79. Before and After: Tiered Shelf

Guess what? I turned that trash shelf into something gorgeous!

I think this might be one the quickest furniture makeovers I’ve ever done.  There are still things sitting finished in my apartment that I haven’t written about yet, but this one I got done in record time AND actually took proper before and after photos.  I’m patting myself on the back right now, you should see it.  I look pretty ridiculous.

Let’s start off with the before shots:

tieredshelfbefore

Meh.

Definitely not in the best condition, but definitely not awful.  It just needed some tender loving care!

I started off by lightly sanding to the whole thing and giving it two coats of Behr Premium Plus paint in the shade “Mountain Pine”.

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Image credit: thehomedepot.com

I really like this color.  It’s even prettier in person!  Just wait.

After the second coat of paint (which I let dry for ~24 hours), I distressed all the edges by sanding with a light grade sand paper.  Super easy.

tieredshelfcloseup

After that, I decided that the finished piece would need a little more pizzazz, something to make it look more expensive…or at least like I did something else to it besides slap on a coat of paint.  The solution I came up with: stamped aluminum sheets.  These are sold in the building supply aisle of hardware stores; I got mine at Home Depot (exact here).

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I measured the inside portion of all the shelves and cut out the appropriate size from the larger sheet using tin snips.  A word of caution: Definitely wear gloves and eye protection when cutting!  I tore up my fingers in the process and am still wearing bandages. :/

After I had the sheets cut out to the sizes I wanted, I used contact cement (exact here) to adhere the sheeting to the inside of the shelves.  I chose to close off three sides, but doing just two sides or just the back would also be a great choice!  This stuff works really well, but it is SMELLY.  Definitely use this stuff outside if possible, or at least somewhere you can open a ton of windows.  It’s fairly simple to use: paint both surfaces you want to stick together, let the stuff dry until it gets “glossy” (i.e. shiny), and then press the two surfaces together.  The only downside is you can’t really readjust once you put the surfaces together, so try to be as precise as possible!

The finished product, which I absolutely adore:

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tieredshelfafter

tieredshelfafter_closeup1

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So, what do you think?  Did I do the piece justice?!  I honestly think it’s super cute.  I was going to sell it, but I’ve decided to keep it instead.  What the crap…I’m turning into a hoarder.

beforeaftershelf

Thanks for reading, check back soon for more transformations!

XO,
Gabriella

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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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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!

XO,
Gabriella

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59. Before and After: Vintage Desk

I’ve decided to dedicate this week to furniture.  There are actually several finished projects in my flat that I haven’t showed you!  How terrible of me.  Today, I’ll show you the newest addition to our household, a beautiful vintage desk for my husband, Jason.

My husband recently started working from home, and he was in need of a new desk.  A real desk.  Something better than the cheapo Ikea tables we had sutured together like Frankenfurniture.  I stopped by our local ReStore on Friday afternoon, and found this handsome fella.

vintage desk furniture makeover
He was a bit tired and had some broken hardware, but overall in great condition and very sturdy.  The price tag said $40, but lucky for me green tags were 20% off.  The final cost was $33.79 including tax.

I couldn’t bring this guy home that night (I had a performance with my dear friend Lex Allen), but I made a pit stop at Home Depot on the way home to pick out some paint.  I decided on “Curry Powder” for the main body and “Ethiopia” for the drawer fronts, both colors by Behr.

I bought a quart of the main color and a tester for the drawer fronts.  The total for paint was $19.24.  I wanted to buy new hardware while I was there, but I wasn’t able to measure the current hardware in order to purchase the correct size.

Jason and I picked up the desk on Saturday morning, along with some hardware from Home Depot.  Four new drawer pulls came out to $21.04, bringing the grand total for the desk to $74.07.  A steal, if you ask me.

I got to work as soon as we got home.  Jason helped me sand all the surfaces with medium grit sanding blocks.  After wiping off all the dust, I gave the main body of the desk three coats of paint; the drawer fronts got two coats.  I let the desk sit overnight to cure before adding the new hardware and moving it to its “permanent” position.

I really love how it turned out, don’t you?

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Make sure to come back all this week to see my other furniture transformations!  I’ll also be posting tutorials for our platform bed (finally!) and a cute ottoman I built from scratch.

Happy Monday!

vintage desk furniture makeover

XO,
Gabriella

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42. Before and After: IKEA Expedit Hack

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of The Home Depot, and this post contains affiliate links to homedepot.com.  I am not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely mine. If I claim or appear to be an expert on a certain topic or product or service area, I will only endorse products or services that I believe, based on my expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

Hey, remember back in September when I showed you a sneak peek of the IKEA Expedit shelving system makeover?  It’s FINALLY finished!

To refresh your memory, this is what I started with:

ikea expedit
Now, I am happy to present you with the final product!

Boom goes the dynamite:

ikea expedit hack
I cannot tell you how excited I am that it’s finally done.  Well, I guess I did just tell you…I’m excited that it’s finally done!

If you want to accomplish something similar, you’re in luck; I’m going to tell you how to do it.

IKEA Expedit Makeover

Materials:

Assembled IKEA Expedit shelving system
Plastic dropcloth
Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer
BEHR Premium Plus Ultra Paint in Dark Pewter
Paint brush
Foam roller
Small paint tray
Fine/Medium sanding block
1/4″ sanded pine plywood, cut into 13″ squares (8 total)
Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner
Minwax Wood Finish in “Early American”
Clean rags (old t-shirts work well)
Rubber gloves
16 hinges (two per door)
8 cabinet pulls
Gorilla glue
Drill and drill bits
Phillips head screwdriver


Buy Online, Pick Up in Store. Now available at a H

Directions:

Step 1: First, make sure to lay down a drop cloth to protect the floor in your work area.  Wipe down the cabinet with a mild cleaner.  You don’t want any dust or dirt or your finished paint job will look (and feel) gritty!

Step 2: Add a thin coat of primer to the entire cabinet.  Allow to dry for at least an hour. (I used this Zinnser primer because it sticks to ANYTHING, even veneers, without having to sand the surface first.  Sounds good to me!)

ikea expedit hack
Step 3: Lightly sand the first coat and wipe down with an old rag.  Again, make sure you get rid of all the dust.

Step 4: Add a second coat of primer.  Trust me, you want two coats if you’d like the top coats of paint to stay put!  Allow the second coat to dry for a full 24 hours.

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Step 5: Lightly sand the cabinet and wipe it down.  You’ll start to notice a pattern here…

Step 6: Add 2 coats of the Behr paint, making sure to sand after the first coat.  I used the foam roller for these coats, just to make sure everything was nice and smooth.

ikea expedit hack
Step 7: Sand all the edges of the 8 cabinet doors.  They don’t need to be perfectly smooth, but you don’t want to give yourself a splinter every time you open one of the doors.

Step 8: Choose which side will be the front of each door, and 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 5 min, and wipe off excess stain with another clean rag.

Step 9: Apply the stain and allow to set until the desired color is achieved; I had mine on for about 10 minutes.  Wipe off excess stain with a clean rag, and allow doors to dry for several hours.

raw wood stained wood

Step 10: Measure and mark for a hole to mount the cabinet pull.  I placed my pulls at the center (6.5″), 1.5″ in from the edge.  Drill a hole using the suggested drill bit (it should say on the package).  Attach the cabinet pulls.

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If you like the pulls I used, you can get the same ones
here
.

Step 11: Measure for placement of the hinges.  I placed mine 1.5″ from the edge (on each side).  To attach the hinges, I ended up using gorilla glue; I couldn’t find screws short enough for the 1/4″ plywood (the screws need to grab the wood without going completely through).  If you decided to go this route, make sure to either clamp down the hinges while they dry or stack some heavy books on top.  I used a bunch of old textbooks and it worked like a charm.  Allow the glue to dry for several hours.

Important: You will need to purchase inset hinges for this project.  I used a set similar to
these
.

Step 12: Pre-drill holes for the hinges, and attach the cabinet doors.  Make sure to leave a small amount of room for the doors to swing in and out (I used a straight-edge to set the doors a tiny bit above the shelves so there wouldn’t be any friction).

cabinet details

That’s it!  I had the cabinet painted and sitting in my living room for the longest time, but I’ve been so busy the rest of the materials just sat around for the past two months.  With Thanksgiving coming up (which we are hosting), I decided it was about time to finish up this project once and for all…especially since it provides us a with a bunch of hiding places for all our junk.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Here’s a “before and after” to really convey the transformation:

ikea expedit hack before and after

I hope this project has inspired you to breath new life into your favorite piece of furniture.  Here’s to a great start to the week!

XO,
Gabriella

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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).

Large_DC-663

Source: fabric.com

Large_UD-085

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?

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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!

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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