Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Girls Bedroom-Reveal

I stood in the kitchen last night after the kids were in bed and looked at my husband...I said, "now that the kids room is done I have another project in mind." His shoulders slumped a little, he rolled his eyes and said, "of course you do." What can I say? That's how I roll. The girls bedroom was my last major indoor home redecorating project. Well, lets just be honest. No room in my house is ever "done." I have a few little things to tackle, like fixing up the spare bathroom and making some changes to our walk in pantry, painting the hallway and sprucing up the laundry room. None of those are gratifying projects, though. So, indoors is going to take a break and I'm going to focus on cleaning up our outdoor space. The weather is perfect and I can't wait to spend my afternoons outside!

Anyway, here is how the girls bedroom came out.

Remember the before:




Everything about this redecorating project had to fit into a category of stylish functionality!

I "bought" rolling storage drawers from knot too shabby as extra storage.

In total, there are four of them tucked away in the closet and bedroom stashing all manner of things from pull-ups to toys.

They are easy to roll out into the living room to keep toys contained and organized for playtime and just as easy to roll back into the bedroom. (I still haven't taken the price tags off...oops).

We gutted the closet to make room for all of the kids clothes. We made use of every nook and cranny!

Vintage wire baskets line the shelves full of extra clothes, hats, scarves and outgrown clothing.

I put hooks on the wall for Awana vests and backpacks...the things that get strewn all over the house on any given day. Now they have a defined place.

Shoes hang on the back of the door. Concealed yet easy for the girls to pick out and put away.



The Ikea cubbies went largely unchanged. We just cleaned out some old toys, got rid of some outgrown books and stylized the top.

I made my own version of artwork for the main wall. After all, it is the kids bedroom and it needed a touch of "them..." i.e. Hello Kitty, Princesses and Minnie Mouse. I found those vintage Disney Princess images on pinterest. I never did find the original source, so I used the pinterest image and blew it up to do an image transfer on a salvaged shelf from a bakers rack I had. The top wood piece is hand drawn and the art is actually hanging on the crown hooks. A nice little focal point for all of $15!

I also made a cute little ribbon wreath for their door. That's where Hello Kitty comes in. :) I let the girls pick out all of the ribbon for the wreath.

What do you think of the floors?




And the cherry on top...

The chandelier. Downright dreamy!

My original "pinspiration:"

So, here's the breakdown...

  • The teal bedspread and sham were from Bed, Bath and Beyond $112 (I used a coupon)
  • The striped duvet cover with two matching shams were from The Land of Nod, a source I found on pinterest. The set was around $180 after shipping and tax.
  • The rug and polka dot sheet set was as from I got both from under $189. Originally, the rug was priced at $189, and the next day I went to pull the picture and noticed that it had gone on sale for $169. I called and got a credit, which I used for the sheets and a new duvet.
  • The fabric for the pennant, curtains and to re-upholster the bed was $40 from Joanns (again, I used a coupon).
  • The set of four sheers for the closet and window was $24.
  • New curtain rods for the closet were $40 from Bed Bath and Beyond.
  • I used Behr Paint called Silver Screen on the walls. I only needed one gallon because I had some leftovers from another project. $38
  • The Mahogany Quilt Cabinet was $175. I bought from Strings Music during their retirement sale.
  •  The antique dresser was my Great Grandmother's. It cost about $25 for new knobs.
  • I spent $50 to rent the drum sander for the floors and another $20 for stain. I used Annie Sloan Lacquer on top of the stain to protect the finish which is $55. 
  • The chandelier was $3 and I used three cans of old spray paint to repaint it. 
  • New brackets for the closet were $30 but all of the shelves were re-used from the old fixtures.
  • Inventory that I pulled from knot too shabby amounted to about $250. Mostly decorative storage pieces like the rolling drawers and crates, hooks and other decorations.
  • And, finally I spent another $120 or so dollars on "fluff." Pillows, the Boxwood wreath, and the ribbon wreath.
By the time it was said and done, this was by far the most expensive redecorating project with over 50% of the cost attributed to new bedding! The most major changes...paint, the wood floors and closet fixtures were the least expensive.  

I will be selling the antique white hutch that used to be in their room to off set some of the cost. But, if the new space encourages the kids to keep it clean, keep their beds made and put their shoes away, it is worth every penny! So far, it's working.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Chandelier Conundrum

We are at the final stages of the girls bedroom redo. It was my major "to-do" for the month of March. And, with just five days to spare, I can cross it off the list. 

This last weekend, my husband said he would help me put up the final touch...the cherry on top...the chandelier. 

I pulled this chandelier from the store. The teal matched all of the blues in the room and since I've had it for near forever, I opted to keep it. 

Problem: This chandelier didn't have a canopy. Not a seemingly big problem, except that I couldn't find one at the hardware store with a hole in the center large enough for the components to fit. I could have gotten one online, but I'm much too impatient. 

Instead, I pulled this chandelier from the store, complete withe a canopy.

I got this particular chandelier for $3 at a yard sale almost two years ago. I hesitated to make any changes to it because of its history. I was told that it came from the home of Hollywood star, Hedda Hopper in the early 1900's. I actually wrote an entire blog post about it when I found it.

In the meantime, it has been collecting dust in the shop for months and months. I decided to paint it and take it home (can I pause to mention how limited my photography skills are for this post where I wanted glamour light shots. I have much to learn).

After a major ordeal to hang the darn thing, it is finally up in the girls bedroom and the perfect finishing touch!

I distressed the brass parts and the painted decorations on the body.

This chandelier actually works so much better than the blue one.

It is much more ornamented than the blue one and perfectly feminine for a little girls room.

I like the white better, too. I think the blue would've been too much, while the white helps to anchor the space. 

Later this week, I will have full shots of the finished space and all of the changes we made! 

Until then...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Great Grandma's Dresser and the Girls Room

I got a taste of what it's like to refinish paint a family heirloom. It was a little bit of that sickening feeling of "if they only knew they'd be rolling in their grave." 

This was my Great Grandma Zeller's dresser (minus the drawers). My Great Grandma Zeller died at the very rich age of 102. I was twelve or thirteen when she died and remember her well...not fondly...but well. 

She was a crab. I don't think in my entire adolescent life I ever saw her smile. She had a permanent scowl on her face. What I remember of her were her hammer toes, nilla wafers, dollar bills and her frown. She was so spiteful all the time, that we tease my Aunt (who is a Zeller) that she will one day be "Grandma Zeller." The name itself is synonymous with crankiness.

When she died, I inherited her bedroom furniture which included this low dresser and another highboy. I've had these pieces for so long, I don't even remember what I used before them. This furniture traveled to my husband's (then fiancee's) first apartment during college. Then, they made it to our first house together in the Master Bedroom. They were moved again to our Glendora house and used in the girls nursery. This was the changing table for three plus years. At some point in the mix, we spent a fair amount of money to have it refinished. 

Since then, I ran out of room, sent it to my mom and dad's house for a couple of years and have more recently decided that I wanted to try to incorporate it back into our house.

Unfortunately, I couldn't live with the antique orange color any longer and decided that if I am going to keep this, it had to be refinished.

I stripped the top to refinish with a dark walnut wood stain. 

The base got a
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in custom color mix of 1 oz. Old White to .25 oz Scandinvian pink with .25 oz of Antoinette (I still can't believe I painted this pink). 

I love it so much better than it was, though I don't think even this would make my Great Grandma Zeller smile.

I kept the handles on the bottom drawers but added new diamond cut crystal glass knobs on the top ones. 

It's very girly for my girls bedroom makeover.

The top is gorgeous. I feel like this wood color draws out the beauty of the wood!

And, since I mixed my own color, I know exactly how much paint it took. A total of 3 1/2 oz. for the entire piece. That's not even two shots! Can you believe that?

You can get a glimpse of how the makeover is coming along by peeking in the mirror. 

The finishing details are coming together.

Fluffy throw pillows for the bed.

Some fake hydrangeas for now, until my real ones bloom and I can dry them out and put them in here.

I should have finished pictures by the end of the weekend. All that's left to do is hang the chandelier! 

Can't wait to show it off!

Until then...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Do you ever come across a piece of furniture that is just so horrible that you wouldn't even dream of touching a paint brush to it?

Horrible was an understatement for this nightstand.

The paint application was so thick and chunky. It was beyond repair. Worse yet, this isn't solid wood so stripping the paint off took it down to the beautiful bare cardboard. 

I used this piece as a perfect opportunity to teach Maddie how to apply an impasto finish.

Impasto finishes are perfect for damaged pieces of furniture. The paint application combined with a dark wax finish adds texture and consistency throughout, hiding the horrible application of the previous paint. 

For this piece, it added a rustic component which in some ways contradicted the very dainty and feminine lines of the nightstand. 

The diamond cut glass crystal knobs juxtapose the rustic finish and bring in a bit of elegance. 

This was basically a piece salvaged from a future destined for the dumpster.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

How to Operate a Drum Sander

The first refinishing project I ever tackled were hardwood floors. When I was about 13 or 14 years old I told my parents I wanted to rip out the carpet in my bedroom and keep the hardwood. My dad said it was OK, but I would have to do all of the work. So, we tore out the carpet and I got down on my hands and knees and sanded them down to the bare wood. Then I stained them. Then I had to sand them again!? Then stain them again!? Then sand them again!??? Then put polyurethane on them! THEN SAND THEM AGAIN BEFORE A FINAL COAT OF POLY!!!??? Talk about cruel and unusual punishment for a teenager! The results were totally worth it and now that I'm older, I've wised up about the use of power tools. 

I have six days under my belt in terms of getting my girls bedroom finished. Yesterday and today was dedicated to refinishing the floors. No four inch hand sander for me! I wanted something with power.


The floors before. Think they need some work?

Partial solid oak and partial plywood. 

And, lots and lots of gunk.

I needed to rent a drum sander to finish this job. I headed over to Home Depot after I picked my girls up from school. I had my three year old holding my left hand and my five year old holding my right hand. I strode into the tool rental department and said I needed to rent a drum sander. The guy working raised his eyebrows, pondered my request and boldly declared, "you're not the one operating it!?" To which I said, YES...and I will have it back before my husband gets home from work! 

This was my second time using a drum sander, and believe me it was totally worth the expense. I thought I would share a few helpful tips and tricks to operating it in case there is some brave soul out there on the fence about refinishing their own wood floors. 

1) Be sure to have the floor completely cleared of any metal obstructions like staples and nails that at one time were holding down carpet and padding.

 After I removed all of the staples, I went back over withe broom and found about a dozen that I missed. When you are using the sander, keep the pliers handy because if you start seeing sparks, you probably missed a staple. 

2) Connect all of the plugs

There is a plug at the top of the handle that connects to the plug that goes into the wall. There will be a green light to show that the machine is receiving power.

At the bottom of the handle, there is another plug that connects to the base of the machine. That needs to be connected and twisted to lock. If it isn't locked into position, the machine won't turn on (I found this out after spending about 15 minutes on the phone with the rental center because I couldn't get the machine to turn on).

3) Attach the sanding rolls.

I used 36 grit sanding cylinders that fit snugly on the rubber base. 

Make sure that the base is in the up position (there is a lever on the handle that puts it up and down) and wiggle the roll onto the base. It is a snug fit.

 4) Position the sander to start  sanding. Turn on the switch by pushing down and flipping to the left. Once the power is on, lower the sanding mechanism and keep the machine moving. 

Notable things to remember are: 

Keep the sander moving at all times. If you pause it will eat away at the floor...literally so always have it in motion while the sander is down.

Keep it moving with the wood grain. If you move at all against the grain it will leave scratch marks all over the floor. 

Start in an inconspicuous area while you get the feel of the sander. This allows you to make mistakes without it being in the middle of the room at a focal point. 

When it's all said and done, you will go from this...

to this....

...all in about an hour or two flat. 

The belt sander only gets so close to the walls. 

The edges need to be hand sanded in the areas where the belt sander doesn't reach. If you don't go down to the bare wood, you will have a border all around the room from where the stain doesn't pictured above. That corner of the room will be completely covered with furniture so I took some shortcuts.

This is where the drum sander got away from me and shifted. It left these nasty scratch marks on the floor. Fortunately, the bed will be covering up this section.

The stain was darker on the sections of plywood than the solid oak. I added a second coat of stain to the oak after lightly hand sanding the floor with 220 grit to even out the color between the different wood finishes. 

By the time I get home tonight, it should be dry enough for me to add a coat of lacquer and then tomorrow I can start moving in furniture!  

And...I did have the drum sander back to Home Depot before my husband got back from work. Not bad for one afternoon!

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