Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Harlequin Top End Table -A How To-

I had a client want a turquoise and purple end table for her 3-year-old daughter's room. This is the table she chose and since it's structurally kinda boring, ie: straight boxy legs, nothing fancy. I knew I had to make some kind of design on it to make it fun. I have been wanting to try a harlequin pattern for a while now and this was the time. After searching for good "harlequin how-to" instructions, I found this blog page from Confessions of a Serial Do-It-Yourselfer by a gal named Christy.
I used her techniques, but found a few steps that I would change next time I try this. Ready to make a harlequin pattern? I'll show you below:
1. Paint the top your lightest color. I used two coats of light purple. Then, get exact measurements and cut a piece of paper the same size. I used printer paper, taped together then cut to my table size.
2. Fold the piece of paper in half, and fold in half again, then again, the short way (you know, hamburger style). You will end up with 6 crease folds. This will ensure that your diamonds will be evenly spaced and symmetrical on the top of the table.
 3. Open the paper, then fold it the long way two times (yep, hotdog style). And when you open it again, you will see this, a line grid to help you draw your diamonds.
TIP: I used pencil, but I think using chalk would be much better. Trust me, you'll see why later.
 4. Transfer your lines to the table by turning the paper over and redrawing your lines. This is why chalk would be much better. After tracing my first line I noticed I couldn't see my pencil line on the table. At all. Meaning it just didn't transfer.
 5. Since my lines didn't show up, I decided to just use the grid to mark off where my lines would be and drew them on with a pencil and straight edge. Again, should've used chalk. My pencil didn't wipe off, or erase off, very easily. I have used chalk in the past to make grids for chevron stripes, like I did on this desk and this dining table, so I should have known better. oh well... next time.
 6.  I had to shade my diamonds on my paper to show where my darker plum color was going on. It helped me because I'm a very visual person. Which is the same reason I used chocolate kisses. They show where the dark color goes so I could tape it off.  NOTE: remember that because you are taping it off, you will not be able to tape off every diamond, only half of them at a time.
7. Apply your coats of darker paint and wait until the paint is tacky before removing the tape. Then tape off the other remaining diamonds and paint them too.
8. Peel you tape off and seal the top (and the rest of the painted piece) with 3 or 4 coats of polyurethane to protect it from chipping.

I had to sand this interesting cat off the top just to make sure I wouldn't get a phantom cat under my purple diamonds! I used my orbital sander. And I did it in the dark, sorry for the lame cell phone photo. Then I primed the entire piece, and painted the bottom turquoise at the client's request.
 I painted the entire drawer because it looked gross inside, even after I cleaned it.
And then there was the knob issue. This drawer obviously had pulls (that use two screws) that were replaced with a knob in each hole. And I hate the look of two knobs as a fix to what should be one pull. I suppose it's just laziness? Or maybe people like the look. Either way, I don't, so I filled the holes with wood filler and drilled 2 centered ones, for a cleaner one-knob fix.
TIP: put painters tape on the top and bottom of the hole that you want to drill. It keeps the drill shavings from spilling all over, and can help protect the wood from splitting.
I chose these blue glass knobs that were taken off a different refurbish project. It's all about upcycling and recycling, right?! The brass needed a good polishing though and I LOVE this product. Brasso can polish most metals. I also cleaned the blue glass to make them really shine.

And that's how I made a harlequin top! Another Sophisticated Junk Pile piece!
Have you ever tried to paint a pattern on the top of your piece???

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Antique Pink Double Bed Frame

This old bed frame is part of a set that included a dresser and a vanity (that I painted completely different).
I was told that it was at least from the early 1900s, possibly older, but I really don't know it's true age. Either way, it's a beauty!
I started with this... and you can see the beautiful scroll work, but the wood was not so pretty and very beat up. Especially on the legs and inside of the footboard.
 I threw some primer and some color on it.
 Then added a chevron stripe, stepped back to look at it and decided it needed more color so I taped it off again for a hot pink stripe. You can see in this photo that I put poly on the bottom half because I wanted to protect the paint as much as I could before I continued. 
Also, notice how the semi-gloss poly really makes the color more vibrant.
 Then I made the legs and the carved detailing on the top of the headboard gray.
 And I couldn't forget to paint the inside of the footboard and outside of the rails.
I wish I had a brightly lit bedroom with fluffy white linens to stage it in so I could really see if it's cute or not, but I don't so... I don't know...
I'm still not totally satisfied with it. I don't think I should've added the chevron stripes...
or maybe they're just the wrong color.
What do you think?

Friday, November 8, 2013

How to Decoupage your Nightstand

This cute little nightstand was in bad shape when I got it. Someone painted it in flat white and didn't protect it with any wax or poly. So it was all chipped up, gloppy from an uneven paint job, and the handle was painted incorrectly and broken in half! I don't even know how that would've happened. :/
BUT... it had a pretty figure so I knew I could save it.

I made a similar nightstand with color on the inside of the legs and really liked the look, so I wanted to do that again. I also wanted to decoupage some grammar/english composition papers (from some old high school writing books that I found at Value Village) onto this piece like I did before on these two end tables

My first job was to sand it all down so it was smooth.
Then paint primer on it. I used gray tinted primer from Zinsser (water based).

I chose my colors, Ruby Red and Glacier Ice blue.

And of course the handle... I ripped the old broken one out and was planning on replacing it but, after I painted it, I changed my mind and wanted a knob, so I filled the holes and drilled a new one.

Now for the decoupaging... Here's my how-to; so you can do it too.

Decide what pages you want and place them in the perfect arrangement. When doing pages like this, pay attention to where, and how, the overlapping occurs so you don't accidentally hide a good part to read. 

Once you decide where they go, and in what layer, take a snapshot of it in case you forget. Then you can refer to it later as you decoupage; putting your sheets back in the right place.

To glue the pages down, use a foam brush and put the Mod Podge on the back of the page (not directly on the table), then and stick it on and smooth it out as best as you can. Follow the less-is-more rule when using Mod Podge. You don't want to soak your page, just get it sticky. And no need to paint Mod Podge on the top of the paper until all your sheets are in place. But you should paint it on any loose edges to make sure your page is securely stuck down.

Use small pieces of a page to fill any gaps from weird angles

Once you have all your pages down, 
cover the entire section with several coats of Mod Podge (fully drying between coats). I used three coats of Mod Podge to glue the pages in place, and once dry, I used several coats of polyurethane for protection. This will make it so durable that you can actually use the table and not worry about scratching or ruining it.

 Note: don't panic when you see bubbles. That will happen because the paper is wet but will flatten out as it dries, assuming you smoothed out the pages when you first set them. 
You will know when you don't need another layer of Mod Podge when:
The paper will eventually have enough hard layers of Mod Podge on it, so when you put on another coat, the paper will not bubble at all. Meaning there is a protected coating on your project.

In other words, if you put a layer of Mod Podge on and your paper gets wet enough to bubble
you need to keep adding more coats. 
If you put a layer on and it doesn't get wet enough to bubble, you're done.

Then trim the edges with a knife/razor. I repainted the edges to hide any imperfections of bad cutting.

I also decided to do the inside of the drawer.

When the entire nightstand was painted, decoupaged, and dry, 
I added my three layers of semi-gloss poly on every part.

And added a matching knob!

And that's how I made this Junk, Sophisticated!

Thanks for looking!!!

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