As we pulled up to our favorite thrift store, I saw her. It had been a rainy week and apparently this old girl got dropped off when no one was there and left in the rain. She was rough. The veneer on this ole gal had turned loose on all the curvy areas. My guess is she was part of a bedroom set in the 1940’s. She was all curvy and a little funky. It was an art deco-ish type vanity that at one time would have had a huge mirror on it. Sadly, the mirror was missing.
I offered $20.00 for her, but to my surprise the lady said she could not sleep if she took so much for that piece. She was going to drag it to the burn pile as soon as she got a chance. She took $10.00 for the piece and I found two more pieces to spend my whole $20.00 on. The Team Dean end table and a 1970’s table that is currently giving me fits.
It was hard work getting the vanity ready for her make over. I stripped as much veneer off as possible for me, but had to get my husband to get the last bits off. It took some muscles! We sanded, patched, and repaired almost all of the vanity. There is wood glue, putty and hard work in almost every section.
From the beginning I knew that I wanted the vanity to be a mix of wood stain and paint and I was thrilled when I found out that under the veneer of oak between the drawers was solid hardwood.
We had a mad painting day at Star Hill and got a TON of stuff painted all on one day. Hubby has figured out the paint sprayer and we are now able to get stuff done that is beautiful and about 10 times faster than with a brush. Getting the base coat on with a sprayer and the polyurethane at the end really allows me to use my energy distressing and glazing the furniture and has increased what I can get done being a weekend hobbyist.
I chose Behr Sea Salt for the painted color. I like this white color. We used it on the French Provincial furniture in the guest room and I knew it would work well for all the pieces I would be redoing. I taped everything I wanted stained off before Hubby sprayed it. Just so you know, taping took about an hour. I wanted it to look clean and perfect.
My Hubby using the sprayer and his mask!
The Sea Salt looks really white until the glaze is applied. I always second guess my paint color choice at this point.
Once the piece was painted, I removed the tape and was thrilled that the wood was not damaged by the spray painting. So thrilled, I could not wait to stain it. I quickly taped off the paint and got busy. I tried a new type of stain that is less liquid and thicker. The gel stain worked well, but the there was a problem. I did not make sure that where the tape had been did not have residue. Clearly there was something because this was the result.
I went to bed Friday night pretty upset. When I got up Saturday morning, I sanded the wood back down then re-stained. I knew the wood would never be perfect. This piece is probably 70 years old and has had hard use over the years. I like the imperfections, as long as they are not created by my mistakes! Here are the results.
I glazed the whole piece with Behr Faux Effects mixed with Revival Mahogany. Once the glaze dried Hubby sprayed it with satin polyurethane. I love the finish.
I painted the hardware with made for metal dark brown paint. I really like that the original hardware was in such good shape.
Here is the finished beauty. She does not look like a $10.00 thrift store find now does she?
I now need an awesome mirror for this vanity. It is going in our bathroom for me to use to keep my make up and toiletries. I want a fun oval mirror. Any leads on one for me? Seriously.
I hope you had a productive weekend, too.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.
This past weekend I visited my favorite faith-based resale shop up near our lake house. It had been a few weeks since my last visit and stuff had been dropped off. I love this little place. It is totally run by volunteers and the proceeds go toward their youth ministry. It is hit or miss with me finding stuff but this week was a hit.
Outside in the weather was this 1940’s waterfall style Art Deco dresser.
I was surprised that Hubby didn’t totally turn up his nose at this piece, but he liked it too. I mean she was rough. The veneer was peeling off on every curved surface. The varnish on the sides looked like reptile skin and was so loose it literally blew off when Hubby blew out the inside with a leaf blower. I offered the lady at the shop $20.00 for the piece but she said no. She told me she couldn’t sleep at night if she took that much for the vanity. She took $10.00 for the dresser.
Feeling guilty for getting the dresser so cheap, I walked inside and saw this beauty. I mean this side table defines 1970’s fabulous. Can you just imagine the room this beauty was in? Orange shag carpet…that needed raking, paneling, over the top lamps and a flowered couch. That is my story and I am sticking to it. For $5.00 this guy was mine.
I know you think I am crazy right now. Hang on.
Hubby spied this beat up maple night stand hidden by the door. An additional $5.00 and it was also loaded up.
She threw in an “ugly frame” when I asked the price. It is going to be a great project in the near future. No photos yet.
Soooo… Here are my plans for the three pieces: The Vanity is going to be painted using this piece as inspiration. I would link the source but it is a dead end on the internet.
I am sad there is no mirror, but I will be looking for an awesome shaped mirror that I can personalize to go above the vanity. I thought I might be selling this piece but it is going in my bathroom. I need an awesome vanity to make me feel pretty. That is my story and I am sticking to it.
This is the color I am going with. Sea Salt.
Here are my plans for the piece.
The 1970’s Fab night stand will be sold. I love ornate side tables. In the right space they add that wow factor. Here are three of my favorite ornate end tables. All of them make me smile, but live in other homes now.
My plan for this one is to add a stained wood top. The top on this piece is shot so I am going to skin it with super thin plywood stained dark. The base. Well I need help here. What do you think? Blue, green, aged white, or red? Something different? Help me… please. I plan on lightly distressing the edges and glazing once painted. Click the photos to take you to the source.
I know for sure what I will be doing with the maple table.
I am painting it like I did the Junk Fairy end table and donating it to be sold by Team Dean. I know and love this sweet family. When they asked for art donations in green I knew what I could give.
So, what do you think about my $20.00 finds from the weekend now that you can see past the ugly?
It is hunting season here in Texas. Don’t judge us.
1. We live in Texas.
2. We don’t kill what we don’t eat.
My dad, son and husband took off to the property for the opening of deer season. Sweet Amanda had plans this weekend with her mom so that left my mom, MeMie, and me hanging out together. I am so blessed to have her around still. She has had a few health scares that could have taken her from us. My mom is now and always has been a character. She wore bread sacks over her shoes so she could play in the snow when I was younger. She took my friends and me to wrap houses. We took spontaneous trips to the beach growing up. We would get there, buy groceries and spend the day. She still has a group of friends that celebrate birthdays together, plays bunco and sits together in church. I learned at The Southern Belle and Big Cat’s wedding that she was on a dance team in college. I had no idea.
She is a child of tough times and even tougher people. She is still in love with my dad after 54 years.
She can sew, makes the best sweet-hot pickles, jelly, pepper sauce and relish. She was green before being green was chic. I grew up learning to reduce, reuse and recycle. We just called it our every day life. I didn’t always appreciate this when I was younger. I wanted store bought clothes and going out to eat. What was I thinking? She saved , cleaned and reused foil, bread sacks, twist ties, and zip lock bags. My parents have a garden every fall and spring. They compost, they can, freeze and eat off the vegetables that they grow. I have a lot to learn still from those two. This is what she brought me this visit with instructions to return the empty jars and rings or else!
She is where I learned my thrifty ways. She still shops the clearance section first and just about won’t buy anything unless it is on sale even though she can afford whatever she wants. We spent a good amount of time in Target because the Dollar Spot stuff was half off.
It was great to spend the weekend with her. She got to meet some of my students at a community disaster drill that my Interact students were volunteering at, we got to shop. Near my house is the biggest Kroger in Texas. We checked it out. They have furniture, home accessories and the best kitchen section around. We shopped at Marshall’s, went to the mall and ate at Chick Fila for lunch. She was so proud that I found a $200.00 suit at Macy’s on sale and with a coupon for $55.00. That was the talk of the evening at our house.
MeMie doesn’t love having her picture taken. She is much more comfortable behind the camera than in front.
I did sneak this picture of her watching me paint in the back yard.
I am so fortunate that I got to enjoy the weekend with her.
I learned something years a ago from my dad. Everything in retail is potentially up for negotiation. May dad will go tool shopping at Sears, and he will ask…”Is this your best price?” When the answer is yes, that is our best price, he asks about floor models, then he asks to speak to the manager. Rarely does he pay the listed price. On anything. I am not as brave as he is, but occasionally I do ask.
Recently I was in Kirklands. It was a 5 day sale and they had some really cute things on sale. I spotted a big wall pumpkin. Regular price was $24.99 but it was on sale for $16.00. I loved the size and the shape but I wasn’t so crazy about the bow.
Here it is online:
When I saw one that had the bow torn loose I worked up my courage and took fit to the register. I asked the nice lady at the register if I could take the torn one at a reduced price. Guess what? Instead of $16.00, she sold it to me for $10.00.
I brought home the pumpkin then got busy.
A new burlap bow, and a cheap fall floral pick later I ended up with a super cute wall decoration. Doesn’t it look cute? I had Hubby hang the window under our covered front walk because it is going to serve as a seasonal backdrop for decorating.
This is a great semi-homemade quick project. I guess Dad knew what he was doing!
Going to garage sales is a lot like fishing. You have to know what you are doing to be successful. Sure, there are people who have walked into a garage sale first time and scored a $20,000 painting for a buck. I see them on Antiques Roadshow too. There have also been cases of kids catching a shark on a cane pole with a hook and minnow, but that is the exception…not the rule.
Here are the basics of garage sale shopping.
Get on websites that let you know garage sales are happening. http://gsalr.com/ is a great site.
Get the local paper and check the classified section. There is usually a garage sale section.
Get up early and go the first day of the sale. I do not waste my time on Saturday morning going to a Friday-Saturday garage sale. If I go early and the person is not willing to bargain, I may go back a couple of hours later to ask if the prices are still firm. More time than not, they are ready to sell.
Bring cash. Small bills and at least a dollar in quarters. Cash is all that most garage sales will take…smart folks.
My personal favorites are the days that a whole neighborhood holds a garage sale on one day.
At the sale, look past the ugly paint job, the finish or even the dirt. Is the shape good? Is the item solid? Is it something you could work with?
This past Saturday morning I went “free styling” on my way into town up in the country. That means that I just stopped at any sign that said garage sale. It was 8:00 am and I had a little time to kill on the way to Huntsville, Texas. Even though I was just stopping as I found the sales, I had a list in my head.
Tall candlesticks, 2 night stands/side tables, shelf brackets, stuff for fall mantle, sewing machine cabinets, curio cabinet or fun shelving for milk glass.
When you stop, walk quickly around the whole thing. Does it look like there is anything you are interested in looking at? Does the place give you the creeps? (NEVER GO INSIDE A HOME IF YOU ARE SHOPPING ALONE AND THE ONLY SHOPPER THERE!)
If it seems like you might find treasures there, take time to look around. Things are not generally very organized, so be patient.
Ask questions. ” I am looking for sewing machine cabinets, you wouldn’t happen to have one would you.” You will be surprised from time to time. Look at these beauties I got for $25.00 each when I asked. They were under a tarp at the back of the garage. Not what I was looking for, but wow.
Make decisions quickly. If it is good it will be gone before you know it.
Don’t act too excited. You will not be able to bargain if the seller knows you are excited.
Be willing to walk away. I do all the time. If it is too much money or you are not sure about your ability to fix the piece…leave it.
Open drawers, look underneath, wiggle it. I get in trouble for skipping this step from time to time. (Two Dollar Chair)
Here is what I found this past Saturday:
Tall brass candlestick $1.50
Two treadle sewing machines $50.00
Two pairs of binoculars-one set for the boat and a vintage set with a leather case for the top of the pie safe décor $3.00
1960’s faux bamboo small shelving unit- $1.00
Plaque- here it is painted for the front guest room .50
Two small plates that will go on either side of the single dinner plate in the large single frame on the wall in the front bedroom .20
Four brown snuff jars $2.00, They are going to look great on the fall mantle.
Not too bad a haul for a thirty minute run through three garage sales.
I went resale shopping Friday. Hubby and some buddies were golfing so I was on my own. I made quite a haul.
The projects will be showing up soon. The first repurpose from my weekend is a quick and CHEAP project. On my adventure I spotted an ornate frame with a broken mirror in it buried in a pile of paintings and frames. I dug it out of a pile of other frames. The pastor who runs the thrift shop told me he had dropped the mirror. He just doesn’t know what to do about me, he doesn’t get that I love the broken, chipped, old stuff more than the newer treasures. I asked for the price, he said fifty cents. SOLD!
Here she is with the mirror removed. The back of the mirror was marked May 5- 67. She is younger than me and considered vintage…sad.
I explained to the pastor when he asked that I would be painting the frame and putting a bright print where the mirror was…he said he would pray for my husband. Three times. ( He upped it to four times later in my shopping.)
I purchased a roll of coral wrapping paper at Marshall’s that I will be using to line the back of my milk glass display. It is perfect for the “mirror hole”.
I had left over paint from the giant ornate mirror and could not resist the bright shiny look on this silly frame.
An old S from a wreath I took apart finishes the beauty off. Fun, huh?
Not bad for a total investment of about $1.50 in supplies. It will add a little silliness to the green bedroom. No seven years of bad luck here.
Before this very LOOOONNNGGG post begins ( sorry about that, I have missed you!), I have to show you my anniversary card from Hubby.
Here is the front of the card:
and here is the inside.
I thought it was the PERFECT anniversary card from a dude who had moved my stuff around for two weeks now while I try to settle in.
Unpacking is 99% complete and decorating has begun in earnest. Because I am way more savvy than my last move about bargain shopping I decided to challenge myself for decorating our new home:
Use as many of the things I currently own to decorate my new house as possible. If I loved them enough to lug them across south-east Texas, the least I can do is find a spot for them!
Incorporate elements from the color scheme I have chosen in the main rooms. Bedrooms will have their own personality.
Keep the decorating budget to $200 per room. I love a challenge.
When we started this adventure of moving into a new home, it was our plan to downsize. That did not happen. We found a great home, on a cul de sac, near our jobs that was 60 square feet bigger than our City House. Because we planned on downsizing I cleaned house. I sold, gifted and donated a ton. If I did not love it or need it- out it went. I must tell you folks, it was a little liberating. What we kept for in the house fit in a 16 foot Pods Container and a 16 foot storage unit.
For the first time in my life we have empty drawers in the kitchen, and space in the closet. We are still working through a lack of storage in the bathrooms but I have a plan for that. Additional cabinets are in our future.
Before we moved in I worked feverishly on getting some unique furniture pieces ready and we will continue to add. If you click on the links it will take you to the projects we have been working on. We got a French Provincial dresser and headboard ready, and coral colored end tables
recovered dining room chairs, and found some awesome yellow chairs at a garage sale. My favorite pieces have made the move. My mudroom bench is in, although it is a little worse for the wear- it will need some touch up paint.
My farmhouse table made the trip too. In the near future there will be a bench at the foot of our bed, a back porch that my son says is going to look like the inside of a bag of Skittles, a unique kitchen island using this beauty below,
a home office and a media center for the TV. (wait until you see the dresser Hubby found for me on Craig’s List!
All that being said… I am WAAY short on accessories. I just don’t have enough unique items to make the home feel lived in. I have focused so much on the furniture that I just didn’t think about the little things that make a home unique. I have not been buying those items. A visit from my friend Shahana confirmed that we just don’t have enough “stuff”. She came over to help me decorate the top of the pie safe and cabinets but we were just stumped.
Right now it looks so…generic. new. mass produced. NOT ME AT ALL
The best option for me to decorate is also earth friendly. Resale, re-purpose and create. Oh, and clearance/sale shopping. Yes there are going to be some new things too.
This painting is in our family room.
A quick trip with Shahana to Goodwill and $69.00 later I got everything below including this awesome huge basket,
this jug (It had a light kit in it, but they had not damaged the jug- I think it is old for real, which I love),
these matching lamps that are going to be worked over ( Hubby is being a little resistant to my painting the glass- so I think the shades are getting painted along with all the metal on them…for now…in the spirit of world home peace),
this ornate frame with a print in it that is going to be an art project ( think herringbone and check out one of my pages on Pinterest- New Home Pinterest Page),
a chicken plate to hang, ( I have a shelf project in store for above the buffet that will incorporate the chicken plate.) these three platters that will look awesome on the Skittle porch,
this woven greenish tray,
and this huge metal can of some sort. I love the can but am just not sure what it was for. Right now it has a barn painted on it but that is only temporary. It is going to get stripped, a paint job, a big sanding and hopefully it will look it’s rustic aged self again.
Here is the running total for the bedrooms: (I will have previews of the kitchen, breakfast room and den on Sunday)
$20.00 for two new lamps and shades
$10.00 for I Love You More Pillow–Yay Kirkland’s one day deal sales- get on their email list if you have one near by. They send out alerts when they put items on sale for 24 hours only.
$92.00 for Burlap Curtains- I found these 96″ curtains on sale for $23.00 a panel at Hancock Fabrics- lined natural burlap, so they had to come to our house. I am making curtains for the den/dining/family room but they will not be lined.
More to come. The bench needs nail head trim so there will be an additional cost and we desperately need artwork. i think there is a project in my future.
The dresser and headboard were purchased for $80.00 and painted for $15.00.
The curtains were $30.00.
A $20.00 World Market shade and a 12.00 accent pillow.
Wow this room is going to be a beauty! No hints on this one because I am so excited for you to see the before and after of this room. The only thing I am showing you that is finished for the room is this awesome lamp.
Purchased for $2.00 at a resale shop, I spray painted the nasty amber glass and metal ($4.00 for a can of spray paint- new avacado). The shade was $1.00 at a church garage sale. Love it. Love it more that the whole lamp cost $7.00. I am planning a DIY on lamps soon. They are not hard to take apart and re-do.
I have also purchased some fabric for pillow shams- $6.00
Art work $29.00
Oops paint for the furniture I will be painting- $2.00
Not too bad huh? I made a haul! I am working feverishly on getting the items settled in to their new homes.
I will be updating the rooms and will be adding pictures to the cul de sac page on the blog. The fun is beginning.
The Southern Belle is scheduled to arrive this evening! We are so very excited to have her come visit and I have all the items required for a burlap pillow project lined up. She requested it, I promise!
The best time to shop for anything at a resale shop or an auction is when no one else is willing to be out shopping. If you want the best deals go when it is raining, early in the morning or, like we just did, when it is blazing hot. It was 102 on the truck thermometer and we were pooped after a day of shopping when I spied this table sitting outside a charity resale shop. It had just been delivered and heat waves were radiating off the black asphalt where it was sitting. The table was marked $60.00.
I walked around inside the store for a little while then asked the lady at the register what she would take for the table. To my surprise she said it was too hot and heavy to bring in so if we wanted it we could have it for $20.00. Sold.
I really only wanted the legs of the table, but both Hubby and I were surprised at the quality of the table as it was loaded. I knew immediately what I wanted to do with it. I need want a buffet table at the end of our breakfast room. I have been secretly jealous of my friend Robin’s green end table with a stained top so the color was obvious…well to me it was. We worked on getting the base and table top cut from the original table, but it was just so new and commercial looking. Yes, I am one of those people who like a room to look collected, not bought as a set. I feel the same about furniture. I want unique, original and character. Hubby and I sat in the Garagemahal looking at the piece when it came to my husband. Use the wood from my dad. the plank has been sitting in the hoard over a year. It is heart pine and full of character. I love that my dad saved it from a trash pile at the place where he worked for 30 years. According to my dad the wood was used as a drafting table in the shop of Gulf States Utilities. He said it was built in the 40’s and was already old when he started there in 1960. A quick measurement let us know that it would work. Yay! It needed a quick cut down to the sides to make it fit, a rub down with mineral spirits to clean it, and a coat of poly. Nothing else.It will live in our house proudly. I love wood with history.
The color is a little richer than Behr’s Happy Camper, because I needed it to match my fabric on the chairs in the breakfast area. I chose Behr’s Jungle Trail.
One coat of Bona Floor Poly on this was enough to bring out the shine but not make it too glossy.
I love those nail holes.
It is hard to photograph a green piece of furniture at Star Hill. I had to move it to the gravel road to allow it to show up.
Lots of work took place on this old wood. I love that my dad saved it from the trash pile and held on to it for more than 10 years before I got it. It looks amazing.
It was so well made that the two pieces of wood match perfectly. We thought it was one piece of wood until we got it cleaned up.
When you want to shake your head at what your wife, or husband drags home, I want you to have a picture of this in your mind…
This is my garage today after a weekend of both curbside finds and garage sale purchases. Sorry, Hubby, but it really is only temporary…I promise. I really do know we are trying to sell the house.
Here is what I found, bought and collected and where it will go.
I got this mirror along with the china cabinet. I paid $50.00 for both. The mirror is going to become a chalkboard for announcements in my office. The mirror frame will be painted “Innocence”, glazed and distressed. The barley twist stand will be left alone.
The china cabinet is going in my office. It will replace my book cases.
I got nothin’ to say about the pink chair. It was a roadside find. Anyone want it? I will even paint it if you want it to be a different color.
The chairs are going to my office. I really need them. They were $5.00 each. 4 chairs for $20.00. Oh! They threw in some cabinet hardware too. I am using some of it on a special project for a friend.
The headboard is a project the Hubby is going to work on. He has a great idea what to do with it so I am excited to see what he is going to do with it.
I paid $2.00 for this beauty. I am going to try Mandie at Altar’d ‘s method for tarnished silver on this. If I like it, I know who gets it…
Finally, the drawers and doors are from a GREAT neighbor who saved them for me. I already have a few ideas.
The dresser drawers are all that can be saved from this one, but the drawer fronts and hardware will be used!
See… It could be worse, you could be married to me!
I have wanted to write this blog for a while. I go to craft shows, shops and our local trade days where I sometimes hear shoppers commenting on the cost. “I could do that.” is frequently heard as well as comments about prices. Now you know that I am always looking for a deal! And by deal I mean a steal. I love to find furniture, cheap or preferably free, then repurpose the piece into something unique. It is my hobby, and I am not trying to live off selling my goods. We would STARVE! I always try to let you know the cost, which is usually less than a brand new piece would be, but I think that there is a misconception from time to time about the real cost of repurposing the furniture.
Right now I am redoing a piece of furniture I literally picked up on the side of the road. The cost for the furniture – ZERO DOLLARS AND ZERO CENTS.
In order to get the piece repurposed I decided to buy everything new for this project. I needed to replenish supplies anyway and sometimes even I forget that this is a hobby and the supplies are expensive because I only buy things as I run out.
The costs are rounded- because I am lazy!
Purdy paintbrush- the best and worth the cost- 12.00
Behr Revival Mahogany paint with primer- one quart- I could have probably gotten by with two samples @ $3.00 each, but I knew I would need the left over for the faux fireplace I am doing- $16.00
Behr Innocence- one quart- the giant dresser used almost a whole quart- the leftover paint was used to paint Baby Boy’s bookcase. $16.00
Zinzer Primer- one quart- $10.00
Glazing medium- one quart Behr Faux Finish glazing medium. I use this all the time and it lasts forever but it was time for a new container- $15.00
Sandpaper for hand sanding and the palm sander $5.00
Rustoleum Poly- one quart- $15.00
Hours spent on the project- 1 hour checking it out, calling Hubby, getting the beast into the vehicle, out of the vehicle and home. 3 hours sanding. 4 hours priming, re sanding, then priming again. 4 hours painting the creamy white color. 1 hour painting handles. 1 hour painting the top. 1 hour glazing. 3 hours polyurethaning the whole thing. Oh! This does not include dry time, moving time and reassembly.
So all in all we have close to $80.00 in supplies and the equivalent of one hard weekend’s worth of time invested. In a free piece of furniture! The next time you see someone’s work online, in a shop, or at a vendor’s booth and you say to yourself… ” I could do that WAAAY cheaper, the truth is provided you find the right piece, you might could save a little money doing it yourself but it won’t be as cheap or easy as you may initially believe and your time is worth something.
If you are in a shop when you see this piece also figure in overhead costs.
It is a lot of work to re-purpose furniture, but it is ever so worth the effort! I love the satisfaction of doing a good job and bringing something back to life.