Monday, March 29, 2010

Round and round and round we go...

Avery LOVES our meager "castle" in the backyard and now that she can walk to it and not crawl across the dirty, sharp, dirty, muddy slate and get horrendously filthy, I let her play on it! I've got "helicopter parenting" issues picturing endless accidents happening - her falling backwards off of it, breaking an arm, the drive to the ER...and the bills....oh the bills... You'll see what I mean about 2 min 15 secs into the video when she almost falls out the side...

So I fly my "helicopter" in the house and just settle for a quick prayer...leaving the door open for sounds of screams and the occasional wasp.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How to...

...paint a dresser. I think that I covered it all here! Call me with questions.


  1. Sandpaper - 320 grit for first round of sanding & 220 grit for "antiquing" (depending on on the size of waht you are sanding, get a LOT - not just 2 sheets like I thought. If you have an automoatic sander make sure you sand with the grain of the wood.
  2. Sandpaper block.
  3. Wood filler (if changing out hardware or fixing up a really old piece of furniture).
  4. Putty knie to apply wood filler (or anything else with a flat edge).
  5. Lint-free rags (to clean after sanding and get rid of all dust).
  6. Foam paint rollers (3-5 of these).
  7. Foam sponge paintbrushes.
  8. Plastic wrap (use Saran Wrap in between coats of painting) wrap around your foam roller/brush so that they don't dry out between coats.
  9. Small paint trays - 3-4 (or get 1-2 and line with aluminum foil and throw away between).
  10. Primer - Point 1) I've heard that there is a "no sanding" primer by Kilz that can be used. Point 2) I used "water-based" primer by Kilz only because the Home Depot guy said it should be used for furniture BUT later read that you can use oil-based for furniture but because of its fumes, you don't want to use it for painting walls. WHO KNOWS? Please provide insight if you have it. My question: can you use water based primer and oil based paint? Inexperience asking here... Okay, I actually just ran across an answer to my own question and here is the answer: If you are worried about wear and tear on your furniture, it may be tempting to use oil-based exterior paint instead of water-based latex paint. However, oil-based paints are typically meant for outdoor use and tend to have an odor. Oil-based paints also take a much longer time to dry than do latesx paints and are harder to clean up. So when you are choosing paint, do yourself a favor and go with latex. Point 3) If you want the wood grain to show through, I've read "do NOT use primer."
  11. Painter's tape
  12. Paint - eggshell or semi-gloss latex
  13. Polyurethane - I used water-based, semi-gloss

Here's the pattern I followed:

  1. Remove hardware, insert wood filler. Let dry according to directions.
  2. Sand all surfaces (320 grit). Don't get A.D.D. about this [per Judith Alberson], just rough up the surfaces well.
  3. Cleam with a damp LINT FREE cloth to get rid of all the dust (use dustbuster if need be).
  4. Apply thin coat of primer.
  5. Sand and clean with damp cloths.
  6. *Optional - prime again, but probably not needed.
  7. Color time!
  8. Apply paint - THINLY!!!
  9. Let dry for at least 2 hours.
  10. Sand and clean.
  11. Apply 2nd coat of paint.
  12. Sand and clean.
  13. I applied a 3rd coat of paint mostly because I noticed that during my sanding my paint was getting scraped off and turning a weird shade of green...I'm questioning if I was sanding too hard?! Did I really need to sand? You need to get rid of drop marks but really...I'm not sure if I was just sanding too much or if it was because I was using green paint.
  14. Sanded and cleaned after 3rd coat. (just paint as many coats until you have the coverage you want)
  15. Poly time! Stir the poly, don't shake the can.
  16. Apply a thin layer with foam roller.
  17. Sand and clean (I think? Again, I used the 320 grit and "thought" I was sanding lightly but the green started to scratch if the poly is on light enough...whatever, skip the sanding and just wait until it dries. Again, just beware of the drip marks!
  18. All in all I did 2 coats of poly.
  19. Antiquing - after a couple of hours use your 22o grit sandpaper and rough up the edges. It's scary to somewhat destroy something that you've spent so much time on but, be gently, go slowly and you'll get the hang of it! Start with the edges - any place that you would think would be worn naturally after years and years of ownership.
  20. Then wait for it to completely dry...and wait...a full 24 hours before loading it up with books, clothes, etc. Before making it "functional."
  21. Put on the hardware!!! Old or new and behold your transformation!!!

My inspiration again - and a great website for resources is Life in the Fun Lane blog. Go to her FAQ link for her details and for exquisite examples of truly turning trash to treasure click on Our DIY Archives. Hope this helps you in your remake endeavors!!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010


It took a lot longer and many more applications, sandings, and trips to Home Depot but it is done! I'll do more details later about the process but I think it turned out pretty cute. It looks pretty pukey green here with the lighting but it's a nice "avocado" green.
I did antique it on the edges but the pictures came out blurry (as my children ran crazy after dinner hyper circles around me) so I'll do those it's ice cream time. Anyway, I'm glad that I antiqued the edges to give it the worn look because as I was taking the changing table down, Avery grabs one of the legs and wonks it into the front leg of her new dresser. Nice babe. Way to help mommy out!
The dresser...before all of the baby crap gets put on it!
The pulls. Got these in black at Hobby Lobby and they were cheap enough for me to risk painting. And they turned out great!
Picked up this wrapping paper at Tuesday Morning months ago and it goes perfect in the bottom of the drawers as a liner. Well, I think so.
Close up of the hardware. I "antiqued" it as well.
Chubby cheeks sitting on the changing pad on the top of the dresser.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Blogging in Bed

Day 1 of officially starting Project Paint the Dresser for Avery's room.

It's been a long day - but isn't that always how it is when your day starts at Walmart?! At least it is our little very new ritzy Katy Walmart. I mean really - unlike the normal chaos of the 30 people heading to the checkout lines each with a shopping cart overloaded with crap... oh no. Ours has cashiers WAITING for you...not just waiting but so bored they head over to the clothing section to straighten it up while they wait for someone. (sounds like Yo Gabba Gabba in my head).

So okay, okay, enough already. it was a long day but I got the drawers nicely sanded in the backyard while the girls played. I had no idea how much sandpaper I'd use. I mean, really it wasn't THAT much, but I thought 2 sheets would get me through. Oh no...It'll be at least 10-15 by the time I'm done. Started at Wal-mart with supplies - I wanted just to get it sanded at least and maybe primed. And here it is midnight and I got both done!!!! Sanded...primed...and sanded again. Ready for colored paint. If I can get throught the trip to Home Depot with both girls in the morning I think that I may be able to finish it tomorrow and hopefully will have it Avery's room on Sunday. Fingers crossed.

Without further ado...
Here are a few of today's supplies. Sanding block, sandpaper, googles, wood filler, primer chocolate and wine. And of course, I was very careful to make sure that all of the right precautions were taken - the placed the wine in a plastic tumbler - SAFETY FIRST! And who doesn't need a little dark chocolate supplement?! Thanks mom for my V-day indulgences.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Project #2

Oh blogger, why must you upload my pictures in reverse order? SO annoying. Anyone have any fixes? It's so hard to move the pictures around on here.

Okay, so onto my project...well, here's the foot - I'm too lazy to try to rearrange the pictures.

So vote - do I keep the rusted castor wheels?

This dresser will eventually be in Avery's room - after it is painted. Right now I've only got storage in her closet and it is really annoying. So where did I get the idea to do this myself? I follow a girls blog, drool and wish to be her. Check out her site! Life in the fun lane. Now, granted, I do not wish to have an entirely white house, but it is pretty. I enjoy color too much and's just not my style. I DO however LOVE that she turns trash to treasure. I mean some of her pieces, no, ALL of them are gorgoeous. And then she in turn sells them for a profit and if you go to her White Berry website, everything is sold! She gets all of her pieces for free to $35...

I found this on CraigsList and really like it. I do believe it is an antique (solid wood, dovetail joints) and DID pay more than $35. Who knows if it is worth more (or less) but it has a lot of potential. Now if only I can find the time to work on it! For now it will be my end of spring break/weekend project.
I've gotten the pulls removed. Next step is a gentle sanding. I know some of you are going to be totally against me painting this and not just restaining but, that is NOT my desire. I want to paint it - and so - it shall be repainted. I think I'm going to paint it an avocado green to match the rest of Avery's decor. Again, YES someday she'll want different colored furniture but I believe that at this point she'll have this for years and green goes with any little girls decor so green it shall be. Avocado that is...not sage, not mint, avocado. Also one of Avery's favorite foods come to think of it.
Like I say, next I'll sand it, then tape the drawers. I'm not "spraying" it like the girl in the blog does - she's got a professional set up. I'll be using the standard brushes and rollers. And then I'll "antique" it a little by scuffing up the edges. What I want to know is how to make the scuffed up edges black instead of the underlying wood color. Any ideas? I've tried Googling it with no success. I even "commented" on the girls blog but she hasn't responded yet.
I'll keep you posted!


Not part of the project - but she's cute.

Project #1 - Landscaping
So the front beds looked atrocious. Not only the weeds but I'd planted some variation of iris and they just looked awful. Of course our soil is a mixture of clay, concrete and production home builder trash which may include glass, chip bags, broken bricks...that's just to name a few of the things I've found in my beds. Anywhoo...this means nothing really grows. SO, yet again I find myself pulling up the old but not ALL of it this time. I left the nandina in the back...basically everything in the back row (japanese yew which is not sort of out of place now that the other 2 have died). Magnolia tree is still there...the ONLY thing left of the original landscaping put in when the house was built in 2001. Anyway, we still need much but I added "Ballerina Hawthore" in front of the nandina (which is kind of hard to see), and then japanese boxwoods across the front which I LOVE. It is used a lot here in Texas - sturdy and adds a great splash of color.
I still need 2 or 3 filler plants near our Aggie flag, and some stuff on the side behind the magnolia but it's coming along! Oh and Kendall has been desperately begging to plant seeds so we planted some snapdragon flower seeds near the walkway so hopefully that will give us some color before too long!


Kendall's got the form... Avery's got the beer gut going...
Avery's turn...

We've been blessed with 2 GORGEOUS weekends in a row so Mike took advantage of one to go to the local putting green with his prodigy. She lasted about 7 minutes then decided to do twirls instead. Avery loved retrieving the golf balls, then we all headed to the park. Avery is 100 times the risk taker that Kendall ever was or will be. I'm not sure if that is because of earlier exposure to the risks or personality. Only time will tell... Regardless, slides, climbing, swinging were all thoroughly enjoyed by both.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

More fun pictures!!!

Avery in Dallas
Goofy girl
Kendall was introduced to Princess toenail paint at her friend Avery's house so we just had to go out and get some! You can't really TELL it's on but I think that is a good thing since she insists on painting her toes herself!


Okay, so this is not one of the "professional" shots. Isnt' it lovely how I look like the 13 year old babysitter in the picture?! I was trying to get Avery to smile, had on flats, and was standing back and off to the side. Not to mention that Vanessa is just taller than me anyway. But really...this picture looks a little ridiculous. And I should have taken off my sunglasses...

This past weekend we went up to Dallas and got to spend Sunday morning with our old neighbors, the Bellews. They used to live on our street but got transferred to Dallas. Vanessa requested that I use my ever-blooming photography skills to take their family pictures at Nash Farm in Grapevine. It was a gorgeous little plot of land in downtown Grapevine and the kids loved running around and occasionally stopping for a picture. I've got a lot to learn in photography but I'm pretty proud of how the pictures turned out!

Fun time!

Mom and Dad came in for a short weekend at the beginning of the month. Kendall has been wanting to ride the train over at Katy Mills Mall for a long time but I've always got the stroller with me and I am NOT leaving my stroller at the mall unattended because I love it. Anyway, all aboard, they loved it. I waited with the stroller and shopped for a brief moments at American Eagle...ahhh, it was a blissful 5 minutes!

Dad...the "riff-raff" on the train

This is Kendall and her friend Avery. They love each other and it is so nice to have a girlfriend for Kendall to play with. She's got an abundance of boy friends that we adore, but having a fellow princess to dress up with makes her giddy!

Avery has taken up making beer can chicken...well...dr. pepper can chicken

Supermom of the Week "supposedly"

I was recently honored on my friends popular London website, Little Lunalu as being a "supermom of the week!" Here is the short interview - click here. When you read #8 you'll see why I've added "supposedly" to the title of this blog.

And I took this picture of myself with the girls and UNBELIEVEABLY THIS WAS THE FIRST SHOT! I guess b/c the self timer was on and beeping so it got Avery's attention. Kendall can pose, but Avery is definintely unpredictable. Somehow, this one time - we totally got lucky!