Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sweet Sideboard Make Over

Hello all! I've been on a long break to catch up with work and projects. Now I'd like to get back on track with my posts.

Today I wanted to share the my update of this petite sideboard. I bought it at Brimfield quite a few years ago. It used to sit in the dining area of our old house. When we moved into the new place in 2014, it ended up on our screen porch. It fit perfectly into the spot and it was a handy place to set up drinks and snacks when we had people over.

But it was starting to look a little shabby--and not in a good way. I made the mistake of leaving a pumpkin on there last fall for a little too long. In case you've ever wondered, a rotting pumpkin will eat right through paint.

Besides needing to spruce it up, I also wanted to bring some more color into the porch. I went through my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, but I couldn't find the exact color I wanted, so I put together a custom mix of 3 parts Duck Egg to 1 part Napoleonic Blue. Chalk Paints are so easy to mix. It's really fun coming up with just the right color. Just make sure you make enough to finish your entire project.

I ended up with this rich, slightly greenish blue.

I did a light distressing to highlight the beautiful details on the doors with a sanding sponge. I think details stand out so much better now than they did when the piece was white. I also added some new, slightly larger knobs that are more in proportion to the size of the piece.

 I'm really happy with the way this came out. It really brightens up that corner of the porch.

  1. I was featured on Remodelaholic

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Coastal Basement Project: Progress Report

Well we're making some progress on the basement. You may remember we started work on the basement earlier this year. If you want to see what it looked like when we started, you can see the before photos here. We still have a ways to go, but here's what it looks like now.

We have some of the furniture in, but we still need to get the love seat to match the sleeper sofa and the day bed to fit in the alcove. I just love the stripes on these slipcovers. It's such a classic coastal look.

I added the mantel I picked up at the salvage yard and look how perfectly it fits the electric fireplace! I still need to paint it and I'm going to add some tile to fill the gap between the fireplace and the mantel.

This is looking back toward the stairs. I'm using our old dining table with the faux zinc top so we have a place for playing games and doing puzzles. Here's a close up of the surface.

I pulled this rug from upstairs. I had it under the dining table, but the texture made it hard to slide the chairs in and out. I think it works much better here.

In order to keep things bright, I wanted to use a light color on the walls. This is Horizon by Benjamin Moore. The trim is BM Super White.

I have a lot of wall space to deal with, although my husband has already claimed the spot over the fireplace for a really big TV. I was out antiquing with my friend, D, last week and picked up this vintage oar for $15. I just love the worn paint. I think it will end up going over the sofa. I also have the vintage signs I worked on recently. Last week I picked up some prints at Luckett's Spring Market that I'm in the process of framing.

I hope to have this finished by the end of June. Stayed tuned for more updates.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Get the Look for Less: PB Coastal Dining Room

Hello everyone! I hope you had a nice weekend. I saw this lovely coastal dining room in the Pottery Barn catalog. Wouldn't you just love to bring it all home? Well if you do, just the table, chairs, and chandelier will set you back about $5000. Throw in some accessories and you're closer to $6000. So what can you do if you want this look but don't have that kind of cash? Well here's how you can get this look for a lot less money.

This double pedestal table from Pottery Barn is made of mango wood and has lovely gray wash. This pine table from World Market has a similar look.

These Ikea chairs with full length slipcovers are great stand ins for the PB version that cost more than four times as much.

This wood bead chandelier from World Market is almost exactly the same size as the PB version. The beads are a taupe color with bronze metal accents.

This table runner from World Market looks like a dead ringer for the PB runner, but it's $14 less.

The blue stripes on these World Market napkins are different than the stripes on the PB version, but they're only 1/4 the cost of the PB napkins.

Ikea is a great source for reasonably priced dishes and glassware. Like the PB version, these white dishes have a clean design, but the PB version cost more than three times as much.

The style of the Crate & Barrel hurricanes isn't an exact match for the PB hurricanes, but they're roughly the same size for less than half the price.

If you're looking for large vases that don't cost a fortune, check out Ikea. They have a great selection.

PB has these cute mini starfish vase filler. But check out what they have on Amazon--three times as many for less money. What's not to love?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Vintage Coastal Sign Tutorial

I've been looking for some art work for our newly finished basement and I've been crushing on vintage wood signs. I thought it would be fun to have some really large signs with the names of nearby places, so I decided to try to make my own. Here's the result. Each of these signs are 48" long and 5 1/2" wide.

Check out this texture. 

This is a project I've been working on for the last two weeks. I had a clear vision of what I was trying to create, but it took a lot of trial and error to get there. I found a lot of ways NOT to do this! I finally got it the kinks worked out and I'm ready to share the tutorial. This tutorial does NOT require artistic talent or a fancy cutting machine. Keep reading.

  • Wood--I used 48" 1x6's that I got from the salvage year for $1 each.
  • Sander or sand paper.
  • Paint--I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White, Provence, and Aubusson Blue. This project actually takes very little paint, so if you buy the sample size containers, you'll have more than enough.
  • Water-based matte polyurethane--a small can will be plenty.
  • Mod Podge in matte finish.
  • Brushes
  • Engineering print (from Staples) 
  • Plastic cup with water


Step 1: Prepare and paint the board.

  • Sand the board to remove splinters and rough edges. You don't need to go crazy and make it too smooth. You want to leave some imperfections and texture.
  • Paint the board. I used multiple alternating coats of Old White, Provence, and Aubusson Blue.
  • Distress the board. Sand through the finish until you achieve the look you're going for. It's hard to do this wrong. Just keep going until you're happy with the outcome. I finished off with a wash of Old White after I was done with the distressing.
  • Once the paint is completely dry, seal the board with a coat of water based polyurethane.

Step 2: Create the lettering.

For this step you'll need to use PowerPoint. There may be other applications you can use, but this is the only way I know how to do it. This sounds more complicated than it actually is. I just tried to make the instructions very explicit.

  • Open PowerPoint to a blank slide (no formatting).
  • Under the "Design" tab, click on Page Setup. Change the width and height of the slide to exactly match the width and height of your board.
  • Insert a text box. Choose your font (I used Papyrus) and increase the font size to about 200. You'll need to play around with this depending on the size of the board and the font you choose.
  • Type in the words you want on your sign. Increase or decrease the size of the font until it looks right to you. This is exactly how your finished sign will look.
  • When you're happy with everything, click "Save as" and choose JPEG for the file type. This will save your slide as a picture.
  • Open the saved picture with Paint or with your picture manager. Click "Rotate" and select "Flip horizontal." This will create a mirror image of your lettering. Copy this.
  • Go back to PowerPoint and add a new slide. Paste your reverse image into the slide and adjust the size until the reverse lettering fits perfectly into the slide (which is the same size as your board).
  • Save the slide as a PDF file.
  • Send or take the PDF file to your nearest Staples and have the file printed as a black and white engineering print. A 48" x 36" print costs about $7. You can actually print multiple signs on one engineering print. You'll have plenty of room. In fact you might want to have a back up of your lettering just in case something goes wrong.

Step 3: Transfer the lettering to the sign.
  • Cut your engineering print into strips. Dry fit your lettering to the board to make sure everything fits and is centered. You may want to make a light pencil or chalk mark so you'll know how to line it up.
  • Brush a thick, even coat of Mod Podge on the printed side of your lettering.
  • Place the lettering print side down on your board.
  • Now CAREFULLY press down on the letter to make sure it is in contact with the board.You will probably start seeing the lettering come through the paper.Smooth out any wrinkles. The paper is fragile when it's wet and is easily torn. 
  • Let it all dry over night. 

Step 4: Finishing up.
  • Using a paint brush, generously apply water to the paper. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Starting in the middle (NOT at an edge), slowly rub off the paper backing. Use only your fingers and rub in a circular motion. Always rub from the middle toward the edges, not the other way around. No matter how tempting it might be, DO NOT attempt to peel the paper backing off the board. If you do, your lettering will come off. Do not rush this step. It is tedious and messy, but the results will be worth it. You may have to re-wet the paper several times. When the paper is all gone, your lettering will be left behind on the board. Please note, once dry and cured, your lettering will be firmly attached to the board, but while the paper is being removed, if you rub too hard, some of the lettering may come off. If that happens, stop rubbing in that area, but don't panic. You can always touch up any missing spots with a little paint or a sharpie. 
  • When all the paper is removed, let everything dry overnight then finish off with another coat of the water based polyurethane.
  • Finally attach some saw tooth hangers to the back side and hang up your new sign.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to make a vintage coastal sign.