Craigslist Side Table Makeover Video Tutorial for Beginners

So, my new obsession is watching makeup tutorials on YouTube. I know, it sounds weird for a late 30's stay-at-home mom of three, but they have opened me up to a whole new world of makeup tricks, tips and products. And for me, they are so much more entertaining than watching Netflix or shows. Lately, they have inspired me to start filming more and ramping up my

YouTube Channel

.

My latest video is all about using beginner's techniques to update a Craigslist piece of furniture. This is a smooth finish with no distressing or wax. Play the video by clicking the picture below.

It's always best to start small when trying out refinishing for the first time. You don't want to ruin grandma's dining table or your bedroom set. Finding inexpensive items from Goodwill or Craigslist is always a great idea. I got this table for free from a neighbor who had bought a set off of Craigslist and only needed one table. My friends and family know they can always offer me free furniture!

For this project, I used

General Finishes Gel Stain in Java

for the table top and

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White

for the body. I sealed the entire piece with

General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Flat

. Don't let the staining portion scare you. It's a lot like painting. There is no need to completely strip the existing finish. There is a little cleaning and sanding involved, but it's a lot less messy and time consuming than stripping the entire top. I really love General Finishes products. They have become some of my favs lately.

There is no distressing in this project. It's a really smooth finish for a more clean, modern look. And since I used the General Finishes top coat to finish the entire piece you don't need to wax. I know that scares some of you.

All the details and product links can be found in my

video tutorial

. Go check it out and subscribe to my channel before you leave! I've got lots of fun plans for upcoming videos. And you can always leave me a comment if there is something you want to see! 

Disclaimer: These links contain affiliate links. I will receive a commission for items purchased from these links. I appreciate your support. Please read all labels and follow all manufacturer safety recommendations when working with paints, stains, etc.

Pauly D Foundation Auction Winner

Hi friends! It's been awhile since I have blogged about it, but I have been busy painting this spring. Today, I've popped in to share a reveal with you from earlier this year. This table is one of the most dramatic makeovers I've done in a while, and it was my first time working with the much raved about General Finishes Java Gel Stain.

Last fall, I donated a service to a fundraiser for our dear friends' foundation, the Pauly D Foundation. After tragically losing their son in an accidental drowning, the Pauly D Foundation was established to advocate for water safety and drowning prevention. Their vision is to make a difference by raising the bar on water safety education and awareness. I was happy to donate to such a wonderful cause. The lucky winner contacted me early in 2017, and we went right to work bringing life back to her much used dining table.


The top was in rough shape from years of use and the grandkids had given it their own special touch by carving their names in the apron with a pencil. It was definitely time to show this table some love. My client settled on a two tone look with a dark espresso top and white distressed apron. I have been intrigued by General Finishes Gel Stain for a while now. The way it works is that you can stain right over an existing finish, but this top had a lot of peeling and cracking. I decided to sand down the entire top and work with staining the raw wood for an even, clean finish.

I used my trusty Dewalt Random Orbit Sander that I always talk up on here. I started with a 60 Grit pad to knock off the existing finish and followed with a 150 grit pad to smooth it out before staining.

General Finishes has some great videos on how to work with their gel stain on YouTube. After watching them, I went to work. This is a picture after I put on the first coat of gel stain in Java. I found the whole process really easy.

I did two coats of stain and finished it off with General Finishes Gel Top Coat. I did three coats of top coat. And again, you can see the whole process by watching General Finish's video on gel stain on raw wood.

Once I completed the top, and gave it a few days to cure. I taped off the top and painted the apron and legs with Annie Sloan Old White. I used a 400 grit sand paper to smooth down the entire surface which let some of the original finish peek through. Then I finished the painted portions with Annie Sloan Soft Wax in clear.






It turned out just beautiful, and General Finishes now has a new fan!

The Pauly D Foundation is such a great cause, and I'm sure I will help out next year. If you have a service in the Chicagoland area or goods that you would like to donate to this fall's fundraiser, use my Contact tab to shoot me an email. I'll get you in touch with them!

This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on a link and purchasing an item may result in a commission for Pretty Distressed.

DIY Distressed Sliding Barn Door

So sliding barn doors are everywhere these days. It used to be the case that if you wanted one you had to shell out some serious bucks. Even if you opted to make your own door, you still had to drop a lot of money on the hardware. Not anymore, there are actually a lot of affordable options for sliding hardware now and a lot of big box places even carry them in store. Lucky for me, this helped me get this idea off my Pinterest board and into our master!

sliding barn door

I am blessed to have an ensuite bathroom in our master, and it is a decent size but it is fairly narrow. The door opened into the bathroom right up against the shower which made it very crowded. It was also difficult to keep the door open to keep an ear out for my kids anytime I was in the shower. And the door would always shut while I was trying to get ready at the sink. I first saw a project like this on I Hate my Bath on HGTV a couple of years ago. I knew it would clear up a lot of these problems and make our narrow bathroom seem much larger. After enough begging, my husband finally gave in and helped me build the door.

To build the door, my husband bought 1 in. x 6 in. x 8 ft. common board from Home Depot. A good thing to know is that the actual measurements of these boards is .75 in. x 5.5 in. for when you are measuring out how large you want your door. Ours is 77" x 38" or seven boards wide. My husband is a "figure it out as you go man." I showed him some images of what I wanted and he went to work. For those of you who need a little more help than that these plans from Brandi Sawyer at Nest of Bliss will help you build a door that looks just like ours.

I wanted the door to look old and distressed like a real barn door, so we took a hammer to it and roughed it up. My husband took the hand saw and made some cool marks with that as well. Don't think too much about it if you want to do the same thing. Be random and don't be afraid.

To achieve that aged wood look I mixed my own stain. I used Minwax Wood Stain in Classic Gray and Special Walnut. I used a 5:1 ratio to mix them respectively. If you want an aged look you need a lot of the gray. Mix your stain in a separate cup. Just add a small amount of Special Walnut at a time and test out the color on scrap board. The color darkens the more you let it set on the wood, so play around and find the perfect shade before you commit to staining the whole door. I didn't use a pre-stain to treat the door. When you are going for an aged wood look, I find it better that the finish is uneven. It makes it look more natural.
staining a sliding door

If you are not into building your own door, and you have some money to drop on a project like this. Check out some of these built, stained and ready to hang doors from Amazon.
Dogberry Collections Mod-Z Barn Door - $722

Dogberry Collections Country Vintage Door - $623
Dogberry Collections Modern Slab Door - $796

We bought the TCBunny Sliding Door Hardware Closet Set Antique Style in black from Amazon for under $100. We found the instructions that came with the door are not that helpful. My husband decided to screw a 2 in. x 4 in. board into the wall at each stud. I painted it the color of the wall before we screwed it in. Then my husband hung the sliding door hardware on there. It is very secure and could hold a really heavy door. 
amazon sliding door hardware

I got my rustic looking pull from Menard's for under $5, but here is an option you could order right from Amazon that is very similar.


distressed barn door


distressed barn door

I am so happy with my door. It cleared up the space issue in my bathroom, and it adds a lot of character to our pretty basic bedroom. Can you think of a room that could benefit from a sliding door in your house?

*This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on a link and purchasing an item may result in a commission for Pretty Distressed.

Guest Post: Creating Your Own Stencil

I am back from vacation, but I have a bonus guest post for you today. I had so many submissions I couldn't narrow them down. This post comes to you from interior designer, Rachel Rossi. Rachel blogs about home design and décor on her site, www.Rachelrossi.co/blog. Today she is sharing her stenciled side table project with us and showing you how to  create your own stencil, too. Take it away, Rachel.


Stenciled Side Table
It started with a yard sale, as most good things do. I found this tiny, adorable, and foldable table! I saw a ton of potential the moment I laid eyes on it, I had to laugh when I first saw it, it seemed so small, I wasn’t sure how it could be useful. But, once I looked over it again, I noticed that it the top folded down, making it a perfect piece for small spaces! I wanted to put a modern spin on it with some fresh colors and the shape was just begging for a stencil, so that’s exactly what I did!




I’d love to share with you how you too can create a lovely little table like this! I’ll briefly go over how I refinished it and how you can create your very own custom stencil for the table top.


What I Did
To begin, I took everything apart that I could. Then after some serious sanding and a quick wipe-down, I was ready to stain. I chose to paint the legs a lovely shade of turquoise and refinish the top in slate grey. I love how this grey water based stain went on, it’s a fresher look than mahogany stain!


The Stencil
After I stained the table top and painted the legs I was ready to stencil. I’ve blogged about using stencils before (click here to see that post), but haven’t had too much experience with making my own - it’s a pretty cool process! Here’s what I did: Supply List:    
  • Stencil burner (Martha Stewart has a great one)
  • Stencil template
  • Glass (I used a cheap picture frame)
  • Tape
  • A pattern to trace (that you drew or printed)
1) I outlined my drawing in a dark sharpie onto my paper. Then I placed it inside the picture frame.

2) I taped the stencil template to the front of the frame, lining up where I wanted the pattern on the stencil. 3) Using the stencil burner, I traced my design.

4) I placed my stencil on my table top, taping it down with painter’s tape. Then I began to dab on paint with a stencil sponge.

 This does take some practice—don’t worry if it isn’t perfect the first time. Go back through after you remove the stencil and do any necessary touch ups with a detail paint brush.


 5) Now for the final touch. I put my table back together and finished the top with polyurethane. I do one coat of poly, let it dry, and then go through with steel wool (don’t worry, you won’t ruin your table top). After that, I do one last coat on the top and let it dry thoroughly.

 That’s it! Pretty easy, eh? Look at my finished product!

Here are some tips for creating your own stencil that I learned along the way: 

1. Don’t create long, thin lines — It’s very difficult to get a clean edge on a continuous line, and paint doesn’t sink in very well on a thin opening. 

2.Take your time when cutting out the stencil — It’s a VERY slow process...don’t rush it or it will look rushed!

3. Make sure there is adequate room between openings on the stencil. It’s very hard to keep skinny pieces of the stencil in place. The paint tends to bleed if the separation between openings is too thin. I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did. Stencils are a great way to create a cohesive feel within your space. You can add them to walls, floors, rugs, pottery, anywhere really! It was such a blast to see this worn out table get a fresh look and new function.
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Thank you so much for the great tutorial, Rachel! I am looking forward to collaborating more with Rachel in the future, not only is she a great blogger but she is professional designer with years of experience and education.

Thank you to all the amazing ladies for guest posting this past week! Don't forget to check out their blogs: Hot Commoditybrepurposed, and Rachel Rossi.