Sunday, April 29, 2012

$10 Chair

Saturday, I somehow managed to wrangle the family into a Goodwill visit.  Not sure how it happened since 3 out of 4 of us were obviously not that thrilled with the idea.  But their sacrifices (come one, it was like 20 minutes - stop your pouting already) were all worth it because I found this beauty:

$10! (in case you missed the title - okay, actually because I wanted to brag some more)

I think this chair could be used outside as long as it's covered since it's made out of teak and wicker.  I tried it on the front porch (which is an awkward size - too small for almost everything, but too large to not have something).  Unfortunately, it's too big for the space, so it has been moved inside. 

The stripes are cute for outside, but won't work in the living room.  However, that's fine because I have the perfect fabric for it.  I just don't have a lot of it and I would definitely want the pattern to match up.  So I'm not sure if I'll risk making the cushions myself (well, having my mom make them under my watching eyes) or hire them out.  Anyone have a ballpark figure for the price of recovering two cushions?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Nightstands, Part Deux

Sorry if you don't like spread-out blog posts where one project takes forever to reveal instead of the instant gratification of scrolling down to the bottom of the post for a big reveal.  I realize I've been a fairly bad blogger of late and I'm trying to get back into the swing of it all by blogging my nightstands project.  Only, being the impatient girl that I am, I started writing the posts as soon as I started working on the nightstands, so I'm basically writing tonight about what I did last night and today.  So, consider this a warning - no instant gratification here.  Instead, settle in and enjoy more details on prep work, because these things are taking a lot of prep work.

The look I'm going for on the nightstands is a high gloss emerald green.  The master bedroom is mostly neutral colored, so I want them to stand out like big emerald jewels - the furniture equivalent of Angelina Jolie's Oscar earrings.

I'm following Honey & Fitz's guide to getting a high gloss finish.  She stresses the importance of the prep work, something I have the tendency to skimp on.  So I decided to take my time and try and get as flawless of a finish as I can achieve.  Unfortunately, it doesn't provide a lot of interesting photos since it's a lot of monotony, so I'll try to get through them quickly.

After building the new bases, I filled all of the dings and screw holes with wood filler.  I prefer the stuff in the tub and generally spread it on with my fingers.  Overfill it, because it might shrink as it dries.  Make sure you wait the appropriate time, then sand, fill some more, and then sand again.  I know it's ready when I can close my eyes and run my hand over the wood and not feel any imperfections.  You cannot use paint to fill in these imperfections, it will only exaggerate them, especially in a glossy finish, so get the wood filler right.

Sanding is a big theme of this project.  After every sanding step, I carefully vacuum, wipe with a dry cloth and then wipe with a wet cloth.  I'm a big fan of microfiber for this step.  I picked up this cleaning mitt at the Dollar Tree (for $1, yo) and have had the same results with it that I experienced with more expensive tack cloths in previous projects.

Once I felt everything was consistently smooth, I moved on to priming.  I bought this primer at Lowes for about $7 for a quart.  It's water-based and cleaned up nicely.  I used a 1-inch angled brush to get into crevices and corners, followed by a four-inch foam roller (the one specifically made for cabients).

Here's the cabinets after one coat of primer.  You do not need a solid look to the paint, just enough to help the paint stick.  This was enough for me, so I stopped after one coat and moved onto the fun part - the final color!  I'll save those pictures for later, but I'm super excited about how it's looking so far.

New Nightstands!

Remember back in January when I mentioned I was looking for a pair of nightstands for the master bedroom?  Well, I finally found a pair on Craigslist this past weekend.  Despite not looking for a particular style, the search took so long because I definitely had a final vision in my head.  It needed to have lots of storage - definitely a drawer and additional shelves or open storage space - and it needed to look good once I painted it emerald green, so I was leaning towards brass hardware.  Of course, if you've ever read this blog before, you're not going to be terribly surprised by the fact that I came home with a pair of campaign nightstands.

I paid $60 for the pair and couldn't wait to get them home and get working.  They're not as much real wood as I would prefer - mostly laminated MDF - so wood enthusiasts can calm down over the paint treatment.  And notice the horrible bun feet - they'll be on the midterm later.

Please disregard the mess in my garage - we also had a garage sale this weekend.
First, I removed the doors.  I hated the accordion fronts, which are unfortunately an integrated part of the door rather than being a piece I could easily cut out, so I planned on just getting rid or the doors completely.  The space behind the doors was fairly cavernous, so I wasn't sure if I was going to leave it open or perhaps add a shelf.

Next I removed the hardware.  When I'm working on a project, all the pieces get stored together until the end of the project.  You never know what you're going to need later on, so it's easier to keep it all together.  I use a highly sophisticated storage system - the ziploc bag.  Make sure you mark what project they are from.  If, like me, you tend to have a lot of "ongoing" projects, they all start to look similar after a while.  This was pretty labor intensive - I created quite a few gouges trying to pull off the brass corners.

Now onto the bun feet.  There's nothing wrong with bun feet, but their style doesn't belong on these nightstands.  The buns, however, disagreed.  I tried to unscrew them so I could save them for a future project, but whatever space-age glue the previous owner used to attach them was not budging.  I'm sure I could have found a saw that would have helped me remove them, but my plan from the beginning was to add a box frame on the bottom, so I decided to simply work around the ugly buns.

After this semi-setback, I made a nice discovery:  the door turned backwards looked mighty nice.

I immediately scratched the plan to keep the space open and decided to reattach the doors backwards.  Hopefully this works out, I'm blogging in real time over here.

To build the new bases, I picked up two 1x3x8s at Lowes for under $3 each.  I picked the whitewood since I was going to paint them anyway, but I tried to find the nicest, straightest boards they had, which took some searching. 

I made a simple box around the buns.  I don't have a Kreg jig (oh, how I want one), so I used cleats to help attach the boards, as well as countersunk screws. 

I like the new bases so much more than the ugly buns.  Don't you?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Unplanned Hiatus

Sorry I've been so MIA lately.  My job right now (which is basically me locked in room with 10 toddlers, by myself, for 11 hours a day) is completely draining me of the will to live, much less put together blog posts.  Hopefully change is in the works, so I can get back to thinking in complete sentences and not passing out at 9 pm like a fifth grader.  Thanks for bearing with me.