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Weekend Update

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Right now we are working full-out every weekend and I am not doing a great job of taking pictures so I thought I would give you all a quick look at our progress.  I did such a bad time last week that I never got the post done.  Sorry.  This post is a mix of both weeks’ work.
When I left the house a week ago, this was all we had done.  The carpet was up and my buddy was sweeping the grit off the floor after the epic carpet removal.  Note to self; next time I think it is a good idea to remove one whole room of carpet in a solid piece, rethink that idea.  It was work.
This week/ weekend we got the following done:

   
 

  • The walls in the main room and laundry room got painted.  Behr Moth Gray.  Man oh man I recommend this color.  It is the perfect brown toned gray.  Everyone who comes in the house comments on the paint color

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  • I picked the color for the bathrooms and the kitchen.  The bathrooms are going to be Behr Pacific Mist.  I did several test spots and love it.  It is soft, peaceful and almost spa like.
  • The top of the kitchen cabinets are going to be Behr Bakery Box.
  • The kitchen walls are going to be a mix of Pacific Mist and a Behr color called Tinsmith.  We are stuck with the color of the bottom kitchen cabinets.  I will be visiting Lowes today to check out other paint colors.

Here is the color on the big wall:
     
Please ignore the cabinets and floor.  The cabinets are going to look so much better white and the floor will be reclaimed weathered oak vinyl tile.

 

  • In our exploring last week we found this stained glass door in a storage building. 

A little love and a lot of cleaning turned it into a beautiful piece to hang in our kitchen window.

  

  • We also found this cool old gate in our barn.    

A scrub down was all this needed to remove the dirt dobber nests and cobwebs.

It now hangs on what I call my “Cracker Barrel” wall.  This wall is where our dining table goes.   I also got a good start on the faux cow hide bench.   it still needs nail head trim and leather end caps but it is going to be fun hanging out behind the table against the wall.   I have decided to embrace the ranch theme.  We live in a ranch house on land where cattle have been raised with a hay farmer across the street, horses and chickens to the right and geese and hogs to the left of our property.  The  dining area wall has a chicken painted by a friend, two license plates- both off of farms. was The 1975 plate came from my husband’s family farm while the other plate came off a friend’s land.  It is a 1932 Texas plate that was used as a shingle on a barn.

  
I love the mudroom wall.  More on that this week. Mr. Math is my hero.

Mr. Math starts back to work Monday so work will slow a bit.  The floor and wall are priorities.  I will be calling an electrician in to make the lighting make sense and fix some questionable wiring.

   
  
Lumi loves this place!  
 
The shutters are going to be part of the wall soon.

We are tired, sore, and feel incredibly blessed to have this opportunity.

I hope you are enjoying our journey.

Blessings, 

Karen

A Bench From Bits and Parts

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Well operation trash to treasure went well this weekend. A year ago I bought four sets of headboards/ footboards for $12.00.  One of them ended up on my front porch.  One ended up as a gift for a friend.

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The one that ended up being mine is partially assembled here.  The others are in the background.

The last two have been hanging around the garage ever since. The double bed one was a mid century teak veneer headboard that had a broken leg and the twin set was mostly that not real wood, you know the stuff…sawdust and glue with contact paper on top covering it all, except the four bedposts which were cannon ball style solid wood spindles. It was the grossest piece of junk in the garage. Mold was even growing on the swollen wood like substance. Mr. Math has seriously asked to get rid of that particular set more than any other piece in the garage. I just kept thinking inspiration would strike.

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Finally, it came to me…marry the best of both sets to make one bench.

The bench is going on our lake house front porch . It is going to be a functional seat to put on or take off shoes. No bells, no whistles, no arms… Just painted wood with stained slats for seats.

I came up with the idea of using the bed posts in the moldy set upside down as the legs of the mid century set. The curvy legs add to the straight lines and cutting the footboard in half horizontally allowed more of them to show.

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I decided to do slats for two reasons; I like the way the stained slats look and leaving little gaps between them will allow for rain and dirt to fall through.  Here they are all cut, sanded and ready for stain.  Minwax Jacobean stain is my go-to stain for a dark color.

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After staining this collection of mismatched boards from the scrap pile looks more uniform.

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If you know me, then you know the steps to getting paint on a piece.  Sand the flat places, use liquid deglosser on the curves and gooves, prime it all with Zinser primer.

I feel like I say this a lot lately but seriously, the weather is just not my friend right now.  Here are photos of the 90% completed bench.  I SOOOO very much wanted it to be out on the porch when the realtor showed up, but alas, no luck with the weather allowing me to finish.

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Here are the photos of the bench all put together.  There are two boards that need painting and it needs a good coat of Poly before going on the porch.  This bench out of bits and parts will probably end up being one the most used benches we own.  I am going to make rolling crated to go under it for shoes.

I would love hearing from you.

Have a great day,

Karen

Welcome to Our Little Corner of the World

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If you are new to The Weekend Country Girl, Welcome!  If you are one of my long-time friends, please indulge me as I introduce myself to the newcomers. My blog has literally doubled in readership over the last month.

My name is Karen and I am not a professional blogger or furniture repurposer.  This blog and my projects are my hobby.  I am a professional educator in a suburb of Houston.  I am a high school principal who loves her job, works crazy hours, and has a lot of stress in her daily life.  On the weekends, and any other chance I get, I head to the small town of Coldspring, where I wear sweat pants, go thrift store shopping, and work out in the Garagemahal.  I am a happy chick  when I am covered in paint or sawdust on the weekend.  Come visit if you ever in the area.  For real.

I am happily married to the love of my life, Mr. Math, who is a small town farm boy from Troy, Texas.  We have been married for 33 years and have two great kids.  I am lucky enough that both of my parents are still with us and active.

Both kids are married to wonderful spouses and live a long way from us.  We miss all four of them terribly.

family

We also have a rescue dog named Lumi.  She keeps me humble and reminds me that I am not in charge of the world.

lumi running

karen

If this photo looks like a school yearbook photo, that is because it is!  Does it take you back to high school?

Here we are in the first ever selfie I took of us.  It was on our Christmas cruise this year.

If you are new to my site it is probably because of my recent post about a corrugated tin wall on Remodleaholic, or the Facebook post on their site about our super simple buffet table for the deck, or because of my mudroom bench.  That bench has been my most popular post, ever.    Whatever the reason, I am thrilled to have you here.

Finished Mudroom Bench

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I started blogging as a way to show my friends and family what we were up to at our little cabin in the piney woods near Lake Livingston. We are both cheapskates frugalistas who would rather figure out how to do something ourselves than pay someone a crazy amount of money to do the work for us.  Buying a second home eight years ago was a stretch for us financially so we really had to figure out how to furnish a home on the cheap.  I never envisioned that my blog would be read by anyone who did not know me personally, in fact, I remember when I had my first post with 50 page views.  Man, I thought I was something else.

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Along the way I have learned a few things about blogging (okay, not so much here), design, and how to re-imagine furniture but who I am has not changed.  This site is still just a hobby and way to show my friends what we are up to and to get input.  ( I really do want your input when I ask for opinions. )

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Beverage station from sewing cabinet.

finished red headboard bench

Bench from headboard and footboard.

green sofa table

Buffet table from dining table legs and re-claimed wood.

I make mistakes, I am a terrible photographer who can’t take a good shot indoors to this day, I have a hot temper that gets me in trouble more than I like and I get my feelings hurt when people are mean.

I love a variety of styles, I like mixing painted wood with stain. I think every room should have one piece of furniture or accent that makes folks smile when they walk in the room.

Happy Camper green end table

mid century

western dresser

Funky Dresser

We are hoping and praying right now that we can sell our beloved Star Hill so that we can buy 15 acres in Coldspring with several buildings that will be our retirement home.   I hope you follow along on our journey into mid-life and beyond.

barn and pond

Thanks for finding this blog and welcome to our little corner of the world.

Blessings,

Karen

My Most Popular Posts

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Well hello there.  If you are new to the blog, welcome.

In the last week I have a lot of new friends who have chosen to follow my little bitty minnow of a blog  Thank you for choosing to follow along.

It is winter here in southeast Texas. That means high humidity, rain, and lots of days I am not able to do any furniture work. Add to that my full time job is at its busiest an that adds up to not much getting accomplished.  The garagemahal is loaded with projects just waiting for a warm sunny day to come along.

I thought you might enjoy some of the most popular posts that you might have missed in the past.  If you are one of my long-time followers, indulge me as I take a walk down memory lane.  🙂 If you click on the underlined writing  by each number it will take you directly to the post about the piece.

1. Mudroom Bench ( You probably found me through this piece but I am including it just in case you found me some other way.)

Finished Mudroom Bench

2. Beverage Station ( Old sewing cabinet and stainless sink make parties more fun.)

beverage station 1

3. Green End Table Makeover (Yes, Virginia, there is a Junk Fairy.  From time to time she drops things off at our house.)

Junk Fairy End Table

4. Buffet Table (My son’s favorite piece.)

buffet table

I hope that each and every one of you is inspired to look at furnishings differently and see the potential in even junk pieces.

(There may be a treasure hiding in there.)

Have a wonderful day.  I love hearing from you.

Blessings,

Karen

Roadside Repurposed Dresser

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We found this beauty sitting on the side of the road outside a rental house.  There wasn’t much I loved about the piece except that it had some great French Provincial hardware hiding under layers of paint but I just couldn’t leave it sitting on the curb waiting for heavy trash pick up.

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We stopped and got the dresser along with this piece I am still thinking about what to do with it but I am thinking gray and creamy white.
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After a month of the ugly lavender dresser sitting in our garage I decided that this was the weekend to get busy and do something with the piece. Because the piece was not real wood and had some areas that the fake wood had gotten wet and was swollen, I knew it would need a lot of sealing.  First it all got primed with Zinzer primer then I made my own version of chalk paint for the second coat out of a grayish, greenish OOPS paint sitting in the garage that I thought would work for the piece. Here is a trick if you like the look and feel of latex paint with poly on top for durability but like the way that chalk paint will cover nasty surfaces, use one coat of chalk paint then sand lightly, then paint over it with the latex paint.

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After painting the whole piece I could see it still needed additional help.
I decided  to take the dresser in a whole different direction.

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I took off the French Provincial hardware and added cedar fencing we picked up when our neighbors changed out their fence.  One board covered the front of each dresser drawer, one to cover the bottom part and three to cover the top.  Only one board needed to be cut down narrower on the table saw. After the boards were nailed on, I gave them a good sanding to bring out the color of the wood.

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The hardware I decided to use out of my hoard was some shiny brass hardware that had been given to me by a neighbor. A coat of Rustoelum Flat spray paint designed for metal was just the ticket to getting the look I wanted. My math-minded husband figured out where the pulls needed to go on the dresser and drilled the holes so that they would line up vertically.

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Here he is in all his glory. No one would guess that this dresser was a cheap, feminine, not wood dresser headed for a landfill.

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It is going to be a gift for a hard-working friend.

What do you think about the finished $2.00 project?

I would love to hear from you.

Blessings,

Karen

The Finished Funky Dresser

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Painting furniture in the Garagemahal during a southeast Texas winter is tough. It is either too cold or too humid to dream of painting. I usually take on smallish projects that I can finis in the house during winter. This fall I found a dresser that I wanted to turn into an unusual entertainment center. It was $20.00 at Huntsville Goodwill. It is a 1950’s wooden dresser that probably went in a boy’s room.

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I had been looking for something to turn into a funky dresser after finding this dresser a year ago at the Mainstreet America Christmas home tour.  It was over a thousand dollars but it was so cool.

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The dresser was originally destined for my brother in law and sister in law’s  new house near us. It took me so long to surprise them with the piece done that they already bought a beautiful entertainment center out of whiskey barrel oak.

I wasn’t sure what I would do with it at this point, until I sanded the top corner. There it was: “I love e b”. My hubby’s first and middle name begins with e and b. ( In his family he goes by Eddie Ben.)  I knew it would have to be something that would end up with us.

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I struggled with what to do with each drawer and redid three of the drawers at least twice, one of them three times.

I determined that I did not want to spend much on this project. I have a large collection of hardware, a pile of paint and everything needed to give the wood a weathered finish like the inspiration piece. A bonus is that the colors on the piece will be colors I already like and have in my home.

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What you see above is just a small sample of the hardware I have. Notice how many of the pieces I photographed I actually used in the final shot.

Saturday afternoon the skies cleared, the humidity dropped and I had about two hours to work.

The dresser went from looking like this Saturday …

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To this by mid-day, Sunday.

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I glazed the turquoise because it was a little too bright for the rest of the piece after this photo and I added  a license plate and some letters.  I am not sure it is finished but it is coming along.

Soon, I will tell you where I hope it gets to go.

Here are a few close up shots I took after adding the license plate from 1969 that we found in the dirt at my husband’s family farm.  The numbers are the year of his birth and the S  is our last name initial.

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Did you notice I used a different license plate than what I pulled originally?  I decided that I wanted to use the one with browns and yellows.  It is great that I have options.  I collected quite a few plates from my husband’s farm.

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I love it.  I am proud that I did this almost all by myself.  I cut trim, drilled holes, selected colors, and rethought it when I wasn’t happy.  I did have a meltdown on the white bottom corner “drawer” (it is actually one long drawer made to look like two) and had to get help on that one.  I could not get the trim to line up.  Thanks, Hubby.

All in all I have less than $10.00 in supplies in the dresser along with the $20.00 investment for the dresser I think it turned out well.

Funky Dresser dresser with different drawer colors painted mulitcolored dresser

I have a random bunch of french provincial hardware that I would love to do a little girl’s dresser with one day.  The possibilities are exciting.

Thanks for reading my blog.

I would love to hear what you think about my funky dresser.

Blessings,

Karen

Painted Fabric Wingback Chair

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Unless you are a junker, like me, you might not appreciate the presents I get from my friends. Recently I got a load of treasures from a friend that included this fleshy colored velvet wingback chair.

The chair was solid, there were no tears in the fabric and it wasn’t even too worn.  I knew it would work for a project I had in the back of my mind for a while.  I saw this amazing pink couch a while back.  The company ( Faux Real Design Company) rents the couch out for showers, photo shoots, etc.  I could not believe it when I learned the couch had been painted.

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I have been thinking about painting furniture ever since I saw this over the top couch.  I would never in a million years want it in my house full time but what a fun piece for a photo shoot or a shower.  Ashley at Faux Real did not use the same paint I did, and her couch is frankly much softer, but after a lot of searching online I did discover you can paint fabric with latex paint and something called fabric medium.

I knew when I saw this beauty that teal would be the only thing that would make me happy.

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Teal Chair

I chose Behr Real Teal.  I bought the fabric medium at Hobby Lobby.  It is mixed one part medium to one part paint.  I bought three bottles using my 40% coupon  three times.

You mix the fabric medium to paint 1:1 and spray down the fabric  with water between each coat of pant.  I got a cheap water

I will admit that the chair looked terrible after one coat of paint.  I was a little terrified.

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The photo above is of the chair all sprayed down with water.

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The paint goes on very thin and looks very transparent on the first round. (I was more than a little worried at this point.)

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It dries more opaque, but as you can see above,  the first coat was splotchy.

It took three coats of paint to get the solid look I wanted.  I decided to go wild with the legs.  Lime green.  the guest room can handle the color because it makes sense there.

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I also added at lime stencil to the back of the chair.

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Here is the chair in the room.

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I wouldn’t say that the finished fabric is soft, but it is no rougher than burlap of canvas.  I definitely does not feel like velvet any longer.

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See?  In this room a teal chair with lime legs doesn’t look crazy.  Right?

This is some art work in the room.

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Do you see the colors?

This year our fall dance theme was glow in the dark.  The kids designed the photo booth space and I knew exactly what it needed to add some fun…

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Yes, you can paint fabric.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

I hope you have a wonderful day.

 

Blessings,

 

Karen

The Fear of Being a One-Hit Wonder

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Okay, here is a quiz. What is Carl Douglas famous for?

How about The Knack?

Do you know what Rednex is famous for?

I will bet you know their work.

Do you remember “Everybody was Kung Foo Fighting. It was fast as lightning”?  Kung Foo Fighting was   Sung by Mr. Carl Douglas

 

How about My Sharona?  The Knack knocked that one out.

 

Rednex is famous for a song that is played at least once a night at almost every Texas bar… Cotton Eyed Joe.

After that these bands/singers either broke up, stopped singing, or just never produced another hit.  I guess it really ages me that I do remember all of them, and they were pre-music video era.

I jokingly say I am a one hit wonder, too. You see, my mudroom bench is without a doubt the single most viewed and pinned post I have ever done. All the rest of my posts combined would be about half what the other posts have been viewed. I think of the mudroom bench as my one hit wonder.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that bench.  It is the first thing I use when I walk into the house every day and my last stop on the way out the door.  But, I like other pieces I have done just as much.  They just didn’t get noticed like that one did.

I think it was the lighting in the photo I took.  We are after all visual folk.

Finished Mudroom Bench

I wonder if it would have been as popular if this was what I put out for the world to see?

The Finished Mudroom Bench

 

Here are a few of my other projects that I think get looked over.  It may have been when they were posted, how they were photographed, or maybe I really am a one hit wonder who just got lucky the one time.

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My Western Dresser for the lake house Bunk room.   It makes me smile when I walk in the room, still.

Finished Yellow and Grey Guestroom

 

The yellow and gray bedroom.  It all started with a table I picked up on the side of the road and a son moving out.  In case you are wondering, yes I stenciled the wall.  I still love the look.  I miss that room the most of all the rooms at the city house.

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The green buffet table.  This was a thrift store dining table turned into a more narrow buffet with a reclaimed wood top.  I love this table.  Baby boy says it is his favorite piece in our house.  It is about to get an addition.  I am adding a hutch to the top for my milkglass that is about 80% complete.

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Our farmhouse table.  It has at least ten, 1-0 coats of poly on top and I am crazy about this table.  It started out life as a white tile and golden oak table and cedar siding from our lake house.  I am about to change the color of the legs so that it plays nice with the buffet and hutch.

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Finally, the second most popular post is the beverage station.  I have now made three of these with numbers four, five and six in the Garagemahal waiting for their turn.  I have made a green, bright blue and navy blue.  Soon a burnt orange, a green and a cream colored one will be done.

I love showing you all what I do and I really do value your input.  Thanks for taking time out of your busy days to see what we are up to in the country.  I hope your day is wonderful.

Blessings,

Karen

Headboard and Footboard into Bench

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This past winter we got busy turning several headboard/footboard units into benches.  They turned out great, but I think know I frustrated my husband with so many projects all at once…during prime fishing season.   This particular set was purchased three years ago and has hung out in the garage waiting for me to get busy.   We actually cut this one up at the same time we did the other benches but it was moved over to the “finish later” pile when I could tell I would need help moving this one around and Mr. Math was in no mood to drag it around.

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Fast forward to the end of summer.  I mean maybe it is not so fast, but forward progress none the less.  This weekend we decided to knock it out.  I call this bench our hurricane bench because it is so sturdy that the house would blow away before this beast goes anywhere.  Hubby even used a 2X12 for the front cross beam.

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The headboard and footboard are not old, in fact I would guess it is from the 90’s.  It was in rough shape when we bought it and hanging out in the Garagemahal for three years didn’t help it any.

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When I got busy on the bench the first thing I did was unscrew the wrought iron on top.  I immediately started second-guessing myself.  I wasn’t sure that the iron should go back on.  As always, I shared my angst with my Facebook friends.  They were united.  It should go back on.  More on that later.

I feel like I say this a lot, but we love our paint sprayer.  I mean LOVE it.  It makes getting paint on so fast and we have learned that we can even spray on primer.

Here are a few shots of the wood filler in the holes, the sprayer and the coming rain that kept me stressed out.

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The paint color is sea salt thanks to my Facebook friends, again.  I was torn between red, black or white.

The seat is deep.  The slats for the seats are 23 inches long and stained with Minwax Jacobean.

I knew I wanted the bench to be heavily distressed.  It turned out exactly the way I saw it in my head, in spite of the high humidity and rain showers that kept coming and going.

Here it is all finished up.

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You may notice that it does not have the iron on top.  In spite of my FB friends telling me to leave it on, it sold before I could finish it and the new owner didn’t want the iron on it.  She lives in an area that is close to the bay and since she wants it outside on her porch she was afraid it would rust.  I did take a picture of what it would have looked like with the iron in case you are wondering how it could have turned out.

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We have three more headboard sets in the Garagemahal, so I guess there are more benches in my future.

While we were spraying polyurethane, we  poly-ed a china cabinet that will be for sale soon.  It would be really cute in a nursery.china cabinet makeover china cabinet spray painting

 

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  I appreciate your comments and advice more than you will know.

 

Blessings,

 

Karen

A Quick and Easy Thrift Store Chest Makeover

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If you are too busy to read my wordy post today I put a quick DIY with photos at the bottom of the page.

My brother in law and sister in law built a home recently in Durango, Colorado.

Durango Home

In case you are counting, this is home number four for them. We stayed at their vacation home in Costa Rica over spring break,

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boca raca condo

they have a beautiful, huge hilltop home in Austin that is currently for sale,

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and are building a new home in one of my favorite small cities near our home in Montgomery, Texas.

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Their plan is to live in Durango half the year and in Montgomery the other half. They rent out the Costa Rica home most of the year but visit frequently. It is a tough life, but someone has to do it.

When they moved into the home in Durango three weeks ago, they literally moved up to the 2600 sq ft home with what fit in a UHaul and their car. We arrived for a visit to find that they didn’t have things like mixing bowls, or an egg turner, or spoon rest. They have been so busy getting settled in that cooking wasn’t high on the list.  They were also a little short on furniture. They had purchased or brought beds, two couches, chairs, barstools, a dining table an outdoor bench, and a bookcase. I was proud that they had been shopping at local resale and thrift shops for items and had purchased a few accessories at the shops. I think I may be wearing them down… a little bit.

What they did not have were end tables and coffee tables in their main room or the upstairs den. We set out shopping for stuff our first day there. They took us to the shops that they like. I liked the stores, too. They were unique and interesting pieces, but wowser, the tables were very expensive. Like $900 to $1200 per table expensive. I would much rather spend that money on supplies and thrift store furniture and a whole lot more.

When I saw a little $20.00 solid pine toy chest that had several of the most unfortunate paint jobs, I knew it would work as a coffee table with some love. It was painted with a really thin blotchy black color. Someone along the way had painted it white, and there was also an attempt at painting flowers on the chest with red streaks.

The steps are simple:

Strip down to smooth, but not bare wood. Wipe it all down and get clean.  I used Lysol wipes.

This had to happen so I could knock down the thick ridges from the painted flowers. I used Citristrip on the whole thing to knock off the black layer and then focused on the flowers. (As usual, I forgot a before picture.) Here it is with the first layer off:

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Spray paint the whole chest. I sprayed the chest twice, letting it dry completely between coats. The paint color was Rustoeum Seaside.

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This is a project I did on the fly with very limited supplies or space. All the spray paint work was done across the street in a vacant lot because the valley where the house is located was windy and the thought of getting turquoise paint on the car or house was scary.

Not a bad view while I worked.  I understand why they have moved to Durango.

Sand away at the paint, following the wood-grain.  You will know the paint you are sanding is dry if what you are sanding off looks like chalk dust. I hand sanded using this awesome sanding block with a handle. (You can see the sander in the box to the left of the chest.)

sanding block

 

In some places go all the way to bare wood and in others go down through paint to the colors below.

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Once I was pleased with the amount of sanding, I stopped. There is no magic formula.

Once I wiped it all down again I rubbed in glaze mixed with dark brown latex paint. The gaze to paint ratio was about three parts glaze to one part paint.

I used a dampish cotton cloth to literally rub it in. It did not take very much at all with each coat.  It took two coats for me to be happy with the look.

I rubbed it down with paste wax when I was finished to give it a luster.

minwax

IMG_7456 IMG_7457 IMG_7458 IMG_7459

Here it is finished.  I really like the look.  All in all it cost about $20.00 in supplies which were all bought at a pretty small Walmart so they are readily available.

 

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