Moths and Butterflies

While watering my plants today, I came across a large, white moth hanging from one of my flower baskets.

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This is a Lunar Moth, found only in North America.  Did you know that moths and butterflies have a lot in common?  The main differences are the way their wings fold, their antennae (moth antennae are fuzzy), and the fact that moths tend to be nocturnal.  They have so much in common that they are both in the same order of species called the Lepidoptera order.  And there are so many more moths than butterflies that moths make up about 94% of the order while butterflies make up only 6%.

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Interesting, right?

Refinished Buffet

Last week my husband and I were driving home when I noticed a blue piece of furniture sitting out at the road with the trash.  I was so excited, the only thing that came out of my mouth was, “Oh! Ohhh!”  We stopped, checked it out, and put it in the car. When we got home, we unloaded it and I snapped this picture:

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Then I sent a text message to my sister that said “Look what I found for free on the side of the road!”  I’m not sure that she was impressed.

When I first brought it home, I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so I decided to put some paint stripper on the top to see what was underneath the paint.  The blue paint came off with ease but there was a layer of pink paint underneath so I added another coat of stripper.  When it was ready, I cleaned off the paint stripper and found beautiful wood grain underneath.

I still didn’t have a plan for it, but I knew that I wasn’t going to strip all of the paint off.  Mainly because it would be a ton of work to strip two layers of paint off the entire thing – I mean, look at those intricate legs!  Secondly, I didn’t want this piece to be all stained wood because I thought it would be too much brown.  But I still didn’t have a plan.

A few days later I was drifting off to sleep and it hit me!  Stained on top, painted white on the bottom.  Of course!  Four days later, here’s what it looks:

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Here’s what I did:

Most of Saturday was spent trying to get the paint cleaned off the top.  The paint stripper worked well, but it left a sticky residue that I had to clean off with paint thinner.  I had to do a few repetitions of this and then I had to sand by hand because the remaining residue was making my electric sander gunky.

I also took off all of the paint on the doors because if I had tried to paint over them as-is, the chipped parts would show through.  That took some time as well.  I wiped off the other parts of the buffet with a damp cloth to try to remove some of the dirt and grime.  I also vacuumed the inside and underneath.  Some spider homes may or may not have been destroyed in the process.  I applied my first coat of Winmax Dark Walnut stain at the end of the day on Saturday.

On Sunday, I hand-sanded any painted areas that were chipped to try to smooth it out and get it all ready for a new coat of paint.  Once that was done, I painted the bottom white (“Ash White” by Behr in eggshell finish).  I used three coats total – two on Sunday and one on Monday.  On Sunday, I applied the second and third coats of stain and further removed old paint and residue off the doors.  At the end of the day on Sunday, I added my first layer of clear coat to the top.  I used Winmax satin finish polycrylic.

On Monday, I painted on my third and last coat of white paint and two more layers of polycrylic.  I also went on a hunt to find new hardware.

On Tuesday, I added the fourth and final layer of polycrylic. I lightly distressed the piece by sanding the edges and then I added the new hardware and brought it inside.

It didn’t cost much to refinish this piece because I already had most of what I needed.  The white paint was left over from when we painted the stairwell to the basement.  The paint thinner and paint stripper were left over from a previous project.  The only things I bought were the hardware, stain, polycrylic, and some more sandpaper.  So, I spent maybe $40.

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I hope you like!

Sunny Skies

This morning it was dark and dreary and looked like it was going to rain any second.  But when I got home from work, I noticed there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it had turned in to a really nice day!

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What’s the weather like where you are?

Welcome, Summer!

The official start of summer is a little over a week away.  I’m excited for cook-outs, bonfires, fresh flowers, and warm days.  Here’s a pictures I took today of a yellow flower that just bloomed in my garden.  Unfortunately it’s a tad overexposed.  While my high aperture lens is great, I’m hoping to get a macro lens soon so that I can take close-up, detailed pictures of flowers and other small things.

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