Friday, September 28, 2012

feeling furniture rich

I headed out on a very successful furniture hunt yesterday.  Okay, not really.  I scouted out Craigslist the day before and scheduled my stops, so not technically a hunt.  I really don't do this very often anymore - maybe three times this whole year.  Crazy, but the the custom work keeps flowing and that doesn't leave much opportunity or need to find my own things.  Plus, it's a hassle to leave the kids for so long because I can't bring them with me.  Doing mostly client pieces is so much more convenient as a mom job.

So as of yesterday, my living room looks like this.  And is it weird that I'm proud of it?  It makes me feel furniture rich, kind of like when I get home from a Costco trip and my pantry is stuffed with bulk food, then I feel food rich.   

I picked up three new dressers and in process got lost in Phoenix so many times it was comical.  I lost count after eight.  Literally.  What was supposed to be a three hour excursion, took five.

I picked up two antique dressers that are a little different than the norm for me, but I love them!  The details will add so much texture to the finished product.  

I listed this piece on the virtual thrifting trip and then thought to myself, "Why am I not jumping on this one myself?"  So I did.  Love it.

I've had these chairs forever.  Once I discovered how incredibly tedious pulling staples is, I haven't been able to bring myself to finish them.  One day.  If I was super productive, I'd take rainy days to work on them, but I don't.  I do a little happy dance and happily take a guilt free day off.  

The gray dresser I finished for someone a few days ago and is just waiting to be picked up.

So what I'm trying to say is - if you come to my house, don't expect to sit in the Living Room.

Have a great weekend!  I'm working on photos for this three drawer chest - see you Monday!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

a furniture scouting intuition

There's not an exact science when choosing furniture to refinish.  I couldn't even tell you what I look for in the styling of a piece, only that I immediately know when I like it.  
It's an intuition of sorts - a sixth sense… a furniture picking intuition.

While perusing Craigslist, I come across many pieces that are very similar to each other, but to me, one has potential, while the other doesn't.  
I've tried to explain the difference to my mom many times, but to no avail. 
When we're furniture shopping together,  she says, "how bout this one?"  I say, "eh."  She says, "how bout this one?"  I say, "bleh."  Then I find one that, to her, looks exactly the same as the one I just dismissed and I'm excitedly wondering if it'll fit in my van.  Insert eye roll from her.  
Of course, something I see potential in, you might think is hopeless.  You could say, the picking process is very personal. :) 
Here a few examples I found available in the phoenix market…
You all know I love some French Provincial goodness.
Yes for this one…(keep hardware)
and a yes for this one…(keep hardware)
and no.  (It's the top drawers and the feet that I don't like on these).
An absolute yes, on this sleek bamboo chest (keep hardware)...
…and pass, on this one.
Yes, to this waterfall dresser (minus the mirror and keep the hardware).

No, on this one.
A yes here (keep the hardware).

And a pass here...
and a maybe here.  I love everything but the side details and wouldn't keep the hardware.

No - the proportions are a little off.

Yes (again, nix the mirror and keep the hardware),
 yes (keep the hardware here too),
and a yes on this one too (and again, keep the hardware).
 A no here (unless refinishing in a distressed way, but still nix the hardware)...
and here.  The details are probably just nailed in and could be removed, but I'm not loving the feet either…or the "line/grove side detail things" for that matter.  So, still a no here, unless planning a distressed finish.
Yes and...
super yes.  The size and cupboards together would make this perfect for a tv console!
This is a great french desk or vanity, 
but I'd pass on this one.
This is included because I love it and would have already picked it up if it weren't for the fact that I don't have a king sized mattress.  Darn.

Do any of you disagree with the furniture I would pass up on???  I'd love to hear your opinion!

Friday, September 21, 2012

bike rides and visits to the park

Zac bought me an iphone for my birthday a few months ago and I'm absolutely loving it.  I know, I know, I arrived super late to the iphone scene.  
My favorite thing about it is capturing all the everyday moments that I didn't before because I didn't want to lug my big camera around.
Right now we're especially loving visits to the park and bike rides to the grocery store…and we're missing the pool.
Doing anything fun this weekend?  I'm working on getting the house scrubbed and vacuumed today so we can enjoy a chore free Saturday!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Sanding Blunder

Yesterday I was reminded (in a not so pleasant way) what the most important step to a quality paint job is… the prep.  And in my opinion, the most important "prep-step" is sanding.  Not the primer, not the filling, but the sanding.
I was reminded because I didn't prep correctly, then paid the price later with peeling paint.  Arg.
Last week I was out with the flu - all week - and with my schedule pretty packed, it put me behind.  And what do you do when you're behind?  You hurry!  
I hurried a bit too much and didn't properly sand the edges of a few drawers before I primed.  I realized this when I came back through to sand the primer and paint started peeling off!  
Lucky for me, it only happened on small parts of the drawers that I didn't rough up well enough and not the hole thing!

Here's a close up.
The drawers look fine now and the first coat of paint is on, but the goof up put me behind a couple hours. 
This leads me back to the whole 'sanding is the most important step' thing.

When I started painting furniture around my house six years ago, there were no DIY blogs. - and who wanted to use the internet with that whole dial up connection thing, anyway?  Because of this, I had no idea what kind of paint to use, when to sand, when not to sand and I didn't use primer.  I thought primer was for dark walls.
I painted with latex wall paint, no clear coat and didn't prime anything.  The one thing that saved me was being an
Because of this, the black paint I used to paint Colby's bunk bed six years ago - without primer and without a clear coat - is still holding strong.
It's good to be an over-sander.  Because I'm an over-sander, up until yesterday, I've never dealt with peeling paint before!

(Sanding is what helps surfaces grip the paint.  It is extra-essential when painting a glossier piece of furniture - or laminate.  Paint doesn't stick to glossy surfaces well!)

Moral of the story:  occasionally, it's good to be reminded what not to do.  

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