A Week of End Tables

Last week was literally the week of end tables. I started on three at the same time, so it made for a bit of a mess in my garage! Lots of knobs and drawers scattered about -which made unloading groceries an extra-exciting obstacle course. All three tables were custom jobs for clients and I’m super happy with the way they turned out.

These first two are for the same home. Though different in design and style, I used General Finishes Antique White on both just in case the client wanted them in the same room. Check it out!

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This is a beautifully built piece of furniture. Solid wood and soundly constructed, it was fun to work on. The client’s vision was for a neutral update with a whitewashed top.

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So, I sanded the top, primed the base, and painted away. Each of my pieces receive about 7 coats of paint, no joke!

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I loved the subtle whitewashed finish. The neutral tone gave this a clean, updated look…. I’m tempted to make this happen in my own bedroom!

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My client’s next piece was of lesser quality, but turned out incredibly! Since this piece was particle board, I couldn’t sand the top to match. However, I was able to do some light distressing that really aided in giving the piece some character.

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Most people have a cheap bookcase or piece of furniture made of particle board; if that’s you, this is a great example of what you can do with those pieces to make them work for the design in your home!

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Ensuring that you clean, lightly sand, and prime is the key to success for particle board!

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I carefully sanded the edges to give the table some dimension and aged character.

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My next client had bought a dresser already painted in a soft gray. When she acquired this night stand, she wanted it to match as closely as possible. I mixed two different white paints into Rust-Oleum’s Aged Gray Chalked paint and went to work. I like the end result matte look of this end table and know it will work with her existing decor. Here is the before:

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It was classic French provincial piece. Not in horrible shape, but in need of a fun update for an adults bedroom! Here is the after:

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And that’s all folks! Three end tables down, lots more to go! Wishing all a happy holiday weekend. A big, heart-felt thank you to all of our Nations veterans for their sacrifice and service. <3

Beth

 

Repurposed Vintage Dresser

One lazy Saturday afternoon Dean and I were hanging out around the house. I can’t have nothing to do for too long, so I asked him if he wanted to go “treasure” hunting at our local Goodwill.

We jumped in the car and then drifted apart once we were in the store. I don’t know why but Dean and I can NEVER stay in the same area while we shop “together”. I think it’s because I look at things in a quick and timely manner -always knowing what I want, while he slowly peruses the aisles, looking for a broken electronic device he can fix or a dusty and faded philosophical book. -Our brains are VERY different.

He caught me examining this beat-up, broken dresser. The drawers were cracked, broken, and stuck. The back was weak and brittle from water damaged. I stood there for a bit, trying to analyze the damage and dream up a vision for what this could become.

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I’m sure our conversation went a little something like this:

Me: “I can fix this… I think.”

Dean: “But how broken is it, how much time and money will it take?”

Me: “I don’t know…. Just the back, and top, and all the drawers are broken… but maybe I’ll be able to do something with it. And, if I talk down the price, it wouldn’t be too chancy.”

Dean: “Like what could you do with it?”

Me: “How about repurposing it into a shelving unit for a nursery changing table, storage unit for a bathroom, a kitchen island, or living room entertainment center? Someone could fill the shelves with baskets for storage instead of drawers….” -I was already attached.

Dean, knowing he can’t talk me down: “Go ahead and make an offer on it….”

-Yes my dear, sweet friends… I paid money for this.

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I felt like I found a little piece of gold in the back of that store. I mean… it did need a little work. And by “little” I mean a couple hours of sanding, a complete new build for the back and shelves, caulk, primer, and 5 coats of paint. Yes, this baby took some elbow grease indeed.

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But with some effort, I was able to accomplish what I set out to. I took this vintage dresser with wheels and transformed it into a perfect mobile shelving unit ready for someone’s bathroom, kitchen, living room, or bedroom. Take a look!

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I started by removing the veneer from the top of the dresser. Underneath was solid wood, so with a lot of sanding (starting with 80 grit, then 120, and 220) I was able to smooth out the surface and repair the wood. I stained it with General Finishes Java Gel, sealed with a protective water-based coat, and then whitewashed the top. The reason I sealed with a water-based coat in between is because a polyurethane would have yellowed the white paint in my whitewash. I think this effect really tells the story of the age and character of the piece.

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I took off the back of the piece, because it was water damaged, and replaced it with beadboard from Home Depot. This gives the back some dimension and it now has a slatted look that really adds to the character (and weight) of the dresser/shelf -this baby is heavy duty now!

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I gave the edges a light distressing.

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I used Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint (I love the stuff!) for the entire body after I primed it with Zinsser Shellac paint. I finished it by sealing it in General Finishes High Performance Top Coat (this stuff is a great protective topcoat!).

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I’m really excited about this piece because it’s now sitting in a pop-up furniture store in Hyattsville, MD (in the D.C. area) and the grand opening of the store is on Sunday November 6th. This pop-up store is a great space surrounded by some other awesome local businesses! Check out this link if you’re interested in seeing this beauty, and a ton of other incredible finds, in person.

I’m also selling a few of my pieces through a group called the Artisan Markets on Facebook. These online markets are a national group of artisans who create quality furniture, you should really check us out and look for a group in your area (Facebook is the best place to search)!

Thanks for checking out the before and after of this Goodwill find and hanging out with me!

Until next time,

-Beth

 

A Storage Chest for Baby Joey

When we first arrived in Maryland in May of this year, Dean and I didn’t know anyone.

The day we stepped foot in the state, was our first night to call it home. With a full moving truck, tired feet, and excitement in each breath, we’ve been working to make this place feel like our home ever since.

While Dean was busy getting settled into his new squadron, new place of work, new commute, new job, I was staring straight into the emptiness of mine. There was no structure waiting for me, no path or direction, no email telling me when to show up. Those were long days unpacking and working by myself. I’m a creator, an artisan, and totally new to running my own business and working by myself, so there were many days I felt at a loss in a new city, not knowing a soul but still trying to create something out of nothing. Our worlds are so different, but getting to support each other in our careers is enriching our marriage and making us a better team!

This morning I spent some time praying and reflecting on the last 5 months. This time has shown me that with faith, patience, and a load of grace, God moves. Doors have been opened where walls once only existed, relationships have been formed, new adventures have begun, and I feel dizzy with excitement and overwhelmed by the love of God, my family, and friends (both old and new) as my life is daily enriched with new challenges and blessings! I’m so glad I took the chance to pursue Restored Living as my full-time career. I’m grateful I faced the down days with the support of my incredible husband, and that I’m able to shut the door on doubt and fear when I don’t feel good enough or like I’ll make it on my own. Pursuing your dreams takes hard work, huh?

This post today is brought to you by Facebook! I’m grateful for Facebook and the infinite groups it holds, because it really is an open door into the lives of so many people. From a simple post on a military spouse page, I got to meet Stephanie. Not only is she a fellow interior design and creative enthusiast, she has spent years of her life in Texas -FRIENDSHIP BONUS!

This new friend and sweet soul, allowed me to recreate a garage sale storage chest she had picked up for a project such as this! She has a beautiful baby boy, Joey, and this chest is to go in his nursery. I love getting to be part of enriching people’s homes with beautiful custom furniture that fits their needs and makes them happy!

Take a look at what Stephanie gave to me and see if you could have seen this for what is could be, instead of what it was!

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I imagine this chest was originally purchased from a store like Marshalls, Target, or Home Goods. We see trendy, cheap furniture like this often. You know, the mass-produced kind that seem like a good idea until we actually use it and remember we should have just saved our money for something of better quality! I’m not knocking on those who can’t afford new, quality furniture, but there is so much creativity that can go into transforming old, broken, solid-wood pieces into usable, beautiful pieces again -and you won’t regret the satisfaction of a table that doesn’t break, a bookshelf that doesn’t bend, and drawers that don’t pop apart!

For example, I found out the hard way when I started taking this piece apart that the quality wasn’t great. The material ripped easily, the sides were weak, thin wood, and the structure itself was crooked… but don’t worry, I changed that. With any amount of dedication and hard work you can make something better, and that’s the outlook I had with this little storage chest.

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Stephanie has an imagination for the things that can be, and she believes in it! I know I’ll get along with anyone who is able to look at a boring piece of furniture covered in a pleather (plastic leather) material that is passed its short-lived prime and can still cast a new vision for it. Stephanie gave me ample room to be creative and do what I felt was best, which was so exciting!

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RANT -I know most used furniture is logically going to be dirty. Dust, food stains, grime and even more disgusting goodies are part of the package… but there is something about cat hair that makes my skin crawl. And don’t argue that this was dog hair. Dogs are way too smart to cuddle up in a storage chest where they could be shut in! 😉 I digress.

Stephanie picked out the material she wanted for the top, a fun gray and soft white dotted pattern, and I recommended I recreate the sides with wood to add quality in both the material and look. We had a plan and we moved forward!

Like most projects, things take a little longer than you think they will, but I learned so much and I’m glad I rebuilt the sides with a paneled wood. Look at the fruits of our effort!

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New life. I’ll never get tired of it. 🙂 Is it even the same chest? Arguably, yes. Seriously, no!

I stripped all the material off the sides down to the frame, sanded the feet, and added the new siding. You can tell a lot about a piece by the quality of its bones… this one was pretty crooked and askew. Corners didn’t line up exactly right. I did the best I could with the alignment and then filled in any gaps with a stainable wood filler, which worked great!

I stained everything (feet and sides) in General Finishes’ Java Gel stain (because I’m obsessed with the stuff) and finished with a couple coats of a Minwax Polyurethane. This chest is heavy-duty now!

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Isn’t the fabric adorable? It was wonderfully thick and soft. I think it transformed this chest from a plasticy-boring piece of stock furniture, to a beautiful custom storage piece.

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I upholstered the inside of the chest in a gray fabric to match the cushioned seat. I went to a local fabric store and picked out the sale scrap fabric to save money and save on waste! There’s no sense in throwing those cuts away when this chest will be full of toys or linens and you won’t notice the inside color! The biggest plus? -No cat hair.

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I can say I learned the most upholstering the inside of the chest which was a challenge. I feel like it turned out great though!

I’ll leave you will one more take of the before, and beautiful after!

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This morning I’m truly overwhelmed with the goodness of God, and the opportunities that are coming my way. I appreciate you taking the time to read this, follow my blog, and partake in this very personal adventure of mine. I have faith that this is just the beginning of many opportunities recreating furniture for people’s homes in this new area. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the transformation!

I hope the rest of your week is full of pursuing your dreams and living each day to the fullest!

Thanks again for being here with me,

Beth