Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dear Chairs, I Give Up - A Cautionary Tale of the Dangers of Painting Wood

When I first moved to Atlanta after lawschool, I ended up with my grandmother's kitchen table and chairs.  When I got the set, it was stained with a really pretty dark finish.   Unfortunately the set was pretty beaten up and needed to be refinished.

I didn't have the time or the inclination to properly refinish the set.  So I just slapped some paint on it and called it done. 

My dining chair painted black
In the past six years these chairs were painted white, then red (which was a horrible idea that I immediately rectified), then black, then white, then black again.

I recently recovered the cushions to match my new blue and grey color scheme.  I planned on just slapping another coat of white paint on the chairs but didn't like the look of the fabric with the stark white paint. 

I decided the chairs would look better if they were stripped and stained.

I started sanding in December. 

Six months later and I'm still sanding.

3 chairs are about 95% complete. 

One chair that I've ALMOST completed sanding after six months

One chair is only halfway done. 

I just can't take it anymore.  I cannot bear sanding for another minute. 

I give up. 

So I just bought these Parsons Chairs on Craigslist.

I plan to make slipcovers for them.  Hopefully that won't take six months.

So please, learn from my mistakes.  Please think twice before painting your stained wood. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Balcony Redo (i.e. How to Spray Paint Your Wood Floors)

I did some heavy duty spring cleaning last week.  Once I cleaned off the pollen, I realized that my balcony was pretty sad.  It definitely wasn't living up to its potential.  The red wicker patio furniture wasn't helping. 
8 cans of spray paint later, my furniture was bright blue! I ordered a rug on-line that just happened to match perfectly.
I added some boxwoods in white planters and some topiaries. I decided to invest in the boxwoods to serve as foundation plants that would be green year round and not have to be moved indoors in winter. 

 So I  was feeling much better about the state of my balcony.

Well, except for the blue floors. 

Newly painted balcony furniture with slightly blue floors.  Oops.

Since I live in a condo, I don't exactly have a great space to do any sort of project like say, spray painting.  So I just use my balcony.

 For this painting project, I just spray painted on a drop cloth.  Unfortunately it didn't quite cover the entire balcony.  Basically it just covered that area with the nice rug.  Luckily, the floor was already
weathered and faded, so the slight blue tinge just sort of blends in.  That's what I tell myself anyway.

 Just don't look under the rug.

I do have a pretty nice view. 
Unfortunately, my photography skills are sub-par so I can't get a good shot of the balcony and the nice view.

This was the best of my attempts to get a shot of the balcony and the view of Midtown.
View of Midtown from my balcony

Thursday, March 21, 2013

DIY Skirted Console Table: Putting Square Pegs into Round Holes

I needed a really odd sized table.  Something really narrow, but kind of long.  Like a console table, but smaller.  I'd pinned a few skirted console tables on Pinterest like this one:

Design by Jan Showers
So it occurred to me that it would be super easy to make a skirted table because no one would know what the actual table looked like! 

So I went to Home Depot and bought 4 deck baulsters (for $.89 each) to use for table legs.  I just planned to screw these into a spare piece of pine board to make the table. 

Deck Baulsters - $.89 Each at Home Depot - Great for making wobbly table legs!

Obivously I am not a master carpenter, but even I knew that this table would probably be super rickety.  So I found these rubber leg tips.

Of course the rubber leg tips were meant for round legs, apparently like for crutches or walkers.
And my deck baulsters were square. 
And you know that old saying about square pegs and round holes. 
But whatever, I like to learn my lessons first-hand. 
Anyway, so whoever said you can't put a square peg in a round hole obviously wasn't trying hard enough.  Or the peg was too big. 
I managed to get the tips on the legs and the legs screwed to the board pretty quickly.  It was still pretty rickety so I ended up adding an apron to further stablize the table. 
Then I made a table cloth to cover it. 
Viola!  Skirted console table
DIY Skirted Console Table
I certainly wouldn't dance on this table.
But I never dance on tables anyway. Only bars. Dancing on tables is tacky.
But it is sturdy enough to hold a vase and couple of picture frames.
Yes, it is an amazing feat of engineering! 
Capable of supporting the weight of not one, but TWO picture frames, a vase, a book and an empty jar. 
I don't want to push it with the jar.   
Most importantly, the skirt hides my router, roller skates and a couple of other random objects that I have no place for!

Friday, February 8, 2013

My Van Gogh Knock-Off: I don't think he's worried...

Last night I joined a co-worker at Dip N Dab.  You know one of those places where you BYOB and they provide you with paint, a canvas and instruction so that YOU TOO CAN BE AN ARTIST!  Last night we knocked off Vincent Van Gogh. 

Van Gogh's Sunflowers

My Van Gogh knock-off.  I don't think he's worried about the competition. 

As much as I hate mass produced art, I really like Dip N Dab , or Sips N Strokes, or  Canvas By You.  I always leave feeling talented and really inspired to go home and paint. 

Once I get home and get out my paint,  I realize that I am not a talented painter.   I guess that's why Dip N Dab is in business.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Making a Palm Tree out of Pineapple

So I've been neglecting my blog, but seriously, I promise it's not because I haven't been doing anything. 

I have been doing LOTS OF STUFF. 

I just haven't exactly finished ANYTHING. 

But there's no rule against posting something that I created two years ago right?? 

So here's a centerpiece that I made for a tiki party that we threw for some friends who were getting married.  This was in 2011, the year that I actually finished things.  
Pineapple Palm Tree Centerpiece
To make the centerpiece I hollowed out some pineapples and stacked them on a frame I made by hammering two dowels into a piece of 2x4 (save the pineapple for your pina colodas! fresh pineapple makes them so much better). I used sago plam fronds from the farmers market for the plam leaves.  I poured some brown sugar on a tray to cover the base and create "sand." Obviously, actual sand would have been a more realistic and less sticky choice, but that would have required a trip to the hardware store. 
Now you know how to make a palm tree out of pineapples for you next tiki party or luau.  
Since its January, I know you're probably running out to buy those pineapples right now....  
But whatever, that's not important.
What's important is that I have finished a blog post in 2013!