Wednesday, July 29, 2015

An Old Soul Deserves an Old Mirror

Ok, so its pretty much been established that I am an old soul, or at least a vintagey-type of person (no old age cracks please!). My entire life, I have always had a passion for thick moldings rimming a room, peeling cornices revealing generations of paint choices, old wavy windows that slightly blur the view outside, doors with intricate details, and of course, colorful and painstakingly-made stained glass windows. Something about flinging open a pair of heavy, old wooden pocket doors that take you from the long, symmetrical hallway into a room with high coffered ceilings, creaky wood floors, a fire roaring in the fireplace, just makes me feel perfectly at peace in the world.

So, one of my goals with my new-old home was to try my hardest to bring only vintage, authentic pieces into it. Items that have a history and simply make me happy (while I profess to be authentic, its not fully true for me when it comes to toilets and plumbing, appliances, or A/C, though!!). As you know, I have been scouring flea markets, antique and salvage shops, Craigslist, eBay, etc… (side note: I am currently waiting to hear back from a fellow Craigslister to see if he accepts my offer on a vintage Victorian fireplace screen, it's really pretty!) but I can't afford all vintage so in some cases, I have to either accept it or alter it. In this case, beautiful antique mirrors are a small fortune so I found the following gem in a little thrift shop in Ocala (via Facebook). It's old but more like 50s' old, not early 1900's old but that's no problem for me!

I love the lines of this mirror but would love
for it to have an "old mirror" look and not be gold
and thanks to Pinterest, I can do that!

First I removed the mirror from the frame.
Look at the "wonkiness" of this glass cutting!
Do you also like the sneak-peek of my dining room ceiling?
In my opinion, its swoon-worthy!
I decided to paint the frame a matte black first.
Ahhhhh . . . much better but not there yet.
I wanted the frame of the mirror to have a silver-leaf look
and this little bottle was able to do the trick
(and two more frames!).
Thankfully, I wanted the mirror to have that streaky silver-look or
at least that's what I told myself.
I also wanted parts of the black and gold to "peek" through.

I also very lightly sanded off some of the silver
and in a few spots, some of the black to let the
layers of color shine through.
I decided I wanted the silver toned down just a bit.
I very daintily (because those who know me know how dainty I can be)
dry painted the deep nooks and crannies
of this mirror with the antique wax and then wiped 98% of it off.
I love it!
Next step is to "age" the mirror.
In order to proceed with the aging,
I needed to remove the outer layer of paint.
I sprayed on the paint remover and left it for about 30 minutes. 
The first coat didn't work that great so I sprayed
another layer of paint stripper and waited.
The second time worked like a charm and was a bit fun
to peel! Then I sprayed muriatic acid to make those
old dots and it went everywhere and looked like crap!
No pictures available because I was busy cursing.
I then stripped all the mirror and started over again
because now basically I have a piece of glass!
Gee, thanks Pinterest!
So I ran to my local Ace Hardware to buy some
of the Mirror Effect spray paint but they didn't have it.
I then headed to my home-away-from-home, Home Depot,
and bought a can (I didn't know it at the time but that was a mistake!).
I did like the way the spray paint layered the layers of silver.
HOWEVER this is after another trip to Home Depot and
2 more cans of mirror paint because the muriatic acid
was a F.A.I.L again. Cue more cursing and now
we are on day 3! I finally decided to just man-handle
the paint and rub away a bit. I added a layer of black spray paint
over the mirror paint and finally,  I am somewhat happy.
I put the mirror back in the frame and voila!
It's not what I started out going for but it's not too shabby
or actually, its just the right level of shabby! 

After three days, three cans of Mirror Effect Spray Paint, several minor burns on my hands from the acid, the investment in a pair of heavy rubber gloves, and my time, I probably could have flown to Paris and found a vintage mirror but I am very happy with the results. Knowing me, I will probably pull it down in the near-future to make some adjustments to it but for now it will hang. Wanting to show off my handiwork, I called my youngest in to admire my oh-so pretty mirror and in a teenage girl way, she mumbled something about it being ok. She then proceeded to ask me if I planned on cleaning the mirror. Hand to head! Ahhhhh! Guess I'll need to keep my day job. I head to the kitchen for a bottle glass of wine. Put a fork in this one because I am done! I have another super fun, and much easier, project to share next but that is for another post!


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hardwood Floors Renovation and Update

Ok, so I do have a few "done" projects, not many, but a few. Here's one that I think makes a major difference and may be, just may be a "done" project only because I hired someone to do the whole project! The guys at Frontier Hardwood  were just fantastic to work with, very professional, reasonable priced, and got the job done to my satisfaction!
The downstairs floors were in pretty good shape
but were just a bit too yellowy-orange for me.

I did have to have the elevator removed so they could
patch this spot so the floor was no longer mobile!
This lovely blue, nasty, nasty carpet covered the
entire upstairs (with the exception of the elevator room)
and the stairs. 
To save money, my oldest and I pulled all of the carpeting, the padding,
and the carpet tack strips out and then
had a great time throwing it out the window,
and then eventually into the dumpster.
My oldest on top of the dumpster pile!
Yeah! We filled it, and a second one!

After the sanding, I think they look better already. 

Trying to decide what stain to go with??
Decisions, decisions?
I wanted a dark floor so the stain on the right it is.

First coat but needs a lot more.
Much better than the blue carpeting, though.

Freshly applied second coat.
Luckily, it dried matte because
I did not want it glossy.

The finished product!
I love my floors and think they turned out
just great. 
The floors have been here for 90 years and hopefully, they'll be here another 90. I was a bit verklempt when the first scratch happened but then I realized that the scratches will only give it more character and add to the "charm" of the our home. Of course, that doesn't mean I'm not protecting everything with pads!! I have a few more "afters" to show on other projects but that will be for another post!


Monday, July 20, 2015

From the '80s to Today . . .

Ok, so my dad FINALLY retired last December. He went slightly kicking and screaming into retirement because he still wanted to work 70 hours a week! Why?? We'll never really know but he is slowly starting to get used to the idea and actually starting to like retirement, at least a little bit.

With his retirement came clearing out his office for the past 30 years. O vey! Since he was a CPA, there were papers everywhere, and we mean ev-ery-wh-ere! There was also a lot of wood furniture just begging for a coat of Chalk Paint. I passed on all of those items but I did have a big need for seating in my living room so I chose to take two of the chairs below . . .  yeah, me (slightly sarcastic).
This looks like it belongs in a John Hughes
movie but I will admit,
they are S.U.P.E.R. comfy!
The original plan was to have them recovered and that still might be my long term goal. Unfortunately, I don't have a bunch of extra money just laying around (I spent it all on eBay and Craigslist, remember?) and reupholstering can be pricey. My next option was a slipcover but they're not my favorite unless it's a down-filled, sink-in-it, cozy couch. So where did my crazy mind go - how about if I paint them? I had read about other people who had done it, right?  I mean, if its on the Internet, then it must be true! But then I remembered I actually already owned a painted fabric chair that I bought for my daughter's bedroom from The Brocante Market.

Isn't it cute? 
So I can do this, I think to myself. I am woman, here my roar! Ok, a bit melodramatic but I do get excited when I have a project to work on. So off I went to Michael's to buy some fabric medium. You mix the medium with some paint (I used the eggshell latex paint I had used in the hallway and stairwell) and water so the fabric doesn't get too stiff.  It will be rougher than fabric but not much worse than outdoor fabric and truth be told, anything was better than the current fabric.

I took off the cushion and being my lazy self,
threw down a towel in front of the TV.
It was the perfect time to catch up on 74 episodes of
Days of our Lives. Yes, I still watch
it so don't judge me!
I first sprayed the chair with a light mist of water and then
I used a regular paintbrush and just started painting.
It was a bit addicting as I slowly started saying
good-bye to 1986!
This is the second coat.
I did a light sanding with 100 grit sandpaper
in between coats once the paint had
completely dried.
The third, and final, coat.
It looks kind of like a leather chair and
feels a bit like a fuzzy leather chair.
The only funny thing is that when you sit on it, the cushion slowly deflates. It's kind of depressing when you have been dieting hard but it does pop back up when you get off of it so that's a plus. We thought maybe if I didn't paint the back of the cushion it wouldn't do it but we will never know, at least on these chairs.

One last look at the Before . . .

And now the pretty after!

Overall, I'm very happy with the way they turned out. I used coupons at Michael's (I put them on my phone so I always have coupons) to get the Fabric/Textile Medium for cheap and since I used paint I already had, it really only cost me under $10 to change the two chairs! Hello!?!? That's a freaking good deal. I have some extra medium so now I'm constantly walking around the house to see what else I can paint. It's an issue, I know and I'm sure something will be my next victim makeover but that's for another post!