Friday, December 22, 2017

Last project of the year

    One of the most frustrating things about this business for me is photography.  I have tried every way I can to show the color correctly on this set and I am done!  It is actually a teal color but I just can't get it to show its "True Colors."
    This vanity is typical 50's style.  The original frame that would have held the mirror was still with it, but not very attractive, and the mirror was gone.  I added this mirror that is meant to be hung on the wall and can be hung vertically or horizontally.  The bench came with it but I reupholstered and painted it to match.  I underestimated the fabric needed slightly, sigh.....
But it is securely folded under the frame and stapled...I just did not realize there was such a long space without print on the selvedge edge.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Fail and a Fix

    My daughter asked me to paint a nursery dresser for their baby boy due in March.  It is just the right height for them to put a changing pad on and it needed to be a pretty specific size to go into the space.  What I didn't realize was how specific the color requirements for the dresser were going to be.  Dad is a hard-core Star Wars lover and mom is a huge Harry Potter fan, so this little guy is going to have a room that combines these two themes.  They are working on very specific touches to the room.  They are really cool, but so much different than traditional baby nurseries used to be.
They are still adding touches to the room, but it is really sweet and such a reflection of their personalities.  I hope to get more pictures to add at some point.
    So, I totally failed on the color for the dresser.  It was way too bright and didn't fit what they wanted at all.  Boo, I messed up.  So, paint brush in hand I returned, sanded and repainted with a different blue chalk paint.  I can't remember the name of the color, but it is so dark that at first I thought it was black.
Fix, yay!:
Matches the room so much better and my daughter is very happy with it now.  For the record, this is grandchild #14!

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Wicker child's rocker

    I bought this cute vintage style rocker a while back.  I paid a little more than I normally would, but it was a sale benefiting women and children, so I prefer to over pay a bit for charities, especially when it is by donation.  It was painted white and because of the many layers and some older repairs, it may very well be vintage.
    I chose a sunny yellow and mint that would be gender neutral.  After repairs, some of which are visible, I covered the seat with canvas, securing it with hot glue.  Several coats of poly were applied to protect the wicker and then I made a cushion with new foam and pastel dinosaur fabric.
    The floor to the seat measurement is about 10 1/2 in.  The pad is about 2 in thick.  From the floor to the top of the back is about 23 inches.
    This would be adorable in a nursery, or even at Grandma's house, where it could hold quilts between grandchild visits!
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Monday, October 30, 2017

Little Pine Chest Update

    Julie has been one of my very best customers.  She finds great pieces, and sometimes buys the ones I sell.  She has had this cute little chest for quite a while and asked me to redo it for her.  This seems to be a home made piece with wooden drawer slides.  There is a little warping, but with a little care and a lot of wax on the slides it should last a long time.
    After sanding, I applied 2 coats of shellac.  I am finding it to be worth the extra effort with older pieces of unknown history, to prevent bleed through.  White paint on the body of the dresser and a pretty mint green on the drawers, will help it to match a set of dressers in the room it will go in.  I did some distressing and enhanced it with a little black paint because the wood is so light colored.  The handles were spray painted black.    It was poly-coated  for protection.  We decided that it also makes a cute bench and she had some fabric so I made a cushion and attached it with hook and loop.  I just love how this turned out!
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Last Sign

    This is the last in a series of farmhouse type signs that I have done for my house, you can read here about the history of the boards and where I got them, here:
and see my second sign here:

    I chose this spot to hang the antiques sign because it is such an awkward little space.  Just a narrow space between two doors that has always bothered me.

    I really wanted to find a use, other than shelves for these great old boards, and I think I found the perfect one!

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sign # 2

     As I posted here
 I bought some boards that had come from a pottery factory.  I love the history of them, and they are perfect for making signs that have a worn farmhouse style.  I am working on the area below the sign so it really isn't photo-worthy yet, but I wanted to show you just how perfect these reclaimed shelves are for this purpose.

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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Mid-Century Gets a Timeworn Finish

Ok, seriously...this house is so dark, that is a shadow on the side of the dresser...I have no future in photography.  The best I can do is this attempt at staging this piece.  Also, I know there are before pictures....somewhere, the truth is, at this point there are so many pictures on this tablet that it is hard to find anything.  The only time I remember that I need to do something about it is when I need to find a specific picture, like now.
    Anyway, this is a custom dresser.  The owner wanted it to match her handmade reclaimed, wooden headboard.  I wanted a timeworn finish that was soft, rather than heavily distressed.  After sanding, my first attempts were a white pickling stain.  After a few coats in a test spot, it became obvious that it would take many, many coats to create the look I wanted.  I switched over to Rustoleum's Chalked Paint, which still took quite a few coats, because   I watered it down to give it a white washed look.  I always wait a day between coats of paint, even chalk type paints.  I just find that the paint adheres much better.  When I send a piece of furniture off to its home I want the finish to last.  I originally intended to spray paint the handles in a brushed nickel, but because of the yellowish hue, I settled on metalic aluminum.
  This is getting a rubbed wax finish and will be delivered this week.
The owner of this piece was kind enough to send me a before picture, thank you Julie!
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Farmhouse sign

  I have been wanting to make some large, rustic signs for my house for a while.  I was able to travel down to Wasilla, to the annual Picker Day event at Alaska Picker 
    I was looking forward to picking up was a few boards that I thought would be perfect for signs.  I loved the history of the boards.  They were used for drying pottery on at a factory in Sebring, Ohio.  We originally came from Indiana and Ohio, and pottery from that area, even though it is on the other side of the state is very familiar.
     For this sign, I decided I wanted white letters, so I couldn't do a transfer.  Instead, I printed out the letters, cut them out, traced them and then painted them.  The wood was very smooth and soft and took the paint easily.  I like the rounded edges.
    This sign is now above the TV in our living room.  I will be making a couple more signs for our house with the other boards.
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Tuesday, August 29, 2017


    I have wanted to re-upholster a French Provincial chair for a while.  The problem was finding one.  I just have not seen very many in my area.  I found one at a large garage sale, and while the cushions and fabric were completely shot, the frame was in great shape and the price was barely above free so I grabbed it.  Nothing screams 70's quite like green, gold, orange......unless it is satiny, green and blue.....yikes.  You can just barely get a glimpse of the chair, on the other side of this beauty, that I also snapped up.

    I ordered some beautiful pure linen old mangle cloth to re-upholster this chair with.  Mangles were used to press water out of clothing when washed.  The red stripes on either side are meant to be guide marks for loading the items into the mangle.  This is wonderful strong fabric, but not used as much as other vintage linens for upholstering, probably because the placement of the stripes usually means that they won't be on the cushions.
    I stripped the chair all the way down to the frame, painted it with white chalk paint, and topped it with matte clear sealer.  I added new webbing, cushions and the mangle cloth fabric and trimmed the chair with double welting that I made from the same mangle cloth.  This is the last project of the year that I will bring to the cabin.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Nightstand makeover

   A while back I painted a bed frame for a customer.  I used Americana Decor chalk paint in a gray color.  We were both pretty happy with the way it turned out.  When she found a nightstand that she liked, she asked me to paint it to match.  The little nightstand was painted brown, but as I removed that paint, I found that the piece was one of those gold and white french provincial style pieces.  Wow, there are so many of these still floating around!  This one had the dreaded plastic legs.  Actually, they aren't bad to paint, you just don't want to use stripper on them because it causes pitting.
    I almost forgot to take a before picture.  Since this is not the most flattering picture, forgetting it probably would have been ok....
    I painted the pretty handle white for a nice contrast.  Now this little piece matches the bed in my customer's guest room.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Quick project

    I love these nice wooden trays.  They are so plain, but are so much fun to give a make
    I painted the tray with white chalk paint and then used an image from The Graphics Fairy.  I have used polyacrylic a couple of times to transfer an image and it has worked really well.  After spraying with a sealer it is done, and at the cabin
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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Drexel Mid-Century Makeover

    This mid-century modern dresser had been in storage for a very long time.  These legs may not be original, but they fit perfectly.  This dresser has a really low profile, which means that it would be a great piece for a child's room, where tall dressers are sometimes dangerous and present a climbing hazard.  It would also be a good piece in a living room, or family room, as an entertainment center.

Not sure what I was thinking with this before shot....sigh...  One drawer was beyond repair.  I kept the bottom from it and it can slide out so could be used for a dvd player.  I wanted to give it a look that would coordinate with its military, campaign style, so chose this very dark blue and then gold for the feet and handles.  I added some cute shelf paper with anchors to complete the look.  The dimensions of this piece are 27 in tall, 54 long and 19 wide.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017


    I acquired this hutch for $50, right after we tore out some of our cupboards, and luckily for me it fit the space and had lots of storage room!  It is massive, all solid wood with no veneer.  I am so glad it has wheels, it is very heavy.
    BP Bond was a German immigrant, born in 1874, who moved with his family to America as a young boy.  As a teenager, he  began working at another furniture company  but eventually came to own his own company which was very successful.
  The style of this piece would be called Colonial Revival, with its railings and spoon holders.  It was manufactured in 1964.  Not an antique by any means, but it is really a great piece of furniture.  I updated it with paint, left off the small doors and did a bit of stenciling and transferred a rose on one door.  I think the
update was just right for this piece!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Mahogany bar, Entry piece, Small buffet....You decide!

    I love this piece!  I love mahogany anyway, but I think it is stunning.  I bought it from a friend a while back.  I'm pretty sure it is another military mahogany piece that came from one of the nearby bases.  Sturdy and beautiful, these stand the test of time and I almost always prefer to refinish these beauties instead of painting them.

    I was especially happy to find out this had rubber wheels and rolls easily from place to place.  I think the original shelves were replaced with plywood, so I lightly sanded and refinished them also.  I usually use red mahogany, but this time used Minwax Bombay Mahogany Polyshades.  It is really dark, and I think it really has an elegant look.  On top of that I used a fast drying poly for protection.  I am really happy with the way this turned out.  It will
be headed to the cabin tomorrow!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Beautiful Buffet

   If you have ever read this blog then you probably have the impression that I love Mid-Century Mahogany furniture, and you would be spot on.  It is so pretty and elegant.  It can always be given a modern twist with accessories and I think the pieces are far more beautiful when they have not been painted.  In order to paint it properly, there are also extra steps that need to be taken so unless I am doing  custom work, refinishing is always my choice for mahogany.
    This buffet had some damage and was in need
a good cleaning.
    After the buffet was cleaned and sanded, I applied Minwax Polyshades.
I used several coats of Minwax fast drying Polyurathane for extra protection.
The handles needed some cleaning up also but I try not to remove all of the patina.  I am really not interested in making these pieces look new.  I want them to look good, but not erase their history. 
    This beauty is on hold and pending
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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Blue and white bench

   Ok another before picture fail.  But can we talk...microfiber?  How about beige microfiber?  Honestly, I really don't like the stuff.  I don't like the way it feels, spots and collects hair...eeek.  This bench was well made and just needed an update.  I love the combo of the white and blue fabric with the european feedsack fabric❤
    Of course all re-upholstery, or what I refer to as "expensive wrestling matches" with large pieces of furniture, begin with the requisite removal of about 3 billion staples.  I also removed the legs, sanded, chalk painted and waxed them.  All of the padding and foam was in great shape and re-usable.  The frame was nice sturdy wood.  I used the pretty blue and white fabric on the arms and apron.  I backed the fabric on the arms with a heavier canvas type material for re-enforcement.  The feed sack fabric is 60-100 year old european handwoven fabric.  I love the look and feel of this!  One of the challenges on this piece getting the fabric folded nicely on the arms.  I covered button blanks with the blue and white fabric and sewed them on with waxed upholstery thread.  I wish I had done a couple of things differently, but over all I am happy with it.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Piece I almost passed up

    I did not get any before pictures of this nice piece...again.  I nearly passed it by.  Usually pieces that are similar to this are not made of wood and not very well made.  This is nicer, made of wood and quite a bit heavier than I expected.  The finish was a bit worn and the knob was a dated white floral porcelain knob.  I wanted to give this a more stately,  distinguished look.  The finish was freshened up with Minwax Polyshades in my favorite mahogany of course!  Two coats of a top coat for protection and a new knob and this piece is ready for a new home.  This could be used as a telephone stand, an entry way piece, with a lamp and a basket for your keys, or a table to hold a special statue, or even your silver tea set!  This will be at the cabin tomorrow!