A Chair Makeover and Our Dining Room

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I was driving back home a couple of weeks ago when I found this beauty on my neighbor’s front yard:

She was standing alone  and sad so I snatched her. I have been looking for new chairs for my dining room for a while so I thought, why not?

These kind of chairs are not expensive. You can find them on Amazon for $85 a pair, free shipping with Prime.  In any case, I am always trying to find cheap/free stuff with beauty potential so I grabbed it and fixed it up.

Painting a wooden chair is relatively easy, but there are some important tips you can follow if you want it to look “fancy.”

The first tip is to keep kids under 6 away from this project. Kids are no good when it comes to paint and furniture. No matter what they promise, no matter what you say, they will ruin your work as soon as you turn your back on them (or is it only my kids?). Also, spray paint is pretty toxic, which gives you another great excuse to keep them far, far away from this task.

The second tip for painting a chair (and any DIY project) is to have PATIENCE! Don’t hurry up. Wait until you complete each task throughly. No shortcuts! Take your time, please.

Here is what you need to do for a wooden chair makeover:

How to Paint a Wooden Chair

Difficulty (1-5): 2  Time: 2 hours + 2 days to dry  Cost: $10

Materials:

  • Chair
  • Sand paper – Medium grit
  • Small wood block to wrap sand paper around (I used a 2″ x 4″). I also had a sand paper block but you don’t need it
  • 1 can of glossy spray paint in whatever color you want – I used Malachite color from the Montana gold brand. If you can’t find the color you want in glossy finish, buy a glossy clear spray paint to apply afterwards
  • Big rug or plastic – to put under the chair when painting
  • Dust mask – Optional. It will keep you from inhaling a lot of the toxic paint fumes

Instructions

1) Sand the chair. Sandpaper comes in different grits based on the number of sand granules per square inch of paper. A high grit means a finer sandpaper, while a low grit means a coarser sandpaper. Medium grits, such as #120 and #150, are useful for removing old finish or scratches without damaging the wood. I used a medium grit sandpaper for this project.

Wrap the sand paper around the wood block and use it for sanding flat surfaces. This helps to sand only the imperfections that are above the surface.  Use the sandpaper alone (or sandpaper block)  when sanding curved surfaces. Sanding your chair is important because all the details that you don’t easily see before sanding (like holes or bumps) will clearly show up after you paint your chair. Be patient! Pay attention to detail! Don’t rush through this or you will have to come back again to sand back the imperfections that show up after a fresh and smooth coat of paint had been applied.

Rub surfaces to feel for smoothness!

This is how my chair looked after I finished sanding it:

2) Wash the chair with soap and water. Wait until it is completely dry before moving on to the next step.
3) Start spraying. Make sure the spray can is around 8″ -10″ away from the surface you are trying to paint. Don’t start spraying directly into the chair, this could create drips if you apply too much paint (see below). Start spraying by aiming away from the chair and then go into applying smooth strokes to the chair. Again, take your time with this step. You don’t want to create drips with your paint like these ones: Because then you will have to sand down the imperfections all over again! Whatever imperfections show up, you will need to sand them down the day after you spray paint, otherwise the dust will settle on the damp paint.

When painting, you need to get to all the “difficult” places. Turn the chair upside down and make sure no space is left without paint.

4) If you spray painted your chair with a flat finish like I did, you will need to add a coat of glossy transparent spray paint to give it a glossy finish. A glossy finish is VERY important for kitchen furniture, especially. It is easier to wipe down when dirty with filthy children’s food.

Here is the after photo of that (previously) ugly chair:
Here are photos of  the chair in our dining room. By the way, I am taking this opportunity to introduce our little dining room to all of you! I have not shared photos of it before. You might already know that our house is small, so this little breakfast nook works as the dining room, project table, homework space, and many other things. I like how happy and vibrant it is.The Saltillo tile that George installed is pretty charming. It gives the kitchen a rustic look.
The seats work as drawers for storage, too. The shelf has vintage finds and a beautiful plant. Just how I like it.

Some old baby shoes just hanging in there because they look cute. No sentimental reason.

I just ordered 2 more wooden chairs from Amazon so I can paint them and add them to the dining room. The chair I just painted looks cute but lonely. It needs some company, so I will be making some friends for her this weekend.

Have a wonderful day!

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Outdoor Painting – The Reveal

First of all, I want to say I am sorry. I promised I was going to do an outdoor painting months ago and I never delivered. What is worst is that I have a lot of views on that false promise post and I am sure some of you are wondering why I am such a flake!

Well, I was supposed to finish this outdoor painting months ago but then the weather decided it was time to put an end to the draught in CA and ruined ALL MY PLANS! Buah!!!!

Yes, my friends, it has rained in LA every week since the beginning of January so I was only able to finish this project last week. I have been trying to find ways to improve my garden and outdoor room and I came up with this idea some time ago.

Here is the post that details my plans and inspiration. I wrote it back in January and promised I would have it ready in two weeks. HA! Well, I FAILED! I am a failure and a liar, but like most people who fail, I say: better late than never. Ha. I am SO funny today.

The truth is that, even without the rain, the project would have taken much longer than anticipated. Although it doesn’t require a lot of technicality, it does need patience and time to create straight lines and perfect triangles. You need to make sure everything is perfectly dry before moving on to a different section of the painting, so yes, I failed in my timing but not in the final execution because it got done and it looks quite good.

The garage wall went from blah to Baboom!!!!! Which was the only intention behind this project. Also, I wanted to have it done in time for our Easter Hunt, so that worked out. Pat on the back. Pat on the back.

Here is what you will need for this project:

Outdoor Painting

Difficulty (1-5): 4  Time: 1 week Cost: $70

Materials:

  • Lots of latex paint colors for walls. I used 13 sample sizes of flat color, mostly from Behr.
  • 8ft x 3ft sheet of plywood
  • Pencil
  • Blue tape
  • Small and big brushes
  • Measuring Tape

To hang the painting:

  • Stud finder
  • Drill
  • Level
  • 2 1/2″ screws (to hang the painting outside)

Instructions:

1) Cut your Plywood to whatever size you want. Mine is a square shape of 6ft x 6ft.


2) Mark your middle point – the place where all triangles meet.

3) Draw the straight lines from the middle point to wherever you want the sides of your triangles to go.

4) Align a strip of blue tape to the lines of the first triangle you want to paint. Make sure you press it down5) Paint the triangle and wait until paint is dry. Touch the paint to make sure is not tacky.

6) Do the same for the triangle that is not right next to the one you just painted. So, for the first pass, paint every other triangle of your painting.

7) Now it is time to paint the triangles that were left without paint and getting a straight line is vital! To do this, place the blue tapes on both sides of the triangle you want to paint. Make sure the paint is completely dry.

8) Paint on each side of the blue tape with whatever paint is below the tape, meaning the color of the triangle right next to the one you are trying to paint.

9) Wait until it dries and paint the whole triangle with the final color. Now wait until the painting is completely dry. Sometimes this will take hours.

10) Strip out the blue tape

11) Drill through the painting into the wall to hang it. Find the studs to do this.

12) Fix details with your small brush, for example, fix lines that are not straight, paint over screws, paint over any imperfections.

So, what do you think? I like it. It has the soul of Spring!

In case you want to make a painting for the inside of your home, here is a tutorial about how to make a mural.

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Hanging Flowers Decoration

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item through one of the links, I may receive a small percentage of that sale.  Thank you for supporting Jest Cafe.

My dear friend Janna is getting married and I am SO happy for her. [I know you are reading my friend so congrats!]

As you know, organizing a wedding can be overwhelming. There are so many possibilities! That is why Pinterest is such perfect place to get started. Are you getting married? Well, create a board and pin your way to a perfect wedding, I would say.

There are so many gorgeous images in there that make me wish I was the one getting married, but I am sure George won’t be up for it. Maybe vow renewal? No, that is not going to happen, so my best bet is to live my dreams through friends, in this case, Janna. (Btw, I have a board with images for wedding inspiration, in case you want to see click here)

The weekend before last we spent a lot of time looking for photo inspirations and I realized, once again, that I am attracted to photos that have a LOT of flowers, specially hanging flowers. Weddings are beautiful! I could spend hours pinning wedding photos! There is so much cute stuff out there!

After hours of pinning and drooling (yes, very productive, I know), I decided to create a statement piece of my own that uses flowers and is cheap and easy to do. Something that could be used at a wedding or when entertaining, this is how the hanging flower decoration was born.

Humans! This decoration is simple, budget friendly, and it looks so good. Here is how you do it!

Hanging Flowers Decoration

Difficulty (1-5): 2  Time: 2 hrs Cost: $70

Materials

  • Plywood – I used size 2ft x 4ft
  • 42 1/2 “ Brass Cup Hooks
  • 4 1 3/4″ Eye Screws
  • Rubber bands
  • White paint – I used a Behr sample from Home Depot.
  • Flowers
  • Rope
  • Drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Pruning scissors
  • Pencil

Instructions

1) Paint the plywood with white paint on all sides. Let it dry. Paint it again.

2) Mark with your pencil the places where you want to drill holes. I marked 42 holes with 6in. in between and 4in between rows. I alternated rows of 4 and 3 holes.

3) Drill the holes

4) Screw the hooks into the drill holes

Also, a little tip from my handy man… when opening packages with hooks or other small pieces, it helps to cut a door in the back of the box instead of fully opening the package. This way, you can keep the package for storage.

5) Drill and screw 4 hooks to the other side of the plywood. One on each corner. Attach a rope to the hooks. You will use this rope to hang the decoration (see full photos below).

6) Start hanging your flowers with rubber bands. Choose the length and colors of your flowers and hang them one by one. I used bundles of 2-3 flowers at a time. You can use anything that is in season on your local grocery store. Roses and tulips are good options.

And, here is the result. Let’s take a look at some beautiful photos:

The result was better than I expected. The flowers looked so good, especially from down below. The project was done in just a couple of hours. It was easy to make.

WARNING: Some flowers don’t last long without water. I would say that you have around 5-6 hours of beauty before you they start withering but the “withering” look could also be beautiful.

Hope you liked this project!

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Wes Anderson Inspired Cement Planters

To my new beautiful cement planters: thank you for coming into my house to make it more appealing and for saving me hundreds of dollars in new planters! Also, thank you for being so easy to make and for looking good no matter what!

To my readers: I found the perfect project for you! It is easy, cheap, simple, fast and cute! Seriously, it is a no brainer. You need to try it!

In case you are wondering why I decided to venture out into the cement world of crafts and DIY projects, I will give you the answer: I was invited to participate in a challenge with other bloggers called “Inspired by DIY.” The challenge is simple. We come up a DIY project inspired by somebody’s work. This month, we chose Wes Anderson.

(Thanks, Jess from Domicile37 for hosting this challenge!)

I have wanted to make cement planters for a while, so I decided this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try. I am happy with the result and how easy the project turned out to be.

Let me walk you through the steps so you can make them, too.

To begin with, I want to share the image that inspired this project:

This is an image from Wes Anderson’s movie Hotel Budapest. I love the colors and decided to use similar tones for the planters.

Difficulty (1-5): 2  Time: 1 hour + 24 hrs for cement to dry  Cost: $12

Materials

  • Cement or Mortar. I used this mortar mix.
  • Water
  • Plastic containers – Any containers will do.  I used yogurt, milk, sour cream, among others.
  • Brush
  • Paint –  I used leftovers from samples of BEHR interior flat paint.
  • Cooking Oil
  • Plastic gloves
  • Stick (to mix cement)
  • Blue tape

1) Prepare your containers. Decide how many planters you want to make. For each one of them you will need an exterior container to pour the cement mix in. You will also need an interior container to create the inside hole to place your plants. Make sure there is enough space between your exterior and interior container, this space will be the thickness of your planter walls.

2) Oil the interior of outside containers and the exterior of your inside containers. This will help releasing containers after the cement dries.

3) Prepare your cement mix. You will need approx. 1 measure of water per 4 measures of cement. Mix with your stick. You can also put your gloves on and mix with your hands. You need to achieve a peanut butter consistency. It is no problem if you make the cement a little bit runnier than peanut butter. This will help to create an even surface on the upper rim of the planter.

4) After you pour the cement into the container, you need to bang them down on a hard surface to settle the mix. Press the interior container into the mix to create the interior hole.

5) Add weights to keep interior containers down and wait 24 hrs for the cement to dry.


6) If you can’t pull the planters out of the containers, just cut the container off. You might need a tweezer to help you take out the interior containers.

7) Paint! Choose your colors and a design and paint your containers. For some of the planters I used blue tape to create a straight line. I have a lot of extra paint from previous projects so I reused that. I used samples of flat wall paint.  Spray would also work.

Let’s take a look at the results:

Here are the links to other DIY projects that my fellow bloggers came up with for this challenge. Lots of fun posts:

Domicile 37 | Up to Date Interiors | PMQ for Two | The Gathered Home | The Rath Project | 58 Water Street | Semi Gloss Design | The Home I Create

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Valentine’s Day Fabric Heart

Happy Valentine’s Day! I have a special gift for you today. You might not think much of it but I spent a lot of hours doing it so, could you at least pretend you like it? (This is starting to seem more like a conversation with George than a post for this blog). Cuek.

Here is the deal, dear cyber friend, a long, long time ago I saw a photo on Pinterest that sparked my imagination.

Pinterest can be a wonderful place for inspiration, but it can also big a place for HUGE disappointment once you realize your life, home, and crafts look nothing like your Pinterest news feed, but I WON’T BE DISCOURAGED! And I will shout this until you believe me…

Well, looking for Valentine’s related crafts, I saw a heart made of fabric and thought to myself: “I have to do that for Valentine’s!!!” so I did. Little did I know that it was going to take twice the amount of time I expected originally.

After four hours of working on it I thought: “I am spending too much valuable time making this heart instead of watching The Vikings. Is this really worth it?” But then I realized I could watch The Vikings while making the heart and the whole endeavor didn’t seem like a super waste of time anymore, plus, I could soon see that the project was going to turn out very c-u-t-e! And it did.

I will pretend it is Valentine’s Day all year long so I don’t have to put this heart down ever! You will see.

Now, the moment you all have been waiting for, the detailed instructions of this art installation – this is how I am calling it because I like to be pretentious sometimes. (Warning: Max decided he wanted to pose for this post, so I let him do it. Prepare yourself for serious cuteness.)

3×3 ft Valentine’s Day Fabric Heart Art Installation

Difficulty (1-5): 1  Time: 6 hours  Cost: $80

Materials:

  • 20 ft Tulle fabric
  • 5 ft cotton fabric
  • 10 ft – 1in, 20 gauge chicken wire
  • Heavy-duty wire cutter
  • Scissors
  • Floral wire or another wire that is easy to manipulate.

1) Cut the chicken wire into a heart shape. You might need to make two halves depending on the heart size you want, as the chicken wire is not wide enough to accommodate a whole 3 ft wide heart shape.

2) Cut all your fabric pieces before you get started. This will make the project faster (Ford Model T, anyone?). The cotton pieces should be cut in triangles, so they are easy to tie down.

3) Start tying the fabric to the wire. I tied one piece of fabric per wire space. I also did one row of cotton and one of tulle. You need a big quantity of tulle for this heart to look organic and fuller, so I added the tulle on the rows that needed more fabric. The tulle is too transparent if you use it by itself. You need the cotton to fill in the translucent nature of the tulle.

4) Turn on a movie or play a podcast and BREATH! Finishing this project will take time but it will be worth it.

5) You want your last row to be made of tulle. Also, you can bend down any wires that stick out from the fabric, so you can’t see them in the final result.

6) Attach the two heart halves with floral wire.

There you go, my friends. I hope you have an excellent Valentine’s Day.

Today is a little sad for us because it used to be my father-in-law’s birthday and he passed away last year. Two days from now it is my dad’s birthday, who also passed away last year… very emotional week, indeed.

I hope you like this heart because I worked very hard to make you happy with it today.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

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