Showing posts with label repurposing junk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label repurposing junk. Show all posts

Monday, June 3, 2013

On My Mind Monday - Kitschy Decor

Did you have a hot weekend like us?  Jeesh it was a scorcher and not just for the end of May! It was a hot, hot summer weekend! But I did get a little furniture painting done, not much though.

I've been wanting to share with you the oddities (not comparable to the show which my son loves by the way) I found on our vacation in Virginia. It's just that they are certainly not everyone's cup of tea but I have been drawn to some really strange stuff lately.

First off I want to share with you the painting by numbers. It has been on my mind before I have seen paint by numbers gallery walls on Pinterest. There's just something oddly nostalgic that draws me to them. I was one of those kids sitting at my desk painting art projects by numbers and feeling like a really cool artist while doing so. And when I come across those particular art walls on Pinterest, I can't help myself but love them. Is there any great artistic value in them? NO...but there is a certain charm that I can't resist.

Check out my Pinterest board by clicking HERE! And if you aren't a follower yet, then maybe you can become one? ;)

And those wall murals are so cool too aren't they?

Now here is what I found at Goodwill:

vintage paint by numbers ocean landscape

vintage paint by numbers sea scape

vintage paint by numbers mountain landscape

vintage paint by numbers mountain lake lanscape

I don't have room for them at all, but couldn't leave them behind either. I was even contemplating redoing the kids bathroom. And I would paint the wooden frames white, sorry, y'all know how much I love white and to me that would bring out the colors even more.

To stay with the kitschy, cheesy theme I purchased a vintage ceramic deer as well for $2. You might have seen my gnome and apple and the story/meaning behind it (click HERE to read up about it).

vintage ceramic deer

vintage ceramic deer and gnome

vintage ceramic deer

It's totally cheesy, I think I have been hanging out with my 6 year old for too long, but can't you just imagine snow white loving this deer? I know my friends in Virginia just gave me this strange look when I ran for this deer but I couldn't help myself.

I have been craving this quirky and strange stuff around my house lately, someone stop me please.

I also found some more of these plain brass candle holders that I love:

colorful living room by Julia Konya of cuckoo4design

And I know that this quirkiness is exactly the reason why I love Jonathan Adler so much. Nobody does strange, fun and odd as stylish as him. I only have to mention boob vases, don't I?

So this is it for today. Do you get it or do you think this stuff is just too strange?

Talk to you on Wednesday and Ill hopefully have another furniture makeover for you.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fake or quality brass? My first mean comment!

I can cross something of my blog list!

I received my first mean comment and here it is:
One more time in case the screenshot doesn't load:
"In my opinion, you took a few thousand dollars worth of quality brass lamps and turned them into cheap looking junk."

If you are wondering which post this comment belongs to, it was left on my painting brass lamps post.

painting table lamps by cuckoo4design
Click here to see it.

First off I need to say that my feelings were not hurt and I'm not angry either. But I do feel like I have to reply to it, not only in the reply box under his comment, but officially with this post.

So here it goes:

Dear Thom,

I don't know how you can tell in my photos that these are quality brass lamps but what I do know is that you appear to find things in the blogosphere that you do not like, so you can comment on it. I on the other hand like to find things on blogs that I like or love and comment on it. I try to seek out the positive things. Why do you feel the need to leave a rude comment?

Especially since you can in no way tell by my photos if those nonfunctioning, disheveled lamps are actually brass.

Let me demonstrate something to you with this photo:

how to tell if you have solid brass or not

Do you see all the items stuck to the lamps? Well they are my children's magnets! What does that mean?
Magnets do not stick to "quality" solid brass since brass isn't magnetic. This shows you that these lamps are brass plated metal.

So let me tell you, I didn't ruin thousands of dollars worth of quality brass but I chose to paint magnetic metal. Do you have a problem with that too?

And just to clarify/justify my other brass projects like my shelf. See in this picture, the magnets stick as well:

bookshelf is not brass

Now see my little owl in the next photo?

brass owl from cuckoo4design

The magnets do not stick!!! It's solid brass and guess what? I didn't paint it, because if you would have been following my blog, then you would actually know that I have developed quite the love for "quality" brass and embraced it in my home. I would definitely not want to paint it.

Here are also some more of my blog posts that declare my love for "quality" brass. Click here if you want to see them!

antique brass plated dresser
Like this lovely quality brass dresser (image via 1dbibs)
stylish brass accessories
Or this stylish room with quality brass accessories (image via Greg Natale)

One more thing, even if I would have painted "quality" brass, there is such a thing as paint strippers, which would restore the former beauty of a painted brass piece.

I'd certainly be willing to strike a deal with you and personally strip the lamps again, so I could sell you the "quality" brass pieces for thousands of dollars.

After all, this is in the eye of the beholder.

Have a wonderful day Thom.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cursed Corner Brass Bookshelf

So I finally wrapped up and finished the brass shelf in my "cursed corner". (The shelf was brass plated metal by the way, NOT solid quality brass. Click here if you want to see.)

brass shelf supports and brackets

If you haven't been reading along and are wondering why I call it the cursed corner, let me explain again.

This project started with the fact that I wanted to replace this Ikea shelf in my living room:

My children did a number on it with their toy baskets. I was also bothered by the fact that no big books and decor items fit into the cubbies. It's just a big bulky square that I originally chose for it's abilities to store my toddlers toys and to be able to get screwed into the walls for safety.

Well my kids aren't toddlers anymore and I was so ready for a change and when I spotted this 80's brass and glass shelf at the auction I knew I could turn it into something that I would love. It has the perfect size. I bought it for $35! Great price!

80s brass and glass shelving unit
original auction website photo
Now it appears a simple project, right? Remove Ikea Expedit shelf and put up brass shelf. That's what I thought too but it just ended up being such a hassle.
I had screwed the Expedit to the wall and cut the molding to fit it in. I also painted around it several times. So there was a big mess to clean up and fix.

fixing awall

 I think everything that could go wrong went wrong from this point on and a small project turned out to be a long process. Did that ever happen to you?
  • I cut the molding wrong several times and had to run back and forth to Home Depot to get more
  • I lost the original screws to the brass shelf on one of those runs because I wanted to replace several stripped ones. Of course they were metric and hard to find
  • I cut my foot on the half finished floor molding and I was barely able to walk.
  • Lowes mixed the paint wrong that I used to paint over the messy wall, so I had to paint a second time.
  • I wanted to build chunky white shelves. Yeah how about those? Do you remember? Well I changed my mind after finding out how much the lumber was and I couldn't find a cheap alternative. I was thinking the white Ikea Lack floating shelf, but they weren't deep enough. Why spend extra money if I had perfect glass shelves? So I did a little somethin' somethin' with them. I'll explain later.
  • And last but not least: Fixing the shiny brass on the frame. I really didn't want it to be shiny. I wanted the golden look of the mirror that I have hanging over my small secretary desk. I bought Rub 'n Buff. Which took quite some time to get to my house and it wasn't as easy to apply as I had expected.  
So this post is to explain what I did to get rid of the shiny brass and what I did to the glass shelves.

I used my $1 brass bookends as guinea pigs.

My first try was to just take the sheen of the brass and maybe have it age naturally. Well the sheen didn't come off and I tried several potent things. I tried lacquer thinner (paint thinner) and even heavy duty stripper right onto the frame but nothing worked. The shiny brass remained.

Then I moved to the Rub 'n Buff. I tried to apply it right to the brass and it got blotchy and uneven. I have seen several bloggers do that and for them it worked. For me not so much.
Check out Kelly @ViewAlongTheWay's brass Rub n' Buff lamp makeover here or my silhouette giveaway winner Andrea @OakRidgeRevival's brass Rub n' Buff lamp makeover here. Their lamps look great. My shelf is in the cursed corner though so it didn't work for me and this is what the finish looked like for me. I tried diluting it with deglosser but didn't like the results. I even sprayed the shiny brass with a mat clear coat and I tried liquid leaf. NO likey likey either.

experimenting with brass finishes
The left side shows the blotchy Rub n' Buff, the right side shows the mat clear coat

blotchy Rub n' Buff finish
This is 2 coats of Rub n' Buff on the actual frame. Very uneven!

I had researched Rub 'n Buff on other blogs and the stand out blog for it is the queen of Rub 'n Buff Sammy from ReNew ReDo. She has used it on all kinds of surfaces. Check out her ideas and Q&A here but she also mentions that shiny brass is tricky and that Rub n' Buff doesn't work well with it.

So I ended up priming the frame with metal primer spray paint. The first time I didn't wait the full 48 hour drying time and the Rub n' Buff ate away the paint. So I had to fix the primer again.

painting brass with metal primer

 BUT finally the Rub n' Buff stuck to the frame. Yippie!

It was hard to understand for my husband why I primed the gold shelf frame to just paint it gold again. Haha, but he doesn't need to understand it ;)

Now we come to the glass shelves and this is where the bracelet from yesterday's post comes into place. I loved the jade and gold of the bracelet. Since the glass was tinted green, I decided to try painting the underside of each glass white to bring out the tint. It worked! And I really like it. It doesn't mean that I might not change them out for my first choice, the chunky white shelves, down the road, but for now I'm really happy with this result. I used water based primer to paint the shelves.

painting glass shelves
Sorry for the bad photo but it was late and dark outside!
After this long post (if you made it through the entire rambling) you can understand why a seemingly easy project turned out to be such a long process.

brass bookshelf makeover

brass and jade glass bookself with colorful painting

brass and mint glass bookshelf

Brass bookshelf

And the hubby doesn't think that the shelf is hideous anymore. He said: "I never pictured it looking like this!" and I'm doing a happy dance. Mission accomplished!

I finally like my "cursed corner".
What do you think?
(Next I will have some small projects coming up with the new white picture frames and the $1 brass bookends)

brass shelf brackets with glass

You can also enter your email address below 
to hear more from me!
(but don't forget to verify the subscription by clicking on the link in the verification email 
which might have landed in your spam folder)

Delivered by FeedBurner

Friday, January 4, 2013

Who has a hard time with change?

I started to fix the wall where I wanted to change out the book shelf. Let me tell you. It appears like a simple change but of course when it seems so easy it ends up being a major annoyance. It's just one of those projects where everything went wrong. The molding broke, the wall isn't straight, I cut my toes (badly) on the molding, I lost the original screws to the shelf, Lowes mixed the wall color wrong and I had to paint twice, I couldn't find Rub-N-Buff locally....bla bla bla. I think you get it, right? The list could actually go on and on.

not-so-nice Ikea Expedit shelf
Sorry for the bad light on the photos, it was late.
You can see the damage where the kids slid out their baskets all the time.
mangeled wall

brass and glass shelf
This is just a practice run with only some of the glass shelves to see if the new screws will hold the contraption.
I know for sure that I want to dull the shiny brass. I don't like it at all. I tried to dull it with lacquer thinner since that is what was recommended on another website, but it didn't work. This shelf is brass plated and not solid brass. I envision it with a mat gold finish and chunky white shelves.

Now for the shelving part. I was hoping to be able to just use some Ikea Lack shelves but they aren't deep enough. Then I went to Home Depot and Lowes to see what the lumber would cost to make some chunky shelves myself and it would end up being way over $100, which I don't want to spend right now. I'm going to continue to search to see if I can come up with a cheaper solution for my white chunky shelves.
First I'll focus on making the brass dull.

The hubby asked me yesterday in a very annoyed voice why on earth I would rip out the perfect shelves (by the way they were totally beat up) and replace them with something so hideous. Poor Jarrid, he just doesn't do well with change. Never did! But that's exactly what I need...CHANGE! It's still undetermined if it's a good change but I'm doing it regardless. Haha! I have the vision but I'm not sure if I'll get to achieve it. I'll try. Do you ever feel like that?

If all fails, I'll strip the brass and make it silver.

To the right of the shelving, I'm going to paint a painting on a canvas that has been sitting in my basement for years. My husband isn't happy about that either. That actually cracks me up because you should take a look what was hanging there before.

nude painting by Jonas Gerard

Yes, a male nude painting by Jonas Gerard. When I brought it home from an auction years ago, he was kind of mad and asked me where on earth I was planning on hanging that "thing" (his finger extended and pointing at the "thing"). He so wasn't feeling the living room placement. He told me that he doesn't want to look at (giggle) a penis every day.
And now several years later, like I said before, he just can't bare the change.

Him: "Where did you put that painting?"
Me: "Oh, I didn't know that you liked the penis painting that much?"


Change is bad, very very bad for him.

There was actually a time when I covered the "thing' with a starched cheese cloth. Yeah, you heard right! But I didn't want kids that returned to their parents after play dates to tell them that we had inappropriate artwork in our living room. Can you imagine?

Truth is, I was sick of looking at the "thing". It's not even a nice looking "thing"! Not that those "things" are nice looking anyway...Alright this got a little weird. I'll stop. I'm still keeping the "thing"-painting in my hoard though. It's not going anywhere as of now.

brass and glass shelving

Do any of you have another alternative on how to dull the brass plating without stripping it? Let me know. I'm waiting for the Rub-N-Buff to finally come in the mail, so I can try that.