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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…..it all worked out.

Donzo!

And even better news? Boys totally like pink.

Layered Faux Dry-brush (Say What?)


My favorite painting technique is dry-brushing, hands down. Ever since I was little I loved the idea of painting with virtually no paint. However, I am never satisfied with a tried and true method. Of course, I must reinvent the wheel (then crash the cart, but we haven’t gotten there… yet.) When I “faux dry-brush,” essentially I treat the dry-brushed paint as though it were a faux finish. After I dry-brush, I wait for the paint to dry for 5 minutes, then I wipe across the painted surface with a paper towel just to thin the paint layer and antique the item a tad more (See? Faux finish style, just like I said.) The layering comes when I wipe off paint to reveal other previous painted layers…that’s a pretty simple concept.

Let’s see it applied…

Lovelies...?

I started with these crazy coin-ish type wall hangings which are about 7 inches in diameter. I spray painted them purple (photo not shown because I am not organized…but I digress.)

Once the purple spray paint dried I used steel wool to rub off a bit of the purple on some raised areas to reveal the previous gold color underneath.

Then the dry-brushing began (here’s a super short VIDEO, just for a visual.)

As I previously mentioned, when the dry-brushed layer had set for about 5 minutes (for satin and matte paints), I wiped hard with a paper towel to thin out some areas. The wiping removed the top layer of dark craft paint and allowed the gold and purple to peek through.

I didn’t even bother with a top layer of poly because they are wall hangings and I don’t foresee myself touching them too often.

Bird

chick

The whole point of my layered faux dry-brushing was because I wanted to age my pieces after I spray painted them purple so they’d blend better in my bedroom.

Now they look like just another another old lady bedroom treasure.

Freehand on Furniture: A Video


Princess Bookcase

If freehand painting a whole mural seems a bit too daunting, start small with furniture. Tips and tricks on my latest video! ENJOY!

Glassless Tables


So HOPEFULLY you saw the cabinet demo video, now it’s time to show the finished product. With the weather being less than hospitable, I’m lucky I had three days to finish these before the freezing rain started…again.

Let’s check out this nonsense!

Bedside Tables

I had so much convincing to do in order for my friend to agree to these tables!

So I couldn't let her down by executing a half-hearted attempt. Seriously, COULD NOT!

So I couldn’t let her down by executing a half-hearted attempt. Seriously, COULD NOT!

First came the spray primer. There was such a thick layer of finish on the tables that I decided that priming instead of sanding was the way to go. Plus, the wood was SOOO dark that I would have had to prime anyway.

First came the spray primer. There was such a thick layer of finish on the tables that I decided that priming instead of sanding was the way to go. Plus, the wood was SOOO dark that I would have had to prime anyway.

After I primed the doors, I realized they just wouldn't do, so I "removed" the centers to replace them with something a little classier.

After I primed the doors, I realized they just wouldn’t do, so I “removed” the centers to replace them with something a little classier.

Next came the all over paint job. Nothing is quite as chic as glossy white, I don't care who you ask.

Next came the all over paint job. Nothing is quite as chic as glossy white, I don’t care who you ask.

Then came the "glass." My friend didn't want to get on her hands and knees every week to clean glass AND I didn't want to cut glass. So I lined a baking pan with petroleum jelly (gobs and gobs for texture) and waited for it to dry. NOTE: Bubbles are best removed by blowing on them with a straw.

Then came the “glass.” My friend didn’t want to get on her hands and knees every week to clean glass AND I didn’t want to cut glass. So I lined a baking pan with petroleum jelly (gobs and gobs for texture) and waited for it to dry. NOTE: Bubbles are best removed by blowing on them with a straw.

I used only one coat of rub on poly, popped the dried resin into the back of the door and glued around the edges with a combination of wood glue and Gorilla glue. Then I attached the hardware.

I used only one coat of rub on poly, popped the dried resin into the back of the door and glued around the edges with a combination of wood glue and Gorilla glue. Then I attached the hardware.

I painted the inside of the cabinets pink and used spray finisher to complete the job. We had discussed painting the inside gray, but I have a tendency to go rogue.

I painted the inside of the cabinets pink and used spray finisher to complete the job. We had discussed painting the inside gray, but I have a tendency to go rogue.

Finally I attached the doors and glued on my fleur de lis ornaments. I decided to make them asymmetrical because it reminded me of a broach...and for some reason that appealed to me.

Finally I attached the doors and glued on my fleur de lis ornaments. I decided to make them asymmetrical because it reminded me of a broach…and for some reason that appealed to me.

This is how my experiment turned out!

This is how my experiment turned out!

Love this little guy!

Love this little guy!

And I love this big guy!

And I love this big guy!

Dramatic sunlight view.

Dramatic sunlight view.

(Heat) Gunslinger


I finally busted out my heat gun for the first time after waiting waaaay too long. The snow has really put a damper on my furniture plans, but this little buddy is a great way to keep things trucking (at least a little bit) inside, without making a monster mess. My heat gun has two settings, 700 degrees (-ish) and 1,000 degrees (-ish.) My contractor-friend told me that I would burn my first piece of wood without a doubt, but HA! No burns here… but I’m not finished yet.

I didn’t know how it would pan out, so I grabbed one of these juuuuust in case.

Fire-Be-GoneAs far as my desk goes, it started something like this…

DeskThis thing blisters paint in less time than any chemical stripper I have ever used. Granted, if I burn myself with this I get more than just a couple little blisters (like the chemical stripper) but I will just have to be extra careful because so far it has been totally worth the risk.

Progress?It really is an “aim-and-fire” process. I was a little nervous at first, but this tool as really grown on me.

Point-n-shootWant to know how to use it? Check out this VIDEO!

Trae’s Dresser Renovation!


Check out the full story of Trae’s Dresser makeover HERE!

Before

Before

After

After

 

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