Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Kitchen Canisters Makeover with Faux Galvanizing Technique

For the past few years my kitchen has had a red and yellow vintage theme going on.   It's been bright and cheerful and I've loved every minute of it, but here lately I'm itching for change.  I still love red and yellow, and I still love vintage, but I've been wanting to give it a more rustic farmhouse feel with just a few vintage touches.  I think a few key changes will bring about the look I'm after.

A few months ago when I decided I was ready for this change, the first thing that came to mind that I wanted to change was the canister set.  I found these lil' cuties on Ebay for a great deal a few years back, and they've served me well.  But I wanted something less vintage and more farmhouse.

So I went searching.  I scoured Ebay, Etsy, Pinterest, and Google Images, but came up with nothing.  I finally decided to quit searching and just wait for them to come.  I knew they would, in time.

And I was right.  A few weeks later I found this Ikea set at Goodwill for.....

wait for it.......

Yep!  You saw that right.  $4.99 for the whole set!  I knew they were perfect the minute I spotted them.  I liked how the shape of the jar mimicked a canning jar without being too literal, and the metal lids were like God's little gift to me that day.  Love at first sight.  Well, almost.

 I didn't love the lids as they were, they were too shiny and modern looking for me.   I loved the potential of what they could become.  I envisioned them having that galvanized look of old zinc canning jar lids.

I came home and did some research, but came up with nothing on how to create that look.  So, they got put out in the garage while I pondered it for 10 months a bit.  I came to the conclusion that I would probably have to layer varying shades of gray paint, but still didn't know exactly how to go about it.  The motivation for this project slowly ebbed away, and yes, they sat in the garage for t.e.n. months.

Then the other day while blog hopping I came across a post about faux galvanizing over at Blissfully Ever After.  That was the inspiration I needed to dig these babies out from under the piles of other projects awaiting me and get to work.

 As Jennifer suggested in her post, I bought metallic paint in Gun Metal Gray, a Burnt Sienna (I already had the black and grey), and some round sponge brushes.  It was my lucky day at JoAnn's, the set of sponge brushes was on clearance from $4.97 to .97!

Here are all the supplies you'll need if you want to try out this technique for yourself.

I knew I wasn't going to be putting the taller pasta jar out on display so I was able to use it's lid for some trial runs. 

 I decided not to do a primer coat since my lids were already silver.  I wanted that to show through a bit and didn't want to cover it up.  So I began with a layer of black like Jennifer did and layered the other colors on top (the top half of the lid in this picture).  But I didn't like the results.  It was too dark and too black.  As you can see by my little fingernail marks, the paint easily scraped off so I scraped it clean on one side and tried it without the black.  I liked it mucho better!  I also realized that I would need to sand them down a bit so the paint would adhere better.

So, with a bit of a nervous twitch in my tummy (I always get nervous when attempting something new) I sanded them all down good and got to work.

I used a small paint brush to dab some paint in the crevices around the handle that I knew, thanks to my trial runs,  I wasn't going to be able to get with the sponge brushes.

Next, I used the dry brush technique (dab the sponge in paint, then dab on a paper towel to get a lot of the paint off) and sponged on the metallic gun metal gray all over and let that dry.

A few minutes later I very lightly sponged the Burnt Sienna around, with an emphasis on the edges in places of typical rust.  Let me just tell you, this shade is perfect for reproducing a rusty look!  Also, in my test run, I tried it without the rustiness and it just didn't look as good.  The Burnt Sienna gives it another layer of color that adds depth and authenticity to it.

And here it is with another layer of gray (I mixed a little black in with the light gray to make it darker)  sponged over the "rust."

At this point I started to get discouraged because it was looking so fake and not at all how I wanted it to look.  I thought I was going to have to start completely over.  But... I just kept working and trying and kind of by accident I figured out how to finally get what I wanted.

 The gun metal gray is a metallic paint so it dries with a shine, which I didn't want.  I knew that basic craft paint dries really dull and flat so I wanted that to be the final layer.  I mixed up yet another shade of gray and wiped it over a small section at a time.

Then I used a damp paper towel to {very gently} sort of smudge the paint and work it into the other layers of paint, sort of filling in the gaps so to speak.  This helped smooth out the finish and give it another layer of texture since authentic old canning lids have tons of texture and layers of color.  

At the same time, the dampness of the towel was also removing the excess paint.

Doing that covered up some of the rustiness so I did the dry brush technique with a sponge brush and very lightly brushed some more "rust" onto it.  The craft paint dried nice and dull and flat and I was pretty happy with how they turned out.

Since these will be in daily use in the kitchen and have the potential to get grimy, I added a few layers of Krylon clear coat sealer in matte finish to protect the paint.  They make the sealer in a flat finish and I considered using that so as not to add any bit of shine to them, but I was worried the flat finish might not have very good washability.  The matte finish did add just the tiniest bit of shine to them, but probably only a perfectionist like me would even notice.

So...now that they were done I set them in place.  But since I decided to take down the Hostess Cupcake sign, it was looking a little bare.  They needed something more.

I took the RC Cola crate off the top of the fridge and came up with this.

A vintage potato masher holds my dishcloths, while an old donut/biscuit cutter and milk glass salt shaker add some extra cuteness.  I have to be honest here, the dishcloths in the potato masher is not my original idea.  I saw that done in a display at an antique store a few years ago and tucked it away in my brain for future use.

A little closer look at the "galvanized" lids.

So here's a little comparison.


And another comparison.



 I am loving the change - exactly what I was going for!  I can't quit glancing over there every time I'm in the kitchen!  : )


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DIY Club

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Dirty Little Secret

Dirty little secrets. 
 Everyone has one right?  Whether they want to admit to it or not, it's there...somewhere.  
In the past, I've been labeled as someone who "has it all together;" "house is always perfect;" "writes a blog;" "throws cute parties;" and people ask "How do you do it all?!?"  I am always surprised and perplexed when someone admits they think that of me, because the answer is, I don't!  I am so far from "together." 

And today I'm going to admit to one of my {many} weaknesses, but this one is my "dirty little secret."  The worst of the worst.  I question my own sanity in showing you this.

Warning: This post is not for the faint of heart.  If you fear you will succumb to a heart attack or collapse into a fit of epileptic seizures from the horrors contained within, then I suggest you exit out immediately and pretend you never stumbled across this post.

Ok.  Here goes.

My dirty little secret is........our master bedroom is almost always a horrid mess!!  The rest the house generally looks at least halfway presentable, but not this upstairs room.  It has been plain and boring,  undecorated, and usually messy for over a year now (ever since we moved into this house).

When we were getting ready to move from our old house to this one I decided it was time for a change in the master bedroom.  It wasn't that I hated the decor or anything, but we had it for 8 years by then and I was just ready for something new.  So I got rid of it all.  Everything.  Except the dresser.  Then we sort of inherited the antique bed.

But the problem was nothing ever inspired me.  At one point I thought I wanted this, but then I'd change my mind to that, and around and around I'd go, never committing to anything.  Well....you know how if a room doesn't look pretty and put together it's so much easier to let it get cluttered and unkempt?  At least that's how it is for me.

The dirty truth is that the above picture isn't all of it.  The rest of the room looks like this.

And this.

And this.

Feeling any twinges yet?  Need some Nitro?  Don't say I didn't warn you.

Ours is a split level home and the upstairs is mostly one big room that serves as our bedroom and my craft/scrapbook/kids art room.  There's also a bathroom, and attic access up there.  The bathroom is decorated very nicely and 90% of the time it's fairly clean.  But not so much for the rest of the upstairs.

There are piles of the kids' outgrown clothing waiting to be put away in the attic, their toys are generally strewn about e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e., my crafting/sewing table hasn't been cleaned off in..........I don't even know how long, my unused scrapbooking armoire is a horrible unorganized mess on the inside, and the list goes on and on.  I just have had no motivation to keep it looking nice.  It's so bad that I feel like a hypocrite every time I make my daughter clean her room.

So, that has been my embarrassing secret that I've done my best to keep hidden for the past year.  
Not anymore apparently.

 Alas, I am not so perfect.  So very far from it.

BUT.....I admit all of that to tell you this...hope is on the horizon!  I finally finally finally found a bedroom set that I fell in love with and feel excited about, and I cannot wait to begin pulling it all together.  And having a reason to keep it looking nice.  I'm so very tired of all that mess.

I found it at Kohls, bought it during a 50% off sale, used an additional 20% off, plus got $40 Kohls cash back from it.  But even so, for me it was a HUGE splurge, I never spend that kind of money.  But I didn't cut into our budget money for it, I had birthday/Christmas/etc money hoarded away and I used that.  So I didn't feel quite so guilty about it.  : )

It could very easily go in the direction of French Country (not my style) so I plan to give it a more rustic farmhouse spin.  'Cause that's how I roll.

Anyhoosie, exciting changes are coming our way!  I'll keep you updated as I go.  

That is, if you're still breathing.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cozy Little Kitchen Corner

Now that my lamp makeover and the vintage table makeover are done, I can show you what I decided to do with them both.

They are cozied up in the corner of my kitchen!  

Here's the scoop.  After I finished the lamp I loved it, but I couldn't decide what to do with it.  It was too bright and colorful for the living room and too big for the master bedroom.  I didn't think it was good enough quality to go in my Etsy shop, so I considered selling it on Craigslist.  But I wasn't sure what I could actually get out of it and figured I'd probably just break even on the cost I had in it.  So I mulled it over and mulled it over.  Finally, I realized it was perfect for the kitchen.  

I've always liked pictures I've seen of lamps in a kitchen, it always looks so cozy to me, but I've never had a kitchen big enough for that.  And at first I thought the same was true here.  But I quickly realized, I had this lonely little corner just begging for some attention.

This picture was taken last Fall, but I found this wire organizing thing-a-ma-bob at a yard sale for a $1.  I  had intentions of doing something cute with it here in the kitchen, but I never could figure out anything that worked.  So it just sat there.  From Fall until now.

I tried the lamp on it, but it was a no go.  So then I tried my suitcase table in that corner, but that wasn't just right either, a little too big.  I had this little table in the works for our master bedroom.  I was planning to put a layer of red over the green and have the green peeking through for a layered look.  But when I tried it in this corner with the lamp it was a perfect fit.  And the green was the perfect shade, it picked up the bits of the same colored green leaves in the floral fabric, and it was a nice balance for the brighter red and yellow of the lamp. 
 And the shelf underneath was perfect for some cookbooks.

So now I have a lamp in my kitchen.  I feel very high class.  : )

I shopped around the house/kitchen for what to put with the lamp.  The coffee can was up in the attic not being used (the lid doesn't sit flat on it and so it's in use in the living room, that's why the can is upside down), and the pitcher was up in my cabinets not being used either.  

And here's where we play a little game of "I Spy."  

Can you find these flowers.....

And this cute little rooster....

In this picture?

This was taken a few months before my blogging days began, so it's the best I've got.

That's right!  The flowers were on top of the fridge and the rooster was up high in the corner above the cabinets.  I'm not too worried about filling that nook up high, but I do need to come up with something else for the top of the fridge now.

So, after months and months of seeing this...

It looks SO cozy and pretty to walk in and see this.

And here I zoomed out a little so you can see the whole corner area.  That old feed sack is not only cute, it's actually quite functional.  It's hiding a very unsightly and very large electrical box.

I hope you've enjoyed a peek into my kitchen.  

Come back soon for more changes happening soon here at the "farmhouse."


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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vintage Table Makeover & a Transparency Transfer

This little thing has been a beast and has taken me forever to complete.  I'm gonna spare you the boring details and just give you the abridged version. 

Somehow the "before" picture got lost, but I got this at Goodwill for $3.  This picture is close to the before, it was taken after I sanded it down a bit.  So just imagine that the top was darker and the 90's style forest green paint was a whole lot thicker and gloppier. 

My original plan for the table was to paint it red and use it in our master bedroom, so I did a primer coat since red paint is notorious for being difficult to work with.

You're probably thinking that it looks pretty good in white aren't ya?  I know I know, but that would have been SO predictable, and though it would have been beautiful (and popular), it's just not me.  (I never was one of the popular kids)  : )

Part way through this makeover I changed my mind on where it would be used and thus what color it would end up.  I did a layer of a light green (an "oops" can bought from a local paint store) and then I randomly splotched some red around so that it would end up with a layered look.

I didn't take more pictures of the painting, but I did a second layer of green and finished it off with an antiquing glaze.

Now for the top of the table.  I had a "vision" for this table, I wanted it to have an old postage mark type emblem in the corner.  The problem was that after I decided this all of a sudden I started seeing tons of tables and projects done with the French postage mark found at The Graphics Fairy.  Again, I didn't want to be predictable and I didn't want to copy what everyone else was doing.  So I went searching for some other, non-postmark, image to transfer but found nothing I liked.  I kept coming back to my original idea.

I finally decided to go with it, but with my own twist to it.  Paris has no meaning to me so I didn't want to use the image from Graphics Fairy.  A Google image search brought up nothing useable.  So....I decided to design my own, one with a little more personal meaning. 

Months ago I had read about transparency transfers on Red Hen Home and thought they sounded like a great idea.  I never was inspired to try the freezer paper, Mod Podge, or Citra Solve transfers because they just sounded too confusing and the results seemed to be iffy.  But the transparency sounded like it would be easy enough and since the "paper" your working with is clear you can see exactly where you're placing your image.   HINT: a box of transparencies at an office supply store will run ya $35-$60 depending on which kind you get!  Instead, you can go to the copy center there in the store and ask to buy individual sheets.  3 of them cost me $1.28.

The idea is that running the transparency through an ink-jet printer gives you an image with ink that's sort of sitting on top of the "paper."  So you slightly dampen the wood you want to transfer it to then lay your image (printed in reverse/mirror image) onto the damp wood and press it down, thereby transferring the now wet ink to your project.  (Check out Red Hen Home for a more detailed tutorial)

I found an extra piece of wood in the garage to do some practice runs on.  

Good thing I did because my first try ended up in a big smeary mess!  The wood was too wet and I pressed too hard.  The half image to the left turned out better after I let the wood dry for a minute before placing the transparency on it.  Then I practiced putting stain over it to make sure it wasn't going to smear my image.  Since the stain is oil-based it didn't affect it at all.

I also experimented with applying the stain first and then putting the image on top, but that didn't work.   See how the ink dotted up?  It wouldn't soak through the oil based stain.

On this one I tried sanding the image a bit before staining, but it ended up looking smeary.  I don't know if the ink just needed to dry longer or if it's just not a good candidate for sanding.  In the end I decided not to risk it and didn't sand my image.

So, here it is after the transfer is complete, but before I stained it.

And here it is all finished up.......finally!

A coat of clear wax will give the top a little extra protection.

Here you can see the layering effect with the red paint.

And the touch of antiquing glaze in the cracks and crevices.

This little thing sat for months and when I finally decided to tackle it, it took much longer than anticipated, but........I'm happy to have it done.  Total cost was around $5.

So, now that I have this project complete, I can show you why I changed my mind about what to do with it and what I did with the  farmhouse lamp.  That'll be up next.

**Update** - if you'd like to see what I did with the table you can see that here: A Cozy Little Kitchen Corner


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