Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Distressing Furniture

I recently took some furniture pieces that I already had lying around the house and decided to paint them so I could use them in our house for a new fall look.  I have to have a project and have a short decorating attention span, so I'm constantly changing things around.  I bought a sample can of paint from Lowe's Hardware in a teal color for $3 and it was more than enough to paint a mirror and a table and do a little distressing action on the two of them.

I always forget to take a 'before' shot until I'm well under way in a project, so I'll just have to describe the table and mirror for you.  My table came from Daniel's grandmother's barn.  It was a small white farmhouse style kitchen table that we found when cleaning out the smoke house at his grandmother's place.  The tabletop was very warped but the base was in good shape.  Since it was small, I decided to use it for a coffee table.  I took it home, ripped off the top and replaced it with new tongue and groove pine boards cut to fit, stained and distressed the top with chains and hammers to make it look worn, cut off the legs so it was more coffee-table height, and spray-painted the base black.  Then I distressed the black paint using sandpaper so that some of the original white paint could be seen.  After I had completed this project, I was all psyched about my new coffee table until I realized that it was too big for our living room.  Wah wah...  It got stored away in the garage and has sat there for about 5 or 6 years now.  Since our new living room is a little bigger, I was able to use it.  I knew I wanted to re-do the color scheme in my living room for summer and fall without damaging the furniture I already had so I would be able to switch things out from season to season.  Out came the coffee table and some new teal paint, and I started in on her again.  I put a very thin coat on, so you could still see some of the black showing through.

You can kinda see in these pics how thin my layer of paint was and how you can still see some of the black paint showing through.

Then, once it had time to dry, I got to work with the sand paper.  To distress furniture, you simply take your sand paper and sand over the edges, corners, and any other spots where it would naturally get wear and tear until you get your desired distressed effect.  You can go as light or as heavy handed as you like depending on how distressed you want your piece to look.  It's really pretty hard to mess up.

If you have several layers of paint like I did, you will start to see each layer the harder you sand.

I like to sand around nails and imperfections in the wood to really bring out the character of the piece.

Pretty much the same with my mirror.  It also came from Daniel's grandmother's house from a dresser set we found there.  It was a dark brown stain, so I painted a light layer of the same teal paint over top and then sanded the edges and corners to bring out the design in the molding.

Ta da!  Totally distressed and ready to go dress up the room! Here's the finished product in the room with all the other fall decorations:

So easy and it makes such a big impact!  And come Christmas when I want to switch everything around again, I just have to change out my coffee table and mirror, a few pillows, the rug, turn my decorative doors around, and presto-change-o, it's a whole new look!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Living Room Updates

Well, save for a few tiny projects, I believe my living room is pretty much completed.  Yay!  So here's a few before and after pics to update you on our progress so far.

(Builder's beige; dinky curtains; ugly, broken, brick and terra cotta fireplace with VERY crooked/warped mantel; no furniture, no personality, etc...)

This pic you've seen before, it's the 'after' of the fireplace after Daniel and I repaired and painted the brick and added a beautiful new mantel and lovely rock hearth:

Now here's the completed living room all dressed up and ready for fall:

Whew!  It's been a long time coming but I think it has finally come together for the most part.  We painted, added wainscoting around the front door, revamped the fireplace, hung the blinds and curtains much higher to give the windows a little drama (this might've been my most favorite, easiest job in the room... so simple and it made such a huge difference!)  Then of course we added our furniture and decor.  Only a few projects remain such as: 1) adding a back panel to our TV table to hide all the cords; 2) talking Daniel into crawling under the house to relocate the cable cord which is currently running across the floor (a significant tripping hazard); and 3) come Christmas season, I'm planning to change my color palette back to red and change out the decorations and pictures for a whole new look!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Three Small Projects

I've completed a few projects around the house and finally got around to uploading all my pictures.  Here's a few befores and afters for you:

1) My nightstand had these really fancy pulls, and while I like them, they didn't really go with the rest of my decor.  Most of my stuff has a more plain/rustic feel and I have a lot of black in the room and not much gold/bronze. I decided to change out the hardware with more rustic cast iron pulls.  I like that it makes it look a little more casual.



2) The front door is one of the other projects we tackled when re-doing the fireplace mantel and living room. I wanted our front door to have a little more substance in the room.  Since it's in a little alcove, we added white trim and paint to make it look like wainscoting around the door.  




3) Last, but not least, I've been working on re-doing my laundry room and the color palette is very light and airy with lots of blue, green, yellow and white, so my black mail holder wasn't exactly part of the "in" crowd.  I wanted her to be one of the cool kids so I just removed her hardware and gave her a fresh coat of white spray paint, and voila, she's practically prom queen!



Why is it that the 'Bills' section always seems to be a lot more full than the 'Coupons' section??  Oh well, such is life...

Anyway, that's a little sample of what's been going on at my house lately.  Upcoming: revamped living and dining room, laundry room, kitchen, and better-late-than-never Halloween and Fall decorations.  Until we meet again....