Monday, November 29, 2010

A place to eat

Our dining room is finally functional again.  On November 4th a nice couple came to pick up our Ikea set that I've had for the last 7 years:
It has been sorely missed, we eat every meal at home together at the dining room table.  I'm happy to say it has finally been replaced by the newly-refinished table and chairs.  Thank goodness, no more standing around the kitchen counters with our plates!
I love the way the set turned out!
I will post more about the table and chair 'redo' process this week, I'm just so happy to have it done.  I do still have the two arm chairs to sand, prime, paint and recover (blech) and the french doors have to be painted, and the rug is not doing it for me anymore, but those will all have to wait a bit.  Haven't they come a long way from this?
More details on how I did it to come!
Sorry for the weird shadows - we get next to no natural light in here, so I usually just take pics at night with the chandy on.  Oh, to have a flash I can bounce off the ceiling!  If only Christmas was coming up and someone had no idea what to get me!  Heh.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Today I'm thankful for...

Insulation (more on this later)
Thrift store finds!
(This dresser was $20!!! And I have the missing brass plates! Oh happy day!!!)
My cats that make me smile.  Except when then puke on my rugs or poop alot. 
Icky fluorescent lights that come off super easy
My man (and let's just go ahead and throw 'good hair days' in there as well)
My parents
My little brother and his gorgeous girlfriend
I am also thankful for the mounds of food my mom is preparing right now.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I got chairs

Since the chairs that came with our free pedestal table were not my style, I left them with my mother-in-law and started hunting for a great set of chairs on Craigslist.  After a few dead ends, I finally found my new chairs!  Here is the pic from craigslist:
This dining set had two arm chairs and four side chairs.  Of course, the laminate-topped table was not needed, so I posted it on CL for free.  Talk about a lot of responses!  Anyhow, I got the Queen Anne style chairs outside for a quick spray with some Cover Stain primer - after sanding with 220, of course. 
The seats definitely had to be recovered.  The fabric was pretty gross.
First I removed the seats, and numbered the seat and the chair (it's really dark in the picture)so I knew which ones went where.  Thank goodness I'm not a total idiot, or putting the seats back on would've been hell!
By the time I actually got the primer sprayed on, it was dark out.  And so cold the primer was running and sagging like crazy.  Maybe I am an idiot after all.
I chose to use BM Satin Impervo in Cloud White for the finish coat.   
This paint looks great when dry, but it's kind of hard to work with.  Mainly, it dries super fast during application.  I found myself catching drips just a minute after the fact, and they were already setting up.  Work fast with this paint!
Painting these chairs by hand was a painful experience.  All those curves were mocking me and my paintbrush.  But, the final product was very nice.  I'm very happy with the sheen, the hard finish and the color.  Here they are around an imaginary table, having a chair conference.  I ended up doing three coats just to be sure everything was covered.
The arm chairs are a pain in my ass because one arm is detached, with the screw broken off inside the chair back.  I have no idea how to get it reattached, so I'm concentrating on these four for now.  I also need to figure out how to recover the chair seats with this fabulous 'Key West' fabric in chocolate. 
I'm having my mom help me because somehow I doubt Shaun will be a good helper.  I'm envisioning crooked patterns, general whining and other nonsense!
It is going to look great, don't you think? 

Friday, November 19, 2010

CSN Review

Well since I just did a giveaway, I figured I would take CSN up on their offer to review a product from one of their many online stores.  They have everything from bar tables and stools to outdoor furniture, from kitchen sinks to lint brushes, from power tools to doorknobs!  Oh yes, they sell it all.  I have had my eye on this pendant light for awhile now, I think I may have to make it mine.
I'm hoping it will look great hanging from the old recessed light fixture above the built-in desk in my woman cave. 
It's not too cute when lit - sort of reminds me of a parking garage.  It really needs to be converted to a pretty hanging pendant, don't you think?   
I just need to figure out how to get the old fluorescent tubing fixtures out of there, as the previous owners converted it to a regular fixture already. 
I'll let you know how it turns out soon!  And possibly even show you the completed room sometime before the end of time.  The bookshelves aren't quite finished yet!  Gah, I'm slow as molasses. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Giveaway winners!

Thank you all so much for entering the giveaway!  I have used to choose three winners as promised....the following lovely ladies will be getting a package from me sometime next week:

Vonda (comment 24)

Katie (comment 5)

Carrie (comment 51)

I would love to send more, but shipping is expensive and I just can't do it.  However - if there are any midwest bloggers who would like to make the trek to the IL/WI border, I'd be more than happy to meet up with you and give you a bottle!  As long as we get to have wine after.  Because there is no point to a get-together without wine. 

Lucky winners, I will email shortly! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Feed-N-Wax Giveaway!

So, I thought I'd share the amazing bounty of Howard products that my new friend (COO of Howard Products) Eric Howard sent to me this week.  Behold the awesome generosity of this man!
Let's break this down so you can really see all the stuff.  The right side contains a few different shades of Restor-A-Finish and tons of baby Feed-N-Wax bottles!
The other side is a bunch of different products by Howard, paste wax, granite cleaner, orange oil, upholstery cleaner, 'Sunwax' for outdoor furniture, butcher block conditioner and oil, and what I will probably be using right away - the brass and silver polish! 
Realizing that there is no way I could ever use all the 4.7oz Feed-N-Wax bottles, I am going to do a little giveaway.  Everyone who comments on this post will get a chance to win two mini bottles of Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner.  I would also love it if you would tell me what you plan to use it for!  I will be choosing THREE winners, so comment away and be sure to include an email if not available on your blog. 

Giveaway closes Wednesday night, I will announce the winners Thursday and try to get them in the mail Friday!  Read all about the wonderful products made by Howard here, and check out my experience with Restor-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax here

ps - Mr. Howard didn't send these items to me with the intention of getting free advertising, nor for me to do a giveaway.  He was simply sharing his products with me because he knew I would appreciate them and use them.  I'm sharing the Feed-N-Wax with my readers (and paying for the shipping) because I know you will love it! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Table update

Taking advice from your comments, I went over the table again with 220 grit sandpaper, just to be sure that it was completely ready for stain.  The first application was pretty nervewracking, it's a very dark stain (Varathane Espresso we used on our floors) and always tends to look blotchy while it's soaking in. 
You ya like my polka dot dishwashing glove?  I couldn't find any throw away gloves, and I never use these for dishes, so booyah! New staining gloves.  I really didn't want another 'zombie manicure', one is enough in my lifetime.  Speaking of zombies, did anyone get into 'The Walking Dead' on AMC?  I'm still scared to watch the last part of the first episode! 
Anywannaeatyourbrain, I was pretty pleased with the way the table came out after just one coat of stain...
But then I pulled it outside the following day and was a little disappointed that there were little missed spots in the heavy wood grain, and it was generally washed-out. 
So, I tortured myself by applying a second coat and then getting all upset when some areas turned out darker than others.  But honestly, it's the pattern of the good grain and how they sawed the wood...not so much my fault.  Plus, I think it looks richer now - and I love how the striping of the wood is so much more visible.
Now I just need to figure out how to apply the top coat without getting all the sanding dust in our garage all over it.  And don't tell me to use the shop vac, I'm lazy.  God knows I can't do it outside, either, my neighbor's trees would immediately drop heaps of leaves all over it and a pesky squirrel would run across it for good measure.  Plus, it's supposed to rain this weekend.  Bah!  Bah again!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Shut the front door part 2!

Dear readers, something amazing happened to me yesterday.  Remember Sunday night when I posted about how amazing Howard Restor-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax are?  Well, the OWNER OF THE COMPANY emailed me to thank me for my kind words, tell me it's awesome that I like to restore old furniture, and also tell me if I emailed him my mailing address he would send me a box of their other products for free!

UH.....let me think about it.....OKAY!  This news was worth a beer toast!
Eric Howard is a very interesting guy, and the story of the company is pretty awesome.  Eric runs the company with his brother Kevin, and Howard Products was actually started in their childhood home's garage by their dad in 1969!  They used to come home from school and fill bottles for their supper every night - now that is quality family time, right?  Now they have 25 employees and their products are sold in huge chains like Home Depot and Ace.  Rad!  At this point, it's time for you all to get a little goofy....
...because I'm probaby going to have a little Howard product giveaway soon!  Also, aren't photo booths at weddings so fun?  I may have to make this happen for ours....

Sunday, November 7, 2010


My friends, Howard's Restor-A-Finish is the meaning of life.  If I could ask Restor-A-Finish advice about life decisions and career moves, I would.  This stuff knows what it's doing!!  Let me show you what it did for my washed out and mistreated dresser just last week.  Here is the before:
And the rich, sparkly (still slightly wet) after!  Holyslapmyfaceandcallmeshirley!
Oh yes, this is the same dresser.  No, it isn't the same room or the same lighting....but the results still speak for themselves.  I used the Walnut shade because restorers online suggested using it for nearly every shade of wood except very light tones. 
This stuff is a miracle worker, obviously.  Another before:
Those white marks were actually paint transfers.  I took some Goof Off* to these areas prior to using the refinisher, and it all came off!  And after:
Hot Dang!  Woo hoo!  Front scratches before:
And 'holy cow' after:
When I was able to pick my jaw up off the floor, I let the Restor-A-Finish dry overnight, then coated the entire piece with a nice thick layer of Howard's Feed-N-Wax, and buffed out the excess after about 30 minutes. 

This stuff smells delicious thanks to the orange oil, and it makes your furniture glow with a soft luster.  It will harden up and protect the furniture after application, but it smells so good, I just want to keep applying it!   So, mine may never harden up like it's supposed to.  Maybe I should just start using it as a body lotion instead?   Here is the dresser after a dried coating of the Feed-N-Wax:
I love the soft sheen!  Both products were just wiped on with old towels, in case you are curious.  There was nothing complicated about the application.  So, who's going to buy some Howard's products to fix up their old wood furniture?  Or maybe a better question is, who isn't going to buy this stuff??

* in my first post about this dresser, I said that Goof Off didn't work to remove the bad spots - I guess I didn't try very hard back in March!!  ha