Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tiny Two-Tiered Table

Too cute! 

OK, you know those dated, your grandma-had-one tables that you often see at thrift stores or auctions?  You know the ones....

Sometimes it's hard to find these little tables in solid wood.  I was lucky enough to come across one for a steal at one of our local thrifts - along with this tray (with awful ivy stencil. Yikes!).  A makeover couldn't come fast enough!

I've been waiting to do this to one of these tiny, two-tiered tables: 

That's right!  Remove that awkward 1/3 of the table addition.  It's super easy - just a little 'unscrewing' on the underside of the table. 

At this point I also took the opportunity to get rid of some of the wobbly-ness of the table by tightening the legs.  So many people pass up great items at thrift stores because of a little wobbling.  This can always be fixed, people!  Do not be deterred by the wobble!! 

I wanted to coordinate the tray and the table to have them work together as a set.  I see them out in a sunroom or on the porch or balcony this summer!  You can prep cool drinks and snacks in the kitchen, carry them outside on the tray, and serve them on the table.  Yes, I think SO! 

After I finished both graphics, I felt that the 'At Home' graphic (c/o The Graphics Fairy as always!) needed to be 'bolder' to blend more seamlessly with the frame graphic on the table. 

These graphics are added using the regular technique - I use a projector and permanent marker.  There are all kinds of techniques you can use to transfer graphics.  I prefer my way because it gives me the most control over my image and I can play around with placement a lot before committing to a design. 
The final step was to dry brush on a layer of off-white paint over the top of the table and inside the tray.  This gave the whole thing an aged feel and served to tone down the darkness of the graphic.  I also distressed the table legs, top, and tray. 

Can't wait for summer!! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sideboard Makeover - It's A Steal!

A few weeks ago, I finished a fantastic sideboard (or the bottom half of a hutch, really) for a friend.  She bought it at the local Sally Anne for $45 and commissioned me to refurbish it. 

It needed a little love...one of the doors needed regluing and the drawers needed some extra attention, not to mention the whole thing needed a facelift - it was looking a little too 'wooden.'  Ha!

I had great bones to work with so the first step was to give the whole thing a once over with TSP to remove the ancient grime.   I turned it upside down because I knew I would be stripping the top and turning it on it's head made painting the legs easier.

I removed all the knobs from the two upper drawers and the two doors.  These were painted, distressed and waxed and reattached in the final stages. 

I painted the lower half with homemade chalk paint and used my Wagner paint sprayer to quickly apply two coats - I finally got the right viscosity!  Worked like a charm this time.  When it was dry, I finished it with MinWax Finishing Paste. 

I stripped the top using a low VOC, water-based stripper that I love and can get readily and inexpesively at Home Hardware.  When using stripper, save yourself and WAIT for the product to work for you (that's the hardest part!).  Waiting is honestly the best thing you can do and makes the stripping process [almost] enjoyable. 
Once I removed all the stripper (using a scraper, water, steel wool and an old cloth) I let the top dry overnight.  Then I sanded it down using medium-grit sandpaper and a final sanding with 320 grit to get it nice and smooth.  Before applying my finish, I always wipe down with a tack cloth!  This is a sticky cloth that attracts and removes small particles and dust that can ruin the finish.  I've started using floor finish recently and love it!  It brushes on easily, dries hard and durable, and won't yellow.  Love! 

This piece looks fantastic and I was sad to see her go...
but know she'll have a fabulous new 'second' life.