Archives for March 18, 2013

furniture redo

I’ve been meaning to show you this piece of furniture that I painted and changed a bit for a little while now.  The problem is that I am in a messy house phase (I’m calling it a phase, and pretending that it will be brief) and I wanted things to be sort of clean to take pictures!  When I was a little girl this hutch always sat next to our kitchen table, and then my mom gave it to me when I moved out.  For many years it sat next to our kitchen table in this house as well, but a couple of years ago we replaced it with a much larger cabinet, and moved it out to the shop.  (Inside those two doors, there were mirrors, but I took those out.)

I’ve really been needing some more storage space for books and homeschooling things.  Most everything, including homeschooling, happens in our kitchen so I wanted something to fit there.  My friend Lisa was painting all this amazing looking furniture, and I thought that maybe I could make our old hutch look amazing too and bring it back inside the house.

Jonny helped me remove all the hardware, and I sanded the whole thing down.  I decided to completely remove the doors from the top part, and have open shelves for books.

The girls got to help me paint a little, but I eventually (as in–after about three minutes of them “helping”) had to take over myself so the brush strokes wouldn’t look too crazy.  Per Lisa’s advice, I bought Sherwin Williams’ All Surface Enamel paint in satin finish.  This particular paint is important!  After a lot of obsessing over color, I chose a dark gray.  Lisa suggested that I go with a green based gray since my cabinets are green.  This was good advice.  I am really bad at picking paint colors.  (I am also planning to repaint our kitchen cabinets with the all surface enamel paint, because I used the wrong stuff and it isn’t holding up very well.)

I think I remember that this took three coats of paint.  I bought inexpensive wooden knobs at Lowe’s to replace the metal ones, and then just painted them along with everything else.

If you look at Lisa’s painted furniture, you can see that she paints it, and then distresses it.  That was my plan too.  She gave me detailed instructions that involved waiting for the paint to dry thoroughly and then sanding the whole thing down with a fine grit sanding block, and then taking the electric sander to the edges.  I wimped out though and didn’t do it.  I don’t know why I couldn’t.  However, this piece is sitting in a high traffic area and already getting lots of little fingerprints and smudges, so I may distress it in the future.  I can see brush strokes too, and they catch the light and bother me.  (obsessive maybe?) Right now, it’s holding books on the upper shelves, including our field guides (because obviously field guides should be stored in the kitchen-ha,) math manipulatives in the drawer, and homeschooling books in the cabinet underneath.  The girls’ table that used to sit here, is now across the room in front of the couch.  It gets far more use there.

So here’s the somewhat cluttered view of this wall in my kitchen.  To the right of the painted hutch is the pantry and then on the next wall are our kitchen cabinets and sink etc.  Yes, those are our Advent candles, still sitting on top of the fridge.

And one last little painting project:  We’ve had these old filing cabinets for many years, they are called “shoes.”  I used to slide little black pieces of paper into each of the label holders and write the contents of the drawers on them with a white gel pen.  However, my little ones rip them out and it was a lot of work constantly replacing the torn oens.  Over the course of a couple of days last week, I painted the inside of each label holder with chalkboard paint (it took four coats!) and then ordered a Chalk Ink Pen (couldn’t find one in a store) to write on the “labels.”  The chalk pen dries to a pretty smudge proof finish and is working out really well.  So, yay!  I’m getting a little bit organized in my kitchen for all the messy busy living that happens there.