Friday, June 6, 2014

{Weekend Makeover ~ Chippy Toy Chest Turned End Table}

One of my Shupp's Grove picks this year, during my annual Sister's Getaway Weekend, was this awesome aqua blue (my favorite color) side table, made out of reclaimed wood.  The vendor told me it came from her uncle's house and that they used it as a toy box when they were kids.  The top is hinged and opens to reveal a roomy spot to put lots of stuff into....I've got 2 kids so the possibilities are endless!

I love how you can see the wear and tear on the legs and the top (not pictured), where the tiny little hands flipped it open over and over again.  What's also interesting is all of the different kinds of bolts, nails, and screws that were used to put it together.  No leg is attached in the same manner, but it's a sturdy little piece!  One sunny weekend, my son helped me wash the dirt and grime off of it.  Then I sanded it down using a palm sander on another very windy day.   Thank goodness for the wind because it made me feel better about the possibility of the paint containing lead.  The huge gusts of wind whisked it all away!  

I wanted it to go in this spot...where an old stationery cabinet used to sit. That piece was purchased at a local barn sale.  The drawers don't come out too easily, but they work well enough to store seasonal items in it like sunscreen, sunglasses, and odds and ends like cell phone chargers and stuff like that.

I am contemplating repainting the front of my chippy aqua blue toy chest because some funky drip marks did not sand out like I thought they would.  I doubt I'll find an exact match to the paint, but I can sure try.  I'm considering using my new supply of CeCe Caldwell Chalk and Clay paint.  I'll post about that project if I ever get around to it.  Then, I'll apply a coat of finishing wax to seal in the paint completely and protect it.  

So, here it now sits in my family room.  I'm still deciding if I like it there.  It's quite a bit smaller than I imagined it to be.  

Now, my West Elm hack owl lamp has a new home where he can be seen a little better than in his last home, all tucked into the corner on the opposite side of our grey sectional couch.  I bought an ugly semi-realistic looking owl lamp complete with creepy, bright yellow eyes.  I spray painted it bright white.  It cost about $35 as opposed to the very costly brand new one at West Elm.  

Well, I hope you enjoyed hearing about some of my projects.  

As always, stay cozy!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

{Curbside Rescue ~ Oak Parlor Table}

Hi there!  I am proud to say that I am finished with my very first chalk paint project.  I started with a solid oak parlor table with cast metal ball & claw feet that my sister rescued from someone's trash pile in her neighborhood.

I purchased CeCe Caldwell clay and chalk paints from Foxy Finds at the Bucks County Antique Gallery in Chalfont, PA as well as online at  Not only is this paint earth friendly, it has no odor.  No harmful VOCs that are bad for your health, safe for pets and kids.  Perfect for this tree-huggin' mama.

It got two coats of Santa Fe Turquoise and then I distressed it lightly using a damp cloth.  That's the beauty of this little effort is needed to distress your pieces in just the right areas.  You can also use a fine grit sand paper, but a cloth works just as nice.

Next, I cleaned up the glass ball feet and the cast metal claws got a good scrubbing with a microfiber cloth soaked in warm water and TSP.  After they dried, I used some antique gold Rub 'n Buff on the metal and they came out so gorgeous!

I wanted to tone down the brightness of the turquoise color of the table.  It's my favorite color, but it was almost too vibrant for this piece.  So, I figured a glaze was a good option.  I mixed up a few batches of tinted glaze using a smidgeon of some of the colors I bought from Glitter Farm, dropped into cups of clear glaze.  I then tested each of them on a long wooden stake that I painted turquoise, just to see which effect I liked the most.  The winner was Virginia Chestnut.  Just a touch of paint gets added to the glaze if you want a subtle glaze...more gets added if you want to be more dramatic.  I really liked experimenting with these.  That's the scientist in me, I guess!  The light colored stain was perfect to tone down the turquoise, but allow enough to show through.  

Here you can see the glaze on top of the turquoise color.  It gave a really nice aged look to it.  

The final stages happened on my kitchen table one night after the kids went to bed.  Jeff was in the office/playroom next door listening to some awful political talk show and I just wanted to shoot myself.  I love the man to pieces, but his taste in entertainment sometimes makes me cringe.  Next time I decide to do a project within earshot of said political talk show, my iPod is comin' out.  Jeff and I are complete opposites on a couple of very important issues (politics & religion), but somehow we make it work.  Definitely makes for some interesting discussions, most of which I try to avoid altogether.  :)    

Just a side note.....see those chairs and table in the photo above?  My next project is painting those in CeCe Caldwell's Vintage White and recovering the seat pads with red & white gingham oil cloth that is totally and completely wipeable!  Who's idea was it to cover kitchen chairs in fabric???  I scored the whole set, solid wood with a durable formica top, 6 padded ladder back chairs, and two leaves.  All for $150.  Not too bad, huh?  The set will replace our old counter-height set seen here:

See that light fixture with the one light bulb blown out?  It's going as well.  I ordered a vintage looking porcelain enamel pendant light from Barn Light Electric in jade green to go over the table as well as one for over our sink.  I cannot wait until I have the time to install those babies!

Okay, back to my table project.  The final steps were coating the table top and lower shelf in four coats of Endurance finish to protect the surface from scratches, etc.  It's extremely durable.  The legs got 2 coats of Satin finish.  There you have it, my friends!  My first furniture painting experience.  I think it was quite the success, don't you?  It will be available for sale at Home Fine Art at the Mill Race Village in Historic Mt. Holly, NJ where my lovely talented sister is a member and also sells her artwork.  Take a trip and check it out.  There are lots of other shops there too.