Category Archives: Treasures

Before & After: the one where I’m like “eh”

Hi there – another project to share with you today. I’ll admit right up front that I’m not super happy with this one…I don’t think it’s bad, but it’s not as exciting to me as my first project was. I think this is just sort of a dull project…how’s that for selling it? Anyway, here’s where we started:

That’s not a great picture, but you get the idea. This is one of the pieces we picked up at the Habitat For Humanity ReStore a few months ago, for just $20! Our plan is to use this on our back porch (which is screened) to house the stereo we have out there. To get started, I took off the doors and removed the drawer, then gave it all a light sanding. I wasn’t trying to remove the original finish, just wanted to rough it up a tiny bit before painting.

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) again for this project, starting with the new Graphite color that I recently ordered. My plan was to cover it with the Graphite, then go back over it with my new Aubusson Blue, and then distress it so that the Graphite showed through here and there. So I got to it, covered the body with Graphite, then Aubusson Blue…and then I just really wasn’t too sure about it.

The picture above is really just to show the contrast between the two colors. The doors, drawer, and bottom of the table are still just painted with Graphite, and the body of it shows the extra layer of Aubusson. I think the Aubusson is a very pretty blue…but I just really didn’t like it for this piece. I did really like the Graphite by itself, though. SO…I painted another coat of Graphite over the body and went from there. I did decide that I wanted to draw attention to the trim details on the doors, so I painted them with the Aries color of ASCP that I sampled with my last paint order. Here’s a shot right after I painted them, before distressing:

(Sorry for the differences in lighting between these last 2 pics…I really need to work on my photo skills for a while.)

From this point, I got to work on distressing…I ended up sanding the Aries paint down quite a bit to reduce the contrast of the yellow. I also used some dark wax on the doors to give them some age. On the rest of the table, I did some sanding to get some bare wood showing on the edges, then went over it with clear wax. You can also see some Aubusson Blue showing through here and there…which I’ll admit was not intentional, and was really just a result of having really bad lighting in my workspace so that I didn’t see those spots until after I was done. I was too lazy to fix those, so there ya go. I am not a role model! Anyway…here’s where I landed:

I picked up the new hardware at Lowe’s, except for the hinges – those are the original ones, just painted with Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. I really like the new hardware…but I am thinking about going over the yellow on the doors again, with some watered down Graphite or something…I think I just want them a bit more muted.

Oh, I also put a coat of polyurethane over this whole thing, since it’s going outside. I only did one coat, even though 3-4 coats were recommended. I did this 1) because I’m lazy and impatient, and 2) because I was worried about it giving a shine to the piece (even though I did use a satin poly), and I don’t want this to look glossy. We’ll see how that one coat of poly holds up. Fingers crossed!

So, in summary, we went from here:

to here:

Whatta ya think?


Before & After: Framed.

Remember this lovely framed picture I picked up from Goodwill a few weeks ago?

I did stuff to it!

I started with a base coat of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Old White, just to get rid of that awful beigey tan.

Then I broke out my as-yet-untouched chalk paint – Antibes Green. [dramatic music]

That is really green, and I love it! I decided, though, that I wanted to tone it down a bit for this project. I mixed some Antibes Green with some Old White to soften it…and, well, I really just ended up with mint green. I should have seen that coming. I went ahead with it, though, figuring I could then darken it with wax. Always thinking – that’s me(ish)!

I really love that little bead detail, or whatever we would call it. Anyway, I just did a light coat of the green, allowing the white to show through in spots, followed by a coat of clear wax. After the green paint and wax were dry, I grabbed my sandpaper and just started roughing up the frame. I tried to get into the little crevices between the beads where I could, and sanded the corners and both the inside and outside edges — just kept going until I felt like stopping. Scientific, that’s also me(ish). Then it was time for the dark wax! This time, I applied the dark wax with a cloth, rather than a brush…not for any specific reason. I think maybe I just felt like I could control it a bit better with the cloth. After the dark wax dried, I went back with a damp cloth and more clear wax to clean up any spots that felt too dark, and also to give the frame a final coat of shine.

This is what that got me:

I like it! It’s rough-and-tumble and not so minty as it started. I hung it on the wall for a few days just so I could decide if I was done with it or not — I had thought I might add another dry-brush coat of the true Antibes Green…but I decided I didn’t need it. I don’t intend to leave it on the wall, though, at least not as-is. I’m considering a few options for what could go in the frame…or I might decide to leave it empty and propped up somewhere. That’s all still to be determined. For now, though, yay me for a second finished project that doesn’t totally suck!! Go, Team Me!!


Before & After: my first time

Alright, buckle in. This is gonna be a long one. (heh)

Remember the $15 table we picked up in Staunton back in February? Well, look what I did to it.

Right!!?!? I am very happy with myself! 1) for actually completing a project that is covered by my to-do list for this blog…and 2) because it doesn’t suck, at least as far as I’m concerned! I really love how it turned out, and I can’t wait to find the perfect place for it and get it all accessorized up!

Now it’s time for the breakdown…not my breakdown, to be clear, but the breakdown of how I got from before to after. If you’re not interested in all the detail, then just go ahead and leave a comment about how awesome you think it is, and you can be on your way. 😉

A few weeks ago, Mister and I hit Lowe’s so I could stock up on brushes and sanding blocks and stain and tack cloths and this and that and some of the other thing. I then promptly deposited those items in the laundry room and went about my life. THEN — Hurricane Irene came along and took all my electricity. SO, on that Sunday, while I was hanging out at the house with no power, I decided to go ahead and just jump in! Continue reading


Treasures: just around the corner

I needed to run out this past weekend for one specific item – which I’ll (hopefully) be sharing with you soon – so I stopped at the Goodwill store just around the corner from me. It’s a small store, with just a tiny area devoted to furniture and decor items. I did some digging around, though, and found a few treasures. Behold!

Right?!? Here’s what I got:

  • the large picture that looks like bad motel wall art from 1982 was $8.25. I think that frame could be awesome with some paint or whatnot – I like that it’s so deep and I enjoy the little beading detail around the edges. I do not plan to keep the art.
  • the little mirror was $3.25 – I just like the detail on that frame, too. It’s a heavy plastic, but could totally be painted and glammed up a little.
  • the little candle stand that looks like something from the camp in the original Parent Trap (that’s the best one) was just $2.25. It’s got a great shape to it and it’s wood — just needs a new paint job!

Look for updates on these treasures, sometime before…like, 2013. Exciting!

There’s also a Big Lots store in the same shopping center as the Goodwill, so I ran in there, too. It’s definitely not a high-end shop, as Big Lots go, but I wanted to check out what sort of home decor items they had. They had a lot of fairly cute little vases and wall plaques and candle stands…stuff like that…but nothing amazing, or anything slightly amazing but really cheap. So I kept moving. I did, however, find a great selection of throw pillows for pretty cheap, and that made me happy. I absolutely balk at paying $25-$60 for pillows, which seems to be the price range I find most often…so pillows from $9 to $15 sounded pretty good to me!

The light tan pillow in the top pic is actually one I already had…well, I have two of them. Then I found the dark brown pillow and the oblong light tan pillow that matched what I already had – SOLD! The blue pillows are new, too, and I like how they pull out the blue in the patterned pillows, and mesh well with my grey slipcovers. I’m sort of waffling with my color scheme in the living room and hallway right now…I like the idea of blues, greys, and little splashes of red…sort of like in the patterned pillows…but I’m still working it out. Anyway, new soft pillows for me! And Max!

(Please excuse the grainy iPad quality photo, and focus on that handsome face instead.♥)

I also grabbed a cute little rag rug for the front door. I took a pic of it actually in position…and then realized how badly my front door needs painting, and was ashamed to show you. So imagine this:

…laying at my front door. I love the teal mixed with the brown. Just $5 at Big Lots!!


It’s like Old Home week

Hi! Just a quick post – it’s suddenly becoming a furniture family reunion up in here! Remember this table from my awesome thrift store shopping last week?

I had a lovely comment from Saiyge where she said:

The nightstand you have (second to last) … I have that entire bedroom set, it belonged to my parents and when they moved – when they asked what I wanted, I pointed at the dressers, the nightstand and the head/foot boards and said THAT. :D The set has this HUGE dresser with a mirror – its about 6-7 feet long, and altogether probably about 7 feet tall. Its BIG!

I love that!!

THEN, as I was surfing the interwebs this weekend, as I tend to do, I came across a before-and-after at The Coterie Blog, with this before piece:

Look familiar? It’s like the long-lost cousin to my thrift store dresser!

Even the same drawer handles!! Be sure to follow the link to The Coterie Blog to see their “after” – it looks great!


On the road: Thrift Store Heaven

Mister and I hit the road a few weekends ago with the intention of swinging by a few local Goodwill and Salvation Army stores, to see what we could see. I also wanted to check out the Habitat For Humanity thrift store – also called ReStore – mainly because I’d seen a lot of talk about it over on Young House Love. I think Habitat is an amazing organization, so I’m happy to support them, as well. We decided to hit the Habitat store first…and we never made it any farther!! This place was awesome! Filled with anything and everything you can think of – entire lengths of kitchen counter, full walls of cabinets…hardware and tools and random pieces of things…all kinds of chandeliers…tons of glass vases and other small decorative items…and so much large scale furniture! ♥ I totally didn’t take any pics of the store itself because I was just all “look at that! oh, look at that! ooh, look at this!” from the moment we walked in.

The reason we didn’t make it to any other stores is because we filled up the car (well, SUV) right here at the very first stop! Check out this cool stuff!

These are a little scratched up, but they’re a nice heavy wood, and they’re great little accent pieces. They were only $2.99 and $3.99! (Similar bowls at some of my favorite stores are $40 and up, so yay me.)

This was the first piece we saw, which was clearly marked at $29.99. 🙂 Let me say right now, before I go any further, that Mister did find everything we bought, except for the bowls. I will also say that he found these items because he moved through the store faster than I did, and therefore saw them first, but still, props to him for recognizing great stuff that I would love. 😉

Anyway…this cabinet is really big – it’s hard to tell in the pic, I think – and I think it would be so cute with a shabby, weathered paint job, and then perfect on the wall in our downstairs bathroom. Yay!

Just $19.99 for this table! This will be another painting project, and then we plan to use it on the back porch to house our outside stereo…we think. We’ll see how that works out, but for 20 bucks, we couldn’t leave it there!

And finally, my absolute favorite oh-my-goodness piece of the day! I lovelovelovelove this dresser – and it was only $49.99!!!! I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, but I’m so happy we found it! I go in the guest room every few days just to look at it and smile. True story.

We were so happy with all the cool stuff we found…and THEN we realized that it was 50% off the whole store that day! 50%!! We got all this awesome stuff for just over $50!!!!! ALL THRIFT STORE SHOPPING EXPERIENCES SHOULD GO LIKE THIS!

Be sure to check out your local Habitat thrift store, if you have one. For my local folks here in Hampton Roads – this was the store on Providence Road. They were super nice and helpful in there, too, so be sure to check it out!


DeClutter Thursday: abstract version, if you will. I suggest you do.

Hi! For today’s decluttering, I’m being very liberal with what classifies as “decluttering”, in that I’m going to share my big Ikea purchases and convince you that they lend themselves favorably to my overall decluttering goal. Got it?

So…I bought some little basics, like baskets (4 for $10!!!) and more silverware and a few frying pans and the magazine holders I showed you before. We also decided, on a whim, to pick up a new coffee table for the living room. The one we had was showing some wear, and it’s really too small for the space….

So that one is out…and this one is in!

I think it’s much better suited for the space, and it looks nicer…and that equals decluttering, right? Right. And clearly, I desperately need a rug in here, too…but that’s a post for another time.

Our other spur-of-the-moment purchase was Mister’s idea…we’ve been saying that we need something at the foot of our bed, like a bench or whatnot, that would give Max something lower to jump on as he jumps up on the bed, which is pretty high. What we decided to do is grab two more ottomans like we already have in the living room, which happens to be Max’s favorite spot in the whole house, and we’ve just lined them up all bench-like.

Not super exciting, but the color works. It gives us a place to sit, when needed, plus these are storage ottomans, so we can use them to hold extra bedding and whatnot. See: DECLUTTER.

AND, best of all – less stress on Max’s bum leg. Yay!