Wednesday, August 31, 2011

French Inspiration Table.

I bought this table about 2 weeks ago. This table was purchased primarily because I needed chairs for the oak table. When I saw the picture on Craigslist, I was keeping my fingers crossed that this table was a good quality table. The reason being is in my "design wishlist" is this picture:

I love this table and it is one of the reason why I refinished the oak table in the way that I did. When I actually went to pick up the table it was a so-so quality but it came with the chairs.  Now, just a few days later I came across another table and chair set. This time it was a Henredon table with 10 chairs for $95.00. I couldn't refuse, this was the quality and style that I wanted. The Henredon table is of course done in the speckled finish, so there will is ANOTHER table in my future. Here is a picture of the Henredon:

Can you believe it, it is beautiful and it looks like my dream picture (almost)!
Okay so on to the so-so table, this is a project table for me. I am not sure what I will do with it, maybe try and sell it to at least get my money back. My idea for this table was to first do another refinish on it to get practice for the Henredon table but as I said this table was so-so quality and as I stripped it it showed. On to the next plan do a washed finish on top using Old White, then clear and dark wax like One Nutty Girl. It didn't work out so well for me. Okay on to the next plan, paint the table top in Annie Sloan Graphite. Graphite was not my favorite to work with. It shows so much dust and such as I was painting and looked so dull even after waxing. I was also having an issue with the previous wax (from the white-wash technique) I had put on the table. I know you can paint over the wax with this paint but I wonder if I was suppose to do something first. I did try wiping as much of it off as I could.  Anyways, once I added the dark wax it made a world of difference. I don't know if this is a good thing or not but if I had to describe the look of the table top I would say worn leather. It really has a faux leather look to it and I  like it. I would like to see a piece in person painted by a professional ASCP expert to see the finish. If I had t guess, mine is not how it should be.  I painted the base of the table Paris Gray (love Paris Gray!!), waxed in both clear and dark wax. When I went in with the dark wax I wasn't loving how dark it was so I mixed up the wax with a little bit of mineral spirits and it seemed to go on not as dirty looking and was easier to wipe off. I am still working on the chairs which will go with this table. I don't need them now, that I have 10 Henredon chairs. I am a little nervous about trying to finish the Henredon table because I know at one point this table cost a lot. Well I hope you enjoy my project table. If you have any tips on painting after having waxed please let me know.
Here are the Beauty Shots!

Table Before

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Monday, August 29, 2011

$25 Oak Table Turned Beautiful!!

Little Disclaimer: I think my blog should be renamed My Creative Pink's Mishaps and redo's!!!

IT'S DONE!!! This table is the second piece of furniture I have purchased off of Craigslist and I purchased it for $25. I bought it because of all the beautiful refinished tables I have seen and thought this would be a great practice piece. The table was actually a solid oak table, not veneer and was in good shape. I know nothing about refinishing furniture but there is so much information on the Internet that I got to work searching out ideas. I of course looked at Miss Mustard Seed's information on table stripping and refinishing. I also found Lauren's blog First Comes Love where she refinished a table and I used the stripper she used. I knew exactly how I wanted to finish this table, dark stained top and creamy white pedestal. There is no shortage of inspiration for this look. I went out and bought a little palm sander (I have since decided to look for a more macho sander), Citristrip Varnish remover, gloves, mask, different courses of sand paper and wood stain. I noticed that many people use Minwax Dark Walnut stain so naturally I purchased this. Things started out really well and the Citristrip seemed to really work.

Once the table was stripped I sanded the table smooth and I got out the wood stain. I started to apply the stain with a rag but I didn't do it exactly right. As I was applying the stain I was also wiping it off vs. applying it liberally, letting it sit, and then wiping it off. Either way it looked good. The next day I went back and applied the second coat as per the directions, leaving it sit over night. This is where things went wrong. I wish I would have saved the pictures I had taken to show you but basically the table wasn't looking so great. First I could see variations in the way the stain was taking and I could see sanding marks. Not scratches but the marks from the sander itself. Then to make matter's worse the stain was weeping out of the chevron's in the grain. All over the table it looked like I had taken a spray bottle and sprayed stain all over the table. What?? I wiped it away, went on-line to figure this out, and found some instructions on Minwax to use a clean bristle brush with mineral spirits and scrub up the stain. I can't find the link now but that is what I did. I waited a few more days and it still seemed to still be doing this, not as much though. To top that off I was disappointed in the the color. It seemed dull to me, not the rich look that I had seen on other's projects and the end grain (the lip of the table top) was so much darker.  Now what? I decided to take the leaf from the table to Rockler a woodshop hardware store. They were very helpful and when I told them which stain I was using 2 people on 2 different days said it wasn't a good stain. I said that can't be, everyone uses it and they said it was a well advertised. They directed me to use General Finishes Gel Stain and although this is my first time ever re-staining a table and I am no expert, this stain was a huge difference right from the get go!! It was amazing, but before I could see just how amazing it was I had to sand so much.. so tiring. Finally the reward of applying stain. I applied the stain with a rag and it went on so smooth like butter and wiped off just as smooth. The first coat wasn't enough and so I ended up applying 3 coats of the Java color, but I knew with the first few swipes of Java that this was a rich, beautiful color. Once the table was stained I had my husband unscrew the table top so that I could paint the pedestal base. I used Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint. Of course if you have read my blog, NOTHING goes smoothly for me. The first coat dried and I was able to see various small cracks in the pedestal (nothing that hurts the stability) so I went back with wood filler. I also was able to see little dots of bleed through from the pedestal underneath.. seriously!! Now if your are reading this and aren't familiar with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint then you should know it is fabulous!! What makes it so? No sanding, no priming, just grab your brush and go. It covers over everything but occasionally there will be a bleed through and well if it is to be, then it would be so with me.  I went back and sanded in those areas, repainted, only to see the bleed though again. I then went in with some clear wax, waxed, repainted, and the result was only a small area still showed through. I finished the table with a few more coats, waxed, distressed, dark waxed, and finished!!
Well not quite, I still needed to apply the top coat on the table top. If this post seems like forever, it is because this table feels like it took forever! When reading other blogs you see the transformations but not the many hours behind those transformations.
For my top coat I used Polyurethane Gel Wipe-on Satin Clear Coat purchased at Rockler and I have applied 5 coats. This is a very helpful instruction that I found on how to apply wipe-on poly. Read it if you plan on using wipe-on.
I finished that last coat last night and will apply a clear wax in a few weeks for added protection. I will have recap at the end of this post but first enjoy the beauty shots.

Here is a recap of what I have learned and maybe it will help you with your project:

  • It is very important to make sure the previous varnish is completely removed. It may look and feel as though it is but make certain.
  • Clean the table thoroughly with Mineral Spirits using a stripping pad or fine steel wool to remove any remnants from the stripper.
  • Sand, Sand, and Sand some more. I was working with a solid oak table and didn't have to worry about a veneer. Please keep that in mind when working with a veneer top. I used 80 grit, 100 grit, 120 grit, 150 grit, and finally 180 grit.
  • On the last sanding (min was with 180 grit) sand by hand using a sanding block. This will sand away the various palm sander marks.
  • Clean away all the sanding dust with a tack cloth, I also went back in with a cloth slightly dampened with mineral spirits.
  • Seal the end grain of the table, this will always stain darker. I used the Polyurethane gel on recommendation from the guys at Rockler. I wiped it on the lip end of the table and let it dry. it prevented it from getting too dark  when the stain was applied and the table top matches perfectly.
  • Read directions, and read them again. With everything I read, when I went back to double check the instructions I caught something different.
  • I strongly suggest reading the link above on the technique to applying the varnish.
With the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint:
  • Cut the paint with water. I didn't do this with this project or my chair and the can of paint went very quickly. I did this with my secretary and got beautiful coverage using less paint. It may take a few more coats but it is still using less paint. This stuff is expensive and it is awesome it can be stretched with water.
  • Clean older pieces more then a dusting. Older stains can seep through. I used paint thinner when cleaning my secretary and this was a much older piece. There was no bleed through. If I had done this with the table maybe the bleed through wouldn't have happen or maybe it would have.

Misc. Bullet Points:
  • Just because it worked for everyone else doesn't mean it is meant to work for you.
  • It will take longer to complete your project then it was to read this post, I know hard to believe!
  • And Lastly, enjoy yourself. It might be frustrating and you might discover you have super hero strength when you pick up your project and heave it across the room but the end result can be very rewarding as is my brand new table.
and just to prove just how fun this is:

Stay tuned!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Just a Little Blue!!

When I started this journey (painting furniture) a few weeks back I purchased a very old secretary off of Craigslist. I bought it from a girl who had just moved to Ocean Beach from out of town. When I saw the posting for this she was asking $20 for it, which was within my budget. I was so excited because I could tell it was a very old piece but when I went to pick it up my excitement fizzled. It was in fact old and but it showed. It had a separation of the wood straight down on the side (plus other stuff) and it was actually smaller then I had expected. The girl told me it was her grandmother's and that her grandmother used to pay her bills on it. I loved that history and for $20 bucks I decided to take it. For the last several weeks I have just stared at it wishing I hadn't bought it. It was pretty beat up for my skill level.  I spoke with a wood guy and he said the type of separation in the wood was not really fixable. So I just left it and got to work on my chair, and then my table. My table needs a few more coats of poly but it has been so hot that I haven't wanted to mess with the poly drying to fast. In the meantime I decided to do something with the secretary. I had a vision in my head and have really loved the French Images from The Graphic Fairy. I wanted to put a graphic on the front and on the inside of the secretary. The funny thing is when I went to check out her blog, there was a vintage secretary that did the same thing! Well, I had to figure out how to get that image onto the secretary and saw that it mentioned a Modge Podge technique. I printed my images, this one for the front and this one for the inside. I wanted to paint the outside of the piece Paris Gray and the inside Aubusson Blue (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint). I painted the inside first and then started on the outside but it wasn't looking right. The two colors weren't working that well together and the Paris Gray didn't look like I had thought. I continued painting until the whole secretary was finished. It was getting late and I had things I need to get done so I started to clean up. As I was cleaning up, I spotted a paint can and was like "which one is this" I took a look "uh-oh, Paris Gray, oh-no!" running outside "what have I been paint with??, Are you kidding me, DUCK EGG BLUE!!!" Yup, I painted the whole thing Duck Egg Blue, which would explain why Paris Gray just didn't look right. I AM NOT EVEN COLOR BLIND!! The crazy thing is, it wasn't until I read the words Duck Egg Blue that I saw it as blue... geez! It is a good example of how the brain can trick you. The next day, I got to work and re-painted again with Paris Gray. This time the Aubusson Blue looked beautiful! The two colors were working so nicely together... more work but I was happy! I left the desk to dry and waxed and worked on my images. I woke up this morning and well the Modge Podge thing didn't work out so well. The imaged is still on the inside but there isn't one on the outside anymore. I found Red Hen Home blog and she used a projector, my hubby has one so in the future this will be the technique I will use. I really wanted the modge podge to work because it seemed so easy. When I look at others who have used this technique I don't see any paper left but mine had paper still. Any tips?
I didn't mention it above but with the secretary I just filled in the split wood with wood filler and nailed it together where I could. You can see a line but that is okay.
Here are the pictures of my Secretary. I am still trying to figure out waxing with both clear and dark wax as well as the distressed look. I want it to look naturally distressed and in some areas it does look like that but in others not so much. I would love your feed back and tips. Currently I have Annie Sloan's clear wax and Fiddes and Sons Clear and Ruggar Brown wax. Okay while on that topic, I want to give a shout out to John Millen Hardware who I bought the waxes from on recommendation from Miss Mustard Seed. I ordered it and it was to me in 2 days!
I am still trying to figure out linky party etiquette so if you could also give me some tips on that I would appreciate it!

Paris Gray's feeling a little Blue!
Mommy's helper!

Thank you for looking!

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stocking up!

New hobbies are incredibly expensive and time consuming! The problem with me, okay it isn't a problem per say but when I decide I want to try something I go all in. For instance sewing, I have sewn off and on over the years and I am more then a novice at this craft but still a long ways from being an expert, well since I  sewed I had to have a serger (Anniversary Gift). I like to make cards and do paper crafts so I bought a Cuttlebug and well since I had one of those I needed a Cricut Expression (also an Anniversary Gift) and lets not forget to mention the time my Abigail was  5 months old and I just had to have her wear bows and headbands. Yes, I had to go out and buy every e-book tutorial on how to make bows.. Do you see where I am going with this??? So here I am trying my hand at being a DIY'er and it started off easy enough (have I met me?) I heard about Annie Sloan's chalk paint and really wanted to try it out. I went to pick up Old White and Paris Grey and walked out with 2 additional colors. Now I found a really sturdy vintage desk on Craigslist but it is in great shape and I worried about messing it up, so I had to find a practice piece. That steal of a desk turned into a side table (which I actually sold !)  that side table turned into 2 chairs (1 finished), those chairs turned into a secretary desk (still shaking my head at that purchase, I may just give it away),  the secretary turned into a table, and well that table turned into 4 more chairs (1 is primed and it is sticky, what's up with that?).
Now each one of these items were purchased through craigslist and the most I paid for a single item was $25 or less. The little hiccup in my budget was that I had absolutely nothing, nada, zip, zilch, with regards to supplies. We rent, not much fixing up and painting going on here. So off I went since having blogs upon blogs of inspiration, Craigslist furniture and no supplies just wouldn't do. Yeah, supplies really add up especially since I had to buy an air compressor and pneumatic upholstery staple gun. (Did I mention, I jump in feet first, head first, etc.) I do have to preface the fact that I have really bad wrists and I gave it a valiant effort to use a manual and electric staple gun but I literally ended up with my wrists in my braces and Motrin for 3 days. I wonder if we could write those off as preventative medical expenses? Okay I digress, so I am armed with supplies and then there is the table fiasco (mentioned in another post, but bad stain job, stain weeping back up etc.) , which by the way has turned around nicely thanks to a nice man at Rockler Woodworking Store. I ended up taking the leaf of the table to this store and he told me hope was not lost. I just had to put on my "big girl panties" (okay he didn't say that!) but what he did say made me happy and I will post all about it in my Table reveal post.

So, I am not quite sure where this post came from, oh wait I remember now. So I am working on this table and I have 4 chairs. Hubby is really loving the progress on the table and asked how many chairs I have, well he wants 6 chairs and not mismatched. He said check Craigslist and if I find chairs in a set then we could just dump the table (I snickered at that!). This was actually music to my ears because I had my eye on a beautiful table and chair set on Craiglist for over a week, the table is very similar to Miss Mustard Seed's new dining table and the chairs were all cane back chairs. I had no money in my budget to buy this set with all my other furniture purchaseses but it was a good lesson, wait until it's just perfect, not because it's cheap.  When I saw the add for this table I really kicked myself because it was a beauiful table and was a full set whereas my table (it is a nice table) and the 4 little chairs is are not. The kicker, this set cost only $20 more, again I saw it as a lesson learned. With hubby giving the go ahead and look at Craigslist (he may block this site in the future!), I immediately checked and the table was still posted, I made contact and it is still available and they will sell it for $75 which is now $5 less then my original set. I am going to look at it tomorrow and most likely buy it. I will also be  faced with a dilemma. If this table is indeed nicer then the oak table I have pretty much poured my crafting heart and soul into, what do I do? I still have a ways to go on the current table, poly coating and painting the base. Maybe I will sell that one when it is finished. All I know is that I have never worked this hard physically, man it is hard work refinishing a table. I actually sweat (Carol Seaver "I do not sweat! I glissen!" Mike Seaver exit's room "Glissen like a pig!!" Carol Seaver Growing Pains..) when I am working but I truly have enjoyed it and when I wake up in the morning I look forward to finding time to work on these things. I will update on the new table and chairs as well as the old "new" table!

Monday, August 15, 2011

My First Reupholstery is DONE!!!

I don't know how all the DIY'ers do it. I am amazed at how many projects they have done and seem to do overnight. Me, well my little project turned into what seemed like forever. I painted, repainted, and then started the upholstery part but with my weak wrists stapling became a "wear your brace, take three Motrin's and check back in the morning" kind of  deal. My husband already had a manual staple gun but I knew I would need something with a bit more power so I purchased an electric stapler. For every 10 staples I shot, 8 of them had to come out. I also couldn't hold the fabric tight and hold down the gun very well. I was so frustrated after all that I have put into this project to come to this road. Hubby called me at the tail end of my discovering I just couldn't do it with the tools that I had. I broke down in frustration telling him my woes and the fact that I have discovered from various blogs that pneumatic is the way to go. Bless his heart, he said "well, I guess you will have to get one".  So with hubby's go ahead I went out and purchased a pneumatic upholstery staple gun and air compressor. I first purchased one from Home Depot (just a basic pneumatic stapler) but it had way to much power and shot those staples clear to the other side. That just won't do so I did a search and it seemed that upholstery guns need to be purchased online. I kept searching and actually found a local tool store that had one in stock. I immediately returned the first gun back to HD, and then bought the upholstery gun from Tool Up. The night before when I had the first gun I found this post about Upholstery Basics:Tool Time which walks you through getting your air compressor and staple gun all hooked up. I have to say the instruction manual for the air compressor scared me crazy and I feared I would get blown up. So see this post it took the scary away (sort of) and I followed those instructions again with my new staple gun. I immediately noticed a difference with this gun, the size was more comfortable and I could just tell this was the right one. The first time I shot a staple through the upholstery gun it was such a huge difference, it had just the right amount of power to drive the staple into the wood with out blowing through the wood. With in 10 minutes I had the back of the chair completed and was so happy, I had to run in the house and give hubby a big kiss!
I still needed to pull the fabric tight but no pressure on my wrists while stapling. The next night I worked on the base of the seat and it isn't perfect but for my first upholstery project I think I did really well. I used gimp to cover the staples and I burnt burnt the heck out of my forearm with the tip of the staple gun..ouch!! I do believe is going to scar. I have to say with all the trial and error my first project was a success. I do cringe at the fact that I have a whole other chair like this one to complete. The actual painting an reupholstery was not biggy compared to removing the original fabric. This was a big, big pain! I am trying to decide if I want to do the chair exactly the same or completely different. I currently don't have a spot for them in my house so these are just for fun projects.
I also have 4 dining chairs to start on, these will be a much easier project with just a base seat.
I wish I could update you with something positive about my dining table but this project has become worse and worse. It seemed like everything was going great but when I applied the stain it went from bad, to really bad. I talked with someone at a wood shop and they said I needed to re-sand the table. This is not going well at all. I will be taking the table leaf to the store to see if this is salvageable or if I just need to scrap it. Good thing it cost only $25 dollars. Of course that is not factoring in the cost of supplies.. I will update later! Here are the pictures of my chairs! I mentioned it in this post, but my inspiration was from Marian from Miss Mustard Seed, she is amazing and with how busy her blog is she was responded to my email so quickly. That made my day, well that and my finished chair!! Paint colors used: Old White as base, Duck Egg Blue all over, Paris Gray dry brushed, and clear wax

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