Showing posts with label Furniture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Furniture. Show all posts

21 Jun 2013

Navy Blue, White and Gold Credenza

I bought this credenza at a garage sale in our neighbourhood what feels like a million years ago.  In actuality, it was about 2 months ago, but for me that's a long time to have a piece sitting in the garage waiting for its day in the sun.

I knew as soon as I saw it that I'd be able to make it look 100 times better. It was simple, classic and had some really nice molding to work with. 

When I am out in the garage painting I tend to think about some pretty random stuff, and I usually spend quite a bit of time deciding on a name for that particular piece of furniture.  This guy I am naming JT.  I am loving Justin Timberlake's new song Suit & Tie, and to me, this piece reminds me of a classic suit and tie (that, plus the fact that I listened to that song probably 50 times over while painting!).

Meet JT now!

Furniture Makeover.  Navy blue, white and gold credenza from

The credenza was laminate, so I started by using a deglosser to take off some of the shine.  I use Liquid Sandpaper by Dynamic, which I buy at my local paint store.  It's smelly, so make sure you have some breathing space when using it.  Then I primed the whole thing with a coat of Zinsser 1-2-3 Bullseye primer using a brush and foam roller.  I used white primer because that's what I had on hand.  If I was buying primer new I probably would have had it tinted dark to save myself an extra coat of navy blue. 

I let the primer dry for a night and then painted the navy blue, again using a brush and little foam roller. The blue is December Eve by Behr, but colour matched to Dulux interior eggshell.  It's the same colour that we have in our master bedroom, so I had some left over.  Because I was going over white primer, it took 3 coats of navy to get full coverage.   

I painted inside the moulding Benjamin Moore White Dove.  It's Benjamin Moore's Advance paint in the pearl finish, which we had left over from our kitchen cabinets (and a million other projects...).   The white only took 2 coats as there was already white primer underneath.

Navy blue, white and gold credenza from

Once both the navy blue and white had some time to cure, I then used a small artist's brush to apply liquid gold gilding.  The gilding is Martha Stewart brand in Brass, that I picked up at Michael's, and is the same gilding I used on my emerald dresser. I used painter's tape to tape off some of the easier lines and then I just free handed the rest.  I also painted the hinges, the original hardware and the very bottom of the front legs in the gilding.

Navy blue, white and gold credenza from

Navy blue, white and gold credenza from

I decided not to poly this piece because I really like the matte finish that the blue has right now.  If it goes to a house (or stays with me!) where it's going to see a lot of abuse and action, then it would be best to apply a finishing coat.

Furniture Makeover.  Navy blue, white and gold credenza from

Furniture Makeover.  Navy blue, white and gold credenza from

I have a problem that I fall in love with every piece that I do.  I think I need to start painting in colours that I don't like!  JT is going to go up for sale and will hopefully find a nice home.  I hope he is able to be used as a bit of a bar station, because I think that's what he's suited for (no pun intended....).  If you are local to Edmonton and are interested in him please drop me a line.

Furniture Makeover.  Navy blue, white and gold credenza from

I think this might be my last furniture redo for a while. I struggled to find the time to actually get JT done, and I hate having stuff just sitting in the garage.  Maybe once fall rolls around I will have some more time and won't want to be outside playing as much.  Now all I have to do is hold myself back at the garage sales throughout the summer!

If you love JT as much as I do (the credenza, not the man) I'd be really appreciative if you'd pin or share him.

Have a great weekend!

Linking to: Our Fifth House, Miss Mustard Seed

26 Mar 2013

Teal Vanity Chair (and my thoughts on Liquitex Spray Paint)

A couple of weeks ago (maybe it was more like 3 or 4) I stopped in at the thrift shop in search of a vintage scarf.  The scarf was for a project that I didn't end up doing, but what I did find was this chair.

Vanity Chair Before

I looked at it for a while thinking that it might work in our main bathroom.  We bathe Fin every night, and usually it's 2 adults, a great dane and a little girl all shoved into a small bathroom.  I've wanted a little chair to put beside the tub for 2 years now, but haven't been able to find anything tiny enough.  After sitting in it and thinking long and hard about the space we had, I ultimately decided that it was too big and left it at the thrift shop. 

After I got home I told Mr. Swell all about it and how I was sad that we didn't have a bigger bathroom.  He asked if the chair would work with the vanity I had painted.  Since it wasn't selling,  um....YES!  It would totally work!  Brilliant.

As a quick refresher, I painted an old vanity back in the fall thinking that it would sell super quick.  I loved it and figured someone else would too.  Well, it didn't sell.  I posted it on Kijiji week after week and nothing.  I had 2 people come look at it and decide that it was too small for them.  I had another 2 people say they were coming to get it and then didn't show up (nothing drives me more mad!).  As much as I wanted to keep it, we just didn't have the space.

Milk Paint Dressing Table

So, back to the thrift shop we went.  (Actually, Mr. Swell went).  Luckily the chair was still there, so for $19.99 we picked it up.

I had been wanting to try out the Liquitex spray paint for quite a while, and this was finally the perfect project for it.  Liquitex is sold at Michael's (although I am sure there are other places too) in the painting aisle with all of the acrylic paint.  It's more expensive than hardware store brands, but with a 40% coupon I managed to pick up a bottle for just under $10.

I went with Veridian Hue Permanent 7, which is a nice mellow teal colour.

Liquitex Spray Paint

A couple of things about Liquitex Spray Paint....

It is water based, not solvent/oil based like most other spray paints.  It hardly smells at all, which if you spray paint quite a bit like I do, is a total WIN!  I usually avoid spray painting in the house, but I did this piece in the basement and it didn't smell up the area at all.  (On a side note....I am sure that Liquitex would advise to not paint in small spaces - just because it doesn't smell doesn't mean there aren't fumes.)  

The major suckey thing about this paint though is that it has to be held upright while spraying.  Ugh. Annoying.  I did my best, but it's impossible to paint furniture without tilting the can a bit.  After doing the first coat I held the can upside down to blow out the nozzle (as suggested on the can).  It seemed to work, but when I went back to do the second coat the nozzle was plugged.  I fooled around with it a bit and got it working again....but not for long.  It clogged again.  After many attempts at unclogging it I finally used a nozzle from another can of spray paint that I had.  It worked, but not as good as the original nozzle (it stuck in the 'on' position which meant that I couldn't stop and start spraying....and had to move FAST).  I imagine that you can buy extra nozzles, but I was being lazy and didn't feel like going to the store.  

Aside from the clogging issue, I loved the actual paint.  It covered amazingly well and the colour was fantastic.  The other thing I LOVED is that it was a matte finish - sometimes I just don't want everything to be shiny.

Moving on....are you still with me after that aside?

After I spray painted the brass, I then reupholstered the seat.  Apparently before the lovely navy blue jersey fabric that was on it there must have also been hot pink at some point.

Chair Pad

I cut of piece of drop cloth fabric to fit and then pleated and stapled my way around the circle.


The little button for the middle was actually bolted through the wood and attached with a nut at the bottom.  When I unscrewed it, I saw that the fabric was just wrapped around and then held on with an elastic.

Chair Pad Button

Strange, but it worked.  I cut another square of drop cloth and then gave it a few coats of spray paint.  Once it was dry I used the same trick again and secured it on with an elastic, and then reattached the button to the seat.

After everything was put back together the chair looked A LOT better!

Refinished Vanity Chair

Refinished Vanity Chair at A Swell Place to Dwell

The colour is really cute, right?  It was totally unintentional, but it's almost an exact match to Fin's teal dresser - which is good to know in case I want to spray paint something to match in her room.

And just because I felt the need to stage it a little bit.....

Refinished Vanity Chair using Liquitex Spray Paint

Staging a chair is actually a bit of a challenge!

Once the chair was painted and reupholstered, I was excited to try it with the dressing table.  I sat myself down and spun around....and my legs hit the middle drawer.  Ugh.  The chair was too big!  (clearly I should have tested this BEFORE!).  

Mr. Swell cut the centre piece of the chair down for me, but even after it was as low as it could go, it was still too tall. 

So, after freaking out a bit, I made the decision to remove the middle drawer.  My trusty assistants got to work sawing out the drawer supports. 

Fixing Vanity

As you can see in the photo above, I also spray painted the handles, changing them from red to teal.  I wish I had done teal all along as I love how it looks with the chippy white - it feels more authentic.

Thankfully the surgery did the trick.  Once the drawer was removed my legs fit under no problem. 

Milk Paint Vanity and Chair.

We decided to not remove all of the supports in case someone wants to put the drawer back in one day.  It would be easy to add a cross support so that the drawer could still slide in.  

I did end up having to mix some more milk paint to cover up some areas that hadn't shown before, but it was a quick 5 minute fix.

Milk Paint Vanity and Chair.

Milk Paint Vanity and Spray Painted Chair with a Liquitex Spray Paint Review

Milk Paint Vanity and Spray Painted Chair with a Liquitex Spray Paint Review

Vanity and pretty chair

I fell in love with the vanity all over again.  I really did want to keep it....if only we had more rooms!

I posted it on Kijiji with the chair and within 2 days it was sold, for double what I was asking before.  Gotta love that!  The $20 chair made all the difference. 

So tell me, have any of you tried Liquitex spray paint?  If so, what are your thoughts on it?

P.S. Whenever I post pictures of my pallet shelves I get questions about them.  Yes, we made them.  The full tutorial is here.

P.P.S. I really hate that the heat register is always in my furniture photos! 

TDC Before and After

10 Mar 2013

Refinished Teal Dresser

For the past few months Fin's room has been a rotating display of dressers.  When we first did her nursery we had a dresser that was way too big in there (that dresser later became the emerald green dresser that I sold).  The big dresser was good when she was a baby and we had to house blankets, a million sleepers, etc, but lately we weren't even using half of the drawers.

When the emerald dresser sold I moved the milk paint dressing table into her room.  I did really like how it looked, but we went from one extreme to the other and then didn't have enough storage!

I stalked Kijiji for a while until I found this one.  

If you missed the story about buying this dresser, you can read all about it here.  It involves my poor husband and a lot of chatty birds.  (For those of you who have requested, I am still trying to convince him that I need an audio recording...)

The dresser is veneer, so I knew right away that I was going to paint it.  I thought about using my go-to BM Advance, but decided that this would be a good piece to give DIY chalk paint another try.  I had tried DIY chalk paint previusly on the hexagon end tables with so-so results (even though they did sell for a great price and quickly).  

This time I enlisted the expert.  I emailed Helen from Picked and Painted and she was kind enough to answer some of my questions. (If you haven't visited her blog before it's well worth the visit....she's a master with chalk paint). Could I roll it? Yes.  Do I have to distress? No.  I felt confident enough to embark on the DIY paint experiment once again.

I headed to Home Depot and picked up a quart of Behr paint in Sweet Rhapsody.  I was going for teal, but I think it's actually more of an aqua colour, and in some lighting it looks more baby-blue. 

I mixed the chalk paint - 1 cup of paint to about 1/4 cup of baking soda.  I decided to risk it and not prime, so I just started painting away.  I had fully intended to use a roller on the top, but the brush was working so well that I just kept going with it.  After 2 nights and 2 coats of paint I had complete coverage - thankfully with no bleed through.  

Here's the thing....I  HATE the feel of dried chalk paint.  I actually dislike it so much that I think it's enough to make me not want to do it again.  Just rubbing my finger against it gave me goose bumps (just like sandpaper does).  I powered through the goose bumps though and sanded the whole piece with a super fine sanding block.  

I hadn't intended to distress, but the paint started coming off on the raised areas.  First I freaked out....then I went to bed.  The next day I felt better about the whole thing and decided that a bit of distressing was actually the way to go (does sleep do that to anyone else?).   A little distressing felt more true to the era of the dresser. 

After I had the whole thing sanded down and smooth, I decided to glaze it with a dark brown glaze to highlight some of the detail on the sides.  I mixed my BM glaze with some dark brown paint and started adding it to the raised parts on the edges.  And....I knew pretty much right away that I wasn't digging it.    Nope. Not feeling it at all.  It was changing the aqua to a colour that I wasn't loving.  So....I wiped it all off and applied another coat of paint just to the area I had glazed.  (Poor Mr. Swell was subject to quite a bit of my ranting during this time.  Why did I decide to do this?  Where did I put the paint? Why are we out of foam brushes? Who invented glaze?  Poor guy...he very calmly told me it was just paint and to breathe.)

Once that final coat of paint was dry I then re-sanded the area and applied a coat of paste wax all over.  I buffed with an old nylon (works great!) and then let it sit for a few nights before moving it upstairs.

I set it up in the entry way so that I could take some pictures of it with the mirror.  I wanted to show you how nice it looks with the round mirror.....I wish that the mirror would fit in Fin's room, but sadly it doesn't.

DIY Chalk Paint Teal Dresser

I really like the way the old hardware looks on the new aqua.  I have plans down the road, when we do Fin's big girl room, to replace the hardware but for now I like it the way it is.

Teal Dresser //

I am still not entirely sold on the whole chalk paint thing.  It is really nice to not sand or prime, but I can't get over how thick the paint is.  I also don't seem to be able to get a completely smooth finish with the DIY version.  I always have spots that look rough, even if they don't feel rough.  I can sand them down, but since I didn't want to distress this piece too much, I was hesitant to go crazy with the sanding.  Maybe I needed to sand between coats.  Any advice?

You know Dief likes to photobomb....

He was making sure that my distressing was up to par......

The dresser now resides in Fin's room, sans mirror.

Teal Dresser with yellow rocking chairs //

eal Dresser in Nursery //

It is the PERFECT size.  I just love it.  My plan down the road is to paint the inside and sides of the drawers, but for now I have just left them (ugly floral contact paper and all).  

The aqua adds so much more vibrancy to her bedroom and really brightens it up. 

So tell me, is there anyone else who's not completely sold on chalk paint?  Am I doing something wrong?  Has anyone else had the problem with the paint looking rough?

p. s. I wonder what the birds would say now?  "caw, get your shoes on and bring that puuuurdy dresser back over here....".  

Linking to: Miss Mustard Seed

TDC Before and After

29 Jan 2013

Adventure Awaits! Refinished Wooden School Desk

I picked up this little wooden school desk off of Kijiji on New Years Eve.  I know it was New Years Eve because I said I wasn't going to buy any furniture until the new year, and I ended up breaking my own rule by 1 day.  I just couldn't resist!  I saw it for $15 and pounced on it (even though I really shouldn't have even been looking!).  I've seen these types of desks for $50, so $15 was a great deal. 

It is a small desk, which is just perfect for Fin.  She can climb up into it easily and sit there and do her colouring and stickering (ya, that's a word in our house).  

I left it sitting in our living room for a few weeks while I stewed over what to do with it.  It was in rough shape from many years of kid abuse, so I knew it was going to get a paint makeover but was stuck on the colour for quite a while.

Then I found this fabric.  

It's from Stash Modern Fabric, and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it.  It helped that it was a pretty great price ($10 for 1.25 yards, which is good for designer fabric).  I ordered the fabric not really knowing what I was going to do with it, except that I was going to use it on the desk. 

I contemplated  Mod Podging it onto the desk top, but eventually talked myself out of it because I was worried that marker would get on it and I wouldn't be able to wipe it clean. I also considered cutting out some of the elements and adding them to side of the desk, but honestly, that seemed like too much work.  While lamenting to my Mom one day, she suggested upholstering the seat.  I was hesitant at first, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

The seat had seen its fair share of jean rivets over the years, and some of the scratches were quite deep.  It would have taken a heck of a lot of sanding to get it nice and smooth, so upholstering solved the problem (and my arm...).

I took a lot of photos to show you the upholstering process, but in the end I sort of just winged it, so there isn't really much to tell. (and I am sure you can find better tutorials elsewhere)  I used a roll of cotton batting for the padding (foam was too expensive and I cheaped out, plus I was worried about cutting it along the curve).

I stapled 2 layers of batting around the whole seat, and then used another 2 layers just on the top.  Once the batting was on, I then cut the fabric and stapled it on to the back of the seat (I sure do love the staple gun!!!).  One tip is to make sure to cut away the fabric and the batting where the old screw holes are, or you will just end up with the screw stuck in the batting and it will rip the fabric (I know from experience).

**see how professional my corners look???  Clearly I could use a class or something.

As for the desk itself, I wanted it to look authentically old, so I didn't sand it too much.  I filled a big crack on the top with wood filler and then sanded the whole thing down by hand using 80 grit sandpaper.  I then went back over it all with a fine sanding block to smooth it all out from the rough sandpaper.

I primed it using Zinser 1-2-3 primer and then painted on 2 coats of yellow.  The colour is Cornbread by Martha Stewart - it's the same colour that I used for our little end table in the living room, and luckily it matched the fabric perfectly.  Since I didn't need much paint I just bought a little Behr sample pot from the Home Depot and had it colour matched. 

I ended up using my brush on this whole piece since the surface area was so small, and I decided that I didn't really mind the brush strokes with all of the nicks and dings.  

I went back over the edges with a fine sanding block to distress it.  I let some of the white primer poke through on purpose.  Because I used flat latex paint (that's all the sample pots come in), the yellow did change colour a bit where I sanded.  I knew this would happen, so I sort of just went with it.  I actually like the colour variation that it adds.

To finish it off I waxed the whole thing with paste wax - 2 coats on the top and 1 coat everywhere else.

Then I reattached the seat and brought it upstairs.  Fin was so excited.  She loves sitting in it and just grabbing her crayons and colouring books out of the side pocket.

It doesn't really have a home yet.  Right now it's sitting in our living room, and I don't actually mind it there since it matches the end table.  I think one day though it might move into the kitchen so that she can work away while I cook or clean (hardly seems fair...).

I am still a little worried that the seat fabric will get stained, but I have enough left over to probably reupholster the seat 2 more times....and by that time she will have probably outgrown the desk.  I should probably also spray it with a fabric guard, but I haven't been able to find our can of that yet....I know it's somewhere in the abyss of the basement....

I really do love how the pink and the yellow look together.  Glad that I went with yellow and not a full pink desk (which I was seriously contemplating).

I added a little chalkboard label to the side pocket.  It's removable, so it can always come off, or Fin can scribble on it with some chalk.

I know this post is about the desk, but aren't those shoes cute?  They kill me!  Little rocker shoes.  They were a Salvation Army find. $2!!!

I kept the original hardware, just cleaned it up in a little boiling water and baking soda mixture.  It came out sparkling but still old looking (if that's even possible...).

I've been scouring Kijiji for something new to refinish, but so far I haven't found anything.  I guess now I just get to focus on finishing the basement.  Yippie!  (heavy sarcasm)

p.s. new blog design coming up soon....please bear with me as I move a few elements around and install the new template over the next week or so.

Linking to: Miss Mustard Seed

TDC Before and After

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