Friday, April 29, 2011

Auctions and Latest Find

I've gotten a lot of questions about where in the world do I find these pieces at such crazy prices?! They come from everywhere, really. I have my thrift stores I hit up on a near weekly basis (sometimes more than once if I'm close by), pieces are given to me, hole in the wall "antique" shops where they are just basically selling stuff they got for free somehow (so not much markup) and the best place...AUCTIONS!

You can find really good stuff at thrift stores, but I've found that if you're patient and willing to go sit at an estate auction you can find some incredible deals. You can go online to or and find auctions in your area. The ticket is finding one with some really good pieces that need just a little love, a bad auctioneer (one who starts bidding low on EVERYTHING), and preferably not a ton of people to compete with. I got lucky was blessed to get the deal I did on that buffet at my very first auction! The site even has a page of info about estate sales and how they work! Great info. Internet estate auctions - like Caring Transitions  and are awesome as well. Then there's always, and I've found stuff on there. Be careful though. Use common sense. I personally am very wary of buying stuff this way. Just too risky for me personally as a general rule.

Now, I'm no pro at this yet (will be one day), but what I've found is most people don't have a lot of vision. I saw a quote I just loved the other day:

People tend to want the pieces that need little to no work. If you're willing to put in some elbow grease, there are deals to be had! Most of the people bidding are not interested in redoing stuff themselves. Many are just buying to resell as-is in traditional antique stores/booths or to dealers. I'm constantly picking up pieces that I work on as I can fit it in. I have only shared a tiny bit of my "stockpile before and afters". More to come!

When you are out looking for a piece, know your limits. If you are able to paint, but don't have access to repair equipment or the want to learn, don't get a piece that is not structurally sound or sturdy. Also know your product and what signifies good quality. For instance, be able to recognize wood species, solid versus MDF and veneers, dovetailed drawers versus stapled or nailed, plywood versus particle board backs, etc. Do some research on what you're looking for so when you find it, you don't do what I recently did, and walk away not sure if you can make enough of a profit because the price is not INSANELY low. If you wait to research and then come back, it'll be gone. Trust me:)

If there is one tip I can pass along that you probably won't find anywhere it's this: talk to people at the auctions. They are full of info you may never find out if you don't talk to someone who's been around. At my first one, I had a lady tell me to NEVER make the first bid. Wait for a little while to see where it's heading dollar-wise. Sometimes people get caught up in the excitement and buy things they really don't want, so don't get it going if you really want that piece. Wait until the last minute to throw in your bid if the price is right. It also helps to not over-dress. You may not get the old-timers to talk as much if they are worried you're looking down your nose at them. Casual dress make everyone relax more and open up. Just a good rule of thumb - Looking like a million may actually cost you because people expect you can and should pay more. I like to dress up as much as the next person, but there's a time a place - this ain't it (usually). Look nice, but not dressy - jeans and a nice t-shirt are great.

Lastly, I have an operating strategy. Want to know what it is? I try to remember to get up every morning and start my day off with some time in prayer and Bible study. I hand it all over and say, "Lord, this is what I believe you want me to do with this time in my life and the gifts you've given me. So, I trust you'll bring the pieces along as I need them. I'm not going to beat myself up over missed items or sit around worrying about how to find a  new piece. When the time is right, please show me the next step and help me always to remember who arranged for that "piece" and I to meet at just the right time." Know what? He just keeps on putting them right in front of me. I just marvel at how the timing always just falls into place. As that old hymn goes, "One day at a time, Sweet Jesus, that's all I'm asking of you!"

Want to see what I found today that I thought was really neat? It's not furniture. It's an accessory:

1931 desk globe (to the best of my knowledge - had to do some research)
I love globes. I don't know why, but it's fascinating to me to study how the world has changed over the years. This one had tons of stuff on it to no separated Korea, totally different layout of Africa, no nation of Israel, etc.
Tomorrow I'm sharing my oldest son's room and his mural. Can't wait! Talk about a labor of love?!

Miss Bee

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm in Love!

I think I'm in love....(sigh!). I opened up my Better Homes and Gardens (finally) this morning with my 3rd cup of coffee and saw this:

Better Homes & Gardens May 2011 - "Let's Make a Steal"
I love this space! I would have posted both halves but the computer is acting wonky on me tonight and taking FOREVER to do anything.  I love everything in here but the part that immediately grabbed me was that painting! The colors, the movement, the texture, etc. ....I love it! The canvas is coming out asap and I'm making myself something similar. A little paint, maybe even some joint compound for texture first, and a masterpiece is born (wink, wink)!

In other news, no broken wrist (Thank you, Lord!) but I do have one with strep and the little guy announced just a few minutes ago that his "mouth" was hurting and he needed medicine! He's way too observant of things for his own good. I'll be monitoring again in the AM to see if he really has it or if he was just stalling bedtime.

Oh, and the looking FAB! I spent the entire day giving it a detail cleaning getting residual stripper off. This thing has some serious man hours in it! In order to get it ready to paint, I've had to take it down to its bare bones and that was some heavy layers of "you name it". The arms and back are screaming at me:)

Miss Bee

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Gorgeous Home and a Project Peek

A blog I read, Verdigris Vie, recently posted about this gorgeous home designed by Ericka Powell in Santa Rosa Beach, FL featured in Trad Home online magazine. I just had to pass it on. There is a lot I like about it. It's a great mix of subtle coastal (i.e. colors, texture, atmosphere), traditional, and contemporary. I love a home that conveys a mood or feeling subtly. One where you have to really think about why you're getting a certain vibe. To me, creating a "feeling" without the obvious things (i.e. sea shells, oars) takes skill. Don't get me wrong, I like the obvious, but it's a lot easier to pull off.

Love all the natural light and that rug!

This would make an awesome studio space. Talk about inspiration!

I'd probably whiten the cabinets more instead of them being so yellow, but doesn't this make you want to
pull out the bar stool/chairs and chat over dinner preparations?

Talk about relaxing!

O.k. I went online to look at this home and then I saw the one by Lisa Sternfeld following it in the magazine spread! WOW! I'm in love with the relaxed color palette. I'm all about a home where you feel like you can breathe and this one feels like you could just take flight. I do think I'd have to add just a touch more of an organic, down to earth feel in order to feel like I could plop down on the sofa and put my feet up. Throw in some stuff like: some sea grass rugs, plants, woven baskets, a few "loved" pieces of furniture - like my redone antiques. Like most of you, I have kids (BOYS!) and a room can't feel "breakable" for me to relax. Pretty as it is, this table just looks like it would collapse just from my boys looking at it! Don't even get me started on what they could do to those gorgeous chairs. UGH! They'd be banned from even walking in this room:)

I'm in love with those mirrors. I want a pair in my master bathroom! I also love the blue. Very calming.

Love the walls and natural light. I'd have to "loosen" this room up a little, though:)
If you want to see more of those homes, click here go to Trad Home online magazine. This whole issue is just spectacular! I spent forever just browsing through it getting really inspired.

Now, I have just one last "issue of business" with you. Want to see a sneak peek of what I found under about three layers of paint on that old armoire I brought home the other day? It's exciting to peel back the layers and find out what's underneath!

Someone PLEASE explain to me why this was ever painted?!
I can't understand why some things get painted. I'm all about painting a piece as long as it isn't gorgeous woodwork, but when this much work was put into something I have a hard time with it. I don't know if I can salvage it with just stain, though. It may need too much touch up. I can't wait to finish it up and show it to you! It's gonna be BEAUTIFUL! But, it may be just a little while because I have to take two little boys to the doctor today. One with probably strep and one with a hurt wrist (please don't be broken!). Until tomorrow....
Miss Bee

p.s. I still have so much to do to this blog. I gotta figure out how to make a button, host a party (eventually), finish getting things in my linked pages....and the list goes on. If you know how to do one of these and want to share some tips, PLEASE DO! I'll figure it out, but any help would be greatly appreciated:)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter and the Dogwood Tree

I always think of the dogwood tree at Easter.

via HD Wallpapers (wish it was mine!)

via dkdesigns
I will always remember my Sunday School teachers as a child telling us a story about the Dogwood tree blossom. It represents the true meaning of Easter - Christ's death and resurrection for our Salvation! I've always been a visual person, so this stuff really stuck with me. I wasn't sure I could accurately relate it (it's been a LONG time since I heard it) so I looked it up and wanted to share it with you. This is copied from

"The dogwood is a spring blooming tree. It has been "adopted" by the Christian religion as a symbol of the crucifixion of Christ. The legend says that a dogwood tree was used to make the cross of the crucifixion and as a result it now grows as a living memory of the event.

The crucifixion are said to be symbolised as follows:
  • The Cross - represented by the four "petals" of the dogwood flowers which form a cross.
  • The Nails - the "petals" often have marks on the outer edge said to be nail marks.
  • The Crown of Thorns - the centre of the flower can sometimes resemble a crown.
  • The Blood - the red dogwood berries are said to represent the blood of Christ."
Happy Easter!

Enjoy the candy, flowers, bunnies and chicks, but don't forget to share the real reason for it with your children and say a prayer of thanks.
We are so incredibly & undeservedly loved by an awesome God!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Sneak Peak

Alright. Guess it's about time I showed you some of my house, since I've talked so much about how I love interior design, refurbishing/refinishing/painting anything, and DARED to have an opinion on decorating with color (like I actually have some idea what I'm talking about!). My house is nothing spectacular, but I like it and like I said, I feel really blessed to have a nice home. I've decorated most of the house to some degree, but it's not done yet by a long shot. Being a stay-at-home mom means you give up something (cash!) so I have to take it slow and as the budget allows. That's actually a good thing because it makes you really think through any purchases/ideas and greatly appreciate each individual aspect of the rooms.

So, we're just going to start at the front and go in just a little for today. I'll get you in the front door, at least:)


Ooops! Wait...gotta tell you I also have before pics so you can see how I've changed it up since moving in. These before pictures were taken right before we moved in. I just rushed through taking them and I'm so glad I did now. It's fun to look back and see how it used to look versus now.

Alright. Here we go.

Here's the Foyer:

It's a good thing I don't really see color when I go into a place for the first time...I see bones and potential!

Lighter and brighter! Let's play "I Spy". Can you see a project still in the works?

I love the foyer space and was thinking of putting my French Provencial Sideboard here in place of the round table, but decided instead to put it in the shop. The top portion of the walls are a custom color I've used in all three of our houses. It was a happy accident! The closest match I can find is Behr "Sensible Hue". The bottom under the chair rail is Sherwin Williams Informal Ivory. All the trim in the house is this color. It still needs a rug in here. That's a high ticket item. It'll be a while.

I was sooo over red by the time we bought this house. Repainting the dining room was on my "asap to-do" list. Can you see the faded floors where there used to be a rug in here?!

This is how it's looked up until about Christmas.

I've just moved this around to try and fit in the love seat that came out of the playroom. I love having it in here. It's my favorite place to sit and drink my coffee in the morning or read a good magazine/book.

We have done so much to this house. The first thing we did was to rip out all the old engineered, faded and water damaged (we think there was a waterline leak in the fridge at one time) hardwood and carpet. That was replaced with solid 3" wide .75" thick plank oak flooring (grade 2 - rougher and with character-i.e.worm holes and knots). I wanted to replace all the carpet with it, but the hubs insisted on having carpet in the bedrooms.  I love dark stained floors, but since I knew I couldn't afford to re-stain when "dark" was out, I went with a more classic "Provencial" color. Trendy is fun with low cost items, but I'm not trendy on high ticket stuff. I want a style that's going to last.

The curtains I made just this past fall. My favorite thing about this house was that window, but it's also a huge energy loss. So, I found some remnant fabric I loved and put an inner lining of flannel with an outer lining in cream - pinch tops. There are two layers. The heavy outer ones that can be pulled in winter at night and the inner light-weight that can be pulled in summer to block sun or for just giving some privacy. Hanging these babies is NOT easy! Those are eleven foot ceilings (and I'm scared of heights!).

I normally plan for a while before I go through with a color scheme in a room. I had tested about five different greens when I found some pillows one day at Tj Maxx and loved the color. So, I spontaneously walked next door to Home Depot and had them custom match some Behr Premium Plus Paint/Primer to them. Would you believe it only took two coats to cover that garnet red that was on the walls?! I'm starting to want to lighten it more (though in the same color family) so I'll probably be repainting this room before too long. Want to see my inspiration? I LOVE this mural and think I'll do something similar:

via House of Turquoise
I also plan to make slipcovers for the dining room chairs soon something like this:

I don't remember where this picture came from.

 I'm determined to make my own farm table like this. We are just not formal people and with three boys, I need a bomb shelter for a table!

Again, I have no idea where I got this from. I just saved it to my idea files prior to blogging. I want my top just a little rougher - not just made looking, but I love these legs!

Well, you're in the door now! Maybe since everything has greened up now and hubby just cut grass tonight, I can get an outside shot to show you next time as we progress on through to the family room.

Miss Bee

Friday, April 22, 2011


Nope, not posting about the HUMONGOUS mountain of laundry I am tackling today (wait...that's everyday!). Instead, I have a question for you:

Do you have a room in your house that is the bain of your existence? A room you despise?

Oh, I do! I nearly didn't buy this house because of that one room! I loved just about everything else, but nearly put the brakes on the sale after seeing the laundry room. It's awful! I had just drawn up my dream home house plans with this fantastic laundry/studio space and had spent months tweaking them when I got REALLY sick with my third pregnancy. We were living in a condo with people on all sides with two little boys, planning to build. I began to feel the walls closing in and threw in the towel to just go ahead and buy a house.

Now, I immediately want make one thing perfectly clear: I am incredibly blessed to live in the house I do and to even HAVE a laundry room! I grew up with very humble surroundings and didn't even know anyone who lived in a neighborhood (small town, country girl). So, it doesn't take a lot to make me happy. My childhood made me incredibly grateful for how I grew up and for what God has blessed me with today. I certainly did nothing to deserve it. In fact, probably quite the contrary! I am trying hard to instill that gratitude in my children as well, so I don't want to complain too much.

That said, I have great plans for my laundry room. We've lived in this house for nearly three years and I've been hoping I would grow accustomed to it. I haven't. Every blessed time I walk in that room, I get frustrated! The people who built this house (previous owners) decided to expand the master closet into it, thinking it would be big enough. WRONG! Seriously, I've seen campers with more space in the laundry area.

Want to see it? (I can't believe I'm going to show it to you...and in it's current state!) Forget getting "large" images. Small is bad enough!

See that metal box at the top right? That's the alarm circut box- EYE/Forehead cracking height!

To give you some perspective, those are 12x12 tiles = 23" space from machine front to wall!!!!!

Like my bead board panels laying on top to give a little more work space?!

The alarm box/light switch are methodically a sadist!

See my trash can? It has to sit on the counter next to the floor space.
Nice cabinets...if you can reach them (I'm short).
Garage entry door with laundry door to right and hall way with alarm control panel and outside light controls on right.

UGH! Words don't begin to describe my frustration! Honestly, I can't believe they even got the machines in there. If you look to the right, you'll see a nice, sharp metal box corner right at forehead height for me. That's the burglar alarm circuit box. Lovely! Can you imagine trying to squeeze into that laundry space and bend over while 9 months pregnant (and I get ridiculously big...straight out).

So, every time I walk in that room, I'm scheming and planning how to redo it on a basically non-existent budget. The hubs doesn't see the problem. Then again, he hasn't done a load of laundry in years! When I informed him one day I was going to paint the room pink, he looked at me funny and asked "Why?" To that I responded, "Because I am the only warm body that ever enters that room and I want a girly room somewhere in this house of testosterone!"

Here are some laundry room pics I've saved that I love in one way or another. The first is almost identical to what I had planned on having in my dream house - studio/laundry/mudroom with tons of natural light!

I love this room although I am not sure I'd go with the blue green cabinets.

This is probably what I'll be doing to hide the washer and dryer under a counter top.

I like how the machines are hidden by cabinetry.

I just love this dog washing station!

Great counter with skirted bottom in entry.

Love this mudroom/entry with cabinetry, counter top, windows and mini cabinet on right.

Not a fan of these colors, but like the sink and cabinet layout. If money were no option, I'd probably do
something like this in there and rip out the old stuff.

I'm in love with these colors and the drying racks! It's Sherwin Williams "Rainwashed" by Rabaut Design.
I've warned hubby he may come home one day soon and I'll have taken a sledge hammer to that wall separating the hall from the laundry room! (NOT joking!)

O.k. want to see how my mind works? Warning: It's scary -my brain is ADD! Here's the plan:

My Olioboard "mood/design board".

Martha Steward Ballet Slipper Pink
Raymond Waites Fabric (I think)- Gorgeous!

My inspiration - I love the color of these pink pearls a friend gave me!

 Before I can do anything, I have to get the alarm people out to move the control box and an electrician to move the gazillion light switches on that separating wall.
  1. Take out the wall separating the hall from the laundry and turn it all into one big mudroom/garage entry/laundry room.
  2. Take out one (maybe both) upper cabinets inserting shelving and 
  3. either stack the machines to allow more floor space for a laundry sorting station (right now my deep sink acts as the sorter!!!!) and trash can or put a counter across the machines with a curtain that can be drawn to hide the machines.
  4. Put in a wood threshold to bridge the two floorings until I can afford to rip it all out and put in some slate tile.
  5. Put up a thick chair rail backer board with routed edges and bead board wainscoting all the way around the room and now exposed hallway.
  6. Paint the walls Martha Steward's Ballet Slipper Pink
That's what I've thrown together over the last few days trying to put my thoughts onto an idea board. I honestly get so many ideas, I can't act on them all nor even remember all of them! This summer, my little brother (who did lots of construction while in college and while career hunting) is coming up one day and we're going to attack
this room.

Miss Bee

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It's official!

Well, it's official. I've slipped off the deep end to never return! Remember yesterday my "sign" to hang on the door? Remember me saying that I was eyeballing something? I went back to get it this morning, and dang it if it wasn't gone as soon as the doors opened! So, I stood there fussing at myself for "snoozing and loosing" instead of going with my gut... and while I was doing this they unloaded a new piece.

Have you ever seen something that just caught your eye with it's lines and curves? That's what this piece did. There was just one small REEKED! I'm not exaggerating. It was BAD! I almost walked out, too chicken to take it on. But, after having missed the piece I went for, I was up for a gamble and jumped in head-first. Apparently, it came out a storage unit next to one that had burned. So everything coming in had been exposed to smoke & soot, then marinated all night in the truck to be unloaded this morning! Nice. Funny thing was, there was also a dresser I liked, but when I opened the top drawer, it nearly knocked me on my knees. I actually let out an audible "OH, MY GOODNESS!" before I thought twice, and got a few looks:). I just wasn't that willing to gamble. This piece wasn't quite as bad.

Here's the deal. There's one thing I have been told all my life: never buy ANYTHING that's been exposed to cigarette smoke unless you like the smell (seriously?)! Ask just about anyone. The odds are not good you'll ever get rid of it. But I wasn't so sure about fire smoke. Here's my thinking: "If there are restoration crews who can come into a house with smoke damage and make it like it never happened, there has to be a way. I know there are primers out there that would seal it. It's not nicotine smoke. Should I? It's the exact same amount I was going to spend anyway. Oh, why not?! Scared money never made money!" and then, "He's (hubby) going to kill me for putting this in our garage!"

So, I marched to the counter before this other lady checking it out could get there and slapped me a sold sticker on it. Of course, the sales lady asked me how in the world was I going to get rid of the smell? I just grinned and said, "Who knows?! I may regret buying it, but I'm gonna give it a try!" at that point she chalked me up as "CRAZY" and said, "I hope you don't get blown out for bringing that thing home." (My thoughts exactly!). I like to live on the edge (wink, wink).

Want to see it in all it's glory? Yeah, I bet you do.

If you don't like smoke, don't even look.
I swear the smell will come through your screen!

Once again, I'm lopsided. Oh, well. Pretty good considering how much smoke I'd inhaled!
Can't you just see her all cleaned up? She needs some serious TLC, but the only piece I know I'll have to replace is the bottom panel missing on the right. It was there, but warped, so I'll cut a new one with my newest jigsaw:)

I LOVE this thing!
There was some serious sawdust flying here as I tried it out on new seat bottoms:)

On a side note: Why do men look at you like you're from Mars when they see you looking at power tools? Especially if you speak to them and tell them you actually have some clue as to what you're doing (not that I really do!)? That happened yesterday when I was picking out my Porter Cable Jigsaw. Go figure!

Miss Bee

Monday, April 18, 2011

Instead of a wreath...

I think I'll hang this on my garage entry door for my hubby to see when he comes home tomorrow:

Whadda ya think? I'm thinking that's what will cross his mind when he sees what I'm eyeballing to redo now!

'Fraid I didn't get much done with decor today. I deep cleaned (cue the Hallelujah Chorus!), planted most of my veggie garden, set out my herb garden still in pots, took some pictures of my house to post (of the deep cleaned rooms...since it's a semi-annual event, I figured it was a good time) and got a piece of plywood cut down for new chair seats to upholster! Whew! I'm pooped from just thinking about it all! So, as a pick me up (and for you, too), here's a little inspiration pic from my files:)

Not sure why it's showing up so grainy...too tired to figure it out. It's still pretty!

Miss Bee

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Table and Sideboard Paint Tutorial

Here it is! Took me long enough. If there is one reality I've got to accept, it's that EVERYTHING takes longer than it should or you plan on - especially with three young boys and their friends around! So, without further ado....

Alright. I'm also putting in a disclaimer here...I'm learning as I go. This is what I did for this set and I had to redo A LOT of steps to get it right. This is based on what worked for me. If you run into problems with something, please email with questions or let me know. The only way to figure stuff out is to try it and see if it works. If I find a better way to do things or figure out one of my steps is not the best , I'll send that info along to you...all my wonderful readers:) This is also long. I tried not to be too wordy, but it's just a lot of steps - just so you know.

First, you need to get you a good piece of furniture to work on
(for CHEAP if you're going to sell it).

I love going to estate auctions because you can find pieces that are in need of a little TLC and fixable for crazy cheap. I'm all about salvaging stuff that others look over. You do have to know when it's beyond hope, though. For this process, I recommend a solid wood piece. One that is solid and structurally sound or easily repaired, if possible. It's not a quick process, so if you're going to put that much work into something, you will probably want a piece that's going to last. The most time consuming part is simply waiting on layers to dry!

Next, gather up all your materials.

Here's my list - it's a doozy!:
1. Stripper - if you want to do this.
  • I only stripped the tops that I was going to re-stain.
  • I don't like to use toxic stuff, so I used Citristrip. Works great!
2. Chemical resistant gloves for stripping.
3. Stripping knife or putty knife with sharp edge.
4. Electric, hand-held, finishing sander - not a belt sander
3. Lots of sandpaper and a couple sanding blocks (foam). You blow through them pretty quick.
  •  60 or 80 grit (if removing deep gouges)
  • 150/200 to smooth
  • 400 for final "butter"
5. Wood conditioner...especially on cherry and some other woods. They don't like to stain evenly.
  • I used Minwax Pre-Stain.
6. Stain
  • I used Minwax's Dark Walnut. LOVE that color!
7. Oil-based primer
  • Make sure it's OIL based. That can go over any existing finish. Don't let the paint guys at chain stores tell you otherwise!
  • I used Zinnser Cover Stain.
8. Oil or latex paint
  • I prefer oil (I want to try chalk paint!) because it hardens better. Latex is rubbery and will always be that way even when cured.
  • I used latex Behr Premium Plus Ultra primer/paint in one matched to Sherwin Williams "Creamy" color because I already had it.
9. Paint conditioners for making paint go on smooth with no brush marks. This stuff rocks!
  • Penetrol for oil-based paints & poly
  • Floetrol for latex based paints & poly
10. Antiquing medium
  • I like to mix up a soupy mix of about 1.5 cups of water with (maybe 2 tbsp?) Folk Art acrylic paint by Plaid (made in USA!) in Coffee Bean and a tiny bit (1 tsp?) of Asphaltium.
  • Careful with the's very yellow. Little bit does it.
11. Paper towels.
12. Fan Brushes...small and medium sizes
13. Clear Coat of some kind.
  • I used Deft Clear Wood Finish on the stain - oil with the Penetrol to extend drying time and eliminate brush strokes
  • Because I needed to move faster, I used Krylon's Spray Clear Coat in Satin on the body. MUCH faster, but tricky.
14. Tack cloths
15. Lots of lint free rags...cloth diapers or old t-shirt scraps
16. Painter's Tape - 3M Delicate leaves a crisp line!
17. Latex gloves
18. Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray paint - I used Krylon's
19. Automobile Spray Primer - I used Rust-Oleum
20. Drop cloths
21. Spray Paint Respirator - one that filters out the VOC's
22. Safety goggles

Whew! Told you that was a lot of stuff!

Now on to the steps. Remember, I wasn't thinking of blogging when I did this so I don't have a lot of pictures. I will always take pics from now on:)
Step 1

Strip finish off. Be very careful with the knife to not gouge the wood when scraping the gel stripper off. Follow instructions on bottle for disposal and safety. Make sure to put a drop cloth under piece to catch falling paint/stripper. Wear your chemical resistant gloves. This stuff is not toxic but will give chemical burns.

Step 2

Sand top down first with rough grits to get rid of marks then progressively use higher grit to smooth out. Make sure to ONLY go with the grain, not in circles. Only go across if trying to take off layers to remove marks, but finish by going with the grain. Wear a respirator and goggles. You'll regret it if you don' me:)

Step 3

Use a sanding sponge to go over all areas lightly to be painted. You might could use a deglosser/liquid sander here. I've not tried one yet. You need to give the wood some "tooth" for the primer to adhere to. Ignore anything that says you don't need to do this step. Again, trust me:)

Step 4

Wearing latex gloves, dust off the piece with lint free cloth. Then use the tack cloth to go over and get any remaining dust.

Step 5

Apply Pre-Stain or wood conditioner per instructions only to top or area being stained.

Step 6

Apply stain, being careful to keep a wet edge. DON'T let it dry before wiping off excess. Apply more coats to get the depth you want...again, don't apply a thick coat and then let it dry without wiping.
(Trust me, again!).

Step 7

Put Poly on top. Be careful to only use NON-YELLOWING poly, even on wood. It'll turn a different OLD color if not. Don't shake the can or use a foam brush if brushing on. This will put air bubbles in it that stay. Stir and use only a rag or poly brush. Read the instructions on the can!

Step 8


Tape off edges (see picture above). Prime the body with oil-based primer with a good bit of Penetrol added. I like mine soupy. It doesn't actually thin it. It just extends drying time and eliminates brush marks, which primer is awful about! Apply two coats. I used the medium fan brush. This is when I'd love to have a sprayer! If you have one, careful about what you put in it. I don't know about the Penetrol/Floetrol and only some paints can go in them.

Step 9

Apply paint with plenty of Floetrol (if latex). Apply as many coats as it takes to get the thickness you want. I used three  - all done, AGAIN, with fan brushes.

Step 10


Let it all cure good. Then take the sander and using a medium grit paper, distress that baby! This is the most liberating part:) Careful not to go to quickly. Step back and look occasionally.

Step 11

Take your fine grit sanding sponge and go over all the painted areas lightly to scratch the paint so the antiquing will stick and show.

Step 12

Wipe the body down. First with a rag, then with a tack cloth.

Step 13

Using your antiquing medium, dip your fan brush or a paper towel in lightly and then wipe over surface. You might want to practice this on something else first. You kind-of have to get a feel for how to wipe it on. It needs to be a little streaky, not solid, so don't overlap much...if any. Immediately wipe off with a dry paper towel. The paint will settle into the "scratches" you made with the sanding block and distressed areas, as well as leave a thin stain layer. The longer it is left to dry, the darker it is. If some spots are too dark, simply take a wet paper towel and go over them. That's the great thing about this medium. You can wipe most off with water and a towel! It's more forgiving than using a stain.

Step 14

After all paint is dry (don't rush this), spray the body with Krylon's Clear Coat. Give it about 5 layers! This is the tricky part. If there is any wind, you can get dust/dirt particles in your clear coat and it will show on white! If you have a respirator and can make a paint tent with plastic, do so. You also have to be very careful to move in a steady motion across the body. Start off the body and move across to finish off the body. Don't start and stop while holding over the body - makes shiny, heavy spots. Don't worry if it's rough feeling. The next step fixes that as well as any "uneven, shiny" spots. Kate over at Centsational Girl has some great facts on spray-painting like a pro.

Step 15

Using the finest steel wool you can find (0000), rub the body down evenly. (Um...this is making me want a massage!) Look at your piece with the light on it from different angles so you can find the shiny spots that need to be "buffed" out afterwards.

Step 16

Dust it down again with a rag or duster. You're done with the furniture part!

Step 17

Clean any hardware you're keeping with warm soapy water, then wipe it down with mineral spirits while wearing gloves to get rid of any oils. DON'T handle bare-handed. This leaves oil on it again.

Step 18

Spray with Auto Primer. Don't go too heavy. Do light coats to get it solid or you'll have drips.

Step 19

Spray with Oil Rubbed Bronze. Again, easy does it. Attach when dry. Touch up any areas dinged with Oil Rubbed Bronze sprayed into a puddle and applied with a Q-tip. When dry, attach.

Step 20

Remove tape. You're finally done!

Oh... My... GOODNESS! See, I told you it was a lot of work! But, so well worth it in the end. You'll be incredibly proud of yourself afterwards. Now, go to it "and may the force be with you"!

Miss Bee

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