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!


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.


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!!

My digital camera DIED!

Well, not really the CAMERA, but the battery!  And it’s a reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally OLD digital and the batteries are almost as much as a new camera!  Told myself the last time I bought a new battery for it, that the NEXT TIME, I was buying a new one.  ACK!!!  I just HATE shopping for electronic stuff.  TOO many options these days.  Suggestions anyone????  I use my camera a LOT, probably 200 pictures a week!  

LOTS of new furniture in my booth at Stars this week!

The bottom of this stack is a set of three tables.  (I will do a separate post on those in a bit)

This little cutie is SO Paris chic!  The big heart shaped bird-cage is new too.

This vintage wicker shelf is a little bit ‘greener’ than my signature beachy blue paint.  And the heart birdcage is bluer.  But it still really ‘works together’.  That’s what I love about this color.  You really DON’T have to perfectly match it!

I moved this little cubby full of crowns over from my wall space.  I’ve had these crowns in my booth for ages, (scattered here and there) and never sold a one.  FINALLY got around to displaying them in a group and the ARE selling!

Sweet small white desk

Vintage cane back chair with NEW cushion and seat.

Some pillows on the chair.

A couple of bigger (2 stacked on top of each other here) corner shelves.

Smaller corner shelf and little shelf with drawer.

Just lowered the price of this GINORMOUS lantern to $119.00!  (WAS $189.00!!)  Originally I had 2 of these.  This one and a smaller one.  Really wanted to KEEP just as display pieces.  So many cute little vignette ideas for inside them.  But the smaller one sold, and it’s just not the same with only one in the booth.  But ONE is just right for a beautiful candle display in someone’s home!

Moved the Dessert Buffet display over to my wall space.

ALL kinds of cake/dessert pedestals!


Single cake stands with cloche tops.

Two and three tier dessert stands too!

Lots of vintage small white dessert plates.

And OF COURSE, a little faux wedding cake!  (not for sale, sorry!  But the BIRD cake toppers ARE for sale in my etsy shop!


Bedroom decorating progress report

I left off awaiting the building of a work table and pondering the head-board.  Here’s how the work table turned out:

THIS was the perfect spot for the work table since we had to leave open space for the heat/air vent.  Why is that one corner rounded?  Because I am a KLUTZ and would surely bump into a pointed corner while trying to access my craft supplies in the closet!

The legs came from a rummage sale.  The rest of the table was built using reclaimed plywood.

After a bit of sanding, it was ready to be painted.  I just ‘used what I had’; a non matching (to the legs) off white.

Two coats of paint.  A good sanding so some of the wood showed through.  A QUICK dose (wipe on and immediately wipe off!) of a medium stain.  Let the stain dry/cure overnight.  Then two good coats of matte varnish.

Perfect fit!  Well, of course the table fit perfectly between the dresser and the wall because Michael built it specifically for that spot.  The white shelf on top of the table was one left over from our space in Camas.  I dragged it out of storage to use ‘temporarily’ until Michael gets my big storage cabinet built later on.  Then I discovered it fit right at the end of the table!

Kitty Spike supervises, and highly approves of the comfy new bedspread!

These old shoe boxes that I covered with torn book pages fit perfectly on the shelf!!  The ‘labels’ were on the ends of the boxes, so I’ll have to make new ones for the side that now faces front.  And my big spools of lace fit right in there too!

Wanted to see if I could fit my globe collection in the room to add a pinch of color.  Most of them are tan/cream; a few are the typical water blue; which would be the perfect touch of color.  But I’m not sure they will all fit.  Will have to reconsider them when I get closer to being finished with the room.

The spot on the table just in front of the shelf is a perfect place for my paper cutter!  Now that I can leave it out, I’ll use it a lot more.

Might make this big vintage frame into a bulletin/memo board???

And IF I do, need to decide if I should ‘leave it as is’ or paint it to match the room????

Got my new box labels done; and took the globes off the top shelf.

Yes, I really DO have that much glitter!!  Some of it is really OLD stuff leftover from my childhood!

Big gallon size vintage canning jars filled with shells have replace the globes on the top of the shelf for now.  I use those shells for lots of craft projects, but I also like to SEE them.  This is better than in a box in the closet at least!

Finding a night stand that will FIT in the small amount of space I have it going to be a REAL challenge!  For now I have a little stool with a doily on top.  And that is about as much room as I have!  We HAD (as in it has long since SOLD!) the perfect little white stool a while back.  sigh


See the taller stool in between the other two?  That would have been perfect!  Oh well, something else will come along!

We’ll look at the headboard and window treatment next time.