A Chair Named Gilda

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of giving an old vanity bench a makeover.

Ok, I started this bench months ago, but wasn’t motivated to finish it because I couldn’t decide on upholstery for the cushion. Enter my friend who loved the size of the bench and asked for something “girlie” for her daughter. She opted for a fuzzy fabric resembling a poodle’s fur. It was a nightmare to deal with because it is not very opaque, so I had to cover the bright green foam cushion before I could upholster it, and also because cutting it meant a ton of fluff flying around the house competing with the vast amount of dog hair.

I have yet to figure out how it got in my socks.

Anyway, I was left with a scrap of poodle hide and was sorely tempted to toss it. Actually went so far as to put it in a bag and tied it up and put it out in the trash bin. But my conscience was nagging at me. I hate, hate tossing anything out that can be of use later, even as a cleaning rag. So… I dug it back out and put it in the scrap basket thinking to use it later in a pillow, or as a hairshirt. And as I was walking outside to organize all of my spray paint, I saw the cane back chair and an idea was born. Meet Gilda!!

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Different Redo

I am in a frenzy to redo and flip a lot of my garage stuff because a friend would like to see about taking it on consignment. Her stuff is more vintage and shabby chic than mine, but she is willing to entertain the idea of my eclectic style. Here’s hoping!

Two weeks ago, I found an old night table at the thrift store. It was only $10, but it was solid wood. I looked it over and figured the dents and scratches would stand out if I went in a shabby direction, so I snagged it.

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See the dings and dents? I didn’t worry too much over them, since I was going to distress the piece after I painted it. I did three coats of Annie Sloan’s Duck Egg and then distressed it with sandpaper. I sealed it in dark wax, and then went back and removed the extra dark wax with clear wax.

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You can enlarge the photo so you can see the distressing. I also painted the inside of the drawer in Old White. It came out so pretty. I love the color for bed and bath, and I think this is a nice piece for either room. I can even see it in a living area, with a comfy reading chair and a bunch of books inside.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Renewed Relic

My grandmother had a beautiful vanity made from mahogany. It had a very large round mirror and a set of drawers on either side of the small vanity chair. I loved it, and have wanted one similar for a very long time. Unfortunately the ones I have come across tend to be very pricey or have been painted. Fortunately, a few weeks ago I came across a piece that was similar in shape to my grandmother’s vanity. It was just one set of the drawers and very cheap, but it had enough space to store my unmentionables while being small enough in profile to fit in my closet.

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You can see the sad state it was in. I must have found at least 50 spider sacs and insect carcasses in the drawers and inside the cabinet, not to mention years of grime and dirt. The veneer was very rough and the knobs didn’t match, though one of the knobs was made of bakelite and I shall be using it in another project. Continue reading

Trash is My Kryptonite

And I mean that in the coolest way possible.

A few weeks ago, I was driving through the neighborhood next to mine when my eye was caught by a stubby leg sticking out of a trash heap. It was a plant stand. I snagged it, thinking to use the spindles for some other project. Upon inspection, it only needed a few new screws and some wood filler to make it sturdy again.

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I love the spindles. They give it such character. I was tempted to use a simple whitewash and distress it, but decided to use chalk paint in a light turquoise color, because I want it to stand out. I have to admit, most of the pieces I flip I redo as statement pieces (the red and gold accent table comes to mind), because they are small. If this had been a shelf unit of a dresser, I would have whitewashed and distressed to make it blend into the background.

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A Table to Flip

But not in anger, I assure you. I have really, REALLY enjoyed using chalk paint lately. So much so that every single frame in the house is looking like a viable candidate for a makeover. Instead, I decided to try my hand at furniture, as you saw from the previous blog post. This time I went in a different direction, using vibrant color and glaze to update a decrepit old Florentine table that had seen better days, way back in the 50’s most likely.

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I found her at a thrift shop for about $20, and just had to have her. Her lines were perfect. The gilt was flaking off and it had several scrapes and scratches, but nothing that sanding wouldn’t repair.

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Those legs are soooooo sexy, no? But as much as I liked the flaky gilt, it had to go. The restoration would have been fruitless considering the damage:

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A friend has a liking for the Far East, so I thought this would make a nice addition for his man cave. Sure, the table screams GIRL!!! but the right color and treatment will make it scream EMPRESS.

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Fun With Chalk Paint

Some of y’all who read Sithy Things know I have been on a crafting/upcycling binge. I should be posting my projects, but most are for Christmas gifts so I can’t. I hope to post my Christmas ornament soon, though. It’s easy to make and so pretty!

Anyway, I decided to explore the wonderful world of chalk paint. I have used it on small projects like frames and even vases, but I really wanted to try it on furniture. Unfortunately, all of the furniture I have collected is in really good condition, so I was loathe to cover any of it with paint. But finally I got lucky, and found a cheap little table on which to work chalk paint magic.

And it was so easy!!!!!

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That’s the table before the transformation. It is particle board and veneer, and also has a decorative drawer pull in 80’s brass. It wasn’t bad but the veneer was beginning to chip.And here is the after:

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Isn’t she a beauty???

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ in Paris Grey for the legs and Graphite for the top. I painted three coats of each and let it cure for a day. I then followed with an application of clear wax, buffed and let dry for a day, before doing an application of dark wax to enhance the graphite and age the grey. Then I used Rust-Oleum™ spray paint in Oil Rubbed Bronze on the drawer pull. And all I did was follow the directions on the paint cans.

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A better photo of the top. It looks a slate blue in the photo, but it’s a beautiful dark grey as it is. The dark wax brings the color to a very soft black.

Chalk paint is very forgiving and best of all, you don’t need to do a lot of prep to use it. No sanding or priming is necessary. All you need to do is clean the item you wish to paint well, and go from there. I splurged on the paint, but there are lots of recipes for homemade chalk paint on Pinterest that are far more thrifty and enable you to use any leftover interior paint you may have laying around.

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

From Vase to “Vahse”

I have never understood the different pronunciations for the word “vase”. My dad told me once that it depended on the vase’s value. That may be fake, but it’s accurate! Anyway, I remember seeing this simple tutorial from Two Twenty One for a painted vase, and dug around my stash of thrift store glassware for some small vases I remembered snagging for a nickle a piece. I found my gold spray paint, newspaper, and paint tape and got to work.

First, you need to clean your vase thoroughly, and then wipe down with alcohol (isopropyl, not bourbon). Next, take a strip of painter’s tape and adhere around the vase, making sure to keep it even and seal the edge that will be against the paint. Now take another strip of tape, and tape the newspaper around the vase right on the first strip, careful not to cover the bottom edge of the first strip. Tuck the paper into the vase to make sure you don’t spray paint in it. Careful do a second wiping of the exposed glass, let it dry, and then spray in short even bursts. One coat is usually enough, but two will even out the coverage. After drying, remove the tape strips and VOILÁ!!!

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How cute are they?? I just love how they turned out, and like grouping them together. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them, but I can see placing a pretty bloom in each one and clustering them on a dresser or a vanity. I also took the opportunity to paint two “Pro-Flowers” vases I had collecting dust in the garage. I plan on using them to flank a future project for the fireplace area.

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All I did was clean out the inside of each vase and wipe down with alcohol, then sprayed Looking Glass spray paint from Krylon™ on the inside. Unlike the gold paint, the looking glass paint needs several coats to cover well, and you have to do short, light bursts. Otherwise the paint will streak and run. These took five coats each to finish. If my tutorial is a little confusing, hit the link above and Chelsea will walk you through it. Check out her blog for other DIYs, too.

Thanks for stopping by!! 🙂

Jewel in a Dust Heap

Y’all know I am an avid thrift store junkie. There have been times I have gotten lucky and found some beautiful antiques like glassware and china and even a book or two. Most of the time the stuff is in very good condition and only requires a handwashing. Sometimes they are beyond repair but still have charm and beauty in them. Once in a while, I find something that does require a healthy amount of elbow grease but at a loss as to how to go about restoring it. This time I was determined to find a way.

Last week, I was checking out a local antique store and was lucky enough to snag a cute little vintage evening purse. I love the things, though I seldom justify their use. Still, they look cute on a shelf. The owner pointed out a new find she had from an estate sale: a small Lucite purse. I was fascinated but it was very rusty and dirty.

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Going For Glam

I have noticed a trend on design sites lately. Gold is making a comeback, and a big one at that. Last year it was mercury glass, and this year is soft, glowing GOLD! I have a stash of wine and liquor bottles in the garage that I have been saving to decorate with my brother’s girlfriend, who is a crafting wizard. No, I don’t need an intervention. I have been saving the bottles for a couple of years, people.

Stop judging me!

Anyway, I decided that while my Aggies were being massacred by Alabama’s Crimson Tide, I would do some crafting instead of crying. So I got some of the more interesting shaped bottles and some old vases that didn’t go with anything, and grabbed spray paint, ribbon, burlap, flowers, and hot glue gun and got to work.

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What you’ll need:

  • Random bottles, vases, or containers.
  • Spray paint in your choice or color(s).
  • Rubbing alcohol.
  • Embellishments of your choice, like ribbon, fabric, twine, burlap, flowers, etc.
  • Hot glue gun, or whichever kind of glue you prefer.

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Apothecaries For the Bath

I know, I know… I haven’t posted anything in a while. That’s not to say I haven’t been busy, though. Kids’ school and extracurricular activities, as well as family get-togethers all have conspired to keep me from posting. Well, from posting a craft or three here. But not to worry. I finally have some time to ruin my nails, glue my fingers, get paint in my hair get crafty again.

One thing that drives me absolutely bonkers is the kids asking me where such-and-such is, specifically something in their OWN bathroom that they can’t seem to find because of all the assorted crap they have stored under the sink. After the third time in week of being asked where the cotton swabs were, I went and gutted the storage under the sink, to find not one, not two, but THREE packages of cotton swabs. Needless to say, I was not happy. I decided then and there to get some bath jars at the store for cotton swabs, cotton balls, and sundry stuff that they needed regularly. I found some that I really liked, but they were rather pricey considering they were designed to hold such humble things. So I got the idea to make my own from my junk stash.

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What you’ll need:

  • Lidded candle jars
  • E-6000™ glue
  • Wood dowel endcaps (found in the woodworking section of Hobby Lobby™ or Michaels™)
  • Alcohol and paper towels (not pictured)
  • Choice of spray paint and primer (not pictured)
  • Cheap candlestick (optional)

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