Jul 112014
 

Ombre NEVER seems to lose its appeal.  We see it in everything!  I would like to share some ombre inspirations I have stumbled across…

Ombre collection copy

I recently posted a picture of my daughter in her senior prom dress.  Interestingly, it was in an ombre style.  There were a few ombre dresses at this prom and I think the style really set them apart from the “everyday” prom dress … if there can even be such a thing!

Senior Prom - OMBRE

Regardless, the dress was stunning and let’s face it, not everyone can wear GREEN and get away with it!  I certainly cannot!

This dress has inspired me to perhaps paint one of the dressers I have in the queue using  an ombre technique.  I went to Pinterest for some inspiration and I thought I would share my finds with you.

 OMBRE  IS EVERYWHERE

  • FOOD
  • BUILDINGS AND DECOR
  • FASHION
  • AND OF COURSE FURNITURE

FOOD

I have to admit, Green and Blue cake do not really appeal to me but these cakes are GORGEOUS!

BUILDINGS AND DECOR

 

FASHION

Hair, nails, fabric, shoes…

 

FURNITURE

Dressers in particular lend themselves to being painted using an ombre technique, due to the fact the drawers can each be a specific colour. 

I love the dresser on the left with shades of green on the top and shades of turquoise on the lower drawers.

The dresser on the right is very unique and shows us that all ombre treatments need to be done with paint.  Brilliant!

two shade ombre

Source

52555e14dbfa3f0dd40005df._w.406_h.540_s.fit_

Source

 

I hope you enjoyed this round up of Ombre Inspiration.  I’m not sure what shades I will choose for the dresser in my garage.  Stay tuned.

Have you ever finished a piece or wall or whatever using the ombre technique?
If you did, what colours did you use?

Love to here from you!  Comments make my day!

Joan

Jul 042014
 

In June, before my bad luck break, I spent some time working on sprucing up our walkout deck. 

Installing an outdoor mirror was such a brilliant idea.  Not only does it fill in rather boring brick wall, it now gives the illusion of a window or moving painting.  We just love it!

When I spray  painted the mirror frame, I gussied up a few other things too.

I have had this cute little plant stand for many years and it has really rusted over time.  For the past few years, my super adorable cement and resin owl has been perched on it.  As you can see, the owl was sitting in moisture and has begun to crumble.  I currently researching how to repair it.  If you have any experience with BONDO on cement, please contact me and let me know how it went.

owl and stand

Love this owl.

rust

Rusting Plant stand

In addition to adding my usual flower pots to this walkout, I am going to try  my hand at container gardening.  Stay tuned for a post on what I used and how it is progressing.  In my search around the the house for cool containers to use, I spotted a RED ice bucket of sorts with a medallion on the side.  Very Christmasy.

I love the Rustoleum Oil Rubbed bronze and since I seem to like to use colours from nature to decorate, I decided to use it to spruce up the stand and container.

Spray Paint

Don’t they look amazing! Like new!

While I was at it, I painted up our VERY RUSTY wheelbarrow.   I didn’t take a before picture (must remember this!) but basically there was very little paint left inside the tub.  It’s also sporting a new NEVER GO FLAT wheel.  Looks like new! And at a fraction of the cost of a new item!

Spray Paint Updates

Spray paint makes things look like new!

Be sure to pop by and check out my container garden post coming up soon!

You know you are a real DIYer when you are excited about painting a wheelbarrow!!

Regardless, it just feels good to see items that are often
Nicer Than New!

 

Joan

Notice:  The links provided are NOT affiliates.  I am NOT being compensated.  I just like the products!

May 032014
 

Have you ever had a client who knew they wanted a piece painted but was just not sure of the colour?  Read on and find out how you can use a photo editor to help them….

For decades, I have dabbled in Photography. Back in the day, I even took a course on developing my own black and white film. Sadly at the time, I was in an apartment and did not really have room for a little lab. Other than that, most of what I know is self taught. You see, I am the kind of person who, when they take up an interest, gets every book I can get my hands on. This is true about PhotoShop Elements too.

As I have previously revealed, my daughter danced competitively from an early age. Competitive dance is darn pricey so when the studio photos came back looking crappy, and you had to pay in advance before you saw them, I decided it was time to do my own thing. Besides, I preferred the “live” shots we could get from the photographers at the dance competitions. Often, several moms would approach them and strike a deal, combining many entries for a lower price. With these digital photos, I would work my “magic” in Photoshop Elements. It was a labour of love because I not only loved the dancers, I loved playing and learning new techniques. As time went on, I learned more and more while Photoshop Elements improved with each version, making it easier.

I must admit my early work was a bit simple but the studio photographer was doing what I was doing and charging a small fortune. Fast forward a couple years and soon, my stuff was pretty nice and unique. Soon parents wanted me to work on their photos. And I did. But I knew I would not want to do it as a long term business, knowing we would leave the dance world in a few years. My daughter and I even dabbled in dance performance photography. She was very good because she can anticipate the moves. For example, she would know when a jump might be happening and catch it perfectly. However we both knew our love dance did not entail photographing dancers for hours on end.

Regardless, we and many of the other dance families now have amazing photos of our dancers. Here are a couple examples…

I did this one for a dance mom and daughter.  I took 4 live performance photos from a contemporary dance number (taken by the competition photographer) and created a collage with a new background.  The bottom photo lets the real floor show through, thereby not losing the lighting and shadows.

room with three frames

One of my favourites “creations” is when I  extracted my daughter from a ballet group.  Once extracted, the resolution was poor so I used a variety of techniques to make it look like a painting. I then had it printed on a  large canvas.  It is not only beautiful, it could become an heirloom (if such things still exist!)

The first photo is the live stage shot we purchased.  My daughter loved her perfect arabesque. (Note our studio was not strong in ballet so ignore the rest!)

ballet group

Group shot

 This is want I did with it.  It may not be evident but in reality, it looks like a painting.
Definitely my favourite Photoshop project!

ballet painting

Extracted and stylized as a painting

Okay, so brag time is over.  What does all this have to do with “ENVISIONING” and painting furniture??

Well, for me, it is a snap to help a client decide on a colour.  I simply upload a picture into Photoshop Elements and “colourize” the piece.

This was certainly true with a desk a client dropped off.  When I saw it, I fell in love with it.  It is very unique and I asked if she was sure she wanted to paint it.  (There will be paint haters out there who will be upset with us… but I DID ask!)  She just wants a brighter look in the room…

Here is the gorgeous piece before:

andrea before

Is this not the cutest desk?? Inside the doors are cubbies!

She had some colour ideas but could not decide.  So being a diplomatic person, I decided to help her. 

  1. I uploaded the file in Photoshop Elements
  2. Using the Quick Selection tool, I selected the desk and de-selected the windows in the doors and the desk top which will remain wood.
  3. I added a layer, reduced the opacity to 70% or so and then filled the selection with colour.

I sent her the following renditions based on her ideas:

blue

Blue

fushia

Fushia

grey

Grey

red

Red

As you can see it is very crude but it only took me 10 minutes!  She loved that she could visualize how it would look after. 

Which one do you like? 
There is a chair and its upholstery in the equation too.

Have you used a photo editor to help you or you client visualize? 

Leave me a comment and tell me about it.  I LOVE COMMENTS!!

Stay tuned and come back to see the result!

Joan

Mar 202014
 

Monday, while walking my big doofus of a dog, I saw this table curbside.  It had an interesting top but was in BAD shape!  The base was broken and it was really beat up with nicks and gouges.  Tuesday is trash day so I walked home figuring it would be gone by tomorrow.

IMG_0021

Nice top but beat up and damaged.

All day Tuesday, I thought about that table.  However, my daughter had taken my truck to a school function and I could not go and pick it up  even if it was still there! 

Along comes Wednesday morning and my time to walk the dog.  Lo and behold, it is still there.   Toronto garbage pick-up is very particular (read: “union”) and this table was not “tagged” nor was it at a true garbage pickup spot.  Regardless,  I took a closer look….

“Hmmmm… Big round table top and 4 nice legs…..” 

“Hmmm FREE.”  Shall I repeat “FREE!!” 

My DIY persona got the best of me!

Yes of course I took it home and dismantled it! 
The drawers were also there but rather useless without a solid frame.

Dismantling took about 20 minutes

IMG_0024

Thank goodness for my drill, allen keys and crow bar!

This is want I am keeping.

IMG_0026

The top and the legs. I am sure the curved bits could be useful but I just have TOO much stuff!

I do have a plan for the top and I am thinking the legs could be used to build an upholstered bench!

Stay tuned!  It may take me a while but these lovelies will make an appearance in the near (or far) future and I am sure they will be

Nicer Than New!

Would you pass by this broken, cruddy table?  Or are you a true “curbside rescuer”
or “dumpster diva” like me??

I would LOVE to hear from you and your tales of random finds on the side of the street!!

Joan

Mar 162014
 

Earlier this week, I shared my “Clamping Adventure” where I used elastic bands to clamp the legs for a tri-legged pedestal table.  As silly as it sounds, it worked! IMG_1593   IMG_1604

I didn’t really have a plan for the tables until last week. While drooling over items on the Joss and Main website, I spotted this cute table and thought AHA!

Jessa+Side+Table

Jessa Side Table Regular Price $152
source

My little pedestal tables would look amazing in ALUMINUM!

I also found this steel table at Overstock

Bailey from Overstock 72

Bailey Table
$110
source

If you follow me, you may recall last December, I experimented with brush on metallic paint on a mirror frame.  I used a rust inhibitor paint in an aluminum  shade and I still had 3/4 of a can left.

Rust Paint in Aluminum

Rust Paint in Aluminum

One coat was all that was needed!

One coat was all that was needed!

I have been waiting for a project to come along so I could try this paint again!

To prepare the tables, the tops needed to be smoothed out.  The finish was bubbling and peeling so I used a stripper on the tops and then gave the tops a good sanding.  For the base, I did some light sanding and applied a de-glosser.

This paint is very thin compared to latex and a little bit of this paint goes a long way!  For the mirror, it went on so smooth, covered well and left no brush strokes but that piece was carved.

However, unlike the mirror frame, the surfaces of the table are smooth.  I found the paint ran easily on the vertical surfaces so I applied a very light coat.  Surprising it still covered well.

After First Coat
IMG_1621    IMG_1622

For the next coat, I developed a technique where I brushed the paint on with one sponge brush and then dry brushed over the paint with another sponge brush.  This really helped to smooth the finish and pick up any extra paint before it dripped.  I ended up doing 3 coats.

The final result was gorgeous!  However, I did note the pieces needed a topcoat because the finish was easily scuffed. 

IMG_0010

This was taken before the topcoat and shows the light scuffs.

The final results are AMAZING!!!

IMG_0007

IMG_0006

Soft and subtle finish

IMG_0014

The wood grain is still slightly visible.

IMG_0012

IMG_0009

The pedestal detail pops

IMG_0008

IMG_1593

BEFORE

IMG_0007

AFTER

Have you used metallic paint on wood?  Was it successful? 

I’d love to hear about your experience or your feedback on my little project.

To recap,  I had the glue, paint and topcoat products and the tables were $20 each! 

Lovely and unique tables for $40!

And So Much Nicer Than New

 Joan

Mar 132014
 

I seem to be drawn to pedestal tables.  They are pretty, don’t take up much space and can be used in various rooms.  In my recent on-line auction haul I picked up a slew of side tables…EIGHT to be exact.  Included were two small matching  mahogany tables from Bombay Company.  When I got them home,  they not only needed the tops refinished, the legs were wobbly and needed to be glued.  The gluing part is not issue.  The issue is how to clamp them!

IMG_1593

Yup! We still have snow!

Have you ever tried to clamp a tri-legged table?   There are ways to do it but it can require bar clamps, blocks of wood and  numerous other devices I just don’t have.  And there was no way I was going to stand there for an hour and press the legs into the slots. 

So I got creative.

First, I used a spare plastic syringe we have for administering a drug to our dog, to help squirt the glue into the gap.

IMG_1597

The tip could have been smaller but it did help to get the glue into the gaps.

Then for the clamping!  How about
ELASTIC BANDS??!

I rummaged in the kitchen for thick elastic bands which I then stretched and wrapped around the legs to pull them inward. 
I still stood there pressing for 10 minutes or so and

IT WORKED!!!! 

IMG_1604

The legs were not super loose so the gaps were small. 

For the second table, I placed a tray with a full can of wax on top of the overturned table and that worked even better!

IMG_1605

The full can supplied just the right amount of pressure.

Perhaps this makes me look a bit unsophisticated and lacking in the tool department
but I make up with it in
ingenuity!
Have you ever tried to clamp tri-legged pedestal legs? 
Is there a way I didn’t find or think of?
Should I be embarrassed for my lack of tools?

Stay tuned for the transformation I have planned
for these little beauties! 

It is another adventure into experimentation and
I think the end result will be

Nicer Than New!

Joan

 

 

 

 

Mar 082014
 

In the furniture lot I recently acquired via an on-line estate auction, there was a very simple pedestal table with a white and grey marble top.  The top had light scratches on it but what bothered me more, was the discolouration and stains. 

So of course I consulted the ever so wise GOOGLE and found I should mix up and apply a POULTICE.   That’s right… kind of like a “mustard plaster” for marble.  Regardless, it made some sense to me.

IMG_1496

Stains in a circular pattern

I mixed Hydrogen Peroxide and Plaster or Paris into a paste with the consistency of peanut butter.  The peroxide is a whitener and the P of P is an absorbent into which the stain is drawn.  This info came from the Marble Institute website.

IMG_1508

Mix up a poultice to the consistency of peanut butter

The poultice is then spread on your marble and it is covered saran wrap.  They suggest it should be left to dry for 24 to 48 hours.  Here is how it looked.

IMG_1509

Spread the poultice out like icing.

IMG_1511

Covering it with saran wrap allowed me to spread the poultice a bit more evenly

After 24 hours, I removed the saran wrap and let it dry for another 24 hours.

IMG_1520

Dried another day without the saran wrap.
(Looks like the surface of the moon LOL)

When I removed the dried poultice, I noticed a slight overall improvement.  The website indicated it could take up to 5 or 6 applications to draw out most of the stain.  I applied THREE poultices and I have to say the stain appeared to be 80% gone and the overall colour of the marble was whiter.

after4

After THREE poultice applications.

Sadly, I was unable to get out the scratches with a baking soda mix or a rub with extra fine steel wool.  When dealing with  vintage furniture, you can only take it so far.  And a few fine scratches show character and age. 

after1

To remove these scratches, I would need a professional polisher.

Even though I could not remove the fine scratches, I did seal the top with a marble sealant I had on hand  for my bathroom vanity.

So now that the top has been dealt with, it is time to look at the base.

I considered going safe with a grey and white finish. 

after2

The top is sealed and shiny.
Here are a couple of “Oops” samples I could try.

But Agh!  Too safe

The table is conservative and needs a new “look”. 
RED?  I wrapped it in red Christmas ribbon and it looked like a Valentine table. 

Then I looked at the can of “Maxi Teal” used on my “Mission: Colour ” foyer table and thought …ah that is more like it!  Or the “Buxton Blue” from my dining room buffet.

I tried a coat of BM’s Buxton Blue and it didn’t impress me so SW Maxi Teal it is!

It is so cute now and the teal adds the pop of colour I was looking for!

IMG_1579

IMG_1503

Before … blah

IMG_1580

After … definitely not blah!

IMG_1584

It’s snowing outside but this little vignette makes me think of spring!

IMG_1587

Spring is on it’s way!

table vignette

If you use the table, you can’t see the scratches!

My new squirrel looks happy!

Have you ever tried a Marble Poultice to remove stains?

The technique wasn’t 100% effective but for a $20 table and paint I already owned and love,
I think the little table looks fabulous!

Perhaps even

Nicer Than New!

Joan

 

 

 

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