Thursday, November 13, 2014

A White Painted Table!


Remember when I talked about the DIY project that I Seriously didn't Like! Well, it's all done! Here's what I started with- a traditional table from the thrift store given to us from a friend.

I painted it last year with LATEX paint. BIG, BIG mistake. It started looking awful within months.  Look at the evidence below. Embarrassing!

So I finally decided to get my act together and repaint this table. First, I had to strip the paint off- which is the part I don't like. Of all the DIY projects in the world, I hate stripping paint the most.

Once the paint was stripped off, I started over with two coats of primer. The spray primer is for the curvy legs of the table. Notice the beautiful day outside.

I used TWO coats of primer...

and made sure I sanded it down after each coat. This step is so important. I used 220 grit sand paper and it felt so smooth after sanding it.

I did run into trouble though. I used my Purdy brush for the primer, then used paint thinner to clean  it. I didn't clean it thoroughly though. I had to youtube how to clean a brush properly and realized I shouldn't be using my brush for both latex and enamel paint. Oops!  Lesson learned. I soaked it in paint thinner, but hate using such harsh chemicals. If oil based paints and primers dry on your paint brush, they're pretty much useless. My brush came back to life, but my rule of thumb from now on will be to use disposable sponge brushes whenever I use enamels.

 I LOVE sponge brushes in general. I so dislike cleaning paint brushes, and I always feel that these sponge brushes give me a smoother stroke anyway. That's my 2cents on brushes.
Notice again the beautiful day!

I used the spray enamel on the legs.

And I decided my thrift chairs could use a fresh coat, too.

I painted a THIN coat of white enamel, then let it dry for 24 hours. That's the hard part- just waiting. I gently sanded any imperfections then painted another coat. Looking back, I wish I would have painted a third coat for extra measure, but I think the two coats will hold up. 
I used a new sponge brush with each coat, using long strokes from one side to the other- starting from the middle and working my way to the head of the table.
By the way, this was Sunday. Nice day, but we had been warned.

Finally, it was time to protect my paint. I thought about using a furniture wax, but the more I investigated, the more I realized wax may not be the best decision. I decided to use polycrylic, a water based protective finish that won't "yellow" the white paint.
Still, a nice day, right?

And here it is. I love my drab to fab black chairs, but they'll be getting a paint job next just to have a more cohesive look.

The enamel paint dries hard, not soft and pliable like latex paint. The table isn't so delicate now. It can handle my family, our meals, books, computers, toys, etc.

I love my "new" table.  My family loves it, too.  It was a bit of a pain to get through this DIY project, but as usual, it was so worth it in the end. What do you think?

Oh and by the way,
I finished the table on Sunday, and this is what happened on Monday. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tips and Tricks Tuesday

Ok, November is here! When did that happen? That means the holidays are right around the corner, and I'm feeling the time crunch already! Anyone with me?
I have a few parties planned and they involve beautifully set table scapes, games and of course a fabulous meal.
So to get my feet wet, we all have to start somewhere, I've decided to get inspired with DIY Thanksgiving napkin rings and name place cards. Here's what I found. Let get inspired to bless our families this holiday!
For most of these, you'll need a hot glue gun, ribbon or burlap. 






 Here's a great way to get started! Just glue burlap around tp roll 2inches wide.





So now the trick is to narrow it down to what I'm going to do????


Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's the Little things that make a Blog and give me a monster Headache.

So this is not your average DIY post, but it (kind of) is if you happen to write a blog or thinking about starting one.
For most of you, this post is just to announce that I now, finally, after two years have a new Pinterest Pin button.  Just hover over a picture like the one below, and a P (for pinterest) will magically appear!

By the way, this is my fall mantel, not complete but in progress.  Everything you see came from the Dollar Store, except for the split peas of course.

I've been working on another website for the past three days, which just encouraged me all the more to look at my own little blog.  I haven't liked my pinterest button that once occupied the bottom right side of each post, but that little button was added on two years ago.

old pin button is now gone!
To make a long story short, html coding has to be changed, deleted or added to have any fancy little bells and whistles on a blog. It takes a while for me to figure out what code needs to be changed and exactly where that code is.  I have nearly 3000 lines of code. 

So for those of you who blog, this DIY post is for you.  I learned three valuable lessons in the last 48 hours. That's about how long it took me to take code out and put the pinterest hover code in. Blah! If I never see my htlm code again, I'll be just fine with that!

Lesson 1- I now know how to find htlm code fast
Instead of scrolling down line by line, blogger users can do this.
                1. Log in
                2. go to template
                3. click on edit html
                4. expand the code by selecting widget next
                5. Now all your blog code will pop up. Hold Ctrl  and select the F key.
                6. A small box will show up on the top right corner of you html code box. Now enter in the exact code you're looking for.  I put in <div style="float"....>. You have to put in the exact code.
                7. Hit enter and it will take you to the location of the code. LIFE SAVER for me.

That's what I learned to get rid of my old pinterest button.

Lesson 2. Pinterest has changed and you now have to verify your pins in order for them to get seen on your main page. Again, you have to add a "meta <tag>" which means playing around in the htlm code area. They provide a code but you have to know where to put it in the body. That's where lesson 1 helps again.

Lesson 3. Sometimes, you're just not going to figure everything out. I had to search in Pinterest for an easy code to add so that hover button can be added to my pictures.  I tried, really tried, to figure out what pinterest was talking about on their tools page, but their code explanation was beyond me. So I found someone who found someone who has an easy code to follow, and they tell you exactly where to put it. This is where I found the easy hover Pinterest code.

Now, those little things on my blog are complete and the monster headache is gone!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tips and Tricks Tuesday

Well, Hello, hello!
I must say that fall has finally fallen in a big way around here.  Our yard is covered in leaves, leaves, and more leaves. We've raked, gathered, swept, and filled bags, but it still looks like we haven't touched a thing. This is a job ... for the kids!

So today's Tips and Tricks Tuesday is a little different. I loved last weeks Halloween alternatives. If you missed it, go HERE. That post inspired me to create those candy labels. So that's just what I did this weekend.

Here's the label.

You can download the pdf file and print them on sticky labels of your own. Stick the labels on your candy, and pass them out as usual. There are 30 labels per page.
Just a note when printing. Make sure your printer is set to labels! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I seriously don't like this DIY project!

This is the project I have been dreading!  For a year now, I've been putting this off simply because I HATE stripping paint.  Some bloggers talk about stripping paint like it's the best thing in the world. No, not a bit. I've done it a few times and each time I tell myself, "I'm never going to do this again."
But here's my problem.  I have a solid wood table that I actually like. I painted it about a year ago and did it ALL wrong!

About a month after I first finished my table, I realized my major mistake. I used the wrong kind of paint.  ARRHGG!

So, finally, I'm fixing my awful, annoying mistake! Here's what the table originally looked like.

But for the last year (and a half?) it was looking bad. Really bad.  In fact, I kept a table cloth on it all the time because it looked so bad.

Here's what I'm talking about, and the paint brush strokes didn't help either.

So I finally decided to get this project done before the snow comes.  I've procrastinated long enough.  It's time. Plunge!

This is what I used.

 I've used a few different strippers and Citristrip I think works great.  My problem is that I never put enough of the gel on the table.  The picture below is an example of NOT ENOUGH stripping gel.

The paint should wrinkle all over, not just a little bit like below.

So, after my first failed attempt and hours of scraping, I had to reapply the gel LIBERALLY.

After two days of scraping and sanding paint, this is what the table looked like. I actually found my paint scraper tool in my purse this last weekend. Have no idea how it ended up there, but I was dreaming paint removal night after night.
I used steel wool to get in the grooves of the legs and 100 grit sand paper on the surface.  This is the part I don't like.  It takes days, and, yes, I thought about just buying a new one.

But once I got to this point, I knew I was close to the end.

I'm going back to a white color for this table so I'm starting the project with a good stain blocking primer.  The spray primer is for the legs of the table. I brushed on primer for the rest.

I don't worry about what the primer looks like.  It's splotchy and ugly, but that's the nature of primer.  Here's what the table looked like after the first coat.

Then I took  220 grit sand paper and sanded the table, trying to get raised brush strokes to sand down.

Finally, the second coat was applied.

And I spray primered the legs.  She's coming along, but the weather suddenly changed on me, and I had to stop.  I checked that weather report twice, too!

I'll finish my next step this weekend.  This is where I really messed up last time! It will take a few days to cure and protect, but she'll be ready for a family meal soon!