Friday, October 21, 2016

Swap It like it's hot take 6!

**Though I was compensated for this post in product and/or monetarily, all opinions, ideas and comments are 100% my own. Please note: this post may also contain affiliate links.**

Hey y'all! SO excited to announce that it's my turn to #swapitlikeitshot! :)

All this week, we got to see how my bloggy friends swapped some thrift store goodies and turned them into amazing home decor items! I just love how talented my friends are!

To see where it all kicked off, and to follow the whole round robin set of posts from the beginning, make sure you check out Charlotte's blog Ciburbanity!

I sent my bloggy bestie, Lynn of Fern Avenue, the following items so make sure you check out what she turned them into!

Thea of That Sweet Tea Life, sent me these items!

Here's what I did with them!

The tray I left alone. Here's why: I. LOVE. SILVER. TRAYS! :) I actually collect them and have about 20 of them. Yes. I hoard silver trays. I use them, though!

The potpourri (which by the way, made me sneeze the ENTIRE time I handled it, so thanks, Thea!) I used two ways. I put it into apothecary jars for some pretty fall decor. For the large jar, I used my brand new Cricut Explore Air 2, and some Cricut copper adhesive foil and cut the words "Happy Fall" then used some Cricut transfer tape to put them onto the jar.

Here's a close up of the lettering. Isn't that font so pretty!?

I think the font is called "Hello Casual". I downloaded it onto my laptop and it comes right up in Cricut Design Space for me!

I also used the potpourri to make a fall wreath, which quite frankly I don't like AT ALL. Hey, even we bloggers have craft fails. I just choose to share them with you because let's be honest...everyone loves to laugh at a good craft fail. :) So here you, for your entertainment pleasure.

Sigh. You're welcomed. It was worse, actually. For some reason I decided to put a stick in between the two apples. Think about what that looked like for a second. HA! It was "Nailed it!" moment, for sure!

Here's what I did to the cups!

I used some Unicorn SPiT in their brand new 'Sparkling Stain" line to jazz them up so they match my daughter's room. I figured she can use them to store her large brushes. She's a little artist just like her Momma! Maybe I'll add some lettering to them. I used the 'stain press' method then sealed them with some spray lacquer. Obviously, after using the spray lacquer on them, they're no longer food safe. They're super cute, though!

I think these are my absolute favorites! HAPPY FALL, Y'ALL!

Make sure you check out all the amazing Swap it like it's hot projects below! These bloggers really came up with GORGEOUS 'afters'!






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Monday, October 10, 2016

Vintage Oak Server/Sidebar Makeover

Refinishing Vintage Furniture with 100% All Natural Products

*Although this post is sponsored by Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company, Unicorn SPiT and Daddy Van's all statements and opinions are mine.*

This vintage Henredon oak server was tucked behind a pile of broken plastic chairs at a local thrift store.  It was spray painted high gloss black with some ridiculous plastic knobs.  Whoever had decided to "spruce it up" has literally painted the folding leaves shut and the double serving ware drawers. One of the thrift shop employees had labeled it as a child's dresser and if you didn't pay attention to the hinges and pullout arms, you would have never known it was actually a server. 

I started by first stripping the entire surface with Soy Gel Stripper.  Soy Gel Stripper doesn't have harsh fumes and since it is also a lead based paint encapsulate, it would also safely remove the paint even it contained lead. 

Even with my favorite paint remover, some areas had to be coated more than once to remove all the old paint. 

Once I had all the old paint removed, I scrubbed the server down first with hot water, vinegar and dawn dish soap.  Then a quick wipe down with denatured alcohol.  I did sand the top and fold out leaves to remove some scratches and an old burn mark.  Since I was then left with a raw oak surface, I mixed up my Old Fashioned Milk Paint without any bonding agent.  Milk paint used on a porous surface acts like any other paint and will not chip. If I was wanting a chipping look I could have done a coat of shellac first or randomly used a barrier such as wax or hemp oil in areas I wanted it to chip. 

If you're painting over an existing finish with milk paint and want a smooth finish, make sure you're adding a bonding agent to your paint.  I used Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Soldier Blue, painting some areas thicker than others.  I wanted a differentiation of the color to get lighter and darker areas. The first coat of milk paint is usually very thin and can be a bit scary looking.

I then used Unicorn SPiT to mix a few colors together and match a Dark Walnut stain.  Because this server is oak, a good water based stain works well due to the dense grain of the hardwood.  Unicorn SPiT did a pretty awesome job on this top.  Once I let that dry for about an hour I grabbed Daddy Van's clear lavender scented wax.  

I had originally intended to seal the top with another sealer due to using a water based stain, but because of a happy accident Daddy Van's proved to work great.  

I finished the entire server with two good coats of Daddy Van's and let it cure for a few days.  Here it is all finished up. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Matching Wood Stain Colors

By: Jen Burns

You can read about our blog contributor Jen here. Please make sure to follow her on social media for tons of woodworking inspiration!

**Though I was compensated for this post in product and/or monetarily, all opinions, ideas and comments are 100% my own. Please note: this post may also contain affiliate links.**

I've been asked hundreds of times over the years how to match a stain to the current finish on a piece of furniture or trim/flooring in a home.  If you're not familiar with doing this, many times people resort to stripping an entire piece of furniture for a simple repair.  With the right tools and a little patience, it's not difficult to match a current stain or an expensive name brand.  Using Unicorn SPiT you can match any color imaginable. Unicorn SPiT is a water based stain/glaze with a very vibrant based color that doesn't lose it's pigment when diluted. It is also non-toxic and VOC free. Being able to mix and match your own wood stains with safer products not only saves money and time, but also allows you the freedom to use them indoors or with your kids help.  

wood finishers color wheel how to match wood stain
The Wood Finishers Color Wheel
Tools Needed:
- Universal Color Wheel
- Unit based measuring container
- Unicorn Spit colored gel stains in Lemon Kiss, Rustic Reality, Weathered Daydream, Midnight's Blackness, Squirrel, White Ning and Molly's Red Pepper

First, whether you're matching an existing stain color on a table or out of the can you need to be able to determine the base and the added toner/tint.  This is where a Finisher's Color Wheel will come in hand.  By spinning the inside wheel and laying the color wheel next to what you're matching, you will be able to get a rough match with the color matching closest in the inner circles.  The outer circles of the wheel represent base colors of wood stains and universal tints.  Once you have found your closest match, look in the color ratio section of the wheel for your beginning mix. 

In the photo above you'll notice I'm using the Finisher's Color Wheel to first match the stain on a dresser drawer.  Dialing the color wheel in, I can see the mix ratio to start with is 3 parts Cordovan (Substitute Molly Red Pepper) to 1 part Black (Substitute Midnight's Blackness).
Hair Color Measuring Cup
I found these measuring cups a few years ago at my local beauty supply store.  They're used to measure hair color in salons, but they work perfect for mixing stains or paints. You'll notice down the side of the cup are the lines marked out for units.

unicorn spit custom blend

Start with the recommended ratios off the color wheel and using a test board, adjust if you need to. Keep in mind that when you're matching the stain on an existing piece of wood, do some prep first.  Find out what type of wood you're working with.  Some woods will need to be toned before staining to avoid your stain looking too red or too green.  Use your Universal Color Wheel to determine what complementary color to use on woods to tone down reds or greens. 
For matching oil based stains, it's always best to have a sample to compare to.  If you don't, no worries I've done some of the most popular for you. 

I've matched the colors for all the stains pictured as well as a few others. 
- Varathane Carbon Grey
-Varathane Weathered Grey
-Rustoleum/Varathane Kona
-Rustoleum/Varathane Expresso
-General Finishes Nutmeg, Antique Walnut, 
Brown Mahogany, Java
-Minwax - Dark Walnut

You can see I started by doing swatches for each color on the test board above. 

Then testing and adjusting each color as I matched them. 

I tested each color until I thought my eyes would cross.  Finally I had color matches and ratios for each.  Since Unicorn SPiT is a water based product it has a flat/matte sheen until it is sealed as you can see in the finished color match board below. 

Here are the color ratios using Unicorn SPiT to match each of these colors:

Carbon Grey- 3p Weathered Daydream, 1p Midnight's Blackness
Weathered Grey- 3p Weathered Daydream, 1p White Ning
Nutmeg- 6p Squirrel, 1p Lemon Kiss
Dark Walnut- 7p Rustic Reality, 1p Squirrel, 2p Midnight's Blackness, 1p Lemon Kiss
Antique Walnut- 7p Rustic Reality, 1p Squirrel, 1p Midnight's Blackness, 1p Lemon Kiss
Kona- 5p Rustic Reality, 3p Midnight's Blackness
Expresso- 50/50 Rustic Reality and Midnight's Blackness
Brown Mahogany- 6p Squirrel, 1p Midnight's Blackness
Java-  5p Rustic Reality, 1p Molly Red Pepper, 1p Midnight's Blackness and just a touch/squirt of Purple Hill Majesty

Here are a few examples of pieces finished with these mixes of Unicorn SPiT.

Unicorn SPiT Mix for Nutmeg
Unicorn SPiT Mix for AntiqueWalnut

Unicorn SPiT Mix for Java

Monday, September 12, 2016

DIY Herringbone Serving Tray Using Scrap Wood

Using Scrap wood to Create A Rustic Serving Tray
By: Jen Burns

**Though I was compensated for this post in product and/or monetarily, all opinions, ideas and comments are 100% my own. Please note: this post may also contain affiliate links.**
Anyone who works with wood on a routine basis has a scrap pile in corner somewhere or like me, a huge trash can in the corner of the shop. Normally I go through it once it's full and pull out decent pieces to put back in my lumber stash then put the rest in the burn pile. This time it was full I pulled out all the scrap 2 x 4 pieces to use for this project.

After pulling out several scrap pieces of wood, I set up my saw with a 3/8" saw stop. Some chop/compound miter saws will have an attachment for setting stops (a guide or jig that allows numerous uniform cuts). If yours doesn't, use the stability vise or a good clamp and a block of wood secured to the saw's fence or platform 3/8" to the right of your blades edge. Setting a saw stop allows you to push your lumber up against it while cutting each piece and since it doesn't move it allows the same length on each cut. I cut roughly 50 pieces of scrap 2 x 4 showing the end grain.

I also cut an 18" x 24" piece of pine to use as the base. After all my cuts were made, I sanded each piece.

After laying out the pattern I wanted to use, I labeled the rows with numbers to make staining and assembling a little easier on me.

I chose a few different colors of Unicorn SPiT colored gel stains for the herringbone pattern. A fewof the colors I used are a mix as follows:

Row 1: Mix of 1 part Weathered Daydream, 1 part Rustic Reality
Row 2: Zia Teal
Row 3: Mix of 1 part Rustic Reality, 1 part Midnight's Blackness and a few drops of Molly Red Pepper
Row 4: Mix of 2 parts Pixie Punk Pink, 2 parts Phoenix Fire and 1 part White Ning
Row 5: White Ning
Row 6: same as Row 3
Row 7: same as Row 2
Row8: same as Row 1

I laid out the colors in the pattern before finally using wood glue to secure them to the base. The base is stained with Rustic Reality. When using Unicorn SPiT as a stain, I dilute all the colors with 50% water.

Using a circular saw, set the depth slightly more than your combined height of the base and pattern. Then trim off the over hanging pieces so that all four sides are flush. I used some scrap pieces to trim out the tray, which I secured with wood glue and a few pre-drilled screws.

Before starting the epoxy filling of the tray, I flipped it over and taped over any seems, knots or spaces that the epoxy could potentially leak out of. Make sure when you're taping to use a good painter's tape and seal the edges well.

I'm using a two part epoxy resin made by Famowood. Using disposable plastic cups measure out equal parts of the resin and the activator in two separate cups. In a third cup combine the two and stir with a wooden craft stick, making sure to scrape the sides often and keep mixing. Mix constantly for 3 full minutes. You will notice that towards the end of your mixing time that your cup may start to feel warm. That is a good sign that your epoxy is almost ready to pour.

Once you have it mixed completely, it's time to do your first pour. I always do epoxy in multiple pours. The first pour is the sealing pour, it's a thin layer of epoxy poured across the entire surface to seal the wood from releasing air bubbles. Doing a thin layer in the beginning instead of one large pour all at once, reduces bubbles and the risk of leaking epoxy.

Using the wooden craft stick, I spread the epoxy over the surface like you would with a squeegee.

After you have spread your epoxy across the surface, lightly tap the sides and bottom of the tray to help any bubbles come to the surface. I use an old credit card to smooth over and pop any bubbles.

This tray took three pours of epoxy letting 4 hours of cure time in between each layer. Allow the last layer to cure over night or at least 6-8 hours.

Once the epoxy had cured over night, I added a few handles on each side and it's ready to use.

All Finished

You can read more about our blog contributor, Jen, HERE and follow her on her woodworking journeys, HERE!

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