Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fun Saturday in TheSmithGarage

Saturdays in TheSmithGarage are normally pretty busy with Drama Queen riding horses at Hooves for Harmony, but since we had some rain over the past few days (8-10 inches depending on which end of the neighborhood you are in), there was no riding today.

So, I worked late last night in TheSmithGarage on a bicycle - a vintage 1950s Schwinn Girl's Spitfire. Here is what it looked like when I picked it up - and no, I did not pay $100 for it. The Place I picked it up gave me a deal, well, they would have given anyone the same deal, but I happened to be there to pick it up.

So I really like old bikes, don't know what it is, but I just am drawn to them and they to me. This is cool, because it was probably some little girls bike under the Christmas Tree back in the 50s. It looked like it had been badly neglected, probably in a barn, but subject to the elements in some manner. Most of the rust was surface rust, only some parts had heavy rust. There were some dents in the fenders.

I didn't want to strip and restore this bike, it just had too much character with the basket and patina. Steel wool is one of my best friends when it comes to rust. And for heavy rust - Naval Jelly. I only had to use Naval Jelly on the chain, everything else was steel wool and a brass wire brush. I took apart the rear hub and cranks and bottom bracket to clean and re lube. Funny, the internal brake mechanism in the rear hub weighs more than my whole wheel and tire on my 2007 road bike. That's American Steel!

I pounded out some dents in the fenders, cleaned everything up, and started reassembling it. I did have to use a tap/die kit on a couple of parts that I didn't want to replace. Only a couple of small parts broke when taking it apart, and I was able to find some spare parts in my bike bucket. Here are some shots after I finished it this morning.

Chainrings are my favorite parts on old bikes. This is a pretty common pattern - Schwinn put it on a lot of their bikes. It cleaned up really well with steel wool as well. The chrome back in the day was coated pretty heavily, so it is always nice when it cleans up like this. Original Schwinn pedals I had on another bike got transplanted over to this one to make it original equipment. It is also hard to find chain guards, but since this is a girls bike, the parents probably had no problem with their little girl pulling off parts. That's what I did to all my bikes when I was a kid - stripped 'em to make them light so I could go super fast and be a "pro" bike racer. That never happened, but I still wanted to have a light bike.

This bike probably weighs 40 lbs. My roadie (road bike) weighs 16 lbs. That's the difference between good old American steel and new lightweight carbon fiber.

So while I was working on finishing this up today - it also came up that Drama Queen's new bird was getting neglected just a bit. She has only had Teddy (Theodore Lincoln) for a month, and she was in her room and the bird was just tweeting in his cage. I decided to make a small "T" stand so Teddy could sit with Drama Queen while she sits and plays on her computer. A "T" stand is important because birds poop - and I don't want our house to smell, so Drama Queen could easily clean up after Teddy using a "T" stand.

I started with a few basic ingredients - scrap wood from TheSmithGarage.

I cut out a small squarish piece of wood - "squarish" because I didn't really measure it - just made it look good. Sanded it down and asked Drama Queen what color she wanted out of our "oops" paint. She picked Turquoise.


Then I painted, and drilled out a series of holes to be used for steps so Teddy could climb up or down the "T" stand. I had some scrap brass tubing that seemed a good size for him to grab onto. Screwed the stand to the base - and here it is!

And the true test - does Teddy like it?

I think they are happy to be together.

And one other parting shot for those of you that may not live close to mountains. We have a mountain just a few miles away that I get to look when I work in the garage. It is Shasta Bally and it is just over 6200'. We are at 800', and it is about 9 miles away if you were to fly there - by road it is 17 miles to the base of the fire road that climbs 9 miles to the summit. People ride up the fire road on bikes, hike it by foot, and on weekends you can take your 4x4 up there. It is a tough ride on a bike, but very fun coming down.

Until next time...

Mr. Smith

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Metal Madness with Pittsburg Gray

This is a quick, but important post for those that are learning about the truly wonderful CeCe Caldwell's paint. It covers rust and metal with ease - one coat. I found this piece at a friends place - Junk n Treasures - for about $10. Okay - it was $10. Hopefully our customers over at Oregon Street Antique Mall haven't started following my blog yet.

It had some light rust on it, some of the paint was chipping away, and it was squeaky. The chrome on the hardware was still in excellent condition, and the Formica top with aluminum border was in great shape. Oh yes, the drawer lining needed to go and that took a little razor blade action.

So out came the wire brush, gotta love the wire brush in TheSmithGarage with an old Volkswagen Bus. That wire brush comes in handy. With a few swipes to brush off the rust and flaky paint, it was time to shake up a can of Pittsburg Gray CeCe Caldwell's paint. I have to admit, I wasn't sure how it would do. I wanted a very light coat of paint to appear that it was in original condition - didn't want brush strokes showing up.

Well, with very little time, this piece of old hospital furniture was in great shape. NO brush marks, NO sanding! Just a little WD40 on the drawer rollers got rid of the squeak.

Look at the results!

And inside...

Beautiful! And under that Formica...

It looks like it was spray painted!

But no...I did use CeCe Caldwell's Paint. It is all the rage from what I hear. And we are selling it at TheSmithHotelBoutique and at Oregon Street Antique Mall. So whether you are across the US or in our hometown of Redding, CA - you can get this very paint. It doesn't take a lot to go a long way. I hope I don't sound too "salesy" - after all I am a salesman by profession.
Let me know if you have any questions about this project or any other. Love to hear your feedback and answer questions.

Linking to:

Here is how the paint looks at the booth.

Until next time....

Mr, Smith

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Beach House Buffet - Destin Gulf Green

Mrs. Smith and I picked up this buffet in the Winter, but it has been taking up space in TheSmithGarage for long enough. Got to move this on to someone who will enjoy it - maybe in their Beach House! We do live in California, and everyone in California has a Beach House, right? At least they did before the housing bubble popped! I know, I know - sarcasm is killing the moment, just had to go there. We actually live about 2 1/2 hours from the closest Beach Houses, but people do come to Redding to furnish their homes on the Northern California Coast - so here is a great piece that will fit in your Beach House.

I chose Destin Gulf Green by CeCe Caldwell because I wanted to go BIG with color on this buffet. It had some damage on it when we picked it up, so wood filler was necessary to make it house-worthy. I also decided to primer this one, because whomever painted it prior to us receiving it had some horrible peely paint on it, and instead of having the paint fall off during the project, I decided it best to get some consistency in the coverage before applying my precious paint. Here it is before the primer - I actually used it as a workbench when I was working on the Italian Hand Carved "Map" Desk.

And below after it is primed and ready for paint.

Now CeCe Caldwell's paint does not require primer before painting. It will stick to nearly everything. I chose to prime this project first because of the finish I was looking for.

I sanded this after painting just a little, which gave it some texture from the brush strokes, and also helped to polish the clay and chalk in the paint. I waxed only the top, to give it a little more protection, but also for the look I was going for. You can notice that waxed, the Destin Gulf Green appears just a little richer. I spent some money on the hardware again for the look. I felt like the piece needed some large drawer pulls and I wanted a nickle finish to stand out, yet look clean and polished. The ball shaped pulls for the doors have a spiral carved in - almost giving them a fossil-like feel.

I left the inside white - no changes there. I can't believe how fast this went on once I finally got to it. It is now in the car waiting for delivery to OSAM (I'm just going to start using this term - it's what we say around here, so you will have to get used to it). So if you like it and you're local - stop in and check it out - and buy it! We like re-creating furniture that people will love.

It has been a very busy weekend - several projects going at one time, trying to get paint on furniture so we can show off our colors. Paint is already selling, so if you want some - we are ready for you. I hope you get a chance to try out CeCe Caldwell's so you can see how easy it is for yourself.

Until next weekend...

Mr. Smith

Linking to:
I Should Be Mopping The Floor
My entry into Domestically Speaking’s Power of Paint Party is sponsored by Appliances Online and the Bosch Washing Machines.
Primitive and Proper
Shabby Creek Cottage
The Vintage Farmhouse
Miss Mustard Seed

Spring Hill Green Table - Just in Time for Spring

Well, Spring is in the air, and I have some CeCe Caldwell's Spring Hill Green paint, so let's get painting.

If you haven't yet had a chance to use CeCe Caldwell's paint, try it out. It is a totally "green" paint. Read more about it here.

I picked up this table for a few dollars (more than $10 but less than $20). I have to be vague because I am reselling this table at TheSmithHotel at Oregon Street Antique Mall. I did spend a few hours on it, so my markup is worth my time, but still, can't give it all away since we have some customers that follow the blog. This table is oak, so it is a strong sturdy table, but it was not old (I peeled off the made in China sticker). Nevertheless - here it is.

I don't know why I picked green for this table specifically, but I am glad I did. After painting, distressing, waxing, and buffing - it turned out fantastic.

It didn't take long to paint with CeCe Caldwell's. I only applied one coat, and I didn't even have to prime or sand before painting. This paint will stick to anything - wait until next weekend when I paint an old metal hospital nightstand with Pittsburg Gray. So here is a picture after the paint was applied.

Bright and cheery, but also muted without the wax. So, on went the wax with CeCe Caldwell's Clear Wax (smells like Honey - snif snif). I let it sit overnight before sanding and polishing. You may ask yourself - sanding after waxing? Why yes! I happened to hear about this technique, so I gave it a try. I like the way it turned out, but I did not like the fact that I used 3 pieces of sand paper on such a small table. The wax somewhat gums up the sand paper. I will probably not use that technique again as sand paper is precious to me.

It still worked, just took more sand paper than I am used to. Here is what it turned out to look like after buffing it out a little.

Look at that Shine!

Looks Springy - are you ready for Spring?

By only applying one coat of paint, I was able to get some of the wood grain to come through after polishing the wax. This paint is great stuff - you have got to get some soon! We are well stocked at TheSmithHotelBoutique, so go ahead and place an order. In the next few weeks I will be posting sample sizes (4 oz) which should be enough for a small table, nightstand or a few chairs. Please feel free to ask any questions you have. And check out some of my recent  posts with CeCe Caldwell's paint.

I hope you like, and please come back to see future projects. As always, I love your comments and questions.

Mr. Smith

Linking to:
Between Naps on The Porch
Domestically Speaking
Primitive and Proper
Miss Mustard Seed
Coastal Charm

Friday, March 23, 2012

Simple French Side Table

This is a story about a Simple French Side Table. Here is the table I received from a friend. Mrs. Smith and I bought a few pieces from her, but this was one of those - "You can have that, or it will go in the dumpster."

Well, this is the latest picture I could find before painted. You see, I had to add quite a bit of wood filler to the plywood top as the layers had begun peeling and chipping away from each other.

As I have begun painting with CeCe Caldwell's paint, I have been trying out some different styles with the many colors I have to work with - examples for customers to The Smith Hotel. While in Seattle with Mrs. Smith, we stopped in a few shops that lent me some inspiration. One place we happened upon (actually Mrs. Smith sought it out) was Watson Kennedy. We actually got to meet Ted. He had some great pieces in the First & Spring Store. Another store we visited was Salt & Sea Vintage Home on Bainbridge Island. So from these two stores, I decide I needed a two tone piece that looked old and weathered. I didn't want to try it on a large piece since I wasn't sure how it would turn out - so why not a free small table - a simple table.

I chose a Seattle Mist and Alaskan Tundra Green. I felt they would go on light and I could do some distressing and throw some glaze into my wax to make it look older. But I did want to also keep the table simple, something you might find in a cottage on the outskirts of Paris.

So here it is after the paint - a mere 30 minutes to get both colors on. Wow - CeCe Caldwell's paint is very easy to apply and clean up is simple as well (rinse the brush with warm water). In trying some different things with a new paint, I have sanded prior to waxing and sanded after waxing. I have found both to be fairly easy with this paint and wax. Either way, I have found that sanding polishes the paint slightly, but gives it a great look wherever the brush stokes have remained. One thing that I will say is that if you sand after waxing, the sand paper gums up pretty quickly. Sanding prior to wax renders more "dust", but I can use the same piece of sandpaper on the whole piece of furniture. I am all about cheap - so I sanded this one prior to waxing.

Did I mention the CeCe Caldwell's wax smells like honey? Maybe some tea with those crumpets?

After waxing, I used some Valspar Antiquing Glaze on the wax before it cured. I spread it out as thin as possible - trying to get an aged look, but not too dark. Here is what we came out with.

I added a simple brass ball pull for the hardware. There is no drawer, but the pull adds a little something that finishes the piece. Here are some other shots (thank you sun for coming out for one day).

So there you have it. Please tell me what you think - do you like the look? Is it simple? Would you put it in your French countryside cottage?

Until next time....

Mr. Smith

Linking to:
Primitive and Proper
Domestically Speaking

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Magnum Opus - Upcycled Scraps

Okay - so this was fun. I really wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, but I had a vision. My real goal was to save these two little trashed parts from a "waterfall" vanity.

I have the drawers and hardware as well. I used a bit of wood filler on the top and sides (as you can see), but I knew they would be painted - so no harm. When I started this project - my vision was some type of shelving unit. I knew Mrs. Smith and I would be selling CeCe Caldwell's paint at the booth, so I wanted something somewhat creative that would house our paint products. I had some large pieces of oak from the TV Console that I shortened, so I started to work those in as not to waste any good wood in TheSmithGarage. Here is a first take. You can laugh, that was Mrs. Smith's first reaction - mine too. I thought, what am I getting myself into?

If yo are a follower, you may have seen a semi-finished picture earlier this week. And if you look ahead before you read, then you have already seen that it can turn out okay, but if you are reading along, and haven't scrolled down yet - you are thinking the same thing I am - "Wow, that's ugly."

But remember - I am saving this trash from a certain dumpster demise. If I didn't mention it already, Mrs. Smith picked these up with Boy Wonder sometime last Summer for very little money - like maybe a couple of bucks. The hardware was worth it, but I really wanted to save them and upcycle them into something "Great". As you can see, after attaching the shelf, I used a bit more wood filler. In fact, I had to purchase a new tub of wood filler while working on this project. So far, we have a few bucks for the original two pieces, some oak scraps from my pile, some wood filler, and a few wood screws (oh, and a piece of plywood across the back to keep it plumb). It has now become a pretty heavy piece. The oak sheeting is 3/4 inch, which added a considerable amount of weight to the project, but it will make this a very stable piece to hold quart cans of paint.

I wanted it to be a pallet for the many colors of paint that CeCe Caldwell's offers. So my thought was to try to get different colors of paint all over it while still maintaining a fairly appropriate style for Mrs. Smith. I thought Vintage White would be good for the top since it might see a lot of ware. I also wanted to get Simply White on there so customers could see the difference, so I framed the drawers in that color. I thought the shelves might look good in Seattle Mist (which is somewhat gray), while the inside walls would look good in a light green color (which happens to be called Alaskan Tundra Gray). I did one side in Memphis Blue and the other in Cottonwood Sienna. Then I started painting the drawers on the front and sides to get all the other colors in (at least the colors I now have in stock). Here is what it looked like drying this weekend.

After a little drying time, and making sure all sides had some color - in the picture above from left to right - Maine Harbor Blue, Memphis Blue, Pittsburg Gray and Mesa Sunset. - I started in on the waxing. Normally I would sand and distress now, but I wanted to try something new that I saw on a great video regarding CeCe Caldwell's paint - (Here is the Video). So I waxed, let it cure overnight, then sanded and lightly distressed. I'll tell you one thing - no dust this way, but my sandpaper didn't last long either. I didn't want to distress it too much because I wanted some color integrity for my customers. So here are several shots to show you how well it turned out. I am really happy with it.

So on the front of the drawers, we have Carolina Sun Yellow, Georgia Clay, Destin Gulf Green, and Spring Hill Green.

On this side of the drawers, the colors are Seattle Mist (gray), Cottonwood Sienna, Santa Fe Turquoise, and Memphis Blue - also Memphis Blue on the left side of the drawers there.

Here is a closer look at the original hardware - I kept it original because I thought they were classic - and the plastic (bake-lite) was not broken at all.

This is Destin Gulf Green framed by Simply White - it also shows the lightly distressed finish. I was so excited to get this finished - and it really did turn out beautiful for how bad it all started.

Here it is loaded up with CeCe Caldwell's Paint

Please let me know what you think - I love to hear your comments and if you would like to follow along - go ahead. There are plenty more project pieces in the pipeline.

Linked to:
Mr. Smith

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

No Fear Chest - Kissimmee Orange

Well, sorry it has taken me a while to get another post to you all. I was on a great weekend away with my honey - Mrs. Smith. We celebrated 20 years together last week on March 14th, so we got away to Seattle without the kiddos. Good times.

Back in the garage - Drama Queen was looking to help me paint - and she wanted to paint something bright and cheery for Spring. Remember that old broken down wooden chest that a friend of ours here in Redding gave me a month ago? It was in pretty bad shape - here is a before picture when I got it home -

Somewhat chippy paint - and wood - and a few screws that had fallen loose. And no handles. But hey - it was free, I just had to pick it up and take it away!

Don't mind that shelving unit down below, we'll get to that later. This chest is ready to paint - with none other than CeCe Caldwell's Kissimee Orange. Here is the Drama Queen herself - painting away - as she puts it, "...painting is my contribution to the family business."

So we spent some quality time together listening to Air-1 and painting. We talked about our ideas for that shelving unit that will display our CeCe Caldwell's paint in the booth at Oregon Street Antique Mall . After I get the basic structure painted, Drama Queen is going to paint some creative items on the shelving unit in the different colors that we have to sell.

Here is a shot after the outside of the chest was completed.

So Drama Queen picked out the colors for this piece, including the inside. We both agreed it needed something to tone down the color just a tad, and also make it look a little cleaner inside. She picked Pittsburg Gray.

Sorry for the stuff on the side - this is after all TheSmithGarage. So from free to something of value - I would say. Not only the value of the sale, but the value of spending time with my wonderful daughter, teaching her some painting techniques - and her I.

Now a sneak peak on another great upcycled piece. Here it is during the curing process (wax). Drama Queen still has to paint her artwork on it, but it will make a great display for our paint at Oregon Street Antique Mall .

For a full update on this piece, come back this weekend and I will show you start to finish on this one.

For more on ordering CeCe Caldwell paint from TheSmithHotel - see our website at and visit the Carriage House.

Linking to:
Between Naps on The Porch
I Should Be Mopping The Floor
DIY Home Sweet Home
Domestically Speaking
Coastal Charm
Kammy's Korner
Primitive & Proper
Shabby Creek Cottage
Beyond The Picket Fence
My Repurposed Life
The Shabby Nest
French Country Cottage
Until next weekend...

Mr. Smith

Thursday, March 15, 2012

CeCe Caldwell's Paint is Here

Well - just before Mrs. Smith and I left for our trip to Seattle to celebrate our 20th Anniversary, our shipment from CeCe Caldwell's Paint came in on a FedEx Freight truck. We had just enough time to take it off the pallet and throw the boxes on a shelf that was recently saved (see it HERE ) that happens to still be in TheSmithGarage.

I am so excited to break into some of these colors and paint some of the "pile" that has been patiently waiting for this paint. Follow along and I will try to post a project a week - and maybe even a few if they are small. And if you are ready to jump in and get some of this paint, please feel free to order a can, or two, or three from TheSmithHotelBoutique . Within a few weeks, we should also have sample sizes available. Read more about CeCe Caldwell's paint HERE .

Did I mention we got a pallet with our paint? Looking forward to making something cool out of that pallet - let no wood go to waste.

Mr. Smith

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

20 YEARS!!! Wohoo!

March 14, 2012 - marks 20 years that Mrs. Smith and I have been blissfully wed. Okay, maybe not all 20 years have been blissful, but we make it work, and it has been fun - and getting better. We understand each other much more now then we did 20 years ago. God has been gracious to us - He has blessed us with wonderful children, an extended family, and very close friends over these 20 years. I wouldn't trade out Mrs. Smith for anyone else - no one could take her place in my life.

I am looking forward to many more wonderful years with Mrs. Smith.

I Love You Honey!

Mr. Smith

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nightstand Gets Renewed Life

Here is a story of another piece of furniture - destined for certain death, but given a second chance right here in TheSmithGarage. It was quite unhappy and a little chippy on top. Picked this up at a thrift store several weeks back, and I have been searching for what to do with it. I actually hoped to save it for another few weeks and give it a treatment of CeCe Caldwell's Paint, but I am so impatient, I needed to get in the garage this weekend and do something. So this little guy got his lucky day with some ASCP Provence Blue. Here is what he looked like before any work got started.

And I used a bit of sanding on top to remove some of the chippy paint/stain/lacquer that was on top. Looking back now, I should have removed it all, now I know. I had to apply a few extra coats of paint to build up the top enough to get a smooth finish.

You might be able to tell from the pictures this is 80s furniture. It has a rolling slider drawer, which is nice, but it was badly mistreated when it comes to the finish. So - as I mentioned before - I still have some of my ASCP $40 paint in TheSmithGarage, so why not use it if I need to repair and save an old piece. Provence it is.

This is a picture taken just after I applied some CeCe Caldwell's clear wax. Did I tell you before it smells like honey. I actually was tempted to slap a bit of it on some toast and give it a try. The wax is very nice and smells great, but it does take a night to cure, even with the sunlight.

So after a good nights sleep, and a little work with the buffer - I chose a simple old brass pull to add a bit of elegance to this piece. Of coarse I painted it with my VW muffler silver (AKA - nickel).

The finished piece -

Do you love it? I hope someone does - it already went to TheSmithHotel at Oregon Street Antique Mall. I know it's not an antique, but it is something that folks are looking for at antique malls. It's funny, our many of our thrift stores in town have started raising their prices so high, that people are looking in Antique stores for furniture now. It's kind of ridiculous that a place like Salvation Army ("doing the most good" is their slogan) could charge retail prices for used beat-up furniture, but they do. So if you are local and looking for clean, quality, redone furniture for reasonable prices - come to Oregon Street Antique Mall and you just might be surprised at what you find - make sure you come upstairs and visit our space at TheSmithHotel.

On another exciting note - my shipment of CeCe Caldwell's Paint will be here this week. Can't wait to have my first "paint party" for my friends here in town.

Linking to:
Between Naps on the Porch
I Should Be Mopping The Floor
DIY Home Sweet Home
Domestically Speaking
Primitive and Proper
Shades of Amber
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Beyond the Picket Fence - under $100
Decorating Insanity
Miss Mustard Seed
Until next time ...

Mr. Smith