Gone Fishing…

Where have I been, you ask? Long time no hear, you say. Whelp, no excuses! I’ve been trying to relax and have some fun this summer, but basically that means I’ve been incredible busy with furniture sanding and staining and painting and stenciling and lifting and hauling and hammering and oh, yeah, selling it all at the Barn at Todd Farm! The only fishing I have actually done is for some cute whale patterns for my hand-crafted Tin Whale Signs. So much for a summer of R & R…which for me means Re-Cycle & Re-Love.

Today’s DIY post features some super cute whales I’ve created from tin, copper, wood and some paints. Typically, this is what happens: Coach says “I have these boards, can you do something with them?” He paints or stains them a background color while I search for some inspiration- nothing a pile of tin can’t provide! Where this stuff comes from, I do not know or care to ask- it just magically appears in the workshop…or on the porch…or in the yard…or under the work tent. But, somehow it all comes together and we go from this:

Tin Whale Outdoor Panelsto this: Tin Whales Country Design HomeHere’s the how-I-did-it:

Get a piece of wood (we have tons in the barn if you need some…) Have Coach paint or stain the wood with whatever back ground color you’d like to showcase your designs. Get some old tin sheets (good luck with that one) I needed enough tin to create a whale pattern the length of the wood-it did not have to be one large piece because I was planning on slicing it anyway.

Tin Whale SheetsLay down your whale pattern (hey, if you don’t like whales, you can pretty much take your pick of fish or animals or anything else. Then again, who doesn’t like whales?? Trace the pattern onto the tin panels.

Tin Whale Tracing PatternCut the pattern out with scissors. Now, I am not sure where to actually find aged tin this thin-once my stash is gone, I am not sure what I will do! But I am sure Coach will figure it out. Evenly slice the pieces into as many as you would like to create your design.

Tin Whale Pattern StencilI chose two different paint colors to create the stripes. So many colors, so many choices…

Tin Whale Paint ColorsI painted it on…

Tin Whale Painted Tail Before…then sanded it off to expose the tin texture.

Tin Whale Sanded PaintSometimes I don’t paint it at all- just leaving the aged tin…which has the appearance of an old whale (well, at least from what I can see in old photographs…)

Tin Whale Natural SurfaceOnce all the pieces were painted, I laid them back down, evenly spacing them with a ruler. (I used to just eyeball stuff, but I guess these old eyes don’t quite measure like they used to…)

Tin Whale SpacingI glued the pieces to the wood…I’ve tried all sorts of glues, but this one works really well and its clear and doesn’t smell too bad. Painted it on the back of the pieces, then laid it down on the wood panel-once I had them positioned correctly- thenI weighted them down with paint cans until they dried.

Tin Whale Tacky GlueNow, here’s the fun part. Well, I guess you could call it fun if you enjoy individually punching dozens of teeny, tiny copper tacks into tin and wood using jewelry pliers and a small hammer…

Tin Whale Copper Tacks with PliersThese tiny copper tacks are from a company in Ohio- they are specifically made for shaker boxes…but I think they are perfect for my whales!

Tin Whale Copper TacksEach whale is unique in both the finishes and the finishing decorations. Depending on the color choices, sometimes I will use black carpet tacks instead of the copper tacks…those are available at your local hardware store.

Tin Whales 2 by 2As for the whales, well, sometimes I paint them, sometimes I leave them natural (after all, whales are not typically blue striped) Sometimes I use vintage hooks, sometimes I glue jute rope around the edges to finish them off…whatever strikes my artistic fancy while I am in my create mode. So, here are the whales hanging on the wall at the barn, along with many other pieces that I have created.

Tin Whales Barn Vignette Country Design Home.jpgDon’t they look totally at home there?? If I ever have coastal cottage (working on it!) they will be making waves there : ) Have a whale of a Monday, everyone! xoxo Susan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Aha Moment

With all of the painting and staining and top-coating I do on a daily basis, you would think that I know all the tricks of the trade. And I do…kinda…sorta, well, for the most part. Except every once in awhile I have an “aha” moment where I think- “geesh- why didn’t I think of this before?!?”

Do you ever open a brand new can of paint and think, “oooh, how pretty!?” Well, I do, every time, because I love the potential and promise that a fresh new paint color brings to any project. So, I use the paint for that project, then slap the lid back on until the next time…and then I pry it off (because now it’s kinda stuck to the rim because of the left- over paint from the last time) for the next project. And so it goes, and with each project the rim becomes more caked and coated with dried paint (that break off into little tiny micro-chips..which eventually fall into the can and leave lumps while I am painting.) And eventually, I can no longer get a nice snug seal on the paint can and the remaining paint becomes dried and unusable. Ugh.

Annie Sloan Old White Can Edge

So, the other day, after I opened my can of Annie Sloan Greek Blue Chalk Paint (oh, my goodness, this color is swoon-worthy…) I vowed to make sure the cover and rim were clean and clear when I was finished for the day. But here is the issue: there is that second indent in the edge of the can where the lid fits- and that fills up with paint as you wipe your brush along the edge to remove excess paint during the painting process.

Paint Can Edge.jpg

It is virtually impossible to get it clean and paint-free unless you do some surgical intervention with Q-tip(s)-time consuming and messy!

I have tried using the “rubber band” method, where you place the rubber band in the center of the opening and run your brush along that instead of the can’s edge.

Paint Can Rubber Ban Method

But I can attest to the fact that since rubber bands are made out of, well, rubber, there are times when they “bounce back” and the paint will splatter around. And, its messy to remove. Plus, every once in awhile I need to stop and restir my paint and then the rubber band is in the way.

Yesterday, I was looking at the can of paint I was about to open (well, actually, I was searching for the paint can opener because I always seem to lose those), and right beside it was a roll of painter’s tape. You know, the blue kind that we use to mask off anything and everything. My AHA moment! So I grabbed the tape and created a rim guard all around the perimeter of the opening, inside that second indent where the paint typically collects.

Painters Tape Edge Annie Sloan Greek Blue

Because the tape is straight and a quart can is round, I used several small pieces, overlapping as I went along to create a paint barrier. I went to work, painting my pieces, and when I was done, I simply peeled the tape away from the edge and voila!

Removing Tape from Annie Sloan Greek Blue

Perfectly clean…no more caked edges and micro-dots of paint on my projects! Shark Tank here I come! This is a sneak peek at the pieces I am using the Annie Sloan Greek Blue Chalk Paint on- isn’t it gorgeous!?

Annie Sloan Greek Blue Painted Chair

Here’s hoping you have a perfectly mess-free Friday, everyone! Susan xoxo

 

 

 

Hail to the Whale!

Coach and I, well, we just love whales. I am not certain how it all began, but I can say that one of our very first “all day” dates took place in lovely Mystic Connecticut. In Mystic Seaport, it is all things nautical, and I suspect perhaps that day spent touring the Charles W. Morgan (the last wooden whale ship in the world!)

Charles W. Morgan

the Seaport Museum and the Mystic Aquarium, all the while basking in the glow of young love, might have sparked the beginning of a life-long passion for those majestic denizens of the deep. So, I paint a lot of whales…on trunks and planks and tables, pretty much any flat surface.

Whale Porch Table

After all, who can resist a gentle, giant creature with a hint of a smile-especially when decorated with the American flag? Recently, Coach came upon a stack of old cabinet doors (well, it might not have been recently, it’s just what has surfaced in the barn most recently.)

Hail to the Whale Before Cupboard Door

They were simply painted creamy white, or so we thought. Until he started to sand the edges and behold! This amazing teal blue emerged.

Hail to the Whale Black Background

Sometimes you have in your mind what color scheme to use on a piece, sometimes the piece dictates the palette. In this case, there was cream and teal and a country red color…perfect for an American Flag Whale! I went with a black background for greater impact and contrast to the flag whale itself. For the flag colors, I mixed paints until I came up with the exact shades of teals and reds that matched the existing colors on the frame. I have, in my workshop, perhaps 50 or so of those little Behr sample paint pots

Behr Sample Pots

that you get at Home Depot for a couple of bucks…in a multitude of colors. These are my go-to samples when I am mixing paints-economical and plentiful…and if I mix a color I really love, I just use the color match app to have them mix whatever amount I need! Once I painted the background, it was a pretty simple process-I used a whale stencil

 

Whale Stencil

for the overall pattern in cream, then taped off the stripes, and added the red.

Hail to the Whale Taped Stripes

Now, I know there aren’t 13 stripes- he was just too narrow and it looked too tight, so I went with a more interpretive look.

Hail to the Whale Star Field

After that, I added the star field using a stencil I cut out with my Cricut Air machine.

Cricut Gold

Do you have one of these?? If not, you need to hustle over to your favorite craft store and buy one, like now! If you do crafts, or scrapbooking, or make signs or stencils or just about anything where you need to apply graphics, this is your go-to machine. See this little square of stars?

Star Stencil

By hand, that would have taken me hours to cut…and then a few more in the ER getting stitched up from the X-acto knife thumb slice… With the Cricut, it took maybe ten minutes to design and cut the stencil. Simply incredible!

Once the whale had dried, I added the matching stars in the four corners. Upon close inspection, you can see where I allowed the faint outline of the original hardware to remain.

Hail to the Whale Hinge Detail

I think it gives the piece character to leave the blemishes there for everyone to see. After that, it was simply a matter of a topcoat…and I went with my go-to favorite: Flat Out Flat by General Finishes. **As a side-note, when you paint on this topcoat, it initially appears milky white,

Hail to the Whale FOF Wet Finish

which kind of freaked me out the first time I tried it. But, once it dried to a clear, softly glowing finish, I was sold. So, the whale is now finished and ready for his new home.

Hail to the Whale Finished Logo

This is the wall grouping that greets visitors at my back door, but alas, he’s not staying put.

Hail to the Whale Wall Grouping Logo 1

He’s migrating north to the Barn at Todd Farm where he’ll have a whale of a time with some other pieces I have recently completed. Have a “whale-y”great Wednesday, everyone! Susan xoxo

 

Saltwash Blues

Have you heard of Saltwash paint additive?

Saltwash BannerNo? Well, I hadn’t either until I was introduced to this product for this month’s Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest. Amazing stuff made with real sea salt that creates a worn, rustic look on any piece! You mix it with any paint type and color, smoosh it on literally anything that accepts paint (wood, metal, plastic, you name it, it sticks). Then you paint an overcoat, allow to dry, sand it and stand back and admire your truly transformed piece! In this case, an old wooden trunk that had seen (much) better days,

Old Trunk Paintedtransformed into this gorgeous sea worthy trunk in various shades of blues.

Finished Trunk Staged LOGOHere is the how-to:

Find an old piece of furniture that needs a bit of TLC to bring it back to life. In this case, an old trunk that had cracks and dents. I had already started a transformation by painting it silver, but I wasn’t in love with it. Once I received the Saltwash, it was an easy decision to use it for this project. I Coach (yes, Coach got into the act with the project : ) painted the trunk with several shades of blue, covering all of the metal and wood and canvas surfaces.

Painted Trunk TopMix the paint with the Saltwash until is is the consistency of cake frosting.

Saltwash Mixture FrostingTaped off the wood slats because I wanted them to appear dry brushed but not textured.

Painted TrunkDabbed on the Saltwash Blue Mixture any where I wanted to have the textured surface, then allowed to dry. The trick is to dab it on thickly and heavily. The beauty of it is that is does hide any cracks or imperfections!

Dabbing Thick Paint on TrunkPainted on a lighter coat of blue over the textured finish and allowed to dry. Already looks pretty awesome right?!

Overpainting Trunk TopcoatSanded down everything, including the wood and metal trim (which allowed the original silver finish to show through)

Saltwash Trunk Sanding off Top LayerFinished with a spray coat of matte acrylic. Here is the finished trunk in beautiful shades of Saltwash Blues. (but you can use any color you wish- the Saltwash has no color in it!)

Finished Trunk Staged LOGOFor more outstanding transformations by this month’s sponsors, click the links below:

http://www.thirtyeighthstreet.com/2016/06/saltwash-coastal-inspirations-fab.html

http://www.58waterstreet.com/2016/06/fab-furniture-flippin-contest-saltwash.html

And if you might be interested in joining the Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest, click this:

Fab Furniture Flippin Contest Poster

Have a great week leading up to the 4th! I will be out of blogging range, but will be back with more flipping fun projects when I return.

xoxoSusan
Compensation Banner 500

 

Bling It Up With Country Chic Paint

This month’s #Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest was sponsored by Country Chic Paint.

Country Chic PaintThe theme: #BlingBling featuring Country Chic’s Metallic Cream Paints. Now, pastel and blingy is typically not in my wheelhouse, as I am pretty much a rustic, country kind of gal. But this challenge was SO FUN!! I chose a vintage waterfall night stand cabinet as my project piece because it had lots of trimwork and details, perfect for showing off the bling.

Vintage Art Deco Night Stand Trim

And I picked these particular two colors because, well, they are just gorgeous. They are Elegance Country Chic Paint, a soft gray-green pastel hue:

Country Chic Paint Eleganceand Silver Bullet: a metallic cream paint that leaves a bright, shiny finish.

Country Chic Paint Silver Bullet This was the before: a sad, scratched and worn little brown night stand that Coach and I picked up at an estate sale for a couple of bucks.

Art Deco Night Stand BeforeWhen I look for a piece to refurbish, I always have that moment of “should I or shouldn’t I paint?” I didn’t hesitate to paint this piece because there were cracks and chips and gouges and unmatched pieces.

Vintage Art Deco Night Stand SideUnsalvageable, in its former condition, really. But this is the after:

Vintage Art Deco Night Stand Staged LogoPretty and blingy and so freakin’ cute! Here’s the how-to: per the instructions that arrived with the paint, I cleaned the whole piece, then primed it with a coat of blocker/sealer.

Vintage Art Deco Night Stand PrimedThe body of the cabinet was painted with Elegance– this is a very smooth, rich paint with great coverage and deep pigments. It leaves a very flat, chalky finish that is smooth to the touch with no chalky residue. LOVE. The luscious Silver Bullet metallic cream paint had the appearance and texture of silver marshmallow fluff-YUM. Brushed on thickly but smoothly, filling in some small cracks and evened out the finish. Vintage Night Stand Painted Country Chic PaintI then used it to paint the tarnished and worn metal handles as well. It adhered just as well to the metal handles as it did to the primed wood.

Vintage Night Stand Art Deco HandlesTwo coats of the silver cream and I was finished with my piece. Or was I… In order to take this to the next level, I decided to add some real bling to the wood trim.

Bling StripA bit of bedazzling

Vintage Art Deco Night Stand Closeupand a final coat of matte finish poly was all it needed to bring this little night stand back to life. Thanks to the Country Chic Paint Company, who provided each of the contestants with the paints and supplies necessary to transform our pieces. And, of course, thanks to the ladies of the Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest

FFFC main graphic updated (4.9.2016)who never cease to amaze me with their skills-both with painting and transforming furniture and with their organization of the monthly contests! To view some of the other great Country Chic transformations, click the links below!

http://www.sweettearefinishing.com/2016/05/may-fab-flippin-contest-with-country.html

 

http://www.slightlycoastal.com/diy-metallic-furniture-chair-makeover/

Have a great long weekend everyone! Hope yours days are touched with a bit of bling : ) xoxo Susan

Nautical Map Trunk Makeover

Nautical Trunk Makeover Finished Country Design HomeCoach picked up an old (sort of) trunk from a friend who is selling their home and moving away to warmer climates (so lucky!!) The trunk was in very good shape, it just needed some sprucing up. The inside was near perfect, so I left that alone.

Nautical Trunk InteriorThis piece is solid pine, with these medallion cutouts on the front panel that were just screaming for some pretty decorations.

Nautical Trunk Makeover BeforeEnter, the maps. You know, they seem to keep multiplying (can maps actually produce offspring? its appears so…) so I just have to keep finding ways to use them!  The soft honey pine color was still quite nice but a wee bit too light, so a quick sanding and a coat of General Finishes Antique Oak was all it took to bring it back to life.

Nautical Trunk Makeover General Finishes Antique OakFor the three medallions, I pulled a map from Coach’s stash with some gorgeous nautical colors in greens and blues,

Nautical Trunk Makeover mapso I grabbed some paint cans and started mixing until I got just the right colors to match the map.

General Finishes PaintsSince the wood was so nice, I just couldn’t bring myself to paint the entire thing. So I just did the front panels to complement the maps, keeping the edges clean so they would create a wood “frame” that matched the remainder of the stained wood.

Nautical Trunk Makeover Wiping edgesRealizing the that medallions were hand-routed, so they would not be identical, I made patterns for each one and labeled them,

Nautical Trunk Makeover Paper Patterns for Mapsthen used them to cut the medallions out of the maps. Perfect fit! I have had difficulty in the past getting a nice, smooth surface with paper adhesion using modge-podge type products. They always seemed to buckle and pucker, no matter how much I smoothed them during the process. A tip I garnered from Hometalk.com worked perfectly! Prior to attaching with the glue, I sprayed the map pieces, both front and back, with a couple of coats of this Krylon matte finish, then allowed to dry.

Krylon Low Odor Matte Finish SprayNow on the can it said “low odor- safe for indoors”, and since it is still winter here (even though it was 60 degrees yesterday-amazing…) I gave it a try, using my dining room table, windows slightly open for ventilation. Well, I am here to tell you that, even though there was some odor, it was significantly less than anything else I had previously used. And it dissipated super quickly! And, now, you ask, did it work for its intended purpose? Did it eliminate the wrinkles??? Yes, indeed!! When I painted the glue on the panels and placed them on the surface, they laid super flat and smooth!!!

Nautical Trunk Makeover Wrinkle Free Maps(hmm, do you think it could eliminate my wrinkles??)  Once in place, I added a final coat of the Krylon Spray just to secure them into place and protect them. I kept the shiny brass hinges and added these nautical arrow handles

Nautical Trunk Makeover Arrow Handle Detail PMthat I picked up at Hobby Lobby-love! So here is the final project top- the colorful maps and the brass hardware are a nice contrast to the glowing wood finish. This trunk is the perfect “coffee-table” size, and provides quite a bit of neat storage. 

Nautical Trunk Top ViewNow I am off to find another “map-it-out” project! Have a great first day of March everyone. Let’s hope it stays like a lamb...Susan

Faux Gold Leaf…It’s A Sign

Vintage Grocery Sign Completed Gold LogoThe other morning I woke up dreaming about how to make my own gold leaf for little to no $$$. What, that’s not a thing? Doesn’t everyone wake up dreaming about DIY projects? I had been working on a vintage GROCERY sign and had decided it needed more pizzazz than what a plain cream background could provide. So, I thought that since gold leafing

Paris Inspired Gold Leaf Table Top clear coatwas simply some hammered paper-thin gold sheets that you glued on the surface,

Applying Gold Leaf to Paris Tablewhy not use glued, thin textured paper that you painted gold? I know it’s not 24K…I mean, after all, I’m not going to be wearing the darned thing, so I am pretty sure that its OK for a wood sign, am I right? For those of you not familiar with “gold-leafing”, suffice to say that it has been used for gilding and decorating for centuries…click here for a little Wikipedia history lesson.

So I grabbed this antique oak dresser panel

Vintage Grocery Sign Dresser Side Panel(yes, this is the side panel from a vintage oak dresser that was beyond repair…I broke it down and am using the wood and salvaged pieces) and began the sign-making process. Here is the How-I-Did-It:

I cleaned the panel, then rubbed it down with some steel wool just to remove any surface stickies and smooth it out.

Vintage Grocery Sign Cleaning Old Frame with Steel WoolThere were two little dowels that were protruding from one end-they had attached the panel to the top of the dresser in its original form. I was in the kitchen so I didn’t want to drag out the power saw- enter the Ginsu Knife!

Vintage Grocery Sign Ginsu Knife CuttingThe ad says “cuts through a log, and then slices pineapple perfectly”. Well, I didn’t slice any fruit with it after I sliced off the dowels, but it worked great!

Refreshed the entire oak frame areas with some General Finishes Antique Oak Stain.

Vintage Grocery Sign General Finishes Antique Oak StainPainted the inside of the frame with a coat of chalk paint to lighten it up and create a bonding surface for the glue.

DecoArts Americana Chalky Paint PrimitiveCut out two pieces of wrapping tissue- this was in a gift box I saved from Christmas-so it was free!! But you can buy a whole package of it at the dollar store for well, $1. The thinner and cheaper, the better.

Vintage Grocery Sign Tissue Paper Cut To SizeSpread “Wunda Size”, a water-based glue which I use for all of my paper-adhesion projects…

Vintage Grocery Sign Wunda Size Glue…all over the surface-my original intent was to do 1/2 at a time, but the bottle spilled out a little more than I needed.

Vintage Grocery Sign Spilled GlueSo I scooped up what I could save (this stuff is like liquid gold…every drop counts!) and spread the rest out across the entire surface. Waited about 10 minutes until the surface was tacky and sticky (NOT dried!) Remember, wherever you put the glue, that is where the paper is going to stick! You can use any type of glue-even watered-down school glue- for this, but I would not use a “Modge-Podge” type product, as I think it would be too thick.

Laid the tissue down onto the tacky surface, beginning at the corners and then working along, smoothing it with my fingertips as I moved down the length of the board.

Vintage Grocery Sign Smoothing TissueIt is OK to have the creases and wrinkles, that’s what gives it the gold leaf appearance. (this stuff is really sticky-thankfully it washes off with water!)

Vintage Grocery Sign Sticky FingersI used two pieces, so there was a seam down the middle, but I just tore off the edge of the overlap piece and then smoothed it down.

Vintage Grocery Sign Tearing Tissue along edgeNow, tissue paper is not quite as fragile as real gold leafing, so I had a few seconds to reposition and move the paper until it was properly placed. However, once it touches the glue, you cannot slide it or it will tear-just lift it and move it along. But if it does tear, just smooth it back down with your fingertips and keep going. That is part of the look you are trying to achieve anyway. Once I was finished smoothing, I allowed it to dry completely-about an hour.

Vintage Grocery Sign Drying Tissue Paper with GluePainted with two coats of this gold paint

intage Grocery Sign Gold Metallic Paintyou could use any gold paint you have on hand-as long as it is metallic. I found this one in a mark down bin at AC Moore for like, 50 cents. As the paint went on, it enhanced the wrinkly surface, creating the veining effect of real gold leaf.

Vintage Grocery Sign Gold PaintFinally, using a stencil,

Vintage Grocery Sign StencilsI spelled out GROCERY,

Vintage Grocery Sign Gold Leaf Closeupthen painted it free-hand with some black chalkboard paint. See how pretty the black lettering looks against the glowing gold?

Vintage Grocery Sign Stenciled and PaintedFinished with a coat of spray matte acrylic sealer.

Krylon Matte FinishAdded two vintage hooks for hanging. Done. But this one’s not staying in my kitchen…

Vintage Grocery Sign in Window…it is just one of the many projects I’m bringing up to the Barn at Todd Farm this weekend! The total cost for this project? Zero. Zip. Nada. (well, except for my very valuable time and expertise : ) Everything I used I had on hand. If I had to purchase a large package of gold leafing, enough to cover this project, it would have cost a pretty penny (hmmm, now that I have this leafing thing down, I could definitely try coppering something, or even faux leathering…) So there you have it…gold leafing on the cheap. And speaking of gold, its Oscar weekend! Hope your favorite movie wins! Susan

Dried Paintbrush Rescue

Remember the time when you were painting something and then got distracted and left the wet paintbrush on the work table and discovered it the next day all dried up and hard as a rock-like they can stand up on their own hard as rocks?

Dried Paintbrush Rescue BeforeNo? Well, I do…because I’ve done it more than once actually too many times to count. Which makes me mad, because good paintbrushes, especially my favorite Shortcuts by Wooster

Wooster ShortCut Paintbrush

…ain’t cheap. I had tried many possible remedies to bring them back to life in the past, but alas, no matter what I tried, the outcome was always the same…trash time. Until now! Recently I spotted a post about this very subject (and of course, I cannot remember if it was on Facebook or Pinterest or Hometalk or Instagram or Twitter…so much social media makes my head spin…which is why I most likely got distracted and forgot the brushes in the first place…). But the solution was simple- just soak the hardened brushes in fabric softener! So, off to the dollar store I dashed where I purchased a bottle of LA’s Totally Awesome Fabric Softener…for a $1!!!

Dried Paintbrush Rescue Totally Awesome Fabric SoftenerLet me tell you…it is totally awesome!! I dropped the rock-hard brushes into the blue drink and left them overnight.

Dried Paintbrush Rescue in Fabric SoftenerThe next morning…with little expectations of a positive outcome…I pulled out the brushes out

Dried Paintbrush Rescue Softener on Brushrinsed them off, and…tada!!! I now have soft, usable brushes again-and they have a clean, fresh scent too!

Dried Painbrush Rescue After(I know what you’re thinking…this brush looks disgusting…why would she want this anyway?! It happens to be my favorite detailing and dry-brushing brush so I just hated to see it go…) So now I keep a jar of the softener on my work bench. When I finish a project, I rinse the brushes off and then drop them into the softening tank, keeping them ready for action. And that’s my DIY PSA for this Friday folks…more to come! Have a great weekend everyone-stay warm in the knowledge that we are inching towards spring…Susan  

Editor’s Note: After I published this, I came across the original article I had read with this great idea! Thanks to Jennifer Allwood from The Magic Brush for the great DIY tip!!

 

Coastal Cottage Cabinet

A couple of weeks ago I shared the pantry makeover that we had just completed at my daughter’s condo. In that story, I mentioned a big, black cabinet that she had been previously using to store her kitchen overflow of appliances and food and tupperware (LOTS of tupperware : ). So, this was the cabinet then:

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Before Black

and this is the cabinet now! A beautiful Coastal Cottage Cabinet to that fits perfectly into cozy, beachy study.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Full TMThis piece was originally purchased-by me!- many years ago at HomeGoods-and right from the get-go, Coach never really cared for it-he thought it was too modern for our country farmhouse style. So after a couple of years, we found a new (old) cupboard to replace it, and this one was delivered to my brother’s home, where it became part of their home office. Fast forward a few years, when they were moving and the cabinet needed to go. So off it went to my daughter’s condo for her pantry, where it remained until she decided she needed something narrower in its place, so we built this:

DIY Pantry FinishedSo, we offered for sale on Craigslist (no takers) and then my mom said she thought she could use it in her new study. SOLD! So we loaded up a trailer and transported it to its final destination, (thanks, Chris and Coach!) mom’s house. But the black color was just not going to cut it in her breezy coastal-inspired study. Painting time! Since it is winter here, the transformation took place in her guest bathroom (which is actually larger than both of mine put together…). so some of the photos are a little dark…but, here is the how-I-did-it:

We decided on a creamy white, so Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White was the choice.

Annie Sloan Old White Chalk PaintWe toyed around with colors for the back wall of the cabinet

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Background Blueand I ended up custom mixing a soft coastal blue using some of my Behr paint pots…I have quite a selection if you need any…

Behr Sample PotsFor the doors, I first used a can of Krylon Spray Chalk Paint in Paver Gray...

Krylon Chalky Spray Paint…simply blocking the window panes with paper that I slid under the wood to protect the glass.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Paper MaskingIt worked perfectly! Isn’t this color gorgeous?!?

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Painted DoorBut, alas, it was a little too dark for mom’s taste, so I ended up dry-brushing the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint over it to lighten it up.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Dry Brush Annie Sloan Old WhiteThen sanded the edges to distress it.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Door PanelFinished everything with a coat of Varathane Matte Polyurethane.

Varathane Matte PolyBut, once it slid the completed cabinet into place, it still looked a little blah,

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Lit Aso mom and I both thought that some maps on the bottom half (which are not windows, but actually faux-wood panels) to add some interest. Asked Coach for some maps…he delivered.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet MapsApplied the map squares with two coats of Wunda-Size

Wunda Sizeand smoothed them out to make them wrinkle free. (You can have all the tools in the world, but sometimes the best thing to use is the palm of your hand : )

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Smoothing PaperSo now the base looks like this. I cut the maps with some space in between so it appears as if you are looking through a window.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Map Detail

Added one final coat of poly to the maps and the cabinet was done! Time for mom to fill it with some of her favorite pieces.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Doors Open LogoThe beauty of this cabinet is in the multi-paned windows…which is why I loved it in the first place.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Clay VignetteWhile the entire cabinet is striking… it is the special vignettes…

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Starfish Vignette LOGOthat mom has created in each window that makes it her own.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet One DoorHere it is in the corner by the window…she’s not quite done decorating the rest of the room…so pics to follow once everything is in place. At night, it adds a soft glow, and in the daytime, it reflects the light from the large windows that span the entire wall…so even on the darkest day, there is lots of light in this space. 

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Full TMSo there you have it, an ugly duckling transformed into a beautiful swan. This poor tired cabinet that had been around the block…more than a few times…now has its forever home. Have a great Friday everyone…even if its snowing in your neck of the woods-as it is here! Susan

Grimy Granite Gone, Girl!

Country Design Home Kitchen RemodelWe designed and installed our new kitchen 6, no maybe  7 years ago-wow, that went by fast! And, although I still love it…a lot…one thing has always bothered me…the lack of sparkle on our granite countertops. See how they used to glow in the light??

Country Design Home Kitchen IslandOne of the reasons I chose them was because of the sparkle factor- tiny flakes of gold scattered throughout that caught the light and brought the otherwise dense black surface to life. For awhile, I only used the cleaning products recommended by the installer, but honestly, after the first year, the countertops just didn’t have that youthful glow any longer (join the club). Since then, I have been on the hunt for the perfect granite countertop cleaner- one that cleaned but left no residue, just a shiny, sparkling surface. So many expensive bottles and cans and jars…

Granite Cleaners and Sealers…no luck…the result was always the same. They would look good at first, but after a short time that light, filmy surface would re-surface. Ugh. Recently, I was browsing my favorite home and garden website called Hometalk, HomeTalk Logowhere folks post questions about anything from planting to painting to patching plaster . Other members then respond, some of whom are experts in their field, some are self-taught DIY’ers…like me…providing hopefully helpful answers. I happened to notice that someone else had posted that very question-how to get their granite countertops squeaky clean and remove the hazy glaze-and several people responded with the same technique! Take an empty misting/squirt bottle, add some 91% Isopropyl Alcohol, then fill with water (no one divulged their exact formula, so I just went with a 4 to 1 ratio of water to alcohol). Oh, and make sure you label the bottle! Don’t want to be misting your plants with alcohol…

Country Design Home Home Made Granite CleanerLightly mist the countertop, wait a few seconds, then wipe off with a cloth or paper towels. Guys, can I tell you how excited I was when the sparkle returned…happy dance around the kitchen! This is the reflection of the chandelier on the island after the cleaning : )

Country Design Home Kitchen Granite CleanersNow, one thing to note…for a few seconds, it does have a faint “hospital-like” smell, but that dissipates quickly, and you are left with renewed and re-sparkled countertops! No more spending $$$ on messy cleaners and sprays!! Country Design Home Granite Cleaners and PolishesSo there you have it-my PSA for today. And if anyone out there has a better idea for getting and keeping their granite squeaky and sparkly clean that’s cheaper and works better than a $3 bottle of alcohol…I’d love to hear it! Have a sparkling day, everyone! Susan

%d bloggers like this: