Monthly Archives: August 2012
You know when you have one of those days where everything seems to go wrong? That was today for me. Before I was even out of bed I had a grouchy teenager yelling at me that I had washed the wrong shorts for her last night. Pretty sure she was lucky I washed any shorts for her.
My husband’s car was being worked on, so after having only two hours of sleep last night (insomnia) I had to take my daughter to school and him to work. I had a doctor’s appointment so I had to kill and hour and 1/2. So of course I went to some yard sales. They were total duds.
I arrived at my doctor’s appointment and they informed me that she was in surgery and I would have to come back tomorrow. Seriously? I was so tired and cranky at that point I thought the reception’s unwillingness to pull my doctor out of an operation for me would result in her own would need for a teeny bit of surgery.
Anyway, I drove 15 minutes back home and as I’m pulling into the driveway my aunt calls with a tip on a great desk which was all the way across town. Of course it was.
So I flip around, find this desk (in a questionable part of town) and ask if anyone can help me load it into my car. The nice lady said she would help but she had a bad back. So she helped me but it was basically with all the strength that her pinky finger had. This is a seriously heavy desk to lift alone.
So by the time I was finished I was drenched in sweat. This desk had apparently been HEAVILY smoked around for the last 50 years and now my car stinks like an ashtray. So I finally get home, try to take a nap, and in one hour of rest I get six phone calls.
So much for the nap. Anyway that’s enough of my crabby rant.
On a brighter note this is a little stand I got at a yard sale for $4. It was an ugly chocolate brown. I used a pretty aqua on it, distressed, glazed and waxed.
My aunt called me about a dresser at an estate sale. I drove down to find this pretty little dresser that needed some work.
I sanded and sanded and sanded! This paint did not want to come off. So I decided stripper was the answer.
No it really wasn’t. It just turned into a gooey mess.
So, back to the sanding. This paint had obviously been on there for a realllly long time.
After the many days of sanding were finally over I started to paint. I used a light blue chalk paint on it. I went over the raised filigree with an iridescent white paint. It turned out really sweet.
A nice couple who were expecting bought it for their nursery.
This has been my most challenging project to date.
I bought this dresser off craigslist. We drove a long way to see it (my husband was super excited about that), and it was a definite fixer upper. It was totally dated and smelled really bad.
I thought it had some serious potential though. My husband did not. I think his exact words were “this is crap, nothing can be done with this, just walk away”. He has no vision.
So we piled it in the car along with the matching headboard, and we were on our smelly way home.
Cleaning this was disgusting. All of the grooves in the carving required hours of work and many nasty q-tips.
Once clean I painted with chalk paint. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It soaked up the paint like nothing I had ever seen. Five coats later it was finished.
I then started the glazing process. It took forever. Getting the right amount into the carving without getting too much was sooo hard. If too much got in I had to go in with a toothpick wrapped in cloth to get it out.
I then glazed the top. I looked down and a huge patch of glaze soaked in way too much. So here I was with this dark spot right on the top of this dresser I painted 5 times! Determined to make this work, I then started dry brushing on the stain and it started evening out. Thank heavens!
After several coats of wax later, it was finally finished. The pictures don’t do it justice. It turned out to be my favorite piece.
I really had to think hard about whether I wanted to sell it or not. Monica, the nice lady who bought my blue desk, bought it to hang her tv above.
I bought this coffee table at a yard sale for $12. Great deal! It had a neat shape and great carving. It was an ugly brown and had a circle around the top of it that was inlaid with some other type of wood.
I painted the whole thing turquoise but the ring still showed through. I added a couple more coats of paint but it was still there, it just looked like a bad cover up job. So I paid my dear daughter to use a tiny paint brush and paint the ring brown. I then lightly sanded over it but it took off a huge chunk of it! Then I thought I would paint the whole top of the table brown and maybe I would sand the ring and the turquoise would show through. No dice, it looked weird. So I had to putty over the whole ring, sand it down, and start over. Ugh! In the end it turned out really pretty but I put way too much effort into the silly thing. I forgot to take a before picture (I have a hard time remembering to do that) but here is the after.
Today has been a busy day, I am working on a dresser that is taking me foooorrreeevvveer to do. I bought it from a man on craigslist for a great deal. Now I know why. It has been spray painted to death. It’s so thick that it’s like a rubber coating. I knew it was bad when I put the stripper on it and it just sat there. So I put more on and nothing. So I have had to peel the layers of spray paint off, which I did outside in 100+ heat for days. After getting that off I was so excited (sarcasm) to find at least 3 layers of oil based paint and under that at least 2 layers of some kind of questionable paint. So needless to say I am not quite in love with this dresser as I was before. It is now painted and I am finally finished distressing as of 5 minutes ago Yay!
I thought I would share with you a side table I did for my mom. I got it at a garage sale for $3. It was in really bad shape. It had a leather insert on the top of the table which had mostly rotted away. I had no idea what to do with this missing square on top it was so thin it would be almost impossible to fit wood in there. At Lowes I found some wallpaper that was pretty durable and had a raised design to it. So I decided to stain the wallpaper with the same color I did the top of the table. I then put a poly over it to make it more durable. I painted the bottom of the table an ivory and distressed it
Ok, I’m officially starting my own blog. I’m not sure when I’m going to have time to do it or who is going to be interested in reading it, but here goes.
About six months ago, I started buying vintage furniture, redoing it, and then selling it on craigslist. I put the first piece on having no expectations of anyone really buying it. They did though, and lots more since then.
I have sold every piece I have finished and am getting decent prices for it. People keep telling me I’m selling things too cheap but the fact is, I want it to sell quickly. I have no place to store all of this stuff–something my husband tells me daily.
I’ve been thinking about contacting a place in town (Wichita, KS) that sells furniture like I do but they 1. are way on the other side of town, 2. take a pretty good-size commission, and 3. I have been selling my things so quickly that I would have to stockpile quite a few pieces to make the trip worthwhile, and then we come back to the storage issue again. So I guess for now I will keep doing things the way I have been since it seems to be working.
My goal for this blog is to share some tips, show some before and after photos, and have a place to list all of the items I have for sale.
If people are coming here looking for some expert advice they are coming to the wrong place. Most of what I do is complete trial and error. Most of the time what I envision a piece to be and what it actually turns out to be are two totally different things.
On almost every piece there seems to be some giant obstacle to overcome. Whether the paint turns out a different color, or there turns out to be 52 layers of paint to strip off, or something is so decorative and ornate that it takes me weeks (and millions of Q-tips and toothpicks to glaze).
Overall, I enjoy these projects (or at least most of these projects) and it’s a good way to earn a little extra money. My teenager is going to need a car in the next year and any extra money will come in handy.
Here is one of my first projects. I bought this old desk off craigslist. Originally I was going to paint it black. So I sanded it down (my least favorite part) layered on 3 coats of latex paint.
My dear hubby told me it would be fine to wax over latex, so that’s what I did. Did it work? Not so much
I buffed and buffed that thing but no matter what it looked like there was Vaseline smeared all over it. I was not happy. So then what?
I heard about chalk paint. I researched chalk paint but it turned out to be $42 a pint! Too steep for me. So I decided to make my own. Once I got a batch made up, I had no idea how it would do over a piece that already had been painted with latex and waxed. What did I have to loose?
I put two layers of the turquoise over the black and nothing disastrous happened. It was incredibly bright so I decided to make my own glaze and try it out. I used a black glaze over it and it toned it down just the right amount. I added some fun new handles and Ta Da!! It looked pretty darn good.