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Canopy Bed

So I did find a photo I took of an update to our master bedroom after we changed paint colors:
I suspect I didn't post this photo because...it's terrible!  I must have had water spots on the lens of my camera. The photo is an odd angle. The purple pillow looks VERY bright and shiny. The paint is washed out by the flash on the camera. So I see why I didn't post it.  The others in the folder this is stored in aren't much better. 

So let's take a step back for a moment.  Once upon a time, I was a little girl in the 70's. And what I wanted more than anything else was a Holly Hobby canopy bed. My mom bought me a bedspread and decorated my room, but alas, no canopy bed.  

And in the days of internet wonderfullness, I even managed to find the actual print that was on my bed as a child.

I think this clearly explains my complete aversion to pink in my adult life. This is the fabric that my bed set was made from. I had red-orange shag carpet that matched her hair. My walls were pink and my furniture was painted green. And of course, there were matching drapes. 

I can't even contemplate how this fabric would have looked on a canopy bed...

Ok, let's fast forward to TODAY after my trip to Ikea to swap out my drapes:
<sigh> I love it. Although the quilt is washed out in this photo. The colors are soft. But in real life, they're not quite this muted.

And we have discovered that our old bed frame, which started it's life as a queen size bed frame, and was expanded to accommodate our king size mattress, didn't actually fit our king mattress. There was always a slight hump in the middle of the bed. It wasn't bad and really, after four years, we really didn't notice it. Until we put the mattress in this bed. And oh my goodness, we are in bed heaven!

You can also see in this photo the infamous 'wall that was purple'. It's the only wall in the bedroom that has the standard ceiling height. It was a deep, beautiful purple. And as I mentioned, we loved it. But we love the feel of this even better.

New drapes. Pardon the fact that I haven't hemmed them yet!

So eventually, I'll need new lamps. I found some at Hobby Lobby I really like, but I need to wait for them to go on sale. Until then, these work fine.

We moved my desk into the living room. The new bed is just big enough that it seemed like we suddenly had too much furniture in our bedroom. So here's a parting shot of Hazel, who's has claimed my desk as her new sleeping spot:

Quick Updates

I was working fast and furious last month on finish three term papers for school. Working full-time and going to school full-time can be a challenge, but I know it will be worth it when I finish (which will be no later than this August but could be sooner!!)

So there are several projects that have been on my list, but due to lack of time, I hadn't even started. One of them is our master bedroom. I know. We just re-did it three years ago when we bought the house. And for the most part, I still really like it. But you know how when you live in a room long enough, you come to realize things need to change? That's how I've been feeling for about the past six months. 

The last time I posted, our bedroom looked like this
Ahem. So it mostly looks nothing like this now. Apparently, when I did things like paint the closet wall to be a deep purple, change the paint color, and move the bedroom around, I didn't take any photo's of it. I'm not sure how that's possible...but apparently, it's true!

So let's talk about what is still the same - the rugs, curtains, bed, and furniture. Everything else has changed over the last few years.  

Let's start with the duvet on my bed. I bought a nice duvet from Ikea, that I still love.  It is SO warm and toasty in the winter and has a nice weight to it when you sleep. However. We almost never have a winter here in TX. And when we do, if it lasts a week, it's a really long winter. And it's not that we don't get cold weather (uh, ok, barely) but this is a really warm duvet. The photo above shows the cover I bought for it and I still love it. But the duvet has been packed away and is only brought out for when the temperatures are truly cold. In its place, I bought a lovely white quilt. It felt crisp and bright, wasn't overly hot, and I genuinely love it. Except for one thing. Why on earth did I buy white?!  I have a husband, kids, and DOGS. Keeping it clean and white requires washing it almost every day. What was I thinking?!!!  I was lulled by all the lovely and tranquil pictures in blog land. 

Moving on. The wall color.  I'm laughing. I hated this color when we moved in the house. In fact, we painted the entire house after we moved in. EXCEPT our bedroom. Yeah, I don't know why. Maybe we ran out of time? So after we bought the house (we rented it first) we finally painted it a beautiful color called French Silver by Behr.
I realized looking at this swatch that it almost has a lavender undertone to it, but it's still a gray. And I love it!! The paint color is definitely not being changed. In fact, we painted back the deep purple accent wall over the weekend. The great thing about paint is that when you're tired of it, you can just paint over it (after two coats of primer and then two coats of paint...) and so now our room is all one color.

Which, of course, has led me to want to change out the white quilt. I love it. I do. But the constant need to wash it is driving me crazy. So I was web surfing the other night and came across this:

OK, ignore the ugly way they staged it. Seriously, that room is not inspiring. However, in the catalog, it was much prettier. So I ordered it. It arrived today, and it's softer, with a few more neutral tones than you can see in this photo. But I think it's going to be perfect. It definitely goes with the wall color (and the area rugs next to our bed) and since I have now bought a total of four different bed covers since the initial cover for the duvet, and really, I just want to be done at this point

The other update we're making is the bed. A few years ago, we bought an iComfort bed from Seely and now I'm spoiled for life. No other bed is as comfortable. However, we have the same bed frame that we bought when we first got married 20 years ago. I did buy the wrought iron headboard from Ikea about 10 years ago, but it's actually for a queen size bed, which we had at the time, and it doesn't actually fit our now king size bed. It's not obvious that it's the wrong size because it's nice and tall. But late last year, our bedframe broke. It's now propped up on wooden blocks to keep it from crashing to the floor. And I could go out and buy another plain bed frame and keep using what we have...but we decided to go a different route.

The Builder's birthday was a week ago, and we stayed in an amazing room in a historical mansion in Galveston. The mansion was built in 1860 and survived the 1900 Galveston hurricane, the worst natural disaster in US history. It was amazing, and the owners have been restoring it since they bought it four years ago.  One thing we really fell in love with was the huge, four poster bed. Now it may have been a reproduction (although they had amazing antiques in the house) but we loved the size of the bed. The room was cozy and intimate. And we both agreed it was a feeling that was lacking in our bedroom. I had every intention of having The Builder make us a new bed, but it would be many months before that could happen because of a medical issue he's dealing with.

I know I say this every time I start a new project, but seriously, have you priced beds lately?! I don't know why I continue to be horrified.  I started with this beautiful bed from pottery barn, which had a similar feel to what we slept in:
I like it. But I don't love it. I particularly do not like the $1755 sale price (normally it's $2700. For real). And the spindle posters aren't quite what I'm looking for, they're too fussy. So that one wasn't even a consideration.

So this weekend I was cleaning out my email box and there was a sales add for Birch Lane. They're another division of Wayfair, and somehow I got on their mailing list. Usually I just hit delete, but I decided to take a look. They were having a 20% off sale with free shipping and I am always on the lookout for a good bargain.

So I when I came across this I looked a little closer.

Not only was this one on sale for about $500, but with free shipping and 20% off, this was definitely worth considering. The bed I really wanted to build, the posts were about $100 each. Add the rest of the materials, The Builder's time, and the delay in being able to build made buying this a no brainer. Even better, the free shipping actually has it here TODAY!

So of course, this will have to be assembled. Thankfully I have two teenage boys who will be able to help me put this together under The Builder's supervision (he can't lift more than 10 lbs. right now, and the website states this weighs about 210 lbs!) OK, I doubt it will be done today. In fact we probably won't get it put together until the weekend. But I am so excited!! The added bonus is that it appears to match our dresser, which we bought years ago, almost perfectly. Since I'm not replacing any furniture, this is an added bonus.

I see new curtains in my future as well...


School and work have kept me crazy busy since the first of the year, but I have been working diligently as of late to finish up some projects. I posted yesterday about the buffet, but you may recall that I was also re-doing my sons' bedroom prior to Christmas. I'm happy to say I'm about 90% done now, after scoring a major discount on a rug for the room today!

And again, lighting is going to be an issue in this post.  This room only gets good lighting in the morning. The rest of the day it's shadowy horrible for photo's! To make it even more challenging, it's been raining all weekend. The ceiling fan/light just adds a yellow cast to the room, so this is it for now. 

Do you see that rug?!  It's 7x10 and the perfect size for this room. It's a little more patterned than what I was originally looking for, but the colors work well with the room, and I could not beat the price. $79.98 on clearance at Target.  Down from $249.99 when I was looking at it before Christmas! It makes my budget conscious heart VERY happy!!

This desk area really turned out well. He has a large space to work at, plenty of storage, and places to hang his drawings. Both lights are on now for the photo's, but usually, he only uses the lamp for task lighting. He has always preferred his clothes to go in his chest of drawers, so the closet was completely wasted space before (and piled with junk!) 

Here's a close up of his desk space

The desk has a very small lip on the edge so that pencils don't roll off, but not enough that he feels it when he's writing or drawing. To the left of the cork board, I do want to put a floating shelf, but that's part of that 10% not done. 

Speaking of not done, there are still a few things that need to be completed:

  • new blinds and curtains for his window - and if I'm being honest, I haven't even looked into these yet. But as I mentioned previously, his blinds are broken and must be replaced. The curtains have small tears (no idea where those came from!) and I'm not thrilled with tie-dyed curtains, a plaid duvet, and the patterned rug.  It's just too much. So those still need to be done.
  • Artwork - my son is very picky on artwork. This may take some time to find what he really wants and what I find to be acceptable. Artwork adds up quickly as well, so that needs to be a consideration as well. 
  • Conversation area - it's not obvious in the first photo, but he has quite a bit of space to the right of his bed. Ideally, he'd like two bean bag chairs and small table between them. That way when he has friends over, they can 'hang out' away from his brothers. I want navy or dark denim, so it's just a matter of finding something that's cost effective. The builder will probably make him a small table of some sort. I haven't worked out that detail yet.
But for me, the rug is what really pushed this almost to completion. It looks sparse at the moment, but it does look put together. And when he comes home from spring break, I think he'll be happy!

The Vintage Buffet

It's done. And I LOVE it. It is better than what I even imagined. Here are some more photo's

This is a new piece of mahogany veneer that The Builder laminated back to the top. The wood grain is just beautiful, and while it was a little pricey, it was well worth it. 

Yes, for those that know me, that is my Downton Abbey tea set. I wanted the tea set the first year it was out, but it sold out quickly. When the brought it out again before the last season, I was quick to buy it (to the dismay of my friends and family who had thought they might buy me some pieces for Christmas...oops) I think it looks SO pretty out on display.

You may remember the photo where the bottom was all scratched up and just a mess. That was carefully sanded out. The Builder suspects that at some point, someone did a repair, and the bottom was 'painted' to match the original finish. That to some work to get it sanded down, and then to color match it since it took stain differently than the rest of the piece. The Builder spent days applying layers of stain to get it to match the rest of the piece. I think he did a wonder job!

I can't believe I contemplated painting any of this initially! The wood on this is just beautiful. I'm so happy we were able to restore it.

What we spent:
Buffet - $45 + sales tax
mahogany veneer - $55
spray paint for the hardware - $8
pewter rub to tone down the SHINY paint after we painted the hardware: $5

Total: $113

Now to be fair, we already owned the two stains that we mixed, Rustoleum/Varathane Provincial and Cherry. We also already had the clear varnish we used on the body and the wax paste we used on the top, as well as the wood glue.  These things would have run us another $25-$30. We also bought a multi pack of sandpaper. And we used it ALL. 

You may also notice in the last photo, that it matches our existing dining room chairs perfectly. I wish I could say this was intentional. But it was a total fluke! 

I still have some styling to do on this wall.  Currently there is a shelf that is now too small for the scale of this piece, that holds a few of my most used cookbooks. It's now complete wrong for this space, and I'll have to see if there's anywhere else that it would work.  That means I either need a longer shelf for the scale of this piece, artwork, or a cabinet of some sort.  Or even a combination of some sort, to finish this off. But I've already stored my good china and my decorative plates in the lower cabinets, and I'll start putting my tea towels and table clothes in the drawers. 

My heart is happy.

2017 Beginnings

Happy New Year!

I should be starting this post with photos of my son's completed bedroom.  And we're officially 97% there. But his comforter needs to be washed. His new desk needs a thorough cleaning and staging. And he's in the middle of doing laundry (that I told him all last week to do so he wouldn't be stressing the day before he goes back to school...). And since I don't get home until after it's dark all week, photo's will have to wait until next weekend. Maybe I'll have new artwork for him by that point too...

Umh, and so while I should be putting the finishing touches on his room (cornice board isn't started, still looking for the right rug for his room, and I'm working out his hang out area)...I'm not. I got distracted by a new project.

I've mentioned I love to poke around Habitat for Humanities ReStore. If you're willing to visit frequently and dig through a lot of trash, there are some amazing treasures. Remember the granite vanity top with the undermount sink for my kids' bathroom that I got for $75, the 7 ft. soaking tub on clearance for $50, and our $150 front door (still sold a Lowes for just $600). Sometimes we really find some incredible deals. 

The Builder and I tried to stop in after Christmas to poke around. We didn't really need anything, but like I said, it's a store where merchandise moves quickly so it never hurts to poke around. However, they were closed a week for Christmas so that was a bust. This morning, as it was raining dogs and cats (and small tractors and elephants) I remembered that they opened again, so we decided to go and walk around. We were almost done wandering through, considering this trip a bust, when I came found it.  In all it's shabby, needed to be re-worked,  ugliness, a true treasure. A diamond in the rough!!

The Builder...needed some convincing. 

Yes, the top is bad. But after closer inspection, that's a veneer top, and we could strip that off. Yes, the drawers need to be re-worked as they currently have wood slides, but that's an easy fix. I like the cabinet hardware, it just needs to be cleaned and refinished a brushed nickel to coordinate with the rest of the fixtures in the house. The sides and doors need some repairs, but only small repairs. 
The Drawer Front

Look at the curve on the front of that drawer.  It's beautiful. And it's solid wood, no particle board in this piece. The drawers are all dove tailed as well. And you can't tell in the photo's, but 7 of the 8 drawer pulls are installed upside down.  I have no idea if someone took them off to clean them or something, but it's the craziest thing. 

You may have guessed, we're not going to re-stain the entire cabinet. The doors will need some wood putty in spots that have been damaged. The front of the cabinet has some minor scratches and gouges that will need to be filled and sanded. The goal at this point is to remove the existing veneer, replace it with new veneer, and stain the top. The rest of the cabinet will be stripped of the clear coat, painted, and lightly distressed. 

We were slightly excited when we got it home, and may have already removed ALL of the damaged veneer top...and maybe started removing the clear finish on one of the doors...
One heat gun later, and the veneer came off fairly easy (this was more about patience than effort, but it did take a couple of hours). We also discovered that the heat gun will melt the clear coat off, making it easy to scrape off. Since we plan to paint it a cream color and antique it so a little of the dark stain shows through, it's important that we be able to see the existing stain. This is our first time attempting to do a distressed/antique finish, but it's perfect for our dining room. 

I have no idea what the actual age of this piece is. There were no furniture stamps to determine who made this buffet. We believe both the top and the bottom skirting have been redone at least once. Our best guess is that they lightly sanded it and finished it with a tinted top coat. While sanding the skirting today, you could see where someone had fill nail holes in it with a pink tinted wood filler. Given the degree of disgusting found under the dresser, I think this may have been sitting in someone's garage or shed for some time. But all of that is easy to clean. 

We figured the investment for this piece to be fairly minor:
  • buffet - $48
  • heat gun - $20
  • new leveling feet - $4
  • new plywood to repair the weak bottom of the main drawer - $13
  • new drawer slides to replace the wooden ones - $30
  • paint - $23
  • spray paint for the hardware - $5
  • Total Cost: $143
Now let me be clear. I have been wanting a buffet for several years now. I love dishes and I have managed to collect quite a few pieces over the years, in addition to the china my grandmother gave me when I got married (that I dearly love!). We currently have a small china hutch that worked when I first got in on Freecycle 12+ years ago, but now, is way too small for my our needs. But the cost on a solid wood, 6 ft. buffet, is crazy stupid. World Market is probably the lowest in cost, at just $499 + shipping for a 54" buffet, but only the frame is made from real wood. Wayfair has some with free shipping, but they look SO modern and...blah. Of course, Pottery Barn to the rescue, I dearly love this one:
Of course, it's a lot more rustic than I actually want, but it checks off all the boxes for size (62") and being made from solid wood. It does not, however, fit the budget. The buffet is $1800. If I want the matching hutch (yes, you know I do!) that's an additional $1600. Shipping, of course, is additional. 

So $143 vs. $1800. The Builder was still reluctant as the the ReStore guys loaded it into his truck, but after getting it home and into the garage, he quickly got on board!

I really, really want this to be a simple project. My dining room needs this to be a fast and simple project!

Just One More...

Why is it on any project, there is always one more board that's needed to finish it?  OK, in this case, I actually need two more. 

Putting this floor in took longer because this was done by my boys. They ripped out the old carpet, bundled it up, and hauled it out to the trash. Then, with The Builder supervising, we got the floor put in. This was done primarily during their week off for Thanksgiving. We installed the last two boards today, but I don't have pictures yet. 

I am really loving this floor. Not too light, not too dark, It's a laminate, but a wide plank, so it looks more natural (unlike the orange laminate in the hallway...but that's a project for another year). This is the same flooring we put in the older boy's room. I'm thinking about doing my daughters' in the same flooring when she goes to college in January and my oldest son gets her room. I think having the same flooring in all three bedrooms would be best. Again, something to contemplate. 

A quick shot of the bed and dresser.  They're directly across from the new desk area. Apparently, I'm due to lightly sand and restain his bed because it looks bad in this photo. The duvet cover is new from Ikea. I wasn't sure he'd actually go for this but I bought it because I could see it in the room. My youngest hates plaid. Amazingly, he likes this one. It may be more because it's really soft, but I can live with that! 

The blue drapes are not staying. There's a small tear in one of them and the tie dye effect isn't working for me with the plaid. The plan is a cornice board with a faux roman shade. I already mentioned the blinds need to be replaced. Still on my to buy list. To the right of the bed, I'm on the hunt for a beanbag chair and a side table. This will be his "hang out" area. Now that we have the new flooring, a rug might be in order as well. Of course, we still have new base boards to install as well. I'm ready for this "quick" refresh to be done! But at least my son finally likes it (he didn't think his room needed any refreshing when we started).

Parting shot. He wanted to be silly. He's demonstrating how comfortable he is in this bed. Such a goofball...

Built In Desk

I had to give this built in desk a lot of thought. I would have loved to have made it a true built in, since my son has never used his closet (except for shoving in junk when tell him to clean his room, lol) as he prefers to use his dresser. And while I have no plans for moving ever again, I do recognize the best laid plans can change. If I removed the closet, it would become a 3 bedroom home, and that won't work. That was part of the big draw to my inspiration photo. It could easily convert back to a closet if needed. 

So to do this built in, we decided to do a frame, instead of just a cleat. I know my son, he's hard on things. I wanted the extra stability of a frame. 
So, nothing difficult about this. 

The frame has two supports in it to distribute the weight. We then attached the frame to the studs in the wall. 

This ended up being more difficult only because it doesn't appear that our closet does have studs evenly placed as the walls do. I have no idea why. 

(when did this photo get blurry?!) We used a laser level to shoot a line 30" up the wall (this is the height the desk in my bedroom is and I wanted to make sure he was getting an adult sized height since he keeps getting bigger, not smaller!) and marked if off with painters tape. We then pre-drilled holes so that when the frame was set in, it would be easier to attach it to the studs. 

The blue vertical pieces of tape are where the studs are. Again, we wanted to make it as easy as possible to find them so this could be installed. 

The top piece has been added. There will be a 2x3 across the front to create a lip, as we are going to put a piece of tempered glass on top of the desk. As I have mentioned, my son loves to draw, and I could see him pressing down on the plywood top and leaving indention's. Or setting a glass down and having water marks. I need this to be teen boy resistant!

I still need to lightly sand this, stain, and varnish it before I can add the glass top. But I feel like I've crossed the threshold of the halfway mark on this project. 

While I'm waiting for stain and varnish to dry, I'm focusing on the task lighting that needs to go in here. The first thing I have to loose is the bare bulb at the top of the closet. It's a chain pull and it's ugly!! 

The thing is, there are very few options for chain pull lights. Here's the one I really like. Yes, this is by far my favorite. It's also $99

I'm not paying $99 for a closet light fixture. It's not because I'm cheap (well, I am, but that's a discussion for another day). Right now, $100 for a single light is not in my budget. 

I also found this one on Etsy. It's a little more reasonable in cost and still has a nice industrial feel to it. This one is $59. I really would have liked to have spent no more than $20 on a closet light, but that doesn't seem to be possible. I could look around at some local lighting stores, but I don't think I'll find anything less than this one.

The thing about this closet light? I don't expect him to use this light frequently. I suspect he'll be using the task lighting that I'm going to install as well. But I've been looking for a place in my home to use an Edison bulb, and this is probably the only room that it will work. 

I keep mentioning tasking lighting. I have two more light sources I want to add. The first is a desk light. I have one that I use and I think it's really important, particularly  for studying. These are the two I've narrowed it down to.
Both lamps are from Ikea, and I really, really like Lamp 2. Of course, it's the higher price of the two at $35

Lamp 1 is the cost effective one for $20. And until I put it next to Lamp 2, I like it just fine. 

I'm not sure yet, but there's no rush since I'm not ready to buy it just yet. 

I'm also contemplating a shelf light. I like the idea of a soft light he can turn on that won't light up his room. Ikea has one that specifically mounts behind the TV, which I like the idea of:

This would mount behind his TV, which will be mounted to the wall. I need to take a trip to Ikea and look at this in person. I need to keep in mind that I only have four outlets, and if I fill them all up with lights, I've defeated the purpose of having them for his electronics. I believe they have battery operated ones as well, which may be a better option. But I think I need to look at them in person to make a final decision.

Well, hopefully the next post will be a completed, built in desk!

Blue Paint

The closet is painted. One coat of primer, two coats of paint. It may need a third, sigh..

My son chose this color, which I really like, called Inked. It's a little more blue gray than navy blue, but it works really well with what he wanted his room to look like. 

The thing about blue paint - any dark blue paint - is that it shows every.little.flaw. No joke. Your wall is a bit out plumb? It will look 10x's worse when you paint it blue. Your texture is uneven? Yep, even worse with blue paint. Of course, I didn't realize this when I started. Lesson learned.

So here's where we started after the first coat of paint:
Coat 1
Yes, pretty darn bad!

But not a surprise. I was hoping it would be a little less streaky by using the grey primer. While it probably helped, it's clearly not a cure all. I could have tried their upgraded paint that's supposed to cover in one coat. But since I'm only doing a small closet, it didn't make sense to spend more on paint. 

I really meant to add another coat last week, but it was a long work week and I never got to it. So this last weekend, I finally go to the second coat. Minus the area we installed the outlet because we still needed to add texture. Baby steps...

So the trick to taking good photo's in this room is to get the morning light by 9am. This is the second coat. I'm much happier with this second coat. You can see how this color pairs nicely with the grey color on his walls. Now I only need to touch up where I re-textured, both in the closet and the patch on the outside. 

Still to do on this closet renovation:

  1. install the built in desk
  2. install the bracket and shelf
  3. install task lighting
  4. add a chest of drawers for more storage
  5. Add the cork boards (a specific request from my son!)
  6. add storage for his art supplies
  7. mount his TV to the wall
  8. custom bi-fold doors
That will finish off this specific portion of his room update, but I'm not stopping there. I'm replacing his carpet (which is completely disgusting and is actually next on the to do list before the built in desk will be completed). In addition I'm replacing the broken faux wood blinds with new ones, and the drapes are being replaced with a cornice board. We'll also need to replace all the short, builder grade base boards with something beefier. This is a must with the change int he flooring. And of course, there's artwork. My son has very specific ideas on that as well. I suppose since it's his room, I can't complain.

As always, more to come...

Then There Was the Closet

It took a while to get the finished photo's of the dresser posted, but we've been working quite a bit on this room! You may remember that I posted a photo of my inspiration for my son's room last month. Here's a refresher:

This comes from the blogger at The Happy Housie  You'll remember that we settled on a color called Inked from Behr to do our blue. While not as dark as the photo above, it's at least a two coat job, even with a gray primer under it. 

Before I started painting we decided to do a few updates in the closet. Since this will also be a study space, I needed a convenient place to plug in his laptop, chargers, desk lamp, etc. There currently is only a light bulb with a pull chain for light in the closet, and of course, no power source. So after priming the closet, our first step was to add power. We routed it from an existing power outlet outside the closet. Thank goodness The Builder is good with these things as this completely out of my comfort zone!

He started by cutting out  a whole next to the power supply, then drilling a hole through the stud so that he could run the power through the wall and into the closet. There was actually a dent in the wall that we had filled and primed.  Oops. I didn't get the idea to add power to the closet until after that was done. Luckily, The Builder agreed and so he cut it out and ran the power.

Sigh, another bad photo. Seriously, I have to do something about the lighting in this room! In this case though, the power was off so that he could run the new line. This is the wire pulled through the wall. We decided to do double outlets so that there was enough for multiple electronic devices. I hate power strips and I don't want one overloaded in the closet. Eventually we want to put in an outlet that has a USB charger as well, but it wasn't in the budget right now, and it's an easy switch out for The Builder later on.

Now that it's installed, we've patched the hole. I didn't take photo's of the mud and texture. That was completed this weekend, so now I can finish painting that section. You can see that this wall is primered. The closet has the original paint from when the house was first built and it soaked up the primer like it was nothing. I can only imagine what it would have done to the blue paint.

So, one step closer.  Next up, paint!

The Dresser...2.0

OK, the lighting on the previous photo (and the graininess!!) were driving me crazy, so while I was shooting some photo's of the built in I'm working on this morning, I grabbed another photo of the dresser. And Eureka!

So as you can see, not honey colored at all (thank goodness!). For now it's pushed into the corner, because the room is in absolute chaos at this point.  I haven't decided on the fine floor plan yet for this room. I need to decide on a few more pieces for his room, like a night stand, before I plan the final layout.

Back to working on the built in desk!

The Dresser is DONE!

So yes, the dresser is done.  It's been done for a couple of weeks, but I had moved on to other things in the room. Oops. 

One thing I'm learning about my sons' room?  He has TERRIBLE lighting!  I've taken photo's with my very good Nikon and my cell phone and there's almost no difference in the quality, due to the poor lighting. Very frustrating. Needless to say, updating his lighting is on my to do list for this room.

So just a quick reminder of what this dresser looked like when I started:

Yeah, I didn't take photo's of the front of the dresser before. But this is the worst of the damage and the primary reason I wanted to rehab this piece.

Here are some after photo's!

So the above photo is...dark. And grainy. Ugh. The drawers are not really that dark, and the fronts came out exactly as I was hoping they would.

And...also not a good photo.  Over exposure on the bottom. Also, the drawers here are honey colored and shiny - not what they look like in person. Once I get the lighting situation resolved, I'll take another photo of it in the completed room.

Speaking of the completed room, I've been working a LOT on the room itself. The hole behind his door is patched, textured, and primed. His room as been repainted. But his closet is the biggest project that is getting closer to completion. There was a lot more work than I anticipated, but I think it will be worth it when I'm done. 

More to come...

The Ceiling Debacle

I'm still working on the drawers for the dresser. My mistake last week was putting the varnish on outside, in the humidity. Four days later it still hadn't really dried. We brought them in Thursday night and miraculously, they were ready for another coat of varnish by Friday night. This morning I got up and put on a third coat, and they should be ready to put back in the dresser tomorrow. This has also allowed the chalk paint to have plenty of time to cure. A small bonus. 

I decided to tackle the ceiling this weekend. Mainly because there isn't a lot I can get done in the room until the ceiling is repainted. 

Here is the almost blank slate I'm working with:

This is the view of the room from his door. The closet is to your right. It currently has the dresser, his desk, and his bin-o-stuff in it so I can paint. From this angle, the carpet doesn't look too bad. Sadly, that's far from the truth. Also, the walls were refreshed with paint three years ago, but this boy is apparently very hard on his room, and it looks dingy and gross. You can also see the water damage up above the window. Here's a close up:

This morning, after we cleared everything out of the room, I was really confident I would just put on a coat of primer, let it dry, and then paint the ceiling. What cold be simpler?

6 hours later and three coats of primer later, here is what I'm still dealing with:
It's....better. But it's not fixed.  And it certainly doesn't look like I've painted on three coats of primer! I'm going to put on yet ANOTHER coat here in a few minutes and hope that does the trick. Seriously, it was just a leaky tube that allowed water to drip onto the ceiling. Why the Zinser primer isn't covering these spots completely is the burning question right now. So back upstairs I go to paint on primer. Again...


We start out with...a photo of me.

September in Houston is still pretty humid. Since I'm staining drawers today, being inside was not an option. I contemplated putting it off another week, but really, the humidity isn't likely to be any better. And the longer I take to finish, the less likely I will get it done before Christmas.

So the photo. Somehow you can't really see it, but I was a hot mess after sanding down the drawers this morning. I almost never sweat, even in the humidity. So my youngest was shocked to see it dripping down my forehead. He felt a picture was warranted. You know, with nothing but moisturizer and lip balm on, sweaty hair pulled back in a ponytail, feeling super gross. But I took it to humor him. And then he said to make sure I posted it with all my other photos I was taking. Clearly, he has a twisted sense of humor.

So let's to what we really came here for. Drawers.

This is what I started with. Five drawers that had seen better days. About three years ago, he stuck some stickers all over the front of the drawers. I really tried scraping them off, but to no avail. Yesterday The Builder came to the rescue and took off most of the residue with the isopropyl alcohol he uses for cleaning metal at work. Thank goodness, as I have no idea where my goo gone has gone! (yes, I said that intentionally)

When I went to Home Depot to pick up my standard orange varnish remover, it wasn't there. There wasn't even a spot where it was sold out. I admit I wasn't patient enough to flag someone down and see if they had it in the back, or if it was in a different spot. I did a quick review of my product options and went with this:

First off. This stuff worked GREAT. I was able to get off all the varnish the first go around (except for one, that I forgot to strip, and had to re-apply this morning...oops). But. This stuff is seriously toxic. The directions tell you to wear safety goggles and gloves. Ahem. I didn't do that. Not only did I ignore that, I was wearing shorts and was barefooted (#humidityisakiller) When I use this the next time, and I have a ton left over, I will not make that mistake again. I was very careful while applying it, but I got a few tiny little splashes on my fingers and toes.  And it BURNS. I quickly rinsed in cold water, and there are no marks, but I understand why they tell you to wear protective gear. 

So after a quick scrape with a plastic scraper, here is what my drawers initially looked like:

I will admit. I was sort of freaking out. The stain I bought was a little darker because I know I have scratches and gouges that will not sand out. It's not super dark, but it is more forgiving. But picturing putting a medium toned stain over this very orange looking pine did not make me excited. I knew that I still needed to sand everything down and was hoping that that would do the trick. 

Sometimes you really do get lucky!

About 95% of the old stain sanded out perfectly! There are some spots around the edge that even with a wool brush, I just couldn't scrape out. But I wasn't looking for perfection for this project. This chest of drawers has survived three boys over a 10+ year time period. If I really wanted perfect, I'd have to buy something new. Which means we'd just build it. At this point in time, that's completely unnecessary as these are still in excellent condition. 

Here's a quick shot of some of the sanded drawers: 

Night and day difference. 

Again, while this happened to have been an inexpensive pine chest of drawers when I bought it, it is all real wood. It was worth the time to refinish. That being said, I think my hand was ready to fall off by the time I was done sanding! I forgot we bought an orbital sander a year or so ago and I bought sandpaper for our ancient old electric sander. It certainly got the job done easy enough, but it was murder on my hand.

I used a Minwax stain. I have to say, I'm not a huge fan of Minwax. I greatly prefer Rustoleum stains. However, it has become increasingly difficult to find it except on Amazon, where it's double the cost of what I used to pick up for at Lowes. I need to try my local Ace Hardware and see if they carry it.

If you follow me on Instagram, you already saw this photo. But I'm super pleased at how these came out. I initially brushed on a heavy coat of stain (I wanted to make sure I was getting into all the cracks and crevices that did not sand out) and then wiped it off with a towel. All they need now is a coat of satin varnish. I'm hoping to get that done today, but it will depend on how quickly the stain dries. I may bring them in the house for a bit to speed up the drying time since I don't think the fumes will be as bad now. 

I'm ordering these cup pulls for D Lawless Hardware:

When he picked out the paint for the dresser, we took a look to see what hardware was available. He really liked this style and they're easy to get. At $5 a piece, they're not terribly expensive. However, at D Lawless, they're under $2 a piece. I've ordered from them before and have always been very pleased with the quality. Since I still plan to have a built in desk in his closet, I'm going to order enough for that as well for a more cohesive look. I will need to drill new holes to install these, but that's a minor fix. 

Once the dresser is done, I'm The Builder going to tackle painting the ceiling, then we can get to the walls. The ceiling stains from the leaking a/c tubing are driving me crazy and paint is an easy fix. We will probably install the new floors after we paint the ceiling, but before we do the walls. 

More to come!