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Suitcase Shelf Wall

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When I took the job as principal in the suburban city we moved to there just was not time to do much to my office, which before I came on board was a storage closet.  Yes, I felt pretty special, but in the rapidly growing district I work in, I am thilled to have a space at all.

The “office” was the most awful institutional blue color with very little light. The light situation probably had something to do with the fact it was never designed to have someone working in the space.

I did what I could  (not much) last summer then got busy opening a school.

This summer I had a little more time to work on making the space more inviting. The finished office is coming soon.

Today, it is all about my suitcase wall.

I have wanted to do this wall somewhere since I first spotted it on PInterest two years ago. The long blank wall in my office seemed to be he perfect location.

First, I collected suitcases.

I had the blue suitcase in my stash and planned to use it once day to make another chalkboard. I paid two dollars for it at a thrift store.

I found the dark green travel case at Goodwill for $2.99 a while back, the alligator suitcase was in rough shape. I bought it for $5.00 off Craig’s List. I got impatient to get the wall done so when I spotted two suitcases at a local resale shop, I paid too much. I got the last two suitcases ( a hat box and a leather men’s suitcase) for $50.00. I know what you are thinking. Yes, I did pay too much….but I wanted them and the blank wall was staring at me.

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All in I have $60.00 invested in suitcases. Not bad for a whole wall of joy.

Hubby chopped each suitcase in half on the table saw. No pictures of that part. I was at work when he got that done.

suitcase for wall cut suitcases

I then ripped out all the loose lining.

We cut boards to fit inside the suitcases to make a support frame.

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Here they are all stacked with the wood inside.

I laid them all out on the floor in the office to decide where I wanted them to go, then got busy taping it out on the wall. Toggle bolts went into each wall board. The top board was screwed to the top of each wall board, and then small side pieces were attached with the air nailer.

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bracket for suitcase toggle bolts into brackets

We slid each suitcase over the wooden support then used screws to attach it to the wood. (Air nailing would have been easier and less noticeable but I want to take these puppies with me when I retire in a few short years.)

suitcases on wall suitcase wall

Here it is all finished and dressed up!

I cannot wait to get the office  looking the way I see it in my head.

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Let me know what you think of my version of a suitcase  wall.

I hope you have a wonderful day.

Blessings,

Karen

Getting a Restoration Hardware Weathered Finish

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The bathroom renovation is under way. Board and batten walls are installed, my cool shelving unit is done, the chandelier is being updated, and, best of all, the bathroom vanity is almost ready for installation.

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:

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Restoration hardware 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.

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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

Weathered Dining Table

But…

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.

Using Pickling Stain

I used elements of both to get the look I was seeking.

I used the following materials:

minwax weathered oak

Weathered oak

minwax pickling stain

White Wash Pickling

minwax jacobean

Jacobean Stain

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

marine varnish

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.

 

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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.

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Here it is right out of the can.  It is super thick and sort of goopy.

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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.

 

 

1-IMG_7321 weathered finish Restoration Hardware Look using pickling and stain for Restoration Hardware finish Restoration Hardware cabinet doors Restoration Hardware Finish

I am really hard on myself and always see every mistake but I was really thrilled with how this turned out.

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I stained the sides of the drawer with Jacobean stain to add contrast.

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The hardware got a coat of Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze.

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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.

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Lowe’s Link
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.

Addition: I used the same method to redo the body and one drawer of this funky dresser. I would love to hear your thoughts on my work.

Blessings,

Karen

Project Update

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Hello, Friends! I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to be mashing a bunch of projects and finds into one pile so you can see what I have done recently, and what I have hanging out in the garage waiting for love. I am really getting anxious to get started using my cedar that has been patiently drying, get started on my bathroom, and get Star Hill, our sweet little near the lake house updated a tad. I just told you all that so you know it is my plan to burn through some projects that are hanging out, taking up space and bugging me. I also have some work for others that I am trying hard to get finished.

Sooo… here goes:

In the hanging out bugging me category

  • China Cabinet- I am going to paint this a very light gray with a patterned back wall.

1960's china cabinet

  • 50% complete Headboard/ Footboard Bench. It is going to be a stunner with storage.

Headboard for storage bench

  • 3 count them 3 tables that need to be finished.  1 of them is going to become a farmhouse table with reclaimed wood on top and is sold.  It is still not done.  All will be beautiful… if I can just get rolling and get them done.

farmhouse table

  • 4 projects for people.   1 is a bench out of their childhood twin bed, 1 a media center, 1 a mid century modern dresser that will complete the bedroom set I am working on and 1 a china cabinet.

navy blue china cabinet
This is my inspiration for the china cabinet. It is going to be a dark blue.
madigan made

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  • red media center

Here is the inspiration for the media center. The piece I am painting is even prettier.

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I hope you can see from the phone photo the detail in this buffet.

  • mid century modern painted dresser

The dresser I will be paint in looks a lot like this one, or at least it will once painted.

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Here is the dresser I will be painting.

  • In the house project category
  • Our bathroom needs to be done.  Board and Batten walls, electrical work done, dresser painted to look like restoration hardware furniture, mirror down, pair of mirrors hung, and tile work.  Not too much huh?  Here is the blog I wrote about our plans.  Bathroom Pinnsperation
  • At Star Hill I want one wall in the den to be covered with corrugated tin roofing from my husband’s family barn.  We need to install a new wood burning stove and hang a raw cedar shelf on that wall. I also want to paint the bedroom and make curtains.  No small feat for this non-sewer.  Here is the bedroom in the unfinished state. Bedroom

Once we are done, I get to start building with the beautiful cedar. It shouldn’t take long, right? Hurry summer so Hubby has the time off.

Building Benches from Beds is Sort of Like a Strategy Game

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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.
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All the headboards lined up in the Garagemahal.

headboard and footboard for bench
I call this one the curvy bench. Each section of the headboard curves slightly. It is a very comfortable bench.

Headboard for 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.

Headboard for storage bench
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.

Footboard for storage bench
The footboard is just as heavy as the headboard. The posts are four inches square.

headboards into benches
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.
making a bench

making a bench frame

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.
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Here it is with the plywood seat.
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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.
norma bench

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Everything lined up pretty easily.
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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.
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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.
Headboard for storage bench

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.
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We got this far on Shahana’s bench. Next weekend we will get the plywood on the top.

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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.
Karen

A Benchy Weekend Ahead

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Well now that my third antibiotic seems to be killing the super nasty bacteria that moved in and won’t leave, I am ITCHING, dying, ready to get some work done this weekend. We have 4, count em’ f-o-u-r, headboard/footboards to turn into benches (one of them may become a swing) this weekend. I figure “In for a penny, in for a pound.” No way we will get to painting, but I am hopeful we will get the benches constructed.  I am busy looking for inspiration for my benches.  Here are a few of my favorite sites with awesome tutorials.

For the swin I found the Rustic Pig.  I am loving this one.  It only uses a headboard and not a footboard so I have to see if I have one that will work for this.
http://www.therusticpig.com/2013/06/16/summer-back-porch-headboard-swing/

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Gail at My Repurposed Life is a master at repurposing beds into benches.  I got the idea to turn the dresser into a bench from her.  I love that she took the time to write me when I mentioned her inspiration.    Her site has a number of different headboard benches so there is a lot of inspiration.

http://www.myrepurposedlife.com/2009/09/headboard-bench-tutorial.html

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Brittany at Pretty Handy Girl has a great site with simple instructions.  I love her blog header : empowering you to complete your own DIY project.  Thanks, Brittany for the great drawings and pictures.

http://www.prettyhandygirl.com/2010/07/turning-craigs-list-bed-frame-into.html

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As I said, we have four headboards.  I just counted and we have FIVE.  Shhhh.  I am going to see if Hubby reads this to see that I have more than I thought.  I bought one set  over a year ago for $25.00 but can’t find a photo, I got the three below stacked all together for $12.00.  One of them is my favorite.  It is a curvy vintage double bed that will make a cool and very comfortable bench.

 

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Hard to believe there are three future benches in this pile of wood huh? The curvy one is mine. I just love it. It is going to be either rustic red or black. Feel free to chime in on the color. The twin is going to my friend, Trenda. Final one may become the swing. I think it will work for what we want.

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This bed is going to be a bench for my buddy Norma. I bought this one at Canton. I liked the look and the solid back. It is going to be a beautiful rustic red when done and have stained slatted seat I am very excited this one.
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This one is going to my buddy Shahana. We found this one at the HAAR (Humble Area Assistance Resources)  thrift store for $10.00. I will show you the awesome chicken she painted for me on my Facebook page this week. Be watching for it FB friends.
I think I just counted and we may have six future benches.  We will see if my husband actually reads this post.  If so, I think I could be in trouble.

10 of My Favorite Posts and a Big Thank You!

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If things go as they have been for the last week, by the time I wake up tomorrow I will have had 50,000 page views on my little teeny tiny minnow of a blog. I will also be celebrating two years of blogging. There are blogs out there that get 50,000 page views a day and it has taken me two years.  I never said I was fast.  first and foremost, I want to say thank you, friends, for reading, thank you for commenting, and thank you for causing me to improve what I produce. I still have no idea what I am doing most of the time. By that I mean my husband and I are making it up as we go on our projects, and sometimes failing miserably. I am about the most technology challenged blogger out there. There have been many times when I did something on the blog but had no idea what I did, how to fix it, or if it was good, how to repeat that good thing. Between the time I started this blog and now both our children have married, my husband and I changed jobs, we sold a home, went a while “between homes”, bought a home and moved to a new city, my son and daughter in law have moved in part-time, I started a new blog called My Burb Home, and I have taken up photography as a hobby. Not bad for two folks in their 50’s.

This next year we plan to travel to two places on our bucket list, work on both our weekend home and our suburban home, build a raised garden, put in a fire pit,and continue to work on found furniture.  Life is good for this weekend loving couple.

I wanted to share with you some projects from the last two years.  As I looked back, there were others that could have or should have made the cut but I plan on rewriting several of them now that I don’t stink like when I started. Not many of you were around when I first logged in, set up an account and started rambling so some of the projects below may be new to you. Just click on the hyperlink and it will take you to the original blog.  I hope you enjoy.

10. French provincial furniture makeover.  I love that we were able to take a couple of homely particle board pieces of furniture and make them beautiful. I am seriously considering selling this set because I want to redo the room like now I recently saw on a home tour but I love the color combination and how much I learned on this project.

French Provincial Dresser

9. Western Dresser.  We found a homely little Goodwill dresser and made it something fun for the lake house guest room we call the bunk room.
western dresser

8. Table and Banquette seating out of reclaimed wood.  Wow! This is one of my oldest posts and my dinky little camera did not do this beauty any justice.  I will be re-photographing this set.  This was a collaboration between Hubby and me to come up with a solution to a tiny space using reclaimed siding from our house.  It is one of the most functional spaces in our home now.

Making Room for a Dining Area at Star Hill

7.  Farmhouse Table.  I love the look of a rustic table but man, they are expensive. Our $90.00 solution to this problem turned out to be one of my favorite pieces of furniture. It moved with us and was where we gathered for our first Thanksgiving meal in the new home.

farmhouse table

6.  Wedding Chalkboard.  I did tell you my kids got married, right?  I was fortunate enough that both my daughter and daughter in law wanted me to make personal items for their wedding.   I loved that they wanted things that I worked on as a part of their special day.  The link above is one of those items, an ornate frame my daughter in law, Sweet Amanda, found at a resale shop that I redid for the wedding and added a chalkboard.  I chose this one because it was the first wedding project. I love all four of my precious kids.

DIY Framed Chalkboard

5.  Map Chair.  Another piece of furniture that needs to be re-photographed.  This little chair would be easy to recreate for a friend moving to a new city or a college student who needs to remember where home is. I seem to have a thing for chairs.

Map Chair Seat

4.  Painted Suitcases.  I have made a total of seven of these painted suitcases now  The link is to four of them I did at one time.  I love finding cheap old hard sided suitcases, priming, painting, distressing, glazing then adding a chalkboard to one side.  It makes a great entry into a home when guests are coming over or to announce an event. If I ever started a business, I would sell these because I enjoy mine so much.

Chalkboard Suitcase

3.  Junk Fairy End Table.  The last three are easy.  They are my favorite, favorite projects.  They speak to my love of color, family and friends.  The junk fairy ( AKA The Social Planner) dropped off this homely table while we were gone one day. I did not need it, so posted a photo of it on Facebook and offered to redo it for a friend. Robin snagged it. I am happy that she chose green as the color for the table. I really like how the stained top turned out. I enjoyed it so much that I painted a table in my own home close to the same colors.
The finished green end table

2.  Beverage Station.  I am now working on number three of these babies. What a great re-purpose project for an old stainless sink and a sewing machine cabinet. I love the look and they make entertaining in a back yard or porch more inviting. My favorite blue color, Behr sailboat blue, got used here. My long-suffering husband gets major credit for the stainless sink idea here.
drink station
1.  Mudroom Bench.  When we moved this year I literally looked for homes that my mudroom bench would fit in. It is by far my most favorite project to date. I look forward to the day that someone sends me a photo of their version of the project.&nbsphttps://theweekendcountrygirl.com/2013/01/28/toilet-paper-roll-art/; A found dresser, waiting for heavy trash pickup, and a resale shop mirror turned into this beauty.
mudroom bench

I hope you enjoyed my little walk down memory lane. Thank you for taking the time to look back on my last two years. Thank you for allowing me to share what we do.

Mr. and Mrs. Pillows

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The Southern Belle came to visit! YAY! Yippee! Woo Hoo! Is it possible to tell that we were excited to have our girl here for a visit? The only problem was that our son in law, Big Cat, stayed home. More on him later, but he was missed. My newly wed daughter really missed her husband.

Before TSB came home she sent a photo of Mr. and Mrs. pillows asking if we could work on a set of those for her. Heck yeah. Of course. While at Hancock’s Fabric I picked up a $5.99 burlap fabric with a fairly tight weave. I got enough fabric for about 12 pillows, but only got 9 pillows sewn while Shahana was over visiting. I sewed all of the pillows by myself except two because the time ran out. Shahana whipped up the last two in a matter of minutes. Hubby and I were beyond thrilled that Baby Boy and Sweet Amanda came to spend the weekend too. My quiver was full. I love my kids. I made an & sign pillow because I thought I had enough burlap in my bedroom and wanted to make one for the guest room.

The kids came, my parents came, my friends came, and my sister in law and twin nephews came over. Love it.

Even with all the family, we did manage to get the pillows knocked out. Well all but one set. We got 3 sets of Mr. and Mrs. pillows done along with one & sign pillow for me because I already have enough wordy pillows.

Here is how we painted the pillows:

Materials

Fabric paint- dark brown- get the soft variety not textured or slick

Paint brushes

chalk

Burlap pillows- 16 inch square finished

overhead projector

stuffing ( we bought loose stuffing in large bags it took a little less than 3 bags for 4 pillows)

thread and needle to finish the pillows

My friend and I used a borrowed overhead projector to trace out a set of Mr. and Mrs. letters onto the pillows with chalk. The chalk will brush off after the paint dries and will not show up.

using chalk to write on burlap

The girls painted the chalked letters with artist brushes. We custom mixed the paint by mixing the light brown with black to get the dark brown color we wanted. We put plastic bags inside the pillow to keep the paint from bleeding through. Just stuff then into the hole and spread them out.

fabric paint for burlap

Mr. Burlap

The chalk lines just dust off once the pillows are finished.

I painted the & sign a little roughly. I was trying for the well worn look. Not sure I achieved my goal.
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Mr. burplap painted

Once they were finished painting, I stuffed the pillows and stitched up the edge. This was a super easy project and the pillows look amazing. Great idea, Belle. We now have something to remember our weekend.

Here is the set done by The Southern Belle

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Here is the set done by Sweet Amanda. I need to go over and photograph all her projects soon!

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While TSB was here visiting, her sweet husband was home working on a surprise. The week before she left my closet junker daughter spotted a buffet, probably from the 20’s, sitting by the side of the road. It was rough and missing a drawer, but she ( and I) liked the curvy lines and legs. Her husband, Big Cat picked it up off the roadside and took it home. During her weekend visit he worked on the piece. He removed the top and repaired it, sanded it down, replaced the hardware with brushed nickel and gave it a nice coat of black spray paint. The piece is going to be an entertainment center in their study/TV room. The missing drawer spot will work great for the components. I got a sneak peek before she left for the airport from her husband via email. Good job!

Roadside Find Buffet

Roadside Find Buffet 2 Roadside Find Buffet 3

The finished product! Great job.

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