Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Chair Affair Part 1

People often ask if I have a favorite project.
And I do.
It's always the one I'm currently working on!

Right now,
my favorite project is one for my Mother
who mentioned she'd like to add two small chairs
 to her sunroom.
She hoped to find chairs similar
 to the ones she'd had years ago.
( I think we kids may have ruined her chairs 
by poking our fingers in the caning.)

A few months ago I found these.
Not so lovely, but oozing potential!

This week I stripped away the old fabric
under the watchful eye of Seamus, the cat,
who was intrigued by every staple that fell into the
trash basket.

It was a slow process.

Finally, both chairs were freed from the1970s
and ready for a new beginning.

Isn't it amazing what fresh paint
and a little distressing can do. 

You can see that the two chairs don't match,
but by painting them the same color 
their differences will vanish, 
especially when the fabric goes on.

Actually, that's a painting tip worth remembering --
use color to unify mis-matched pieces of furniture.

Ann-Marie at Twice Lovely
offers a great example of how this works.

Wouldn't you love to have these chairs?

The hunt for fabric began. 
But no luck finding just the right color green,
....of the type of pattern.
That's when I decided to paint my own.

More on that later.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Toy Boxes

When it comes to kids and their stuff,
There's never enough storage.

Toy boxes make terrific gifts. 
 And if they're painted and personalized,
they're even nicer.

These boxes were made by a local cabinet company
 and I had the fun of painting them.
Gracie's box is sweet,
 just like the little one who uses it.

And Francesco's toy box features a clever
alphabet font that has an image
attached to each letter.

If you'd like to use this font for one of your projects,
you can download it here.

I had a template made of Francesco's name,
using the alphabet font,
and painted it with "Rub-and-Buff."

Then, to give the letters a bit of dimension,
the right side of each letter was shaded
with a fine line of Burnt Umber.

This toy chest is also painted very simply.
Each side has a sheer plaid design 
that allows the wood grain to show.

Did you know that they can be purchased in a roll
and every fifth nail head accepts a tack
 that secures it to the wood?
You don't have to nail each one individually! 

Each of these toy chests was given to a baby,
but the chest can be used for years --
and may be passed down to the next generation someday.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Painted Oak Cabinets

Oak cabinets were popular twenty years ago, but today, they're stale.

My client loved her new granite countertops, but not her dark oak cabinets.
 The  cabinets were very good quality,... just tired, and they made the room seem dim.
(forgot to take the "before" photo, again!)

Initially, she wanted white cabinets, but chose Sherwin Williams Believable Buff (SW 6120)
because it related to the room's hard surfaces.
Once again, paint worked its magic.  The room looked brighter and fresher instantly.

If you're planning to paint oak cabinets or furniture, remember that oak has a definite grain.
When it's painted, that texture still remains on the surface of the wood.

If you choose to glaze the entire cabinet, the wood grain will magically reappear!
This wasn't what we wanted, so only the profile of the doors was enhanced.

Brush the glaze on, then wipe it off,  leaving just enough color to accent the profile of the door.

My client was delighted with the change, and hurried off to select new hardware for them.
Once the new tile backsplash is installed,  she'll have a "new" kitchen.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Design for a Cause

Not long ago, I helped my friend Sherry
who was in the midst of working on an amazing project. 

A  team of volunteers from her church built a new home for a local family,
 and just as in the TV show "Extrme Make-Over Home Edition",
it would be accomplished in one week!  

Sherry chose to design the master bedroom
and I was thrilled to help by painting some furniture. 

So a tired oak chair went from bland.... beautiful with some new fabric and a little paint.

A cast-off headboard buried against the back wall of a junk store.....

....was transformed with Sherwin Williams - Anew Grey.

Sherry's custom pillows gave an elegant look to purchased bed linens.
The blue and taupe color scheme is so restful and serene. 

 Thank you Sherry for letting me play a small part in this worthy project.
I know the family is going to love their new home. 


Sunday, July 1, 2012


What girl doesn't like diamonds?

Actually I was thinking of the painted kind.

They're a classic design
that elevates any room's style
whether you place them on all the walls ...

Better Homes and Garden

....or just one.

Better Homes and Garden

With a little planning,
a little mathematics,
( don't panic, it's easy!)
a little patience,
oh, and a lot of tape,
you can paint them in your room.

Do you want to try it?
Then, let's walk through the steps,
using a wall I painted this week as an illustration.

1.  Decide on a shape and size.
Will the height of the diamond equal the width,
as in the black and white bathroom above?


will they be enlongated,
like the yellow nursery photo?

For my project we chose the enlongated kind,
twice as long as wide.

3.  Measure the wall's length,
and then make things easy on yourself.

Example:  The wall is 12 ' 2" long.
Keep it SIMPLE -- make each diamond 12" wide.
There will be 12 of them.

But what about the last 2"?
By making the last four diamonds 1/4" wider,
the 2" will disappear with nary a trace.

4.  Measure the wall's height.
If we use 12" wide diamonds,
and we want enlongated diamonds,
the ideal height would be 24".
But the wall is 88" high.
Again keep it SIMPLE.
Make four rows of diamonds, 22" tall.

Enough math!

5.  Get out the tape and your ruler and level.
If you've got a laser level - oh yes, use it.
But a carpenter's level works just as well.

Mark the width and of the diamonds
keeping the points in line and level.

and start taping....
and taping....
and taping.

As I work, I put a piece of blue tape inside the shapes
to remind me where to paint.

6. Cut away the extra tape.

7.  Then grab your paint and GO!

After all that taping,
the painting part goes very fast!
And when you pull off the tape,
you'll be delighted with the result.

For this little girl,
I added her name over her bed, too.

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