Color Splash {Fun With Spray Paint}

Hey everyone!

What have I been doing lately? Well…

Shocker of the century, I’ve been up to my spray painting ways again! With all the recent upgrades and projects completed on the deck, our sad plant stand looked out of place and worn down.

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Phew! Look at that rust! I’m sorry, little thing, for letting you get so badly rusted on our porch. But now you can see why it needed a bit of a facelift.

 

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Woof. I’m sorry plant stand, that’s just not a cute look.

 

Now you can see why this was a dire situation. The plant stand held all my beautiful pots for three years. I painted it white in our old place and just let it be, never touching up its paint or changing its color. This was a mistake. So now with all the new colors, she needed a little help. With some cleaning, scrubbing, and scraping, she looks so much better!

Quick tip: when painting an antique piece with rust, make sure to sand and scrape ALL the rust off before painting or priming. This will create a nice, smooth finish for your paint. It’ll also help your paint job last longer. If you paint something already peeling, your paint is bound to peel as well.

So after scraping and sanding, I got to painting. Because it was originally white and still had a pretty good coat in most places, I chose a Rust-Oleum “True Orange” can to cover the old color. See? Branching out! And man, oh, man…it sure is orange!

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Yowza! She is a bright plant stand now.

 

Before and after! What a change!

Before and after! What a change!

Bright? Yes. Upgrade? For sure. I’m so happy with how bright and perky it is. It goes really well with all the other colors on our porch. Plus, it forced me (FORCED I TELL YOU) to buy several more cans of spray paint and perk up some old terra cotta pots.

So many happy pots! So much to plant!

So many happy pots! So much to plant!

 

And I didn’t stop there…

I even painted some antique frames white to add to our collage wall that extends up our stairwell!

I even painted some antique frames white to add to our collage wall that extends up our stairwell!

 

Once I got started, I obviously couldn’t stop. But hey, at least I got a lot of painting projects done during this beautiful weather pattern! What do you think? Orange, neon green, blue, and yellow are all very bold choices…

 

XOXO,

Ashley

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Treasure Hunting 2.0 {Still Wish I Was a Picker}

Hi all! Long time no chat!

I’ve been super busy with the last few days of classroom set-up and the first few days of school, so I haven’t had time for much anything else. Thankfully, I’ve made it through the first few days alive and with enough energy to continue my quest for awesome finds. This week marked a special day for the place I love to shop/pick. They had what they playfully call “Market Days” this weekend and allowed new vendors to set up on their huge property. So not only did we have the awesome barns to hunt through, but there were over 20 vendors with beautiful pieces to drool over and possibly purchase all around us. Thankfully, the looming storms held off today, so it wasn’t a soggy treasure hunt (though it was DREADFULLY hot and sticky). Here are some of the highlights of the day’s picking.

 

I’m a bit owl obsessed…as you can see below:

Hootie hooooo! These three guys were super cute but something I feel like I could find at HomeGoods. Not as special as I was expecting from the Market Day sales, though I did love the ombre blue owl.

 

So obviously, this guy wasn’t for sale. But I snapped a picture to remember this idea! I’d love to paint some pumpkins really cool colors and then add a design or little owl guy to it for Halloween. This is definitely a future pinterest project.

 

Isn’t she adorable? I think she’d be a sweet addition to a children’s room or maybe a bathroom?

 

Look at the funny eyes! I can just hear their imaginary voices going, “whaaaaa?”  This print made me giggle a bit and I had to refrain from purchasing. I think they were only about $18, but I had no idea where I would put them and I think S would not like ANOTHER owl in our house.

 

And now to the real finds:

These awesome crates would be great on the wall in our family room. I can’t remember the price, because I was so taken with the cool aged paint, but I think they’re great.

 

Now, I know. You can see the price tag ($55). Ugh, an immediate ouch. I loved this little milk pale guy because of his cool distressed paint job AND his spout was big enough to hold a few things. I was thinking he would make a great umbrella stand for the front entry way? He’d go great with my ceiling medallions and blue accents. But alas, his price was too steep for me (though I loved him so).

 

I’m not sure how much this guy was but I was drawn to his geometric patterns. I’m pretty sure, in another life, he was a vent grate. But I think he would be a cool piece to use as a bookend (he was heavy!) or to hang on the wall with the vents open. He just needed a nice cleaning and a good home.

 

S and I have been actively looking for a bar to add to our downstairs family room, or as he likes to call it, his man cave. This one was a little…well a lot ugly, so it would need some help. But, the positive was that the price ($140) included the bar and two barstools. I’m considering emailing the vendor because it’s been there for many, many weeks. And if I offer a lower number, it would definitely become a project piece. Maybe a little stain? New fabric for the stools? I’m thinking that the bar could go as dark as my tables, leaving the top the same taupe color, and spraying the chairs a fun color. With some tweaking this could be a really great addition to the house! 

 

Isn’t she just adorable? I’ve been hunting for a stool to put in our entryway for the little desk under the ceiling medallions. We usually take off our shoes by the door and when we need to put them back on, there’s the awkward standing up slide on or all sitting on the stairs to get shoes tied. This way we’d have something to sit on instead of the awkward dance we do each time we need our shoes. Plus, she’s just super cute and needed NOTHING done! The paint job was fresh, the fabric on the seat was new, and she didn’t have any dents, dings or loose bits. Needless to say, she came home with me today.

 

Look at that upholstery! Ah-dore-ah-bulllllllllllll.

Market Day was super successful! It was HOT and crowded, but definitely worth it. See all these booths?! So many wonderful finds.

Look for the deals through all the people!

Not only did I get this cute little stool, but my mother also got some great priced antique dining chairs, which will be perfect for her new house when they’re cleaned up. Plus, the price couldn’t be beat for a set of four chairs. It ended up turning out to be about $15 a chair. No haggling necessary! Unfortunately, I didn’t snag a picture of them. I’ll be sure to try and sneak one the next time I’m at their house so that I can show you a before and after. She needs to reupholster them and rub the legs down with some Murphy’s Oil, but it’s definitely worth it.

After the Market Day experience, we headed over to the flea market that we enjoy visiting from time to time. The merchandise doesn’t typically turn over week to week, but a once a month visit is perfect. Sometimes the prices can be GREAT (like the $22 piano bench I’m still thinking about going back to get) or ridiculous ($700 for a couch), so you really have to look for a deal. Again, my owl obsession came into play.

This was a framed drawing that I immediately spotted. I was really tempted to get it because of it’s price tag ($8) but I didn’t end up taking it home and I’m regretting that decision. 

But then there were THESE!

What a great color! We don’t really use orange in our house, but I was reconsidering when I saw them. Plus the price was really reasonable ($25). But, sadly, they did not come home with me today. I hope they go to a happily painted home that can enjoy the greatness of that orange color.

The flea market ended up being a bit of a bust today, mostly because we were so excited about our finds at Market Day and I don’t think anything could have lived up to my benches and my mother’s chairs.

On our final stop of the day, we headed to the ReStore (Habitat for Humanity) store in downtown. Previously, I’ve scored some awesome chairs and other pieces for our house at a really good price. Today, however, we didn’t really find much. I found a set of nightstands/side tables that would ALMOST be passible for our bedroom, but I wasn’t sold on them so they stayed at the store. They were only $20 a piece, so $40 for the pair, so I may regret not getting them while I could. I did, however, scope out this beauty.

Polka dot, olive green, Queen Anne (ish) style couch? Cute!

She had really nice lines and was in great shape. I loved the little details in the woodwork, but I was more taken by her upholstery. It was still in great condition and funky up close.

The picture doesn’t do the color justice. It was the perfect shade of olive green and I wish I had a place to put it. Unfortunately, I had no home for it. But I do hope it goes to someone who will enjoy its dots forever!

Overall, this was a pretty successful day. It was a lot of fun, I saw some really great things and got some good ideas for the house. I wish I wasn’t so thrifty at times, I would have come home with so much more! But in case you’re wondering, Bea has found her new home and is settling in just fine.

Doesn’t she fit in well there?

Though she has created a bit of dilemma. Should I paint the desk now? Or do you think he’s okay as-is. I like the contrast of the color, but I also think he looks a bit bland with all the accessories, wall art, and now Bea the bench. What do you think? I’m thinking a cool shade of green…

 

XOXO,

Ashley

 

 

 

A Big Sigh of Relief {Finished Project}

It’s been a saga, an epic adventure of sorts. But I am happy to announce that the living room side tables and coffee table are finally finished. After several coats of polyurethane and some new hardware, they’re finished! They’re really done! No more sanding, staining, painting! I’m elated (and exhausted)!

These are the side tables, drying under the deck. Don’t they look amazing?!

No more awful damaged 1960’s varnish on the coffee table!

But I’m sure you’re sick of seeing these pieces out of their normal home. So here are a few peeks of them in their rightful spots in the living room.

Holding up our lamp (which I recovered with fabric) and the poker set. Looking good!

Hanging out next to Little Karl. Also looking good!

And, of course, the coffee table is approved by Truman.

 

Not only did this trio get an upgrade in color and stain, they also got a hardware upgrade. This is where I splurged a bit. I couldn’t bring myself to buy the ehhhh, okay handles that were several dollars cheaper (each) because I spent so much time making the tables look so nice! I liked that the handles actually echo the stacked detail on the legs of the tables and the louvers on the sides of the coffee table. It was like these handles were MADE for this project. Did I mention that they actually fit the existing holes so I didn’t even have to drill or fill holes?

New handles. See? The extra cost is totally worth the payoff.

So let’s look at the breakdown:

Sander– Borrowed from Jo (thanks!)

Sandpaper- $6.00, I went through an entire pack of handheld sander paper

Handsanding supplies- $10. This was for the hand-guide, paper, tack cloth, etc. that I used at my futile attempts to do this project by hand.

Stain and Polyurethane-$12 for a quart of stain and polyurethane

Hardware- $20. This is where I cringe a bit, because it could have been $15 or $12 if I had gone with the cheap handles, but I just couldn’t do it.

Total= Roughly $48

I think that’s a huge pay-off for under $50. We didn’t have to buy replacement furniture, I gave family pieces a new life in our house, and I’m happy with the product. Plus, I can now invite people over to ooh and ahh at my handiwork. What do you think?

 

XOXO,

Ashley

Slow Day {But Still Productive}

Hey all!

Today’s weather was not super cooperative, so I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked. I tried to clean a bit around the house and once I thought it was an appropriate time to head out and make lots of noise, I got to work. I sanded down the last side table and stained it to match the other side table and coffee table.

The last sucker to be sanded and stained. This is about halfway through sanding. 

Gosh, I really underestimated the difficulty of this project. Because the sanding takes so long, even with an electric sander, I was only able to sand and stain before the rain rolled in. Each piece takes well over an hour to sand, plus the time to stain and get all those little nooks and crevices. The side table today took over an hour and a half to sand (it was not my friend) and then the staining was about an hour as well.  I wasn’t able to polyurethane all the pieces like I had planned, so that will have to wait until tomorrow. But hopefully, weather cooperating, I will be able to fit that in to my list of tomorrow to-do’s.

They’re all waiting for poly…in our kitchen. Oy.

Do I sound a little whiney? It might be because I’m reaching that part in the summer where I realize it’s almost over. I’ll be back to teaching in a couple of weeks and it’s hard to believe that my break is finally over! Plus, my graduate school class starts tomorrow, so I’m really being forced back into the swing of things. Wow this summer did zoom by this year. BUT, happy moments! Happy news! Our cushion covers finally came in for our new loveseat.

Voila! Pacific blue! Sorry they’re a little crooked. I was just so excited to put them on and stick them on the loveseat, I didn’t pay attention to how the cushions were fitting. Plus, this is a great picture to see the side table that I also stained! Success!

Oh well, I’m just going to have to keep powering through this summer, checking things off of my summer vacation to do list. One last project at a time…

 

XOXO,

Ashley