Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Painted Desk

I accomplished a lot this weekend, but one more day would have been so much better. 

I bought this desk a few weeks ago and it was ready to be updated. The dried glitter-glue in the drawers was a tell-tale sign that it belonged to a young girl.

It was a little beat up and worn, but some sanding and priming brought it a long way.

I primed it with a coat of Paris Grey.

The color was closer to a soft blue. I buffed the piece with dark wax and it brought out a natural tone of grey.
A simple project that brought this piece a long way. 


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cane Chair

On one of my early-Saturday-yard-sale-hunts, I stopped at one that had many chairs stacked in a pile. They looked like they were left there for years, waiting to become a bonfire.

I asked how much she wanted for the chairs, and she responded, "Make me an offer." Oh, why do they say that? I know what potential some of these chairs can have, so I usually offer more than what they intended to sell them for. I just gave her a nod and snooped around the yard a little longer- still circling around the chairs - inspecting them, picking at the peeling paint, putting some weight on the frame to see how sturdy they were. Finally, she came back and offered me a price - thank you! She practically gave them to me. I left with 5 total chairs and enough cash to go find another yard sale.

By the end of the day, my yard ended up looking like I was having a sale myself. 

I had never replaced a caning on a chair before, but that's what Google's for, right? This chair wasn't too bad off, but it still needed a lot of work.

Since the seat of the chair was loose and torn, I pulled out the cane webbing and the reed splines. I used needle nose pliers to remove the brad nails that secured the reed in the chair.

I put wood glue in the joints and used clamps to tighten the joints to make the chair less-wobbly.

Once the glue dried, I painted the frame white. I went to a fabric store and bought the replacement cane webbing and reed. Not all fabric stores carry cane webbing, so call before you go. I cut the webbing to about a 1/4" larger than the crevass in the chair. I soaked the webbing in hot water for about an hour to make it more pliable.

Let it dry out for about an hour. Its okay if it's still damp when you install it; as it dries, it will make for a tighter fit on the chair. I used a chisel to push the webbing into the crevasses and the ream acts as a shim to hold it in place. Apply wood glue before inserting the reed.

I also used brad nails to add an extra bond for the reed. I painted only the ream to cover the brad nails. The last step was to apply a finishing wax with a rag to seal the flat paint.

Don't be afraid to try something new. It pays off in the end.


Making a List

   Now that there are more and more projects (the main reason I've been MIA this last week), organization and motivation are a must.

   I'm a list person. Usually on Friday afternoons I make a list of everything I have to do and dare myself to get them all done by Sunday night. And I take dares very seriously - my mom dared me to become a vegetarian when I was younger and I didn't give up until 10 years later!

   Plus, there's nothing better than scratching the items off the list! On one of my lists was to figure out what to do with a mirror I had. I found it on Wal-Mart's clearance section years ago and now I don't really have a place for it anymore. The frame is is nice, but I already have enough mirrors in my house.

I have seen many people make chalkboards for their homes, and this was a perfect size for me.

I cleaned the glass and taped off the edges.

I sprayed several light layers of Rustoleum Chalkboard Spray Paint, letting each layer dry before applying the next coat.

Let the paint dry and set for at least 12 hours. Although the paint may be dry to the touch, it hasn't hardened enough to start writing on it yet. (I found this out the hard way.) Once it had dried, I hung it in my "workshop" in a spot where I can see it every time I walk in to the room. I enjoy the constant reminders.

Now I can check this off my list! I love that feeling!

Now, back to my list!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Parisian Picture Frame

A trip to Paris last November had me searching each arrondissement for a vintage map, but my search came up empty. A few months later, my boyfriend surprised me with one for our anniversary. It was in need of a frame - one to compliment the map and add more character.

This weekend, I finally got around to making the frame. I picked up some reclaimed wood (and some window sashes)...

...and laid out the wood in a pattern for the frame. I marked spots on each piece of wood so they would match-up later.

I set the plate joiner to 0 (the size of the biscuits.) This is used  to bond two pieces of wood together.

Match up the pencil marks with the red mark on the front of the joiner.

The joiner will plunge a blade in the side of the wood. This will create an opening for the biscuit. With a little wood glue and some clamps, the wood will have a strong bond. 

Once all the pieces are bonded together, cut them at a 45 degree angle with a miter saw. The frame will start coming together. You can use the biscuits in the cut angles as well to fuse the frame.

I used Minwax Polycrylic finish to varnish the frame. The polycrylic made the frame darker and brought out the deep browns and reds in the wood. I lost a lot of the soft colors I had before, which I was hoping to keep.

I went to Lowe's and had a piece of glass cut to size. I also cut a matting board from Michael's to finish off the frame. And after all that work....

C'est très jolie! Oh how I wish I was back in Paris!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Flea Market Finds

I used to go to flea markets only to find exactly what I was looking for. If that's your approach to flea markets, you won't have much success. I just didn't have enough DIY influence to see past the neon green side-table or the yellow velvet accent chair. But now that the intimidation has subsided, the possibilities are abundant.

It was a Friday afternoon and I was browsing among the sea of furniture and knick-knacks. Most of the vendors weren't even at their shops (which makes it impossible to bargain, much less buy anything!) but there was one man sorting through his mess of a shop. An obstacle course is the only way to fully scope the place out. 

I barely saw this chair among the rubble because it was being used as a stand for a huge chandelier.

After a few jumps over some old rugs, I was able to look it over and it was in great shape. 
And as I pulled it out to safety, I also noticed this....

An Antique Miter Saw. This was an impulse purchase, but it has so much more character than my new green and black miter saw

I'll never use it, but I like even more knowing that it didn't cost much. 

But back to my chair...

My chair obviously needed a seat. I used some leftover plywood from the workshop cabinet I built and traced the outline of the seat. 

I used my jig saw to cut out the seat pattern. The pattern was used to cut out the foam for the seat.

I used batting to secure the foam to the wood and used a canvas fabric for the seat.
I used Annie Sloan's Paris Grey as a base coat and used a dry brush of Old White on top. 
A finishing wax helped give the chair a soft finish. 

I love making furniture functional again!

I have PLENTY of projects this weekend! I know I won't be able to finish them all, but even a few completed projects will satisfy me!