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. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cutting Your Little Boys Hair

So here's the thing... I'm not going to encourage you to do this, because I'm a hair stylist and that's what we do, but let's be honest, everyone does it. Soo ya might as well know how to do it if you're doing to do it anyway. 

A while back my sister called me and asked if I would fix her little boys hair after their attempt to buzz it and it made me think maybe people might want a little advice before running into a screaming toddler that has to be held down to finish the job...

A Few Tips:

1. Get FULLY ready before you put your kid in his/her haircut chair. 
2. Portable DVD players, TV's, laptops are always a great distraction.
3. Have snacks ready just in case. I don't like to start off with them though, just in case hair gets in them- the kid just ends up super angry!
4. START the haircut in the BACK... very important. You want to keep as little hair on their face as possible.
5. Do the entire haircut EXCEPT for close to the face first, then finish off with around the face and top of head. Make sure the top is nice and wet though (if you're using scissors). I can't stress enough how important it is to keep hair away from their face! :)
6. When shaving their neck and around their ears have someone help you hold their head so they don't move and end up with a bald spot... unless that's what you're going for.
7. As soon as you're done put the poor kid in the bath and wash off all that hair :)


(Sorry this was TOTALLY off topic tonight, I just cut my son's hair a few hours ago and had it on my mind!)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

5 Months Later...


Wow 5 months of no blogging?!? What is wrong with me?!? Well, I have no excuse, but a lot of them at the same time. We moved to Arizona and I guess my focus changed. Changed to what? Well... I started working out way too much (stupid aging bodies- can't keep up with them), started being (or trying to be) better at keeping a clean house, cooking more with different recipes- not the same ol' ones that circle your kitchen week after week and somewhere in there lost time for my craftiness!! So sad, I know. BUT in all of that I've still finished a few things here and there. To start off with, the vanity you never got to see completely finished...

Sorry, I'm pretty sure a few of these pictures were taken with my phone :( ...
It was my Great Grandmother's that she got for her wedding. My husband FLIPPED out when the set was given to us and said there was no way it could go into our home. Sooo this is the original set that started my love of furniture refinishing. I painted everything but the vanity until now because we never had the room, but my daughter LOVES to dance so I thought it would be fun for her to put her dance clothes in the drawers and be able to twirl around in front of the mirror. :) I was right, she loves it!
 The mirror that you never got to see...
 And the finished product ...
 (well... with a few kid smudges that still need to be fixed!)
 I L.O.V.E. all the detail...
 Like I said, don't look at the kid smudges, but the knobs are from Hobby Lobby...
It turned out a little brighter than I would've liked, but I still love it. I wanted her room to be teals, grays, creams with a little pink so we're slowly making our way to that. SOMEDAY I'll have her room finished! :) 

Sorry so short and sweet, but I'm making my way back to the blogging world, so that will have to do for now!