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Guest Project: Samantha Sciotti’s Nightstand Update

29 Mar

Just a couple days ago I received a text message from our friend and former roommate, Sam, asking about the best ways to paint a piece of unfinished wood furniture. In return for our knowledge, she promised to take pictures of the process and send them our way:

Supplies:

Piece of unfinished furniture or wood

Paint or primer

Stain

Paint brushes

A piece of plastic on which to do this, if working on this indoors

Dry cloth or rag

photo 1

“I took an old Ikea night stand that I have had for years.”

photo 2

“Stenciled on a design I wanted”

photo 3

“Took primer and painted the areas I wanted white then used a stain and stained the whole night stand.”

photo 4

“I took a dry cloth and wiped down the white areas after because they seemed a little sticky but it wasn’t really necessary.”

photo 5And there you have it! In just a few simple steps, Sam turned this run-of-the-mill nightstand into a personalized piece with lost of character!

Window Storage Cabinet

20 Aug

This project sort of just fell into my lap – I came home one day to an old window sitting in my driveway just asking to be repurposed. While scraping the old green paint off, I ran through a bunch of ideas in my head of what exactly to do with the window. By the time I chipped off as much green paint as possible, I had decided on turning the window into a clothes storage cabinet to replace the last piece of plastic dorm-style chest of drawers I had left. Adulthood here I come!

Supplies:

Old window

Scraper

Sand paper

Glass cleaner

Power drill

Paint brushes

Paint

Primer

L brackets

Door pull

Hinges

Plywood

Shelf pegs

Painter’s tape

Door catch hardware

Furniture feet and attachment hardware

Detail trim

Level

Measuring tape

Pencil

Storage bins

(This supply list looks a little daunting, but it’s mostly just the tools and hardware, I promise this was a pretty simple build)

Here’s the window – in rough shape and in need of some crafty loving care.

I found these scraping tools among my family’s tool collection, they worked great for the nooks and crannies of the trim around the window panes.

Scraped and sanded, I got to work measuring out the window to come up with a design for the cabinet.

Lucky for me, we had some scrap wood available that was perfect to build the structure of the cabinet with. I decided to go with three boards on the two sides and back to mimic the layout of window panes.

I used small L brackets to attach the sides to the top and bottom. At first it is really flimsy but once the shelves go in, the cabinet becomes very sturdy.

Here is the cabinet with two sides attached.

Here you can see the furniture foot attachment. It’s really easy to do and makes it easy to switch out the feet if you ever wanted to.

Now time to attach the window! I just used basic hinges and attached them to the inside of the cabinet. I ended up adding an extra L bracket to the top and bottom of the board the window is attached to. This helped to keep the board in place when the window swung open and close.

I marked where I wanted the shelves based off of where the horizontal mullions were and drilled holes for the shelf pegs. Once the cabinet was all built, I attached a door handle and a door catch so that the window would stay shut when closed.

After the cabinet was built, I decided I didn’t like the unfinished look of the top and bottom edges. So I went and picked up some simple decorative trim and attached with some finish nails.

Now for the fun part (sort of, haha)! I primed the whole cabinet and didn’t fuss with taping the windows off because I was feeling lazy.

I left the interior a glossy white(surprise, surprise) and painted the exterior a glossy fuschia.

I dreaded having the scrape the paint off the windows so maybe tape would’ve been a better idea. Though to get the paint off easily, I sprayed the windows down with Dirtex and let it sit for a few minutes and then took the tool above and just scraped away.

One of my major issues with this project was finding storage bins that I liked and weren’t ridiculously priced. Luckily, I found these bins at Home Goods for a decent price and if in a few years I get sick of them, I can easily just swap them out for a new set. The bottom shelf will be home to my printer, so the gaps between the boards work perfectly for all those cords!

I am excited to fill this up and put it to use! This project should have taken me just a couple days, but other things came up – projects, school, a wedding, so it was spread out over a few months. It was actually nice to work on this in stages, breaking it up into more manageable pieces and not rush through it just to get it done.

–Heather

Doodle Designed Metal Cart

13 Aug

First off, welcome to our new home! We had outgrown our humble blogger page and decided that the Two Girls were ready for bigger and better things. Thanks for sticking with us!

So, during our summer hiatus I have been working on some furniture projects. I am moving next month(yay!) and am quickly realizing that I need more storage options. Lucky for me, our house has been the family dumping ground for unused and unwanted furniture. I saw this metal cart and instantly knew it had potential for greatness.

Supplies:

Sand paper

Spray paint

Painter’s tape

Sharpies

This is after I cleaned off years worth of dust and grime. It honestly doesn’t look too bad, and if I were going for the industrial look, this is all I would have had to do. I decided this would probably end up in my bedroom, so a black/white/silver combo would go best.

After it was all clean, I sprayed on a heavy duty rust primer just to make sure that none of the rust would bleed through.

Then I went ahead and repainted the legs chrome silver again.

I let the legs dry overnight then taped them off and covered the wheels with paper towels to protect them from the next step.

Glossy white paint – I should probably buy stock in this stuff because I use it for everything. So fresh and so clean clean.

Now, I went to take off the painters tape and apparently the silver paint wasn’t happy. A lot of the paint came off with the tape and I really don’t know why. I didn’t mind the mix of chrome and matte silver though, so I just rolled with it.

Time for the sharpies! I kept a bunch of them out so I could rotate them as they started to wear down or dry out.

As you can see, I was inspired by floral henna designs with their curvilinear shapes and line patterns. I basically just dove right in and placed the designs wherever , filling in the blanks as I continued drawing. I surprisingly wasn’t much of a doodler in school, but once I got started, it became a bit addictive and I wished I had been doodling my time away during those boring history classes.

All covered! I decided not to do the bottom shelves because I figured they wouldn’t be seen at all anyways. I am so happy with the way this turned out and am pretty excited to incorporate some more doodling into my day.

–Heather

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apartment Redesign

2 Jul
I told you guys I have been working on some big projects and I wasn’t lying! My friends Patrik and Francine live in a little studio apartment that was in desperate need of some reorganization and furniture upgrades. They had seen the work I had done for the blog and asked if I would be interested in helping out. A real life interior design project? Yes please!
Supplies:
A truck
Power tools
Lumber
Paint
Stain
Brushes
Wood glue
Wood putty
Screws
So here is a look at what the apartment looked like a couple months ago. The clothes armoire took center stage on the most prominent wall, along with a small shoe rack and some storage bins.
The couch was essentially unusable and sagging in the middle(as covered by the pillows).
The windows were blocked off by the tv, a desk, a catch-all table and other odds and ends. The bookshelf to the left also took up valuable floor space.
So with all these things in mind, I drew up a few quick sketches for a new desk, a shoe rack and some wall-mounted bookshelves.
With the sketches and a list of materials in hand, we headed to Home Depot and stocked up.
Patrik got to work drilling the holes for the shoe rack. We just used a couple 2×6 boards with 1/2″ wooden dowels as the shelves.
Once the shoe rack was put together, I sanded down all the dowels so they were flush with the boards, filled in any imperfections with wood putty and let dry.
Meanwhile, Patrik started drilling the holes for the shelves on the desk – we made a row of holes on each section so that the shelf height can be adjusted as needed. Also, you probably want to prop up whatever you are drilling onto something else so that you don’t accidentally drill holes into your floor. But if you do end up drilling through, rub a little olive oil(or any available oil) into the holes and no one will ever notice!
Here is the desk all put together. Afterwards we decided that the desk would look better with some feet on it, so we just picked some up at Lowes and screwed them onto the bottom.
Their pans were taking up a lot of counter space so we screwed some hooks to the underside of the shelves in the kitchen to hang them from.
Here is the shoe rack all painted. We had decided to paint one of the walls an accent color so the shoe rack corresponds with that.
The desk got a coat of stain to finish it off and the bookshelves were stained as well.
Here is the accent wall!
The bookshelves all in place above their bed – looks like Patrik and Francine can now expand their library!
We moved the armoire over to the wall where the couch was and put the shoe rack conveniently by the door.
The wall sconces were a faded brassy color so we gave them a facelift with a coat of sleek black paint and crisp new white shades.
The tv was mounted on the accent wall with the desk below. This allowed them to watch tv both from their new couch and from their bed.
We also found some organizers at Ikea that we mounted on the wall behind the computer to collect little office odds and ends – pens, pencils, mail etc.
I wish I had gotten a better picture of this. But we picked up a nice fairly new couch from a craigslist ad and almost everything is gone from in front of their windows. The last thing to do is frame and hang some artwork above the couch! We did all of these projects in a total of four full days, just spread it out over the course of about a month and a half. The total cost, including the couch, came to just around $500 – not too shabby for a couch, desk, shoe rack, bookshelves, tv mounting bracket and a fresh coat of paint on the accent wall! The apartment is so much more efficient now and really feels spacious.
–Heather

Tea Cart Upcycle

15 Apr

When my Aunt texted me last week saying she was getting rid of her antique tea cart, I couldn’t be more excited.  I had been waiting for an opportunity to try out a mosaic-like technique I saw on a coffee table a few months ago.  This turned out to be a great upcycle and an easy, FREE way to create a mosaic illusion under any glass surface.

Supplies:
Piece of furniture with glass
Paint Sample Cards
Spray Fixative
Exacto Knife
Spray Paint
Glue stick
Paper punch or scissors
This tea cart was pretty boring. All brass with 2 glass shelves.  I cleaned it off and sprayed it with Indoor/Outdoor Semi-Gloss white spray paint.

2 coats and it was good to go.
I went back inside and laid the glass shelves down on a white poster board I bought at Rite Aid for .99 cents. Then outlined the glass with a pencil.

I had this handy paper cutter that cuts perfect squares. Definitely made this project 100 times easier, I recommend picking one up in whatever shape you desire before doing this project.
The paint samples I picked up from Home Depot, they are free…so I filled up my purse. I’m pretty sure anyone watching thought I was crazy…but the end result of this project was so worth the 5 minutes of embarrassment in the paint aisle. 

Cut squares, cut squares, cut squares. 

This took the longest.
So with my hundreds of squares, I took a glue stick and glued them to my poster board within the outline that I had just traced.
Here is one of the mosaics right when I finished it. I was getting so excited at this point.
Molly played with the extra squares.
After I finished both mosaics for the top and bottom shelves, I laid my glass back down and used an exacto knife to perfectly cut the mosaic from the poster board.
I then sprayed some spray fixative lightly over the top of the mosaic, and laid the glass down on top.  This way, the poster board wouldn’t buckle under the glass shelf.
How fun! And so EASY and so CHEAP (free!). How could you pass up trying this out for yourself??
No one would ever guess those squares are paint samples.
I have big plans for this tea cart, this is just a temporary spot. Think: top porch garden! I’ll make sure to post pictures next week once we start fixing up our porch.
Now go steal some paint samples from Home Depot!
–Emily Jo

Chalkboard Paint

26 Feb

I’ve seen the fad of chalkboard paint floating around the internet now for the past few months. I took a trip to Home Depot and found a tiny bucket of Chalkboard paint for $24.  We can do better then that, so here is my own recipe for Chalkboard paint.  (I found a few different versions on the web, but when I experimented a few times, this concoction was easiest and had the best results)

Supplies:
Latex Paint, any color (matte or semi-gloss)
Dry, Non-sanded Grout
Paint Roller
Chalk
I decided this desk was my Guinea pig for my chalk adventure.
The area for my chalkboard paint would be the two side panels. BUT, before I took on that endeavor,  I painted the desk and added some scrapbook paper to the “hard to paint” areas on top. Incase anyone wanted to try this as well:
All you need is a little Mod Podge, measuring tape, scissors, and a paintbrush…
And you can do this!
Ok, back to the Chalkboard paint.
I used 1/2 cup of Latex Paint
And 1 Tbsp of White, Dry, non-sanded grout. Just wanted to add, this was the smallest size I could find, you will have ALOT left over.
This was enough for 2 coats of Paint on the sides of my desk.  If you are doing a larger area like a part of a wall, just double/triple the recipe however you see fit. (ex- 4 cups of paint = 8 Tbsp of grout)
Now mix your grouty-paint together and try to get all the clumps out.  I just used a paintbrush but a paint stirrer would have been helpful.
Using a roller or a sponge brush, paint your surface.  You’ll notice the paint is much thicker and the white grout dulls the color a little bit.  So if you want your color very bright and vibrant, I would recommend getting a shade brighter then you want in the end and the grout will bring it down once mixed.
After 2 coats, condition your chalkboard surface by taking your chalk and gently scribbling all over the surface. Then wipe all of that off…and here are the results:
Such an easy, fun way to add a conversation piece to anything in your home.  Think: kitchen recipe/menu cupboard, a calendar wall in your office, a table in your children’s playroom.
Much better, maybe this will help me stay a little more organized too!
You can walk the walk…but can you chalk the chalk?  🙂
–Emily Jo

Interior Ideas

24 Feb
For my second Interior Ideas post, I moved from the bathroom  to the bedroom.
I found this wonderful window laying by someone’s curb a few months ago. 
And you know what they say…

…one man’s trash is another man’s… headboard.

This post is dedicated to all my post-graduate friends. I feel like we some how all lose our headboards in college. This is such an easy way to create the illusion of a headboard by just attaching the found object to the wall. I’ve also seen this done with wooden pallets and it looks just as shabby chic! 
-Emily Jo
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