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.

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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.

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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)

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

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

~::~

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Nesting tables

Bought this set of wood nesting tables at an estate sale a while back.

At first I didn’t think they all actually went together, because of the different shapes; but they are indeed a ‘set’.  When the smaller tables are ‘nested’ they slide on runners that actually lift the legs slightly off the floor.  A unique feature.

I sanded off all the ‘sheen’; painted them aqua and sanded again to distress.  (I was able to do most of the distressing with an orbital sander.  Then added some stenciled designs.  Since I never actually sell a set of tables ‘as a set’

A set of ANYthing that a customer MIGHT want to buy ‘just one of’; it’s always best to price individually.  For several reasons:  a) Someone WILL ask “How much for just one of them?” whether they are actually interested in buying just one of not.  b) They can STILL buy the set for the combined price; but the store doesn’t have to waste time calling you to ask.  c) If the set gets ‘separated’ by shoppers in your booth you have items that don’t have tags and they end up in another booth!  It’s just easier to price them individually and be done with it!

I didn’t want to completely cover the tables with a design, and I didn’t have any stencils that ‘worked’ with both shapes.  Settled on these simple edge designs.

Nesting tables are GREAT to work with in your displays!  You can ‘nest’ them id space is tight.  Stack and use them like a shelf, or spread them around.

I actually only had room for the large oval one when I took then in last week.  Stacked it atop a little night stand at the front of my booth.

In the meantime, I got this other oval table put together and painted, and took it in along with the two smaller nesting tables on my next trip.

This third oval table has been in my booth for a while.  I was HOPING the newer oval pedestal table was a slightly lower height than the one already in my booth; and I knew the oval from the nesting set was shorter.  I putting them at the front of my booth, cascading from taller to shortest; with the matching upholstered chair and overstuffed foot stool sitting on top of them; along with some stacks of my grubby books.

Yippee Skippee!!!  The heights are just right!

Alas, the chair legs were a tad too wide to fit on the biggest table.  (well, the just perfectly fit . . . but could have easily been knocked off with the slightest touch.  A gamble I was not willing to take.  So the three tables ended up like this.

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You can still see part of them from the front of my booth; tucked behind a couple of night stands.  As soon as something sells and I have a little more room to work with; I’ll bring the three tabled forward.

Did you notice the two smaller nesting tables on top of the tallest oval?  Once I have more room, I’ll spread those out or stack them for better visibility.

I wanted to be sure it was really well stocked going into this weekend because  . . .

I am occupied taking care of this little ball of energy this weekend while her mommy  and daddy (My son and his wife) are out of town for a friend’s wedding.

Yep!  She follows my every move.  Sleeps at my feet when I am sitting down (she’s ON my feet, under the computer desk right now!) And keeps me very entertained.

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And before you ask . . .  she is a ‘Bernedoodle’.

Outdated / updated Folk Art chest

Cute little ‘folk art’ style three drawer chest.  Emphasis on the LITTLE!  It’s more like jewelry box size, but with deeper drawers.

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The images on the drawers are glued on PAPER; and the knobs are STAPLES on!  So, that’s a new ‘issue’ for me to deal with.  I can’t sand off all of the paper without removing the knobs, and those suckers would not BUDGE!  I finally just had to WHACK them off with a rubber mallet; then lift the staples with a screwdriver, then pull then the rest of the way out with pliers.  Whew!

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And this is what the drawer fronts looked like after I sanded off the paper pictures.  I could fill the holes from the staples and drill new holes for the new knobs . . . . OR . . . .    before I did all that I noticed that the BACKS of the drawers were the SAME size as the fronts.  Could the solution to this conundrum possibly be as simple as turning the drawers around?!?!?  NOTHING is ever that easy for me.

But YES!!  It worked!  The innards of the drawers were ‘clean’ but they LOOKED dirty due to a poor staining job; so I added some pretty paper on the bottoms to spiff them up a bit.  Now to search for ‘just the right’ new knobs; which entails digging through 8 plastic show boxes of knobs.

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Doesn’t it look like a face close up like this!?!  hehe  The knobs don’t exactly match; but are similar enough.   The top two have pewter colored centers and are new reproductions.  The bottom is a vintage knob and back plate with a gold finish.

I painted the whole thing aqua (including the BACK!)  and distressed with my orbital sander.  Pretty quick and easy projects once I got the old knobs off!

OUTDATED                                      UPDATED

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MORE banners

So, while I had all my banner making supplies spread out all over the living room; I found some MORE supplies to use up.

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These bigger, glitter-edged letters are pretty ‘fancy’ as is, so I opted for a simple vintage sheet music backing.  (after trying out a LOT of other design options!)  These cut-out  paper the letters are made from paper that looks like faded book pages.

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For these, and whenEVER possible, I do ‘hole punches’ for adding the hanging string to the banner.  MUCH less time-consuming than gluing string or ribbon to the back.

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I had three full sets of this particular lettering; with 2-3 of each letter; so after I used up all the D’s and M’s I had on these dream banners, I still had a LOT of letters left.  But not a lot of options for  words to spell, with some letters having been used up.  So I laid out all that I have left to see what other words I could spell.

 I had used up all the sheet music backings that I had pre-made, also; so I went with dictionary pages for the Paris banners.  (* I make the banner backings ahead of time and always have a stash of them on hand.  That way, when I’m in a creating mood I can get right to it; without as much ‘prep work’ before hand.  Plus I like to have ‘busy work’ to do while I am watching TV, and this kind of thing is perfect for that!)P1260790

~::~

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On this one, that I already took to Stars; I used tea stained sheet music for the backing.  (but I only had enough of the tea stained pages to do one banner)

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I sure hope ‘DREAM’ banners are popular because I now have a LOT of them.  NOW I just need to figure out what to do with all the left-over ‘odd’ letters . . . . Q – X – V = Z – J   . . . . .   Maybe for some altered art projects??

‘Fancified’ wood shelf

Recently had Michael build a few wood shelves for me.

I decided I wanted to do ‘something more’ than just paint them this time.

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But of course I still had to paint it first!  This is a low and deep shelf, so I decided to ‘raise it up’ a bit.

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I grabbed some boards from my sign board stash and constructed and painted this base.  Then glued and nailed the two together.

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Decided it still needed a tad more ‘oomph’ so I added this braided trim.  (I have a stash of trims; purchased at craft store.)

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Ta~Da!

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It has gone to my booth at Stars.

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And the BEST part is that it was the prefect size to top with this metal shelf; which made the perfect display for my crowns!

Upcycled soap box

Hello, my name is aj; and I’m a ‘soapaholic’. 

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If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ve probably already figured that out!  I must confess that my addiction goes further than that.

I can’t resist ‘sniffing soaps’ at the store.

No, not the soaps in the soap aisle at the grocery store.  The ‘fancy’ soaps that come in pretty boxes.  Marshall’s is my favorite store for ‘soap sniffing’.  But I don’t sniff just ‘any soap’!  No ‘floral’ fragrances for me (except Lavender).  Other floral scents make me sneeze!  And I only like ‘neutral color’ soaps.P1260297I I was attracted to this box of soap because of the pretty box.  When I opened it and saw that it was PINK, I quickly put the lid back on and replaced it on the shelf withOUT even smelling it.  Because I don’t like pink soaps!

Just as I was starting to reach for the next box to open and sniff; the fragrance from that box with pink soap gently wafted by and it was AMAZING!  It smelled like a fresh strawberry pie.  I could NOT resist a full on sniff.  I HAD to buy it!

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The soap itself went directly into my shower and the box to my craft table.  I especially like how the box was decorated with the baker’s twine.  (will have to remember that trick!)

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I love upcycling these pretty soap boxes.  Usually I have to re-cover the entire box; but this one was already decorated so nicely that I only had to cover the ‘soap’ information.

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I found some print scrap book paper that coordinated with the paper on the box to cover the front label.

Used a piece of the same paper to cover the bottom of the box.

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There was a removable ‘riser’ in the bottom of the box that I wanted to leave in place because it SMELLED so good; so I added some of the same paper to it.

Easy peasey pretty (and fragrant!) little gift box ready to go!

New batch of small frames. 50% OFF sale reminder.

I typically prefer to gather and re-vamp BIG wall size picture frames, but it’s been pretty slim pickin’s on those lately, so I’ve started rummaging through the smaller frames at thrift stores and estate sales of late.

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 Here are some from my most recent batch of made-over frames.

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Just aqua paint and some hand sanding on them all.

P1220052I look for frames with interesting embossed details.

P1220056Sometimes the details are ‘just’ in the corners.

P1220061Other times, the whole frame is detailed.

P1220065Even just repetitive grooves add a lot of interest once painted and distressed.

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I was in a hurry to get this batch done and into my booth, and decided to forego the ‘pictures’ in most of these frames.  It really doesn’t COST much to add some kind of a picture to them, but it is TIME consuming.

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But I still managed to add a ‘little something’ to a few of them!

P1220067Sometimes I do varying shades of aqua / turquoise when I do a batch of frames.  Since each frame was so unique I went with all the same color on all of them this time.

P1220069Really DEEP frames are always a good find too!

P1220333Not so fond of how this one turned out.  Just might have to repaint it white.  We’ll see.

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I think I actually liked it BETTER before I repainted it!  You can’t tell in the picture, but the brown part of the frame has a crackled texture to it; kind of looks like alligator skin.

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An old, newly repainted berry basket stand was ‘called up’ to serve as the display for the gathering of all the smaller frames.  ( a few of them are from a previous batch)

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Layers of frames; a study of contrast.
P1220313This small and sweet vintage metal frame was perfect ‘as found’; I just added a picture.


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This batch of larger ‘wall frames’ had originally all been repainted white and distressed.  Alas, they had been sitting in my booth for TOO long without selling, so I brought them home for another make-over.  A quick dry brush with aqua or turquoise paint and a bit more sanding.  Back in my booth just in time for the HALF PRICE SALE.

P1220346I SO wish I had more wall space available so that I could actually ‘display’ them instead of just plopping them on the floor.  Frames are probably my favorite decorating accessory and they sell so much better when ‘properly displayed’.

P1220343Although there is another dealer who has one of those big ole canvas cargo carts in her booth and she just piles all her frames into it.  I constantly see shoppers curiously rummaging through them, hunting for a treasure to take home.

P1220351REMINDER:  EVERYTHING IN MY BOOTH IS 50% OFF THROUGH LABOR DAY MONDAY.  Sale signs are posted in each booth, (and in all 3 stores!) with varying % off.  Perfect way to spend a rainy Labor Day weekend.

P1220361I’ve got lots of vintage little gold frames too!

Outdated / Updated Jewelry box

7.13.13 Both + finds 200Rummage sale jewelry box, still covered with dust!  The MAIN thing I look for in old jewelry boxes before buying them to update is CLEAN INNARDS!   I’d say about 90% of them that I look back are not clean enough inside for me to buy.  No one wants to store their jewelry in a fabric lined and very stained drawer!

7.13.13 Both + finds 201The doors open up to three more drawers.  Opening the bottom drawer activates the music box. This one was considerable more elaborate than I had ever worked on before, but it had clean innards and the price was right; even if it didn’t turn out ‘good enough to sell’.

P1080050I’m actually quite pleased with the way it turned out!

P1080054I even painted the back!  There’s the crank for the music.

P1080051This was a more labor intensive project than I thought it would be.  Painting the metal grating on the doors took more time than anything else.

P1080053I was however, able to do a fair amount of the sanding to distress with my orbital sander.  Only had to supplement a little bit of hand sanding.

P1080052Lots of ridges and raised details make for great distressing.

P1080076It went to my booth at Stars.

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And has already SOLD!

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By JOVE! I think I’ve got it!!

I think I finally figured out my new digital camera and how to make the files smaller!  woo-hoo!!  

I ended up having to go to the doctor last week for my latest two bee stings.  The red welt from the one on my hand was traveling UP my arm; and the welt from the sting near my elbow was traveling DOWN my arm and I had a ONE INCH strip on my arm where you could see them almost ready to overlap!  I looked like I had a ‘Popeye’ arm!  Remember when he ate his spinach and he got ginormous forearms?  Yep, I was looking pretty freakish!

I took this pic the day after my doctor’s appt and steroid shot, so the swelling had started going down quite a bit.  It looks like a bad BURN, doesn’t it?  Felt like it too!  And I have NO IDEA what the white ‘worm looking thing’ in the middle of the red spot is?!?!  But it’s STILL there and while the redness is mostly gone, that whole area feels like alligator skin!  YUK!

SO, anyhow . . . . I HAD to get to the doctor and take whatever appointment I could get at the last minute; and it was my errand and stock at Stars day.  I ended up being about 20 minutes early for my appt, so I got out my camera and ‘fiddled with it’ to get the flash turned off and adjust the file size of the pictures.  don’t ask me HOW I did.  I just did and that’s all that matters, right?  So NOW I can finally post new pictures from Stars!

The ‘wall booth’ hasn’t changed too much.  And THAT needs to change!  Just not sure WHAT I want to do with it next.  Maybe I’ll make it my ‘holiday space’ for the rest of the year???

I am not fond of the color orange, at ALL.  But I LOVE this orange and aqua fabric on the aqua chair.  I wish I’d bought MORE of it to make some throw pillows and maybe a foot stool.

It’s sitting on top of an upcycled round table.

Starfish painted around the rim of the table.

 

 

Two of these lamps with clear SEQUINS on them!

 

 

 

 

MIGHT have to bring this little step ladder home this week, if it hasn’t sold.  Saw a flea market mag today that had one used as a table base; and I have the perfect oval piece of wood I could use!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve also been listing a LOT of new stuff in my  etsy shop.

 

 

The finished dresser

If YOU are ever on the hunt for a dresser to ‘use as an art canvas’ and do a unique paint job on; THIS is exactly what you want to look for:

– perfectly clean lines on the front.  No ‘fancy stuff’ on the drawers.  (just like this one!)

– little to NO space between the drawers.   (just like this one!)

– as few knobs/pulls as possible.  (just like this one!  BUT, you can always fill in extra holes with putty)

And while this dresser WAS ‘the perfect candidate’ for the ART DRESSER I’ve been itchin’ to create . . . . I chickened out! I’m just NOT QUITE to the point where I can AFFORD to say “I don’t care if it sells or not!”.  I don’t mind re-painting something a different color if it has sat and not sold for a long time; (and HAVE done so many times!)  but I don’t want to have to spend DAYS removing an old design.   

SO, I went with my original thought and as someone commented, just did some unique drawer pulls.   My thinking is that knobs are super easy to change out and fairly inexpensive to buy new ones; especially when it’s as few a just four, as on this dresser.   And if everything else about the dresser was to their liking (size and paint color) that some wild and crazy knobs would NOT be a ‘deal breaker’ to a potential customer.  

These are the same wood ovals I pondered using with the numbered drawer pulls.  They were hand cut from pine years ago when I was doing primitives and folk art; so they are NOT perfectly oval.  I have 2 sizes.  The picture above is on the BACK side of the knob.  I added a thin wood piece to function as a washer, so to create a bit of space for easier handling of the knobs.

I painted the 8 individual pieces first; then glued them together with e6000.

Then after the adhesive completely dried, I sanded the edges a bit and applied a mat varnish for protection since they will be ‘handled’ a lot. (sheesh!)

Meanwhile, I had removed all the old knobs, and sanded the entire dressed.  Was HOPING to be able to get down to the bare wood, so that when I distressed it later that the brown would show through.  Alas, it had TOO many layers of paint for me to sand through; (except along the edges) so I just sanded off the sheen, then applied a coat of KILZ primer.  The above picture is BEFORE I distressed.

After distressing.  You can see a few specks of the brown undercoat, but it’s mostly the white primer that shows through where I sanded.  (it just doesn’t show UP very well in the photo!)

And there she is!   The little dresser with the funky oval knobs!

The white distressed stuff STILL is not showing through, even this close.  Trust me, it’s IS quite distressed.  

I do not typically apply varnish, or any kind of protective clear coat over my finishes.  I like to allow things to ‘continue to age’, and don’t want to worry about it getting scratched or knicked up while I haul it around.  But, as I already mentioned, I did varnish the drawer pulls, and I usually apply a coat of MAT varnish to the TOP ONLY of tables and dressers, for added durability.

Just be sure ALL your products are of the same BASE.  (ie oil based or water based)  I ONLY use water based products.  Have you ever repainted something and had it remain ‘tacky’ (sticky!) for ages???  That would be because you probably applied a water based paint over a water based; or vice versa.  Another good reason to ALWAYS sand off the old finish and/or use a GOOD PRIMER!

I must admit that I’m not as thrilled with the results as I thought I’d be.  I don’t dislike it.  I’m just not ‘over the moon’ with it.  She’ll be hanging out in storage for a short while before heading to Stars.  Michael is working on some wonderfully RUSTIC pieces made from sun bleached wood that will be going to Stars next.