Category Archives: Before and Afters

Simple Dresser Makeover

I can’t believe I started this blog a year ago. It was such a great decision! I love having so much proof of my hard work because it’s so easy to write things off and forget. If you’d like to see what I’ve been up to the past year, you can find a photo link to each project on my project gallery page.  I’ve got a new project to help kick off the year.  Its a five drawer dresser I found on Craigslist for $25. It was clearly well built and just needed a little makeup and maybe some microdermabrasion and possibly new jewelry.

Now I actually had no specific use for this, but for $25 dolla dolla bills ya’ll AND those dovetailed joints, it’s hard to say no. It’s definitely a piece that can blend well in any decor and I’m digging the simple clean lines.

I knew I didn’t want another fully painted piece and the wood was in really good shape once it got a good sanding, but it took me a couple weeks to decide what to do with it. My problem isn’t being afraid to take a chance, its NARROWING down all of the options. Another gradient? Paint a pattern? Wall paper the front? Stripe it? This may sound so kooky but I find it I just let it settle for a few days if I’m unsure, then the piece usually speaks to me. Not literally, just like it becomes more clear to me what it wants. In this case, it wanted I white body and rich stained drawers.

I primed the body with Kilz primer spray paint, sent from heaven, and stained the drawer fronts using Minwax stain & polyurethane in one step in a color called Bombay Mahogany. Then I snuck a drawer back in stood back and decided that was the one!

I slapped a couple coats of white paint and some polycrylic to polish it off. Time to drill holes for the knobs. I created  paper template and measured out where I wanted the holes to go.

Here are the new knobs I picked out. It was love at first sight, but only took me a couple of months to find “the ONE” or ten in this case. i found them at Hobby Lobby, where else? They have TONS of knobs, but rarely do they enough all at one store. So I usually end up making another trip to a different store. Twenty dollars for the knobs is almost as much as I paid for the dresser! It’s still pretty cheap altogether.


I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out. I’ve been kind of having a love affair with wood lately and this is the best of both worlds. I’ve been seeing a lot of pieces refinished similar to this and served as the perfect inspiration! I have so many other projects that haven’t quite seen the light of day but luckily I got quite a few Christmas goodies that make everything easier and I’ll be sharing soon!

Somewhat Simple

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Antiquing an Antique

It’s possible, and I totally did it. I have a buffet that backs up to some chairs in my living room. I absolutely love the piece, but was having a lot of inner turmoil over whether to paint it or not. Believe it or not, sometimes wood it pretty. The buffet was lacking something and I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what. I’ve had this almost three years, and just kind of let it be because nothing was lighting my Christmas tree if you know what I mean.

Last week I came across a post of an updated buffet using Rub n’ Buff, and let me tell you, it looks amazing!  So I aspired to do something similar because, that’s what blogs are for??? Inspiration?!?!

New Side Table
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Buffet Supplies

Here’s my ingredients,

  • Rub n’ Buff in Silver Leaf (It’s what I had on hand from this project.)
  • Paintbrush
  • Paper Towels
  • Folk Art Antiquing Medium in Apple Butter Brown
  • ONE finger

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First off, I rubbed in the Rub n’ Buff into the wood trim. As soon as I would finish one part I would be like “Oh this part would look cool in silver too! Oh and this part! And THIS part!” I ended up silver leafing the trim, embellishments, hardware and legs.
Buffet Antique comparison

Here’s a quick comparison. The silver wasn’t so bold in person, but it needed a little more dimension.

This is the original hardware and I lovvve it. It’s in really good condition, but also needed a little more emphasis. I put the tiniest smidge on my finger, because a little goes a LOOOONG way and lightly grazed it over the hardware just to hit the top of it and not go into the crease. So easy. Why did it take so long?
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This is what it looks like when I put on the antiquing medium. Brush on, Wipe off. I don’t leave it on very long at all, maybe 30 seconds? I’ll bust out the stop watch next time.
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This photo most accurately shows what it looks like. It’s still very silver, but has a nice aged look added to it now. I think it could have looked incredible in gold, but I didn’t have enough foresight to see that through. Most of my spontaneous projects evolve out of what I have on hand. I’m still happy with it though.

For a little sneak peek to the inner workings of my brain, I started the day preparing to clean the floors, that is so desperately needed based on this picture but quickly realized that updating this piece would be SO.MUCH.MORE.FUN!

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This is the finished product for now product. The whole thing took about a half hour since all the parts I highlighted were raised, I didn’t need to tape it off for a crisp line.

I just need some magical potion that will help with the scratched and water spots on the wood. It could use a little rejuvenation without being completely refinished. Anyone have any recommendations?

P.S. the floors never did get cleaned either.

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Filed under Before and Afters, Home Decor, House, Simple Ideas

I Really Love Lamp

Consider me frustrated for forgetting to take a before shot. You see, I had this lamp, and it was brass kinda like the one below. While it could have worked in my decor as plain ol’ brass lamp, I was craving something different.

I found the perfect drum shade from Ross for $14.00. I wish they had ten, I would have bought all of them.

For the lamp base, I picked pink! First I sprayed it with Krylon’s white primer that I had on hand. For smaller, more detailed projects I totally prefer Krylon over Kilz. Krylon comes out way smooth and gives the perfect base coat for a project like this. Kilz I like for furniture, but sometimes comes out chunky.

After the primer I finished it up with Krylon spray paint in Watermelon. The color is not exactly subtle but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s taking a lot of self control to not paint any and everything pink. I love being a girl.

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Drool. It is exactly what I wanted to be. It’s my pink artichoke lamp.

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It so perfect that the color is called watermelon, because it hangs out in my “green room” or the den and everyone KNOWS that green + pink = watermelons, duh.

Ahhh, look at my nekkid pillows on the sofa! How embarrassing! The covers are in the wash, but I’m ready to make something new for it. Oh and you get to see a sneak peek  of Christmas! Plenty more to come there.

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I’m happy with the way it turned out for less than $20. I forgot to mention, it was a gift from my mom she picked it up from an estate sale. I’d like to do something interesting to the lamp shade, but I still need the inspiration to strike me like lightning preferably without the hospital bills. I’ll probably check out Anthropologie’s lamp shade, I’m sure there is plenty to copy, er… “get inspired by” over there. Seriously, who can afford their shades? Or anything they sell for that matter?

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Anyone else craving bright and bold colors?

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Painting Family Heirlooms

Wow, I’ve been so neglectful of blogging. Lately I’ve felt like I’m in some kind of a haze and kind of moody. To be honest, sometimes I just don’t feel like my life is that interesting, so what is there to even blog about? Things just haven’t been the same since Durant went missing. My little spark is missing, but it’s been nearly a month and life must go on.

I’ve had this chair for as long as I can remember. Well my family has had this chair for as long as I can remember. I used to sit on it in the kitchen while my mom cooked or used it to get into the tall cabinets when I used to be to small. It has seen a lot of use! I think my great grandfather made it… Mom?? is that right? Anyways, I wanted to keep it and my mom didn’t care if I painted it. So I did.

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Welcome to 2011, chair.

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In case you didn’t know already, Kilz Spray Primer is like the best thing, ever. Sometimes it kind of expensive but such a time saver, like whoah. I thought about leaving it white, but my kitchen needs a little more color in it.

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I gave it a once over of Catalina Mist by Krylon. I’ve had that can forever, but for some reason never used it.  It’s really pretty though.
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I can’t wait to have a little rugrat of my own someday to hang out with me in the kitchen using this chair. I’m not the most sentimental person ever, I get a rush filling up a trash bag of stuff to throw away, but sometimes, I do like to hang on to certain things and being reminded of the history.
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Once I finished spraying it blue, I gave it a white wash with paint. I could’ve sanded it. In fact, that was the original plan. Turns out this was so much faster. Awesome.

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And there it sits, happily ever after… For now.

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New Door Handles… Be Still My Heart

This is by far one of my favorite updates I’ve done in a long time. I’ve been wanting to replace all of the brass egg knobs on all of my doors, but with so many doors and knobs not being that cheap when you add it all up, it simply wasn’t a priority. See how ugly and dirty and scratched up and neglected this poor french door is? How sad.
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This past weekend I was walking through Hobby Lobby, looking for something completely unrelated, and stopped dead in my tracks to inspect these beauty. This was love at first site. You may not think it exists, but I swear on my life it does. These were on clearance for $5.68 each down from $20, I’ll take four, thankyouverymuch!

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Oh thank heavens, there wasn’t a giant hole drilled though! Make my life much easier! Just took some wood filler, and a sanding to get it all fixed up. Of course I cleaned the door and all of the stupid, tiny, cornucopia of window panes then slapped on some fresh bright white paint. I didn’t realize how yellow the old trim door and trim color was. You’ll just have to take my word on it since I can’t find that picture.

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You saw earlier that they were brass which was fine and dandy, but not exactly what I wanted. That door is really close to my built in desk which has all silvery hardware. I’m down with mixing and matching, just wanted something different.I bought some Rub n’ Buff in Silver leaf (in the below photo, top right). I’ve read enough blogs to know it was awesome, but never had a reason to get some of my own. I just happened to spot some down an aisle and  there it was, in the flesh, begging me to take it home. So I did, and let me tell you, they should rename this product. Forget Rub ‘n Buff just call it Magic. How can one tiiiny little drop do that! I was all like, “CALEB!!!! COME QUICK!!!”  Wow, gee cool, Gloria. I thought it was awesome. It kept it all antiquey but I really like the switch up.  If you have never used Rub ‘n Buff, I URGE you to FIND a reason to buy it, seriously awesome. Imminently life changing.

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I’m so happy with the way it looks, and that I actually cleaned this door for the second time ever. Panes are a pain.

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Now to clean the rest of my house! Oh and I guess I hadn’t mentioned it already after getting so caught up in all of the love and magic, this is the first of many makeovers for this room. I’m turning this into my crafting/studio room. It’s not that I don’t love my original studio, it’s that the space didn’t function very well for me unless I was sewing. I’ll be getting an awesomely huge crafting table as soon as I can find a truck to bring it to my house then bringing in other furniture and what not. So for this pending makeover, what better way than to start at the door. Voila! Cross this off the list!
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Any one else out there get way too worked up over simple changes like me?

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No Soliciting, Thankyouverymuch.

Hmm… So thaaaat’s what it feels like to fall off of the face of the earth. Now I know! I’m glad this blog is a personal hobby, otherwise I would have been fired a long time ago. The thing is, I’ve been plenty busy painting furniture, glass doors, family heirlooms, going out of town, losing my dog and praying he comes back home and those people who have him will RETURN OUR CALLS SO WE CAN GET HIM BACK, UGH! Had to get that out, but no real time for plucking words out of my head and turning them into pixels. Ultimately, I missed blogging so I’m back!

A couple of weeks ago, it was a friday night and about 8 o’clock which means it was totally dark already. I’m home alone, which doesn’t really bother me until… Doorbell. Oh great, the neighbor kids are ring and running again, I’ll show them!!! I grab the door to open it and any residue of pleasantness on my face just falls off. SMACK! It’s on the ground. I am not a happy camper. It’s a solicitor, not a cute little girl scout, it’s one of the questionable ones because as he is giving me his spiel I detect the faint odor of alchohol.  Of course, I pretend like I’m not home alone, but it doesn’t help me after he leaves because I know that I’m home alone. I always feel so bad when I reject whatever “sponsorships” or magazines they are selling, because they are standing at my front door and KNOW where I live.

I know there are legit solicitors and then there are the questionable ones, this was the latter. I’m no stranger to charity so don’t leave thinking I’m all grinchy. Heck, last night I left a 50% tip at Chili’s!

Now that I practically wrote a stupid long college paper, here’s what I did to prevent this from happening. Alright. My front door. Don’t mind the colors and general unmatchedness OR the spring/summer wreath that I have not yet switched out for my winter/fall wreath. Obviously I need to expand my wreath selection, like, ANOTHER day.

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On the front of my storm door, I wrote out what I wanted with dry erase marker on the OUTSIDE of the door. Once I got it how I liked it, I painted the INSIDE of it white. You know, so they couldn’t scratch it out, ring the bell, and claim it doesn’t exist.

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From the inside, it doesn’t look like the paint covered all the well, but it did. I wasn’t too fond of the general chunkiness of the type, I was limited by my brushes. To fix it, I took and X-acto knife and shaved the letters down for something prettier. It ended up taking a little while. After it was all said and done, I think I tripped over my Silhouette machine and was all like hand to forehead, DUH! Coulda, woulda, shoulda used it but oh well, it’s done and I don’t mind it.

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From far away… I like to think of it as a soft gentle reminder. Like someone saying in a sweet voice, “Please don’t ring my bell” rather that the giant black and silver stickers with that harsh, bold font that screams, “GO AWAY!!!”

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And the close up… Problem solved!

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So far it has a 100% success rate and can easily be removed when I find it in my heart to be more charitable.  I used to work at a women’s restoration program in a questionable part of town where people would come up to the door selling fruit and holding a giant knife to, I guess, cut? the fruit???I had explicit instructions to NOT unlock the door for ANYONE unless given approval thus my justified fear of strangers at the door was born.

Am I the only one who feels uncomfortable when certain people come to the door unannounced?

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Look at all Those Legs: Part Duex

I know I just posted about this table and called it done, but I couldn’t convince myself that I really liked it. It looked lazy, and unfinished and it didn’t take long for me to get on it and show it a little more appreciation. First, let’s start from the beginning.

Just the plain ol’ wood…

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Then the gray with white stripes.

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I guess I kind of liked it, but it lacked a bit of pizzazz. It fell flat in the room, more like a piece of furniture was thrown in place rather than it intentionally placed there. Be warned, what I’m about to show you is a little “out there.” I can tell you right here and now that not everyone will love the after, but for me it’s perfect…. until I change my mind again. At least, I don’t feel like I’m convincing myself I like it, but my tastes may change down the road, who knows.

I still wanted to do stripes, but a more interesting version. Out came the bright colors and painters tape. I started with what I already had and built on from there.

Started stripes

I think I’ve been subconsciously inspired by all the Target Missoni hoopla because I think the finished product channels it a little bit. I didn’t intend to hence the subconsciously inspired bit.

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It’s a cornucopia of color now and helps tie in some of the other colors in the room that may have felt a bit disjointed. I feel like it fits my personality so well, my decorating personality that is.

Finished Table 2

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Finished Table 1

Here you can see a tiny peek at the green ceiling. It’s all coming together!

It makes me so much happier than the previous table.

Linked up at:Mod Vintage LifeTodays Creative Blog

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