Sunday, August 18, 2013

Project Sunday! Transformed desk: from free to cheeky.

Hello, lovelies!

Welcome to week one of Project Sunday. It's been a struggle to keep this project under wraps since I finished it last weekend, but here it is in all its coral glory. This is another free piece of furniture I received when Mr. J and I moved into the house we were in last year. Our landlord is a bit of hoarder (take that as a polite understatement) and he had this wooden and metal desk in his garage. It was in great condition and well-built but wasn't special or interesting by any means. Betsy suited my purposes when I was too nervous to tackle furniture DIY projects. Little did I know how adventure-laden and gratifying such projects are.

I was itching to start the transformation process and therefore don't have a proper "before" picture. The badly lit one below will have to do. Sorry, folks. Take my word for it that the scuffed wood and sad blue-gray metal had to go.

I was inspired by Mandi's coral dresser over at Vintage Revivals, as well as her professed love of Krylon spraypaints. I tried to find a coral spraypaint by other brands since Krylon is notorious for distributing colors regionally, but could not find ANYTHING that compared to the gorgeous hue of Kyrlon's Coral Isle. After searching three stores, I finally found it at Jo-Ann Fabric, but I learned my lesson there: buy it at Jo-Ann's with an awesome coupon, or buy it online. Retail cost at Jo-Ann's was $7.99...for one bottle. Yikes-a-rooney. My wallet shriveled just thinking about that purchase.

I finished this entire project in an afternoon. Get ready for inspiration to strike you like unexpected lightening as you cross a parking lot holding an umbrella. Let's get started!

Step One: sanding. I started with 150 grit sandpaper, then used 180, then 220 to get a smooth finish. Here's how Betsy looked after the sanding process.

Don't mind the garbage cans. The gnomes live there.

Step Two: painting the legs. I used Rust-Oleum Metallic in Antique Brass, the same spraypaint I used for the lamp revamp. It took about 3 coats to completely cover the blue metal legs, base, and drawer (see the drawer below). This spray paint dried quickly, though, so the process didn't take long. Unfortunately, it's difficult to capture the beautiful shimmer of the bronze on camera.

Step Three: taping off the metal. After painting the legs and base, I covered them with Frog Tape to save them from the primer and coral colors I applied to the wood. I also taped the front of the drawer (see below).

Step Four: priming. I used Krylon white primer. The coverage wasn't great and the smell was potent. In fact, I think the lady who was outside next door started praying for the strength not to curse me out for the fumes wafting into her yard (no really, she had her rosary out, people). I wouldn't use this primer again. It took the entire can and 3 coats to cover the desk and the inside of the drawer.

After one and a half coats:

After 3 coats:

Step Five: painting the primed wood. I. love. this. color. Just as I did with the primer, I used the entire can of Coral Isle (3 coats) to cover the wood. The finish is matte and the color is gorgeous. I want to stare at it all day long.

I waited an hour to make sure the desk top was dry to remove the frog tape.

Here's Betsy now:

This project encouraged me to continue revamping furniture. Consider me hooked! I hope today's Project Sunday has shown you how easy it can be to recreate an item in your home with a few dollars, some time, effort, and creativity. Happy DIY-ing!

Rust-Oleum Metallic Antique Brass Spraypaint: $4.84 (Home Depot, 10% off coupon)
Krylon Spraypaint in Coral Isle: $6 (Jo-Ann Fabric, 25 % off coupon)
Krylon Spraypaint White Primer: $6 (Jo-Ann Fabric, 25 % off coupon)
LH 1 1/2" Weave Pattern Knob: $1.19 (Home Depot)

Total Cost: $18.03

Much love,

Linked up to:

Frugal By Choice, Cheap By Necessity's Homemade Mondays

Monday Funday at C.R.A.F.T.

Skip To My Lou

Friday, August 9, 2013

DIY Revamp Your Lamp!

Hello, lovelies! 

Today, I'm sharing the first completed project of Operation New Nest: a revamped lamp!
The Before

The lamp in question was gifted to us by Mr. J's grandfather (ya heard: it was FREE!).

 It's a sturdy little beast--it weighs more than any lamp I've ever encountered before. If I remember correctly, Mr. J's grandfather had this lamp for many years. I love that it came with history and memories attached. That's the true joy of thrifting and gifting (other than saving money).

 However, the fellow had some issues. The lampshade it came with was a bit dingy and had holes and a huge tear in it. The photos don't do justice to the discoloration of the metal, either. I think it was at one point gold but had faded and blackened over time.

Step one was to update the hardware. I won't pretend to know all the technical terms, and I needed Mr. J to do that actual wiring since I was terrified of electrocuting myself. I conveniently forgot to take a before pic of the original hardware, but the next two photos show the huge metal piece that covered the socket interior. I'm not an electrician, so I'm not even going to try telling you how J removed the old socket cover and attached a new harp, but he did.

We bought a 2 piece 8 inch detachable harp from Lowe's for $2.86 after our 10% coupon. All I know is he needed pliers and an extra set of hands to do the job. We also removed what I call the fishbowl: it was a huge glass thing that covered the lightbulb, and didn't fit inside the new harp so it went into recycling.

Step two was spray painting the lamp base. I used Rust-Oleum Stops Rusts Sr Metallic in Antique Brass. It costs $5.38 at Home Depot, but it is worth the price! It's a beautiful finish, and you can customize your color by applying more layers. I might have used 1/2 of the can for this project.

I used Frog Tape to cover the socket interior (obviously, you want your lamp unplugged, no lampshade, no lightbulb, in a ventilated space) as well as the wire. Wipe the lamp down beforehand, and spread a tarp out as your working area.

It took 3 layers to get the color I wanted, and the product dried quickly and evenly.

Step three is a new lampshade. We got ours also at Lowe's for $17.97 after the coupon. Why is it so hard to find a lampshade you like? We looked at 3 other stores to compare prices, and no lampshades there were speaking to me. It felt like the heavens opened and angels sang when I finally saw this beauty. If the thrift shops or Craiglist listings are more fruitful in your area, you could greatly reduce the price of this lamp revamp. However, I was willing to shell out a bit more for a lampshade I really loved.
   The After

Eep! I love it. The photos don't do it justice. I'll shut up now and let you peruse.

1/2 bottle Rust-Oleum Metallic Antique Brass: $2.69
8 inch detachable harp: $2.86
10 inch lampshade: $17.97

TOTAL COST: $23.52

I can safely say we couldn't get such a sturdy, customized lamp for that amount. 
Get your lamp revamp on!

Much love,

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sexy Vegan Thursday! (and the people's C.C. choice nominations!)


Hello, beautiful people :D

I am so happy to be back to some semblance of a normal schedule, both in real life and in bloggerland. We're moved into the new place, but it is an absolute disaster zone. We're waiting on our busy landlord to follow through on this stuff to better organize the house:
  •  pantry. Yup, ya heard. There's next to NO storage in the tiny kitchen, which gives this lady the hives. Our "pantry" right now consists of two pink totes stuffed with spices, teas, etc.
  •  metal shelving for the basement (mostly to store all of Mr. J's tools, which are housed in the "dining room" that has no dining table...)
  •  shower head (because the current one is old and rubbish)
  • and some other junk. It's such a long list that it can't all fit in my brain.
Once the clutter is under control, I can proceed to decorate the house and keep trucking on with my projects! We're trying to keep our heads on between all this new home chaos and looking for jobs, plus Mr. J is finishing his thesis and my goal is to grow Cheeky Caprice. Fingers crossed something comes up for both of us soon! 

As for little C.C. here, I've got LOTS of new posts on the way, and I have some ideas to run by you.

These potential series (maybe future link parties) will join Sexy Vegetarian Thursday and Monthly Pin Tests.

What ones do you like? Do you have better names for these series?!

Tips and Tricks Tuesday: A helpful little nugget of info to make your life healthier and happier.

Project Sunday: (Get it? Like, Project Runway?... Maybe it's just me...) Some sort of craft or DIY undertaking, successes and flops alike!

Hidden Recipe:
Like a handwritten recipe tucked away in your grandmother's hand-me-down cookbook, this series will feature a random gem of a dish from my kitchen to yours
. Maybe a nice story of how I came to know the recipe included.

Any-whoozel, back to SVT, and the reason this post is a beat of a cheat: I'm counting this as July's Pin Test post. This recipe for Chickpea Curry is floating all over Pinterest, and I knew I had to try it out. It turned out be simple and delicious, just the way Sexy Vegetarian (or in today's case, Vegan) Thursday should be.

Here's the pin I followed--you should, too!

This was so easy and yummy. I highly suggest giving it a whirl, particularly if you're still new to vegetarian meals but are ready to venture further than eggs.

Much love,