Happy Green Table

When we moved into our house, our postage stamp sized laundry room was painted a mustard color which made it feel even more cramped.  I hated doing laundry in there!  On a whim I decided to paint it.  When your laundry room is as small as mine, you can paint it on a whim!  I painted it a blue/green color and loved it!  It now feels beachy and almost like I want to do laundry (almost…).  I also installed a new light fixture to replace the “boob” light that was in there.  This one is glass and airy.  I had a wood table next to the washer that the kids drew on when they were younger that was an eyesore, so today I painted it a green color.

It took me all day to do it but it was such a nice day that I didn’t mind spending almost all day outside.  It’s pretty easy to paint furniture, especially small pieces like this one.  First I wiped the entire table down with a dry cloth then I sanded the top with 600 grit sandpaper.  I bought white spray-on primer by Valspar from Lowe’s and painted the entire table with it.  I had just enough with one can.

ImageAfter letting that dry for about an hour in the sun, I gave it a light sand with 600 grit sandpaper then painted the first coat of my colored paint.  I used an apple green color by Valspar.  I sprayed on two coats and sanded in between coats with 600 grit sandpaper.  After that dried, I sanded again then sprayed on a clear coat in satin sheen again by Valspar.  One final sanding after the clear coat dried for a couple hours and I was done!

One piece of advice though that didn’t hit me until I was almost done:  When spaying the paint, it’s best NOT to do it in the grass because it seems like every time I sprayed, bugs flew into the paint kamikaze style intent on plastering themselves permanently to my table.  If I could do it over, I would’ve moved the whole operation to the driveway.  Also, another note: Shake the spray paint first, spray a little into the air to get the globs of paint loose in the sprayer, then spray onto the furniture.

With all that, here’s the final product:

ImageAnother pic:

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I was trying to tie in the green from the basket on the shelf and I think I actually did it!  I love the table even though my kids said that they preferred the writing on top because it reminds them of when they were little.  I say I have boxes full of drawings on paper and I didn’t need one on my laundry room table!  Next order of business for the laundry room is to paint my sock basket (on the table) white and to hang pictures of the kids when they were little with messy faces.  I’ll update when that’s done.

Banister (Part Duex)

I gathered a lot of old towels to cover the carpet on the steps and also used an old hand towel (perfect size) to apply the stain. I stained the banister in sections since you’re supposed to let the stain sit for just a few minutes before wiping it off again. After staining and letting the stain sit for about 15 minutes (being sure to stain the underside of the banister too), I then wiped the stain that did not absorb off the banister with a clean cloth. I let the stain sit overnight to fully dry even though the can said I could reapply in 4-6 hours. I wanted to make sure that the wood fully absorbed the stain.

The next day, I took a very fine grit piece of sandpaper (grit 600) and lightly sanded the entire banister to get rid of any imperfections. You have to be careful to have a light hand because you don’t want to sand off the stain. After the sanding, I wiped down the entire banister with a clean dry cloth. Then I repeated the same process for coat number one to include the fine sanding. The only thing I did differently though is that I let the stain sit for a little longer this time (more like for 20 minutes).

After letting the stain sit again overnight, I sanded with my 600 grit sandpaper, then applied a coat of semi-gloss poly (Minwax brand). I let that dry overnight then again, (that’s right!), I hit it with 600 grit sandpaper then applied my second coat of poly in the same way that I applied the first coat. The only difference is that I did not sand the second coat.

With the top of the balusters painted, it was time to paint the spindles. I chose Behr’s semi-gloss stock white paint. First I taped off the tops and bottoms of the spindles since I didn’t want white paint getting on my freshly stained banister. I gave each spindle a quick wipe down with mineral spirits then a dry cloth then painted the spindles with three coats of white paint, waiting in between coats for each coat to dry. There is really no trick to painting the spindles because if you’ve ever painted baseboards or trim you know it’s not hard! I was just careful to watch for drips. The best way to avoid drips is to paint thin coats which I did, so no drips for me.

After the spindles were painted, it was then time to sit back, admire the new banister, and be grateful that this project was checked off!

Before:

After:

Last pic, promise:

This was definitely more of a project than I thought it would be but worth it in the end (even though my fingernails edges were brown for a week afterward!). Has anyone tackled a staining project like this? How did it turn out?

Finally! (and Banister Part I)

I wanted to start this blog when we first moved into our house over a year ago but settling into a new house + a new school + renovation projects galore with a blog to boot was too much!  So, here we are a year later and I’m finally on the ball.

Since moving in, we’ve done a lot but it never feels like enough since our house is a fixer-upper and there’s always a long list of projects to complete.  It’s funny how our house seemed a lot more “move in ready” when we bought it but after settling in and really looking around, I want to change almost everything!  On a budget though, you have to pick and choose what needs to go and what can wait.

One thing that definitely needed a quick update was the outdated banister in our foyer.  It screamed, “Put some M.C. Hammer pants on me and you’ve got a party!”  It was all 90s!  Image

Meet the offending banister 🙂

Because the bannister is one of the first things you see when you walk into our house, it needed an update.  So after doing a lot of researching, we decided to strip, stain, and poly the bannister.  First I gathered our materials:

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And then I set out to work.  First the bannister needed to be stripped.  I chose an environmentally friendly stripper (that sounded weird :)) since I didn’t want a lot of nasty chemicals in the house and because it’s better for the environment.  I used Citristrip and it worked great.  The only problem that I had (and this was totally my boneheadedness) is that during the clean-up, I vacuumed some paint chips that still had stripper on them and the stripper melted the plastic in my vacuum hose such that the huge hole the stripper made is now covered with duct tape…  Won’t try vacuuming up stripper again!

Alright, so I taped everything off so that the stripper would not get on the carpet and I applied the stripper just as the bottle recommended.  One coat, let it sit, then wipe off.  I used a fairly hard bristled brush to work into the crevices of the balusters.  I then used another coat just to make sure all the shine was off the wood.  Image

If you leave any shine on the wood then the stain will not soak into the wood.  After I wiped down the banister a couple times with a little water then with mineral spirits, it was time for the stain.  I used Miniwax brand in “Ebony”.  It looked black on the sample, but when I applied it, it was a beautiful rich brown color.  Image