Sunday, May 25, 2014

What a Whirlwind...

Well holy smokes, it feels like forever since my last post and I have been meaning to update y'all for ages!  I guess I'm not quite cut out to be a full time blogger, but then again I do work a forty hour week, go dancing, workout, and now that it's absolutely gorgeous in Missoula go on hikes every other day!  I had never seen lilacs in person before moving to Montana and me-oh-my are they stunning!  This year must be particularly perfect for their growing patterns as I am noticing them EVERYWHERE!

Well, enough about my random ranting, I promise I have been doing things and I have proof!  The last post was before my mum (no, I'm not British...I just like calling her that) came for a visit I believe, so here are some of the things I have been accomplishing since then:

First off is my lovely dining room farm table.

The Before: I fell in love with this piece at a garage sale and bought it for $40!  I've had multiple offers to take it off my hands as it was,  but now it's even more amazing (which isn't hard to believe with this picture that shows the bad staining and glue residue).
The After: I used Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint (MMSMP) as a stain on the top and as a paint on the legs/base.  The process follows!

Here she is outside after a bit of microdermabrasion (not sure on that spelling, but that's my term for sanding for those of you with clear skin).

This is what the surface looked like after hours (no exaggeration) of vigorous sanding to remove the glue residue.

Here is where I added the stain after vacuuming and wiping off all of the dust particles. It was quite frightening as this was my very first project using MMSMP, but sometimes you just have to dive head first and hope there aren't any rocks (okay that was a bad comparison as I always check for rocks, and so should you!).

And here she is after having her complete makeover. 

This is generally what milk paint is supposed to do as long as the piece isn't raw wood.  It creates an antiqued "chippy" look that I adore!  This particular photo is pre-light sanding  which removes the loose chips prior to the top coat of finishing wax or hemp oil.

And here is what MMSMP will look like on raw wood with more parts water than powder to create a stained effect.  The color on top is a custom mix, but it was mostly the color called Curio.

Here's the view after a light sanding on the base (forgive the shadows).

and there she is ready for her finishing touches...aka wax on the base and hemp oil on the top (to make the color more rich and have a luster instead of chalky appearance).

Although the lighting is poor in this one, you can tell how big of a difference the sanding and refinishing made (or at least I can!).  

The color brushed on really dark at first, but after a couple minutes, the wood soaked it up and I was able to see the grain again.  Unfortunately in some areas where the glue was stubborn, I should have kept sanding even after it was gone. Those spots are still slightly visible as a wee bit darker stain.  Not the end of the world, but definitely a lesson for next time!
I am completely satisfied with the piece and didn't know I could love it any more than I already had!  Now, below is another piece that I loved the character of, but it really needed a makeover!  Remember this photo from my last post (a long time ago)?!

This is the before of the dresser I purchased on our Denver trip and while I was painting the table I decided to do all of my projects at once (which I might add was not the best idea as I was SOOOO sore for a few days after)!

Unfortunately I don't have any in process shots, but here is the finished project! Aren't the lilacs beautiful?!
Here's a close shot of the wonderful texture added to the piece with the milk paint.  I didn't sand the piece before applying the paint and the paint was therefore super "chippy" which might not have happened if I had given the surface some "tooth" as Miss Mustard Seed suggests.  At first I was afraid it would all come off in the light sanding, but in the end, I ended up loving the extreme distressed look achieved.

I did a few other projects before mom's arrival including a bulletin board that I covered in burlap to make slightly less ugly and a chair.  Unfortunately I don't have pictures, but you're not missing much ;).  I did include some nasty projects that have been way overdue (like since we moved in overdue)!  Disclaimer: The photos that follow are not an example of my poor house keeping, but years of neglected build up of filth.  We even got discounted rent the first month we moved in because the previous tenant did such a horrible job of cleaning...and sadly I just got around to both projects a couple of weeks ago (after almost a year of living in this apartment - yikes).  Now they are finally done and I can relax knowing that they have been deep cleaned.  So here they are:

This photo just shows how disgusting the oven was, but I didn't take an after photo.  In case you're wondering, Krud Kutter is the most amazing product for cleaning out there!  It claims to be biodegradable on the bottle, however I suggest you follow the instructions and warnings on the label as this is some heavy duty stuff!  Believe me, I tried many things before I got my hands on this magical serum and I am so thankful to have found it!
 Now the next project has been eating at me for a year, but I just couldn't get the blades clean while they were still attached to the main body.  Check out the pictures and you'll understand!

GROSS!!!! And that's the part that doesn't show (luckily). EWWWW!  How do people live like this?! 

Oh, and in case you didn't realize yet, yes those are blades of a ceiling fan.  After finally getting fed up with the dust balls hanging off that couldn't be removed with cloth and cleaner, I decided to get ye old multi-tool out and remove the blades in order to give them a deep clean.  This was also after I discovered the wonders of Krud Kutter.

Check it! I had been trying to rub the dirt off of these babies for months with no success.  Then I sprayed some Krud Kutter on and the grease-dust combo basically dripped right off!  That scrub brush wasn't even necessary!

Check out the difference! AMAZING!!
Well, now you know some of what I've been up to lately. I did come to the realization that my Facebook hiatus is actually wonderful!  I haven't actually thought about going on or what I'm missing for weeks.  My friends and I have more to talk about when we chat on the phone or skype or even in person and it's because they aren't reading about everything I do via Facebook.  Yes, it's a great resource when used to keep in contact with people from the past, but that's the reason I didn't delete it.  My page is there if I ever want to return, but until then I'm enjoying life without false socializing.  I go out dancing at least once a week and have met a handful of new people in that community.  I have also been playing handball, attending gym classes, hiking and just enjoying the weather.  For those of you still under the influence of Facebook, all I can say is that I have so much more time to do things that will matter someday as opposed to wasting thirty minutes here and there checking on updates.  I want to live a life without regret and I have a feeling that spending a bunch of time on Facebook is going to be a huge one, so I choose to go without.  

And on that note, at this point I don't have any interest in being a full time blogger.  I do like sharing great projects or trips, but the same idea applies and that is that I would rather be doing something worth while.  I'll definitely keep all ten (and that might be a stretch lol) of my readers in the loop , but don't expect a post every day or even every week.  Let's get out there and live a wonder-full life! 

Until our next big adventure...which could be camping at Lake Alva or Banff or even our trip to the Northeast. Who knows what the world may choose to send our way, but I'm certainly not going to be sitting on my bum when it makes up it's mind!

1 comment:

  1. Love it, Lauren! You are so busy. What an inspiration =) On that note, I MUST chat more with you via skype/phone! Without facebook, I've lost touch with what you're doing! No bueno. Skype soon? =)