60. Before and After: Antique China Cabinet

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I’ll be joining the festivities later this evening, but first, a blog post.

I promised to make last week all about furniture.  I failed to keep this promise and only wrote one post.  Shame on me!  Let’s try this again.  Hopefully I’ll find the time to write up everything on my list!

Today’s before and after is a lovely antique china cabinet I found on Craigslist.  The young lady who sold it to me only wanted $35!

antique china cabinetIt’s hard to tell from the photo, but the wood was not exactly in great shape.  I decided to paint the cabinet, and decided on a deep turquoise from Behr called “Caribe”.

behr caribe

Source: Home Depot

Jason ended up being the one who painted this cabinet; I had a lot of projects going on at that time, and we just wanted to get them DONE.  I think he did an excellent job.

antique china cabinetThis cabinet got painted almost two years ago.  I use it for storing all my yarn and knitting accessories, and the fact that it didn’t have a handle was super annoying.  Last month, I went back to Home Depot and bought an antique-style cabinet pull, drilled a few holes in the door, and installed the handle.  Much, much better.

antique china cabinetYou’ll notice that the paint job has gotten quite a few dings.  We moved since acquiring the cabinet, and it’s moved around a bit in our new place.  Battle scars, my friends.  Battle scars.  I think they add a bit of character, so I probably won’t fix them.  I also don’t have any more of this paint, so I’m sure that also has something to do with my lack of caring.

before and after antique china cabinetI seriously cannot believe it took me so long to show you this cabinet!  The worst case of procrastination if I ever saw one.  Make sure to check back tomorrow, because I’ll be showing you another furniture makeover: a set of vintage dressers!


Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

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

41. A birthday gift for my mom.

My mom’s birthday was back at the beginning of October, and I promised her that I would refinish a pair chairs I picked up from Craigslist a while back as her gift.  She’ll be using them in her living room as additional seating.

The story behind these chairs is actually a bit quirky.  I sent an inquiry to the poster of the Craigslist ad, offering him $20 for both chairs (which are really just wood frames…I have to add the cushions on my own).  Lo and behold, the owner of said chairs was one of my husband’s previous co-workers.  Such a small world!

The frames for the chairs are solid wood, and they are HEAVY.  The original paint job was black and gross.  I initially intended to keep the chairs for myself, and originally stripped the paint thinking I could then sand them down and give them a clear coat.  The wood ended up being no so great, and the paint was a pain in the ass to get off.  I ended up painting ONE of the frames gray, and added some custom cushions.  You can actually see this chair in the background of our living room in the photo I showed in this post.

Here it is again to refresh your memory:

living room chair
It’s a terrible photo, I know, but I can’t seem to find any “before” shots.  I’ll have to snap a photo of the unfinished frame that is currently sitting in our basement…it is still half stripped and VERY ugly.

I decided that the chairs were too large for our space, and we don’t really need them as both couches are fairly large and provide plenty of seating.  My mom needs some extra seating for her living room, so I decided if I couldn’t keep them for me, who better to give them to?

I went through tons of fabric options with her (based on the color of her couch), and we decided on a cool blue linen for the cushions, with a nice floral print for accent pillows.  I’ll also be painting the frames a deep brown (“Espresso Beans” from Behr).


Source: fabric.com


Source: fabric.com

I really love the print, and I’m actually surprised that she picked it.  My mom doesn’t normally go for prints, but this one is pretty neutral, and has lots of color options to use as accents.

Don’t the fabrics look fantastic with the the deep, dark brown I’ll be using for the frames?

I’m hoping I can finally finish these up over the next week or so, especially now that the custom cushions are in.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my progress!


Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

4. A Descent into the Maelström

Yes, the title is another reference to literary fiction.  You’ll find I’m never lacking in that sort of thing!  I will let you be the one to look this one up and find out who wrote the short story bearing this title.  Hint: NEVERMORE.

Anyway, I’ve been MIA for quite a while.  Although it would seem, given my lengthy absence, that I should have gobs of photos from finished projects…alas, I do not.  But dry your eye, my dear friend, as there may be lovely things in the very near future!  I currently have FOUR ongoing projects.

1. A vintage metal cabinet that I am in the process of stripping and refinishing to add much needed storage in our kitchen.

2. An antique china cabinet I will be painting and using for storage in my craft room/office (which is currently piled high with items I have “no place for”).

3. Matching “cheapy” nightstands that I need to paint to match our dresser…which is also unfinished.

4. Unfinished dresser set (one is in our bedroom, one is in the hallway).

I bought all of these items from Craigslist.  The grand total?  $127.  Yep, you read that correctly!  One hundred and twenty-seven dollars for two dressers, two nightstands, a large vintage metal cabinet, and a large antique china cabinet.  Most of my friends and family know that I am the champion of getting the best deal possible.  I did, afterall, plan our entire wedding for under $10,000 (and it was a “regular” wedding, not a cheapo one)!

The next items on my shopping list include a sectional sofa (I found a beautiful vintage one from the 60s, just waiting to hear back!), a bigger dining room table and 8 chairs, a piano, and some sort of storage cabinet/shelf for the bathroom.

A whirlpool of furniture awaits me!




Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

2. For the love of Craigslist.

I have a serious obsession with Craigslist.  I’m often perusing the site to see what sort of goodies random strangers are peddling.  Nothing ceases to amaze me anymore.  Not even this: http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/zip/3144931543.html

Anyway…Jason and I moved to a new place on July 1st.  It’s the upper duplex of a home built in 1905, it’s in Bay View, and I love it.  We decided to pare down on our belongings before the move for two main reasons.  First, it would be less junk to haul up a flight of stairs.  Second, all of our furniture was a clash of different styles, and nothing really “went” together.  It’s my goal to have a home with a cohesive design, or at least matching (or mostly matching) furniture.  We also had a real problem with clutter.  Okay, I’m the one with the clutter problem, but I do declare that it’s because I never had a proper “home” for any of my things.  No more, I say.  No more.

Back to Craigslist, we recently made some awesome purchases from two different “vendors”.  The first was a pretty nifty vintage metal cabinet.  It will be perfect for all of my craft supplies, which currently reside in a myriad of boxes, bags, and plastic containers.  Quite the steal for $25!

Isn’t she a beauty?


There are some minor rust issues I need to take care of, and she could definitely use a new coat of paint…but it’s nothing I can’t handle.

Our second find was a set of dressers with a matching mirror.  They aren’t solid “wood”, but they are perfect for painting and distressing (something I’ve wanted to try for quite a while).  We got these babies for only $65, and that included a $15 delivery charge.   Not bad, huh?




As Jason and I are newlyweds, we don’t have a ton of money to spend on furniture.  However, this doesn’t mean we can’t have a beautiful home.  I just need to be creative with the money we do have!

I started painting and distressing the long dresser this past weekend, and I have to tell you: It looks amazing.  I seriously cannot wait to show off the final results!

Stay tuned, and stay classy.



Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!