Distressed Letter Project

Finally a new post to put up!  Ashley and I have been busy the last few months with the latest edition to our family. But things are starting to fall into routine a bit more and that has allowed us some time to get back to the projects we so love to do. First up on our list was to paint and distress some letters for our new nursery.

Ashley purchased the letters from Hobby Lobby and they came in stock pine. The process started out with a rough sanding as the letters came pretty smooth. After sanding, we proceeded to give them a coat of primer using Zinsser.

We followed that up with a coat of black and then the same orange we used on the Airplane shelf project. Between each coat, we sanded with 120grip sandpaper.

The final two coasts of paint were the same color as used on the Distressed Dresser

Then came the fun part. We put the letters on the ground and proceeded to drop many heavy tools on them (hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers, etc). After a good beating, we ran some course sandpaper around the edges and the flat surfaces. Nothing like a good scuffing! After the beating of a lifetime, we spread on a thin layer of glaze and then wiped it off. The combination of the tools and sandpaper allowed the glaze to sit in a few strategic places and really added to the effect of the distressing.

We had originally planned on putting decoupage some chevron paper over the front but Ashley liked how these turned out so much that she thought we should just leave it as is.

Project Done!

Painted Nursery Rocking Chair

I have had this rocking chair in my possession for years now and it’s been in my family for at least a hundred years.  I can still remember my Grandma rocking in it when I would come to visit. She used to tell me that it was her Mother’s before her. I honestly do not know how far it goes back.

But it has seen better days. Too many years in storage had taken its toll. With the new nursery nearing completion and the birth of our son right around the corner, we knew we wanted another rocker in his room. But lack of space was an issue.

I brought the rocker up to the room and we found that it would fit perfect. But it needed a good finishing before it would work. It was obviously worn and many of the parts were loose.

Rocking Chair Before

Since this was an upholstered rocking chair, I knew there were going to be a lot of staples holding the fabric in (like 200+). This left a lot of holes around the seat of the chair making a sand and stain option unavailable to us. So we decided to spray paint it.

After all of the staples were pulled (which took about 2 weeks) and drops of Gorilla glue were applied for strength, I sprayed the entire chair with a primer.

Rocking Chair Primed

After the primer dried, I took some wood putty and filled in all of the little staple holes that surrounded the entire chair.

Staple Holes

Once the wood putty was dry and sanded, I sprayed the chair with a gloss black Rustoleum enamel. The dry time of this paint is about 2 hours but if you are looking for a highly durable spray paint with a great clean finish, high highly recommend using it.

Rustoleum Enamel

Two coats of black paint and a lawn chair cushion and our rocking chair is new again!

Rocking Chair After
Before and After

Airplane Shelf Redo

When my Mom asked us if we wanted the old airplane shelf my Dad made for me when I was a kid, I knew I did. I just didn’t know where I was going to put it. Then our nursery started to take shape and some of the elements in it included a slight airplane theme. Lightbulb!

During a quick trip home for my Dad’s graduation from college, My Mom dug the shelf out of storage and it made its way way back home with me.

It was dirty and stained a dark color so I knew if I was going to make this work in the new nursery, a change had to be made. Although it didnt have a very glossy finish to it, I started out with a good sanding.

I followed this up with the same process I used on the nursery dresser.

  1. Sanding (picture above)
  2. Coat of primer (picture below)
  3. Coat of black (no picture)
  4. Main color

For some reason I didn’t get a picture of the shelf with the coat of black paint on it. I must have been busy. 🙂

The main coat of paint was done in an orange and I started off using a sample of the Behr Premium Plus Ulta Paint + Primer.

I really hate this stuff. One would think that a paint + primer would cover in fewer coats but that is not the case. After 3 coats, I still was not happy with the coverage I was getting.  So I ran to Home Depot and purchased the sample size of Behr Premium Plus in Flat. This is the same kind of paint I used on the nursery dresser and it covered very well with 2 coats. It achieved the same desired result on the airplane shelf. Cheaper and better in my opinion. I won’t be buying anymore Paint + Primer products. I have never been happy with the result or the  price.

After two coats of the Behr Premium Plus I sanded the airplane down and distressed it. This is always the part that makes me nervous. Nothing like taking a “perfectly” painted piece of furniture that has received 7 coats of paint and making it appear worn out. If done incorrectly, I may have to repaint!

After the sanding was completed and I was happy with the amount of deterioration that I performed, I brushed on my Rust-Oleum glaze left over from my kitchen painting project and then proceeded to wipe it off with some cheese cloth.

Below is the end result of the redo. I love how it turned out and it looks great in the new nursery!

Adding a Base to Stock Shelf

Ashley and I thought the perfect addition to our new nursery would be the shelf below, outfitted with canvas totes that matched the color scheme of the room. The only issue I had with it was the fact that it looked incredibly stock. In a room filled with a custom dresser, board and batten walls, and hand made curtains, sheets, and a quilt, I felt that the shelf needed a bit more.

I decided what it really needed was a base. Lucky for me I still had some window casing left over from the wall updates I did (post to come soon) so I set out to add the casing to the bottom. I ended up having to use 1 – 2×4 along with 2 – 1×4’s in order to get to the perfect height for my window casing turned floor molding to line up with the bottom of the cubby.

A few coats of a really dark gray paint and I was albe to get fairly close to the expresso color of the original cubby. I think the subtle contrast in color adds to the uniqueness of the room. 🙂

Distressed Dresser Project

I have been wanting to distress a piece of furniture for awhile now. We have several pieces in our home that we purchased already distressed but the process always intimidated me.  After getting this gorgeous dresser from Ashley’s folks I decided to give it a try. Oh, did I mention that this dresser actually belonged to Ashley’s Grandma? No pressure to not screw it up!

I wanted to get this project done rather quickly but I also wanted to make sure I did a good job. I started out by doing a real light sanding over the entire dresser. I followed this up with a coat of my favorite primer: Zinsser Water based

After the primer dried, I again went over the entire dresser with some 220 grit sandpaper. Not a huge sanding but enough to knock down any bumps and runs in the paint. After the priming process I covered the dresser in a black paint that I had lying around the garage. The point of these layers is to allow different colors to shine through at the end when I start to really sand it down and distress it.

After the black paint was dry, the real fun began. I was a bit nervous to begin the blue color because I didn’t know how it would go over the black. I could see me doing 4 coats before I finally got the color I wanted. I started out using a foam roller but quickly realized that it wasn’t getting the coverage I wanted. I wanted brush strokes that the glaze could adhere to and enhance. A foam roller’s finish is just too smooth for that look.

The paint I used for the blue is Behr Premium Plus in Interior Flat. I think it might easily be my favorite paint. It went over the black easily and with only two coats! I am currently working on another project using a different style of paint and after 3 coats, my black is still showing through!

After two coats of the blue, the real fun was to begin. This was also the moment of truth. I could easily screw up the last week’s worth of painting with a quick rub of my sanding block in the wrong spot! I ran upstairs to check out the other pieces of  distressed furniture we purchased and it looked like they just sanded randomly but in spots that would be susceptible to wear and tear.  So that is what I did too.

I began by sanding down edges and then did a few strategic spots on the top, front, and sides. After awhile, my nerves settled down and I really began to have fun with it. After the sanding was completed, I brushed the entire dresser down with some glaze I had left over from a Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation kit that I had. A quick wipe down with some cheese cloth to take off the extra glaze and I was done!

Ashley and I originally were going to replace all of the original hardware with new pieces but because of the varying hole pattern on each drawer and some custom “key” holes, we decided to just repaint the old hardware with some Rustoleum aged bronze spray paint.

After everything was painted and dry, we brought the dresser upstairs (with the help of a great neighbor) and staged it into the new nursery (which is also going to be a project post soon).

The finished product looks amazing, especially in the nursery, and I think I have found a new DIY love. Distressing furniture is fast, easy, and really hard to screw up which makes it perfect for me! I am not the best painter.

Here is a full visual recap of the process.

Project featured below!

I was featured on Remodelaholic

Custom Truck Lamp

Ashley and purchased a metal truck from Hobby Lobby a few weeks back to use as a decoration for our soon to be son’s nursery. One night I was looking at the thing and thought how great it would look as a lamp. So I set forth on a quest to find one of those “make your own lamp” kits from my local hardware store. Not finding what I wanted, I searched the internet, again with no luck. Then I thought why couldn’t I take an existing lamp, take it apart, and uses the pieces for my lamp? And that is what I did.

Below are the pictures of the final project.  I don’t think it could have turned out any better. I am very proud of my lamp truck!