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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.

Visiting Facelift Furniture

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Facelift Door
This past weekend we visited Facelift Furniture in College Station, Texas. I am so proud because I planned a trip for the social planner, Tanis and our husbands. Planning a trip is not what I am known for. Facelift Furniture is a business opened in 2011. I discovered them when searching the Internet for repurposed furniture near us. I am so glad I ran across his web page, and then his Facebook page

I recently purchased his ebook too… I sound a little like a creeper here, but I promise, I am just a fan of his work!

Facelift Furniture is located in the back row of a group of industrial buildings, so don’t let the GPS fool you like ours did.

2151 Harvey Mitchell Pkwy S #329, College Station, TX 77840
Open 8-5 MWF, 8-4:30 TTh

I lifted this information straight from Jeff’s web page because I could not say it any better:

Facelift Furniture specializes in furniture restoration. We love getting creative with dated, worn down and ugly pieces of furniture, transforming them into valued pieces for any size or type of room. These transformations are made using latex enamel paint, glaze, and distressing techniques. We sell finished pieces, and furniture you can select to be painted. We can also upstyle your furniture!

My goal in going was just to get ideas, see the quality of work he did and hopefully get to see the great colors he uses. I love his turquoise pieces and the green he uses. Jeff was so gracious. He gave us the grand tour and answered a million questions for me.

Facelift Showroom 2

Facelift Showroom

The photos above are from the show room.

Now on the way to College Station Tanis mentioned that she was looking for a large buffet type piece for the Rocking F Ranchito. In the spirit of full disclosure, I advised my buddy to wait until she moved in to make sure that once she saw the space she could get what she wanted. My social planner is one stubborn chick! Within ten minutes of arriving I could tell that Jeff had a new fan. Within 15 minutes he was clearing out a path in his work area so that we could see a long unpainted dresser that he thought would work for the space.

Facelift work space

I knew as soon as I saw it we would be returning to pick up the painted piece in a few weeks. After much deliberation, the deep red that Jeff calls chili red was selected. It really will be perfect in the Ranchito and add that “pop” of color the house needs.

Facelift dresser

I would like to thank Jeff for allowing us to see the projects under way right now, answering my questions, and best of all, giving me a reason to go back in the end of February to shop. I love the way he repurposes old cabinet doors and into hat racks and chalkboards, but I especially liked ethe way that he repurposes old chair backs and headboards into hat racks. I did not photograph any of the furniture he has in his shop or projects under way because I know that he will be posting them himself. Please take a look at his amazing work. I hope one day that what I do looks as good as his. Oh… buy his ebook. It is really easy to read and he provides a great material list and even shares the colors he uses.

Update:  Here is the finished piece via cell phone camera. 

Photo: Larry and I are in college station picking up a piece of furniture that I had Facelift Furniture (Jeff) finish in a chili red and brown glaze... Turned out really cool! This will be in my dining room for linens and silverware etc. Jeff has a web site and an ebook that my friend Karen uses to refinish her pieces!

A Chair at the Table Craft day

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I made this map chair about six months ago.
Map Chair Seat

Map Chair
Sweet Amanda, my most favorite daughter in law, liked it and may or may not have said that she would steal it. In order to save her from a life of crime, we started thinking about planning a day when her buddies could come over to Star Hill for a girls only craft day. Chairs in the country are crazy cheap so I got busy. I picked up these six beauties for @$5.00 each. I have also been collecting ideas for what to do with the chairs. Here are the chairs needing adoption by the girls and some links to great chairs for inspiration:

Chairs to Share

Yep. They really do look like a hoard in the Garagemahal. I have 6 chairs that I have spent a total of $25.00 on. At prices like this you know that some of them needed love.

Chair Repair

This beauty needed parts. Hubby had to make the cross pieces.

Here is a line up of the chairs that have been collected. I kind of feel like the SPCA trying to get someone to adopt pets.

The Blue is strapping hubby used to re-glue the legs.  All good now.

The Blue is strapping hubby used to re-glue the legs. All good now.

We were watching Baby for our friends and she attached herself to this chair.

We were watching Baby for our friends and she attached herself to this chair.

I think this old beauty would look cool with the slats painted in Ombre shades of one color.

I think this old beauty would look cool with the slats painted in Ombre shades of one color.

I have a thing for mission furniture.  Love this beauty.  Will look great uphostered and painted.

I have a thing for mission furniture. Love this beauty. Will look great uphostered and painted.

This beauty needed love to be ready for the chair day.  new parts, glue and screws are in.  Victorian feet, rosette at the top back, and a great shape.

This beauty needed love to be ready for the chair day. new parts, glue and screws are in. Victorian feet, rosette at the top back, and a great shape.

I have two of these for the party.  They have a lot of detail in the back and will really show off a glaze.

I have two of these for the party. They have a lot of detail in the back and will really show off a glaze.

Here are links to some inspriation chairs: Red Painted Chairs, Blue Chair,French Chair, White Upholstered Chair

Here are All Things Thrifty’s Week of Chairs. Love them

I have been picking up fabric in the remnant section and have even collected a few wild shirts from resale shops that might work for the seats.

The girls are going to bring paint from their projects along with what I have in the hoard.

I am looking forward to showing off the results from our chair affair.

The Southern Belle’s Christmas Present- Refinishing a French Provincial Dresser

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Christmas presents for grown up kids were so much fun this year. The Southern Belle asked a while back for a dresser. She wanted it black with brushed nickel hardware. I started looking when we were out shopping, thrifting, and junking. Nothing really struck me until I saw a mistreated piece on Craig’s List. It was covered in layers of really ugly paint with pink showing through. Someone had put cabinet hardware on it that reminded me of a cabin.

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To make matters worse, the hardware did not fit ell so the person who thought this hardware would work jammed plastic anchors into the holes.
It took some work on hubby’s part. Getting the hardware off, sanding, filling holes, more sanding before the paint went on.
Hubby got a new paint sprayer, and about the biggest compressor I have ever seen for an early Christmas present. It really made the piece look professionally painted and the Behr paint I love works in this high volume, low pressure sprayer.
Here are the results. For the present she just got a photograph of the piece. It will be getting delivered to North Carolina this spring. Another great reason to visit her.

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It was fun making something that our daughter will enjoy.

Painting the Night Stands Yellow

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This weekend I finally tackled the two end tables that will go into the guest bedroom. One of them was a roadside find. The other I bought in a resale shop for $15.00. I am so excited about this project! I am on a self-imposed limited budget so the fifteen dollars total spent on the night stands combined makes me smile. They are going to look fun and be a little funky in the room. I bought some yellow paint in the oops bin at Home Depot. On the can it was a bright yellow, inside it was more of a greenish yellow. I tried to convince myself that the paint would work. It was cheap, good quality paint and went on the tables like no body’s business.

When Hubby got home after I painted them with two coats, he said that they looked like pickle yellow. Not sure what that means but it would not work in the room.

 The original yellow color.

Sad days.  I had to go back for more paint.

Because I had already painted everything with the good paint I convinced myself that cheap paint would work just fine.  I did not take my own advice- NEVER USE CHEAP PAINT.  When you use cheap paint on furniture you end up painting everything twice where one coat would work in the better paint and it runs because it is so thin.  I started painting the tables Friday night and it took me two hours to paint them the first time.  I literally had to sit there and clean up drips for an hour after I painted but I am nothing if not hard headed so I marshaled on.  The second coat the next morning didn’t look as bad but I still had the runny paint issue.  The color was Behr Chickadee.  I pinky swear that from this day forward I will use Behr Premium Plus with primer in the paint or Olympic paint and primer in one on any painted furniture.

Sunday afternoon I glazed them.

The pictures above are before I wiped the table down.

I love making my own glaze.  I actually used the wall color in the glaze.  1 cup of untinted glaze to 1/4 cup paint.   The pieces had lots of grooves and nicks so there was a lot of glaze detail.  They turned out great.

I love how this was headed for the trash and is now a star in the bedroom.  I am going to store extra blankets inside for my guests.

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