Refried Furniture- -Entertainment Center (FINALLY)

I have finally finished the entertainment center! I feel accomplished. Here's a piece of free advice, use it in good health, when redoing furniture, especially larger pieces, do not do them in a one-bedroom apartment as there is not much space and you WILL get black paint on your carpet! This was not a huge feat of any sort however it was a big project to me. I repainted our bedroom furniture last year, looks rough, but did not spend the time on it like I should have however ANYTHING and I mean ANYTHING would have looked better than what it looked like before and it does look "better" but compared to what it was that's not saying much... This project however was a chance for redemption in my attempts to paint furniture. Re-re-painting the bedroom suite will be next but not any time before we move. I was bound and determined to do this piece (and the coffee table) to the best of my ability and to spend TIME on it. All in all this has taken me about 2 1/2 - 3 weeks factoring in illness and life in general. I must say it is by no means perfect and there are several mistakes but I must also say it is a pretty decent looking piece now. I am proud of it. It was a really fun project to do and took some good work and if nothing else painting was a form of relaxation for me which is good because it counteracted my craziness from having a VERY disheveled apartment! I bought the piece from a furniture consignment shop on Lorna Road called Home Again. It is a tiny store with some diamonds-in-the-rough and some straight-up junk. I paid $45 for the solid wood piece and quite frankly I think it was a steal! As you will see from the pictures it had some cute(insert sarcastic tone) brassy-goldish hardware on it which I was quick to paint and some embellishments that I was not sure about but after a good coat of paint turned out nicely. Let me pause to say it is truly amazing what a good coat of paint can do. It is the same form of amazing that a good haircut can do for someone. I would say good paint to furniture is what a good haircut to people is. Something simple yet makes all the difference. So anyways, I had AW remove all of the hardware and doors and drawers and I got to work. I lightly sanded every piece to begin with and wiped all of the dust off. I began painting to "TV doors" first. I did two coats of the black paint on the front and back and let them dry. In the mean time I painted 2 of the 5 shelves black. The natural color of the wood is really pretty so I decided to leave some of it exposed but only the parts where it was not scratched. While the shelves were drying I then began painting the drawers solid black. This took me about an hour or so on each drawer and I did two good coats. When the paint had dried on the TV doors I taped them off and painted the middle panel in the Hampton Green. I let the green paint dry overnight and then distressed the panels so that the black shows through the green a little bit. To distress the green panel I had to use a different kind of sandpaper that was very coarse. Do not use wimpy sandpaper when distressing, it will just look like you have smudged the paint. I also painted the embellishments and hardware black and I love the way they turned out. I then began work on the glass "media doors". I taped off the glass and then gave each door two good coats in the Black Suede. I also taped off some of the wood that I decided to leave exposed. Honestly, I wish I would have left some part of the wood exposed on the drawers as well but oh well, a lesson learned. After the black paint had dried on the media doors I painted the bottom panels green, let them dry overnight and distressed them allowing the wood to slightly come through. I used a roller to paint the sides and top of the entertainment center's body and a small, craft brush to paint the detailing. Painting the body was the easiest and quickest part. I also gave it two good coats of the Black Suede. As I stated earlier, I am pleased with the results although there are some spots where the paint is not perfectly even or a line is not perfectly straight but these are things that I hope to improve upon as I continue to get experience. This piece and the coffee table have truly redeemed my abilities and the bedroom furniture can be forgiven however it is not forgotten. I have no idea when I will be able to work on it but hopefully by the end of this summer I can get it done! Enjoy all of the pictures I took and ignore some of the weird spots that show up, I suppose my lens is dirty. I am definitely no photographer. Also, be on the lookout for my next post as I will be reviewing a really neat book!

PS -- I threw in a great picture of a Sistine Chapel model in here (AW loves to steal the show) =)

The cost for a "new" entertainment center was:
$45 - furniture
$20 - paint
$6 - sandpaper



Refried Furniture - - Coffee Table

I re-did my new coffee table this weekend! I purchased it at Encore Resales in Pelham. I love that store! They have a lot of already re-done furniture which I would buy all of it if I could. They have some of the most beautiful pieces I have seen. They also have a thrift market where there is cheapy furniture just waiting to be re-done! That is where I found my diamond-in-the-rough of a coffee table. I have a picture of how it looked originally but it's on another camera and I just can't figure out how to get it on the computer. I will give you a quick description of it; it was a decent warm wood color with a glossy finish however there were some minor scratches and little flecks of blue paint here and there. I then went to Home Depot and purchased Behr paint in Black Suede and Hampton Green. I love Behr paint! I used Sherwin Williams last year for a project and it just does not compare. Behr is so smooth and thick and it is fairly easy to manipulate. I got the colors in a flat matte finish. I also got a small roller and a brush. I sanded the table lightly all over and then painted a coat of the black suede (which is an absolutely gorgeous color; I would paint a whole room in this if I could). I let that coat dry for about and hour or two and then I painted a second coat. I then let the whole table dry overnight. My original plan was to paint the whole thing black then green then distress it all but when AW saw the table in black he begged me to leave it like that but I already had the green paint and I was really excited about trying out my plan so I told him that if the green looked bad I would just paint it over with the black and be done with it. Saturday was a really busy day so I did not get to work on it at all but Sunday morning I painted the table-top green but decided, in the spirit of marital compromise =), to leave the legs black. I let the table dry for a few hours and then I used a small craft paint brush to dry brush black streaks all over the top. I let the table dry overnight again and then Monday morning I sanded the top. Now, for this sanding I had to use a lot of muscle because I had done two coats of the green paint when I should have done only one because of the thickness. I distressed it and I really like the way it turned out. I am really glad that I left the bottom black. It might have been too much if the whole table had been distressed green. Here are some pictures of the process. Let me know what you think (be honest but don't judge my messy apt.)! I am almost done with the entertainment center. I am hoping to have it done no later than Saturday but we will see how that goes! Just be on the lookout for it...
The cost for a new coffee table was:
$18 - table
$20 - paint (I bought a gallon of each because I am using it for the E.C. also but I really only needed a 1/2 gal. total for both projects, so I overspent here)
$2 - sand paper


Refried Furniture--Salvaged Seats

So, I am undertaking a couple of furniture re-do projects and I will be blogging about the results. The first one is a very small project of re-upholstering my dining room chairs. AW & I are so fortunate in the fact that we did not have to purchase any furniture except a TV stand when we got married. AW's parents gave us a dining room table and chairs however the set is older. The fabric on the chairs was stained and outdated. Also, the set is small however the pattern on the chairs was large. It was too large and was overpowering making the table set seem even smaller. I, with the help of AW's muscles =), recovered the chairs with a smaller, more delicate & fun pattern. It was too easy plus all of the fabric at Hobby Lobby was on sale this week! We purchased a strong stapler from Home Depot plus some staples and went to work. We (& when I say "we" I mean AW) simply unscrewed the seats, placed the seat cushions upside down on the fabric and pulled it tight around the seat and AW stapled right over the existing fabric then just screwed the seats back on. I purchased 3 yards of fabric although I could have done it all with only 2 yards. We are talking about how to update the look of the table & chairs by possibly staining them. What do you think we should do? Take a look at the pictures and leave suggestions on what you think would look best! We are totally open.
All in all for new seats the cost was:
$13 - Fabric
$9 - Stapler
$3 - Staples

Be on the lookout for more posts on an entertainment center and coffee table that I am currently working on... 



Budget Bride: v. 1.3

February already?! I better get to blogging!

TIP #3 -- 
DIY (to a point)
WHY: Savings! Savings! Savings! The more money you save on the wedding the more money you have for the honeymoon! I am all about DIY projects BUT keep in mind that if you have TOO much DIY going on it is not worth the stress! I repeat, NOT WORTH IT! Sometimes it IS just better to pay for a service rather than have a headache. Know your personal strengths and weaknesses and how much you will or won't be able to personally take on.
There were 4 major areas that we did ourselves (me & my mom): Flowers, Programs, Headpiece and Invitations. I will discuss Flowers first. Ladies, if you've been looking for a florist you know that flowers are a pretty penny. They are beautiful and completely necessary for your big day however it is not necessary to spend a fortune. I did not do all of the flowers for my wedding, I only did the bridesmaid's bouquets. This was fun however I kept putting it off which was not wise on my part but in the end I'm glad I did it and it saved a lot of $moolah$. I got fake flowers from Hobby Lobby. They had the best selection and their flowers are very life-like. To make bridesmaid's bouquets I purchased fake yellow roses and a fake, green blossom, wire cutters, ribbon to wrap and pearly pins. I also bought a little basket for the flower girl and wrapped the same ribbon around the handle and put fake petals in her basket. In all I spent a little under $100 for flower girl and 6 bridesmaids. You just can't do that at a florist (unless family's in the biz). Also, a little side note here, I had a hard time finding a florist I liked. Mom & I met with a few and I just did not like the work that I saw and I did not like them. Thanks to our caterer & friend who told us about a florist out in Odenville who we went to meet with and I really liked her and I loved her work. I realize that this is a little bit of a drive but it was totally worth it! She knew exactly what I wanted and the arrangements for the church and my bouquet were absolutely perfect! I could not have been happier! Do not just settle for a florist, make sure you find who you like. Also, make sure they have RECENT photos of their work. If all of their photos are outdated it could be a tell-tale sign...
I am definitely for fake flowers to a point. They are great because you can re-use them for other occasions. My cousin got married in May 2007 and they used some fake flowers that were gorgeous that they let us use as well. What a blessing!
CAUTION: If doing flowers yourself it is best to use fake flowers so that you can have them done in advance because you will not want to do them at any point during your actual wedding weekend. Be careful when buying fake flowers! You do NOT want them to LOOK fake and especially not plastic-y. This is a tragedy that is not worth the saving of any amount of money! If you do not have an eye for this or do not have someone who can help it would be better for you to just pay a florist!
*Next DIY project was programs. This is another thing that I am super glad we did and caused no stress! I bought white and 3 different shades of blue cardstock paper and found a really neat bird stamp. Thankfully my dad is "tech-savvy" and found the same bird image online so he just put it in the layout on the computer and we just printed them from his office. Now, I did not include music (because we did not have any special music in our ceremony) or anything like that on our programs, it was basically just the wedding party listed. They were very simple yet perfect for our wedding but anyone can do these and make them look however you want! Big money saver here!
CAUTION: When doing programs yourself make sure you include all of your wedding party. We printed all of our programs and Mom suddenly realized we forgot to put the flower girl's name on there, sorry Mal!
*Thirdly, a fun DIY project for me was creating my headpiece! I knew from the beginning that I did not want to wear a veil so this was a great alternative! I found a sparkly, and by sparkly I don't mean glittery I mean crystal-y, headband and also bought a broach that was hand-crafted from some lady in the Galleria. I got some jewelry wire and attached the broach to the headband and viola! instant headpiece! I loved it! I was inspired to do this because when I was trying on my wedding dress they gave me a similar headpiece to try on that was $350 because it was made out of swarovsky crystals. It was gorgeous but too much money to spend on something I was just going to wear once. I knew I could do this myself. I also wore it to my bridal tea and it now sits on our dresser by a wedding photo and is beautiful!
*The last DIY project was invitations. This one was a doozy, to say the least. This is also another area where we saved a ton of $! I got the invitations at Michael's and they were on clearance so I spent about $40 for 200 invitations. They came complete with envelopes, RSVP cards and return envelopes. Now, the easy part was printing them at Dad's office. They looked great! The doozy part was addressing all of those envelopes! I will admit, Mom did most, if not all of that, but sealing the envelopes, putting on the stamps and addressing them was extremely time consuming! I wish we would have just paid someone to address them for us but in the end we did save!
*Another small, small task we did ourselves, that I just remembered, was the bubbles. Mom bought boxes of little bubbles and we put yellow and blue ribbon around them. Too easy!
**There were other tasks that Mom & I did not do but that were lovingly done by my aunts and friends! My aunt Nancy rolled and wrapped the silverware with adorable blue & yellow ribbon, the caterer (Tammy) put together a gorgeous flower arrangement for the food table, and my aunts, Nancy & Vickie, along with friend, Tammy, decorated the reception. They did the tables, lighting and all of the other special touches that went in to making it the most beautiful and wonderful day ever. Also, my sweet dad & brothers set up the tables, chairs, etc... It was all that I had dreamed of! I could never thank anyone enough!
Moral of the story: DIY but not too much. You don't want your wedding to look "home-made" or "crafty" and you certainly don't want to add any more stress to your life BUT DIY as much as possible to save! save! save!

Here are lots of pics for you to see the end products: