Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Finished! (well almost...)

It may have taken me longer than I thought, but it was worth all the time and work! I have a few little details to finish, but my house is put back together and the paint cans are put away for awhile. I'm not sure what my next project will be. Stay tuned...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

VBS Hangover

Vacation Bible School is over for 2011 and I am sitting at my computer this morning in a haze. I am tired. I am a little bit grouchy too if I'm honest. The good news is that it was worth it and that we had a great time again this year! Hopefully Houston and the kids will overlook my grouchiness this morning...

Aside from VBS, our house has been just a little bit crazy these past few weeks. First, I am almost finished with my chairs. They are painted and waxed. My last steps are distressing them with a hand sander and then sealing them. Right now they are parked in our front living room taking up space... which annoys me. Cleaning up that room will probably be what motivates me to finish them this week.

Houston has had a big project of his own the past few weeks. He's building us a new deck. It is looking really good, but I know he is tired of it. He has made a million trips to the lumber store, Home Depot, and the dump recently. We are leaving on vacation next Friday so we are both trying to get these projects done before then.

(Hiding from the camera as usual)

My van was also involved in a little incident... It actually wasn't my fault. The van was parked (legally). And I wasn't in it. Basically there is no way I can be blamed. I'm just making that clear since many of you know that I am not a good driver. So anyway, it's not a big deal that my car was hit, but it is frustrating that the repair place couldn't fit us in for over 2 weeks. So, I have been driving around with no side mirror. This is a pretty serious stretch for me because I like things to be taken care of and put together. Can you relate? Please tell me I'm not the only control freak out there?!!

Then there was this disaster...

(Cutest disaster I've ever seen!) She was grabbing handfuls of noodles, taking a tiny bite, and then dropping the rest on the floor. She is getting so very sassy as she gets closer to two.

And then yesterday came the golf ball hail. Crazy!

Good Times!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bennett Goes To Swim Lessons

My choice of title for this post makes me realize that I've been watching/reading way to much Curious George lately. But anyway, Bennett has been going to swim lessons every afternoon this week. His first day was Monday and he was not in a cooperative mood. He was all over the place spashing the other kids and not really listening. I think he was a little bit over excited about being in a new pool with new friends. Tuesday was a bit better and then Wednesday was a really good day. By yesterday he was getting his face underwater and very proud of himself. I think his last big obstacle is going to opening his eyes underwater. I don't know that he is a natural swimmer, but he is very brave and eager to learn. It also helps that his teacher has been great. I'm proud of my little man!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dining Room Table Redo

Have you missed me?! I have had some computer issues that have kept me from uploading pictures in the last few weeks. And what's a blog post without pictures really? I am so excited to post about my biggest DIY project to date...our dining room table! This table and chair set was a hand-me-down from my wonderful sister-in-law Melissa! It was a beautiful table so you may think I'm crazy for messing with a good thing. However, it didn't exactly fit my style in the dining room so I have been wanting to paint and refinish it for about 2 years now. I have been really nervous to take on this project myself because I have no training or expertise in this area.

A few months ago I realized that I would have the perfect window of opportunity to work on this project after my school was finished but Bennett and Olivia still had a few weeks left of preschool. I did a TON of research before getting started. I knew that I wanted a distressed look, but that was about it. It turns out there are many many ways to distress furniture. In my research I came across a product called Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint. It is wonderful! It bonds to the wood without stripping or sanding. This was huge for me since I knew I would have limited time to get it done.

I started the project a few weeks ago. I painted two coats of the base of the table. I got through one coat on the chairs before running out of paint. I ordered more paint and while I waited for it to come I started stripping the table top. I used a water-based stripper. It worked really well and I was able to leave the table in the house because the fumes were minimal. The stripping was time consuming. I painted it on then left it for a few minutes without allowing it to dry at all. Then, I scraped it off with a plastic scraper. After that I rubbed it down with steel wool and washed any leftover stripper off with water. Then came the sanding. I had a nice layer of dust all over the place by the time I was done. Next came wood conditioner, stain, then 3 coat of polyurethane with light sanding in between. THIS WAS NOT AN EASY PROJECT! It was seriously such a pain! I want to make sure that you know not to do this project unless you are prepared for frustration. But when all was said and done I was SO HAPPY with the finished project! For me it was worth all the time and effort because I accomplished my goal. I also discovered that I really enjoy distressing furniture and am hoping to start some new projects soon.

Back to the table...After painting the base, I used a mixture of brown and clear wax to lightly paint on. Then I used a hand sander to distress around the edges and create some worn spots. The last step is a clear wax over the whole piece.

The paint finally came in this week so the chairs are getting their last painting today. I am planning to distress them tomorrow. I want to have them done so that I can post the finished product next weekend. If you have any questions feel free to email me. I am no expert but could point you in the direction of some great resources. The chalk paint has to be ordered. It is a product that has been around in England for decades but is relatively new in the US.

At this point the only thing I had done was that little bit of paint on one base.

Painting chairs is tedious. Watch out for drips!

If mommy paints everyone wants to paint!

Here the table is stripped and sanded. The bases are completely painted.

The chalk paint can. Love this stuff! The color is called Old White.

My wax mixture was a little gross looking.

If you look close you can see that there is wax on the left part of this and no wax on the right. This is the effect the wax can give you. It's similar to wiping a stain on regular paint.

The table is finished except for the clear wax coating on the bases.