Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cargo Bed Makeover

Most of the time when we're getting ready to reNEW life into an old or outdated piece we look for Inspiration. 

We found our Inspiration photos from Restoration Hardware's children's line. It's not the first time we have been inspired by RH. They can do no wrong in our eyes! EVERYTHING is spot on except maybe their $$$$

Start with an... 

Find the perfect thrift store or Craigslist piece : ) 

When we found this twin bed on Craigslist we had to look past the orange colored wood & focus on the bones. Yep, this was close enough for us. 



Now it was time to knock off the RH bed we so loved!
So how did we do it? 
On our Cargo bed, we tried something a little different than usual. We really wanted the gray washed look so we skipped our normal priming step.

Follow along as I break it down in the simplest way I know how  &  if diy's not your thing... 
Scroll to the bottom, for the link to get the pricing & dimensions. 
Yes, it's FOR SALE : ) 


Sand, sand & then sand a little more.
 The point is to remove the polyurethane (shiny coat) We used our favorite palm sander with 150 grit paper. 

We then wiped down the piece to remove all the dust.

Vinegar & steel wool 

Soak steel wool in vinegar for 24 hours & apply liberally to the entire piece. I used the steel wool that was in the cup to apply the mixture 
*wear gloves unless you want orange hands
*remove any puddling  or you"ll get a dark water mark

Certain woods can bleed through when painting. If your painting a piece, the tannins can easily be blocked by applying a oil based primer. We knew we wanted a paint washed look (wood showing through) so we decided to try a new vinegar & steel wool technique. 

The orange is G-O-N-E 

Don't ask we why but it really works. I'm sure if you really want to know, you can google the reason for the oxidation. 

At this point we could have stopped, it already was looking so much better.  Instead we went ahead with a few more steps to achieve the gray wash we desired. 

Paint & Water 
Take 1 part water, 2 parts paint & stir. 
Why water? 
The water dilutes the paint, allowing the wood & character of the wood to show through.  It's almost like staining with paint, the paint is absorbed into the wood.
*Apply with whatever you have on hand i.e.; brush, rag or sponge like we did. 
*We used Benjamin Moore Cape Hatteras just because we had it on hand.

Look how Purdy, just the slightest hint of paint but...what a difference! 

Again,  if your happy with the results stop here,  Or add a little more depth & dimension with our last step.

 Stain Glaze 

On our last step we used a mixture of stain & mineral spirits. Mix a small amount of stain with a couple splashes (wear safety goggles) of minerals spirits. 
>Use a cheap brush, dip brush into mixture blot excess off on rag.
>Apply in the direction of the wood grain
> use clean rag to wipe off excess, again in the direction of the wood

This "new to me" Varathane Stain is Amazing, 
I have now used it on a few projects : ) 
Water based & dries in 1 hour : )
I'm not compensated to say so... I just love it!

By adding just a little minerals spirits to the stain, the stain become so much easier to work with. It easily moves over the paint. 
* glaze goes along way, mix only a small amount! (you can always make a second batch.) 
*Not happy with how it's turning out, apply mineral spirits to a clean rag, remove stain & start over. 

And the end result, a warm gray wash finish 

You can really see the difference here 

But you can really, really see the difference here on our Before & After 

After a little vinegar, steel, paint & stain I think you"ll agree our orange cargo bed has now been transformed into something that could easily be found at RH. 

I had planned on using these industrial storage bins  from Walmart for under bed storage but they were sold out on line and within 50 miles. 
Anyway, you get the picture.

We also have a coordinating bookcase & 
nightstand available

For Pricing & Dimension 

Thanks for looking : )
XO Cindy


Friday, March 6, 2015

Vintage Triple Dresser

When I spotted this American of Martinsville beauty there was no doubt that it was going to be mine!


Unfortunately, I was driving the car that day & also had no muscle power with me. 

 Did I really, really need this dresser and did I really, really want to have to take a second trip back to pick it up? I took a seat on a adjacent  thrift store sofa, contemplating to buy or not to buy? As I went back & forth in my crazy diy head I found myself clearly smitten. This lady
 had it all! Detail upon detail, and those rose like carvings in the middle doors. GAH!

Seriously Cindy,  it's a dresser... not brain surgery! I made my way over to the dresser to check out the quality,  opening each drawer, making sure they all opened smoothly. That's what finalized my decision to make the purchase. Those drawers, all nine of them,  dovetailed and oh so solid!

I handed over my cash and didn't second guess my decision. 

We picked up the dresser a few days
later, by far the worst part of what we do! Some of these pieces are heavy beasts!!! This one is no exception!!! As we were loading the dresser,  my son Kyle a.k.a. Partner in crime said as he always does..."Mom, it's good for you" to which my response was & ALWAYS is...
"nooooo, it's really not!" 
I'm getting way to old for this!!!

When we brought it back to the workshop it sat & sat & sat. All the beautiful had
me befuddled! I had no clear vision! How could 
we reNEW this dresser while maintaining all the charm in a updated manner? One thing was for sure, the orange pecan wood had to go!!!

I bet you never realized just how much thinking 
goes into painting furniture.
 ( Or could it just be me?)

After finally taking a survey of all our recently reNEWed furniture (grays & whites) we decided this dresser would be the perfect candidate for a darker color.  We chose a beautiful gray black with blue undertones.  By painting the dresser dark, it not only toned down all the detailing but also left it looking timeless & classic. 
(You know how I like timeless & classic : )

Beautiful custom stain mix adds a warmth to the
 interior drawers & doors 
The slight distressing highlights all the wonderful detailing. 

I absolutely love this Behr paint color,  Cracked Pepper is very chameleon like. Depending on your lighting it can go anywhere from gray, to black & even a dark, dark navy look.

I'm beyond thrilled with this beauty. I think all the pondering & waiting really paid off  : )
***2 matching mirrors also available, 
can be customized to match ***

For Pricing & Dimensions

And as always,
Thanks for looking!
Xo Cindy

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

It's only paint

Have you found yourself wanting to try your hand at painting something...anything?  
Not sure what, how or where to begin?

 I'm here to say, just do it!
It's only PAINT : )

It's been a little over  two years since we began our journey of reNEWing furniture. Although it's been loads of hard work, it has equally been very rewarding. I now have found an outlet for my creativity and for that I am very Thankful!!!

Here's one of our first projects : ) 
(Looking back, quite a undertaking for beginners!) 
Our standards have now changed a far as the quality of furniture we reNEW. 
(I'll save that topic for another day : ) 

We had no idea what we were doing back then & blindly jumped in painting one piece at a time. You would think after reNEWing two hundred or so furniture pieces, we would now have it down to a science!  90% of the times we do, but there are those times,  when we even have our oops & blunders.
 (Still learning.... still trying new techniques) 
  Sometimes what we have envisioned for a particular furniture piece doesn't always turn out how we had planned. 
Thankfully, there's always plan B : )

Plan B was used on a recently finished vintage dressers from our "Getting Ready to be reNEWed" inventory. 

The client chose the color "Provence" from a paint swatch she picked up from Home Depot.  We were 100% on board with her paint color choice. However,  DUN, DUN, DUN after applying the paint to the dresser it was apparent, it needed to be toned down. It definitely was "in your face blue".

Unfortunately, the photos we took do not capture the true before & after color?  Definitely not ideal!!! After all, we're trying to share how glaze can change the overall color. Oh well, you'll have to trust us on that : ) 

Does anyone know why blue painted furniture always gives us such a hard time
Gloomy days of winter? No sun? Using an Ipad for a camera?
 All of the above?

At this point we could have chosen a different color and repainted the dresser, but instead we applied a dark stain to tone down the
 "in your face blue." 

 Here's the photo of a sample board we shared with our client.

Once we had the clients o.k., the glazing began. 
We used Minwax stain mixed with mineral spirits. The mineral spirits gives the stain the consistency to spread more evenly. There are also many glazing products available, this was just our preferred method for this particular piece.

The stain did more than just tone down the blue it 
also added character and a richness by adding depth. 

This dresser was the perfect candidate for glazing!  So many nooks & crannies for the stain to settle into.

So even though this was not our original vision for the dresser,  in the end Plan B turned out even better! 

So ready to dive into your own diy project? There is a wealth overload of information on the web from prepping, to painting, to staining, to paint types and on and on and on. So start small, perhaps an end table or nightstand. Check out Craigslist, your local thrift stores or perhaps paint an item you already have on hand. 
And's only paint.
Or if you prefer a custom painted original without the work, 
check out our "Getting Ready to be reNEWed" 
and let us customize something for you : )

Thanks for Looking : )

(Please read all labels before starting your own project :  )