Deuce Cities Henhouse

Refinishing the Dining Room Table

Refinishing a Mid Century Dining Room Table

Refinishing a Mid Century Dining Room Table

Six years ago we bought a mid century 1958 Drexel dining room table from a seller on craigslist. I didn’t know how much I’d grow to love the table when we first purchased it, at the time it just fit the bill. It had good lines, minimal wear and most importantly was in our price range. It cost us a whopping $325 for the table and a set of 6 chairs which included 2 captains chairs. I love this table! It’s seen its fair share of battle though: LEGO building, board game playing, puzzle making, Christmas-meal eating, friend feasts partying, and beer & cocktail-drinking sort of battles. The table top has been badly scratched and water marked for over 2 years now – to the point of having to cover it up with a table cloth any time we have anyone over.

We keep saying we need to get that table refinished – who has time and money for that though? Not us. I couldn’t imagine taking it apart, packing it up, bringing it to a refinisher and paying mucho bucks to get it refinished. I also couldn’t imagine that I had any qualification to refinish it myself.

Somehow over the course of the last few months I’ve built up a lot of skillz and confidence and started feeling more and more sure that I could do this. My big reservation was the walnut veneer top – I didn’t want to do anything that would harm the veneer and make this project into an even bigger can of worms (this happens to me more than I would like to admit). After careful and close inspection I determined that the veneer was about an 1/8 of an inch thick – thick enough for a good sanding.

It just so happened that I was a band widow last weekend – so while the old husband guy was not around, I decided it might be the perfect time to tackle a project like this. I did baby steps, starting with test refinishing one of the leaves. When that seemed like it was turning out well, I jumped right in and started on the table top. I’m so glad I did, I can’t stop staring at it now! I actually wish I would’ve had the guts to tackle this sooner; it’s a hard life being ashamed of your dining room table.

Refinishing a Mid Century Dining Room Table

Refinishing a Mid Century Dining Room Table

Refinishing a Mid Century Dining Room Table

Refinishing a Mid Century Dining Room Table

Step 1:
Wash Table
Wash the table with a household cleaner. I used some Mrs. Meyers diluted in water and gave it a good scrub with a heavy duty scouring pad. Let it dry.
Step 2:
Use Acetone to Strip Finish
I had never used Acetone before, but discovered that people on the internetz recommend it for stripping finishes off of things that might have finishes on them such as this table. Never having worked with it before it took me a bit to get the hang of it. Work in small sections pouring the acetone on the table, give it about 30 seconds to soak in and lift the finish, the wipe of with medium grit steel wool. I followed this up by wiping the excess gunk off with a paper towel. Continue doing this as you move around the table. Tip – it stinks, so open up a window.
Step 3:
Sand
Now is when you start to see results. Sand the table starting with a 150 grit sandpaper – if that’s not strong enough for ya, step it up a notch and go for the 100, then move to the 150. Follow it up by giving it a once over with a 220 fine grit paper. I started off doing this by hand as I didn’t want to sand through the veneer but realized that my mouse sander was gentle enough to do the job.
Step 4:
Use Denatured Alcohol to Find Imperfections
The internet taught me that I could use denatured alcohol to get a preview of the natural finish. Wipe it on your table in the direction of the grain of the wood and then look closely to see if there are any major scratches that still need to be buffed out. The alcohol will evaporate within a minute or so, so look quickly. I found this step very helpful in achieving a perfect finish.

Refinishing a Mid Century Dining Room Table

Step 5:
Apply Teak Oil
Now its time for the fun part, the part where you really get to see how beautiful your messed up furniture can be, plus it smells kind of good in a weird sort of way. Apply some teak oil to the surface allowing the wood to soak it up for about a half an hour, then wipe off the excess and repeat letting the oil sit on the surface for about 20 minutes. I did this 7 times because I really wanted a perfect finish.
Step 6:
Polyurethane
The table was looking pretty great after the teak oil, if this was furniture that wasn’t going to be used all the time, I’d probably let it go at the teak oil but since this is our dining room table I opted to add a few coats of a satin poly. Here’s a few things I learned about poly – you need to mix it well and use a good brush. All polyurethane is natrually glossy, they add flattener to give it that dulled down satin finish and that stuff likes to sink to the bottom of the can. Use a stir stick (not to shake, shaking can cause bubbles) to stir in the flattener and do this often while applying the poly. I accidentally didn’t stir my poly enough and ended up with one shiny coat which I had to sand down and start over. Also, lightly hand sand between coats of poly with a 220 grit paper.

Refinishing a Mid Century Dining Room Table

Refinishing a Mid Century Dining Room Table

Refinishing a Mid Century Dining Room Table

Refinishing a Mid Century Dining Room Table

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in Around the House, DIY, Tutorial

Sowing Seeds Indoors

Sowing Seeds Indoors
Hey! Guess what? This is going to be my first official post of the year for Ace Hardware! I’m sincerely so, so excited to be working with them – I just love my neighborhood Ace Hardware store, and I feel really fortunate to be teaming up in a brand that I truly adore and use all the time.

I’m madly excited for spring, and I wanted to write a post to share with you guys on indoor seed sowing. Sowing seeds indoors is one of my cures for the winter blues – there’s nothing like a little seed sowing to get you amped for spring. In case you’re new to this idea, “sowing” is planting seeds in soil with the hopes of having them germinate and sprout. Many seeds can successfully be sowed indoors before the ground thaws – with patience and daily maintenance your seeds will germinate, turn into plants, and grow! Before you know it you’ll be ready to plant them in your spring garden. Don’t have a veggie garden? That’s just fine, consider starting a flat of Impatiens or Petunias indoors and save yourself the cost of paying up for mature plants at the nursery.

Sowing Seeds Indoors
There are many options when it comes to materials to sow your seeds in. You’ll find items on the market that range from sterilized seed starting soil to sponges designed for growing seeds. My first few years sowing seeds I used a soil made specifically for seed starting, then last year I started seeds in coconut husks for the first time and was happily surprised at how easy they were to use, and I had more success germinating my seeds. I’m a coconut husk girl now. The coconut husk pellets expand and grow as soon as they are introduced to water, within a few short minutes they’ll be ready for seeds.

Sowing Seeds Indoors

Sowing Seeds Indoors

Sowing Seeds Indoors
Refer to the instructions on your seed packet for depth of planting. A good rule of thumb is to cover the seed with a fine layer of soil, usually only as thick as the seed.

Sowing Seeds Indoors

Taking Care of Your Seeds
Germination
Germination is the stage in which the seed sprouts after you have planted it. Light isn’t necessary during germination, you could even start flats of seeds in the basement if it was warm, it is imperative that provide a warm environment for them. There are seed mats available to guarantee a warm spot for your seeds, but it isn’t necessary. I put my germinating seeds in the warmest room in our house, and place them about a foot away from the radiator.
Temperature
Keep sprouting seeds at a room temperature 60-70º Fahrenheit
Watering
Sow seed in a moist mix, or in this case husk. During the germinating phase cover the seeds with the plastic cover that comes with the seed starting kit to trap in humidity. Remove the plastic top once you notice the seeds beginning to sprout. During the germination phase keep the seeds moist with a spray bottle, once the seeds begin to grow and sprout water the seedlings by pouring water directly into the bottom of the tray.
Light
Once seeds germinate (usually 10-20 days) and sprouts appear they will need a lot of light. These young seedlings need 16-18 hours of light per day! Sun is hard to come by here in the upper-midwest, so I got serious about my seed sowing and invested in a 48″ grow light. It made a huge difference, within days my seeds had germinated and are now growing fast and furiously. Remember, if you decide to use grow lights you’ll want the lights to hang 3 – 4″ over plants as they grow. The Hyrdofarm system that I am using is easily adjustable to accommodate growing plants.
Seed Scheduling
It’s important to schedule your seeds! You don’t want to have plants that are too big and outgrowing their containers, or too small and unable to survive transplanting. Below you’ll find a schedule that I like to use – for the Twin Cities area May 15th is generally a good rule of thumb for the last frost.

Schedule for Sowing Seeds

Containers
Around the 6-8 mark, your seedlings will be outgrowing their husk homes. Now is a good time to move them to a larger container until it warms up enough to transplant them outdoors. In reality you can use any container as long as it’s sterile and has adequate drainage. Recycled food containers, newspaper and biodegradable pots are a few options for good planting containers. To sterilize, use a mixture of 1 part bleach 9 parts water.

Sowing Seeds Indoors

Sowing Seeds Indoors
Once your seeds begin to have one to two leave sets, you’ll want to thin them out if you have multiple seedlings growing in one husk. Most will be 2-3″ tall by then and easy to grasp. Make sure to water your seedlings before thinning them as they will be much easier to remove in damp soil. If you’d like to keep excess seedlings place them in their own individual husks, do this in the evening as it will give the plants a chance to adjust to their new environment before being exposed to light.

When it comes time to move your plants outdoors you’ll have to get them ready. This is called hardening off. To do this, bring them outdoors for a few hours daily, increase the amount of time they are exposed to the outdoors over the course of a week. Then go ahead and plant them in the ground.

Sowing Seeds Indoors

Sowing Seeds Indoors
My pals over at Ace Hardware want you to get your green thumb on too. I’ll be giving away a $100 Ace Hardware gift card to one of you lucky people. Giveaway runs through Friday, February 27th at midnight, the winner will be announced within this post.

This giveaway has ended, Congrats to Renae!
I’m excited to be collaborating with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel! Ace has provided me with compensation and the materials necessary to complete this project! All opinions are my own. Thanks a biznillion, Ace!
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in gardening, Sponsored

Let’s Think Green!

+++ source +++
French By Design

Only one more week of February left! I always put these milestones in my head during the winter, it helps me cope. March 1st is a biggie, you see once we get to March the weather eventually has to warm up, the sun will have to stay out longer and everything will get better, it just has to. There is light at the end of that wintery tunnel (hopefully). This is the time of year where I have to muster up every ounce of positivity that I can bare, and try and focus on the end. I know it can be so hard to do, the winter is weighing so heavy right now. For me, this war on SADZ is always best fought by tending to green living stuff. I have a lot of green this year – my collection has grown by leaps in bounds over the last few, and I have to say, I don’t feel as down in the dumps as I have in other winters gone by. I sincerely believe it helps. If you’re picking up what I’m throwing down, I highly suggest you go out to the nursery and grab some green before it gets cold again, or at least look at these pretty photos and feel better. It will help, I promise.

I’ll be dropping an indoor seed sowing post early next week – looking forward to sharing. Have a great weekend and hang in there, it’s almost kinda sorta over!

+++ source +++
Liz Marie Blog

+++ sources +++
Varpunen | Sand and Sumac

+++ source +++
Urban Outfitters

+++ sources +++
The Design Files | SF Girl By Bay

+++ source +++
Congo Studio
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in Inspiration

A Plan for the Basement


Alright pals, I’ve got some fun stuff to share today. At least I think it’s fun, maybe you will think it’s lame and boring, but it’s my blog, so whatever ;)

We are in the midst of starting our big basement revamp project. This will be the biggest investment we’ve put in to the house to date. We’ve been scrimping, saving and dreaming for years now and are really excited to get this project started.

I’ve been really getting into planning the space out with sketchup – I’ve spent hours and hours messing with different designs and plans, and I think we’ve finally realized on paper (or ‘puter as it were) our dream basement situation. Below you’ll see a cool animated sketchup movie I provided you with to get the full effect of how awesome this could be.



You may have notice we’ve included a sweet TV watching area with a big screen TV (we’ve never had a big TV!) also, under the TV is a gas fireplace, something we always wanted in our dream house and had to compromise on when we bought this crappy place (I kid). Tons of built-ins utilizing ikea cabinetry to make it feel really cozy and nestled in. There is also going to be a hang area for board games and projects and beers and what have you. Also, a mini fridge bros, and an egress window to let the light in. We’re going to enlarge the currently unuseable bathroom and have it be the boys’ primary bathroom, and we’re going to put the washing machine and dryer in their own room, I think when that happens they call it a “Laundry Room”.

Now you’re probably wondering what this place looked like before. The only time I’ve ever posted any pics of our basement was right after we moved in because it’s basically an embarrassment. Really, it’s more like a shame cave then a basement. We hide it from everyone and apologize to guests who might have the unpleasure of encountering it. BUT today I’m sharing it with you, you’re so, so lucky! Welcome to what we affectionately call ‘The Cocaine Den’. You’ll see why we named it that in a sec.


No you’re not seeing things, those are beveled glass mirrors all over those walls. Also, why do we have two televisions down here, and Christmas lights hanging haphazardly from the ceiling? Cause we gave up on giving any of the shits a long, long time ago.


The space is currently overly segmented, the storage space juts out into the main space and is crammed full of boxes that could easily be moved to the attic. The bathroom is small, and the shower is inoperable. There is a “bar” (made of glass blocks) in the back 1/3 of the space – the bartender is our washing machine, dryer and a full sized fridge. The space just doesn’t function for us, and I have given up on trying to make-do with what it is.


The good news is that we do have a basement space that has been updated at least once in the last 100 years, so we aren’t exactly starting for scratch. The bad news is that the “now” version wasn’t executed well. The design is poorly planned (like I said) and the materials used are low quality – it shows. The tile needs to be torn up, the ceiling needs to be removed, the lighting is not up to code, the electrical box needs to be moved, and we need to replace some of the plumbing.

I don’t have the slightest clue as to how much this crucial behind-the-scenes stuff is going to cost us. We haven’t gotten quotes from contractors yet – that will be the next step. We’ve already established a list of what we will be eliminating first to accommodate the budget. Our intention was to have a detailed plan to share with a contractor (recommendations warmly welcomed), then scale back if the budget dictated.

SEE MORE, READ MORE

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in Around the House, Basement

Last Minute DIY Valentines

Last Minute DIY Valentine Ideas

Friends. Are you in need of a last minute DIY valentine for your kids? Don’t worry, I got you. Check out both of these super cute valentines my kids and I have handmade for valentines days of yore. Both are easy, fun, kid friendly, and made with stuff you can find around your house! You can thank me later ;)


Potato Stamped Candy Pouch | Coffee Filter Hearts Bag
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in Crafts