#1-Fellow blogger Cris Angsten email me last week and asked me to contribute to her  "Weird Things Design Types Love" series where this week's topic would be the Saarinen Tulip table. I wrote my thoughts Wednesday, emailed them to her and BAM, post goes up yesterday. Click here to see my thoughts along with a few other bloggers/design fanatics.

#2-As you know, I'm still working on the commercial project and I'm seriously like, less than a week from being done. I was debating about ordering the Saarinen from Room & Board (which I believe is just inspired by the original Tulip table)and called the store last night to see if they had the table in stock.

Dayka: "hi, .....if you have the SAAR-EN-IN table in stock in stock?"
Salesgirl: "I'm sorry, I didn't understand... what did you ask for?"
Dayka: "the SAAR-EN-IN 36" coffee table."
Salesgirl: "oh, I think you mean the SAIRE-EN-IN?"
Dayka: "uh...yes, sorry."

Now I am totally cool with having my grammar corrected if I am in fact pronouncing a word wrong, because I never want to be that person that is publically speaking in a super confident manner and yet saying something like "pacifically" instead of "specifically."  So if (on the odd chance) you hear me saying something crazy, please tap my shoulder, whisper in my ear and educate me. After we hung up I did the first thing I always do in a serious case of confusion and turned to trusty ol' Google to hunt down the proper pronunciation...and I was right! It's not SAIRE-EN-EN. It is in fact, SAAR-EN-IN. Phonetic, just like it's spelled (like my name). And here's the link so you can even have fun saying the whole name in native Finnish tongue if you so choose.

So I leave you with this friendly reminder...check your pronunciation.

Found:Vintage 70's Dining Set

Alright, I actually need your help here. I found this great set in January and I fell in love with it because of its modern base & large tabletop.  Even though the table itself isn't that high, I think it'll be perfectly suited to outdoor entertaining after a coat or two of automotive paint.  I want to say it's based on a well-known design, but I'm not quite sure... any thoughts??


Before and After: Nightstands (The Tutorial)


As promised, here's a step-by-step tutorial on the process I used to refinish the nightstands I shared last week.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to send me an email!

I started out by removing the hardware, filling the old holes, and drilling a new one in a pre-measured spot to accommodate my new hardware.  To set the new hole in its proper place, I measured the distance between the old holes (since I liked their height) and divided by two (yes, math comes in handy!!).   As for the filler, I'm not too picky about the brand, but I prefer to use something in a tube versus a flat container, because it keeps the product moist (very important with filler) and therefore easier to manipulate (it's been my experience that no matter how hard I try to keep it sealed, the product in the flat container dries out quickly).

After allowing the filler to dry, I pulled out my electric sander and did a light sand on the body of the nightstand and the drawers (to smooth the filler) .  Sandpaper/sanding blocks come in various grits that determine the roughness of its surface. For light scratches, you should start with a medium grit (120) and finish off with a very fine grit (220 or 290) to ensure the smoothest possible finish.  With my nightstands I used 120 and 220. You can always do this step with a sanding block, but an electric sander is worth the small investment if you refinish (or are going to be refinishing) a lot of furniture.

After sanding, I wiped the piece down with a damp, lint-free cloth to remove all of the debris, then it was painting time! Because the key to a great refinishing job is prep work, I primed the nightstands with both white and grey primer (I used what I had, but grey is great if you're going dark), and allowed it to sufficiently dry before applying the paint.  You don't need to worry about the primer being perfect (like it was a top coat), but you do want to make sure that the piece is fully & evenly covered, especially if you're skipping the sanding step.  

Spray paint, while easy, is not my favorite thing to use on furniture because of the streaking. However, since I had plenty of black spray paint laying around, I decided to use what I had on hand and applied the paint with my trusty spray gun.  As most of you know, an inexpensive spray gun is a must-have when using spray paint.  Even for the smallest projects, it ensures even coverage (as best as possible) and will keep your index finger from feeling like it's going to break off after applying several layers of paint.  Remember, the key to spray paint is to keep the can moving and apply light coats! It's much better to do several light coats than to be impatient and try to cover the whole thing in one pass.  A heavy application will cause the product to run (leaving drip marks) and make drying difficult.  I generally like to do 4 light coats, but it depends heavily on the starting condition of the piece.

After applying several light coats and allowing them to dry for a day (I like my pieces to cure as long as possible), I applied the protectant using Minwax Wipe-On Poly and a lint-free cloth.  The key to using it is to build layer upon layer until you get the level of gloss you like, so I generally do 2-3 coats for a medium gloss.  When the occasion calls for high shine, I recommend 5-6 coats, but just remember that they should be light. I generally use the Clear Gloss (versus Clear Satin), and the lint-free cloths can be found in the same aisle as the Wipe-On Poly.

I allowed the top coat to dry for 3 days to allow for off-gassing, and I recommend you do the same, if you have the time.  This will ensure that your home won't be subjected to toxic fumes, and will also ensure that the piece is cured and ready to withstand picture frames, keys, glasses, etc. (at a minimum, your piece should dry for 8 hours).   After curing, that's it--your beautifully finished piece is now ready to be placed front and center in your (or your client's) home!

Any other tips from my fellow refinishers? Also, if you're still unsure of what to do with your piece, drop me a line! :)


Before and After: Nightstands


Every time I complete a piece I swear I love it the most, and this one is no different.  I'm so happy with the way these turned out!

And for a little something special, I painted and papered the drawers:

To refresh your memory, here's the before and some info about how I found them:

These nightstands perfectly prove the point that classically constructed furniture never goes out of style, especially when you're handy with paint!

Details to come soon with my refinishing tips!