Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The FabFour - Reveal

By the way, this is my new best friend.

It makes the "finishing" part of Finishing Paste not so permanent!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Fab Four {Mistake Files}

The Kilz Primer

I used this because everyone else does. It was my first experience with it. The coverage was good, which is the point. I was annoyed with the sandpaper-y finish. It says shake 60 seconds prior to using and during use. Everyone else says shaking it for 2 - 3 minutes prior to using and during use. I did this. Still got the sandpaper-y finish.

Would I have used something else instead?

I would definitely be willing to try something else but I would also be willing to give this a try again. I know from working with gesso on my art projects that a sandpaper like finish isn't necessarily a bad thing. It gives the surface some 'tooth' and makes whatever you put over it adhere better. Sanding might be inevitable but getting good coverage could also be worth it. I'd like to try this again and see if I can prevent the sandpaper effect.

Minwax Finishing Paste: Special Dark

It is called "Finishing" paste for a reason. Once you use it, you are finished, so don't changer your mind!

Here's the deal: I wanted to use this, first, to protect the chairs' finish once they were done. I also wanted to use the Special Dark (for darker woods) instead of Natural (for lighter woods) because I thought it would enhance my distressing AND protect my furniture at the same time.

I didn't want to use a polyurethane on my white chairs because it would yellow over time. A polycrylic will not yellow but the the polycrylic I had on hand is a gloss finish, which I did not want on my chairs.

I could have used a stain or a glaze to enhance the distressing I did with sandpaper but I didn't want it to darken the white paint too much. Unfortunately, that's what happened anyway.

What I've Learned

I thought that the wax paste would go over the paint lightly enough to tone done the bright white of the paint and enhance the exposed wood (from my sandpaper distressing) without getting too dark. I wanted "distressed" not "antiqued".

I've learned, from doing all six chairs at once, instead of doing just one and seeing how it turned out before doing the rest, the following:

- Test on something, anything other than your important piece when using a new product for the first time! If you don't have anything similar to test on, do one piece at a time. That way, if you change your mind or screw up, you only have one thing to fix. Not six.

What I Did Wrong

- I did not test the new product before using it in full force.

- I used too much. I thought that, it being a WAX, if got a little too heavy here and there it would wipe off in the buffing stage later. DOES NOT HAPPEN! It hardens and stays just like you put it on. And if you have any rough areas on your paint job, that's where it will accumulate. Which would have been fine if I had just wiped off the excess BEFORE it dried.

How I Tried To Fix It:

I tried sanding in the areas where it got too heavy. It helped. A little. But mostly it just pushed the wax deeper into the finish which left me a beautiful, like butter, silky finish. And that would have been great if I had wiped off the excess before it dried and left overly darkened spots.

Would I Use It Again?

Absolutely. I already have. The second time I knew what I was doing though. If I had to do it over again, I probably would not have used it on the chairs. I think, the Special Dark color, gives it more of an antique finish than I was going for. Maybe the Natural color would have worked better here because I really loved my new white paint I just wanted the distressing to stand out and for them not to look 'too new'.

Wondering how they turned out? I'll show you tomorrow!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Fab Four Get A Makeover - Part 3

{Reupholstering & Painting Chairs}

So this is what I had to work with.

I decided removing the original upholstery would probably do more harm than good. I didn't want to risk taking all of these nails out and damaging the seat. But I didn't want to put new upholstery on top of the old either.

The solution was a layer of batting

I LOVE this staple gun. So much easier to work with than my husband's bulky silver one. And I don't have to put all of my weight into each and every staple. Pulling this trigger takes less than half the effort than the others and it was only $7.99 at the Hobby Lobby. Of course, I'm cheap, so I waited until the bi weekly 40% off coupon and paid even less than that.

5/16" staples is all it takes. This staple gun is not only easy to use but so powerful it sends the staple down into the wood. It doesn't just sit on top of the wood only to come out later when under stress.

I placed each seat on top of the batting and cut out a section big enough to cover it and wrap underneath.

Before stapling it, I rolled the batting under so the staple went into two layers instead of just one. This not only makes it neater but sturdier as well. I did all four sides first. Then I clip the corners, turned those under and stapled.

Much better, no?

Now for the fun part!

I love to paint. For the chairs, I chose to spray paint. I love the finish versus brush painting. To me, it looks more "finished" or professional. There are jobs that call for hand painting but, for me, the chairs were best done in spray paint.

I used Kilz brand primer. I shook it for at least 3 mins before beginning and during but still occassionally got a sandpaper-y finish. So I had to sand. Again.

Four cans of Kilz primer, 6 cans of Krylon in Gloss White later and I have some lovely chairs.

I would love to say this is where the story ends and show you a beautiful, newly painted and recovered chair. I would. Believe me. Sadly though, I've spent the last 12 hours essentially crying and pitching a fit because of something I did that has potentially ruined my chairs. Sigh.

I will be spending the rest of today trying to remedy my mistake. Tomorrow, you'll either get some pictures of 4 beautiful chairs or a picture of me with no hair.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Fab Four Get A Makeover - Part Deux

After getting rid of that pile of old, sticky clothes, the girls went for their "spa" treatment.

I love those pretty little medallions. They're gonna look great with some light distressing later.

I think I could probably have skipped the sanding here because I don't plan on restaining the chairs. But I did it anyway for good measure.

After a thorough sanding, the girls needed a bit of patching up. Not because they aren't good solid chairs but they did have some gaps here and there and that made them creak and sqeak when you sat on them. The last thing I wanted, once I had them all gussied up, was to have my guests sit on them and wonder if they were sturdy.

I had to decide how I was going to get the glue down in those gaps without taking the chairs apart. I finally decided if I put some wood glue into a plastic baggie then I would be able to slip it into the gap and squeeze in the glue.

I borrowed some of my husband's tie down straps and wrapped them around the chairs, wiped up the excess glue that pushed out and waited for them to dry...

Stick around for Part 3, A New Wardrobe & A Fresh Face {Reupholstering & Painting Chairs}

In the meantime, here's another sneak peek at "the other" project I'm working on!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Fab Four Get A Makeover - Part I

Lottie and the Fab Four are getting makeovers which began with getting them out of those outdated clothes and ended in some microdermabrasion.

That is possibly the grossest thing I have ever had to do. It was like peeling off tape. It was so sticky. And there were stains. Other people's dirt stains. Ewwww

4,697 staples later and the worst part is over!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Craigslist Find - Lottie and The Fab Four

Craigslist. What can I say. It's like having a billion awesome thrift stores at your fingertips!

This is Lottie and The Fab Four girls. Lottie (the armchair) doesn't have a spot in our home yet. She came with the Fab Four, who actually do have a spot - which you'll hopefully get to see sooner rather than later. But she's so purdy I think I'll have to find a special place for her.

This is their 'Before'. Stay tuned for their 'After'.

All 5 for just $100. I did drive to another state to get them but it was only an hour and a half away. We even stopped by the beach just for the fun of it. I fretted someone might steal my chairs every time we stopped.

Very Duncan Phyfe-ish, no? All I know about these chairs is that they previously lived in Rhode Island before their big move to South Carolina.

And, they are older than me. Which I just love. Can you imagine if these chairs were the ones doing the talking over dinner? Oh the stories they could tell!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Painted Wallpaper - Ordinary Hall to Extraordinary Hall

Even if I wanted to hang wall paper, I wouldn't know where to start. So when I saw someone else paint theirs, I was excited to try my hand at it. But where?

One day, while cleaning out the linen closet, it hit me. Why not right here in this hall.

It's just an ordianary hall, right off the family room but visible from almost anywhere.

There's an adorable picture of my first born just floating in the doorway. I figured it deserved some dressing up, a special backdrop.

I've seen people do this with an entire room. I'm not sure I'd have the patience. I used a stencil that I made and just eyeballed the distance between each traced line.

This is what it looked like when I was done. I'm not sure I looked any better. This was the tiring part.

But it's always worth it when I get to the painting part.

A special picture now has a special wall to hang on.

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