Tuesday, August 30, 2011

playing with paint

In preparation for turning our dated second hand buffet into a super cool master bath vanity with a driftwood finish, I decided I had better play with some paint. I didn't want to practice on the buffet, so I used free hardwood flooring samples as my guinea pigs.

I started by using a liquid deglosser. Since the buffet has a wood veneer finish, I plan on sanding only very, very lightly. I think the deglosser will give the paint a little extra oomph to stick. Zinser primer will help as well!

I used three tones of paint: very pale gray, medium gray, and darker brown gray (official fancy names at the end of the post). For the first sample, I started with the darkest shade, painted in on, waited 20 seconds, and rubbed it off with a rag.

For the sample number 2, I used the darkest shade again, in one thin coat, and did not rub any of it off.

For sample number 3, I used the lightest shade in one thin coat, and did not rub any off.

Sample number one received a second coat, this time with the middle shade of gray. Again it was brushed on and rubbed off with a rag.

Samples two and three both received coats of the middle shade of paint.

Here's sample two with with second coat of paint rubbed off.

And here's sample three. Note that the paint was not sticking very well to this sample. It was very glossy to start with, and I should have used a second coat of deglosser on this one!

To finish sample one, I brushed on the lightest shade of gray and rubbed it off with a towel. The color was much lighter than what I wanted, so I took a tiny bit of the darkest paint on a dry brush and used that over the top. 

I did the exact same thing to sample number two.

For sample number three, I brushed on the darkest shade of gray and rubbed most of it off with a towel.

So what did I learn from my painting party? I love the "grain" of sample number one. Dry brushing with minimal paint is the way to go if you're looking for a rustic, weathered finish. However, I like the color tones of number three the best. So, my plan of attack for painting the buffet? 1. Sand, 2. degloss, 3. prime, 4. lightest shade of paint (valspar tempered gray), 4. medium shade of paint (valspar aspen gray), 5. darkest shade of paint ( valspar seine) (all dry brushed over the primer), and 5. a coat of clear sealer.

As soon as the summer humidity says goodbye, I'm going to throw on my painting clothes and get to work!

Have you every created a faux finish?


Monday, August 29, 2011

Flavor of the week: Comments

Happy Monday, blog world! This flavor of the week may turn out to be a bit of a pot stirrer - we shall see! If you have a blog of your own, there's a good chance that you love comments just as much as I do. There is just something incredibly encouraging about working hard on a post and receiving some validation from your readers that they are glad you took the time to post.

Not only are comments encouraging, but they can also lead to great reader/blogger interaction. When I blogged about a debate at our house on whether or not Santa gift wraps, it led to a super fun, silly, and enlightening discussion in the comments. I would so much rather my blog feel like a conversation than a soliloquy!

Because I love comments so much, I want to make it easier for you to share your thoughts. I decided to remove the word verification for comments. This makes me a little nervous because I do not want to be spammed with ads for prescription drugs and enhancement products, but hopefully all will be well! I also plan to try to respond to all questions within the comments. If you would rather me reply back to you directly, just leave your email or blog address. I can't access my blog at work, but I do plan to respond to all comments within 24 hours. I've also been thinking that it would be fun to feature the blog of one commenter per month, because don't we all love finding new blogs to love?

While I'm talking about comments, I had to share a few of my favorites.

I love this comment because Mrs. Nepper knows me so well! And yes, I have to have a beautiful red front door!

I die for a ruffle too, Selina!

This has to be my favorite comment of all time. I spewed tea out my nose when I read it!

Finally, if you've ever been targeted by a blog troll and received a nasty comment, you have to check out the new blog my favorite hate mail.

And before I go, a question for you: What makes you decided to take the time to comment on a blog post?


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dream House: week four

It was an exciting week for the dream house. First, The basement/garage floor got a layer of gravel and some metal framing.

Then we had and earthquake. Our mailing address is Mineral, so technically the epicenter was in our home town, although we live 20 miles away. The builder was actually on the way to the construction site when the earthquake happened, so we didn't have to wait long to find out that everything made it through without any structural problems. The Roost, on the other hand, has a two new Sheetrock cracks and one less piece of vintage milk glass, not bad at all compared to the pretty awful damage in the actual town of Mineral.

Later in the week, they poured the floor, and we had about four aftershocks.

AndThenWeHadAHurricane. We have a lot of downed limbs, that thankfully did not hit anything other than the ground, but no major damage.

Really, this was not the best week natural disaster-wise. Although the weather slowed down the construction, we now know that we have a very solid foundation. How many homes have survived an earthquake and a hurricane (in the same week!) before they even have walls?

Here's hoping for a very calm, boring week with lots of progress!

Any exciting earthquake and/or hurricane stories?


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mod shoes

One of my very first pins on Pinterest was to this tutorial for mod podge shoes. I finally found the perfect shoes to cover in fabric, so I had to try it out!

You will need old flats, Outdoor Mod Podge, fabric, scissors, and an xacto knife.

Start by draping fabric over your shoes to determine the amount you will need to cover them. Trim the fabric so you have a little extra all around the edges of the shoe.

Cut a slit from one end of the fabric up to where the toe of the shoe starts.

Cover the shoe with mod podge a few small patches at a time and smooth the fabric down. I founded easy to start with the toe and work my way around to the heel.

When you get to the heel, fold one end of the fabric over and glue on top of the other edge so you have a clean seam down the back of the heel.

Now it's time to fold the extra fabric inside the shoe. Cut a few triangle slits into the fabric so it will fold under easily. Use mod podge to secure.

Let the shoe dry. Once dry apply a thin top coat of mod podge.

When that is dry, use an xacto knife to carefully and firmly trim the remaining excess fabric next to the sole.

Finally, apply a final coat of mod podge over the top of the shoe.

This whole process was much easier than it sounds but I do have a few tips:
- let the glue dry thoroughly between each coat.
- do not attempt this during high humidity. It took my glue forever and a day to dry.
- pay close attention when gluing the fabric next to the sole. Press extra hard here and use your fingernail to score the fabric into seam where the leather meets the rubber sole.

I have no idea how well these will hold up, but I was just going to throw the shoes away and I had the fabric in my stash, so they were practically free.

Cute and free, those are my kind of shoes!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Flavor of the week: driftwood

mmmmm, I love me some driftwood. I love all the different grey and brown tones and the smooth texture.

I love that it can add a beachy vibe to a room without making you feel like you live on a cruise ship.

I love that it can be repurposed for things like the uber popular driftwood mirror,

or the less common driftwood box,

or something totally unexpected like a funky hanger.

I even love trying to using paint to create some faux driftwood - more on that adventure later this week!

What's your favorite kind of reclaimed wood? Do you dig driftwood, barn wood, or even old pallets?


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dream House: Week Three

The weather was not our friend this week. We lost a day or so to rain, but the mason finished his work and the basement floor should be poured this coming week.

On Tuesday the final walls of the basement were finished.

And the doorway to side garage exit bricked in.

Now we can see what will separate the two garage bays.

By Friday we could see the foundation for the front porch

... and gravel ready for the basement floor to be poured. That dirt spot is where the stairs up to the first floor will go. Everything behind the stairs will be Brad's man cave.

Oh yeah, and I got a haircut.

The framing is supposed to start soon - eek! I'm so excited!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Two Sisters Fashion Friday: Floral

Confession: although I really dig the floral fashion trend, I don't actually own anything with the new, smaller floral print. So, I had to borrow the floral portion of my outfit from Hannah's closet. I'm sort of glad it happened that way, because one of the reasons we started this series is to show how trends can be worn at different ages.

Here's how Hannah wears the floral trend:

She's rocking a bright, all over floral with a modern vintage vibe.

I particularly like the neckline on this dress and the vibrant color.

Hannah is wearing
floral dress - Macy's
Hear locket - family piece
Whistle necklace - Mod Cloth
Brown heels - Marshall's
Here's how I wear the floral trend:

The dress Hannah loaned me has spaghetti straps, so I knew I needed to add more fabric on top to compensate for the short length. I think the sweater and belt add a little maturity while still keeping the look fun. I don't think I could wear anything this short in public, so I would probably make this a fall outfit by adding skinny jeans or leggings and boots.

I'm wearing:
Floral dress - Mod Cloth
Brown sweater and belt - h&m
yellow flats - Target
Out takes!

Why yes, I am, in fact, short.

How do you wear floral?


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Charleston Walking Tour

Today's post is going to be long on pictures and short on words. During our Charleston vacation we went on a historic walking tour of the downtown area. While everyone else was snapping photos of Important Historical Buildings, I was the weirdo pointing my camera at fence posts and alleyways. Here are the pseudo artistic results of my labors!

I'm thinking that some of these may get printed in black and white to hang in a gallery wall I'm planning for the new house. Do you take nontraditional vacation photos and get strange looks from your fellow tourists? I hope it's not just me!