Friday, May 25, 2012

Table and Chairs

Last fall I decided I wanted a new dining set for our eat-in.  I searched Pinterest for styles I liked and the following two pictures were my inspiration while shopping for my table and chairs.

I liked the pedestal style and white color of the one on the left, and I liked the different styled chairs in the same color in the picture on the right.
I started my search and found my table within a few weeks. Thank you, Goodwill, for the solid oak pedestal table that rang in at $40! It sat in my kitchen a long time without me working on it because I couldn't find the chairs I wanted. Then, we started talking about moving and I lost motivation for a few months. Therefore, I had to sit and eat at an old rickety light oak table for longer than I ever hoped to. The only benefit was that I never worried about myself or the boys messing it up when we'd craft, color, or paint! Here's a glimpse of the table back at Christmas in our old house.
Once we had definitely decided to house search and move, I decided I wanted to get the table finished for the next house. So, the work began. I brought the table outside for the sanding and priming phases. It needed a good sanding, for sure. I used this tutorial to refinish my table.

The primer I used didn't required completely removing the old varnish and stain, just a completely smooth surface. Because there were so many water spots and raised areas, the table looked like this by the time I got it smooth.
I used a small sponge roller to apply the primer.
I bought one can of the primer in a spray can version to do the cracks and crevices and after waiting a day, sanding it by hand with a block sander, I put one more coat of primer on with the roller. 
I bought a spray gun to do the final top coats. Those things are a pain, but definitely make the paint job look more uniform. I still chose to roll the top surface of the table to keep the texture to a minimum. I used a Sherwin Williams cabinet and furniture water-based paint. I wanted to avoid an oil-based version if possible and this paint cures really hard. I did the final steps in my garage to avoid any leaves or bugs as a part of my final table finish.
The next part of my little project was finding chairs. This was difficult because chairs can be so expensive. I only paid $40 for my table so it didn't seem right to pay much more for the chairs. At first, I searched for a few antique ones, but kept coming up with ones that were not super stable or were too different in height/width and it didn't look cohesive at all. I didn't want them to match, but I did want them to go together.

I ended up at this place that sells JC Penny furniture after it's out of style or is damaged. The store was about to change directions and start making furniture, so when I walked in, I was a bit bummed to see there wasn't all the mix-matched random furniture lying around. The guy up front asked what I was looking for and I told him I was looking for random dining chairs. He laughed and told me to follow him. He took me to the back warehouse room where there were no less than 50 random chairs all shoved together. He told me about how they were starting to make furniture instead of sell the other retailed items, and this was what was left over. 

I started my search digging through the pile of chairs. I found two I loved and took them home that day after paying a whopping $40 for both!!! Can you believe that? These bad boys usually retail for $100-150 a piece. I was hoping to find two more to match them around town, but after realizing that wasn't going to happen for a good price, I went back to the warehouse and picked out two more. One of the chairs had arms, but I bought it anyway because I figured I could remove the arms. I wasn't in love with any others but decided to pick one anyway so that I could just complete the set. This time, I got them both for $35 because one had a small crack in it. Holla! The crack didn't effect the stability of the chair at all so I went with it and here is what I ended up with for a grand total of $75. Not bad at all. I love the second and fourth ones from the left. 
I got a little worried that the chairs wouldn't fit under the small round table. After trying them out, they seem a little over-sized for the table but I liked how it looked anyway.
I didn't get a picture of the chairs during their redo phase, but I simply unscrewed the cushions, removed the arms from the one chair and used wood putty to fill in any holes. Then, using the spray gun, I coated them with the oil-based primer. This process took forever because I was recommended to wait a day between each coat of primer and top-coat. That's four days of simply spraying chairs. Blah. But it was worth it and I think they turned out beautifully.

The last step was reupholstering the cushions and screwing them back on. I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted in the new house in terms of prints and colors, so I didn't scour the Internet for days searching for the perfect home decor fabric. I knew whatever I picked was probably going to be replaced when I started the renovation part of our new kitchen. So, I waltzed in JA's, went straight to the clearance section, and grabbed a fabric I liked best from the bunch. I got 3 yards of home decor fabric for $10. If you know fabric, you know I got a good deal ;) I also picked up enough vinyl for two of the chairs. Graham doesn't eat like a human. He eats like a wild beast who has never seen each meal. I figured vinyl would help the chair wipe down a little easier after the boys ate. I just stapled it on after the fabric.

I finished the table right before we moved and I am so thankful I did. We chose not to use the old dining table in the new house, so this was our only table. I really, really like how it fits in the new kitchen. I can't wait to see how it all looks once we've updated!
 Don't mind the neon orange flowers on the table. Those were Graham's mother day present to me :) They are kind of like Graham. Loud, slightly obnoxious, and beautiful as ever!
I added a layer of Johnson's wax to the top surface of the table for a little more protection, and so far, we've had no scratches. I didn't do a polyurethane or lacquer on top because I was afraid of yellowing.
 I love my little eclectic table and chairs.
My goal this weekend is to get the curtain rods hung in these two rooms and exchange the outlets for white ones. We might take down the ceiling fan if we're feeling a little extra motivation. It may not sound like much, but being outside or going to the pool with our wild monsters sounds so much more fun than working on the house. Balance. We'll find our balance. Or, we 'll just choose the fun things and deal with the house next weekend. Not such a bad option. Have a great Memorial Day weekend, y'all!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Last Day of Preschool 2012

It was Parker's last day of 4 year old preschool. Last day of New Beginnings. I'm sad. We loved his school so much. I am a stay at home mom. I didn't need a place to watch Parker part of the day or a place to teach him the letters and sounds (though they really helped him fine-tune this area). I was searching for a place to send Parker a few days a week where he could meet other kids his age in a Christian atmosphere and be under the authority of someone other than myself that I trusted. New Beginnings was exactly what I wanted for Parker. I also unnecessarily sent Parker to preschool because I wanted some time alone with Graham, something Parker had early on. Most days, I cherish this time with Graham. Parker loved his school. His favorite days where Monday, Wednesday, and Friday when he got to play/learn with his buddies for 3 hours. Parker's teachers were amazing. They loved him despite his impulsive loud behavior and his tendency to require the "yellow" card. They were patient with him and truly cared for my little man. He felt it, too. He always speaks fondly of them.

Well, today we move on. He will be going to a new school down here in Teays Valley next year for Pre-K. Not sure what we'll do after that. David and I aren't exactly on the same page in the schooling department, but we'll get there and make the decision that is best for our family when then time comes.

This was the first day of 4-year-old preschool.

And, this morning:

I can see some change in Park. He's taller, a little older looking, and not quite as tan. But, hello, Graham!?! It's like he went from a baby to a little boy! Crazy what 9 months can do!

Thank you, New Beginnings, for being such a great preschool! We will truly miss you all!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Meadow Light

I'm super excited. I've got one room in my house finally painted. I've spent so much time on doors and trim, so it was nice to actually get out the roller to do some walls. I was over the roller in .2 seconds, but it was worth it. I really love the color. LOVE. I debated for days over paint chips. Once I got it down to three colors, I got come samples and put streaks all over my walls in different places. After seeing the samples in every lighting condition, we decided on Meadow Light. The color is one from Home Depot's Behr collection, but I used Sherwin Williams paint because I like the coverage and consistency. Plus they'll match anything you bring to them. Sometimes the color looks minty and in other light, it takes on more of a faint Tiffany blue. I love it both ways. 
I don't really have anything to go with it yet, but decor can come later. I found one box of picture frames to add a little life to the room but don't judge the fireplace set-up...I know it's a little sad and thrown together ;)

 We have some short-term goals (in the next 1-3 months)for this room that include:
  1. Ditching the fan. First of all, it's centered with the room and not the fireplace. That would be fine except the recess lights are centered with the hearth making it all just sore for my must-have-symmetry eyes.
  2. Replace all of the electrical outlets and cable connectors with white ones instead of almond color. Which bring me to the next goal...
  3. Putting a nice coat of white spray paint on the recess lights.  Everything in this home came in almond. I mean everything. Toilets, light switches, outlets, fire alarms, etc. Eventually, it will all be white. We'll just take the lights out, paint them, and return them to their place since they're not super offensive and it's cheaper to reuse them.
  4. Getting/making pillows for our couch and chairs. The room is in desperate need of some texture/prints.
  5. Hanging curtains. I'll probably just use the white West Elm ones from the old dining room for now. White, bright, and airy.
We also have a few long term changes (3 months-1 year)we'd like to make that include:
  1. New couch. Enough said.
  2. New sitting chairs for the window area. Yes, I just bought those blue-y ones a year ago, but we'd like to use them in the other living space when we get the new flooring in. Plus, they kind of blend right into the room. I'd like something fun with a pattern....I think.
  3. TV armoire. A unit where the TV can be hidden is ideal, but I'm open to anything if it catches my eye and it the right price.
  4. Buy/build a book shelf for the left side (opposite the chair) of the fireplace. I'm missing my old built-ins. 
  5. Book shelf unit for behind the couch. I'd like a low one that comes just to the top of the couch and faces the kitchen. Could be great for books storage and decor.
  6. Hand a few pictures ;)
  7. New rug. Not looking forward to this adventure. Rug shopping is irritating to me.
 So, that's the plan. 

Here's where we were 3 weeks ago.
Here's where we are now.
I'm taking a little break on painting for now and am going to enjoy scraping off the kitchen border. Doesn't that sound fun? I can hardly wait.  :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Progress & Mother's Day

I had a wonderful weekend. Well, most of it. I'll quickly skip over the parts that weren't so good because no one needs to hear about those details. Let's just say, sometimes couples can struggle when it comes to doing house projects together. We don't always, but Saturday we did. Some one's attitude was sour and the day ended on my husband buying me chocolate and taking me to my favorite restaurant to make up for his behavior. I am thankful for a husband who can recognize when he's been less-than-kind and say he's sorry. Thanks, Babe, for swallowing your pride to make the rest of our weekend better :) He's a good man. I married a gooooooood man.

The project we were tackling was ripping out the carpet in the dining room. We had planned on leaving it in there until the end of the summer, but we ran into a problem that caused quicker actions. The carpet that had been cleaned just prior to our viewing the home twice and moving day no longer smelled like carpet cleaner. It began to take on more of a cat litter-box smell, if you know what I mean. I'm not super keen on the ammonia cat-pee smell, so the carpet had to go. ASAP. I'm not a carpet lover to start, so when it made me want to hurl walking into the room, it was time to do something. 
After ripping the carpet and padding out, we realized that the sub-flooring was also damaged from being used as an animal potty. After trying bleach and a vinegar/peroxide mixture to alleviate the odor, we decided to try using a stain/odor blocker paint to seal the plywood. It actually worked. The smell was greatly reduced and I'm pretty convinced that the dining room might actually smell pleasant someday. I'm optimistic :) We are going to give it a few days to make sure the smell is gone before we begin laying the bamboo down on top.
 You see those dark spots? Yeah, that's exactly what you think it is. Appetizing in a dining room, eh?
 After some Kilz paint.
Our plans are to get the flooring in here, move the stuff from the other carpeted room into the dining room once it's finished, and then work on that room. It's going to take a while, but I'm thrilled the process has begun. 

You see that little bit of painted trim in the last picture? I've completed all the trim in the downstairs except for the two carpeted rooms. Woo-hoo! It took forever. Lots of nap times were actually used wisely and productively this past few weeks. I'm working on picking a color for the wall in the family room and kitchen. Since those rooms are adjoining, I'll be using the same color. I'm hoping to get that done very soon and share! 

In other Dunn news, Mother's Day was great. We went to church, came home, relaxed a few hours, and then enjoyed an evening grilling out with my in-laws. I am blessed beyond words to be the momma of these two boys. I wish I always acted like it, but here's to another year of trying. Trying to be who I am supposed to be to my children and my husband, thus being more of who God wants me to be.

I like presents ;)
Entertaining/restraining the boys while I grabbed the camera.
 Graham requires some negotiating for me to get pictures.
I got attacked.
This just makes me laugh. Oh, Graham.
Now he's trying to mess up my hair.
After some hard work, there's a smile and eye contact!
I wonder if love from my boys will always resemble a wrestling match? Oh well, I'll take it!