31 August 2010

PIY Pointers: Picking Your Rescue Furniture

Hey my Paint-it-Yourself friends! Let's go to the very beginning.  Picture it - you are contemplating a furniture painting project for a needed space and you either:

A - have a piece (or several pieces) of furniture hiding in your garage/basement/mom's house (or in plain sight if you're contemplating a do-over of furniture you currently use)
B - you want to go thrifting to find a piece to paint (because who doesn't love the thrill of the hunt??)

There's a lot of old furniture out there, so how do you know what's worth saving?  Well the short answer is - it depends on how much work you want to do!  Let's start small, okay friends?  Rome wasn't built in a day and you have other things on the go.   Here are the top things I consider when deciding if a piece is worth rescuing with a fresh new transformation.

Take a look at the piece and ask yourself, do you love the shape of it?  Because this is really and truly the one thing you cannot change.  Does it have good lines?  Does it fit your personality?  If you're a french country kind of gal and the piece is modern and angular, will you ever truly love it?  If it's a fairly basic shape, then you're in luck because the sky's the limit for a new look.

Give the piece a really good once over.  Run your hands over it and check to see if it's wood/wood veneer or laminate.  I personally wouldn't choose to work with laminate, I have in the past but it tends to be cheaply made and you can't really sand it.  You can work on a laminate piece, it's just more limiting.  Open and close the drawers to see if they run smoothly and fit properly.  If they're a little sticky you can always sand the edges a little for a better glide or if they're on runners try a little WD40.  Put your hand on the piece and give it a little push.  Is it sturdy or does it feel loose in the joints?  Take a screwdriver and tighten each one then try again.  This often fixes the issue.  I bring a screwdriver to the thrift stores so I can do a quick tightening and see if a piece is worthwhile.

If you're new to Paint-it-Yourself, make sure you don't bite off more than you can chew in your early projects.  You want to feel that sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing and displaying your piece and if you're working on a huge hutch that needs stripping and weeks of hard labour - you may start to resent your project.  Start smaller, learn as you go and move up to bigger pieces.  You'll also want to make sure you have an adequate sized workspace for a week or two (or however long your project takes).  If you're constantly having to move your piece and put everything way every time you work on it, it will take twice as long to do.  So set yourself up somewhere, whether it's the garage, the basement or a spare room and tell the family you're taking over the space for a while.

This is probably the most important deciding factor for me personally.  If I love the piece in it's bare bones state and I have a vision for what I want to do with it - I go with it, even if it needs minor repairs.  If it's a good, solid piece with great shape and I don't feel a spark, then forget it!  It languishes in my basement until I eventually get rid of it.  You have to WANT to do it!

So tell me, how do you choose what piece you want to work on?

30 August 2010

Before and After: Love Letters Bedside Table

Here's a peek at another piece I just finished.  This bedside table is sturdy with a capital S!  Can you believe that massive floral knob?  It's actually two parts and I'm pretty excited to save it and repaint to use on anothe project.  But I had other plans for this guy...

After the usual sanding and priming, I painted on another of my new mistint finds - a smoky blue gray from Benjamin Moore.  I added some pretty paper detailing on the front drawer, if you look closely it's a retro postcard collection print which inspired the table's name.  A lovely little glass knob was the final touch on this romantic bedside table!

If you live in the Winnipeg area and are interested in purchasing the Love Letters Bedside Table, you can do so here.

Okay NOW I'm going to bed! Have a great night!

Linking to:
Visit thecsiproject.com

Before and After: Creamy Poppy Side Table

The rain won't stop and it's seriously hindering project new roof!  It's also hindering my ability to get good light for my photos so please give me a pass.  I spent the weekend working on a few new pieces and here is one I'd like to share this evening.

The before is a lovely and sturdy circular side table with art deco detailing.

I chose to step away from my usual blues and greens and try something a little different.  I painted the table in a creamy cafe au lait colour I got from the Benjamin Moore mistint pile.  For the record, it's such a lovely paint to work with!  I accented the piece with a bright and vivid poppy pattern for a shot of red personality.  It was inspired by my sister's living room palette of red and cream and chocolate brown.

If you live in the Winnipeg area and would like to purchase the Creamy Poppy Side Table, you can do so here.

Sweet dreams friends!

Linking to:

Visit thecsiproject.com

PIY Giveaway Winner!

I'm so please to announce that the winner of my very first giveaway for my new Paint-it-Yourself Pointers column is Rachel at La Bella Bungalow!  Rachel will be receiving a fresh new eco-friendly paintbrush from Shur-Line so she do her own Paint-it-Yourself projects at home.

Congrats to you Rachel!  Please email me your address so I can get this out in the mail for you.

Thanks for entering with all your great questions about PIY, you can read all about it in the coming posts as part of my new PIY (Paint-it-Yourself) regular column.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to comment on them here or drop me a line at lhume1@mts.net.

Have a great Monday friends!

29 August 2010

Before and After: Deanna's Sophisticated Grey TV Stand

How has your weekend been going?  J has been reshingling our roof (with many of his buddies!), so I've had a lot of time to plug away on projects.  I'll post pics in the next few days.

I've always been working on a commission for my client Deanna.  Remember this pine TV stand I picked up a while back?  Well it caught Deanna's eye and she thought it would be perfect for her new apartment!  Here it is before...

She really loved the look of the Modern Blue Small Dresser so this became our inspiration for the design...

And voila!  A + B = this....

I used all the same supplies as the small dresser.  The colour is CIL's Reflecting Pool and I used the same vintage flower paper detailing on the sliding door fronts.  Now it's headed to it's new home over at Deanna's.

Hope you all had a good weekend!  Did you do anything fun?

28 August 2010

PIY Pointers: Money-saving Mistints

Welcome to the very first PIY Pointers, for the Paint-it-Yourself-ers out there!  Don't forget to enter the PIY Pointers giveway here if you haven't already.

Today we're talking paint.  Such a small cost for such an amazing transformation!  But if you're like me, you buy a quart here and a gallon there and before you know it, you have a shelf full of half-full paint cans.  The cost can add up.

But if you're not looking for a specific colour, you need to get on the mistint bandwagon!  Mistints are essentially perfectly good, brand new cans of paint that a customer chose to return or not accept once mixed, due to colour.  Not that the colour isn't great, just not what they expected.  So their trash becomes our treasure!

I've always kept my eye out for mistints but I buy most of my paint at Home Depot and my local store doesn't sell mistints.  Then Cathy over at The Far Fifty got me onto designer mistints.  So I started hitting specialty paint shops like Benjamin Moore and ICI.  Wowza!  Tables full of amazing paint colours for a mere fraction of the regular price.  I recently picked up these two gems at my local Benjamin Moore.  They retail for $26.99 a quart and mistints were only $4 each.  Gallons retail over $65 and mistints were $12 each.  They even had the new paint and primers in one, now that's a way to save cash!!

Both are full cans, never been used.  I chose quart each of vivid cobalt blue and a soft, creamy suede.  Fantastic new additions to my paint inventory for only pennies a project!  Plus you get the benefit of a real quality paint (which I normally wouldn't be able to afford!).

I've also heard that some Home Depots do carry mistints, so be sure to check yours.  I called ahead and discovered that one local Benjamin Moore didn't carry mistints, so be sure to check to spare yourself a trip.

So the next time you're starting a paint project and you want to save some money, head on down to your local paint shop and take advantage of fantastic mistint deals.  Painting something for the kid's rooms?  Bring them along and have them choose from the mistints!

Have a great Saturday friends, I'm off to paint some furniture!

27 August 2010

Etsy Love: Skinny Laminx

Okay, so it all started with this blog post on Design*Sponge about these guys over at Spruce Austin.

I fell head over heels in love with the fabric they used on their couch revamp.

So then I visited this Etsy shop called Skinny Laminx.  How cute is that name?  She is an illustrator, writer and designer in Capetown, South Africa and she designs textiles and works with local craftspeople to have them printed onto locally-woven fabrics.  You can check out her blog here.

Then I promptly ordered a quarter-metre of each of these...

Colts in Teal

Cloud Birds in Aquamarine

Now I need to find something to do with them - project-wise.  But I don't care because I am so in love with them that I will figure it out!  Any ideas friends?

Oh, impulse...you totaly kill me.  And that my friends, is an inside peek at how my brain works!

Happy Friday!

26 August 2010

Thursday Blog Share: Inspired by Charm

First of all I want to send out a massive thank you for your incredible response to my first giveaway and to PIY (Paint-it-Yourself) Pointers.  You sent me so many fantastic painting questions that you'll keep me busy with pointers for months!  If you haven't had a chance to enter the giveaway yet, you can do so here.

Speaking of giveaways...today's blog share is all about Michael over at the very lovely Inspired by Charm blog.  He is an innkeeper in Pennsylvania (how romantic is that??) and he just recently opened his Etsy shop selling homemade jams and jellies. 

I was lucky enough to receive a pretty little package from Michael for my recent blog giveaway win!  In it was a lovely note from Michael, two jars of his homemade jam and four sweet-smelling votive candles.

Since I'm a die-hard jam on toast lover, it was the perfect tasty treat to get in the mail.  You really don't see very many 'male' blogs in our areas of interest, so a different point of view is definitely part Inspired by Charm's appeal.  I also love to look at the pics and imagine myself relaxing and eating breakfast muffins at Michael's inn, I've always wanted to see Pennsylvania....maybe one day!

Have a fab Thursday friends!

25 August 2010

My very first giveway to introduce PIY Pointers!!

I am so excited to let you all know that I'm planning my very first giveaway to launch my brand new blog column PIY Pointers.  You've all heard of DIY but how about PIY?  This is for all you Paint-it-Yourself-ers out there!  Every week I'll be featuring my PIY (Paint-it-Yourself) tips and tricks to help you be a better furniture painter.  It's also a big thank you for your ongoing support of both the blog and the business - you guys keep me going!

You could win one of my favourite paint brushes - the Shur-Line Eco brush! This is THE paint brush for the green painter.  The bristles are made of 100% recycled polyester materials, the handle is made of renewable bamboo, the metal ferrule is made of recycled aluminum and even the packaging is made of 100% recycled materials!  Some would argue for natural bristle brushes and they do have their place, but I've been loving both the quality and easy clean up of this brush!

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment below and let me know your burning questions about Paint-it-Yourself!  Baffled by paint selection?  Confused about picking the perfect piece to work on? Wondering what's the point of primer?  

Stick around and I'll share new tips with you every week in PIY Pointers.

Good luck and thanks for entering!  Giveaway closes on Sunday, August 29th at noon and I'll announce the winner on Monday, August 30th - just in time to paint that piece of furniture that's been sitting in your garage for winter!  Get painting!

24 August 2010

New Editions

It was great to have four whole days off of my 9-5, but of course they were spent working on Lather Creations!  It really is true that when you find your passion, it doesn't feel like work.  Ask me that in a few months though...I might feel differently! 

I've got couple of commissions in the hopper.  The first one is for Deanna, who fell for this old pine TV stand I picked up.

She wants it transformed into somethink along the lines of the Modern Blue Small Dresser...

After pics to come soon, keep your eyes open!

I'm also going to be starting on Lindsay's toddler-sized table and chairs set for her daughter Briony.  I'll share some before pics when I pick up the set!

As for new arrivals, you don't think I would go a whole weekend without stocking up on new projects do you?  But of course not, here are the latest and greatest just waiting for their makeovers!

A small coffee table with lovely angles..

A square side table with art deco detailing...

The sister round side table with art deco detailing...

This fantastic single drawer bedside/end table...

And this little bedside table...

I can't wait to get my hands on these, I feel like the squirrel stocking up on nuts for the winter!  If you live in the Winnipeg are and see anything that strikes your fancy, get in touch with me and we can pick out a custom colour for you.

It's busy, busy, busy over here at Lather Creations!  Thanks so much for all your ongoing support, it means the world.

Have a lovely Tuesday friends!

23 August 2010

The Fall Uniform

It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I wear a 'uniform'.  Not like a work uniform, but that I pretty much wear a variation of the same thing every day.  Basically I've figured out what I feel good in and I'm sticking to it - no apologies!  For me, it's all about flowy tops, jeans, flats and a cardigan.  Yes, I'm a cardigan gal.  So of course, as the weather starts to turn, a girl's thoughts turn to new fall cardi's.  Like this one that I just picked this up from the Gap.  I've worn it once so far on a cool day and I felt very collegiate!

Here are a few others I've coveting...like this cool motorcycle jacket-style cardi from JCrew.

 And this romantic ruffled number from Anthropologie.

What are you wearing to transition into fall?  What's your personal 'uniform'?

22 August 2010

Delightful DIY: Cool Calendar

The kitchen is the big item on our renovation 'to do' list.  It's a ways away due to both cash flow and priority (our roof is next because what good is a fab kitchen if water is leaking into it??). 

But I"m always browsing around for kitchen inspiration.  While looking through the Martha Stewart site, I came across this very cool DIY calendar wall.  I would love to take one small wall in my kitchen and do this on a slightly smaller scale.

How smart is that?? What a great way to keep track of everyone's activities!  Plus you could add a grocery list, what's for dinner and so much more.  The full step-by-step DIY is here...

What's on your kitchen wish list?