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Monday, July 2, 2012

One Man's Trash (A Furniture DIY)

If you have ever gone from apartment living to home ownership, you will understand the dilemma. I have been facing this daunting task lately, because we close on a house two weeks from today. While I am ultimately very grateful to be entering into home-ownership with a lovely 1931 brick on brick colonial, I am in an all-out search. For what you ask? Here is the thought in the back of my mind all day every day (drum-roll, please).

How am I going to fill this place????

So, I am simply going to share a couple of solutions to buying all new furniture that I have come up with. This will include where I have found some of my furniture and what I have done with it. First let me lead off by saying that there is NOTHING wrong with walking into a beautiful furniture store and picking out the piece that lies beneath the parting heavens. Our future dining set was heaven sent (distressed table, butterfly leaf, slat chairs and a bench... it was love). If you are like me though, that splurge is enough! The rest of my finds MUST be budget friendly. So here we go!

I am simply going to share my sources and narrate the process of refinishing them.

1. Moms know best.

My mom found this lovely record cabinet at a thrift store in Wisconsin that is to die for. It just needed my loving. Here is the before, taken at the store.

It's cute, right? And the door pulls open, holding all of my record in place. It even has little genre labels inside. I sanded it down, (usually you will have to strip it, but this one had almost no finish left) painted it with a Valspar Eggshell turquoise, distressed a bit, added clear polyurethene to the top, and changed out the pull for a couple of knobbs. Voila.

2. Yard sale beauty.

I recently participated in a yard sale with my mother-in-law and one of her friends. The best part is that I got a new office room desk, which makes my little sewing desk functional again! The money from the sale covered the price she was asking for the desk and the chair, plus the materials to refinish it, with a little left over. Nice, right? Here is the before:

I did the exact same thing to this one, except I used Blue Mint to paint them. I also recovered the seat. That is the easiest thing to do, you flip over the chair, unscrew the seat and staple new fabric to the underside of the cushion. You can do this!! Check out the finished desk:

It is completely different now and I am in love! Can't wait to paint the office room grey and put this inside. Make sure to poly any surfaced that is going to often be used, bumped or scratched.

3. The daunting task. 

The third and final piece that I am going to show today has no "after". Sigh. One of the drawers has no bottom and the other two do not work very well. It is gorgeous though! Once I work up enough guts, I am going to wrap the two bottom-ed drawers with pantyhose and wet them down to counter the warping (we'll see). I am also planning on waxing the bottoms, so they run on their tracks smoothly. I plan on buying a piece of masonite for the bottom of the poor drawer, which can currently hold nothing. Then I will strip it down and refinish it with a dark cherry stain and poly all over.

See? DAUNTING! I can do it, but my fear of failure is keeping me from it! Eek. Here it is:

Maybe one day I will get around to it. I search Craigslist, yard sales, thrift stores, antique stores, auctions and even the shiny new furniture stores. It takes time, but I love the pride I feel when I finish a piece. That's all I have for you today. Thank you Laurie for letting me share my fancy thoughts. I hope that you are soaking up the sun and that your luggage found you again this year.


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