Fab Furniture Flippin' Contest: Class It Up with D. Lawless Hardware

All opinions and thoughts expressed within this post are 100% my own, however, this post is sponsored by D. Lawless Hardware. 

Welcome to a brand new Fab Furniture Flippin' Contest™! This month we teamed up with D. Lawless Hardware.

I am a huge fan of D. Lawless Hardware. My love of hardware began with a certain bohemian clothing/home store. Back in the day, I adored their hardware selection like a kid adores candy. D. Lawless Hardware carries everything the other place carries, at a much better price. When a dresser requires 12 to 16 pieces of hardware, the prices add up quickly! I also prefer to support a small family business with a strong emphasis on customer service. 

My Project

I decided to fix one of my original paint projects from many years ago. To be clear, I painted this many, many years before I knew anything about how to paint. Wow. This thing was a hot mess. I feel a tremendous amount of guilt for making Natalie live with this nightmare. #sarcasm

 This dresser serves as a lesson in how to do everything wrong when painting furniture; I am already writing a separate post about what I should have done differently, and how I fixed those mistakes the second time around.

Once I started sanding, that latex paint peeled off like a...sheet of latex.

While I'm not beating you over the head with a dramatic before & after with this makeover, the beautiful brass hardware makes a huge difference. With the right paint and simple, beautiful hardware, it looks like a different dresser. 

Natalie was adamant about sticking with white for this piece, but I was "allowed" to choose the hardware. I went with these simple satin brass pulls. I honestly can't believe these are only $2.65 each. At that price you would expect to receive cheap, light-weight plastic/metal, but these pulls are solid and heavy. 

brass hardware

Originally, the dresser had 16 pulls. That's just too much to look at. I simplified by eliminating 4 of the pulls on the top drawers. The original holes were filled and I centered the brass pulls in the recessed area. 

brass hardware, furniture makeover, white dresser

We decided to stain the top rather than painting it. 

Contest Details:

August 2016 Sponsor: D. Lawless Hardware
Projects must be linked up between August 1-19
Prize Package: First Place - $200 Gift Certificate to D. Lawless Hardware
Second Place - $50 Gift Certificate to D. Lawless Hardware

Stacy of Anastasia Vintage will be here next week to share her furniture makeover. Check back often to see all of the projects as they roll in!

I can't wait to see your beautiful creations!

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DIY Geometric Gold Leaf Votives

how to apply gold leaf to glass

In April I participated in the latest edition of Swap It Like Its Hot. This time I received several items from Dena of Hearts and Sharts. So here I am, many months later, finally sharing the tutorial. 

Buried in a box of frames and scrapbook paper, I also received a set of plain glass tea light votives, used, just like little votives you probably have in a drawer somewhere, complete with a layer of melted wax covering the bottom. 

Other people's wax is like other's people chewed gum or cast-off band aid. I know. 

Please don't let that icky layer of melted wax stop you. 

DIY geometric gold leaf votives

My votives were squeaky clean and "good as new" in a matter of minutes. I filled each tiny container with very hot tap water and let it sit long enough to soften the wax. After a few minutes the wax will loosen from the glass and pop out. The whole thing easily comes clean with a soapy sponge. 

Dry the glass and you're ready to add some gold!

Gather Your Materials

Some notes about the materials I used: The Gilding Size is by Coda Artisans.
The gold leaf originally came in sheet form, but this stash of shredded leaf was leftover from a previous project, and I love the texture it creates, as opposed to the perfection of a flat sheet of metallic leaf. A bit of copper leaf made its way in there too!

DIY geometric gold leaf votives

In the example below I used a jam container. My kids' favorite raspberry jam comes in this little glass jar, and we go through one a week. I couldn't stand to let these go (says the hoarder) so I added a little gold for fun. 

The Process

Decide where you want the leaf to go, and use painter's tape to protect the area that will remain free of leaf. I wanted gold leaf to cover the design on the bottom, and a tiny section just above. 

DIY geometric gold leaf votives

Apply a thin layer of gilding size to the area that will be covered in leaf. Allow it to dry for about 10 minutes; you want it to be dry but still tacky. If the gilding size is too wet the leaf will be gooey, so apply it thin and let it dry for a few minutes. 

DIY geometric gold leaf votives

I made a little pile of gold leaf. Oh, here's a tip: do not sneeze in the presence of leaf. Do not use a fan of any kind in the presence of leaf. Do not breathe heavily in the presence of leaf. This material is as light as air and it will go everywhere! 

gold leaf

I rolled the glass into the pile of leaf, then patted it on to any thin areas with my fingers. 

Let it dry for a few minutes before removing excess leaf.

Use a regular old paint brush or any brush with stiff bristles to remove the excess material. You want a very thin layer. I sort of chip away at the leaf, holding the brush against the glass vertically. Save the extra, store it in a baggie, and use it again. 

Can you see the bits of copper mixed in there? 

DIY geometric gold leaf votives

I still use the votives from the Swap It Challenge. I love the glow. 

gold leaf votives

DIY geometric gold leaf votives

DIY geometric gold leaf votives

The jam container functions as our spare change jar.  

gold leaf on glass

Also, now my kids are gold-leafing all of the things.

kids crafts gold leaf diy

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Summer 2016: Loveland Castle

I'm taking a break from the topic of home decor, furniture restoration, and DIY to get out of the house and break the routine boredom of summer. A few weeks ago I decided to resign from my full time job and stay home with the kids. They are getting too big, too fast. The youngest Stevens is already 8, and I feel like I'm chasing after the precious memories.

The reality is that summers at home quickly become a chorus of bored kids who pick fights or watch tv all day, so I devised a plan to avoid these pitfalls, and explore our beautiful adopted state of Ohio. Each week we will choose a different spot to visit, armed with a picnic, because the point is not to spend money, but rather to spend the day outside. Weekly outings force me to be creative in finding interesting places to visit.

This week we drove just outside of Cincinnati to explore Loveland Castle with neighborhood friends. 

The castle is smaller in real life that it appears in pictures, but still very cool to walk through. I would have loved to spend the day here as a kid, letting my imagination run wild. 

Medieval law finally caught up to this guy. Too much sass will land you in the stocks. 

That's so much better than sitting in an air-conditioned house all day. 

Next week - back to Upstate NY for lakes, vineyards, antiques, a new baby, and a special birthday!

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