Masterful artsiness

A few days ago, I posted this on Instagram….

mbr

True statement right there.

It’s funny how one decorating movement made on a total whim can get the juices flowing.  After I popped this guy above our bed, I actually (1) made my bed (Please, no applause. ;)) and (2) I busted out the camera and tripod and took pics of not only this space, but all of the other spaces that I’ve worked on in the past month or so.  It was a successful morning to say the least.

So, with that I give you my art…

DIY art for the master bedroom

This, my friends,  is a HUGE piece of DIY art that I created for (waitforit) EIGHT DOLLARS.  No joke.


Now, granted, a big part of this project costing practically pennies was luck.  I found this giant canvas that was already framed in raw wood at a thrift store for $7.99.  It looked like a DIY painting of a winterscape painted in brown and white before I painted over it.   Had it been attractive, I may have kept it, but sadly, it was not.   At least not for my taste.   It wasn’t signed and didn’t appear to be anything other than maybe a school project or something so I didn’t feel too bad covering it up.

Master bedroom

Now, because I was in my little Money-Pit-Funk when I completed this project, I have no process pics, but transforming it was pretty simple and self-explanatory.   Let me put it this way… My four-year-old-helped me do it.  For that reason alone, I really wish I’d snapped some pics… the little man was so excited to be wielding a paint roller.  And he did really well.

Anyways, updating the art took very little time and zero dollars.  I just used what I had on hand.   I simply taped off the frame and then Lucas and I painted over the canvas with white primer (It was Kilz Premium).  Once that was dry, I taped off the canvas and stained the wooden frame using two coats of Varathane’s Early American stain.  I then decoupaged a print that I already owned in the middle of the canvas with Matte Mod Podge (after cutting it down to size using my sweet neighbor’s paper slicer (have I mentioned that I love our neighbors?)).   I’ve found that the key to Mod Podging paper is to “glue” the paper down with one coat of Mod Podge, then let it dry thoroughly before adding coats over top.   This prevents the paper from sliding and tearing.

That’s all it took.   It was easy and pretty darn foolproof.

DIY art

I may go back eventually and add some hints of color over top of the white so it’s not so stark, but I’m still deciding on that.  Right now I kind of like the simplicity of it.  In the meantime, this over-sized art really helps to fill the wall and make this side of the room feel more finished.

Master bedroom with art

Here’s a view from the doorway (PLEASE ignore the ceiling fan… It’s destined for replacement with something more our style)…

The frame is looking a bit orange in some of these pics, but it’s actually a beautiful medium-dark wood tone that plays really well with my vintage foot stool and rattan table on the opposite side of the room.   The bed area really needed that tone to make it feel more cohesive with the rest of the space.  I still need to play with the night stand styling a bit to account for our newest addition, but I’ll tell ya.   It’s SUCH an improvement from this purple mess with stained carpeting and rickety windows that we started with a year ago…

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There’s still lots to do in this room… I’d love to add an area rug, a bench at the foot of the bed, more art, and a dresser to the wall by the doorway (and the ceiling fan… OH, the ceiling fan), but for now I’m just glad to have done SOMETHING in here.

As for coming projects around the house, I’ve been on an “art mission” as of late.   I’m trying to fill the walls in thoughtful, inexpensive ways.   So, the next few posts will cover changes to the walls in the living and hangout rooms and foyer.    I’ve already taken pics, so now it’s just a matter of writing my posts.  Woot!

TDC Before and After
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On a pedestal (table)

HI! IM BACK!

If ya noticed that I was missing. That’s because… Well, I was missing.   On purpose.   Also known as vacation.   We decided to take Lucas on a little road trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas.  A mere 5 hours from home.  We’d never been there before and decided to give it a shot because it seemed to offer lots to do.  Though, Lucas was more excited about the hotel room, the rolling chair by the desk, and his little pull-out bed than anything…


If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw some pics of the trip as it went on.   We were happy to knock off a few firsts for Lucas including  hiking, an amusement and water park, and eating out for EVERY SINGLE meal.  For a family who mostly cooks at home, this was a hugely huge deal and was very exciting for a self-proclaimed-4-year-old-grown-up such as himself.  So, now we’re home and trying to get organized.   Well, let me rephrase… Were trying to not to have unpacked junk strewn about every room.  I don’t think we’ve lived in our home long enough to qualify as organized.   Yet.   😉

So, now onto the beef of this post.  Before we left, I posted about our new lighting fixture in the breakfast nook, which left the space looking like this…

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And now I’m here to tell you about the newest addition to the fam, our $40 Craigslist table….

Attractive, huh?   #sarcasm.   See, I wanted a round pedestal table with a streamlined base that I could refinish… For preferably under $50.   So, when I saw this puppy listed on Craigslist, I snatched him right up.

And introduced him to my good friend Citristrip…

I thought about trying a different method of stripping furniture this time around, but I already had the Citristrip on hand and knew that it’d not only remove the varnish, but most of the stain as well.  From the start, I knew that I wanted a lighter toned, white/grey washed finish on this table, so the removal of the darker stain was a step in the right direction.

Now, I’ve talked about stripping furniture before (here and here), but I’ll briefly review the basic steps (you can read those other posts for more details if you want).

Step one: Slather that stuff on with a brush…

Step 2: Wait until it bubbles (but not until it dries).  I actually added a second moist coat over the first because it dried so fast.

Step 3: The most satisfying step.  Scraping.  Use a plastic scraper and scrape in the direction of the wood grain to remove all that grody finish…..

Step 4: The most tedious step.   Removing all the residue by rubbing it down with mineral spirits over and over (andover).   Use a toothbrush to remove goo from the nooks and crannies.   This was a tip given to me by a reader and it is the most brilliant tip ever known to man.  Ever.

Step 5: I always end up having to do a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper to really remove all the residue.   It doesn’t usually take long, but is wholly effective.

Which leaves a naked table…

I actually really liked the table in it’s natural state, but wanted a slightly greyer tone that would stand up to being beaten up by a 4-year-old.

Once I got to the store, I had a little dilemma, though.   I couldn’t decide whether I should use an individual stain followed by poly or a combination product.  So, I decided to buy small cans of both and do a little experiment.

Let the testing commence…

Sunbleached was my color of choice for this table.  I was pretty excited about it, too.  (Seriously, isn’t this exciting, though?  Is the suspense killing you right now?)   I applied all products to a scrap piece of wood and evaluated….

Color-wise, they were similar, though I felt that the individual stain and poly was more grey, which was my goal.   Plus, as shown in the pic below, the combo product left little raised ridges in the wood whereas the individual products left a much smoother result…

So, individual stain + poly it was.   I applied 2 coats of stain with dry time in between, which left this…

 Sunbleached gorgeousness.  Yeah, buddy.

And I loved that the top appeared weathered and mottled…

So, my next step was adding protection with poly.   I’d never used the wipe-on poly before and I have to say that I really liked it.  It goes on thinner than brush-on poly, so you have to apply more layers to equal the same protection, but I felt like it was much more foolproof.    I had more control which equalled less drips and imperfections.  Plus, since I was going for more of a weathered, hand-rubbed look anyways, it was a perfect fit.

The basic process was:

Wipe down the table with tack cloth, apply poly with a clean rag, allow to dry, sand with extra fine sandpaper, repeat.

(HEY, LOOK!   I’M WEARING GLOVES!!!!)

I ended up doing 4 coats on the base and 5 on the top.   It may have been overkill, but I know this table will take a beating, so it’s worth it.    I let the table cure in the garage for about a week and a half and then brought it inside.

Without further adieu, I give you the next step in our breakfast nook makeover.  Oh yeah, but first…  Please, for the love of Pete, ignore the bird chairs, which (in my opinion) do NOT look great with the table.  And imagine these pretty babies instead.  They’re the next step in the makeover. Once we actually buy them anyways….

(WIPES DROOL FROM FACE)

Anyways, here’s what I got…

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And a little glimpse of the dining space and back patio from the nook.   It’s one of my favorite views to take in as I drink my morning coffee…

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I can’t even tell you the difference the round table makes in the space.  The flow is so much better.  Plus, the table is way pretty.  The camera doesn’t really capture the texture as it is in person. I’m really happy with how it turned out.  As mentioned before, the bird chairs have got.to.go.   Like, way gone. They’re fine in general, but they just don’t compliment the finish of the table at all.  I may recover the seats with some leftover fabric that I have on hand just to tide me over until we buy my dream chairs.   We’ll see.

** Check out this post for how our breakfast nook looks now post seat-recovering and additional styling***

So, anyways, that’s our nook as of now.   How was everyone’s weekend?   Any fun stuff happening around your part of the world?

TDC Before and After