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1940’s Chest of Drawers

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Waaay back on December 30th Mr. Math and I headed off to collect a chest of drawers, vanity, and mirror. Somehow along the way I also picked up a lime green claw foot tub but that is a story for another day.

The furniture belonged to my friend’s grandparents and had been in a garage for 20 years and was showing what humidity can do to furniture over time. The veneer was coming off and the drawers were warped. The mirror is going to really need some attention down the road but it is a beauty. I had no idea when I picked up these pieces that shortly I would temporarily go back to work. As a principal. Then there was a pandemic. Then online learning, zoom meetings, virtual everything. The bedroom furniture got put on the back burner. I have been busy people. I promise. So the furniture moved from one garage to another.

I honestly thought that the chest of drawers would be too much work to save but that original folk art factory stenciling kept staring at me. I knew I would have to give saving at least some of it a try. I got busy stripping the veneer off. I had to get a steamer after parts of it but it came off and got sanded. I bought water based polyurethane hoping I could seal the drawers after cleaning them. The first coat was a disaster. The old varnish under the poly started bubbling up. I stopped after one coat thinking that this was all getting primed and painted. I went to bed thinking about that darn chest of drawers. The next morning I decided to try going over the bubbly varnish with steel wool and to my surprise it wasn’t horrible. It took four coats to get them looking decent. They still aren’t perfect but I am glad they were preserved. The top was totally stripped and sanded by my husband including all those wiggly grooves around the top drawer. I stained it all dark walnut

I am keeping this set for my guest room. The base of the chest of drawers was painted a warm white called cinnamon bun. I liked the original hardware patina so I kept the as is but will be spraying them with a sealer soon. I convinced my husband to stop moving it inside to take some pictures, but I still have some touch ups. I love how it turned out and look forward to having it in my home.

Using the Restoration Hardware Finish to Fix a Problem

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A pile of tables were given to me.  I know.  I am so very lucky.

tables

The table I worked on this weekend was the one at the back in this picture.  I know I should have taken a better picture of the table, but in true form I just got in the mood to paint and jumped in.  It is how I operate when a lot is going on.  Paint first, think later.
The tables had been in a vacant house left by previous renters and this one was in pretty rough shape.
I fell in love with particular table because I have an identical one that is in great shape from my mom.   My table is a family piece that I would get grounded if I painted.  This one I am free to do what I want to.

I spray painted the legs with chalk spray paint I picked up at Walmart.  I liked the paint but frankly it wasn’t worth the extra cost for the chalk finish.  I should have just purchased flat white paint.


This table at one point sat under a leak and had water stains along with a water ring that just wouldn’t come out, even with sanding the finish off.  I tried my darkest stain, Minwax Jacobean, and the stain still showed through.  Bummer.


I knew I wanted the top of the table to be stained with the bottom painted, so I knew I needed a solution to my water problem.  The solution was my Restoration Hardware Weathered Oak Finish for the top.

I figured out this finish through trial and error and have used it several times like here on the bathroom vanity in our suburban house

dresser to bathroom vanity

and here on the top and sides of the Funky Dresser

Funky Dresser

It is a finish that covers a lot of flaws and is almost foolproof.  This finish is the most popular post on my blog, so I guess I am not alone in using the simple process.

Pickling Stain on top of the stained wood then wipe off in the direction of the wood grain almost immediately.


It always looks a little nasty at this point and every time I second guess my decision.

The next step is to apply a coat of Jacobean stain over the top.


Wipe off the excess stain with the grain and voila- the water rings disappear.

I sanded the paint slightly on the legs and will ne adding a clear protective finish to the top of the table once I am sure the stain has dried completely.


It turned out great and gave me the satisfaction of getting one project done this past weekend.

I don’t know where this table will end up, but I really think it is pretty.

I hope you were productive this last weekend,

Blessings,

Karen

Our First Project- The Kitchen

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It looks like we will be closing on our home Friday.  We now have a closing date and time at the title company.  The insurance guy has gone to take pictures, and he survey is completed.  Whew.  This has been a struggle.

Before Mr. Math has to return to work, we want to get the kitchen up and running.

Here is how the kitchen looks today:

   
   
I found this inspiration picture on TomKat Designs

  
There are a lot of elements in this picture.  

Here are the plans to get the kitchen spruced up that should be doable this summer:

1.  The carpet must go.  Vinyl plank floating floor is going in as soon as it comes in.  Currently it is back ordered until August 5th.

  
2.  The fluorescent light is coming down and pot lights are going in around the kitchen.

3.  The ceiling fan is coming out.  

4.  There is a huge pantry on the other side of the refrigerator that is coming out so that a walkway can be put in to open up the space.  We are going to put in a pantry in the laundry room.

  
5.  Pendant lights are going over the island.  I plan on working on some IKEA pendants to get the look I want.

  
6.  A farmhouse sink is going in.  I have decided that I wNt a double farmhouse sink.  I love the way it looks in the kitchen of House of Smiths.

  
   
 7.  The cabinet doors are getting a makeover.

  
8.  The laminate will be replaced with Quartz.  

  
9.  The cabinets will be painted two toned and hardware added.

   

  
We will be keeping white appliances because one day I hope to have a vintage stove…one day.

We will keep you posted on our progress.

I hope your summer is going well.

Blessings,

Karen

Mid Century Chair Makeover

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We picked up these beauties at the best garage sale of the year this past winter.  They were rough.  They were broken. They were two dollars each. They were meant to be mine.

  

       I loved the classic style, and the solid wood frame.  Two of the three are going to go in my guest shed.  The third is going to The Southern Belle.  She will have a project on her hands.

I like mid century style, but my partner in crime, life and projects- Mr. Math, doesn’t.  He has given me free reign in our soon to be guest house.  The colors are going to be vibrant and the style is definitely modern mid century.  I cannot wait to get started on this project.  I stand and stare at the guest shed every time we go over to the place we are buying.  

  
These chairs were a serious upper body workout to make over.  After the glueing, clamping, and weighting down to fix warps in the wood from hanging out in a barn for oh- fourty years or so, I moved on to stripping, then sanding.  It took f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Sanding such a simple wooden frame should not have been so hard but the spindles, the curves and the crevices all had to be hand sanded.  I’m not whining.  I promise.  I love these chairs and even when I was in the middle of getting them sanded, I knew it would be worth it.

When the natural wood- walnut- was revealed I knew that bringing these back to life was the right choice.  The wood grain is interesting, especially on the arms.

One thing I regret for this project was using gel stain.  I should have gone with traditional stain on the chairs because the gel tended to goop up in the had to reach areas.  I had to use paint thinner to get the dark spots out.  Live and learn.  I went with walnut stain because I wanted to return the chairs to their original look as much as possible.

  
I polyurethaned the frames with an exterior poly because the guest shed is going to have a window air conditioner so the climate won’t always be controlled.  Everything that goes in has to be able to stand up to heat, humidity, and cold.

The seats originally had leather strapping.  One of the chairs still had the strapping in place when we got them and it was gross.  The humidity in the barn and time had turned the leather to a sticky but weirdly brittle mess.  After removing the old nails, we used hemp upholstery webbing to replace the leather.  Mr. Math did this for me using an air nailer to secure it.  I really do like him being off in summer!

  
 The cushions were a happy surprise from Mr. Math.  He ordered them online for me.  The bottom cushion needs to be altered, but I love the outdoor fabric, the bright turquoise color and the clean lines.  They look like they could have been original to the chairs.  He snagged them at Target when they were on sale 40% off plus using the 5% off Red card meant they were about $30.00 each.  Way to be a good shopper, Mr. Math!  

  

All in we have just over fourty dollars a chair so they were not cheap but in my opinion they are so very worth the effort and money.

The chairs turned out even better than I hoped.

  
      

The chairs are so comfortable and beautiful.  We were lucky to have found them.

Blessings,

Karen

Finding My Inspiration Home

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Do you ever know what you want something to look like but you just can’t explain it to anyone?  That is how I am about our soon to be- “needs a name”- house right now.  I want the house to have a farmhouse look but with color throughout. A rustic modern farmhouse.   Mr. Math hates this word but I want the rooms to be 80% composed of neutrals with “pops” of color infused in every room.  I am afraid that some folk in my life are afraid that the house is going to look like a bag of jelly beans.  That is not what I mean when I say I want there to be color and light.

Right now all the colorful stuff that is going to be spread around the 2000 square foot house and outdoor kitchen ( which is going to be a bright and cheery kiwi and turquoise) is mushed together in one room with nothing neutral.  I can understand the concern when I show my friends this space.  If the entire house looked like the  storage bedroom does right now I would have to keep a basket of sunglasses by the front door for those brave enough to enter.

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I did find some websites that have the style I am going for in our farm house.  The first house is over the top but I love #7  which is talking about small doses of color infused  I love the white walls, wood ceiling, and bright colors.

Country Living

A little bright goes a long way, so limit the full-throttle shades to accents and put it in neutral everywhere else. Even neon (yes, neon) looks smart when used sparingly. In daughter Lia's attic bedroom, a highlighter-yellow pillow and rug feel vibrant and hip without overwhelming the space, thanks to the more muted teals and pinks. RELATED: 42 Kids' Rooms You'll Both Love

This home in Hooked on Houses is much more the look we are going for.  It is bright and playful but still an adult home.  I love the look of this hallway and the  bedroom in this house is beautiful.  I love how the homeowner has infused color in an overall vintage and neutral home.

Hooked on Houses

Alison Kandler's Colorful Farmhouse (3)

Here are some of the wild colors that will be finding a home in our home.

These quilts, which were all made by my grandmothers or great grandmothers are going to be in a quilt cabinet- as soon as I find, or more likely- make one something like the one pictured below.  

   
 I will have to come up with something for the door because I don’t have any windows that size.  I love that my grandmothers loved color as much as I do.  The quilts are definitely vivid.

source:  ashleysprimatives.com

The cow print is going to be hung on a reclaimed wood “gate” made from my husband’s family barn and some hardware off their smoke house door.  The gate with the picture are going to hang/lean on our fireplace mantle.

  
The dresser is going to be our media center.

Funky Dresser

I may be changing out the red on the bottom drawer and knob but I wont know what needs to be done until I see it in the room.  We shall see.

Our bedroom will be light with an aqua headboard, coral lamps, white, mismatched, vintage night stands.  There will be milk glass vases, my vintage window , and will have wood elements through a pine bedroom dresser and chest of drawers.  I am going to love that room.  

coral, pink and blue girls room

I have the bed painted Aqua.  I am looking for bedding now.

   
   The chicken was painted by a friend and will be hanging in my kitchen.  It is so cute.  I love that she painted it for me.

  
It is so much fun dreaming of our soon to be home. I am excited that in two months we should be moving in.

Tick, tick tick.  Waiting is hard. 

200 Dollar Bedroom Makeover 

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Have you ever read the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff?  I was an elementary teacher a long time so I relate to a lot of children’s books.  In this particular book we learn that if you give a mouse a cookie, he is going to ask for a glass of milk which leads to a straw, then a napkin… the list grows.  

My master bedroom is a lot like that book.  Mr. Math finally convinced me to get a king sized bed.  Since we were already switching from a queen sized bed to a king I thought that it was the perfect time to do a mini makeover for the bedroom.  The change in bed size meant that we needed a new headboard, bedding, pillows, etc.  Add to the new bed that a friend just gave me a load of 12 inch wide reclaimed cedar and a plan started to form.

I have had this particular picture Pinned for a long time. Viva Terra

 

I love the rustic bed, the blue bedding, and the ship lap wall behind the bed.  Viva Terra calls this particular bed Gustavian and a king bed is $2195  with a $200 delivery fee.  It is a stunning bed but the chances of me paying that much for a headboard and footboard are almost nil.  I also love my bench at the foot of the bed to put on shoes so no footboard. 

I remembered that I had see this tutorial on Remodelaholic.  Curvy Reclaimed Wood Headboard Tutorial

 

I had also seen  this tutorial on how to make a faux shiplap wall using this plywood.  Sweet Pickins and knew it would be the perfect backdrop for the bed.

 

Well, this very rainy weekend we got the room done. The bed got delivered Monday but has been hanging out in our hallway until we could get the room makeover completed.  We did it and all in, the makeover- less the cost of the new bed, pillows, mattress pad and sheets, was  under $200.00.  As usual it didn’t go as planned, but I like the happy accidents.  I will have pictures and instructions this week. 

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Blessings,

Karen

My Plans for the Guest Shed

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I am HATING and I do mean HATING having the Garagemahal shut down while the near the lake house is on the market.  It has been an unusually cold, wet winter in southeast Texas and I have been at loose ends.  It is too cold and or dark in the evenings when I come in to work on projects at home during the week and it is all about decluttering, cleaning, and moving stuff to storage on the weekends.  Oh how I hope this is all over soon.

One of the things that I can do right now is plan and dream.  After my big winfall at the clean out the barn sale, I am really thinking about the Guest Shed.  According to the tax rolls it is a little over 400 square feet.

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I know you are probably not impressed with it, but it is cool. It has a wood burning stove, hardwood floors reclaimed from a high school gym and already has plumbing. Currently it is a wood shop but it wouldn’t work for me. The enclosed space wouldn’t accommodate moving furniture in and out. There is a better space on the property already.

 Have you ever tried Olioboard?  It is fun to use.

OB-guest shed 

If you have a room you are thinking about redoing it is a great way to envision the space. I have super cool mid century chairs instead of the ones pictured, we will be building a Murphy bed that will look like a cabinet. The space will have a bathroom with a shower, a kitchenette with my farmhouse sink find in it a and cabinets already in the space.

The one room guest house is going to have bright white walls, a whitewashed turquoise wall, bright curtains. (I am thinking orange print for the curtains.) I love the site Spoonflower for fabrics. Right now these are my favorites:

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I am leaning toward the wood grain as a nod to the woods surrounding the shed.

I plan on getting a modern vinyl fouton that can double as an added bed. I think the artwork is going to be mid century-ish fish as another reminder of the lake nearby. ( I also think they are really cool.)

I found these cool images on Etsy.







 This Good Housekeeping 1959 photo is my inspiration with a more modern twist.

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I collected some colors while out yesterday and I found the cushions for the lounge chair at Lowes. They are a green print.



Now if only our lake house would sell quickly.  Fingers crossed.

I hope you all have a dry, warm, productive day.

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

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

San Jacinto County Christmas Home Tour Part 3

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I will bet a few of you are ready for the home tour to be done. I’m known as a bit of an over-sharer so, my apologies. I just love our little Weekend country community and I am always amazed at the homes tucked into the woods an hour from Houston.  Come visit!

Today you get to see the last four homes. I am not slighting them, I promise. One of the houses was the inspiration for the green color we painted our lake house. I literally knocked on their door and asked them what color their house was painted. They were gracious, and didn’t act like they thought I was insane. By the way, the color of their house was baked on the Hardee plank, so I had to guess on our color.

The Green House

This house is located right by the Aggie House.  It was one of the first built on the cemetery circle.  I love the craftsman style of the home.  I could not believe I didn’t get a picture of the outside of the house.  I will go take one and add it next week.

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The green house has a nautical vibe.  Did you know that Lake Livingston has sailboats?  It is the second largest lake in Texas.

 

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I really liked the bedrooms.  The colors were very soothing.  I think someone was naughty getting the house ready to show.

 

The Brown House

This house is right next door to the green house.  The owners are friends and they have even put in a walkway between the two homes.  The brown house could not be any more different from they Green House though.  The brown house has a more formal look on the inside.  The owner is a quilter with her own room.

 

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The Mediterranean Home

This house is in a neighborhood that is around the corner from ours.  The neighborhood has a marina and an RV park along with a very active neighborhood group.  They have a pot luck every Thursday night.

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The Last Home… Woopsie.

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I honestly have no idea what happened to the rest of the last house pictures.  I will keep looking.

I loved the back covered porch and the feeling of this home.

 

I hope you enjoyed the Christmas tour.  All the funds for this tour go to scholarships for the kids of San Jacinto County.  What a great cause.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

 

Blessings,

 

Karen

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