Monday, May 30, 2011

Dry Brushing My Columns for a Restoration Hardware Look

I've had these columns for several years in another room in the house.  I wanted to try them on the screened porch. Here's an image of the columns with their original dark stain.  I couldn't decide if I wanted them in the screened porch room or not.

  I decided I'd like them if I could give them a gray wash to match the mirror.  I selected a dark gray latex paint. There's a close up of the mirror below.  Very Restoration Hardware look, don't you think?

First, I decided I would practice on the back side of the column.   I lightly sanded the columns because I wanted the dark stain to show through.  I removed all the dust and debris and wiped the column down with a damp cloth.

Next, I went over the surface with a dry brush and followed with a damp cloth.  This didn't work.  Too much of the paint came off.

Back to the drawing board.  I selected a small section of the column and soaked the area with a wet cloth.   I then applied the paint again with a dry brush.  Success!  The dampened area was just enough to dilute the paint, the dry brush gave a light coating of paint, and the stain showed through.  Perfect.  I worked my way all over the column, dampening small sections at a time and making sure that I feathered in where one section began and the other ended.

On the left is the original stained column and on the right the dry brushed one.

Did you know that adding water raises the grain of  wood and lets it accept stain or paint easier?  Try it.  It worked for me on the columns.

Here they are in the screened porch room.  What do you think?

To see the original post, go here.  To see final result views of the screened porch, go here for view one, here for view two, and here for view three.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Lime Washing My Factory Cart for a Belgian-Furniture Look

Several months ago I bought a factory cart and wanted to use it as a coffee table on my screened porch.  Let's just say the price was right but the colors weren't.  It was only $100.  I've seen them as high as $600.   Ever the bargain hunter, I decided I could do something with it to make it work for me.

Here's what it looked like.  Red, green, and a touch of yellow.  Yuck.

The equally attractive under side.  It looks like a dead bug.

First,  I bought some environmentally safe paint stripper to remove the Christmas colors.  
Either I wasn't patient enough or it didn't work.

Plan B.  I used a stainless steel paint in a flat finish.  It was something my husband had on hand.  His hobby is working on vintage cars and this paint was manufactured by Eastwood, an auto parts restoration company, and is sold for painting cast metal.   I liked its flat finish.  I sanded and cleaned the entire cart and applied the paint to all metal surfaces. Yea, colors were gone.
I think that any gray paint in a flat finish that can be used on metal would work just as well.

Next, the liming.  I went on line and was ready to buy a very expensive liming kit.
I read a little more about liming and found out that all a liming finish is is diluted white paint which settles into and accentuates the wood grain.
Oak is the type of wood you most see with a lime wash because of its very deep and visible grain.

How lucky am I?  The wood on my cart was oak.   I decided I wanted to use some very light gray paint.  The closest color would be Benjamin Moore Rockport Gray.  Or, you could just use white.

Instead of mixing the paint with water, I saturated the boards with a wet cloth, painted on the gray, then followed with another wet cloth, wiping off the paint.  It worked!  The paint stuck in the wood grain and lightly coated the rest of the surface.

Here's what it looked like when I finished.  The paint accentuated the grain and gave a translucent finish to the smooth  surfaces.  It didn't even take an hour.

This is the wood top.  The paint very easily filled into the grain.
I need to mention that this was a raw wood surface that I sanded.

In place in the screened porch.

A  View from the Top

Give it a try.  Easy Peasy.


Completed Porch

If you missed the original screened porch post, go here.  If you missed final results of the posts on the screened porch, go here for view one, here for view two, and here for view three.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Whenever I'm trying to take photos and there's a mirror in the room, I cringe.  I normally have a terrible time controlling the reflection.  Well, while taking the photos of the porch a very unexpected thing happened.  The reflections were so interesting that I decided to share them.  If you've been following along you should be able to recognize the vignettes. Take a peek through the looking glass.


Did you figure them out?


Completed Porch

If you missed the original screened porch post, go here.  To see the final result of the screened porch redo, go here for view one, here for view two, and here for view three.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Screened Porch Reveal View Three

This view is the brick wall near the entrance into the house.  It's the wall you see first when you enter from outside.   I covered a rectangular table with a gray giraffe print.  Above the table is a framed over-sized tin ceiling tile section.  My collection of bottles are on one side, and on the other some "ferns" and a dress form woman.  I draped some jewelry around the bottle to add some sparkle.  There's a mercury glass orb in the cement wall sconce.

You can see the items better in this next photo.
I included the previous one so you could get a feel for the room.  I'm thinking about getting a piece of glass cut for the top of the table.  When I have guests I can remove the items and use it for a buffet.  What do you think?

A close up of the woman dress form and the metal ferns.

And a close up of the other side with the bottles.

There's one final post about the porch.  Please check back.

Thanks for following along.


Completed Porch

If you missed the original post, go here.

To see the final room result view one, go here, and for view two, go here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Screened Porch Reveal View Two

In this area I have a garden table and chairs.  On the table are iron candlesticks, a cloche on a pedestal, and suspended above it, a wire orb.  I'm planning on adding a cord and light inside the orb.

Another view of table with my over sized silver tray.

In front of the cart I added two director's chairs with a garden stool between them.

This is a close up of the items on the garden table.

Behind the director's chairs is another small matching garden table. 

On top of the table is the lantern with vintage books and an iron bird.
A piece of faux blue coral is along side it.

Underneath, a stack of rattan suitcases.

One room view left.  Check back for the next post.


Completed Porch

If you missed the original porch redo post, go here.   If you missed view one of the final room result, go here.  To see view three go here.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I've Been Featured on Centsational Girl

One of my favorite blogs is Centsational Girl.   It's written by Kate, a super talented. creative and amazingly prolific blogger.  She's appeared on Nate Berkus too.  
 She recently hosted a party where bloggers could share their outdoor projects.  I thought that my
screened porch redo met the criteria so I decided to share.
Imagine my surprise and excitement when I went to her blog to show my husband what a linky party was and there was my screened porch.  I still can't believe it. 

Here's what she said about me:
"Kathy from All About Vignettes built a screened in porch then furnished it with European flair.  Wow, this view is like something out of House Beautiful, the columns, the mirror, the fabrics… swoon!

Thank you Kate.  It is an honor to be recognized by you.

To see the full post, go here.

Screened Porch Reveal View One

Whew, it's done.  Since there's so much going on in there, and I don't have a wide angle lens, I'm going to individually feature several views of the room.
This wall is to your right as you enter from the sidewalk through the screened door.  It's the wall where the sofa finally stayed.

In a previous post, here, you saw the sofa and mirror.  I was indecisive about the columns.  I decided to keep them in the mix and used a dry brush technique to get them to be the same color as the mirror.  I'll do a tutorial on this in another post.  I decided not to use the chartreuse accents I was considering in the previous post.  On one side of the sofa I  used a painted garden table with an attached lamp and a magazine rack.

And on the other side a vintage medical cabinet with its original chippy swirly paint design.  I  added an alabaster lamp, blue transfer ware bowl, and a piece of coral.

This is another angle of the same view.  In the foreground you can see my factory cart.  It was painted red, green, and yellow.  I'll do a separate post to tell you how I achieved the Belgian look.

Below is a top view of  the factory cart.

On top of the cart I placed weathered medical books, bound with twine and topped with a starfish.  In the large hammered metal bowl are some floats and shells.

Next post will feature another view of the room. Three views in all.
If you missed the original post, go here.
To see view two go here and for view three here.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In Between Screened Porch Decor

(To see the completed screened porch post, go here. )

I've reached that in between point in the porch styling.  It's not as overwhelming as just beginning, but it's not quite done yet.  This is the time I say to myself, "What were you thinking?"  "Why don't you use a design board?"  "This isn't going to work."

This is the design decision point.  What should make the cut for this room?  This is also problem solving time.  Let me share the wall I painted.  The design dilemma is that I have two windows that are different sizes.   One is the powder room window and the other is for the garage.

I decided that I would fake the sizes by making  draperies  the same length and width and just keep them closed.  Here's the result.  What do you think?
I gave instructions for rod pocket draperies in a previous post if you're interested.

If you've been following this process you've noticed that the sofa is now on another wall and I've added chartreuse to the cobalt/gray mix.  Another decision.  Should the third color stay or go?
My husband suggested that I share the next images.  He said you always show the nice stuff--beginning and end.  You never show the in between mess.  So here it is.

One last decision.  Does the column stay or go?  If it stays do I leave it natural or try to do a Restoration Hardware look gray?

Mr. AAV and I hung the mirror above the sofa.  I like.  One more image.  The mess (that actually looks attractive) reflected in the mirror. 

Please check back.  Design dilemmas will be solved, color choices will be made, and those darn accessories--what will stay and what will go?   Come back to see what makes the cut.  I'm not done yet.


Completed Porch

If you missed the original screened porch post, go here If you missed final results of the posts on the screened porch, go here for view one, here for view two, and here for view three.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Some Decor Inspiration Teasers

The screened porch saga still continues. 
I wanted to share the decor inspiration for the porch.  Or, as my family teasingly calls it, the excuse to change things around again.  I found this wonderful iron daybed at an estate sale.  It actually had these custom gray cushions that I actually like.  Again, on one of my spend my gift card money from Nate Berkus shopping trips, I found these fabulous sea life pillows at Tuesday Morning. They look a lot like a Thomas Paul fabric, don't you think?   There were only two.  Bummer.  So, I had my color scheme:  gray and cobalt.  And I had a ton of wicker furniture to unload.

Just thought I'd show you a few other finds I'm considering for the porch.  This mirror is from Home Goods.  I love the look.  I think I'll definitely use it on the porch.

(Any suggestions for photographing mirrors would be greatly appreciated.)

Also at Tuesday Morning I found these bound sisal rugs.  Side note:  If you're looking for very nice sisal rugs at a super price go there.  I found two 5x8 rugs for less than $100 each.  I was so excited because not only were they a good price, but they also were trimmed in gray.  They look a little uneven because they were folded up.  I'm sure they'll flatten.

Last tease.  I found this lantern at Home Goods too.  I don't know what I'll put inside, but it won't be a candle.  I"m thinking some shells or a stack of books.  What do you think?
I've had the garden orb for a while hanging above the table under the pergola.  I'm thinking about suspending it from the ceiling and adding a light and cord cover.
I love corbels.  I'm particularly excited about this one because it's gray.

And then I found these.  How often do you get the chance to coordinate your decor with your dishes? ( I just wanted to make sure that you know that you should not take this comment seriously.)
They're acrylic.  I'll have to have a party if I ever finish this project.

Stay tuned.  More screened porch to come.

If you missed the previous posts, go here, here, and here.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Screened Porch Pendant Lighting

  Now I'm ready to move inside and tackle the lighting.

I was so excited when I found these solid brass lights at an estate sale.  I bought the entire box of them.  Here's what they looked like when I got them home.

As you can see, they were wall mounted lights and I wanted them to be pendant lighting.  I'm very lucky to have Mr. AAV.  He never complains or criticizes when I come home with crazy projects.  He always trusts my ideas and willingly helps me out. What a great guy!   
He decided that he could remove the wall mounted brackets and attach a chain to make them work as pendants.  Hooray.  Here's what one looked like when he disassembled it and discovered the many repairs he would have to make.

 My sweet, patient, careful husband (opposites must attract) not only cleaned the filth and paint spatters, but he soldered joints that had separated, replaced the old wiring with new, purchased and added matching chain and replaced the socket covers.  I told him that I wanted three of them hanging in a row.  He said he knew it would look great, just like New Orleans, and suggested that we wall mount one beside the door too. 

Here's what they look like on the porch.  Don't they look fabulous?  There's bead board in between the roof supports.

Here's the wall mounted pendant.

Please check back as I continue to work on the screened porch.  If you missed the first porch redo post, go here.  To see images of the completed porch, click on the image below or here.