Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Refinished and distressed dresser

So I just finished my first resale piece! My sister was kind enough to give me her childhood dresser that she no longer could fit in her guest room...for free. How cool is that?! This gave me an opportunity to remake this piece to sell instead of just refinishing pieces I already own or needed to use myself. I am so very excited! Here's the before and after:

It was a beautiful solid wood dresser but was just dated looking. The top was also scratched and one of the tracks for a drawer was disconnected, which I fixed using a new screw and wood glue before I got started.

I knew I wanted to go with the wood tone on top and use chalk paint on the bottom like I did with this dresser turned media stand. However, I thought that this dresser would look great distressed in a shabby chic look that is so easy to achieve with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and wax.

So the first step was sanding down the top with a hand sander since this part was being restained. The rest of the dresser did not need to be sanded since that is the magic of using chalk paint. Luckily, I had some leftover stain from another project.

It took about three coats to get it to the color I wanted and to cover up the scratches that I had sanded out. I usually like to give the coat a day to dry in between since I've been burned in the past with stain not drying completely. Always remember to wipe down about 15 minutes after applying the stain. Better to use more coats to achieve the right look than to have to start all over again if the stain won't dry.

I then put on a coat of polyurethane for protection and durability.

With the top complete, I then taped it off using painter's tape and got to work on the bottom. I removed all of the hardware and got rid of it. Some of the brass pieces were broken and I did not like the dated look so to me, they weren't worth saving and refinishing. I removed all the drawers and also taped them off around the edges so that it would have a nice, clean look when the drawers are opened.

I mixed a custom blend of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint using roughly 1/2 Aubusson Blue, 1/4 Old White and 1/4 Provence, all of which I already had on hand. I used Pinspiration from here and here. It took about 2.5 coats to get the coverage I was looking for.

Once the paint was dried (which can be in one day or less with chalk paint. It dries fast!), I started to distress the piece. Using a sanding block and regular sand paper, I worked my way around all of the edges of the dresser and drawers. You can see how this brings out both the stain that is below the paint and also the natural wood tone. This gives it a lot of character in my opinion. Like its been loved on for many years. See the details:

After distressing I sealed the entire dresser with Annie Sloan clear wax using a wax brush. Once the wax was dry, I buffed the dresser with a rag to give it a nice sheen.

I then added on some oil rubbed bronze handles that I purchased at Lowe's that bring out the darker top and darker distressed points.

I love the way the dresser came out. Now for the hard part...selling it! As you can see from the pictures, the dresser is sitting in my dining room. I don't have a garage or basement or anywhere that I can work on furniture. So for now, the dining room is it!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Let's talk about wedding hair

With the wedding now under six months away, I guess it's okay to admit that I have kind of been agonizing over how I'll wear my hair for the wedding. Silly, I know, but I can't help it. There are so many options and pinspiration I am finding on Pinterest that I keep changing my mind.

Originally I thought all up. Having a beach wedding with the unpredictable weather and a likely chance of it being windy, I figured having all my hair up would ensure that my hair would look nice all day and all night long. I am thinking having it curled and then put up in a loose way, with lots of volume on top and definitely not structured. Sort of like these:

You see, I have very long, but very fine hair. It does not hold a curl for more than a few hours no matter how many tools I've tried and how much hair spray I use. I leave the house looking great, but in a few hours my hair is straight and ratty looking, kind of how it looked at the end of our engagement photo shoot. Notice the progression? No fun for wedding pictures. So that is why I've ruled out wearing my hair down, even though that's how I wear it most days.

But then there's my fiance. He's told me many times how much he likes my hair in a high ponytail with a little volume on the top. I wore it like that the first time we went out partying with each other and I wear it like that often when we go out. So that is definitely an option, too, so long as I can add some extensions to it for volume to dress it up for the big day. I don't want to end up looking like I have a rat tail by the end of the night! So now I am leaning toward something like these:

I've read all the bridal magazines and blogs that suggest that brides don't do anything too drastic from their everyday look for their big day, hair and makeup included. So that is why I am now leaning toward the ponytail look.

The other thing I'll need to decide on is if I want to where a veil, a flower in my hair, or both. When trying on dresses I definitely felt like more of a bride with the veil on but that might be hard to pull off with these bumped up and pumped up hair dos. Clearly, I like big hair.

So what do you think? Did you or are you agonizing over your wedding hair do, too? How did you ultimately decide? And were you happy with your decision?