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Dan’s Tables

I received a call about some laminate end tables that needed a little jazzing-up!

RawI scrubbed them down with soap, water and eventually a bit of Windex. I also pried off the ancient pen holder that was stuck to the side with what could only be a mix of cement and a curse. I decided to skip the primer because I felt like living on the edge (my middle name is Danger, in case you didn’t know.) I removed the hardware and scuffed the laminate a bit with sandpaper, mixed my colors and got my paint on!

Dan had originally wanted these to be burnt orange with red on the inside. But as I do with ALL of my customers that I know well, I changed the plan a bit. I thought the burnt orange would be a bit too dark so I mixed a dark peach color. As for the red, well I hoped he likes pink. Dark red seemed too bold so I mixed a light salmon and prayed…and prayed…and hoped…cried a little…and prayed some more.

I used an average of three coats of polyurethane over the paint just to ensure that the paint was going to stay put. I say “an average of three coats” because the tops got at least four coats (perhaps even five) while the sides got about two and the inside only one. The reason for the inconsistency in the number of coats is that, well you see, I was attacked….by bugs. Gnats and mosquitoes were flying kamikaze missions into my wet poly! Many times I would pick off a bug, scratch the paint and need to reapply both paint and poly.

ALSO there was one night, one tragic, tragic night when I didn’t pay attention to the humidity in the air, the odd direction of the wind or, ya know, the local weather channel. I left the tables out under an overhang (thank God, at least) to dry, which ended up having the opposite affect considering we had an Amazon-like monsoon that same evening. I sort of flipped. I had to peel 1/3 of the paint off and layer paint fairly meticulously in order to make it appear as though it doesn’t have four coats of chipped paint. Ay-yiy-freakin’-yiy!

Buuuuuuuut… all worked out.


And even better news? Boys totally like pink.


Feline Domesti-brass

Since me and my boyfriend of three years broke up I’ve had to do a bit of shuffling in my household dynamic, which includes getting a roommate! I didn’t want to just tuck her and all of her stuff away to her room, so we have hung her items and brought out her nicknacks so she feels at home.

But it’s really easy to see the flaws in your “stuff” once you bring them to a new environment…

Case in point; the brass kitty.

CatIt’s by no means ugly, but in your own apartment it’s easy to get use to how your old items looks– dirt and tarnish included. As a surprise I decided to shine-up this cute little family heirloom of Lisa’s.

How to Clean Icky Brass

Ew1. First I took drenched a cotton ball in regular white vinegar and scrubbed. I was seriously amazed at how much surface gunk the vinegar removed.

2. Next I lightly (SUPER DUPER LIGHTLY) scrubbed the brass with 000 steel wool. I wouldn’t recommend this for brass that is already fairly shinny because if there isn’t any dirt to scrub off then it just ends up scratching the brass. However, if yours is as worn as this cat then you’re safe to scrub, just do it mindfully.

3. This step is also controversial because in some cases it can mess up your brass. I soaked the cat in OxiClean for 5 minutes. OxiClean gets out stains but there is also the whole “rust factor.”


Just make sure not to leave your item in the solution too long and dry it thoroughly when you bring it out.

Brasso!4. The final step is to polish with a specialized cleaner. I used Brasso, but Grecian Gold works well also.

And the results?


OMG Now I just want to clean everything!!!

Woodland Nursery

Amber is having a baby, Hooray! She wanted to take her soon-to-be-son’s nursery from classic (which is nice) to woodland (which is adorable!) She decided a cute cartoon tree was the way to do it, and I couldn’t agree more. Click here to see how to go from blank wall to happy in the woods!


Love them!

Re-Post Lamppost

So I’ve gone and done it again! Something was just irking me about my new tension rod lamp (or as I like to call it, my lamppost.)

Ohh My

I had updated it and put it in my bedroom. Everything felt right initially, but then it all started to feel wrong. We never used it because it was in the corner, it started to feel too garish for my decor, and eventually I felt it was a bulky eyesore.

YES! I changed my mind in an epic way! But I felt it was such a shame to attempt to salvage a piece and then never use it; that was exactly what was happening. PLUS it wasn’t as stable as it should have been. I had to rig it because my bedroom ceiling is shorter than the lamp can handle; I’d taken pieces out and put them back in backward and upside down to try to force a fit. It just all could have been better.

So, once again, I hauled that poor piece of metal and glass outside for a coat of SILVER PAINT!

Quite honestly….that’s all I did. I just reassembled the lamp correctly, painted it, coated with a clear, spray finish and then put it in the constantly-annoying dark corner in my living room. The silver paint is so bright that it brightens up the space even when it’s turned off, see?


But really, it’s most fantastic once it’s turned on.

Even with only one light on, the reflective pole and bevelled glass globes multiplies the light and spreads it further than you can imagine.

Lamp On

For the most part, I’m the only one with an outspoken opinion about my projects. So when I turned the lamp to show Kyle and he said “Oooh Cool.” (Yes, that is his excited voice.) I knew that I had really fixed the dark corner and created something that didn’t make him scratch his head.

I just love when function and form finally connect.

Happy Mother’s Day!

I hope all the mamas and grandmamas are having a fantastic Sunday! If you’re not a mom or grandma then I hope you’re giving yours a day off!

Far be it from me to exploit a day that honors all that mothers do and sacrifice in the name of love for their children, but I can’t contain my excitement over the gift I made for my mom. I’m not bragging, but it’s pretty sweet.

My mom picked up a headboard that looked something like this…


She already asked me to refinish it (so it’s not like I came up with this grand gesture on my own) but she wanted me to be stingy with my creativity, and that wasn’t going to happen. So to justify my extravagance, I had to make it a gift…so I did.

Headboard in Action

To check out the steps and to view the finished product in action, just click on me!

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