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Well, I did it. If you have followed my blog lately I talked about a stressful week and tough decisions. That stressful week resulted me ( with the support of my husband) making a huge life decision here in the third quarter of our lives. I have made the incredibly hard decision to leave the school district that I have worked for 22 years and take on a new challenge. I will be opening another Early College High School in a town about an hour away from here. I am passionate about education and I know from my own family what having the chance to go to college does for a person and their family. We are going to sell the city house where we have lived the past 14 years and move closer to the lake house. Crazy huh? Because I am crazy, I am going to take you all on this journey as we prepare our home to sell, decide where we want to live, buy a new house and make it a home…all while opening a new school and getting ready our daughter’s wedding in Charlotte, North Carolina this summer. I sure could use advice on packing, storage, and home staging. I hope you all are up for this. Once a week I am going to post a room in the house and ask you guys what I need to get out of the house, move around, and in general- improve. I hope you guys are up for the challenge.

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New Counter Tops in the Bathrooms

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Two years ago I wanted to replace our bathroom counters when we remodeled the kitchen but the budget would not stretch far enough to cover three bathrooms, one with a double sink and a vanity area. We had done some reno work in the bathrooms already. New tile, removal of the giant mirrors, new lights, painting the cabinets and new hardware. The big ticket item just had to wait.

The counters and sinks in our “Brady Bunch” city house are made from some sort of composite plastic type stuff with flecks of gold and color swirled through it. Circa 1976. The sink is shaped like a seashell and no matter what I try it always looks dirty.

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After much scrimping and saving, we finally got them done. Wow… what a transformation. It was amazing to me how fast the change took place. The difference in having a professional and if we had done it ourself was striking.

1:00 p.m. the team arrived.

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1:15 the first counter top was out. 1:30 all done.

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1:45 the decking for the stone was in.

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2:00 the first piece of granite was installed.

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3:30 The team was finished installing and was busy washing down the driveway from the dust caused from cutting the sinks.

The next morning Hubby started installing faucets.

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Here they are all done.

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Wow. The transformation was amazing.

The Finished Credenza

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Now that the roadside find dresser will offically be living in our family room, I have decided to call it a credenza. That sounds a lot fancier huh? Please indulge me as I go back to the beginning of this piece. I found this beauty by the side of the road on the way home from work. It took some smooth talking to my Hubby to get him to take the truck and pick it up. He went for the piece then came home only with the drawers because he couldn’t lift the beast up into the truck. I had to go back with him and we almost died getting it loaded. It is 6 1/2 feet long and weighs about the same amount as a baby elephant.
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It even had some cool wooden hardware…although a few of them were chewed on by a dog at some point in the history of this piece.
A lot of sanding, priming and prep work was needed to get it ready for paint.
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I chose to paint the top Behr Revival Mahogany and the base Behr Innocence. I used Behr Glazing medium to mix my own glaze from the Revival Mahogany to go over the base. It looks almost tobacco stained. I chose to glaze the top and the wooden handles with a black glaze. A little distressing and I waxed it all with finishing wax. I love the look, but this was a big piece to glaze.

She really is ready for her close-up. The piece adds a lot to the large empty wall opposite the fireplace. I love it and hope you do too.

roadside credenza

credenza from the stairway

inside of credenza

close up of glazed top

Credenza close up of drawers

regency credenza

The Honeysuckle Bus Stop

The Most Stressful Week of My Life

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Hello friends,
I recently asked a young friend to paint this for me:
She took a leap and built her wings on the way down.
I have had the most amazing, agonizing, stressful week in 22 years. I will have more information Tuesday, but basically my world is being turned upside down. In spite of everything, I got the glazing finished tonight on the big hunkin’ credenza. Pictures this weekend after Poly. Life is good.

One of the Weekend Projects.

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It is great weather and I have three great projects to work on. Do you see a faux fireplace mantle here?

The Real Cost of Repurposing Furniture

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I have wanted to write this blog for a while. I go to craft shows, shops and our local trade days where I sometimes hear shoppers commenting on the cost. “I could do that.” is frequently heard as well as comments about prices. Now you know that I am always looking for a deal! And by deal I mean a steal. I love to find furniture, cheap or preferably free, then repurpose the piece into something unique. It is my hobby, and I am not trying to live off selling my goods. We would STARVE! I always try to let you know the cost, which is usually less than a brand new piece would be, but I think that there is a misconception from time to time about the real cost of repurposing the furniture.

Right now I am redoing a piece of furniture I literally picked up on the side of the road. The cost for the furniture – ZERO DOLLARS AND ZERO CENTS.
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In order to get the piece repurposed I decided to buy everything new for this project. I needed to replenish supplies anyway and sometimes even I forget that this is a hobby and the supplies are expensive because I only buy things as I run out.

The costs are rounded- because I am lazy!
Purdy paintbrush- the best and worth the cost- 12.00
Behr Revival Mahogany paint with primer- one quart- I could have probably gotten by with two samples @ $3.00 each, but I knew I would need the left over for the faux fireplace I am doing- $16.00
Behr Innocence- one quart- the giant dresser used almost a whole quart- the leftover paint was used to paint Baby Boy’s bookcase. $16.00
Zinzer Primer- one quart- $10.00
Glazing medium- one quart Behr Faux Finish glazing medium. I use this all the time and it lasts forever but it was time for a new container- $15.00
Sandpaper for hand sanding and the palm sander $5.00
Rustoleum Poly- one quart- $15.00

Hours spent on the project- 1 hour checking it out, calling Hubby, getting the beast into the vehicle, out of the vehicle and home. 3 hours sanding. 4 hours priming, re sanding, then priming again. 4 hours painting the creamy white color. 1 hour painting handles. 1 hour painting the top. 1 hour glazing. 3 hours polyurethaning the whole thing. Oh! This does not include dry time, moving time and reassembly.

So all in all we have close to $80.00 in supplies and the equivalent of one hard weekend’s worth of time invested. In a free piece of furniture! The next time you see someone’s work online, in a shop, or at a vendor’s booth and you say to yourself… ” I could do that WAAAY cheaper, the truth is provided you find the right piece, you might could save a little money doing it yourself but it won’t be as cheap or easy as you may initially believe and your time is worth something.

If you are in a shop when you see this piece also figure in overhead costs.

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credenza from the stairway

roadside credenza

It is a lot of work to re-purpose furniture, but it is ever so worth the effort! I love the satisfaction of doing a good job and bringing something back to life.

Still Painting the Dresser Inside

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“Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.”
― Virgil Kraft
Are you as ready for spring as I am? It was another rainy nasty day here, but I got the top of the dresser painted. I love the color of the top, Revival Mahogany and the bottom, Innocence together. I am down to glazing, distressing and reassembly. It is SOOO pretty. No pictures tonight. I want you to ooh and aah when you see the finished project.

Western Dresser

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I believe every room should have one piece of furniture that just makes people smile when they look at it. It may be a lime green dresser in an entry, a leg lamp, or a bright blue drop leaf coffee table, but it makes a home fun.. On our trip to visit Facelift Furniture and Bryan-College Station, I ran across a homely little dresser in their Goodwill for FOUR DOLLARS. Yes, she has stickers on her drawers and is a little rough around the edges but this one is small and sturdy.

I knew where it would go when I purchased it, but not what it would look like. Our back bedroom at Star Hill is called the bunk room because… Well there is a bunk bed in the room! A double on the bottom that my kids have declared is the most comfortable, best sleeping bed ever. Because we call the room the bunk room, I thought it should have a western theme- like a bunk house. I found this cute Howdy sign on clearance in a garden center several years ago,.

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The chair in the room is covered with red and white ticking, the “matching” footstool came from my neighbor’s trash, the bedding from Big Lots is red white and blue and the curtains are denim. I knew that the dresser was needed in the room to hold all the guest supplies we keep on hand. Shampoo, conditioner, soap, razors, toothbrushes, deodorant, sun screen, Dollar Tree sun glasses and other disposable items for friends who did not plan to spend the night and my kids who sometimes forget something are kept on hand at the lake house. It is a drive into town for supplies so I try to keep stocked. It also had to be sturdy enough for a suitcase or travel bag to go on top because there is so little floor space in the room.

When my friend, Kandy, provided me with some pleather and faux cow hide an idea started forming. Cover the top with the pleather, the drawer fronts with the “cow hide”, and the body of the chest with cedar slats from the hoard. I even had some nail-head trim that I thought might work. I love it when a plan comes together! I knew that this was going to be an over the top kitschy piece of furniture, but it small and in a guest room. Oh, and I may be a little on the kitschy/redneck side too.

I immediately started looking on Pinterest for ideas and inspiration. Here is my favorite inspiration blog posting: western dresser
Thank you to the V Spot!

Step one- Hubby put a thick piece of plywood on top of the dresser. This really beefed up the top so that the Pleather will look more substantial.

Step two was to repaint. I bought some of the current Behr sample paint and gave the front and drawers a paint job.

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Step three was covering the top with the pleather. I recommend putting an electric staple gun on your Christmas list if you don’t have one. It is amazing for reupholstering furniture and worked really well to help me attache the fabric to the top of the dresser. I trimmed it all with scissors when done.
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Step four- cut to size then sand all the reclaimed wood planks then attach them to the sides of the dresser. Once they were attached, I poly acrylic coated them.

Reclaimed Wood

Step five- attach the faux “cow hide” and nail-head trim. I used spray adhesive on the fabric to get it to attach then used the nail -head to secure it. The cool thing about nail-head trim is that you really only have to nail on every sixth nail. The rest are connected.

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Step six- ENJOY

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DIY blog Classy Clutter

Living with a Patient Husband

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It is nasty and rainy here. Too humid to paint in the garage because the paint won’t dry. Sad days. I know my hubby loves our wood floor but tonight he let me bring in the big hunkin’ dresser so that I could paint. I feel like Valentine’s Day came early. I love him so. I promise to keep the paint on the drop cloth and will use lots of painter’s tape. The top and pulls are now painted with one coat of Revival Mahogany. Love it. Thanks sweetheart, I needed to get paint under my nails tonight. Please forgive my terrible iPad photos but today was too rough to break out the Canon.

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Fabric for the Chair Day

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This past week my friend, Kandy, sent me a message that she had some fabric for me that she thought would work on our upcoming chair day. Yippee, the chair event is going to be CHEAP! When it is all said and done I will have $25.00 in chairs, batting, and fabric for 6 chairs. It is going to be a fun day with every girl having something to take home that will remind her that each of these women are joined together by the fact that they all have a seat at The Master’s Table. When I picked up the basket from Kandy, I almost flipped out! She was an amazing teacher until she retired last year but I always told her that she missed her calling as an interior decorator. She just has that touch. She makes every space look “finished” when she decorates. I have already started begging her to come over and help me fluff up my home. Here is the basket of fabric she gave me.
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Sweet Amanda just happened to come over Saturday night and went through the basket. She gravitated toward the chevron fabric. I am glad that there is enough for more than one chair if someone else wants it.
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I like this wild paisley too.
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BUT.. here is the fabric I am most excited about:
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The fabric is some brown pleather that looks like tooled leather and som faux cow hide.

I can already see them put together on a piece of furniture at Star Hill. I am so excited! I may have to work on that piece next weekend.

I am looking forward to seeing The Treehouse Girls soon.

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