Thursday, May 23, 2013

One Year Anniversary and Antique Serving Table Makeover

I can't believe it, but a year ago today I created my very own blog, and  posted for the first time EVER.  Five-thousand three-hundred page views later, I'm still blogging, and enjoying it very much!

OK, OK, on to the Antique Serving Table Makeover....The older I get the more I have developed a true love for antiques!  It wasn't but just a few years ago, that I wanted only "new" things.  But, since that time, I have acquired a few pieces of antique furniture that were passed down to me.  One was my grandmother's desk.  I acquired this piece as a child, actually, but never really appreciated the value of it, and I'm not talking about monetary value, until just recently.  My hubby had the desk refinished for me several years ago, and every time I walk past that desk, I think of my grandmother, who gave it to me, and has since passed away.

I also received an antique chair.  It was in really rough shape.  My mother actually had it stored in her attic, and gave it to me, again, a few years back.  The chair was actually my great-grandmothers.  With limited reupholstering skills, I decided to let the professionals re-upholster the chair, and now it sits in my formal living room.

 I actually found a seam-ripper in the cushion of the grandmother was quite a seamstress.  I can envision my great-grandmother sitting in this chair, mending clothes!  These two pieces have great sentimental value, and I can't help but think how proud my great-grandmother and grandmother would be to see these two pieces of furniture in my home! 

About two months ago, I received a telephone call from my youngest brother!  He and his family currently reside in my paternal grandparents old home.  When my grandparents passed away, their house became a home to a few different family members.  To make room for their belongings, my grandparents things were stored in the upstairs bedrooms and the eves.  Well, my brother is trying to clean things out, and he wanted to know if there was anything I wanted of my grandmothers.  With my new found love of old, sentimental things, I said I would be up to check things out, and that I did.  I snagged a beautiful, old, serving table, a plant stand, and an occasional table.  They all appeared to be antiques, and there was just something about each and every piece that I loved.  I loaded my vehicle up and began an immediate makeover on the serving table.  It had been stained dark brown, but the finish coat appeared to be in really bad shape.

Where it had been stored in one of the upstairs bedrooms, where there's no heat during the winter months, and really hot in the summer months, I think this really affected the finish coat.  Otherwise, the table was in great shape, with few imperfections.  I decided that I wanted the serving table to sit in my formal living room, just beneath an over sized, framed painting.  Since I have accents of black throughout that room, I decided I would paint the serving table a beautiful black.

I began by taking the doors off and the drawers out, then removed all the hardware.  I stored the hardware in a special place as I planned to reuse the hardware. I then began sanding.  I primarily used my hubby's palm sander, and occasionally a block sander.  Here's what it looked like after I had sanded it all down.

 I then primed the entire piece using a small roller for the flat surfaces and a Purdy angled brush for the inside of the cabinets and the turned legs.  I happened to have white Kilz stain-blocking primer on hand, but I should have gotten grey primer, as that's preferred when you are painting a color as dark as Black.

I gave the table two coats of primer, and then headed to my local Benjamin Moore retailer and bought a quart of Advance black satin  paint, or so I thought.  When I got home, I opened the can of paint and started to stir it, I noticed that the paint looked dark gray not black.  In fact, the paint residue on the lid of the can even looked gray.  Trying to remain optimistic, I began to apply the paint to the table,  but it appeared dark gray in color.  I thought that perhaps it looked gray because it was going over white primer, so I applied one full coat to the table.

 Then re-applied a second coat a day or so later.  IT WAS STILL GRAY in color!  I decided to bring my little quart of paint back to my local retailer and see what they could do for me.  They willingly gave me a credit for that can of paint and mixed me up a new color, called "BLACK".  Again, the paint in the can appeared gray, but the stir stick, once dried, appeared black, so I figured I would try it.  Again, I applied two full coats of the "Black", and after it dried, it still looked like a charcoal gray.  At this point, I was more than frustrated.  Even though I love Benjamin Moore Advance paint, I opted to go to Home Depot and buy a quart of black satin paint off the shelf.  It happened to be Valspar. When I opened the Valspar paint, it was without question, BLACK!  I was so excited.  I lightly sanded down the surface of the table, and then applied the black valspar paint.  It looked great....until I got to the top of the table.  For some reason, even though I was using the same roller, once the paint dried, you could see the overlaps of lines created by the roller.  I sanded the top down several times and tried to paint the top with the smaller roller, and even tried using a full-size roller, but both kept leaving lines.  At this point, I seriously could have thrown something, anything!

After multiple tries and failures, I convinced my hubby to spray paint the top, just the top of the table with Krylon Black Satin Spray Paint.  He was gracious enough, and after several coats (sanding in between), the top of the table looked flawless, and it matched the Valspar Black Satin Paint pretty well.

Before moving onto the finish coat application, I decided to paint the detailed scallops on the doors and drawers with Rub 'n-Buff in gold leaf.  If you've never heard of or used Rub 'n Buff, the product is amazing.

It's a wax metallic finish, that can be used on nearly any surface.  It comes in 1/2 fluid ounce tubes, and in a variety of metallic colors.  I love the gold leaf, and had it left over from another project I had done so I used that!  It's readily available at craft store:, AC Moore, Michaels, etc. and cost all of $4-5.  Despite the size of the tube it comes in, it can paint a lot of area. You simply rub the product on, and once dry you buff it, and it leaves a shiny, metallic finish!

I then bought a very small, thin, angled paint brush from AC Moore, so I could get the paint into the fine lines of the scallops.

 Here are the before photos of the serving table, notice the scalloped areas on the doors and drawers.

Here's what they looked like after 

Finally, it was time to paint the finish coat.  We opted to use Minwax Polyacrylic, as it is water-based, and the Valspar paint I had used was water-based.  Now, I have to admit, I have never used Polyacrylic before.  It is very milky in appearance, and when it goes on, it looks milky, but as it dries, it dries clear.  Well, the first coat I put on, I put on WAY TOO thin!  It said to apply thin coats, but I put it on so thin, it didn't even cover in all areas.  I started to freak out once I saw what it looked like once it dried.  My hubby assured me that we just needed to sand it down and apply the poly a bit thicker, so to ensure even coverage.  I decided I would let him deal with the polyacrylic, so he put the top coat on with a nice Purdy nylon brush.  Once it dried, though, there were still a few spots that didn't get covered, so we sanded it down again, and re-applied another coat.  We did this four times, and by the fourth time, we started to get bubbles which dried in place and made the surface bumpy.  At this point, my husband was ready to send the table away, and I was feeling pretty discouraged.

Then, I had a thought, FORGET the polyacrylic, it was too temper-mental for our taste, let's use Satin Clear Finish Spray Paint by Krylon.  For $3.24/a can, as compared to the $17/ a quart for the polyacrylic, I figured we didn't stand much to lose.  I actually bought three cans of the Finish Spray Paint so to ensure we had enough.  Before using this, I prepped the table, by ONCE AGAIN, sanding down the entire table.   My hubby then applied several coats of the Clear Finish Spray Paint, and it left this white, hazy film all over the table top.  I'm guessing, that in order to use this product, you must use it directly over a  freshly painted surface.  Where we sanded the surface before applying it, we think this messed it up.  SOOO, my husband decided he would sand down the entire top of the table, right down to the paint, and then attempt the polyacrylic, once again, but with a new Purdy nylon brush.  He did, and after several more tries it came out fine.  It's not perfect, but I think if we expended anymore time on this little project we would have harmed this lovely piece of furniture. 

The last and final step was to paint the hardware, as it was in really bad shape and was very dingy looking.  I used the Rub 'N Buff, in gold leaf, once again.  I applied it with a small paint brush, all over the door and drawer pulls.  Once dry, I buffed them all.

Then I painted the hinges and screw heads

Finally, I screwed in the pulls on the drawers and doors, and the hinges onto the door, and then onto the table.  Here's the finished product

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

DIY Pottery Barn Kids Harper Window Panel

Hello there!  It has been far too long since I have blogged.  Please forgive me.  The DIY projects have been ongoing, I just hadn't had time to sit down and write about them.  But, I'm back and ready to I have missed it!

I don't know about you, but I love to peruse the Pottery Barn Kids catalog to get inspired, as well as to  find inspiration to create inexpensive ways of replicating some of their beautiful products! Well, my youngest baby just turned 3 years old, and it was time to trade in the crib for bunk beds, as my 3-year-old shares a room with his 10-year-old brother.  I had been promising my oldest son that I would redo his bedroom when my youngest was no longer in his crib.....SOOOOOOO, that time has come and now I  must fulfill my end of the bargain..and redo his room.  The biggest challenge is going to be decorating the room in a manner that suites my 3-year-old and my 10-year-old.  Well, I knew the first place I was going to start was with the window treatments.  I wanted something brighter than the navy blue window panels that hung just above the window casings in their room.  So, I began to leaf through the PB Kids catalog the other day and stumbled upon this:

Girls' Harper Panel 44 x 96" Navy

I love the ribbon detail.  It dresses the panel up so much, giving it a rather sophisticated look.  For one panel 96" long it cost $99.  I would need four panels as there are two windows in my sons' room, which would equate to $400....CRAZY! 

So, I went to good old google, and starting searching for ways to make these panels myself.  I stumbled upon a great tutorial over at Chris loves Julia.  Julia used painters drop cloths for the window panels, but I decided to buy the RITVA curtain panels from IKEA.  I wanted curtains with the back tab feature, which these had, and they only cost $25/per set for 57" wide x 98" long white window panels. 

Knowing I would need a substantial amount of grosgrain ribbon, I again, turned to google and found a great online store, Ribbons and Bows Oh My,  that sold ribbon of various widths and had a wide color selection.  To get a similar look to the PB Kids Harper Window Panel, I opted to get the 2.25" Navy grosgrain ribbon, as well as the 5/8" navy ribbon. The 2.25" ribbon comes in 5 yard or 50 yard increments.  I decided to get two 5 yard rolls, at a price of $2.79/each.  I also purchased the 5/8" navy ribbon, which is available in 5 yard or 100 yard increments.  I opted to get the 100 yard roll at a price of $14.25.  With tax and shipping, my total order came to just under $30 for all that ribbon.  Now when you are trying to determine how much ribbon you will need just measure the length of the panel, on the right side and the left side,  and the bottom width of the panel.  Add those measurements together and multiply that by how ever many window panels you will need.  REMEMBER:  If you are ordering smaller increments of ribbon, like a 5 yard roll, try to figure out how many panels you can do with 5 yards.  For example, you might have a yard or so left over at the end of a roll, but you can't use that as it's not long enough for your window panel.  It's best to always order a little extra to be on the safe side!

When I received the RITVA window panels, I washed them in hot water, per the instructions provided by IKEA, and they did shrink.  IKEA's website does indicate that these panels can shrink up to 4%.  They definitely did shrink, and were very wrinkled once they came out of the dryer.  DO NOT, use fabric softener when you wash them or when you dry them, as this will interfere with the ribbon adhering to the panels.  I ironed the panels, then I ironed them some more, and them some more.  Finally once I had relatively unwrinkled panels, I hung the panels on the rods in my son's room so see if they would need to be hemmed, which they did.  Well, three of the four panels had to be hemmed!  I pinned them all while hung, so I would know how much they each needed to be shortened.  NOTE:  each panel shrunk differently.  One panel I didn't even have to shorten.  So, it's very important to first hang them and then determine how much they need to be shortened.  Since, I do not sew, I opted to buy Heat-n-Bond, to hem the panels.  All this requires is an iron.  Follow the simple instructions on the back of the package and you will have a really nice hem, no sewing required.

Next step, add the ribbon.  I started with the 2.25" wide ribbon, and ran this along the side and bottom hem.  I began by folding over the top of the ribbon and using my glue gun to glue the ribbon down to give the top a nice finished edge.  I then glued the top of the ribbon to the very top of the curtain panel, and did so with my hot glue gun.  I glued the remaining ribbon with fabric glue.

  This seemed adequate to adhere the ribbon to the panel.

You will notice from the above pictures that I placed a bag underneath the ribbon that was being glued.  The reason for this was because the glue did seep through the fabric a bit, and I didn't want that all over my hardwood floors!  As I glued more ribbon, I just slide the bag underneath the panel, ensuring that it was always under the area that I just glued.

The hot glue gun came in handy in some places, especially at the tops and at the bottoms, as you are folding over the ribbon to give it a nice finished edge.  Where this is thicker, I found the glue gun was better at adhering the ribbon to the panels.  When I came to the corners I folded the ribbon back, to once again, give it a nice finished edge, and then I folded the ribbon at a 45 degree angle, so once the two ribbons came together they would form a 90 degree angle like such:

Once I ran ribbon down both sides of the panel, and across the bottom hem, I used my level as a straight edge, and placed it against the inside edge of the 2.25" wide ribbon, then ran the thinner ribbon, 5/8" wide, down the other side of the level, gluing it with fabric glue.  Once I came to the corners, I repeated the steps outlined above to create 90 degree angled corners. 

Here's the finished product!

After following these same steps for each window panel, I had four beautiful ribbon-embellished curtain panels.  Here's a side-by-side comparison of the RITVA curtain panels on the right, as bought, and the RITVA curtain panels with a ribbon detailing on the left.  I think they look like entirely different curtains.

Here they are!  Forgive the poor lighting.  But, I think they look stunning!  And, my son likes them, so that to me means SUCCESS!