Sunday, April 26, 2015

Even More Homespun Goodness: Faux Woodgrained Sideboard

I wasn't kidding when I said in an earlier post that I accomplished a lot on my long break from my studio this past winter! In my last post I showed you how I fancied up a plain mirror for my dining room, and I promised to come back and share my method for applying a faux woodgrain treatment to the top of my sideboard. 

So here 'tis in all its simple glory!

Faux Wood Grain Sideboard Top (click to enlarge)

But first a little background on this lovely sideboard ('cause I know y'all are dying to know more about it aren't you?!!!) Some time ago I worked in a furniture store and this piece was part of a Broyhill line that was supposedly reproductions from some furniture that came out of an old castle in Ireland. I don't know if that's true, but it sounds pretty good to me! 

Faux Wood Grain Sideboard Top (click to enlarge)

Anyhoo, it was wood stained when I got it and over the years I've painted it black, then white, then brown with burnt umber glaze to make it look like wood again (can you tell I don't like, I mean!), and then for my current home, white again. 

Nice, but a wood grain top was in its future.

Its lovely enough with the white top, however, I have some dark stained furniture in that room and elsewhere in my home so I thought it really needed a woodgrain top. 

Now, this next part might make you really unhappy with me. The product I used as a basecoat on the top was from American Traditions called WOOD TONE BASE COAT, and it is no longer available. HOWEVER, its really just a flat paint the color of unfinished pine, which shouldn't be difficult to reproduce. You can undoubtedly use a satin or glossy paint for your basecoat, but you most certainly need to rough it up a bit in order to give it a little "tooth" because you're going to be applying a gel stain over this basecoat.

Here is what my "unfinished pine" basecoat looked like:

Wood Tone Base Coat (flat finish paint)

 After the base coat was thoroughly dry, I then applied a coat of General Finishes Gel Stain and the color I used is called Java. I had read great things about this gel stain on the Internet, and a lot of folks have used it right over the finish on their dated wood cabinets with great success. 

General Finishes Gel Stain and Gel Topcoat

I applied the gel stain using a large foam brush and then lightly wiped it back off with a soft cloth, which created a little streaking resulting in a natural wood grain look. Most importantly, I worked in small sections at a time. Gel stain is not the easiest product to work with and I wouldn't necessarily recommend this for the uninitiated or the faint of heart. You have to work quickly because it dries quickly and then gets tacky. But General Finishes brand is among the best out there and has a very yummy consistency with a lovely degree of depth. They have great videos on the Internet and I suggest you refer to them as I found them very helpful.

Here's what the sideboard top looked like after one coat of the gel stain:

Sideboard Top - Faux Wood Grain - General Finishes Java - First Coat

After the first coat thoroughly dried I added a second (and final) coat to give the faux woodgrain top more depth. It helped that my sideboard top already had some nooks and crannies which enhanced my desired faux woodgrain look.

Sideboard Top - Faux Wood Grain - General Finishes Java - Second Coat

Then, once the final gel stain coat has thoroughly dried, I highly recommend applying a coat of protective finish, and General Finishes has a few from which to choose.

Another Close Up - Faux Woodgrain Sideboard Top

I think the new faux wood grain top is a lovely improvement, don't you?

Tada! Faux Wood Grain Sideboard Top finished!

Now, if you've made it this far without falling asleep your reward is a sneak peak at my new dining room! I won't even call it a makeover because it was not ever really "made" in the first place. It was just a very bare room left undecorated while working on the kitchen and den. You can read about that rather extensive remodel here, and once I get the window treatments finished, some artwork up and some pretty pillows for those Parson's chairs, then I'll share more on the dining room. I promise!

Ok, next post is going to take us outside. After all spring is finally here so, well, you know what that means....

My screensaver!

Thanks for stopping in my friends!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

More Homespun Goodness: A Follow-up To My Last Post

I started my day today by capturing this shot for an Instagram post.
I have a confession to make, my dear blogging friends. I've been neglecting my blog in favor of a new LOVE, and that love is INSTAGRAM. So between that AND my art biz AND my other big LOVE, gardening, I've had little time for my blog. 

However, as I write, my kiln is cooling with a new load of pottery goodness so while I wait I thought I'd share a little of that Homespun Goodness I promised in my last post. (Yeah, I know it was a MONTH ago!)

So here's a little Mirror Makeover for you. I'm really happy with the ingenious way I transformed this rather plain and inexpensive mirror, so read on and I'll tell you how I did it.

A plain mirror gets some pizzaz!
My ceilings are only 8 ft high. I say "only" because my last 2 homes had 9++ ft ceilings and I loved them. I'm used to the smaller height now, but I knew there were a couple of tricks I could do to visually raise them. One was to find a mirror tall enough to rest on my sideboard and still fit nicely below the crown molding. 

Simple materials were all I needed to transform my plain inexpensive mirror.
I found one all right but it was sorely lacking in the decorative detail that I love. My solution - grab a roll of wallpaper border, trim it a little, slap on some wallpaper paste (which I had on hand for my dollhouse papering) and apply it to the mirror's frame. However, this did not go so well. Read on....

What did we ever do before Mod Podge?!!!
With the dry indoor heat of winter the border started popping right off the mirror frame. Luckily it came off intact. That's when I decided to prime the mirror frame and use Mod Podge to re-apply the border.

Cut those corners neatly!
Here's a little corner trick. To get them to meet up perfectly just overlap the strips then cut with an angle rule and a nice sharp blade.

Tada! Love how my new mirror turned out!
I spent the better part of February on decorating the Dining Room in my new home, although I'm not ready to share all the details just yet. But here's a sneak peak for you! Its a little fussy for me and not enough homespun goodness. I'm still working on it! 

**Soon I'll share how I managed to get that gorgeous faux wood look on the top of my sideboard WITHOUT stripping the previously painted finish!

Ok, time to check the kiln! 

Have you picked out your Mother's Day Gifts Yet?
Awww, yes! The kiln god was once again very good to me! Listing tomorrow (Sunday, April 19) at 2:00 pm ET in my Etsy Shop and more pottery goodness next Sunday, too!

Thanks so much for visiting! I'll try not to be away for so long next time, but you can always follow me on INSTAGRAM if you want to see more of Cynthia Crane's Art and Gardening Goodness!