Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Painting Furniture with Spray Paint

I like brown. Basically everything in our home is brown. Our floors are a beautiful brown. Our couches are a lovely brown. A good chunk of our furniture is the exact same brown. Yep, I like brown. But let's face it...the Henrys aren't really a monochromatic family. We all have pretty colorful personalities and our home should reflect that.

Plus, I've been itching for a good DIY project.

The decision was made to add a pop of color in our living room by painting one of the pieces of furniture. The target became a large end table that we scored off of Craigslist a few years ago. It was a rather dull but solid wood piece that was just begging for a make over. I recently read an article about a painting technique using Vaseline. It claimed to ease the job of scuffing so I was immediately intrigued. I'm a big fan of short cuts. Hence my desire to also use spray paint for this project. I know what you are thinking...and yes, I agree. Spray paint is awfully tacky, lazy, and toxic. But here is the deal...if it turned out ugly, I can always start over and do it properly. Currently, I'm all about maximizing my personal time and spray paint promised to assist with that goal. So...the fun began.

I wanted a muted green but struggled to find the right paint. Then I spotted it...a matte Camouflage. Not really the appropriate paint for furniture...but the color was pretty perfect. This just raised my doubts that this project wouldn't turn out properly and, at this point, I was confident that I would definitely need to be redo everything. But the lazy, crazy train had already left the station...what was there to lose...so...purchased!

Step one...scuff. I truly hate prepping furniture...but...it is a necessary evil. After removing the doors and all the hardware, I went to town. Thankfully, there wasn't a ton I needed to scuff off...so it was a quick process!

Once I felt it was properly scuffed, I moved on to step two...Vaseline. In retrospect, I put too much. So learn from my mistake and put just a touch on your finger and rub on only the edges you want scuffed the most. In addition to the edges, I also placed little globs in random places throughout...I probably wouldn't do that again. You're welcome.

Next, I flipped the piece upside down and continued with step three...spray paint. I did two coats to ensure proper coverage each way (upside down and right side up). When painting with spray paint, remember it's all about keeping a proper distance and spraying in motion. If you are too close or too still, you'll chance dripping and no one wants that.

Once it dried thoroughly, over several days, I busted out the sandpaper again and embraced step four...scuffing again. The Vaseline really did ease the pain of scuffing the edges. It helped make those spots more dramatic and I'm ultimately glad I did it. Even though I put too much, it worked for this project because I wanted a nice bit of the original brown to shine through.

Once I felt it was scuffed enough and perfectly imperfect, I replaced the hardware and doors.

If I'm being honest, I must admit that I actually put the doors on wrong...twice. Chris had to come to my rescue because I was really close to tossing the whole piece over the fence. Thanks Chen...doesn't he look thrilled!

When the doors were on properly, I wiped the piece down with a damp cloth and followed up with a vacuum just to make sure all the dust was gone before bringing inside.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with the finished product. It's a muted, matte green but still brings a nice pop of color into the room. It was ridiculously easy and a nice little project that got my creative juices flowing...now, on to the next one! ;)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Oil Pulling Voodoo

I have a pretty ridiculous faith in Pinterest. If Pinterest claims that doing something will have any positive affect on my health, beauty, lifestyle, or diet...odds are, I won't even weigh the possible side effects...I'll just give it the good ol' college try. I should be really embarrassed to admit that...but...truth is, I have only a few Pin-strosities that make me question the DIY suggestions, recipes, or new weirdo techniques. And if the internet says it's true...well, then it must be! ;)

A few months ago, I came across a pin claiming that "oil pulling" would all but change my life. During my 3am nurse session with Harrison...and Pinterst browse...my clouded mind was immediately intrigued by the claims of a healthier mouth, whiter teeth, clearer sinuses, fewer migraines, reduced allergy symptoms, and more and more and more. Check out a full list at PositiveMed.  It's quite ridiculous. 

Basically, you just swish a tablespoon of a quality oil in your mouth for 15-20 mins and then spit it out. And that's it.

My initial thoughts:

1. 15-20 minutes...who can possibly swish anything for that long. Ridiculous.
2. Yeah...coconut oil is going to make my teeth whiter. Ridiculous. 
3. There is NO WAY any oil can do ANY of those claims. Ridiculous.

I kept seeing things about oil pulling in almost all of my social media news feeds. I started to soften to the idea until I got to the point of saying...hey, it clearly won't kill me to try. Plus, this would ensure I couldn't talk to anyone for 15-20 minutes and that means that I might get left alone for 15-20 minutes...definitely worth the try.

I already use coconut oil quite a bit in my beauty routine so it was already at my sink...just staring at me...begging me to try it. So, one morning while getting ready for work, I scooped up a bit and stuffed it in my mouth. Swishing as if it was mouth wash, I pushed the oil through my teeth and around the sides of my mouth. I jumped in the shower and started going through my typical morning routine. When the time came to brush my teeth, I spit the oil in the trash can and rinsed with water...immediately, my mouth felt cleaner. 

What the what!?!?!?!?!?!

So for the next week, I kept oil pulling in my routine. I'm not going to even speculate that oil pulling is doing anything that the hundreds of websites claim...but...my mouth feels good, my teeth look a bit whiter, and my dental appointments are stellar. Sold. 

Last week, I took it up a notch and added a drop of orange essential oil, because again...Pinterest told me it would be awesome. And once again, Pinterest was right. I don't love the taste of coconut oil but I powered through because I liked the way my mouth felt after...but with the orange oil, I completely miss out on that funky taste. Winning.

Should you feel the need to give this a try, I have a few suggestions:

1. Coconut Oil is the shizz...but remember that it will harden so don't spit it down your sink drain. Consider spitting in a trash can or the toilet.

2. Don't swallow or let the oil touch the back of your throat. One of the claims is that oil pulling is actually pulling some of the bacteria out of your mouth and assisting in your detoxing...so you don't want to chance swallowing that nasty.

3. The 15-20 minutes isn't easy at first...but it does get easier. You can do it!

4. A tablespoon is A LOT at first so maybe build up to it. Again, you can do it!

5. Don't forget to rinse with water after. This just helps ensure all the nasty doesn't hang around in your mouth. 

Again, I have NO clue if oil pulling is living up to the claims or if it has any true health or scientific benefits...but I love the 15-20 minutes each morning that I have to be quiet...plus my mouth feels awesome. So it's official, I'm a legit crazy person now blindly believing in the oil pulling voodoo.

If you decide to give it a try...Happy Pulling!