Sunday, October 23, 2011

China Cabinet Craziness

Wow, can't believe it's already been a month since my last post and yet I don't really have much to show for it.  I've got a number of projects on the go, but none of them are quite ready to be revealed...hopefully soon!

I did manage to ALMOST finish a project that I started a few months ago but now it's even closer to being done!  Ha ha.  Does that even make any sense????

A few months ago I came across an online ad for an “Apartment size China Cabinet”.   There was no picture and very few details, but it was local, so I thought I would go see it.    It was bad.  I couldn’t seem to look past the horrible dark brown color, the cobwebs & the dust.  (It was being stored in the owners garage and covered in paint cans and car oil containers).  I actually decided to pass on it and went home empty-handed.   

A week later, I couldn’t get this cabinet off my mind, so I emailed the owner to see if it was still available – it was.  It was just as horrible as I’d remembered, but I managed to get the price down a bit, so I decided to take a chance.

Here it is in its ugly state on our front deck.   

My husband helped me unload it from the van, glanced at it and then gave me “the look”.  Yup, that “why did you buy this ugly piece of crap” look.  I’ve seen it many times. ;)

The original hardware was definitely not helping!

What I did like was the storage though.

I started on it right away by giving it a light sand and a coat of my favourite primer...Zinnser Cover Stain.    It covers everything!!!  I realize now I actually forgot to take a picture of that step.  Oops.  After that, I covered the entire piece in a coat of white satin paint. much better.  I felt it still needed a little something, so I added some crownmolding to the top to give it a little more height and add a little bit of a decorative element.  This was my first attempt with crownmolding and, well, let’s just say wood filler and I have become good friends.

After giving it a 2nd & 3rd coat of white, I added a clear coat and moved it into our living room for our electronics and a few higher shelves for me to decorate that would be out of reach of little fingers..  It sat like this for 2 months until I finally finished painting the doors this week to add to the bottom.  The doors had a, um, “unique” block design on them.  Shall we look again?

I hated it.  The inside was very simple and I much preferred that look, so I turned then “inside out” instead.   I would still like to add some beadboard to the front panels to dress them up a little more, but that will be at a later date.

I decided to keep the original drawer pulls as I found them to be a little unique and don't mind the way they look now against the white paint.  I added some glass antiques knobs I had on hand for the doors though and for now, I’m happy with the way it looks.

It’s the perfect spot to tuck away our kids dvds and the extra blankets we like to curl up under when we watch a movie.

So much better now, isn't it?  Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Projects, projects & more projects. (WHAT am I thinking???)

This past week I came across a few new "treasures" I just couldn't pass on.  I'm super excited about them, but unfortunately, now my garage is looking more like a contestant for the show "Hoarders" with little room for me to actually work in there.  Yikes!  Time to get sanding/priming/painting while the weather is still cooperating!  My hubby must REALLY love me 'cause there's no way way we'll be parking our cars in the garage anytime soon and he hasn't said anything yet!

So, are you curious to see what I found?  Here are a few of the projects that will very soon be seeing paint!

A twin size wooden head & foot board (including the metal rails) and a sweet little French Provincial bedside table I picked up at a friends garage sale last weekend.

A very solid (aka HEAVY) French Provincial 9 drawer dresser WITH mirror from the cutest little old couple!  I ended up having to call on some friends to help me load it in my van, so while waiting for them, I had a great little visit with the couple!  (Picture is from the online ad)

A French Provincial buffet/hutch (Are you noticing a trend here?  I ADORE the French Provincial style!).  I love the design along the top and the petite features.  (Picture is from the online ad)

And the last one I picked up is this (almost all) solid wood armoire.  It was being used for paint storage in the owners garage and he decided it wasn't working for him anymore.  Yes, it's covered in dust, cobwebs and paint spray, BUT, it was FREE!!!  Yup, didn't cost me anything other than the fuel for the one hour drive it took me to get there!  (Picture is from the online ad)

So there you go - a few of the many projects I'll be working on over the next little while.  Keep checking back for what I hope turns out to be some amazing transformations!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Tale of a Hexagon Cabinet

Have you met my friend Murphy yet?  And I use the word friend lightly.  Maybe you've been introduced to his frustrating law!  Allow me to explain.

I picked up this fun little table from my brother-in-law about a month ago before he added it to his garage sale pile.

 It was a bit dusty and definitely dated, but I knew it could be freshened up!  I added a coat of primer and then sat back and thought "now what?".  I decided to go online and see if I could find any pictures for inspiration.  Here are a couple similar tables I came across:

Aren't they pretty?  I decided to paint the outside of mine a clean crisp white.  White paint pretty much makes anything look better!!!!

Curious to see my finished cabinet?  Here it is!  I LOVE IT!

I added a poly acrylic clear coat to protect it and some new hardware to update it. Simple, right? Well, sounds simple enough except I didn't mention the issues I had with the clear coat or the hardware!

The clear coat I like to use is Minwax Polyacrylic.  It's a waterbased sealer that won't yellow over time, so it's safe to put over white & light colored paints.  The application suggestions are to use either a synthetic brush or foam brush.  I thought a foam brush would be a great idea so I wouldn't have any brush strokes.  Um...ya...unfortunately the foam brush was producing a foam with the sealer and causing tiny bubbles!  Great.  It didn't smooth out properly on one side and I had to resand it and start over (using a bristle brush instead).

And then, there was the hardware.  I had planned to use the original hinges - nothing some white spraypaint couldn't make new again, right?  Um, wrong.  These particular hinges are self-closing and so as soon as I opened the hinge, the spring mechanism inside scraped all my spraypaint off the center!  Frustrating.  Not a big deal, Home Depot still makes these, so I just picked up some new ones.  Ya...

What I picked up was these:

See the wonderful little step down on the right?  Not what I needed!  What I REALLY needed was these:

NO STEP!  Never fails.  Oh well, it was worth the numerous trips into town because they DO look nice, don't they? :)

Oh, and the new cabinet pulls I chose - of course they required two holes, so I had to fill the original single hole and drill two new ones.

So, there you have it - my friend Murphy's Law. ;)

ANYWAY, now that the outside is finally finished, are you ready to see the inside?  I decided to have a little fun.  I painted the inside...TURQUOISE!  How fun is that!  No more scary dark corners in this cabinet!

I LOVE how it just adds that bit of unexpected pop of color to the piece! And, check out the storage space this baby has!  It's perfect to tuck away extra blankets, books, magazines or even kids toys!

What do you think?  Isn't it a great change from the old dated look before.

I am SO happy this cabinet is finally finished - it was certainly one that tested my patience!!!

This is a piece I painted to sell, so take a peek in my Shop if you're interested!

Thanks for visiting!


Linking to:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Forgotten Table

This coffee table was actually one my hubby came across in one of the buildings he'd bought.  A tenant had left it behind and so it was headed to the dumpster.  My husband (smart man that he is) sent me a quick picture of it and asked if it was something I would be interested in.  Um, YES!

It was in ok shape.  The the top was quite chipped and scratched, but being solid wood I knew it could look great with a little help.

I removed the top and got to work giving the bottom a light sanding and a coat of primer.  Don't you just love my paint station...also known as a front deck! ;)

The top took a little more work.  I stripped it of the old varnish, gave it a good sanding and then started staining the top with a pre mixed mahogany/poly stain.  I took this picture after the first coat, but I think I put on a total of 3 coats to achieve the dark rich color I was hoping for.

Once everything was dry, I distressed the bottom just a bit my giving a couple of the edges a light sand and then covered the entire table with a water based, non yellowing glossy acrylic clear coat.  This gave the table a gorgeous glossy finish and will protect it a little more.

The hardware is missing in the picture as I had planned to check  out a few different options rather than use the dated hardware that was originally on the table.

I just love the shape of the legs!  It was hard to see past the ugly/dated orangy wood, but with the white paint, I think the gorgeous shape of the legs really stand out now.

I was really happy with how the makeover on this coffee table turned out!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Turquoise Coffee Table – Take 2

If you’re a personal friend of mine on Facebook, you’ll know the changes this particular coffee table has gone through. If not, here’s a quick recap!

I purchased this table from a friend and decided I wanted to try something fun...something other than the regular white I normally paint a lot of my furniture.

Before I could start painting though, I had to do a little prep work. The top finish was damaged and I didn’t care for the bottom shelf along the bottom (if you can call it that).

The bottom was quick to fix. It was only held on with 4 screws, so once I’d removed those, the bottom fell off. I sanded the top, added some wood filler to fill in some of the deeper areas, gave it another sand and then covered it in a coat of primer.

I was so excited to start the next step – adding the color!!! I had chosen a soft turquoise (looks more blue in the picture) and couldn’t wait to see how it would look. I painted two coats and loved the soft color.

I could have stopped at that point, but I wanted to try my hand at another technique – glazing. I’ve seen it done so many times in the blog world and thought I’d try it. I added some chocolate glaze, rubbed it off, stepped back, didn’t like it that much. It just looked dull and a bit dirty.

I realize glazing is supposed to make a piece look dirty, but I didn’t like it on this table. I tried to live with it for awhile, but when my husband said he didn’t care for it either, I knew it wasn’t going to work. I tried to sell it, but after a month and not a single request from anyone to see it, I knew this table needed a change.

SO, here is take #2. I thought I would just go with my regular standby of white satin paint. Unfortunately, after the turquoise, the white just looked so bland and boring to me.

I had to come up with something else. I popped into Home Depot and picked up about a dozen paint chips in various shades of cream. I finally settled on the color Linen White. I could hardly believe the difference just one coat of paint made! It was just what the table needed to warm it up a bit. After a second coat of paint, I decided to take it one step further. I decided to add a French Postmark design to the top. After transferring the image using a pencil, I slowly filled in the design with a small paintbrush and some dark brown paint ( I used Bittersweet Chocolate from Behr. Tip – if you don’t need much paint, just buy a sample pot! It was only $5 and will last me a LONG time).

I still plan to give the image a light sand to soften it a bit and then add a clear coat to the entire table to protect the paint, but I’ll wait a week for the paint to completely cure first. I absolutely love this table now. Even my husband was impressed! My plan was to redo the table and list it for sale again, but I think this one will be staying in our living room. ;)

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 12, 2011

What would you do?

Welcome!  So glad you popped by.  I thought it would be fun to show you a piece I was given after a friend picked it up on the side of the road.  (thank you A & H).  Yes, roadside trash can be a nice gift for a friend!! ;)

I would love your opinion - what would you do with this piece?  I have a few ideas floating around in my head, but would love to hear your suggestions.

Ok, here it is. I think it was originally intended as a small plant holder.

At first I thought it was made to hang on the wall, but when I looked at the back, it only has one small wire circle/hanger.  I'm not sure if it would be strong enough to keep it held up along with the weight of a plant.  The mirror is held on to the back with a few little mirror clips which are easily removed.  When I set it on my front step, I noticed the gingerbread trim (I think that's what it's called) along the front edge sits a little lower than the rest of the shelf, so maybe it was made to be propped on another shelf?  I'm not sure.

At the moment it's covered in spider webs and is actually still home to a black spider and a creepy crawly nest of spider babies  *shiver*.  They'll be finding a new home soon in our patch of weeds at the side of the house.

So, any ideas?  I'd love to hear them!  :)