just refinished after a long 6 years of desperately NEEDING attention!! My husband and I bought it just after we got married at an outlet store for about $100, it just needed some help. Weeelll, 6 years and lots of table cloths later it's finally done. Here's the horrendous before (which, I'm actually embarrassed of now)...

Don't mind my son in the picture :) ... or my HIDEOUS salmon colored walls for that matter! If it wasn't a rental it would've been painted before we even stepped foot in the door :)

Anyway, as soon as I get some better pictures of it I'll post it. I'm thrilled with how it turned out!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

North Pole Sign

After I made my stocking sign, I still had PLENTY of wood left over, so I decided to make a North Pole directional sign as well. I've seen direction signs all over the internet and absolutely adore them, sooooo...

 Up close...

Sooo excited with how this one turned out also. Can't wait to put it by my front door!

And don't worry, there's still a huge stack of this wood left, so there will be plenty of projects left to make with this. :)

For the HOW TO of printing on wood, click HERE.

And again, a HUGE thanks to my friends Jake & Jourdan for helping me with this!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Stockings Were Hung...

In Arizona they don't have dumps where you can take all your large garbage to, they have this super awesome system where once a month you leave out anything on the street you want picked up by a truck. This works out great for two reasons. 1-You don't have to make trips to the dump- the dump comes to you. And 2- You get to look through other people's garbage to see if you want any of it! :) Last week as I was dropping my daughter off at preschool I drove by a house with a huge pile of wood to be trashed and immediately turned around and threw it in the back of my car. And don't worry, I went back twice more to get the rest. :) The wood is absolutely perfect and SO my style. Anyway...

We don't have a fireplace this year in the house we're renting, so I decided to make my own sign to hang our stockings...

Sorry about the background!

I LOVE how it turned out! Now I just need to add a couple holes and some ribbon or twine to hang it on my wall. 


Items needed: 
Citra Solv
Paint brush
Laser printer

1. Cut wood and assemble however you like.
A SUPER HUGE thanks to my awesome friends Jake & Jourdan for helping me with it! They have all the tools anyone could ever want, so I took it over to be cut and Jake totally cut and glued the entire thing for me!! So so nice of him!!

2. I found a way on Pinterest to transfer printer ink onto wood and it worked awesome! (click HERE for the full tutorial) This method I used only works with a laser printer, so make sure that's what you have before starting. I used Word to flip my letters because you have to flip the paper over to transfer the ink...make sense? If you're using Word also, go to create word art, choose lettering and use the formatting palette (the side bar) to flip your image. Press the rotate button and flip horizontal.

3. Once you have your image printed, line it up on the board and make sure it's exactly how you want it, then turn your image over, ink side down.

4.  Citra Solv is a natural degreaser that can be found in natural food stores, I found mine at Whole Foods. Pour a small amount of Citra Solv in a bowl and using a paint brush, paint on just enough Citra Solv to wet the letters just slightly. Turn your paint brush around and scratch each letter with the handle of the brush. Don't scratch too hard, just enough to help the ink rub off onto the wood. Make sure to work in sections, I painted the Citra Solv on about 4 letters at a time. And don't use too much or the ink will bleed and not stick nicely. Hold the paper with your fingers firmly in place so you don't move the letters or ink around at all.
 5. When you're finished, remove the paper and let it dry.
 6. These knobs are from Hobby Lobby. I LOVE them, but they were a little too white for the wood...
 So I rubbed a little stain over them to darken them up a bit...
Then I measured, drilled holes and put the four knobs in the wood. 

 That's it. Done. So easy and SO cheap. I think the knobs were $10 from 50% off, the wood was free, and the bottle of Citra Solve was $6.99 (which I only used about 2 Tablespoons of. 

 Click HERE for the tutorial of the stockings I made last year.

So sorry if this post is a little scatter-brained!! It's been a long week :)

Monday, November 14, 2011


My husband would probably tell you I'm awesome at starting projects and not-so-awesome at finishing them... eh... oh well. I bought this credenza back in Utah for $40 or $50, which, usually would seem like a little much, but in this case the thing probably weighs 300lbs and is SOLID so it was totally worth it. I wanted to use it as a dresser for under my tv (yes, I already have one, but why not switch it up already?) so eventually that will be the case. I'm still waiting to decide what to do with the middle part... You'll see what I mean....


I can't decide if I want to cut out a section of the cabinet doors so that we can put our cable box, x-box, etc. inside and still be able to use the remotes with the doors shut. Make sense? So let me think about it for a few more months THEN maybe I'll finish it :) Ideas or thoughts anyone?
 Love, love, love the handles from good ol' Hobby Lobby for 50% off...
I just noticed my daughter wrote on the dresser with marker the other day. Can you spot it in the picture? Yes, she got in trouble. Will it happen again? You can sure count on it.

Sorry for showing you, yet, another unfinished piece. But let's be honest, it might be a while before the thing is FULLY finished, so I decided to post it already. :)