DIY:done

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This post is coming to ya via cell phone because I’m just so excited to say that my big DIY project is DONE!
I’m sending it off with dad tomorrow to be clear-coated! Keep a lookout for the in-depth post sometime this week!
Have a lovely Sunday!
always
Chaney

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My New “Button”

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If you look to the right on my sidebar, you’ll see this picture my boyfriend so kindly took of me that I made into a “button”… Under that is the code so that you can put this button on your site! 🙂 How cool is that? Thanks to Holley for helpin’ me out on getting it on my page! Have a wonderful Thursday!

Don’t Stop DIY-ing!

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Happy Friday, everyone!

I decided to look at my blog’s stats this morning, and I’m so excited to say that I have tons of new followers on my page– I never really expected anyone out of my group of friends to read what I had to say, so it’s really exciting to see that new people have come across my blog!

First exciting tidbit of the day– I’m gonna be a guest blogger! Isn’t that exciting?! That means getting to read my stuff on two different pages! I really don’t know what I’m going to write about yet, so stay tuned for a surprise!  Also, it means that if you are reading this now, you’re gonna get the opportunity to see one of my close friend’s blogs, too! Follow her! She blogs about anything and everything, kind of like I do!
http://thoughtsofafreespirit.com/2012/07/13/name-that-guest/
She blogged this morning and introduced me as her guest blogger for Monday! So stay on the lookout for that 🙂 And follow my friend! 😀

SECOND exciting tidbit of the day– I have more HUGE DIY-ing coming soon.  And I mean huge.  I thought project pretty green desk was big… But it’s got nothing on the whopper that I’ll be bringing to you soon.  Give me about two weeks, and I’ll be posting about it.  I promise, you are not going to want to miss it!  Wanna Hint?  Read my Apartment Desirables post and just use your imagination!

My weekend will be spent largely in College Station doing sorority recruitment workshops and getting apartment deposits squared away. Hope you have something exciting planned 🙂

Next week look forward to a possible unveiling of my newest DIY project, a guest blog, and a crafty “how to make cute gift bags if you’re sunshine chair for a sorority and have a summer workshop coming up”…  Good thing is that these gift bags can be used for all kinds of stuff other than recruitment workshops 🙂

always,
Chaney

Apartment Desirables

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Happy Wednesday,

Since I signed my lease with Eileen during spring semester (read about my the adventures of me and my past/future roommate, Eileen, here) I have been mentally decorating my future apartment… constantly.  On pinterest.  Every single time I go in a store. While thrift shopping… It’s getting out of hand!  Today while shopping at a thrift store in Tyler, I made notes the whole time of things that I would love to decorate my apartment up with!  With a bit of inspiration from Jessica, author of Lovely Undergrad (check out her blog!), and my new-found love of spray paint, I’m hoping to get a few more crafts done before I have to head back to College Station!

BOOKENDS:
I just bought the entire Harry Potter Series in hardback off of Thriftbooks for less than $25… how cool is that? Now I need some cool way to display them, right? Ideally, I’d like to find some cheap bookends (look at these bird bookends! Aren’t they pretty?!) and re-finish them with this color spray paint:
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I’m dying to spray paint something this shade of blue to go with my pretty new green desk 🙂

I found the paint at Lowe’s– it’s Valspar Exotic Sea Spray for $3.98/can!  The bookends came from http://www.distinctive-decor.com/ and are $47.99… I’m just not willing to pay $50.00 for bookends yet, though… I’ll continue my bookend thrift shopping!

CHEST OF DRAWERS:
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This isn’t so much something that I want to decorate with– I actually need this… I’ve been searching high and low for a chest of drawers on Craigslist and in different thrift stores, but I just haven’t had any luck yet.    I pray mom will happen up on one like she did with my desk and surprise me with it! *hint-hint, mom!*  The one pictured above is from Ikea, and will be my last resort if I can’t find anything to re-finish soon.  I had originally planned to make it match my desk, unless of course I end up buying this beauty from Ikea.  I’d just leave this one alone!

KNICK-KNACK CHAIR

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My friend Holley (go read her blog heretakes a lot of pictures, and is constantly looking for props for her pictures.  She found this adorable little chair at Canton Trade Days and spray painted it yellow (a woman after my own heart, as far as spray paint goes!).  I’d love to have a little chair like this, or even a stool, to spray paint a bright color (maybe a pale yellow? Or lilac?) and set it in a corner of my room.  I know its sole purpose would be to collect my blankets and dirty clothes, and I’m okay with that…

So, off to bed I go, daydreaming about endless amounts of spray paint and knick knacks…

always,
Chaney

A Desk DIY for the Books: PT. 2- Antiquing

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I must say, I don’t think I have ever been so excited about a post before. The is the official internet unveiling of my first HUGE DIY project… And I can’t wait to tell everyone exactly how they can do the same thing to an old piece of furniture that they have!

For the prelude to this project, read PT. 1 here

In this post, I will tell you how I turned a thrift store discovery and a storage shed find into a wonderful “antique” piece of furniture that I will proudly display in my bedroom of my apartment next semester.

First, here’s a little visual of what I was working with before:

The beautiful desk you see above was a thrift store find. My mom knew I had been searching high & low on Craig’s list to find a good deal on a desk, and when I came home from work one day, she had this lovely piece sitting on our back porch.  It cost a whopping $30.  It’s well-built, and has all the right drawers in all the right places.  I’m in love. 

As for the chair, my dad told me to check out some old chairs we had stored out in a building at the back of our land.  It took digging through some Christmas decorations, but I found this old chair that came right out of New London school (dad got it some time ago and could never bring himself to get rid of it (thank goodness!)… it even had the room number written on the bottom from the classroom it belonged in.)  There were two chairs to choose from, but I picked the one above because of the cool book rack underneath.  It’s price? FREE

When it came to supplies, I did quite a bit of research… I spent days on Pinterest trying to see how other people went about getting that faux-antique look.  After doing this project myself, I hope that I cut out all the crap that you may not necessarily need, as well as explain a few things that were unclear to me as I was working on my desk.  I was able to purchase everything at one quick stop at Lowe’s. Here’s my shopping list.:

  • 1 qt. of paint- I chose Olympic One paint+primer Flat Finish and had it tinted to Royal Palm C62-3
    $11.46
  • 1/2 pint Minwax Wood Finish in Dark Walnut
    $4.77
  • One 2″ SOFT paintbrush. Don’t skimp on this brush and settle for a cheap-o!
    $7.97
  • One quart of Low Odor Mineral Spirits
    $7.98
  • One quart of Floetrol Paint Conditioner (minimizes brush strokes)
    $6.97
  • 1 spray can of Valspar Satin Clear Sealer
    $3.98

    In addition to these items that I purchased at Lowe’s, I had a few things lying around the house that you will definitely need before you start this project:

  • Some type of finer grit sandpaper– don’t use anything too coarse (not pictured)
  • Disposable towels, whether you use paper towels or have a heavier duty shop-towel that is disposable.  I used heavy-duty blue shop towels and they worked well (not pictured)
  • A scraper (it’s pictured above).  When you get to the actual “antiquing” part, you’ll be scraping off some paint in a few places.  This just helps that whole process.
  • Plastic or a  , especially if you are working inside like I was
  • A coarser paintbrush to apply your stain later on in the process.
  • An old t-shirt/cloth.  This is what you’re going to be using to spread that stain around, so make sure it’s something that you’re willing to part with afterwards.

Even though that may seem like a long list, you may have some of these things lying around your house like I did.  It was well worth it in the end when I saw a “faux-antiqued” dresser at a boutique the other day that cost well over $300.

Now, let’s get down to the fun stuff…


Step One:
Find yourself some inspiration.  If you read my previous post, you know that I was inspired by this weathered nightstand that is going to be in my room.  I picked a nice shade of green that went nicely with said-nightstand, and we were all-clear to start the project.

Step Two:
Sand your stuff.  Take off all of your drawer pulls and knobs and get to sandin’! I sanded down both my desk and my chair really well (especially the desk top and the seat of the chair).  It depends on the finish of whatever you’re going to be painting, obviously, but in my case, I just needed to knock off a little bit of the old sealer so that my paint would stick well.   After this, Wipe everything down with mineral spirits.  I didn’t think this was important, but my Nina (grandmother) swears by the stuff… and now, I do too! It really removes all of that nasty dust that’s leftover after sanding something and cleans up your piece really well.

Step Three: Paint it up. I started with my desk drawers- I painted the inside first, then the outside (I recommend repainting the inside of the drawers, especially if it’s a thrift store find- it really freshens it up!)  Then I moved on to the actual body of my desk.  Then lastly, the chair!  I let my paint dry for over 24 hours, but look at your specific paint label to see drying instructions.  In the picture above for step three, you can see my cool green desk-top as it’s drying.

Step Four: Sand it down. Again. Find places that you think a desk would naturally wear down- I suggest starting with your drawers.  Think edges and corners and around the knobs.  The scraper can be used on the bigger surface areas of the desk, such as the top or on the sides.  You’ll want to sand it or scrape it until the original finish is showing through (in my case, it was a dark stained wood).  You can take off as little or as much as you want, but I would start small! You can always go back and sand off more. 
Now it’s time to Break out the stain. Dip your t-shirt in a little bit of the stain that you chose and just rub it on.  It’s that easy.  In the places where you sanded down and the wood is showing, the stain will absorb more.  Take a clean disposable towel or a clean section of your t-shirt and wipe the stain back off.  You should get an “antiqued effect”, meaning that the wood has soaked up the dark stain, and the painted sections are streaked with your stain color.  The intensity of the color depends on how long you let the stain soak in.  Use your stiffer brush when applying stain to large areas (such as the desktop) and wipe it down with the t-shirt to spread it out over sections.  In some spots, I even dipped the end of my brush in stain and tapped the handle with a knife to cause a splatter effect in some spots. Just make sure you do this over the plastic or drop cloth so that everything in your house doesn’t get a splatter effect. Finally, I left some places just painted- I didn’t want to cover every inch with stain.  The goal is to make it look like it’s aged naturally.

Helpful Hints:

Always go with the grain of your wood (when you’re sanding, when you’re painting, when you’re wiping, ALWAYS).
If you got an area a little too dark with the stain for your taste, quickly wet a disposable towel and buff it.  This will rub some of the color back off if you do it on time.  If you let it dry for too long, hit it with your very fine grit sandpaper.
It will take off the layer of stain.  But don’t sand too long, or you’ll be back to exposing wood again.
“Antique” the areas that show… This is a rather tedious process.  If I were you, I wouldn’t “antique” the parts that didn’t need it, so I left the inside of my drawers stain-free.
I read several times that “Stain does not stick to paint.  You will be left with a sticky residue.”– I hate to prove ya wrong, but it will.  I used a flat finish paint, which might have something to do with how well it stuck.  Also, I didn’t just paint the stain on and leave it.  I was constantly wiping with a towel or t-shirt, which will allow the stain to color the furniture, but the stained area fairly dry to the touch.

Step five: Marvel in the beauty of your creation.  Seal your furniture with a clear sealer to be sure it stays looking just how you intended.  I soaked all of my hardware in Barkeeper’s Friend, which helped remove all of the tarnish to give it a new look without having to buy new hardware.  If you don’t have any Barkeeper’s Friend, just use toothpaste or baking soda.  It will work just as well.

Remember, this is your project.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with it!  Do some research before you begin, but don’t be afraid to try something that you think will work… If I were relying on google-search alone, I’d still believe that stain didn’t stick to paint, after all.  Feel free to ask me any questions, and let me know if you’re going to be trying this on some of your furniture!

Here are a few of my “finished” photos!  These are taken from my desk’s temporary home– our guest bedroom.  I seriously cannot wait to set this in front of the window of my bedroom and fill it up with all of my ridiculous school supplies and write my first paper at it!

Happy DIY-ing!
always,
Chaney