Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vintage Yellow Dresser

In Tuesday's post, I showed a couple photos of my latest furniture make-over. By the way, the giveaway is still running till Monday, September 1st, so head over here and enter for a chance to win a *Finish Max Pro paint gun.

Today, I thought I'd share a few more shots of this little, vintage dresser with you. I picked up this piece last year from a friend who was flipping an investment property. The previous owners had left a bunch of stuff, so I swept in bought all the good furniture. Other pieces from this house were my Computer Armoire with a Twist, and the Updated 90's Dresser.

Anyways, this little, maple dresser sat in my garage, unloved for many months. It really needed some repairs. When I received my Finish Max Pro from HomeRight, I knew it was time to update this piece.

The first steps were to make repairs to the drawer slides and replace the backing. For fun, I added a bit of bead board to each side.

The top was sanded and stained. If you have ever stained maple before, you know it's no picnic. Even when using a pre-stain conditioner, maple is notorious for taking stain unevenly and looking blotchy. That's exactly what happened with this dresser. After re-sanding and re-staining twice, I decided to leave it how it was and let the stain dry overnight. The next day, I brushed on 2 coats of DIY wood toner. Worked like magic! The color was no rich and beautiful! I sealed the top with 4 coats of Polyacrylic, and let it cure for a couple days.

Time to paint. I taped and papered the top to prevent over-spray and mixed up my paint. Notice how orange the original stain was? That's a big bleed-though warning. Stains with a lot of red or orange (especially old ones) are loaded with tannin. Tannin is the nasty, pink-orange stuff that will raise to the surface of your beautifully painted piece, sometimes years later. The ONLY product I've discovered to truly stop tannin bleed is shellac. You can buy it in *brush or *spray form, and occasionally you can find a primer that is "shellac based".

Knowing this dresser screamed "tannin bleed", I sprayed a coat of shellac over the entire body and all three drawers. Normally, I only paint the drawer faces, but whoever stained this piece the first time was sloppy and there was orange over spray all over the drawer boxes. Luckily, shellac dries very fast, and I was able to spray a coat of *water based primer about an hour later.

Two coats of yellow paint, and three coats of Polyacrylic later, here is the final look.

I Mod-Podged some colorful wrapping paper inside the drawers to spice things up.

How gorgeous are these knobs? I've been dying to use some colored glass knobs forever. I received these champagne cut glass knobs and oil rubbed backplates from my favorite, D. Lawless Hardware. FYI: The whole in the backplates were not large enough originally to accommodate the knobs. I had to drill out the opening larger before they could work together. 

What do you think? If you love it, it's available under the "Shop" tab.

Remember, click here to enter the Finish Max Pro giveaway!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The BEST Paint Sprayer Giveaway!

*This post contains affiliate links and sponsored product. All opinions are mine and have not been influenced. I honestly LOVE and use this product.

Last year, I professed my love the the Finish Max by HomeRight. You can read my review about it here

At SNAP conference this year, I ran into a blogging friend who has been working with HomeRight. I gushed about how awesome the Finish Max is and she said "You need to try the Finish Max Pro! It's even better!" (As I type this, I realize that it sounds made up. I promise you, DIY bloggers really do get this excited over things like paint sprayers). Flash forward a few weeks, and I got a chance to play with my very own *Finish Max Pro

Like I said, I am a pretty big fan of the *Finish Max, so the Pro had a high standard to live up to. I can honestly say HomeRight fixed any small problems with the Finish Max, and improved the whole performance with the Finish Max Pro. 

One of the finish things I noticed what the spray control. You can adjust the spray pattern from a 1' to a 6' diameter. This really helps control the smoothness of the finish, amount of product used, and overspray. 

The motor portion has a handy cup holder for when you're spraying, and the gun itself has a hook on the top, so you never have to set it on the floor. 

The Pro version comes with a more powerful fan, 15 ft. air hose, and a separate gun and paint pot unit. This is really nice! 

The separate gun means less tired arms, the long hose means further travel from an outlet, and the more powerful fan means finer atomization. Finer atonization means the actual paint or stain droplets are smaller. This is a good thing. The smaller the droplets, the finer the finish. 

Truth time: I've struggled to spray finish or clear coats in the past. Pro painters always spray their clear coats, but when I've tried in the past, I've had mixed results. The sheen is often splotchy or textured. Not good. More than once I've ended up re-sanding and hand brushing a piece after spraying finish. 

I've sprayed Polyacrylic through my Finish Max Pro on two different furniture pieces. The both turned out perfectly! I've learned that most clear coats must be applied with a low-pressure, fine spray. In my experience, the Finish Max Pro was perfect for this. (Remember, when using any kind of paint sprayer, use a viscosity cup to thin the product, and run your paint or finish through a fine mesh before filling the paint pot.)

In addition the the fan motor, hose and gun, the kit comes with some pretty sweet accessories. You get a viscosity tester and an extra paint pot with lid (SUPER convenient for clean up or custom mixed paint). 

And this little brush is a life saver! Between the little brush and the fact that the motor is detachable from the gun, clean up goes WAY faster than the Finish Max.

Here is a little vintage dresser that got a makeover courtesy of my new paint gun. It took me 15 minutes to spray 2 coats of paint, and another 20 minutes to spray 3 coats of Polyacrylic- no kidding. 

Now for some awesome news. One of you could win your own *Finish Max Pro! Yay! Enter the Raffelcopter below for chances to win. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Cookie Dough Cream Brownie Sandwiches

I decided its time for another recipe. If you are interested in checking out my other culinary adventures, click on the "Recipes" tab

I've made this recipe a couple of times, and its pretty freaking amazing (if I do say so myself). If you follow me on Instagram, you read that I had eaten myself into a pants-popping, food coma last night. A couple of these cookie dough cream brownie sandwiches may have been involved. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How to Make a Wood Toner

*This post contains affiliate links.

Ever have a staining project not turn out how you imagined? Last week, I was working on a little maple dresser. If you have ever worked with maple before, you know it sucks to stain. Like, majorly. Even after using a pre-stain conditioner, I was still left with a splotchy mess. After sanding, and re-staining. I decided to work with what I have, and apply a wood toner. Best. Decision. Ever.

I'm not ready to share the dresser yet, so I mocked up a test board to show you how a wood toner works.

Just like a toner you would get over your highlights in the salon, a wood toner is a translucent coat that lightly deposits color over the surface. It can be used to neutralize unwanted tones (like brassy highlights), even out splotchy color, or darken an existing finish.

If you research wood toners, you will probably end up on a professional wood worker forum, and they will be throwing around terms like "pre-cat", "HVLP" and "TransTint". Its not that complicated, and despite what you might read, it doesn't have to be sprayed. Toner can be applied with a high quality brush. A wood toner is simply pigment, mixed into a "watered down", clear finish. (I say the term "watered-down", but if you decided to use an oil-based finish, make sure to use mineral spirits, or lacquer thinner.) I'll show you how to to mix up your own toner, with products found at your local hardware store.

For easier clean-up, I chose to use a water based, polyurethane by Minwax*. The sheen doesn't really matter.

 Now, you need to add your pigment. I've touted the praises of universal tint several times before. I love the stuff. It can be mixed into oil or water-based products, and one bottle will last forever! Its my go-to product for mixing a dark glaze. The ProLine brand is available at Home Depot, in the paint section. In my particular toner, I used my favorite, raw umber.

In addition to the universal tint, I mixed in some pigment powder. This stuff is pretty cool. It can be mixed into poly, paint, wax, and pretty much anything else, without watering down the consistency. Adding powdered pigment is my new favorite to create my own colored wax. I find mine on Ebay and it is pretty cheap. This stuff is SUPER concentrated! A little bit goes a long way.

So like I said, I add the color to the polyurethane and stir it very well.

Now, I thin the poly. As mentioned before, if you are using an oil-based lacquer or polyurethane, use mineral spirits or lacquer thinner. Since I used a water-based product, I added a good deal of water. The ratio should be 2 parts water, 1 part poly.

Now, you can spray or brush on the toner. Caution, it will be VERY thin and easily runs. You will want to apply the toner on a horizontal surface, if possible and remember "less is more". Use multiple, thin coats to get the coverage you want.

This is how my sample board looked after 3 coats. Although I used polyurethane in the toner, you will still need a clear coat to protect the finish.

For reference, here's the "before" again.

Ready for some awesome news?! A wood toner can be used over an existing finish! Yes, that means you can darken that golden oak table top of yours without stripping it to bare wood. I would recommend giving the surface a light sand, and wiping everything clean with some TSP before toning, and remember to seal the toned surface with 2-3 coats of a clear finish, to protect your work. 


So what are you ready to tone?

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Monday, August 18, 2014

DIY Back-to-School Storage Ideas

My brain is in back-to-school mode. I shared a tutorial to build your own Homework and Backpack Center with you last week, and now I'm sharing some other DIY back to school storage ideas with you. If you have school aged kids, I'm sure one of these will fit your needs. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

DIY Backpack and Homework Center

Most of you know that I have twin boys. Well, this year they started the big "K". Yep, Kindergarten. After the first day of school, I knew we were going to need some sort of organization.