Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Reviving an Heirloom Rocker

Hi friends!

I recently had a classmate from high school contact me. She was expecting her first baby, and had a rocking chair she wanted refinished.  This is what it looked like when I got it.  It looked like someone had previously stripped it. So it needed a good sanding before I could get started.
 It has this beautiful carved detail on the back, but the carvings are not in wood.  It looked like plaster, or something similar, and had cracks throughout.  I didn't worry too much about the cracks.  I think it added to the charm of this piece.
 I think there have been a lot of babies rocked in this chair.  It was passed down through my client's husband's family.

My client/classmate was not finding out the baby's gender, and wanted a bright, bold color that would work for either a boy or a girl.
We decided to go for a color like Annie Sloan's Emperor's Silk. It's been a long time since I painted anything red.  In fact, it had been long enough that I had somewhat forgotten (OK, really completely forgotten) how HARD red can be!  I wanted to give my local Sherwin Williams a shot. So I chose SW Positive Red in their All Surface Enamel (Acrylic Latex in Satin finish).
Here's what it looked like at first. Uh Oh. Someone forgot to get a tinted primer.
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to the paint counter I go.
One can of pink primer later (they tinted it as dark as they could - thank you to my trusty old Home Depot paint folks) things were looking better. You can see where I added the primer, on the right side. On the left, you can see how transparent the red went on.  Yikes.
In order to achieve the deep, rich red in this paint, the base has to be translucent. Which means the paint is not opaque.  Which means you have to keep adding coats, and adding coats, and adding coats.
Which is exactly what I did.
So... 17 coats of red paint later.....
Positive Red was actually looking positively great.
I wish I could tell you there was some other way.  I can't speak to other kinds of paint (AS Chalk Paint, etc.) but for regular old latex, that is what you can expect.
LOTS of coats.

I added a coat of wax when I felt the color was even enough.  And here we are.
Now, for the glamour shots.

 I foresee many, many snuggles happening in this chair.
There is something special about the things passed down.
Thank you to my client Jessica for trusting me with this piece.
And best wishes for that little one!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

What I'd Buy on Craigslist this Week - Minneapolis Edition!

Hi frosty friend-sicles.
Super snow gals.
Chilly chicks.

DANG it's been cold, icy, snowy, windy, and just plain hellish where I am. I write this knowing full well that many people farther North of me have it colder, icier, snowier, windier, and more hellish.

I broke my scraper in the 45 minutes it took me to de-ice my minivan today.
My kids were getting super frustrated because they couldn't actually shovel the snow, because it was mostly ice.

BUT. Our power did not go out. Amen.
My husband got safely to and from work. Praise the Lord.
And Spring is a mere 43 days away. HALLELUJAH.

Soooo...until then, I'm here to bring warm, happy thoughts of awesome furniture to my friends in Minneapolis! Goodness knows, I've scoured Cincinnati's Craigslist long enough. Time to take this show on the road. Without further ado, here are my picks for what to go buy on Craigslist this week.

1. I'm not saying it would be the easiest thing in the world to paint (lots of tape on all that glass), but man, I think it'd be worth it!

I LOVE barrister bookcases. They are just so cool! And in all the time I've been a Craigslist fan, I have only seen a handful, and they were way more expensive than this one.  GRAB it for $40 and RUN!

This one at Home Decorators will run you $489.  Paint the CL piece white, swap out or paint the hardware and laugh all the way to the bank.

2. I love this antique standing mirror.

What a perfect piece to add to the front entry! You could add wall sconces, or hooks, or both to the wall on either side. A nice umbrella stand. Gorgeous! You don't see pieces like this every day. Asking price is $100.

3. Next is a cute piece that I think some crafty soul DIYed.

For those who can't, or don't want to, make things themselves, here's a chance to get your hands on a rustic looking ladder that makes an adorable place to hold blankets in your living room or bedroom.
So cute, right?
For those of you who are interested in making this yourselves, here's the tutorial I'd use, from the sisters at Shanty 2 Chic. You can make this piece really inexpensively.
TIP: Make sure you add a coat of poly when you're finished. It is mentioned in the comments, but not the tutorial. Otherwise you'll be heading to the store to buy new blankets. :-(

If you do decide to buy the ladder from Craigslist, I personally would offer $30. Asking price is $40.

4. I have done quite a few desks - they are just really useful pieces and people many times use them as vanities or dressing tables.

This one is adorable, already painted and shabby chic-ed up, and only $85!

I don't know why they're selling it for that.  I'd never make any money (and I don't make a killing as it is) if I sold desks for $85, but I digress. :-)

This thing is a great deal. RUN!

5. Outfit the kids rooms. Or playroom, or basement...
  Vintage kids chairs by Heywood Wakefield.

I love, love, love cool old chairs like these for kids.  I wouldn't do a thing to them, either.
What about an adorable place to easily stash their favorite books?

This cheery vintage magazine rack couldn't be cuter! Grab it for $20.
A globe is conducive to all kinds of lessons. And this has an awesome stand. It's $15.

But if you really want to rock their world, give Bill a call.  He'll custom build you a playhouse that will be the envy of every kid in the neighborhood! I am drooling. (Do not ever let my kids see this. They will hound their grandfather to no end.)
No, I have don't have any idea how much this would cost.  But DANG it would be awesome...

And last but not least, my very sweet friend Alana asked me to look around for chairs to go with the cool new dining table and bench she and her husband are having made. Do these not look incredible? Here's the shop...

There are a million different directions you could take this, keeping in mind that they do have three young kids so whatever is chosen has to be comfy and easy to clean.

So, Alana, here are my picks:

The Herman Miller Eames look
Wildly popular, clean lines and wipe down with a dishrag. :-) $200 for the pair.
(originals will run you waaaay more.)

Budget re-do.

These are kinda tacky fishing cabin-esque. But they don't have to be. They are a basic, simple chair with pretty caning on the back (one needs to be recaned) and seats that are super easy to take off and recover.  These could be anything you want them to be.
And $60 for the whole set? You can't beat that.

I saved my personal favorite option for last. The super pretty set, also with caned backs, but also lovely arms, turned legs, and cool seats.

Imagine them in a creamy white (caning looks so pretty in white) or black. Or a bright red. They will stand out against the strong lines and heaviness of the table and bench and just look awesome.
One chair needs to be recaned and the seats look like they may need some work...but oh, it would so be worth it.
Asking price is $75 for the set of four chairs AND you get the pedestal table (re-sell it or find another place for it)!

I just realized this is kind of like House Hunters for furniture.  Haha!  Alana, you'll have to let us know what you end up with (and of course it's perfectly fine if it's none of these.)

That's it for this traveling roadshow.
Minneapolis is awash with great stuff!
(Here's my usual disclaimer: If you buy from someone on Craigslist, or anyone you don't know, BE SMART. If the piece is small, you can ask that they meet you in a public place. Take a friend with you. Tell someone where you're going. I can't vouch for any of these sellers.  I just love their stuff.)

Now go forth and find something great!
If you find something awesome, let me know!


Monday, February 3, 2014

What I'd Buy on Craigslist this Week

Hi Friends!

Are you in the Polar Vortex, too?

This is ridiculous.  It's been so cold for so long, I think I've actually given up hope that Spring will ever come.  So, let's think about things that are more fun.  Like furniture.  And paint.  And painting furniture. :-)

Off we go.

1. Lingerie dresser.  $75

Love what Tami from Curb Alert did for a super girly, French look.

Oui, oui! So cute.
But what if you need it for a boy's room?  Swap out the hardware for something less frilly and go dark and numbered like this one.

2. Midcentury stuff isn't for everyone.  But in small doses, it can really wake up a room and make it look contemporary...the stuff is wildly popular right now.  (Because of things like Exhibit A, this gorgeously staged black number from Natty by Design)

For those not sure they love it, here's about the smallest furniture investment you can make and still get the look...a $20 desk.

I love a $20 desk, people.
This one is small enough that it will never overwhelm a space and its clean lines make it great for kids or grown ups, boys or girls.
As it turns out, Natty by Design has a knack for making awesome midcentury desks over.
Exhibit B.

Nuff said.

3. This is a great set of furniture for $150! Classic lines, and "good construction."  can't ask for much more than that.  (And it must be the week of the lingerie dressers)

I love a hutch. It makes great use of vertical space without the need to install shelves.  If this set looks as good in person as it does here, I'd go for it in a second.  Don't just think you have to leave it in the bedroom, either.  I LOVE the woman who put a set, almost identical to this, in her craft room. Here's a peek.

Ack!! Look at how awesome that is!
And check out the rest of the board for more pics of the room, including a black and white settee.  Be still, my heart...

4. It's not often I can show you a virtual before and after with two identical items (found separately - the internet is an amazing thing sometimes.)

You know I love gossip benches, phone stands, whatever you want to call them.

I especially love the curved wood on the phone stand part and the wavy slats on the chair back. This one is $60.
If someone is interested in trying their hand at a furniture project, I think this is a great place to start. You can easily recover the seat and wa-la... have something like this!

How cool is that?!

5. Find artists and people who love furniture as much as I do. I'm seeing more and more pieces that have already been transformed, listed on CL.
Since I do very few pieces that don't already have an owner or buyer, I think you should check them out.
People are getting out there, getting their hands dirty and saving pieces of furniture and they should be supported!  Just my two cents. :-)
Here are a few pretty finds I love.




If you're interested in finding a piece already done, search for things like, "painted" "upcycled" "restored" "vintage" "distressed" "waxed" or "refinished".  And remember, if you have a smartphone, use it to set up a search for those words, both in the Furniture and Antique categories, on a Craigslist app.
It will alert you when there's a match.  I find the app to be a great tool to help navigate a sometimes not-so-user-friendly, or organized, website.

That's all for this week. I hope you are staying warm and safe.

Have a great week!


PS - I'd love it if you shared this post wherever you are active online. Thanks!