Sep 29, 2015

5 Easy Steps to a DIY Restoration Hardware Finish

I recently posted a before and after of this table that was inspired by Restoration Hardware.

I wanted to take a few minutes to show you how you can achieve a Restoration Hardware inspired finish using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint and White Wax.

Step 1:

Choose a medium to dark neutral color such as Miss Mustard Seed's Typewriter, Curio, Trophy, Schloss, or Shutter Grey milk paint. For my examples I choose Schloss and Curio.

Step 2:
Apply one to two coats of paint depending on the existing finish and how worn you want the finish to look. Normally I would use a high quality brush, but since the finish we are going for is a weathered finish I chose to use my chip brush. The Schloss turned out really light on the raw wood, but would take on a darker tone if it were painted over an existing finish.

Step 3:
Mix clear and white wax with a ratio of 3 parts clear wax to 1 part white wax.

Step 4:
Apply the wax completely covering the surface. The below picture is the wax mixture over Curio. A little white wax goes a long way. That's why I like to mix it with the clear wax. The clear wax also makes the next step a little easier.

Step 5:

Allow the wax to sit for just a minute and then wipe it away and buff until you have a smooth and consistent finish. If you need to "erase" any of the white you can do so by going back over the area with just clear wax.

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Sep 25, 2015

Restoration Hardware Inspired Table

Back in July of 2014 I found this gorgeous table at Goodwill for $16. I bought it to fix up and sell, but I knew it was something I really wanted to try and fit in my own home so in my barn it sat ... for over a year! We recently took our breakfast table out to our lake house so that opened up the room for this table.

I don't have an untouched before picture, but here's a picture of the table after I sanded down the top.

I really like the look of natural wood so my original plan was to just seal the top with Miss Mustard Seed's Hemp Oil ... but the wood was orange!

I really had a Restoration Hardware style finish in mind for this table and the orange wood was just not fitting with my vision so I opted to paint the top with Miss Mustard Seed's Ironstone Milk Paint.

To achieve the weathered look I mixed up some Mocha Real Milk Paint at a 50:50 ratio of paint to water and applied it to the base of the table. Once dry I sanded the base smooth using a fine grit sanding sponge and applied a mix of Miss Mustard Seed's White and Clear Wax. I typically mix up 1 part white wax to 3 parts clear wax. Once dried and buffed I went back over the areas that were too white with some clear wax and buffed again.

The chairs are also a Goodwill find at $5 a piece. The bottoms were busted out and the fabric was very worn, but nothing a little plywood and canvas couldn't fix.

Shared with:

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Aug 3, 2015

Building Plans >> Ladder Style Bookshelf

I have been designing building plans on graph paper for several years now, but just recently decided to look for a software that would allow me to share my plans with you. Jen from The House of Wood pointed me to Google Sketch Up and I was able to download free version of Sketch Up that is perfect for designing woodworking plans. I found some great tutorials on YouTube that showed me how to use the program and now I am sharing my first set of plans with you.

About This Project:
This shelf was inspired by an old shelving unit that I saw in an antique mall. I wanted it to be portable so I could easily transport it back and forth to vintage markets and craft fairs so my top and bottom shelves are attached with pocket hole screws and I added a brace on the back to keep it square and sturdy. When it’s time to set it up all I have to do is screw in 16 screws and slide in the middle shelves. The whole process only takes about 5 minutes. If you are looking for a more permanent solution you can add pocket holes to each of the side braces or opt for wood glue and brad nails to secure your shelves in place.

Required Skill Level: Beginner
Estimated Time Investment: Day project
Estimated Cost: $75

It still needs to be finished, but haven't decided on how to finish it yet. If you would like full plans you can download them here and please feel free to pin and share. Please feel free to e-mail photos of your creations or share a link in the comments section. #ArdentHandsPlans

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Jul 31, 2015

Before & After >> Flip Top Table

I wanted to pop in real quick to show you a piece of furniture I finished up a few weeks ago, but haven't had the time to share here yet.

I have one very poor before photo that I took with my phone, but it's not something I am going to try and share at this time. Even my photo editing software is telling me no.

This is just a little flip top table that I fell in love with at Goodwill. I think I paid something like $38 for the table. If it were not for the scratches in the table top itself I would have left it in its natural state, but I decided to just sand down the table top and seal it with hemp oil.

For the Bottom section of the table I used MMSMP in Mora and sealed it with antique wax. By the time I was done I felt it needed more so I actually painted typewriter over the entire piece , let it dry, and then wiped it away with a wet cloth leaving a very cool layered effect.

One of the coolest features to this table is that it sits like a slightly over-sized sofa table but the top flips over on hinges and a leg swings out so that the table can be turned into a larger eating area. These kinds of tables are great for apartments and college students.

Shared with:

Patina Paradise
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Jul 28, 2015

Oops! Where things went wrong with wholesale.

In January I started a new journey for my business by leasing a space at an antique mall and I took you all along for the journey and updated you as things went along. There hasn’t been much to report there but I have added a new dimension to the business with wholesale and want to share some of my experience with that as well.

Back in March I landed my first wholesale gig. I had just added my Boo Boo Buddies to my hot pack line and was encouraged to take my large hot packs and Boo Boo Buddies to a store in a neighboring town that supports local artists.  The first meeting went well and the company rep bought what I had on hand as a trial to see how they would sell in the store. Now when I say “bought” I say that in an accounts receivable sort of way. I was asked if mailing a check would be ok or if cash would be better. I was nervous and didn’t want to lose the deal so I told her whatever was easiest would be fine. 

The hot packs were a hit and a few days later I had my first big order. I dropped that order off and in about a week I received another order. Things were going pretty steady for a little while, but after about a month or so I started wondering when the check was going to come. I talked with the company rep and she said that sometimes it takes a little while to get new vendors into the system and that she would try to speed things up. I finally received my check but to my surprise it was only for the first two invoices. 

In an effort to stay proactive and encourage on-time payment I started sending an e-mail the week an invoice was due with a copy of the corresponding invoice and every week after until it was paid. I quickly found myself sending 2nd and 3rd reminder notices and time between payments became longer and longer. I finally had to tell the rep that if I didn’t get paid in full that I was going to have to stop selling to their company. She said she would talk to the accounting department and within a few days I had a check. There was still one invoice that had not been paid but it wasn’t late yet either, so against my better judgment I went ahead and delivered my next order. I am still waiting to get paid for that order. Needless to say I have stopped delivering product to that store.

I learned a couple of things from this experience.
  1. Talk with other vendors to determine how the company treats them before you determine to sell to them. Ask specifically about how timely they are in sending payment.
  2. If cash is offered take it.
  3. Don’t get so caught up in landing the deal that you put yourself into a bad situation. Find out exactly when you will be paid and get it in writing. Draw up your own wholesale agreement and include a late fee.
  4. Don’t be afraid to set a policy that payment needs to be made at the time of delivery.
  5. Talk with a lawyer so you know what you as a small business owner can do in situations like this. (Yeah … I still need to do this.)

I currently do not have any companies that I wholesale to, but I did find a consignment store that I have product in. They work on a 50% commission and pay on the 16th of every month. I’ve only had my product in their store for about two weeks now so I’ll let you know how that goes in a few months.

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Jul 17, 2015

Furniture Before & After >> Antique Rocking Chair

My 11 year old daughter came up to me the other day and asked me if she could paint something. I have to admit that I was a little hesitant because I had a bunch of stuff I needed to get done and really didn't have time to walk her through it all, but figured it was worth it so I let her choose from all the furniture I had and she picked this great piece.

For the color she picked Miss Mustard Seed's Schloss Milk Paint.

Milk paint is so easy to work with that I didn't really need to keep as close an eye on her as I thought I was going to need to. For the first coat on the underside I let her work on it while I worked on another piece and just gave her some tips here and there and then let her fly solo for the topside. We both worked on the second coat together to make things go a little quicker.

To seal the chair she applied a mix of clear and antique wax. then I buffed it to a shine.

She decided that using canvas was the way to go for the seat cover. She helped remove the old upholstery and I made the new cover. I had actually been avoiding this piece because I was nervous about working with piping, but it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I didn't have the right sewing foot to get a nice tight seem, but I'm happy with the way it turned out.

I just love the carvings on the back of the chair.

Shared with:

Miss Mustard Seed
Craftberry Bush
MMS Milk Paint
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Jul 13, 2015

5 Great DIY Projects for the home.

I haven't had much time to do anything for my home recently, but I love woodworking and thought I would share some different sites that have wonderful DIY Furniture and Home Decor Building Plans.

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