Thursday, January 26, 2012

I've PAINTED the counter tops with CHALK PAINT!!

After painting my cabinets, I started thinking about painting my counter tops. Of course the buzz is all about the faux granite kits. I wasn't apposed to going that route, but what I really wanted to do is paint them with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I searched the internet to see if anyone had tried this, but I wasn't able to find anything. I wanted to know what the best way to apply it was, what the best top coat was, and of it held up!!

I'm sure I'm not the first crazy to do this, but since I was unable to find anything on it, I thought I would tell you how I did mine....and what I learned along the way. So this tutorial is sorta gonna be in 2 parts. The way I did it, and the way I would have done it had I known....

This is what my counters looked like before:
A nice powder blue
It's not that I minded them so much, but I knew that they could be improved. 
Here are the supplies I used:

blue painters tape
a paint brush
a foam roller
a sponge applicator
ASCP in Graphite
Minwax Wipe-On Poly
a sanding block
steel wool grade #0000
nail clippers

I first decided I was going to see what it looked like on the small section of the counter top. So after I taped, using a paint brush, I brushed on the 1st coat

The 1st coat was much more gray than
I had expected, but I loved it
Know that the paint will seem very streaky as it
dries, but will be smooth when dry
Now I was in it! I went for the rest of the counter! I didn't have a plan if I hated it, so good thing I didn't!! 

The sippy cup just adds to its beauty ;-)

I was afraid to turn the water on to do the dishes before it was all sealed

I continued to paint the counters using a paint brush. It looked great as it was going on and as it dried it felt smooth. So I put on a second coat of paint. Still felt smooth! Then, without sanding, I applied the top coat. I used a sock to wipe it on and waited about 3 hours for it to dry. Next, I gently went over it with the steel wool before applying the 2nd coat.
Here is also where the nail clippers came in. As I was sanding, my nails kept scratching the keep them SHORT! 
Now this is when I wished I had advice before I started!

I could see all the brush stokes! When I paint furniture I always sand before applying the top coat, so I wasn't used to this!!
The steel wool wasn't smoothing it out and I began to panic! So I sent the hubby to the store to get a sanding block, a foam roller, and a sponge applicator.

Using the sanding block, I lightly sanded until there was a smooth finish.
The sanding block worked like a charm! All was smooth and I continued....
I ROLLED on another coat of paint, and touched up where my nails had hit. I sanded the paint when it dried with the steel wool before applying the top coat.
I used the sponge applicator instead of a sock to apply the poly. After 4 hours, I sanded with the steel wool and applied another coat. I applied 4 coats total. I wanted to make sure that there was a good amount of poly to protect the top from any wear and tear or nails hitting it!
Much better!!

I woke up this morning and my kitchen looked like this:

Ok...I cleaned first, haha

 So to recap what I would do:
roll on the paint, not brush it on
sand the paint before applying whatever top coat you choose
cut your nails before starting lol
use 3 coats of paint
use at least 4 coats of poly....more if you'd like.

I'll let you know how its holding up, and if you have already done this to your counter like this, I would love to hear from you to know how yours is holding up!!

Update: It's been a couple of weeks since I did these, and they are holding up great!! 
I shared this post over at  The Turquoise Piano, Kelli has some amazing stuff over there, check her out!!
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'm Guest Posting Today! {painting counter tops with chalk paint}

I'm very excited to be guest posting to for the very first time over at The Turquoise Piano! Kelli has an AWESOME blog and I'm honored that she asked me :-) Head on over to The Turquoise Piano if you want to see how my counter tops went from this:

With some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!!!
Thanks Kelli and all of The Turquoise Piano readers for coming by!

A little "how are they holding up??" update...
It's been about a week and a half since I did these and they are still perfect even after truly continuing to use them!! Not a scratch which is also a bit amazing with 3 kids and a husband. The one thing that I have found that gave me a little scare was when water sits on them, you get the infamous white marks, but as soon as it dries they disappear 100%. And I don't mean the normal wiping them down kinda wet, I mean like a puddle kinda wet. They are great!! No regrets here and I hope this inspires someone to do the unthinkable!!
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Miracle butt in that Diaper Cover

It always makes me a little sad to see my littlest one growing up. I'm so blessed to have her and she makes us LAUGH all of the time. She is a true comedian and knows it. She is 1 1/2 now and is a doll! But I love to look back at pictures of her when she was little little. You can read a bit of her story here. When she was born I began to make things for her, whether it be sewing something, or spending hours learning to knit just to make her tiny leg warmers, or crocheting a diaper cover that didn't fit her when I made it, and I thought it would never fit her.
Well, she has blossomed quite a bit, and besides the pictures to follow,she never was able to fit into that diaper cover past these pictures.
I thought I would share this project on it's own since it makes me smile every time I see them :-)

I wasn't able to use a pattern because she was only 6 or 7 pounds at 5 months old so it made it very difficult to make the right size. I know it seems like it would make sense to do 0-3 months, but she wasn't quite built like a brand new baby at that stage either. So I just tried a few sizes, unraveled some yarn, added some stitches....and here is what I ended up with.

Still too big, but made that little but look adorable!

She was so upset about doing this photo
 shoot that I  was thankful that she had found her thumb and fallen asleep!

So I know that I'm a little partial, but isn't she cute??
Today she is a thriving little munchkin...
Ok...So that's just WRONG ;-)!

Thanks for stopping by! Would love for you to follow!!

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Valentine's Day Pillow

I love all of the different Valentine's day decorations and ideas that I have been seeing in blog land! One really popped out at me and I HAD to make it! It was Jenny's pillow over at Days of Chalk and Chocolate! She gives a great tutorial that you can read here, so I will just show my pictures :-)

 I wrote my wedding vow's and I plan to make another one with our first dance song, which is "The Prayer" by, Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion. I think doing these pillows is a great reminder of such a great day!!
Thanks for the tutorial Jenny!!
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