Friday, June 29, 2012

Kitchen Chandelier Update

As a part of our kitchen renovation, I started cruising the internet for some new lighting options. We were looking for a chandelier to hang over our table in the breakfast nook and also for 2-3 pendant lights to hang over our island (these were currently recessed lights).

I was really struggling to find something that I liked that wasn't going to cost me a fortune (the story of my life!). Then one day, I hopped on Overstock. I was floored at all of the great lighting options and the GREAT prices! Lots of them looked just like the lights I had seen at Pottery Barn or other retailers for substantially less. But because I needed to purchase at least 3 lights, these were still above my budget. I happened upon 2 potential chandeliers and decided to just order them and see what they looked like in real life.

The One we Sent Back
Our Overstock Chandelier

The first one was more expensive and it was actually really small in person. The second one was really big and it was a different finish than what it looked like on the web. It was actually a brushed nickel with portions of the chandelier in a matte black and then the glass was topped with more of a chrome finish. The finishes were a deal breaker for me but the bones of the piece were good so I decided to try my hand at making some changes to it!

The before:

So after the hubby lovingly hung the chandelier.... I waited until he was at work the next day, shut off the electricity, and took it down to work some magic on it!

First - I taped off the wiring on the chandelier, the glass, and the actual area where the light bulbs go. Its hard to see but the piece that actually holds the light bulb was originally black too. Luckily - these are just housings for the wiring and slip right off. That was the first piece I painted. They went from black to white thanks to a quick couple of coats of spray paint.

And then the real transformation began! I set up a broom across 2 patio chairs in the very back of our yard and hung the chandelier out there so I could get to work with some more spray paint.

I did several base coats of the Hammered Dark Bronze color and then a light dusting of the Hammered Silver to give it a more flecked and worn look. I toyed with taping off the glass and spraying that too but I ended up using QTips and dabbing the color on following spraying some paint onto a paper plate. Yes - I am really creative!

After a quick dry time - it was back inside and up it went to see how I did! I was pleasantly surprised with how much of a difference a little paint can make! It now has a more vintage feel than than the super modern look when it was black. I also really love how painting the pieces that hold the light bulbs now make it seem like these are candles! The white is the perfect contrast to the dark finish! The icing on the cake for me was that since the color was sprayed on I knew that I could match whatever pendant lights I finally found! (Ironically - this was a moot point to be covered on another post!)

And here are the afters!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Kid Friendly Wall Display

Little Man LOVES to color and produces masterpieces on a daily basis! I love for him to be able to see his handiwork displayed but with a stainless fridge (and a clutter free OCD mom) I needed to find somewhere to hang his work that wasn't front and center.

We have a long and narrow closet right off the kitchen that was our catch all for junk and storage. I got a wild hair one day and cleaned it out. After tossing/reorganizing/etc I was left with an adorable little play space! I have some more plans to further improve on the space but for the meantime its a great place to keep the kiddo toys and for Little Man to play and see his art displayed. I was looking to find a cheap and easy way to make the space more colorful too!

This is my view from the kitchen sink!

Little Man playing!

I came up with this super easy art display! So easy - that I again did not take pictures until the end result!

Bouncy Ball Wall Display

A Package of brightly colored rubber bouncy balls
A Package of Wooden Clothespins
Hot Glue Gun
A Level

The hardest part of this project for me was the measuring! I measured out the total length of the wall that I wanted to cover and then divided it into equal portions. For me - that was 7 balls and 6 sections of string between them. I then used a level and measuring tape to mark out the places on the wall where I needed the nails placed. And then I hammered the nails into the wall.

I then took the string and knotted it around the first nail. I knew that I wanted the string to be loose and hang down a bit between the balls. I used that first section as a guide for the rest of the string sections and just knotted the string at that increment 7 times in the string. Then I placed the knots around each of the nails. 

Now for the fun part! I used a nail to make a small hole in 7 balls. Using my hot glue gun, I placed a small dab of glue on the ball and quickly stuck it to the nail in the wall and held it there briefly while the glue set. Repeat times 7 and you are finished!

I chose to hang some Letter flash cards as well and we switch them out so Little Man also gets to learn while playing!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

High Gloss Finish

One of the things that I really liked about my inspiration dressers was the super shiny, high gloss finish that they both had. I think that it makes the piece really stand out and look much less painted at home.

I was hoping to accomplish this using the semi gloss paint that I purchased and our poly coat. Unfortunately it wasn't as glossy as I would have liked. On a side note, I am super impatient and doing a better job of sanding between coats and before the priming and painting would have helped alot but I get so focused on the end result I sometimes hurry thru the steps!

So, I did a quick internet search and found this miracle working spray paint.

So after my single coat of primer, multiple coats of paint, and single layer of poly... I applied about 3 coats of the Clear Lacquer Spray. And I have to say wow! What a difference!

It is best to apply in a very well ventilated space (ideally outside) because it sure is strong but the results are outstanding! It totally covered all of the brush strokes and imperfections.

Check out my after shots... you can almost see a reflection its so shiny!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Loving the Trolley!

And finally some pics in the room! I love the pop of color and how much cleaner it looks vs the old entertainment center!

The before shot... 

And after!!!

There will be more shots once we have a sunny day... its been raining like crazy and no natural light does not do this justice.

In the meantime - this is what I was working on... 

Don't worry I am not subjecting my daughter to the Cars movie quite yet! But this was a project that ended up giving both kids something to be excited about!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day DIY Frame

Happy Father's Day! Its been a great weekend here :) Little Man and Baby Sis got their dad an air compressor and the hubby was so excited! Power tools are the way to a man's heart!

But I wanted to also get him something a little more sentimental too. We have yet to have professional photos done with the 2 kids so I dressed them up one morning and sat that on the couch to try and catch a couple of nice candid shots. Turns out - we got a few really good ones! So what would be a better gift than a framed pic of his two kiddos?

I had a so so Target clearance frame that I decided to just spray with Chalkboard paint. Super easy - 2 light coats and a night to sit and we were ready to go! Since the entire frame was pastel pink I then flipped the frame over and gave it a coat of Gloss Black on the back to make a bit more finished looking. A quick run over with chalk and we were in business!

PS - The pulls are on and looking OUTSTANDING! Here is a sneak peak until its inside and styled!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

DIY Chalkboard Labels

Lately I have been on this crazy organization kick... I am pretty sure it's because I am home all day so I really get to see how unorganized our house is times 24/7! Additionally there is a slight chance that we might be putting our house up for sale and to make that happen we really need to get the house ready and organizing is step 1 for me.

So this week - I started off on a long list of projects. They aren't 'sexy' but they are necessary! The garage, hubby's work bench, my craft/computer armoire, our utility cabinet in the garage, kids closets, the loft shelves, the pantry, and the kitchen cabinets. It's a lot but I have already made some progress.

Today I conquered my armoire and of course - no before picture but let's just say it was very cluttered and all of my supplies were in one large plastic bin. It might it very challenging to grab a paint brush or whatever supply I was looking for. So while I was at Costco yesterday I found a great deal on the shoe sized plastic containers for less than $1 each. I bought 14 of them! I used six for my supplies and the remainder are being used across the house for other projects and posts.

The one thing that I did not buy were cute labels for the containers. I knew that I needed something but its such a pain to drag both kids into Michael's just to look at what they have. So as I was  cleaning out some of the computer supplies I cam across several Avery Labels from Christmas cards a few years ago. I thought why not.... I have a can of chalkboard spray paint maybe I can make chalkboard labels. And what do you know - SUCCESS!

1 can of Chalkboard Spray Paint
1 page of Avery Labels
Some chalk

I literally just sprayed 2 thing coats of the chalkboard paint onto the labels letting it dry for about an hour between coats.

I then waited about 3 hours before applying the labels to the containers and writing on them.

And that's it!

Check out the finished product. I still have a bit more work on the armoire but its more of decor than organization.

PS - I love them so much that I added a label to the galvanized bucket I use to hold my thank you cards and stamps!

PPS - Shipping confirmation on the RH pulls shows a delivery date of tomorrow. I am so excited!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Success.... But can't reveal quite yet!

Well - I am proud to say that I managed to get this piece 'finished' in less than a week's time! Sanding, priming, 3 coats of paint, and a clear coat... all completed while the hubby was out of town and I had both kids solo! Now that is a real challenge and I met it!

Unfortunately - I can't reveal anything just yet.

And here is why...

I spent the better part of my computer time last week searching for pulls to use on the dresser. I knew that I wanted brass and something large (6 inches or more). But I found nothing that really spoke to me at a reasonable price. I even checked locally at Lowe's and HD. Nothing quite big or wow enough. And for some reason I decided to check Restoration Hardware's sale section online. And what do you know that they have several pulls marked down to less than $7! I was nervous that these might be for the smaller sizes but I was pleasantly surprised when I clicked on the Duluth pull above and saw that the 8 inch Antique Brass pull was $6.99! Yes - this is still ALOT for pulls but not for this size and since I only need 4 of them I quickly added them to my cart (I am one of those people that worries about great online deals being snatched up if I don't buy quickly!) And in a few short days - they will be at my doorstep and it will be reveal time!

Friday, June 8, 2012

One coat is on and I LOVE the color!!! Its a beautiful orangey red called Trolley from the Valspar Signature line at Lowes. Its shows a little bit brighter on my computer than in real life but I am loving it!

I chose a Semi gloss outdoor paint in the hopes that it will hold up to the craziness of the kids and dog!

And for the actual view on the dresser.... drum roll please!!!!!

I am so excited to sand and put another coat on this to see a finished look! The one thing that is still alluding me are the perfect pulls. I am loving the look of a back plate but having a difficult time finding a back plate and pull in the same shade. Maybe I will just choose based on style and refinish if I need too!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Primed and Ready for Fun!

So tonight was a great night.... both kids into bed by 8:15 and a nice dinner of chili that I made yesterday for no real clean up! That left me with plenty of time to get the dresser primed! I also had to remove a couple of the support pieces since we are taking out the top row of drawers. A rubber mallet and a furniture renovation are a great stress reliever!

I used the basic Zinsser Primer and was able to get on a quick coat in about 30 minutes after I sanded a couple of spots I had to come back to with the wood filler. So here is where we are as of right now... the real fun begins tomorrow with the first coat of paint! I am so excited to see how it looks!

On a side note - I was grabbing some neccesities at Target today when I happened upon 2 of these adorable baskets on the clearance aisles! Over a foot in diameter and 17 inches tall! Originally $39 and marked half off! Still alot for baskets but these are so big and I think that they will work perfect in the family room on either side of the dresser for some extra storage!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Slow Progress...

Yesterday was a challenge to find much time to keep moving on the dresser... Baby Sissy had some of her 8 wk vaccinations on Monday and has been very unhappy since. So nap times have been unproductive for me. Thankfully - my sister and her daughter dropped by to play so Little Man was ecstatic!

Luckily once the kids finally got to bed around 9 last night I took a bit of time to get the piece all sanded down. No pictures as it looks the same just all smooth now. So today I am hoping to accomplish the priming and then I will be so close to trying out the paint!

I am so excited to FINALLY try something with a bright pop of color! I opted for the Valspar signature paint in semi gloss outdoor. But as I was sanding last night, I got that familiar feeling of doubt on whether I was making the right color choice. My first choice is really bold and vibrant! I did happen to grab a sample of a beautiful shade on navy called Indigo Streamer and I tried it on a test piece last night. I am so indecisive! A story that exemplifies this is that in high school - I was the girl with 2 prom dresses and literally decided the day before which one to wear! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

For Real? Brass Drawer Pulls

Before I get started sanding, priming, and painting - I needed to decide if I will be using the existing pulls. From what I can gather they are solid brass so I decided to take a shot at polishing them and then make my decision. Since we are removing the top 3 drawers to house our TV components if one of them gets messed up in the process its okay.

I found a wealth of knowledge about brass pulls on this post by Centsational Girl. And based on the magnet test, it does appear that these are indeed real brass pulls.

I decided to take a shot at polishing them and then make my decision. Since we are removing the top 3 drawers to house our TV components if one of them gets messed up in the process its okay. Next it's time to start on the polishing and I decided to try the Brasso since I had to run to the store anyways and at $3.99 it seemed like a good idea.  I opened it up and got to work. Here is what we started with...

Man is that stuff strong smelling!!! It literally knocked me back with the really strong smell! I let 3 of our six pulls sit in the solution for about 20 minutes and its amazing how much gunk it ate away. Here is where we are after the brief soaking.

The more that I look at the pulls though - I am leaning towards something a little bigger and maybe with a back plate so these bad boys are going to be retired! This means that I need to fill the existing holes so I got to work on that using my trusty tube of Wood Filler. Once it dries - its time to start sanding and then the priming! I am so excited to keep moving on this...

But what really is keeping me moving is that I bought the paint today so I am literally itching to see the finished product. Here is a clue as to what color I went with.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Six Day Restore Challenge

I am taking on a personal challenge this week.... Fingers crossed it goes well and that I get it completed by Friday!

We live in the best neighborhood and I love our neighbors! On the first day that we moved in - nearly the whole street was gathering in our neighbors garage for Friday Happy Hour. I mean how great is it to get out of the house, socialize, and have a drink? Even better to be able to walk 20 feet and do it at a moments notice with great people! On top of that - we have been very generously given 2 beautiful solid wood dressers as our neighbors are redecorating their home. The first now lives happily in my closet with a new coat of paint and the second one is now sitting in our garage waiting on its new attire!

I love the look of a brightly painted dresser turned entertainment system in a family room. Below are 2 images that really exemplify what I mean.

So this week, I am setting off on turning this solid wood dresser into an entertainment center! Here are the before pictures. Of course - we had already removed the pulls but at least I actually took some before ones this time! This is such a solid piece - and I am still trying to decide if I want to use the pulls or get new ones. First project for tomorrow is seeing what I can do about polishing them up!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Shades of Grey... Display Idea

I was wondering thru Target recently and came upon some great sales. Our Target is adding the full grocery section and I guess that they needed to get rid of some of the home decor merchandise to make room! What a happy day for me (although I am pretty sure the checking account would disagree!)

An adorable little egg crate was just yelling my name from the shelf! I have seen these before at Anthro and love the idea of keeping yours eggs in these in the frig. The grey ones were marked down to $3.98 so I grabbed 2 and happily thought of how stylish my refrigerator would look! And then I recalled seeing these used to hold other things besides just eggs... office supplies at a desk, sewing odds and ends, and even jewelry! So I picked up 2 more and planned to spruce them up a bit to make them more suitable for display.

I have an unused can of Gray Chalkboard spray paint that has been burning a hole in my pocket and I decided this was the perfect piece for it. I love the idea of drawing on this or writing what goes in each section. So in the hour it took to paint and dry 2 coats of chalkboard paint I had this great little gift for less than $5!

Side Note: You will see that the chalk paint has the appearance of snake skin in the bottom of the egg crate... this is because I did not completely dry it prior to paining! Brilliant right? But I actually love the unexpected texture it gives to the matte black everywhere else. I am not sure if this happens with all spray paint but I am thinking about trying it out on the other one to see if I can create a crackled look all over.