Just keep swimmin, just keep swimmin….

Back in February, I started a DIY project. I wanted to have matching night stands and a dresser for our master bedroom. After reading lots of YHL and Bower Power (among other blogs…. you should see my Google Reader… it’s ridiculous) I decided “Hey, I can knock this out in a weekend.”

Oh, so very very VERY wrong. I found a pine dresser with matching nightstands for all of $100 on Craigslist. Here they are, in all there non-glory-pine-wood state.

BEFORE picture.

With my aunt and uncles van in tow, I picked it up after work. I gathered all my supplies which included a water based deglosser gel — red flag #1. Getting in over my head? No way… Do you know how many times I’ve read “how to stain your pine dresser” instructions?! I printed them out, read blog entries over and over and over again… Thinking all the while, I can do this.

Which I did but it took F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Yes, I was the one on the back porch in the cold with a headlamp at 11 pm. Yes, I was the one scraping that deglosser trying to get the old finish and stain off. Yes, I was the one who looked like a dump truck drove by me leaving me in the cold.

Once the deglosser was done (which DID NOT work as well as I had planned. And I did follow the directions to a T… which is big for me since my hubby always gives me a hard time for missing ingredients on a recipe… another day). The lady at Lowe’s said explicitly… “You have to let it sit for the FULL 20 minutes in order for it to work.” Yes ma’am. I can do that. Which I did… for a total of at LEAST 3 times. When we are talking 8 drawers, dresser, AND 2 nightstands… that’s a lot of painting and a LOT of waiting.

Then came the sanding. Oh, boy. I should have bought my own from the get go but I borrowed one. I went through at least 4 packages of sanding paper of all different grits. I worked my way up from 100 or 120 (can’t remember) to 220.  My trusty literature said that anything lower than 100 was not good for the pine since it was a soft wood.

After piles of sand dust later, I began the staining/painting. I drew pintspiration from here and here. I wanted to make our room lighter but still keep a warm, wood tone. So I decided to paint the outer shells white and stain the drawer fronts.

Here’s my mood board. I have since changed our duvet to plain white since I have a duvet issue. (There are just so many cool ones out there! I just need to play with pillows, not duvets. That gets pricey). I need to revamp the mood board since the media cabinet and canvas/elephants are now in the living room.

Mood board from back in the day….

Blarg. They didn’t dry right. Then it was Spring Break… note: it is now MARCH. Nicolas and I went out of town for a getaway. My LOVELY-BEST-GREATEST-SPECTACULAR-WONDER-WOMAN of a mom RESTAINED all the drawer fronts WITH the polyurethane. God bless her soul. I did not ask her to do it but since we are both helpers by nature she did it and man, they looked killer. When we got back from vacation I not only had a CLEAN house but COMPLETED drawers… staining, sanding, painted and all. She actually repainted the shells with a white gel trim painter that is stuff from the old Greek gods it’s so brilliant. It’s what we painted our dark brown mantle with (that’s a different post).

They’ve  been done for months. I still have yet to finish the drawer pulls. *sigh* Just keep swimmin’, just keep swimmin,….


Gearing up for Spring and Easter! {DIY Easter Garland}

Last week, I entered the Pinterest Challenge. It was my first. It felt so good to actually DO a pin! Now I get to look at it everyday. Looks super cute on our new, painted white mantle. Can’t wait for Easter Celebration at the Ragland House!

Once I saw this, I knew I had to do this. 🙂 Super easy and it only cost $0.99! WOOT!



Project: Stenciled Entryway {DIY Stencil}

Hello world. I am never sure what to say when I start a new blog post on a new website. You may be here because you follow my Tumblr. However, I decided that I need a little more than microblogging for homeownership and marriage adventures!!!

That’s what I call this space. My adventure space/place. I am constantly reading home design blogs (such as YHL, Bower Power, Apartment Therapy, Centsational Girl, etc….) Up until recently, I hadn’t really gone on an adventurous “design” endeavor. Until we needed a new chest of drawers and night stands. Man… those were a BEAST. I will post something about it once I get some good pictures.

This post, however, is about the green stencil wall. Some of you may have seen the new House Beautiful “green” issue. I just received my first in the mail after I got a Groupon for HB. Five bucks for a year?! Yes, please!

Anyways, last week I had off for Spring Break. What a perfect time to spruce up our entryway! I was constantly searching for SOMETHING or SOME KIND of inspiration or pintsperation. So I decided to go for it. I wanted our entry to make a statement but be warm and inviting. I had pictures on the wall but they were just getting lost in the sea of wall-ness going on. Not sure how to explain it but it really needed some UMPH. After reading my new HB issue, I was inspired to go green. But I didn’t want to be a kelly or kermit. Also, I didn’t want an understated light green. That wouldn’t serve much purpose. Once I had my head/heart set on green I figured it’s just paint – if I don’t like it it’s not that big of deal. Once I decided on green and after reading this tutorial several times over from Jones Design Company – I went in for the kill. She has a GREAT tutorial for doing this stencil. So I am not going to even try and one up her tutorial. However, I do have a couple tips if you do decide to do this.

1) Don’t worry about making it perfect – especially in the pencil tracing stage. It will all look better once you start painting. Just keep going. Or swimming, if you’re a Nemo fan like I am.

2) Take a step back from time to time (especially when you start painting the stencil)- I started to get super nitpicky about things being “just right.” But it was so much better when I stepped back. Everything is so more imperfect when your nose is to the wall and you’re tracing. Trust the process. In the end, it’s worth it!

So here are my pics. Before, during, and after. I am hoping to use Goodwill frames that I spray painted in the hopes of a gallery wall. I’m just excited to start playing with it.

Finding the right color green was probably one of the most challenging. I finally went with Olympic Antique Moss. The white paint is actually a green tinted paint. I can’t remember the name because I had to change it a million times when I was at Lowe’s. The computer wouldn’t let the paint guy do a sample of some of the lighter colors. But really, any white or lighter color would work. It took about 12 hours (rough estimate) to complete.

I forgot to do a before picture. (Silly me). You get the idea though. Enjoy!

Tracing... tracing...

Howdy! 12 am-ish

I think I'm in love.