Oh Dear, More Veneer!

Welcome Readers!

You would think by this point of my furniture refinishing career,
that I would have learned my lesson about veneer.
I already had one heart breaking experience with trying to strip veneer so I knew that was not an option with this piece. This dresser came from my Step-Grandmother so I knew when we moved that I wanted to find a place in our home for it but the mid-century feel just wasn't fitting in.
 {I really need to learn to take time to snap some non-iphone pictures before I start painting...}
Sometimes the creativity just strikes and I don't have time to slow down and get the camera.

I started by stripping the thick finish off the drawers and top. The top actually looked like it was painted brown.{Maybe to cover stains or damage?} The veneer on the drawers looked pretty different once the finish was stripped and sanded {Twice! That was some tough lacquer!} and this is about the point I started to panic. The outer areas were like a blonde tiger oak veneer and the center almost looked like laminate because the grain was so stripe-y. I thought I had wasted hours sripping the finish off veneer but I decided to just stain it with a thin coat of Minwax Dark Walnut and see what happened.
The top had beautiful wood veneer. Check out that grain! The Minwax really made it pop!
{Although it looks super red in this picture.}

 The body got two coats of Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Ironstone.

And then the magic happened...

 Beautiful chippy goodness!
I sanded just enough to brush off the loose flaking paint and sealed the whole dresser with hemp oil.
 This is way more distressed than I usually go for but I decided not to add any bonding agent and just let the milk paint do its thing.
I had to give it a few days to see how I felt about it and I think its quirky and different and perfect.
{Perfect for my little dressing room at least.}

 New pulls changed this mid-century dresser into something a little more feminine.

And we have to have a Before and After!
Another successful makeover!
I think I've got my creative groove back.

Thanks for stopping by!

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The Worst Project Ever: Part Two

Welcome Back!

Thanks for coming back to check in on how our wallpaper stripping adventure turned out!
{If you didn't read part one of our adventure, check it out here.}
 After about twenty hours of steaming, scraping and stripping, 
came about 4 hours of sanding, and lastly about eight hours of painting.
{With some sanding between layers of paint. We had some tough adhesive under that wallpaper}

 In case you need a reminder of the horror....

So without further adieu!
{Drum roll please!!}

 We chose Sterling by Behr in the Paint and Primer-in-One.
It's the same color as our living room so the color would extend up the stairs
and make the space seem bigger and more open.

 We are definitely going to add a runner to the stairs.
We are debating a few styles/options.
 And we will probably be adding another gallery wall on the stairs. 
Probably something more streamline than our living room gallery wall.
But right now we are enjoying the look of a blank slate after all that work.
 We also installed new blinds and hung a curtain we already had.
{Didn't want to be the talk of the neighborhood give anyone a free show..}

And one more before and after!
I love how bright and airy the space looks now {even for a tiny hallway}.
It was definitely worth the blood, sweat and tears hard work.

Thanks for stopping by!


The Worst Project Ever: Part One

Hello Visitors!

The last few weekends have been spent completing our toughest project yet.
 The dreaded wallpaper stripping!
{Dun Dun Dun!!!!}

The wall paper in our second floor hallway was pretty neutral so we let it stick around 
{haha stick! get it?} for a while. It has definitely been lower on our project list. 
But it was finally time to de-paper the hall.

I'm not going to sugar-coat this project. It was pretty awful.
We thought it would take several hours. {it took about 20 hours!}

So after all the scraping, cursing and peeling, we thought we would share a few tips.

1. Hire someone to do it! 
Just kidding!
 Our first method we tried was wallpaper remover gel.
It was recommended by a friend so we though we would give it a shot.
The gel just dried on the wallpaper and became sticky. It didn't sink in or moisten the wallpaper.

So on our first trip to The Home De-pot {that's how Brew says it!}
we bought a wallpaper scorer.
Then, we scored!
And scraped!
 And got less than one small wall done in four hours.

So then we googled!
We decided to try something we already had around the house.
A 2:1 combination of hot water and fabric softener mixed in a spray bottle.

And it didn't work.
I think we had some really tough wallpaper. 
It was very thick and tough to scrape off in large pieces.

So we threw an adult temper tantrum regrouped and made our second trip to The Home De-pot 
to rent a wallpaper steamer.

 And it made a world of difference!
While the wallpaper still didn't peel off in sheets {like all the pictures on Google seem to show!}
it did peel off a lot easier. It was pretty messy and still time consuming, but after about 10 hours of scraping with very little progress, it was nice to finally be moving along!

Until we reached this part!
So we took turns stretching and dangling over the bannister and reevaluating some of our life choices
{Brew and his much longer arms had much longer turns...}

And after a long weekend of scraping and scoring and steaming, our wall is now paper-free!
If we can pass on one piece of wisdom from this wallpaper stripping adventure,
it would be to skip all the sprays and magic wallpaper tools and just rent a steamer. We probably spent as much on the gel and scorers as we did to rent to steamer. I think it was about $30/day from The Home De-pot. And we both agree that this will be a project we would never do again!
{Fortunately there isn't anymore wallpaper in our Sideways House!}

We will be sharing some after pictures of our hallway later this week!


On a completely different note, I wanted to take a moment to share a few thoughts and updates.
I know we have been on a bit of an unplanned hiatus for a few weeks and it was tough to come back to blogging. My grandmother passed away on January 11th and I have had a hard time getting motivated to do anything. However, I do have to thank everyone for their support and love during this difficult time. I truly truly appreciate it! I have had more than a few people ask about the blog and lack of updates. It never ceases to surprise and amaze me that people stop by our little corner of the blog world. So I want to thank you guys for helping me to find my blogging motivation and reminding me of everything I love about being a part of the blogger community! Its good to be back!

Thanks for stopping by!


Handling the Post-Holiday Hangover

Decorations are packed away. Christmas cookies are long gone. All the gifts have been opened. 
Now its back to work/school, trying to keep New Years resolutions and getting the house back to normal. So am I the only one battling the post-Christmas blues?

I'll admit it. I'm in a post-holiday slump! I finally took down our tree today. I probably would have kept it up if I wasn't worried people would think I was crazy it weren't the last week for tree recycling pickup in our neighborhood.
{In my defense, my family usually kept the tree up until January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany.}
Now our house feels empty. And cold! 
{It was a balmy 9 degrees when I got up this morning!}
I know this picture is a bit of a mess but I had to put it up.
Potential zombie pup wandered into my picture.
{We are easily amused these days...}

However, it is a little refreshing for everything to be put away. The house feels bigger.
This is the perfect time of year for a decor reset. I rearranged the furniture in the living room after I took the tree down. I left a few wintery things out- a crate of pine cones on desk, the star candle votive on the mantel, our old sled.

 I'm hoping this reset will give me some inspiration around the house.
I need to do something new with the mantle.
 I got the pair of mercury glass urns for Christmas so they will be staying out but I'm not sure what else will make the cut.
The sled is out temporarily. Its too cold in the attic to go up there.
Brew likes it and its been extra wintery recently. So it seemed fitting.

This is also the perfect opportunity to do some cleaning and organizing.
We still have boxes in the basement we haven't unpacked since the move almost ten months ago. I want to sort through everything, purge unwanted/not needed items and move stuff that isn't used often up to the arctic attic.
Yes, there's another creepy dog picture. Maybe she has some supernatural powers.
{Or I need to not wait until its dark to take blog pictures...}

Well I'm going to try to get out from under my mound of blankets and off the couch and try to be productive {tomorrow..}.

Does anyone have any secrets for avoiding or recovering from the post-holiday slump?
I'd love to hear your tips/tricks.

Thanks for stopping by!