Friday, April 13, 2018

Books, Before and After DIY + The Power Of Paint

Photo by Rikki Snyder
Thanks everyone for all the orders for my new book Crafting A Patterned Home. I'm up to 209 copies sold - only 291 copies to meet my goal. That sounds pretty impossible but I will keep my fingers crossed and hope the word starts spreading. I'll be packing more orders this weekend and getting them out to all of you who will be ordering over the weekend. Here is the link to order directly from me. You will receive some exclusive freebies and I offer Free Shipping. 

The other day, a reader commented that she would like to see some decorating DIY here on my blog. Considering my new book Crafting A Patterned Home is full of all kinds of DIY on walls, fabrics, ceramics, and more, it sounded like a great idea. Lots of the work I have done in our farmhouse was done many years ago - before the days of digital photography and blogs. I did a little digging and found some before photos that I can share with you all. This is the first of 3 posts with some befores and afters. 

For today's post, I'm heading to New Jersey - to my Great Aunt Jennie's house at 1 Locust Ave. Aunt Jennie was everything a kid could want in a Great Aunt. She was kind and loving. She always welcomed us with open arms and a giant hug and a kiss. She usually had one of those old-fashioned aprons on - the kind that pretty much covered up whatever she was wearing in the front and back - like the header page on this blog all about Apron History! (Whoever knew there was a blog on apron history - fascinating.) She wore dark black leather shoes and her gray hair had a tinge of blue in it. Uncle Harry was always sitting in "his chair" watching the television. We were frequently invited for Sunday dinner. But the thing my sisters and I remember most was the sideboard in the dining room. On it there was an orange lidded dish and inside there was always some kind of candy or chocolate. We girls always bee-lined there. 

Dinners were spent around the massive table in the small dining room. Next to the table there were 3! sideboards and a set of 6 chairs. The wood was a dark oak and there was odd hardware on all the heavily carved pieces. When you sat at the dinner table, you always tried to get a place away from the massive legs that were just plain in the way. But that was hard to do because the kitchen chairs were pulled into service and there would be 11 people jammed around the table. The room was small and I'm not sure how they fit all the furniture in the space. 

When Aunt Jennie passed away, her son - Uncle Don - although he was really my second cousin - had to break up Aunt Jennie's home. Noone in the immediate family wanted the dining set and he called an antique dealer who offered him $200 for it all. He knew we had just purchased our farmhouse and so he offered the dining set to me for the cost of moving it. It cost $698 to get it from NJ to western MA.

When the furniture arrived, I knew it was going to be perfect for this house. It was big and clunky and had a handmade quality to it. I couldn't fit it all in the dining room so I moved one of the sideboards to the living room. The sideboards offer lots of storage space - perfect for a farmhouse which doesn't have many closets. From what I can tell, the dining set was made in the 1920's or so in the southern US. They copied the style of English Jacobean furniture

Once I got the furniture in place, I realized I just couldn't live with the dark brown oak color. It just wasn't my thing and so I decided to paint it. I wanted to cover the brown oak and for the dining room, I wanted it to be almost black. I decided on a oil based wash of color which I did by adding turpentine to black oil paint. I brushed it on thinly so the grain would show through. It looks like this now. 

Photo by Rikki Snyder

Photo by Rikki Snyder

For the living room piece, I painted it with Benjamin Moore's Satin Impervo oil paint in a color that looks like Fire Engine Red. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the color. That piece looks like this now. I just love how it looks in contrast to the chartreuse walls. 
Photo by Rikki Snyder

So that is today's DIY story. If you find a piece of sturdy old furniture, don't turn it down because you don't like the color of the wood. Choose a color you like and then paint it. I didn't prime either of these pieces - I just put the oil paint directly on the wood. Both pieces have held up well although the dining room table could use a refresher coat of paint. It serves as my shipping table so it gets used quite a bit. Parts of it are getting worn and maybe one day I will get to re-doing it. For now, I just throw a tablecloth on it. 

I hope everyone is looking forward to a nice spring weekend. Here in western Massachusetts temperatures are still rather cold and raw and the spring rains are sprinkling the earth. The daffodils are starting to grow and blossoms will hopefully happen soon. All I see outside is the junk left from winter that needs to be picked up and hauled away - leaves, twigs, broken branches, the dog's treasures that she brings home from who knows where. 

Hop on over to my website to order a copy of Crafting A Patterned Home which is chock full of over 30 DIY projects. You can also order it on my Etsy shop here if you like to order on Etsy.


Auntie Shan said...

I love OLD *SOLID* furniture! And, I'm also One of THOSE who prefers to reSTAIN the wood rather than paint it, especially the HARD woods! Or any other with a great GRAIN... Although, PINE, I have no objections to sticking any of those pieces into the middle of a PaintBall battle! I'll even fire the first shot!

yeah, GREAT Aunts are the best! I always preferred mine to my "regular" Aunts. Except for the one Blood-one who lived in England that I rarely ever saw. And the youngest "In-Law"-one who was actually 20+ years younger than me! [My Uncle had a "stupid"-moment and divorced her a few years back! Men!]

Meanwhile, I really do hope you guys get some GOOD weather! - Although the temps are warm at the moment here, we're actually expecting ice pellets tonight..?! And possibly SNOW later..??
I'm just gonna blame my visiting sister for it all!

Happy FRIDAY the 13TH!

Kathryn Samuelson said...

Hi: I tried to go to your website through the link - twice. Was told it couldn't be found. Just thought you'd want to know.

Beth in Maryland said...

Thanks, Kristin! I know your beautiful home took shape over time, and this helps to understand what some of the steps have been. I look forward to more "installments."

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