Vintage plate rack make over

Grubby dusty old plate rack:

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At first I thought it WAS a spice rack and I couldn’t understand why it was so much bigger!?!

P1110800But as I got to painting it I noticed the little ‘plate grooves’ the shelves for keeping plates propped up.

P1110797Love the four little drawers.  Initially contemplated cutting this piece in two; just the drawers and a separate shelf.  Then I realized that it would be quite handy ‘as is’ to display the journals and note cards I have in my space at Stars.    Some of my small cloches might even fit on the shelves.

P1110798The knobs were SO dusty/greasy that they almost looked YELLOW when I bought it.  Took them off and let them soak overnight is some DAWN dish soap and they were white as new!

P1110796You can see how big it is in this picture with the ruler.  This piece is destined to go to my booth at Stars.

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. if you don’t know about AWESOME cleaner, it’s really good for grease, and about anything and it’s cheap.

  2. I love your blog and how you repurpose things! I don’t remember how I found you but I’m glad I did! I hope you can share a technique. I live in MI, so no competition from me, 🙂 and just want to do some projects for myself. I painted a nightstand but when I tried to make it look old, all my sandpaper scrapes were noticeable. Didn’t look good at all! I love your plate rack cuz it looks like it’s naturally worn. Could you share your secret maybe.? Thanks!

    • Hi Lynn,

      What GRIT of sand paper were you using? I always use COARSE; whether hand sanding with a sanding sponge or using my electric orbital sander. For a beginner, a sanding sponge will be easier to CONTROL, and yo can see how much you are sanding away ‘as you go’. Work slowly, in layers. You can always take more off; but you can’t put it back on once it’s gone. Also if you used a paint with any amount of sheen to it (satin or glossy) those will scratch as opposed to looking distressed. When you distress, consider how the item would have naturally worn over time: around the drawer pulls, along the edges, on the top. Hope this helps! aj

      • Thanks for your reply! I do use coarse sandpaper but my paint was satin so maybe that was the problem. Guess I’ll try again on something else. Wish I could see your booth in person….maybe I need a vacation. 🙂
        Again thanks for your help!

  3. Lynn,

    The only other thing I could think of is if your paint was OIL based instead of WATER based. I’ve always only used water based paints. No need to ‘ruin’ another piece. Keep using that SAME piece until you perfect your technique. Even if you just PRIME and repaint the top part. OR if it’s not a ‘complicated piece’ , sand off ALL the current paint and start over. I re-paint stuff ALL the time. OR just take a piece of wood to practice on. But BEFORE you do any of that, try sanding the piece you have now MORE. could be that you just haven’t sanded it enough to get past the inevitable scratches and down the actual distressed look??? aj

    • Well thanks again for giving it more thought! I know you’re busy so I really appreciate that you still must be thinking about it! My paint was water based so I am going to take your advice and sand it and start over. It’s just a simple nightstand. So I’ll see how it goes and will continue to look forward to all your wonderful projects!


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