Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chalk Painted Mirror

This is the story of how I searched for weeks in all my favorite thrift stores & even some of my favorite catalogs for just the right something to hang on an empty wall I've had in my piano room.

And after searching and searching and coming up with nothing, I realized the perfect piece for my naked space was right in my own garage.

This was the mirror that came with a dresser we had bought from a friend for my son's room. But he took one look at the mirror with the bow & it was a no-go. And I had to agree with him on that one. I used it for a short time over my mantle, but then found a mirror I liked better. So, it went to the garage, & I haven't thought much about it since.

But, I stumbled across it again the other day & before I knew it, I got out a little chalk paint & then I fell in love with it.

At the top, I painted Aubusson Blue...

The edges started out it Old White, but I was afraid it wouldn't be enough contrast with the wall, so I painted on some Paris Grey.

I also added a little more gold...

And a little distress...

And now it's where it was meant to be in my piano room...

Remember, sometimes to find that something you've been looking for,
you need only to look in your own garage!

As usual, I'm sharing with a few of these parties.

And to read more about the other pieces in my Piano Room, click on the links below:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day & a Summer Vignette

Happy Memorial Day!

Isn't it a great day to be an American?

I hope you're having a great holiday wherever you are. And since today marks the unofficial start of summer, I've dressed up my seasonal shelves for the occasion & thought I'd share them with you.

Like I've done for other seasons, I gathered things from all over the house that seemed to say "summer" & put them all together in one place.

I kept my old window that I found in the Spring...

Made a new chalk board with some ever-popular Chalk Paint in Aubusson Blue. (Yes, you can make chalkboards with this stuff, too! Isn't it great?)

I grabbed some croquet balls from the garage...

Created some flag art (you'll be seeing some more of this later)...

Made some little pinwheels & stuck them in mini galvanized buckets...(Never made pinwheels? Click here for an easy tutorial. If you don't have double-sided paper, just use a glue stick to glue 2 pieces together.)

Added a little bicycle from World Market I bought a while back. Yes, the wheels really turn. Each of my 4 kids had to try it out :)...

Yay for summer!

You can see some of my other seasonal shelves by clicking here.

I'm joining some of these parties. Stop by & say hi!

The Lettered Cottage

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Staining: So Easy a Painter Can Do It

Remember my $4 vintage typewriter stand I told you about in this post?

Well, it turned out to be the perfect candidate for my first try at staining. I've been better known as one of those people who paints over all that stained furniture, making some of you cringe. I've even gotten questions from readers about staining furniture, but I've never really been able to give any advice because I'd never done it. Well, I'm here to tell you that it really is easy & you know if I can do it, you can too.

I started out by sanding the entire top down to remove the old finish & smooth out a few scratches.

The wood grain looked so nice once the old finish was removed:

I followed the instructions on my Minwax Stain (Dark Walnut) & used a foam brush to apply it...

Also per the instructions, I used a cloth to wipe off any stain that did not soak in.

And with just one coat, it was the perfect shade...

I let that dry overnight, then used another foam brush the next day to apply a coat of polyurethane.

That gave it just enough protection without making it look too shiny & new.

I decided to leave the rest of the stand as-is, and I think it's right at home in our library, doing a great job of holding the printer--at least until the infamous bookshelves are built and then this little stand will be put to good use elsewhere.

If you've never attempted to stain, let this be an inspiration to you. If I can do it, so can you.

Sharing this little project with a few of these inspirational people.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Painted Canvas Rug: the Sequel

I've had a lot of questions recently about my Painted Canvas Rug I made for my screened porch last year. Some of you have been wondering how it's holding up, how do I clean it, etc. So, I thought I'd post some answers AND show you the new one I just made for my front porch.

I made my new one following the basic guidelines I used for my first one. Click here to read about that one & see how easy it is to make one for yourself!

For my new one, I had a hard time finding the same 10 oz. Heavy Weight Drop Cloth like I used before, so I ended up buying an 8 0z. cloth, cutting two pieces (approximately 50" x 70") and sewing them together for extra thickness.

Then, I ironed it out to remove wrinkles, prepared the lines, & painted.

I used craft paint again (Anita's Acrylic in "Hay"), thinned down with water. Once again, it only took one 99¢ bottle for the entire rug!

When the canvas gets wet with the paint, it sometimes tends to draw up & pucker a little, so you may need to use a scrap piece of canvas as a pressing cloth to protect your iron, & re-iron after the paint dries.

At this point, you may choose to spray or brush on a clear poly coating for extra protection. I did this on my first one, but decided to try this one without.

And one other thing I did to this one was to add a border of black with this belting (not sure if that's the correct name for it, but that's what I call it!). And I didn't even bother sewing it on, I just used my handy hot glue gun, and it worked perfectly.

Now my porch is changed up a little for summer, and I'm on the lookout for just the right table to make it complete.

And to answer your questions, my first one from last year has held up just great. It looks just like it did when I first made it. I do keep it inside the screened porch, so it is somewhat under cover. I'm curious to see how my new one does since it will have a little more exposure to the elements.

As for cleaning, I have cleaned my first one a few times now by taking it out on my driveway on a sunny day & scrubbing it with a deck brush & a bucket of soapy water (I use laundry soap). Then, I let it dry flat in the sun.

If you have other questions about painted canvas rugs, let me know & I'll see if I can help! And if you make one for yourself, I'd love to see it!

I'm linking up my new rug with a few of these fun parties!

The Lettered Cottage