Monday, June 30, 2014

Leftover Beadboard Sign

room in your heart.

 I saw this quote by Mary Oliver last week on Facebook and fell in love with it. I thought it would make a great porch sign:

Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable. 

From the two sheets of bead board I purchased for my bathroom ceiling I had enough left over to add a detail to the kitchen island and make today's project. I like to use ALL the materials that get brought home. Bead board is perfect for sign making because you have all those lovely straight lines to work with.

I started by using stick on letters I had leftover from another project. I'd used some of the ones I needed and in those cases I peeled off the outline and used it as a stencil, tracing inside instead of outside the letters.

Here's an example:

Once I had traced all around the letters in pencil I removed the stickers and went over the pencil with a Sharpie.

The reason for using the permanent marker was because I wanted it to bleed through the coat of paint I was applying before filling in the letters.

I wanted a bluish gray and it took me a couple of tries to get the look I wanted.

See how clearly the letters are visible through the paint?

My first idea was to paint the letters in but the coverage was terrible and it was going to take forever. I used this champ, the Sharpie Magnum. It worked beautifully for this project since I was putting paint on top. If however, you want the letters to look and aged and intend to sand them do not use a Sharpie! If you want to age the letters by sanding off paint paint you should use a chalk paint or other non glossy medium.

I really liked the lines from the bead board through the letters.

I could have left it like this but the blue was a bit much for me and it was very bold. If you like that look you could stop here. Because the quote had the word unimaginable in it I wanted something dreamy and ethereal so I added a layer of cream chalk paint.  
painting a sign

 I painted lightly over the letters with almost a dry brush. I went a bit heavier on the areas without wording. I sanded a couple of edges...

Next it was time for the aging wax to take a bit of the starkness out of the piece. I just make my own by adding stain to furniture wax.

Buffing is required.

A bit more sanding just where the words are and it's finished!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

From Table Top to Wall Art

You might remember last year when I painted this table. I picked it up at the Salvation Army around ten years ago for thirty bucks. My son and I used it for a school table until he went to high school and then it was relegated to the back porch. I then slapped an ugly coat of red paint on it, decided that was hideous and covered it up with a table cloth.

The table seemed like it would be useful, but the truth is we just never ate out on our porch. The table was wobbly from having been taken apart and put back together so many times, the chairs were the wrong height, so while it looked charming it wasn't practical. Time for change (get it?). Here's a recap of the table redo. Here's the link if you want the details: Time To Update a Table.

Here's the "table's" new function--being awesome. And yes I have looked at clock kits to make it a functional timepiece but it's a bit thicker than the ones I've found so far.

Oh! And the bottom of the table got a new life as a pedestal for a statue on the porch. There's no rule that says you have to use pieces the way they were intended.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tennessee Back Porch Living

This spring has been all about outdoor living. We have had a lot of rain but it also didn't get hot quite as early as usual here in the south so when I haven't been working on indoor projects I've been outside. Last week's little triumph was that I gave away this metal cabinet to a friend. It had been useful for over 2 decades on my back porch to store extra paper towels or party supplies. But since my goal is less of everything that means needing fewer places to put stuff. So out it went. I dragged it away from the wall and took a pic to post on Facebook. If you have things you don't need and someone else might post a pic and give it away to a friend who will come and get it! It's a win/win.

Look how everything opened up without that giant cabinet!

There's something about having an outdoor space. It lends itself to conversation and book reading. It's also a perfect place to watch bees, chickens, and dogs. Nothing beats it on those long awaited rains after too many dry hot summer days...

A porch is easily decorated with yard sale and thrift store finds. A cozy cottage look is easy to achieve with random pieces.

And on the patio adjacent to the porch there is now morning coffee in the swing and meditation.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Updating a Kitchen Island in an Afternoon

In the last two weeks I have painted the bathroom, stairs, hallway, and kitchen. I've got the living room and dining room in my sights so I'll be sharing about those makeovers next month. My favorite project this week (and there were several) was my island make over. I built this island by myself a few years back, out of stock cabinets from Lowe's. I bolted them together, trimmed them out (don't judge me you real life carpenters), painted and added hardware. I used a black piece of granite (I didn't put that on myself because I'd never have been able to lift it) because I didn't want it to match the counter tops. Plus that way I could save a ton of money by picking up a remnant.

Here's the before. I kind of had a thing for yellow.

Those saddle style bar stools are from Ikea and were useful but it was definitely time for an upgrade.

 The first thing I did for this project was remove the corner trim on the other side where I wanted to put bead board. I pried it off carefully so I could reuse it.

 I painted the front and sides. While it was drying I measured and cut the bead board for the side that faces my front door. I nearly cut off my thumb in the process. Here's a tip: wear gloves. Just basically all the time. I'm impatient and sometimes think "I could be done with this by the time I find my gloves and put them on." I know you thought I learned that during the black widow spider crisis of 2012. Nope.

When the bleeding stopped I attached the bead board. So worth a little blood. This bead board was left over from the bathroom ceiling. I try to use up every single thing I have around here!

I reattached the trim at the corners and painted. I love the new black and white look so much!

 I had to wait a week for the new bar stools to arrive but it was worth it. I love them. There are pricier versions around but I found this pair on Amazon for $77.00 plus shipping. You can find them at Target for around the same price if you catch them on sale. And they come in cool colors like apple green and construction yellow. I was totally tempted by the yellow...

Earlier in the week I shared with you about the dingy stairs and their redemption. Here's the finished product.

Next time I'll share what happened in the rest of the kitchen.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Spring Projects: Bathroom Ceiling and Stairs

I was having so much fun during Project Week that I took a little selfie.  I'm happiest when I'm covered with dirt in the garden or paint in the house.

Last year I redecorated our cluttered and tired bedroom into a calm retreat of blue and white.

 The bathroom followed but was plagued with ceiling problems.  Here's a tip: don't do a plaster ceiling in a bathroom. After years of dealing with crumbling plaster and repairs, I solved the problem by having bead board installed. Here's the result prior to painting:

Several years ago when I removed the carpet from the stairs and painted them I thought polyurethane would only yellow in direct sunlight. Wrong. The risers yellowed almost immediately and I've been trying to get to this project ever since. I took this pic about halfway through so you could see the difference. They now make some fabulous non yellowing polys so check those out before you commit. I'm just leaving these as is since as empty nesters there is a LOT less wear and tear on them. 

 I went all out with the white. I've been painting using Valspar High Hide White and Bright White. My house is situated in such a way that it gets very little direct sunlight so I'm making the most of what there is. If you had a home with lots of natural light these might be a bit blinding so be careful.

Later in the week I'll be sharing a couple of other projects and revealing the finished results of these two.

I love the smell of fresh paint in the morning.