Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just a Little Taste...

...of what we're getting to see every night!

Here in the Forest, we've been having some incredible evening art displays courtesy of Mother Nature and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The summer sunset views from our front porch are very often gorgeous here in central VA, but yesterday's display of color was almost breathtaking. It was hard to take your eyes off of the sight, and to be honest, the picture doesn't do it any justice - but here's a tid bit of what we get to watch from our own front porch. Enjoy...it's ok to be a little jealous!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Before....And After!

So after many days of back breaking, bent over work on my old furniture, my project is only one dresser away from total completion. As mentioned in a previous post, I was in search of an affordable and time effective facelift for our merged bedroom furniture, and after much deliberation I decided painting was the way to go. I've been really pleased so far with the way the pieces have turned out and I'm excited to show you all the finished products!

Before I began, I spent countless hours driving myself crazy over how to start this beast of a project, but in the end it really only consumed about a solid week of my time and forced me (and JJ) to give up the living room in the meantime. To start, I took a visit to my local paint store in town and bought all the supplies I needed in one stop. The owner was incredibly helpful and very patient with me as a new beginner to this kind of craft. In total, the cost of renovating all of this furniture (plus one piece to go) was around $150 for supplies and new hardware for the drawers. Not bad considering they all look like new!

I got a little excited with my painting and forgot to snap a few "Before" pictures but this picture will show you what the original wood looked like for JJ's pieces.

It was a lighter, medium wood with a laminate covering on top and only required some minimal hand-sanding to rough up the surface. The hardware was very antique looking and was tarnishing in a bit of a copper/brass color. It was very ornate and quite different than my sleek, modern taste!

So here is the Before...and after a coat of tinted primer, three coats of paint, and three applications of polyurethane...here is the After!

I got a little excited after the first piece turned out so well that I forgot to snap a before shot of the next two dressers. Both looked like the smaller nightstand shown above in the lighter wood, but I was able to snap a picture of the second chest midway through the process. This "During" shot shows the dresser covered in it's coat of tinted primer with the drawers already onto the first coat of paint...quite a difference with the final product!

And again, no Before picture to show, but you get the idea! This piece was the last of JJ's three and was a huge dresser to paint. The backing of the mirror was actually paneling and not wood which made it a little more difficult to get even paint strokes. Although huge, it ended up fitting like a glove in a random nook in our new apartment.

Mid-way through completing my dressers I decided to take on an easier piece and re-paint the legs of an old retro chair I've had for several years. The legs used to be a very light, almost blonde color and the wood was a fake, particle type product. Just a few coats of paint made the legs match the furniture and really updated the look of the chair!

And finally, it was my furniture's turn for a make-over. This is an old piece I have had for years and took with me to college from my childhood room. As you can see from the bottom drawer, the original wood was very dark and solid. The greyish paint you see is what has been on there for the past few years. Luckily, that layer of paint was peeling off very easily as you can see from the drawer and in no time it was stripped back to it's original wood.

I decided to keep the same hardware on it as before since it was already in the brushed nickel family of metals and I'm so pleased with the turnout!

So that leaves me with one final dresser that looks exactly like this last one here. It's taller and skinnier, but the same overall design. I'm SO glad I decided to tackle this project because as we've now made the move to our new apartment none of the same "family" of furniture has been able to fit in the bedroom and we've had to mix and match...but now...they all actually match! Hope you enjoy my handy-work!
Supplies used on my project:
- Approximately 5 hand-sanders of various thickness
- Paint scrapers
- Paint rollers and brushes
- One gallon of tinted primer
- One gallon of paint
- Screwdriver
- Carpet tarp
- One can of polyurethane and an old rag
- Wet paper towels

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Overlooked Thankfulness

While I know I'm due for a post on my newly re-designed furniture and a major update on life (our move, new job, summer plans, weddings, etc) I stopped for a moment tonight to consider a few blessings in disguise and how many of them go unnoticed each day. As I sat here at my computer with an overly full belly from ice cream and a million post-it notes of To Do's staring at me, I paused for just a second to twist my big sighs of exhaustion into big smiles of thankfulness.

Thankfully, despite all my complaints about things To Do and laundry lists of incomplete chores - there is of course a silver lining. Actually, make that gold.

And to elaborate.

My stomach aches from a helping of ice cream too greedy for my own good - but I'm fed and full.

I have an inbox of emails to return that are long over-due - but they're all from dear friends who want to hear more about my life.

My home is in shambles from a recent move with items displaced everywhere - but we have a beautiful place where I watch the sunset across the mountains each night.

I clean-up dog hair every morning and night from my sofa - but I love my cuddly puppy who fits so well in my nook each night that I can't stand to make him move.

My husband leaves his clothes and shoes thrown about the house EVERYDAY no matter how many times I nag him - but I do have a gorgeous, loving husband to nag...every now and then.

I can't get my curtains hung fast enough to block the morning sunlight in the window - but I have a warm, fluffy bed to fall asleep in every night.

I have searched and searched for new furniture for our living room with little luck to date - but we have the luxury of purchasing our wants instead of just our needs.

Just to name a few.

So, in the grand scheme of things as you'll see...the moments of having an aching stomach and a furry, old sofa each day may not be glamorous, but they're just the kinds of daily reminders we need to remember to be appreciative for the overlooked places where we should be thankful and see the golden lining.

And so I am.