Friday, August 10, 2012

Step 2: When I almost loose an eye

So now we are at the point of the table saga that I should begin to see the fruits of my labor. Well, the thing is, I am luck that I can see anything at all.

You see, as I mentioned in the first post about the table, there were a lot of nasty chemicals involved in this process. After stripping the wood down you then must use 1000% steel wool to scrub down the whole thing and get all the little bits of old varnish off the table. As I began doing this step at night in our garage, in the heat, I was beginning to get to hot to wear all the protective gear I did in the first step. This time no gloves or goggles were being utilized. This is not something I recommend to anyone. Ever.

As I pulled the steel wool out of the can to get scrubbing some of the chemical after wash splattered on my face. At first I was just startled by it, but did not feel anything. Then the burning of the after wash (which is like mineral spirits) started to kick in. I managed to not get any in my actual eye but there was a few drops on the lid and under my eye. I quickly proceeded to the kitchen and told Parker to get me some face soap. I flushed my eye out for about 10 minutes and washed my face. This is all going on while Parker is reading on the can that I am supposed to go strait to the ER.

I felt fine though after getting the stuff off my eye and face. I do have to admit it was a close call and stupid mistake. Parker was pretty mad at me and told me to stop the project all together. I just could not give up.

So back to the action I went. I tested out a few different stains and decided to go with a slightly darker one than I had originally planed on. Here it is on the base:
Here is a shot of the top about halfway through. This shot really shows you how light the natural wood is next to the finish I put on. It actually made me a bit worried at first.

As you can see the top is a bit lighter than the bottom in the end.We can not tell if it is because the bottom has more grain in it that the top. I am not really happy with the actual table top. It is almost exactly the same color as the old finish. Parker and I can't believe it. So I have decided to let it dry for a few days and then do another coat of the stain to really darken it up. I wanted it to be much richer than it is in these pictures.

I will show you step three next week. I will be redoing the whole stain thing again and then sealing it up. I hope that there are no more threats on my life and that I will be seeing you all with both eyes for a long time!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How Very Mad Men of Us

Parker and I have been having this argument for the last few months about how to store our things in our master bedroom. See, the issue is we have two closets. On in the bathroom and one in the bedroom. Right now that, plus our super old Ikea dresser works just fine. BUT alas we will not have that luxury for too much longer as we have HUGE plans for the master bathroom (and the closet therein).

So I began hunting for ideas for storage solutions for the master bedroom. One is to do a copy cat situation of my favorite blogger old master bedroom and install two Ikea wardrobes on either side of our bed to make up for the potential lost closet in the master bath.

Click here to see what they did. I love the look and I think Parker and I could totally do it. By the way you will notice, I totally, and shamelessly copied their wall colors as well. I know I am a stalker.

Anyway back to our bedroom. The other day while walking through our local consignment store I cam across these really cool mid-century modern dressers. They were priced at $260 a piece. Totally not worth it in my mind but still super cute. I told Parker about them that night but then just went on my merry way thinking about the built in Ikea wardrobes.

Well last weekend I stopped by to see if those dressers were still there. I was drawn to them for some reason. And there they were sitting up front saying, "Christine BUY ME!" and even better they had been marked down to $189 a piece. I was pumped. Parker came by to see them and also liked them. We both agreed they were a steal, but were not ready to pull the trigger. The next day after going to a few stores including Salvation Army and Goodwill I realized how good of a price those dressers were. So I rushed back to the consignment center and they were still there! Yeah! But wait there is more...

After walking up to the counter I heard two other couples asking the sales people about the dressers. I knew it was now or never. I ran over to the dressers and ripped the tags off and proclaimed them MINE! I then had the audacity to ask if there was any room for negotiation on the price. And the sales lady ended up giving them to me for $160 a piece! SOLD!!!

After rending a Home Depot truck for a total of $14 with gas, these babies ended up in our master bedroom:

9 drawer dresser, and mirror. I am thinking I might change out the pulls on the drawers.
Tall dresser, 6 drawers. I love the look of this one so much.

You can see there needs to be some clean up done to these dressers. But they have great bones.
This shot really shows you some of the damage.
After some polishing up these babies are going to look great and add a lot more usable storage to the house.The reason I told you about the wardrobes is that we are still thinking we are going to install them as well. We are just going to have to be a bit more creative about the space in the room. We don't want it too full of stuff. So down the road we may move the tall dresser into the office or into a babies room when the time comes. But for now they stay parked in out room.

I love the Mad Men feel of these dressers. I love the lines. I imagine Don and Betty Draper smoking cigarettes while dressing for a fabulous party looking in the mirror. I love these dressers.

I will show you how well they cleaned up as soon as I have time to get detailed shots. I think you will be impressed!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It gets worse before it gets better...

This week I got on a roll and decided to strip our kitchen table and re-finish it. This was a bad idea. I had no idea how much time it was going to take.

I began sanding it on Saturday and our neighbor saw me in the garage. Being a woodworker, he was intrigued so he came over to talk to me. He quickly noticed I was going to destroy the table. WOOPS. So he put me on the correct path of using a stripper and wood after wash product so I did not change the shape of the table.

I ran out to Home Depot and grabbed everything he told me to get. $75 later I was back in business. Sunday I began to use the stripper. This stuff is nasty and hard on the hands. So with heavy duty rubber gloves and goggles I proceeded.

Fist the stripper (Parker giggles when I say this) was applied using a "Chip" brush. This lifts up the seal and stain in minutes. I then would scrape it off with a shovel type tool. FYI if you wait too long it dries out and does not work, and if you go too soon it does not work either.

After a days worth of work I got most of the base done and the table top was next. This process makes the wood look horrible and destroyed. I was basically in tears while doing this thinking I had ruined this really nice table. After our neighbor came by to check on me he told me I was on the right track so I proceeded. I came to the conclusion it just had to get worse before it got better.

Here is what it looked like after the first and second and third round of using the stripper.

As you can see there were a lot of chemicals involved. Not very earth friendly I know.
As you can see here the wood looked damaged, and uneven. There was a lot of flaking and residue left after this first step.
The base looking nice from far away.
I will follow up with steps two and three later this week. I think you all will be super impressed with my skills.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Oil Rubbed Bronze or ORB is great stuff. This spray paint is easy and quick to use but has a huge impact. It actually comes out looking like ORB metal not paint.

This weekend I grabbed a bottle of it and went to town on Parker's old knight. We have had this thing "gaurding" our house since we moved in together. It is great on the front poorch, but the years of weather and sun have taken their toll.
As you can see here it was covered in rust and dirt.

And after here it is all ORB'ed out! Looks like new! Go Mr. Knight!
Now he can get back to work gaurding our house in style.