Friday, January 30, 2015

Coffee Table

This solid wood coffee table has a small footprint (31" long x 24" wide x 16.25" high) which makes it perfect for a smaller living area. But what I love about it the most is both ends swing up to extend the length up to 45".

Before: Yes it was fine the way it was,
but I like to paint furniture :-)
It had an oak finish originally and although the finish was in good condition, I thought it was somewhat plain. I didn't want to do anything too fancy, so I painted it black and sanded it back so the shadows of the wood grain peek through.

Notice the remnant snow pile in the photo.
It has melted now, but more snow is in the forecast.

Light distressing on the edges.

A piece of wood underneath each side slides in and out
to raise or lower the extensions.

Extends up to 45". Plenty of room for drinks and snacks
when you have company for the Big Game on Sunday.

Cream and Blue Dresser

I walked right on by this dresser, but my husband spotted it and called me back to take a another look. It's a little more modern that what usually draws me in, but he sure has an eye for picking out great pieces!

Before: Scorch mark on top of dresser

It is a 3 drawer dresser manufactured by Stanley Furniture. Overall the condition is excellent except for what appears to be a scorch mark on the top. The top two drawers have drawer stops which prevents the drawers from falling on your toes, but it also prevents removing the drawers for painting. There might be a trick to it, but I couldn't figure it out and didn't want to break the drawer stops. Speaking of broken, the bottom drawer stop was already broken, so it is removable; nevertheless, the broken stop doesn't affect the function of the dresser.

I painted the base of the dresser in Aubusson Blue. The top and drawers are painted in Cream. Instead of distressing the finish I left the edges of the drawers unfinished to add highlights. I think the color scheme complements both the shape of the dresser as well as the original hardware. I think it will be perfect for a little boy's room, but it would work just as well for a girl. The colors aren't the typical "kid colors", so it would work well for grownups, too.

Dimensions: 30" wide x 18" deep x 30" high.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

I Rocked This One!

Custom work for a client can be nerve racking -- will they or won't they like the finished product? This rocking chair was custom finished for a VERY special client, so I am on-edge waiting to see if she will like it!  

A little history of how this project evolved . . . previously my mother found a fabulous rocking chair that I refinished. My daughter Sarah REALLY wanted the chair, but I needed to put it up for sale. I considered giving it to her instead, but she just refinished her living room and I didn't think the color of my painted chair would work with her new living room. I found a similar chair which I showed her, but she said it didn't "fit" her the same as the original. So then I found another rocking chair which to me felt the same as the original. Sarah wasn't with me when I found this chair, but I was confident enough, so I went ahead and bought it with the intention of surprising her for her birthday.

Before. Was $35, but I got it for 50% off!
I threw the surprise factor out the door because I didn't want to surprise her with a rocking chair that (a) might not "fit", and/or (b) a color scheme she doesn't like. So she stopped by to give the chair a test drive and it was approved! Next I took her to Winsome Cottage in nearby Waynesville, Ohio to select a paint color. I had already decided that Aubusson would look fabulous. It is a deep grey blue, but I wanted Sarah to have the final say. Hopefully, I didn't influence her choice too much! In any event, Winsome Cottage had a piece of furniture on display that was painted in Aubusson Blue, so she got to see it in its full glory in the shop. She chose Aubusson Blue as the color and requested Graphite for the seat of the chair.

Aubusson Blue: a deep grey blue color.

Did I go overboard?
Before: Light gouges on the seat.
Otherwise structurally sound.
The photos on this post were taken in my living room. But the room this is earmarked for has light grey walls, dark wood floors and a stone fireplace with light grey and natural tones. The overall look is fresh and modern, but the fireplace has a hint of rustic. Just a hint -- so I wanted to keep the distressing on the rocking chair to a minimum. All went according to plan, except whenever I looked at the black seat it looked like a chalkboard to me. In the end I threw my best intentions out the door and did some heavier distressing on the seat. I focused the distressing on the curve of the seat and also in the center where there were some light gouges in the wood.
 I think the gouges were from the previous owner's pet -- possibly scratches from nails. I did sand the gouges so the finish is actually very smooth. There are also some little teeth marks on one of the rockers which I think is charming.

So I may have over did it on the distressing, but the more I look at it I think it works. Sarah will stop by this weekend to see it and I'm worried whether she will like it or not. My son said if she doesn't like it she can get a cushion for it. Smart kid.

Light distressing on the edges of the blue areas.
The final finish is oh so smooth.
This blue pairs well with yellows and neutrals.
Little teeth marks on the edge of the rocker. Not my teeth marks!
Probably from the previous owner's puppy.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Ready, Wait, GO!

This depression era china cabinet has been sitting in my entryway for over a year now. I fell in love with it when I first saw it and bought it on the spot. But I neglected to measure it first to make sure it would fit in my SUV. The SUV is a 2000 Ford Explorer bought used and holding up quite well -- it's a "vintage" Eddie Bauer edition and our family refers to it as "Big Ed". I can't tell you how many times we've referred to Big Ed outside of our family circle, as in "let's take Big Ed" or "we'll be right over with Big Ed", and we're always surprised by the reply of "Who's Ed?" He's really one of the family now.

But I digress. I didn't measure the china cabinet, but luckily it fit. Just. I mean it was so close! Lesson learned. Well sort of; I've had a couple of other close calls, but thankfully nothing disastrous. Yet.

Beautiful details on the drawer.
However, there are broken and chipped pieces, too.
But I digress again. So I purchased the china cabinet with the intention of painting it. I didn't want to leave it in the garage, and since it's a big piece I didn't want to carry it down the basement stairs. So we temporarily put it in the entryway. "Temporarily" is used loosely in the last sentence. So why the delay? I couldn't decide on a color scheme. I walked by it a gazillion times everyday and each time I gave it a new color scheme in my mind's eye. White? No. Black? No. Pink? No! Over and over and over again. Until a couple of weeks ago! I painted it in my mind and this time I said "Yes!" So off I went to the store for paint, and now I am committed. I'm a little nervous about my choice of color scheme, but I am excited, too!

A little rough around the edges.
I removed the shelves (there's a trick to it) and will begin painting those today.  The back of the barrel top needs a few repairs, so I am starting that today, too. The length of this project will be dependent on the winter weather as I will need to take it outside for multiple sanding sessions. "After" photos coming soon -- weather permitting!

Update: See the finished china cabinet.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Très Chic Lingerie Chest

I just couldn't bring myself to name this lingerie chest "shabby", so instead of "shabby chic" I've decided on "très chic"! The chest has undergone a couple of transformations over the years, and I'm pleased with the latest result. The photos in this case don't do it justice. It's currently sitting in my living room which sort of clashes with the chest's color scheme. If I have time I will take new/better photos prior to taking it to the booth.


Let me tell you a little bit of the history of the piece. I purchased it second hand over 10 years ago for one of my daughters. We had just bought our new house and the closet in my daughter's room was supposed to be a larger walk-in closet, but due to some design changes during construction, it ended up as a long and rather narrow walk-in closet. We installed some shelving units but she still needed some drawer space in the closet. 

This is the "original-original" finish from 10+ years ago.

Second finish.
We were tight on cash after buying a new home, and the price of new furniture gave me sticker shock (still does). I found this dresser in a second hand shop, and it was perfect for the space. Not to mention it was a fraction of the cost of buying new! But I wanted something with a fresh new look, so I decided to spray paint the entire chest white. This was in my early days of furniture refinishing and I was pleased with the outcome especially because there were no run marks from the spray paint! Other than a few spots, it's held up decently over the years. My daughter no longer has a need for the chest in her new space, so she recently gave it back to me. Yes! Thanks Jessica :-)

Some of the spray paint wore off the handles.


The lingerie chest has an elegant shape with serpentine legs. It looks fine white, but I wanted to add some color to it. I chose to keep white as the base color with gray and pink for accents. I sanded the entire piece to a very smooth finish. Overall I was pleased with the new color scheme, but I thought it looked too sweet and would only work in a nursery. So I continued distressing the chest and gave it a slightly aged patina. I think it would still work well in a nursery, but would now also coordinate well for a teen and even into adulthood. 

The base color is Pure White with
accents of Antoinette Pink and Paris Gray.
The color is a bit washed out in the photo,
but the handles are painted Paris Gray
with Pure White peeking through.
White is added to the bottom to balance the color.
Sexy legs.
Ooh la la!
One more shot.
The chest has 6 drawers. The bottom 3 drawers are slightly
deeper than the top three.
View of top.
I asked my husband what he thought of the new finish and he said, "It looks better than it did before." Really? That was the best he could come up with? Apparently the color scheme didn't make his heart sing like it did mine. So I probed further and asked, "If you were a woman would you like it?" And he replied, "Yes, if I were a woman I would be all over it. It will probably sell."  Ha ha, let's hope so! I need to get new drawer liners for it and then I will take it to the booth.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bathroom Cabinet

Whenever I go on shopping expeditions I take with me a mental list of items that clients are looking for. Sometimes I strike it rich right away, and other times it takes longer. Although it can take longer than I would like, eventually I seem to find the perfect piece. Patience and persistence is the name of the game. Such was the case with a client that has a small bathroom with no storage. That was not a typo; let me repeat: No! Storage!

She was in the market for an upper cabinet to hang on her bathroom wall, and as soon as I saw this cabinet I knew it was a winner. Well I hoped it was a winner. It was marked $15 but it was 50% off, so it was a bargain at $7.50 for sure. At that price I went ahead and bought it on the spot. I wasn't too worried that it might not meet my client's needs, because I have 3 or 4 spots in my own house that I could use the cabinet.


Overall the cabinet was in great shape. It was a little dirty but nothing too gross. It was previously painted in an oil based glossy white and included brass hardware. The look wasn’t horrible, but the paint was thick and I felt it could be improved.

Solid and functional but needs some cleaning.


I gave the entire piece a rough sanding and then painted both the interior and exterior in two coats of Old White. I sanded between coats with very light distressing around the edges followed by an application of soft wax. The doors received two coats of wax for added durability. The hardware was removed and painted in a bronze finish. This will give my client plenty of room for storage in her bathroom.

Light distressing on the edges.
"New" bronze DIY hardware.

I wanted to mount the cabinet on the wall for a photo shoot.
But that wasn't too practical, so you'll need to visualize.

I have some cabinetry knobs in my house that we purchased from Restoration Hardware that have a similar look to the finished knobs on this project.  I don’t remember specifically what we paid for each knob, but it was about $10 each (crazy I know, but they are very lovely and we used some gift cards).  Let me do the math for you – just one knob from Restoration Hardware cost more than the initial purchase price of the cabinet! I estimate that I used about $10-$15 in supplies*, so for about $20 - $25 total the cabinet was transformed into a traditionally elegant cabinet. I checked Home Depot’s website and they have cabinetry of comparable quality in the $150 - $180 price range.

*I used paint I already had on hand for this project. The majority of the cost was ASCP Old White which runs about $38 a quart plus tax; however, a little bit goes a long way. I used about 1/4 of the can for this project, maybe a little less. My supplies also included soft wax, sandpaper, and bronze spray paint.

My client was able to stop by this afternoon and she said she loves the cabinet! The client in this case was one of my daughters, so she gets the cabinet for free! You're welcome. Love, Mom

Now if I could only find about 4 more of these. . .

Disclaimer: The towel was rolled for the photo shoot.
I never do that in real life, ha ha!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Shabby Chic Bedside Table

I recently found this darling little table sitting broken and forlorn in a thrift shop. Other shoppers passed it by but my heart did a little pitter-patter when I saw it! At first I thought it was chair, but it sits rather low, so I decided it was a table. It might actually be a chair, but even after repairs it is somewhat delicate, and I won't be the volunteer to sit on it! So a table it is.


The wooden top was cracked from one side to the other. And there was a piece of veneer broken off in the back. There were also a lot of tiny scratches throughout although the photos didn't pick that up. The cracked wood was repaired with gorilla glue and then clamped. I considered wood filler on the veneer, but I had decided to go with a shabby finish, so I opted instead to sand the broken edges smooth. 


Cracked wood.

Broken veneer.


I applied a light coat of Antoinette Pink to the entire piece and then applied a coat of Old White over top. I sanded the piece in some areas just enough for subtle areas of the pink to show through. The photos don't really pick up the pink areas, so you'll have to take my word for it. I sanded the piece more vigorously in other areas to expose the wood. Soft wax was applied for durability and then I gave it a heavily aged patina. Although it has an aged and worn look, the finish itself is as smooth as glass making for a pleasing contrast. I think it will make a charming bedside table or it could be used as a plant stand.

Dimensions: square top 13" x 13". The tabletop stands 17" high, but the overall height with the back piece is 25" high.

Shabby Chic Table.

Close up of distressed finish.

Raised back.

View of back.

Close up of area with sanded veneer. No more sharp edges.
Instead it looks like it was worn over the years

Available for Sale

I will take this to the booth this afternoon and place it up for sale. But if by chance it doesn't sell then I think it will work quite well in my guest room. I always have a Plan B in case something doesn't sell!