I bought this piece of Ethan Allen cabinetry at a resale shop years ago. It would have been part of an entertainment center. It hung out in storage then had legs added and moved into my principal office as a printer cabinet after it was painted a vivid turquoise. It served me well until I moved to another position where I couldn’t bring my furniture.
It was moved with us and ironically ended up stored in almost the same spot where it now is in the guest house for years.
When we got all the furniture out I thought it would work with the color scheme but the two 1950’s chair cushions were too much for the space.
Of course the solution was to change the color. The only color I could see it as was red. I also wanted some of the turquoise to come through because even though it is bright, I like it. Believe it or not there is a bit of a paint shortage in our area. Apparently it is the time of the year that students paint their parking space and red was hard to find. It took three stores. I would have loved that… back in the day’
I brushed a few areas with paint thinner, painted the cabinet classic red, then sanded over places to let it look a little distressed.
It is amazing how it changed the look. Of the piece.
Not sure the folks at Ethan Allen would approve but we like it. We have installed a television so the cabinet is going to hold dvds etc.
Still plugging along on the exterior but soon there will be paint.
We bought a stainless steel tool bench table top that was dented because it was dropped in shipping for $45.00 a year ago. The top is a stainless steel sheet covering workbench hardboard and weighs 83 lbs.
I didn’t know exactly what we were going to do with the tool bench top but I convinced Mr. Math that we needed it, even if only just for the shop and it was a great deal. Now that we have the deck, I wanted a serving table/ work space sort of what they made at Always Chasing Life . I liked the casters so that we could move around where we needed it. Now that we can move from the the front porch to the back porch all on the same level it will be easy to set up as we need when we once again have groups over to the house. Since our serving table will be outside all the time it needed to be made from treated lumber or painted with outdoor paint or with rot resistant wood. This one has a bit of all that.
We are still working on a budget to get the deck done and I am still trying to get the clutter cleaned up in our storage so I tried hard to not buy anything more than absolutely necessary for this project. I knew we had some 4×4 posts for the legs a friend gave us a while back when they repacked their porch posts. I also remembered that we have scraps of cedar boards around that need to be used up. We just had to purchase 4 2X4 boards and 2 1X4 boards along with casters for the legs to help the 7 foot beast move around easily in order to put this together. I collected the scrap cedar and posts then Mr. Math bought the wood and casters.
Mr. Math assembled the frame and I stained and painted it with materials on hand.
I knew I wanted the shelf on bottom to be able to hold things when needed but not hold water when it rains so we spaced the boards four inches apart. We cut the boards for the shelf to width, planed, and sanded most of the old paint and stain off the boards-but not all because I like letting it show through , then sealed the cedar boards with a clear outdoor sealer and finally nailed them to the bottom 2X4’s for additional storage when using it as a serving table. We did leave the center board a little wider to make the spacing work.
L brackets attached the top to the base.
The table is far from perfect just like everything back there and Mr. Math still needs to work on the dents on the top a little more but it looks good and will be useful. It won’t rust or rot outdoors, will be a good work station and food serving space, and will store right next to the house.
Altogether we spent about $60.00 on a seven foot long counter height stainless workspace that is far from perfect but I am thrilled to have it. I can’t wait to get everything totally put together and for us to be able to have a blow-out party once the coast is clear on the Covid front.
I hope you are staying safe, and finding reasons to be thankful in this season.
My kids love coffee, hot chocolate, and hot tea. I like it all too, but I really love the idea of having everything that our guests need set up away from the kitchen when breakfast/ evening meal prep is underway.
We have just the spot in our home for a coffee bar and we have just the materials to make a rustic coffee bar based on inspiration from The Summery Umbrella. I purchased windows last winter at an epic garage sale for $2.00 each. I brought our stash of reclaimed cedar planks and the storage buildings contain more random wood.
We used the windows as the basis for the front of the cabinet. When we laid out the windows it was obvious that they would have to go into the cabinet horizontal instead of vertical like My Summery Umbrella was able to do. The vintage windows are large and heavy and with them hung horizontally, the cabinet will still be slightly taller than counter height. The length of the bar is 90 inches. It is 12 inches wide and made from cedar we took off our old lake house, Star Hill that we have stored and moved. We really do like our reclaimed wood.
The next step was building the skeleton. We had enough reclaimed wood but a mistake meant we needed two new 2×4’s.
We got a new toy recently…a planer. Oh my goodness, Mr. Math got a good deal on Craig’s List but I was skeptical. I did not know how much I would love it. It makes all my mismatched thicknesses of reclaimed wood play nice with each other and knocks the sanding down to just finish sanding in minutes. We planed two 12 inch wide planks for the top and sides.
Any time you work with reclaimed wood and supplies it means you have to do a lot of trial and error. It feels sort of like we are playing a game of Tetris.
We used outdoor gate hinges and black iron handles for a couple of reasons; the windows are stinkin’ heavy and I liked how the black looked against the white and reclaimed cedar.
The display area will be filled with my pitchers, milk glass, and vintage cookware. I didn’t have everything up at the house but I put what I had in for you to get an idea.
We already used it as a serving counter on New Year’s Eve.
The coffee bar is going to serve a lot of purposes when we have a crowd. Having 90 inches of serving space away from the kitchen counters will be great.
Let’s face it, most of the time it is going to be a drink station.
Left overs from New Year’s Eve.
An all sorts of drinks station. (You have no idea how hard I had to look to scrounge up the drinks above!)
Mainly it will be a coffee/ tea bar, because that is who we are.
Here it is in our daily life. It will be a cluttered mess so my kitchen doesn’t have to be full of stuff. I am going to love this piece. It is narrow and provides room for the front door to open, it provides me 7 and a half feet of additional counter surface, and it looks like it belongs in our house. Be still my heart.
The house is coming along. I am proud of the progress we are making as we make Providence Acres our forever home.
Mr. Math and I are both thrilled to share our journey with you as we go. Thank you for the kind words you share.
We picked up these beauties at the best garage sale of the year this past winter. They were rough. They were broken. They were two dollars each. They were meant to be mine.
I loved the classic style, and the solid wood frame. Two of the three are going to go in my guest shed. The third is going to The Southern Belle. She will have a project on her hands.
I like mid century style, but my partner in crime, life and projects- Mr. Math, doesn’t. He has given me free reign in our soon to be guest house. The colors are going to be vibrant and the style is definitely modern mid century. I cannot wait to get started on this project. I stand and stare at the guest shed every time we go over to the place we are buying.
These chairs were a serious upper body workout to make over. After the glueing, clamping, and weighting down to fix warps in the wood from hanging out in a barn for oh- fourty years or so, I moved on to stripping, then sanding. It took f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Sanding such a simple wooden frame should not have been so hard but the spindles, the curves and the crevices all had to be hand sanded. I’m not whining. I promise. I love these chairs and even when I was in the middle of getting them sanded, I knew it would be worth it.
When the natural wood- walnut- was revealed I knew that bringing these back to life was the right choice. The wood grain is interesting, especially on the arms.
One thing I regret for this project was using gel stain. I should have gone with traditional stain on the chairs because the gel tended to goop up in the had to reach areas. I had to use paint thinner to get the dark spots out. Live and learn. I went with walnut stain because I wanted to return the chairs to their original look as much as possible.
I polyurethaned the frames with an exterior poly because the guest shed is going to have a window air conditioner so the climate won’t always be controlled. Everything that goes in has to be able to stand up to heat, humidity, and cold.
The seats originally had leather strapping. One of the chairs still had the strapping in place when we got them and it was gross. The humidity in the barn and time had turned the leather to a sticky but weirdly brittle mess. After removing the old nails, we used hemp upholstery webbing to replace the leather. Mr. Math did this for me using an air nailer to secure it. I really do like him being off in summer!
The cushions were a happy surprise from Mr. Math. He ordered them online for me. The bottom cushion needs to be altered, but I love the outdoor fabric, the bright turquoise color and the clean lines. They look like they could have been original to the chairs. He snagged them at Target when they were on sale 40% off plus using the 5% off Red card meant they were about $30.00 each. Way to be a good shopper, Mr. Math!
All in we have just over fourty dollars a chair so they were not cheap but in my opinion they are so very worth the effort and money.
The chairs turned out even better than I hoped.
The chairs are so comfortable and beautiful. We were lucky to have found them.
We are getting ready for a trip across the country to see our kids in the Carolinas. About a month ago I got an email from my daughter asking if we could make a table and media console for two of her buddies. It just so happened that we had a pile of reclaimed wood hanging out in our garage and even more in a burn pile that I was itching to save. (Mr. Math made me get rid of a lot of wood as part of the big move😟. It was awesome to go down to the burn pile and drag some back out!)
I was excited because what my daughter’s buddies wanted could be done with our wood.
Today, I get to show you the reclaimed wood entry hall table.
The only instructions I got from The Southern Belle’s buddy were in this email: ” I’ve been dreaming of a long, narrow table for in our front hallway for a while now. I don’t have anything super particular in mind but it needs to be pretty skinny (maybe ballpark 8″ deep?) and long (4′ – could go longer but not too much shorter) and I like the open style (no cabinets).”
She also shared photos of her Atlanta home so we could see where it would be located.
After sharing some Pinterest pictures with her of tables I could see that she likes reclaimed wood and a little industrial. Mr. Math and I drew up a plan to make a table that looked like it had been used in a warehouse or workspace. I wanted the wood to be irregular, gouged, warped and darkened with age. The used cedar boards were perfect for the project.
It took us some trial and error. The first redition was too tall and narrow. It had to come all apart again and get cut down four inches. We also added a ten inch board to the top of the eight inch board. I stained the cedar with a mix of walnut and a lighter color called natural. The color unified the wood, and aged the wood.
Sanded but I stained
Stain on the wood.
The stain did not eliminate the wood grain and knots from the wood. I was worried.
We glued the top down then attached it with screws. Clamps held it all in place while the glue dried. We used a satin poly on the piece.
I love the nail holes and irregular thickness of the wood.
Ever since I started blogging, I have stopped 25 thousand page views to look over what happened since we started. I just hit 100,000 page views. I had not been paying much attention to the stats so this one was a bit of a surprise. It used to take a long time to reach 25 thousand page views. I mean a really long time. This time took 5 months. I was worried that in the last five months I wouldn’t have much to show you guys. It felt to me like we were sort of stuck and not getting a lot done. The kids moved out of the country, the garage is full of unfinished projects, school got started, life happened.
When I actually looked back over the last five months , I was pleasantly surprised. We got a little more done than I remembered.
My favorites from the last five months are below. If you click on the link below each picture it will take you to that actual blog, complete with DIY and pictures.
Our biggest project was updating our suburban bathroom and figuring out how to get that restoration hardware weathered wood look on a dresser. Board and batten, cool shelf, zinc finished towel rack and chandelier made to look like wood beads.
Are you one of those people who can see what you want something to look like finished? I am and that is not always a a good thing because nothing will satisfy you except that “look”. This time the look was a Restoration Hardware weathered finish vanity. I wanted this look:
Just for grins, I priced one in the finish I wanted and the size it would take for our bathroom. The vanity, with a top but no mirrors would have been $3750.00. It would have been over $4000.00 for the whole package. In other words… out of our budget.
Sooo, I started looking for a dresser to re-purpose for our bathroom. It was tricky to find one the right size. When I finally found to the dresser that would work, it was $200.00. That is a lot more money than I usually spend but finding an exactly 72 inch dresser that was solid wood or at least wood veneer over plywood was tough. I would love to tell you I got it for $30.00.
I also started researching methods to get the look of Restoration Hardware. I wanted it to look like a piece of furniture that was old and has a history with a weathered finish. A quick trip to Pinterest turned up some ideas for me to think about.
I liked the idea of layering finishes here at Deannario.com
I wanted it to look like it might have been painted at one time and the paint had worn off over time. I found AKA Design that talked about using Pickling Stain. I liked the look but without the extreme sanding.
I used elements of both to get the look I was seeking.
I used the following materials:
White Wash Pickling
Lots of cotton rags- I bought them at Home Depot because I was too lazy to go hunting for cotton thirsts.
Cheap paint brushes- the dollar each cheapo brushes.
Sand paper-100 grit
Citristrip- it took a whole container
Marine Grade Urethane
First strip the dresser. I used Citristrip and a hard plastic scraper. And a ton of paper towels. It took a lot of patience. I remembered why I don’t strip dressers. Particularly big ones with a lot of drawers, moulding, and doors.
After I stripped it, I had to wash everything down to remove the residue then I sanded it, but not all the way to raw wood color.
The first stain I added was Minwax Weathered Oak. The color was not as vivid as I thought it would be and I worried. Rub it in, then remove the excess. Once the stain was totally dry I applied pickling white wash and wiped it off immediately. If I could have had help at this point it would have been nice because the pickling white wash dried really fast. It dried so fast on the doors that I ended up having to have it stripped again and start over. The lesson here; don’t use this stuff if it is too warm. This worked best in the morning. Thanks Hubby. I just couldn’t strip those doors a second time.
Here it is right out of the can. It is super thick and sort of goopy.
This is what it looks like wiped down.
I lightly sanded once the Pickling was dry but not all the way back to raw wood and not evenly. The final coat of the layering stain was Minwax Jacobean. I was so worried that it was going to be too dark but it was perfect. The color over the pickling white wash produced a color just like you would see at Restoration Hardware.
I am really hard on myself and always see every mistake but I was really thrilled with how this turned out.
I stained the sides of the drawer with Jacobean stain to add contrast.
The hardware got a coat of Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze.
The final coat for this vanity is marine varnish in satin finish. It will give the piece the waterproofing that it is going to need in the bathroom. I decided to keep the wood top instead of adding a stone top to the dresser. That means a lot of coats of varnish but if they use it on boats it ought to hold up in a bathroom.
Here are what the sinks we are going to install look like. They were exactly what I was thinking of when I started this process and are going to look great.
An oil rubbed bronze faucet and we will finish it off!
I decided to post this even though we are not finished because I have had a lot of requests to talk about the process. Honestly, anyone can achieve this finish. I hope it inspires you to give it a try.
When I started thinking about redoing the master bath I found this awesome picture.
I wish I had saved the location I found this. I have checked my Pinterest boards and done an image search with no luck. If you find where it came from, please let me know and I will gladly credit it to the source.
Annnnywayyy… I loved the rustic look and knew it would be great in our very builder basic bathroom.
This is a photo of our home when we were looking at it to purchase. The great piece of furniture did not stay with the house. It is just a very boring sage green space.
As luck would have it, my junker collector mom picked up a small section of fencing for me. It was the perfect size! I wanted thicker shelves on mine so I modified the design above to make it more what I wanted.
I decided I could take this on all on my own. I am trying to do more work on my own so that my Hubby has time to do what he loves. I did not end up having the skills I needed.
He did have to help me connect the air nailer (I tried, but that bugger wouldn’t go in), he put in the screws for the 2X4’s, he ripped the front boards on the table saw because it scares me, and he volunteered to move chop saw for me.
The steps are simple.
Cut three 2X4’s about a half inch narrower than the width of the section of fencing.
Figure out where you want the shelves to go, then screw the 2X4 in from the back side of the fencing section so that the wide part of the 2X4 sticks out from the fencing.
Cut 5 sections of fencing planks to length.
3- the length of the 2X4 plus the additional length to go to the edge of the siding
2- small sections to cover the ends
Hubby ripped one board length in half with the table saw to make the shelf more narrow.
I air nailed them together pretty quickly.
Here it was when finished.
See the tops of the fence pickets? I liked them, but our rescue dog, Lumi, did not. She chewed one of the pickets off while we weren’t watching. It had to be chopped off even. I like the result even better, but don’t tell Lumi. She was in big trouble.
Here it is, hanging in the bathroom.
I love the results.
I an so very happy with the way that the benches have turned out that we are picking up another one for a friend. It is raining benches here.
Bench #1 is a gift for a friend. She always is on the lookout for furniture for me and is super creative. I have shared her dining room and fireplace with you. I found her headboard/ footboard at a local thrift store garage sale. It was $10.00. The color is an oops paint I bought cheap.
We tried to make all the benches about 18 inches deep and chair height.
We put a center support in this one because the plywood top had to be cut to fit in the space between the legs. All together it cost about 17 dollars to get this put together.
The steps for all the benches are about the same.
Cut the footboard into two pieces. For double beds and larger a section has to come out of the center of the footboard.
Build a 2X4 frame for the seat to rest on.
Attach the 2X4 frame to the headboard then attach the footboard pieces to the sides. With wood glue and very long screws. It took 4 inch long countersunk screws and pre-drilling the holes to get this part done.
Fill all the holes, gaps, and cracks with wood filler. Yay for wood filler. It cures a multitude of sins.
Sand, prime and paint.
Attach the bench seat with the air nailer. Fill the holes, touch up the paint.
Bench #2 was made the same way except for the seat. Hubby cut 1X4’s to length for the bench on the chop saw. I was busy painting but ladies a chop saw (compound miter saw )is something that any woman of average strength can use. After the boards were cut and sanded, I stained them all dark walnut.
It started as this set:
We added a frame once cut.
Here is the progression of the wood slats.
I learned to use the sprayer on this one, even though I am showing pictures of Hubby spraying. He was teaching. It is going to be a bench that a friend asked me to make. She specified red. One of my Facebook friends suggested Red, red wine by Behr. I really like the color. Red, but not bright. Not too orange and not too maroon.
I liked it so much, I am painting bench number three the same color. Bench #2 was a little more expensive than I wished. looked for a specific headboard shape. That meant paying $40.00 for the bed when we actually for it. Too much in my opinion, but all together the bench was about $57.00, still cheaper than a new bench and a lot more unique. Here is the finished product.
We had a beautiful Saturday to work on turning headboards and footboards into benches. It was my plan to get all five of the benches made as far as possible. We were up and at em’ early so that meant it was a chilly start. We heated the garage and laid out all four beds. You would have laughed as we carefully checked each bed to come up with an attack plan. It sort of felt like we were strategizing for a big game.
All the headboards lined up in the Garagemahal.
I call this one the curvy bench. Each section of the headboard curves slightly. It is a very comfortable bench.
The headboard is really plain but the footboard has a sort of ornate bottom. I am guessing this set was from the 50’s or 60’s. I snagged it for four dollars recently and decided this set would be for my front porch.
We have had this monster for over a year, hanging out in the Garagemahal. We found it for $25.00 online. It is big, tall, heavy and is going to make a beautiful bench.
The footboard is just as heavy as the headboard. The posts are four inches square.
This one is for a friend, Shahana.
It looked like the hardest of all of them was going to be the curvy vintage bed so of course that was where we started. Why? Well … we don’t do easy at our house. The bed headboard curves at the back and has a center support that does not extend to the floor and there was an ornate bottom panel on the footboard only. We knew it would be a problem piece but we dove in.
We decided to make the seat fit around the legs. I knew I wanted the front to look something like the ornate bottom of the footboard that are now the sides of the bench. In my hoard I had a French provincial footboard that I bought for $ 2.00 at a thrift store. After cutting off the legs and cutting it down to size it got attached to the front. It does not match exactly but I think it works.
Here it is with the plywood seat.
The next one we attacked was one I am making for a friend, at her request. I can already see this one finished in my head. Dark red with a slatted seat that is stained. I want it distressed and glazed. I ran out of 1 X 4 slats or this one would be done. It did not fight with us.
Everything lined up pretty easily.
The slats are going to be evenly spaced once we get them all cut. This is an old solid maple frame. It is heavy and has beautifully turned wood posts.
This is all we have left. boo.
After watching HGTV Saturday morning I totally knew what I wanted this beauty to be. It is going to be a storage bench seat painted my sea salt paint with dark gray glaze and a pretty heavy distressing. We got the headboard cut down 6 inches in height and the footboard cut into arms. I need to get plywood, make a raised panel, and piano hinge.
The final bench we got underway is for Shahana. It is going to be turquoise. I will bet it ends up with a red seat and leopard pillows because that is how she rolls.
We got this far on Shahana’s bench. Next weekend we will get the plywood on the top.
The twin bed you saw in the first photo did not get started. Hubby and I could not figure out how to fix the problems it had so we are thinking on this one.
One bench ready for sanding, wood filler, primer and paint. Two benches ready for seats then sanding, wood filler, primer and paint. One bench will take construction of a box with a hinged top then sanding, wood filler, primer and paint.
All in all it was not a bad weekend’s work.
Have a wonderful week.