Stuck to you like glue!

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I can’t express to you the time I spent on this bathroom.  Much of the delay was due to poor timing and personal things going on, but this bathroom was put on the Earth to haunt me.  I absolutely love this client, and she is so incredibly kind and flexible.  This bathroom needed a complete overhaul.  We decided to work with most of the pieces that were in the bathroom: the pre-existing toilet, vanity and tub.  We wanted to keep this project in expensive.  Here is what the bathroom looked like before:

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There was a very outdated wall medicine cabinet, with the old 1980’s light fixture, which needed to be removed to bring this bathroom up to date.  It was the first thing to come down!

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As you can see there is wallpaper…. everywhere.  This was both good and bad.  The Vinyl layer of the wallpaper came off very easily HOWEVER, the paper underneath was adhered to the wall with superhuman powers.  It was evident that they had used wheat paste, and the paper was put up 30 years ago….. needless to say the paper and glue would not budge.  It required A LOT of products, scraping, and sanding.  This prep work took up most of the time.  Another problem I ran into was the border that was laid on top of the wallpaper.  It was double duty at the top of the walls, and I had to be extremely careful not to ruin the edge that ran along the ceiling.

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Once the walls could breathe they were patched, washed, and ready to go, paint went up!  In order to pull in the grey tones of the toilet and tub, I chose Benjamin Moore “Timberwolf,” pictured below.  It was important that we used the kitchen and bath brand of Benjamin Moore to reduce mildew build up on the walls.

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Timber Wolf is a very popular color by Benjamin Moore, and works well with a variety of color tones.  Since the baseboard looked quite old, I thought it was best to paint the baseboard the same color as the walls.  This allowed it to have a facelift of its own and it also blended in with the wall, which made it less of an eyesore.

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The vanity was in excellent shape, and its countertop worked well with all of the colors.  I thought it would be best to paint the vanity to give it a new look.  For this I used Annie Sloan chalk paint “Graphite.”

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I actually HATE this image (above) because it is not a black.  It actually has a lead pencil look to it.  This image has it coming across as black.  Here is what it looked liked once I painted it, used a sealant, and new hardware:

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So there you have it.  Issues aside, the bathroom came out great, and the client was happy!

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“Rock A Bye Baby”

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A new client (who found me through Google… very exciting!) reached out to me to help her with some pieces for her babies nursery.  She has two boys, and this time around she is having a girl, and she wanted to make the room special.  She found an incredible dresser that she wanted to serve as the changing table, and down the road would also function as a regular dresser!  She already had a rocker and ottoman, that was an espresso color, and wanted it painted an antique white.  The color combination for the nursery is precious- antique white, a soft gray and a peach color.  Here are the colors she chose:

Benjamin Moore Farmers Market: 054

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Sherwin Williams Alabaster: SW 7008

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The glider was in really great condition.  It took a long time to sand because of all the spindles and different angles, but it didn’t put up too much of a struggle.  The paint had no problem adhering to the surface either.  Once painted, here is what the piece looked like:

My client’s Mother-In-Law made cushions with a beautiful damask pattern to compliment the color of the dresser.  Here is the rocker all dressed up:

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The dresser on the other hand, was in rougher shape, but that is expected considering its an older piece.  It had lots of little dings and bangs in it, and it had a very heavy varnish on it.  It was very glossy.

Because of the finish on it, I knew that the paint wouldn’t adhere well (regardless if it was a high quality paint and that it had a primer in it).  I decided it would be best to sand the entire piece down to the bare wood.  It was a struggle, but I definitely made the right choice.  I removed the hardware, and put them aside.

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I wanted to keep the interior of the drawers wood, so I (very creatively) wrapped the base of the drawers with plastic bags and secured them with painters tape… yes yes, I know, that’s pretty brilliant!  On the inside I taped off the holes from the hardware so paint would be sprayed through.

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My boyfriend and I brought the pieces to my client and set them up in the baby’s nursery. They really came out beautiful.  I encouraged them not to paint the hardware.  We left them as they were, which was a great choice because the hardware really is timeless.

 

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The Bathroom From Hell

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There is always that one renovation that sucks the soul out of you.  Well yeah, I just finished one.  My client is one of the most wonderful people I have ever met, and this is one of the bathrooms in her house she has asked me to fix up.  It was a half bath with wallpaper, how hard could it be?  Here is what the bathroom looked like before:

Well I don’t know WHO put the wallpaper up but it was NOT budging.  I tried EVERYTHING.  I tried scoring and softening with downy, I tried special products, I scraped.  Best of all, this was happening during Christmas time, which is my most favorite time of the year.  I found myself crying and scraping at the same time…. ok maybe thats a bit dramatic, but I wasn’t happy.

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What should have taken me 1 day took me 4 days, and I was still left with this.  Ironically, it looks like a tornado, and I found humor in that.

I decided to call local paint and wallpaper stores because I have never been faced with this before.  They suggested I use a hand sander with 60 grit and just destroy the vinyl surface.  From there I could use downy and it started to peel…. THANK GOD.  It was a two step process.  I had to sand, spray with downy, and peel the vinyl, and then spray and peel the paper.  Of course there was still residue, so I took a bucket and filled it with warm water and TSP.  Washing down the walls with the TSP cut right into the remaining glue and I was able to scrape it off.  Finally the walls were clean.

 

I patched old holes and sanded….

Finally, finally, finally…. I was able to paint!!!  Paiting is the easy part.  The color my client chose was “Chocolate Pudding” by Benjamin Moore.

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When I was finished painting I put a nice fresh polyurethane on the woodwork to brighten it up!  There were days that the bathroom won the battle, but in the end I won the war!  Here is the finished product:

Mix & Match

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Well this turned out to be quite the project.  It all started when I saw a piece of furniture on the side of the road, and like every good junker I was like “I have to have this!”  My father came and met me, he looked at me like I was crazy, we loaded it up and headed home.  It was missing half of its doors.  Here is what it looked like:

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So I had a pretty genius idea….. I like the way the dresser looked  with out the doors.  The drawers on the inside were unique and I thought “hmm… maybe I can refinish this dresser with out the doors!”  I had to start sanding the piece.  It had this plastic chipping all over the place, almost like it was a sealant coat on it.    I was able to sand it down to the bare surface.

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Once it was sanded, I patched up all the door hinges etc….

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The piece was ready to go, but what next? I knew this dresser was going to have a much more simple look.  I decided to do a two tone.  The drawers are a light creamy yellow, and the frame of the dresser is a light gray.  Here is the finished product withsome light distressing.9

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Book Worm Bookshelf

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Hello all! I have been finishing furniture and posting things on Facebook, but it has been a while since I blogged about a recent furniture piece.  I thought this recent custom order would be perfect to share!

A client was looking for a specific sized book shelf that had glass enclosures and was NOT something from Ikea….  After some hunting on Craigslist, I managed to find the, a knock off of a barrister bookshelf.  It looked just like an authentic one, and once it was refinished you would never know the difference!!  The backing on the piece was flimsy cardboard with a seam running down the middle.  It did not support the bookshelf at all.  I knew I would replace the piece with a story piece of ply.  Here is the piece with the back removed, sanded and ready for paint.

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It was easiest to remove the glass in order to spray the entire bookshelf.  It was a little tricky since the shelves folded up and inside, so I had to position the shelf in so many different positions to make sure all areas were covered with paint.

Once the piece was completely painted, and sealed, and the glass back in the case, I put the new solid wood backing on it.  Instantly the entire bookshelf was supported and sturdy.

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Here is the finished product!  Pretty close to an original barrister?

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The client found hardware from Anthropologie, and they were the perfect finishing touch!

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Mad Hatter Tea Party

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Wow, it has been a while.  The winter was extremely difficult, and I had no place to do any work!  Spring is here, and summer i’m going to go nuts doing work!  It was also my first year of teaching, and that proved to be quite difficult to do both.

Anywayyyyy.  I completed this really awesome custom order.  My client wanted to spice up her dining area.  She had a table with a bench on one side, and wanted chairs around the table to be all different.  There were five dining chairs, each one a different color, and we mixed and matched patterns.  The sixth chair will be used for a side chair.

My client went to a salvage/antique shop and picked a bunch of different chairs.  They were covered in lacquer, and took forever to sand down.  Here is one  of them prepped and ready to go!

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When I was ready to paint, I came home one day, and found my paint sprayer hose chews, and when I took a closer look I saw that the cord had been chewed.  My lovely dog Prima must have had a meltdown because she chewed it up! Good thing it wasn’t plugged in.  The shoe is in there just for good measure.

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So I had to buy a new paint sprayer, which set me back a bit.  I decided to try a new brand- Black & Decker, and I actually really like it.

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It allows me to have a lot more control over the flow of paint, it is super easy to clean, and the price was on the lower end of sprayers.

Each chair needed a new piece of wood for the seat, new foam, and obviously upholstered.

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Once assembled, here is how they came out, pretty cool I think!  Here is the purple chair:

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Here is the yellow chair:

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Here is the orange chair:

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Here is the green chair:

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Assembly row:

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Turned out to be a very cool collection.  I can’t wait to see what it looks like at her kitchen table!

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“HOOSIERVILLE”

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For those of you who DON’T know, and it’s ok if you don’t, but Hooverville’s were little shanty towns made by homeless people during the Great Depression.  The poor conditions that came with the Great Depression and it’s affect on the people, and the development of these shanty towns blamed President Hoover, hence the name “Hooverville.”  Ok, so what am I getting at?  This custom order I worked on is a “Hoosier” cabinet, but was in such AWFUL condition, I thought I would do a little play on words and call it “Hoosierville” clever, right? I thought so.

Anyway- this is what I was working with:

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Ultimately, the whole thing needed to be reconstructed.  All I had to work with was the frame.  Even in the pictures above, there are pieces of fresh wood that my father and I cut and placed in it.    We cut a new top, new sides, new shelves:

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Other repairs needed to be made as well.  The underside of the base was missing one of the ornate pieces.  My dad and I traced the other, and skill sawed a replica. (those are my dad’s hands by the way! haha not mine!)

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Alright, the piece has been rebuilt at this point, and was ready for paint.  the doors were a different color the the frame, as requested by the customer.  I suggested that since the piece was so old not to replace the hardware because the holes would NEVER line up the same.  Instead I sprayed them.

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A lot of love and labor later…. I have to say the piece came out incredible.

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