Tag Archives: upcycle

Denim Fabulousness!

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Discovering my love of redoing furniture has been so fun for me. I have been able to make a little extra $$ for my family, and help people transform existing furniture they have. In between, I try and snag great pieces that I find on Craigslist or local sales sites. Thankfully, I’ve been able to sell those pieces as soon as I paint them and in this case even before I can paint them!

I bought this piece from a nice lady who had kept this chest of drawers for 30 years. She had even sanded and stained it herself. I almost didn’t tell her I planned to give it a makeover, but she was cool with it. Here is the pic from her CL ad. It was in great shape!

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I could see potential but I didn’t care at all for the rose knobs in place of drawer pulls. They were very Victorian and looked awkward to me:

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Don’t you agree?

I had it sitting in my garage when a friend was over. She saw it and we discussed how I had planned to paint it. She’s a very artsy, creative type and was open to lots of different ideas. (LOVE clients like this!) I had an end table that I somehow forgot to get a before pic of…..*DOH!* but she wanted that also. So…we decided I would use Annie Sloan Graphite and Cece Caldwell’s Smoky Mountain Gray. The end table I painted gray first, then put graphite on top and wet distressed til gray showed through. I sealed it with AS clear wax. I spray painted the drawer handle in black to freshen it up and I loved the finished product on this one. What do you think?

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For the chest, I removed the rose knobs and filled in the holes in the drawers with wood filler. I painted in Graphite first, then layered gray on top and wet distressed til the Graphite showed through. Once the drawers were painted, I added a single pull with a decorative backing detail that I had removed from a 2nd chest I painted camo (that blog coming soon…). I spray painted the single pulls black and my awesome husband drilled a hole dead center of each drawer so I could install the new fresh hardware. Here’s the after on the chest:

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A close up of the way the distressing looked:

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The side view:

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The customary before/after:

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Even though we reversed the order of the base coat and top coat, both pieces ended up very similar. A little more wood showed through on the end table, but mostly because I loved the deep oak color of it, as opposed to the light pine of the chest πŸ™‚

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In person the finish really resembles a pair of well worn jeans. Love it!

~T~

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“Sisters are different flowers from the same garden”

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A side benefit to doing what I do, is getting to help people make over furniture that they like (it’s sturdy, it functions well etc) but they may not necessarily like the color or finish of.

My sister purchased some furniture from our grandmother right after she (sis) got married. She liked the lines of the piece and the great storage but after a while, I think the plain oak finish wasn’t to her tastes. So….when she discovered they would be moving back to Lubbock (where our mom and much family lives) when she was 7 months pregnant she asked me to come help with unpacking. Since I’m known as fairly OCD ahem, organized and available, she asked me. Through many conversations I learned that she also wanted her bedroom furniture made over. Clearly, she had asked the right person πŸ˜‰

So I packed up my supplies,

20130522-101631.jpg I like to say “Have paint, will travel!”

(And my teenager) and headed to Lubbock. Here’s the furniture before and forgive my tired self for not reassembling the furniture for better “before” pics but I had driven 6 hours and unpacked 3 rooms the day before so I wasn’t really feeling it.
This was a tall chest:

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The nightstand:

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The dresser/mirror combo:

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And the headboard/footboard:

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As you can see the furniture was sturdy, had great lines (love the curves) and was overall a quality set. She decided she wanted it painted white with slight distressing. So, I chose Annie Sloan Old White and after distressing I waxed it with Annie Sloan Clear Wax. The exception was the tops of the nightstand and the long dresser. I finished the bodies of those in wax, but sealed the tops with Minwax Polyurethane to withstand drinks, the occasional spill and my toddler nephew and soon to be niece πŸ™‚
Here are some afters. First the tall chest:

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I bet you didn’t even pick up on these great details when you saw the “before” pics, did you?

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Something about white makes details just pop out on quality wood pieces. I LOVE IT!!
Here’s the nightstand:

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The dresser/mirror combo:

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This dresser/mirror pic was taken during the night (very, very late at night) so it appears yellow but that’s just the interior lighting. I promise it’s the same gorgeous white as the other pieces.

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Here’s the headboard/footboard that my teenager ended up doing under my supervision (see…anyone can do this!) because my arm was hurting from the 3 pieces I did the day before and the 14 pieces I did the 6 days prior to going to Lubbock. Must. Learn. To. Pace. Myself!!

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Overall, I thought it was a great transformation. My sister feels like she got new furniture without having to spend new furniture $$, and I got to spend time with my sister, my brother-in-love and my amazing nephew. All because I decided to try painting one day. WINNING!!

~T~

File that under Fabulous Find ;)

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Another fun thing about my hobby/side job is that I periodically stumble across great deals for…ME!!

The first piece I did I usually refer to as “the piece that started it all” but others refer to it as “the first piece you did” or “that dresser thingy” when asking me how I created that finish. You can read about it here but I’ve decided to call that finish my “signature finish”.

I was cruising the online classifieds and I stumbled across this filing cabinet:

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For 2 years I’ve been managing our files in canvas totes. And hunting for the perfect cabinet (lateral, 2 drawer, decent looking, and CHEAP!) Then BINGO! There it was! $40 and a slight mishap during loading and it was all mine πŸ™‚ Let me tell you that booger is H-E-A-V-Y!!

I rushed home and painted it in my signature finish. Annie Sloan Old Ochre paint with Minwax dark walnut stain as a glaze, then sealed with poly gloss.

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I spray painted the handles black and put it all back together and by the next day it was sitting next to my desk…which I also painted while it was in the garage during floor remodel πŸ™‚

Here it was before ($20 online classified find):

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Here it is after in my “signature finish”:

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Here’s a pic of the filing cabinet inside (the colors always look different from my garage to inside the house:

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Now I have a nice little office setup that was made over in a day and I love it! Stayed tuned for more client pieces soon…..

~T~

Do-over

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As much fun as I’ve had making over new (to me) pieces, it’s even more fun when someone loves something I did.

When my mom came here to attend Dumpster Diva’s class with me she took a liking to my little table I did here. So…she took it home with her πŸ™‚

Then I had an empty space next to my sofa. So I began a search again for another table. I found this one on Craigslist:

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And I decided to paint it to match the first piece I ever did which sits proudly behind my sofa. I used Annie Sloan chalk paint and Minwax dark walnut stain as a glaze. I sealed it with poly:

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And it moved right in:

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I guess I should start looking for pieces I can sell, since more of my pieces have ended up in my house than not! Although I do currently have a garage full of client pieces I am working on. Casa de Cass designs is moving full speed ahead!

~T~

Estate sale finds…

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When I started working on furniture I was curious where people found their pieces to work on. My first piece was just a dumb luck find on our local FB garage sale site. I use Craigslist but often get beat out because I can’t drop everything and go get it that instant.

So…after more research I learned that a lot of people frequent estate sales. Lots of older, sturdy furniture just begging to be made over can be found at estate sales. I started stalking following a local estate sale service on Facebook and saw some pieces they posted online. I happened to be free that day so I ran over there. Sadly the pieces I went for were either sold or not in good repair when I got there 😦

Instead I found this little nightstand

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My youngest claimed it as soon as I got home and I decided I would paint it in Annie Sloan Old White and distress it for her. I sealed it with Annie Sloan clear wax.

What do you think?

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I think I can’t wait to hit up the next estate sale πŸ™‚

~T~

Labor of Love (& friendship)

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Most of my friends know that what started me on this DIY obsession adventure is seeing my friend Diane’s hutch redone. That rabbit hole led me to find Dumpster Diva but most of you don’t know I bought a table from her (DD) prior to learning how to do-it-myself!

We had a table (2 in fact). A formal dining table (as old as I am) that I bought from my grandparents and an “everyday” table we purchased back in 1999 for over $1000. Our everyday table was well loved and served us well but a little large for our current space. It had 6 chairs and 2 leaves and extended to 8′ long. When I bought my new table from DD I thought I would just sell my old table for a couple hundred bucks. No such luck. Because it was a lighter oak color,

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No one wanted to pay a decent price for it. Never mind that the chairs were sturdy, table functioned great and it was solid wood. So….it sat in front living area making the place look like a furniture store. I considered painting it and then trying to sell it for more. But I worried that I would paint it white and potential buyers would want black or vice versa. And quite frankly I did not want to put forth the effort. So….it sat. And sat. And sat. Then my best friend Heather asked me if I would paint it for her. Suddenly I was motivated. Sort of.

I pestered her to death with pictures and “Do you like..?”‘s. She graciously told me what she liked and didn’t and we decided on a “shabby” white finish with a stained top. How hard could that be?

Well….I started sanding the top. I sanded for 8 hours, broke a sander, bought a new sander and managed to only sand 1/3 of the table. I sent Heather various texts expressing my absolute hatred for this stupid table. She lovingly thanked me for my hard work and listened to my venting. My neighbor came home and said “oh, you have the wrong type sander, wanna borrow my (better, faster, more expensive) sander?” DO I?!?!? Duh!!!! One hour with his nifty sander and table was all done. All done! One hour!! Boy did I feel stupid.

Here’s the table top laid out before sanding (garage lighting makes it look yellow, but it was really just a light pine or blonde oak color):

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Here’s my teenager giving me a break and helping me sand:

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Here’s the table top fully sanded and “raw”:

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I painted all 6 chairs and the table base and tabletop edge in Annie Sloan’s Old Ochre and sealed with Annie Sloan clear wax. The table top was stained in MinWax Provincial and sealed with 7 coats of poly.

Here’s a before shot of a chair (those boogers were a pain to paint also!):

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Here’s the chairs painted:

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And here’s a step by step of the tabletop prior to poly:

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Once we put the tabletop back on the base it really came together nicely and I began to like the way it turned out:

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Man, that is one loooong table! Anyhow, after much temper tantrum venting on my part (through the entire table process) we were finally able to deliver the table to my dear friend Heather and see it set up in her dining room. Doesn’t it look great in there?

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And I’m thrilled to say she was my first paying customer and I’m now working on a new piece for another client…I believe “Casa de Cass Designs” has been born πŸ™‚

~T~

Painting Class

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Back in February when I started researching redoing/updating furniture, I was told about Dumpster Diva. What is a Dumpster Diva you might ask? Well, it’s this neat lady that has an absolute gift for repurposing and redoing furniture. She has a shop in McKinney and she doesn’t throw away anything. What she also does do is teach painting classes. So…I decided I would take one. I figured if I could learn half as much as her, I’d be off to a great start. I told my mom about it and she decided to join me. Later, a friend of hers decided to join us also. The problem was Dumpster Diva was booked til April. Since you have most likely read my other blogs, you know I didn’t wait til this class to start painting πŸ˜‰

So for $150 I signed up for a 4 hour painting class. Dumpster Diva (DD) provides all supplies except the paintbrush (she asked us to bring a Purdy Cub XL 2″ brush) and she even provided pieces from her “pickin’ pile” that we could choose from.

My mom and I saw a photo DD posted a few hours before the class of the pickin’ pile:

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We got very excited and rushed right over to class. We were um, 75 minutes early πŸ˜‰ but we wanted to know how the “pickin’ order” of this class went. I had my eye on the brown dresser to the right. When we arrived, DD said pickin’ order was first come so we rushed in the back and snagged our pieces. Success! The brown dresser was MINE ALL MINE!!

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See…I wanted to find a dresser for my sons room; one I could try a 3 color technique on. The base color I wanted was brown so this was just perfect! Step 1 complete with no effort on my part! I chose Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Bayberry Green and Buttermilk to make what I had in mind.
I started out by painting the Bayberry Green haphazardly over the brown. Lets just say at that point I realized how industrious I was going to have to be to finish in the allotted time!

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After the green dried I mixed up the buttermilk and went to town again quite haphazardly over the brown and green. Once all colors of all paint had dried I used a wet sponge to “wet distress” the piece and reveal more of the green and brown underneath.

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I played with it a little to find the level of blending I wanted.

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I used the same technique on the hardware and then I waxed the piece.
Here’s an updated pic after I got it home:

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And the customary before & after:

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Not too shabby, eh? And the most important part: my son loved it! I wish I could paint everything multiple layers – this technique is so much fun!
~T~