Monday, January 10, 2011

Nothing New

Since the holidays are over, and the boxes (and boxes and boxes and boxes) of Christmas decorations are put away, and Auld Lang Syne has been sung, life has finally slowed down.

Just a little.

Not much has been going on other than work. And snow days. Too bad snow days don't get you (or at least me) out of work these days.

The past couple of weeks have been filled with getting organized, both at home and at work. And now I have a little help. May I introduce to you Mo, my new MacBook (on which I am posting as we speak, or read, or whatever)....
Sorry, I was too lazy to turn the light on...
Mo will be helping me from here on out from keeping all my pictures, all my music, all my life organized. That is if I can learn how to use him properly. Any Macs out there with helpful hints please fill a girl in. PCs need not apply. Never thought I would cross over, but I have a feeling the grass will be much greener.

A few weekends ago, I helped Alicia distressed a dresser for baby Declan's nursery. I took no pictures. So until she posts them and raves about how great of a job I did, you'll have to wait to see them :)

I have had an itch to either stain or paint or just do something to much of the furniture in our house. Between all the goods my mom turned over to me and the great furniture Kyle already had, we were fortunate enough to be able to completely furnish our home. And while the furniture is good, solid furniture (not the cheap stuff made these days), the light oak/pine look is just not really my style or taste.

But I am a chicken. I hate taking risks. And for me, staining furniture is a huge risk. I'm not crafty, nor artistic, nor a good painter. But after Alicia was brave enough to let me and Patrick take a sander to her great aunt's dresser, I figured I could man
age an old nightstand for the first time.

So I headed to Lowe's. We already had an electric sander, so the hard part was done. Here's what I bought:

1 small can on MinWax Dark Walnut stain
1 bag of rags
1 dropcloth
220 and 120 grit sandpaper
1 can MinWax Poly-something or another..haha, it's a polyurethane seal
1, 1-in and 1, 3-in paintbrush

I wish I had pictures of the process, but you'll just have to use your imagination.

After sanding the entire nightstand and drawers down, just enough to remove the old, shiny layer that already existed, I wiped down the piece to remove all the sawdust/dirt/etc. Using a rag, I just soaked the table with the stain, wiping it
on in the direction of the wood grain. Once the stain had about 10-15 minutes to soak in, I took a clean rag and wiped off the remaining stain.

After the first coat had about an hour to dry, I repeated 3 more times in the same manner. At the end of the day, I was not at all pleased with the way it was looking. The stain looked streaky and like it didn't absorb in some places. I was not a happy girl. Mainly because the thought of having to re-sand the whole thing just made me sick to my stomach. So I let it sit over night, and though it didn't really look like what I had imagined it to be, it had improved. The sides of the nightstand just didn't look as good as the drawers and the top. And then a light bulb went off...A few years ago I bought this book...
Inside there is a project where they dress tables in fabric... So i decided to add some fabric on the sides. All I had to do was cut the fabric to match the sides. Once I did that, I brushed on a thin coat of the poly-mix to use as an adhesive and then carefully centered the fabric on the sides. Once in place, I applied a generous coat of the poly-mix on top of that.

And then everything dried overnight.

And here is the final product (it would look better if I knew how to use my camera better. in due time).

It looks way better in person. And now I am actually starting to sense some pride.

Here is a close up of the fabric. It looks red in the pictures above, but it's actually a light brown.
And one more project to complete the weekend.

My mother-in-law bought me a chalkboard for Christmas (I had been wanting one badly). I liked it so much, I decided I needed another one (much to my husband's dismay). So I made one. While at Lowe's, I had an 18x24 piece of wood cut for me. Fortunately, being a woman alone at Lowe's can score you some one-on-one help and discounts! The board they cut my piece from was "damaged" so they gave me a 50% discount!
I had bought an open-back frame at Hobby Lobby (50% off as well) a few days earlier to border the wood. Once the wood was cut and I got it home, I spray painted it using chalkboard paint spray paint. It went on way easy and dried super fast. Then I used wood glue to attach the spray-painted board to the inside of the frame. Clamped it down for several hours. Then it was ready to hang.

It looks white because I had just finished erasing some stuff before I took the picture.

And just for the sake of showing you how happy small things make me, here's a new table runner I bought at Target tonight. When all other stores are closed due to the "snow-storm," I love knowing I can count on Target to fill my need for some retail therapy :)

For a post about nothing, I feel like I have rambled on and on... My apologies.

Sweet dreams!


  1. The side table looks great. And I love love the chalkboard!!! Good job!

  2. Is that really how you make a chalkboard? neato.. I want to make one.

  3. I don't know if that's how you're supposed to, but that's how I did it :) I probably should have sanded the wood down, but I kind of like the rough look of it.