Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How to paint furniture

Yes, I have been bitten by the painting bug lately.  I just told you about how I painted an antique.  Very soon I will be posting about how I painted my kitchen countertops!  But for today, I will be showing you how I painted our entryway furniture.  Here is what we're starting with!
I thought the messiness added to the "before." :)
We use this area for lots of things.  The top 2 baskets belong to Adam and I.  They house the things we need as we are walking out the door.  Obviously some other things got thrown in there as well.  The baskets on the second row belong to Heidi and the bills.  Heidi's basket has her harness, leash, bathing wipes (scented wipes for when she needs to freshen up but not a bath), and grocery bags for when we pick up her poop on walks.  Yes, we are polite neighbors.  The bills' basket has....bills. organized binder where I keep track of our bank and credit card statements.  They are organized by month.  So at least that's organized!  The bottom basket houses newspapers that I have not cut the coupons out of yet.  I hope to start couponing soon!  Anyway, sorry for the "SQUIRREL!" moment.

Once again, I used my favorite primer that requires NO SANDING, NO MATTER WHAT. I love it.
This piece of furniture was difficult to paint because the sides of it have lots of different angles.

Here's what we're working with.

 I also had to paint the top of the underside of the shelves because when you sit on the couch in the living room, you can see that part.  I felt like Michaelangelo.  After 2 coats of primer, it looked like this!
So much brighter!
Then it was time for the top coat.  I used my trusty Rustoleum Painter's Touch paint that I also used on my antique table.  I used 1 coat on the whole piece and about 3 coats on the very top just so it would be nice and wipeable.
After letting the furniture dry completely in the garage for several days....ok, a week because I got was finally time to bring it inside!  I cleaned out all of the baskets and put back in what we actually needed when we headed out the door.  Are you ready for this?

I love it!!!  It really brightens up the entry area, and it looks so beachy with the natural wood and white two tone look!

Details!  The picture was made on our honeymoon at dinner.  The basket is for putting our keys as we come in the door.  And the shell is not sentimental.  Just adds to the beachy look!
I think this has been my favorite project so far.  I really didn't like this piece of furniture before and was thinking about replacing it.  But a coat of paint was all it needed!  I love it!  Before and After?
What do you think?  Is there anything you are jumping to slap some paint on?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Saving Moolah: Target Style

Today I went shopping at one of my favorite clothing stores....Target!  I think they have the cutest clothes, but they are usually overpriced.  So I skipped all those neat and organized racks and headed straight to the clearance section.  If you are not friends with the clearance section, you should be.  Clearance and I go way back.  Here are some great deals I got today!

This olive wrap skirt was originally $14.99.  I paid $3.74.

These bermuda shorts (described as mid waist and straight hip) were originally $19.99.  I paid $9.98.

This really cute cardigan was originally $24.99.  I paid $6.24.

These tank tops are really comfy and stretchy.  They'll go nicely underneath cardigans.  They were originally $9.00 each.  I paid....$2.25 each.

This white shirt with orange stripes would look great under a royal or navy blue cardigan (or even a gray one).  It was originally $12.99, but I paid $3.24.
 If you are keeping score, you figured out that if I had paid full price for all of this, my subtotal would have been $90.96. I would never pay that much.  Ever. But since I bought these items on clearance, I only paid........ $27.70.  That's an awesome deal! For you brainiacs out there, that's a 70% savings overall. What kind of clothing deals have you found lately?  Do you like to shop clearance?

Monday, August 29, 2011

How to Paint an Antique

Going into this project, I was VERY nervous.  Like terrified.  I almost cried over it.  Almost. I had been wanting to spruce up this piece of furniture ever since we inherited it from Adam's grandfather.  It is a lyre table.  I didn't know it was called that, but my mom told me.  It has a beautiful marble top with wooden legs and details.  It was a gorgeous piece all by itself, but I am just not into the two tone look.  Adam reassured me that is was ok to redo this piece.  He said his grandfather would want it to be used.

After much coercing, I decided I could do it.  But I was so afraid I was going to ruin it, so I made sure to do my homework first.  I read tons of reviews on how to paint furniture. What kept coming up in my searches was this primer by Zinsser. 

Thanks, Home Depot!
  This primer claimed to cover all surfaces-metal, wood, laminate, plastic, etc. WITHOUT NEEDING SANDING.  It doesn't matter if the wood is sealed or has a coating or not.  I'll take it.  I hate sanding.  It sounds wicked boring.  So I grabbed a gallon of this from my local Home Depot.  I also picked up my top coat of paint that I had seen on a few tutorials.

I believe I picked up a gloss finish.  Either would be fine.
 So I got to work and started painting.  I used even strokes and a light hand.  I made sure not to use too much paint on the brush, otherwise the paint would get globby and drippy.  I also made sure not to have to little paint on the brush, otherwise it would look streaky.  After a 2 coats of primer, it looked like this.

Much brighter!
  After the 2 coats of primer, the surface was completely covered.  I only used 1 coat of paint over that since I didn't need any more coverage and just needed a little bit of a glossier finish.  I'm not sure where this table will end up, but for now I have it in the kitchen to display decorations.  We love it!  It looks more modern, but still very unique.

A little bit of detail...

Adam LOVES globes, which is fine with me!  I'm liking them too!

What do you think?  Do you dare to paint an antique?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lamp Redo

The 80's called.  They wanted my lamps back.  So instead of giving them back, I updated them!  I had 2 of these lamps in our master bedroom. They had belonged to my parents, and they didn't want them anymore.  I can't figure out why. 
Ignore my husband's messy functional nightstand.
I am decorating our master bedroom to be light and airy and a little bit nautical.  So the mauve and cream had to go.  I found a new shade at Walmart that has a canvas type material.  I knew a white lamp base would look great with it.  So I snagged two shades and headed over to the paint department for some spraypaint.  I used Krylon's brand.
It worked really well.  My advice when it comes to spray painting would be to apply thin coats.  It won't cover all in one swoop.  Hold the can a good 6 inches away and lightly go back and forth.  If you get trigger happy and get too close to the surface, you will have drips.  Let the paint dry in between coats.  It took me several coats.  It will eventually cover completely; it will just take a while.  Here is the finished product!

The after!  The lamp shade is shiny because it still had the plastic on it.

So much better!  I enjoy quick and inexpensive makeovers.  They can make a huge difference with not a lot of time committment and money. Now for a little side by side!
Is there anything you have made over lately?  Any little projects you are thinking about tackling?  Let me know!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


My town experienced a horrible tornado on April 27, 2011.  It's funny how I just know that date.  I don't even have to look it up.  I realize this happened months ago, and I really don't want to get into a lot of detail about it, but it's something I would like to document because it has changed our lives forever.

It started that afternoon after school.  I had heard all day that we may be getting some severe weather.  Normally this would just mean that we would stay home for the evening and go about our business as usual.  Church was still on schedule, and life seemed pretty normal.  When I got home, I turned on the news just to hear what they were saying.  It was a little bit exciting just because somewhat bad weather around here is kind of a big deal.  Milk flies off the shelf at an amazing rate, bread disappears, and jugs of water fill the trunks of every car.  Sometimes it is humorous.  So I did none of those things.  It was pointless in my mind.  Even if there was bad weather, you could just go to the store the next day to get something.  Why do you have to stock up?  So with the news on, I began cleaning up the house, catching up on the laundry (haha, y'all know how that goes with me), and trying to decide what to fix for dinner.  I actually remember that dinner was going to be smoothies for Adam and me because we were both trying to lose weight.

As I was cleaning, I was listening to the t.v.  I heard blips about seeking shelter, staying in the most central room of your house, etc.  It started getting very dark outside.  I called Adam to tell him he needed to head home because it was starting to look bad.  I am ok as long as everyone I know is home during a storm, but if my family is out somewhere, then I worry.  Adam told me it was getting very bad where he was on the interstate, so I let him get off the phone.  I heard the wind picking up, so I decided maybe I should get the bathroom ready in case we were going to be camping out in there for a bit. 

Little did I know, this would be the last picture of this tree in our back yard.

This is where we hid out during the storm.  Just so you know, a perfect storm shelter = lots of pillows, a computer to watch the weather on the news, a toilet, a dog bed, blankets, books, and a Bible.  We were gonna use the oppornity to catch up on some preparation for our middle school class at church.

So Heidi and I hung out in and out of the storm shelter for a while until Adam got home.  The weather settled down, and we were able to drink our smoothies, and relax for a bit.  Some bad cells came through, but we managed well.  We thought it was pretty much over.  The newscasters said there was one more cell to come through, and that once it was out it would all be over.  As we watched the radar, we realized that cell would be coming directly through our town.  It looked bad.  There was no way it would miss us.  But the cell didn't seem to be as significant as the others.  At least that's how the weather men made it sound.  But nevertheless, back to the "shelter" we go.

Heidi is terrified of storms, so she was actually in the bathtub.

Watching coverage of the weather on the laptop in the bathroom.

As the cell came closer, our power began flickering.  We heard pops from different parts of the house.  Soon the power was completely off, and we began hearing strange noises.  I really don't know how to describe it except for howling, screeching, popping.....just strange.  I jumped in the bathtub on top of Heidi, and Adam put pillows on top of me.  There was no room in the tub for him (he still gives me grief that I chose Heidi over him, haha), so he got next to the tub and put Heidi's dog bed over him.  It was all over in a few seconds. 

When we finally decided it was safe to go out, I really thought there would be no house when we opened the bathroom door.  Thankfully there was.  I looked around and suprisingly couldn't find anything wrong.  But that changed when we stepped outside.  Neighbors were running frantic around the neighborhood checking on one another. 

This trampoline landed in the culdesac in front of our house.  It was not from our street.

These are the trees down in our next door neighbor's yard.

I really couldn't believe that a tornado had come over our house.  A real tornado.  I was really shocked.  But it wasn't until my neighbor decided to venture out that we learned how serious everything really was.  "Our town is gone."  That's what she said.  Gone?  Surely she is exaggerating.  What does "gone" mean? Adam and I, being the curious people that we are, decided to go out and see what she meant.  We took Heidi with us, thinking it would be an easy outing.  Words cannot describe what we saw.  There were power lines down everywhere, and we weren't sure what was live and what wasn't.  Adam will tell you that he knew, and I took his word for it because I really didn't have a choice.  Everything was gone.  No gas station, no McDonald's, no Food Lion, no Ace Hardware, no houses, houses across the road....I could not process what I was seeing.  It really didn't make any sense.  It felt like a dream.  Just when I felt like I had seen enough, we remembered that Nannie was home alone.  She lives very close to us.  The cell phones were not working, and neither were the land lines.  So we had to get to her.  The roads were blocked, so we had to park at the bottom of her neighborhood and walk.  We had to leave Heidi in the truck. We climbed over trees, under trees on our bellies, and tiptoed over down lines.  It was literally the scariest night of my entire life.  I cried the whole way up to my Nannie's house.  We finally made it to her and found that she was ok.  We wanted to take her with us, but we knew she would have a lot of trouble making the trek down to the truck.  She said she would be ok for the night and would come stay with us the next day. 

The days after that are a blur.  There was so much going on.  Adam was working long days with the phone company, and I was volunteering at our church.  Our church just immediately went into action.  We had supplies coming in from all over the nation, and we began providing 3 free meals each day to the community.  We formed groups to go out and help people clean up their yards, their houses, and just listen to their stories.  It was unbelieveable.  But I soon realized, WE didn't do any of that.  God did it.  God knew how to use our chuch.  He had trained us for this event, we just didn't know it.  It was really amazing to see how God had trained people on different mission trips to cook for crowds, organize volunteer work, create inventories and stock groceries for our stockpile, and so much more.  I just saw God everywhere I looked.  It was a breaking but beautiful time. 

These are my high school stadium's football stands.  I spent many Friday nights in these stands playing in the band.

These are just a few of the pictures Adam took as he went out to help assess and repair the town.  It is sad to see these photos.  Unfortunately, our town is not too much different since that day.  We have cleaned up a lot of debris, but there are still many buildings and homes that need to be rebuilt.  Our town did lose several people on that day.  There was a whole family that was killed in this nightmare.  It was the family of a co-worker and friend.  Please keep my co-worker in your prayers.  I know now is when it is hard for her.  After the news cameras are gone, after the help is gone, and when reality is here. 

Well I wrote this post saying I didn't want to get into detail, but I guess I just wanted to get it all out.  Since the tornado, we have had our privacy fences rebuilt, our downed tree removed, and are waiting in the long list of people who need to get a new roof.  Our town is still rebuilding and will be for years to come.  There are some areas of town that haven't even been touched yet.  But we serve a big God.  He has a plan for us- me, my husband, our church, and our community.  What a mighty God we serve! 
Images by Freepik