Another VW van dresser makeover.

I love this little project. I featured my first HERE. When I found another “waterfall” chest of drawers I decided to do another…they are just too much fun.

This little makeover takes a bit of patience…mainly because you have to “layer” the different paints. Each “layer” needs time to cure before you tape it for the next “layer.”

The first thing I had to do was remove all the hardware, putty the holes I would not be using, prime, sand and tack. Then it was just a matter of drawing and taping my design…

The “base layer” is white lacquer…from there I painted the teal, then the light grey “glass”…then all the outlining and detailing.

In the end you have a precious little chest!

I used some black and white I had on hand and bought a sample pot of the teal. Between the primer and paint, I probably spent less than $10.

The only “major” purchases were the VW decal (purchased HERE) and the two handles that make the windshield wipers…less than $20. (I had the round knobs in my hardware stash but you can buy them for next to nothing) All in this little project cost me the price of the dresser and less than $30 in materials.

I made a few “design changes” and truth be told I like the first one I did better….but nothing you will notice on a passing train…so I let it slide! It did affect the placement of the VW decal so I ended up having to “cut” it between two drawers…boo!

Again, one of my favorite projects and since I am no longer having to work at keeping “inventory” for a booth, I have more time to be creative and have fun!













A few MCM makeovers and a life decision...

Again, I am a baaaad blogger. I jump head-long into a project and fail to take “before” pictures.

Prime example…

No “before” picture. It was in similar condition to THIS dresser…reeeeally bad. But of course I have no proof of that. Just take my word for it…again.

The entire piece was originally the old “natural” finish with a lot of “wear and tear.” I primed and painted the six side drawers and cabinet and stripped and oiled the top and middle drawers.

I absolutely love the wood handle “hardware” and the super nifty black concave and brass hardware. I sprayed the little concave pieces with metal primer and black paint.

The top had some chipped veneer. I originally planned to paint the top so I could repair these areas, but I just can’t resist beautiful walnut…even veneer. So I did what I often do…I just let it be what it is…an older piece with a few blemishes. You can buy replacement strips of veneer…but I would rather have flawed original…just a personal preference!

I did take a before picture of this piece….

I love the brass hardware on these pieces…again, the way to tell if it is solid brass is to use a magnet. A magnet will not stick to solid brass. Important because in order to clean these pieces I have to really scrub them with steel wool. No secret to cleaning brass hardware…lots of Brasso, steel wool and elbow grease!

IMG_5140.JPG

Now…on to my “life decision.”

I have decided to stop doing the whole “auction/flea booth/resale” thing. I love doing what I do but doing it to “pay the rent” has become tiresome. I am just not enjoying it the way I use to.

So this past week I gave my notice at 410 Vintage and I went on a major “purgefest” in my garage (aka shop). I sold a lot of stuff on Facebook Marketplace, I donated a truck load to our local community thrift store and I took a truck load to the dumpster.

I have a friend who opened an awesome little consignment/flea market (Gathered Goods) so I took a few things to her to sell on consignment.

My garage has been a disaster for some time.

I painted the walls and cleaned all the shelving and cabinets!

I installed a Rubbermaid track system for large items….

…and we installed a nifty metal peg board system for all our tools. I knew where all my tools were but no one else could really figure out where anything was.

I even gave the door between the garage and laundry room a fresh coat of paint.

I am not “retiring” completely. I will still refinish and rehab pieces…I just won’t have to go looking for projects. If I find a project I want to work on, I can always take it to Darlene at Gathered Goods.

So fear not…I will always have a project to share here…and of course there are always my enlightened “muse” posts.

A simple "before" and "after"....

A simple and inexpensive makeover.

Before….

After….

A little homemade chalk paint….5 tablespoons of Plaster of Paris and 3 tablespoons of water, mixed well. Add 2 cups of latex paint. Two coats…a little distressing…sealed with polycrylic.

The hardware wasn’t anything special…I primed it with metal primer and hit it with some blue spray paint I had on hand…could have been black, teal, white…whatever…not sure I am loving the navy but it would be easy to change it!

Simple, inexpensive…but oh so much better!

Remember, LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO LIVE WITH UGLY FURNITURE!!! YOU CAN DO IT!

Craftsman dresser....

I have said it before…”Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Unfortunately, not every one likes to be “imitated”…or “copied.”

But I have to wonder…why do others post projects on blogs or Pinterest if not to give inspiration…inspire others to “imitate” their creativity.

I have NO problem with others “imitating” my creativity…imitate away! This entire blog is here to inspire you to make your home more beautiful. And if you are looking for inspiration for projects you intend to sell, help yourself….there are A LOT of people out there who couldn’t paint a piece of furniture or hammer a nail if their life depended on it. They need your abilities and creativity and if I can inspire you to create for others…yay me!

I try desperately to give credit where credit is due…if something “inspires” me I try to link back to the site. Unfortunately, I am the world’s worst at seeing something I like, “drag and dropping” the photo into my “inspiration folder” and not actually saving the link. I really do try to go back and find where the photo might be posted, but I can’t always find it! Same with recipes. I’ll see one I like, print it off and then I can’t find the original recipe.

Fortunately, this time I not only have a picture of the inspiration, I also have the link….HERE! (This dude has some mad woodworking skills and his dresser got some heavy duty reconstruction.)

The minute I saw this little dresser/changing table I knew I had to do one.

Fortunately I found a dresser that had perfect wood detailing on each drawer that allowed me to paint the “silver handles” rather than add new detailing. I also didn’t do any “reconstruction” on the piece other than adding bracing and wheels.

You can buy these wheels at Lowes…they just screw on!

Unfortunately, this is where I have to admit AGAIN what a bad blogger I am because I failed AGAIN to take a “before” picture. Suffice it to say, it was just a plain ole’ fake wood grain dresser…perfect for a little makeover!

Other than the wheels, the only other thing added was the “Craftsman” decal…believe it or not you can buy them on Ebay…HERE.

I found a red gloss spray paint that is a perfect match for the “Craftsman red”….the black on the drawer fronts is black lacquer…and of course the silver is just “stainless” paint. I primed the entire piece with primer, sanded well and wiped it down with tack cloth…then paint (KSTP).

Just too stinking cute!

Feel free to be “inspired” and copy away!

VW Bus chest of drawer makeover....

This, I believe, is my favorite dresser (technically a chest of drawer) makeover!

I first found my “inspiration” here….I knew the minute I saw this I had to do one! All I had to do was find perfect waterfall chest.

I bet I have passed on a few hundred over the years. They aren’t terribly “sturdy” dressers and because of that they tend to be in pretty bad shape after a few decades of use.

Just so happens a friend who owns a vintage store posted one on Facebook market place. It was a tad higher than what I wanted to pay but I wanted it NOW!

Most of the decorative doo-dads on waterfall pieces are painted on but this one had actual carvings…

…which meant I had to fill the carving….curses.

But whatevs….

I usually use the wood filler I pick up at Lowe’s and have always been happy with it but I saw this product on another blog and decided to give it a try…

Meh…It’s okay but I have to order it and price wise it’s not worth it. I think I will just stick to the product I have been using.

Remember when you use wood fillers to “patch” you may have to sand and reapply 2-3 times before you get a smooth repair…patience!

This little project took a lot longer than my normal KSTP project because of all the different paints…each “layer” had to dry before I could paint the next layer.

But the overall process was the same…first, patch and repair, then Kilz, sand and wipe with tack cloth, then paint on the design (KSTP). The white is lacquer and the other paint colors are some latex I had on hand…most of it “custom” mixed.

TOO. STINKING. CUTE!!!!

I used some round knobs I had in my stash and painted them the same color as the drawers. The “window wipers” are stainless pulls.

I wanted to buy an actual VW Bus emblem but they were pretty pricey for a “makeover-for-resale” project so I bought a vinyl decal from HERE and it looks great!

The details were a combination of freehand, taping and a few homemade templates. Seriously, you do not have to be super creative to do something like this…just patient and skip the coffee for a day…lol!

I sure hope Larissa believes “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

This weekend we are headed to Phoenix so I probably won’t be around next week!

Until next time…

Sparking "joy" and my thoughts on purging....

Marie Kondo,…founder of the KonMari method ….an “organizational guru” who is all the rage now thanks to her Netflix show.

Her book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” is worth the read…if nothing else it may inspire you to get off your butt and get organized!

I follow her methods to some extent…but I kinda get hung up on the “verbage.”

Tidying up is what I do before I go to bed at night…pick this up, put that away, wipe the counter down, blow the cookie crumbs off the table. ( I shared here how I keep my house “clean” and I love this blog article on “tidy people.”)

What she refers to as “tidying up” is what I call an all out “purge assault.” It is when I empty out the entire drawer, closet or dresser and toss stuff i have to think about for more than 3 seconds…none of this “does it spark joy” thing. If I have to think about it’s usefulness or importance for more than 3 seconds it’s a goner!

Joy…I actually “googled” the definition of joy…

Dictionary result for joy

/joi/

noun

  1. 1.

    a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

    "tears of joy"

    synonyms:delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, ebullience, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, transports of delight, rapture, radiance;

I guess you could say there are some innate objects that can “spark joy.” But truth be told, I am going to save that “sparking joy” feeling, in the true sense of the word, for more important things…like important people in my life…because they are what bring me “great pleasure” and true happiness.

A casserole dish…not so much! I can honestly say there is not one word in the definition of joy that describes my feelings towards a casserole dish…or a highlighter pen…or even a comfy pair of shoes.

Do I NEED a casserole dish…yes…does it “spark joy” when I hold it? Probably not.

When I cleaned out my kitchen cabinets

…I found FIVE identical casserole dishes, two of which were missing lids…the question for me was not “do they spark joy” but rather WTFrick! Do I really NEED five identical casserole dishes, two of which don’t even have lids. If I have to think about that for more than 3 seconds, the answer is no…so then I start working my way down. Four? Three? Two…yes in less than 3 seconds, so three of them got tossed (tossed meaning donated in this case!)

If you think three seconds is too short of time to make such a profound decision, ask your husband if he loves you. What would your reaction be if he hesitated for three seconds?

I truly believe if innate objects spark “joy”…if they give you feelings of “delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, ebullience, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, transports of delight, rapture, radiance”… you may need to reevaluate what is important in your life.

People…your spouse, your children, your parents, you siblings, your dear friends…this is what should “spark joy.” And I kinda have to throw my pets in there too…as frustrating as they can be at times, they do bring me “joy".”

Yes, I believe our homes should spark feelings of happiness…peace…serenity…and even joy. But I BELIEVE it should be the “whole of the sum”…not individual little “things” that spark those feelings.

Look at (or even imagine) the perfect vignette in your home…maybe a reading nook…a perfect, comfy chair with a perfect little table decorated with beautiful little knick-knacks, perfect little throw and pillow, plush little rug, a reading lamp with the perfect bulb for reading…the walls around it are decorated with beautiful botanical prints…this space does indeed “spark joy.” But is it the WHOLE space…or is it each little individual element?

If my house was on fire, would I save members of my family and pets or my “stuff?”

So how do I stay organized?

I use the “pile method.” When I was a teenager my mom went in my room and emptied EVERYTHING into a big pile in the middle of the floor…then told me I wasn’t doing anything until the pile was sorted. Ugh!!!

But you know what, I find the “pile method” works wonders…I empty the entire master closet (or kitchen drawer or makeup drawer or dresser) into a huge pile in the middle of the floor…EVERYTHING!!

First, I use this opportunity to really deep clean the empty space.

Then I start working my way through the pile.

And remember, if I have to think about something for more than 3 seconds, it gets tossed!

Trash…sometimes the “stuff” is just plain ole’ trash. I watch those “Hoarder” shows and my first thought is IT’S JUST TRASH. Now, if you have some weird attachment to what is obviously “trash” I am going to strongly suggest you get some professional help.

How do I define “trash?” Anything a NORMAL person would not want. I have a lot of paint clothes….when it is time to get rid of it, I ask myself “Would a normal person want a landscape company t-shirt covered in paint?”

Trash.

When I am purging, I always keep a “hesitation bag.” You know, that stuff you just aren’t sure you want to get rid of…the jeans you hope to someday wear again, the sweatshirt your son brought you from his vacation 5 years ago, those dishes your mom gave you for Christmas that have a fancy gold rim so you can’t put them in the microwave or the dishwasher.

Dang…do I REALLY want to get rid of those things? So I put them in my hesitation bag/box and set it in the garage. In about 2-3 weeks, I pick it up, put it in the car and drop it off at the donation center….every time! (Don’t forget to get a receipt!)

And you know what…not one time have I regretted it.

There are also those items that really don’t need to be in the space you THINK they should occupy. I have small kitchen appliances I rarely use…like the three pot slow cooker I use Thanksgiving and Christmas, the blender I use 2-3 times a year to make salsa, the large coffee pot I use 1-2 times a year when I have company. Those are all stored in the hall closet. I have a large pantry in my master closet where I store my office supplies as well as my personal care stockpile…shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lotion, soap, etc. Things you rarely use do not have to be stored in spaces that may be needed for daily use items, even though that is where you think it is SUPPOSE to go. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when you are tight on storage space!

My goal is to “purge” at least 1/2 of what is in the pile…whether it be trash, store elsewhere, donate or hesitation. I don’t always hit that goal, but I can usually make a pretty big dent. Everything put back into the space is folded neatly and clean…if I don’t want to clean it or fold it, I probably don’t care too much for it anyway…so it gets donated or trashed!

Also, I am not big on cute baskets, boxes and bins. As I have mentioned before, I like to see what I have…

(Again, you can see here how I “thought outside the box” and moved my pots and pans into the pantry.)

If things are in a box or basket, I probably don’t know what I have. If I have things that need to be organized in a box or bin (like ribbon or cords) I put them in clear storage tubs so I can see what is in there!

The older I get the less tolerant I am of “stuff.” I see all those cute organizational tools like baskets, bins and boxes and I think, “do you REALLY need all that “stuff?” How many serving spoons do you REALLY need, how many coffee cups do you REALLY need, how many RCA cables do you REALLY need!

I just don’t think “stuff” should “spark joy” in the real sense of the word.

Like everything else, I say DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU! Read the book and try this method of “tidying up.” It is a simple little read and like me, you may find motivation to “tidy up.” If the process works for you, GREAT!

If this methods gets your life and home in order, I am all for it. Because in the end, a home that is your haven, the place that brings you peace and serenity, THAT is something that sparks joy!

Herringbone dresser top....

I would love to take credit for all my incredibly creative makeovers but truth is I get a lot of inspiration from a lot of sources…Pinterest, other DIY bloggers, and random website.

This time it was my son. He found a really awesome entry bench online and built one for himself!

I shared his entry makeover here.

His girlfriend loved it so much he made her a desk for Christmas!

So when this dresser top turned out super cruddy, I decided to put a herringbone top on it.

The top is a veneer and had some “bubbling.”

I was able to sand the “bubbles” so that the top was smooth, but when I sanded, it took the stain and finish off and the gel stain just wasn’t covering it.

I could have sanded the entire top and removed all the stain and finish…or I could have painted it…. but nah….I kinda wanted an excuse to do something “different.”

Matt was out of town and couldn’t help me so he sent me THIS link…AWESOME tutorial. These girls do a bang up job on the video tutorial…if you love the look, they tell you exactly how to do it!

The top of the dresser hung over the front quite a bit so I decided to use my Kreg rip cut guide to cut down the top a tad.

My daughter got it for me for Christmas and this is the first time I was able to use it…LOVE! I have always used my “yard stick” trick to make straight cuts with my skill saw…this was SOOOO much better!!!

Using the linked tutorial, I started laying out the top. I used white pine 1x4 for the top boards and 1x2 for the edge banding.

Now, this is where I had to deviate a tad from the tutorial. Because I was covering a dresser top and not making a new top that I could flip over to cut down, I had to cut the herringbone boards from the top. If I covered the entire top before the cut, I wasn’t going to be able to “see” the edges of the existing top to know where to make my cut. So I laid all but the corner boards, used my long metal guide to draw my cut marks on all four sides, and then cut those boards first. Then I nailed down the corner pieces, marked them, and cut them.

I used a palm sander to sand all the edges before applying the trim boards around all four sides.

I puttied the holes with wood filler, let that dry, then I sanded the top and sides smooth. Remember, stain will not adhere to glue, so you want to make sure you sand well and remove any glue residue!

After sanding I applied the stain…pine does not take penetrating stain well so I used General Finishes gel stain. There will be tiny gaps between the boards…to get the stain down in between those gaps, I used a small craft brush. I sprayed on a polycrylic finish to seal it!

I had kilzed and sanded the cabinet and the drawer fronts before working on the top. After the stain dried, I painted those a “steel blue.” (Again, don’t ask me the color…it is a mix of blues and black I had on hand!)

I wanted to use the existing hardware but I wasn’t digging the original finish. I primed them with metal primer and painted them flat black…soooo much better and far cheaper than replacing it with new.

Just another “ick” saved from a life of “yuck.”

Again, you don’t have to go all fancy…I could have easily painted the top…but the tutorial on “Shanty-2-Chic” is super easy to follow!

MORE makeovers...

Surprisingly I have MORE makeovers to share. The weather has been fairly cold and dreary but we have had enough warm days here and there to get a little work done. I get kind of lazy during the winter months…when it is cold and dreary I like to curl up and read. When it is warmer, I NEED to be out working…either at the apartments or on projects.

This first dresser makeover is something you could pretty much do inside on a cold day.

The only thing I had to take it outside to do was distress and seal. But honestly you could do both inside.

I use latex paint for my chalk paint recipe (5 tbs. of Plaster of Paris, 3 tbs. of water, mixed well, then add 2 cups of flat latex paint) and that can used inside.

To do a “wet sand” you would use a sponge with a scrubby on one side…something like this…

After the second coat of chalk paint, before it has thoroughly dried, you would take your sponge, wet it (DAMP NOT DRIPPING!) and start “scrubbing” the areas you want to distress…kind of like dry sand distressing. Keep a bucket of water on hand to rinse the sponge periodically. Doing it like that cuts down on the “dust” created when you dry sand, so you can do it inside.

Then I just seal the entire piece by brushing on a polycrylic (or wax if that is your preference.)

Rather than spend the money on all new hardware, I painted the existing hardware. I use a spray primer and spray paint so that needs to be done outside…but truthfully, you could live with the existing hardware until warmer weather…or just replace it.

But all in all, you COULD do this entire project inside…and it is well worth the time when you consider how much better it looks!

This next piece pretty much had to be done outside on warmer days…I wanted a high gloss lacquer finish on the cabinet and that entails spraying. And I wanted to strip the old finish on the drawer fronts and that definitely has to be done outside.!

I removed and labeled each drawer…that is a MUST because the drawers need to go back into their original position…just mark the underside with a pencil.

I removed the old finish on the drawer fronts using THIS process! I know I refer back to this tutorial a lot, but it is the BEST way to remove old finish or paint…it works and on projects like this, it probably only took me about 30 minutes to remove the old finish on these drawer fronts. Once the old finish was removed, I applied three coats of tung oil finish, rubbing with 0000 steel wool and tack cloth between each coat.

I sprayed the “cabinet” with Kilz, sanded and wiped with tack cloth, and then sprayed 3 LIGHT coats of white lacquer (KTSP).

As you can see from the “before” picture, it did not have legs…but it would have originally and there was even places on the underside to screw in the legs. I ordered new legs HERE and stained them to match the oiled drawer fronts.

Each is completely different and each required a different technique…but both were relatively simple and make a huge impact.

AGAIN, I am sharing how easy it is to do this because AGAIN…

LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO LIVE WITH UGLY FURNITURE!



Just ANOTHER makeover!!!

A few weeks ago I promised to share some of these makeovers….

I shared the details of this one….

here….

It sold in a couple of days!

This chest was a mess…

It is solid wood and pretty sturdy. A few of the drawer tracks needed some minor repairs but all in all it was a decent piece…just super ick.

Again, I have to have my “wood fix.” Since the drawer fronts were solid wood, I decided to use gel stain on them.

First I removed all the old hardware and gave the entire piece a good cleaning with a mild detergent.

There is no need to remove the old finish when using gel stain…maybe a light sanding to remove any boogers and dull the shine on the existing finish.

I ONLY use General Finishes brand gel stain. I applied three LIGHT coats with an athletic sock over a rubber glove, allowing each coat to dry overnight. The first coat will look like crud, the second will look a tad better, the third coat looks awesome. I sprayed on polycrylic to seal them. General Finishes has a wipe-on poly and it is pretty awesome…but I had polycrylic on hand so that is what I used.

I sprayed the “cabinet” with Kilz, sand, tack and latex paint (KSTP). I ALWAYS use an additive with paints I am going to roll and brush…Flotroel for latex.

New hardware…and PRESTO….

Another piece saved from the clutches of ugly and dated!
I share these makeovers to remind you….IT’S NOT HARD to take dated, ugly furniture and turn it into something you will be proud to have in your home.

Life is too short to live with ugly furniture!

Another antique chest makeover...

I promised last week to share all the dresser and chest of drawer makeovers I have been working on. This time of the year it is tough to get a lot of work done over several days because of the temperatures…fortunately this dresser was one I could work on inside.

Takes a little “strategizing” to figure out what I need to do outside on warm days and what can be done inside on cold days.

I knew I was going to paint the cabinet so I managed to get it (and a few others) Kilzed on a warm day. I try to avoid using Kilz inside because it is SUPER stinky…and I like to use the spray kilz on smaller pieces and that can’t be done inside. Sanding and wiping with tack cloth can be done when it is a tad colder so no biggy. I had to strip the drawers and top outside, but that can be done in the cold as well. I was able to bring everything inside to oil the drawers and top and paint the cabinet!

Again, this one didn’t need any major repairs…the only real boo-boo was one missing handle. This hardware was one of the most unique I had ever seen….not only the style but the fact that it was installed “vertically” vs. “horizontally.” Different…I like…so I was determined to use as much of the original hardware as I could.

I removed all the hardware. First I primed them with “metal primer” then I sprayed them with black lacquer.

Since one of the handles was missing and I knew there was NO way I was going to find a replacement, I decided to remove the handles on the top two drawers and replace them with knobs.

That meant the holes in the top drawers had to be puttied…and there is no good way to “disguise” putty holes without painting…but the wood on these drawer fronts was so pretty I really didn’t want to paint them!

The drawer on the right has been stripped…the drawer on the left has not. I just love how “clear and clean” the wood looks after removing the old finish (I used THIS process! Super easy!)

I decided the best way to disguise the puttied holes was to paint a stripe down the drawer fronts. I did this BEFORE applying the tung oil finish.

The stripe needed to be pristine…absolutely NO bleed through…and we all know how tough that is! I read a few tutorials on preventing that…some suggested using modge-podge…one suggested using caulk. I went with the caulk suggestion and it worked like a charm.

I used blue painter’s tape to tape off my stripes, then I ran clear LATEX (NOT silicone) caulk along the edges of the tape….

Then I used my finger to “mash” the caulk along the edge of the tape and wipe off any excess. WORKED LIKE A CHARM! Zero bleed through! I used clear caulk so any caulk that bleed through didn’t show!

I painted the stripes and cabinet. I used a grey latex I had on hand. I added Floetrol…ALWAYS add a paint additive…Penetrol for oil based paints, Floetrol for latex. I use a 4”foam roller and a high quality brush to minimize brush strokes and roller marks. And again, always apply 2-3 LIGHT coats to avoid drips and runs. I oiled the drawer fronts and top with 3 coats of tung oil finish (sand and tack between coats), drilled new holes for the knobs and reattached all the hardware and PRESTO!

Cute as a bug’s ear and super simple!

I just love bringing these pieces back to life!!!!