Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chalk Paint

A few days ago I learned of Chalk Paint on Miss Mustard Seed's Blog.  I am so excited about learning more and buying my own to try on a few pieces.  I have the perfect childhood desk from my very first bedroom suite to try it on.  I just wish I had the whole set to work with....I do still have a tall skinny dresser but not sure how that would fit anywhere. 

The piece is similar in design to this dresser...
Sorry for no actual picture, the piece is in storage now. It is a small desk that would be perfect in a little girls room. 
I ventured over to Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint to view colors and I am thinking Duck Egg Blue or Emile for the base color and Cream for covering the gold highlights of this piece.  The greatest part of this paint is it sticks without have to do much sanding....boy does that make life easy!  And it makes me that much more eager to start.  I plan to spend some more time reading up on the paint and purchasing a color this weekend.                     

What color do you think? 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dining Table How To...

I've had a request to share the "how to" of my Dining Table project. I thought it might be something that everyone would be interested in, I am finding that I forgot to post the how to portion on many of my post and I need to do a better job of that.  Thanks for the boost Nicole :)

Be sure to refer back to the link above to see the before and after.

Step One-Prepare:
I lightly sanded all the legs, just enough to scuff up the surface so paint will stick.  On the top I used paint/stain stripper to remove all the existing stain.  The brand I used was Old Master's Paint Remover (it is what I had on hand).  Please note that using stripper is messy and dangerous, you must wear gloves and you need plenty of newspaper or plastic under any piece you are working on to prevent the stain remover from getting on other surfaces.

After stripping the table top, I used my my electric sander to remove any remaining stain and to smooth the wood a bit.  I have a mouse sander from Black and Decker, I love this tool it makes sanding ten times easier on flat surfaces and I've had it for 10 plus years and it still works great.

Step Two-Clean:
After sanding I wiped down the whole table to remove any dust left over from sanding.  I then covered the table top with plastic and taped all the edges down under the edge of the table.

Step Three-Prime:
Once I had the top protected I began painting the legs. 
I spray painted the legs with Kilz Primer (in a spray can), I needed two cans for this project.

Step 4-Paint & Stain:
Once the primer was dry (about an hour) I painted all the legs white.  I used Valspar Satin paint, the color is Behr, Swiss Coffee.  To apply the paint I used my Wagner Paint Sprayer, this is my favorite tool.  It is so easy to use and clean and it applies a thick coat of paint.  It worked so well on this project that I only needed one coat of paint.

See the sprayer here

After painting I applied the stain to the table top using a lamb's wool applicator.  I used Dark Walnut Oil Base stain from Ace Hardware.

Step Five-Protect:
This is a very important step and I always want to skip when I am finished, but it is important in protecting the furniture long term.  Once everything was dry and had cured about a week, I applied the final top coat to seal the whole table.  I use Varathan Floor Finisher, it leaves a crystal clear coat and does not yellow white furniture.  I applied 2 coats to the legs and 5 coats to the top for added protection.  This type of clear coat drys quickly and you apply multiple coats for full coverage.  It drys to a glossy clear finish.

p.s.-I lightly sand between coats of paint and stain for a smooth finish

Sunday, March 27, 2011

To Do List

Well it's almost the end of March and I have been able to check off a lot from my to do list. A few weeks ago, I was overwhelmed and I needed to get some big things done.  Here is the list....

1) Refinish Dining Room Table (half way done)
2) Paint Dining Room
3) Paint Guest Bedroom
4) Get picture framed for guest bedroom 
5) Hang shelf in guest bedroom & buy jars and frames for decorating shelf
6) Start the annual Spring Clean/Goodwill delivery

I finished 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6!  That is pretty good in my book.  

I decided not to paint the dining room right away, it's just not that important right now.  And on number 6, it is just a start, I have been emptying closets and I still need to make some decisions about what to keep and what to store, but the closets are looking very neat.  The bonus room on the other hand is the dumping ground for all that stuff :)  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Guest Bedroom

So my latest decorating change was our guest bedroom. I originally had this room decorated for my cousin Kayla since she is the only one that ever spends the night with us, but she is growing up quick and I wanted something a little more sophisticated and clean.  My cat, Nipper likes this room and I like to sit in here with him and read.  I wanted Calm.

I was not writing this blog when I started working on this room so I do not have a true before picture but the picture below is before I really changed anything, I had only rearranged the furniture here.

The next two show the changes after I bought new bedding from my favorite store, TJ Maxx. Also, I painted the bed turquoise.

So now that you see the layout here are some photos of the after, closer up.

This pillow was my inspiration for the blue or turquiose additions.

This shelf idea came from Ballard Designs. This was a good spot to add more turquiose in this overall neutral room.

The dresser was a furniture redo from years ago. It is a solid maple dresser and was stained. I stripped and sanded every stitch of stain off and once it was bare I waxed with white shoe polish to get this finish. I wanted a pickled white look and this was a piece of advice given by a professional furniture re-finisher to acheive the look I wanted.

A new lamp

A newly framed print...I found this frame at Hobby Lobby and it is absolute perfect for the picture, $19. The actual framing I had done at Kidd's Framing at the Raleigh Flea market, $40.

My favorite thing in the room is the new curtains. They are exactly what I had in mind, sheer, casual and breezy.

I picked these up at World Market, Crinkle
panels. They were all twisted up in these little bags and when you unroll them they are crimped. Kinda of like those 80's hair styles :)

Also not sure if you noticed, but, I did paint. Very subtle change to a light grey, Sharkey's Grey by Martha Stewart paint. I LOVE this color. And, since my cousin's nickname is Sharkey, it made it that much sweeter.

Linking to:

Failure to Blog

I am failing at my 3-4 blog post per week. I'm Sorry! I have been really busy at my day job over the past few weeks and it is likely not to let up through the month of April. Also there is a lot going on a home and I've been busy with things around the house, more to come on that later.

I do have some exciting post coming up soon. Kitchen Redo, Guest Bedroom redo, and a few others. I hope to get caught up over the next few weeks with older projects and ideas and then start blogging in real time after those.

So stay tuned :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Garden Awaits

Our garden eagerly awaits its spring planting...we worked hard Saturday getting it prepared for planting in a few more weeks and my muscles are officially on vacation for a while :)

This is our third year with a vegetable garden, the past two years we worked with a 6x12 garden and I wanted to expand it. Two weeks ago I came home to the surprise of an expanded garden twice the original size. Thanks Will!

To initially create the garden we simply put down boards to edge the garden, made it the size we wanted, nailed them together to form a rectangle. We added weed stopping plastic on the inside of the boards to keep grass and weeds from coming in the sides. Last, we needed to put up temporary fencing to keep deer and rabbits out, so we just put a few poles in place to hold the fencing and stapled it around the boards as well.

Here is the finished product

Here is Abbie waiting eagerly for us to start work on the preparing

To get the bed and soil right we first had to dig up all the grass that was there first, which really sucked, well for Will :)

This is the big load of dirt we had to dump in the garden. It is a mixture of soil and compost with a small percentage of mulch. As you can see in this photo one side already had good topsoil but we need a little extra there and a lot on the new side.

And this is Abbie, too hot, and DONE with the work!

I can guarantee she was NOT as popped as I was at the end of the day!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Sorry for the lack of post over the past few days...I think this is the first time I've sat down at the computer since Thursday. We've had fantastic warm weather this weekend so we have been working hard outside. Yesterday we filled our garden addition with dirt and cleaned up all the weeds around the flower beds. Today we planted a few new plants and cleaned more outside and inside spring cleaning started. I've cleaned out two closets, my coat closet downstairs and Master Bedroom closet. Needless to say the organizing and outdoor work did not allow much regular cleaning so lots more to do.

I am super tired and have super sore muscle from spreading dirt in the garden. So I am off to rest away the remainder of my weekend.

I promise to post more next time :)

Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Hope you are wearing your green today so you don't get pinched! 

My favorite St. Patrick's Day plant is of the purple variety

Purple Shamrocks!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Charleston Gardens

I had a thought earlier this week on Charleston, SC and the small little patio or courtyard gardens that are between houses there. I prefer big open spaces and a large yard but I've been thinking a lot about container gardening this year and thought of Charleston so I googled some images for inspiration.

This one grabbed me because there are lots of containers grouped together making it look as if they are permenatly planted. The bananna tree in the center of the larger group anchors the grouping well.

Love the cascading plants in this window basket.

This planter will grow out nicely, lots of these plant get really big. I loved that this one came up in my search because the little orange flowered plant is bonfire begonia and I LOVE THEM! It's hard to find bigger plants around here, but these bloom all summer and look like firecrackers!

This is such a pretty garden and walkway. I bet there is a beautiful patio around that corner. I am envious of a nice shady spot like this for plants, because let's be honest, all plants grow better in the shade here in the hot south.

Had to include one pretty iron gate. If you've never been to Charleston, GO! And walk slowly through the neighborhoods to soak it in.

The Festival of Houses and Gardens in Charleston start tomorrow and runs through April 16th.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Show Home

Wake County has a wonderful Parade Home Tour every year and I highly recommend to anyone planning to build a home. Typically there is one home on the tour that dedicates all proceeds from the sell of the house to the Duke Children's Hospital. This house is always neat because it is fully furnished so there are lots of great decorating ideas and new trends. This past year this home was near me so I went and checked it out......pretty sure they were ready to kick me out I stayed so long. It was so beautiful and every room was something I found to be very practical :)

If you live in or near Wake County, NC the parade is usually in October. All the furniture featured in this home is from Whitley Galleries in Zebulon, NC.

Enjoy the tour....

I could sit on this front porch all day! Very cozy with all the pillows.

This is the Family Room and Kitchen, view from the bottom of the stairs.

I really loved this paint color and the bead board height on the wall. This is the front of the Office at the front of the house.

The next two photos are the Kitchen. The first was a Recipe Nook, it was tucked in a little hall way between the Kitchen and Dining Room.

Here is another shot of the Family Room.

Here are some shots of the Master Bedroom, this room is not my style but it was my favorite room in the house. Very sophisticated and a bit masculan. My favorite parts are the mirrors and the gallery wall.


Entertainment Room

And finally the Craft Room...I could get so much done here.

Ready to move?!?