Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lamp Transformation Tutorial

I have been on a mission redecorating our bedroom. It has been a therapy of sorts as I have been through some rough months lately. I have picked out the perfect wall color, hubs finished our custom made door bed, and I made the perfect nightstands by tearing apart an old vanity. The one item that stumped me was the lamps for the nightstands. I could not find two that I just loved and were the perfect scale for our bed. So I did what I always do, I made them! (well, sort of) 
I knew I wanted cheap so I narrowed it down to two lamps at WalMart. (Yep, I said WalMart. Turns out, they have some REALLY cute lamps!) Once I paired them with the yummy $2 garage sale shades I had bought over the summer, the choice was clear. I knew by using my stash of Amy Howard products, I could transform them into the shabby , crusty, imperfect little jewels that my heart adores. I did just that, and I LOVE them! Then I thought, I can't be the only person who has had this problem, So let me show you how I did it with these disclaimers: 

1)The pictures that are great are not mine. Photo cred given on those. The somewhat blurry photos are mine. I apologize in advance. I don't have a fancy camera like a lot of bloggers. :)
2) Amy Howard has some great Video How To's for her products on her website. Also links to stores that carry her line.  Amy Howard Home Website

Anywho, Let the fun begin!

This is the $12.95 WalMart lamp I started with. Nothing fancy and a little BLAH if you ask me.

Photo Credit Walmart.com

These are the products that I used:

Let me just tell you that Amy Howard Cracked Patina is THE BOMB! It truly is magic in a bottle! Get you some. The bottle lasts, like, FOREVER. Seriously. Be kind and share half with a friend. They will love you for it. :)

I also used Amy Howard One Step Paint in neutrals Linen and Bauhaus Buff. What can I say about Amy Howard's One Step Line other than it is one of the most perfect paints out there right now. I have tried a LOT of paint over the years and this has the ease of use and the durability that I wanted in one paint! Try it. You won't be disappointed! Plus you know you have other things you have been wanting to paint...Think furniture, picture frames, mirror frames, candle sticks, etc.  

Photo Credit amyhowardathome.com

I want to post a handy tip real quick. You will want to protect your cord from getting covered with product. If it is a new lamp, use the attached cardboard keeper to protect the cord like I have below. If it is not a new lamp, use foil to wrap it up. 

Once you have your cord covered, use a high grit sandpaper (220 grit) to give the entire piece a LIGHT sanding. Just slightly rough the surface up. If the lamp doesn't have a smooth surface to begin with, skip this step. 

Next, dust the lamps off. If you like the base color (the color that will show through the cracks), you can start brushing on a thin coating of AH Cracked Patina. If you want a different base color, now is the time to brush it on. Wait till dry, then brush on your Cracked Patina. Make sure you don't have any thick globby areas. Let the lamps sit for an hour or eight. Really doesn't matter, just make sure the Cracked Patina is dry when you start brushing on the paint. 
As you can see I had a little helper on this project. Little helpers are the BEST! 

Now you are ready to brush on the top coat of paint. I load my brush pretty good with the Linen color, then brush it on in even, thick coats. Be sure and not overlap the brush strokes or you will strip off the cracked patina glaze. Don't stress to much about messing things up. You are going for the shabby look after all. 
(If you would be more comfortable, practice on a piece of wood first.) You will see that the paint starts to crack fairly quickly. At this point, using a dry brush, gently drag the paint a bit. Use  your own judgement on how much you want to drag it out. I then use my fingers and hands to "pull" the paint up in random areas, exposing the base color. 

Once the One Step paint is completely dry (it dries very fast), I then dry brushed on the Bauhaus Buff color in random areas. This will help add even more depth to the lamp bases. To dry brush, load the tip of your brush with paint and brush most of it off on a paper towel, then brush with it. I used very little paint in this step. 

*I waited until it was dry and then I sanded random spots and all corners with the 220 grit sandpaper. You don't have to do this step, but I wanted a bit more of the base color coming through. 

Now it is time to apply your wax. Always start with clear wax so that you can control the dark wax when you put it on. I use a chip brush to apply the wax and use a large square of muslin cloth to buff it out. (See the brush in the paint pics above) You can get the brushes at any hardware store. Brush on a thin coat of clear, then buff it well. Next, apply a thin coat of dark wax. Be sure and get in all the nooks and crannies really well, then buff it. You can see in the picture below that the lamp on the left has clear wax only. The lamp on the right has clear and dark wax. It  has slightly darker, aged look to it. PERFECT!

Chippy Cracked Yummy Goodness People!

I think they look great and I did it under budget. Not bad for a $12 lamp and a $2 lamp shade! Hopefully some of you will try this technique. It really isn't difficult or that time consuming. You can use this technique on so many things! Plastic, metal, wood.... Get creative! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Rust & Romance

Had a ton of fun setting up for the May sale.  I loaded up on rusty garden items and paired them with things all girls love. To me there is romance in galvanized and rust in the garden. 

One of my favorite pieces this month is the possum belly cabinet I re-purposed into a potting table for the garden shed. 

We offer plenty of vintage and funky flower pot options!

Also crushing on this iron bed turned amazing garden love seat. I want this on my front porch with comfy pillows! 

And more Iron with pops of color.....

Several bedroom pieces available. 
A few detail shots...


Friday, January 24, 2014

Make a Statement with Graphics

One of my favorite makeovers to give a piece of furniture is to paint a large graphic on it. It turns ordinary furniture into an instant statement piece. No matter what your style or taste, find or design the right graphic, and you will have something that becomes the anchor in the room.

graphic via the graphics fairy

graphic via google

Other than Googling images, one of my favorite go to places for great graphics -- especially those gorgeous french typography and advertising graphics, is The Graphics Fairy. If you haven't been to this site yet....GO! She has an enormous collection of beautiful vintage graphics for just about anything you want to create. She has taken the time to edit and manipulate them (even reverse prints for iron transfers, etc) in to user friendly and printable files. Yes....I love you Miss Graphics Fairy! You make me happy!

graphic via the graphics fairy

graphic via the graphics fairy

I get asked how I do it a lot. I use the projector method. Yep...the same projectors our teachers used in school. I project the graphic on the piece of furniture and then paint it on.While there is no lengthy set of instructions, you do need a steady hand and know how to manipulate your brushes. This takes time and practice but can be learned if you have the patience.

graphic via google

graphic via the graphics fairy

While I love the French designs, I also love getting creative and a little funky. One of my favorite pieces was the glazed blue empire chest that I graced with a cross and pair of wings. I did this by combining multiple graphics. I know this style isn't for everyone...but it is ME! Get Creative! It really is about putting your own personality into a piece!     ♥♥♥

graphics via google

How about this SWEET little owl nursery chest of drawers!  You could design an entire nursery around this one piece of furniture! 

graphic via google

A few before and afters for you....

{I had painted the cute solid oak chest in neutrals and it sat for months without selling. So I drug it home and painted this cute English Fig Soap graphic on it. It sold as soon as I put it out on the floor! Here she is in her new home} 
graphic via the graphics fairy

From Drab to FAB! 
graphic via the graphics fairy

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Market Counter Kitchen Island Makeover

Every now and then junkers are lucky enough to come across one very special piece. I mean SPECIAL  ....like "you are just certain that the little ray of light shining on it is straight from junker's heaven" kind of special. I found one of those pieces last year. It was a late 1800's to early 1900's  market counter from a general store/pharmacy in northern Missouri. It was missing the counter top but did have the original tilt out divided bin that was lined with tin and all of the original hardware! Not to mention the perfectly chippy white paint. SWOON! I came across this little gem (Ok, hubs and son would argue that this piece was NOT little) at an auction and knew there was no way I was leaving with out it. After I won the bid (as if there was a question I may not?), we dug it out of the barn, loaded it up and headed home. I couldn't stop smiling! I knew it was destined to be given new life and become the main focal point in someone's home.....and that made me so happy!

Here is the raw counter for sale at Restoration Emporium (sorry about the soda can oops!)

For my sweet friend and client, C, it was going to be an island in her big beautiful farm house kitchen. She had been looking for years for something just like it. She wanted hubs to make a few adjustments and build a custom hard wood counter top for it. 

Back View - back home turning the lap siding around to reveal the chippy side

We are fortunate to have a mill near our home that offers many types of locally harvested hard wood trees that are cut to a TRUE inch in thickness. After digging through the racks of lumber and inhaling the amazing scent of fresh cut lumber, I selected hickory wood to be used as the top. It is one of my favorites for it's random light/dark grain patterns and being one of the most durable woods you can buy locally. Then, through a fellow Restoration Emporium vendor, I snagged a pair of perfectly chippy white antique corbels to use on the bar side of the counter top. SCORE! 

 Fast forward several months later and we finally finished and delivered it in time for C to host her families Christmas gathering. We all agreed that it was meant to be in this very kitchen. It just completed it.

 I have to say, I am in love with C's kitchen and may be guilty coveting it a weeeee bit.

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This is exactly how I envisioned it. Photos of the install...

Here is her gorgeous kitchen all prettied up for Christmas...