Friday, March 21, 2014

Two-Tone Table, revisited

My love for farmhouse tables continues unabated, but I took a little break from that style this past week or so.

When I showed you the Wide Farmhouse Table I made for my friend Stacy, I mentioned that I had previously refinished another table for her, but it was looking a little worse for the wear after a few years with a family of boys!

My job was to make it beautiful again.  What do you think?

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Here’s what it looked like when I got it:

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And here’s what it looked like after the first re-finish job:

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After some good hard family use, there were some real problems:

PicMonkey Collage

Not sure why my cell phone photos look a little blue!  Anyway, there was chipped paint, naturally.  And then the finish on the top of the table went very cloudy in places.  I blame an inferior polyurethane I got from Ace Hardware (sorry, Ace), as that is the only time I’ve ever used it, and I hated it even then!  I actually still had the same can in my stash…I have now gotten rid of it

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I chose to use CitriStrip to get rid of the old poly, rather than sanding it down.  There really was no need to go back to bare wood, as I still liked the original colors underneath.

Stacy's Table 009

I did, however, refresh the color with a new coat of stain before putting on the polyurethane.  This time I used three coats of Minwax Hand-rubbed Polyurethane in Satin, followed by one coat of paste wax.

Stacy's Table 003

The chairs got a light sanding, and then I repainted with oil-based paint this time.  It tends to be a little more long-wearing, I think.  I recovered the seats in this pretty fabric.  You know I’m a sucker for typography!!

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I love how the leaves on this table tuck away neatly underneath.  Pull them both out, and you have another 30” of table space!  Such a great feature.

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I adore the legs on this piece…

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I am so glad I got to be the one to give this set a THIRD life!

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I have to say…it really looked gorgeous in my dining room!  It was hard to let it go…again!

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What do you think??  Is there room in your life for both rustic farmhouse tables and beautiful antiques?  There is in mine!


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Monday, March 17, 2014

Charcoal Farmhouse Table & Aqua Benches

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have gotten a sneak peek at some of the furniture adventures I was up to last week!  Bought some, sold some, and did a lot of hauling in between.  Hopefully the ones I kept will be showing up here on the blog one of these days soon.

In the meantime, I have finished up another farmhouse table for my friend Kim.

Kim's Farmhouse Table 007

This one is similar to Stacy’s table, although not as wide—but I did cut off the rounded edges of the stock lumber (with my table saw) for a smoother top.

Kim's Farmhouse Table 001

Kim wanted a dark grayish-black color for her table, and I think we ended up with a pretty good charcoal.  This was achieved by first staining it all with Rustoleum Black, then a layer of Weathered Gray (well rubbed in), followed by another very light coat of black with an almost dry rag.

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I built two benches for her as well (the plans are out of Ana White’s Handbuilt Home book).

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I made a DIY chalk paint with the leftover paint from my daughter’s bedroom makeover.  After distressing, I wiped Rustoleum weathered gray stain over all.  It helped color the exposed raw wood, and dulled the color of the aqua a little bit.

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I really like how using some of the same stain over the painted benches makes everything “go” together!

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It was fun to step away from the brown stains for a little bit!

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  Mod Vintage Life

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Vintage Geek Family Room

I would say my family room project is about 85% complete!  Hallelujah.  The other 15% will probably take another year or more to finish off, so I decided I might as well show off what I have to date.

What I call our “family room” is the “bonus” room of the house—right over the garage.  We’re a one-TV family (we’re not counting all the other personal electronic devices we have floating around here), and this is where it resides.

Red Hen Home family room 004

You’ve already seen the Vintage Geek Gallery Wall (which included the Green Dragon Inn Sign) and the Triple Printer’s Console Cabinet. 

The leather sectional was the big splurge for this room.  It replaced an 11-year-old La-Z-Boy sofa bed and loveseat.  I kind of felt bad getting rid of them, as they’ve actually held up remarkably well over the years, but I was so over the red plaid fabric I picked out and promptly regretted (“before” pictures at the end of the post).

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The sectional is the Helena Sectional from Costco.  I had ordered a leather swatch last fall, but didn’t decide to order until January 1 (starting the new year off with a bang!) when it was on saleI was SUPER nervous about ordered it sight-unseen, but decided to risk it since I know Costco is so amazing about accepting returns, even months later.

Originally the shipper estimated that it would take six weeks to get the sectional here, and I was OK with that.  Imagine my surprise when, after only two weeks, I was told to expect it one week later!  I panicked and quickly got rid of the sofa/loveseat we had in the room.  Then we waited.  And waited.  And waited!  After waiting a full week, I contacted the shipper to say “what’s up??”  They didn’t bother to answer me, just changed the date back to reflect a six-week delivery time.  And that’s how long it took. We lived without furniture for three weeks!!  I’m still miffed about that.

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As for the sectional, I’m quite happy with it.  The leather feels great.  The back cushions are perfectly cushy.  The seat cushions are firmer, but still very comfortable.  I don’t have any regrets!

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I also showed off my IKEA hack to store my husband’s Lord of the Rings Lego collection.  Moving those Legos OUT of my bedroom was the jumping-off point for this whole room!  But my dear husband is not loyal to just Lord of the Rings…

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…he’s just as crazy (if not more so) about Star Wars!  So in the opposite corner of the room, I built three floating shelves to hold the Star Wars Legos.

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In keeping with the “vintage geek” theme of the room, I purchased three vintage-style Star Wars “travel posters” from this Etsy seller to go on this side of the room as well (over the piano).  If you’ll remember, I purchased LOTR posters from a different seller for the Vintage Geek Gallery Wall

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Here are a few other elements in the room that I love.

I made the curtains myself from this fabric.  I consider it another splurge at $20/yard, but I love them SO MUCH!  They were perfect for the vibe I was going for.  Only drawback is that you can’t see that I added trim to the windows in the room!

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I got rid of my dear husband’s big ugly recliner, but knew I needed to replace it with something.  I wanted a recliner that didn’t LOOK like a recliner, kwim??

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I found this blue leather Barcalounger at Goodwill for…wait for it…FIFTEEN DOLLARS!  I was pretty stoked.  It may not be THE PERFECT chair, but for $15, it’s darn close. 

The little typewriter table sitting next to it has a story all it’s own (which I will have to share another time).  I refinished it to go with the industrial “vibe” of the room.

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I bought these two barrister-style bookcases from an estate sale.  They are reproductions, not antiques, but they were a heck of a lot cheaper than antiques!  I love that they are seven feet tall!  Oh, and see the light saber on the top??  One of these days I’m supposed to mount it to the wall above the Star Wars travel posters.

So, wanna see what this room used to look like??

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Here we are at Christmas time.  Plaid sofa and loveseat, big ugly recliner, IKEA rug, goofy kids…

Yes, I know the furniture is in weird configurations.  I moved it around A LOT while I was trying to decide what to do with the room.

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Mismatched bookcases, IKEA console.  Nothing on the walls! (Plus the walls and the ceiling were a darker tan, making the whole room feel darker.)

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I think I prefer it this way, how about you??

Red Hen Home family room 004


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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wide Farmhouse Table

When my family first moved to Clearfield, Utah, in 2003, I was lonely and needing a friend.  Thankfully, I found one in a neighbor and fellow church member (Stacy) who lived just down the street, and we have enjoyed a steady friendship ever since, despite the fact that they moved away from Utah years before we did.  Our move to Washington, however, brought us within 3 1/2 hours of each other, and we have found many excuses to burn up the road between Portland and Seattle since then!

Back in 2011, I refinished a table for Stacy’s family, seen here.  Shortly thereafter, though, they added a fifth child to the family—and there was no room for him to have a seat at the table!  In addition, a small antique table didn’t really provide enough room for both plates AND food, so it was time for a change.

Enter the “wide” farmhouse table.  The space for a table was limited in length, but there was actually a fair amount of width to work with so Stacy had the brilliant idea of making a table that could accommodate two chairs on each end.

Stacy's Table 007

The table is 50” wide by 72” long.  The top is made out of various board widths, and I used my table saw to rip 1/2” off each side to get rid of the rounded edges that stock lumber has.  It makes for a nice smooth table top—but I lost the look of the random width boards because it turned out so smooth!

I distressed the table with chain, hammer, needle-nose pliers, screwdriver, and a Dremel tool.  It was stained and sanded down about five times (no kidding) because I had a hard time finding a color I liked—that I thought she would also like!  In the end, it’s basically Rustoleum American Walnut, sanded back, followed by Rustoluem Wheat (we’ll ignore the layers of black, willow, weathered gray, and paint).  It’s finished with Minwax Hand-Rubbed Polyurethane and Dark Paste Wax.

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I bought a set of four pressed-back chairs off of Craigslist.  I liked them because they were in a dark stain to begin with, rather than a medium oak.  I painted them with  SW Creamy.  As I was painting the chairs one afternoon, I kept thinking to myself, “I HATE painting chairs!  This is why I don’t paint chairs!!”

But the next day, when I was distressing them and glazing them, I thought, “These are so pretty!  I should refinish more chairs!!”

It’s confusing to be me!

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I built the benches based on the plans in Ana White’s Handbuilt Home book (adjusted for size).  The picture on the left shows what they looked like when Stacy came to see the table…and the picture on the right is what they looked like when she left with them!

bench collage

I had first stained the benches with Rustoleum American Walnut, and then I used MMS Milk Paint in Tricyle over top.  I really, really didn’t like the way the color turned out.  Even with dark wax on top, it was a bright tomato-y red, and not a deep dark red like I love. 

Stacy's Table 001

Stacy wanted them to have more wood showing anyway, so between the two of us we sanded them some more (I may have sanded them a LOT more than Stacy was anticipating, but she graciously went with it), and then we rubbed more of the American Walnut stain over all.  It colored the wood where it had gone to bare wood, and it deepened the color significantly.  It looked MUCH better, and blended better with the overall look of the set.

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At least, I think so!

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The table, chairs, and benches made it safely to Portland this past weekend.  We managed to fit all of them…plus a copper boiler, four big shopping bags full of dishes, and Stacy’s LUGGAGE (which is always significant) in a Honda Odyssey!  And knowing that the table is 50” wide—and a Honda Odyssey is only 49.5” wide…you should be VERY IMPRESSED by that fact!

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Stacy has hosted guests for dinner twice since she’s been home, and a batch of homeschoolers besides.  One night she had room for nine people, three pizzas, salad, a pitcher of lemonade, and I don’t know what all else!

I feed eight people all the time.  Maybe I need a wide farmhouse table too!


Disclaimer:  Stacy may or may not be my friend’s real name.  And if it isn’t, she may or may not have preferred to be called Princess Leia and/or Hot Rod.  And she may or may not be a hobbit.


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  Mod Vintage Life

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Incredible Shrinking Table

I have been working on another Farmhouse Table for a dear friend over the last couple of weeks.  It is allll-most done.  I think.  It’s way  more stressful to build for someone you know, you know??  Anyway, I am anxiously waiting for my daughter to get home so she can help me haul it in the house so I can finish poly-ing and wax-ing it.  It’s about 45 degrees outside, and things are taking too long to dry!

Anyway, working on this latest table (#9, if we’re keeping count), reminded me that I never showed table #8.  That’s probably because it is nothing really new or different than the other farmhouse tables I’ve built…but also because the blasted thing drove me crazy.

Back before Thanksgiving, I realized I had enough leftover wood to make a table base.  So with only a few extra dollars (OK, maybe $50) to buy wood for a top, I could make another table to fill my empty dining room.

Red Hen Home Table 8 001

And so I did.  I assembled the base, the top, brought them inside and put them together…

But something was wrong.

Red Hen Home Table 8 005

If you really look closely at the two preceding pictures, you might be able to see it.  The breadboard ends were crooked!  I have no idea how it happened, but both of the ends took off at a slant.

I tried to convince myself that it reeeally wasn’t that noticeable.  I actually tried to sell it, at a significant discount, but I couldn’t sell it without pointing out the flaw—and big surprise, no one wanted to buy it then!

So what’s a girl to do??  Well, I ignored it until a few weeks after Christmas.  We actually had people sitting at it for Christmas dinner, and we built a puzzle on it…and it continued to drive me crazy.

So my nice big table got shrunk!  I took it back outside and disassembled it.  I removed the offending breadboard ends completely, and then I cut down the aprons on the long sides of the table by about 9”.

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I was left with a petite farmhouse table!

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It sold more easily this time, because I didn’t feel I had to apologize for it!

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Oh, and did you notice my cute little bentwood bistro chairs?  I picked them up at Ruffles & Rust a few weeks ago.  I think they’re keepers! 

Now I just have to build a table to go with them!  Winking smile