Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dresser Re-done

Earlier this year my mom passed down an old dresser to us. We needed one for the spare bedroom, and she needed the extra space. However, I hated how it looked. I hated how it functioned. So I decided to do something about it to make me love it.
The starting point
First I had to strip off the paint. My mom had coated it in a high-gloss interior paint which, if you know anything about paint, is sticky when dry. I couldn't open the drawers without some wrestling. So that had to go.

I covered the piece of furniture in this...

Let it sit...

And scraped it down.

Then I had to scrub it with mineral spirits and steel wool, and later sand it down. A tip I learned: get extra gloves and ratty shoes for this job. The chemicals will eat right through the plastic.

That done, I repainted each surface. I got the sample paints from Home Depot, a set of colors from one card that coordinated. No gloss this time, so no sticky drawers.

I liked the piecework combination of colors. They're bright and fun, and go with the brightness of the room.

But wait, you say, green and blue and yellow? Isn't that too much? Not if you coordinate it with this fabric lining the drawers!

So after I had coated the paint with Annie Sloan's clear wax seal I got out more brushes and some Modge Podge glue. I coated both the drawer under the fabric and over the fabric itself to form a tight seal and get out all the air pockets. This was a longer process than I thought, to cut the fabric, place it, let it dry, then coat it again and wait for it to dry again.

Three full bottles of Modge Podge later, I still didn't like the finish of the drawers. Also, I felt like the fabric wasn't protected enough against wear and tear. So on to option B. I got some clear furniture sealer and covered the fabric with it. Finally I felt like I could use the drawers without worrying about tears and wear.

Several of the drawers' runners still needed replacing, but all the drawers are workable.

It took a lot of work, but I do love this piece of furniture now. I feel like I turned a blah thing into an accent piece.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Slight Setback

Well, I was planning to have a newly painted bathroom by now, but our AC had other plans. We were without air conditioner for a week in a half (in Florida, in the middle of summer) until we could replace the unit. Trust me, the last thing a person wants to do in no air conditioning (or ventilation for that matter!) is prime a small bathroom. So that project will happen next weekend.

In other news, I've been back to nannying full-time with three great little boys. The oldest is four, and he's a smartie. He hasn't started preschool yet and is doing a Kindergarten workbook. He's learning long and short vowels. At four!
The artist and his creation.

The middle brother is three now, and he's finally making headway with his potty-training. When the baby was born he decided to quit using the toilet. Normal acting out, but annoying. And messy. And stinky. Anyway, he's back to it now, thanks to his parents' encouragement and his reward of a hero costume if he could go at least a week without messes.
The astronaut and his DIY rocket pack.

The baby is a sweetie, and he loves his mama. We're getting pretty used to each other. He knows what it means when I'm there, and I know what he needs (ususally) when he cries. Our only issue is bottle feeding. He's used to breast feeding, which is great, except when his mom is working. She can't exactly take a break every two hours. Although we do go visit every day during her lunch break (which all three boys love) he still has to go four or five hours between feedings during the work days. This makes him cranky, and whenever I offer a bottle he either cries or uses it as a pacifier to fall asleep. On a good day I've gotten him to drink an ounce and a half. The average is less than half an ounce.
The sweet sleeper and his paci.
So here's the question: Do you have any suggestions for getting a breastfed baby to take a bottle? His mom and I have tried about everything we can think of so far. I'd love to hear some success stories.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Paint Sampling

July should be a busy fun month. I'll be working full time again with three wonderful little boys when their mommy goes back to work from maternity leave. And I've finally decided to paint the guest bathroom.

Ever since we first previewed this house before we bought it I've hated the paint job in the guest bathroom. It's gold and shiny and mottled and just ugly. I've said before that it looked like they took the extra paint from other rooms of the house and threw them all together in there as an afterthought. Not pretty. Not inviting.

Over the last few weeks I've been gathering paint samples to test in there.

Look at that wall color. Blegh.
This is actually my favorite part of the painting process. I absolutely love collecting those little cards and analyzing the nuances of daylight vs. fluorescent, getting ten different shades of light blue-green and deciding which one I want to live with. It's great!

Besides just picking one I like and will coordinate with the rest of the house, I have two other things to match.
This mirror.
These paintings.
The mirror came with the house and coordinated with the ugly gold paint, but I don't want to replace it. The painting were a garage sale find I came across in high school that I'm pretty sure are originals by someone in my hometown church.

I just need to find the balance of coordination without matchy-matchy-ness. Hmm...choices.

As a result of my love affair with paint samples, I have quite a collection of leftover cards. Also a crafter's heart. I have some ideas of things to make out of them, but what would you do? Ideas?