Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Newest Swan

Yesterday I posted the "before" of this piece. 

Technically it wasn't the original before, but I was so unhappy with the redo that it might have well been. 

Here she is!

This was my first experience with Annie Sloan Chalk paint.

Can I share a secret with you?
The reason I've never used it before was because I felt like it was...cheating....

I felt like there was something to be said for the hard manual labor aspect of refinishing.
However....waxing this piece...took a lot of elbow grease to get it buffed and shinny! 

I'm so much happier with the result! 

(I might just pat myself on my back :))

Painted in Graphite (a slate black) by ASCP with details in Chateau Gray and Scandinavian Pink. Interior drawers also painted in Scandinavian Pink. 

Hardware by Anthropologie.  

For more info look under the For Sale tab at the top of the page. 

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Epic Fail

A DIY project I will never ever attempt again:

Cutting Rhett's hair. 

It was so bad - we ended up buzzing it. 


I miss his fuzzy head. 


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Friday, January 20, 2012

My back up plan

In case this redoing furniture thing doesn't keep working out- this is how I'll help keep paying off our student loans. 

Who wants to be the other girl? :) 
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What Craig has taught me about selling on his List

Have you ever wondered who started Craigslist?

Meet Craig Newmark.

He started Craigslist in 1995 from San Fransisco as a service letting his friends know about local events.

Clearly it expanded. :)

I get a lot of emails asking for tips on selling on Craigslist so I thought I'd cover a few things in a post. 

Craigslist can be a great resource to sell your finished pieces.

It's free to post on, it gets a lot of traffic, and usually you have local buyers so you don't have to deal with shipping etc. 

But, because so many people are posting on Craigslist every hour it's easy for your post to get lost.

These tips are just want I've learned, but obviously there's no secret formula.

1. Be honest.
Nothing drives me more crazy than seeing a piece listed for $1 and then opening the link and seeing it listed at $250. Even though you will get more hits listing it as $1, people unable or unwilling to pay your asking price won't be interested anyway when they see the real price.

2. Post in the right category.
This is a trick I've recently learned. I was usually posting my pieces under Furniture because that seemed like the most logical place to post. I did sell pieces that were listed under that category, but I felt like I was out of place. My restored piece would be listed between IKEA dressers and nasty couches. So I started listing them under Antiques. I found that my asking price was a better fit with this category and people searching under it were looking for quality work/craftsmanship. Another example is when I've done a piece that I feel would be better suited for a child's room, I list it under baby and kids.

3. Repost, repost, repost!
Be diligent in renewing your post. You can repost every 48 hours thus keeping you at the top of the list.

4. Be realistic with what price you can ask.
 Craigslist is not a high end boutique. Most people don't go there to find high end items. And your asking price needs to reflect that. Most of us have probably seen the formula for figuring out how to price an item.

Now if Craigslist is your only way of selling then you probably don't have overhead other than supplies. This means the second part of the equation probably doesn't need to be included in your final price calculations. Trust me, I know it's frustrating to feel like your piece is worth so much more, but if it doesn't sell, then you're not making anything. Also, if your willing to negotiate on the price say so. 

 5. Name your post so it stands out. 
Again, be honest with this. When I see a post that has adjectives like beautiful, antique, classic, I will always take the time to click on them.

6. Talk yourself up in the post! 
Say that the piece is professionally restored, that you put time into it. List the products you used, where the hardware is from. List your blog so that they can see more of your work.

7. Take a break.
If your post has been listed for awhile without success, take it off line. I know that might seem counter intuitive, but sometimes a break will give time for new people to start looking on Craigslist.

That's all! Like I said at the beginning, there is no secret formula (at least that I've found) to selling on Craigslist but I hope this helps. And if you've have anything you've learned feel free to share! I'd love to hear it. :)

PS My friend Kathleen from Between Blue and Yellow sent a great link to a post of her's with some more great tips!

Click HERE for the post! 
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

An awkward conversation about strippers

This is a true story. 

It all went down at the grocery store checkout.

Me: Hi, how are you?! (To cashier)

Cashier: Good, how's your day going?

Me: Oh fine, I've been stripping all day so I'm tired. 

Cashier: You've been stripping...?

Me: Yeah, that's why I look so dirty right now. I feel gross. 

Cashier: That's understandable....(major hesitation).

Me: Usually my husband helps me, but he's at Disneyland today so he left me to strip by myself. 

Cashier: Just STARES at me. 

(At this point I realize he looks super uncomfortable and the older woman behind me is staring at me with her jaw slightly dropped.)

Me: Lightbulb moment and instant embarrassment. 

Me: Oh no no NO! I'm so sorry! I restore furniture, I was using a CHEMICAL stripper to get old finish off, I'm not that kind of stripper...even though I'm sure they are very nice people, I'm a mom, this is my son....and I ramble until the cashier hands me my receipt and I bolt out of the store. 

Bahhh.....I really don't think I can shop there again. Ever. 

We need to move. 

I'm blaming this whole embarrassing moment on all the chemicals I inhaled today. 

Curse you acetone. 

(And I thought of putting a picture on this post, but lets face it. There is no classy way to do that.)
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012



(adjective): Class and elegance without snobbery. Stylish lines. Totally awesome hardware. 

Yeah that's a legitimate word. It's right under "bootylicious" in the dictionary. 

Thank you to all who voted for the redo on this dresser.
It was essentially a tie between option 4 and 5 so I went with number 5. 

Except when I got the sample color for number 5 (Vintage Linen) it looked...funky.
Kind of like dirty moss...

So I chose Innocence by Behr. It's a subtle cream. 

And then I painted and lacquered it all and it looked...just not right.  

So I sanded the legs and a border around the drawers and used Tung oil on them.


Moral of the story: Sometimes your (my) orignal idea is, well totally wrong. 

 But I love the final result!

It would be adorable in a nursery, or little girls room, or maybe in a powder room as storage for towels....or maybe not. 

For more info look under the For Sale tab at the top of the page. 

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

I am hiding in the bathroom from my 17 month old.

No, seriously I'm writing this in our bathroom and Rhett is knocking on our bathroom door saying "Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom." 

I'm playing single parent for a week while Jake is out of town for work and it's HARD. 

I really admire the parents who do this on a daily basis. 

You have my upmost respect. 

But thankfully Jake is coming home THIS EVENING. 

Only a few more hours of me and the little man. 

Maybe I can continue to keep him entertained with his reflection in the blender for a little longer. 

But for now I think I need to come out of hiding. 

It's amazing the power a toddler can have over an adult, huh?

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A MUCH easier way to fill existing hardware holes

Remember how this piece had some very unusual hardware choices? 

Well you want to know why?

Because the handles are covering 2 EXTRA sets of holes. 

Ugh. I really don't enjoying filling holes, so finding the 2 extra didn't thrill me to pieces. 

But then, (cue infomercial music) I discovered Flat Head Hardwood Plugs!

They're $2.67 for a box of 50 and they are super easy to use. 

Just follow these 3 easy steps. 

1. Measure the holes and chose the right size plug. 

2. Line the plug up with the existing hole. 

3. And tap it in with a hammer. 

That's all! 

I wanted to compare the final results of the plugs to traditional wood filler.

The top 2 holes are filled with the plugs and the bottom 2 are filled with wood filler. 

Both lie flush with the drawers surface and both have taken the primer and paint equally well. 

I'm sold on these little guys! No gloppy wood filler, no sanding, no waiting. 

Good things do come in small packages. :)

PS I've gotten a few emails asking where to find these.
Answer: Home Depot! 
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