Gold Dipped Drop Leaf Table Makeover

Over a year ago I bought this little number off of Kijiji. When I received it, the top had more damage to the veneer than I anticipated, and I knew it was going to take a big effort to update, so it sat… For over a year, until the right person just happened to notice it in this photo I posted on my Instagram.


You can hardly see it and it’s details on the left hand side of this photo but my customer had an eye for pretty things!

Here it is before I got to work, it really became a catch all in my garage… so neglected 😦


 I have never stripped veneer off of furniture before, but I knew it could be a challenge.  So I got out some high grit stand paper and a flat knife and began peeling.  I peeled with the knife what I could and oh how satisfying it was to peel off a big chunk of veneer, but there were moments where I fully had to sand down the veneer – two and a half later I had finished just the middle section! 😳
I missed taking pictures of this process, as I was fully focused on the grunt work.  But once I had it smooth and sanded, i moved onto sanding those legs.

I needed a break from the top, so after sanding down and prepping the legs I used my favourite gold spray paint and lightly added layers of gold, letting fully dry before each coat.  Once the spray paint had fully dried, i measured and taped off where I wanted the legs to be dipped to and began painting the rest of the base.  I primed each step with Zinssers stain blocker.  When you’re tackling really old furniture it’s almost a guarentee that it will bleed, especially if veneer is involved and your bright white colour (or whatever colour you’re using) will dry to have a gross yellow look to it – and no matter how many coats of paint, it wont go away.  So you’ll save paint, time and your sanity if you just use a primer/stain blocker from the get go!   The veneer was in really good condition on the actual drop leafs and since I was painting the whole thing I ended up leaving that veneer and just sanded it down.  Although I was using chalk paint, sometimes it’s still necessary to sand furniture.  I much prefer to sand down old surfaces to get the years of grease, and grime off rather than scrubbing it down!  During this process there were a couple edges that I had to fill with wood filler and smooth out, but that’s a much easier process than stripping the veneer!

Here’s a quick shot of the table flipped and the coats of the stain blocker and fat paint.  Being a drop leaf, I had to make sure the underneath looked just as pretty as the top!  I did end up lightly painting the hinges too, but just lightly so that they wouldn’t lock up.

Once I flipped her back over, i finished the table tops using a couple coats of stain blocker and a couple coats of Warm White Fat Paint.  I do use a synthetic bristle brush when using chalk paint – as a roller soaks up and wastes so much.  So I do end up with some brush strokes.  My secret to smoothing down brush strokes is using a slightly damp sanding sponge between coats.  Make sure your paint is fully dry before doing so, and lightly sand over your surface wiping as you go.  It creates such a nice buttery finish.  I used multiple coats of General Finishes Flat Top Coat on the entire piece.  It goes on so nicely and provides such a great top coat.  It’s my favourite!
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I had the table finished for a couple days and it was just hanging out in my garage before i could deliver it and I thought it needed a special touch.  So I used my Silhouette Cameo to add a special little pop inside the drawer.

Please ignore my terrible garage shoes – i’ve stolen them from my hubby – and they’re awesome and terrible lol.
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Now this wonderful piece is in it’s new home over at Greater Goods and it’s so perfect in this space.  It was such a pleasure to make something for them to display so many local pretties on!  This labor of love was 100% worth the work!!

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The Dirt on MudPaint

A few weeks ago I stumbled on the Instagram account @mudpaint.  I’m not even sure how I got there, isn’t that the crazy web that Instagram weaves!?  One follow leads to suggested users and clicking on hashtags and suddenly your liking a picture of a cat from a guy in Norway.  Anyways, I ended up checking out Mud Paint and was so excited to see their beautiful transformation pictures and was almost giddy when reading about their claim for better coverage and smoother finish than other furniture paint on the market.  I needed to get my hands on this paint!  So graciously they sent some from sunny California to pretty sunny (not as warm) Calgary, Canada.  As soon as my hubby got home I dusted off an old piano bench that I picked up from GoodWill a couple weeks ago and got to work!

I gave the top a light sanding as they suggest, but lIMG_1974et’s be honest, other peoples gunk freaks me out, especially when there’s crusty, old, stuck on gunk…. i just can’t handle it!  I guess the quicker option would be to wash it off but I just feel better hiding behind a sanding sponge, and it’s the best way to prep your piece so it works out!  So, I gave it a quick sand and THEN I wiped it down.

Here’s where I got a little excited.  The whole concept of just one coat on a piece of furniture kinda threw me for a loop.  I guess subconsciously I put on quite the thick layer.   It went on great and let me tell you the coverage was shocking.  Really just one coat gave amazing coverage, just like they claim.  I did touch up some brush strokes and likely didn’t wait the appropriate dry time.  Here’s a pic after the one and only coat plus a couple touch ups – as you can see I hadn’t even painted the bottom of the legs yet, I was that excited about the coverage.

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To my surprise – and let me be real – delight – as the piece began to dry the paint began to crackle.  This was super exciting to me, but also had me curious as to why, I didn’t expect it… thankfully it works for this piece, but I don’t think it was supposed to happen.  So I just carried on and went onto distressing and finishing the piece.

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Even before I began to distress the piece I noticed the smooth finish.  It wasn’t the same chalky, matte finish that most chalk paints have, this was smooth and only made smoother with my handy dandy sanding sponge!  Distressing was a dream.

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WhIMG_2061o doesn’t love a pop of colour?  I love a good ol’ drawer or compartment to sneak a little colour into a classic piece.  I painted the inside of the piano bench with some homemade chalk paint – a go to when I’ve found a pretty colour of flat paint in the clearance section of the paint store!
I have been in touch with the sweet people who sent me this glorious MudPaint to see if they had any idea of why we got this beautiful crackle and I’m pretty sure that it has a lot to do with my eager beaver thick coat of paint I put on theIMG_2062 piece.  A quick solution would be to lightly sand and reapply a thinner coat, but I decided to leave the crackles on this piece!  I have a piece lined up to give another go with a more of a conservative coat planned.  I’ll keep you all posted on what becomes of that!

Long story short….ish…. I’m super happy with this paint!  I wasn’t sure if I could believe all the claims, but the coverage – amazeballs, and the finish – smooth as butter!  The customer service has been great too!  Thanks so much MudPaint, I can’t wait to get my hands on Charcoal Black next!!!

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The Push

 

This past weekend I was a part of my second market and it was so much fun… and by so much fun i mean so terrifying, so exhausting, so awesome, so exhilarating, and so worth all the nervousness and hours upon hours of preparation.  I like to equate being a part of a market like pregnancy/childbirth.  Now stay with me.  When you first decide to be a part of a market isn’t it so exciting!?  You have all of these happy thoughts, “oh this is going to be so much fun!.”  you think about how pretty your booth will be, all the “oohs and aaahs’ as people dote over your precious pieces.

Then reality sets in, time to get to work, you’ll have a sore back – you’ll need help putting your socks on because you’re too sore to bend over.  There will be lots of sleepless nights as you plan what needs to be done, list upon list that result in never ending trips to the hardware store.  You’re hubby is constantly waiting in the wings – not for late night ice cream runs, but for “hey can you help me move this dresser” calls, or “babe, can you just pick up some painters tape on the way home?” type of moments.

As the big day begins to approach people will look at you and notice the paint in your hair that hasn’t been washed in 4 days and your chipped nail polish with a sweet smile and say with sincere sympathy, “how you doing?  You ready for the big day?”  and you just smile and nod and try to hide the fact that you’re freaked out.  There will be thoughts that will enter your head like, “there’s no way i can pull this off”, “how is one person supposed to be able to do this”, “I’m in too deep now, there’s no way out”.

Then the big day has come, the day of the market.  You’ll have been up all night before, and up super early, lucky to have caught maybe 4 hours of sleep when everyone has been telling you to make sure you get a good sleep – thanks tips.  You try not to think too much about what’s to happen, just head down and it’s time to push.  It’s time to set up, it’s time to work, it’s time to show the world what you’re made of.  It’s a long day, has it’s ups and downs, people will come and buy your stuff (this is unlike childbirth, don’t sell anyone your baby, no matter how much they offer!) others will walk away and scoff, and murmur under their breath about how they could do that.  And you just have to smile and be proud of what you’ve done.  Others may have done it differently, people will have opinions but you did YOUR best, and you did it YOUR way and YOU are superwoman!  Be proud of what you’ve accomplished.  Now the end part of actually giving birth is totally a million times better, bringing home my beautiful baby boys were the best days of my life.  But let me tell you, bringing home what was a fully packed trailer as a near empty trailer is a pretty awesome feeling too.

Being a part of a market is a big deal for me, if you haven’t noticed.  I’ve met vendors who do these things ALL the time.  These people are amazing.  One day maybe I’ll be that person, maybe when both my boys are in school and life looks a little different.  But for now, one or two a year is exactly what i need to push myself, be challenged, to freak myself out a little, and to grow.  You learn a lot about yourself when you push yourself, some things are things I know I need to change, some things are things that build my confidence in my ability, either way I’m learning good things come from the push.  The push can be hard, painful and scary, but without the push you wouldn’t know what you’re capable of, it’s always worth it.  Don’t be afraid to push!


What a Year

Well it’s been a while…. My bad. I was talking with my friend Dee who is a great blogger recently and have concluded that the reason I have such an off and on relationship with blogging is I crave for my posts to be meaningful. Not that furniture reveals aren’t but truthfully at the core of who I am I am moved by real life transformations. I think that’s why I love the idea of unwanted, unloved furniture that has been given love and attention and being turned into something full of potential and worth.
I’m still a little unsure of how I will merge the two, and sometimes I might not, I just know I need to get back on the blogging wagon. Writing has always helped me think clearly and understand myself more so as much as this blog is for you it might be a little more for me too :).

Getting to it. 2014 was huge for me. In moments it felt slow, others zoomed by (mostly that of which included my kids, how are they so big!?), I jumped into this small business thing – somedays with a lot of hesitations and insecurities but the saying is true – fake it til you make it. Anytime it came to pricing a piece that I poured my heart and soul into I would freak out, I would harass my friends and ask them what I should charge…. I just desperately needed someone to affirm that what I was doing was worth something! It was about halfway through the year that I was preparing for my first vintage market – it felt way too big for me to take on, I felt like I was in way over my head, I cried a lot (which lets be honest, is how I express every emotion), sure that I had set myself up to fail – after all I hadn’t even BEEN to a vintage market! It wasn’t until the day before the market that I did a mock set up and my stress had lifted. I did it! I was ready. The market was the most incredible experience. I felt so supported, so encouraged…. So capable…. I had faked it until I made it…. I suddenly had this confidence in my ability.
Isn’t that how life works. It’s in the trials, the moments of darkness, when you feel the most alone, when you feel challenged and insecure but have no choice to keep moving, keep going forward, and then suddenly you come out of it, stronger, braver and more alive. More aware of what you can actually do and accomplish! I wouldn’t change those tears for anything, those moments of “what did I get myself into!?” for anything. I took a risk, it freaked me out, but I pushed through and gained more than I knew I ever would!

Here are a couple pictures from the first official year of Inspired Findings! And here’s to bigger risks and opportunities in 2015!

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Chevron Side Tables

A month or so ago a family friend gave me these beautiful tables that she just had sitting in her basement so of course I took them off of her hands! I’ve been wanting to get more practice painting, and refinishing furniture and what better way to try it out than with free furniture! It also helps that we have family who own a paint store so the discount makes experimenting a lot easier and more fun!

A thought that’s been floating around in my head lately is “if it’s worth dreaming then it should be worth the risk.” I know painting some furniture isn’t really a huge risk, but there are dreams floating around in my head that make the small risk of practise painting some furniture a step towards making dreams reality. It’s exciting and terrifying, but fear of failing or not trying because it’s scary isn’t an option anymore… Life is just too short to let fear stop me.

So back to the tables :) here are the beauties. I love anything with pretty curved legs, it just adds so much character! Being a mama of two busy boys, these sat around in my basement while I dreamed up what kind of facelift they would get!

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I’m on the chevron bandwagon, I want everything to be either minty/turquoise or have a chevron print on it… I’ve learned though, it’s one thing to love chevron, it’s another to create it! It’s not easy friends! So out came the Frog Tape and tape measure and voila! (I posted this photo and had quite a few people thinking I painted a green chevron on the tables…. Lol, I’m not that out there people!)

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Then the moment of truth… I had never used frog tape, but I just gotta say, A-MAZING! Look at these sharp lines! I’m sold!

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Then of course, I needed to rough up all those sharp lines and smooth paint! I’ve had a small amount of experience with distressing furniture, but like I said, I am learning! I was so nervous to break out my sander. I used my electric sander (a Dremel with a sanding attachment). I love it because it has 10 different settings so for nervous distressers like me you can start out slooooow. I definitely felt like an artist when I was distressing these tables. I just wanted it to be perfect: not too distressed, but not plain looking. I was kind of freaking out thinking that I did too much, but after I took a few hours away and came back IN LOVE!

Here’s le produit fini! (You may notice on the table on the left under the tabletop two yellow marks, I filled a couple holes and have yet to paint over… Just thought I’d fill everyone in incase you were wondering!)

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