Tag Archives: Furniture

Radio Silence

21 Apr

Yes, I have been silent for almost a month! Yikes.

BIG things are changing around here.

We are taking the plunge.

Townhouse is for sale.

New house keys are in hand coming this Saturday.

I put in my resignation at work last Thursday.

We are moving!

Back to an older established neighborhood, with a back yard and a great community feeling. I am so excited. Start of a new life in a swank neighborhood LOL.

I am planning to stay home and dabble in whatever I can to make some cash. So far between my own ideas of what I should do and other people’s suggestions I have this list of possible simultaneous at-home career endeavors: babysitter, before/after school child minder, dog walker, art teacher, garden planner/weekly weeder/planter creator, furniture refinisher etc. I think there were two or three more that I can’t remember right now. Of course, furniture refinisher is my number one dream career. But I am being realistic and think that something more steady, like babysitter will take precedent and furniture refinisher will need to flourish from small beginings.

So right now I am in a fury of activity excited about decorating a new place. Selling “old” furniture on Kijiji … most of which we bought at IKEA new three years ago when we moved in. Most of them were impulse buys I will admit and I am looking for more thought out pieces this time around. Picking up “new” old furniture off Kijiji to make mine! Packing. Decluttering as I pack. Today I tackled Mr. Somewhat’s embarrassing book collection that I barely unpacked since moving here. Is it wrong that I purposefully left all his Star Wars and Star Trek novels in the box and never put them on the bookshelf? I also learned that I have been lugging around at least 20 books that belong to neither of us LOL. I always assumed they were his books, he assumed they were mine … I guess some roommate long ago stuck me with them! So I now have two boxes of books that are off to charity. I feel better already. Tomorrow I am tackling the linen closet. Goodbye 4 year old shampoo I never use but didn’t have the heart to throw out. Good bye!


Get on with it …

15 Mar

I often pick the hard road and I don’t know why — especially when it comes to refinishing furniture. I never choose to strip a piece of furniture that is only varnished … No, I always choose to paint over those things for some reason. But when a truly neglected and over-painted piece of furniture comes into my life I always seem to choose to strip it … and often regret it …

Enter Olivia’s dresser … my Mom picked up this 1930’s/40’s maple waterfall dresser for $10 at her local Fall Rumage Sale. Yes, I said $10.

However, it had seen some hard times … I thought that I could revive it by stripping off the horrible paint jobs that it had endured over the years … The top two coats were a patchy navy blue spray paint job and then a sparse attempt at rolling white over it … Ugly. Unfortunately the bad paint job hid many things from me … Like extensive veneer damage. So as I stripped off the gross old paint with my favourite paint stripper, Citristrip, it became evident that while the wood was very beautiful, it was also very damaged. So after all that work, I ended up having to paint it. I LOVE the end result though, it took to some light distressing well and made the veneer damage seem purposeful. I actually plan to distress it even more! I haven’t sealed it still, even though she has been using it for two years … The best part of it all, is the inside of the drawers … I painted them Wilton Blue and they are such a nice pop of colour everytime I open them up! I know there are lots of people who frown upon painting inside drawers, but now it is so easy to find good low VOC or No VOC paint, go for it! Make those drawers sing! Your clothes won’t smell like paint! I promise. Just make sure the drawers are completely dry before putting them back in!

I recently rescued a deadly heavy nightstand from the garbage garage in our townhouse complex and of course, it is thick with paint and I started to think about refinishing it.

I was a little worried about it’s composition. Since it is SOOOOO heavy I was thinking it might be made of MDF. So I started my detective work by taking off the ugly drawer pull to reveal that the wood underneath is nice, solid hardwood … I think it might be Walnut … I was inspired once again to pull out the paint stripper … So off I went to Home Depot … looking for this …

Only to find it wasn’t there! I have used every paint stripper on the shelf at one time or another and Citristrip is IT. Nothing else comes close to being as easy and effective … Plus it is safer for you and the environment. So I had to take the plunge with a new product. I sat there staring and Mr. Somewhat was getting impatient. Do I try an new stripper or do I buy a Heat Gun? He pushed me into trying the “new” environmentally friendly stripper on the shelf – Safe Coat.

The hardest part of paint stripping is the dwell time, how long to leave it on before scrapping it off, hopefully with all your paint. Citristrip made it easy, the paint bubbled up and that meant you were in business! Safe Coat has been less effective … after three hours (the minimum dwell time) there was no bubbling and after 24 hours (the recommended maximum dwell time) there was only a handful of areas bubbling. I started scraping anyway, worried that letting it dry might make things worse for me in the end … And it became very evident this was not ready to go …

It was turning into some gross paste, as you can see. I think I counted 6 layers of paint to come off the outside shell – the ochre, white, royal blue, light lavender, and then probably two more coats of white. Inside the shelves is just one rock hard coat of paint that is STUBORN. It sits the same in my basement right now. I know that I want the paint off, I am just not sure going for try number two with the Safe Coat is worth it … I think that a Heat Gun might be the way to go. I just really want to get this over with!


17 Feb

Yes, I will admit, I love IKEA. I know it seems to be a dirty secret for many. But I will admit it.

When you think about it, what is not to love about IKEA?

Their furniture has a good warranty, it goes through rigorous testing, and I discovered last year that their cafeteria is GOOD and really, really CHEAP. So make a day of it! The things at IKEA that are pretty much unbeatable? Mattresses, down duvets, slipcovered furniture, lamps, curtains, wood dressers and wood tables/chairs. Oh, and on the cafeteria note their penne pasta with marinara for $1 is totally unbeatable!!!

I know people diss the “IKEA look” and say the stuff is cheap and falls apart. Well, okay, maybe sometimes this is true. These people are the ones buying the $5 stools and hoping they last 20 years … they won’t and yes, they will look cheap and like “classic IKEA.” But for people buying the middle of the road products you will find them happy with their purchase years later and you probably didn’t even notice that their furniture was from IKEA. Honest, you should check out the store with fresh eyes.

And the best part, when something does get broken or lost, go to the parts department and they will give you a replacement part, most times for FREE. Yes, I have been several times to get additional pieces that were lost in a move … or that were missing from a piece I bought second hand. And most of their products and assembly methods don’t change often, so you can come in LOOONG after you got your piece and still get help. I have been with a roommate of mine to recover a new bolt for a 15 year old Poang chair that his mom handed down to him and low and behold, they had it.

I’m not just talking here. I LIVE my love of IKEA LOL. Most of the furniture in my house is from IKEA. When Mr. Somewhat moved in with me we had conflicting decorating styles to say the least. I had a light and airy beach vibe going with light wood and white and beige … and he had an Asian inspired thing going on with dark wood and burgandy and golds and moss greens. So it got mashed all together. I did what I could to mesh everything but there were some things that just didn’t work out. And when it came time to move I decided that I was going to sell 90% of the furniture we had and start fresh. And that meant frequent trips to IKEA. I was on Maternity Leave then and I had lots of time at home to take photos and post on Kijiji. When Mr. Somewhat would come home from work at night I would shove a wad of $20s into his hand and tell him to “go to IKEA tomorrow and get blank and oh yeah, I sold blank and blank today …” All our bed frames and matresses are from Ikea. Our dresser. So is our TV stand, end tables and desk. Our dining set it also from Ikea. And most recently I have added the beloved Ektorp armchairs to our living room. I wasn’t prepared to pay full price for them and I have been stalking Kijiji for years hoping to grab some for cheap but I always missed out. I missed getting the four different free ones I have seen, I missed a few in the $40-60 range and a few around $100. Then I found out that the white slipcovers are now $24!!! What!? So I kicked it into high gear and got really aggressive and I GOT my chairs. How much you ask? I paid $25 each, plus $24 for the covers, so that is $49 each, when new they are $250 each! And they are as wonderful as I imagined they would be and I know they will live with us Happily Ever After for a very long time.