My Farmhouse Entertainment Center

Let me just start off by saying, I love Annie Sloan chalk paint!  I got hooked on it a few years ago.  When I buy wood furniture, I typically buy it with the intent to paint it “someday.”

Yesterday, my husband reminded me of the fact I’d bought Annie Sloan chalk paint to make our entertainment center all cutsie before my sisters came to visit (1 week and 2 days and I cannot even stand it, I’m SO excited!!!).  He then proceeded to tell me I shouldn’t worry about it because it looks fine as it is and there really isn’t time to paint it before they get here.

Yeah, he’s the king of reverse psychology.  CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

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I started removing the glass panels, knobs and knick knacks like a mad woman.  I pulled out my can of Duck Egg Blue paint and my Annie Sloan pure bristle brush.  I was READY!

Then I remembered I had to wash my furniture first (wah, wah, waaaaaaahhhh).

After a good wash, I dipped my brush into the can and started slopping on the paint.

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I put a nice even coat on the entire piece.  I also decided that a little chicken wire never hurt anybody (sent my hubby to Walmart for it), and tacked some up in place of the glass that was once there.

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I then started distressing the piece by lightly sanding the edges and little random spots on the piece to bring back some of the black underneath.  By the way… I prefer to buy REALLY dark furniture. If it comes painted black already (as this piece did), it’s a winner in my book.

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Next comes the waxing.  I’ve read everywhere to “clear wax first, dark wax second.”  This is to ensure you don’t stain your paint with the dark wax.

While I agree with this approach, my small attention span does not.  I’ve found that my “secret sauce” for waxing is a big scoop of clear wax, with a teensy, weensy dab of dark wax mixed together really well.

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The little bit of dark wax “warms” the paint color a bit.  I should mention that I also don’t “wax lightly” like everyone suggests.  I actually paint the wax on, to get beautifully colored strokes.  Then I use paper towels the rub the wax off in the same direction I painted it on (the wax is worked into the piece as you do so).  In the images below, both the top of the entertainment center and top drawer are waxed.  You’ll notice they’re a bit darker than the rest of the piece and you can see the colorful strokes in the top.

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After distressing and waxing the entire piece, I added some new hardware (these adorable drawer pulls are no longer available, but I keep checking) and loaded it all back up!  I’m kind of in love with the results…

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Before…

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To be fair, our entertainment center was really dusty and I had removed the original hardware (just bronze knobs – you’re not missing much).  The piece was actually a lot cuter than the before picture makes it out to be.  But considering it is a “before” picture, we told it to frown and stick out its gut a bit, to ensure the “after” had all the wow factor we were looking for.

What do you think?  Have you tried Annie Sloan chalk paint?  Do you have a “secret sauce?” for waxing?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

 

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Elephant Goo and I love HUE(nited Airlines)!

Anyone that knows me is very aware of my “geek factor.”  I looooove technology (but not as much as you, you see; always and forever).

I also love shopping online.  Alright, shopping on Amazon.com.  For everything.  I mean, they’re seriously making it way too easy for me to morph into one of those future humans from Wall-E.

Obviously when the Amazon Echo became available on – wait for it – AMAZON… I just had to have it.  But could I be satisfied for too long with just hearing my favorite songs, getting the news, finding out if the weather was dog-walkable, setting timers, listening to jokes even lamer than my own, getting measurement conversions and such?

Of course not.

The moment I heard that I could become even MORE Wall-E-ish by not having to lift my cheeks off the couch to turn on/off the lights… I had to purchase some Phillips Hue lights.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I have one over my dining table, in all of my lamps and on a light strip beneath my entertainment stand.

Very recently, however, one of the original bulbs in my recessed kitchen lights took its final breath.

Let’s take a moment of silence for the poor thing.

Done?  Me too.  OH HAPPY DAY!  That meant that I could finally convince my hubby to replace all the bulbs with color-changing HUE bulbs (those puppies aren’t cheap)!

Alright, so after that long intro… you’re probably wondering what’s so special about these Hue lightbulbs (other than not having to pause an episode of Gilmore Girls when your hubby walks out of the kitchen and forgets to turn off the da** lights… or you forget… but you blame it on him anyway), right?  Well, check out this little find:

Let’s pretend you have a kitchen with, like, NO windows!  And while we all love natural light… that’s kind of hard to achieve with, again, NO WINDOWS.

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So what do we do?  Flip on the lights, of course!!!

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And welcome to “Orange Hell.”  Now you and everyone and everything can look like a pumpkin… thanks to the lovely color casts those indoor lights give off.

You know that old saying, “get it right in-camera” (so to minimize our hiney-saving efforts in Photoshop)?  HUE lights to the rescue!!!

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I simply used the “Energize” light scene and lowered the brightness a bit for balance (from an app! on my phone! – totally geeking out here, people) .  Just flipping on the lights, and setting a scene allowed me to brighten up the picture and remove that nasty orange cast.

Not too shabby to START with this in Photoshop, eh?

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Imagine the possibilities…