PROJECT INSPIRATION - before and afters

 This post is a little inspiration for your weekend projects with some local news at the bottom.


If you're too busy this weekend to get to your projects you can always bring your inspiration and
 join me making sign at The Passionate Home in LANGLEY this coming Wednesday July 2

I am teaching a sign making class with stencils from 1 to 4pm. 
 For more details & sign up click this link below or call the store directly 604-532-5931 .....

Hope to see you there!!


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SEARS BONNET DRESSER - french provincial inspiration


 I refurbished a vintage Bonnet Dresser available back in the day at Sears. These dressers and the matching pieces were hugely popular with moms and kids from the late sixties all the way into the early eighties. Some of the drawers on this one were not working well or were missing parts so I fixed them and removed the extra detail things from the fronts of the top 3 drawers. I sprayed it in a creamy white and added a new vintage set of Chippendale handles. It looks like there are 12 drawers but really the bottom ones are double deep making for 9 drawers.
If you are looking for a unique set of handles for a large dresser check out the popular
Misfit Chippendale sets listed at Firstfinds Etsy shop. You just never know what will catch your eye:

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THE MERCANTILE CABINET - butcher paper graphic transfer

There are a lot of different transfer
methods available on line but this
article I wrote is all about how I was
able to get the words I wanted
transferred in black ink onto raw
wood cabinet doors.

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THE MERCANTILE CABINET - white washed finish


The MERCANTILE cabinet was a donated piece, dropped off in a few parts. It has lived a good long
 life and the owner wanted it to keep going strong. So I started the reassembly and rebuilding.



The drawers needed small repairs and some guides needed replacing so they would work properly.
Two completely stripped wood doors arrived with the cabinet but it didn't have any shelves or bottom
 to the open cupboard. I fitted a new bottom and installed the doors with some blacksmith hinges. 



I painted the interior of the cabinet in a rich cream color and hand waxed the inside. I used an Annie
 Sloan Cream & Pure White mix. I wanted to keep the flavor of the aged wood on the body and
 keep the doors in their natural state so I chose a white wash for the cabinet body. Next time I will
 explain the process of what I did to the doors.

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SHABBY CHIC NIGHTSTANDS - white bedside before and after

 I found a quirky little pair of dark wood nightstands at the second hand store and brought them
home for a makeover. They had handles that went up and down in the very middle of each drawer,
it looked very odd. The white spots on the before photo are the holes from the original handles in
the process of being filled with wood filler.

I painted both in a creamy white mix of ASCP. I added little Queen Anne legs to the fronts and
the back legs are made from simple 2 x 2 lumber. All the legs I use are vintage reclaimed parts.

For more information on installing legs check here:


The nightstands were nicely edge distressed with a 220 grit sand paper and clear waxed. 


Have you stopped into firstfinds hardware store lately?
Here are just some of the items available for your projects.

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DRIFTWOOD GARDEN ARCH - walkway entrance gate

I've had this driftwood arch since the days when I used to collect and built driftwood furniture.
It seems like such a long time ago but really just a different life ago.
This rusty welcome sign was in the trash somewhere in my travels.
I've used 3 inch screws to attach it to the arch but space it away from the wood.
I have a pair of solar lanterns hanging on either side of the driftwood arch. I original found these at a
freight damaged store years ago, it was just the packaging that was damaged. I really like the lantern
style solar lights. These are still going strong after so many years.
To see more of my garden transformations check these articles:

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 In my on going quest to decorate the great outdoors I created a solar chandelier with inexpensive
 solar lights and an old kitchen chandelier. The lights cost $1 each and I put 2 in each of the three
glass shades (total 6).

The solar heads are simply sitting in the frosted glass shades of the chandelier and the light
comes through the glass so nicely at night.

The heads of these lights just pulled apart from the ground stake (as seen below)
This type of solar light is meant to stake in the ground and lite a path or garden but there are so may different ways to use just the lighted head part. Watch at the end of this article for another way I have used these guys in my garden.

For those who don't know, solar lights work fairly simple.
The panel that collects the light is hooked up to a rechargeable battery.
The same kind of rechargeable battery we buy in the department store check-out line up.
Unfortunately solar lights sometimes have a loose wire connection inside. If you have a light that
doesn't work, open it up and test the battery and reconnect any loose wires you might find.

When I have a light that is not turning on or is poorly lit at night I test the batteries in my charger to
 see what's up. If you find a battery that doesn't charge any more you can replace it. It is beneficial for
 some of the more elaborate and expensive solar lights but it's probably easier to replace a cheaper style.
Clean the solar panels to help them work efficiently.
They need direct sunlight to work properly.
The lights can be charged by the sun in one area of your yard
and moved into a not so sunny location for a party later that evening.
Another area where I used these solar light heads was in candle wall scones to light up a walkway

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FRENCH CHAIR with striped fabric

I had this navy blue striped fabric for a while and every time I would look at it I preferred the back
side. It had a great vintage look and when I was ready to upholster this chair I jumped in with both
 feet and went with the under side showing.

When upholstering with a striped fabric you must be a little more cautious and aware of where the
 pattern is laying. Be sure to center the top and bottom, and try to match up the lines on the seat with
  the back. You have to keep your fabric taught but not distort the stripes. It's not hard, you just have
 to keep double checking where things are. 

The frame was a dark mahogany color before I spray painted it in a creamy white mix of ASCP Old
 white & Pure white. The distressing was done with 220 sand paper and finished off with AS clear
 wax applied with a brush. The off white gimp trim has been hot glued into place over the fabric edge and to hide the staples.

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I have packed a ton of detailed information into this article
for those looking to start using a spray gun for their painting projects.

the best way on earth to paint a chair besides hiring someone else to do it

I use an HVLP paint gun hooked up to a compressor to spray a lot of furniture. HVLP stands
 for high volume low pressure. I recommend starting off small and not investing too much
 until you know this is something you like and want to continue with. There is a lot of work
 involved and you need the space to use a compressor and sprayer. The picture below shows
 a small inexpensive compressor with the motor on top of a small air tank - 80 PSI / 3 gallon
 tank / $90. When you choose a small air tank the motor needs to run a lot more to keep the
 tank filled with air while you are spraying. You can't add oil to the motor of these little guys,
 they are essentially disposable. Once they stop working you send it to the scrap yard and
 buy a new one. The coily hose on this one is an after market item I like to have because it is
 much lighter than the heavy straight air hose that usually comes with a new compressor
 purchase. Be careful not to buy a super cheep hose because you will be replacing it in to time.

The HVLP Gun is a separate piece and a separate purchase, approx. $50. Below you can see
 what mine looks like. It is a Campell Hausfeld gravity fed spray gun. The paint goes in the
 white plastic pot that screws to the top of the gun. There is also a blue air filter which you
 see at the bottom and it comes with the standard 1.4mm spray tip. When I use ASCP I have
 to thin the paint for use with this size tip, I'll talk more about that below. Your gun will have
 a spray radios knob and an air pressure setting, one knob is on the back and one is on the
side of the gun. You will have to experiment with these while you get familiar with your gun.

Most paints need to be thinned to be used in a spray gun. I do not have an exact ratio of
 water to use when thinning ASCP or latex but it really isn't that much. You don't want
it runny like milk, you want it more like cream. Start by adding small amounts of water until
 you get the right consistency.  And the reason you need to thin your paint is because
the channels in the gun are very small and can get clogged easily. Another important thing to
 do is to use a paint strainer as you pour your paint into the pot this is going to help avoid
those nasty clogs. Paint strainers are available at any paint store and cost about 30 - 50 cents
each. I rinse and reuse mine several times. Below left is a crisp brand
new one and the top right is a well used almost finished one.

The reason I prefer a gravity feed system is because there is less waste of paint. All the paint
 will run down into the gun and can be used. Other systems include a pot that is below the
gun and the paint needs to be sucked up with a stationary straw, with those there is more
 paint left in the pot that will inevitably be washed away.


It is always best to purchase your large tools like compressors during the Christmas holiday.
Watch your store flyers cause you won't believe the deals you can get.
I got this 8 gallon / 2 HP / 125 PSI for only $127.00 during a Christmas sale.

Set your pressure gauge right around 45 PSI. This will regulate how much paint /air is being
 forced out and will eliminate too much over spray. Also do your best to keep your
 equipment from getting covered in over spray, it will shorten the life of it when paint starts
 to get into the motor.

Once you get into a bigger tank you get to maintain these motors and need to check and add
 oil. They keep up with your larger painting projects very well but these motors need to
run much longer to fill a larger tank.


from start to finish in 1 day with a spray gun and compressor


Have you stopped into firstfinds hardware store lately?
Here are just some of the items available for your projects.

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