61. Before and After: Vintage Dressers

So…yeah.  I’ve been really terrible at keeping up with this blog lately.  I blame the nice weather!  And going to the gym.  Both fabulous excuses, if you ask me.

Here’s the next post in my furniture series: a lovely makeover involving a set of vintage dressers.  Vintage Kroehler dressers!  That I found on Craigslist for $65.  (You know I’m patting myself on the back over here…)

Here’s what they looked like when we first got them home.

vintage dressers

vintage dressers

vintage dressers
I sanded them and gave them a couple of coats of Behr Popped Corn, which is a nice “warm” white.  I also gave them a bit of distressing with a sanding block and a cheese knife shaped like a miniature meat cleaver.  My tools known no bounds.

Don’t they look perty?

vintage dressers

vintage dressers
I’d eventually like to switch out the hardware to something a little more modern, but they work for now.  Drawer pulls are expensive, and mama’s gots bills ta pay!

Happy Monday, fools.

XO,
Gabriella

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Do you like fashion?  Check out my newest blog, Gabby Gets Dressed!

49. Made From Scratch: DIY Rustic Dining Table (UPDATED!)

Remember our DIY dining table?  I showed it to you in August of last year.  I’ve realized that the instructions I gave could use some improvement…especially after I realized our table was sagging a bit on one side.  The good news is that I fixed it with my AWESOME new drill, and you reap the benefits by getting an improved building plan.

DIY Rustic Dining Table

Materials:

2 – 2x10x12 boards (make sure these babies are STRAIGHT! no warping allowed)
2- 1x4x8 board
4 hairpin legs, standard height (28″)
1-5/8″ wood screws
circular saw (if you plan on doing your own cutting…but most hardware stores will do the cutting for you!)
drill
screwdriver
sander
sawhorse legs (or a long workbench if you have one!)
large clamps
medium and fine grit sandpaper
wood glue
wood filler
several old rags/t-shirts
prestain
stain and/or Danish oil
wood sealant (we used wax paste, but you can also use polyurethane)

Directions:

1.  Cut the 2x10x12 boards exactly in half; this will give you four boards that are each 72″ (6 ft) long.  Take some time laying the boards out to figure out which boards should go next to each other, and also decide which side of the board will face up for the top of the table.  Some of the wood may have small stamp marks, but don’t worry too much about trying to hide these…those marks will come off with the great deal of sanding you’ll be doing later!

diy rustic dining table

2.  Flip all of the boards over LENGTHWISE to ensure that the boards will remain in the correct order.  At this point, you will want to transfer the boards to the sawhorse foundation, or to a workbench if you have a large enough space.  Run a strip of wood glue down each edge of the boards (where they will be touching in the finished project).  Secure the boards together with clamps.

diy rustic dining table instructions

3.  While the glue is drying, cut the 1x4x8 boards into 6 pieces, each 32″ long (you’ll only use 5 of the pieces).  Apply wood glue to one side of each board, and position the boards across the existing boards: one at the center, one at each end, about 3″ from the edge of the table, and space the last two boards evenly between the end and middle boards.  Predrill holes for the screws across the board, spacing the holes about 3-4″ apart.  MAKE SURE TO PREDRILL THE HOLES!  If you don’t, your wood may split later on, and all your work will be for naught!  Secure these supports to the table top using 1-5/8″ wood screws.

diy rustic dining table instructions

4.  Allow the wood glue to dry completely.  After the glue has dried, flip the table top over.  Using your fingers and some wood filler, fill the gaps between the boards (this process is pretty similar to caulking a tub).  Don’t forget about the ends of the table, too!  You should also fill in any splitting knots; they might look cool, but they can split further and ruin your handiwork.

5.  After the wood filler is set and dry (which shouldn’t take too long), it’s time for the “fun” part…the sanding!  This is honestly the part of the construction that takes the most time, and rightly so.  You want the finished project to be smooth and splinter free!  We did two rounds of sanding: one with medium grit sandpaper, and one with fine grit sand paper.  We also used two different types of sanders.  A belt sander is great for smoothing out the length of the boards, while an orbital sander works like a boss to finish off the edges.  If you are looking for a more rustic finish, make sure to pay extra attention to the edges and corners of the table; really round those babies off to give the appearance of age.

diy rustic dining table instructions

6. When you’ve finished the exhausting amount of sanding required to get a nice, smooth surface, wipe off all that dust with some old rags.

7.  Apply a coat of pre-stain using a clean rag.  The pre-stain is optional, but it really helps with an even coat of stain and prevents blotches.  Allow to set for about five minutes, and wipe off excess stain with another clean rag.

8.  Now it’s time to add the finish of your choice!  To get our desired color (a dark brown with gray undertones), we used two different types of finish.  We did two coats of Minwax Wood Finish in “Classic Gray” followed by two coats of Watco Danish Oil in “Dark Walnut”.  Make sure to follow the directions on the container and allow each coat to dry for the suggested amount of time before wiping off the excess and applying the next coat.  We used rags to apply/wipe off both products; I think rags lend themselves to a better application and more coverage than a paintbrush.

Here is what the table looked like after both stains had been applied and allowed to set overnight:

diy rustic dining table instructions

9. After the stain has dried completely, flip the table top over and attach the legs.  I ordered legs from hairpinlegs.com.  They are 28″ standard height 3-rod hairpin legs in raw steel (they are listed in the “Sale Items” section for $20 a piece).

IMPORTANT: Raw steel will rust, even indoors!  I had to learn this the hard way…I’m passing on my knowledge to you so the same does not occur.  In order to prevent rusting, just cover your legs with a few coats of matte acrylic spray.

diy rustic dining table instructions

10.  Finally, it’s time to add the protective topcoat.  I really loathe “shiny” wood, so we opted for a wax finish.  It will have to be reapplied every year, but it has a more natural finish and still protects the table from water stains.  Make sure to follow that manufacturer’s instructions for whatever topcoat you choose, but with wax, you just rub on/off with cheesecloth and buff it out.

Voilà, you have your very own rustic dining table…and you made it all by yourself!

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I was incredibly apprehensive about starting this project, mostly due to the fact that neither my husband or I had ever built anything!  This project ended up being a lot easier than I thought, especially since Home Depot did all the cutting for us.  If we can build it, you can, too!  The best part: this table only cost us about $150 to build (including the cost of all materials).

diy rustic dining table instructions

If you do decide to build a table using our plans, please share them!  I’d love to see how it turns out. 🙂

XO,
Gabriella

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36. Yet another glorious Craigslist find!

I rearranged our living room furniture a while back and, in the process, moved in a large bookshelf from our dining room.  The real estate formerly taken up by the bookshelf was now quite bare, and I was considering two options.  First, I thought a buffet might be nice, but…what would I put in it?  It would basically just sit there and look nice, but I wasn’t sure what stuff I would actually cram in the thing.  Option 2: a desk.  Yes!  However, it has to look awesome and cost not a lot of money.  Guess where I’ve been looking?  (If you didn’t say Craigslist, you obviously don’t know me that well.  Alternatively, you live under a rock.)

I was taking a gander at CL this morning, when I stumbled upon the perfect candidate…for only $35!  I rubbed my eyes and pinched myself, but it really was a beautiful, antique desk for 35 smackaroos.

It’s seriously perfect for the space.

Here it is!

It’s missing hardware, but the wood is in fantastic condition.  The photo above is BEFORE I even wiped it down and polished it up!  I’ve been on a painting kick with furniture lately, but this desk is in such nice condition, I’ve decided to leave the finish “as-is”.  Are you shocked, or what?

I’m thinking of ordering some cup pulls in an antique brass finish, and the drawers will get a nice wipe out (they are gah-ROSS right now) followed by a lining of pretty patterned contact paper.  I’ll make sure to update you on the final product!

So, have you found any goodies on the cheap lately?

Oh, Craigslist…how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways…

XO,
Gabriella

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31. Good news and bad news.

I hate that I don’t have a good post for today, but I promise there is a valid explanation!  This brings to me to the bad news, which I will discuss first to get it done and over with to leave you with a good, happy feeling.

A friend’s puppy chewed through the power adaptor for my Macbook, so my poor laptop is dead until I get a new charger.  Said friend has graciously bought me a new charger, but it won’t be here until Monday.  I have lots of project photos on my laptop, which, of course, I can’t access until then.  Sadness all around.

Also, Fabric.com cancelled yet ANOTHER one of the fabrics I ordered.  Luckily,  I was having second thoughts about my choice, and I had only ordered a yard of this one anyway.

Premier Prints Penmanship Denim Blue/Natural

Premier Prints Penmanship Denim Blue/Natural

Now for the good news: my orders from Foam Factory and Fabric.com are being delivered tomorrow!  Woohoo!  This means I’ll FINALLY be able to finish our platform bed and conjure up some projects for a few additonal posts. 

Here’s what’s coming up soon:

Made from Scratch: Upholstered Platform Bed (Restoration Hardware Knockoff)
Made from Scratch: White Shag Carpet Runners
Before and After: Framed Prints from Goodwill
Before and After: Ikea Expedit Hack

I’m really hoping to get all of these things up within the next week or so.  Super exciting!

XO,
Gabriella

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30. Sneak peek at my IKEA Expedit makeover!

I am doing something today that I rarely ever do…I’m showing you a project that I’m not finished with yet!

Gasp!  Shock!  Awe!  (I have to break out of my comfort zone sometime.)

I recently decided that I was no longer in love with our IKEA Expedit bookshelf.  We have the 4×4 version in black-brown.

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Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great piece of furniture!  Really sturdy with plenty of storage space.  However, my decorating has recently veered towards lighter colored furniture, and the color of this shelving was (in my opinion, anyway) darkening the room.  It’s just…blah.  You know what I mean?  I originally planned to get rid of it, but then I had a bright idea:  why not just give it a fresh look?

I, of course, went looking through tons of inspiration photos.  I love this one.

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Source: flickr.com

I will similarly be adding eight doors to the bookcase to make it more like a cabinet, but they’ll go on in a different layout (down the center two columns instead of across two non-adjacent rows).  I’ll hang the doors so they open out like a cabinet instead of opening in the same direction.  Genius idea, right?

Before that happens, though, this baby needed a new color.  I used some of the gray we had left over from painting the spare bedroom.  It’s Behr; I think it’s called “Dark Pewter”.

How pretty does she look now?!

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I’m super happy with how it’s turning out.  I definitely don’t want to get rid of it now!

I also got in the hinges and door pulls I ordered from Home Depot.  They have an antique gold finish, and the pulls are lion’s heads.  Super quirky and fun!

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I’ll hopefully get this cabinet completely finished by the end of the week, so make sure to stop back to feast your eyes upon the final product!  You know you wanna.

XO,
Gabriella

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29. Update on fabric order.

I’m super sad!

I got an email from fabric.com today telling me they no longer have enough of one of my fabric choices. 😦

This is the one I won’t be getting:

I needed 6.5 yards of this for a secret project I’m working on, but they only had 6 yards available…in two separate pieces!  I had two options: take what they had or cancel the item.  I opted to cancel because 6 yards would have barely been enough, and that’s if it was one continuous piece of fabric.  Now I have to pick out a new fabric and place another order.  First-world problems, I guess.

On a better note, tonight is my first class of the semester!  I’m teaching Analytical Chemistry at a local university.  I’ve been teaching there for almost three years, and I really love it!  It’s a lot of time and work, but very rewarding…and the extra chunk of change in my bank account every month doesn’t hurt either!

I hope you’re having a fabulous Monday. 🙂

XO,
Gabriella

 

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27. New fabrics and foam are on the way!

Today is payday!  Woohoo!

I made a few purchases today that I’ve been putting off; I’m so excited for the packages to get here so I can finish the projects they belong to!

I ordered two pieces of foam from The Foam Factory.  I’ve priced out a bunch of different online retailers, as well as Joann Fabric, and this company was by far the cheapest…even compared to using a coupon at Joann Fabric!  The best part is you can order exactly the size foam you need for a project, which means I won’t have to cut it down myself.  I’ve done that once before…and it is painstakingly awful.  No thanks!  They also provide free shipping on order over $75.  [On a side note…why is foam so expensive???]

The first piece of foam, 2″x48″x63″, is for the headboard on the upholstered bed we’ve been working on.  It’s finally going to get finished!  The second piece of foam, 4″x24″x48″, will get used for the custom ottoman I’m making.  You know there will be a tutorial in the near future!

I also made a purchase from fabric.com.  I seriously love browsing through all the beautiful options, and I swear I haven’t found prices any better!  I’ve bought from them many times and I’m never disappointed.  Here are the beauties I picked out this time!

I can’t wait to show you my plans for all this gorgeous fabric!  I’ll make sure to keep posting other cool things in the meantime.

Enjoy your weekend!

XO,
Gabriella

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