Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Do you ever get the feeling that something is missing? Not your car key or your wallet (although I certainly do get that feeling sometimes), but rather that something is missing to complete a room? That's exactly how I felt in my living room...

...Until I found this beauty!
This unfinished sideboard came into the Habitat ReStore in Mooresville for less than $70. It's got two doors, one on each side, both of which open to reveal lots of glorious space! I couldn't pass this sideboard up. 

It was exactly what I had been looking for at a price that matched my budget. And I knew that I wanted something that I could customize to my house and make my own color, so this was perfect!

I immediately hit Lowe's Home Improvement and picked up a can of stain: Rust-Oleum's Ultimate Wood Stain in Kona. Actually, my intention was to only pick up one can, but I couldn't decide on a color, so I picked this one and a Red Wood also. Ultimately I ended up using both. On the workbench below the can of stain you can see samples of the Kona and the Red Wood. . 

Luckily the sideboard was in pretty good condition when I brought it home. It only needed a light finishing sanding with a 220 grit sand paper. Then I removed the doors and any hardware, and got to work. 
I started by staining the top with the Kona:  

After two coats of the Kona had dried I put a coat of the Red Wood on it. The Red Wood has a varnish in it, which was nice since I didn't have to do it later. However, it did make the staining a little difficult. I had never worked with a stain+varnish before and its a little like working with honey. It's thicker than stain, but not quite like paint... just a whole different ball game for me.

Anyway, I eventually finished painting staining the sideboard, inside and out. I'm so thrilled with the way it turned out, especially since this is pretty much the first time I have ever stained anything.

I do wish that I hadn't put a second coat of the Kona on because it makes it look close to black. I would rather have had a little more red would show through. And the one thing I would caution with the stain+varnish is that its hard to make sure no bubbles pop up on the surface. I could probably do a light sanding and another coat of Red Wood, but I'm pleased enough with the sideboard and will probably leave it this way for quite a while!

Please excuse the muddy paw prints! My little princess has decided she likes to roll in the mud when Mommy and Daddy aren't home, then run through the house!

Have you stained any furniture recently? Leave a comment and share your experience!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Don't fear the paint

I used to have a serious fear about picking out paint colors. What if the color I chose was too dark for the room? What if it didn't match the adjacent wall colors? Or it clashed with my rug? Or my red couches reflected a pink hue onto the walls? I used to stalk watch closely what other bloggers had to say about paint colors and chips, would clip samples next to the outlets and light switches so I constantly saw the color in the day light, candle light, and lamp light.

I know this sounds a little extreme but you must understand, I am a P.E.R.F.E.C.T.I.O.N.I.S.T. At least, I was before I realized that paint is truly nothing to fear. I attribute getting over this fixation to my newest favorite blog, Jones Design Company!

I'm truly impressed with Emily's ability to try anything and everything. Including this fabulous Painted Wall Paper. Her's turned out so well in the office that I had to try it!

The only place that I dared take this plunge, however, was in my Master Bath. So here it goes: 

I started by cutting out the template that Emily provides here, and then I traced it onto cardboard and cut it out like she suggested. 

The next step was to start tracing this beauty onto my walls. I started behind the bathroom door because it was the largest area with the fewest interruptions (light switches, moulding, etc.). I simply placed the pattern up on the wall and began tracing with a light pencil.  I was careful to keep the spacing pretty even between the patterns. 

Once I got quite most of the wall behind the door traced I had to decide what color paint to use. I pretty much only had a white that I thought would look decent against my "Tawny" colored walls, so I grabbed a can and a flat brush and got to work. 

At first I wasn't entirely sure how Emily created the double line look but after I checked out her blog again I realized that you make the double lines by painting inside the tracing. This is how it turns out: 

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure that I love the white on the Tawny walls so I didn't paint much more than this. Ideally I'd like to repaint my bathroom an elephant grey in a matte finish, and then do this design in the same color with a high gloss finish. The only problem with that... then I'd have to redo my bedroom too!

.. and after only 7 months in the house, I'm not ready to start all over again.

So for now my bathroom pretty much looks like the last picture above, but with a few more shapes painted in. I stare at it every day trying to decide whether it is worth finishing or if I should repaint my wall solid again. 

And here's the lesson I learned... It's not the end of the world! Paint is just paint, and the perfectionist in me has to get over it! :) Happy painting!