Friday, June 28, 2013

independence day entertaining

The 4th of July holiday is next week and I am excited to have a long weekend to hang out and catch up with my family and friends.  I am off the hook this year and won't have to cook or host anything.  However, if I was, I would love to entertain with these items...


{1} / {2} / {3} / {4} / {5} / {6} / {7} / {8}

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

before & after: spray painted mirrors

Today I am very excited to share my very first spray paint project.  I picked up these two small mirrors on a Salvation Army trip for a mere $7.  I loved the frame on the mirrors but was definitely not a fan of the gold.  Fortunately, the color was nothing some spray paint could not fix.


For the paint, I used one coat of Rust-oleum spray primer and two coats of high gloss white spray paint.  The first coat of primer was probably not necessary given the gloss spray paint was a paint and primer combo.  However, I wanted to be sure that the paint would stick to the gold leaf.


Luckily, the mirrors detached from the frame so spray painting was a cinch...just point and shoot.  Here are the frames after one coat of spray paint.


And here they are hanging in our kitchen...


And close-up...


 And finally, a quick comparison...


I am super happy with the results and can't wait to tackle the next spray paint project!


Monday, June 24, 2013

before & after: refinished piano bench

Several months ago, I bought this wooden piano bench at Salvation Army for $10.


I once read that if you see anything at the thrift store with a cane seat, buy it...so I did just that.  Unfortunately, once I got the bench home, it ended up sitting for several months in my garage until I could decide just what to do with it.  


This past weekend, I still did not know what I wanted to do with this piece.  However, the first step to any project involving wood furniture is sanding and stripping so I figured I would start there.  This time, I decided to try out Citristrip to take off the old varnish.  This stripping gel is great because it is non-caustic, biodegradable, and has a light citrus scent.  It saved me a ton of time from sanding and was especially helpful on the legs. 


I just spread the stripping gel on the wood with an old paintbrush and let it sit for 45 minutes.  Then I used a putty knife and flathead screwdriver to scrape off the loosened varnish.  On the legs, I used a small steel bristle brush to scrape off the varnish in the rounded curves and grooves.  

Here is what the bench looked like halfway through.


After I had scraped and brushed off all of the Citristrip and old varnish, I sanded the whole bench.


At first, I considered painting the bench white similar to the Goodwill chairs I wrote about last week {here}.  However, after all the stripping and sanding, I could not bring myself to paint over the wood and ended up staining it with some leftover stain I had from my Goodwill ice box project {see here}.  

Here is what the bench looked like after two coats of Minwax Dark Walnut stain.


And here is what the bench now looks like all finished with a coat of poly...


And finally a quick comparison...


Not a drastic change like some of my other projects but I still love the end result.  The bench looks just like new and the color is much more even than before.  Now I just need to find a spot for it in my home!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

our home: nautical guest bedroom

Since I started this blog almost 8 months ago, I have yet to really share any pictures of rooms in our home.  There are really two reasons for this.  First off, I have been slow to actually take pictures of any of the rooms.  Secondly, I never feel like any one room is completely done or ready to be shown.  This past weekend, I finally got around to taking pictures of one of the guest rooms so I thought I would share them today.

As I mentioned in my post {here}, we sometimes have a few guests at our house.  Therefore, we opted to put two twin beds in one of our guest rooms.  As you can see, the room has a nautical theme.


In between the two beds is the Goodwill ice box that I refinished and discussed {here}.  




On the wall across from the beds, I hung up three frames with some DIY signs that I simply printed on card stock.  All of the fonts and clip art on the signs are from dafont.  




The last sign has lyrics from Van Morrison's Into the Mystic.  This sign is my favorite because my husband and I picked this song for our first dance at our wedding.   


In the corner opposite the beds is the Salvation Army chair I reupholstered and wrote about {here}.



Beds: Living Spaces
Bed Linens: Ikea
Throw Pillows: DIY (fabric from Big Y Yardage)
Lamp / Wall Hanging: Home Goods
Ship's Wheels / Buoys: tpt home
Nightstand: Goodwill
Picture Frames: Michaels
Chair: Salvation Army
Curtain: Pottery Barn

Monday, June 17, 2013

before & after: reupholstered & painted chairs

A few months ago, I found these two chairs at Goodwill for $10 a piece.  I did not really need another set of chairs but could not resist getting them for that price and an opportunity to turn them into something better.


At first, I thought the chairs would just require some new fabric and some paint.  But after taking off three layers of different fabrics and discovering this very gross bottom layer, I realized that the foam in the slip seats was ancient and pretty much disintegrating.  


So I decided to ditch the slip seats and build new ones from scratch.  To make the slip seats, I simply traced the outline of the old slip seats onto some MDF from Home Depot.  Once the outline was complete, I used a jigsaw to cut out the pieces.


Before adding the foam, batting, and fabric, I drilled holes in the MDF where the screws needed to be to secure the slip seats to the base of the chairs.




Here is what the chairs look like all finished...



Even though making new slip seats was not part of the original plan, I was able to come in at under $50 of materials to update these chairs so am I definitely happy with the outcome.  

Here is a quick comparison...


Definitely an improvement!

Friday, June 14, 2013

before & after: summer wreaths...

A few months ago, a high school near my house was hosting a large garage sale to raise money for their football team.  I decided to check it out and ended up buying these two twig wreaths for $2 a piece.


This past weekend, I used them to make two wreaths to stick on our front door this summer.  After a quick trip to Michael's to pick up some flower stems and some floral wire, I was ready to go.  


The flower stems were about $2 a stem.  Since the wreaths were going outside, I wanted to make sure the flowers wouldn't fall off from the wind or from opening and closing the doors so I used the floral wire to secure them onto the twigs in the wreath.

 Here they are on the front door...



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

euro trip recap: part 5

After an awesome ten days in Paris, my husband and I headed back to the Netherlands for the last few days of our trip.  We visited Amsterdam and the smaller towns of Gouda, Marken, and Volendam.  Here are a few pictures...

Homes along the canal in Amsterdam
Amsterdam Canals
Royal Palace in Amsterdam
"Bike Hotel" near Amsterdam Central Station
Gouda City Hall
Cows near Marken
Homes in Marken
Wooden Shoes in Marken
Wooden Shoe Planters in Marken
And that's it for our trip!  Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Monday, June 10, 2013

euro trip recap: part 4

To continue on from last week's posts on our recent trip to Europe, I wanted to share some pictures today of Paris.  As you would expect, Paris was amazing.  The city is flat out beautiful and just about everywhere you turn, there is something incredible to see.  Even after sightseeing for ten days, I feel like we barely scratched the surface of what you can see in this city.  

Here are a few of my favorites...

Eiffel Tower
View of the Seine from the top of the Eiffel Tower
Notre Dame Cathedral 
Arc de Triomphe
Place de la Concorde Fountain
Sacré Couer
Musée D'Orsay
Louvre Museum
Ladurée Macaroons & Pastries
Musée Rodin

L'Opéra Garnier
Locks of love on the Seine
Palace of Versailles & Gardens
Marie-Antoinette's Estate at Palace of Versailles