Raised Stencil Technique

I recently discovered a beautiful technique to add depth and beauty to almost any piece of furniture and I just have to share it with you.  It is raised stencil.

Last year I purchased a sewing machine/cabinet at an auction for $3.  It weighed a ton and stayed in the garage for several months.  I finally decided the only way I could move the cabinet into the house by myself was to remove the machine.  Of course, I had always planned on removing the machine and up-cycling the cabinet but never seemed to get around to it.  So I finally bit the bullet one week while hubby was out of town and began the transformation.  The machine itself weighed nearly 40 pounds.  (yes, I weighed it… I just could not believe how heavy it was).

Once I got it into the house, I removed the legs and began painting.  I also removed the hinges and secured the top with a brad nailer.  I really wanted to make a drawer inside for storage but when you open the door, there is a plastic spool rack that cannot be removed (the legs are attached to it).

I knew the look I wanted but wasn’t sure how to achieve it.

After one coat of chalk paint, I added a stencil and went over it with Sheetrock mud.  When I lifted the stencil, I had a beautiful raised effect. (below left: applying the stencil to one side of the side of the cabinet; below right:  the door after applying the full stencil)

A few more coats of paint, a little sanding, and a couple coats of Polycrylic and I was ready to add some antiquing glaze.  I combined a dark oak stain with a glazing medium and applied over the raised stencil and rubbed it off to achieve the look I wanted.

Ta Da!  I must admit I am totally in love with this piece but it WILL go in the booth for sale.  I have another cabinet in my living room I will transform for myself (when I get the time).

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Rainy Day Projects

Here in the south, we are not accustomed to being shut in often.  However, the month of January saw below average temperatures and dreary days.

I seized the opportunity to work on a few projects that I had been putting off.

Last year a good friend gave me a hutch she was going to trash.  It had been sitting in the garage for months so I finally decided to bring it in and turn it into a sewing and craft storage unit.

Befiore
During
After

The second project was a coffee table I picked up at an auction last year as a “freebie”.  I love it when you have your eye on something in particular and the auctioneer just keeps adding to the pile.  I get the goodies I want for a good price and a few freebies tossed in for good measure.  Some I can use, come I can’t.  I decided to chalk paint, stencil, and wax this piece.  However, I am pretty sad with the way the dark wax looks.  It just seems so splotchy to me and I am not sure how to even it out.  Maybe someone will fall in love with it and scarf it up.

 

Last but not least is an adorable suitcase makeover.  I have had this garage sale find for a few years.  It was originally blue so I kept it in  my living room with a few items displayed but I just didn’t have room in the new house.  I finally found the perfect inspiration online and used a couple of old pillow shame to create this lovely addition to any Victorian/Shabby Chic room, wedding, or shower.  This was also my first attempt at raised (3D) stenciling.

Lace Tabletop

I scored this cute little table at an auction.  At first glance it looked perfect so I was excited to get it for such a steal.

However, once we got it home we discovered it had a small nail-hole in the top.  My husband removed the nails and noticed the piece was engineered in such a way that the legs would just slip into slots and become extremely sturdy without the need of fasteners of any kind.

After he put the table back together, I had the (more) difficult task of choosing a paint color.  I opted for a blue-green chalk paint (I added Plaster of Paris and water to make my own).  Although, I was happy with the color, something was missing… AND there was still a hole in the top.  So I dug through my stash of linens and found an old tattered lace table cloth.

I placed the tablecloth on the table, centering the design as much as possible and spray painted it with white paint.  Using a smaller cloth I repeated the process on the lower level of the table.  After the paint was dry, I sanded, lightly distressed, and waxed the entire piece.  This technique helps to hide the small hole as it just blends in with the rest of the distressed look.

I hope you like the outcome as much as I do.

 

Vanity Update – update

After much searching and nearly two years of work (and procrastination), we finally have a finished vanity.

If you missed the BEFORE, you can check it out below, or visit the “Vanity Update” link for the full transformation journey.

It took some time to find the perfect mirror as the original dresser did not have one.  I was actually torn between two different ones but ended up with the one below and I am quite happy with the finished product.

 

A Couch to Swoon For!

via Daily Prompt: Paint

A few months ago I found this swan fainting couch for a mere $20.  I loved the fact that it was a fainting sofa and that it was so inexpensive so I jumped at the chance to make it something more.

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It had some damage; an angry cat and a wobbly let but, all-in-all, it was sturdy and fixable.

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We started by taking the entire piece apart.  We always work carefully and take a lot of pictures so we will know how it goes back together.

My initial hope was to strip the finish and bring out the natural wood and reupholster with a light colored fabric.  However, when we tried to strip the finish it was nearly impenetrable.

We tried several techniques and products but eventually gave up.  The wood under the finished was very usual and would not take stain well so we stopped working in the couch and started some other projects.

Finally, after a few months of research, I decided to go ahead and paint the couch.  I am not a fan of painting furniture but this had to be an exception as the wood was nothing that would take a stain or could even be treated to preserve the natural look.  (I am thinking it is made of Poplar).

I started by cleaning out all of the little nooks and crannies and wiping down to remove any dust and grime.  Next, I primed each piece with Kilz.

Once I added a couple of coats of paint, it was time I took the piece inside so I could add the finishing touches.  Even though it may seem less practical, I like to do the detail work in my house.  My shop tends to be dusty and I hated to risk messing up the white finish.

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I decided to go with an antiquing glaze instead of distressing by sanding (not a fan as it tends to damage the wood).

This was my first large project with the glaze and I was very pleased.  Just look at the detail!

Next, it was time to add the seating.  Since the original board under the foam was broken, we chose to cut a new piece of plywood for a nice sturdy seat.

We were able to reuse most of the original foam.  I used the original fabric for a pattern and began the task of rebuilding.

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It took some time and much “discussion” over the correct way to add the seating but we finally agreed to disagree and did the best we could.

I have a few more staples to add and the trim but it looks like it will be a beautiful piece.

TA DA!!!!  Finally Finished!  (now to get it sold)

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Nana’s Yellow Table

It must be something about owning a yellow house.  Everything yellow seems to catch my eye.

When I found this table in my mother’s house after she passed away I thought it was too cute to throw out so I decided to take it home and show it some love.

I started by taking it completely apart and sanding it down.  Some of the dowel rods with missing in the rack so I had to purchase and cut new ones to fill in the gaps.

Then I applied 2 coats of white paint and put it back together.

 

Once the table was back together, I had to start working on the top.  There was a hole in the top where a lamp was once attached so I to seal the hole with wood filler and paint over it.

A few months ago I ran across a table online that had been tiled using old broken china.  I loved the look and set our to find the perfect pink plates to do something similar.  However, I never was able to find the right plates for the job; or to complete the look I had in my head.

While garage sale shopping with my girlfriend, I stumbled upon a set of 10 plates for $3.  I initially passed them up but finally decided I could not pass up a $3 deal… surely, I would find SOMETHING  to do with 10 daisy plates.

Eventually I got impatient and decided to forgo the pink table top and opted to use the yellow daisy plates for my little magazine table.

 

I carefully cut each piece and laid it out on my work space so the pattern would line up.  After I was sure I had enough tiles cut, I placed them on the table top to see exactly how I wanted it to look.  (please be sure to wear gloves and safety glasses)

Once I had it all laid out like I wanted it, I used tile adhesive to attach each piece to the table top.  You can do this a couple of ways:  you can spread the adhesive on the full table using a tile trowel or you and do like I did and put the adhesive on each individual piece and lay them one at a time.

The reason I chose to do it that was is because all of the pieces were different widths and shapes and it was nearly impossible to get them even.

I let the adhesive dry overnight and added non-sanded grout the next day and let that dry overnight.  The next day, I sealed the grout with grout sealer.

I had initially thought about leaving the table while but the yellow daisies seem to get lost in the white table so I decided to paint the table yellow and add a light brown glaze to bring out the golden brown tones of the daisy petals.

Finally, it was time to add a coat of poly.  I always try to use poly just to add extra durability.  The last thing you want it for your paint to chip away.

Table after

I am very happy with the way it turned out.

Vanity Update!

When my husband and I moved into our home last year we were confused by the pedestal sink sitting in our bedroom.  It was set in an area all of it’s own beside the door that let to the toilet and tub.  I know immediately what I wanted to do with the space.

bathroom before
Before!

I found a beautiful brass basin and fixture set at a garage sale just after we moved in but finding the perfect dresser took over a year.

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During the transformation.  I forgot to take a photo before we cut the holes.

We cut holes in the top and sanded the entire dresser to prepare for the new poly-stain and fixtures.

I applied 2 coats of poly stain and we took it into the house to start the installation.  I applied 2 more coats of poly stain and my husband made adjustments to the drawers so they would remain somewhat functional.

Dresser Vanity
Before the last 2 coats of poly stain and before I repainted the drawer pulls.

I still have to paint the drawer pulls to match and take new pictures AFTER the last 2 coats of poly but you can get a general idea of how if is going to look.

I still need to find the perfect mirror so stay tuned….

Grandmother’s Mantel

When I met my husband 4 years ago, he told me that he had salvaged the fireplace mantel from his grandmother’s home.  The home was scheduled to be torn down and he loved the mantle so he and his ex-wife removed the mantel and took it to their home.

My husband worked on the mantel in his spare time, striping years of paint and dust, and sanding it down to the bare wood.

When he and his ex divorced, the mantel went into storage and stayed there until we married last October.  We put the mantel in the garage until I got inspired by an episode of “Fixer Upper” and Joanna Gaines.

I decided I would measure the mantel to see if it would work as a queen headboard in our master bedroom.

It was PERFECT!

It took 4 grown men and a little stain but we got it installed and I love the look of it.

 

Matle headboard sm

It will stay here, safe and sound, until it finally makes it’s home at my stepdaughter’s home.

Ooh La La

Like many of my projects, I found this old trunk at a garage sale and knew I wanted to do something with it.  It was spray painted with an ugly gold paint over some sort of melted lettering, “Daddy’s work shoes”.

For the first few years, I stored Christmas decorations in it and just forgot about it.  Finally, I decided it was time to do something with the pitiful trunk.

The first thing I had to do was strip the horrible paint off and try to remove the melted lettering.  Initially, I thought it was hot glue but it turned out to be some kind of blue and red melted rubber that came off relatively easily with the paint thinner.

Next, I cleaned the inside.  I tore out all of the paper lining and vacuumed to remove any loose debris.

I decided to paint it an off white and try my hand at distressing.  I am not much for distressing furniture but, as you can tell from the pictures, it was already pretty distressed.

I just do not see the point in sanding and banging up perfectly good furniture to make it look old.  I am trying to come around to this new trend and try to make things others will like so I thought I would give it a shot and enhance the dings and scuffs already present.  After all, if I plan on ever making any money at this, I have to be able to set out of my comfort zone.

I sprayed one coat of primer before adding 2 coats of the off-white then lightly sanded the outside around corners and edges.

Next I broke out a stencil I had purchased and stenciled the top and front of the trunk. After the stencil dried for 24 hours I distressed a little more and added a coat of matte poly to give it a little protection.

The lining was a nice pink fabric I had on hand and I trimmed the lining with a taupe gimp to give it a more finished look and added durability.

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trunk lining

It has now found it’s temporary home in my booth at a local flea market.

 

 

 

The Fainting Couch

I spotted a fainting couch on one of the many facebook buy/swap pages.  It was listed for $20 so I knew I had to have it.

When I arrived to pick it up, the seller told me a cat had damaged the cloth and part of the foam but that was perfectly fine with me.  I knew I wanted to recover it anyway.

The piece was a not-so-lovely floral print with a heavy lacquer/shellac finish.

My husband and I started the process of removing the fabric, foam, upholstery tacks, and at least a billion stables.  We were careful to leave the fabric as intact as possible so I can use it for a pattern.  This should really save when purchasing my fabric as I will know the precise (or close to it) yardage.

We left the project last night with a partially stripped frame.  The finish has proved to be more than either of us can deal with.

I am now faced with making a decision about what to do next:  paint and distress the frame (remember, I am a purist), what color (dark or light) and what fabric to use (print or solid).  I initially wanted to do a dark stain with light colored fabric but now I am leaning toward painting the frame white and choosing a fabric that will not show grime.  I would LOVE to use a script print.  You just never know about me 😉

Here are a few pictures of yesterday’s progress:

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Before
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Damage from previous owner’s cat.

 

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Back-roll foam.
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Foam pieced together by manufacturer in back.
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Wood seat support – this will have to be replaced.