Showing posts with label furniture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label furniture. Show all posts

a wormy chestnut shutter cabinet


I'm sometimes on the sly, lightly listening for gift ideas when talking to friends and family. My MIL gave me the perfect idea as we walked into the hobby store one day after she spotted a shutter cabinet she said she'd like.

They have an old farm house and 100+ year old farmhouse shutters just waiting to be made into something beautiful. I took four and made them into a room divider screen and my FIL made the same. Both are yet waiting to be painted (it's quite a job!) but somehow I convinced him to help me make her a shutter cabinet as a Christmas surprise from all of us.

The idea in my head was something like this.

What actually came out was simpler, but it ended up being just right. He actually made it all ... and I painted the shutters. BUT, I have to say, it was my idea, so I can take the credit for that, right? He just gets the credit for all the hard work. ;-) Either way, it was an idea and labor of love. He had the original hinges sandblasted (they look brand new - amazing) and had some rare wormy chestnut boards planed, joined, and sanded to make the cabinet body. The boards were originally wide baseboards in the farmhouse!! SO cool to reuse and reclaim to make something beautiful.

And here is the final piece. The first pictures show the original color shutters (old green) and the cabinet as she saw it on Christmas morning. We wanted to surprise her but we also wanted her to pick the color - so we didn't paint them until after we gave it to her.

And after painting! She picked the prettiest color - the pictures don't do it justice. It's a greige (Rustoleum's chalk paint color - Pebble) and absolute perfection. You can see the dings and imperfections in the antique shutters - no sanding these, just a fresh coat of paint. They aren't supposed to look perfect and new. My FIL oiled the wood for a natural finish and voila!

An in-kitchen reclaimed shutter cabinet pantry.

More furniture transformations! (and the booth currently)


I found this night stand at the thrift store for $10. I usually like to find the projects that are a lot of work for free so I can just chuck them if they get to be too much work. But, since I paid for this one I kept going. It. was. a. mess. There was a coat of gray underneath this gross, thick badly painted coat of gel stain. Halfway stained. The gray paint was everywhere inside. WHO PAINTS SIDES AND RAILS OF DRAWERS?! The paint was dripping, on the drawer runners, etc. So bad.

I fixed up a few chipped spots with wood filler and then tried to strip this baby. Again, I made a huge mess and SO much work for myself. I left my mineral spirits at home when I worked on this project in Arkansas, so the stripper and leftover paint/stain dried to it. I had to resand everything down after I restripped it. So gross. It took hours.

But here it is!!

My dad helped me clean up the drawers and I finally was able to stain the top and repaint the rest.
There is no way I'll get the money out of this that the time I put into it deserves, but I'll have the satisfaction knowing that I saved it, right? And it will have a new life? And hopefully I'll learn my lesson on what pieces are actually worth the time and effort!? Or maybe not... haha!

Here's a solid wood pedestal from a friend. It didn't quite fit into my ruined-wood-that-needs-to-be-painted category, but it wasn't an antique either. I immediately envisioned it in Napoleonic Blue chalk paint and it had to be so. I think it has so much more character ... and the blue is gorgeous!

You can see some brush strokes, but that's chalk paint for you and I don't mind at all. And look at those little brass feet! So cute.


Here's a mid century style desk with 70s finishings, BEFORE. (The Goodwill guy that loaded it into my car tried to put it in with all of the drawers still in it - which resulted in him dumping them out onto the pavement. Two were broken apart, but thankfully at the dovetail joints where I could easily glue them back together. But still, more work for me!)

I researched the best brass spray paint and purchased it. I was finally ready to give those ugly pulls a spray and at the last moment decided to use some Bar Keeper's friend cleaning powder on it. With a little elbow grease, I revealed the actual brass handles. People, I was about to paint real brass handles fake brass!! AHH! They aren't perfect but scrubbed up well and while not perfect, they look. so. good. I returned the paint (all the wiser to the best brass spray paint for next time) and returned the hardware to its rightful places. 

And here is the after!! Not too shabby for a tiny bit of semi-gloss paint and a $10 thrifted desk.

And here are photos of the booth currently. My friend, Sarah got a chance to mark some of her fun finds - most of the smalls will be hers because mine are almost all gone!

Will update when things change significantly - we have a mid century modern month coming up and both of us are getting ready for it! So excited!

A (new) antique booth and some furniture transformations!


I have fun news! Since the beginning of February, I've been filling my own antique booth! Mostly with lavender and furniture transformations, but also a smattering of vintage and antiques that I dug up around my home. Mostly, I want to do furniture fix-ups, so I was hoping my friend would join me with her smalls - and after 6 weeks she has! The projects below were the first I put in the booth.

Our neighbor randomly gave me this tri-foot antique table but the base and veneer was badly cracked. Thankfully it was still very sturdy but I put a lot of time (and wood filler!) into this table. It was the perfect candidate for a chalk paint makeover. After I put Bondo on and filled and sanded the top, I painted it with a couple of coats of Annie Sloan's Napoleonic Blue and waxed it with clear and dark wax. The lion pull was on it before I got it, but isn't the original drawer pull. But it was the last perfect touch to complete it.


The table sold on the same day as these ladderback chairs. They were a sorry sight sitting by the dumpsters, but I snagged them and planned to redo them. With a booth move-in deadline on the horizon I quickly got to work. They turned out more distressed than I wanted them (I wanted the chalk paint to be super smooth but the burnishing took off more paint than I wanted - so I'm going to stick with latex paint for my non-distressed white looks). My plan was to make farmhouse style seat covers for the ruined rattan, but I came across a cute woven seat randomly online - so I saved myself a little money and a TON of time by using jute webbing and totally replacing the seats. I did this by hand so I labeled then as "occasional" chairs. Ladderbacks aren't the most comfortable seats so I could envision them on either side of a buffet to be used only when the table was full and extra seats were needed.

Without further ado, here is the BEFORE (well, partial during):

And, the AFTER!! Look at those seats - so cute!

Here's how my booth looked in February. The lavender was so popular - it sold out in that first month!

I've been contemplating opening a booth for several years so while it was overly stressful to be up and running in 3 weeks, I'm so pleased with how it came together and am excited for the months to come! It's month to month so if things don't go well, I may not continue, but it was worth the risk just to try. I love selling my creative work!

Side table Makeover!


A little table was sitting by the dumpster one day. It looks incredibly similar to the nightstand in our daughter's room that I found for $5 at the thrift store. (Dad, you still get the credit for painting it!) Small, but sturdy. And solid wood.

This one had a really sad, weird, spray on finish that was obviously a DIY fail.

Ew. So I thought the best (read: easiest and fastest) thing to do was take a little stripper to the drip spots, call it good and paint over everything.

Well, I used the stripper outside, and I quickly found that wasn't the best idea. For some reason the stripping solution immediately dried in the sun and was then worthless. What was supposed to be a quick fix turned into several hours of applying more stripper (this time in the basement), realizing it wasn't taking all of the finish off and proceeding to strip AND sand the entire rotten piece down.

It got pretty ugly.

But after a couple of painful moments, she was ready to paint! It took several weeks for me to find the time and energy to paint, burnish and wax (my son is quite the handful these days) but I finally finished it last week.

And here is the after!

It's lightly distressed although I was attempting to not distress at all. In the burnishing (sanding) process, more of the paint came off than I wanted to because of all the edges to sand, so I just went with it because I was planning to sell the piece anyway. I used a furniture wax to seal it, painted the stained drawer bottom, and drilled a hole for the pretty new knob. Voila!

It sold tonight and now I have money to buy more paint to move on to my next furniture project: my handmade hope chest.

once an ottoman, twice DIYed


Over three years ago, I redid our sadly chewed up Target storage ottoman with a slip cover. It was literally the only piece of furniture we bought after we got married. (sniff) Of course, the puppy chewed that one.

After using it daily, the cover needed a wash, so I did. But I'd forgotten that I didn't preshrink the fabric the first time around, so ... it shrunk. Ugh.

Oh well, we kept using it.

And then it got really, really dirty (think toddler, dog, husband, me...) and began to come apart in places and it was time for a change.

(problem) Not to mention, I was struggling with solutions for toy storage space ...  I had thought about an open coffee table with rolling crates underneath, a different coffee table and storage crates beside the couch, a vintage trunk, etc.

A couple of friends nixed the vintage trunk route because the lids are often very heavy and suggested a storage ottoman. Yes, well, I have a storage ottoman but it is being used to house photos and a few wedding memorabilia. And the slip cover is a pain and a half to get off/get on every time my toddler wants to get in it. It just wouldn't be good for toys.


(solutions) A couple of weeks later, I thought, "Why not use it and just change it up? Isn't that what I've been talking about on my blog?!" So I scanned all of the old photos except for one album from my travels in Europe from 2006 and our wedding album. 360+ photos are gone from my life but still accessible on the computer. Decluttering is beautiful.

I made room in my linen closet for the wedding box.

And then I decided to rip the upholstery off the ottoman and slap some wood slats on the outside for a completely different look. Storage for toys that looks a lot better than it did. Away with thee, slipcover!!

Ladybug and I went to visit my parents over spring break, so I decided to shove the torn-apart ottoman in the back of the car and ask my dad to help me fix it up.

My idea: slap some wood on the outside, maybe sand and stain.

My Dad's idea: un-upholster the entire thing, take it completely apart, cut it down so the lid would fit with an extra 3/4" of wood added to the outside, put the box back together and then painstakingly fit each piece of wood to the outside.

Of course, we did it the right way.

Here goes!

First, we took all of the upholstery off (including all 1,000 staples) and took the entire box apart to hopefully reuse. Then we cut about 1-1/2" off each piece and used an electric nail gun to put it back together (yay!). We put the inside upholstery back in as we went.

Each board was cut at a 45 degree angle (LOTS of 45 degree angles, compound angles, too) to create an interesting pattern and then we glued and fitted pieces of free oak flooring - leftover from a kitchen flooring project - to cover the entire ottoman. This about tripled its weight. In a good way. 

After piecing it all together, it the edges weren't totally even, so we took the circular saw and evened out the top and bottom edges. While cutting the pieces, we were reminded to not cut pieces of wood that are too small. Right, Dad?

And here it is!! After I took it home, I sanded it, stained it with Dark Walnut and sealed it with three coats of polycrylic.

I had to make-do with the upholstery, so I covered up the lip with brown scraps and re-stapled the inside upholstery up. Final step was to screw the legs back in and install a length of chain since the lid mechanism didn't work with the new, smaller box size. I don't love seeing the staples, but it really isn't a big deal as the lid is closed most of the time.

And the toys are officially hidden from sight!

Finally, a satisfactory solution to my toy dilemma. It's a more masculine look than I usually go for, but I really like it. And it's still very comfy to prop up on and type a blog post (wink).

 With a 5x7 clearance jute rug from Target, I think it looks smashing!

Third time's a charm?

I sure hope so.

DIY: Antique Barn Door Headboard


Tools: Miter saw, saw horses, router, wood glue, finishing nails, a pneumatic staple gun, and your dad to do the trigonometric calculations.

Supplies: reclaimed wood, old barn door, 2x6 for French cleat, wood screws

Now someone just needs this beauty in their home!