Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Blah to Blue (Antique dresser makeover)

I'm sure all of you can relate when I say that I sometimes buy or find "projects" and then drag them around with me for YEARS before I finally get around to giving them the much needed makeover.  With the kids all grown up and on their own;  living in the lonely, empty nest affords me much time for projects.  The subject of this post was actually purchased for an event I was involved in last June.  But I had so many other projects on the go for that event, it just didn't happen.

But, I decided last month that some things just had to GO and so I started to work on this baby!

As a side note; part way thru this project it occurred to me that I might have been sanding off a lead paint.  I wonder how many of us, without even realizing it, are putting our health at risk in pursuit of our art-form.  Be careful girls, lead as well as asbestos pose big health risks for us DIY divas. Please, do your research and be safe when working on old furniture and old homes.

So that being said, here is a before picture of my year old project.  Oh so young in my world of projects, and ohhhh soooooo ugly!!!   Ummm...excuse my messy garage and the out of focus picture.  I confess, I'm not a very tidy DIY diva.

I neglected to take any transitional photos as I worked on it I'm afraid; but here is what I did:

First off, I had to make several repairs.  The back needed reinforcing as well as one of the bottom drawers.  The hardware for attaching the mirror was missing so that needed addressing as well.
The top two drawer interiors were kinda icky. It looked like someone had lost control of the shellac bottle about 100 years ago, and the results were not a pretty site.  To clean that up I primed and decoupaged the drawers interiors, first with old sheet music and then with several pretty vintage graphics.  (I love the vintage gypsy photo best; I found it on pinterest).

ahhhh....much better..

The entire dresser and mirror were primed and then painted in Behr's Polar Bear white.  I then dry brushed the drawer fronts in several layers of blue and aqua shades until I was pleased with the colour.

The original hardware appeared to be a solid brass; but was, well, to brassy.  So I toned them down with some bronze spray and then a black glaze to give them depth.  Much prettier against the blue.

Finally it was given a good dose of distressing and then varathaned (two coats) and buffed to a soft sheen with steel wool.

I'm very happy with the final results.  I just love it when I can give something a whole new life and keep it from the trash heap.

Here it is.......
hopefully this pretty piece will grace a happy new owners home soon.

I had considered transferring an advertising graphic onto the bottom two drawers, but I got lazy.  But I'm actually kinda liking the cleaner modern country look on this girl!

Doesn't she have great legs?  And original casters too!

Thanks for stopping by.

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French Country Cottage

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Vintage Fabric Meets Window = Shabbilicious

I had a great day thrifting yesterday and found so many bits and pieces to add to my collection for up-cycling.  I love those kinds of days, don't you?  One of my favorite finds was a beautiful vintage curtain panel, circa 1950 - 1960's.  The pretty blue background was sun-bleached in the centre to a pretty pale green, which only added to it's appeal.  I couldn't resist the soft graduation from blue to pale green, and the best part(?) it was only $3; yah gotta love that!  I wish I'd taken a photo of it for you before I used it, but as usual.....

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but my first thought was to cut it down and make pretty ruffled tea towels with it.  But then I had a pinterest inspiration!!  AH-HA!!

I have this old 9 pane window that I bought last year.  It's been placed in a least 3 different locations around my living room and currently resides on top my vintage china cabinet, just leaning against the wall. Mostly because I just can't bare, or maybe I should say I'm to darn lazy to put yet 3 more plugs and screws into the walls to hang this beast.  Here it is here.......

By the way, 2 of the 9 panes were missing when I bought it.  I had them both replaced by a glass company at a cost of $50.  Buying an old window with broken glass when you actually want the glass intact is not recommended, and a mistake I sure won't repeat.  Anyway, I digress, I was originally going to paint the glass sections with Krylon- Looking Glass spray paint. which gives that old distressed mirror look, similar to mercury glass.  Then I discovered that despite wide online coverage of this craft product, it was not to be.  Sadly, this product, like so many other craft products I try to find, is not available in Canada at this time.  Quite likely a labeling issue with the Canadian requirement to have both the English and French language on everything.  Gaaahh!!  

Anyway,  my good friends Jon and Lora-lea are currently in the good ole' U.S of A and are returning later this month and bringing me back all kinds of goodies that I can't get up here.  I love you guys!!!

Anyway, back to my pinterest ahha moment,  it occurred to me that, that lovely vintage curtain panel was almost a perfect fit for my old window.  Now, if you are one of my handful of followers or if you pop in now and then you might have noticed that I'm a lover of colour.  I adore the 'all white' rooms that are so popular now, with touches of old silver and bits of rust or gold, but only in theory it seems.  For whenever I try it in my own home, I inevitably give in to the need for added colour.  Especially my favorites, blue, aqua and shades of pink.

So, I boldy attached my vintage fabric to the window with my staple gun (as few as possible to minimize fabric damage). I'm not sure this is for the faint of heart, it is QUITE colourful and a little busier than that empty old window.  But for now, I just LOVE it!  It's FABULOUSSSSSS!! By the time I get tired of it, I'll have all those goodies my friends are bringing back and I can mirror it up instead.

If you're super observant, you might have noticed that the old door next to my china cabinet looks different.  Nope, I didn't paint it. I've actually embellished the old door so that it's reversible.  This side is a soft grey and white with cafe' de paris at the top, the other side is light blue.  I found there was a little too much blue with the added fabric and some contrast was needed, so I flipped the door around.  I also rotated some of the decor a little, but I do that almost daily anyway *wink*.

I'd love to hear what you think.....


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