Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Dark Side.

This post isn't nearly as ominous as the title sounds.  I'm simply referring to the fact that I painted our master bedroom...again.  Third times the charm, right? ;)

The first time we painted the room, I chose a gray that read not-gray-at-all on our walls.  I loved the color, but it just wasn't what I wanted for our room.

After living with it for a while, I decided I needed to go more gray...and I did.

I liked that color a lot, and then I even rearranged and painted again.

After all that, I liked our room, but I didn't love it.  I wanted to love it.  And apparently, step #1 in loving our room was switching up our nightstands.  Our old ones were great, but looked too small next to our king-sized bed.  I fixed that situation by making over some Craigslist finds.

Step #2 was choosing a new gray for our walls.  I had a major itch to go dark in our bedroom.  I thought it'd really up the cozy factor and give the space that extra something it had been missing.  I headed to Home Depot and brought home a bunch of swatches.  Once the swatches were home and against the wall in our room, I easily narrowed things down to my top three.  Those colors were then taped to our bedroom wall for a few days.  It was obvious to me which color was my favorite {gut reaction based on undertones that showed up once the swatch went up on our wall}, but I was scared to pull the trigger. I never painted any wall that dark before.

Eventually I got sick of staring at the swatches and wanted to see results.  I headed to the store and bought a gallon of Martha Stewart's Zinc {made with Glidden Duo paint}.

I had hubby kindly remove our mounted TV, which I hated because of the positioning, thanks to some plumbing in the center of that wall.  I also patched up some holes with quick-dry spackle.

Then I cleared out furniture, pushed the remaining stuff to the middle of the room and started cutting in.

After all that fun, I got to rolling...and really saw things come to life.

The darker color took two coats to cover completely, but it was worth it.  I love how our white trim and light furniture pop against the bold walls.  I haven't even started to accessorize or put our room back together, but I couldn't wait to share our new wall color with you guys.  I didn't want to wait a few weeks until our room is "reveal" ready.  What can I say...lately, things have been taking me foreverrrr to finish. ;)

Anyone else get so excited to share something that you break all blogger rules and post un-styled photos taken at night?!  {Please tell me I'm not the only bad blogger!}

How do you guys feel about dark walls...yay or nay?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Making A Statement With Hardware.

Sometimes things just don't play out like you thought they would.  I was mid-makeover on my dresser-turned-console, and was convinced that I had to paint the drawer detail gold, because it'd pop and be fabulous, and I'd love it until the day I died.

Then I painstakingly taped off the drawers so I could spray paint the detail gold.  

And guess what?  I still loved it!

As the drawers dried in garage, I thought I was a genius!!  I couldn't wait to get the drawers upstairs and in place.

And then I actually put the drawers in place...eeek.  Once the first one went in, I knew I made a terrible mistake painting the detail.  I hated how it looked.

I begged and pleaded with myself, with my Insta-friends and even my hubby to make myself like it.  I tried to sit with the piece for a few days, I even rubbed and buffed the old hardware to see if adding that would make a difference.

Sadly, it did not.  I couldn't stand it.  {Insert tiny violin playing pity music here.}  At that point, I really wanted to throw myself on the ground and act out a toddler-tantrum.  Instead, I went into the basement, found my latex primer, and started covering up the gold.

After primer...

After going back to blue...

The drawer fronts looked SO much better after I lost the gold, but they still weren't making the statement I hoped for. They needed something to set them off and finish the look.  Luckily, I came across some amazing hardware that saved the day makeover.

Have you guys ever checked out Nest Studio's hardware?!?!  If not, you MUST.  Every single product is beyond fabulous.  Each piece of hardware is like a work of art in itself.  I had trouble narrowing down my choices, but after much debate, I settled on the solid brass faceted knob.

The size, color and shape of the knob was perfect for the dresser.  It was just what I was looking for!  They totally make the piece, don't you think?

Jess is the founder of Nest Studio.  Head on over to her blog to see more of her amazing style! :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Homemade Chalk Paint Bandwagon...& Painting Tips.

Lately I have been a furniture makeover machine.  I just couldn't help myself.  I became determined to weed through the furniture hoard stash I have accumulated in our basement.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, Craig. ;)

I started out with a dingy, old mid-century modern bedroom set that I turned into nightstands for me and hubby. {Btw, I still have another dresser and nightstand left over from this set just begging for attention/sale in our basement.}  Those pieces got the paint-dipped treatment from me, as well as some gorgeous hardware.

And since working on one project just isn't enough for my project-ADD self, I started tackling this dresser-turned-console.  {Like the set above, I'm not using the it's being hoarded stored in our basement for now.}

I l-o-v-e-d the detail on these drawers and the beautiful lines.  My first thought was to just add some new hardware and call it a day.  I put the piece behind our couch, and just didn't get the warm and fuzzy feeling I was hoping for.  Between the dark charcoal couch, the orangey-toned dresser and our chocolatey-toned just didn't feel right.

I thought about possibly staining the piece another color, but unfortunately the detailing on all of the drawers was plastic. Grrrrrrrr...

So much to the chagrin of many of you, I gave this baby the paint treatment.  And I'm loving how it looks!!

Since I had already dealt with sanding and priming the other laminate pieces I was working on, I did not feel like carrying this bad boy outside to sand and prime the detailed drawer fronts would be annoying to sand.  What is a lazyyyy girl to do?!?!  Duh...give homemade chalk paint a whirl!  I had seen SO many recipes and reviews for it online.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm the last in the blog-o-sphere to give it a try.  I searched the interwebz for recipes, and a million and one came up.  Ultimately, I selected this recipe based on what I already had in my basement...latex paint and Plaster of Paris.

I started by pouring approximately two cups of paint into a plastic container.  Then I mixed the Plaster of Paris and water in a separate plastic container until everything was smooth and there were no lumps left.  Once the consistency was creamy, I mixed that into the paint container.  {FYI...don't pour the paint into the Plaster of Paris/water container because it will be harder to mix evenly throughout since that is what is on the bottom of the container.}

After's painting time!

Here are a few tips that I always use when I paint furniture:

1) Before you paint the piece, and when you are removing the drawers, take note which drawers went where.  I always pay attention to how the drawers go in and out.  If they don't seem to fit right...move them around. Maybe they are supposed to go in a different slot, or perhaps the wood has warped over time causing the drawer and frame to rub against each other.  This is a fixable issue.  Just take out your electric sander {or if you are into self-tourture, you can sand by hand ;)} and go over the "sticking" areas a few times.  It'll pay off in the end...especially since you are adding some thickness with the layer{s} of paint. I have also gotten into the habit of labeling the bottom of my drawers for future reference.  It really comes in handy!!

2) Eliminate the need to buy paint tray liners or cleaning out paint trays by lining your tray with aluminum foil.  Easy peasy!!

3) Lightly sand your pieces with a fine grit sanding block in between coats, then wipe off allll dust and let fully dry before applying your next coat.

Now, onto the job at hand...

I double-coated the dresser in one night.  I know latex paint says to wait a couple hours in between coats, but I was impatient and this stuff dried pretty quickly....possibly because of the addition of the Plaster of Paris?!? Not sure.  Either way, I broke the rules and double-coated things. ;)

I used a low nap roller made for cabinets and smooth surfaces for all of the flat parts of the dresser.  Then I used a quality brush for the drawers since there was so much detail.  I was a little skeptical of this homemade chalk paint after the first coat...mostly on the drawer fronts.  {Note, I was not neat AT ALL with my brush strokes on the drawers.  Since I was experimenting with new paint, I wanted to see how the brush strokes would go with this type of medium.  Typically, I do loooooong, smooth and even brush strokes to minimize lines and, well, ugliness.}

But after a second coat went on...I started to feel much better.

I called it a night after two coats, but I wasn't all done with the batch of chalk paint I whipped up.

To store it over night, I simply wet a paper towel, squeezed out the extra water, laid it over my paint container...

...and then put that in a zip-lock bag.  {Make sure to squeeze out as much air as you can before it's zipped up tight!}

My paint was good as new the next day!  I just gave it a good stir, and I was ready to put the final coat {or what I thought would be the final coat} on my dresser-turned-console.

Stay tuned for a major blunder on this project...but how I saved the day with some awesome-sauce hardware!! ;)