Friday, December 20, 2013

DIY Upcycled Painted Mirror: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and the Lesson I Learned

After my mother-in-law saw a few of the mirrors that I've been accumulating for future projects, she asked me to paint one of the mirrors that I had for her closet so that she can use it while getting ready in the mornings.

After receiving the dimensions of her available wall space, I asked if she liked the mirror below that I purchased at a yard sale for $5.00.

She loved it! However, before I picked a paint color, I asked her several questions while getting a feel for the look she wanted without revealing the color that I was intending on using after considering her responses.

After speaking with my MIL, I knew that Provence by Annie Sloan was the right color, but before I started painting, I wiped the mirror down with white vinegar and water (50/50) and let it fully dry before I began with the first coat.

As you can see, there was a lot of dirt to clean off.

I applied the first coat with a brush while trying to get into all the nooks and crannies. However, after that dried, I had to go back with a partial second coat while covering the missed spots in the groves.

When painting this mirror, I did not mix water with the AS chalk paint like I had with my first two projects; however, when painting my next ornate mirror, I will mix three parts paint to one part water for better coverage. I feel that not watering down this chalk paint caused it to go on a bit too thick while I lost some of the detail.

Overall, I still think that it came out beautifully, and my MIL loved it, so it was a total score! 

Since this project, I've purchased several more antique mirrors and have even saved a couple mirrors from the landfill while trash picking, so I will have 12+ mirror projects in my not-so-distant future to share with all of you.

Much Love!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

A sneak peek at some homemade holiday tags upcycled from last year's Christmas cards - by Priscilla 

Upcycle Christmas cards into gift tags: reuse, recycle, reinvent - Sustainable Decor

Upcycle Christmas cards into gift tags: reuse, recycle, reinvent - Sustainable Decor

Christmas tree on Christmas Eve: Sustainable Decor

Monday, December 16, 2013

Upcycled Pallet Coffee Table

A few weeks ago when we first started sharing our sustainable adventures online, Priscilla posted a picture on Facebook of one of my favorite DIY projects that I completed a few years ago:

My upcycled pallet coffee table

I had wanted to change out our old coffee table for something with more storage for books, magazines, and our laptops.  After perusing the local thrift stores and not finding anything that would work, I figured I might have to DIY a table – enter: Pinterest. 

With lots of inspiration (er, pinspiration) I came across the following pix:

Swoon worthy, right?!

I told my ever-thrifty sidekick (aka: Priscilla) that I was in need of a few pallets.  A week or so later, three, free, dumpster-bound, now-salvaged pallets showed up at my door (that girl Priscilla has some mad skills!) 

I read a handful of “how-to’s” – but not being one to follow directions, I just used the pictures from Pinterest as a guide.

Because I wanted two levels (allowing for 8 shelves: four shelves on one side for me, four shelves on the other side for Mr. MacGyver – my husband) I used two pallets for the table and one for spare parts.

I flipped one pallet over (the base) and set another pallet on top of it (the top).  Of course, being pallets and not perfect – I had to fill in the missing spaces with the spare boards from the third pallet.

Once I had the whole table figured out, I pulled out my handy-dandy hand sander and began sanding (80 grit to 100 grit to 150 grit to 220 grit)…Lots and lots and lots of sanding. 

After all the pieces were smooth, I primed everything (top, bottom, sides, inside and out) with Zinsser Water-based Primer.  After all was dry, I went over all the knotty areas with primer again to seal them in (FYI: over time, the primer has not stopped the knots from bleeding through the paint which kinda bothers me so I may at some point research how to fix this problem).

A day later, I lightly sanded and wiped down all the pieces and painted two coats of white paint (not sure which white, brand, or finish…sorry).

When all the pieces were dry, I assembled the table and nailed it all together matching the original nail lines on the pallets.  Once assembled, I used my hand sander again to distress the edges and then wiped the whole thing with watered down brown acrylic paint (my own version of antiquing) and quickly wiped off the excess.  I wanted a rustic and worn look but not too dirty or dingy.

Before attaching the casters, I had to fasten two extra boards on the bottom (double decker style) to reinforce the area where the casters would go (pallet wood can be very brittle and weak - third picture below, note the hairline crack on the bottom pallet). Oh and I orderedthe locking casters from Amazon. 

When it was all assembled, antiqued, and dry, I applied a light coat of Deft (non-yellowing satin brushing lacquer) to the top and as far inside the shelf cubbies as possible.  It’s not the most eco-friendly product but I needed something that wouldn’t yellow over time and would hold up to the use and abuse of a daily-used coffee table (read: propped up feet, many-a-meals eaten here, TV remotes tossed around, mail collection piled up, etc. etc.).

Here a few more gratuitous shots of our beauty…

This was an easy enough upcycled project that has more than earned its keep in our home.

Thanks for stopping by!



Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dipped Leg Chair: Upcycling Furniture with Chalk Paint

Completed chair in its new home!

This chair was the first furniture redo piece that I've sold, and I love the story behind it!

This past spring, I bought several pieces from a woman who was liquidating her shop.

Needless to say, I loved this chair in its raw form and was excited to give it a new life.

This past summer, I posted a picture of the chair on my Facebook page, and one of my friends asserted that she just had to have it. I told her that I planned on refinishing it, and she replied that if I planned to sell it after I refinished to please contact her. Cindy had no idea of my plans: stain vs paint, colors, et cetera.

So my project began...

Without any dialogue with Cindy regarding my plans for the chair, I started painting it with Annie Sloan Old White chalk paint.

I started with the intention of giving it a white washed look: 2 parts paint to 1 part water to get a white washed look.

As I was painting it white, my intuition screamed that it needed to be grey and not white!

As Lexie and I texted back and forth during my DIY project, she thought the white would look great but that grey would look good too. Since I couldn't continue with the white because the color did not feel right, I switched to Annie Sloan Paris Grey.

After I painted the entire chair grey and then waxed it after the paint dried, I lightly distressed it with 220 grit sandpaper.

I love how the white subtly shows through after I distressed the grey paint.

After I finished painting and distressing the chair, I thought that a dipped leg would complete it, and minutes after I thought about dipping one leg, Lexie suggested a dipped leg after I texted her a picture of the painted chair.

However, even with Lexie's encouragement, following my intuition took some time. I kept thinking, "What if Cindy doesn't like it?" "What if it doesn't come out the way I imagined."

After several weeks, I took the plunge (I took the plunge mainly because my youngest had developed a 11-week-long, head-to-toe rash that I recently realized appeared 2 hours after I started using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for the first time on 24 September 2013, so I felt the need to complete all the chalk paint projects and to get the chalk paint as well as the furniture painted with chalk paint out of my house).

Once the chair was completed with its Annie Sloan Duck Egg dipped leg, Lexie and I both loved it! After it was completed, I posted a picture of it on my Facebook page. When Cindy saw it completed, she said that she absolutely had to have it. She loved the chair with its dipped leg, and it matched her office decor perfectly (I have never seen the interior of her home so the outcome was completely serendipitous)!

When painting the dipped leg, I used Frog Tape to guarantee a clean line and then I brush on the paint below the tape. After the dipped leg was dry, I sealed the entire chair a second time with clear wax.

Not only do I love the story behind this chair and am so happy that this chair has an awesome new home, I also love the constant reminders from the universe for me to trust my intuition.

Much Love!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Craiglist Dresser Transformed Into a Beautifully Distressed Painted Piece

Craiglist Dresser Transformed Into a Beautifully Distressed Painted Piece of Furniture

Here's an upcycled painted dresser by Lexie.

Lexie scored this dresser on Craiglist for $50.00 and then planned out its new look. She knew that she wanted the hardware to blend in (vs leaving them their original tarnished brass color), but she didn't know how well the hardware would hold the paint...

Craiglist Dresser Transformed Into a Beautifully Distressed Painted Piece of Furniture

Lexie first sanded the dresser with 220 grit sandpaper and then wiped it down with water and vinegar (50/50) just to remove and extra dust and/or residue.

As for the hardware, she also wiped it down with the same cleaner, and to her surprise, not only did it take the paint well, her painted hardware is still holding strong.

Lexie painted this piece, both the wood and the hardware, with Olympic No-VOC paint in Swiss Coffee and then distressed it to complete the look: "I did lightly distress the edges of each drawer (there was some damage and missing detailed pieces) and a little distressing on the handles...not too shabby, but not too perfect)." 

This dresser happily resides in Lexie's home and follows her wherever she moves (she is currently moving for the second time in less than two years in the middle of her completing her graduate degree in Humane Education).

I personally love the final product, and I also love how she decorated the dresser with white distressed stacked mirrors and antique Ball jars. In my opinion, it not only enhances this piece, it also completes the look.

Wait until you get many more peeks into the rest of her house! Lexie's home is my getaway oasis!

Craiglist Dresser Transformed Into a Beautifully Distressed Painted Piece of Furniture

Thank you for reading our first post here at Sustainable Decor! We are pleased that you took the time to stop by and we hope that you plan to come back for more.

Moving forward, we decided that Lexie will be posting on Mondays, that we will alternate with Wordless Wednesdays where you will get an intimate peek at the decor in both of our homes, and I will be posting on Fridays.

We both are beyond excited to share our sustainable adventures with you and hope to see you soon!

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Much Love!

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