Entry cabinet/console/buffet makeover...

Occasionally I will buy something at an auction for resale I THINK I won't need to do anything to! Example...this nifty "primitive" cabinet/console/buffet...

It could be used for many things...hence the cabinet-slash-console-slash-buffet.

It would make a darling entry table. Or a tv console. Or even a small dining buffet.

The wood is really rustic and rough...nifty iron hardware.

But alas, no one shared my vision and it sat in my space at 410 Vintage for MONTHS!

Last week I did a little reset...technical word in the world of retail for "move stuff around." Since this little cabinet/console/buffet had been hanging out for quite some time I decided to bring it home and give it a little facelift.

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Darker gel stain on the top and a grey/blue chalk paint and distress on the base.

I think it is darling and HOPEFULLY someone else will agree! 

Another example of how easy it is to change things up a bit with just a little effort!

Bee Box Shelf....

Sometimes things get "stored" in my garage and I spend a few years kicking them around. 

My daughter started raising bees several years ago. She would occasionally bring home old "bee boxes" to paint. 

One has been hanging out in my garage for...oh, I would say at LEAST two years. Waiting to be painted. Never happened.

In my quest to "organize" my mess of a garage I decided to purge a few things...but it is always hard for me to toss anything wood. One of my few "hoarding" tendencies.

An old bee box...scrap pieces of bead board from another project...old dresser drawer pieces...hum....what to do, what to do!?

Yep...a "bee box" shelf.

I used one side of an antique dresser drawer as the shelf and the scrap bead board for the back. A little glue...a few nails. I sanded the box and the shelf to clean them up a bit. (I could actually smell the honey!)After sanding and assembling I sprayed the entire piece with a clear coat just to seal the "chippy" paint.

Easy, peasy. 

Not my style so of course it will be sold, but just a quick reminder that you can turn any old "scraps" into something pretty and functional with just a little imagination...this didn't take too much time or any expensive tools...just a saw to cut the shelf, a hammer and a little sand paper. 

Next week I'll share the project that produced all the scrap bead board...another "repurposing" project! 

Until then....

Waterfall armoire makeover....

This week's project is a classic example of "OMG, can I really paint an antique!!!???"

This is a pretty little vintage waterfall armoire I picked up at an estate auction a few weeks ago. It wasn't in terrible shape, but it really didn't have a lot going for it aesthetically...kind of plan and boring!

It did have some really pretty bakelite hardware, which is classic on waterfall pieces. The problem was the condition of the hardware. One was completely missing the bakelite, and the other three were broken and chipped....pretty much unsalvagable! 

The "design" on the top drawer was not a true inlay...and the general construction was pretty simplistic. I did a little research online to make sure it wasn't something of great value! Sometimes, when there are no makers marks, you just have to make a judgment call on the value as a "restored antique." 

In the end, I decided to give the piece a little KTSP treatment and give it a new life. Hopefully it will make a perfect little dresser/storage cabinet for someone! 

I removed all the hardware, taped and papered the drawers and insides and sprayed it down with Kilz. Since one of the pulls was toast, I puttied the holes so I could add a single pull. After sanding it smooth and wiping it down with tack cloth, it was time to paint.

Unfortunately, it is that time of the year when temperatures don't always cooperate. So I had to haul everything into my dining room and use a brush and roller instead of spray paint. 

No biggy IF you do it properly...make sure you use a quality brush, a 4" foam roller and add Floetrol to your latex paint! (Penetrol for oil based) The additive will give your paint a longer dry time and more time to "level," eliminating brush and roller marks. 

I found a pretty blue and tried it on the drawers..ummmm...no. Too babyish. So I mixed a little black in some green and came up with a greyish-green I kind of liked.

I removed the broken bakelite from the pulls and sprayed them with metal primer then sprayed them with gold paint. Kind of pretty!

All in all, it turned out kind of cute. While it was a nice "vintage" piece, I think the paint and new hardware gave it a nice little "update" and a chance at a new and useful life....

If you are certain a piece is not a valuable antique, don't be afraid to give it a little face lift! 

As I mentioned last week, I have been working on reupholstering the club chair and ottoman in the living room. Unfortunately I had to order a little more fabric so HOPEFULLY I can finish it up this week and share next week! 

Until then....

Super simple DIY wall decor....

As I look around at my wall decor, I realize that MOST of it is thrift store, garage sale, vintage market pieces that I have collected and "upscaled" at some point in time.

Here I shared a quick update to my little gallery wall of favorite family photos....

Simple, inexpensive frames spray painted and new matting. I didn't even have expensive "custom" mats made...I cut bulk matting to fit the frame and then mounted the pictures on top of it!

I spent a fortune on these dining pictures 17 years ago and in my quest to transition from "dark and dank" to "light and bright" I gave them a little make-over....

I did spend a little more on custom matting, but I chalk painted the frames and deconstructed and changed it all out myself. A tad more expensive but faaaaar less expensive then going out and buying new matted pictures! You can pick up frames like these for pennies at thrift stores! Maybe the picture is ugly and the frame is "dated" but it really is a simple little DIY project that can make a huge impact! 

This super cool mid century dresser mirror was another DIY project I shared here

I love the fact that I can change out the wreath for the holiday seasons...I have one for fall (pictured) and Christmas, a Valentine's wreath and a cool little metal thing for the 4th of July! For "off-season" I have a simple boxwood wreath!

Now this is where I admit that I am a bad blogger....because AGAIN I failed to take any "before" pictures. So close your eyes and imagine...inexpensive little brown frames with pictures of a goose...or something stupid like that.

Again, a little KTSP treatment, a tiny bit of spray paint, a little inspirational quote printed on stock paper and PRESTO....

When I was at an auction last week I picked up two unfinished oak cabinet doors. Here I shared how easy it is to turn them into cute little chalkboards...perfect for a kitchen, mud room or the kid's room! 

Chalkpaint, chalkboard paint, a little cup pull to hold the chalk and again, PRESTO! 

(I even painted the cabinet doors in my garage with chalkboard paint so I have a place to write down supplies I need to pick up or projects I need to work on!)

My point? If you don't like your wall decor,  change it! Paint it, change out the mats, change out the picture. 

Make it pretty! Cuz life is too short to live with ugly wall decor! 

Heirlooms trump everything!

I have said it time and again....family heirlooms trump EVERYTHING!!! So when my uncle dropped off a china cabinet this week that had been my great-grandmother's, everything was rearranged to make room for it!

It's not "my style."(very traditional) It's not "my wood." (oak) It's not "my finish." (white-wash/pickled kinda look)

But it was my great-grandmother's and that is all that matters.

I even have a picture to prove it!

This is my maternal grandmother, great-grandfather and great-grandmother gathered at a holiday dinner in the early 80s....the china cabinet is in the background and the dishes on the table are my great-grandmother's china I recently acquired.

I vaguely remember this piece in my great grandparent's dining room when I was a child. They lived in a charming little post-war neighborhood in Dallas and during my childhood it was the family gathering spot for holiday's and special occasions.

While I was looking through my family photos for a picture of the cabinet, I also found this awesome holiday photo of my mother's entire family taken in 1948 at their home in Houston.

My mother is the sullen looking teenager in the red gingham shirt, my uncle to her left. The woman to the far left in the picture, in white, is my great aunt Judy. She inherited this china cabinet after my great-grandmother (woman far right) passed in 1986...and now it has come to me!

On the table are my grandmother's dishes I also acquired recently! 

These pictures are pure treasure!

Sooooo...now I have a china cabinet that is not my style, not my wood and not my finish.

I'm not sure what I will do with the finish...if anything. Right now I am just going to let it sit and mull it over. This is one of those pieces I will not touch until I have a very firm game plan in place. I know it needs a few small repairs but the beveled mirrors were replace in 1986...seriously, I found the receipt in the cabinet....$15 for two beveled mirrors. I just spent $130 to replace two mirrors that broke when my living room wall mirror fell off the wall!

I do know I would like to replace the wood shelves with glass...maybe add some interior lighting....and I couldn't wait to remove the metallic red paper inside the cabinet!

Had I picked this piece up at an auction, I would have immediately slathered it in paint. 

Not that I am opposed to making changes to family heirlooms. Sometimes you have to make changes to a piece so it will serve your family for many more decades. But when you are dealing with family heirlooms you should proceed with respect and caution! 

Drop door cabinet makeover....

Enough about my entry makeover FOR NOW! I'll get there eventually but I'm at the "wait" and "hum" stage...waiting on tile and stair treads and not quite sure what I want to do about trim and lighting...hum....

So in the meantime I thought I would share one of the wash stands I rehabbed. I went to an awesome auction several weeks ago and brought home 5 potentially beautiful dressers and wash stands. One just needed to be cleaned and oiled but the others needed some serious work.

On these older pieces I just can't bring myself to slather them entirely in paint. I always have to restore a little bit of the original wood. I know in today's world of home decor, paint is all the rage, but I need a good balance of paint and the "warmth" of wood. So no matter the condition of the top, if it is solid wood, I am going to strip it and refinish it. 

This little cabinet was originally a "wash stand." It wan't in terrible shape but it had seen better days!

It had a little mirror on the back, which when removed left a  "gap" along the back edge.

If I was going to paint the top, I could have filled it in with a strip of poplar and been done with it. But I knew I wanted to refinish the top so I added a piece of oak...

...just routed the edge, then attached it with glue and trim nails. I stripped the top with this process, applied a little walnut stain and sealed with poly!

I chalk painted and distressed the base and sealed with poly. The little drop front REALLY distressed, but sometimes I just let furniture do what it wants to do! A little update on the hardware and it is good to go!

The drawers on most antique pieces have some issues....remember GLUE AND CLAMP when repairing drawers! Not nails and screws! And since the drawers were pretty ratty and stained, I gave them a little KSTP treatment! (sorry, no pictures!) They look and smell much better if you will take the time to paint the inside of the drawers of these older pieces!

I think this would make an awesome bedside table or entry piece! Or even a tv cabinet!

I tried to "stage" this little piece with some of my auction finds....

....an old cheese box, some awesome scales and a wood duck decoy. But again, I am not the best photographer and I am definitely more about doing and less "froo-frooing." 

I have several dressers and another wash stand to share, so stay tuned!

TV cabinet makeover...

The bad news is I have had a lot of vacancies this past month...the good new is I have had a lot of vacancies this past month! 

The reason it is bad is because it means I have pretty much had to bust it every day...cleaning, repairing, rehabbing! I. AM. EXHAUSTED!

The reason it is good news is because OCCASIONALLY I find a decent little piece I can work a little DIY magic on. Before I started "rehabbing for resell" I would either toss this stuff or give it away to friends and neighbors....often after spending days rehabbing and refinishing! Seriously, I just gave away stuff! Now I will make repairs, paint, refinish...whatever it takes to give the piece another lifetime of use!

This piece is a prime example...

Dated, worn and just down right ugly. Very similar in style to this piece but a little sturdier so I thought it was worth giving a little makeover! 

This piece was a prime candidate for a little KSTP treatment I shared here.

It originally had a little shelf but it was missing so I cut another out of a sheet of plywood. Other than that, it really didn't need any repairs! I painted the cabinet a slate blue I mixed up using a blue and black latex paint I had on hand, painted the drawer fronts black and the hardware metallic gold. 

I liked the style of the hardware but definitely not the color.

This is one of those pieces I took to "base neutral" (in other words, primed) and then let sit because I just couldn't decided what color to use on it. 

Obviously the colors were okay...it sold 3 days after I took it to 410 Vintage


A simple TV cabinet makeover...

This is the second year in a row I have been sick around Christmas. Fortunately, last year it was AFTER Christmas. This year it was BEFORE Christmas. Not good when I have so much to do the week before Christmas! I knew I felt bad Tuesday when I was out building fence (the wind did a number on my privacy fence at the apartments) but I didn't realize how bad I felt until I came home and sat down.

Now I have a list of things to do...presents to buy, a few things to return, wrapping boxes to hunt down, presents to ship, grocery shopping....and I feel to cruddy to even drag myself into the shower! Fortunately I THINK the worst is over so hopefully I'll feel like getting around later today!

In the meantime, I thought I would share another simple little makeover.

Remember all that dated, uninteresting furniture I keep harping on you to paint or do SOMETHING with! Well, this is just another example of a piece of furniture that no longer has a place or a purpose in our homes...unless you roll up your sleeves and give it a little makeover.

The dreaded old "tv cabinet" ...or "hutch"....or whatever you want to call it!

Here I shared how I acquired this less-than-interesting piece and how I used beaded craft board to start this simple transformation!

I gave the inside a KSTP treatment with my "go to" off-white and gave the outside a little plaster paint/dristress treatment. But it still lacked "character" so I wiped down the entire cabinet with walnut stain. That changed the color from a soft "teal" to almost a "greenish" color but it also added depth to the finish! Kind of a "patina"....

I sealed it all with poly and changed out the hardware. Actually I painted the original round knobs black and added black cup pulls to the bottom drawer! Remember, if you are changing out hardware, you may have to patch some holes BEFORE you paint. In this case I had to do just that since the holes on the bottom drawer were 3" apart and the holes for the cup pulls are 2 1/2"...no biggy! Just patch them with wood filler, sand and then paint....then just drill new holes for the new hardware!

It would be simple to reinstall the doors...but in this case I decided to go with an "open shelf" look! 

Simple little update! Now this little cabinet is ready for another season of life! 


Another day, another project....and a new venture! And my annual HOLIDAY CHALLENGE!

My neighbors, Kenny and MaryAnn, bought a beautiful antique dresser. The problem with beautiful antique dressers is they usually need a little work. Ever watch the tv show "Botched?" I should do a show about "botched" repairs on old furniture because 9 times out of 10 someone else has already tried to "fix" little problems, only to create much bigger problems.

In exchange for a few hours of work and a few choice curse words, MaryAnn gave me this little pine cabinet....

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At some point Kenny had removed the back and like me, had NO idea where he put it. That is okay...I have "repurposed" little cabinets like this before and one of the first things I do is remove the back and replace it with something with a little more "character."

This tung and groove "craft board" is perfect for adding a little "pop" to otherwise boring or dated cabinets. Since I decided to remove the doors and turn this into an "open shelving" unit, I knew it needed a little something....

Rather than paint the boards a solid color, I usually do a little "white wash" treatment on them in whatever paint color I plan on using on the exterior. I painted the inside of this cabinet my favorite off-white color and plan on painting the outside a soft teal. 

The first thing I did was cut the boards down to the size I need for this project. Then I just dip my paint brush in water, then dip it in the paint, brush the boards, then wipe them with a damp cloth....

This allows the grain to show while still giving the boards a little color. After the boards dry, I spray them with a clear coat. 

I put a tiny bit of glue in the "groove" of each board. Not a lot or it will ooze out and make a mess...a little glue goes a long way...and fit them together one at a time across the back! 

I use my pneumatic stapler to attach them to the cabinet....

This board is so thin you could probably attach it with a manual stapler if that is what you have handy!

This bead board really does dress up and update these old cabinets..

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Now all I have left to do is paint the exterior and replace the hardware...I will make sure I share the transformation when I get it finished!

I recently used this same treatment on a huge old ugly (but very solid oak) cabinet I hauled home from the apartments. 

I decided to use it for display in my new "room" at 410 Vintage

Yep, this is my "new venture." An entire room at 410 Vintage, rather than just a booth!

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This is just a little sneak peak at my new room...you can see the amazing ratan chairs that started out in a total state of FIX ME!!!!

(I had several dining room tables that where set all pretty for Christmas...neither lasted a day!)

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A couple of little side tables that had a bad case of the uglies...

They both just needed a little TLC...

I have filled this room with my auction treasures and furniture rehabs...its is a fun space!

If you are local and have not checked out 410 Vintage in Fayetteville, you really should drop in! The owner has one side filled with "mid century" awesomeness and the other side of the building are spaces filled with anything and everything vintage, retro, antique and wonderful! They have an Instagram page that is updated several times a day with new arrivals. I don't have an Instagram page but if you do, you might want to check it out!

HOLIDAY CHALLENGE!

This is the time of the year when I want to remind you of my "HOLIDAY CHALLENGE!" Our family use to do the Angel Tree every year and always enjoyed buying gifts for our "angel." But as the kids have grown and have less time to shop with Mom, I have encouraged them to find their own way of giving. For me, it is random giving. Every year I set aside 5 $20 bills...and I wait. At some point during the season, I will run across someone who will have a "need." Maybe at the grocery store...or the car hop at Sonic. One time I was getting gas and I felt the person at the pump next to me could probably use gas money. You never know...if you open your heart, you will know when to give! 

If you don't have a lot of cash to give, give of your time!

We may not have everything we WANT, but we always had what we NEEDED! It feels wonderful to be able to give back...even if it is just a tiny bit! 

A few new storage solutions!

In my quest to make my kitchen a tad more "user friendly" I stumbled upon a nifty little storage gadget at Lowes that will help me manage my casserole dishes and mixing bowls a bit better. 

As I have mentioned, in my "dream kitchen" I have nothing but big deep drawers in my lower cabinets. Unfortunately that is a "dream" so I have to work with what I have and digging around in a lower cabinet for heavy casserole dishes and keeping all my mixing bowls organized has become an issue.  

Again, and I can not stress this enough, the number one key to getting organized is PURGING!

Pull it ALL out and ask yourself...DO I REALLY NEED THIS?! In my kitchen cabinet, I had several casserole dishes that were duplicates of what I have but they didn't have lids. Do not need! I had 5 large 9x13 casserole pans...do not need them all! I had 3 stainless bowls the same size, which made stacking them a impossible...do not need! I have FIVE crock pots...two smaller ones just for dips and such. I DO need those but only once or twice a year so there is no need for them to take up valuable kitchen real estate. So off to the hall pantry they went! 

I contemplated building and installing either 4 drawers or 2 large drawers in this cabinet base. Lots of work! So when I found these nifty little metal storage drawers at Lowe's I knew I had found a relatively easy solution.

The problem with these metal drawers is they are not custom sized so I was going to end up with a lot of "dead space." I decided to only install one for my bowls and casserole dishes since those are things I use almost every time I cook. I left the other side shelf space for crock pots and dishes I only use occasionally.

The drawer component lets me easily get to my bowls and casseroles dishes without wallering around on the floor and pulling everything out to get to the stuff in the back.

A perfect, and simple, solution for organizing a tough space.

When Brian and I went scrounging around the flea market out in Tontitown last weekend, I found this neat little wall decor. A framed chalkboard with two "distressed" wire baskets. I knew it would be perfect for organizing magazines that tend to get piled up in the coffee table, which in turn means they get ignored!

I'm pretty sure it is probably something one could pick up at Hobby Lobby, or something I could easily make with an old frame and paper storage racks from an office supply store. But it was there, and it was done...the only thing I did not like was the original  finish on the frame...kind of a "white-wash" natural wood looking thing. I immediately painted it with some chalk paint and distressed and sealed it. Great for magazines or mail. Remodelaholics featured a bathroom with a similar one.

I like it in the bathroom but I am of the opinion that if you are in the bathroom long enough to read an article, you probably ought to seek treatment. Just saying....

Last fall I bought this awesome antique sewing machine at an auction. The "lid" flips back to reveal the machine

I immediately fell in love with the little wood box that covered the machine. After a little research I discovered they are called coffins....most often in mahogany or walnut. BEAUTIFUL! I immediately jumped on Ebay and found a few of these amazing little boxes.

Naturally they needed to be refinished, but a little magic mixture and a few coats of tung oil and they are amazing!

My original plan was to use them in the "kitchen reset," but there really was no good place for them so I have them scattered around the house for storage. In the den, I use them to store some of my photo albums. They would be darling with little castors for "rolling" storage. l absolutely love them! 

When I reset my kitchen, I dug around in my flea booths looking for "functional decor." In other words, pretty with a purpose! A few things caught my eye.

The first was a little glass pumpkin...perfect for this time of the year! I usually keep my coffee in a crystal decanter, but this little pumpkin is perfect for the fall season.

Now I am going to be on the look out for one I can use for the Christmas season!

I also found this little sterling silver piece. I THINK it might have originally been for sugar since it has a little notch in the lid where a spoon may have rested but most sugar jars are smaller. Regardless, it is the perfect size for my coffee filters. 

And of course the need to store 1/2 of my dishes when I built my floating shelves...seriously, who needs 20 plates! I purchased this little basket from Kaufmann Merchantile with a gift certificate from my son but I also found some on Amazon and have ordered 3 for my holiday wrapping station! (I'll share that little project when I get it set up!)

I have mentioned time and again that I really don't decorate much with  "pretty" without "function" or purpose...unless something has sentimental meaning. 

I am learning that these little touches are what really give a home "character." No need to use boring old plastic containers or cardboard boxes if you can "think outside the box" and find interesting pieces that are "pretty" but can also serve a useful function! 

Anything that can make my life more organized is great...the fact that it is pretty or interesting is a huge plus!