Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Painted Some Pine Furniture

With a little inspiration from Edie and Nester, I painted an old pine table I had.

I knew it was old, ugly and dirty, but the plant I kept on the top hid the ugliness a little bit. I just about died when I looked at the photo I took because I just didn't realize how bad it was. I bought this table 10 years ago, and don't really want to buy new furniture right now.

So first I painted it creamy white. I wasn't liking the color or the rust colored hardware. It just wasn't working for me.

So after the layer of white, I painted a pale blue.

I distressed the whole thing with my electric sander.

I also took the hardware right off and spray painted it with flat black to give it an iron look.

The above photo shows my laziness. See, at the top, I didn't paint underneath the lid. My guests don't open it up so I'm not going to waste any more time on it.

I finished it by rubbing on some Miniwax Finishing Wax Paste. It gives a little color to the wood spots. It also gives a little shine, because that pine wood can be really dry especially after I ran a sander over it, and protects the wood from moisture.
Next, I'm going to tackle my pine bedroom furniture. Here is my inspiration at Pottery Barn. I love the bright red furniture with pale blue walls!

On a sidenote, I stripped my lovely vinyl floor in the room with the table and polished it with this stuff. Can you see the spot I missed? That's how shiny the polish gets this floor. You just wipe it on, too. It's not hard work. Strip the floor first to get TONS of dirt out of it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Raingutter Bookshelf

Tonight I made a bookshelf out of a raingutter! Woohooo, it was sooo easy.

I got the idea from Jim Trelease's website on reading. Here is his article on why using raingutters to hold books is a fab idea. Side note: One of the absolute, hands-down best things you can do for your kids' education is help them to love reading. I have his book The Read Aloud Handbook, and I recommend it.
Here is the before picture. We just had the carpet replaced, and I am in the process of putting everything away. I was just too lazy to pretend like my house is clean tonight.

Another shot of the finished product. Aren't books so much more inviting when you can see the beautiful covers? My little one doesn't read the spines. But these books almost call to you when you walk by.

I bought the hooks that are designed for the raingutters, but they go over the top and not under the bottom and I didn't like the way it looked. So I just screwed the thing right into the wall. I could only find one wood stud, so i started there, I put another screw into a drywall anchor, and 2 more screws right into the wall. I think it will hold up nicely, unless a kid tries to stand on it or something. I also bought 2 endcaps.

And for your reading pleasure, here are some of my favorite books:

Dav Pilkey is the best author. Not just because he wrote a book about Captain Underpants, stupid bunnies, dirty diapers and Corgis (which are the dogs I have) . . .

. . . but the Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot series is one of the absolute best for young readers who are in that transition time between picture books and chapter books. They can decode the words, but they still aren't mature enough to read a book without pictures on every page. Ricky Ricotta is a chapter book, but the chapters are fast and there are pictures everywhere. My son LOVES that. It is important for a young reader to believe that he or she can read, and they can get a big sense of accomplishment from reading a book like this. It propels them into reading the more difficult chapter books.

At the end of the Ricky Ricotta books, it shows the reader, step-by-step, how to draw two characters in the book. My son has a lot of difficulty with fine motor skills, so I was really shocked when he broke out the pencil and drew the pictures. I love you Dav.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss and Bonnie Timmons, and Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner. Now, when you read Skippyjon, you have to go for it and read it in a fun way.

An All-Time favorite by Berkeley Breathed, Mars Needs Moms!

If you want to go check out a raingutter bookshelf tutorial, here's one at Raising Olives. But I say, bolt that thing to the wall.
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