Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Secretary Desk Transformation

This beautiful, little secretary desk was purchased over 20 years ago at a garage sale.  It was purchased by a dear family friend and given to me to use when I moved into a cute flat as a single mom years ago.  The cool feature of a secretary desk is that the cabinet door opens up to lie flat and give the user more desk space when needed.  Because this piece was very old, the cabinet door hinge was coming off and needed repair.  I used this to hold DVDs and small keepsakes and it had endured even more wear and tear in its time with me.  I decided to repair that door, give the desk a bright, new paint job and some pretty hardware. 

Lets take a look!

The Befores...

You can see the drink rings and dents.  She was dying for a makeover.  I removed all hardware, sanded her down and wiped away all of the dust.  I have been experimenting with an amazing chalk paint purchased at a local boutique and I have to say, this paint is fantastic.  It's called Maison Blanche and it is, in my opinion, the creme de la creme of chalk paint.  Thick and rich, with excellent coverage, it provides a gorgeous look and finish.  Distresses perfectly and combines easily with latex paint to create different shades and hues.  I combined Maison Blanche in Magnolia (that's fancy shmancy for white) with a beautiful coral shade by Behr in "Cool Lava".  The results were striking...

The Afters!

I wish I had better "After" pics but this darling desk was quickly sold to a local boutique right after I finished, so these camera phone shots will have to do :)
Let's talk technique.  The interior of the desk including the interior of the drawer as well as underneath were given two coats of Rustoleum Spray Paint in Satin Espresso.  This sealed the wood and gave the desk an even appearance while also providing contrast against the bright coral.  

After two coats of the coral chalk paint mixture to the exterior and liberal distressing with 220 grit sandpaper, I applied a coat of Maison Blanche Varnish, which is a water-based sealant that provides a beautiful, satin sheen to protect the paint against future dirt and stains.  

After allowing that coat to dry for 24 hours, it was time to reassemble the desk.  I mentioned the desk hinge was broken and that repair involved a rubber washer between the new screw and the wood to protect the wood and prevent future stripping.  However, it is important to note that I would consider this item to be an antique, and advised the shop owner who purchased the desk to market it as so.  Constant opening and closing of the cabinet will eventually wear things down and should be kept to a minimum.  The washer will hopefully take some of the strain off of the hinge as the desk is opened as closed.  

The drawer handles were purchased at Hobby Lobby and the desk knob was original to the piece and simply painted white, distressed and given a coat of pearl spray glaze. 

It took a day of work and a little sweat (those hinges and hardware are ancient) but my little desk that could went from worn and tired to bright and pretty in no time.  I love the bright color and hope that she brings new use, and a bit of Happy into her next home. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Re-purposed Vintage Frames

I love scouring resales for unique vintage and antique items that can be useful and easily incorporated into home decor.  I recently picked up two fantastic vintage mirrors at a local shop with the idea in mind to re-purpose them into pretty cork boards.  This was my first time using rolled cork and it was, for the most part, rather easy. 

There are various forms of rolled cork; I picked up one roll of self-adhesive and one roll of non-adhesive.  You can check out different types similar to what I purchased here.

Let's take a look at the finished pieces.

 I removed the mirror from the frame and painted the frame in a latex and chalk paint blend and then distressed.  Non-adhesive cork was applied to the frame backing with Modpodge and then natural burlap was laid over the cork and attached to the cork edges using a hot glue gun.  This being my first time ever using cork, I learned after finishing that it is super duper important to provide extra padding behind the cork, so that your push pins have room to stick.  

Which brings us to the next piece:

This piece was purchased as a mirror tray.  I removed the mirror and applied two thin layers of foam to the back of the mirror with spray adhesive.  Once that was dry, I applied self-adhesive cork to the top layer of foam.  I then applied a layer of fabric over the cork, using the same spray adhesive.  While the foam sat to dry (about 2 hours sitting time and weighted with a heavy book) I brushed white chalk paint onto the frame and distressed after the paint dried.  It was then sealed with a spray pearl glaze.  The cork and fabric-lined mirror slid back into the frame and it was ready to hang and be used as a small message board or keepsake holder. 
Super simple.  Super affordable.  Super pretty.
More pics?  OK!

Re-purposed and Happy!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Bathroom Redo for Under $50.00!

Today's post is all about a room renovation for under $50.00.  Yep, you read that right; it is possible to redo an entire room for under $50.00!  Without painting the walls, without changing light fixtures or installing anything new and only using what you already have on hand in terms of decor. 

Let's get right to it!

Here's my bathroom as it was about a week ago:

Pretty basic and not a lot of color.  I wanted to change the look and feel of the room without having to paint the walls.  I decided that I could paint the cabinet to give the room a pop of color and use accessories and decor items that I already had on hand.  The accessories could easily be refreshed through painting and distressing.  I was going for crisp color combined with a beach-weathered feel.  Kind of a Nautical theme.  Once I decided on that theme, I choose two shades of blue to use as my accent colors.  The colors reminded me of the ocean on a cloudy day.  In trying to stay under the $50.00 mark, I purchased sample sizes of the two colors, instead of quarts.  Major money saver and perfect for painting smaller items.

Once I had my paint, I gathered all of the items from the bathroom that I wanted to use and got to work sanding, painting, distressing, etc.  Over all, it took 3 days to complete.

Here are my results: 

Here is how the room breaks down:

The cabinet was sanded and smoothed with an electric sander.  I did not take the cabinet down off of the wall, but instead taped off the surrounding wall.  I did remove the cabinet door and hardware and those items were painted separately.  Important to remember to remove the mirror from the door before painting.  I also tried something new with the door handle.  I used a glue gun and some twine and wrapped the handle with twine.  Turned out very cool and melded well with the nautical theme:

I found the idea for my knob at my favorite blog The Creek Line House.  You can read more about her project here.

The chair was a hand me down and already had been naturally distressed over the years.  I cleaned it up and used the electric sander to smooth and even out the paint.  I also used some stencils and paint for a cute "shells 4 cents" sign on the chair back and sanded down the letters for a weathered look:

The towel basket was already being used in the bathroom and I simply painted it white to fit into the theme:

The iron stand, towel holder, vase, toilet paper holder and Ikea garbage can were also already in use in the bathroom, and most of those items were sanded and painted with a navy blue spray paint.  The towel holder was painted in white and distressed:


The striped frame was previously hanging above the toilet.  It was part of a framed and matted canvas purchased years ago at a discount store.  I removed the canvas and backing and simply painted and sanded the frame.  The star hanging in the middle was from another room and I painted it white and distressed it for a weathered look:

The three-photo matted frame was hanging in another room and I thought the pictures in it of Olivia at the beach would fit in perfectly with the room.  I just took apart the frame, painted and distressed the frame and put it back together:

The wall art was just stretched canvas I had on hand, painted in one of my blue shades and the circles were made using a toilet paper roll dipped in white paint:

The chalk board was already on hand and I painted it blue and added a cute "Stay Calm" quote found on Pinterest:

The shower curtain was simply taken down and stenciled with acrylic paint to look like a sail.  The numbers are a combination of my family's birthdays.  The shower curtain rod was painted in the same navy blue spray paint as the other bathroom accessories:

The "beach" sign was an old sign purchased at Hobby Lobby that I've had for a few months and was sitting, unused in our guest room.  It was painted, stenciled and sanded down to look weathered:

This cute little item is just a small flower pot and twine attached with a glue gun: 

Can't get any simpler than that!

 The only decor item purchased new for the bathroom was the rug.  It was purchased on sale at Meijer for $20.00.

The only supplies purchased new were the following:

1.  Paint - two sample sizes at $2.94 each
2.  Twine - one roll at $2.99
3.  Sandpaper - one pack at $4.97
4.  Frog Tape - one roll at $5.87
5.  Grout Paint - one bottle at $9.03 *Read more on my experiences with grout paint in this room here.

That brings the grand total for the bathroom redo to $48.74.  How awesome is that?!  For under $50.00 and one weekend of time, you can create a beautiful, Happy new space.  Nothing better than that!