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Saginaw Furniture Company Expand-O-Matic

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I am always amazed at what I find at garage sales.  At the time I was at my latest garage sale, our house was being inspected so I wasn’t sure if the house would pass.  I had already told myself we were killing time, not buying.  I did pretty well… except for two milk glass mugs and a wooden bowl until I spied something I had never seen before.  It looked like a desk, and I could tell it was old, but what  clinched it for me was the fact that it expanded to become a six foot long table.  What in the world?  The leaves were missing but I had to have it for my long hoped for my craft/ Murphy bed room I am planning at our new spot.  When the bed is set up the table can collapse to be a bench.  

   
  

   

  

  

The price on the desk thing was $25.00, and I couldn’t resist. 

When I got home I started checking online to see what I had.  It took some searching but I finally found it.  Saginaw Furniture Company Expand-O-Matic.  It was probably from the late 40’s or early 50’s. They changed the name to Expandway later but I love the older name.

They were made for New York apartments and were sold up until the 60’s.  The top drawer is lined  and divided to hold silverware.  Apparently the morning mini home market has made these cool again and these puppies are selling for $600.00 complete.

  
Mine is going to get stainable leaves.  The top and leaves will be dark walnut..  The base is going to be painted teal.  I already have the perfect chair for it when it is a desk.

  
Here are some shots from Etsy.  All I could find were sold. 

   
I wish I had those leaves but we should be able to do something that looks nice.

  

  

Mine only expands 6 feet.

 

I also am changing jobs so the suitcase wall will be moving into the craft room along with the sewing cabinet.  As soon as the leaves are done and the Murphy bed built, the room will be done.  This may be the easiest room to put together at the house.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Blessings,

Karen

Weekend Finds

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Saturday, before I found out that The sale of our near the lake house fell through, I took off in search of treasures for the home we hope to purchase.  (It is funny how attached I am to that place.  If it doesn’t work out I expect sympathy cards 😊) My buddy, the social planner, and I took off in search of treasures mainly for the Guest Shed and the outdoor kitchen.  

Our first spot was my honey hole.  A church thrift store where a ton of my treasures came from. 

At the honey hole I spotted these two mid century pieces.  

An iconic pink swan planter.  I picked up this one in perfect condition for 50 cents.  A succulent is going in it out in the guest shed.  What a fun piece.

   

A vintage bamboo planter. Shawnee Pottery is very popular. I like the subtle color of green.  I especially liked it for 25 cents.  I am planning to put some sort of succulent in it, too.  

   

 

My final purchase at this stop was a small white pitcher.  I collect them.  I don’t know why, but I just can’t seem to pass them up. It was 50 cents.  

  

Our next stop was new to me but I loved it and will be going back. 

Two etched glass mirrors.  The rectangular one will be going in the guest shed bathroom and one will be part of a mirror wall going in the guest bathroom in the main house. ( I have a mirror problem.) I hope it looks something like this photo I found on Pinterest.

  

The link to the picture is broken or I would provide the source.

 I picked these two beauties up for 3 dollars each.  I know what you are thinking.  I absolutely take the worst photos of mirrors.

   

   

The social planner spotted this cream and sugar set in the most amazing teal color for me. I got them for another 3 bucks.  

  

The social planner found stuff at the first stop too, then found a teapot to match her dishes and a salt glaze cow pitcher.  Her stuff was a little pricey but was a steal for what she was getting.  At check out she found out it was a cash only spot. We pooled resources to get her treasures.  After she checked out she spied an awesome walnut mid century side table for me.  It was marked 20 dollars but the owner offered it to me for 15.  We reminded her that we didn’t have another  15 dollars between us.  She asked if we could scrape up 10 and we were able to cobble it together. I love having a buddy who enjoys shopping at the same places I do.  I also love that she and I are good enough friends that we are able to share resources. 

   

   

     

By the time I got pictures of her treasures she already had them working. 

The clean lines on the table will be perfect in the guest shed just as it is with a little waxing.  I am getting excited about the treasures I am collecting for this space.

   

 

Our next stop was a church garage sale.  We picked up 4 gallon sized glass jars for 50 cents each.  They are going to be squirrle feeders.  Our hubbies are going to make the four of them. One for each of our houses and one eac for gifts.  I am thinking my grand dog needs one so she can have squirrels to chase in her yard.

Finally, we stopped at a church bazaar where we literally had to collect coins in order to buy two old colanders for an upcoming craft night.

All in all it was a great time shopping.

On the way home the social planner got busy looking up what we purchased.  Here is what we would have paid online for the items:

I guess if this whole selling the house thing falls through, I can start selling my treasures!

   

          

  

  

I hope you all have a wonderful week.

If you are new to my site, welcome.  I hope you enjoy the ride.

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

100 Thousand Thanks

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Ever since I started blogging,  I have stopped 25 thousand page views to look over what happened since we started. I just hit 100,000 page views.  I had not been paying much attention to the stats so this one was a bit of a surprise.   It used to take a long time to reach 25 thousand page views. I mean a really long time. This time took 5 months. I was worried that in the last five months I wouldn’t have much to show you guys. It felt to me like we were sort of stuck and not getting a lot done. The kids moved out of the country, the garage is full of unfinished projects, school got started, life happened.

When I actually looked back over the last five months , I was pleasantly surprised. We got a little more done than I remembered.

My favorites from the last five months are below.  If you click on the link below each picture it will take you to that actual blog, complete with DIY and pictures.

Our biggest project was updating our suburban bathroom and figuring out how to get that restoration hardware weathered wood look on a dresser.  Board and batten, cool shelf, zinc finished towel rack and chandelier made to look like wood beads.

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Bathroom Makeover

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Chandelier

The next big thing was creating a fun office at work that included a reclaimed wood wall, suitcase wall and a giant marquee letter.

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Suitcase Wall

We made one of my favorite benches from a queen sized bed.

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Bench

We finally got started on our pile of cedar and are making headway with projects there.  My favorite so far is a cedar barn door.

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Cedar Barn Door

I repurposed a 1980’s dresser hutch top to look go with our green buffet table.  I now have a place to display my milk glass that makes sense.

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Hutch

I worked off and on for a while on a funky dresser that is now 99% complete.  I love the look of this piece that is going to be an entertainment center.

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Funky Dresser

I tried my hand at painting fabric.

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Painted Fabric Chair

and finally…

I enjoyed making a rustic Christmas mantle.

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Rustic Deer Head

Not too bad for a “slow” few months. Being a weekend country girl is a great life.  I am blessed to have the opportunities that I have.

Thank you all so much for joining my husband and me on this empty-nest, third quarter adventure. Repurposing furniture and blogging has helped me to stay active and has enlarged my circle of friends.

I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and travel with us on this adventure. We have a lot in store and look forward to the future.

I 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

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.

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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.)

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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

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.)

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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.

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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.

 

Wrapping Up Two Small Projects

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I actually took a whole day off. I didn’t go anywhere, have an agenda, or have company. For he introvert I am it was bliss. I have been so busy lately I haven’t had a chance for quiet time.

I got up this morning and got to work on the mirrors for the vanity. Here is a peek of how they turned out.

weathered wood finish mirrors

While waiting for stain to dry I got some projects that have been hanging out done and a few more hot worked on.

I got the vinyl lettering on a window that has been literally hanging out in my craft closet for a year.   I started the project with wipe on poly for the frame then a good cleaning of the glass.

 

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I am embarrassed how quickly I was able to finish this project. It took longer to clean the window I bought for $10.00 at Canton a while back than it did to apply the lettering. It is going to hang on the reclaimed wood wall behind our bed at the lake so Hubby remembers to always kiss me goodnight. 🙂

The rake got screwed onto a piece of barn board to hold the barbecue tools. It now hangs on the wall by the grill for the brush, tongs and spatula. Another project that has been hanging around for way too long.  I bought the rake head at Goodwill for $2.00 right after we moved in the burb house and the wood is  a scrap of cedar barn board.
I like the rustic look. The total cost of this project was $2.00 and the cost of three screws and two wall anchors.

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I worked on a chalkboard suitcase today, too.  The suitcase is painted and the chalkboard is now traced out.  This one is going to look a little more decorative.

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I also got the chandelier base sprayed oil rubbed bronze and one side of the beads primed but you will have to wait to see the progress until I have finished. I am totally copying the look of the chandelier from another blogger.

My battery is recharged and I am back to work.

I hope everyone has a great day!

Blessings,

Karen

Furniture Should Be Fun(ctional)

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It is my belief that furniture should be sort of like clothes for your home. It should serve a purpose, it should reflect who you are as a person or family, and it should have an element of fun. Oh, and one more thing… your furniture style can (and in my opinion, should) change, just like clothing styles. How many of you remember leg warmers, ponytails on the side, Farrah Fawcett wings and big hair, shoulder pads in everything, or broomstick skirts? Yeah, me either. 🙂 That must have been before my time 🙂  As I have matured, so has my style.  I am a lot mor eclectic, and not as afraid of what others think. I have a really good sense of who I am, and frankly, I really am not overly attached to most of the furniture in my home.  I know that it will change as I find things I like more or if the space we live in changes.

Today I am going to tell you a tale of three end tables. I like all three of them. I painted each with the same light neutral color; Behr Sea Salt, and in the right room, all three of these beauties would be a stand out.

I am arranging them by decade… at least I think I am. I could be off with the 1960’s table.

1950’s Mid Century Modern. This baby was built when we were all about the space race. Sputnik, clean lines, homes of the future.  Think George Jetson. Our national facination with space and exploration along with beating the Russians to the moon affected home design, clothing, house wares, and furniture.

Do you have any buildings like those where you live?  There were tons in the city I just moved from, but not so much out here in suburbia. Everything is new, and frankly a little plain vanilla boring.

I painted the body of end table one sea salt, then stained the drawers and legs dark walnut. She is going back to her owner and will happily rejoin the headboard and dresser once they are painted but she would also be a stunner in a modern home with bright accents, a loft or a mid century modern home.
Here is my inspiration piece

I loved this look. I did decide that my interpretation needed dark legs to help it stand out a little more.

Mid century modern furniture mixes well with modern furnishings in today’s homes. I chose this shot because it has a credenza with a white painted top.

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Mid Century Night Stand

What do you think?
Here he is all dressed up and ready to go. I like that I had a piece of 1950’s McCoy Pottery for the top.
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mid century stained legs

mccoy on mid century

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Next..
My late 1960’s/ early 1970’s traditional style end table:

The late 60’s/ early 70’s.  What can I say? Well… the one word I would use to describe most furniture in the late 60’s or early 70’s is safe. It was traditional in style.  Varnished wood, rounded legs, , spindles, maple, pine and oak.

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Raise your hand if you had a couch that looked something like this in your home? I see those hands. We had a couch like this with some scratchy plaid fabric for several years.

This next side table would have been perfect in that room. It was brown on brown on brown. It also fooled me. The top was Formica, but was so dirty I thought it was wood.
Who in their right mind thought Formica on top of furniture was a great idea? Not this girl.  It was “the bomb” in the late 60’s/ early 70’s though.
This side table came to me as part of a group of furniture I purchased using the “American Picker’s” bundling technique. Buy several pieces at reduced costs.   I think I paid two dollars for it but I don’t remember exactly.
After sanding the Formica top within an inch of its life to give it some grit, I then painting it with Glidden Gripper primer, then sanded the top again with really fine sand paper.  I decided to go with sea salt on the legs and Behr revival mahogany for the top to sort of replicate a stained top. This little formerly frumpy table would be great in an apartment or small home because it does not visually take up much space.

Here is Centsational Girl’s take on a two color table. I wish I could have stained the top of mine.

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Here is my version:

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Finally,  My 1970″s Fabulous side table.  I mean come on.  Who doesn’t love a table that is fun and funky? The mid to late 70’s furniture was fun. It was the era of disco, leisure suits, and over the top hairdos. I love this style. In small doses. I could not have my whole home full of this curvy wonderfulness, but I do have a few pieces and I enjoy having them. They make me smile.
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This curvy china cabinet is in my office full of vintage books. It looked like this when I bought it.

Redone China Cabinet
Here it is now.

mirrors
I bought this pair of mirrors and redid them. They are fun.

Painting the Night Stands Yellow
The side table on the left was found by the side of the road. It is now in another home, but I enjoyed it in my yellow and gray guest room.

This particular side table would be great in a teen’s room, college dorm room, or as a bedside table. I painted it sea salt with a Behr Gray Area on the top. I like it a lot.
I glazed it with a gray glaze to make the detail stand out a little, but not too much. I debated painting it turquoise, navy, or yellow, but I like the light color too.
I am not sure where this one will end up. Who beside me, is ready to have some 1970’s love in their home?

1970 Fab

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Selling My First Custom Piece of Furniture

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Well, I did it. It sort of felt like the first time I was on a diving board at about age five and was about to dive into the deep end of the pool.

I was contacted by someone to source (find and buy) a table and chairs to paint and refinish the set. Scary. I have sold a few pieces of furniture before, but they were more of a “I did this piece does anyone want it” type sale, or “I am moving away, would you like to buy the stuff I made for myself?” kind of sale. When you do work for someone else, you are putting yourself out there. What if they don’t like it? What if I totally misinterpreted what the person wanted? This particular set was for someone who does not live in the same city so all the work was shared by message and through pictures.

We started with this golden oak, scratched set I picked up in Beaumont while visiting my folks:

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And ended up with this:
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I had a friend tell me that I took a dated piece of furniture and made it look old, but in a good way.

I sanded the top down, stained it dark walnut, Hubby painted the chairs and the base of the table sea salt with his awesome paint sprayer then I got busy distressing them and glazing.  Once I was finished distressing and glazing Hubby took over again and used his sprayer to polyurethane everything.  The top of the table took four coats of poly, but it is beautiful.

I was so thrilled with the results of this set and as we drove over to deliver it, I hoped it was what the new owner wanted.  This was all really silly because she had purchased an end table from me before, but it was one I found, I picked out the colors, and then I posted it for sale.

When we arrived, she liked the set.   Woo Hoo.  She like it enough that she sent me home with another piece to work on and several more to come.  This time I feel more confident because she and I got to talk about the color and finish.  I will be starting with the night stand of the set then the headboard and dresser.

The pictures are not great because we stayed too long at the lake Sunday mowing and cleaning so that meant we had to rush to get them delivered.  The bench fest took more time than expected.   I decided to go ahead and write about this experience even with terrible photos because this is one time that the story is not about the furniture I did, it is about taking risks.  I still feel more comfortable doing my own thing then selling what I don’t keep for myself but I will admit it felt pretty good to have someone like what I do enough to seek me out.

 

Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit. – e. e. cummings

 

I promise to take better photos of the table and chairs when we drop off the night stand.

The bedroom furniture is going to be a sweet mid century modern set that has been in their family since it was brand new. It is getting refinished so that it can move on to the third generation when they move out on their own.  If you are one of my Weekend Country Girl Facebook friends, you got to see the dresser and even weighed in on the color scheme.

I now have my second project, a headboard into bench, that I sourced the furniture and am doing for someone else who is paying me.  She is a dear friend, but it is still a little scary.  The good news about this one is she sent me a picture a while back and said ” I want this.”  As soon as I found the headboard and foot board I could see it in my mind already.  It is going to be beautiful.

norma bench (2)

When I grow up selling my re-purposed furniture may be something I want to do more of.  We shall see.  For now, I love being able to do what I love.

If you are a professional in the painted furniture field, I would love to hear from you about your first sold piece.  I hope you tell me you were scared too, so I don’t feel like such a sissy.

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