Monday, January 28, 2013

Stenciled Coffee Table

I belong to a Facebook group of moms in my neighborhood where people post anything from suggestions for plumbers to advice on child raising. Not too long ago, someone asked if anyone was interested in redoing a coffee table for her. Of course I jumped at the chance! We don't know each other (though we have a few mutual friends) so I was surprised that she took me up on my offer.

Here's a sneak peek at the final product (I photoshopped the background out since I don't have a picture of it in its final spot, only in my junked up basement work area).

The coffee table was in pretty bad shape to start with. I'm not sure how much of it was original to the piece and how much was added on after the fact.

You can see from some of these close-ups that I had my work cut out for me!

I spent a loooong time sanding it down. It was not easy! The woman gave me a belt sander (which I have never used before) and man, are those things heavy! But it got the job done, that's for sure.

The next step was two coats of gray primer. Since she wanted black as the base coat, I figured that a tinted primer would make the job easier.  I used a sample size of black paint (because it's a small surface) and did two coats of that also.

The woman bought this Indian Inlay stencil (from Cutting Edge Stencils) that she wanted me to use on the surface. Now, when she originally told me that she wanted it stenciled, I thought it was one of those sheets that you just use a roller across. You know what they say when you assume... This particular stencil comes with five separate pieces! Please don't believe it when it says that this is a beginner level stencil. Each strip has to be measured and centered so you don't end up with half a design when you get to a corner and want them to meet up.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed working on this project, but it took many, many hours.

Here's a close up where you can see some of the imperfections (that naturally go along with stenciling). I used the same foam stencil brushes that I used on my book crate, with different size brushes depending on the size of the stencil. As a final step, I put a few layers of a satin polycrylic to protect all my hard work.

And here it is in its finished state:

I think it came out great, even though not everything is perfect or exactly centered.

And my new facebook friend loved it so much, she asked me to do another project with her dining room table! Woohoo! Do you have any favorite stencil tips or tricks? Please share!

Pin It

Linking up:
Home Stories A to ZHouse on the Way | Craftionary | Miss Mustard Seed | Beneath My Heart | Serenity Now | House of Hepworths |

Monday, January 21, 2013

Organized Cabinet

So you know how the old saying goes, "be careful what you wish for because you just might get it"? Yeah, that happened to me. Back in October (can't believe it was that long ago!) I posted about my wish for open shelving in my dream kitchen as part of the "50 Simple Things to Update Your Home" series. Not too long after that, a hinge broke on a cabinet door and it was just hanging by one. The local hardware stores didn't have a perfect fit, and as you can see, these cabinets use fancy European hinges and have a circle drilled into the interior of the cabinet.

I found a website that could potentially have had the proper hinge, but they required so many measurements that it was getting too complicated. The hubby and I decided we'd make the best of it and decided to keep the cabinet open.

The good part was that it was an end cabinet and so it doesn't look so random. The bad part was that it doesn't exactly have the most beautiful things to look at. I used this as a perfect opportunity to organize (i.e. purge) and change things up a bit.

The first step to organizing any space is to empty it completely and then scrub it down.

Step two is to sort everything into categories to keep, relocate or trash.

I got rid of all the expired vitamins, medicines and sunscreen, as well as things we no longer use or need. I decided to relocate the everyday paper goods - paper plates, plastic cups, etc. to our pantry since that just makes more sense. I moved the cookbooks here so they are easy to get to and decided that we could do without one of the shelves.

I picked up a few containers from the dollar store to organize the medicines and vitamins into two sections - one for stuff used daily, and the other only for when someone is sick. I put the other random, seldomly-used plastic ware on the top shelf. But it just wasn't doing it for me so I decided to splurge at Target and get some nice looking containers. After all, I'd be looking at them every day and I knew the dollar store containers could easily be repurposed elsewhere.

Lucky for me Target was having a storage sale and I got these white containers there. The basket on top is from the Nate Berkus line and I love how it adds a natural element to the space. So much better!

And no post would be complete without a good side by side before and after!

So much better looking, don't you think? Have you ever had a kitchen cabinet door fall off?

Pin It

Linking up here:
Home Stories A to Z Today's Creative BlogtwelveOeight | House on the Way | Craftionary |

Monday, January 7, 2013

House Tour

Back when I showed you a tutorial of how to easily create privacy in a window while still allowing in light, I promised you a tour of my sister's new house. Well, here you go! She bought a house in a new development from a couple who had lived there for about five years, but barely used the house. In fact, you can see from the photos (all taken with the previous owners' things) that several of the rooms were staged.

This is the exterior, with a nice, big two car garage.

I didn't get a shot of the formal living room, but that's the first room you see when you walk into the house. The bay window on the right is where the living room is. You then walk up about four steps onto the main level of the house which has the dining room...


Family room...

And through the French doors on the left, is the office.

There's also a powder room on that level which I didn't take a picture of. Upstairs are three bedrooms, a bathroom, linen closet, laundry room and a master suite, which includes a sitting room and huge bathroom.

Guest room...


Another bedroom staged as a music room...

Hall bathroom...

Laundry room...

Huge walk-in linen closet...

Master suite...

Sitting room, adjacent to the master bedroom...

As you can see, the house has good bones but my sister and her family definitely have their work cut out for them to make it their own. They are working on finishing the basement now to include a playroom, guest room and bathroom, plus lots of storage. You can be sure I'll be sharing with you all the little updates along the way!

Pin It

Linking up:
A Bowl Full of Lemons | House on the Way |

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Updated Bathroom Light Fixture

Hey guys! Thanks so much for being patient with me for these past couple months while I've taken a little break. It's been so relaxing spending time with my family over the holidays and focusing my time on them instead of blogging. But just the same, it feels great to be back and having the chance to re-connect with all of my readers. My stats have surprisingly been pretty steady thanks to pinterest and other bloggers referring readers here so thank you so much - I've missed you all!

Here's a super easy project that I completed back in November. This was the light fixture in the hall bathroom that came with our house (minus one light bulb). Silly me thought those big globes were the light bulb coverings and that there was an actual bulb inside. Fast forward five years and one of them burnt out, only for us to discover the reality! Not your standard size to say the least... I didn't cry too hard about it and was happy to have an excuse to replace the fixture.

I picked out this fixture from Lowe's and my dad helped me installed it. It was definitely an upgrade but the brassy trim along the medicine cabinet mirrors was not working for me. I know there's all the talk now of mixed metals, but the proximity of the two made them clash.

Remember when I used this amazing little crafting invention back when I painted the front door? This time I got it in a silver leaf and rubbed and buffed away!

Here's an in-progress shot so you can see the difference:

And here's the finished mirror!

So much better! And for my favorite - a before and after picture:

The rub and buff part took about 10 minutes and it makes such a difference. What projects have you used rub and buff with?

Pin It

Linking up: 
Serenity Now | Today's Creative Blog | twelveOeight | Home Stories A to Z | Not Just a Housewife |