Monday, April 22, 2013

Easy Art - World Map Mirror

I picked up TWO of these framed mirrors at an estate auction for a price so low, I can't publish it here, because it will make too many readers jealous!

This project was quick and easy and used a lot of tried-and-true techniques I've picked up over the years. 

For a time I used to make my own tumbler glasses out of recycled Perrier (or comparable No Name brand) bottles.  The process to cut the glass and grind down the lip of the glass is complicated, and not what this post is about (plus I don't have process pictures) skip ahead to the part where I etch the glasses using acid etching cream. 

I use Armour Etch, but there are other brands out there, too.  I buy mine off of Ebay usually since I can get a better deal.  I loves me some deals! 

The technique I use is simple - and is similar to how I stencil my pillows. I find a design or image I like, often I blow it up using Block Posters, and I print it out.  Then I glue the image on to Mac Tac or contact paper and use nail or embroidery scissors to cut out the design. 

If it's a large image, be very careful applying the contact paper.  Apply it in sections and be certain to push out any air bubbles.  Sometimes I have to cut a slit or seam in the contact paper as it can stretch a little during application.  I'll do this so I can get most of the image lined up properly, and then fill in the gap that might be left with a small piece of contact paper. 

Be sure to really rub down around the edges of the image - you can use a credit card.  Or if you're me, you use your nail (or perhaps, more accurately, stubby nail nubbin). 

I didn't snap a picture of the acid cream application.  You can image it though; the cream has a consistency like toothpaste and can also be spread with an old credit card.  A great bonus: acid cream is reuseable!  So, coat your image with a thick, even, layer, let sit for 20-30 mins., and then scrape off using the credit card and return it to the tub!  How's that for value-for-money?  After you remove the acid cream, you'll want to wipe it down with water and an old rag.  Warning: do not get the acid cream on any other surface than the one you want etched - it WILL mark any other glass surface it come in contact with, even for a minute! 

Here's a peek at the mirror in process.  I'm removing the contact paper after having removed the acid cream.  Nice crisp lines!

Polish the mirror and you're finished!  A functional art piece for your bedroom, office or to create interest in the hallway.  You can use acid etching cream on any glass surface - try it!  You can make all kids of neat and inexpensive gifts. 


Sunday, April 21, 2013

French Shabby Chic Tables - Hot Stuff!

Here's a quick before and after to share with you - this table is already sold.  In fact, it sold the day I posted it for sale.  These coffee tables are always extremely popular - I can't make them fast enough!  Perfect!

They all start out the same....solid, curvy, and dated.

But they all end up a little differently...

I especially like the "Queen Bee" graphic in the centre (as always, graphics from 'The Graphics Fairy!'  Google her - she is a goddess!)

Short and sweet - just like this ol' coffee table!  I'll bid her 'au revoir' tomorrow afternoon.  *sob* 
I'm sharing this table makeover at The Graphics Fairy.  You should bibbity-bobbity-boo yourself over there and check out the hundred (thousands?) of vintage graphics she has to download!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Barrel Coffee Table Redux

I saw this tubby beauty a few weeks ago for a STEAL (a steal, I tell you!) and I snatched her up as quick as a wink (unless you have trouble winking, in which case, probably faster). 

The legs and top were what caught my eye.  What I knew wouldn't work was the tacky door and boxy profile.  I had a quick fix for a little weight-loss for this piece!

I [finally] inherited a jigsaw for Christmas last year and I'd been dying to try it out.  I found some brand new blades on sale and set off to the basement for a remodel - quick as a jig (Bwahaha.  Hahaha.  Ha?)

Using the jigsaw, I cut out the side panels relatively quickly and easily.  The door was easy to unscrew and remove. 

I had to patch trim around the legs and lower shelf  after I removed the panels.  This was probably the most time consuming aspect of the project (well, maybe the stenciling took a while, too), as wood filler needs a couple of applications in deeper rivets. 

I'm sorry I didn't take any process pictures of this project.  I think I meant to, but then got distracted by the excitement of the jigsaw and the stencil work on the top.  After the wood filler was dried and sanded, a couple quick coats of homemade chalk paint saw the bottom half of this piece ready to go. 

I used a small angled paintbrush to paint multiple layers of colour on the top and then a foam stencil brush to stencil on the fleur-de-lis accents.

I finished it off with a couple of coats of varathane floor finish - my favourite - and she was looking good! 

I had painted over the wood filler with an off-white homemade chalk paint, so when distressing, this colour came through on the decorative feet and legs.  I liked how it tied into the check pattern on the table-top. 

Now this barrel coffee table is much more sleek, modern and stylish - and no longer retro and dated! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Retro Ombre Cabinet

I wanted to get up some pictures of the tables I completed recently, but discovered that a certain special someone happened to take the camera with him to work (out of town) for the week.'s a project I finished last year instead. 

I LOVED this update - and sold it to a friend before I had a chance to list it. 

I bought this dated (let's just say it: *ugly*) old cabinet at an estate auction for either $7.50 or $ this point I can no longer remember. 

The inside was nothing to write home about.  So I didn't.  Poor family is still waiting for a letter...

Now for the 'AFTER!' 

Ta da!  I didn't want to give this cabinet just any old makeover (because frankly, it needed more than that!).  All the 'ombre' furniture makeovers I had been seeing inspired me (and since that fad was a few years old, it was about time for me to jump on the bandwagon) so I thought the cabinet was a perfect makeover.  I had a blue-grey paint I used as my base colour and simply added black or white paint to get the colour gradation. 

I loved how it ended up looking like stained-glass!

 The inside deserved a little attention, so I gave it a fresh coat of white paint.  I also removed the hardware and spray painted them from retro-gold to modern-brushed silver.  Perfect! 

Here are a couple of things I learned waaay back then:

    Semi-gloss 'Painter's Touch' black paint doesn't mix well into 'homemade chalk paint.'  I don't know why.  It just doesn't.  I used a coat of white high adherence primer: Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3.  After the primer dried, I painted it with about 3 coats of the black semi-gloss. 

To get a nice, smooth finish on top of your paint you can try thinning the paint down with water (this will dilute the pigmentation of your paint - ie: make your paint a bit 'lighter') or with a special 'paint extender' which doesn't dilute the colour but extends the time paint stays 'wet' and also helps it to 'settle' with fewer brush strokes when you're finished.  I use this brand from Benjamin Moore.