What to do about cigarette burns on old furniture

This tall end table / lamp table with one little drawer was in pretty good condition, except for the badly damaged top.

A couple of VERY deep cigarette burns and several areas where the embossed gold design had worn down completely.  But it was plenty sturdy, had a lower shelf and a drawer (storage is always a big plus!) and it had ‘nice legs’!  I decided to buy it and see what I could to with it.

The CLEANEST vintage drawer innards I have ever seen!  Missing knob is no biggie since I usually change them anyhow.

The cigarette burns were not just ‘singes’ . . .  they were divots, burned clear through that top layer of wood; and just sanding them was not going to do the job.

I filled them with some wood putty, then sanded smooth once the putty was nice and dry.  The gold embossed border which was worn away in some spots was very inconsistent.  At first I thought I could just sand the rest away.  But it was very deeply  embedded in some spots and just barely on the surface of others.  So I just sanded enough to remove the surface sheen and painted as I usually do.


That little drawer was perfect for another one of the aqua ceramic knobs I have.

I went fairly light on the distressing because of the issues with the top.


I was concerned that the variations in the embossing would bother me, but it doesn’t.  And you can still see where the filled cigarette burn divots were . . . .  ‘a good distressing job covers a multitude of flaws’. (You may quote me on that!  hehe)


All in all, I an quite content with how it turned out.


Available for purchase in my booth at Stars for $79.00.



Old shelf ~ New paint

Found this grubby black metal shelf in another booth at Stars.

Nice and big with lots of room for ‘stuff’, but it was very lightweight.


You can’t really see it in this photo, but the black paint was chipping off quite a bit here and there; and I didn’t want to completely hide all that naturally occurring distressing with the new paint.  I opted to ‘dry brush’ paint it.


The dry brush technique doesn’t completely cover the original finish; and it’s such a ‘light finish’ that the areas that had begun shedding the black paint, will more easily continue to do so naturally, over the course of time.


Dry brush painting is pretty ‘fast and easy’ too!


Perfect size for the crowns in my booth at Stars.


And lightweight enough to easily place on top of another shelf to get the crowns at ‘eye level’.


Trying my hand at some mixed media art

Mixed Media Angel Plaque


Still ‘sorting and purging’ the craft supplies that I didn’t get rid of before I moved.


Came across this ‘thrifted’ plaque (which originally had a simple abstract design) in a box of frames,  It was either ‘USE it or donate it’ time . . . . I decided to use it.


I had NO IDEA what I was going to make of it when I first started.  I applied a page of sheet music; then layers of old clothing patterns, extending over the edges.


I ‘tested’ some assorted papers and thought about making it a ‘vintage key collage’; but I’ve dome LOTS of those.  Forcing myself to do NEW things right now . . .  and I settled upon painting an angel.


It took two coats of acrylic craft paint to cover the paper.  It’s been a while since I’ve painted eyes . . .and does it ever show!  sigh.  Then I outlined everything with a black Sharpie.


I glued a piece of gold pipe cleaner for her halo; and some little gold metallic stars on her wings.  I thought about giving her a tiny ‘key charm’ necklace, but the chain didn’t look quite right; so I settled for painting a heart on her chest.


Painting OVER the edges was new to me, so I only attempted it with the wings.


Here you can better tell the size, fairly smallish at just 8″ x 8″; even though it’s not a very good ‘photo’.  The flash made a lot of glare and the lamp is reflecting in the glass in the lantern on the right, completely obstructing the ceramic bust.

SO, that was my new adventure for now.  I’m TYING to ‘ease my way’ into less ‘physical labor intensive’ projects.  I’m not getting in younger, after all!

February sales report for my booth at Stars

I really didn’t have high hopes for this to be much of a ‘good month’ sales wise, given ‘everything else’ that is going on this month.  

P1110966So many other options for spending and drawing the attention of the shoppers; starting with the Junk Salvation show, then the Super Bowl, then the snow storm (which literally shut the city down for days!) then Valentine’s Day, President’s Day sales all over the place AND the Expo Antique show coming the end of the month!!!

P1110926After a disappointing (but not unexpected!) start to the month, once the snow cleared the shoppers came out to SHOP!

P1110937And again, as happened last month, LARGE pieces are selling very well.   I had quite a bit of restocking and rearranging to do yesterday after I packed up the Valentine leftovers.

P1110918Took this fabulous shabby cubby shelf in.  Perfect to display all my small white dishes in.

P1110919Pretty carved embellishment along the top.

P1110920Hooks on the back so it can be hung on the wall; but it also sits nicely on a flat surface, as I have done with it here.

P1110924Shabby aqua pedestal bowl, that for now (due to lack of room!) is being used as a prop up for a lamp.  Will fill it with shabby Easter eggs when I take the Easter stuff in.

P1110928I flipped this little shelf upside down to create a ‘pocket’ to store some journals in.

P1110931This is the plate rack I just re-did.  Perfect for displaying note cards in.

408772151Here’s the before version.

P1110796And the after.

P1110937To ‘build up’ my front facing display, I took my largest wood bench and ‘bridged it’ across the top of the two white end tables; then built my display UP from there.

P1110945You can see where I positioned the bench a little better here.

P1110944I really try to create my displays in LAYERS.  I try to think of how it will ‘break down’ and look if/when one or two of the pieces sell.  How it will be easiest for the sales staff to ‘un-do’ a display and remove a piece for a shopper; and quickly and easily  put it back in place without having to completely rearrange; yet not leave it a complete mess so that I have to make a trip in EVERY time something sells.  AND not leave any big empty HOLES when something sells.  I hate empty space!!  (as if you hadn’t already figured that out!)

P1110933Vintage ballet slippers under glass cloches.

P1110942I sold 36 of these monogram blocks last month!!  Little inexpensive ‘impulse items’ like this are always great to have.

P1110943I keep them right out in front; where there is room for the shopper to kneel down and dig through for the exact letters they need.

P1110948This 9 hole cubby seems small compared to the new 18 holer I just added.  This is a Pottery Barn re-vamp.  A little more of a classic style with the crown moulding on the top and bottom.

P1110949Upcycled little round table; lamp shade wire cloche sold separately.

P1110952More wire cloches and wire bird house.

P1110953Little 4 drawer apothecary chest.

P1110956Wall display.  The crate shadow boxes ARE for sale!

P1110970Shabby beachy blue frames.

P1110969Starfish frame.

P1110936Spring and Easter decor coming up next.

Drawer love!

Remember this sweet little thaing I picked up at an estate sale a while back?

P1090717I was reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally tempted to keep this one.


 All those drawers with all those great dividers in them.  Alas, I was in a real pinch for some ‘quick product’ to take to Stars after this last busy week of furniture sales.  


Not wanting to lose the good momentum I had going by not having a well stocked booth; I fixed her up and sent her off.

P1110532I kept the make-over simple.  Would have taken me forever to paint the insides of the drawers; so I left them pink.

P1110529Just a good once over with the orbital sander to rough up the surface and remove the old grime; and two quick coats of my latest (and very LIGHT) shade of aqua.  Then a bit of distressing along the edges.

P1110586Available for purchase in my booth at Stars for $89.00.



Unfinished wood plant stand.

P1080218As I already mentioned when I first showed you the picture of this plant stand; it’s a real ‘treat’ to find a piece that is UNfinished!   A good percent of the time I spend on refinishing things, IS spent on removing the original finish.   (the only ‘prep’ an unfinished piece might need is to sand off any ‘oily residue’ that may be on the surface from use.)

P1080406Since I had saved so much time by NOT having to prep this piece, I decided to experiment with the finish!  I did a ‘color wash’; which is just watered down paint.  I mixed about 4 parts water to one part paint.  You want it to be as thin as water.  A foam brush or soft fabric rag works best for applying a color wash.  Brush it on and wipe off the excess; similar to how you apply a stain.

P1080405The effect is very similar to a stain.  You get a hint of color, but the wood grain still shows through.  I applied a quick coat of matte varnish to the top; which enhances the grain even more.

P1080407It’s a very subtle finish and quite a change from my usual bright aqua.  But you need to try something NEW and different every so often!  AND I figure if no ones likes it and it doesn’t sell, I can always repaint it if necessary!

P1080418Another ‘bonus’ with this type of finish is that it is super fast and easy which greatly factors into the selling price!   A good part of the price I put on items is ‘for the time’ it took me to refinish it.  With this being such a fast and easy process, I can price this piece extremely reasonably!

P1080419It is available in my booth at Stars for $29.00.  That little “Paris” stool is $17.00.


Child size desk chair

Found this cute child size desk chair on my recent thrifting rounds.

P1070539And while I LOVE finding ‘child size’ items; I HATE that they almost always come laden with stickers!!!  ACK!!!  Only a few to deal with on this particular piece.  Plus, it had a fairly shiny finish, so I was going to need to sand it before repainting it anyhow.  And the stickers sand right off with the finish.

P1070647About ten minutes with the orbital sander and it was prepped for painting.

P1070646If you don’t have an orbital sander, and you want to fix up and repaint old furniture; you really NEED this tool.  It would have taken a good HOUR to hand sand this little chair.  With the orbital it took about 5 minutes.  Time IS money!

P1070696Most of the chair I was able to paint using a mini sponge roller.  Just needed a brush for the corners.  Using a paint roller is a real time saver too.  Plus the paint goes on much smoother and more evenly.

P1070698After two quick coats of paint and almost NO drying time in the summer heat, I was ready to distress; again using the orbital sander.

P1070700Fast and easy!

P1070701I debated whether or not to paint some kind of design on the seat or back rest.  Went withOUT for now.  If it doesn’t sell right away I’ll bring it home for some additional detailing.

P1070708It is available to purchase for $25.00 in my booth at Stars in Portland.


Maybe it was really nothing more than I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, but I like to take a ‘little’ credit and call it the reward for being patient and diligent.

You know that feeling when you find EXACTLY what you were looking for, and you can hardly even believe that no one else snatched it up already?!?!?  Those times when you really want to shout “WOO!~HOO!!” out LOUD, and do a little happy dance?!?  Yea, THAT feeling.  I had one of those last week.

P1070447I found these at the thrift store.  The smaller one w/o a lid first, in the dishes aisle.  I almost passed it by because it didn’t have the lid.  But I thought it matched the one I already had at home and I could use this one as a utensil holder.

Then as I got in line to pay I saw the two bigger ones on a front aisle display and grabbed them,

P1070449Got home and sure enough, they WERE a match to the small one with a lid I already had!  Yesssssssssssssss!

P1070450And looky here!  The salt and pepper shaker I bought at an entirely different time matched too!

Now I have a nice matching kitchen canister set!  Just gotta keep an eye out for the fourth canister.


Upcycled black tray

P1070241Inexpensive and scratched up black tray from thrift store.  FLAT black paint is a nice bonus!!  Easier to paint over.

P1070243I added some little wood ‘feet’ to raise it up a bit.  (glued on with e6000)

P1070242Let the e6000 cure overnight before painting.

P1070252Two coats of paint, then some quality time with the orbital sander.

P1070251Selected a stencil that fit the inside area of the tray.


P1070312Available for purchase in my booth at Stars Antique Mall in Portland.

Lots of new SMALLS at Stars

P1070335A big ole basket FULL of assorted monograms and small signs.  Priced $3 – $10.00.

P1070315Added a lot of new things to the spinner rack.

P1070313Bags of colorful little drink umbrellas for your summer party.

P1070314A new batch of little fauXzen Charlottes for your altered art projects.

P1070317Wild flower design blank note cards.

P1070318Sets of three blank note cards.

P1070320Very vintage looking gold foil note cards.

P1070319I moved the packaged nests with eggs to the spinner rack.

P1070321Always plenty of cute mini take out gift boxes and gift enclosure cards.

P1070305An AMAZING cake plate with dome lid!!!!  I have never seen one like this, where the platter sits flat on the table.  The platter has a raised rim that the dome top fits inside of, so the lid CAN’T slide off!  (there is one VERY tiny chip on the rim; barely noticeable)

P1070272Doing some beach themed collages.

P1070273LOVE the sparkles on the sea horses!!

1 stars bannerBrought in a LOT of newly created shell topped bottles, and have them displayed in the ‘over the bed’ shelf.


P1070088And some newly made sea glass wreaths!

P1070118This big one has already sold, but I have several more to take in.

P1070090A couple of framed and matted sea glass collections.

P1070309And the biggest change is that I moved all the white dinner dishes from one of the ‘outward facing shelves’ on the back aisle to the big aqua hutch right by the entrance.  Just swapped them out with the cake pedestals that were there.

P1070298The dessert stands (MOST of them that is!) are here, where the white plated and bowls used to be.

P1070328It just makes more sense to have the rest of the white dishes closer to the others that I moved to the right side of the entrance a while back.  PLUS, the plates were not selling very well where I had them.  So hopefully this will improve sales!


This picture was taken BEFORE I removed the cake stands and put the plates and bowls on the hutch, but it’s the only picture that I have where you can SEE how nicely the display ‘transitions’ from the two front shelves to the hutch.

P1070307Just piled the stacks as high as I could!

P1070308And with them now being right at waist level, it will be easier to ‘dig through them’ to find exactly what you need!

P1070329Beat the heat and enjoy a bit of SHOPPING THERAPY at STARS!