Hello Sydni

28 February 2013

Hey Lovelies,

I wanted to introduce you all to my sweetheart doggy Sydni. She is my 2.5lb almost seven year old chihuahua. Her favorite things to do are nap, cuddle, sunbathe, and eat her treats. She likes playing dress up and hates the cold weather. Isn't she adorable?


I also wanted to share a hilarious video of my dog swimming in the bathtub. When we aren't in Florida we have no access to the a pool, so the tub is our only option - and because she's so small we decided to give it a go.



I hope you loved it. Let me know in the comments below.

XOXO,
Charity

30 Second Thursdays: Harlem Shake

28 February 2013

No explanation, just watch the video and take a laugh at my expense....





30 Second Thursdays

Join the fun click the link above, and add your video. Let me know if you do in the comments below.

XOXO,
Charity

Thankful Thursday

28 February 2013

Seriously where has time gone? I totally feel behind like today is Tuesday, where has time gone?! It's Thursday, nearly the end of the week and the last day of the month, February has breezed on by. Here's what I have to be thankful for today:


  • God, as cheesy as it may sound, he is so awesome and takes away all my worries, life is so free on this side of the tracks. I still have some rough days but they don't get as "RUFF" when he by my side. So I am thankful for my Faith in him.
  • I am also thankful for my amazing husband who drove from NY to PHILLY to pick up a coffee table that I have been eyeballing for 3 months. I seriously can not wait to get home and give him a big smooch!
  • I have an awesome Women's bible study group and our leader Amanda, makes me so thankful for her, she is so thoughtful! She called me today to include me in uplifting another woman on a shopping spree. Thanks for including me Amanda, I am so glad you called or you would have missed this list. Ha!
  • My dog. She is well trained and compared to some of my neighbors dogs even on her worst days I think I have hit the jackpot.
  • Cake. I had a slice for the first time in a few months and it never disappoints. I love cake!
  • Free time, I used to feel bad when people made light of my job as a photographer, but I appreciate that my work has it busy seasons and some slow ones. Free time is underrated, everyone needs a time of PEACE and RESTORATION, and I won't feel bad that I get my fair share. Be sure to get yours.
  • Lastly I am thankful for this blogging world, where I can make friends all over the place, and share glimpses of their daily lives. 
So what are you thankful for this week, share in the comments below or link me to your very own post.

XOXO,
Charity

Cara Box Reveal

25 February 2013

Hey Lovelies,

So this month I participated in my first Cara Box Exchange. You can find out more about that HERE. Let me just say Birch Box has nothing on these super sweet, encouraging, and creative boxes sent from one lady to another. 


I was totally thrilled when I got my first email revealing who my Cara Box Partners were. I spent as much time as I could getting to know them. My partners were Samantha & Michele. So our theme for this month was Club Sexy, immediately I though I have to get creative or this could be awkward. Ha! I did not want to send anything to my partner that would make her cringe. In this post I'll be covering what I received from Samantha, if you want to see what I sent Michele you will have to check out her blog, the link is above. I encourage you to check them both out, they are two super sweet ladies with very interesting lives, oh and most of all they live in the Empire State...what's cooler than that?

My Cara Box arrived from Samantha three days ago, when she told me it was mailed out it seems as if I got it the next day - it came super fast. I actually checked the mailbox before going out with some friends and I was bummed because I had to wait until I came back home to open it. I spent most of lunch thinking about what was in the box - it may sound lame, but there is nothing like getting sweet gifts and cards via snail mail instead of bills, junk, and random things I order on Amazon. So when I got home I busted in the door like a kid on Christmas ready to open my box!



I was totally excited to see that most of the boxes contents were shades of pink. I love pink, so thanks Samantha for sitting down and reading my life story in the numerous emails and for coming up with this amazing box. Here's what the amazing Samantha sent me!



 I vaguely remember telling her that a I loved to bake so I am so excited about getting this cake pop decorating kit. My husband tells me I smell like cake everyday and I have been away from him for a month now - when I get home I am going to be back to baking him some scrumptious decorated cakes all thanks to Samantha.


She also sent me these super cute measuring cups and spoons. There is nothing more festive than heart shaped baking utensils for a romantic evening. 


 Next up was this sexy lip gloss, from ELF. I am wearing it in the picture above. I really hope there is some left when I go home because I have been club sexying myself while I am here in Florida.


I was also surprised to find these awesome recipe cards that got tucked away in the side of the box. This woman was on a roll I was so excited to have these to add to my recipe box. I will save them to write down special recipes that are centered around romantic evenings like my "aphrodisiac pasta".


 I absolutely love everything in the box, but this had to be the neatest surprise a pink clutch with cat-eye frames on it. The bottom set of frames is exactly like the glasses I wear everyday. What a special treat this was!


 And here is the note that she left in my box.



I have to say that I am so happy that I signed up for the Cara Box Exchange. It was an awesome experience and Samantha was so sweet, her gifts were heartfelt and made me feel super special. Even though I was not in town to pick up my Cara Box from her I am glad that I swapped with someone in NY - I hope that soon she and I will be able to grab coffee and share some laughs face to face. Thank you so much Samantha!

If you are interested in the Cara Box Exchange check out the link above, not only is it about exchanging gifts - but more so about starting beautiful friendships with wonderful women all over the world.

Be sure to check out the links above and signup for the Cara Box exchange, and maybe I'll be exchanging boxes with you next month!

XOXO,
Charity




30 Before 30

24 February 2013

Hey Lovelies,
My 26th birthday is fast approaching - its exactly two weeks from today. I was browsing several blogs a few weeks ago and I realized that this “30 before 30” thing was getting pretty big! At first I was like no, I won’t do it – but then I remembered how inspired I felt when I watched the Bucket List. So I figured why not have my own?
A run down – Basically the “30 before 30” thing is a list of thirty things to accomplish before you turn thirty years old. If you choose to do one, your deadline would be on your 30th birthday. My deadline is March 10, 2017 coincidentally the same day my license expires! I should probably at renew license to the list.
In actuality I have four whole years to do thirty things, but I know that my 30th birthday will come quicker than I think - so I am ready to get started.
Many of these can definitely be completed after 30 – be it would be much sweeter if I can close out my 20’s by completing this list.
So here is my list:




FIT LIFE
Reach weight goal between 125 -130lbs
Grow my LOCS to tailbone length.
Run a Marathon.
Complete a Yoga Challenge, to make it a daily habit.

SPIRITUAL LIFE
Help someone become saved.
Do missionary work.
Read the entire Bible.
Show love to a stranger.
Start a ministry that caters to Widows.
Become a prayer warrior.

TRAVEL LIFE
Travel to India & Italy.
Buy furniture in another country.
Go to Disneyland.
Learn Hindi & Italian.
Take another cruise.

NERD LIFE
Start a book club.
Read 100 new books.
Start a Public book list to track of my reading.
Start my blog on a dot com.
Gain 100 followers for this Blog.

REAL LIFE
Become a mother (times two would be great).
Write an open letter to my unborn children.
Renew my Wedding Vows.
Learn how to reupholster furniture.
Take a sewing class.
Start crocheting again.
Make my own recipe pan.
Get a Vitamix Blender & Stand Mixer.
Watch 50 Bollywood Movies.
Complete 5 furniture rehabs.

If you start a 30 before 30 list, let me know in the comments below.
XOXO,
Charity
Link Up Here!
image

Bargain Shopping II

23 February 2013

Hey Lovelies,
In my last post I gave you the rundown on how to shop successfully on Craigslist, from inspiration to negotiations and pick up. In this follow up post I want to cut into number one on the tips list and show you all how I find what I want on Craigslist.
First I search for something that inspires me. I found this image from Pinterest sometime last year.
image
Immediately I began to access what had and needed to achieve this look. I already have a couch so I am currently looking for end tables and a coffee table. I decided that I would work on getting the coffee table first, the end tables could wait. I then began to look for coffee tables that would be perfect for my space – the coffee table does not need to be exactly the same but similar to the once in the photo, so that I still get the look I am going for.
One day when browsing around IKEA I stumbled upon this table in their “AS IS” section. I thought it was beautiful and exactly what I was looking for, however it was missing the drawer.
image
At that moment I realized that whatever coffee table I decided upon needed to have at least one drawer. You know to put remotes and magazine in – I do live with a guy and there is nothing that annoys him more than not being able to find the remote.
After talking to Mr.FixIt we decided that we wanted to get the Isala table new from IKEA since we refused buy one without the drawer. We marched up to where they had the new tables and I developed sticker shock. My husband said that the price was reasonable for what I wanted and he encouraged me to buy it. The table was selling for $199 plus tax. My mind was already made up, that the Isala coffee table would not be going home with us, because the price was an insult. Why you ask? The biggest reason is that it was made of particle board! We all know that particle board items have a shorter life span than solid wood items – solid wood items can be buffed and repainted as they age or get damaged. With this particle board item if it got one scratch it would be hopeless. So after leaving IKEA empty handed I search specifically for “coffee table with drawer” on Craigslist. My search yielded many results, some were close and others were very far from what I was looking for. The next day I searched again – behold the closest match I would find. I made up my mind that I was prepared to do a little painting to get it to look how I wanted it to.
image
All that was left to do was to contact the seller and possibly negotiate the price. So you see shopping on Craigslist is not as daunting as it seems. Finding an item can be very rewarding especially when you find it at the right price and in a reasonable condition. Even if something you want seems to be a reasonable price in the store search Craigslist. You may find the same item or something similar to it on there. Many people put like new items for sale on Craigslist for different reasons – some people move and no longer have space for it, bought it and hated it, or they no longer have use for it. So always give Craigslist a try when bargain shopping.
If you have any questions leave them in the comments below.
XOXO,
Charity

Im The Kinda Girl Who ...

22 February 2013


  • loves to wear my hair in a bun or down (no regular ponytails here).
  • wears flip flops even on rainy days (my toes need to breathe).
  • cooks every day.
  • doesn't mind sharing my food.
  • will read to you when you are sick.
  • totally embraces my own nudity (at home).
  • flips or twirls my hair when I talk.
  • often has a good cry.
  • loves to travel, and will chose it over shopping anyday.
  • is super organized and writes everything down.
  • will smack and go "ummmm" when I'm eating good food!
  • will try any "wholesome" thing once.
  • totally loves love stories and watches them in any language.
  • wears the same color nail polish every time I get a manicure or pedicure.
  • loves to be barefoot and drink Barefoot wine.
  • loves babies and wants a ton of them.
  • very old fashioned about life.
  • hates to watch the news, I find it completely depressing.
  • reads my bible and will shout when it gets good.
  • loves hard, isn't perfect, but is completely genuine.
What kinda girl are you? Tell me in the comments below or link me to your own post.

XOXO,
Charity

Linking up here! Join the fun
image

30 Second Thursdays: What Are You Shallow About?

21 February 2013

So I decided to participate in the 30 second Thursdays linkup and low and behold this week's video topic wants me to divulge my shallow nature. So checkout the video below to see just what I am shallow about. I hope you will join us its fun and quite embarrassing.

Did I really say that? LOL. What are you shallow about?

30 Second Thursdays
XOXO,
Charity

Thankful Thursday

21 February 2013

Hey Lovelies,

Totally wanted to put more thought into being thankful about both the big and small things in my life. Join me every Thursday to give thanks for the blessings in your life.
Here's what I am thankful for:

My Super Annoying family - they fight and bicker but they love hard. Each of us are a necessary piece to this puzzle, we need each other.

My Amazing Church family - because of them I have seen the beauty and the fullness that is the Good News. I have joyfully received the gift of Jesus and there is no turning back.

My Awesome Hubby - he is so understanding and loving towards me always. I could never feel safe to be who I am without him by my side.

My Home - I'm just so happy to have a place to call home, a warm bed, a kitchen to cook in, a couch to sit on! Nothing beats comfort!

My Me Time - there is nothing like taking care of yourself. Getting your nails or hair done. This week I had my nails done at my long time nails salon, New York ain't got nothing on this!

What are you thankful for? Let me know in the comments below!

XOXO,
Charity

Bargain Shopping I

20 February 2013

Hey Lovelies,
I wanted to come and talk with you all about bargain shopping – and to share some of my tips for shopping on one of my favorite sites, Craigslist. Now before you crinkle your nose and shake your head, just hear me out. There are a plethora of things you can purchase from craigslist without too much worry, for example clothes, gardening supplies, and my main thing – furniture. Now when it comes to appliances and electronics those things can be a little scarier to buy from someone that will not be able to guarantee or warranty the product – so buyers beware.
image
Today however I want to share a few tips about buying furniture on craigslist. So far this is the only thing that I have experience with, many of my friends however have succeeded in purchasing clothes and gardening supplies. So here are my tips for buying furniture:
CRAIGSLIST SHOPPING TIPS
1. Have an Idea. You never want to get on Craigslist and look without purpose. You will see many great deals for sure, but you do not want to fall prey to buying what you do not need. I recommend browsing around on sites like Crate & Barrel, Pier One Imports, Restoration Hardware, or even IKEA to get some inspiration. You may even view magazines or search Pinterest. For me I found a photograph of a living room that was similar to the one I wanted to achieve from Pinterest. Know what you want and what size the item needs to be.
image

2. Have a Budget. Often times when you find inspiration from the sources listed above they may or may not be in your budget, so that’s where Craigslist comes in. Personally I do not care if the item is or is not in my budget – I always shop around for a bargain. Be sure that your budget includes cushion to fix the item up if need be.
image

3. Have some Patience. Rarely will you succeed in finding what you are looking for on Craigslist at the right price and on the first day you search. If you have a smart phone or access to a computer all day search daily. On Craigslist new post come and go, so browse the furniture section and the free section in your area. Don’t be afraid to broaden your search. I usually search for my items in New York, New Jersey, and in Pennsylvania – this gives me a higher chance of finding what I want.
image

4. Have a List. Don’t be anxious, remember to be thorough and ask questions before negotiating a price and pick up time. The last thing you want is to drive 45 minutes to pick up and item and then to be surprise that it looks nothing like what you were expecting it to. For furniture buying here are the questions I recommend that you ask:

  • Where are you located? (Sometimes people list their items in the wrong city or state – ask for their zip code to be sure the item is within a reasonable distance from you.) 
  • Is it solid wood? (This question is very important if you plan to refinish the item.)
  • Are there any visible scratches or defects that I should know about? Does this item rock, squeak, or lean? Is it missing any pieces? (Often times bringing this to the owner’s attention may get them to lower the price – if you would still be willing to make the purchase.)
  • What are the measurements for this item? (Some things may look smaller or larger based on the photos – to make sure the item fits into your plan and most of all into your living space get the measurements. Measure your living space; tape the floor to gauge how an item of that size will work your space)
  • Can you provide more pictures from different angles? (Some people list their items with one or no pictures. Ask for more photos to insure what you are seeing is what you get when you arrange for pick up.)
  • When can I pick up the item? Will someone be able to assist me with lifting it? (If the seller is not strong enough to help you with the item, be prepared to bring along someone to help.)
image

5. Have some Manners. So now you have found what you want, and the condition or price of the item may not be what you were expecting. You may grumble and kiss your teeth because you feel the poster has their item listed too high – but remember some owners will have a sentimental attachment to their items. If you wish to proceed and negotiate with the seller be mindful of their feelings – have manners. Do not try and automatically low ball them, keep in mind that some people are not willing to budge at all – in that case I recommend you move on. For a seller with a sentimental attachment to their item, explain to them how you plant to use their item. Most of the time this gives them a little peace about the sale, and they are eager for you to purchase their item since they know it will go to a good home. I know that all sounds silly but it’s true. Think about it, if you were selling an awesome dresser that you have had for years would you want to lower the price if you knew someone was going to buy it and use it for fire wood? Ha! I didn’t think so! Lastly, when emailing or text messaging a seller be sure to include your name and telephone number. This helps the seller to fill confident that you are serious about the purchase and not a scammer.
image

6. Have A Brain. So the negotiations are made and you are ready to pick up your item. All you need to do now is get the cash and find a buddy. That’s right, be smart and find someone to go with you. I never recommend going to retrieve pieces alone, always bring someone along - even you guys! However if you are a macho man and you plan to pick up a piece by yourself send out a text message to the people who love and care about you with the address and time that you have arranged to do a pick up. Once you get your item be sure to let them know that you made it back home safely. If for any reasons you have suspicions about the seller or their intentions do not go through with the sale, use your intuition.
image
I hope these tips are useful to you all. Happy Craigslist Shopping. 
XOXO,
Charity
All images via Google.

Almost Spring

18 February 2013

So winter officially ends on the 20th of March and as much as I hate to see it go, I thoroughly enjoy the spring. When in Florida for the Spring I've always taken advantage of the warm sunny weather to grow vegetables. I had a raised garden one year that produced an awesome crop of veggies.This time I have to be a little more creative since I will not be planting in my huge backyard. I have an idea though to insure a successful crop this year - you may or may not know this, but IKEA is my all time favorite store. While browsing their 2013 catalog I saw a tiny little greenhouse. Immediately I knew this greenhouse was the answer to saving the lives of my soon to be seedlings. I told my husband how much it made me swoon everyday and finally he gave in and purchased it for me. It was an early Valentine's Day gift – and yes I err on the practical side of gift giving, save the flowers, and candies – buy me house stuff or books!
Mr. Fixit has finally completely the construction phase of my greenhouse, so here it is.
image
It’s small like I said, and I am hoping to pick up another one to put in the kitchen. This one however will find its new home on our living room window sill. In the greenhouse(s) I plan to start some organic seedlings.
Here’s a list of what I have in mind:
Living Room
  • Tomatoes – cherry, beefsteak, and plum.
  • Bell Peppers – red, yellow, and green.
  • Peppers – jalapeño, banana, scotch bonnet.
Kitchen
  • Cilantro
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Scallion
Both list include ingredients I plan to use for making my own homegrown salsa, soups, and rubs.
[[MORE]]
If you are interested in getting a mini greenhouse of your own, here is where I found it IKEA - get it as soon as you can because IKEA is notorious for discontinuing products.
image
You can also try this TUTORIAL if you are interested in it. Here's a preview of what it looks like when complete. I also believe it can be very versatile allowing you to choose the size - by scaling the frames up or down. It's also very earth friendly version of the greenhouse above as you are using recycled frames.
image
I am so excited to get back into the city to get things started; I can’t wait to show you all the photos of my precious seedlings. Do any of you have something in mind to plant for spring? If so let me know in the comments below.
Happy Planting!
XOXO,
Charity

Self Love

14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day Lovelies,
I pray that today you are celebrating the meaning of true love (Jesus) whilst sharing that love with your loved ones today and always. Today most of my family members are away at work, and my husband is at work back home. So since I am away from him, I have decided to celebrate alone. This morning I had a date with Jesus and now I am cooking up my Valentine's Day lunch.
Two days ago I pampered myself with homemade clay masque facial, so I wanted to share the recipe and steps with you all in case you too want to show yourself some love. I used Bentonite clay for the base of this masque. This clay has many great benefits for skin, hair, and your intestines – it is derived from volcanic ashes. As the skin is concerned bentonite clay brings the dirt and other impurities to the surface so they can be washed away or easily extracted. It works well for acne, blackheads, and removing excess oil from your skin. I purchased this product at Whole Foods for my locs originally but have found it useful for a weekly facial. So here’s how you make the masque.

For this clay masque you will need:
Bentonite Clay
Bragg's Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Plastic/Wood/ or Ceramic Spoon
Glass bowl/cup
Measuring Spoons
[Do NOT use any metal materials as it changes the properties of the clay!]
 [[MORE]]

To start I used my tablespoon from my measuring spoon set (again be sure that it is plastic or ceramic and NOT metal) and measured out one tablespoon of bentonite clay and then I measured out one tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar. The instructions call for mixing at a 1:1 ratio.
image
image

I then began mixing the ingredients together in my small glass cup.

image
image
image
image

You can stop mixing when your mixture is smooth and looks similar to this.

image

I made enough of the masque just to do my face. If you want to do your face, neck and upper chest doubling the ingredients should be sufficient. Once I was satisfied with the texture of my mixture I began applying it to my face.

image

I allowed my face masque to stay on for the maximum amount of time which is 20 minutes. However it is advised that you only allow 5-10 minutes if you have sensitive skin.

image

I watched a movie for 20 minutes and had a timer set. Once the timer was done the masque has begun to crack – showing that it was dry.

image

I then rinsed the masque off my face with warm water until all traces of it were gone – and followed up with my favorite oil free moisturizer by Juice Beauty. If you have any blackheads gently remove them before using your moisturizer. Here are the results my before and after shots:
image
The results that I received from this masque are clearer, brighter, firmer, and smoother skin. It's harder to be seen in photos than in person but if you look at my nose, forehead, and chin a big difference can be seen.
I really hope you try it, if you do let me know by tagging me on Instagram or Twitter and showing me your results.

XOXO,
Charity

The Perpetual Valentine

12 February 2013

Hey Lovelies! Happy February!
We've all known Valentine's Day as the day to celebrate love. In actuality we are celebrating the life of St.Valentinus, a Christian. Who was jailed and put to death for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. Such a shame - killing someone because they wanted to promote love.  However he was not the only Martyr in the name of love. Long before Valentinus decided to serve in love a beautiful spirited man-God lived and died in the name of love for you and me, Jesus! What a wonderful way to incorporate the love he has for us even on this Holiday. Valentine's Day is not just about lovers! We should celebrate the day in the spirit of Jesus - showing love to all those around us.

image

I know for some single people and even a few that are in relationships Valentine's Day and most holidays can be the most difficult times of the year. Many people experience loneliness and long to be loved. But have no fear because this year you are not alone. I declare it in Jesus' name that he is our perpetual Valentine! He is a gift sent from above by God the inventor of love (John 3:16) There is no need to get him roses, candies, cards, or diamonds. All he truly wants is your heart. And if you are reading this post and wondering how I know Jesus loves you - its because he has said it many times! In John 13:34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. He says it again here in John 14:21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them. And once more in John 15:9 I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. So even if you have absolutely no one to say they love you, Jesus already has.
And if words are not enough for you, remember that Jesus showed his love for you by dying on the cross. He forfeited the power of God by coming to the earth in human form. Obeying his Father's will he suffered intense humiliation, painful torture, and death on the cross - all in the name of love. So no matter how you feel as this Holiday encroaches, I declare you are LOVED! No matter what you've done, or what people have said about you, you are LOVED. For your perpetual Valentine laid down his own life to save your beautiful soul!

image

XOXO,
Charity

Buffet Makeover Tutorial

09 February 2013

So I finally have time to sit down and write this detailed tutorial for the buffet restore project. Mr.FixIt and I purchased the buffet pictured below for $30 dollars on Craigslist.

image

It was the first thing we have ever purchased from Craigslist by the way - and because of it we have learned what things to look out for when making future purchases. We have successfully purchased several other things since then. Our buffet while it looked awesome in photos had a structural problem because of water damage -- it also had it putrid smell. The back story on that is our own conspiracy theory and I'll share that in another post.

I originally got bitten by the DIY bug from following Classy Clutter and from watching tons of HGTV. The ladies from Classy Clutter do wonderful work and they even sent me a copy of their tutorial since I could not find detailed instructions on the blog. However I didn't plan to spray paint my project because I have no green space in our city apartment. So I combined techniques I learned from their blog along with Perfectly Imperfect Blog & DIYonTheCheap to successfully complete the entire project in the hallway inside of our apartment. Have no fear you will find everything you need in this blog post, I only mentioned the other blogs to give intellectual credit where it is due - also in case you are looking for more DIY projects. This post will be very long and detailed so I apologize in advance.

To start Mr.FixIt and I made a list of all the items we would need to complete this project based on steps.
Sanding:
  • Sander
  • 80 Grit Sandpaper and Discs for Sander
  • 220 Grit Sandpaper and Discs for Sander
  • Drop Cloths
  • Dust Cloths
Patchwork:
  • Wood filler
  • Wood glue
  • Putty Knife
Staining:
  • Minwax Stain Ebony
  • Wood Conditioner
  • Staining Pads
  • Paint Mixing Stick
  • Minwax Polycrylic
  • Paint Brush
Hardware:
  • Ziploc Bag
  • Tooth Brush
  • Murphy's Oil Soap
  • Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint
  • Philips and Flathead Screw Drivers or Drill
Paint:
  • White Hospital Mask for Spray Painting
  • Kilz Spray Primer 3-4 cans
  • Gloves (if you want to protect your fingers
  • Drop Cloths for Floor, Walls, and Entryways to contain spray)
  • One Quart of Latex Paint (if your project is the same size or smaller than mine.)
  • Minwax Finishing Paste
  • Cheese Cloths
  • Several Sized Paint Brushes
  • Paint Mixing Sticks
MISC:
  • Wooden Bun Feet (if you want to add them to your project.)
  • Drawer Liner (to updated the inside of your drawers.)
image
image

Now that we've gotten the list out of the way here are the steps.
Sanding: To begin we covered our floors with drop cloths to keep down the dust from the sander. Before I began sanding I removed all of the hardware on the buffet. Since I planned on using the old pieces I put them all in a Ziploc bag so they did not get lost. I started using my Ryobi Orbital Sander with the 80 grit sandpaper until there was not trace of varnish left. I then followed up by smoothing out the wood with a 220 grit sandpaper. This fine sandpaper helps to smooth out the surface for priming.  Sanding was a fairly easy process but very messy and time consuming. I recommend that you use a breathing mask because the dust will make your nose run, I learned this the hard way. Also if you can do this part outside by all means please do your clean up will be a breeze. I however have no green space so this all went down inside. If you are going to sand inside be sure to have a vacuum it makes clean up easier.

image
image
image
image

As you can see we sanded the top of the buffet until all the vanish was completely removed, because we were going to stain it. The bottom portion we just sanded until the original varnish was no longer shiny. Thank God Mr.FixIt came home and told me that because I'd probably still be sanding this thing now.

Patchwork: Since our buffet did not have a solid foundation we could not begin staining it just yet. Mr.Fixit had to repair the foot on the buffet. It had been exposed to water prior to purchase and was swollen and decaying. So he sawed it off and replaced it with a piece of wood that matched the original size. To ensure that the foundation was sturdy he did this to both sides. Then before staining he took the wood filler and spatula and filled any separating pieces of wood. That gave us a nice crack free surface before priming.

In the pictures below you can see how badly damaged the feet were before repairing them.




imageimage

Staining: After our patchwork was done and all the wood filler dried we flipped the buffet right side up and begin to work on the staining. First we covered it in a coat of wood conditioner to make sure we got an even stain. This may have been a moot step but I did it more as a precaution to avoid starting the stain process over. If you decide to omit this step please let us know how it turned out. We had a small can of Ebony Minwax stain and followed the instructions on the can precisely. We applied one coat with a staining pad, allowed it to dry then wiped off as instructed. It took three coats until we had the color we desired.

image
image
image
image

Once we finished staining the top of the buffet we covered it with paper grocery bags. There was no special process to this we just covered it until we could no longer see the stained surface. This was done to protect it from scratches, primer, and paint.

image
image
image
image

Hardware: As I stated earlier before sanding I removed all the hardware associated with the buffet and place it in a Ziploc bag. This was so that I could easily find all the pieces when it was time to reassemble the buffet. Before that could be done the hardware needed a little TLC of its own. I used Murphy’s oil and a toothbrush to watch each piece. I made sure they were very clean and dry before I could lay down my first coat of Primer and then Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint. I did one coat of primer and two coats of Krylon color. I did spray paint outside because this part was small and could be done on our fire escape – I did however have to bring the pieces inside to dry because it got cold that night. So no photo because I forgot.

image
image 

Painting: Finally. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for this post. I promise if you are still here with me the results are so worth following the steps. Also other DIY projects will not be this detailed so this is essentially the MOTHER of all DIY post. This part of the project required the most preparation – because of the green space shortage. Mr.FixIt had this part taken care of as he carefully lined our hallway with more drop cloth than I knew we had purchased. He taped the edges of the cloth to the wall to form a barrier to protect the floors and our furniture that was in the living room. We did this part in the hallway – we closed off the entry to the living room and kitchen and closed all the other doors. Once we had that covered we shook the cans of primer for the required time. Let me just say shaking a can of Kilz primer is definitely where they got the idea for the shake weights, haha. I seriously had bulging biceps after that. Before we were ready to spray I covered my hair and put on a mask. We sprayed only one coat of Kilz primer on every part of the buffet. We allowed it to dry for the required amount of time before beginning our first coat of paint.

image
image
image
image

We used Behr latex paint the color we chose was Devine Pleasure – there were tons of options for off white but this one came the closest to our existing furniture and I liked the name. We used the paint sparingly because we wanted to get a professional like finish. In order to do that we applied three thin coats of paint, allowing 20 minutes drying time between each coat.

In the first photo below you can see a glimpse of the painted hardware in the bottom left corner.


image
image
image
image

Once we were satisfied with the paint job and it was dried over night we wiped the entire white painted parts of the buffet down with Minwax finishing paste. This paste is tinted so if you are going for a bright white beware that it will muddy the color a bit, you may want to use something else. To apply the Finishing Paste you scoop a piece of the paste onto a sheet of cheese cloth and fold it several times. That way only a small amount of the wax is delivered.

imageimage

After the Finishing paste was applied and wiped off we removed the paper that we used to protect our stained wood. We then applied two coats of Polycrylic to the surface. The Minwax Polycrylic gave it a beautiful satin sheen and helped to seal the surface so it is protected from the elements, as well as from our flat screen TV stand. We followed the directions on the Minwax Polycrylic can exactly - the solutions goes on milky but dries clear.

image
image
image

MISC: Our last and final step or so we thought was to put all the hardware back on to the buffet once we knew the Polycrylic had dried.

image

The piece was finished but looked somewhat incomplete to me, for days I went back and forth with Mr. FixIt about adding bun feet. Finally he gave in – we purchased four solid wood bun feet and followed all the painting steps above to bring it up to par with the buffet. Mr. FixIt then drilled holes to insert four T-nuts for the bun feet dowels to screw into. Once the feet were screwed into the buffet we hammered in felt covered plastic floor protectors that were purchased from IKEA.
image
image
image
image

Alas the piece was finally finished and we could rejoice and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Here is a before and after I hope you enjoy seeing the finished product as much as we do.

BEFORE:
image
AFTER:
image
image

If you've been bitten by the DIY bug trust me the end result is such a reward. They surely do not make furniture like they used to so if you find some outdated solid wood piece from Craigslist or a yard sale do not pass it up. This buffet could have easily cost us anywhere from $1500 to $3000 dollars at a specialty store. We did it ourselves for less than $150 with leftover supplies for other projects.
I am so happy to have finally shared this post with you – if you have any question comment them below or click the message me link on the blog home page.
XOXO,
Charity
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Proudly designed by | mlekoshiPlayground |