Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Crackle Look

I had read about how to crackle furniture and wanted to give it a try. Crackle is sold in craft stores but can be quite expensive, so I decided to try another method I read about online. I chose a old wooden toy box that I had bought for a few dollars. This way if I screwed it up I would only have wasted a few dollars and not an expensive piece of furniture.

I started by painted the toy box with a primer and sanded any rough areas. Once this was dry I painted the inside with the brown colour I had chosen, I had chosen white for the exterior. The method I chose to crackle the outside is done with the use of white glue. You apply white glue to a small area, making sure the glue is fairly thick.  When the glue is sticky you paint over the glue with a coat of  paint, in this case I was using white. When the glue and paint dry together they crack, for more of crackle look and larger cracks make the glue thick. Because you have to work with the glue when it is sticky you have to do small areas at a time.

 I had glued on some wooden appliques to give the top of the box more character. Once I had crackled the whole box I left it to dry for a day. I wanted it to have an antique or aged look to it, so I applied a gel stain over top. Just dip a cloth into the gel and rub it on to the paint, rubbing it off so it would not go on to dark. The gel settled into the cracks and gave it a nice aged look. I applied a new handle to the top and put the original hardware back on after cleaning it up a bit. I was quite happy with the finished look and plan on trying this procedure on a larger piece of furniture in the future.
I use this box to store all of our DVD's and CD's, its quite a transformation from what it was before. A 3.00 dollar toybox gets a new look.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Pink Piano stool

I found this piano stool at an outside antique flea market sale in Hanmer Ontario. I saw the piano stool as soon as we got there, how could use miss that pink. I negotiated with the dealer and got the piano stool for $40.00. Who ever had painted this piano stool did a horrible job, I am thinking a kid did it . They even painted the feet, for those of you who don't know, these piano stools have brass feet like a birds claw, with a glass ball in its grasp. The glass ball is flat on the bottom side that touches the floor. And every nook and cranny had pink paint in it.
I knew stripping it was going to be alot of work but I was excited about taking it back to its original look.

This is what the piano stool looked like when I got it, the mirror frame and step stool are other projects for the future.

If you have never stripped furniture I will let you know it is a messy messy job.
First do all stripping outside because most furniture strippers have strong odours that will make you sick if you inhale it in an enclosed space. Also if it can strip paint and layers of stain and finishes then it can also take layers of skin off too, so wear protective clothing, long sleeves, thick rubber gloves and safety glasses. I hope I didn't scare you off there, just want you to be safe, I am still here and there are lots of people that do this so you will be fine.
Follow the directions of the paint stripper and take your time, working in small areas at a time because the stripper dries fast and then its too gooey to work with. Scrape small areas but be careful not to gouge into the wood. Depending on how much paint and varnish is on your project you may have to deal with a few layers at a time. I used a small paint scrapper, cloths and steel wool. Dispose off all waste in a sealed container, so no one will come in contact with the paint stripper.

After I removed the pink paint I had to deal with the stain and varnish underneath. The stripping on this was very time consuming because of the design on the legs and all the little grooves, plus the feet and thick thick coats of paint on them.

here is a pic of the stripping process

Finally got all the pink paint off

Now to deal with the stain and varnish, using more stripper working in small areas I just kept applying the stripper and wiping it off, using cloths with no lint, j clothes worked good and steel wool. I went through alot of cloths and alot of steel wool. And yes I cursed the person that painted this a few times, ok more than a few times
Once I was finished with the stripping I let the stool sit for a few days to dry, also I needed a break from it lol.  I was seeing pink paint in my sleep for a few days.
Once the stool was dry I sanded it down to remove all the bumps and left over paint chips, I did not use an electric sander because I did not want to take away any of the shape of the dip in the stool seat, and with the curved legs had to be sanded by hand.
Once your finished sanding clean off your project with a cheese cloth to get all the dust.
I chose a dark stain for the piano stool, I used min wax walnut stain. I used two coats of stain sanding in between coats.The min wax I used had a clear polyurethane finish already in it.
You can buy stain that has polyurethane in it for a nice shiny coat or you can apply polyurethane over the stain after it is dry. I also used a brass cleaner on the feet to bring up the shine on the brass.

Here is the finished product, notice the nice brass feet and the glass balls. I am so glad I was able to restore this piano stool to its original glory. Underneath the seat is a metal inscription from the company that made this piano stool. After researching it online I have estimated that this stool was made in Woodstock Ontario somewhere between 1915 and 1930. Removing the pink paint was a real pain, but I love the finished product.
Now the piano stool looks like it did when it was first made.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mirrors Mirrors Mirrors

I have started to look for mirrors and unique picture frames for my new chalkboard projects. I came across a few mirrors that a friend had that are too big and too nice to make into a chalkboard, but I could not resist them and plan to hang then in my home. It's so nice to start out looking for something unique for a current project and find such a good deal on some fabulous mirrors. She did have a few mirrors that will be perfect chalkboards, now I have to figure out what colour to paint the frame.

 I also scored some incredible lamps for the bedroom, which I found online when I was looking for mirrors. These lamps are my valentines present from me to me.

They look incredible in bedroom, the base is very clean white which makes the shades , which are off white look dirty, so I will have to either change them, or paint them. I saw this painting of a lamp shade on another site and I did not know you could paint lamp shades. So I am curious how that works and how it will look after, and I think these shades are the perfect time to try it, and if I wreck them I guess I buy new shades.

Back to the chalkboard frames, I have small frames that will make great small chalkboards, and the larger ones I will make into chalkboard and fabric pin up boards. I am hoping to design them to be able to be hung either length ways or vertical, depending on how much space people have. I have read online ways to make my own chalkboard paint which I may try.

The first two mirrors are the ones I bought from a friend at a great price. The last two mirrors are gorgeous as well, I found one at a thrift store and the last one I found for sale online.  I will probably paint the frames on the first 3 mirrors and resell them, the last mirror is gorgeous as is and I will most likely leave it. But you never know I may look at it for a while and decide it needs to be painted as well.

These last few pictures are the mirrors that I will be making into chalkboards. I also came across a mirror, shelf and candle holders that are very similar to the ones in my bedroom pic. I plan on painting them and will most likely sell them online or bring them back to ontario to sell.

My mirror looks great in white, but I would like to try a different colour on this set. I guess I could go a little wild with the colour since I am selling it, Pink Turquoise ?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Feels like spring here in BC

Today I was out raking the lawn and playing with Maggie and it sure felt like spring. The birds were chirping and our two little squirrels that live here all year long were chasing each other from tree to tree. I saw a eagle yesterday land in the tree by the river and was able to snap a picture but only got the shadow of its form, today a beautiful bald headed eagle flew by followed by a group of geese. I am surely going to miss all of this when we move back to Ontario. I know Ontario still has snow and cold temperatures and that part I do not miss, but family and friends I miss very much.
If the warm temperatures continue I will have to get hubby to pull his Harley out of the garage. That shouldn't be too hard because he has seen a few bikes on the road and I know he is eager to get riding again.
Once the bike is out I can start cleaning out the garage and working on some long over due projects. I have also been collecting some unique frames the last few months and am eager to start my chalkboard peg board projects. I am hoping to have quite a few things done by the time the outdoor flea markets start up again in May. I can not wait to have my own little area to display my wares and sell them at home all year round. I can not wait to be able to work in a heated garage and be able to work on things in an area where I don't have to pack away everything when I finish with it. A garage where I can make a mess and not have to worry about it. Today I day dreamed of a large barn with chandeliers hanging from the ceilings and display areas that consist of bedrooms, diningrooms and livingrooms with all of my projects displayed for sale. Cabinets with knick knacks and salvaged vintage items, wrought iron, wood, painted furniture and collections all displayed. I see the image in my mind and can't wait to put it all into place. It is going to be alot of work but that is the kind of work I love and long for, until then I will keep painting and creating and selling and working towards my dream.
I am including a pic from another site( Nada Farms, Anne Marie is so talented) that some what captures the look I am dreaming of creating, I envy her because she already has this incredible location. Someday, hopefully someday soon................

Friday, February 3, 2012

Save the world, buy vintage

I saw the sign "Save the world buy vintage" on another blog and I just had to steal it. The words were inscribed on a chalkboard and I have made the picture my screen save, just love it. In this last month my laptop died and I thought I had lost all of my pictures of projects and finds. After searching through the external hard drive I was relieved to find I had backed up all of my pictures. I was totally lost without my laptop and could not wait to get another one. Now that I have the new one, now comes the fun part of figuring out how it works, lots of fun.
As I said in my last post I decided to hold off on any more furniture purchases for the home until we move back to Ontario, the house is full of unique finds. Saying that is easier than sticking to it, I saw a unique desk with bookcases, drawers and gorgeous carvings and I had to have it. The drawer pulls are wood carved to look like roses. I found it on kijiji and I had no intention of buying it because the picture on facebook did not do it justice. I went to the ladies home to buy other smaller items and thats when I saw the desk and it is gorgeous. It was very over priced and I did walk away from it, the lady emailed me a few weeks later and told me she had dropped her price. I got it for a great price and could make a great profit on it but now I am emotionally attached to it and will have to keep it for now.I tried to research the company that made this peice but could not find much on them. I dated the piece to be between 1920 to 1940 and it was made in London, but thats all I could find out. I am using the book cases to hold knick knacks for now and had to put it in the sunroom because this house is so small there is no room for anything. I also have my vanity in the sun room for the same reason, the bedroom on the main floor is so small all we can fit in it is the bed and nightstands.
As far as my projects go I have been trying to make room in the basement to work on them, until the weather gets nice enough to work in the garage or outside. I have a small antique stool to be reupolstered and two signs to paint, two small tables that need to be destressed, a corner shelving unit that needs to be painted, and pieces of mirrors that need to be cut down for frames. After that there is a kids table that needs chalkboard paint and regular paint, a butcher block table that needs paint and lower shelf and wheels and .....................I think I need to be cloned or hire an assistant lol