Monday, September 23, 2013


The holidays are just around the corner, are you ready?  I confess....I'M NOT!...but...I WILL be!!!

While all of you have been putting out your gorgeous fall decorations and enjoying this fabulous fall weather we are having, I have been preparing...preparing for the holidays!  I want the house to be in tip top shape by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.  There is sooooo much to do!  So while you spent your weekend soaking in the crisp fall air, I was rolling around on the floor...doing this...

PAINTING TRIM (and a few shelves)!!!  Anybody ever use aluminum foil as a drop cloth?...NO, you're kidding!  I was for sure everybody has. LOL.

I have really been DREADING this job and have put it off for as long as I's just sooooo tedious! The crawling around on the hands and knees, the taping, priming and painting...three coats...and the fact that there is SO MUCH OF IT.  Ugh!!  It seems like there is miles and miles of baseboard, window moldings and door casings, and that's just in the living room, dining room and 2 small hallways.  I don't even want to think about the stairway or upstairs....sigh...

I am done with the dining room.  Got that done a few months back.  It felt good to get that accomplished but I was so sick of doing it and SORE just from that one room that I quite for a while.  Now I am back at it and I WILL be done (with the main floor) by Thanksgiving.  I am going through blue painter's tape like there's no tomorrow, but it will be worth it in the end.

There's nothing that makes the house seem brighter, cleaner, prettier and more holiday ready than freshly painted baseboards and trim. Holidays, HERE I COME!

What are you doing to prepare for the holidays?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Happy Hump Day everyone!!  I have an exciting transformation, along with a step by step tutorial, to share with you today.

If you will recall, a few posts ago I mentioned that I was getting ready to start a new project.  One that involved a round dining table.   My goal for the table was for it to turn out looking somewhat like this...

This gorgeous "frenchy", weathered top round table is what I am wanting for my dining room.  However, this particular table runs a whopping $1700.00 and that's for the small size.  Not in my budget for sure.  Not now or ever, for that matter.  So my only option was to find a round table somewhat similar and refinish it.  I found a table that will work.  It's a little more "country" in style than "french" but it will do, especially since it didn't come with a $1700.00 price tag.

Well, I am happy to say that I have now completed my little round table redo.  Yayyyy!   It turned out super cute and I am totally psyched to share it with you.  I've even put together a complete tutorial, including a homemade chalk paint recipe, in case your new to furniture refurbishing and want to give something like this a try.

My little table went from this...

to this....

in just a few simple steps....5 SUPER EASY STEPS to be exact.  Here's how you can do it too...

The sanding process on this particular piece was super easy.  It took all of maybe a half hour to sand the entire top.  I did not sand the areas that I was going to be painting.

Next I oxidized the tabletop with a vinegar and steel wool solution to make it look like old, worn wood. Note:  This was my first time doing this and in hind sight I would have diluted my solution with a little water before applying to the tabletop so that it didn't turn out quite so dark.  I possibly could have done a light sanding afterward which may have lightened it up a bit but, there again as it was my first time, I didn't know what sanding it would do, so I just left it as it was...A little dark but not the end of the world.

After I finished oxidizing the top, I moved onto making my homemade chalk paint for the tabletop base and pedestal...

Would you like my homemade chalk paint recipe?  Here it is...

Since you are using ground up chalk for this recipe, your paint may turn out slightly gritty or have tiny chalk lumps.  That's okay!  You will be sanding the painted surface later to get a smooth finish.  I will be experimenting with making chalk paint again in the future.  I have an ingredient in mind that might be the key to a super smooth, chalky paint, that does not include using chalk, grout or plaster of Paris.  If I succeed I will share with you all the details....MOVING ON...

Seal it and you're DONE!!!!!

So there you have it...5 SUPER DUPER EASY STEPS to refinishing a round table (or any other table or piece of furniture for that matter).

Because I am a nice person, I do want to share with you a few helpful hints and a product review in case you decide to tackle a job like this for yourself...

#1...Always, always wipe the surface down with a lightly dampened cloth every.single.time you begin to work on your project.  You may not be able to see the surface dust, but it IS there!

#2...I only used one coat of poly on the painted portion of the table just to give it a smooth, polished look and to seal it. This part of the table will not receive a ton of wear so there is no need for six coats of poly.  Besides, the more wear on that part will only add to the distressed look.

#3...Wipe on poly, dries super quick so you must work quick.  You must apply a thin, EVEN coat and not go back over any areas you just coated.  You can get any uncoated or missed areas on your next application. It is not self-leveling and I believe this is because it dries too quickly.  Always, always apply working with the grain of the wood!

Now for a little product review...

I will confess that Vermont Natural Coatings wipe-on poly whey in the satin sheen is the first and only wipe-on poly I have ever used.  It is very pricey ($27.00 per quart) but I bought it at the behest of another blogger who said it was the best she had ever used.  She refinishes furniture to sell so I figured she knew what she was talking about and perhaps she does, but I found the product to be a little difficult and somewhat frustrating to work with.

Although application is fairly easy and it goes on somewhat easy if you work quickly, it dries too fast and leaves a streaky appearance.  Some areas look dull and flat with a slight milky appearance and some look a little clearer and shinier, though over all not bad enough for me to commit to redoing everything or putting it through a buffing process.  Of course, someone with a higher skill level and more experience than I may not have the same problems when working with this product.

The one thing I did like about the product is that it dries hard.  It is not gooey or sticky like some other types of poly which is a good thing.  It is also water based so it cleans up easy and that's also a good thing.  I will venture to say that I will use it again just perhaps not on something round that has wood grains going every which direction.

UPDATE ON PRODUCT REVIEW ONE AND HALF WEEKS AFTER USE:   This product is NOT waterproof.  It claims to be furniture grade poly but I have to add that it is NOT good enough for a dining table that receives prolonged moisture from drinking glasses.  It does withstand heat from pans and leaves no steam marks but the watermarks from glasses penetrate completely through the poly to the wood and leave a stain that only refinishing will take care of.   As this is my first time refinishing a dining table I found this out the hard way.  I wanted to give you a heads up.  Do not use the Vermont Natural Coatings Heirloom wipe-on poly whey.  You should look for a furniture or countertop grade sealer such as Vermont Natural Coatings "Furniture" poly.

So now to find out if I achieved my goal of getting a table similar to the one I was wanting, see for yourself...

I do believe I did pretty good!  The photo of my table in this side by side comparison was taken before the top was sealed but I think you can tell that I did achieve a similar look.  I am still wishing that my top was a tad lighter, but you live and learn and it's good enough for me.  What's more important is my version did NOT cost a few gold bars and an arm or leg.

I think I like this furniture refinishing business.  It was way easier than I thought it would be and the results are very satisfying.  Hmmm, I wonder what I can find to refinish next?  I guess I better tackle the table leaf before moving onto anything else, wouldn't you agree, lol.  I have a feeling though that this will not be the last piece of furniture that gets a little makeover around here.  Shhh, don't tell the hubby.

If you think you might want to pin this little tutorial for future reference, below is a pin worthy collage for your convenience...Just scroll over the picture with your mouse and click the large "P" in the upper left hand corner.

I will be back in a few to show you how the dining room is coming along and how my new table looks in there.  Until then..have a good one!  Ciao,

Partaaying at:

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia...Tuesday's Treasures
A Stroll Thru Life...Inspire Me Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style...Wow Us Wednesday
Imparting Grace...Grace at Home
No Minimalist Here...Open House Party
From My Front Porch To Yours...Treasure Hunt Thursday
Miss Mustard Seed...Furniture Feature Friday

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Shutters hung...CHECK!  Storm door installed...CHECK!  Yay y'all.  I am so excited to have two more things checked off the list this weekend.  As you know we just had a new roof put on which stepped the curb appeal up a notch.  Here's how everything looked at the beginning of the Labor Day weekend...

Beautiful roof, no?  But now check it out with new shutters and storm door...

Boy what a difference shutters make!!.  They really do add to the look of a home and they are easy to install. The whole job took less than a half hour.  Super Easy!  Of course these are vinyl shutters and are only for decoration.  Real shutters would have been much harder to install and way more expensive, but we really don't need "real" shutters and at less than $100.00 for both windows these vinyl ones totally fill the bill.

Now the storm door took a lot longer to install and is a far cry from what I was wanting, but our Lowes specialist recommended this one with a roll down screen by Pella (Larson) for a very good reason, so we decided to go with it.  I was wanting a full glass door simply because they look better as there is no "dividing line" in the glass.  However, our door is not shaded from the sun so a full glass door would be a bad idea. Too much heat would be trapped between the doors and would actually melt or damage our new front door. Not good!  Not good at all!!!!

You can see in this photo that I lowered the top window an inch or two which exposes the screen and leaves a place
for hot air to escape during the hours the sun is shining directly on the door.

Though I don't like the visible window lines, I certainly don't want to be replacing our front door again in a couple of years.  Sometimes functionality wins out over pretty and that's just the way it is, at least in my world. Either way the house is really starting to take shape and I am loving the way it is turning out.

Let's take one more look at the over all picture shall we...

So what's next on our list?...The porch and perhaps some landscaping?  Who knows, but you can bet that whatever we do, I will share it here.  Until then, have a GREAT day!


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