Shabby cottage chic desk and dresser

Found this little desk and three drawer chest at a recent estate sale.

Of course, it was the color that first caught my eye when I saw this little desk from across the room.  Alas, the top was a real MESS!  Cheap plywood that had cracked, stained and peeling paint, but not the kind that you can leave ‘as is’.  Still, the price was right so I bought it.  (and the drawer innards were nice and CLEAN!)

SCORE!!  Another piece in ‘my color’!?!  woo-hoo!  Ah, but wait!  Once I put my reading glasses on I could see that it had been very POORLY painted aqua over a medium green pain; which still showed in several places.  Still, it was nice and sturdy.  The backing was in good shape and the drawers were clean!

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The chest was pretty ‘grimey’ and  required a good scrubbing; and those drawer pulls HAD to go.  The pulls were screwed on, which usually means an easy removal; but these had been painted over more than once, so simply removing the screws did not do the job.  I had to WHACK them really hard with a hammer to get them off.

Not all of the stain and grime came off when I washed it, so it was time for the orbital sander.  I was HOPING that I could ‘just sand it’ and leave it this color.  Nope.  This, and the desk were going to HAVE to be painted.  I opted to paint them both white.

The top to the desk turned out just perfect!  Just the right amount of each color, white, aqua and wood showing after I distressed it.

As I am in the habit of doing, I painted the backside also.  It really only takes a few more seconds to do this when you are repainting items; and it gives the purchaser a lot more flexibility on placement of the item, as they won’t HAVE to place it with the back to a wall.

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Distressing brought out just the right amount of the original aqua paint along the edges and ‘here and there’.  I recycled some old metal drawer pulls that I had on hand.  The insides of the drawers were completely painted the same aqua as the desk, but the bottoms were a bit scratched up.  I glued some pretty wrapping paper to the bottom of the drawers.

Distressing the chest was a bit more difficult.  Usually I can just ‘sand away’ and not have to pay very close attention and it will turn out fine.  However, the aqua color was a very LIGHT coat of paint, and if I sanded too hard of too much, I went clear through to the green coat of paint.  A little bit of the green showing through wasn’t too bad, but I wanted more of the aqua to show.  At one point, I almost decided to just repaint the whole thing turquoise!  But then I decided to ‘give it a shot’ at selling with the bits of green showing, before I went to all the extra work of painting it a second time.  I used the same vintage metal drawer pulls for the dresser and I did for the desk.

You can really see the green around the edges of the top of the chest.  That little ‘reddish’ mark near the center of the top of the chest had been a ‘blob of paint’ that had to be sanded down.  Apparently the top had been RED at one time, and sanding went down to that coat on this one little spot.  SO, I may well have to paint this chest a second time.

But for now, it’s in my booth at Stars Antique Mall priced at $59.00.  The smaller size of this chest make it perfect for a child’s dresser and/or a bed-side chest for an adult’s room.

As is the desk; which is $49.00.  That aqua cute bow back chair is also $49.00.

While I had the white paint out, I painted up a couple of wood slat picnic baskets that I’ve had for a while.

The smaller square basket with the BEE on top is $24.00.

The bigger, dark brown one with EAT on the top is $29.00.

P1320918The shabby apple basket is $15.00.

P1320951White metal birdcage (decorative use only; it does NOT open!) is $ 25.00.

Upcycled candle chandelier is $29.00.  Made using old white metal garden edge fencing; with five frosted glass hanging jars for tea light candles or battery tea lights.

I’ve recently added a LOT more vintage milk glass dishes!  Look at that adorable little espresso cup and saucer!!  I’ve got LOTS of regular coffee’tea cups and saucers and creamers and sugar bowls.  Perfect for an elegant bridal shower.  Lots of vases too!

I also just took in a nice collection of vintage Taylor, Smith and Taylor ‘Boutonnier’ dishes.  I had been collecting these for myself for quite some time; and finally decided that I just didn’t have room for them.  It’s not a complete set.  But there are a lot of cups and saucers and dessert size plates.

P1320947Stop by soon and see what’s new!!  Don’t let the construction on the side street scare you away.  (they tore down the boys and girls club and are putting is a high rise condo building!)  There is still plenty of parking; actually MORE than what was available before on some days!!

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Updated vintage cedar boxes

P1240125Forgot to take a ‘before’ picture on this one, but it’s pretty easy to imagine what it originally looked like.

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The outside of the lid looked pretty much the same as the inside!  These old cedar boxes are pretty heavily varnished, so a good sanding was necessary before painting.

P1240734Sanded.  Painted.  Sanded again.  Carved wood applique painted and added.  Matte varnish.

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And of course, a ‘little something’ inside!

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I had this EXACT one when I was little.  Still have it ‘somewhere’ filled with little treasures from my childhood.

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Same steps as the first one.  Sanded.  Painted.  Sanded again to distress.

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Decided to line the bottom of this one with some pretty scrap book paper.

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The hinges and clasp were not removable, so I just painted over them, then sanded away some of the paint afterwards.

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After trying out several different embellishments, I settled upon this tiny metal plate that reads ‘live  love  laugh’.  Glued it on with e6000.

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If my hands were less arthritic, I would have done more ‘detail sanding’ around the carvings on the lid to enhance them a bit more.  OR you could add an antiquing medium to bring them out more.  I’m TRYING to stick with the ‘less is more’ mantra in my make-overs right now.  Choosing to slow down before life and old age FORCE me to do so.

More of the ‘new blue’

Well, I guess the customers at Stars prefer the ‘new blue’ too!  Everything I painted that color has already sold!  Here’s the rundown:

P1220754You’ve already seen this piece in the previous post, but here are the details of it.  It was originally a plain dark pine stain with round wood knobs and sat flat on the ground.

P1220755I added some wood feet, because . . . . . I like stuff with feet!

P1220752Just sanded off the original varnish, painted it my new blue and sanded again to distress.  The plain wood knobs HAD to go! (although if you MUST re-use the original knobs, you CAN paint them)
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I found these gorgeous bubble glass knobs at Home Goods a while ago.  I NEVER go out and buy specific knobs for a specific project.  I buy them when I find them at the right price and always have a stash of them to select from.  The old original knobs get added to the stash as well.  These just happened to have one knob missing; so only five instead of a set of 6 . . . and consequently at a reduced price!

P1220747I lined the drawer with some vintage post card wrapping paper.

P1220748And decided to line the shelves too.

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I must have made the ‘right choices’ because it sold from my space at Stars in just over a week!

P1220908I also painted this old wood chair my ‘new blue’ and distressed it.

P1220659Here’s what it looked like when I bought it.  Gotta LOVE it when you find pieces that don’t need a lot of prep-work’!

P1220774The chair sold right away also.

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Painted this pair of end tables with the new blue as well.

P1220903The tops were pretty badly chipped and scratched, so I did have to sand them quite a bit before I could paint; but the legs were pristine!

P1220901Love this little cut out detail on the fronts of them.

P1220902And the ‘shapely’ legs.

P1220905No two pieces will ever distress exactly the same, so don’t even bother trying to get them to perfectly match.

P1220906As long as each has a comparable AMOUNT of distressing; they will still look like a ‘matched pair’.

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 I almost always price everything ‘individually’, makes the clerks job much easier and saves them and ME time.  Because IF you price items as a ‘set’ you can BET that half the people who look at it will want to know if they can buy just ONE!!  Then the clerk has to take time to call me and ask IF I will break up the set and what would the individual prices be . . . . and 9 times out of 10, the customer will NOT buy even one of them!!

So, save everyone involved a lot of time and trouble and price items separately.  UNLESS you absolutely insist that they be sold as a set.  In which case, BE SURE to make a note of that on the price tag.

For example I found a pair of matching twin size chenille bed spreads.  Chenille is always hard to find and I have NEVER found two that match.  So, since this is such a rear find, I want them to be sold together, so the new owners can really enjoy their ‘rare’ vintage find.

So, all of these items sold within WEEKS of putting them in my booth.  Now I need to find more stuff to paint.  And that ‘might’ involve bringing some of the ‘white stuff’ currently in my booth home to RE-paint!   Haven’t been finding much furniture lately on my thrifting adventures.

Ugly gold to shabby white :: Outdated / Updated mirror

Very cool, taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall skinny wall mirror with roses . . .but the gold???

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Good candidate for a shabby make-over!

P1220218ALWAYS check the back before you buy, to be sure that the frame can be easily detached from the mirror for repainting.  I suppose you COULD ‘tape off’ a mirror to repaint it, but I’m just too lazy for that.  If the mirror can’t be EASILY removed and reattached, I pass.  (Time IS money when you are refinishing items to sell.)

P1220217This particular mirror backing was STAPLED in place??? Hmmmmmm.  But most of the staples had been previously removed and the mirror was really held in place by the tape shown in the last picture.  I decided the rest of the staples should come out easily too.

P1220202The staples did come out very easily.  I gave the frame a good cleaning to get all the dust out of all the nooks and crannies.

P1220204Roses just are not supposed to be GOLD!

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~::~

P1220229A couple of coats of an off-white spray paint and  LOT of hand sanding to bring out all the pretty details.

P1220226The bow at the top.

P1220227The tassel at the bottom.

P1220228And lots and lots of roses to sand, petal by petal.  I actually had to do the sanding in three or four sessions and give my hand a rest between!

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Time to reattach the mirror.  I was not brave enough to attempt to staple it back in place, and tape was not reliable enough.  I had to GLUE the mirror back into the frame.  Using my trusty Aleen’s Tacky Glue, I ran glue along the inset and replaced the mirror.  Let that dry overnight, then filled the gap between the backing the the frame with MORE glue.

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 LOVE how it turned out!

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It’s in ‘storage’ for the time being.  Might end up saving it for next spring or the first of the new year.  Next booth ‘do-over’ will be Halloween stuff . . .then Christmas . . . .then . . . .  ALWAYS thinking ahead!

Wood and wire CD holder? Outdated – Updated.

At least that is what I am GUESSING this thing was originally created as!

P1190825The wire shelves are about the size that would hold CD’s, so I can’t imagine what else it’s intended use might be???

P1190826And it’s actually NOT a bad color to begin with.  A sage green with very lightly  dry brushed white to make it look distressed.

P1190827My first thought was to just add more dry brushed white to enhance the distressed look.  THAT was an epic FAIL of an idea!  It looked awful!  Too awful to even take photos of!  Because of the wire shelves, my only other option for painting it was spray paint.

P1200009I decided on white spray paint.   LOVE how it looks painted white.  So much so that I was tempted to KEEP it for myself.  Decided that I ‘better NOT’ keep it though, as I have been ‘stashing stuff away’ for my upcoming move for over a year now; and I have a feeling I have a lot MORE stuff that I realized.  Unpacking in my new place is going to be like Christmas!

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Kitty Spike oversees the photo shoot.

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The shelf was a perfect display piece for some of my vintage white creamers and sugar bowls in my booth at Stars.  As I had expected, it didn’t last long and has already sold!

 If I ever come across another similar piece, I will most definitely grab it!

Bringing out the details: Cottage chic update for vintage pedestal table

P1190959I think this is probably my very favorite style of lamp tables.

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Mostly because of the pretty turned pedestals and elegant feet.

P1190958This recent find was still very sturdy, but extremely ‘well worn’.

P1190963Even the lower tier was in quite bad shape.

P1190962Be still my heart!!!  Look at those lovely, delicate carved details along the edges!!

P1190961Such a shame that they are barely noticeable in it’s ‘all brown’ state.

P1200308Nearly all of the old varnish was already worn off, so it just needed a wee bit of sanding before I painted it white.  After three coats of paint, it was time to bring out those pretty details.

P1200311I hand sanded along the high points on the feet and the turnings on the pedestal.

P1200310Brought out the turned details on the center part of the pedestal.

P1200312And those delicately carved details along the rims of both tiers.

P1200309Because I wanted those details around the rims to really stand out, I opted to not do any distressing on the flat table top surfaces.

P1200324I took her to Stars last week so I could ‘rebuild’ that all white vignette at the front on my booth.

P1200325This one of a kind beauty can be yours for $99.00.

Itty bitty chest :: OUTdated – UPdated

P1180894Crackle and gold and roses . . .OH MY!

P1180895Just a ‘wee little thing’; but the painted on roses were NOT ‘raised’, so this thrift store find will be  fairly easy to make over.

P1190109A couple of coats of a soft white . . . .then pondered for DAYS trying to think of ‘what else’ to do to it’.

P1190111I finally decided that it was fine as it is.  (WHY do I feel like I have to ADD decorative elements to EVERYthing?!?) Just gave it a big sheer bow on the top!

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 It has gone to my booth at Stars.

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Outdated / Updated: picnic basket

Yep, it’s that time of year again!  Time for the picnic baskets to come out of hiding.  We have had some SERIOUS picnic weather here in Oregon too!  70 degrees last week two days in a row!

P1190591ACK!!!  Why of WHY did someone ruin this perfectly nice picnic basket with those cheesy stencils?!?!?

P1190593Clean ‘innards’?  Check.  No broken and split side slats.

P1190592Inside lid is in good shape.  Elastic silverware holder in good shape.  Check and SOLD.

P1190622First step was to sand off the design on the lid.  A little more difficult that I had anticipated.  Since the wood slats aren’t perfectly level, some of the red from the hearts was still showing through when I dry brushed the lid.  So I had to go back over it and give it a ‘full coverage’ coat; then sanded it after it dried.

P1190625The rest of the basket literally took three minutes to paint using a dry brush technique.

P1190626The handles are a little tricky, getting the paint on the underside.

P1190623I chose to NOT paint the inside, but it would be easy enough to do so if you wanted to.

P1190621All set to go on a picnic!

P1190702Available for purchase at Stars Antique Mall; $29.00

Basic (and BLAND!) night stand updated

No news on the house yet.  Waiting patiently.  (well, as patiently as possible!)  I drove by for a peek on my way home from Stars the other day.  What they are calling a ‘work shop’ is a small (probably 586′!) shed.   But the shed DOES have electricity!  It’ll work for storage.  Just as I was about to peek into the garage (which is what would actually be used for my workshop) a car pulled up so I figured I better get outta there!)  THANK YOU all for your prayers!

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A very ‘plain Jane’ little night stand.    Clean drawer.  NO stickers.  (bonus!  I HATE scraping stickers off of furniture!)   Needed minimal prep, just a little sanding before painting.

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(sorry about the ‘sun streak!  It’s been SIXTY degrees and SUNNY here in Oregon!?!?!  Crazy GREAT weather!)

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OOPS!  I missed that little part under the drawer!  I was thinking that the drawer covered it! (I did go back and paint that strip after I saw the picture!)   I painted the entire piece a ‘putty’ hued white paint and lightly distressed.

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An amber colored (repro!) crystal knob for the drawer.

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The drawer was perfectly clean and did nit NEED to be lined; but this piece of scrapbook paper just added a little ‘special touch’ since it’s such a simple piece.

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Speaking of KNOBS!  Check out these beauties I found at Ross recently.

P1180911They are BIG and heavy.  I wanted to use one of these on this night stand, but they were just TOO big for that little drawer.  I’ll save these for a bigger project later.

P1180931Distressing along the prominent edges.

P1190020But ‘notsomuch’ on the more protected from use interior section.

P1190021As I am often inclined to do with my made over pieces, I painted the back of it.   I do this PRIMARILY because oftentimes the backs of the furniture I put in my booth at the antique mall are visible in my display, and it just looks nicer.  Sometimes the backs are just UGLY and NEED to be painted over.  It’s also just a nice finishing touch and literally takes just a minute or two (with a roller!) and it just looks better!  (and also I am a wee bit anal sometimes; but you already know that!)

P1190022Some light distressing  on the sides.  Just enough so that it looks ‘lovingly used’, but ABUSED!

P1190018All in all, I am perfectly pleased with how this piece turned out.  I am really TRYING to ‘keep it simple’ more often than not on my furniture pieces so that they appeal to a broader buying audience.

This will be going to my booth in Stars soon.

The big antique show/sale at the Expo is going on this weekend, and that means Stars is having a SALE!  The sale at Stars runs Thursday, March 5th – Sunday, March 8th.

50% off all regular priced items in my booth during the sale.

After the sale ends on the 8th, I will be doing a MAJOR booth overhaul!

Sometimes they need a little TLC . . . . other times, they need a little ‘roughing up’!

P1180542The later was the case with this vintage end table that I found in a neighboring booth at Stars a few weeks ago.  It’s nice and BIG 24″ x 24″.  Could almost be used as a coffee table instead of just an end table. Maybe even plop a big cushion on top to prop your feet up on!  I can’t really explain HOW or WHY ‘this happens’, but certain pieces just really get ignite my inspiration.

P1180642I liked the color that it was; a creamy tan-ish over white.  It just needed some sanding to bring out the layers of color and some wood grain.

P1180644The bottom shelf.

P1180646There was some really pretty moulding below the top that the distressing really brought out.  Just hit the legs ‘here and there’ with my orbital sander.

P1180643Added a coat of matte varnish as the finishing touch.

Just might have to keep this one for my upcoming redecorating project!