Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Finding Normal

It's 4 am and I am awake...again. As of late this is a totally normal thing. The only difference is today I am not going to lay in bed hoping that sleep will find me. I am so over being a patient person in regards to all the stuff I am processing through. Ugh...processing.  That seems to have become a dirty word as I am so tired of hearing it or using it. Usually I lay in bed waiting, ever so patiently for sleep to find me so I can drift off back to dreamland. But if I am going to be honest with myself I am going to admit that if I do remember dreaming, they would be considered nightmares. Sure, they seem peaceful enough... and then there are a few threads of truth to my dreams, enough to remind me how scary the life I once led would be terrifying for most.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Table Redo Part 2

Okay, so I have previously revealed to you my plan for this awesome thrift store find. And I have begun to work on it and it has been beyond therapeutic! Working with things that you get to make into your own piece of heaven is always an amazing feeling! So first things first, let me show what I have done to get things moving.


I have refinished a lot of furniture over the last 10 years. I have done this by sanding, stripping and sometimes just painting over the top of the existing paint. It all depends on what I want the finished product to look like for which method I decide to do. In this case, I combined all 3. 

The Legs

The legs were awesome as is. As in the nicks, dents and grooves were perfect and I wasn't about to touch them to ruin them. So I knew that I was going to paint over them. No sanding, no stripping. This is where we have a curtain call for a handy little product we call Denatured Alcohol. I don't know exactly how it works, but it does. You get an old rag and saturate it with the denatured alcohol. Thoroughly wipe down the surface you are going to paint over. This type of alcohol seems to penetrate through the existing paint (whether it is acrylic, latex, oil, or enamel) and preps the surface for the new paint to adhere. And adhere it does.

I used Rustoleum spray paint in Almond. I feel like their paint seems to have more saturation of color so more covering power, and their color is just pure color. You get excellent coverage and you only have to wait minutes in between coats verses hours. Always read the back of the can of the spray paint you are using. Not all spray paint is the same. And if you do not re coat within the window of time on the back of the can- WAIT. Always wait. If you don't, then you run the risk of it peeling or not adhering, or scratching off. Just trust me on this.

The legs took me a grand total of like 60 minutes.

The Tabletop

This was a little more of a delicate part of the table. I needed to strip down the paint because I wanted the top to be a wood color. I didn't want to sand it down, and I am really glad I didn't. It would have been a huge expense in just sand paper. I tried a small part and it kept gumming up underneath the paper. So I got out the paint stripper. The one I use is spray able and I am all about easy. I sprayed it on the table top. By the time I got to the end of the table it had been the 15 minute wait time to start scraping off the paint. I recommend gloves. I don't know what is in paint stripper, but I know there is enough of something to eat away years and layers of paint. So I am sure eating through your delicate skin is no problem (yes, it burns...badly).

I got a really nice surprise as I scraped off the paint. There was a perfectly oiled butcher block like table top. Who covered this up?!? Well, no wonder the sand paper was gumming up. It smelled like Danish Oil under the black paint. So I am sure that was another reason the paint came off so easily. There were parts that left little flecks of the black paint behind. But I couldn't have placed them more perfectly. My husband, that is new to this DIY redo stuff kept asking if I was gonna get it off. I just kept laughing at him. Now that he sees it... he gets it. I did have to sand a little bit as there were places there were knots in the woods that seemed to have the sap disappeared with the paint stripper. But not much effort was put into the prep of the table top.

Next, I wanted to darken up the wood a bit, and even it all out. Not to mention the fact I am kind of picky about the color of "wood" I have in my house. It can't be too yellow or too red... just a good neutral.

So when you apply wood stain in this type of setting, the method is pretty important, to me at least. This table has all these nicks and grooves in the top and I want to make sure these depressions get the stain in them and that this color gets left behind. I use one of those cheapo little brushes from your local home improvement store to wipe a thick layer of the stain on going with the grain. Then I use a rag (that I plan on throwing away) to wipe the stain and really rub it into the wood going against the grain. I then finish it up by wiping with the grain, again. After this, I let it dry. Since I did this in sections, I used this rag to wipe onto the almond color legs to accentuate the worn look on the legs and give it a nice patina.


At this point, if you had no intention of putting anything else on the table top, you could just seal it. So if you have no desire to paint a piece of furniture with a map or anything else, I will mention finishing before the hand painting. I have used polyurethane and polycrylic, and my vote is for polycrylic. It doesn't yellow and when it dries, it is really hard and durable for high traffic areas like tables and chairs. BUT, there is a catch... polycrylic adheres best to water based stains and paints. And if there are impurities on the wood, it tends to draw them out and bind to them instead of the wood. So in this project, I used polyurethane. 

As for the chairs, I am going to refinish 4 of my chairs. The others are going to be used to create benches for the long sides of the table. I am really excited (and you should be to, because it is going to take your breath away!) for this as I am going to paint a bunch of different colors (imagine coral, gold, teal, olive green, and a brick red). So yeah, this project still has a ways to go... but it will be oh so very worth it!


At this point I hand drew out the map using a pencil. I tried as best I could to come as close as possible to what the map looked like. Of course, I am not perfect, so there are errors, and mistakes.

 I planned the vinyl, and positioning of all the stencils.

Here is a close up of the compass rose in the upper right corner of the table.

And this is a close up of the map name I designed. it is stenciled in the top middle of the table.

I used a very small brush (a nail striper) to trace the lines of everything that was not a stencil. I used a more full (eye) liner brush for the pink, green, and yellows. And just a regular paint brush for the stenciling.

I peeled the stencils while they were still wet so that the paint didn't peel off with the stencil when it dried. Once this was all dry, I began applying the polyurethane.

And after hours of waiting to dry, I had to call in an army of guys to lift this heavy thing into the kitchen. We had only minor injuries... :)

I apologize for the dark pictures, but it is winter in Utah. The sun goes down early, and I have an east facing house with a covered porch. It is just not a great combo for will lit photos.

This one gives you a view of the chairs I still have to refinish....

Thanks for stopping by... I better get going! I am really excited to get started on those chairs!!

#rustoleum #tableredo #awholelotofschmidt #tableredowithvintagedutchmap

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The No Resolution- Resulutions

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I know many bloggers have long ago posted their New Year Resolutions. I have said before how much I enjoy making and keeping resolutions, but life in this last year has gone by way too fast with too much change. I have been really struggling trying to decide what I want to change, improve, or resolve to do better at.

I thought it was so weird to be struggling to discover things, and my relief society lesson in church yesterday led me to realize that the Lord is hearing me and talking to me. So thank you to that wonderful sister who taught yesterday (you know who you are ;) ). One of the sources for her lesson was a BYU speech I read that started me on my path to a lot of change this last June. There is a quote from this speech that I love:
"Is there any future for me? What does a new year...hold for me? Will I be safe? Will life be sound? Can I trust in the Lord and in the future? Or would it be better to look back, to go back, to go home?
To all such of every generation, I call out, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the “high priest of good things to come."
-Jeffrey R. Holland
So, after a lot of thought and pondering, I have decided on no resolutions of the normal type this year....
If you have read my Emotional and Mental Burnout Post, Room With a View or my New About Me Post you will see that over the last 12 months my brain is fried. Lol! Just dealing with anxiety, a pretty serious knee surgery, divorce and remarriage all in one year has been a lot. There are many times I wonder what God is thinking placing this much change on a life all at once, but I have to remember He knows what I can handle... The adjustments for myself alone have sometimes left me feeling like my life is unmanageable, but to throw on top of this helping with the fragile emotions of children adjusting as well, and blending 2 different people's lives and kids??? Yeah, crazy is the right word.

I haven't thrown the concept of resolutions out all together. I am just saying the ones that seem so tangible are not on my list this year. In the last 4 months I have found that  everytime I make a resolution for anything I am choosing, I am finding myself feeling alone and frustrated, and mostly just overwhelmed. I was perplexed knowing that change is what God wants from us. But I was forgetting the part that what He also wants, is my will with any changes that are being made. To sacrifice what I want, for what He wants for me.
I have decided I am not going to choose for me. I am going to humbly ask what is wanted of me... and go from there. So far, I have this:
  1. Eat- and when you think you have eaten, eat again. I deeply struggle with feeding myself. It seemed so trivial for so long. Now, I see how lack of food contributes to what I cannot get done in a day, what promptings I cannot hear, and how I cannot be the disposition I want, and my family needs, if my body is starving.
  2. Work everyday to see myself the way God sees me- I have lost almost 40 pounds since July. I know this is a good thing, but I don't see it. I still see the woman at her heaviest weight after her 3rd baby. I discovered that body image isn't about how your body looks, it is how I feel about how my body looks. I need to change this feeling.
  3. Stop trying to "get back" to who I used to be- and create who I want to be now. About 5 years ago, I had my crap together. All together. The balancing act of housework, organization, self care, child care, exercise, etc. About 2 and a half years ago something broke inside. I couldn't hold it all together. Yes I was dealing with a marriage falling apart, a father who was dying, and a car accident that changed my life. But "having it all together" should have helped with these crises. It didn't. I was doing too much by myself, not saying "no" when I needed, and not trusting others to help me. This is not the Lord's way. I need to create who I want to be.

Yep, 3 whole things on my list. That is seriously all. The inner lover-of-resolutions-and-personal-change says I need to keep adding things. I know about a gazillion things I could add... but I won't.  Sometimes holding back is the real change we need need?
Have a Happy New Year!