July 2, 2010

Refinish, Refurb... RECYCLE!

I opened a small booth at the Queen of Hearts Antiques & Interiors here in Buford, GA! To do this, I have spent the last several weeks outside in the 90+ degree heat working on furniture and accessories, which I have picked up for little (and sometimes NO) money. At least I had the shade of the garage, so it was probably only 90, not 96 degrees. Here are some of my faves:

Fugly brass chandelier, from this:

to this:

Note the bird cage on the cabinet, (which I need to hang for better visibility), that used to look like this:

In the same picture as the painted birdcage is a swirly-framed little mirror (this thing is HEAVY!), which is now hanging to the left of the china cabinet in my booth, but used to look like this (it was gold but the pic is really dark since it's kinda dark at 6:30am):

nothing a little spray paint couldn't fix, right?

Here is a dresser I picked up off the side of the road. I should've got pix of the sides and top because it was ROUGH. I had to sand this piece a LOT, and used wood filler like spackling to get this thing to even a paintable condition:

(sanded within a half-inch of its life)

But it was a cute piece, had potential- all hardwood, original hardware all in good shape, it even has all the dust covers (that's the flat pieces of wood that sit like a shelf between the drawers, on which the drawers glide), turned out like this:

Little nightstands, of which I forgot to get "before" pics, but here they are primed, and trust me they looked yucky:

You'll see them finished in a pic of the booth, but for now, another dresser...

Really happy with this piece. It was the roughest of the two curbside dresser finds and turned out well, especially considering its condition. I really had to sand it down a LOT, more than the other one- someone had literally carved names into it and graffiti-like crap nonsense. Why, I ask you? WHY?? Why do that to a innocent, unsuspecting, never-did-anything-to-you piece of furniture? I had to sand it so much the pretty serpentine edge was being sanded right off so I had to just stop. This piece is Bassett and it too has the dust covers intact and original hardware. I spent a lot of time on these two pieces, which wouldn't have been worth that much toil if I'd paid anything for them. Here is that one all gussied up:

You might notice that the upper left handle is a LITTLE odd looking in the picture. That is because I noticed AFTER I got it in the booth that the handle's screws didn't have large enough heads on them so they were up inside the handle instead of holding it in place. GADS. So for the picture I copied and pasted one of the other handles into that spot real quick so it wouldn't be too noticeable. And since I've now fixed that little unfortunate handle issue, we can just pretend it's correct in the picture, too, mmkay?? :-)

Some more accessories that needed a little pick-me-up, bought on the cheap from several different sources:

Got three of those (I meant to get four, but I'll deal) and painted them glossy black and now they look really COOL. I don't have a picture of them (blast! thought I did) but I'll take one and post it later (if I can figure out how to do that...

AND, the pièce de résistance (as I squeal with sheer delight to a degree that may make one wonder at the level of sanity I'm displaying):

I got this china cabinet for $40 at a thrift store.

Mind you, it was missing the glass shelves, but it was all wood (except the base cabinet doors), and the metal grid in the two side windows is actually metal, not painted on, like many of them are, it has a flatware drawer, AND it has two lights in the hutch. Great! I can display stuff in my new booth AND have a great anchor piece (until it sells).

Primed and painted. Note that I started painting the back, even though I'd already decided I was going to paper over the back, DOH!

The drawer sitting in front of it is the flatware drawer.

Papering the back of the cabinet was an interesting endeavor, and one I will do again. FINALLY- a project I can do INDOORS!

I used scrapbooking paper and I found that repositionable spray ahesive worked best so I could fit all the pieces, adjusting as I went along. First, I measured each of the 6 sections I would paper. You can see in the pic above that I also made sure I had plenty of the #1, absolutely essential refurb supply at 4:45am- COFFEE. Then I chose the papers I wanted to use for each section. I didn't want to repeat any of them- BOHO is the style so it's all kinds of craziness and cool. I chose 6 different papers for each of the 6 sections and laid them out on my floor, arranged according to print scale, coordinating colors, etc. This took me awhile! I don't scrapbook, but I do use scrapbooking paper and supplies for other projects so I have a LOT of paper to look through and coordinate. This is an activity I LOVE!

I taped out the size of the section I was working on first (after I did the first two sections I decided I didn't need to go to all that trouble and pretty much ignored the tape and just played)

As I worked through the project, I made some changes while putting in the papers. For example, if I noticed the middle left section had a swirl pattern in the bottom middle of my two rows, I didn't want the middle right section to have the swirl in the bottom middle; or if I had a harlequin turned horizontal in the lower right of the upper left section, I didn't want a harlequin at all in the upper right section, nor did I want another harlequin turned horizontal anywhere. Make sense?

Here I was almost finished- just lacked the last section, lower left:

The most difficult thing was getting into the corners- the far right sides and the far left sides. I was very happy I had repositionable adhesive. I should warn you if you start to use that stuff on a project- ummmm... it SPRAYS pretty much everywhere. I am quite sure the floor lamp I used for extra task lighting will never be the same; thankfully I did plan ahead enough to use a drop cloth and my very large cutting board. By the time I sprayed the last piece of paper, I had little bits of paper pretty much on every fingertip and then some.

Since the cabinet was missing the glass shelves, I contacted a local glass place and they cut two pieces of glass for me for $8 each and they had it done in a day. SUWEET! I was very nervous about measuring to the 8th inch for the length of the pieces, and to the 16th of an inch for the depth, but it came out just right!When it came time for me to put them into the cabinet, I couldn't get them in because they were so long, so I had to get them cut in half. This makes the glass shelves 4 pieces instead of 2, but it is not even noticeable.

Here is the cabinet all lit up inside. Unfortunately (?) I had to place some paper-covered clipboards in the cabinet, as well as some other merchandise, in this picture so you can't see the detail of the back of the cabinet- I'll get a pic of it sometime when I'm at the booth, though, sans other merchandise. But you get it. The clipboards need to come out of the cabinet because a) you cannot see the clipboards since they blend right in with the cabinet and b) you cannot see the back of the cabinet detail because the clipboards are in front of it. On the brighter side, though, they do blend with each other so the effect of either one is not completely lost.

And here is the cabinet in my booth, so you can see the base. I'd thought I wouldn't sell it for awhile, at least until I have another one to replace it, BUT I've generated a LOT of interest in the cabinet so I am going to put it up for sale and see what happens. Then I'll have to pray I can find another similar-sized something or other to take its place!

There it is, ya'll. Not a lot of money, but a whole Lotta SWEAT went into this. I hope these things can inspire you to look at fugly things in an all new ways!

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