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The New & Improved Pet Station

Good morning and happy Monday to you!!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

First things first…let me tell you about some administrative details.  Over the weekend, I installed a new commenting system on the blog.  I just got so tired of using Blogger’s archaic commenting system, and really wanted something that allowed for threaded comments (meaning that I can now respond directly to a comment).  There are several ways to sign in, or you can use the “guest” option with your name and a link to your blog.  I’m really hoping this makes it easier for me to interact with commenters and answer your questions on various posts.

Next up, I’ve decided to start hosting a link party on Sundays.  I pitched the idea on the A2D Facebook page yesterday, and got only positive responses, so it’s a go!  I know a hundred other blogs do this each week, but I always find myself having to weed through kids’ crafts, recipes, clothing, party ideas, and other things to get to the stuff I really want to see…which of course is DECORATING IDEAS!!  So this link party will only be for home-related projects, DIY home accessories, room makeovers, and other home-related things.  So get your projects ready and your rooms finished, because the first one will be this next Sunday.

Phew!  Was that all too much for a Monday morning!?  Well, let’s get to the good stuff!!

I’m finally marking one of the biggest projects off of my “to do” list for my kitchen/breakfast room.  The pet station has been painted!!

If you’ll remember, it used to be red.

pet station red 3

Actually it was more of a pinkish red, which was really visible once I got it outside in the sunlight.

pet station red 4

But after a bit of spot sanding, a coat of primer, a coat of paint, a bit of distressing, and a touch of antiquing, here’s how it turned out…

pet station after 1

I know some of you said you really like the red, but it just didn’t relate to anything else in my kitchen/breakfast room.  And because it didn’t relate, it was very jarring…like a flashing neon sign.

Now, with its new color, it fits in beautifully with the kitchen and breakfast room.  (I’ll give you the “big picture” as soon as I get a few more projects finished, like finishing the flooring!)

pet station after 2

I decided to distress and antique the finish this time because I felt like everything was starting to look too bright and new.  I wanted something to have a sense of age and history, and since this is likely an antique, it was the perfect candidate to show some age.  So in places, the original red color peeks through.

pet station after 5

I did, however, decide NOT to distress and antique the white parts.  I kept those a crisp, clean white.  I really like the juxtaposition between the distressed and antiqued green finish and the crisp clean white interior. (Plus, I just really like the word juxtaposition.)

pet station after 4

Peeve sure seems to be enjoying the new color!  Ha!  Okay, I know she probably can’t tell the difference, being color blind and all.  (Is it really true that cats are color blind?) Perhaps she’s just enjoying the fact that she has her cushion back, and I’m no longer using this area for storing random tools.

pet station after 3

It’s nice to finally get this project crossed off of my list!!  I came really close to being able to cross off a couple of others also, but they’re not quite finished.  But I’m finally starting to think that finishing these room might actually happen!

Now for those of you who have never done a distressed/antiqued finish before, let me show you the process I used on this pet station.

First I removed the drawer and the bowls.  I needed to paint the drawer also, so I removed the hardware from it.

paint pet station diy 1

Next I used 220 grit sandpaper to do some spot sanding, concentrating on any areas where there were chips and scratches.

paint pet station diy 1a

I followed up with one coat of oil-based primer over the entire thing.

paint pet station diy 2

And then I left it alone for a couple of hours to dry thoroughly.  It was humid outside, so I gave it some extra drying time.

paint pet station diy 3

When it was thoroughly dry, I sanded the entire thing with super fine (320 grit) sandpaper to remove any imperfections in the primer coat.  Since this was a pet station, it was virtually impossible to remove every single piece of pet hair, so this step removed those that got trapped in the primer.

paint pet station diy 4

Next I poured my quart of paint into a one gallon bucket…

paint pet station diy 5

…and added paint conditioner (I use Floetrol, available at Home Depot) in the amount suggested on the directions.  I mixed it very well, and brushed on a coat of paint onto the pet station.

paint pet station diy 6

When the paint was thoroughly dry, I used a piece of 220 grit sandpaper to distress the piece.  When distressing a piece of furniture, I concentrate on areas that would naturally receive wear and tear, like any raised areas, corners, edges, etc.  (Excuse the poor quality photo.  It was dark outside by the time I got to this step.)

paint pet station diy 7

Next I used a soft cloth with some Minwax stain in Dark Walnut…

paint pet station diy 8

…and wiped it over the surface.

paint pet station diy 9

Then I used a separate clean cloth to wipe away the excess stain, leaving a very light antiqued finish.  When antiquing, I try to concentrate on getting stain into corners, crevices, nooks, and crannies.

paint pet station diy 10

On some of the areas, I really had to put some elbow grease into wiping away the excess stain so that it didn’t turn out too dark.  What I was left with was a very lightly antiqued pet station.

paint pet station diy 11

The last step was to give the white interior areas a new coat of white semi-gloss paint.

pet station after 4

If you’ve never done a distressed/antiqued finish before, it may seem like a lot of steps and extra work, but it’s really not difficult at all.  You can also achieve similar results with various waxes and glazes, but stain has always been my choice for antiquing.  If you’ve never done it, give it a try!  You’ll like it!

This project was for my condo breakfast room makeover. Click here to see the whole before and after of the breakfast room makeover.

Or click on the thumbnails below to see other DIY projects that I did for my condo breakfast room makeover.

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  1. I love the improvements! Looks great, and thanks for showing how you did it. I've always wanted to know how to get that distressed look.

  2. I'm so glad someone asked you what paint conditioner was! I'm definitely going to try that! Your instructions were great for someone life me who's just getting the hang of painting furniture. thanks!

  3. This is still my favorite pet station. IF I ever find a similar piece of furniture…. anyway, I love the green! It looks fabulous!

  4. Ooooh I LOVE the new color, and the antiquing looks fabulous! My boyfriend won't let me antique anything because he says it looks "dirty". hahaha

    As for cats, they can see colors, but only in the blue-green part of the spectrum. So they're red/green colorblind which means they probably can't tell the difference in color, but they can definitely see the value difference! The new color is much lighter, whereas the red probably registered as a dark color. 🙂

  5. Wow this looks great!! And thanks for the step by step process. I've wanted to do something like this to a piece of furniture for a long time.

  6. Anne, the funny thing is that when I was antiquing this pet station, I was thinking to myself, "Is it strange that when we antique pieces, what we're actually doing is simulating the look of accumulated dirt and grime over many, many years?" lol!

  7. I love this! What a fun idea. Makes me wish I had a cat so I could have a charming pet station like this for her! 🙂

  8. What a great tutorial!
    You truly have mastered making the distressed look like the pieces I see in higher end stores. I'm keeping this 4ever & once I get up the nerve I'm going to follow your technique & show it off (to you of course!).

  9. Ashleigh, the green color is called Grasscloth. It's a Behr color from Home Depot.

  10. Thanks for the inspiration , I am almost done with my cat condo/pet station. I used an old China cabinet and your technique. Im loving it hope my spoiled kitties do too.

  11. Hello what type of furniture did you use. Is this a roll top desk or dresser. I have a Great Dane and two cats and I would love to make this for them in our new house.. This piece is just beautiful.

  12. I didnt see the original blog on this, so i was wondering what did you use to make this. is that a changinf table?

  13. I am in love with your kitchen!!!! I can’t even believe you did it yourself. Wow!! What talent!! You should have your own show. The only question I have is this, why wouldn’t you have put the glass back in when you made the tray? Just curious.