Andrew and I have been married now for a month and a half. Not having a job seems great and all, but it can get pretty boring around here. Moving to a new town means no friends yet, so I decided to do a few projects. I found a couple on pinterest and the directions sounded simple (they always do don’t they?) and set out to Lowe’s. I already had a bookshelf, two side tables, and a pallet. So this is what I decided to make…
A chevron pattern bookshelf using this DIY: http://community.homedepot.com/t5/Interior-Paint-Stain/How-to-make-a-chevron-pattern-on-stairs/m-p/42337/highlight/true
Refinished my end tables using this DIY: http://www.hayseedhomemakin.com/2011/12/farmhouse-end-table.html
And a headboard for my guestroom using this DIY: http://thehappyhomeblog.com/?p=2826
Now I will let you in on a little secret. Maybe it is because people write their instructions after the fact or they are superwomen….DIY project are always harder than the instructions make them appear. Soooo I’m going to add my suggestions in on top of what the originals said.
For a chevron pattern: the instructions I used didn’t tell you how big to cut the cardboard. So I measured the space between my shelves and kind of guessed. My shelves were 10 inches high so I did from the top of the v to the bottom, 10 inches, then I measured from one side of the v to the middle, 5 inches. To get the inner v that you will cut out, I did half of 5, 2.5 and marked a spot on each side and 5 inches up the middle vertically and drew two lines to it. I know that sounds confusing so look at my pictures if you need help. Then I drew it on the bookshelf. I used a pencil and it was really hard to get off after I painted. It smeared. So i recommend either using a regular pencil, not mechanical, or chalk. I recommend using painters tape, just make sure you press down the edges really really well because paint slipped through mine.
So this is what I ended up with.
So refinishing furniture is probably one of the worst things I’ve ever done. I read the instructions on the website I found and thought, “Oh I can definitely finish this in a day!” False false false! It took three very very long days and lots of help from my wonderful dad. So here are my tips. 1. Go to Lowe’s or Home Depot and ask someone to help you get the best stripper. You will need a putty knife, lots of sandpaper (I recommend having an electric one), lots of old rags, a drop cloth, rubbing alcohol. A stainer that doesn’t take 8 hours to dry, and rubber gloves. You will need a sealant too. The polyurethane one they recommended is a good one. The stripping is the worst part! I tried to only strip some of the old stuff off like the instructions told me, but when you do that and then put stain on top, it made it shiny. I ended up having to strip it down to complete bare wood. You can create your rustic look by sanding off some of the stain after that dries. So after you strip it off you’ll want to use the alocohol mixed with water solution to get rid of the sticky stuff. Let that dry for however long it tells you before you sand. Otherwise it will ruin your sand paper. Sand it down really well. You probably didn’t get EVERYTHING off with the stripper, so you can sand it off. wipe it down and you’re ready to stain. Follow the instructions for staining and when it dries you will need to sand all of it down before you seal, just sand more off to make areas lighter. Then seal it. Make sure you have the time to do it though! It is a process!
This is a bit of my process and finished product.
The pallet wasn’t too bad. However, I found a way to make gray stain using steel wool and vinegar. I followed the instructions and it came out browner than I had hoped, but I don’t feel like doing it again. Here are the instructions for that http://beingbrook.com/rustic-headboard-aged-wood/
I got a color paint that I liked from Lowe’s and after I painted on the “stain” I let it dry for a day and painted on my letters after writing them in chalk. I sealed it with the same polyurethane I used for the tables. This was by far the easiest one I did, but it did take longer than I thought to paint on my letters.
Here is what I ended up with!
Next I will be making a coffee table out of pallets so stay tuned!