Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Lots and Lots of Furniture May 16, 2012

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 9:29 am
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Furniture is probably a guilty pleasure of mine. It’s hard to say no when it’s in amazing condition or has awesome potential. (Unless of course you are Kelly or Matt, who are both very good at telling me no to any new furniture.) But I recently got my way in obtaining some new dining room furniture that benefited multiple people – how can you not say “yes” to a situation like that?!?

My friend Lei and her mom have been uber gracious about giving Kelly and I furniture for our apartment over the last year that is fabulous, at the ridiculous price of free. All of the pieces are made from solid wood materials and beautiful fabric from Crate and Barrel. None of the pieces we have received have needed any major touch-ups or refinishing.

To date, we have received four new chairs for our kitchen and an adorable small white hutch for our living room. Not long ago, Lei asked if I was interested in a dining room table, six chairs and a hutch. Not being one to pass an opportunity up I went over to check out the goods. The table, chairs and hutch matched my current sideboard and china cabinet perfectly. Don’t you think? And as you can see, Stella loves the new carpet in the living room!

New dining room table

New hutch

Also while I was over there, Lei and her mom said I could take a carpet and additional dresser if I wanted in addition. So naturally I totally took them up on their offer. The new carpet went in the living room and is a great addition. It’s a little more modern than what Kelly and I gravitate to, but it’s definitely growing on me. Plus it’s amazingly cushy and comfortable.

Wondering what happened to the old dining room items and dresser? All donated to Matt’s new house. He totally made out like a bandit.  Again, one helpful reason why he didn’t say no to the furniture :).

Now, with the dining room all set I’m off to actual furniture projects that do need work! I’m proud to write that I have a quick project update regarding Kelly’s new desk.  Last week I started working on it so I could hopefully surprise her when she comes back after recuperating from her surgery. But my cover was blown this Saturday when she stopped by to pick up a few items from the apartment. She still looked impressed by my cleaning, sanding and first few coats of paint. Three coats later I’m looking like I’ll still need another two. Here is the progress so far:

Desk drawers

3 coats of paint later…

Stay tuned more updates on the desk to come!


A Desk for Kelly April 18, 2012

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 8:10 pm
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For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to clear out our front landing. Currently it’s housing a few TV’s, a chair, a sideboard, desk and a few other random oddities. Most of the stuff we’ll be donating to a Relay for Life garage sale next week and the rest is either going back to Kelly’s dad’s house or to Matt’s house.  All except for one item…the desk.

Last year my friend Mia asked if I wanted a free desk. She had picked it up at her neighbor’s garage sale fifteen years ago. Somehow it got placed at the bottom of her to-do list and sat for another five years in her garage. Knowing that I like to re-do furniture, she offered it to me.

I took Kelly along for the ride as she’s in the market for a desk. It’s just the right size and has nice detailing giving it a nice personality. A few of the shelves were in need of help and Matt and his dad actually completely rebuilt the top one in the photo below. Wood looks a little newer doesn’t it? And yes, the bottom drawer also needs a little help from Matt as well. It’s in the works!

The Desk

So what am I going to do with it? Well, my inspiration came from the bamboo chair Kelly reupholstered. I’m going to blow up the pattern and stencil it onto the desk. After of course a good cleaning, sanding and base paint job. Here are the colors Kelly picked out:

Paint Colors!

They’re going to compliment the chair perfectly! I’m not sure yet about hardware. Most likely Kelly and I will have to schedule a trip to Hobby Lobby in the near future to check out a few options.

I’m looking forward to working on the desk and maybe even having some help…thanks Matt for volunteering! More photos on progress to come in the future!


The Bench Finale! April 4, 2012

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 5:40 pm
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So after Tom yelled at me for not completing my homework of actually finishing the bench, in one of my recent posts, I decided to finally take care of business.

The few last items I had to take care of included painting and upholstery. The remaining items to be painted were the “spindles” as I’m calling them that are almost arm rests for the bench.


Painted Spindles

Once that was completed I moved on to re-upholstering the bench top. Luckily I had an extra pillow sham that I put to use. I only had to tear apart a few seems in the back to make it slip on like a glove. With my trust staple gun I got to work. Pulling the corners tight I started stapling from the left and worked my way around. The key is definitely to make sure you’re holding the fabric as taught to the back. I think the final product turned out well.

Fabric on the bench seat

All my last final pieces were finally done. I’d like to say I’m finished with my homework now. Hopefully Tom doesn’t take of any points for being late…

The Final Product!


Project Update: A Bench March 14, 2012

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 10:40 am
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I’m not sure if you remember, but back in June, I posted an article about a bench. It was a great Craiglist find and sat comfortably in my room for three years. Somehow it always stayed on the back burner of my project lists. The bench was only on display in my room so it was easy to pass it by and think I’ll just get to that later.

Well, finally, later has arrived. What boosted the determination to get ‘er done?  Simply put, it’s the warm weather. Back over Christmas break I was able to sand the bench down. However, that blip of warm weather didn’t last long enough for me to get a few coats of paint on the bench. So it sat out on the porch waiting for the warmer weather to return.

Luckily, this week we’ve been enjoying mid 60’s with light breezes. Perfect for painting! Since it’s going in my bedroom, I wanted it to match the end tables I refinished last year.

Monday evening I was able to finish a few sanding touch-ups and get the first layer of paint. Tuesday after work I layered on the second coat and third coat. I was hoping I would be able to finish it up tonight but looks like the detail work will have to wait for later this week. But at least you can see somewhat of a final production.

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Don’t worry I’ll post about the final outcome next week complete with pictures.

So you’re probably wondering what’s the next project? Well, it’s actually a desk for Kelly and it’s going to be awesome! Better stay tuned for updates!


The First DIY of the New Year January 18, 2012

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 3:12 pm
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Hello Uncharted readers! First off, major apologies for my lack of posts. Surviving the holidays is a challenge and then finding a grove to get back into is just as difficult. But I’m glad to say, it’s good to be back!

Knowing that one of my hobbies is re-doing furniture a good friend donated about a dozen paint samples to me.  Unfortunately for the longest time, I had no time. So the paint samples sat and sat and sat in our slightly disorganized pantry.

Finally their day arrived to see the sun! Thanks to the holidays, the extra time I needed arrived. It has been a long while since my hands got dirty bringing new life to furniture. And as soon as I got to work, I could tell I was definitely past due. The weather even cooperated with the opportunity to work out on the porch…much to Kelly’s relief as well!

First on the furniture flip list was this magazine rack. I found this gem in an antiques store in northern Wisconsin. A $5 price tag was too good to pass up on way to “centralize” Kelly’s magazine collection. Or at least offer support to her magazine collection.

Magazine Rack Before

So what steps where taken to achieve the final look? Here’s the breakdown:

  • Dust/clean off any dirt on the rack
  • Sand! First with a rough grain and then with a smoother/finer grain
  • Remove dust from sanding
  • Paint! 3 coats for this little guy…apparently he was thirsty
  • Stencil! I had the dickens of a time with the first stencil that I wanted to use. The plastic would not lay flat and paint kept going underneath the stencil and smudging the end result. So, after consulting with Kelly that I was indeed properly stenciling, I scrapped the original stencil for another one.

And the final result is for you below. What do you think?

Magazine Rack After



The Dresser Reveal! May 12, 2011

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 12:28 am
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Due to unforeseen circumstances, I was able to get the dresser finished this weekend. An unexpected car hiccup resulted in me postponing a trip to visit family in Wisconsin and instead left me with a full weekend of time.


I got right to work Saturday morning rockin’ my paint clothes and cloth mask. Dave commented the mask was a good look for me and that I should maybe look into dentistry as an alternate job. It’s good to know I still have options should I start thinking about a new career.

After sanding I used a dry cloth to remove any access dust. Next I taped off the top of the dresser to make sure that I wouldn’t accidently paint or spray paint any of the wood borders. Once that was completed, I moved on to staining and painting. Three coats of stain and seven coats of red paint later, I was ready to spray paint!

Using a spray adhesive, I lightly sprayed the top of the dresser. Then I placed the lace on top and patted it down to make sure it was secure. Once I was happy that no sudden gust of wind would move the lace, I got to spray painting.  Gently, I removed the lace a few minutes after spray painting and was pretty content with the results.

I waited about thirty minutes before I removed the painter’s tape to examine if my corners were dead on – which they were! Plus, I still had to stain the remaining unpainted border on the top. Another three coats later and a final coat of clear semi-gloss to polish off the piece, I’m ready to call it finished.

Here is the outcome. What do you think?



New Projects: Update April 20, 2011

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 5:56 pm
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The uncooperative weather, combined with the fact that I’ve been a little busy, equals minimal project changes in the last couple weeks. High winds, rain and cold weather are not ideal conditions for my outdoor studio, and running out of supplies doesn’t help much either. So I’m not thrilled to report my lack of progress on the wicker shelf and dresser.

Luckily, this week features more free time combined with a holiday weekend and better weather – well, hopefully better weather.

But, I have not been completely idle…

Project #2: Wicker Shelf

First I covered the back porch with black trash bags and painter’s tape to create a “safe environment” for spray paint. Then I wiped down the dusty shelf with a damp cloth before I got to work. I was able to get 90% of the shelf covered before I ran out of paint. Have no fear, I had a successful trip to Home Depot on Sunday for more spray paint. Now I just need the weather to get warmer to finish off the remaining 10%.

Project #1: Dresser

Kelly was perusing the web and found a nifty site called The Polka Dot Closet. Check out the cute end table with a beautiful lace-spray paint treatment on the drawer. When Kelly showed me this, I had a total “Ah-Ha!” moment. My dresser has a large inlay border around the top of the dresser that would be perfect for this type of treatment. I immediately dropped one of the new hardware knobs in my purse for shopping opportunities. The first of which, happened today with a successful trip to JoAnn Fabrics.

Lace for Dresser Treatment

I’m thinking of doing cream for the inlay color and then spray-paint in an orange/red color. Both colors are featured in the knobs and I think it would tie the whole piece together nicely. Naturally, the knob is still in my purse for yet another trip to Home Depot!


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