Vintage Bar Cart gets new life in the New Year!

Hey there, to all y’all visiting for the first time, and welcome back to all those still hanging in there with me! I don’t know about you but it’s been a crazy start to this year. (Psst!…Between you and me my Christmas tree may or may not be still standing in the corner like a shy wallflower leftover from a Stephen Chbosky novel.) Anyways, I meant to post this project slightly sooner, but alas, here we are….So, tardiness aside I’m really eager to share this with you! What started out with a visit to my sister’s house in Nashville ended up materializing into yet another fun an unexpected projected. She expressed to me there before Christmas how she had wanted a plant stand or bar cart in brass for her dining room. I automatically thought to myself, I know what I’m getting you for Christmas.

 

At first I looked online but everything of interest was tied up in a evil bidding war. I checked around town in some of my fav vintage/antique spots, but nothing. So, I checked one of my other fishing holes aka Craigslist and this time caught a whopper! I found an awesome vintage tea cart for only $20! Imagine my excitement when the day before I had seen one just like it, except completely rusted over, yet the place (who shall remain nameless) wanted $99 (Tisk, tisk). The one I found was in excellent condition and needed minimal work on my end. I only had to sand down a rough patch here or there, clean it, and paint. I primed it first using a primer paint that would adhere to metal and of course would prevent future rust from occurring. Secondly, I applied two coats of a metal-friendly paint in brass. Then I went over it with a durable polyurethane three times.It was certainly shaping up by this point but I didn’t care for how the two grated shelves looked together. So, I went to the
local glass company and had them cut down a mirror to rest upon the top shelf, giving it a more streamline look, hopefully worthy of any Gatsby party. I also went with the thickest mirrored glass they had because we all know how we tend to sit things down a little harder after too much of the ol’ drinky drinky 😉 They even rounded the corners off and did it all for $15! I was super impressed with them and the mirror fit in the shelf like a glove. With everything I invested my total came to just under $50.
Christmas came and went and my sister and her husband weren’t able to make it to my parents house until around new years. Then we were finally able to give it to them. You have no idea how hard it was for me to wait, lol. I’m seriously such a kid when it comes to giving gifts. Especially gifts I’ve made because they come from such a place of love. To wrap things up though, I think they were truly surprised and really loved it.  We even got to use it for our drinks at our New Year’s Eve party, and I’m honored that it now graces their dining room.
I hope this inspires you to try upcycling your own bar cart. It’s a great functional and aesthetic piece, perfect for any party.  If you’d like to comment on this post or share a project of your own, I’d  love to hear from you! Just click on the thought bubble icon next to the post title and drop a line. I Look forward to hearing from you, until next time….sign-off-2
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Hey there instafriends! I know it’s been a moment since my last project and I apologize. I must admit I’ve been crazy busy sewing halloween costumes, planning parties, and now Christmas projects underway. However, I do have a little surprise for y’all still hanging around. I have (what’s that?), not one but two pieces for you this week! Seriously though, what’s better than double? All things good come in twos, twins, pair of Manolo Blahniks, and yes even Lorelai Gilmore. Well this particular duo came to me from a storage warehouse that rivaled some of those places they go to on “American Pickers”. Ew!(said with a Jimmy Fallon voice). I usually do my best to acquire pieces that have good bones, but the buffet and cabinet I found there were a set and they had certainly been through the ringer. They were such beauties though I knew I couldn’t leave them there to die. It took a lot of hard work to restore them but was completely worth the hardship in the end.
The wood finish on these two were completely destroyed and someone through the years decided to try and fix the loose frames by gluing them back together. Which would be fine if they had used wood glue. Instead they used an industrial glue of some kind and let it dribble all over the piece. I began by sanding down the dribbled glue as best as I could. It was literally on there like concrete! I caulked all the major seams, used finishing nails and wood glue to reattach trim pieces, and completely reworked the cabinet door and a couple drawers. Although this sounds easy it took me hours upon hours to stabilize the frames. Finally, they were sturdy enough to withstand daily use and I was able to move on to cosmetic issues. I love their elegant details and that’s what drew me to the pieces but sadly one wood appliqué was missing from the buffet. I couldn’t find any professional mill workers to copy the design for me so I purchased what I could find. I also bought three other appliqués to fill in some areas that were lacking appeal. I really wanted to paint them and stain the top of the buffet but they were so bad staining was completely out of the question.
First of all, I want to say your paint job is only as good as your prep. To do that I would usually sand these babies smooth. However, this time that wasn’t possible. Since they are circa 1930’s I wasn’t sure of their product history. I didn’t want to risk some old product being airborne. Some of those old poly’s are very harmful. So, I did the next best thing and used a bonding primer paint. It is specifically formulated to adhere to shining surfaces. You can literally apply this stuff directly on top of polyurethane and achieve great results! I removed all hardware (more on that later) and applied two coats of bonding primer, being very careful to not load up too heavy on the delicate carvings. I chose a lovely french gray hue for them both. Applying two coats to give proper coverage. To add interest and depth I used an antiquing glaze, working it into the details. Then finished them off with water-based polyurethane in a semi-gloss *I used the same poly in both regular formula and in a spray can on all the detailed areas. (Some places are just too tight and delicate for a foam brush!)
Lastly, the hardware were in as sad and sorry shape as the wood. So, they received a spruce as well! I ended up with an anitqued nickel finish. Im sad to report that the cabinet knob was beyond resuscitating. It had rusted over and was literally crumbly in my hands and therefore I tossed it (Dust in the Wind, softly playing in the background). I felt like this was a great opportunity to give it a little sparkle and gave it a stunning yet simple glass knob. Needless to say this project was such a labor intensive one I am keeping both of them with me for all eternity. In fact I’m going to be buried with them. (Too morbid? Sorry, haha!)
On a final note: Keeping true to their era, I paired them with matching art deco inspired lanterns in a finish that correlated to the hardware. I also added a glamorous mirror that again, went with the era but also had clean lines that made it still feel modern. Along with the french gray paint color and dark accent pieces I was able to balance both contemporary modern with the art deco style. ( Always follow the 60/40 rule when blending different styles ❤ ) I hope you were able to take something away from this and if you have questions, comments or want to share your own stories with me, leave me a message. I’d love to hear from you!
Check out my before and after pics below! Until next time……

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Seriously, what were they thinking with that glue!?

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Everything old is now old again. Wait…say what!?

So, I have heard of people using steel wool and white vinegar and have always wanted to try it. I thought to myself why not now. I had just scored this amazing buffet from craigslist. A ‘Tell City’ piece constructed of solid hard rock maple for only $55 green ones!!!! It had plenty of wear and water stains. The original stain was a bit on the orange side and wouldn’t go with my decor at all. However, the overall integrity of it was fully preserved. It was the perfect candidate for my little science experiment. Muhahahaha!!!

Now wait a ‘dawg’ gone minute, what is it?

For those of you who haven’t heard of the whole steel wool and white vinegar thing, let me break it down for ya. Basically, it’s an oxidation process that gives the wood an aged look, much like reclaimed wood. It can take on different colors depending on the type of wood used, how long it steeps for and how many times you apply it. (Mostly it takes on an ashy brown or gray look) The more tannins your wood has the more saturation you will end up with. If your wood has low tannins there are a couple tricks you can do to get a better finish. You can brew either black coffee or black tea and apply it to your wood first before your steel wool and white vinegar solution. I’ve heard the black tea gets better results. (You can do a small test application somewhere you won’t see it.)

How do I make this steel wool & white vinegar solution?

You will need a large bottle of white vinegar, a bag of very fine steel wool #0000, and an old jar with lid. Using a couple of hunks of steel wool, tear it up into small pieces, and place them into your jar. Fill your jar with white vinegar all the way up, seal your lid, and let it steep for about three or four days. Give it a little shake shake every so often. This will help speed up the process. (At this point singing Luke Bryan’s Shake it for me girl is entirely optional.) The steel wool will break down in the white vinegar and your solution will be ready to go. (*Note: You can keep the solution to reuse anywhere from 6 months to a year. However, if the mixture starts to take on a ‘rusty’ look simply dilute it with more white vinegar.)

How do I apply it?

Just like you would a wood stain. You can use an old cloth, a brush, or a sponge brush. It’s really up to you. I used an old rag for my solution. Then allow your wood to fully absorb the solution ( I only applied one coat). Lastly apply poly like you would over top of a stain (for this I used a sponge brush). Then do your happy dance! (cue Luke Bryan again!)
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What you will end up with is a beautifully aged piece that will last for years to come! I think you will agree it certainly gives the antique a rich patina. Remember, the goal is to have fun with this, enjoy yourself, all while (like ol’ Bing & Mary sang) counting your blessings! Check out my before and after pics below. Until next time….sign-off-2
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Leave the night on

Hey there friends!
Recently, my mama was cleaning out her basement. She came across two nightstands and gave them to me. So, I took them to see if I could do anything with them. I lovingly came to call them Oscar and Felix, which I felt was more than appropriate since the only thing this odd couple had in common was their height. Unfortunately, they didn’t really have that going for them either :/ I knew I had to marry them together with the same finish and hardware and of course solve the height problem. I just needed inspiration and whilst out shopping at  Z Gallerie I saw some amazing pieces in an metallic finish. Eureka! I loved it except I would have to tweak mine a bit to give it more of an antique look. Buzzing on my new found inspiration and caffeine I got to work!

 

I removed all of the old hardware. So long 1980’s brass! I then sanded down everything to remove the old polyurethane so my paint will properly adhere to it. To solve the height problem I decided to raise them up by using coffee table legs that you can get at any hardware store. I drilled pilot holes for them and simply screwed them in. Then I primed everything using a miraculous bonding primer by Valspar (You can find it at Lowes). This stuff is amaze balls!!! After the primer I spray painted both tables in a couple coats of metallic silver. I followed the silver up by spray painting both pieces in metallic gold. However, you don’t want to cover up the silver. So, hold the can further back until you can gently mist the furniture. This will allow the silver to show with just a hint of gold.

 

After the paint was fully dried, I applied an antique glaze by Valspar. Using very little of it on a 2″ Purdy brush I painted it on using a dabbing, up and down motion to get the texture I wanted. Do your best to keep the look uniformed all over. Once you are finished with the glaze you must allow for it to set up for 24 hrs. Although it is fully dried after that, remember it is still just a glaze and can smudge or rub off (More on this later). I felt like my pieces needed a little more visual interest. So, I found this french scroll frame that I loved online. I printed it to the size I needed. I covered it in box tape on both sides and then cut out the design using an exacto knife to create a stencil. Using some acrylic paint and a small stencil brush I dabbed it on where desired. After it was completely dry it needed protection.

 

Remember how I mentioned the glaze could smudge or rub off? Well in order to prevent that from happening I found that Valspar’s clear coat in spray paint form is key. It covers evenly with the same protection as the original poly. For this project I really wanted my antique metallic finish to POP! So, I selected a semi-gloss in my clear coat. To finish off my look I replaced the old hardware with some beautiful new ones in an heirloom silver finish. I will let the results speak for themselves. Let me know what you think and if you are trying the look for yourself and have any questions, feel free to ask! Until next time…

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A tale of three tables

Once upon a time, in a not so far away living room, were three french provincial tables. Much like Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetCinderella, they too were in need of some help. They were fortunate indeed for a fairy design mother appeared and gave them each a fabulous makeover! The old finish showed years of wear and neglect. So, she sanded them down, not with her wand but with her new orbital sander. Once with a 60 grit, the second with a 100 and lastly with a 220 grit. Now feeling smooth as fine silk they received a gorgeous new coat in an exquisite pickled oak finish. To complete this magical transformation 3-4 coats of water based poly in a regal satin. Oh how they sparkled and once again shined, the tables paired not with two glass slippers but with mercury glass lamps on each side. Now this tale is over I’m sorry to say, but these three little darlings will live happily for all the rest of their days.

                                                                             ~THE END~

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Nautical side table gets it’s sea legs

 

This week I came into possession of  a beautiful, nautical wood table just in time to refinish it for a pool house. This side table was gorgeous back in it’s day I’m sure. However, somewhere along the way it’s warm stained finish had been compromised. Since it was damaged it was a perfect opportunity for me to completely reinvent it’s look. Originally, it’s finish was dark and heavy and garnered a beautiful mural of a ship at sea. I absolutely loved the mural but unfortunately it was a veneer. Fortunately, it didn’t have any damage whatsoever. The rest of the table I had to completely sand down to remove the nicks and scrapes.

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The pool house decor and material selections were of light breezy hues you would find in the most scenic beaches. With that in mind I wanted to keep the table in line with the overall pool house design. So, I chose to give it an antiqued finish with light distressing in a silvery-minty green. I wanted it to feel light, yet still old with a story to tell. After many painting techniques I finally reached the look I was after. The only problem left to solve was the pretty mural veneer. I didn’t want anything to come along and destroy it because one nick and it would have been done for. The water based poly was plenty of protection for the table but it just wasn’t going to cut it for the veneer. After much debating I went with an epoxy resin by Famowood (The high gloss stuff they use on bar tables. One coat of it is equal to 70 coats of polyurethane!!! Sheesh!!!!) This step was extremely tricky seeing as it is extremely messy. Also I was only doing the recessed mural not the whole table top, I had to tape it off and pour the perfect amount of resin onto it so not to overfill the recessed area. ( Oh and did I mention you only have 15 minutes to work any air bubbles out of the resin? I think I was holding my breath the entire time, lol!) Luckily, my first time working with it turned out to be a success and honestly it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was gonna be. If you yourself choose to work with it pay attention to your time and don’t stress out about it. Also, remember if you do mess up it can be fixed and the wonderful people at Famowood will gladly talk you through on how to fix any mistakes.

 

I really had a lovely time refinishing this pretty little side table. It turned out better than I expected and is now ready to sail the high seas once again! I hope you enjoy this project. Remember, if you have any questions about what you see here, click on the comment icon and drop me a line. Check out the before and after pics below and as always a big thank you to my loving husband and mama’s little helper!!! Thanks for stoppin’ by!Sign Off 2

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Kitchen Fable

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Hey y’all! I’m super excited to be talking kitchen tables with you this week. Not so long ago I rescued a 1980’s solid oak corner bench kitchen table. As this craigslist find sat there looking decrepit and lonely I could hear heart wrenching Sarah Mclachlan music playing in my mind. I could feel guilt, yes guilt welling up inside of me and I knew I couldn’t leave it behind. Darn you Sarah Mclachlan! So, thanks to guilt and the flashback of caged animal commercials brought on by one, Mrs. Mclachlan’s heavenly melodic tunes, I will be proving that even a common craigslist find can transcend into something inspiring.

 Following the vision in my head I ditched the the corner seat and one of the smaller benches. (Don’t worry I didn’t really throw them out. I just used them for something else.) It was also clear that the old 80’s finish had to go! So, with belt sander in hand I worked the wood until it was smooth as silk. I stained it a beautiful hue called River Rock and protected it with a few coats of water based polyurethane. This alone already looked a thousand times better. However, I was far from finished with this piece.

 

For added comfort I upholstered both bench seats with an easy to clean faux leather. I also knew I wanted back cushions, which I achieved with the help of my dad. I didn’t want to attach back cushions permanently to the bench in case I wanted to change the look later on. So together we came up with an idea that worked out better than Ellen Degeneres’ Covergirl partnership . Using two rectangle-shapeed plywood boards I glued one piece of 3″ thick foam of the same size to each piece of plywood. Then I upholstered them using batting and the same faux leather as the seats. To attach them my dad came up with the idea of using industrial velcro. Which allows you to remove the entire back cushion to clean any spilled drink or food that might get behind it. (Refer to the diagram below to see how I upholstered the bench seating.)

 

Bench drawing

 

After my table and bench seating was complete I wanted to add a seat to either end giving an overall total seating for six. I know I could have just kept the other  bench and corner seat for maximum seating. However, I wanted to elevate the look by injecting personality and style. Adding chairs would create the perfect opportunity to do so. I acquired some beautiful antique chairs that I fully restored and upholstered in a fabric that marries together the table finish and faux leather. (You can see my whole antique chair restoration process by checking out my blog post: Vintage Dreams.)

 

To complete the look and continue the conversation between the pieces, I crafted a lumbar pillow for my the larger bench using the same fabric as my chairs. As for the details, I gave it welting, and I embroidered a capital letter “B” to give a final personal touch. In the end I achieved a high-end look that has a defined personality, and comfortable sophistication.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 

I hope this project inspires you to attempt your own makeover and if you have any questions don’t forget you can submit them by clicking on the comment icon. Be sure to check out the before and after pics below along with mama’s little helper. Thanks for stoppin’ by!

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How to get a chic sink!

So, you walk into your bathroom looking around and although the decor is indeed lovely, it happens. WAHBAM! You’re temporarily blinded! No, not by SCIENCE, but by your unsightly old vanity. It’s a doozy too with it’s outdated faucet, finish, and lack of hardware.   It’s enough to send anyone running. Ah but what to do? You don’t have the money right now to sink into a new sink!!! Relax, I’ve got ya covered.
What you will need:
Sandpaper 100 or 220 grit/Purdy paint brush/Primer paint/Paint in either Sherwin Williams Black bean or Dove gray/1 can of spray paint for metals in a brushed nickel/Water-based poly/Foam brush/Inexpensive faucet $20-$30 range in a brushed nickel finish/Hardware in brushed nickel in the $1-$2 range (this is optional if you don’t have hardware and you will need a drill)/car wax/screwdriver  *Reminder-Always wear protective eyewear and masks when dealing with paint/poly. Warning: Some old paint may contain lead. So, if your vanity has been painted do some research to make sure it’s safe to work on.

 

Let’s rock this: Begin by removing any drawers and any hardware/hinges off the drawers and cabinet doors. Remove the old faucet and pitch that sucka in the trash. Sand the entire exterior front and two sides of your wood vanity just enough for the paint to grab hold of. Sand the front sides of the drawers and cabinet doors.

 

Paint it up: Using your Purdy paint brush paint the front and two exterior sides of the vanity cabinet along with the exteriors of the drawers and cabinet doors. While thats drying take your old hinges, screws and hardware (if you have any) and lay them out on some old newspapers. Spray them with spray paint you bought specially formulated for metal application. This will give them an updated brushed nickel appearance. You will want to give them 2 thin coats and allow for drying in between. Now that your primer on your vanity, drawers and doors is dry, paint over the primer with the Sherwin Williams hue you selected. Be careful to catch any paint runs while it’s still wet with your brush. Let that dry and paint a second coat of the color. Let that dry.

 

Poly: With your cheap little foam brush go ahead and apply a thin coat of poly over your paint job. follow the directions for drying times and the recommendation for the amount of coats to apply.

 

Hardware (optional): If you are adding hardware measure and find the center of your drawer and make a mark with a pencil. Use a drill bit that is one to two sizes bigger in diameter than the screw that comes with your hardware. This will allow the shaft of the screw to easily pass through and still be small enough that the head of the screw cannot. ( Sometimes the drawers are thicker than the cabinet doors and the screws that come with the hardware aren’t long enough. No need to panic though because they sell longer ones at your local hardware store. This is a common problem.) Now that you have measured you will drill your hole and screw on your new hardware. Super easy! As for the cabinet doors obviously you want the handle on the upper corner of the opposite side of the hinges. (I usually measure down 3″ from the top for my knobs.)

 

Final touches: To perk up that old vanity top use a little carwax on it and buff it afterwards. It will bring back some of the shine and help fill in any light surface scratches. All that’s left to do is screw your hinges and doors back on, put your drawers back in, and finally install your new faucet. Remember, take your time with this and you will achieve a high end look for very little green.

 

Below are some before and after pics of a bathroom vanity I just reloved. Hope you enjoy and feel inspired!

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Chalk it up to a bad dream…..

This weeks challenge was converting a tacky vintage dresser into a more modern media console. Now, I’m sure this dresser was fine in it’s day but today it simply won’t do. I did choose it however for its fun, heavy hardware and lovely details. I feel like it has a lot of personality and spunk! Haha. I also just wanted an excuse to use some chalk paint!!!! (If you aren’t familiar with chalkboard paint, you can get it at your local Lowes and they can tint it to any hue you desire or you can invest a little more into Annie Sloan’s brand.) I know what you’re thinking but stick with me. It will leave you with a slate-looking finish that is absolutely stunning.) There really isn’t anything complicated about this process. Begin by removing the drawers from the dresser, and remove all hardware with a screwdriver. Fill any problem areas with wood putty. Once dry, a good sanding with a 100 grit will scruff it up plenty enough for the primer to stick.

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Which you guessed it is the next step. Paint the entire frame and drawer fronts with a couple coats of primer. You don’t want the wood absorbing your chalk paint. Its so much cheaper if the wood absorbs the primer. Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetWhile the primer was drying I laid my hardware out on a large piece of cardboard. I spray painted them with a special paint formulated for metal in an oil rubbed bronze finish. Then it was time to apply the chalk paint. I ended up doing two coats because I didn’t care for how it looked after just one. This is where I took a detour from what most painters do. Instead of applying soft wax I went with polyurethane instead and I’ll tell you why. Since I was intending it to be used as a media console I knew how warm blu-ray players and game systems can get. I couldn’t have it melting my wax but I still needed durability. Also, with wax you have to reapply it every few months and I don’t know about you but I ain’t got time for that! Shew! So I turned to old faithful, water-based poly. A couple of coats and voila! You can chalk that old dresser up to just a really bad dream. Enjoy the before & after pics below along with mama’s little helper!Sign Off 2photo 3-23photo 4-22Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Vintage Dreams

Hey y’all! I was out thrifting recently with my husband and came across some true beauties. Masked underneath years of neglect were these glorious antique wood chairs complete with acorn finials and lovely quatrefoil lattice details. So, it was a no brainer! I immediately bought them and had my husband help me load them into the back of our truck. As we drove home I sat there imagining all of the possibilities, much like a small child dreaming of Christmas morning.The wood frames were pretty rough in some places and the original upholstery was long gone. It was going to take some work but I knew they were worth fighting for. So, I rolled up my sleeves (Rosie the riveter style) and got down to business.

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I removed the old seat coverings and cushions by prying up the staples with a flat head screw driver. I had to use the ol’ pliers to pull out some of the more difficult ones. Once the seats were a fresh palette I flipped them upside down on top of the new cushions I had purchased. Pulling the outer edges of the cushions out and over the lip of the seat I secured them into place using an electric staple gun. Then I cut my upholstery fabric and stapled it just like I did with the cushions.

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Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetFinally the second coat on my wood frames were dry and all that was left for me to do was reattach the cushions. The before and after pic of the cushions are pretty dramatic alone but if you really want your mind blown check out these lovely little darlings below!!! Enjoy!Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with g3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with g3 preset