How to Create Faux Rusted Iron Magic {Plus A Giveaway!}

One of the amazing workshops I took at the Haven Conference was with Modern Masters.  If you haven't heard of them, they make decorative painting products from metallics, glazes and textures and their latest Front Door Paint.  

One of the products they showed us during their demo, was the Metal Effects collection.  With choices like blue and green patina and rusted iron, my mind was racing with what would be the perfect piece to try out this collection.

Modern Masters Metal Effects {Primer, Iron Paint, Activator & Permacoat}

Modern Masters Metal Effects {Primer, Iron Paint, Activator & Permacoat}

When Modern Masters reached out to me to try some of their products, that was the easiest YES I've ever said!  I decided to go with the Rusted Iron kit so I just had to find the perfect piece to use it on.  

While I was thinking it over, it just so happened my dad spotted a Greek architectural column in his alley on trash day. Thinking it would be a perfect perch for his bird bath, he rescued it and carried it home. {Can you tell the apple doesn't fall far from the tree? }

" >
{BEFORE}

{BEFORE}

This poor, Greek column sure didn't look too regal.  It certainly had seen better days from being left outside.  But, it was a PERFECT specimen for my rusted iron project.  And when it was finished would match and compliment his terracotta bird bath so much better than its previous dirty, white version.  

After a quick clean, I applied the first coat of Metal Effects Primer.  Once fully dry, I painted on the second coat and per the instructions, I waited 12 hours for it to cure. 

Two coats of Metal Effects Primer.

Two coats of Metal Effects Primer.

With just the primer on, it's already looking so much better. Wouldn't you agree?

Next, I painted on the Iron Reactive Paint with a chip brush.  No clean-up necessary that way.  

Then it was time for the magic to happen with the Rust Activator.  I spritzed in on with a spray bottle and immediately it transformed into rusted iron goodness.  You can apply as much or little of the activator depending on the look you want to achieve.  I applied generously since I wanted a heavier antique rusted iron appearance.

Lots of rusted goodness!

Lots of rusted goodness!

Since the column would be an outdoor fixture and constantly exposed to the extreme Texas elements, I used the Permacoat Xtreme, which is a water-based clear coated specifically designed to protect the Iron Reactive Paint finish.  Don't panic when you apply the Permacoat and it goes on milky.  It's supposed to look that way but I promise it will dry nice and clear!  

The Permacoat adds a nice, subtle sheen with all that protection. 

The Permacoat adds a nice, subtle sheen with all that protection. 

If your project piece isn't going to be outside, you can skip the Permacoat step. Or if you want to keep the matte finish, make sure you choose an inside only project.

Now I normally don't name my project pieces, but this column had transformed from Greek geek to Greek chic status.  And was worthy of a name and I instantly knew what it should be. For those who know me well, there's one Greek who's achieved legendary status in my mind.

Introducing my garden-chic Greek...{Column that is}

"JOHN STAMOS."

Meet "John Stamos, my Greek Column."

Meet "John Stamos, my Greek Column."

Rusted Iron Magic Right There Y'all!

Rusted Iron Magic Right There Y'all!

Have mercy, the results are so fantastic, I bet you want to try some yourself, right?  It's your lucky day because I want you to try it and so does Modern Masters.  They were generous enough to donate a Metal Effects kit and one of you is going to win it.  Although they supplied me with the materials for this project, the opinions above are all mine.  ;)

In case you forgot, let's take one final look at the marvelous transformation:

{BEFORE/AFTER}

{BEFORE/AFTER}

Enter below and comment on why you need the Metal Effects kit to make your next project fabulous.

The contest ends Monday, October 6 at midnight and the winner will be announced Tuesday, October 7 on my blog.  Ready, set, enter!




My Dream Big Girl Closet {ReStyle: Part 2}

If you've been following along with my Big Girl Closet restyle, you know I waited two years for this day to finally arrive.  And if you didn't read Part 1, you might want to do that now. 

Step three was the install.  Can I get an amen?!  I tell you the heavens opened up that day and I swear I hear angels singing.  

For the final touch in my closet, I dreamed of a beautiful chandelier.  After lots of deliberation, I chose B.  I really loved them both but A was only 24" wide so it really wasn't the right scale for the closet.  If you have a favorite, I hope you'll leave me a comment on the one you love.  

Which is your favorite?

Which is your favorite?

One of the services Closets by Design offered was installing the hardware on the new closet drawers.  Yes, please.  So much easier to have someone do that for me.  

Finding the right knobs would be a simple mission.  Hobby Lobby 's selection has about a gazillion fabulous knobs and pulls.  I didn't take long for me to find the perfect pulls.  

Love the touch of tortoise-shell!

Love the touch of tortoise-shell!

Without further delay, presenting....my BIG GIRL CLOSET!  

Drawers!  We each get four of them!

Drawers!  We each get four of them!

So much storage for purses, hats, and accessories!

So much storage for purses, hats, and accessories!

TONS of hang space!

TONS of hang space!

Triple Threat's side.  

Triple Threat's side.  

Lots and LOTS of room for my shoes!  

Lots and LOTS of room for my shoes!  

The best part about my new closet is everything has a place now.  My closet hasn't been this clean in years!  No more sea of shoes on the floor.  There is plenty of room for my generous shoe collection (especially since Triple Threat insisted I purge the ones I wouldn't ever wear again! ).  

Even though this was my very belated 40th birthday present, I can tell Triple Threat loves our new closet as much as I do.  Funny how that works!  :)

Closets by Design did an incredible job from start to finish.  If you're in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and need a Big Girl Closet of your own, give them a call.  Pinky swear you won't be sorry.

Now about my chandelier, as I write this it's still nicely packed in the box. Since the chandy won't provide as much light as needed, Triple Threat needs to install a few can lights.  And since it still feels like the Sahara Desert here in Texas, he's waiting for cooler temps to crawl around in the attic.  I promise to update this post once it's hung so you can ooh and aww with me.  

Anyone else huge fans of Sex in the City?  I found this Carrie Bradshaw quote and thought it was a perfect ending for this post.  

"I like my money right where I can see it...hanging in my closet."  Except in my case, it IS my closet.  LOL

So tell me, what do you think of my Big Girl Closet?

 

 

My Dream Big Girl Closet - {ReStyle: Part 1}

About three years ago, Triple Threat (my Handy, Handsome, Hubby) asked me what I wanted for the big 4-0 birthday.  That was a simple answer.  A big girl closet.  For our entire married life, which was eleven years at the time, our closet was in a constant state of mess.  And it drove me absolutely crazy.  I consider myself to be an organized person.  If something has a specific place, I always put it back in the right spot.  In my closet's case, NOTHING had a place so it was a giant free-for-all.  It was a vortex of dishevelment. 

Those close to me know about my love affair with shoes.  All 125 pairs of them.  Stilettos were an part of my everyday wardrobe.  I wore them the duration of my pregnancy and against the prediction of my OB-Gyn, to the delivery room.

 

{Source: www.fashupp.com}

{Source: www.fashupp.com}

Now, our closet wasn't built to hold that kind of serious shoe collection.  The only place to store them was on the top shelves so we invested in the plastic racks. About eight to be exact.  We soon discovered the flaw in this plan.  Now, I am 5'3" tall so the only way for me to reach my shoes was a ladder.  It became painfully obvious (not to mention inconvenient) that dragging out a ladder every time I needed to reach my shoes wasn't happening.  In turn, the floor of our closet became a giant swimming pool of shoes. 

Exhibit A:  The most frequently worn shoes in my collection.

Exhibit A:  The most frequently worn shoes in my collection.

The other constant source of frustration was not having any drawers for socks, unmentionables, workout clothes, and anything else your might want to cram in a drawer.  Again, we turned to plastic bins for a temporary solution that ended up not exactly being temporary fourteen years later.

Exhibit B: What a mess! Overflowing bins

Exhibit B: What a mess! Overflowing bins

Triple Threat knew how important my dream of a Big Girl Closet was to me and decided it was the perfect spurge for my 40th birthday.  We starting researching our options and met with several closet installation companies.

Enter Closets by Design.  We instantly connected with the designer, Jessy Busch, who came out to make my Big Girl Closet dream come true.

First, Jessy took measurements of our entire closet, calculated how much hang space we needed and counted all my shoes to make sure there would be a place for everything.  I'm pretty sure counting all my shoes wore her out.  {He he he!}.

Then all the magic started.  She drafted a plan of the new closet and we met to discuss what we liked and wanted to change.  We were pretty on board with everything she came up with and only made minor changes to the original plan.  Finally!  We were ready to get started!  

Or, so we thought.  Right after we met and finalized the plans, our sweet kitty became extremely sick.  So, we had a choice...invest in vet expenses or my dream closet.  Which option do you think we went with?

Of course, the health of our beloved family pet was more important so my Big Girl Closet would have to wait.  Two years to be exact.  Fast forward to the summer of 2014 and we are finally doing it.  My test of patience is paying off!  

Step one of the process was removing the ENTIRE contents out of our closet.  Did I mention I was not excited about this part?  I had no idea how much stuff was crammed into this space.  On the upside, it was the perfect opportunity to sort through everything and make a substantial donation.

Now, where to put the complete contents of a closet?  For an entire week, everything that was once in our master closet crowded our bedroom.  Let me tell you, I am a neat freak and that wasn't easy for me.  

When everything's finally out, we're ready for demolition.  Out with the old and in with the new!  

Ready, Set, Demo! 

Ready, Set, Demo! 

Our closet looked HUGE once the old closet was removed!

Saying goodbye was never so easy.

Saying goodbye was never so easy.

Even our cat loved the empty closet.  

Step two is painting the closet.  We couldn't decided on color so decided to go with both.  Ripe Wheat on the walls and Stable Hay on the ceiling.  We only had one day to get the entire closet painted.  I don't think I've ever painted so fast in my life.

We went with both!

We went with both!

Painted and ready for carpet install.

Painted and ready for carpet install.

Whoa, you might needs shades!  I promise the color doesn't look quite so intense once the new closet is in.  Pinky swear.

Sneak Peek.

Sneak Peek.

Closets by Design did a beyond fabulous installation of my Big Girl Closet and I can't wait to show you the rest of it.  Stay tuned for Part 2 to see the full reveal!

How to Stain Poplar Wood Like a Boss

I love taking a challenge and turning it into a triumph.  This is exactly what happened with one of my recent projects.

{BEFORE}

{BEFORE}

A client brought me a dining room table covered in glitter and the surface was a sticky, gooey mess.  I got to work sanding with 80# and when I had finally sanded off all the goo, I discovered it was poplar wood (not stain-grade). {Insert HUGE sigh.}

See all that shiny stuff?  Yep, that's glitter y'all.  

See all that shiny stuff?  Yep, that's glitter y'all.  

Poplar is commonly used in furniture projects because it's inexpensive  and works best with a painted finish. However, my client wanted the top stained and I was not going to let her down.   On the inside, I was a little concerned that I wasn't going to be able to pull it off.

Triple Threat {Handsome, Handy, Hubby} told me "no way is that going to stain well, you should probably tell her it needs to be painted." Well, I considered that a challenge. I had to prove him wrong.  

Check out all the variations in the wood pieces.  This top was definitely not intended to be stained with the finger-style joints showing.

Check out all the variations in the wood pieces.  This top was definitely not intended to be stained with the finger-style joints showing.

Lots of variation in the wood.  This is definitely going to be a challenge.

Lots of variation in the wood.  This is definitely going to be a challenge.

I applied wood conditioner, said a prayer and went to work with the ONE COAT WONDER, General Finishes Java gel stain. The first coat looked pretty darn good but was a little patchy in areas. Next coat, I used Walnut gel stain to give a little dimension to the Java. Holy cow, it looked amazing except one tiny area that wasn't staining well at all.

No worries, I used my dry brushing technique with walnut gel stain and VOILA, the tabletop transformed into a high-end wood knock-off.  When Triple Threat saw the the ReStyle, he was amazed I was able to stain poplar to appear like one of its higher-end cousins such as walnut. He affectionately refers to me as the Stain Master now, which I can't say I mind.  

The top completely transformed with General Finishes gel stains.

The top completely transformed with General Finishes gel stains.

{RESTYLED}

{RESTYLED}

My favorite part of this whole process was conquering something that seemed impossible.  That and my client's reaction when she saw her ReStyled table.  She loved it so much and said it was almost too pretty to use.  You can't beat that kind of payment for your work!  

The table base got some loving too.  

The table base got some loving too.  

I hope this will inspire you to try staining the 'unstainable,'  And if you do, please let me know how it works out for you.

In the meantime, Keep Calm and Gel Stain On!  

One Coat Wonder is Back in Black

You've probably heard of General Finishes Gel Stain by now unless you never get on Pinterest or social media of any kind.  Java and Antique Walnut have been my best friends lately but there's a new kid in town.  BLACK is the new black in the latest addition to the gel stain family! And one of you will be lucky enough to win a pint.

The contest runs from July 18-26, 2014 and it's simple to be eligible.  

1.  Like High Style ReStyle on Facebook. Easy, right since most of you have already covered that one.  

2.  Post a comment.  Say what project you need black gel stain to start or finish.  Or you've never tried gel stain so this is the perfect opportunity.  If you just want to win something free, that's okay too as long as you comment about it.  

3. Share my page with everyone you know.  

I'll be announcing the winner on Saturday, July 27.  So stay tuned to see which lucky DIYer gets to be one of the first to try out One Coat Wonder in black.

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