Wednesday, November 19, 2014

American Girl Doll Cabinet Makeover

When this vintage/antique cabinet that had been redone with a 1980s stenciled creation showed up for me to rescue, I fell in love with it immediately.  It was long overdue for a new overhaul and new purpose.  Upon removing the paint from the top, I quickly realized that the wood was not uniform around the cabinet and it would need be kept a painted piece rather than stained.  Having grown up with a dislike for dolls, and now being a mother of only boys, I laughed at the original suggestion of a doll cabinet from my neighbor.  However, this American Girl craze had me thinking.  Not only was thinking, "Thank God I have boys!" but that this would be the perfect height for a little girl's doll collection. 

So I primed and painted over the stencils.  Painted the whole cabinet white.  Then I traced out a plain star so not to fully copy the American Girl logo.  The rest was easy with filling in the star, putting a coat of seal for the paint and shining up the brass drawer pulls.  Did I mention the real brass pulls?  Under the years of tarnish were shiny brass pulls!  This is why I love working with other people's castaways.  They often don't know what they've thrown away. 

It didn't take much except some paint, fine motor skills, and elbow grease.  However, hopefully this Christmas a little girl will be surprised with a new cabinet for her American Girl Doll collection.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

End Table Checkerboard Fail and Redo

I had seen this great pin on Pinterest from Minwax about how you can stain a checkerboard right into the top of a table.  I was up for the challenge and purchased my $5 yard sale table to being the project.  However, when I sanded down the stain off the top, I found the wood to be a knotty pine that would never in a million years cooperate with a checker pattern.  With my luck the dark knots would end up right where the light squares should be.  So I moved on to plan B.

I had already purchased the Minwax Polyshades in Pecan for the first round of the checkerboard so I stained the top and drawer in this shade.  Three coats later, I liked the color and moved on to the legs.  The dark knots needed to be paired with a dark charcoal bottom.  The contrast is more than I would normally choose, but I liked the outcome.  I swapped out the dainty white knobs for small black ones and a new end table is born (without checkers).

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Salvaged Headboard becomes a new Coat Rack

"I see dead people" was a line from the movie, The Sixth Sense.  That's how I feel sometimes when I see a piece of discarded furniture.   Of course, I don't see dead people, but sometimes I look at it and see something that my family can't see.  In this case, I saw a headboard in my neighbor's trash that I just had to have because I saw a new coat rack.  My husband couldn't see it but he played along and helped me carry it to our deck where he sawed off the legs so we could store it for a "rainy day" when I had more time.  That time finally came this fall.

I got to work on sanding the rough spots, painting on the primer, then the gray paint.  Of course, I had to sand all my drips and start again.  Those circles in the center were not as easy to work with as I originally thought!
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Once I had the paint as I'd wanted, I tried to add an accent color to the indent in the circles but nothing seemed to work.  So I primed and painted again.  In the end, I found the starfish/stars for the corners as accent pieces and put on black hooks.  I thought maybe simple is better.  And the finished product is nothing like the original headboard!  I'd love to say I'm keeping this piece, but at 5 feet long, we don't have a mudroom or entryway large enough.  So it's been purchased by someone who can enjoy it in their home!
The finished product

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mahogany Woodard Antique Dresser Finds a New Home

[UPDATE:  This dresser sold to a young couple in Philadelphia and now resides in their 1920s home along side other antiques.]

Without all the hardware, my husband is holding it up for the photo

Repurposing furniture or renewing furniture with a fresh coat of paint is the new craze these days but sparing an antique is not so popular.  Sometimes, history is worth saving from the paint brush so it can be appreciated for just as it was meant to be.  When I came upon this old 3 drawer dresser with the swivel mirror, it was covered in spider egg sacks, lots of dust and in need of a good oil rub.  I brought it home and thought about a "project".  It wasn't until I started researching the label on the back that I decided to spare this dresser the paint brush or sander and maintain it the best I could as a piece of history.
The Woodard Furniture company, 1880-1930

Afterall, Woodard Furniture was known for it's high quality wood and craftsmanship. When the quality wood was no longer available in 1930, the company turned to the wrought iron patio furniture business that they are known for today.  This dresser that I had acquired was no exception to their quality.  It was rock solid and had stood the test of time of 100+ years.  It deserved to keep on standing in all it's beauty.  So I got to work to expose the beautiful details that made it known for it's quality.  With a litte lemon oil on the inside (to get rid of the old smell) and a cleaning on the outside to evict the spiders, we were on our way.  I ordered new mirror hardware, only to discover later that all the original pieces were there.  I'm sure in the end this would look great covered in chalk paint, or turned into something new. I have no doubt.  But with the history this holds, I wanted to spare one and keep it "as is" for a little longer.  Look at the details below.
Dovetail drawers
Gorgeous wood after a little lemon oil
Keyholes on every drawer
Corner moulding
Almost finished, you can just smell the history!