Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Our First Lost Tooth!

So exciting!  :o)

What does the tooth fairy leave under the pillow at your house?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Painting Laminate Furniture

Since we moved into this house, I have been on a mission to decorate and have just been so ready to have a GROWN UP house where everything matches. 
Unfortunately,  I just can't run out and replace all of our old furniture. 

The bookshelf on the left hand side here.  I just put the picture frame and other random things over the areas where the paint chipped for now.

I painted a laminate bookcase white, simply using a roller and a brush.  I didn't prime it, or sand it, or anything.  I really didn't know anything about painting at that point.  It was a learning experience.  It looks okay, but a few spots have paint that peeled or got scratched off and I need to fix them.  It's such a big bookcase that I will probably just sand down the small areas and use spray paint to fix them.  I'll probably wait until I'm about to paint C's room so I don't have to carry the whole bookshelf downstairs, I'll have drop cloths on the floor so a little spray paint won't be a big deal.

Amazing what a little trial and error will do for you though!  Now I know to prime first.  :o) 

Thrown together.  It just wasn't working for me. 

So, while working on the living room, after having it painted beige I decided I wanted to paint all of the furniture in that room to match.  Use what I have and just...make it work!  I have a large entertainment center that was handed down to us by my parents (free!) and two shelves (one made for CD's and another made for DVDs) that were made for us by my grandpa.  These are actually real wood and very nice, they mean a lot to me since he made them for us.  I debated between using black or dark brown.  Finally decided I wanted to go with a dark brown, but so dark brown that it was almost black. 

So, the entertainment center is laminate.  I know my parents got it at Walmart.  It's nice, but when we were moving it to our house, it got a little banged up.  I used some wood putty to fix a big knick that was taken out of the side of it, and any small holes or scratches, and then sanded those down. 

Then I used Zinsser Cover Stain Oil Based Primer to prime all of the furniture.  The laminate, since I couldn't really just sand it all down without messing it up, and the shelves because they had a thick coat of poly on them and I was just plain feeling too lazy to sand those down.  This primer is AWESOME!  I just put it on with foam brushes.  I did two coats, just to make sure I didn't miss any spots.  No need to sand at all when you use this stuff.

I had a lot of trouble trying to find THE dark brown.  I looked a lot of swatches and brought them home to hold them up in the room, but just wasn't finding anything dark enough.  I was walking through the paint aisle at Lowe's for something else when I spotted pre-mixed Satin Java Brown (satin enamel), by Valspar.  The brown strip around the can to show the color was exactly what I wanted!  Super dark brown, almost black, but not so dark you couldn't tell it was brown.  Turns out, the can must have been really old and faded or something, because the paint looked more like chocolate brown to me once I started using it.  I kept going, thinking maybe it would get darker as it dried.  Nope.  I finished my shelves and they were definitely CHOCOLATE.  Darn. 


So, I let them dry and took them inside to live with it for a couple days and see if it grew on me.  I was pleasantly surprised once I was in  the house that the paint color looked just dark enough to satisfy me.  So, I went ahead and started the entertainment center. 

It looks much darker inside.

I used about a quart and a half of this paint, I had to run out and get another can (it's about $10 a quart).  The newer can that I bought, had a more correct shade of brown on the strip around the can, that's what made me think maybe the first can I bought was really old or something.  I don't know. 

I used a foam roller for larger areas, and a foam brush to get into corners.  I did all the edges and corners first, then painted the entire thing with the foam roller.  Let it dry, and did the edges and corners again with the foam brush, and then went over everything again with the foam roller.  It made for a really smooth finish and no brush strokes. 

I'm not really sure I will use enamel paint again.  When you brush your hand across it, it leaves a residue and if it does get scratched, it's white.  And it did scratch a little when my husband slid the TV across it.  Oh well, I took a foam brush to it and fixed it, no big deal.  I should probably have put some poly-crylic on it, but I didn't really want it to shine.  I thought about maybe some wax to protect it?  I've never waxed furniture before though.  Next time I paint furniture, I plan to just use latex paint.  The only reason I went with the enamel was because it was premixed and looked like the color I wanted.

I keep going back and forth but I think I want to cut a piece of wood or maybe beadboard to fit in the back of the entertainment center to cover up the lines that let you "punch it out" to make room for bigger TVs.  I don't know.  I'd paint it to match.  Either way, free entertainment center that cost me less than $20 to make over to fit my space!  :o)

So far, it's holding up really well, and I like the direction the living room is going in.  I started out with burgundy accents, and I like brown and burgundy together, but I thought it was just too dark and I needed to brighten things up a little.  I decided to bring in some blues and greens, and that morphed into bringing in white and cream as well.  Funny how decorating sometimes just takes off and has a mind of it's own, almost!