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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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

Rusty to Refined

A few weeks ago I was picking up some chalk paint at a lovely antique place, when my wandering magpie eyes were caught by a lovely iron gate fragment.

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It had a lovely patina, but it was very rusty and the green paint all flaky and chippy. It was a lovely piece to hang on a wall, but mindful of lead paint, I had to try and sand it as much as I could before cleaning and sealing it.

This is where the comedy of errors began.

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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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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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