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Hand Scraped wood floors?

posted by: caroleoh on 01.17.2011 at 09:20 pm in Home Decorating Forum

This house we're moving to needs to have wood floors put down over the entire first floor. A huge project. I'm a fan of site finished wood floors, but am tempted by the ease of the engineered hardwood floors - quick install etc.

I've been looking at different websites and it seems like the hand scraped floors are the majority of their offerings.

Do you think this is a fad? I sortof like the look because I think it will hide my dog's nail scratches, but the engineered wood floor planks are so uniform in length, they look fake to me.

Anyone have the hand scraped engineered wood floors? Do you like them, are they durable against scratching?

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clipped on: 01.19.2011 at 06:54 pm    last updated on: 01.19.2011 at 06:55 pm

Okay, so how about deep brown/black espresso cabinet color?

posted by: finz2left on 01.20.2008 at 11:02 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I don't want black, but a deep dark rich brown, that may look black in the dark, but is more brown tinged. It would be for a bathroom -- and if it works well, maybe the kitchen too :-)

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steps of how to paint cabinets
clipped on: 06.16.2010 at 12:16 am    last updated on: 06.16.2010 at 12:16 am

Removing silcone caulk before painting- ?

posted by: dazzlemewithcolor on 06.11.2010 at 08:42 pm in Paint Forum

I will painting in a bathroom that has silcone caulk around the vanity. If I don't remove the caulk before painting, I do not get a clean line around the vanity (speaking from experience). What's the best and quickest way to remove it neatly?

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clipped on: 06.13.2010 at 01:42 pm    last updated on: 06.13.2010 at 01:42 pm

For anyone restoring old furniture, you may be needing this....

posted by: balego on 03.22.2010 at 01:10 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Recently there was a thread here where someone had bought an antique bed for their daughter, and asked if it should be painted. The bed was missing some scrollwork decoration. I just bought an antique bed for our granddaughter that I am going to paint white, and it was also missing some of the scroll decoration. I was originally thinking of using the mold and bake sculpy, but decided that one place I might check for something to use would be Lee Valley Tools, seeing that they carry supplies for fine woodworking. Sure enough, they carry a putty called Quikwood, which is a putty that will not only adhere to wood, but can be used to replace details and can be sanded, screwed, nailed, and painted or even stained. It comes in a tube and you mold it with your fingers to blend it. It stays workable for about 20 minutes, and I found that after I formed the general shape I needed, I could also trim it with a knife to help me shape it even more. I suppose if one is inclined, they can use maybe a dremel with a sanding tip to get the shapes perfect, but I didn't go that far. I just wanted to add the missing parts so it wouldn't be so noticeable. Anyway, below are a couple of photos where I used it. I'll update when the bed is completed.

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Here is a link that might be useful: Quikwood Epoxy Putty

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clipped on: 03.25.2010 at 10:54 am    last updated on: 03.25.2010 at 10:54 am

More 'go', less 'match'

posted by: avesmor on 03.13.2010 at 09:13 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Hi everyone, I am an avid lurker and I just have to say that I am so envious over what you guys are able to do.

I seem to get so hung up on the details of things, and can't see past them. Exact shades, shapes, textures, etc. I don't want to have to rely on "bed in a bag" home decorating, or only a series of artwork if I want more than one thing on the wall.

I'm wondering if you have practical tips/advice for being able to focus things that "go" and not just things that "match"?

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clipped on: 03.15.2010 at 01:02 am    last updated on: 03.15.2010 at 01:02 am

Staining pine stairs

posted by: bjandtom on 03.14.2010 at 12:49 pm in Home Decorating Forum

In our new construction we will have natural oak flooring and stairway landing (a little bit rustic - seconds which we love). Walls there will be SW Indian White with trim SW Peristyle Brass (warm neutrals).

Now what to stain the all pine stairs? Our builder uses Minwax. Is it likely that we will be able to match the stain on the pine to the natural oak? I'm thinking if we try to match and don't get it right, it will look like we tried but didn't get it right. I'm wondering if we should go a little darker or what? Any recommendations or PIX would be appreciated?

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clipped on: 03.14.2010 at 05:42 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2010 at 05:42 pm

Furniture 101 : Q&A

posted by: dcollie on 03.07.2007 at 11:50 pm in Furniture Forum

I keep seeing repeated posts here asking how to tell quality....which brand is best, what will last the longest, etc. I thought perhaps it a good thread to address the basic things to look for, under the premise that an educated consumer can make a wise decision. So let's give this a try and not target "brand names" so much as general questions on furniture. This could be a LONG thread and make take quite a few posts to cover topics, but let's get started!

First off, my name is Duane Collie and I own a small home furnishings store in Alexandria, VA. I've been in business since 1979 and specialize in high-quality, American-made 18th century furnishings. Because of the nature of my business, I have learned hundreds of things about what makes a good piece, or a bad piece, or even a mediocre piece (just don't overpay for mediocrity).

Let's start off with something easy, the basic building block of all furniture..>WOOD<

Solid wood is preferable to veneers (which are laminates over a secondary wood) Wider boards are more expensive than narrow boards in solid woods, and more desirable. There are different grades of wood within a type. For example, there are over 200 species of pine and while Southern Yellow is not very good for furniture making, Eastern White Pine is. A cabinetmaker selects his wood based on his project and costs. If he is using an aniline dye and shellac coats, he needs a higher grade of lumber than if he is using covering stains that mask the wood flaws and mineral deposit variables.

Which wood to get? This varies by price and characteristics. Just because a wood is soft, doesn't mean its not suitable for a project. Here's a rundown of some common woods in the USA that are furniture grade:

Pine. Soft, but relatively stable. Eastern White has good, tight knots that will not fall out. Shrinkage and expansion is moderate. Dent resistance is poor. Takes stains nicely.

Poplar. Great Secondary wood (drawer bottoms, etc.) and very stable. Inexpensive. Halfway between a soft and hardwood. Takes paint well, but never stains up nicely.

Cherry. A great lumber! I personally find it more interesting to look at than most mahogany. Its a hardwood, but not as dense as maple. Takes aniline dyes beautifully and requires little or no sealer. Cherry will darken and 'ruby up' with age and exposure to sunlight. If you use it for flooring or kitchen cabinets, expect deeper and more red dish colors to develop over time nearer the windows of your home.

Mahogany. Poor Mahogany! So misunderstood! Mahogany grows in every part of the world, and varies greatly. Figured mahogany is highly desirable (aka as 'plum pudding' or 'crotch' mahogany) but you rarely see it outside of veneers due to the cost of those logs. The very best furniture grade mahogany is from Central America and Cuba, but is very hard to source. African mahogany is decent, and the stuff from China and the Philippines the least desirable. Mahogany can be done in open pore, semi-closed pore, and fully sealer finishes. Mahogany is a favorite for carvers, as it carves easily and is not prone to splitting when being handled.

Maple. Both hard and soft maple is an industry standard. Very durable, very dense, accepts many colors nicely and stains up well. Excellent for the best upholstery frames. Stable, and plentiful.

Figured Maples. Sometimes called Tiger Maple, or Curly Maple (one of my favorites). A small percentage of maple will be highly figured and is pulled off at the mill to sell to furniture makers and musical instrument makes for about 2x the price of regular maple. Tiger maple MUST be board matched and typically a single log will be used to make a project, rather than taking a board from this pile and another from another pile. Consistency is key, and you will hear the term 'bookmatched' used frequently in figured maples. Figured maples look best with aniline dye finishes and hand-scraped surfaces. Birdseye maples are in this category as well, but are so unstable that most shops only use them veneers.

Walnut: A hard wood to work with. Not many walnut forests, and most cabinentmakers loathe making walnut pieces for two reasons. First it much be bleached before it can be finished, otherwise its ugly. Secondly, it has to be filled and sanded. Very time consuming to do properly, but quite a handsome wood when done right (3/4's of all walnut pieces I see is NOT done right)

Oak: Another mainstay wood. Very durable, and dense. Not widely used in fine furniture because of the grain pattern.

There are other woods as well, but those are some of the mainstay furniture woods.

Wood has to be milled to make is usable. It is run through planers, joiners and wide belt sanders to get it to size. The larger and thicker the board, the more expensive it will be. Bed posts and pedestal bases on tables are very expensive to do as solid, non-glued-up pieces. So if you buy a bed, check to see if you see a vertical seam in the lumber which signifies a glue-up. Nothing wrong with glue-ups, just don't pay the price of solid 1-board.

Industry standard is 4/4 (pronounced four quarter) lumber, which when milled will finish out to 7/8" thickness. Anything thicker - or even thinner - requires more expensive wood or more planing time if being thinned out.

Once the wood is planed, it either goes to a wide belt sander or is hand-scraped. If hand-scraped (much more desirable) you will feel a slight ripple when you run your hand over the surface. Belt-sanded items will be perfectly smooth. Cutting the surface of the wood gives you a brighter finish over a sanded surface in a completed product.

Solid wood MOVES. The wider the board, the more it will move with the seasons. Expands in the summer, shrinks in the winter. The art of the furnituremaker is to build to allow this movement, without sacrificing joinery strength. Narrow board furniture does not move nearly as much, and plywoods and veneers don't move at all.

Joinery. The gold standard is Mortise and Tenon. That's the strongest joint where you have intersecting pieces of wood. All mortise and tenoned pieces will have one or two distinctive wood pins visible from the outside of the piece that secure that joint. Next up is Dowel joints. Not as durable as mortise and tenon, but superior to a bolt-in leg. Dowel joints look like M&T joints, but don't have the cross pins. Last choice are legs than bolt on, or are held on by screws. Plastic blocks, staples, nails, hot glue and the like are unacceptable as joinery methods.

I've reached the character limit for this post. More later. Hope you like this thread and will ask general quesions!

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clipped on: 07.30.2009 at 08:28 pm    last updated on: 07.30.2009 at 08:28 pm

Anyone have a skirted table in living room?

posted by: shine_2009 on 07.19.2009 at 01:00 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I know they are not popular, eventhough some designers still use them. I decided to have one in the corner of my living room with family pics. I dont have wall space for them, and I like it more this way. I would love to see others so I can have a better idea on how to accesorize it, since I would like to add other items as well. Thanks!!

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clipped on: 07.21.2009 at 09:36 am    last updated on: 07.21.2009 at 09:36 am

Great Site for Free Art Prints

posted by: artlover13060 on 07.12.2009 at 08:57 am in Home Decorating Forum

I was surfing the net and came across this site. It has hundreds of art prints that are in the public domain that you can download and print for free. I haven't checked the resolution to see how large a print you could make without losing quality. An aside - I read in a Photoshop book once that if you enlarge a picture in increments of 10% you don't loose as much quality as if you do it all at once.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vintage Printables

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clipped on: 07.12.2009 at 10:31 am    last updated on: 07.12.2009 at 10:31 am

Celticmoon, are you out there? Gel stain question (OT)

posted by: nomorebluekitchen on 06.08.2008 at 07:09 pm in Kitchens Forum

I hope it is okay to post this here!

Celticmoon, I saw your threads earlier about gel stain on your cabinets, and may I say I was awed and inspired! I rushed right out to get gel stain to refinish these yellow birch cabinets I have.

My first attempt was extremely blotchy. I thought maybe this was because there is very little finish on these cabs, so I put a quick coat of spray poly on and tried again. This version is much better but still not smooth enough. I wondered if you'd take a look and give me some advice?

Here is my photo:

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Thanks, Anita

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clipped on: 07.11.2009 at 08:52 pm    last updated on: 07.11.2009 at 08:53 pm

Need help with wall moulding, PLEASE!

posted by: anncarolyn on 06.05.2009 at 09:18 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I want to install picture frame moulding (?) under my chair rail in the dining room. However, I don't know what type of moulding that I ask for when I go to get some. Those of you that have this moulding below your chair rails, could you measure it and tell me how wide the moulding is (not the whole frame - I do understand that varies according to number of frames per wall etc.) Could you post a picture close- up of your moulding, I am having a really hard time trying to find moulding like I see in magazines etc. However, I have only tried at big box stores such as Lowes and Home Depot. That could be my problem! Also, how much space is above and below the frame? Help me please. I tried to search this topic but could not find these answers. Thank you.

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clipped on: 07.07.2009 at 11:37 am    last updated on: 07.07.2009 at 11:37 am

My Dining Room in progress... Part 1

posted by: gracie01 on 01.28.2009 at 03:55 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I bought this used set from my local re-sale shop and have been working on it. Here's my progress so far.
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That's what it looks like after I removed all the old "stuff".

After some sanding...

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After gel stain:
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Another before:
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And after:
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One inch foam about 1/2 inch larger than seat; batting larger than that.
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Stapled & trimmed; ready for fabric...
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Close up of fabric; can't get true color; dark brown & silvery white fabric.
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All done!
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Look for part 2 sometime soon!

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clipped on: 04.21.2009 at 01:37 pm    last updated on: 04.21.2009 at 01:37 pm

how do i make gesso frame look old?

posted by: irislover7b on 03.06.2009 at 06:06 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I have an old picture frame with gesso floral decoration. The gold on the gesso was redone at some point, and has a "flat" look, instead of being darker in the crevises like an old one would normally be, from age, dirt, etc. I put some rub-n-buff on it on the high spots. The rub-n-buff perfectly matches the existing gold finish, so it didn't help. Is there something dark that I can wipe on, then off, that will make it look older?

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clipped on: 03.07.2009 at 12:49 am    last updated on: 03.07.2009 at 12:49 am

Would you please post pictures of cabinet/armoire tops?

posted by: tinam61 on 01.19.2009 at 11:02 am in Home Decorating Forum

Pieces along that line - I have two pieces in my great room that I STRUGGLE with what to put on top - an antique ice chest and an armoire cabinet that houses tv and entertainment equipment. I'm fed up with the arrangement on the ice chest and have pulled everything off LOL. Would love to see your arrangements/vignettes, etc. for large cabinet type pieces.

Thanks so much!

tina

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clipped on: 01.27.2009 at 10:43 pm    last updated on: 01.27.2009 at 10:43 pm

Per request, a few pics of My3dogs home interior

posted by: my3dogs on 07.16.2008 at 09:44 am in Home Decorating Forum

Let me start by saying that I'm a newbie, and that my home is in southern Maine, near the coast. It is an old cape built in 1937, and a modest home of about 1700 sq. ft. I have owned it almost 22 years, and have added to it and updated it so it's perfect for me and 'my 3 dogs'! For those who haven't seen the exterior, here it is. I added the garage in the 90's.

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I live on a small river which forms my irregular property line. I have many perennial beds...here are a few. This photo was taken in the spring, so not much is in bloom.
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You enter through this 6' x 6' porch. 99% of furnishings, wall paper , chandy in here are from eBay.
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I added this half bath years ago. The only bathrooms in the house when I bought it were upstairs and a 'rustic' one in the cellar!
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I made the vanity from an old bureau that I bought for $100. Top is a remnant of Delicatus granite. Again, most accessories are from eBay.
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Again, it's a modest home, and I remodeled the kitchen in the early 90's! It had a large wood stove in the kitchen when I bought it, 24" of counter space, and dark plywood cabinets. This remodel still works well for me today.
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As you see from the above pic, some of the rooms still have their original, and beautiful (IMO) radiators. The house is primary heated with oil, but it also has electric heat, a gas fireplace in the LR that I put in, and the old kitchen wood stove is in the cellar now. I can use whatever is least expensive at the time, and won't freeze.

The back of the LR isn't that 'country, any more, and now looks more like this. The vintage secretary is the largest item I have ever bought on eBay. Hunting toile on the re-covered (but not by me) love seat is also from eBay.
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I make all my own window treatments, and this is what is in the kitchen for the summer. A Pierre Deux 'Geraine' bargain from eBay.
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Whatever fabric I use for the kitchen WTs, I also shirr on dowels that I mounted inside the glass doors, and use them to cover cook books etc, on the pantry wall in the kitchen.
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Whew, I'll take a break and post a few more, if you want to see any....

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clipped on: 07.22.2008 at 12:00 pm    last updated on: 09.18.2008 at 03:41 pm

Easy to sew valance directions

posted by: my3dogs on 07.17.2008 at 08:01 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Hi everyone!

Here are the directions for the valances that you saw in the post linked below. They ARE EASY - but the directions are long, because I am trying to give you enough detail, even if you are a beginner. Read them all the way through so you understand them, and ask any questions you may have. If you are a real novice, you may want to make a sample using just muslin, or other inexpensive fabric, til you get the hang of it.

This is a no-pattern valance that I started making last summer. It requires just straight stitching. My windows are generally about 50" (more or less)in height. If your windows are very short or very tall, you may want to vary the length of the fabric you use. I would say to err on the 'buy more' side though, so they don't look skimpy. The fullness adds richness.

I generally use 1 1/4 yards of 54" wide home dec fabric to make the valance. You will need an equal amount of lining fabric. If you choose to put trim on the bottom (it adds a lot to the treatment, IMO) buy 1 1/2 yards of trim to make sure you have enough to go across the length of your 54" wide fabric. If your fabric is wider than 54", buy enough trim to cover its width.

Cut your valance fabric and lining to equal lengths. I always measure the side edges of my fabric and mark the length before cutting. It may have not been cut straight at the store, and you want to be sure that your left side is the same length as your right side.

Pin the two rectangles of fabric together on all sides, with the RIGHT (front) sides of the fabrics inside, facing each other. Before putting the fabrics together, I mark lightly on the back which is the TOP of the print (if using a print) and which is the bottom, so your print will end up right side up!

Depending on the type of rod you plan to use for the valance, you need to leave openings on each side that will become your rod pocket. Continental rods (the flat wide plain ones) need a 4" rod pocket. If you use a decorative rod, with finals on the end that screw off, I would recommend making your rod pocket 2" wide. For a small tension rod, I'd make the rod pocket 1.5" wide. You don't want to force your fabric onto the rod - allow room to make it easy for you.

Measure down from the TOP of your pinned together fabric, and make a light mark with pencil on each side, the size of your chosen rod pocket, plus 1/2". That 1/2" is going to be the width of your top seam. You'll be making a mark on the left and right sides 4 1/2" down from the top if you use a Continental rod, for example. Stitch from these marks down each side to the bottom, using a 1/2" seam.

You'll need to leave an opening in the top or bottom to turn your valance inside out when you're done stitching.

I'd suggest a 4" - 6" opening for turning. If your rod pocket openings are 4", you don't need to leave another opening, you can use them to turn it inside out.

Mark the opening you need to leave, then stitch across the top and bottom edges, using a 1/2" seam, leaving your opening...well...OPEN!

Clip your fabric corners off OUTSIDE of your stitching. This is just a small triangle of fabric from each corner. This will allow you to get nice sharp edges on your corners when your turn the valance right side out, as it reduces the bulk of fabric there.

Turn your valance right side out, pulling it through the opening you left. I use a wooden chop stick to push the fabric gently at the corners to make them nice and square, once I have turned mine right side out. Don't push too hard, or you may poke a hole through your valance! At this point, you should have a lined rectangle of fabric, with rod pocket openings near the top of each side.

Close the opening you left for turning, either by folding and pressing the edges in and hand stitching it closed, or use 'stitch witchery' type of fusing tape to do it. You can also sew it closed with your sewing machine, but you want to do it right at the edge. You want to make this closure as 'invisible' as possible, so I always use fusible tape.

Carefully iron your valance. Use your fingers to work the edges, so that you have your seam right in the middle of each edge, so you don't see the front fabric on the backside, and you don't see the lining from the front.

Now, to stitch the rod pocket. You will be making one row of stitching across the front of your fabric from side to side.
Measure down from the top edge, so you have the same length opening on each side. The size of the opening you left on each side was determined above by the type of rod you're using.

You can lightly pencil on the line that you need to stitch across, or do what I do - Place the fabric on the sewing machine, and put the needle down on the place where you'll start stitching. Take a 4" (approx) length of masking tape, and lay it against the upper edge of the fabric, to the right of the needle, and stick it to the sewing machine base. You can use this tape edge as a guide to hold the top edge of your fabric against as you stitch across. It helps you make a straight, even rod pocket. My sewing machine has tape on it for all different widths of rod pockets!

If you chose to put trim on the bottom of your valance, do it now. I use 'Aleen's OK To Wash-It' fabric glue that you can get at WalMart or a fabric store. If you use glue, just follow the directions on the bottle to glue your trim evenly to the front bottom of your valance. I lay my valance on my kitchen island, and let it set overnight, while the glue dries. You can also stitch your trim on, either by hand or by machine. I prefer the glue, because you see no stitching on the back side. (I'm anal.)

Now to make the ties. You can simply buy ribbon (such as grosgrain) or use purchased cord (see my dining room silk ones in the link) or make them out of fabric. Use either the same fabric or a coordinating one.

Here, you first need to decide if you are going to tie your valance up with bows, or do knots. Bows take longer ties.

Allow yourself a MINIMUM of 36" long ties. You can always cut them shorter if necessary, but you can't make them longer. I suggest hanging your valance up and using string to tie them up temporarily to see how long you need to make your ties. (It's longer than you think!)

Cut your strips of fabric approx 4" wide and the length you have decided on above for your ties. Fold and pin the strips in half the the short way, so you have a long strip of fabric that is 2" wide. Make sure the right sides are together, (inside) because you are going to turn them inside out after stitching.

Stitch along the pinned edge of each strip, about 1/4" from the edge. Now the fun part - turn those narrow strips inside out. My chop stick comes in handy for this, but use whatever method you choose to accomplish this.

Press the ties just as you did the valance rectangle, making sure your seam is even on the edge. I fold in the raw ends and use my fusible tape to close them, but you can machine stitch them closed or do it by hand - Your choice. Your valance is done!

Put it on your rod, using the rod pocket. Hang it in your window. Now, take the ties, and simply drape them over the rod on each side, having half of the tie fabric strip hanging in front, and the other half of the tie hanging behind the valance.

Now, gather up one side of the valance in your hands, and reach behind it it grab the dangling tie in back. Tie up the valance, by tying the front and back pieces of the tie together, either in a knot or a bow. Do the same with the other side, making sure your ties on each side are tied up at the same length.

Now stand back and make sure your valance looks even at the bottom on each side. Use your hand to 'finger fold' and drape your fabric until the look is what you want.

You'll be surprised at what a difference it can make in the look by spacing your ties closer together, or moving them further apart on the rod. Also by tying the ties higher or lower...

This is where you need to play around until you get the look you want. On the HGTV message board, a woman made these and kept posting pics asking for advice - Higher? Lower? Move the ties apart or closer...It's really all up to you. Hers looked GREAT when she was done, and she was so pleased to have made her own custom valance. I hope you all feel the same way, if you try them!

Here is a link that might be useful: several shown here - all the same instructions

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clipped on: 07.22.2008 at 11:19 am    last updated on: 07.22.2008 at 11:19 am

Please tell me how to use drapery pins!

posted by: catpurrson on 07.01.2008 at 05:23 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I have 96" long, flat panel, lined silk curtains that I need to hang. I am going for a very finished look, so I would rather not use clips, unless there's no other alternative. My question is, what type/size of drapery pins should I be looking for - there seem to be so many kinds, and I just can't figure out which one would be best - and how are they used? Most of the ones I've seen on the web have a pointy end that (I guess) goes up into the curtain. Wouldn't the weight of the drape make the pin stick out at the top? Or is there some other trick to it?

Thank you!

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clipped on: 07.03.2008 at 11:49 am    last updated on: 07.03.2008 at 11:49 am

Chelone, Joann and other upholstery experts

posted by: lkplatow on 04.23.2008 at 08:56 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I trash-picked two upholstered chairs yesterday - I stopped to look at them yesterday afternoon and left without taking them, because I just knew they needed WAY too much work. But they had such nice lines and I couldn't stop thinking about them and I had the perfect spot for them and I always wanted to learn how to upholster and and and.... you know how it is....at 11pm last night, I snuck out and loaded them up and now they're taking up half my garage, much to my husband's dismay.

They are in some sorry sorry shape, though. They look to be from maybe the 20s - the original fabric is a sort of textured terrycloth-like thing with designs cut into it. They have ball & claw feet in the front and straight legs in the back, and wide flared sides. Someone cut part of the back legs off of one chair to get it to sit flush against the wall, so I'll have to fix that. I have some woodworking experience, so that's not super-intimidating to me.

The upholstery is, though. I've never really upholstered anything, and these things need WORK. The original fabric is torn and stained. There's batting and some brown straw-like stuff coming out of the rips (horsehair, maybe?). The seat cushions on both seats are missing, so I'll have to make new cushions - no clue how to do that. The part under where the cushion would go is stained - I suspect that perhaps some less-than-housebroken pets are responsible for the missing cushions. They don't appear to smell like pee but do have a definite musty-old-furniture smell. The springs seem supportive from the top (had to give them a sit test, missing cushions and suspcious stains be darned!) but are sort of popping out the bottom a bit.

So are these things even worth trying or should I just haul them back out to my curb before trash pickup on Friday. If they are worth trying, where in the world do I start?! I don't mind giving it a shot and using a cheap fabric (or even a muslin, which I could then slipcover), just to teach myself how to do upholstery. But I don't want to put a lot of work into something only to have a smelly unusable chair when I'm done.

I appreciate any guidance from the expert upholsterers here! I'll try to get some pics tomorrow.

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clipped on: 05.19.2008 at 01:20 pm    last updated on: 05.19.2008 at 01:20 pm

How to hang rod pocket curtains from rings?

posted by: metromom on 04.14.2008 at 09:30 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Can anyone help me figure this out? I know it's possible to buy clip rings , but when I just clip them to the top of the panel, it doesn't hang very nicely and is fussier than the look I'm going for, which is more like this:

http://www.restorationhardware.com/rh/catalog/product/popup/po_larger.jsp?productId=prod1324035&undefined

Can anyone explain how to get this look? The diagram in the RH catalog makes it look like the rings are just magically suspended above the panels.

Thanks

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clipped on: 04.15.2008 at 08:08 am    last updated on: 04.15.2008 at 08:08 am

Sneak preview

posted by: oceanna on 04.09.2008 at 06:35 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Remember when we had that conversation about my entry hall? I'm working on my stained glass window for above the door.

Because the area is so hard to access, I went to Lowes and bought Plexiglas to do the window on, and then I'll have to figure out how to get it put in place.

Then I spent several days working on the design. The designs for my bathroom window and the dragonfly I did for my son really jumped out at me pretty fast, but not this one. The center of the window is an adaptation on a design originally done by Tiffany that I've loved for many years. Anyway, I had to work hard on this one and it's definitely a one of a kind. It's in a really prominent place and not only will I be looking at it every day, but my neighbors will be able to see it too, at least at night whenever I have the hall light on. I'm not sure how well it will show up outside during the day. But that made me especially nervous and indecicive about it.

Once I had the design completed, I emailed it to Staples and they printed it out full size for me. It's 36" tall and 65" wide. It's too big for my round DR table, so I have to work it on the floor on my hands, knees and elbows, stretched out in all sorts of awkward positions trying not to smear what I just completed that's still wet (this stuff takes about 24 hours to cure). I'm hurting in places where I didn't even know I had places.

I have finally finished the leading (HOORAY!) and added the jewels. I just added the first band of color -- a red, berry, and terracotta I mixed as I went. :) I'll have to see how that looks after it dries. Crossing my fingers. I'm hoping the red will pick up on my red sofa (and chair) as both the window and the furniture will be visible at the same time.

Here's a sneak preview, please pardon the shadows.

Whoops! I see where I missed a place. Isn't it funny what you can see in photos that you miss in real life?

So... what do you think?

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clipped on: 04.10.2008 at 02:31 pm    last updated on: 04.10.2008 at 02:31 pm

Restore a Finish Restora my table!

posted by: cooperbailey on 04.01.2008 at 01:23 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Wow! Thanks to whoever posted about Restore a Finish. (nope, don't work there, can't make me)
After tentatively trying it out on an antique wooden tray, I went for it with abandon Sunday on my dining room table. It is a mahogany Duncan Phfye dining set that we bought a couple of years ago on Craigslist. The top was lovely then. Enter my DH working from home one day and a cup of coffee. boo hoo.I have had it covered with a pad and table cloth ever since. But have been admiring the bare nekkid wood tables in y'alls dining room pics.
The restore a finish took off the white ring!And the feed and wax gave it a soft sheen. Woo hoo! I have replaced the fabric of the dining room chairs and I will gently go over the wood of them as well. I bought a can in the maple for our found kitchen chairs. I think I will use a lot of this stuff on many of our pieces..... Better buy stock!! LOL Sue

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clipped on: 04.04.2008 at 03:53 pm    last updated on: 04.04.2008 at 03:53 pm

Interesting info for choosing leather furniture

posted by: tinker1121 on 03.28.2008 at 09:56 am in Home Decorating Forum

Our local paper had an great article today on what to watch for when buying leather. The terminology is can be quite deceptive:

Split-Bicast or Tri-cast means it started as inferior leather and has been reconstituted to disquise the poor quality.

Top-grain sounds great but it is bad leather that has been sanded down and then embossed with artificial grain. These pieces are often coated with a layer of paint and urethane which can crack if not routinely maintained.

FULL-GRAIN is what you should always buy as it hasn't been adulterated. Full-grain is also called "aniline" or "natural grain" and will retain the original characteristics and markings of a quality hide.

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clipped on: 03.28.2008 at 03:17 pm    last updated on: 03.28.2008 at 03:17 pm

idiot-proof paint how-to? (walls)

posted by: walkin_yesindeed on 03.24.2008 at 11:39 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I'm about to paint the horrid dark pink wall in our MBR (don't ask how it got there: let's just say that DH ain't pickin' the colors any more). Or, rather, based on the advice I've read here, I am going to *prime* it to white, and then I am going to paint various pieces of foamcore and put them up on the wall so that I only paint this wall one more damn time, and it's the *right* color.

Here's the spanner in the works: I've never painted my own walls before. I figure it can't be rocket science, but even just a little bit of internet research is baffling me. To wit: I'm painting a bedroom wall, over perfect-condition latex semigloss paint. Do I sand or TSP it before priming? One site says no, another says yes.

I'd like to prep this tomorrow afternoon/night, and paint it the following morning. Only one wall has the heinous pink, so it shouldn't take too long to get rid of it.

Can anyone recommend a website with no-nonsense easily followed instructions? Sort of, here's what to go buy, here's how to prep the wall (do I need to sand the semigloss for the primer to "take"?), here's what size and brand roller and brush to get for painting the center part of the wall, here's what to do to keep spots of paint from getting on the baseboards and your eyebrows, here's how to make cleanup easy. That kind of thing.

I did a quick search in the forum archives, but didn't find anything along these lines. But apologies if this is a common post. And thanks!

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clipped on: 03.28.2008 at 09:18 am    last updated on: 03.28.2008 at 09:26 am

Duvet covers and comforter questions

posted by: jodi_in_so_calif on 03.22.2008 at 08:48 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I recently purchased the Pottery Barn Hat Pin bedding set with duvet cover, shams and sheets as recommended here in another post.

We have always had a regular comforter or bedspread so I know next to nothing about how duvet covers work.

Can you put any kind of comforter inside it or are there ones specially designed for duvet covers?

Do you put your blanket inside the cover along with a comforter?

And how come it's called a duvet cover when it's filled with a comforter? Are actual duvets sold here in the states?

Right now we our old comforter inside it and it bunches up and when smoothed out, looks flat making the cover look all saggy and wrinkled.

Last question... is there an easy way to put the comforter inside the cover? It does have ties in the corner but I don't see how to easily secure a comforter in the far corners without crawling inside or practically turning the cover inside out.

Jodi-

Here is a link that might be useful: Other post. Pictures of my bedroom set and old comforter

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clipped on: 03.28.2008 at 09:13 am    last updated on: 03.28.2008 at 09:13 am

What do you clean your white vinyl porch railing with?

posted by: tinker1121 on 03.11.2008 at 08:07 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I would be curious to know if anyone else has a problem with their white vinyl porch railing. We replaced old wrought iron railing with the white vinyl farmhouse type and chose a good brand, Fairway, which is better quality than the instock type at the HD and Lowes.

I hose it down but it seems to have black scratches here and there which I can't figure out how they got there and I have tryed Fantastic and other spray cleaners. The Fairway website recommends Soft Scrub and I know not to use that. I have used it on patio furniture and it creates roughness that attracts more dirt.
Any ideas?

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clipped on: 03.12.2008 at 02:08 pm    last updated on: 03.17.2008 at 03:54 pm

How do I distress like this?

posted by: paint_chips on 03.09.2008 at 11:10 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I have tried to distress before. Afterward, I did as the old saying goes, "If at first you don't succeed, hide all of the evidence that you tried".

SO, I have ruined a few things. I bought a book on different finishes and so far I have disproved 3 techniques as being foolproof and easy. I know this is supposed to be easy, but my results are seriously bad. Maybe I am overthinking it.
Does anyone have any advice on achieving a finish like this? What colors, type paint, sheen?

Thank you for any advice!

Here is a link that might be useful: Distressed tray

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clipped on: 03.10.2008 at 08:10 am    last updated on: 03.10.2008 at 08:10 am

Before/after pictures-oak to cream/glazed -pictures

posted by: nodirthere on 02.05.2008 at 10:48 pm in Kitchens Forum

We re-did our standard builder's grade oak (nothing wrong w/oak, we had just had them for 4 houses and 20 years)- Re-used all the cabinets we had,filled the wood grain, painted and glazed-cut out the inside and put some glass. I actually had a painter paint and I did the glazing. We redid this for under $9500! That includes the granite, but not the new appliances. We recessed the "ovenwall" 1 foot-and added the foot to the island overhang for more stools and put the GE Cafe slide in where the gas cooktop was. A much more functioning spot and added much needed stool space-So glad it's over-and happy w/the results- gained 10 pounds during the process ordering out so much!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


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clipped on: 03.03.2008 at 03:08 pm    last updated on: 03.03.2008 at 03:08 pm