Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lovely in Pink

Ok, so the desk came out Be-U-tiful!  To say that I am enamored with the final product is a complete understatement. Not only that, but a few days after I had found the desk, I drove by a garage sale just one  block away from our house and found (among a bizillion other yummy things which I will share in future posts) this LOVELY chair:

The chairs I had seen up to that point were fairly dull and had no shape at all.  From the curb I could see this chair had the curves I wanted, scrolly back and all.  The kids whined and complained about getting off the car but I knew it was a now or never sorta situation, and guess what... I got it for $10 !  Not only that, I got to meet one of the nicest couples ever.  As it turns out the husband is an auctioneer and he invited us to come up and participate in his next auction.  I HAVE to take him up on it.  What a nice guy!  

Anywhoo, here's a close-up of the seat "cushion" (well, it really wasn't a cushion at all; it was very hard and I wondered if in the old days everyone was extremely thin or just plain uncomfortable).  The print on the cover was lovely though and once removed, I washed the cover by hand and have saved it awaiting inspiration to use it in another neat project.   Perhaps I'll frame it.  Any thoughts?

I had never recovered a chair but I looked it up on YouTube and frankly, it looked like something I could do.   I headed to Joann's Fabrics where I purchased some foam (high density is the best for these type projects), batting and the loveliest French print fabric you have ever seen.  I loaded my brand new staple gun, and I was   armed, dangerous and ready for battle.

This is what batting looks like off the baseball field :)  
No you don't have to get this giant roll... you purchase it by the yard.  I purchased 3/4 yard but could have likely gotten away with 1/2 yard.  Batting goes between the foam and the fabric... I am told it makes your seat cushion fluffy and wrinkle free and mine is so it must have worked!  

At first, I wasn't sure whether to paint the chair almond like the rest of AC's bedroom, or pink like the desk but this fabric clenched the pink for me and I am glad because the end result is divine.

So without further ado... here is the final product... 
the desk AND the chair (nice and cushiony now and oh so beautiful).

If you look closely you will notice that not only did I paint these pieces, but I also glazed them.  Glazing is that black stuff you see in the crevices that gives the pieces an antique-y aged look.   I was scared at first because the paint looked so crisp and beautiful without it, but it makes a really big difference and was definitely the way to go.  If you are interested in learning the technique, there is an excellent tutorial on glazing here.

I couldn't be happier with it.  I find myself going into AC's room just to stare at it; 
and you-know-who is absolutely THRILLED with her new pink desk and chair.

I can't wait to start on the next project!  
Did I mention the GORGEOUS headboard I found at the same garage sale as the chair?  
You're going to love it!  

Monday, February 20, 2012

The little desk that could

I'm so excited that I could barely stand the wait to post this.  Life delayed me a little bit but I dusted off and I'm here to report that I FOUND it!  What do you mean what?  The desk of course; the vein of my existence since having to have the one I saw on Pinterest. So, before I show it to you, let me remind you that this is the GLORIOUS desk that inspired me (I know, I know it's FABULOUS).  It's from
and here is the one I found:  

I think I can hear what you are thinking from here... work with me people!  Repeat after me I-M-A-G-I-N-A-T-I-O-N !

Let me first say that it was two cities over but the guy who was selling it offered to deliver it for FREE if I waited a couple of HOURS (thank you, Jimmy!)  as he had to come down this way to make another delivery... woo hoo!   I couldn't believe my luck.  Although pricier than I had anticipated (it turns out antique desks run quite a bit higher than dressers not to mention I haven't found one since so they are a rare find), two hours later, I met my new love... no, not Jimmy, the desk for Pete's sake!  The top was a different finish and glossier than the rest of it and I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to paint it but hey, what were the chances that God would put this amazing piece of furniture in my life only to have it not turn out the way I wanted?!  Don't answer that!   

Yeeyh, it's almost EXACTLY like the one I had seen in the pic... like almost to the tee... don't you think?  I know, I know, you likely can't see it yet.  But trust me, it is.  I wish its curves were more like the inspiration piece but still I love it.  

So, here's what I've done so far:
1.  Brushed it down with soap and water (it reaked at first) and let dry.  With our sunny weather, it took no time at all.
2.  Sanded it with 220 sandpaper square.
3.  Wiped it with a damp cloth, and again let dry.
4.  Primed it with Kilz Spray.
5.  Sanded it again, and wiped it with a tack cloth.

Here's my progress so far:  

Doesn't it look TONS better already?  I bet you're excited to see the final product.  {tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies...}

What's next you ask (you did ask, right?)?  Two coats of Krylon WATERMELON paint... which I found at our local (well kinda far really but well worth the trip if you ask me) Walmart.  That's right.  I am spray painting this baby.  It's so much easier than the brush method and turns out great!

I should have the finished product pics to you by the next post, and trust me, I'll be spending many sleepless nights until I see it to completion.  I'm so looking forward to it.  Aren't you?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My New Career

So, I came upon this GORGEOUS desk on Pinterest, and it was love at first sight!  I knew I HAD to have it for AC.  I tracked it back to All Things Thrifty and just my luck, also found a post there on how to refinish furniture (quite the discovery as I had never done it and had no clue where to begin).  The search was ON!  I immediately combed Craig's List and didn't really find a desk but I did run into these pieces:

I had been looking for a dresser for AC.  She has outgrown her toddler set with very small drawers, and I was certain this was a sign.  In the above Craig's List photo, the set looks honey-colored but when I got to the house of the girl that was selling it, I realized it was what I now call "ladder yellow"... no joke... just look at the pic:

Apparently ladder yellow was a very popular color a really long time ago before contacts were invented!  Aside from being ladder yellow, the tops of the dressers and drawers were quite stained, and the cute little tables you see in the pic were destroyed (I thought I took a close-up shot of that but I can't seem to find it; mental note:  if you are going to blog about something, you must take detailed pics); one was a little better than the other but it needed major TLC.  The price was definitely right though, and at this point, I realized I'd be refinishing more than just a desk.

So I brought the furniture home and began to follow the refinishing tutorial on All Things Thrifty.  I have to say, it is VERY very good.  The only thing I might add is that you really need to sand the furniture down after you've washed it, and you need to sand it a lot after the primer, and lightly in between coats.  Sanding I found is key as the paint may not adhere otherwise.  If you skip this step, you may find once you think you are done that the minute anything brushes up against the piece, the paint will chip and all your work will go out the window.  Unfortunately, I found this out the hard way and I was disheartened half way through the project.  No matter.  The experience was invaluable and AC is thrilled with her new furniture.  Also, it helped when I researched its origin and learned that it is a solid set made in the 1920's out of ash wood... this is pass me down furniture if I've ever seen it.  Yeeeyh!

One piece of advice before you begin your new refinishing career (it takes more than one afternoon!)... be patient, all good things take time, and realize this is going to take some HARD work on your part but in the end very satisfying; and honestly, the cost of the whole thing, including paint, primer, sanding paper, glaze, etc was barely $300.  I couldn't buy a set like this if I wanted to.  I'd likely find a non wood set and you can bet I'd pay a ton more for a lot less quality.  So, drum roll please.... here's how it turned out:

Isn't it GORGEOUS?!   It is quite the transformation (note:  I'm patting myself on the back as you read this).  I seriously LOVE the little tables!  AC's room is a French theme and this couldn't be more perfect.   I used Krylon paint in color Almond (the pics were taken at different times of the day hence the color difference but the little table pic is truer to the actual color).  What a difference a couple of coats of paint made!  When the room is finished, I will post a pic of it in her room.  But now back to finding that desk...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Everything is better in pink!

My baby girl loves pink.  She swears by it.  It makes her heart skip a beat... hot pink especially.  I, on the other hand, prefer red.  I'm a Leo, born in July, and it's a fire sign.  So it's no accident that red, yellow and orange are my favorite colors.  

A couple of days ago, on the way to my daughter's acting class (which she will tell you she's not teaching herself so as not to make the teacher feel bad) we had a favorite colors conversation:
AC:  "Everything is better in pink!"  
Me:  "Pink is a gorgeous color"
AC:  "Momma, why is red your favorite color?"
Me:  "Well, red makes me feel strong and beautiful all at once."
AC:  "...but pink is so happy!"  "Besides, there are LOTS of shades of pink.  Red only has one color."
Me:  "You have a good point and I really love that you know what you like.  It's not that I don't like pink; I do.  It's just that red has always been my favorite."
AC:  "OK momma, close your eyes and think of red, ready?".  
Me:  "Ready!"
AC:  "Now, think of red with pink all over.   You see momma?  EVERYTHING is better with pink!"
I love that she didn't give up.  I love that she believes in HER color.  I love that she is trying to persuade me to love pink too.  But most of all, I love that we get to have these conversations, and I love this life of pink and red!