Friday, July 18, 2014

My Kitchen Table Redo & Tips for Stripping and Staining Furniture

I am totally 100 percent embarrassed about my old kitchen table.  I have had this table for maybe 8 years now and I have not been nice to it, like at all.  I have done so many projects on this table and it completely shows. There are a ton of water marks, scratches, burns and who knows what else it has been tortured with.  I even convinced myself that there was some level of character rather than a crazy mess.  Maybe me being 5 months pregnant might have something to do with me feeling like I need to complete all of my projects and clean every nook and cranny of my house, but I knew it was time to tackle the table.  Tim wanted to just get a new table but I of course convinced him to give me a chance to try and salvage it, and if he liked it then I got new kitchen chairs. Completely fair deal, right?

Before starting on this project, the main thing I was worried about was seeing what was underneath all of the damage.  I thought I should strip it and try to save the wood and if it was too damaged then I would paint it but I didn't really want to paint it.

 1 Can of Spray Paint- I used an outdoor acrylic paint in matte black.  - for the legs.
Chemical Gloves
Chemical Goggles
Paint Mask- for the fumes!
1 gallon of paint thinner
Paint scrapper- one that has a dull blade.
Metal pan- like an old pie pan or metal paint tray (they are about $3 bucks at the local hardware store)
Wood conditioner.
Oil stain
Oil varnish
Some old rags
Oil paint brushes
Crappy old or cheap paint brush
Steel Wool
low grade sand paper

The first thing that I did was spray paint the legs black.  Before they were this two toned metal color and I wanted a more wrought iron look.   Time to put on our safety gear! Put on your chemical gloves, goggles, and face mask. It is really important to use chemical gloves because they will protect you from the paint thinner because it is crazy toxic and chemical burns are not fun.

I poured the paint thinner onto the table and you want to take the crappy old paint brush and spread the goop all over the table, but thick.  You will see the chemicals start to work and bubble and want to leave it on for maybe 10 minutes, but once it starts to bubble it's ready to be pulled up and you don't want the goop to dry.   Take your scrapper and press firmly down at a 45 degree angle and scrap away.  You want to be firm with the wood but not pushing the blade to hard because it will scratch and damage the wood. Put the leftover goop and scrapings into the metal tray.

Since this table has a rounded edge I needed to be more patient and I did the removal in sections.  Once all of the gunk is removed, take a damp rag and wipe the table clean.  Use a bit of steel wool and go over the table and the edges.  Let the table sit for at least 8 hours, so the wood has time to dry out and rest.

Take a low grade sand paper and do a light sand on the table.  When you run your hand over the table and edges it should be smooth.  Wipe away the dust with your old rag. Apply the wood conditioner and you will see immediately how much healthier and prettier the wood is.  It's actually kinda amazing!

According to the instructions on the wood conditioner, I just needed to wait an hour before applying the oil stain.  You can either use an oil brush or an old rag when applying oil stain.  I prefer using a rag because when the stain is applied it is more evenly and thinner.  I ended up doing about 3 coats because I didn't want it to look too dark and wanted the natural wood color to come out. Then I have to wait a good 8 hours to apply the varnish.  I applied 3 coats of varnish and doing a light sand between each coat.  Let table rest for 24 hours before using.

This was quite a project but I really love how it turned out.  It looks like a whole new table and it makes me wish I would have tackled it sooner.  There are a few scratches in the wood but I actually think it adds charm to the table. Stripping and staining was actually a pretty easy but time consuming process because of letting all of the layers dry. I am so glad I did it. Tim also let me get the new chairs I wanted. eek!

Monday, July 14, 2014

View Master

If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed I have been doing a little painting.  In my first trimester it was pretty hard to do any sort of art work but I am slowly finding time and solutions to paint. Let me tell you, I really missed it, like a lot! I have been mainly working in my sketchbook and have been painting in bed.  I know in bed isn't the best place to do any sort of art work but there is nothing more comfortable than wearing a good pair of pajamas, in my favorite pair of fuzzy bunny socks, laying on a big pile of pillows and making art. And, why not? Art can happen anywhere can't it? 

Did you have a view master as a kid? I sure did! It's a little device that you look through with circular cardboard filled with color photographic film.   They have been around a long time and the one that I had when I was kid was filled with disney cartoons.  The view master is a place that once you look inside it puts you into this little viewing tunnel and literally transports you through time and place. I used to turn on my rainbow bright record player and flick through my view master for hours.  Can you tell I was a child of the 80's?   

I really like this one a lot and think Im going to put a print of this in the kiddos room. I am about to start a total make over on that room since Nora and her new baby brother will be sharing a room. I'm still on the fence about a theme but I love the idea incorporating art that makes me think of adventure and wonder, which everyone needs now and again.  

PS. OH and this print is available in my etsy shop

Monday, July 7, 2014

You're a firework!

Hello! Did you have a good weekend? We escaped to the coast for the holiday weekend and it was pretty amazing weather. When I say ah-mazing I mean it was so sunny, warm and I could run and dip my toes into the cool crisp ocean water. Getting to be in the ocean is a pretty rare occurrence in the Pacific Northwest because it's always so cold and the sub zero wind blows extremely hard (even in the summer), so it's such a luxury when you can really enjoy the beach and play in the water. 

This is my first 4th of July celebrating on the coast in Washington and here you can buy the fancy fireworks.  These are the fireworks that my husband gets really excited about and as soon as we go in to firework tent, he immediately grabs his own basket and gets into this frenzy of needing to get his hands on the biggest and loudest fireworks possible. Now if only he could be so passionate about shoe shopping. 

In the end we went to 3 different firework stands to make sure we weren't missing out on anything. Silly husbands- I think lighting up fireworks make them feel like a kid again.  Thank goodness the last firework stand had a snow cone and kettle corn hut next to it because it made this pregnant lady extremely happy and made the hour long venture totally worth it.  That evening we set up our beach blanket and watched the fireworks light up the sky up and down the coast till the wee hours of the morning.   

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

20 weeks- Pregnant and it's a ....!

Gosh! I can't believe that I am already halfway into my pregnancy and I am relieved that I am starting to get over my morning sickness. Yay! It's been nice because I have actually managed to do a little laundry, get out of the house beyond the corner store, and even do a few projects around the house. I love being productive but I am realizing I have to really take care of myself and take lots of snack breaks, and Nora loves snack breaks because they usually involve cookies or ice cream. The baby wants these things, so why deprive myself?  

I pinky-promised myself that I would try to take more maternity photos the second time around. I think I have all of two photos of my pregnancy with Nora and I am feeling the need to document my journey. Nora is now asking me if there is a baby inside and then walks over to Tim and points at his tummy and asks if there is a baby inside. I think she knows something is going on and I love seeing her think and figure things out. 

Big smooches from Nora and, oh yeah, I am having a boy! Crazy huh? We went to the ultrasound appointment and was pretty excited because I thought it was going to be a boy and Tim thought it would be a girl. The ultrasound tech was so great and funny. In the appointment, they take a ton of photos for me to take home and when she did the gender reveal, she drew a small dot with an arrow to indicate the male parts. Too funny! :)
I hope you're having a wonderful week! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pregnancy and Strawberries

It's been pretty quiet around here lately and I can't believe I'm nearly half way through my pregnancy. I'm just going to say it but I make a terrible pregnant lady. Pregnancy at least for me isn't fun or easy. I thought the 2nd time around would be a lot easier than the first but nope I was wrong. Between still having all day sickness and looking after Nora it has been extremely challenging to just take care of me or even find time to just catch my breath.

Making art or any ounce of creative energy has been thrown out the window and I miss it terribly. The hardest thing about being pregnant again is the part that you just aren't yourself or at least your former self. I know life is all about changes but being pregnant I feel like I'm on my own planet. Pregnancy is just temporary but I can't wait for it to be over.

I've been out visiting my parent's quite a bit lately because the only place I really want to be is with my mother. She helps with Nora, the pugs and best of all she makes me BLT sandwiches all day long. Can you tell I have been craving bacon? Since my parents live a few hours away, I took a little vacation out to see them and it's exactly what I needed. I was able recharge my batteries and take a minute to stop and smell the crisp fresh ocean air since they live out on the coast.

I want to make art but it's just really hard right now, I just can't describe it.  I think when your pregnant your body has so many things going on chemically that it's hard to tap into that creative place.  Tim keeps telling me that I need to allow growth into something else but I really love painting. Maybe I need to think of it as not abandoning painting but seeing what happens.

Since summer is happening my parents have the most beautiful and lush garden. It also happens to be strawberry season! Nora loves digging out those sweet juicy little red berries and so do the pugs. I caught Winston the pug climbing over the garden box and getting his big old belly stuck as he hung on the edge while gobbling up strawberries.  It still makes me smile just thinking about it because he always acts like he is starving. oh pugs!  I really want to make some jam soon... maybe it's a sign of some sort of creative things waiting to come out. I have been enjoying shooting photos again and been feeling the need for at least small adventures.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Some Big News!

Well. I have some exciting news! Yep, surprise I'm pregnant! Eeek!  I haven't been hiding under a rock for the last month but I have actually been just trying to survive the first trimester of pregnancy and chasing after Nora.   Nora is almost 21 months old and she is so full of life and has so much energy.  It has been a bit of a struggle to keep up with her and I have been letting her watch far too many episodes of Sesame Street.  and now she is totally Elmo obsessed and has started calling out for him in the middle of the night.. no mommy or daddy but Elmo.  every time we color together and it's a face- it so happens to be Elmo.

I cannot wait for the days where I have little bit more energy and have started to see little glimpses of it, but hopefully I will turn the corner soon. I am so excited to have a new member of our family, but I am terrified all at the same time. Pregnancy is sort of a terrifying thing. There is so much that is left up to chance and circumstance that my only wish is for a healthy baby. Nora's pregnancy was tough, but she came out healthy and I made it through a normal labor. It was majorly tough, but there were no complications. I am completely thankful for this, and I just want and hope that everything comes out good with this one, too.

I have starting making lists for lots of projects that I need to tackle before the baby comes and I am so excited for all of my DIYs and art projects coming soon. I haven't been able to be in the studio much because I have been so sick and off balance, but I miss it. So, Tim did buy a bed table so that I could have my laptop and do my sketch book in bed, but so far its main use has been for holding bowls of ice cream and Captain Crunch. Yes, I caved and bought a big box of Captain Crunch, and you know what? It is so good and was totally worth it!

This time around I plan on staying healthy and getting a good amount of exercise. With Nora, I was a big-old lump. This pregnancy my goal is (once the morning sickness eases up) to establish a good exercise routine and start cooking, baking and making things. My due date is 11/12/14 which means a Thanksgiving baby! yay!  

Friday, March 21, 2014


We have been so sick this week.  Nora first got sick and then passed it around to the rest of us- isn't that how it usually works right? oh life as a parent. Thankfully since I am a lover of pancakes and there are healing properties in pancakes especially ones with cute little faces on them- we have been having pancakes most mornings. Pancakes, pajamas and watching far too many episodes of sesame street and bolt have been the path to wellness.  Tonight is date night which means once Nora goes to bed- its pizza and a movie. yay! which is exactly what I need and am so happy it's friday.

what are you up to this weekend?