Saturday, March 24, 2012

Secretary Desk Redo

red mahogany stained secretary with claw feet before and after

This is one of my most favorite refinishing jobs ever. I love my little desk. And the Nate Berkus show liked it as well. Isn't it a shame that the show got canceled. I love Nate and the show! But now I can watch it again on OWN, yay!

They had it posted on their website. After that they called me up one day to feature it on one of their shows but I didn't get to see it. Bummer! Show got canceled!

And it was recently featured on Centsational Girl's BOTB!

I originally purchased the desk at an auction. It took me a while to find a very small desk that could fit the designated area in our living room. I also really wanted claw feet.

And here it is before I stripped it. Isn't that an ugly orange stain? Some of the hardware was missing too.
the before of the claw foot secretary desk

I started by removing all the hardware and the insert with all the slots and small drawers. I still have it in my attic and might end up using it one day but I feel like it visually clutters the small desk. I also needed room for my laptop.
The hinged desk surface was already off and the hinges were bent. I had to hammer them straight again.

Here are the products that I used:

I used wood filler to fill all the holes and then I was ready to strip it. I mostly sanded with fine sand paper for this project to get out a lot of dents and scratches, because I wanted a smooth surface. For the detailed areas like the claw feet and molding I used furniture stripper, steel wool and an old toothbrush. For this job I was able to use a gentler stripper since it was only a stain. For heavy painted pieces of furniture I usually use a knock-out chemical stripper.

I'm sorry that I don't have a picture of the stripped desk but when I work on a project I get so excited and into it that I forget to take a lot of pictures. And I didn't really ever think about submitting it to a show or to post this stuff on a blog.

I wanted a really dark stain since most of the furniture in my living room is very light. I decided to go with a red mahogany stain after trying several different stains out on a scrap piece of wood. To get the really dark finish I stained the desk evenly without wiping the stain off which is what I usually do. It took a really, really long time for the stain to dry this way. Before staining wipe the piece of furniture with a tack cloth to remove all the dust and dirt.

After the desk finally dried and YES the waiting period is always killing me! I just want to finish a project so badly that I have screwed up a project or two due to my lack of patience during drying time.
So the last step was to apply two coats of polyurethane. I used Minwax Clear Semi-Gloss. After the first thin coat is dry you can use a very fine grid sandpaper to lightly sand out any raised bumps and bubbles. Use a tack cloth again to remove the sanding dust and dirt before putting on the second coat of polyurethane.

I got lucky when I found the hardware at the Restoration Hardware outlet store. They were only $2 each. And they also had the wallpaper (cheap) that I used in the back of the desk and on the work surface. I simply used a clear desk surface protector over a piece of wallpaper.
I'm on the hunt for a new wallpaper or wrapping paper for the desk but haven't found one to replace it with. I'm thinking graphic pattern with grey and a little color. Haven't come across one. Have you?

This was the desk before I painted the walls grey and added my DIY horizontal striped curtains.
refinished red mahogany stained secretary with claw feet

Guten Tag fellow webbers and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Horizontal striped curtain DIY project

grey and white horizontal stripe curtain

I have been obsessed (like so many of you) with horizontal striped curtains for a long, long time. I guess my obsession is stripes in general! I have painted them so many times and can't get enough of them. My mom already told me that I'm overdoing it a little. But anyway, I researched them all over the internet where I found a couple of different versions.
One of my favorites are "Little Green Notebooks" dark striped (but not painted) curtains and "High-Heeled Foot in the Door's" yellow painted stripe curtains. And I'm sure that if you have googled "horizontal stripe curtains" you crossed paths with those links just like I did.

And now Crate and Barrel is selling a pricey grey and ivory striped version. You pay $99.95 for the 50"Wx96"H panel...yup,  $100 for just one panel. My painted version is so much cheaper and looks the same!

I finally tried my version a year ago for our dining room and I loved them so much that I made a bunch more for our living room.

So, for my version I used the IKEA Merete curtains.
Merete curtain DIY tutorial on how to paint horizontal stripes on your drapes

I was so glad that I had purchased about 10 packs of them when they were still $20 each. I knew that I was going to use them some day and had them stored away. My husband hates our attic due to my decor hoarding. I wish I'd have a lot more space! "Sigh Out loud"

For the paints I used textile medium mixed with acrylic paint. You have to play with different colors to get it just right. You don't actually have to purchase expensive fabric paint. The textile medium turns any acrylic paint into a washable fabric paint. I love it and the possibilities are endless. But you have to make sure to follow the instructions on your textile medium's label when mixing the paint with the medium.
On the medium that I used, Delta Cermacoat, the label read: " Delta Ceramcoat Textile Medium can be mixed with Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paint for a flexible, washable fabric paint. It penetrates fabric fiber for permanency and the paint won't run or bleed. It dries flexible on fabric with no cracking. Prewash fabric to remove sizing, do not use fabric softener, after painting with a 2:1 ratio of paint to Textile Medium mix, let dry 7 days and heat set. Machine wash with mild soap on gentle cycle and air dry. Water based for easy clean up, has a low odor and is non-toxic. 8 oz"
And that is exactly how I mixed my fabric paint.

You have to wash and iron the curtains before you start with the project.

Then I measured out my stripes and marked them on the curtains with my large ruler and pencil which was a little difficult because the fabric isn't completely straight. I taped the lines with frog tape and then used a small roller to paint the stripes.
Here is what I did a little different: I have a glass dining room table and I laid the curtains out on the table to paint. I used a spot light under the table to illuminate from below. The reason for the light is that when you paint fabric, it gets very uneven. You can't see the spots where the paint is thinner. The light under the table is similar to the sun shining through a window when the curtains are hanging up. My first attempt didn't look so good. I had a ton of uneven areas.  The light  really helped a lot and they look great now in bright sun shine.
DIY grey and white horizontal striped curtain

This is a picture of an area that is blotchy and with the light it is visible.

The instructions on the textile mediums label require you to heat set the painted areas after drying time usually with an iron, but I put my curtains in the dryer on the highest setting for about 10 minutes to make sure all areas got covered. And then I ironed some of the wrinkles out! So far so good!

This next photo is a very old photo from several years ago. Scroll to the bottom to see them in my current living room:

Then my living room looked like this:
DIY painted grey horizontal striped curtains

And these are current photos:

click HERE to see my cross wall treatment
click HERE to see my DIY artwork and gallery wall

I have had them for over three years now and I still love them very much!
Don't they make you want to go out and give it a try as well? Don't be scared!



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