Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Young House Love's Winter Pinterest Challenge

I've been an avid Young House Love reader since way back in the day when they were This Young House.  I love me some Petersiks.  So, when my favorite Youngsters decided to team up with Sherry's BFF, Katie Bower of Bower Power Blog, and two other illustrious co-hosts--Megan from The Remodeled Life, and Michelle from Decor & The Dog, I was completely on board.

The biggest challenge of the Winter Pinterest Challenge is narrowing down a project to conquer.  I decided that my challenge would originate from one of two boards:  Do or 1868 Pleasant.  At first, I was going to sew up the pillowcase dress for my two youngest kidlets (they take the same dress size).  I received the Amy Butler fabric a couple of weeks ago, and thought that this would be the perfect time to light a fire under my butt and get it done.

But then, I found a pin about distressing wood with paint and Vaseline (petroleum jelly).  My love affair with painted furniture has been ongoing, but really hit home during my field trip to The Blue Cupboard.  I wanted something that picked up the shabby chic vibe that Stacy cultivates in her shop, without the whole Rachel-Ashwell's-cabbage-roses-on-everything element that makes me cringe.  This could be because I've been suffering living with a pink walled, pink carpeted bedroom since July, but I'm completely not about the florals.

Of course, last Friday, I found my future nightstand at the thrift store.  Did I mention that there was also a large, basketball-sized red cabbage on a table?  An actual cabbage.  I asked about it, and the clerk told me that if I needed it, to take it.  I thought it was very sweet, but declined, leaving it for someone who did indeed need food (insert shameless plug to ask you to please "grow a row" in your garden this summer to donate to the local food bank, veterans' home, senior center, or soup kitchen).

the latest resident at Danielle's Home for Rescued Furniture

I stopped by Home Depot to pick up some paint, and ended up with a quart of Behr's paint & primer in Belgian Cream in a flat finish:

and some sandpaper.
Since prep is 75% of painting work, it was time to get down to business.  After the dropcloth was down and my painting clothes were on, I removed all of the knobs from the cabinet.

There was a spot on one of the drawers where some tape had been applied, so I had to bust out the Goo-Gone.

While cracks and dings can be lovely on a distressed piece, some of them just need some love... and wood filler.

The legs also needed some filler, since there were deep chips in them.  I filled in all of the divots made by screws, and all of the larger scratches.  The legs had to set up for a minimum of 8 hours, so we went on a shopping trip to find a new quilt for the bed, since the current turquoise one clashes with our bedroom's future paint color (we're still prepping the bedroom for paint, if you're wondering what is up with that).  After the wood filler set up, the above crack looked so much better!

Then it was time to sand down all of the finished surfaces that would be painted.  I painted the insides of the drawers as well, but they were unfinished, so no sanding was necessary.  I did wipe them down with a damp microfiber cloth after everything was sanded.

I love this tiny sander

I don't know about you, but if I don't empty out the dust catcher immediately after I turn the sander off, I completely forget to do so.  My dust catcher is a bit sticky to get off, so I got my face too close to it and ended up with a face full of dust.  A lot of sneezing followed this, so I'm going to make a note to wear a dust mask when sanding and emptying the catcher in the future.  By the time I finished sanding, it was around 10 p.m., so I changed my clothes and cozied up on the couch with the tall drink of water that is my man.  I watched a couple of episodes of Lie to Me then hit the hay.

When I woke up, I started in on the Vaseline application.  I like that there was already some greenish paint crazed onto the wood, so I wanted to make sure that some of the petroleum jelly was on those bits.  I didn't want to go overboard, so I applied a few thin swipes with my finger, since the original post said not to apply it thickly.  

The Vaseline is hard to see in the photo, but it is there.
Once I was happy with what I had, I applied the first coat of paint.  The spots with the Vaseline were immediately noticeable, even with paint on them.

After the third coat, however, it was somewhat difficult to tell where the Vaseline had been applied.

Do you see the Vaseline spots?
Neither do I.
I would suggest numbering the drawers and taking a photo after the first coat to help you keep track of where you need to rub paint off.  I'm sure that the bits that I missed will eventually have the paint rub off, so I'm not that worried about it.

Once my final coat was completely dry, I took a paper coffee filter and used it to rub the areas where the Vaseline was applied.  I just moved it around in a circular motion, making sure that  there was no peeled off paint bits around the edges.  

When the paint was completely dry, I could see a little crackle-like finish
where the Vaseline had been applied.

I rubbed off all of the jelly-covered spots.  This is what one drawer ended up looking like:

I scored some fantastic glass knobs on ebay on Sunday morning, and am excited for their arrival.  Since the bedroom is going to be dark, I really needed something to reflect some light.  Besides, who doesn't love a little sparkle?  

Photo used with permission
Want knobs at great prices?  *Find them at GrandCentral on ebay!
I waited a good 12 hours for the paint to completely dry.  It still looks very naked.

I wanted to get some sort of idea as to what it'd look like when the knobs do finally arrive, so I popped in a couple of glass knobs that I had laying around.  I only have the two, and they're too big for the nightstand, but you can really see how the light is refracted by the glass.

I kept the flash off
I styled it up a bit, and shopped the top knobs onto the bottom two drawers so you could get the idea of what it will look like when the knobs finally do arrive.  It is also in the dining room at the moment, because there is no sense in putting more furniture into a room I'll be painting this weekend.  I love how it came out!  

Doesn't it look sweet?

*The folks at GrandCentral kindly allowed me to use their photograph, without any sort of exchange for promotion or perk (so they didn't pay me or give me anything for free).

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Poppin' Tags

Yesterday, I happened upon a tiny thrift store.  It was dark, definitely creepy, and if a horde of alien mannequins suddenly came alive and started following me, I wouldn't be surprised one bit.
The Doctor fights off a crazy mannequin limb

I did spy this midcentury beauty though:

I love the lines of this

My favorite part is the legs:
They look somewhat mismatched, but I promise, they're not

The best part?  The price tag!
18 Bucks!
I find the screws on the top somewhat charming.

For an additional $2, I tossed in this sweet little bedside lamp:
Perfect for some bedtime reading

The lamp is in a hunter green color, circa 1996.  I think that after it gets a coat of spray paint, it'll be perfect.

Not a bad haul for twenty dollars!  Macklemore, eat your heart out!

*Please note that this video contains copious profanity

I am tackling the sanding and transformation of my new night table this weekend, as part of the Young House Love Winter Pinterest Challenge.  What are you up to this weekend?  Any DIY on the horizon?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


A few weeks ago, I went to a local antique "mall" that has been around these parts for ages, called the Salamanca Antique Mall.  It is a decent distance away, and always provides a great escape from stalking perusing the local thrift store for decent furniture.  It is the sort of place where stalls are rented by individual sellers, so you really never know what you're going to find.  The two younger kids hate going to the antique mall, and complain that it smells like dust.  On our last kid-accompanied trip there, Emily kept saying, "These are all old things.  Let's go."  She ended up in the car with her sister and my delightful fiance, watching Charlie & Lola DVDs.  I got to shop alone, which is how I like it.

Anyway, this place sends coupons via email, for weird amounts off of an item that is greater than $10 (not hard to find, here).  I didn't have a current coupon, but I knew that they like to send them out just before holidays, like President's Day.  I knew I wanted to find something similar to the cabinet that I found at The Blue Cupboard, shown above.  Preferably something with less curvy, swirlyness, since I lean toward modern lines when it comes to furniture.

Stuck against a wall, piled high with stuff, was this cabinet:

I cannot tell you how much I want to organize those stacks of books
The best part?  This puppy had been there for quite a while, and had been discounted a few times:
From $150 to a mere 80 beans!
Since I was coupon-less, I decided to take the chance that it'd still be there until there was some sort of savings involved.  Here are some other antique bits that caught my eye:
This card catalog is gorgeous... I just don't happen to have a spare $700
Don't you love all of the different pulls?

Loved this table; hated the wobbly legs on it.

These totally would have been mine, if they weren't the same foot.
Klompen are awesome, and still sometimes worn by farmers in the Netherlands

An entire stall full of Fiesta
There were a few other things that I liked, a tin pudding mold with lid, vintage glass milk bottles, and some turn-of-the-century magazines in great condition.  I did get them, but they're not quite ready to be photographed.

About a week after this trip, I did get a coupon in my email (24% off!), went back, and snagged the cabinet:
So nice now that it is empty!
I love great little details, and this has got to be my favorite part of the cabinet:

The cabinet automatically locks, and this little handle has a push button that unlocks the door.  I love it!

On my way out, I spied this tiny Moroccan-style stool and had to snag it, since it was $15, and qualified for an additional 24% off:

To paint, or not to paint... that is the question.
I haven't decided where it will go, or what it will be used as.  Should it be a plant stand?  Stool?  Kid seat?  And then come the decorative considerations... paint it?  Leave it as it is?  Try that tinfoil leafing technique I saw on Pinterest?  Ideas are greatly appreciated.

Monday, February 18, 2013


At what point do you think choosing a paint color might make you insane?  I think I might be there, but, unless I want to live in a patchwork of paint colors, I have to pick one.


This week's colors are all from giant box store, Glidden's Black Tulip, Dark French Chocolate, and Totally Teal.  
Dark French Chocolate and Black Tulip
This is how they swatched out:

Against the door frame, Black Tulip (top); Dark French Chocolate (bottom)
Completely ignore the previously swatched color on the wall.
And then I added the Totally Teal:
This was taken after sundown, with the overhead light on and the flash.

I don't think the teal is going to work for the cocoon-like feeling that I want.  I keep looking at it and I think, "Bad 80s Film" Teal would have been a more appropriate name.  Like, woah....

Glidden Totally Teal
It works with the wood, but it is far too bright.  Totally.
I am quite sure it has come down to these two:
(top) Glidden Dark French Chocolate
(bottom) Glidden Black Tulip
Tomorrow, I'm going to swing by the store and buy a couple of gallons of paint.  Which one will it be?  

You'll have to wait and see.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Walls and Tile

If you're wondering how the bathroom remodel is going, the answer is that I've nearly picked everything out.  My contractor is on vacation in sunny Florida, so construction won't be starting for a while.

Since I'm bringing you along for this process, this is what we're up to so far:

Above, are the towels, floor tile, paint colors, and shower tile I've chosen so far.  I picked up the Cynthia Rowley "Quatrefoil" towels at HomeGoods before I moved up from Florida.  They were a steal at $7.99 a piece, and I got 5 or 6 of them, with matching hand and wash towels.  I like a white towel, because they're a cinch to keep clean... when all else fails, use a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and let them soak for a while, then dry them on the clothesline on a sunny day.

The floor tiles were picked up quite some time ago from one of those builder-supply discount stores in my general area, called Grossman's Bargain Outlet.  At 80 cents a square foot, I really couldn't beat that with a stick.  I was lucky enough to pick up 3 boxes.  I also found some matching bullnose wall tile that will go around the bottom of the walls for $2.47 each at Home Depot.  

The paint was probably the one thing that I really had trouble coming to a decision on.  Normally, I look at something and it is a definite yes or no.  I know what I'm looking for, and it is either it, or it isn't.  As evidenced by my still-unpainted bedroom, I have paint issues.  For the bathroom, however, I finally settled on Behr's Ocean Pearl for the walls and Sea Salt for the ceiling and the trim.  

The shower tiles are Home Depot's stock glass mosaic and runs $4.99/sq foot.

I wasn't going to replace my 1.6 gal/flush toilet, but decided to do so to save water with a 1.28 gal/flush model with cleaner lines than the existing commode.  

The sink will also be replaced, since I really dislike the current sink setup which takes up far too much room in such a tiny space, not to mention, the previous homeowner cut large holes in the bottom to allow for the existing plumbing, so the cabinet is mostly unusable as storage space.  I would like a small sink, since the current one is only used to wash hands.   Nearly all of the tooth brushing and primping action goes on in the downstairs half-bath.  Yes, it is weird, but it's more convenient for us.  After the remodel, tooth brushing might just move upstairs.  We're living on the edge, people.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Field Trip!

Remember the inspiration pic for the front porch?  Well, the first order of business was to procure an antique iron shabby-chic bed frame so that the southern sleeping porch could evolve.  Enter Craigslist.

I have been scouring "local" Craigslist ads for a few weeks now, looking for the right sort of bed frame and then a couple of nights ago, found one.  It was in Erie, about 2 hours away, and it was still available.  Today was a lovely, sunny day with not one flake of snow in the air, so I hopped in the car with Daniel, my British-accented GPS.

It turns out, this little treasure was at a small antique furniture shop called The Blue Cupboard.  It's like stepping into the brain of Rachel Ashwell, but better.  It is small, definitely comfortable, and the owner/interior designer/decorator, Stacy, couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating.  Seriously, I wanted to move in.  I inquired about a pastry stand that was in the workroom, but was in the process of waiting for a coat of paint.  Stacy had it painted while I shopped, and it dried completely on my way home.  

Stacy also creates custom furniture, and the pieces I saw recycled gorgeous antique bits and just made them wonderful in all the right ways.  There is also high-end furniture for sale at really great prices (like an armchair that I really want, marked from $1198 to about $600 and some change).

Of course, I took pictures.  I couldn't go on a proper field trip without sharing it with all of you.  So, without further ado, The Blue Cupboard:
I love, love, love this dresser.

There's the armchair.  See the white iron headboard leaning against the post?  That is mine.

I also picked up this industrial stool for a song.  Isn't it gorgeous?

I want this table, too.

I love this cabinet.  LOVE it.  See that round thing on the lower shelf?  I bought  that.
There is a better photo of its twin, which is for sale on EBay at present.

This is the twin that is floating around on EBay.  It is actually a light fixture, but I love it as-is.

More cabinet.

A custom island that Stacy made.  She also made the tin bookend that is on top of it.
Said pair of bookends would easily make a great set of corner shelves.  I wanted them, but had to economize.

The chair with the buffalo plaid pillow on it is a new chair.  It was definitely gorgeous.

I would love to have this full-size bed frame

One of the islands Stacy remade.  The top is distressed, and will be epoxied.  There are antique corbels on the other side that are lovely.

I love the Hazel Atlas mason jars on the fireplace mantle.  

Here is a close up of those tin bookends

This is a nearly 8-foot long bench with a custom cushion.  It used to be in a church somewhere,
but, I think it'd look much better in my living room.

I want this table in my dining room.

A little table that would be great in a small entry to catch keys, or to put
plants and photos on

A tin ceiling tile, framed

This was really sweet, and would look perfect in my entry.  The glass knobs really made it sparkle.
Well, there you have it.  Well, almost.  Here is the pastry stand that was painted while I shopped:

Isn't it sweet?  It still needs to be roughed up a bit.
If you are in the greater Erie area, you can find The Blue Cupboard at 5412 West Lake Road in Erie.  It is super easy to get to, and I highly recommend you visit if it is at all possible.  They're on Facebook, too, so you can stay informed of estate sales they are putting on as well!  

I'm definitely going back.  It is simply too awesome not to.
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