Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New Purchases

Dear Marleigh,

Of Course, everyone loves new purchases, but do you know what I love even more? An awesome deal! I am a clearance isle, coupon cutting, thrifty chic Queen. Today I got some deals so I am excited to share. 

I went to Hobby Lobby today to look for a tray for my new Streamer Trunk Coffee Table, I knew I needed something small and it had to fit the color scheme of the pillows and ottoman that give my living room the pop of color it needed. You can see those when I finally reveal my apartment after I get the updates finished. I found an awesome mustard yellow chevron print metal tray on sale for only $10!  

I got the white ceramic bowl and a matching vase (not pictured)at walmart in the clearance isle for a grand total of $17. I plan to fill the bowl with river rocks and put 3 of the birch tree candles we used in our centerpieces for our wedding. Those are trapped in our storage unit somewhere so thats a bit away.  

I have been looking for a while for something to put the kitchen utensils in for a while. I had my eye on a pitcher vase from IKEA for this, unfortunately I live almost 3 hours from the nearest IKEA so those trips are few and far between. I wasn't expecting to find something else at Hobby Lobby but this vase is similar to my walmart clearance finds and will do the job :) I picked it up for a little over $7 with a 40% off coupon!

Hope you enjoy my new finds, what are some awesome pieces you have picked up for a deal recently? Flaunt em' to us! :)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Waxing & Steamer Trunk Coffee Table Reveal

Dear Marleigh,

I'm back sooner than expected on this project, I just couldn't wait to finish it! It turned out better than I expected and of course, Scott told me how awesome it is and sorry that he doubted me. :P

I went and picked up all I needed to finish the project, Menards is my go-to spot for stuff like this because they always seem to have exactly what I need where as Home Depot and Lowes lack sometimes. 

I got:
16oz Johnson's Paste Wax (In the cleaning section)
Packet (4 Yards) of Cheesecloth
6 Pack of Medium Grit Angled Sanding Sponges
Rubber Gloves & Face Mask
4 6in table legs
Drill Bit 1/4 smaller than the table legs screws

The waxing process:

After I finished distressing and sanding down the trunk really well (I really had to put my back into this) I of course washed the trunk a couple times to get rid of the dust, and decided to jump right in.
I was super scared of the waxing process, other blogs made it seem like this huge chore you could mess up at the drop of a hat. I'm not sure if I did it wrong and thats why it ended up being easy for me or what. It looks good a feels protected so I don't really care I suppose. 

After putting on my gloves and face mask (The Johnson's Paste Wax is awful smelling) I cut a decent size of cheesecloth and just started rubbing small amounts (thin layer) into the trunk, working in small sections. I used a old cut up t-shirt of Scotts to wipe away the excess as I went. WARNING: Heavy buffing or wiping as you wipe the excess will cause more distressing, so if your piece is exactly how you want it, make sure you don't press too hard until after it has dried a bit.

I would let it dry for 20-30 mins or so (the more time you wait is better I heard) and really buffed it in with a new piece of cheesecloth. I let it sit overnight and buffed it again in the morning to really shine it up. I did 3 coats because of the extra wear and tear this piece will get. 

Johnson's paste wax is super easy to work with, my apartment is quite warm, so it was pretty soft and easy to rub in. If yours isn't soft you can put some in a microwave safe container and nuke it for 20-30 seconds and it will soften right up. After other blogs I have read and the easy time I had with this wax I believe Johnson's Paste Wax will always be my go-to wax. It's Cheap too.

At Menards they have the table legs with screws already in them. Scott bought a drill bit 1/4 in smaller than the screws, drilled the holes where we wanted them and was able to easily tread them into the holes. I painted them with the same color chalk paint.

Ready for the Reveal? *Drumroll*


& After:

I'm super happy with it, it looks much better in person because you can really see all the distressing and how lovely it is. 

Project Cost Breakdown:
Steamer Trunk - $30
Gallon of Paint (with tons left over) - $14
Plaster of Paris (tons left over) - $6
Painting Supplies - $5
Johnson's Paste Wax - $6
Waxing Supplies - $6
Table Legs - $12
Sanding Sponges - $5
TOTAL: $84 

Most of the stuff I can use for other upcoming projects, I think this is a steal considering I still find some original steamer trunks on craigslist for $100-$200!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

DiY Chalk Paint & Steamer Trunk Redo

Dear Marleigh,

I finally got around to doing my first DIY project at our new apartment. We are getting settled in nicely but I'm waiting on my taxes and a few more purchases before I do any kind of reveal. Scott and I call this place "The Pig" and all my projects and attempts to make it home is putting "Lipstick on a Pig". Ha, I promise it's not that bad but it is nothing glamorous let me tell you. Well I'll get to it. 

I decided right after we moved in that I NEEDED an antique steamer trunk and I was going to make it into a coffee table. Of course, Scott looked at me like I was crazy as he does with all my project ideas until I really do them and he tells me how cool they actually look. Being the Craigslist junkie that I am, I scoured the site for weeks looking for the perfect trunk and the perfect price(; Well last monday I finally found it, we went and purchased it on friday (Scott's birthday, happy birthday to him, ha) and I was arms deep by sunday.

Here's the trunk at the resale shop I purchased it at:

and my inspiration:

Not exact, but pretty close right? This picture also makes me sad I gave my antique corona typewriter to my Grandpa Russ because he begged me for it (but I typed and taped a note on it that said, "To Be Returned Upon Death" and Grandpa thought that was hilarious, sick minds I know.) 

Now that I had my beloved steamer trunk I decided how I was going to do this. I have heard so much about Chalk paint and wanted to try it for a while now but at $35 a quart that just wasn't going to cut it for me. So I took to the trusty Pinterest site and found a recipe to make my very own chalk paint. This whole process has been a lot of trial and error by the way. 

I know that with chalk paint you don't need to prep, but I did it anyways, the paint before was shiny and with this becoming a coffee table I know it will get some wear and tear. I washed it down with warm water and a splash of vinegar and let it dry before I started sanding, cause it was pretty dirty. I used 240 grit sand paper.

After I sanded it all down pretty well I washed it a few times with warm water to get rid of the dust from sanding. Finally, I can paint!

My first batch I used this recipe:
1/2 cup Plaster of Paris (can be found at Lowes, Menards, Home Depot, and I've heard Michael's or Hobby Lobby as well)
1/2 Cup of Water 
1 1/2 cups paint (I used a Satin premixed from Menards)

First I mixed the 1/2 cup Plaster of Paris with the 1/2 cup water and I mixed until all the lumps were gone and got a thin paste-like substance.

Then I added the 1 1/2 cups of paint. This is where my trial and error comes in, if I could do it over again (which I did in my second batch) I would mix the plaster of Paris first in a separate container and then add that to my paint, because this way was pretty hard to get the plaster of paris mixture off the bottom of the bucket and to mix smoothly into my paint. Learn from my mistakes! I Mixed it as good as I could, it seemed runnier than I wanted.

I did two coats with this recipe with a sponge brush, It dries much faster than regular paint (most of the time the top was done drying by the time I finished the whole thing). I read in another blog (I can't recall which one) after I finished painting that you should lightly sand in between coats to achieve a really even finish, I wish I would have done that. Lessons for next time. After two coats I knew I wanted to change something in my recipe because other blogs say you can cover in two coats, and I knew there was no way my paint would do that.

Second Batch of Chalk Paint:
2 Heaping Tablespoons Plaster of Paris
2 tablespoons Water
1 Cup Paint

Mix the Plaster of Paris and water in separate container until the lumps are gone, I had a thicker paste this time around and was happy with it. Then add that to the 1 cup paint and mix well. (I wish I had a mason jar cause I would just shake the heck out of it and be able to store leftovers for later). This batch was more paint-like this time, and covered much better. I was able to cover with the third coat and just went around and touched up after that was dry.

 Here it is with the painting finally done. I am going to distress it and wax with Johnson's Paste Wax hopefully over the weekend and then add the legs. Next post will be my trial and error with the waxing process and the final reveal! Come back and see it soon :)