Home

Updating a Lamp- DIY

14 Comments

Remember the crystal lamps I purchased, with lamp shades for $10.00 each? They part of my Goodwill purchase last week. These lamps were at one time very expensive formal living room lamps. The glass is super heavy and thick. Think old lady, formal curtains, couches you could not sit on, and trinkets galore.

goodwill lamps

 

goodwill crystal lamps

I love finding something like this because I plan on reusing them in a new setting, our master bedroom.  I need to add some color and fun to the bedroom, but I love the romance and sparkle of the lamps too.

20130811-205345.jpg

I thought about spray painting the cut glass, but decided to work on the brass and lamp shades instead.  My plan was to spray paint the shades a dark blue to match the darkest color in our bedding.

A trip to Target changed my mind about the shade. I found two perfect shades for $16.00 each. Great size, shape and they have a dark blueish ribbon at the top and bottom.  It seems a little crazy to pay so much more for shades than I paid for the lamps, but I love them how the shape will update the lamps in the bedroom.  It is going to be tough to stay in the budget on this room with the burlap curtains and the lamp shades but I guess it just means I have to be very creative with decorating the rest.

This is not the first, second or third lamps we have built, redone, repurposed,and even recovered a lampshade.

We have repurposed a chandelier
Redone a milk glass lamp
Made old Coke bottles into lamps
Painted several lamps

I thought I would actually let you in on a secret…redoing lamps are relatively  easy!  Here is one of the lamps up close.

crystal lamp

Tarnished brass and all.

vintage crystal lamp

under side of lamp

The black plastic thing keeps the wire from getting cut, then there is a nut below that to tighten the lamp.

First- flip the lamp over and look at the bottom. I had to remove a felt circle in order to get to the bolt and nut that holds the lamp together. Most lamps are put together this way. They have a tube that runs through the body of the lamp. The tube has threads at either end. Take the whole thing apart. Take pictures as you go along if it is the first time you have taken a lamp apart. You will probably need to refer to the photos when putting it back together,

taking out a light socket

The socket part has a cover that will slide back on at the end of reassembly.  The inside of the socket connects the two sides of the wire with screws.  The bolt on the bottom was tough so Hubby had to use several tools to loosen it.

IMG_3193-001

I laid it all out and photographed just the metal part so that we could remember the order.

IMG_3198

A quick sand on the tarnished parts then spray paint.  I love the oil rubbed bronze.

oil rubbed bronze spray paint

This is after one coat.

IMG_3200

After a second coat reassembly.  The wires go in the hole at the base of this one first- not all lamps do this.  then into the metal rod, then the rod into the body of this lamp.  The base was actually three separate pieces of glass stacked.  It was tricky to keep lined up so no photos.  It took both of us.

awiring a lamp

The metal parts went back on, then the socket, then the socket cover.  I removed the lampshade bale, because the shade I bought sits directly on the socket.  No big loop over the bulb.

IMG_3212

Ta- dah.

IMG_3216

Here they are… now to dress the top of my dresser.

IMG_3217 IMG_3219 IMG_3221

 

This whole process was done in under an hour.

Solid Wood, Plywood, Particle Board…

4 Comments

I have had a few friends lately ask me to look at a piece of furniture before they updated it. All of them thought that they had solid wood furniture and did not want to ruin it. As I looked at the pieces I have had to be the one to break the news to them that although it was beautiful, it was not made of solid wood boards. Most of the furniture I look at these days is partially solid wood, and partially wood veneer. Even brands of furniture that are associated with quality furniture probably have some pieces that are not solid wood. Veneered furniture has been around for a loooong time. A thin layer of pretty solid hardwood is glued to a piece of plywood or particle board. Because the surface is a hardwood solid, it can be sanded, stained, varnished and look amazing. You just must be careful not to sand off too much wood. Not knowing the true make up of a piece of furniture can cause you to ruin it when you decide to repurpose the piece. If it is veneer, you need to check to see that the veneer is on securely. If it has peeled off in places and you are going to paint it, no big deal. Sand it, fill the area with wood filler and then once it is dry sand again. if there is particle board involved, it has to be sealed anywhere that the particle board will come in contact with something wet. ( FYI- paint is a liquid.) I recommend a primer applied lightly in coats over these areas. Get a really thick primer like Zinzer bonding primer or Glidden Gripper. Both of those product state that they also seal.

Here is my tip on how to tell what the makeup of your furniture is:

  • Look at it where it was not varnished or stained. Under the piece, the back inside the drawer space. You will get a better idea in those places.
  • Pick it up. If a piece is unbelievably heavy for its’ size, it is 99% sure not to be solid wood. All that glue and pressed wood is heavier than a solid wood piece would normally be. Solid wood furniture is generally not super heavy for its size.
  • Check the edges if there is a veneer ( thin skin of solid wood over something else) the place you can most easily tell is on a sharp edge.

A piece not being solid wood never scared me off, but knowing what something is made of does affect how I re-do it. Even Ikea furniture can be painted, but it takes the right materials and you cannot sand through the plastic-ee coating or the particle board insides will puff when they get wet.

Even antique furniture my not be solid wood. About 20 years ago we bought a church pew from an antique store. It was pretty oak wood but needed some work. We decided to have it stripped so that we could re-stain it. We found out the hard way that it was really plywood with an oak veneer on top. When we got it stripped professionally, the glue holding veneer on also dissolved and we have a few places on it even today that has a wrinkled look. Lesson learned.

This really old, pretty serpentine dresser that is going to be my kitchen island is an example of veneered wood. Serpentine oak dresser

The mirror frame is solid wood. I am still thinking about what to do with that part. Any suggestions for me?

2013-07-08 20.28.24

The drawers are solid wood.

2013-07-08 20.28.28

The dresser cabinet is another story. The top is veneer in fact the reason I got this piece for a song is because the previous owner put screws in the top trying to keep the veneer down at the back of the piece. The side panels are veneer. Look at it. basically the way that veneer is created is that they shave a log in a circle so that they create a continuous piece of hardwood that is way wider than the actual log would have been. (Think unrolling a cinnamon roll.) That means that the grain looks funny when you actually study it. The legs are solid wood. If I were going to refinish this piece I would have to be careful with the side panels and would have to replace the veneer on the top. I am going to paint the body, leave the drawers stained wood, and put a butcher block top on it that follows the serpentine shape.

These French Provincial side tables are veneer over particle board. It was no big deal because they were going to be painted, but I did have to make sure that we kept the inside area dry. I only use Gripper primer on particle board furniture. Get the grey tinted variety if the color you are painting is dark.

French Provincial Side Tables

There are times when I have been pleasantly surprised too. This table ended up being solid wood. I was shocked. We bought it for $20.00 and it is getting cut in half, length-wise for a sofa table in my new family room. I did not know it was solid wood until it was flipped over to take home. I am sanding the top down and staining it now that I know!

solid wood table

French Provincial Dresser

Leave a comment

I have a new color, ocean pearl, that I love. Our realtor, Ashli would call it ” Gray-eige (gray+beige)

20130703-143400.jpg
We recently bought a dresser, headboard, and mirror for $80.00. It was not solid wood but I liked the shape and have wanted to try painting particle board type furniture.

20130703-143807.jpg
I am putting the furniture in our sage green bedroom and wanted something more neutral for the furnishings.

20130703-144100.jpg
I love the black chair rail so I chose black suede for the dresser top. Because the drawers came apart I decided to add a third color to the drawer. I chose sea salt for the accent color.
Here is the dresser mostly done! I love the color combination! As soon as the Hubby gets back from his trip I will get good pictures of the set.

20130703-144559.jpg

20130703-144641.jpg

The French Provincial Bedroom

1 Comment

Our new house has the cutest little girl room. It is painted a soft green and has a black rail about three fourths the way up the wall. It also has lady bugs that will have to go but everything else will stay. I am planning to paint above the rail a cream color. Recently while searching Craig’s List I ran across this furniture.

20130701-151231.jpg

It was $75.00 for the whole set so of course I was suspicious of the solid wood posting. When I arrived it was obvious that it was partly solid wood and part particle board, but the price was right and I took it. It is going to be my green bedroom furniture.

20130701-151422.jpg
I have discovered Glidden Gripper primer. You have to love something that is good for sticking to glass. I can already tell it really does bond to the less than solid wood parts of the furniture.
A quick disassembly let me discover that the drawer fronts were two separate pieces. That gives me the chance to use two colors on them with no taping! Yay.

20130701-151450.jpg

20130701-151508.jpg

20130701-151518.jpg

20130701-151530.jpg
I chose to paint the furniture a gray green color with a black top and lighter panels from the same card.
The hardware is going to be black.
I am excited to get moving. The weather is cooperating so I got some quality time in on painting today. We will finish everything in the garage by bedtime tonight! It is supposed to be 67 degrees on the morning! I love that!

Wrapping Up Projects

7 Comments

The Garagemahal is overflowing with projects right now.  I mean seriously overflowing.  The picture below was taken before the last load was put in there.

primed furniture

The riding lawnmower doesn’t fit in there right now!  Hubby won’t be happy if this continues.

What that means is I have to get myself busy early in the mornings and late at night.  Why you ask?  Well it is currently 100 degrees during the middle of the day here in the Sahara Texas.  Paint will not dry properly when  above 80 degrees so I figure right now I have about three hours a day to work.

My shopping list for the weekend included some interesting items so that I can get busy.

Project number 1- finish these beautiful French Provencal end tables for my buddy, The Social Planner.  She has been patiently waiting for them and I feel guilty every time I go over to her house.  Her bedside lamps are literally sitting on the floor.  I got one coat of paint on them during the week so another coat of paint, distressing, glazing and poly will end this one.  They have beautiful marble tops waiting to go on them.

IMG_1793

Project number 2- finish my china cabinet.  My first attempt spray painting was a disaster.  Hubby sanded it all back down for me and I get the opportunity to begin again.  This time with a brush. Yippee.  My sweet secretary is ready for all the stuff to be picked up off the floor in my office that I keep promising is going in the cabinet.  Two coats of paint, distressing, glazing and poly should save it from the disaster it is right now.

IMG_2220

Project number 3- The Social Planner’s entertainment center.  This piece is a beast.  2 coats of paint, distressing, glazing, poly.  There are two rounded shelves that go on either end of the piece too.

IMG_1790

The good news is that project 1,2, and 3 are all going to be the same color.  I can work on them together in stages.  I hope I can get projects 1-3 done this week.

Also waiting in the wings is a French Provencal dresser for my guest room with a mirror and headboard.  Still waiting for inspiration on this one.  What color should they be?  Help me!

bedroom suite

I need to upholster the chairs for the dining room

20130625-122022.jpg

this awesome fabric

 

20130625-083227.jpg

and finish the  sewing machine cabinet turned cooler for the back porch in a bright blue ( the picture below is my inspiration- but my blue will be deeper.)

20130311-174605.jpg

before I start painting the armoire teal, making a burlap covered bench and turning a bed into a bench for the back porch.  Oh and I have some end tables that need to be sanded, legs painted bright green and top stained too.   Finally, I have this sad chair that my dad rescued.  It is going to look so cool.  I already have the perfect cushion for it.

20130527-204517.jpg

We have a lot going on as you can see.  Does anyone want to come and paint with me from 9:00 pm until midnight?  I have bug spray and a fan!

 

I Was a Faker

Leave a comment

Hello friends, my name is Karen and I was a big faker. I did not totally finish the credenza before I posted it. Remember, it was cold and rainy when I worked on it? I just got frustrated before the inside of the doors were painted and we put them back on unfinished, paint drips and all.

drippy credenza door

IMG_2029

It looked finished unless the center doors were opened but it has been bugging me. I would have so embarrassed if someone would have opened the doors. We are about to start showing the house and I know that even though the credenza is not part of the sale, people are curious. ( I am when I see custom furniture!)

roadside credenza
Sooo…

I bought a sample of Revival Mahogany because the quart is at Star Hill, sanded and painted the doors brown.

20130514-183049.jpg

20130514-183041.jpg
Next I used spray adhesive to adhere burlap to the painted doors. Then I glued a wide ribbon around the edge of the burlap and FINALLY I hammered in some left over nailhead trim into the corners.

Much better. Feel free to snoop when you come look at our house now!

Finished Interior doors IMG_2166

What is on Tap for our Weekend

Leave a comment

This weekend we have a ton to jam into a short amount of time.
Tonight Hubby is helping our City House neighbors grout the tile backsplash. Tomorrow morning he referee’s the Early College High School’s Powderpuff Football Game. As soon as he is done( thank you sweetheart.) we are headed to Star Hill. My goal is to finish my awesome western dresser, paint my night stands, glaze and poly them and the sewing cabinet.
Oh..
We need to unload the truck too. Hubby found wood for my back wall in the bedroom.

20130426-192808.jpg

20130426-192829.jpg

20130426-192847.jpg

We have work to do on this wood before it goes up but it is going to be awesome!!

We will be going to work pooped Monday!

My Adventures at Star Hill

Leave a comment

Wellllll… I now have a mobile hotspot at the lake house. Spending the night here and pretty sure there is a bat in the wood burning stove. Pretty sure because there is no way I am investigating. Sweet Amanda has already had that moment of terror. Hubby comes up this weekend. Please don’t tell him I brought something in the house to paint. It is our secret! The June bugs were attacking outside.

20130409-204921.jpg

20130409-204948.jpg

The Giant Silver Mirror Has Been Installed

1 Comment

The giant silver mirror that has been in my possession for almost a year now, finally has a home in The Southern Belle’s home. It was safely transported to North Carolina and Hubby got it hung. The Giant Silver Mirror It started life as a gold ornate mirror I would guess in the 50’s. I found this beauty at a garage sale for $10.00.

The Giant Silver Mirror

I loved the detail and the size.  This beauty is five feet wide and three feet tall!

The Giant Silver Mirror

She got a total makeover to modernize and match The Southern Belle’s silver/brushed nickle throughout her beautiful home including a new backing and hanging hardware.

IMG_1154

IMG_1160

Doesn’t she look beautiful? I love the stenciled wall in the bedroom and the soft blue comforter set.

IMG_1164 IMG_1173

Do you ever wonder what your dog does when you are at work? This is what sweet Maeby does…pretty much nothing.

Dresser to Mudroom Bench

112 Comments

My mudroom bench started life as a dresser. I found it on the side of the road waiting for heavy trash pick up. It was a mess! The top was in pieces and two drawers were broken. In spite of the shape that the dresser was in, it was solid wood and had dove tailed drawers. It was late at night and we were headed home from visiting friends. I had to beg Hubby to stop, back up and get out to look at the dresser. He was less than impressed with this one.

What I Know and Don;t Know About Old Furniture

Here it is with one of the working drawers out. The top has a split all the way down the length.

After staring at it a few weeks, I decided to turn it into a piece for our entryway that could serve as a sort of mudroom. A place to take off shoes, hang jackets and hats and hide junk…I mean Hubby’s treasures.

First, We removed the top two rows of drawers from the dresser and created a bench by adding a plywood top.

Turning a Dresser into a Mudroom Bench Part 2

Next, we created a separate top piece from the two remaining solid drawer fronts. Because of the height, we had them open on hinges. We could not have used it if it were drawers. A sheet of beadboard paneling, 2X4’s, and a plywood box.

Mudroom Bench Part 3

The mirror was a thrift store find. Hubby chopped the top off the mirror frame and routed the 2X4’s so that they matched the mirror. We reused the top in a later piece.

Then, Hubby created a board and batten over bead board back to connect the piece visually. The bead board and top are connected together, but they float over the bench. Sneaky huh? This allows easy installation and access to electrical without cutting holes in the wood. You never know where it will live next! All the hooks were installed last because I wasn’t sure what I wanted. In the end I went with plain hooks because they worked for the piece.

The Mudroom Bench is Coming Together

The Finished Mudroom Bench

Finally, we painted, added crystal knobs and made a tufted cushion. I love the soft green color!
The Finished Mudroom Bench

The Finished Mudroom Bench
This is by far the most unique piece of furniture in our home and is a great conversation piece.
The Finished Mudroom Bench

Here it what it looked like the morning that I wrote this blog. I did not do anything so that you can see how we really live.

mudroom bench

This is the best shot I have taken of the bench. Now I wish I had removed Hubby’s hat, camera, and jacket!

1-IMG_1042

1-IMG_1043

Older Entries Newer Entries