Category: Furniture Makeover

Can you turn a armoire into a desk? Yes, you can, cause I just did.

Often times, when I buy a new piece to makeover, I like to give myself time to daydream about it until “THE idea” comes to me.  This is usually about the time I am bundled up in my bed with my blankie wrapped around my head and saying my nightly prayers.  I can tell you, when you have a creative bug, there is nothing more distracting then when an idea pops into your head and I often find myself in the midst of talking to God about all the things that matter in my life, when…. “OH MY GOSH, I could totally turn that armoire into a desk!” comes barreling through.  And once the idea is implanted in my head, it is hard to remove and I often have to end my prayers with something like, “oh, and I’m sorry I keep thinking about that dresser.”  But I have to remind myself that God gave me the creative bug in the first place, so I hope he understands.

So that is how it was with this fairly dated, hotel style, oversized tv cabinet that I had yet to own.  It was at an upcoming auction and I already knew it would be mine.  Fast forward a week or so, and it was (for a reasonable price I might add), and it was even bigger and more hotel style then I ever imagined.  But I knew what was going down with this piece, and I was excited!

So here’s my plan.  I was going to cut off the top, I know, some of you are cringing, but this vision came to me, mid-prayer, so it must have been important. So just go with it.  Ok, so remove the top entirely, keeping the hardware of course, because it’s fabulous.  Paint the dresser using Amy Howard’s High Performance Furniture Lacquer in Belgium Blue. We are talking a high gloss, super strong , durable, gorgeous finish.  Then I’m going to add a long metal top, maybe an aged zinc finish, and some cute metal legs from the pile of legs I have in my basement.  It is going to be so cool.

So cool.

20160312_161455-01
Armoire Before

So, of course, this was in the middle of winter, and painting with that lacquer was not something I can do indoors without killing my family’s brain cells fume-style, so I held my ideas close to my heart, and waited and waited, as a good Minnesota girl often has to do.

But then there was a break, March 12 was the day, and it was mid 60’s, so I got out my wood filler, and sandpaper and my paint, and I went to work on the first drawer.  Here’s what I did.

  1. Fill any major scratches, holes and dents. This is especially important for a high gloss paint because it is way less forgiving.
  2. Once dry, sand the spots you filled using whatever grit you are comfortable with. I used 220 to make it go faster.
  3. Sand the whole piece with 400 grit sandpaper.
  4. Clean thoroughly using a degreaser and a lint free rag.
  5. Remove any trace of the degreaser with a damp lint free rag.
  6. Tape off any areas you don’t want painted.
  7. Spray with Amy Howard Primer using a sweeping motion, just as if you were using a paint brush. (more on this later)
  8. Let primer dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  9. Sand with 400 grit sandpaper and remove dust.

Note: the primer is meant to go with the lacquer, and is especially important for filling wood grain, if your piece has a heavy wood grain texture, you may want to do several coats of the primer to get a smooth, glass like finish.

Amy Howard primer
Here’s the drawer after the filling, sanding and priming.

 

  1. Now the paint. With my drawer face facing the sky, I first painted all of the vertical edges of the piece, using a fairly quick, clean sweep.  Then (and this is the most important part for this paint) I started at the corners closest to myself and started to sweep, back and forth very intentionally and carefully going slightly past the piece on both sides.  (the reason you start closest to you is to avoid overspray, which will make your finish blotchy and less glossy in some areas.

How to properly spray Amy Howard Lacquer finish by de-uglied designs How to properly spray Amy Howard Lacquer finish by de-uglied designs

 

11. Once dry, sand lightly with 400 grit sandpaper, and do a second coat using the same method.

12. For extra protection, top painted finish with Amy Howard Bright Idea using the same technique.

How to properly spray Amy Howard Lacquer finish by de-uglied designs
Here’s the completed drawer. What a gorgeous finish!

So over that next week or two, I finished all of the drawers and the body of the dresser/desk.  The main thing you need to think about with this product is to avoid overspray.  Always keep that in mind.

 

Next comes the top.  I wanted to do something different then a plain wood top, so I thought it would be neat to try a metal top with an aged zinc finish. Finding the sheet metal was more of an undertaking than I had thought, but thankfully, my husband used his contractor wiles to get me a sheet of 4X10 foot sheet metal, 26 gauge.  The goal was to wrap a piece of 3/4 inch thick plywood that I had cut to size with the sheet metal.

 

Now, I am leaving out the metal bending part for a reason.  For those of you who want to duplicate this look, you either need to own a break, (and if you own a break, you already know how to bend metal) or you need to have a metal worker bend it for you.  From what I have read, this can cost around $100 or more.  Thankfully, my wonderful husband used breaks for many years, and also had access to one.  So he bent up the corners for me so I could wrap the plywood.

 

Now for the top.  The metal was very shiny, scratched and etched in areas, but that’s no problem, it just adds to the look I wanted.  I used a strong de-greaser, followed by a rinse of tap water and let dry.  Then I got out my oxidizing product.  I used Amy Howard Zinc Antiquing Solution.

This process was so easy!  Wearing gloves, I poured out the zinc solution in a glass bowl and started blotting it on, very liberally at first.  You will notice the oxidizing starts immediately.  Once it is covered completely, you’ll see that the metal will resist it in some areas.  What Amy Howard recommends is rubbing the product in, in a circular motion using mild pressure.  Do this for 15 minutes.  Then blot again, making sure to make your blots random so you don’t have a detectable pattern.  Let dry about 60 minutes or more. Dry time is important.

Amy Howard Zinc solution tutorial by de-uglied designs
Here I am applying the Zinc Solution in a circular motion.
Amy Howard Zinc solution tutorial by de-uglied designs
Here is the top after it is almost dry.

Once the top had dried for at least an hour, I used my wax brush and brushed on clear wax in a circular pattern, waited 10 minutes, and buffed it.  I used Amy Howard’s Clear Wax.  Note that most waxes are not food safe, so be smart.  Use a plate.

 

With any waxed surface you will want to periodically re-wax using the same method.  And please keep in mind that this metal will scratch.  I think this just adds to the look.  However, if you get so many scratches and want to re-age the piece.  Remove the wax with mineral spirits, and re-apply the Zinc solution as I did above.  Then re-wax.  No, it will not remove the scratches, but it will blend them into the patina, by making them dark.

 

Once the top was finished and waxed, we made a skirt for the desk part, to make it look more desky, and also to cover the hardware for the legs.  Then we attached our top to our dresser, added the legs, and Voila…. something totally unique and trendy!

Armoire makeover into a desk!  Paint used, Amy Howard High Performance Furniture Lacquer in Belgium Blue.  Top was made by covering plywood with sheet metal and antiquing it with Amy Howard Zinc Antiquing Solution.  by de-uglied designs Armoire makeover into a desk!  Paint used, Amy Howard High Performance Furniture Lacquer in Belgium Blue.  Top was made by covering plywood with sheet metal and antiquing it with Amy Howard Zinc Antiquing Solution.  by de-uglied designs Armoire makeover into a desk!  Paint used, Amy Howard High Performance Furniture Lacquer in Belgium Blue.  Top was made by covering plywood with sheet metal and antiquing it with Amy Howard Zinc Antiquing Solution.  by de-uglied designs Armoire makeover into a desk!  Paint used, Amy Howard High Performance Furniture Lacquer in Belgium Blue.  Top was made by covering plywood with sheet metal and antiquing it with Amy Howard Zinc Antiquing Solution.  by de-uglied designs

 

I can’t say enough about how much I love this finish.  The photos just don’t do it justice.   Amy Howard products are available at Ace Hardware, and this lacquer is worth checking out.  The end product is so smooth I have a strange desire to lick it.  (But don’t worry, I haven’t…. yet.)  This awesome desk will be at Eco Chic’s Design Conference on April 23rd at the Scheel’s Arena.  (yep, that’s this weekend) There are still tickets available and it is going to be a super fun show.  I hope to see you all there!

 

ps.  that extremely cool glo-dial advertising neon clock is available as well, that is, if you can pry it from my husband’s cold dead hands.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Jessie

 

 

Mercury Glass Finish

When I started this project, I had not meant it to be a tutorial or a review, so I apologize ahead of time for the lack of photos.  I just loved how it turned out and I was impressed with the products I used, and I thought I’d share a bit about both.

First, the piece.  I bought this cute little cabinet at an auction recently.  I knew instantly that I wanted to paint it black.  It was originally a record cabinet that had been gutted, there’s even a hole, which I opted not to fill, where the old Victrola handle used to be.  (I wish it still was)

So after a very thorough cleaning, very light sanding, and a major fix and filling of the veneer on the top, I painted it using Americana Decor Chalky finish in carbon.  I have used this paint many times, and have never been disappointed, and the nice thing, for a small project like this, the little sizes they come in are perfect!

So I got out my black, gave it two coats (lightly sanding in between coats) and a wet sanding.  For those of you who don’t know, this paint is great for wet sanding.  After it dries to the touch, about 30 minutes or so, take a damp sponge, and a clean bucket of water, and just start rubbing over the parts you’d like to sand.  No dust, which means if you are careful, you can easily do this inside.  You do have to clean off your sponge often to avoid mess and black fingertips.

The next day after another light sanding, I waxed and buffed my piece.

Now for the fun part!  The glass.  When I bought this cabinet, the glass was clear, and you could see the contents of the cabinet.  However, the shelves are narrow, and I didn’t see it as the best piece to put things on display, so I decided to try doing a mercury glass finish to the glass.

After reading several tutorials on this, all of them different, but similar, I came to the conclusion that you can’t really screw this up.  So this is exactly what I did.

  1. Remove the cabinet door and tape off the frame surrounding the glass. I also cleaned the glass. Important: You do this to the back side of your cabinet door, not the front.
  2. You take a spray bottle and spritz the glass (still on the back side) with straight vinegar.
  3. You shake up a can of Krylon Looking Glass spray for at least a minute. Then give the cabinet door a light spray in a sweeping motion over top of your vinegar droplets.  I did two light coats, one about 30 seconds after the other.
  4. Then I did another very light spritz of vinegar and another two light coats.
  5. After about 2 minutes I took a paper towel, balled it up and VERY lightly blotted the surface.
  6. I repeated this process until I got the look and opacity that I desired.

Speaking of opacity, this stuff is so cool.  When you looked at it from a distance, it looked like an old mirror, but when you looked at it close up, you could see right through it.  I LOVED how it turned out, and like I said, I don’t think you can screw this up.

 

DIY mercury glass finish, paint color americanna decor chalky finish in carbon.  Victrolla makeover.  By de-uglied designs
As usual with my photography, it looks much better in person, I had a terrible time trying to get an accurate photo of the glass finish.

And there you have it, a super simple, SUPER neat finish. Try it on a project of your own and send me a pic, I’d love to see your own creations!

 

As always, thanks for reading.

 

Jessie

 

Cool new products, and beard scares.

Sanding in a state of trepidation is a good way to sand.  While a certain amount of unease is, uncomfortable, you tend to get a lot done when your mind is elsewhere.  So it all works out.

Recently, this is how I felt when I sanded a little cabinet, and the reason I sanded like this is because my husband Ryan was beginning the slow and terrifying process of trimming his beard.

While it varies, the routine goes something like this.  He grows his beard out for a few months, he doesn’t exactly grow it long, but just puffy, thick, copper colored.  You know, long enough to lose track of his chin.  Sort of, Leprechauny.  (we tend to live more like brother and sister when he does this).  Then one day, when he’s tired of his mustache getting in the way of his food, he starts to trim.  And it is a process that makes the whole family uneasy.

I will explain with this handy graph.

My nightmare
My nightmare

He starts with step 1, the bushy beard.  This in itself is not good, but we all know that it can get so much worse.  You see, what he enjoys doing is just trimming off a bit at a time, sometimes letting hours or EVEN days pass before moving on to the next beard monstrosity.  I am amazed at what the style of a beard can do transform a person’s looks.  He can go from a hillbilly to a redneck to some sort of pervert in a couple of hours.  (number 3 or 4 is exactly the kind of person you could imagine lurking around your property and raping your goats) And the more we protest, the more strength he gains to carry on. Ultimately, he gets to step 6, and becomes my handsome man again.  But the images in my head….

They remain.

What’s that got to do with sanding?  Well, nothing. But now you know my state of mind while performing my least favorite task. I had a fervor that one only feels when their husband is trimming his beard and showing off the midway results.  The good news, the sanding went fast.

So here’s the fun news, I actually got the products I’m about to review for freeeeeeeeeeeeeee and it was like Christmas in August  for me when I received them. (yeah, I started this post a long time ago… so what?) I decided to try these products on a little cabinet Ryan brought home the other day.  It had good bones, but was missing some larger pieces of veneer from the door front.

If a little veneer is missing, I’ll go for a simple, sandable/paintable wood filler.  If a lot is missing, I break out the big guns, BONDO, which is so stinkin’ stinky but so effective, it dries rock hard and sands like butta.  (I mean butter people, although, butter would be disgusting to sand, so let’s move on)

But today I’m trying a new product and I’m excited.  It is called SculpWood, by SYSTEM THREE products.  It’s a spreadable epoxy paste.  It is easy to sand and machines just like wood.  Following the manufacturers instructions, I added a dollop of part A, and an equal sized dollop of part B on a disposable plate.  Using a little putty knife, (which, in my case, was a piece of cardboard) I mixed part A and part B together and spread it on my missing veneer, making sure to slightly overfill.  It had a similar consistency to the BONDO I use but I thought it smelled quite a bit better, but still strong.  Now I just had to wait for it to dry.  Because of the ridiculous humidity, I knew it would take a while for it to cure, so I let it be.

 

Scuptwood review.  by de-uglied designs
Ew, just ew.
Scuptwood review.  by de-uglied designs
Better!

Now for the cabinet.

I removed the hardware and sanded down the entire thing lightly, both to even out any issues with the former finish and also to rough it up a bit.  Next I cleaned the entire thing to remove oils and excess dust.  The product I’m using says that no prep is needed, but since this is a piece I will hopefully sell someday, I prefer to prep, if only just to give it a nicer surface to apply the paint.  If you were to follow the “no prep” suggestion, make sure to thoroughly clean the piece beforehand, even if it doesn’t look dirty.  I also gave it a quick spray of primer, because I had it and it certainly can’t hurt.

 

After the primer dried, I gave it another quick sanding and cleaning and it was finally time to whip out my product, Krylon Chalky Finish in “Waterfall” They were kind enough to send me two cans, and a few more goodies.  I sprayed it in a sweeping motion and it went on very nicely and dried to a smooth even finish.  I went through the first can quickly, having left one moderately patchy coat, but covering the whole thing.  I left it to dry, and went in for a second coat with the new can.  Again, it went on very well, I was impressed.  Unfortunately, even with two cans, I ran out of product and didn’t have enough for the final few touch-ups, or the door I had patched.  So I went on a mad hunt to purchase a third can.  According to the website, it is sold at Michaels, JoAnn Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, and Walmart.  (to mention a few local stores)  However, over the course of the next couple weeks, I visited all of those stores and not one of them (at the time I am writing this post) stocked this product.  So I had to turn to another way of purchasing things.  It is called the internet.

My first stop was Amazon, as a Prime Member, I always look here first because you can’t beat free, two-day shipping.  Unfortunately, the color I needed was out of stock.  I then went to several different sites and searched for corresponding coupon codes.  But, ultimately, I ended up ordering through JoAnnfabrics.com for a whopping $17 a can, (including shipping)  Yep.

So while I was waiting to receive my shipment, I went back to my door.  The filler worked like magic, it dried nicely, sanded smoothly, and had a hard, wood-like finish.  It was every bit as good as the BONDO, but less stinky.  A win.

So once I sanded down the door a bit, I put a quick coat of primer on both sides, and eventually, when I got my Krylon Chalky Finish in the mail, I went right to work.  Thankfully, I had enough to finish with touch-ups and the door.  I also took off the back of the cabinet, and added some fabric for fun.  This piece is bright and happy so I went with it with all of my heart.

Krylon Chalky Finish review, cabinet repaired with BONDO
Ain’t she happy!

Krylon Chalky Finish review by de-uglied designs

Just like with any chalk paint, you’re going to want to lightly sand it to give it a smooth, even finish.  And then you’ll want to seal it.  Since I was trying new products, I decided to try one more.  This one is from a company called Goddards.  The product I used is called Cabinet Maker’s Wax Spray.  This is the lazy man’s chalk paint waxing dream, and I am that lazy man.  It is a lemon and beeswax wood cleaner, sealer and protector.  It is divine.  After I sanded and removed the dust from my piece, I gave it a quick spray, buffed in the wax, let it dry, and gave it another coat. It ended up leaving a nice even sheen.  I am in Heaven, seriously, this product may change my life.  Now, for heavier use, I would go with a traditional wood wax, or for really heavy use, I’d go with a polyurethane, lacquer, or water based polyurethane, but for something like this, this spray worked perfectly.  And it is only $5.99 per bottle!  (not including shipping)

So, for the review.  I absolutely loved the ease and finish of the Krylon Chalky Finish spray paint.  Great product!  The cons really have to do with availability and price. If I had bought three cans online, at $17 each, along with paying $15 for the piece itself, and the several hours of time put into it, let’s just say, there’s no profit in it for the person who de-uglied it.  (boo hoo, that be me) If you can find this product at a store it retails for $10.  That price is still a little high for me, considering I ended up using three cans, but many places, Michaels, JoAnn Fabrics, and Hobby Lobby for example, have a 40-50% coupon and I would say, if they end up stocking this paint, go get yourself some.  I sure hope to eventually find this paint locally, because I really did like it.

I loved the Goddards products, I have tried several now for my wood AND painted pieces and the quality is fantastic.  I have never used a nicer furniture polish, and that wax spray will be my go-to for my jewelry boxes especially.

I also really liked the Sculpwood, and will definitely be purchasing this in the future, they even have a product that you can mold like clay, and then when it cures, you can sand and shape it.  There are so many times I could have used something like that.  Now to find the piece…..

All in all, with the exception of the availability issues with the Krylon paint, I’d have to say all of these products are a win, go give them a try for yourself.

Krylon Chalky Finish review, by de-uglied designs

 

 

 

And now, a warning. If you see a man in the FM area running around with a number 3 mustache/beard combo… just to be safe, you better keep your goats in the house.

beard
BEWARE!

 

 

Just a personal note, I know I haven’t been very active on any of my social media sites or blog lately.  If I can be honest, I’m experiencing a little amount of work/business/home burnout, and haven’t fully recovered.    I just want you all to know that I haven’t disappeared, and I am still very proud of my little side business.  Thanks for your support, patience and for accepting me and my business as I am.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint, mishaps and triumphs

A couple weeks ago after arriving home from a long day at work, I was greeted at the door by my smiling daughter who announced she had a surprise for me.  She had arranged a cardboard box upside down in the center of my kitchen island, and she told me to get ready for something BIG.  You see, a while back, my sweet Emmi had told me that she was going to email a couple of companies I liked and request a sample on my behalf, in exchange for an honest review.  I told her to go ahead, that it sounded like a great idea, but hadn’t expected much in return.  So when she lifted off the box I found myself in the midst of having a small, but positive heart attack.  Oh…my…gosh… is this really happening? Yes it is.  It really is.  I had received a very generous gift from Miss Mustard Seed that included three bags of Miss Mustard Seed milk paint, a mechanical stirrer, some help oil, a paint brush, and a look book.  Is it my birthday, anniversary, mother’s day all rolled into one?  Well, no, but if felt like it.  Needless to say, I told Emmi with a great deal of urgency, “We need to get something to paint… NOW!”  We both stormed the basement, taking stairs two at a time, snagged a couple of smallish wall hanging type of décor pieces, and started prepping.  (which included a light sanding and cleaning)

Miss Mustard seed review and tutorial by de-uglied designs
My bounty, I’m not even the slightest bit joking when I say it is probably going to be the highlight of 2015. So grateful!

Now, I have used milk paint in the past, but it was long ago and it was not Miss Mustard Seed’s brand, so I was anxious to give this a try, I have heard it is quite amazing, but can have quite a learning curve.  And oh boy, did it ever.  First off, our first mix was way too thin, but because we didn’t want to waste any more of our precious paint, we decided to just apply 400 layers of ultra-thin paint to our pieces (at least the dry time was quick).  In the end, after hours of painting at my dining room table and watching two or more episodes of “LOST”, (we’re a little behind the times people) we had two cute pieces of home décor with a nice, smooth matte finish.  Not bad.

DSC03380
While the mix was a little thin, they still have a very nice finish. We just had to do a lot more coats to achieve the look.

But for this generous bounty, I knew I needed to give it “real” try, on an actual piece of furniture.  And I knew just the one.

A few months back, a friend of mine had kindly given me a fabulous dresser.  It had great bones, minus the fact that it was missing a leg and had several unfortunate coats of paint that had seen better days. Often, this dresser would sneer at me from across my garage, and I would wave my angry fist back at it in response.  Not because it was a bad dresser, it was LOADED with potential, but because it was a dresser I was in no hurry to makeover. I knew it would require a complete and very time-consuming amount of stripping and sanding.  Then there was the matter of the leg.  The stinkin’ missing leg.

drawers1
Original piece, notice the left front leg is missing so I propped it up with piles of wood.

It was, however a dresser that would be a perfect candidate for milk paint.  Classic lines and solid bones. A time-worn beauty she was indeed.  Ug.

So Friday, when I got home from work, I went straight to my garage, and started stripping. (the paint that is…) The layers of paint were cooperative, not super cooperative mind you, I’d give them about a 6 out of 10.  The rest of the job had to be done with my “favorite” technique.  The devil sanding.  So I masked up, and started out with a few drawers, stripping, scraping, and sanding.  Did I mention it was 95 degrees out?  Gross.

And on a side note, for some reason, instead of having a designated pair of painting shorts, I just roll my pink painting sweat pants up about 30 times, so it looks like I’m wearing one large donut around each thigh.  And I tend to wear nurse clogs without socks while I work.  And I was sweating, a lot.

I write this to give you a mental picture of how cool I looked in my driveway that day.

So I loved the old lines on this dresser, and since I was embracing milk paint, and hopefully a few of its quirks, I decided to NOT fill chips and other things I would normally fill in, and leave it looking a little worn.  This was a hard decision and left me quite shaken.  In general, I like to make things look new again, as in, completely smooth and pristine. But the dresser told me that I should be a little open-minded, and just “let it go”.  (like the song)

drawers
These are the drawers after the stripping, before the sanding. Notice the wood on the top drawer is completely different from the wood on the bottom drawers.  What up with dat?

So after all the stripping, scraping, sanding, and cleaning I had done.  I mixed the milk paint.  This time, I added the perfect amount of milk paint (it’s a powder) to water, and I mixed and mixed and mixed, and let it sit for 15 minutes, then mixed again.  And then I painted my freshly sanded and cleaned drawers.  Three of them, the last drawer was currently blocked so I just did the three, figuring I’d do the fourth later.

This would be my first mistake.

The color I used was a very subtle green called “Layla’s Mint”.   Now, I was open to the idea of chipping, in fact, I had hoped for a little, and thought that painting in the super heat (a no-no) would possibly aid in the chipping.  But it was not to be, most likely because I sanded too well. The piece was practically bare wood again, so the milk paint sunk right in. But that’s ok, the finish was really pretty, similar to chalk paint, but with some subtle color variation, which I was loving.

After some light sanding, I painted a second coat, let it dry, sanded again, and decided to glaze the drawers using General Finishes Glaze Effects in Van Dyke brown.

Second mistake.  For those of you who have glazed, you will know that glazing in almost 100 degree heat is… impossible frustrating.  Yes, I knew it would be problematic, I ain’t stupid.  (just impatient) Let’s just say my shoulders got a really good workout trying to rub out all that excess glaze.  But, the end results looked terrific. It was just the look I was going for.  Now for the rest of the dresser.


 

Let me digress for a moment to give a shout out to the Milk Paint.  I had literally painted the drawers only about an hour before applying the glaze.  And as I said, it was so hot, the glaze just cemented itself to the drawer.  I used all my strength to rub that glaze out, and the paint didn’t budge.  That stuff is tough!!


 

Instead of stressing over exactly how I was going to fix the leg of the dresser, I made an executive decision and cut them all off.  I know.  It was hard, but once I started, it was quite liberating and I may have laughed maniacally during the whole process, which I barely ever get to do these days.  And I actually like the results, a lot!   Next was more of the same, stripping, scraping and sanding.  I had been working on the dresser for about 7 hours now, and it was starting to get dark.  BUT, I still had some paint mixed up from those three drawers, so I thought I better paint that last drawer.  The paint had gotten fairly chunky (probably from the heat) so I added a little more water, and started mixing.  It didn’t go very well, so I mixed a new amount, just to do that last drawer.  Problem solved.

Or so I thought.  Now, like I said, it was getting dark.  So I painted the first and second coat and glazed the drawer like I had the others.  It looked great, just like the first three.  Until I brought it over to the other three and it was a completely different color.  The other three, were definitely a muted green.  The fourth.  A toupey-grey.

What the?

But I was glad.  I had met my first quirk.  I had read in Marian’s look book just the night before about color variations, and the importance of mixing up enough milk paint to do the first coat on the entire piece to avoid such variations.  She was right.  Girl knows her paint.

And I should have known better.

I decided to sleep on it.  (literally, I crawled into one of the drawers) Honestly, if it had been more than one drawer, I maybe would have kept it that way, because it was cool.  But just having the bottom drawer gray was odd, so the next day, I mixed up the rest of the mix all at once, and I painted the entire piece including all four drawers again.  This fixed the issue.  After sanding, there was a delightful color variation in the dresser, and it had such a pretty authentic finish to it, like it had been around for ages.

And it sort of felt like it had to me too.

Next, I glazed the entire thing, again, in the heat and refinished the top using General Finishes Java gel stain.  I decided I wanted to leave some of the old chippy finish to the lip around the top, and I also lightly sanded down the Java stained top to give it a worn look.  When dry, I sealed it with the hemp oil, applying three coats with several days of cure time in between.  I brought it inside for this process.

Next, I added the hardware, and drilled some new holes for the original castors, which is nice because this thing is HEAVY!

And here’s the finished look, it is exactly how I envisioned it, and I’m pleased as pie!  (French Silk)  The parts I didn’t fill, they just add to the look I was going for.  While I’ll admit, it’s a lot more shabby chic than what I usually go for, I have fallen in love with this dresser, and all of its sweet, timeless character.  I loved Miss Mustard Seeds milk paint, I loved that it gives a true authentic finish, that it is all natural, and mostly that is has a mind of its own.

Miss Mustard Seed review and tutorial by de-uglied designs
Here she is!

miss mustard seed review and tutorial by de-uglied designs

I’d like to add a few notes on Miss Mustard Seed Milk paint.  First, there are several ways to mix it, check out Marian’s website for tips and tricks.  Also, you can mix colors to create your own unique look.  (and OMG… the colors are amazing)  For a chippier appearance, apply over an existing finish (but make sure to at least sand down the sheen for a more authentic look)  And something to keep in mind, a lot of people think “farmhouse chippy” when they think of milk paint, and while you can especially master that look using these products, with the addition of a bonding agent, you can make your finish more predictable, and your piece perfectly pristine, leaving out all of the shabby, but none of the chic.  (I bet you knew I was going to write that)  I would highly recommend this paint and can’t thank Marian of Miss Mustard Seed enough for the fantastic gift.  Stay tuned for a few more pieces I had the privilege of using this paint on.  And just an FYI, Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint is available locally at Eco Chic in Fargo.  Go get some, I most definitely will.


 

This little cutie pie will be available at the Junk Market, October 2-3 at the West Fargo Fairgrounds.  I am, ahem… scrambling to get my booth ready and as always, guarantee a fantastic show.  For reals.

 

Thank you so much for reading!

 

Wood slat CRAZY!! (the tutorial)

Some of you have noticed that I love me a good wood slat project.  I can’t get enough of the look of wood grains going in all different directions, but coming together as a whole, beautiful piece.   Here’s just a few examples of past projects.

DIY herringbone pallet wall using dark walnut, weathered oak and driftwood stain.  by de-uglied designs        DIY Wood slat topped dresser, stained dark walnut. By de-uglied designs

Add wood slats to the front of dresser drawers, reface dressers with wood slats!  by de-uglied designs             DIY herribone wood wall, wood stains are dark walnut, weathered oak, and driftwood.  By de-uglied designs

Add wood lath to the back of a cabinet for a new diy look.  Stained dark walnut.  by de-uglied designs

Replace glass with wood lath for a completely new look!  by de-uglied designs Pluck the tile out of an old coffee table and replace it with wood lath.  Stained weathered oak.  by de-uglied designs

I’ve also gotten a lot of questions as to exactly how this is done on furniture, so you know what… I’ll show you.

First and most important, find the right piece of furniture.  For me, that is a piece that has recessed area with good quality craftsmanship.  You do not want to put this amount of work into something poorly made. This mid-century cutie is perfect!

Notice the way the drawers recess into the frame of the dresser. Perfect for wood slats!
Notice the way the drawers recess into the frame of the dresser. Perfect for wood slats!

Remove all the hardware, sand lightly (if the drawers are super shiny) and thoroughly clean the fronts of the drawers.

Line them up on a flat, level surface with the drawer fronts facing up.

Put spacers between each drawer.  (tape them in to get them to stay put)  I used lath, but the spacers could be thinner.  Just make sure you can get the blade of your jigsaw between each drawer.

Find the center of the drawers.  Think of all three as one big drawer and find the center of that. All you have to do is draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.  The X formed in the middle will be your center.

 

Re-face drawer fronts.  Add wood slats or lath to outdated drawer fronts. Tutorial on how to add wood to drawer fronts.  by de-uglied designs

Now, the “fun” begins.  For this project, I cut 18×2 inch wood slats at a 45 degree angle on one end.  Starting in the center, I followed my diagonal line and attached the first piece with wood glue and staples to the drawer front.  Then I formed a “sort of” pin wheel keeping the 45 degree angled end always facing away from the one before it.  (they should never come together to make a 90 degree angle)  Make sure the straight-edged end completely hangs over the side of the drawers.

Once you finish the first row, you do the same thing as before, only, with the second row, I faced the 45 degree angled end in the opposite direction as the first row.  (so if you started with the angled end facing down, this row, you’d start with it facing up).  And it fits, just like a puzzle piece.  Keep going until you finish the second row.

Continue each row, alternating how the angled end faces per entire row.  Warning… as you get further along, this process can play tricks on your eyes!

Re-face drawer fronts.  Add wood slats or lath to outdated drawer fronts. Tutorial on how to add wood to drawer fronts.  by de-uglied designs

Note.. you DO need to glue every piece.  But you DO NOT need to staple every piece.  I always staple the first pin wheel row so they don’t shift.  Once that row is in place, only staple when needed.  (like if a wood slat is a little warped.

Re-face drawer fronts.  Add wood slats or lath to outdated drawer fronts. Tutorial on how to add wood to drawer fronts.  by de-uglied designs
What is actually looks like (side view)

Let dry overnight.

The next day (or whenever you get around to it), remove your spacers and cut out your drawers using a jigsaw.  Draw a line from corner to corner where you need to make your cuts.

Re-face drawer fronts.  Add wood slats or lath to outdated drawer fronts. Tutorial on how to add wood to drawer fronts.  by de-uglied designs

Next comes the sanding.  And by golly, there’s A LOT of it. Use an orbital or belt sander, start with 60 grit, then 80, and then 120.

Once the major ridges are out, (and they are major… we’re talking hours) go ahead and route your edges.  This makes such a difference and really gives it a professional look.

Now fill in your gaps with a stainable wood filler.  Wait several hours or overnight for it to thoroughly dry.

Re-face drawer fronts.  Add wood slats or lath to outdated drawer fronts. Tutorial on how to add wood to drawer fronts.  by de-uglied designs

The next day using 240 grit sandpaper, sand away the remaining wood filler.  And don’t forget to take a moment to enjoy the smooth feel of sanded wood.  Woo hoo!

Now this really is the fun part.. staining!  I took one light-colored stain (I used Minwax’s “Weathered Oak”) and stained over the entire piece.  I let this dry for a couple of hours, and then I took my detail brush and began to stain each “pin wheel” row individually.  I started with Minwax’s Ebony, in row 1, Minwax’s “Dark Walnut” in row 2.  Row 3 was a mix of “Dark Walnut” and “Weathered Oak”.  Row 4 was just another coat of “Weathered Oak” (just to deepen the stain from the first coat) and Row 5 was left with just the first coat of “Weathered Oak”.

Let it dry overnight and seal with polyurethane.  I use Minwax’s satin, oil based polyurethane.  I chose to use my spray gun, and applied two coats, allowing plenty of dry time in between.

 

 

I don’t think I need to tell you how to paint the rest of the piece, but I’ll share what I did.

Thoroughly sand and fill in any scratches or holes.

Prime the piece using a shellac or synthetic shellac based primer.  (shellac is the best for keeping the wood tannins from bleeding) let dry.

Sand lightly using a sanding sponge, apply a second coat if needed.

Paint your piece!  I used Sherwin Williams ProClassic paint in satin.  It is becoming one of my favorite paints and I’ve used… a lot of paint.  It is a little $$ but absolutely worth it and dries to a rock hard finish with little to no brush strokes.  BUT… I will warn you, it self-levels which also means, longer drying time.  (Impatient people, like myself, beware)  The color I used for this project is called “Mindful Gray”.  And mindful it is……

Let dry, sand lightly with a sanding sponge, and apply a second coat.  Apply a third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh coat.  (Kidding… usually 2 coats does it)

If you choose, you can add extra protection by sealing the paint with clear acrylic sealer.  My go-to water based sealer is Minwax’s polycrylic in satin.  Use a water based sealer when you don’t want your finish to yellow over time.

Clean the old hardware, and put it back on.  Since the original nail holes are now covered up with wood from the outside, I use a very teeny drill bit, drill new holes from the inside.  (where the original holes are)  Then I take the proper sized bit (whatever size your screws are) and drill from the outside in. You don’t want to start with a big drill bit going from the inside first, or it may chip out small pieces of your wood slats.  You will also need longer screws now that the drawers are thicker.

And that’s it!!  Here’s the finished product.  Yes, it is a LOT of work, but it is totally worth it.  I can’t stop looking at her.  She’s my darling lady and she could be yours.  This piece will be available at “the studio” for their June Event.  To see other items I have at the studio, just check out my “items available” album on  the Facebook.

 

Re-face drawer fronts.  Add wood slats or lath to outdated drawer fronts. Tutorial on how to add wood to drawer fronts.  Mindful grey by Sherwin Williams  by de-uglied designs dressers1 dressers2 dressers6

Major dresser makeover!  Tutorial on how to add wood slats to drawer fronts for a dramatic new look.  Dresser is painted Mindful Grey by Sherwin Williams.  By de-uglied designs

Thanks for reading!

Jessie

%d bloggers like this: