Sunday, June 29, 2014

DIY Grommet Top Curtain Panels

My new house has 10' ceilings.  When we moved in, none of my curtains were long enough.  We wanted to have curtains in all of the rooms for privacy.  Our old house was very dark and I did not wants white mini blinds on the first floor.  I wanted as much natural light to come in as possible!

We put Ikea curtains in all of the windows on the first floor.  They were fairly inexpensive and did the trick.  I have a habit of being too neutral and I am getting a bit too beige on beige.  Since we can't paint yet, I wanted to bring in a little color.  Curtains ARE EXPENSIVE!  I also like grommet top because they can easily be opened and closed.  My husband likes to close them and I come behind them and open them. 

I decided on these Farrah Fretwork Panels in blue from Target in 54"x95".  They were $29.99 a panel.  That was a lot more than the $9.99 a panel Ikea curtains.  They are more of a smokey blue color with a hint of green.  But, they only came in a rod pocket.  I decided to experiment with adding grommets.

Here are the tops of the curtains with grommets.

Here is a stock photo from Target of the Farrah Fretwork Panels (rod pocket)

Materials Needed

Curtain Panels
Dritz Grommets
Tape Measure
Metal L or T square or Meter Stick

I purchased 4 sets of Dritz Grommets from Walmart.  They did not have them in the store, I had them delivered site to store.  I purchased the brushed silver.  They have several different finishes.  They are made of plastic.  The brushed silver is not "metalesque" at all but from a distance you hardly notice.

Please make sure you measure your curtains first.  Out of the four panels I purchased, only one of them was actually 54 inches wide.  There are 8 grommets, so measure accordingly.

Then, mark your curtain panels with a pencil.  I used a pencil just in case I made any errors.  After I marked the measurements for the sections, I marked where the holes should be and used the provided template to mark the holes.

After I measured and marked all the holes and ensured they were the proper distance apart, I sat and stared at my $29.99 curtain panel for about 15 minutes.  I won't lie, I felt a bit anxious to cut holes in brand new curtain panels.

I texted my husband.  I'm not sure how that would have helped.  I finally cut a small slit in the fabric and it was now done..... I had just cut a hole in brand new $29.99 panels.

I aligned the hardware and pushed the two pieces together.  You have to be careful to cut on the template exactly.  If you cut too little (which I did at first) the hardware won't grip correctly and you can not snap the pieces together.  If you cut too much you run the risk of being able to see your hole around the hardware.

Align the hardware

Here is what the grommets look like snapped together.

Here is a shot of what the finish looks like against polished silver and brushed nickel.  You can see that it really is silver "colored" not metal.

Here is what they look like.  I put them in both my Living Room and Dining Room since the two rooms are connected.

All of my first floor curtain rods and hardware are from Ikea.  The rods are RACKA and the brackets are BETYDLIG.  They're cheap and I could get them all to match.

One of the things I found super about these is the ability to adjust them higher or lower.  This came in handy when I replaced the Ikea curtains for the Target Farrah curtains because adding the Grommets shortened the curtains slightly.  Since the plate seen below covers the bracket where they are fastened to the wall, you can't see it unlike traditional brackets.

Here is the top of the curtains with the Grommets

Here is the before and After of the Dining Room......

And I also replaced the curtains in the Living Room as well.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Minwax Polyshades on Round Top Stool

One of my favorite features of my kitchen is our enormous island.  I remember when I was first looking at this floor plan, prior to seeing the model, I was contemplating not getting the island.  My realtor at the time looked at me, raised her brow and asked "Have you seen the island??"  I got the island.

Materials Needed

Stool of choice
Minwax Polyshades (color of your choice)
foam brush
foam roller

I didn't want to spend a lot of money since I wasn't quite sure what stools I wanted but, I knew we needed stools.  I purchased three of these beauties at Target for I believe they were $14.99 each.  We have a couch in our living room and everyone sits around the island on these.  My only complaint is that my kitchen has espresso cabinets, my morning room has a very dark stained table and these were a tad too light for my liking.

I really like the look of distressed furniture.  However, I was afraid if I painted the furniture, the paint would peel or rub off when my guests sat upon the stools.  I decided to paint the chairs with Minwax Polyshades.  Minwax Polyshades has coloring that is suspended inside of polyurethane.  

I do not like to do a lot of preparation work when it comes to painting.  I like to see quick results.  I purchased some of the "fake" Scotch Brite pads at Family Dollar. I read a post that using the Scotch Brite pads was better for this project than steel wool as the pads didn't leave a residue.

When I picked up the Polyshades, the only color at Lowes was Classic Black in gloss.  The Lowes associate told me that there wasn't a high demand for the Polyshades and their colors were limited.  I really wanted a different color and sheen but wanted to try the Polyshades.

I started by gently sanding the stools with the Scotch Brite pads.  When I say lightly, I mean I went over them quickly in less than ten minutes.  I next applied the stain to the stools.  I painted it on and did not pull it back on.  I previously have used a gel stain by General Finishes in Java and think they both applied the same, but I think the Polyshades was a bit thinner and I definitely liked the consistency better.

Starting with the stool on it's top, I worked from the top (which was toward the floor) I put the first coat on primarily with a small 6" foam roller.  I tried applying the stain with my hand in a sock and the roller worked much better.  It did a fairly good job of getting most of the spots on the stool and the coverage was good.  Some of the spots didn't adhere but I didn't want to go too heavy with the first coat.  

This is what the stool looked like after the first coat.  You can see where in some of the corners and in some places the coverage was sparse.  I let this dry overnight.

On evening 2, I took the Scotch Brite pads and sanded any place where I saw I had dripped the stain or any area the paint was too think.  This was fairly easy.  The paint didn't get gunky or peel when I did this.  It sanded pretty easily.

I used the roller again and did a second coat over all of the stools.  This time, I used a foam brush and in some cases used a Q-tip to get into some of the tight corners.  You can only use the Q-tip once or twice as the paint gets sticky and cotton sticks to your piece.

Here is the stool after the second coat.  Because the stain has Polyeurathane in it, it did a really good job of self leveling itself.  I had virtually no brush strokes.  I would have preferred a less glossy finish but like that they don't look like they were "painted".  I absolutely love the tops.   

Here are the stools finished one month later.  They have been pushed around by a one year old, sat on by various neighbors and our family.

The only thing I did notice was in some areas I had a heavy hand, it orange peeled a bit.  You can see it in the below picture but only if you look closely.  I haven't decided if I want to distress them or not. If I do, I will sand those areas and then spray them with a Matte Spray.