1940s, Decor, DIY, Furniture, Home, Home Care, Success!, VIntage, Yard Sales

Storage

(Or: Tetris With Furniture)

As I mentioned in the bench results post, I recently brought this desk/dressing table to my house from Mom and Dad’s, and I needed to move it into the storage room.

Grandma’s dressing table.

In order to fit the desk into the storage room, I had to take almost everything out of one side of the room. There are two sides of the storage room, one for miscellaneous furniture, etc., and one for my hiking/backpacking/camping things and vintage treasures. I don’t have a photo of what the room looked like before I took everything out, but here’s what the bedroom looked like after I emptied the storage room into it:

A lot of stuff, and that isn’t even all of it.

Some things just got moved over to the other side of the storage room.

That’s Consuela the Mannequin. She helps me with my Etsy shop. The Sis-In-Law gave me the giant bag of packing peanuts.

I keep a lot of empty boxes to ship my Etsy items. They take up about 1/3 of the room. I have many ceramic Christmas village houses selling on Etsy that will need the large boxes to ship them.

Here is what the storage room looked like when I got most of the stuff out of that one side and after we moved the desk in. We bought one of those 4-wheeled furniture dollies at Harbor Freight and rolled it in on that, and then just left the desk on top of it.

I like empty frames, as you can see by this frame wall in my office.

I bought many of the frames below at an antique mall in Aurora, Oregon, that was having a parking lot sale. They were all $1.00 and $2.00 apiece, which is ridiculously cheap. I bought most of the pile at the sale. Some of the others I got at the Mama Roost yard sale and they were ridiculously inexpensive as well. In order to fit everything back into the storage room, the frames had to go upstairs to a newly cleared spot in the hall. (The upstairs “hall” is also a storage area.) I didn’t realize how much space they actually take up.

I like frames.

The Hubs suggested putting the old door on top of the desk (with a carpet remnant under it). That allowed more space to put things on top of the desk. The door came off a “shed” that was in our yard when we moved into this house. In order to build the shop, the shed had to come down, as the city only allows 600 square feet of outbuildings total on a property. Now, if you attach your shop to the house you can go as big as you want, but The Hubs didn’t want to take the chance that his welding would burn the house down. The door still has both doorknobs and the robe hook. I think it might have been one of the original doors to the house, as there is one just like it that they used for the upstairs bathroom. The doors in the rest of the main house seem to be from the 1970s when the house was remodeled.

I gradually moved the rest of the things in:

Finished product.

You’ve probably noticed that I also like tall vintage lamps. Well, lamps in general. Someday I will have a place to use them. This is my OTHER bag of packing peanuts. I have enough for quite a lot of shipping. And I have enough boxes as well. I have over 100 things for sale on Etsy right now, plus bins of things that aren’t even listed yet, so I need to have a variety of boxes for shipping. I wish I had some sort of box closet so they wouldn’t have to be in the storage room, but that won’t happen until The Girl moves out and I can move half the stuff up to her room, ha.

I was happy that I did the whole job in just a couple of hours and was feeling all proud of myself and everything, until later I remembered that the mirror to the dressing table was left behind the cedar chest in our bedroom. Arrgh! Now I have to move things out again to find a place for the mirror so it won’t get broken. Can’t have a dressing table without a mirror!

1940s, Decor, DIY, Furniture, Success!, VIntage

Porch Bench Results

(Read parts 1 and 2 of the bench saga!)

After church today I put on my painting clothes and went out to dry brush the bench. I chose a small and not very fluffy paintbrush and used a door and trim paint by Sherwin Williams called Whitetail. (I forgot to take a photo of the can.) It’s the same color of the walls in our kitchen and laundry room.

I dipped the paintbrush just barely into the paint, scraped the paint off on the sides of the paint can, and then dabbed it on a paper towel to get most of the paint off for the dry brush look.

Dry brushing technique.

Then I brushed the paintbrush back and forth lightly over the bench. There were a couple of spots where I got a bit too much paint on, but I started on the back of the bench to make sure I knew what I was doing before I got around to the front, so most of those don’t show.

It really brings out the wood grain.

Finally, here is the finished bench in the sun:

And in its place on the back porch:

I think it needs a pumpkin and a pot of fall mums…and it looks a lot neater in person.

The Girl, Marnie, and The Hubs (in that order) have all approved of the bench, yay!!! It will look better after the house is painted, whenever that happens.

No more painting projects for awhile, it’s on to work-work and writing for me, along with rearranging the storage room so we can put my grandma’s desk/dressing table/mirror in there with its matching head/footboard and dresser. It is in the waterfall style, probably from the 1940s. When Grandma passed away in 1992 the bed and dresser came to live with me, but I didn’t have room for the dressing table and little bench. It has finally come (with some dead spiders) to my house after 30 years in Mom and Dad’s garage. Dad needed the space for a worktable.

Grandma’s Dressing Table (Excuse everything else in the photo. It is our laundry room/furnace space.)

The dressing table and its siblings will probably need to be painted someday unless I can get someone to refinish them. Right now I don’t have the skills to do it properly, but I suppose I could learn. The wood is so pretty it would be a shame to cover it up!

I’m sure I’ll post something about the storage room clearout as I’m going through. Cleaning out and rearranging = good fun!!

Decor, DIY, Furniture, Philip, Projects

The Bench, Phase 2

Don’t forget to read the first part of the bench saga!

Here are some before photos of the bench again:

Today I finally got out my sander and primer and started on the bench. I sanded it all over with my little Mouse sander, wiped it down, and then started priming.

I used this primer that I got at Lowe’s awhile back. It didn’t work great for the kitchen chairs, but I found it worked just fine for the bench. It is interior primer, but like I said in the last post the bench is going to be under the porch roof, and any “rustic-ness” will be fine anyway. I beg to differ with their statement “Hides previous color in one coat”, though, although it may be that the statement just applies to walls and not wood furniture.

While waiting for the primer to dry, I ate some of one of my favorite Fall snacks, Mellocreme pumpkins!

Yum-O!

At this point I still wasn’t sure what color I wanted to paint the bench. I had originally planned to paint it a sort of off-white to go with the other things on the porch, but after priming it and seeing how many flaws showed up once it was white, I thought that might not be such a great idea. Then I texted Marnie and she said use brown and white, and I thought, “I’ll paint it brown and dry-brush white over the brown!”

The primer dried quickly because the bench was sitting in the sun, so I went back out and got my container of Sherwin-Williams Urbane Bronze in their sample formula. I bought a sample of Urbane Bronze and a sample of Priscilla, a nice pink, the other week. They are both colors I’m considering painting our house with, if we ever get to paint our house. I figured I’d buy samples and paint them somewhere on the house so I can see which one I think would look better. Right now I’m leaning toward the Urbane Bronze, as mentioned in my last bench post. It’s a grayish brown or a brownish gray. So modern!

Don’t you wish all paint cans were plastic with little handles? Then they wouldn’t rust and ruin my paint!

I painted the bench all over in Urbane Bronze and let it dry for a couple of hours. Then the Hubs came in and said he had welded a triangle on my shepherd’s hook that I got at the estate sale a couple of weeks ago. The triangle gives you something to pound on to get the hook into the ground.

When I found it at the sale, it had this bird feeder on it. The feeder contains a suet block, a chunk of suet usually with seeds and other things for birds to eat. I had gotten 3 nice new suet blocks at the same estate sale, and The Hubs chose this one to put in the feeder today.

I just noticed it says to hang in a shaded area. Oops…we don’t really have a shaded area in our side yard.

Hopefully the birds will discover it soon even if it is in the sun a bit!

Another thing I did while I was waiting for the paint to dry was this:

The Cat Baby.

Philip came and snuggled up on my lap for a little while. I couldn’t resist showing you this adorable photo of him!

So here’s what the bench looks like with one coat of Urbane Bronze.

Wait…did I miss that back leg? Yes. Yes, I did.

Because the paint is just a sample formula, it doesn’t cover extremely well. Also, you can see some start/stop brush marks. Note how I put the feet up on boxes so I can paint the lowest parts of the feet without getting the brush in all the icky stuff that fell off the bench when I sanded and cleaned it. I used the same boxes for the kitchen chairs when I painted them. I mean, how often do you find four boxes that are the same size to use for this application? I’ll keep them as long as they hold up! I went back and painted the back leg and went over some of the brush strokes and it was much improved.

I was planning to do the dry brushing in white today once the paint dried, but now it’s like 90 degrees out and I do have work-work to do, so I’m waiting until tomorrow morning to do that next step. Progress, though! Stay tuned for the next porch bench post!

Antiquing, DIY, Furniture, Home

Porch Bench

A couple of weeks ago one of our local vintage/antique malls had a parking lot sale, and Marnie, Aryn, and I attended. I saw a bench and thought it would be perfect to sit on our back porch in place of the little table that’s there now.

Little table.

I just recently painted the table and wanted something to put packages or other things on, so there it sits. The top of it is expanded metal which matches our patio table and a couple of chairs, so I think it will look good and be helpful on the patio instead as sort of an end table.

(Yes, I know our house is pink. It’s actually pink AND green. No, I don’t know when we will paint it. We need a new roof first. But, when we do paint it I believe it will be Sherwin-Williams Urbane Bronze. It was the color of the year for 2021. I wanted a “modern brown”, and I think this is it. Sherwin Williams believes it to be “a color that is ‘nature-inspired’ that elicits feelings of calming energy”. I debated about painting the house a different, nicer pink since we are surrounded by pastel-colored homes, but I don’t know. Probably we will just have pink doors as an homage to the color of yesteryear.)

Photo from knightcarr.com

Anyhoos, back to the bench. I spied it in a booth and asked for the price and the lady said it was ten bucks, so I bought it. The wood alone is worth that much! It is solid and heavy, but poorly made by an amateur or perhaps a nine-year-old child. That’s okay, though, because it is just going to sit on my back porch to be a place to put things or for someone to perch for a second if they really need to remove their shoes outside.

As found, the bench was a combo of purple, chartreuse, and white. Here it is as I found it:

The top of the bench was a bit too “southwest-y” for my purposes, so I had The Hubs slice the topmost rectangle off with his chop saw. He got out the level and did his best to make it straight, even though I don’t think the person who made the bench probably used a level at all. Here it is after the alteration:

Well, he took a bit more than just the topmost rectangle off to make it level.

Closeup of cut area.

Back of the bench.
Aack!

You can see in the photo above that for some reason a screw was put in right at the top of the piece that goes across the back. The other screws were put in reasonable places, but this one looks like the builder did it blind. It doesn’t really show from the front though, and after a little sanding and painting it will look fine. From the front at least!

I plan to paint the bench in an off-white color in a door and trim formula paint. It isn’t specifically for exterior applications, but since the bench will be under cover and I have plenty of that paint, I’ve decided to use it instead of buying a very expensive quart of exterior paint. I also have a plan to use this mold to make a motif to put across the back of the bench, isn’t it pretty?

From Etsy

Of course I would use the design horizontally and not vertically like it is in the photo, and plan to just use the birds and branch they’re sitting on without the other branches. You can use the silicone mold with many different mediums, the ReDesign company has a modeling material that can be used, or you can use resin or just about anything. I was thinking of using the modeling material but many reviews on Amazon say it cracks a lot. I would like to use something that would remain somewhat pliable after hardening so it would be sure to stick to the bench. If it wasn’t pliable it seems like it might fall off eventually. The Hubs says that any kind of clay or anything I would glue on there would eventually fall off because of all the moisture we have here, but I don’t know about that. I might try it anyway and see how it goes. If it falls off I can always glue it back on, heehee!

So that’s the plan. I’ll start on it sometime soon, so stay tuned!

DIY, Furniture, Oops, Projects, Success!

Finally…Results!!

Don’t forget to read the other installments in this saga — (1), (2), and (3)!

First…my oops. I couldn’t see into the magazine pockets of the table while I was staining it outside. I had brought my flashlight out to shine into the pockets to see if I missed any spots, but its batteries were dead and I didn’t go back in and get another flashlight. When I brought the table in to the house, the light illuminated a couple of glaring spots that weren’t stained. So when I should have been applying poly, I had to spend more time staining. Arrgh!

How did I miss that?
Hard to reach area.

After I stained the entire inside of the magazine pockets I checked the table and found other places I had missed, so I went after those spots. Many of them were cracks and crevices where I had to use my thumbnail in the rag to push stain into the ridges and crannies. This was made easier, however, by the fact that after rummaging around in my sanding/refinishing bin I found a whole box of gloves that are a more normal size than the yellow ones I bought. Yay! I really need to take a good inventory before I start a project, don’t I?

See that small orange area in the crevice?
A box of gloves. They are size XL (belonged to The Hubs) but still better than the yellow ones.

I went to the TV tray to start with the poly on it but when I looked at the top there were areas where the honey oak color was peeking through the kona stain, so I wiped more stain on it and left both projects to dry AGAIN. Sigh. It’s weird, because the top of the tray was pretty much bare wood, and I don’t know how that honey oak showed through. It’s hard to get rid of, that honey oak.

Why, honey oak, why? It also looks like there are “rag strokes” on the top. SIGH.

I went out to check the projects AGAIN, and saw that the top of the table just didn’t look right. I got out the stain AGAIN, and used a slightly different method to do the top — I glopped on a ton of stain and just wiped it from end to end with the grain of the wood without leaving any stops in the middle of the top. The stain is fairly fast drying so doesn’t give much wiggle room when you are trying to get a smooth surface. WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT?!

Since by the time the stain was completely dry it was the end of the day already, I didn’t get poly put on the projects that day. Finally on Monday after my errands I put the first coat of poly on the projects. In the meantime the projects were sitting in The Hubs’s small office, which I’m sure crowded him a bit!

When I finally had time again to work on the projects, I started to wipe the poly on the TV tray. I did the top first and did the legs when I did the second coat on the top. I planned to put three coats total on the TV tray top for durability since I anticipate it will be used for food and drinks. I did a first coat on the whole magazine table, except I forgot the inside walls so I did those when I did the second coat on the top. For the magazine table, I’m only doing two coats on the top and the shelves, and one coat on the rest of it.

When applying polyurethane, you are supposed to sand with 220 grit sandpaper or fine steel wool between coats. The can of poly says it should dry in two to three hours, so I waited three hours before sanding, wiping off the sanding dust, and then adding another coat of poly on both projects. I used some synthetic extra fine “steel” wool that I had and that seemed to work well. The table and tray both do look better with the polyurethane on them.

Last, I put the third coat of poly on the TV tray. Once it was dry I folded it up and put it away until we need it! It turned out well and I look forward to using it someday. I put the magazine table to use right away in back of the couch where the magazine basket used to sit.

Next project will be the kitchen table. I have to wait to start that until The Hubs has his days off, since it’s a big piece of furniture and I will need help moving it from the kitchen to the patio and back again. I’m trying to figure out whether I want to take the table top off the leg to be able to get at it better, but haven’t decided on that yet.

Here are the before and afters!

Looks lots prettier than it did, but not as good as I’d hoped.

Very big improvement, turned out great.

Takeaways from these two projects:

~ Have better tools to prepare furniture for refinishing if I ever decide to bring home something with a lot of detail again. These tools here would be very helpful. Each one has a different grit of sandpaper and it looks like you could really sand out those small spaces with these.

~ Bring your glasses when you shop, so you won’t waste money buying the wrong thing.

~ Check the supplies you already have carefully to see if there is something you can use there before buying something new.

~ Get gloves that fit, if they exist. It’s hard to get into small spaces and do detail work with giant floppity gloves on. (And check your stash to see if you already might have some gloves that fit okay.) Remember to actually WEAR the gloves the whole time once you get/find them.

SO much easier without the gloves, though.
And then remember not to rub your face. I’m not exactly sure how this happened…

~ Sand a lot more than you think you need to. I think I should have sanded the magazine table before I put the stripper on just for good measure, or maybe I should have just skipped the stripper altogether for this project and all its nooks and crannies. For the kitchen table project I will have to use stripper since the tabletop is painted and I want to get the paint off, but I think it might not have been necessary for the magazine table.

~ Practice furniture redos on items that were free or cheap and that you aren’t too invested in, because things don’t always turn out the way you want even when you follow instructions.

And finally:

~ Even if your project doesn’t turn out quite the way you’d hoped it would, be glad that you learned something!

Decor, DIY, Furniture, Home and Garden, VIntage

Table and Tray Progress

And now for some results of the magazine table and TV tray makeovers. Don’t forget to read the first and second pieces of this saga.

I got out the Polyshades stain I bought and dipped an old t-shirt rag in it to wipe it on the magazine table. As I was applying it the first thing I noticed is that it didn’t go on as dark as I had hoped it would, and just made the dark spot on the top even darker. Also, it didn’t seem to go on very well. I got my glasses and looked at the can and on the back it said…”Apply with high-quality brush.” Oh, for heaven’s sake. I didn’t have my glasses at the store and thought I was buying a wipe-on stain. Arrrgh. That’ll teach me, I guess.

Stain not dark enough to cover spot.

So I went back to the shed and got out my old can of Special Walnut wipe-on Minwax stain and poly in one that they don’t make anymore. It is SO much easier to apply stain and poly by wiping them on than by using a brush, where you get all the brush strokes and have to keep a “wet edge” the whole time. I wiped the Special Walnut all over the table, including on the parts I had already put the Espresso color on. Here are photos of that result.

Blargh! It was not dark enough to cover any imperfections and didn’t stick very well to some places. At this point I considered this project a FAIL.

But wait! I decided to go see if I had anything else in the shed, and what do you think I found? A brand new can of this Varathane wipe-on wood stain in Ebony! That should be dark enough! There is also a can of Varathane wipe-on stain in Kona, which is a nice dark stain as well. Dries in one hour! Aha!

Dries in one hour! (It really didn’t, but…)

I left the magazine table to dry overnight and got back to it bright and early this morning. After scuffing the table up with some fine steel wool and wiping it off with a tack cloth, I got out the Varathane and started applying it with an old t-shirt scrap. (Keep in mind that at this point I’m sort of making things up as I go along to try to salvage the table.)

Scuffing up the top.

Hey, the ebony stain mostly covered the spot on top!

Will it cover the scratches?

It mostly did cover the scratches!

After I gave the table one coat of ebony stain, I decided to let it dry and come back for another coat. The front sides of the table that were sort of an orange color didn’t take the stain very well even though I scuffed them, and the inside walls and outside ends didn’t take the stain very well either. Here’s how it looked with one coat:

With one coat of stain. Better than before.

You can see how it didn’t take the stain very well on these pieces.

I let the table dry while I went on some errands. When I got back I put another coat of stain on. Here’s how it looked after the second coat of stain:

Eh, still about the same. Not great.

Meanwhile, during the second coat’s dry time, I started on the TV tray. I chose the Varathane wipe-on stain in Kona for the tray. It is a nice dark brown. I started on the underside of the tray:

Underneath first.

Once I stained the underside and legs of the tray, I let that dry and then flipped it over and stained the top side, and touched up in areas on the legs that needed it. It looks good and the next step for both projects is the wipe-on polyurethane to protect the wood.

Not bad.

I decided to try the wipe-on poly on the magazine table to see if it improves the look of it. There are a lot of weird spots where the stain is darker or lighter than other parts, and I’m hoping maybe the poly will at least even it out so it will be all one sheen. I had about half a can of the poly and needed more to apply multiple coats on both projects, so I ordered it and some more tack cloths since the items have to be sanded between coats. Since I am using oil-based stains, I will use this oil-based poly.

The stain on both projects needs to dry for awhile and tomorrow I have a hike planned, so I won’t get back to these for a couple of days.

Will the magazine table ultimately be a success or a fail? Will the TV tray turn out the way it’s supposed to?

TUNE IN NEXT TIME TO SEE REAL, ACTUAL END RESULTS (I hope)!!

DIY, Projects

Magazine Table 2

I got outside about 8:00 yesterday morning and started sanding on the magazine table. I thought I would just do hand-sanding with pieces of sandpaper and sanding blocks, because it was still early for many people and I didn’t want to wake anyone up with my loud electric Mouse sander. But, when I looked in my sandpaper stash, it turned out I only had one small piece of 100-grit sandpaper and the next one up was 220. I was using the 100-grit on the top shelf of the table, but it wasn’t even doing a very good job, and it especially didn’t seem to help on the edges of the table. I had to go to Lowe’s to get some wood conditioner so I put sandpaper on the list too. While I was there I bought some Minwax Polyshades stain and poly in one can, in the shade Espresso, because I wasn’t sure if the old stain I had in the shed would still be good.

When I got back from my shopping I got out the Mouse and started on the top of the table. I sanded it smooth, but the big dark spot wouldn’t sand out. I hoped the stain would be dark enough to mostly cover the spot.

Dark spot won’t come out.

Although the table has two “good” sides – meaning that it’s finished on both sides instead of having one side you would put against the wall – one of the sides is more dinged up than the other and has the deep scratches seen here. I’m hoping that the stain will cover these as well so they don’t look so glaring.

How do things like this happen?

For now I plan to use it as an end table in the living room with one side against the arm of the couch, and I will put my magazines in it instead of in the two-tiered metal basket I’ve been using for years for magazine display. I love the basket, but I think it’s time for a change.

Since I was sanding the magazine table, I decided to go for sanding this folding/TV tray I got at a garage sale as well. It once had a honey oak finish (can be seen underneath), but it looks like it was left outside and the finish is worn away on the top and the legs. I debated painting it with an off-white chalk-style paint and then stenciling the top, or just staining the top and painting the legs, but at this point I’ve decided to stain the whole thing the same color as the magazine table. The top is such nice wood that I thought it would be a shame to paint over it. It must have cost someone a pretty penny at one time! (I mean, have you priced TV trays lately? Even on Amazon the costs are prohibitive! Plus, the stencil I liked would have cost $22 with shipping.)

I sanded and sanded and sanded some more. There are all sorts of nooks and crannies in the magazine table and it was hard to get at many of them. I also found some stripper that was still hiding here and there and had to use my steel wool dipped in mineral spirits to get that off. I usually don’t sand with gloves on, so I kept forgetting to put my glove on when I was using the mineral spirits. Oops! Of course, if they made chemical-resistant gloves that would fit my short little fingers…

Once I thought the table was sanded enough, I started on the TV tray. That one was easy and zoop zoop it was done. I used the tack cloth to get the sanding dust off of both projects and then I was ready to stain the magazine table.

How do you think the projects will turn out? TUNE IN TOMORROW FOR RESULTS!

Antiquing, Decor, DIY, Furniture, Projects, VIntage

Magazine Table

I got this cute little table for free on Facebook and it is in rough shape, although not too dinged up except in a couple of places. The woman who gave it to me just left it outside on her porch in the rain for me to pick up, so that didn’t help its condition. The Hubs said I should refinish it instead of painting it, so I’m giving it a go. It will be a “practice run” in anticipation of refinishing the top of our kitchen table.

It’s called a “magazine table” because it has the pockets on the sides where you would put magazines or newspapers (if anyone subscribed to the paper newspaper anymore at home).

Here is the table before cleaning (I did take some change, an earring, a lot of dust fluffs, and an old baseball card out of the magazine pockets. The Boy was glad to have the baseball card!)

Here is the table. Can you believe someone let their kids scrape the finish off and drip nail polish on the top?

Top of table. Ouch.

Bottom shelf.

Inside magazine pocket. There is a bit of wood missing from the curvy part, but I’ve decided to just stain over it rather than try to repair it. The sides of the magazine pockets are very thin and fragile.

First, I gathered my supplies. I chose to use Citristrip as the finish remover for this project, as it doesn’t have toxic fumes to worry about. You need a brush to apply it and a plastic putty knife to scrape the old finish off. Since it is a strong chemical (even though it is citrus-based) I got some gloves and wore safety glasses while applying the stripper. I used the instructions from a blog called DecorHint as a reference for the job.

After cleaning it with a damp rag, I set the table on some cardboard and brushed on a thick layer of Citristrip with a chip brush.

Next, you let it sit until it dissolves the old finish. Since the finish is fairly thin, in some places it was already working by the time I coated the whole table. I scraped off some of the stripper on the bottom shelf and one of the sides and the finish came right off.

It’s working!

I tried the top and the finish wouldn’t all come off, so I re-coated it and thought I would let it all sit for about three hours. To be effective the stripper has to stay wet, so I checked on it occasionally to make sure it hadn’t dried out. You can use plastic wrap to cover the stripper to keep it from drying out, but I decided to just monitor it and see how that went.

Re-coated the top.

I went out after two hours and checked the table, and it was pretty much ready to strip at that time. At least most of it was. The top seems to have a different finish than the rest of the table, so there will be more sanding there. It should be fairly easy because it’s mostly a flat surface. The edges of the top will also need more attention.

The top – still looks pretty dark.

These side pieces and the sides of the pockets turned out this color after the stripper was scraped off. I hope I can sand out and cover up the gouges in this side piece.

After scraping most of the Citristrip off, I wiped the table down with paper towels and cleaned it with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits. Here is how it looked after its mineral spirits bath. There is a bit of gunk still lingering, but it will be removed in the sanding step.

Sanding, and hopefully finishing, will happen tomorrow. I have another little project I’m going to interject as well while the magazine table is drying, I think.

Crafting, Decor, DIY, Projects

Decoupage

On Monday I decided to do a craft project that had been languishing in the “projects” bin for who knows how long. I had an old cookie sheet and I wanted to decoupage it with old sheet music to make a tea or dinner tray. It is the perfect size. Now that I don’t have to be planning for the PCT, I can get some projects done!

I got out the cookie sheet and found the Mod Podge, and looked at my sheet music stash. There were not nearly enough pieces of old sheet music to cover the tray, so I took the biggest page and photocopied it on my printer. I made seven or eight copies. The sheet music was a nice yellowed color that showed up a little bit in the copies, and I thought that would work fine. I didn’t want a bright white look.

Sheet music, cookie sheet, Outdoor Mod Podge, paintbrush

I ripped the music copies into long strips and started in sticking them to the cookie sheet. I started on the back side, 1) so I could see how I wanted to do it; and 2) because I wanted to fold the sides up from the bottom so the top would look nice; and 3) in case I didn’t like it at all and wanted to go a different direction.

Rip!

I used outdoor Mod Podge for the tray, because I imagine it would be more durable in case of spills, etc. Mod Podge is a glue and a sealer, you use it to stick your paper or fabric to your surface, and then brush it all over to seal.

You can brush it on the surface or apply it to the paper.

It stuck really well and I went on putting my paper pieces on the cookie sheet. I tore off some smaller pieces too. I decided to do the sides first with lengthwise strips, so they would be completely covered. The paintbrush I used is a lesser-quality one I had in my painting bin.

Sides first.

I made sure the sides were completely covered and that the paper overlapped the edges so I could flip it over to the top side. While you are decoupaging, it is a good idea to keep a wet cloth nearby for wiping your hands and another cloth to dry them, as the Mod Podge does get all over your fingers.

Here is the back decoupaged and with one coat all over of the Mod Podge. You are supposed to put a few thin coats on to seal the project.

While I waited for the back and sides of the tray to dry, I put another coat of white craft paint on this “Adventure” sign. I got it at Target awhile back, along with an “Imagine” sign. The “Imagine” sign came already painted pink on the lower half and is hanging on my office wall, but the “Adventure” was a dark yellow which doesn’t go with my office décor. I thought of painting it green, but since I’m going to hang it on the green wall it seemed like white might be better. I like words and I like to have them all over the house, ha!

I forgot to take a “Before” photo of this one. The toothpicks at the top are to mark where the nails go.

This one didn’t need to be modified.

Here’s the “Adventure” sign on the wall. It looks much better now.

I had to photocopy and rip up some more music sheets, so I did that while I waited for the bottom of the tray to dry. My method of pasting small pieces of paper all over instead of using one large piece used a lot of Mod Podge, so I decided to let the tray dry overnight before I attempted to decoupage the top side. In the morning everything was still tacky, so I decided to wait another day.

Since the way I did the bottom of the tray seems to have added way too much Mod Podge, for the top I brushed a thin coat of Mod Podge on the backs of the paper pieces themselves to stick them down, instead of putting it on the tray first and then having to put more layers on to get all the pieces to stick.

Brushed on paper instead of tray surface.

Then I brushed a light coat of Mod Podge over the whole top and edges of the tray. I hadn’t decoupaged in awhile, and I often do take the “scenic route” when crafting, especially when I have made up the craft on my own.

Scenic route or short cut — neither is great when crafting.

And finally, here is the finished product, all ready for tea! What do you think?

Up above the world you fly, like a tea tray in the sky…

DIY, Furniture, Home, Oops, Projects, Success!

The Chairs, Phase 4

Don’t forget to read Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 first!

TLDR: Chairs are painted, seats recovered, yay!

I didn’t paint the chairs last Tuesday, but instead waited until today (Saturday) to paint them, partly to let the primer cure a little more, and partly because the weather is only going to be in the 70s today instead of the 90s and paint works a little better when it isn’t so hot. Phase 4 begins as follows:

This side is painted now.

Remember when I said I was going to primer the underside of the chairs and then do the top parts? Yeah…I didn’t. I just set the chairs right side up on their boxes and painted everything I could reach. And you know what? I missed some of the underneath parts and I’m not going to paint them at all. To be honest, I’m tired of waiting and just want to get my chairs back in the kitchen where they belong, so I don’t want any more delays (i.e. waiting for paint to dry). The paint I’m using is Sherwin Williams Pro Classic Semi-Gloss in Whitetail, which is the same color as our kitchen walls.

I painted this side of the chair and checked to see that there were no drips. Then I waited 2 hours for it to dry before turning it over and painting the upper side. While I waited for the paint to dry I recovered the chair seats with the new green Scotchgarded outdoor fabric. It should look nice with the white and I’m expecting the fabric to last a long time since it is easy to clean and meant for outdoor use.

To hold the new upholstery on the seats, I used a staple gun I hadn’t used before. Last time I recovered the seats I just used hot glue which worked fine, but this time I wanted to try the staple gun.

The Staple Gun

At first I couldn’t figure out how to close it after I loaded the staples. I took it to The Hubs who informed me that I had put the staples in upside down. It didn’t occur to me that it would be different from a regular stapler, duh! The staple gun worked okay, except it didn’t shoot the staples in all the way and I had to pound them in with a hammer. I tried many ways of holding it and changed the setting that is supposed to change how deep the staples go, but nothing fixed the issue. Also, sometimes it shot out two or three staples at once.

Not sure why this was happening.

After I cut the fabric I noticed that it had many fold marks, so I got out the iron. I ironed it with an old flour-sack towel over the fabric to see if that would work just in case the fabric wasn’t ironable, but I finally just ironed on the fabric and it worked fine. I used the linen/cotton setting with steam. I forget what the fabric is made of.

This is what the underside of the seat looked like after I stapled the fabric down. Then I suddenly realized that I had covered up the holes for the screws that hold the seats to the chairs. Oops! I thought I might have to take the fabric off and start again, but The Hubs assures me he can get the seats attached to the chairs without a redo.

Not the neatest.

But this side looks great!!

Painting the chairs.

After a few more rounds of painting/drying, I finished painting the chairs today. I haven’t attached the seats for real yet, I want to wait until the paint is completely cured. Here is one chair, in all its glory. Ta daaa!! They aren’t perfect, but they’ll do. Now to schedule a time to work on the table!

Ta daaaaa!!

Here’s a reminder of what the chairs looked like before: