Thursday, November 4, 2010

A little sprucing....

I have some easy projects that have been completed this week and although they are not major on the wallet or the clock, they make a punch in the house! Since making the major purchase of our new yummy chocolate brown sectional, I have been contemplating the scale of our previous coffee table. Something about it just wasn't working. Maybe it was too long or maybe it was because it was solid fir and the color wasn't jiving. Regardless I started the hunt for the "perfect" coffee table. Having no idea what I was looking for, I set out on my mission determined to find something that was: solid wood, boxy with clean lines and white. Oh and did I mention that I set a budget of $25 for this little gem? Oh I love you!

Lo and behold, a solid wood, boxy, oh so inexpensive ($20) coffee table. Again someone's cast off is another person's gem! So I set about with my new bestie, the electric sander, and roughed up all the sides and edges of the table. This step should never be skipped when you are painting solid wood. The paint will adhere much better. One other hint, as I have mentioned in another post, is that it is much better to apply multiple thin coats of paint, rather than a few thicker ones. This will avoid dripping and clumping which will inevitably result in the object needing to be sanded down again to achieve a more uniform, clean look.

It is also important to find the type of look you want: flat, satin, semi-gloss, gloss. These paint types of sheen were a bit elusive to me prior to my addiction with painting every surface in our home! Here is a loose tutorial for you!
Flat Paint: This family of paint are best described as non-reflective, They are best used to hide flaws or imperfections. Think textured surfaces or areas that you don't want to draw the eye to. Examples would be ceilings, hallways or surfaces like popcorn or stucco.
Satin (Eggshell): This paint group have a little more luster or sheen than their flat cousins. I would use satin on the walls in a bedroom or maybe a hallway. It is also a great paint to cover furniture that you don't want to "pop" too much. Examples would be a bedroom dresser or maybe a hallway mirror.
Semi-Gloss: Now we are starting to talk "pop". These paints have a much more reflective sheen and reflect light well. These are great for accents like cabinets and drawers, windows and trim or any type of furniture. I tend to use this for most furniture that I paint.
Gloss: Now we are in the highest sheen category. These paints reflect a lot of light and should not be used on anything that may have textural imperfections, dents or chips. This group of paints is also the most resistant to stains. I think it is a great option for furniture pieces that are objects to be showcased. Maybe a gorgeous side table or bookcase. Think of pieces that are maybe smaller in scale for the room, but have great architectural detail or amazing color.

Now back to my little coffee table! After applying a few light layers of a Dover White semi-gloss paint that we had leftover from our trim, I let the piece dry overnight.

Notice the little bit of sheen in this picture. Remember this was taken in the basement of our home, so you can see that the paint really does attract light even in the dimmest of areas.

After bringing the piece upstairs and styling the top of it.....voila!

A few coffee table books, a blown glass vase that I popped a pillar candle into (Home Goods $12.99) and an antique wood tool box (barn sale $5.99) complete the look. I hide the remote for the tv and some cork coasters in the tool box. I love the look set against the brown of the couch.

Next I finally finished up the chair I purchased on the Cape (many moons ago) for our computer area. A small reminder that this chair was $3 at a barn sale. I liked the design of it and although it has a few wobbly spindles, I loved the overall style! Reminder shot:

Cute, right? Total bonus to find an arm chair for the computer desk! I brought it to my workshop (a corner of our garage) and started to locate all of the loose spindles. Using some basic wood glue purchased at our local store, I started to secure each spindle.

Don't worry about clumping as you can sand it off after. Also this glue dries clear so have a heavy hand when applying to a project like this.

Next I started applying thin coats of a satin primer/paint combo in black.

I applied three thin coats to all surfaces (even the underside). 24 hrs drying time and.....

As you can see , paint can dramatically change an object. Something old, suddenly looks crisp and fresh. My next project in this space is to clean out the area beneath the desk. It is in need of some major organization!

Next up for me is a highboy dresser found on craigslist for FREE! My idea......make it into a bar!

I am drooling just thinking about it. It came with beautiful crystal knobs and it is solid wood. Woohoo! So excited. Stay tuned!


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