Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another fun Project

My mom called me a few weeks ago and told me my Grandmother had given her two nightstands for my little sister's room, but there was a problem. Here's the problem:

Anyone want to take a wild guess on why my mom wasn't crazy about them? Dey UGLY! Ugly hunter green and brown don't really jive with anything in my mom's house, especially a little girl's room, mostly pink and white, for whom they were intended. She asked, "You can do something about them, right?"

Sure Mom, I'll hop right on that. Actually I was kind of excited to work on a project again in a space where I didn't really have to worry about dust, wind and the elements screwing it up.

I would love to have sanded these down and stained them a nice dark walnut, but...they're mostly MDF, and ya, that doesn't stain well.

I started out by removing drawers and knobs then busted out the hubster's power sander and sanded off all the finish. You have to at least give it a rub down with sand paper otherwise the paint will bubble and settle on the surface without getting a firm hold on the wood. It leaves it with an ugly finish if it doesn't have anything to adhere to and add to that, the paint will generally peel off if it gets nicked at all. Not fun.

Anyway, after I'd blasted it with a nice course grit, I went over it again with a fine grit to smooth down the surface. The next step is very important to this process or you'll have horrible results! After I got done sanding, I went over the entire piece with a slightly damp rag to remove all the sawdust, then let it dry. When it was dry and the wood pores were good and ready to accept paint, I sprayed on a lovely white semigloss for my base coat. When doing furniture you always get a better finish spraying it rather than brushing or rolling it unless you want to see the brush strokes (which isn't likely).

You can prime it first, but I didn't bother. Two coats of paint covered the piece as well as I wanted it to, then I got to bust out techniques I haven't used since college and antique the thing. I used a mahogany bombay stain, which is pretty dark and dry brushed it on all the edges, then worked it in with a rag. It would have been better if this thing had some classic lines and grooves to work the stain into, but it turned out pretty nice.

Last but not least, I picked up a couple of crystal cut glass and brass knobs at the Home Depot and put 'em on. They are very pretty and add a little sparkle to an otherwise boring piece.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how they turned out! :)

Love me some projects! And although this took several weeks to complete because of the lack of time I could actually spend doing it, it was a great time and I love it, especially when compared to what it was...

Monday, September 13, 2010


Today we had a funny experience at our house. While I was in my room this morning DA let out a piercing bloody cry that scared me half to death. I wouldn’t be surprised if I find gray hairs in a few months masquerading as blonds. I ran to the living room to find out what happened and if he was hurt. He was screaming, “Fire, fire, mom, fire!” over and over again. As I ran, I was trying to figure out how he’d gotten a hold of matches because I keep them well out of reach even for me! And I was trying to remember if we still had a fire extinguisher in the closet or if I was going to have to smother it with something. When I made it to him, he grabbed me around the legs almost tackling me and pointed at the couch. “Fire mom, fire! It went down the couch!” Tears were streaming down his face and he was hiccupping he was so afraid as he pointed in the crack between the cushions. I didn’t see or smell anything so I asked him where the fire was and he calmed down enough to say clearly, “No, spider mom, not fire.” He had a big old ugly spider that sat next him and tried to introduce itself. Needless to say, my heart rate slowed significantly. Spiders I can deal with. Or at least I thought so, but just then the spider came out to say hello again. It was huge! In fact huge doesn’t describe it. It was gynormous! Like bigger than a silver dollar with the fattest butt I’ve ever seen on a spider that wasn’t carrying an egg sac around with it. I sent DA for toilet paper and kept an eye on it. I just have to interject here that I hate squishing spiders, I prefer to trap them and let Jake squish them when he gets home, but I didn’t think I had a chance trapping this guy. The spider crawled up the back cushion and over the edge so he was hiding between the couch and the wall by the time DA got back with my squishing material of choice for the day. I pulled out the end table, then whipped the couch out screwing up my courage for the squishathon. The spider had paused mid step startled I suppose by the movement of his climbing surface. I took a deep breath and tackled the nasty. Just as I was going in for the kill, he reared up his front legs and I swear he hissed at me, but I put the kibash on his nasty aggressive temper and sent him to the trash thoroughly smushed. Squishing bugs with your hands regardless of whether there’s an intervening layer or not is never a fun experience. I can still feel the bum on that thing going “pop!” between my fingers, Ugh! I hope DA wasn’t traumatized. He seemed to be quite calm when he found out it was good and dead. Wish I had thought to get a picture, cause this thing was literally huge, but sadly my son's peace of mind came before the funniness of the situation.