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In the past couple of years I have learned the value in building my own furniture.
Yes, it is an investment in your time but the savings are HUGE!
Here’s a peek at some of my favorite past Missouri Girl projects.
Farmhouse Shelving Unit
Last Christmas we welcomed a new member to the family.
Charlie the Guinea Pig.
My daughter had been asking for a guinea pig for 3 years so we finally gave in. Charlie is just the cutest thing and has been such a joy. However, Charlie came with a very large cage which created a dilemma…where do we put it?
My daughter wanted him to stay in her room which meant we needed to create a custom piece that was large enough to hold the cage and have additional storage for guinea pig food, toys, etc.
Here is the shelving unit with a whitewash finish…plus one Guinea pig.
To make the white wash, I used a 1:1 ratio of water and white latex paint.
You can adjust this ratio however you like to get the desired look. The higher the ratio of paint, the more coverage you will have. The more water you add, the more transparent the whitewash will be.
I like for the wood grain to stand out, so for me the 1:1 ratio is perfect. If you have never used a whitewash before, it’s really quite simple.
Just remember that it needs to be used on bare wood. Here are the steps:
Sand your wood.
Remove the sand dust with a lint-free rag.
Prepare your whitewash.
Brush on a thin layer of wood conditioner which will help to open the wood grain for the wood to accept the whitewash.
Add a thin-ish layer of whitewash with a paint brush and let it sit for about 3 minutes before wiping off the excess. It helps to work in small sections on this step.
Let it dry completely before use.
Patio Love Seat and Coffee Table
Patio furniture can be very expensive and after a year-long search, I finally gave up and decided to make my own.
For this project I used cedar lumber since it will need to hold up well in the ever changing Missouri weather.
This was long before I had discovered the Kreg Jig (my favorite woodworking tool ever) so the screws are exposed.
I just made sure the screws were placed symmetrically and they became a design element that added character to the piece.
For the top of the coffee table, I used a weathered grey stain.
The love seat and coffee table base got a 2 part treatment.
First, A whitewash was applied to the entire surface. Once that dried, I lightly applied the Weathered Grey stain in a random pattern (wiping off the excess as I went) to give the piece a weathered look.
I just love how it turned out!
Farmhouse Baby Gate
The arrival of my niece meant doing some baby proofing to our home.
If you’re going to add a baby gate, why not make it look really cute?
For this project I once again used a whitewash (are you starting to see a pattern here?) and then added cute hardware to enhance the farmhouse look.
It looks great and is functional as well.
This is my most recent project and was my first commissioned piece.
One of my friends mentioned she was looking for a bench for her entryway…so we talked details and before I knew it, I was building my first piece for someone other than myself.
The great thing about building custom pieces is that they can be built to fit the space versus the sometimes endless search for just the right piece.
She has two young boys so we knew the finish had to be durable. For the base I went with a newer product by Sherwin Williams.
It is an industrial urethane alkyd enamel that has many of the same properties of an oil based paint but you are able to clean up with water.
The verdict is still out on how well it will hold up but I’ll keep you posted!
For the top, I used (paid links to follow) General Finishes Gel Stain in Java with the General Finishes Gel Top Coat. I absolutely love this product! The finish is so smooth and it was incredibly easy to work with.
I hope you find some inspiration in these pieces. I love each and every one of them.
In the future, I hope to write more in depth tutorials so I can walk you through the building process step by step!