Tag Archives | Avelea

Rocking chair redo

I haven’t been working on a lot of furniture lately, because, well…I’m lazy. And it’s hot. But there’s nothing like a gift for our adorable niece Avelea to get me going again! A few months ago Andrew and I stumbled upon this little rocking chair at a garage sale in our neighborhood.


It was $12, which is a little more than we usually spend on things at garage sales, but where Avie is concerned, I’m beginning to think I won’t be able to say no! And it’s an antique that the previous owners got from a pricey antique store for quite a bit more. After checking with my sister-in-law to make sure they’d have room for it and actually want it (don’t want to be those annoying relatives that buy things the parents would rather not have), we snatched it up!

It was already primed (someone must have been planning to redo it before) so that made it easy on us! We just sanded the primer coat and then used my HVLP gun to spray on a few coats of white chalk paint…specifically Bejamin Moore’s Intense white turned into chalk paint.


I make my DIY chalk paint by mixing Plaster of Paris with a flat or satin latex paint. It’s super easy and much cheaper! I still can’t bring myself to spend $35 on a quart of the real stuff since I love the results with the DIY version!


I like using a natural bristle brush with chalk paint most of the time, but all those spindles looked like drip heaven so I opted for the sprayer this time. After a couple of coats of paint we gave it one last sanding. The finish is very smooth when brushed, but sometimes the sprayer leaves a rougher texture. I didn’t sand enough to distress it, though, because I figured it will get enough distressing on its own with the little miss! Then I waxed it with Minwax paste finishing wax in clear for a little protection.

I prefer to wax using cheesecloth instead of cut up tshirts (like a lot of places recommend) because the cheesecloth leaves no lint and can buff the wax to a shinier finish if desired.

I still wanted it to have character and look a bit aged, just in a more purposeful way than before. I thought about waxing with a dark wax, but used over white paint it sometimes looks too dirty for my taste. I like it better over medium to dark paint colors. I also find it a bit annoying to work with, so I decided to use glaze instead. I use Valspar Clear Mixing Glaze and just add latex paint to create my desired color. You can also add stain.


I didn’t want it to be too dark or obvious that it had been glazed, just enough to add some dimension and make the details pop a bit more. I added black paint to the glaze to make a dark grey. I’ve found that with glaze it’s best to make it a little darker than you want it to appear on the piece. You end up wiping off quite a bit and you only see such small areas of it that it appears lighter.

Working in small sections, I apply the glaze with a cheap chip brush, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe off the excess using clean rags. Don’t go back over areas that have begun to dry as it will take off the glaze. I do the flat sections, too. Not as much stays there, obviously, but I do think it stains the paint just the tiniest bit and helps the color look more consistent over the whole piece. Here’s before glazing…


And after. What did I say? It’s very subtle.


But I think if you look closely you can tell that the details pop a little more. And you can definitely tell in these up-close before and after pictures.



It’s really just enough that it looks like shadows, but not so overdone that it looks like a new piece of furniture painted to look old. I wanted it to be subtle since her room currently isn’t really a “distressed” or antique theme, and neither is her parent’s house.


This pictures is a good representation of how the glaze is just enough to add some dimension to the chair.


And now on to the pictures I know you’ve all been waiting for…it’s Avelea in her “seat”, as she calls it.

Avelea and seat 1

Isn’t she so adorable?? These pictures were actually before, but they’re just so cute I had to share! She decided at one point she wanted the kitty in her seat and tried to pick him up to put him there. But then she wanted to sit in it again!

Avelea and Chaucer

And here she is with her seat after it arrived at her house. She was pretty sick that day, but she was a trooper and smiled for the camera anyway! I don’t think she has any clue that her “seat” was painted, but she still likes to sit in it and rock away!

Avelea and seat 3Avelea and seat 2


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Avie’s 1st Birthday!

Our niece Avelea turned 1 year old on Friday, and on Saturday her parents threw a big party complete with balloons (which she loved!), a mini cake just for her, and lots of gifts.


So far for all of her gifts (showers and Christmas) we’ve bought her clothes, so we didn’t want to get her clothes again (though there will definitely be more clothes in the future!). Recently she’s taken a liking to books, so we decided to buy her some board books, and give them to her along with these bookends that we bought last year at a garage sale.


At first we were thinking new books, but after realizing they were several dollars a piece, we thought maybe we could find some at a thrift store so we could get her more. Lo and behold, one of our Goodwill stores has a large children’s book section and we were able to find an assorted collection of board books. We thought they’d be $1 a piece, but when we checked out they were only 50 cents each! And no worries, we sanitized every single page of every single book!

Then we painted the bookends. We didn’t love the colors of the bookends (too pastel and typical little girl looking for us) so we wanted them to be something that could go in a little girl’s room, but didn’t look quite so baby-ish. We settled on antique white for the outside part, and a grayish purple for the letters.

I originally thought I would spray paint them, and sprayed a few coats of Ivory Krylon on them.


But even after a few coats it was bubbling slightly, so I sanded them (didn’t take much), and decided to pull out the big guns. I sprayed them with a coat of Kilz Original oil-based spray primer.

This stuff is expensive, but it’s amazing! Oil primer is always a good option for coverage, durability, etc, and it’s so nice not to have to worry about clean up, especially with such a small project. After the primer was dry, I sanded again to smooth out the grittiness from the primer.


Then I used a DIY antique white chalk paint and a custom mixed grayish purple chalk paint for the letters. (Remember you can put latex paint over oil-based primer, just not directly over oil paint.) After several coats of chalk paint and 24 hours of dry time, I applied a thin coat of Minwax Paste Finishing Wax with cheese cloth and buffed it. This just provides a little added protection and makes the finish feel smoother and less chalky.


And here’s the finished product along with the books we found.


My sister-in-law posted this picture on Facebook of the bookends and some of the books in Avelea’s room. I think they turned out so cute, but it looks like she might run out of room for books soon! She’s going to be such a smart little girl after all that reading! Well, ok, she’ll at least know all her farm animals and be able to distinguish a red fish from a blue fish. Very important life skills, don’t you think?

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Big Changes

So as stated in the previous post, it’s been a busy few months for us. January was no exception, and we decided to delay our next project until our niece arrived! (We live very close to the hospital while my parents lives 3 hours away, so we wanted them to be able to stay with us.) My brother Ansen and his wife Dri had their first child, Avelea Wren, on January 25th. Isn’t she beautiful?

So now that she’s here, it’s time to get started on a BIG project – remodeling the guest bathroom! No more excuses. 😉 We’re both a little nervous as this is our first real renovation, but we’re also very excited! By remodeling I don’t mean just a few cosmetic updates. We’re going to gut and redo the whole thing. Here are a few before pictures:

We decided to do this renovation first after we found cracks in the bottom of the tub. We want people to be able to use this bathroom without causing water damage. That, and it was one of the worst rooms in the house and I felt bad making guests use it. Our goal is to be done with the demo by the end of the weekend, so we’ll see if we make it! More progress updates to come soon.

Finding #1: Water is a pain.

Finding #2: The more you demo, the more it smells. At least with a bathroom. Yuck. :(<

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