A tray table makeover, how to turn souvenirs into decor and cottage updates

As the title suggests this post is a little meandering 🙂

So first off, I had a busy back to work week, but I’m so excited to share an Ottawa Citizen interview I did recently that has been published online this past weekend. It’s on how to turn vacation souvenirs into decor items that will fit with your home’s style and decor.  And yes, that’s my powder room featured with some Paris vacation photos turned into art.

Read it here.  

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In my last post, I mentioned that I had done a few DIY projects at the cottage, while on vacation.  Well, here’s another one.  I was a bad blogger and forgot to get a before photo but trust me, it looked just like this but with a totally damaged top (due to being left out in the rain one evening…d’oh).

 

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I sanded the top and even smoothed on some polyfil to try and even it out.  I then painted it all over, with some of my leftover Fat paint in a custom blue that I used for my bathroom vanity.

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I did paint the legs after this photo was taken.

I knew I wanted to do some sort of pattern or stencil on the top but hadn’t figured out what, until I was inspired by some pretty striped fabric I saw.

So out came the painters tape and some little jars of sample paints that I have hanging around, that I thought would go together well.   And, I just randomly laid down the tape some with thicker stripes and some with thinner stripes.

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Then I just painted some lines.

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The first pass turned out like this.

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Not quite enough stripes, so I added more tape and kept painting.  I also fixed up any little boo boos.  You can nicely see the tree shadow on this one, as I was painting outside on the deck.

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My final step was giving it two coats of semi gloss varnish to protect the top, as I fully intend to use this tray for serving drinks and snacks on the deck 🙂

Ta Da!

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And hubby made a ton of progress on the glass railing.  I am so happy to see the old, rotting wood railing gone, I actually couldn’t stop smiling all day!  We are really hoping to have this part finished up soon.  Just one more side to do, that will have to wait for next year’s budget.

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Lisa


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Making over a piano stool

After a long and somewhat restful holiday, I’m back.  I hope you have been enjoying your summer, even if you have been having rather questionable summer weather, like we have in Ottawa.

I didn’t entirely rest during my holiday at my cottage, as there is always lots to do there, but we did get more down time in this summer, as compared to previous years.  And I’m excited that we will be continuing the three year long process of replacing the rustic log deck railing (that is literally falling apart) with more of the modern aluminium and glass railing that we started last year.  It’s part of my quest to have pieces that are less maintenance,  I’m sure it will eventually pay off 🙂

Hubby spent most of his time working on some exterior plumbing and yearly roof maintenance and I was happy to get a few more painting projects done.  I even managed to buy another item that needed some love, as if I didn’t have enough items already around to refinish or repaint.  It all started when my daughters came up for the weekend and we made a little trip to Renfrew. We popped into Pick-it-fence, which is such a great store,  and managed to find ourselves in the second hand area at the back of the store. I just couldn’t resist this adorable little piano stool.

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I just can’t seem to resist a little stool, as I always see it as double duty piece, a stool and/or a side table.  So, home it came.  My daughter immediately said it had to be the same happy colour as the small china cabinet that I recently refinished.  Read about that makeover here.

And so with those instructions, I was off.  I didn’t even give it a sanding as it was in good shape and I think the white paint was pretty recent.  So out came the latex paint (I didn’t transform it into chalk paint this time) and with a soft brush I gave it two thorough coats of paint.  Easy as pie!

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For it’s first job it got to hold my cup of tea and the last of the cupcakes from our weekend celebration 🙂

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I love that it can be either a stool or a little table, and predict that it will be well used.  A pretty and practical piece, in a bright and happy colour!

Lisa

Beachy caribbean blue china cabinet makeover

Hope you had a great Canada Day my fellow Canadians and, to my American readers, hope your Independence Day is fabulous!

We had such great hot weather here that it was hard to get all the jobs done but I did get this accomplished.   I’m thrilled with the little brightness it adds to this dark corner.

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If you don’t remember this is how it looked before the mini makeover.

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Such a cute little cabinet but it needed a happy colour!  P.S. Sorry for the all the reflections, it’s really hard to take a picture of a glass cabinet with three windows reflecting all around it.  You can even see my purple floral sundress that I was wearing when I took the photos 🙂

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And it brightens up this corner perfectly.  And if you were really paying attention, you’ll notice that I also changed out the hardware.  I had a cute crystal knob on hand that I used on the top door. But for the bottom I decided on a tiny brass knob instead of the larger crystal one, it just seemed a tad too big on the bottom door).  I also had great fun styling it.

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Some faux coral, a pretty glass aqua starfish, a little white canister from Indigo to add some texture and a trio of small blue bottles I picked up in California last year.  I may add some blooms to them as well.

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And last but not least a glass dome with some green moss and a few seashells to add to the beachy theme.

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P.S. Since a lot of people asked, I thought I would include the recipe for homemade chalk paint that I used for this piece and in these furniture makeovers as well – China Hutch and Buffet (click on the name to read those posts).

Here’s the recipe (which I found online here).

Homemade Chalk Paint

2 cups of latex paint (I used eggshell) in the colour of your choice
5 tbsp plaster of paris
1 1/2 tbsp cool water (the original recipe calls for 3 tbsp, I like the thicker version of the paint)
Mix the plaster of paris with the water, stir thoroughly till there are no lumps.  Then add latex paint and mix completely. It should be just as smooth as the plain paint when you started.
 

The beauty of chalk paint is that very little prep is needed.  I very lightly sanded the piece because it was so dark and then I used a small foam roller to apply two coats of the chalk paint.  For the tight areas I used a tiny foam brush, letting the first coat dry for about an hour.  I then let it dry completely for a few days, before I applied  The Fat Paint Company Wax in antique.  I spread a very light coat  over the entire surfaces, buffing it to a shine, after waiting 10 minutes.  After a half an hour,  I used The Fat Paint Company Wax in natural,  to cover the entire piece and buff it to a shine, once dry.  If more shine is desired, another coat of wax can be used.  It goes on so nice and easy with a clean dry cloth.

If you have any other questions, I’d be happy to answer them to the best of my amateur painter ability 🙂

Lisa

Exterior cottage love going on

Well, now with the warmer weather finally here, at least in my neck of the wood, I hope you are enjoying it. School is almost out and I’m sure that is a relief to end all the lunch making, homework checking and routine. Here’s to a great summer for everyone!

I have a bit of progress to report at the cottage.  Hubby has been determined to get the fire table finished, so here’s where we are now, and by we I really mean him.  I’ve done nothing, except help with the design and the finishes…of course 🙂   Can’t wait to try it out.

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And I received my fabric order from a few weeks back, so I’ll be sewing up a storm, whenever I can get a second.  These will be exterior cushions for the cottage deck.   Can’t wait for them to liven up the wood chairs, wood deck and log exterior of the cottage….you get the idea…so much wood…and so0000 much brown.

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And kind of another exterior update, Hubby got the terracotta tile laid in the sunroom, right at the entrance to the deck.  It still needs to be grouted, I’ll share the progress once it is completed.  He’s been a busy, busy, boy.

While he was working away, I kept myself busy making over this lovely little china cabinet that a neighbour gifted to me.  I know it’s not really related to the cottage exterior theme of this post, but I’d thought I’d share it anyways.  It’s a perfect fit in this somewhat dark corner of the cottage, so I decided it should be a nice bright colour to liven up the corner.  This is how it looked:

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And in the process:

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I told you it was bright….and quite lively.  I used homemade chalk paint (Cyan Sky) and I will be giving it a going over with some antique wax (which will tone it down a little) and then of course, some clear wax to finish it properly.  I love, love, Fat Wax in case you are looking for a recommendation. Check out their website for locations near you.  I’ll post a picture once it’s completed, hopefully soon.

We also went to the Pontiac Artists’ Studio Tour a few weeks ago. I posted about it last year, when all the TBBs went.  Hubby got an adorable candy dish for his office (sorry forget to snap a pic before he went off with it) but I did get this great shot of an old barn on one of the properties.  There is just something about old, timeworn barns that appeals to me.

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Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians and an

early Happy Fourth of July, to my American readers!  

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Lisa

And we have a Refinished Table!

Happy New Year! Hope you had a restful and fun filled holiday! Mine was great, very relaxing, spent a lot of time with family and definitely ate and drank too much. But then, that’s what the holidays are all about.

We spent some time at the cottage and I managed to finish my table makeover, finally.  It was more of a job than I thought, but isn’t that usually the way.  I had to make a compromise or two on the way but I still am very happy with the way it turned out.  It’ll be perfect for our card playing evenings come summer time.

So to refresh your memory this is how the table was looking. It was in pretty rough shape.  To read my original post, click here.

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I sanded slightly and painted the base in chalk paint (made by myself – click here for the recipe) in this bright green. I wanted to bring some lightness and freshness to the sunroom.

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 Sherwin-Williams – Dancing Green 6716

Next up, I sanded the top which was much more arduous than I originally thought. The original finish kept gumming up the belt sander and then we tried the palm sander, which unfortunately due to our over zealous sanding caused many ripples in the surface and horror of horrors, went down to the plywood base…so much for it being a solid wood top.   Luckily, most of our boo boos were in the leaves of the table which I usually do not leave in place, as I prefer the smaller footprint in this room.

So after finally getting the top sanded, it looked like this.

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I had originally intended to sand the apron by hand and stain it the same as the table top, but after trying to do just a small area, I was totally discouraged and decided on the simpler and faster route of painting the apron the same as the base.  I know a bit lazy, but I really don’t have that much patience.

So I painted the apron and then stained and varnished the top (with a satin polyurethane) and here’s the finished result.

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I love how by painting the base and apron the details show up so much more than just staining the wood.  Sorry to all the wood lovers but there is definitely enough wood in this home!

Lisa