Category Archives: Before & After

Before & After: the one where I’m like “eh”

Hi there – another project to share with you today. I’ll admit right up front that I’m not super happy with this one…I don’t think it’s bad, but it’s not as exciting to me as my first project was. I think this is just sort of a dull project…how’s that for selling it? Anyway, here’s where we started:

That’s not a great picture, but you get the idea. This is one of the pieces we picked up at the Habitat For Humanity ReStore a few months ago, for just $20! Our plan is to use this on our back porch (which is screened) to house the stereo we have out there. To get started, I took off the doors and removed the drawer, then gave it all a light sanding. I wasn’t trying to remove the original finish, just wanted to rough it up a tiny bit before painting.

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) again for this project, starting with the new Graphite color that I recently ordered. My plan was to cover it with the Graphite, then go back over it with my new Aubusson Blue, and then distress it so that the Graphite showed through here and there. So I got to it, covered the body with Graphite, then Aubusson Blue…and then I just really wasn’t too sure about it.

The picture above is really just to show the contrast between the two colors. The doors, drawer, and bottom of the table are still just painted with Graphite, and the body of it shows the extra layer of Aubusson. I think the Aubusson is a very pretty blue…but I just really didn’t like it for this piece. I did really like the Graphite by itself, though. SO…I painted another coat of Graphite over the body and went from there. I did decide that I wanted to draw attention to the trim details on the doors, so I painted them with the Aries color of ASCP that I sampled with my last paint order. Here’s a shot right after I painted them, before distressing:

(Sorry for the differences in lighting between these last 2 pics…I really need to work on my photo skills for a while.)

From this point, I got to work on distressing…I ended up sanding the Aries paint down quite a bit to reduce the contrast of the yellow. I also used some dark wax on the doors to give them some age. On the rest of the table, I did some sanding to get some bare wood showing on the edges, then went over it with clear wax. You can also see some Aubusson Blue showing through here and there…which I’ll admit was not intentional, and was really just a result of having really bad lighting in my workspace so that I didn’t see those spots until after I was done. I was too lazy to fix those, so there ya go. I am not a role model! Anyway…here’s where I landed:

I picked up the new hardware at Lowe’s, except for the hinges – those are the original ones, just painted with Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. I really like the new hardware…but I am thinking about going over the yellow on the doors again, with some watered down Graphite or something…I think I just want them a bit more muted.

Oh, I also put a coat of polyurethane over this whole thing, since it’s going outside. I only did one coat, even though 3-4 coats were recommended. I did this 1) because I’m lazy and impatient, and 2) because I was worried about it giving a shine to the piece (even though I did use a satin poly), and I don’t want this to look glossy. We’ll see how that one coat of poly holds up. Fingers crossed!

So, in summary, we went from here:

to here:

Whatta ya think?


Before & After: Framed.

Remember this lovely framed picture I picked up from Goodwill a few weeks ago?

I did stuff to it!

I started with a base coat of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Old White, just to get rid of that awful beigey tan.

Then I broke out my as-yet-untouched chalk paint – Antibes Green. [dramatic music]

That is really green, and I love it! I decided, though, that I wanted to tone it down a bit for this project. I mixed some Antibes Green with some Old White to soften it…and, well, I really just ended up with mint green. I should have seen that coming. I went ahead with it, though, figuring I could then darken it with wax. Always thinking – that’s me(ish)!

I really love that little bead detail, or whatever we would call it. Anyway, I just did a light coat of the green, allowing the white to show through in spots, followed by a coat of clear wax. After the green paint and wax were dry, I grabbed my sandpaper and just started roughing up the frame. I tried to get into the little crevices between the beads where I could, and sanded the corners and both the inside and outside edges — just kept going until I felt like stopping. Scientific, that’s also me(ish). Then it was time for the dark wax! This time, I applied the dark wax with a cloth, rather than a brush…not for any specific reason. I think maybe I just felt like I could control it a bit better with the cloth. After the dark wax dried, I went back with a damp cloth and more clear wax to clean up any spots that felt too dark, and also to give the frame a final coat of shine.

This is what that got me:

I like it! It’s rough-and-tumble and not so minty as it started. I hung it on the wall for a few days just so I could decide if I was done with it or not — I had thought I might add another dry-brush coat of the true Antibes Green…but I decided I didn’t need it. I don’t intend to leave it on the wall, though, at least not as-is. I’m considering a few options for what could go in the frame…or I might decide to leave it empty and propped up somewhere. That’s all still to be determined. For now, though, yay me for a second finished project that doesn’t totally suck!! Go, Team Me!!

Before & After: my first time

Alright, buckle in. This is gonna be a long one. (heh)

Remember the $15 table we picked up in Staunton back in February? Well, look what I did to it.

Right!!?!? I am very happy with myself! 1) for actually completing a project that is covered by my to-do list for this blog…and 2) because it doesn’t suck, at least as far as I’m concerned! I really love how it turned out, and I can’t wait to find the perfect place for it and get it all accessorized up!

Now it’s time for the breakdown…not my breakdown, to be clear, but the breakdown of how I got from before to after. If you’re not interested in all the detail, then just go ahead and leave a comment about how awesome you think it is, and you can be on your way. 😉

A few weeks ago, Mister and I hit Lowe’s so I could stock up on brushes and sanding blocks and stain and tack cloths and this and that and some of the other thing. I then promptly deposited those items in the laundry room and went about my life. THEN — Hurricane Irene came along and took all my electricity. SO, on that Sunday, while I was hanging out at the house with no power, I decided to go ahead and just jump in! Continue reading