At our Christmas party last year, one of the guests asked me how I liked being a polygamist while nodding in the direction of Grunt Labor and Nicky jointly washing dishes.
I said it’s damn fantastic.
When I married Grunt Labor, I had no clue I’d be getting two husbands for the price of one. Let me just tell you though, it could quite possibly be the best deal I’ve ever lucked up on in my life.
The three of us lived together when Grunt and I first got together and again after Grunt and I got married along with the addition of the Man of Questionable Honor. At some point during these past eight years, I managed to acquire two husbands.
Now don’t get me wrong, Grunt Labor, he’s the one. Nick is #2, though. And while I can piss him off quite quickly because what comes out of my mouth often sounds much harsher than what it sounded like in my head (he says I have terrible delivery, whatever that means), he will still forgive me in a hot second and turn on the Keith Whitley station on Pandora to wash all our troubles away. He’s my 80’s and 90’s country music soulmate – the only other person on this earth who actually understands what I mean when I say something like “Only George Strait can do that,” or knows what it feels like to let the music take you somewhere else for just a little while. He’s my beer drinking buddy and never shows up without enough beer for both of us just in case I’m out. He’s always there to execute a Plan B in record time even when we’re in the middle of the Circus’ birthday party, surrounded by twenty people wanting cake and ice cream and we’ve just run out of paper plates and real plates. He’s my fixer.
The three of us have the kind of relationship where there are no calls before we come over, it’s a given we’ll all be together for Friday night pizza unless work or something else gets in the way, both Grunt and Nick work on projects at both our houses equally and even our airline tickets may get purchased together. We’re a unit. We all fully realize that our little three way marriage is not exactly normal. We can’t really define it or explain it to you, besides saying that we’ve all been there for a hell of a lot of highs and lows and somehow managed to come out of it on the other side with the help of each other.
Let me also say, Nicky does not always get the due credit he deserves when it comes to projects around the house that eventually end up here on the blog. It’s not that I’m not appreciative, it’s just that I’m usually so damn busy I forget to give him a huge virtual thank you. If it wasn’t for him though, this house wouldn’t have all the light fixtures hung (because Grunt and I can barely get through the installation of one without snapping at each other), the downstairs toilet running, the new kitchen banquette almost finished or that huge ass media center which is the equivalent of three boxes of steel sitting in the living room. He never tells me no. Although, both he and Grunt have said no more vintage light fixtures or boxes of steel. Just know that almost every bigger project around here required both Grunt and Nick, my two men of steel.
So a few weeks ago, I was flipping through some of our old photos from those early days and I came across this little gem of Nick circa 2008.
And it suddenly occurred to me that the old radio I’ve had in the garage since early this summer should be painted to look like a tuxedo. Thanks for the inspiration, Nicky. 😉
Both Grunt and Nick weren’t convinced I could pull this one off, but look at me. Isn’t this bar just fun and fancy all at the same time?
Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Velvet Finishes, however all opinions and having two husbands are 100% mine. Affiliate links may be contained in this post.
DIY Tuxedo Bar
- Piece of furniture with a mostly flat front surface
- Velvet Finishes Luxurious
- Velvet Finishes Minimalistic
- Velvet Finishes Vivid
- Good Paintbrush
- FrogTape Delicate Surface
- Small Foam Pouncer
- Tack Cloth
- I also needed a sander and paint primer for this one, but chances are you’re piece won’t be as in bad condition as mine was – I’ll share the details on that below.
First off, I was starting with this:
It was an old radio cabinet that I picked up off Craigslist for $10. Before doing any painting, I nailed down new shelving across the wood inside to actually make it functional.
With most pieces, I don’t tend to sand them before using Ready, which is a spray primer that cleans and removes glossy sheens off furniture. However, the finish on the top of this piece was flaking off.
Anytime you’ve got a finish that looks like this, you need to sand it so that your paint will go on smoothly and stay. On top of that, I believe this piece was mahogany(?) – some kind of redder wood. In my experience, with any type of red toned wood like that, the red from the wood always does it’s hardest to sneak through the new paint. So for that reason too, I sanded it and followed up with a coat of basic white primer to block those stains.
After sanding, but before using the paint primer on the piece, I went over the entire piece with Ready.
Ready is a spray primer which removes the glossy finish from pieces and also cleans it as well. I had already gotten most of the glossy off this piece with the sander, but Ready got any spots I had missed and also cleaned it. You just spray it on, let it sit for a minute or two and wipe it off with a paper towel. Come back afterward with a tack cloth to pick up any tiny pieces of dirt or dust you may have missed. After doing this, I gave it the coat of white paint primer I was talking about to prevent any of that red from bleeding through.
Before doing any of the actual tuxedo design, I painted the entire piece in Luxurious.
I gave it two coats with a good paintbrush. With Velvet Finishes, you don’t really have to worry about brush strokes, there are virtually none unless there were some in your previous finish you are painting over.
I gave the piece one full day to fully cure before starting on the design. The best way I found to get the tuxedo design on the bar was to draw it on there with chalk.
I used my inspiration photo of Nicky and sketched it out on paper first and then onto the bar with the chalk. The chalk will wipe right off with a damp cloth when you’re ready to take it off.
I actually made a video to show you how I chalked out the design.
After I had the initial design on there, I evened out lines and angles the best I could.
I used my chalk lines to tape off the pattern of the tuxedo. First, I taped off any pieces that needed to be white. The image below shows the full “evolution” of the taping process.
After you’ve taped everything off, be sure to even up any tape edges with an X-Acto knife as show in that last picture. Also make sure you firmly push and smooth down the edges of the FrogTape to block out paint bleed before applying paint. You can remove any chalk that is within areas you need to paint with a damp cloth.
I gave the piece three coats of Minimalistic. Remove the tape immediately after applying your final coat. After the Minimalistic is dry, use a small pouncer to make the buttons with Luxurious going down the middle of the shirt.
The next step is taping off and painting the bow tie.
I just used the lines the top of the shirt and essentially made two triangles. I think I did three coats of the Vivid for the bow tie.
Velvet Finishes paint already has topcoat built-in, however if you are painting something that’s going to get a lot of use, then an additional topcoat is suggested. Since this is a bar that’s probably going to see a lot of liquid action, I gave the piece a coat of Protect as well.
You can apply Protect with a foam brush or paintbrush. One coat should be all you need.
Finally, pour yourself a drink. 😉
I had actually bought a fake rose to glue to the pocket of the tuxedo, but when I tested it out, it kind of felt cheesy to me against the saturated paint colors, so I opted to leave it off.
I also painted the handles of the bar with Luxurious so they wouldn’t distract from the tuxedo design.
What do you think? Is this a fun enough bar for you?
Cheers to my Nicky!
If you liked this one, chances are you’re gonna like these too…
Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Velvet Finishes, however all opinions and having two husbands are 100% mine.