Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Excited is an understatement

To say I am excited for this weekend is a complete understatement. This week has been so hard to concentrate! I have been waking up at all hours of the night just because I know what is coming and I cannot contain myself.

I feel like I should be spending each moment doing something wedding related. Whether it be for the wedding to come this weekend, or the wedding that's coming in 52 days.

Back to this weekend though, we will be celebrating the marriage of my beautiful BEST friend since we were babies. We are so different and so similar in so many ways. We grew up together. We played together. We had countless sleepovers in a row. We whined together. We wine together. And now, we even get to get married together! Well practically, I think within 50 days of each other is close enough to say we're doing it together. She is going to be a beautiful bride and it is going to be a beautiful wedding.

As we met for coffee last night for the last time as "as single woman," we found ourselves saying, I can't believe it's already here! This time that we will remember for the rest of our lives. It's here. She is getting married in just 3 days and will soon be a wonderful wife to a wonderful husband.

So here's to the weekend of a lifetime celebrating these two love birds!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Furniture Makeover Success

I completed this project a few months ago, but have received several compliments on how great this piece of furniture turned out so I wanted to document my process here on the blog-o.

My inspiration for this project came from Pinterest (of course)!

Coffee bar. Keeps your counter and cupboard space clear for other stuff. Love it!

Behold, our new coffee bar!!!
It's a great way to free up some kitchen counter space
and add some decor to a random blank wall.

First, I did some blog research of my own to determine which paint, brushes and process I should follow. After staring at a paint sample color in our living room for about a month, we finally decided we were comfortable with it and headed off to Lowe's.

We settled on a small can of this rusty cranberry/raspberry color Valspar paint in semi-gloss so that it would stand up well to any spills and easily clean up. I also picked up a small container each of Zinsser Primer and Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish in clear to use as a coating on the top surface. I also picked up some foam brushes, a foam roller and several different grits of sandpaper. I already had some regular paint brushes, blue tape, tarps & gloves at home. I have learned that painting with gloves is a must!! No more having the "I have obviously been painting furniture" look on my hands & nails.

Rust-Oleum Gallon Interior Latex PrimerMinwax Gallon Polycrylic Gloss Polyurethane

I started out by taking the dresser apart, removing the doors and hardware and setting it out on our driveway to begin sanding. Which proved to be the most arduous task. Sanding an intricate piece of furniture like this takes a loooooong time if you want to do a good job. Do you see the detail in the doors and legs? The electric hand sander was great for the flat surfaces, but I had to do all the fancy parts by hand of course.

After a good sanding and wiping the whole thing down, I was ready to prime! I painted the whole thing in 2 coats of primer (sanding once in between) to cover all the grain of the dark wood. Everything I read online said that if you want a quality painted piece of furniture, do not skimp on the sanding & priming stages. So I really took my time on these parts. I think I finished sanding and priming the first coat in one day, then sanded it again and did the second primer coat the following weekend.

A little something I learned about primer - don't use a brand new brush for primer unless you have paint thinner to clean it with... My brand new brush was ruined because the acrylic-based primer did not come out. Oh well... now I know for next time!

Then, the next weekend, I sanded again and did the first coat of color, which was so fun to see it on the actual piece of furniture! I used a regular bristle brush that worked great because the roller turned out to be annoying to use with all the curves and detail in the wood. Here you can see my set-up which was taking over half our garage for at least a month!

As you can see, I decided not to paint the inside of the shelves. I like to have a little glimpse of the "original" wood and plus I thought that sanding, priming, sanding and painting the inside shelves was a little pointless. I decided not to sand in between the two coats of color because the brush strokes were not severe.

After 2 coats of color, the following day, I applied the first coat of Minwax coating to the top surface. The trick with this was to apply a very thin coat and brush in only one direction or else it got sorta sticky and goopy. I let that dry for a few days then painted another coat of Minwax (I heard that if you didn't let it dry completely in between it got weird, so I went to the extreme).

Theeeeeen, I let it dry completely for about a week. If you don't let the Minwax dry for a long time before placing objects on the surface, it can leave marks and dents in it. After I brought it inside and set it all up, it has done great, so I would definitely recommend letting it dry outside for a while. It also kept all the fumes in the garage and our house didn't smell like paint or top coat.

I love how it turned out! I do want to get a little shelf to hang above it with hooks for our coffee mugs so they are there for easy access & some extra wall decor like from the inspiration picture above. Marc even said he might make one for me! Let's add that to the list of projects I have on his list... ;)