A Splash of Teal Brings New Life

This buffet is actually the first piece of furniture John and I ever worked on together. When we first got married we had VERY little money  so our friends John and Devon gave us this buffet. It was almost that orange yellow wood color… not my idea of pretty. So we lugged it down the stairs of our 2nd floor barn apartment and bought a couple cans of spray paint and painted it black. Then headed off to the hardware store to grab new handles. It’s been almost 9 years now and it’s held up well. Thanks John and Devon! :)

Remember the beautiful California Poppy Red Hutch that we just finished??  Well, that took this oldies place in our dining room. As I was lugging it around to make room for the new hutch, I just couldn’t bare to get rid of it. I still love the look of it and it’s a solid piece of furniture. Ok, insert sentimental comment here. :) Anyway, we decided to give it a quick face lift instead and make it our entertainment center. It’s a simple, makeover that really gave our living room a unique look.

First, we sprayed the whole thing with a couple coats of black.

Then I decided I wanted teal, you know how I love teal! So, I put two strips of painters tape across the top (once I knew the black had time to really dry and set). I hand painted the teal with the same color teal I had hand mixed from the Pine Dresser. Trying to be thrifty and I LOVE the color. Have I mentioned that already?

I wanted to try out using stencils on this piece, as you know I like to try new things on my own pieces first. I bought a $2.99 stencil from Hobby Lobby and taped it on using the painters tape. I am not sure if this is the best way, but it seemed to do the trick for me. I just centered the stencil to the hole where the knob was going to go. I should have used a sponge to dab the paint on, but I used a paintbrush. It made it a bit of a pain, but it still turned out well. I’ll just remember that for next time.

And voila, the pop of color I was looking for!

Ok, time to seal it twice (three times on top because I know my kids will beat it up with swords, etc). Here’s the finished project.

Oh, and another thing I was reminded of while doing this project. It’s REALLY hard to get good pictures of black furniture. I’m not sure why, but it’s true…. this is so much cuter in person.

Once I have my new TV and everything looking pretty, I’ll post a picture of it in my living room. Now, time for you to go make something old look like something new for less than $10. Enjoy!

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Hope your enjoying a restful Sunday!


How to Repaint a Hutch

My next furniture project came from my dear friend, Lara. When I was a little girl, she was a teenager  who went to the same church as I did. I remember watching her and admiring her joy, beauty, compassion, and love for God. She was kind to me even though I’m sure back then most would have considered me to be just another annoying little kid. Now we’re both married with kids and I still admire her and am so thankful for her friendship. She has had this hutch for years, but she is remodeling her kitchen and it will no longer fit. It’s a monster! It’s so big, I couldn’t stand both pieces up in my basement! So, I’m sorry for the not so great before pictures.

I had already started filling the deep holes with spackling compound and then remember I hadn’t taken  a before picture. Why do I always forget the before pictures? The top doors of the hutch had screws that held the glass in and the decorative grating behind the glass just popped right out. I didn’t want to keep the grating because I thought it gave the piece a dated look.

After prepping the hutch by cleaning it and sanding the spackling compound, I headed to our local Home Depot store. I spent WAY to long trying to find the right type of red paint. My couch and the chandelier in my dining room are red. It had to match with them, but not be too bright or too orange. When looking online at red hutches there were only a  couple that (in my opinion) had the perfect red. Anyway, I narrowed it down to either California Poppy or Red Licorice. After asking my friend Jo Ann and the older gentleman who was the greeter at Home Depot, I went with the California Poppy. I was going to buy the Behr primer and satin paint in one, but a really helpful lady working in the paint department named Nancy changed my mind. She recommended that I use a grey primer and then painted with a primer and satin Behr in one paint. I took her word for it and I must say it covered REALLY well! Thanks Nancy!

Since I loved this piece so much and knew that I wanted to keep it for myself, I tried some new tricks to see how they worked. Normally I’m nervous about trying shortcuts with something I’m going to sell. First, I left all the doors on and spray painted it with primer and one coat of the Beehr California Poppy paint using our air sprayer. I didn’t want to have to take the doors off and wait for each side to dry for so long and have to do that 3 times each side. I also knew that I wanted to paint the handles anyway so I might as well prime them while I was at it. Another shortcut was to put duct tap (or thick painters tape if you have it) all the way around the drawer so I could paint the drawer without having to take the drawer out of the piece. Also, I didn’t want the paint to spray inside the drawer either. I taped it and then kept it open about 1/2 inch as I painted.

Both of these shortcuts worked really well. I will definitely be doing this again whenever possible. I started by priming everything with the grey primer.

After I did the whole thing grey, I almost changed my mind and wanted to pain the hutch grey, but John told me to trust my gut and go with the red. That man is perfect for me! :) So, I got started painting the red! This was the red after the second coat. Pretty fire hydrant red, right?? To be honest, I was a little nervous about how bright it was.

But then I started glazing it. I used a little different technique when glazing this piece by using a foam brush and putting quite a bit of Martha Stewart’s Coffee Glaze glaze all over the detailing and edges and some on the smooth surfaces.

I worked in small sections and left the glaze on for 10 minutes and then smudged it off until it had the look I wanted. Since all the hinges and knobs were off at this point, I spray painted all of them (even the screws) a flat black. I like that each piece had red already painted on it, it gave them an antique look.
You’ve probably already noticed, but I left the inside of the top and bottom of the hutch the medium grey color. I liked having it a different color inside the glass doors. It made everything inside stand out.
Here she is… all happy in my little dining room!

And of course I had to show it to you with all my stuff in it! :) Thank you, Lara, for the hutch! I love, love, love it.

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Modern Tree Coffee Table

This was a really fun coffee table redesign! I wanted to push myself to try something new. We got this at a yard sale two summers ago. Sad, I know, that it sat for so long. Let’s get right to it, shall we? Here’s the before picture.

I didn’t mind the color and I liked the style, but I wanted to give it a modern feel. I forgot to take a picture of the underneath, but the whole thig was colored with markers and crayons. Believe it or not even primer wouldn’t cover it! So, I had to paint the underneath black as well. I was toying with the idea of making the picture on a piece of furniture by having the wood be the image color; kindof like backwards stenciling. I wanted to make a tree that had a modern feel, but I also wanted to add a bird. Just in the mood. So, I went to Hobby Lobby and bought contact paper and a swiveling X-acto knife.
I originally wanted to keep the outside edges brown so I put duct tape down in a square. I know, don’t use duct tape. John took the painters tape to work on the apartment so I didn’t have it. Hence, I gave duct tape a try. Believe it or not, it worked well (not that I’m officially recommending it). It would take paint off if you tried to use it on something painted.

Ok, this is a really bad picture, but I could not get it to come out well. I laid the contact paper down on the table and hand drew how I wanted the tree to look.

Once it was the right size and I liked it, I moved it to another table and put an old piece of Sheetrock underneath it, and got my cutting on. Then, I placed it onto the table very carefully. This took four hands, thanks Johnny. ;) Then I pressed all the edges down to make sure there were no air bubbles. I painted over the whole thing with a cream color.

I waited about 15 minutes until the paint was tacky and pulled the contact paper off. Are you ready for it??

Cool right?? Then, I wanted to add black around the border. So, this time I made another trip to Hobby Lobby and bought actual painters tape that was thinner. Then I painted the rest of the edges black. All of the painting on this piece was done by hand using a regular paint brush.

Then, I sprayed it three times with Polyacrilic just to make sure it was sealed well.

So, as my three year old son would say… How you think?? Oh, and this one sold in less than a day on craigslist. Thank you for buying it, Angela!!

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Ladies and Gents Dressers – Part 2

This is part 2 of our Ladies and Gentleman’s dressers. This is the hardest dresser we’ve done so far, but definitely one of my favorite finished products. Thanks for pushing me to try new things, Macknenzie! This dresser was so ugly as you can see below; I really think you won’t believe it’s the same dresser in the end.

First, I took all the knobs off because we were getting new glass ones for it (well, actually Mackenzie was getting them). I then painted everything with all in one primer that doesn’t requires sanding using our air sprayer. Then, we painted it with two coats of flat black paint. As I said in part 1, don’t use flat black. Lessons learned! :)

Another lesson learned, don’t work on too many projects at once. I was priming another piece and the spray must have floated in the air and landed on the dresser. It wouldn’t come off, so I had to paint it AGAIN. See!

Can you tell what tools I had sitting on top? Sand block and paint brushes! :) lol
After the black was done, we added paintable wallpaper to each drawer. When you’re picking out the paper, make sure the design goes the right direction because usually wallpaper is not wide enough and you have to run it length wise. The only tricky part about it is making sure all the designs line up correctly. It wasn’t that hard though. After each was cut, I used spray adhesive to attach it to the dresser (make sure you do that outside as the spray is very potent).

After it completely dry,  I sprayed it with black paint. After the black was dry, we added white trim. We had to use a hand saw to cut the trim because a circular saw chopped it apart. What a handsome guy that is working away? ;)

Then we glued it on using liquid nail. You’ll have to put something on top to push it down and have it dry correctly. After it’s dry, fill in the corners and touch up paint.

Once everything is all set, we painted it twice with Polyacrylic. Then the final step was to add the glass knobs and that’s what pushed me over the edge on how much I LOVE this dresser.

And the finished product!

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Ladies and Gents Dresser Set – Part 1

For this dresser repurposing project, we had quite the task ahead of us. My friend from work, Mackenzie, asked us to design two dressers for her and her boyfriend. We had two non matching dressers that we wanted to make different, but still match enough to put in one room and have unity. I need to forewarn you, these two dresser are not for the faint of heart. :) It took a lot of time and effort, but in the end we love them.
Today is part one…. I like to call it the Gentleman’s dresser.

It was in not so great shape, as you can see! It needed a new bottom board, new handles, the top two drawers were broken and not repairable, and there was a crack on the main board between those two top drawers. On top of that there were lots of  dents and chips all over it. We first used Bondo to fill all of the scratches and cracks.

Then we sanded it down..

Ok, onto the top drawer problems… we had to wood glue and clamp the center board to fix it. This was the before.

We took the top two drawers and cut the fronts off using a small hand saw.

Then we primed all of the drawers.

Then we primed the rest of it two times and painted everything two times with a flat black paint using our air sprayer. Word to the wise, don’t use black flat! Go Satin if at all possible. The Polyacrylic that we sealed it with was satin so it evened out in the end, but flat black is really hard to work with all along the way.

John put the “guts” of the drawer back in and framed them out with an L shaped trim. He used his nail gun to actually nail the boxes into place and nail the trim on. After you nail the trim, you’ll have to fill it with wood filler or putty and paint over it again.

When we removed the old handles, we filled the holes because Mackenzie wanted glass knobs which required only one hole instead of two. We filled it just like it any hole and sanded it down. Two days before we were suppose to deliver this one, I realized that we forgot to attach the bottom board that was missing. We hadn’t even cut or primed it!!! What in the world?? How did we both miss that? So, John worked hard and late to get the bottom board cut, primed, painted twice.  Once everything was repaired and painted, we sprayed it twice with satin Polyacrylic. Here it is before we added the handles.

Now that it’s all set, we quickly brought it over to Mackenzie which is why I forgot to do an “after”picture. Mackenzie took one for me at her house. Thanks Mackenzie!!

She will also be getting baskets for the top two openings and I think that will finish this one off handsomely. :) Stay tuned for part 2, the Ladies Dresser! I LOVE the 2nd dresser!!

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Pine Dresser DIY Refacing

This solid pine, antique dresser was so much fun to make over; my favorite project so far. We found this on craigslist and drove 40 minutes into the country to pick it up. The trip out there on a Sunday afternoon was an adventure. I had never been to the area, but found out John had family who lived two houses down from where we picked up the dresser. It was on a long, creepy dirt road. We would pass by a dilapidated shack with a tarp for a roof that was being lived in and then the next house was a mansion. We turned into the driveway and it was this long, icy road to a house that we couldn’t see yet. I then told John we were going to be murdered by some crazy craigslist killer… to which he laughed (as usual) and told me it was fine. He was more than comfortable in that “neck of the woods”. The house ended up being hand built and amazing! The woman was so kind and gave me a free Craftsman shop vac while we were there.

Ok, ok, enough about the pick up; onto the pictures! I know that’s what you’ve been waiting for. :)









The left side of the dresser had a chuck ripped out of it. Almost like a dog had chewed on the side. Other than that and a couple dents here and there, the structure was perfect. So, we started by building up the damaged section with Bondo. In case you haven’t read our other blog posts, we find that it hardens better than wood filler so it’s our filler of choice.
We then started the typical painting steps…
Prime with Zinsser 123 primer (no sanding necessary and it covers really well).


After priming, I painted it with two coats of teal. Speaking of the paint; I learned on this project that you can mix paint finishes to get the look you want. So, I had this awesome teal (the same one I used on the Teal Chair), but it was high gloss and too bright for what I was wanted. I mixed it with a little bit of flat black paint; the color and finish came out just like I wanted. I then used Martha Stewart’s Coffee Glaze to give it more of an antique look. Remember when glazing, less is more. You don’t need much on your paint brush at all! I originally planned to leave some of the wood exposed and only paint part of it.

Then after looking at it for WAY too long and asking lots of friends advice, I decided to paint the whole thing. Oh, and I also took the handles off, primed and painted them a flat black. At first I painted all the wood except the bottoms of each drawer. I didn’t like that either,  so the next step was to change that wood into black strips on each drawer.

After the painting, I hit it with one coat of Minwax Polycrylic using our air sprayer. I finally figured out after using the air sprayer for other projects that you have to turn the pressure really low on your air sprayer when you are on using polycrylic. Otherwise it sprays way too much and you end up having dripping, and an uneven gloss. Ok, the last step was to use wood wax on each drawer to make sure that it slides easily. All you do it rub it on the bottom of each drawer (a candle would work just as well, too).

Are you ready for the finished product??

Hope you enjoyed!

For the Love of Teal! Chair

This is a really simple chair makeover that was a lot of fun! Here’s the before picture:

My mom grabbed this chair at a yard sale for me last summer. I really like the style, but it needed a pop of color… yes, for the love of teal! The first thing that had to go was the seat cover. I found fabric that I loved at Hobby Lobby in the clearance for around $3 per yard. 

I almost thought I liked it with the original wood color.

Then I changed my mind and decided it needed color for sure. So, I just had to prime it, paint it twice and here we go.

Happy redesigns!

Antique Night Stand – Sanding and Glazing

This night stand was in rough shape when it was given to us. The nice part about getting a furniture piece for free is that I don’t feel so nervous about messing it up! This is my first attempt at sanding a piece and glazing it without John’s help! :) Here’s the before (I forgot to take a before picture so all I have to offer is the picture they texted (is that a word?) me of it to see if we wanted it.

I wanted to try sanding the top and the front of the drawer to see how they came out because they were very distressed and I liked that.

I really liked how it came out so I went ahead a painted the rest using our air sprayer. First, I had to cover the top so I grabbed what I had handy… an Aldi bag. That’s right, sometimes I forget to bring my big IKEA bags and have to spend money on a bag… tisk, tisk.  Anyway, it did the trick and I used painters tape to seal it around the top so the top didn’t get any paint on it.

Pretty already, I know! Ok, so on to the hard part. My first attempt at glazing. I went and bought Martha Stewart’s coffee glaze at Home Depot. I read about it on other sites and loved the look in the end. So, based on everything I read about glazing… less is more! I started with a little bit on the bush, then dabbed it in a cloth to make it even less. Here’s what it looked like when I first brushed it on.

Then, I took a cloth and rubbed it out until it was a look that I liked.

LOVE it! Now I need to keep myself from wanting to glaze everything. It’s a sickness… I’m sure of it!
Here’s a couple pictures of the finished product.

I had to also display a couple cool antiques that were given to me this weekend from my Aunt Alice.


Half-Moon Hall Table Face Lift

Our good friend, Jo Ann,  (you will probably hear her name mentioned quite a bit) had this little hall table that was her grandmothers. It had a crack on one side and she wanted that fixed, to have us paint it a yellow color (we are all still debating on what color this actually is… lol), and then have us sand the edges to keep the antique look to the piece. Here’s our set by stop how to on refacing it.

Here are the before pictures…

We sprayed it with a first coat of primer. If you look at primers when you get to the store, you should always buy the kind that says no sanding required. It will save you a lot of time. We always use a water based primer and put it in our air painter that is hooked up to our air compressor. If you don’t have an air sprayer, you could buy spray primer and paint.

One little trick that John learned while working on the trim in the different mansions he worked on is that when you are fixing wood you can use Bondo instead of wood filler. He said it hardens much more quickly and keeps hardened better than wood filler. So, first we filled the crack with wood glue and clamped it down so that it would stay level (sorry I forgot to take a picture of that). Once it was dry, he put Bondo on the crack to level it with the rest of the wood.

This is the tricky part, you have to sand it by hand until the Bondo has the same shape as the wood’s edge. This took him quite a while and he used a regular piece of multi purpose sand paper.

Time to get our color on!

We painted it two times with Behr interior satin paint. Color TBD… lol!

After that was dry, John hand sanded most of the edges to expose the original wood and give it that antique look Jo Ann was looking for.

Then we sprayed with with a layer of Polyacrylic. This is is different from Polyurethane and it won’t leave a yellow tint in time (not to mention it doesn’t smell as bad).

Here’s the finished product! What do you think?? What color would you say it is?

Buffet Bliss

This buffet was given to us from a dear friend, Janet. It was her great grandmother’s. We still have the matching table set, but the buffet ended up not fitting in our new dining room. Our friend Jo Ann had a spot in her dining room that was just asking for it. :) This was a pretty easy makeover. We simply used a rough paint brush and regular latex paint. (Behr Oops paint of course!)

Here’s what it looked like to start with:

I took the doors off and hand painted them.

Painted the bottom and sides a matching yellow.

Reattached everything…

Decided it needed a little more yellow and we’re done!