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.

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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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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.

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Thanks for reading, check back soon for more transformations!

XO,
Gabriella

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77. Whoops.

Life caught up with me, and I [obviously] haven’t written anything in a longgggg time.  My bad.

Anyway, my new job is going really well.  I’m having a blast, actually!  Now that I’m back in the swing of things and used to my new schedule, I can get back to doing all kinds of fun projects.  The newest one?  A gorgeous tall shelf that I pulled out of my neighbor’s garbage.  That’s right folks: Yours truly has now become a trash picker!  In my defense, this shelf is still in great condition.

Free shelf? Worddddd.

Free shelf? Worddddd.

See!  Why on earth would you just put this to the curb?!  There are a few minor nicks and a water mark or two, but other than that, there’s really nothing wrong with it.  If it were me, I would have at least dropped this off at Goodwill so someone else could maybe get some use out of it.  I’ll never understand why people insist on being so wasteful.

I already have big plans for this baby, but you’ll just to have wait and find out what they are when I post about the finished product. 😉

I also plan to write about more than just my DIY projects.  I’ve got too many interests…I’m excited about them all and want to share them with you!  I know it’s considered a “no-no” in the blogiverse to write about more than one topic/theme, but honestly…IDGAF.  It’s my life, and my blog, and I can write about whatever I want, yo!  If I wear a cute outfit, I’ll write about it.  If I redo a piece of furniture, I’ll write about it.  If I played an awesome show with my band…you guessed it, I’ll write about it.  All of those things are part of my life and my persona, so of course I would mention them!

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Okay, rant over.

Have a lovely evening, kittens!

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.

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vintage dressers

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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!

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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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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13. Before and After: Antique Dining Chairs

If you’ve read my blog at all up to this point, you know I am addicted to Craigslist.  The majority of our furnishings were purchased from the wonderful purveyors of that magical website, except for handful of things: TV stand, bookcase, dining table, dining chairs, and mattress.  Everything else is second hand, although they do NOT look that way!  We even got a beautiful pair of couches last year for $350, and they were practically brand new; they were still under warranty for the fabric treatment and seriously looked like they were never sat on.  Anyway, I digress…

The true topic of this post is a small tutorial for revamping some sad dining chairs.  I bought a set of four antique dining chairs from a lovely old couple who were moving into a retirement community.  Those sweethearts only wanted $20 for all of them!  Bless their sweet little hearts.  I’m not sure of the exact age of the chairs, but based on the design I’m guessing they date back to the 40s.  The company that manufactured the chairs, Northwest Chair Co. out of Tacoma, WA, was in business until the 1950s when they closed due to a fire, which also lead me to believe these chairs are from the 1940s.  Here are the beauties I received:

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They were in okay condition, but boy, did I know the potential hidden behind the scratches and dings.  Oh, that brown velvet fabric DID give me the shivers!

Here are the materials you’ll need if you want to transform a set of chairs:

flat-head screwdriver or pliers
staple gun (with plenty of staples)
hammer
larges scissors or utility knife
fabric (1 to 2 yards, depending on the size of your chairs)
batting
1″ foam
sandpaper
quart of paint

Let’s do this!  First things first, remove the seat bottoms from the chairs; you might need a Phillips screwdriver depending on the types of screws use to secure the seat bottom to the chair.  Next, remove the old fabric, batting, and any cushion material from the seat bottom.  I took out the old staples using a flathead screwdriver.  You can also use a pair of pliers.  Just keep your fingers out of the way!

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After removing the old fabric, batting, and padding, it’s time to prepare the new seat.  Lay the seat bottom on top of the foam and trace around the edges.

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Next, cut out the foam using a sturdy pair of scissors or a utility knife.  Again, be very careful and keep your fingers out of the way!  After cutting out the foam, you want to layer all the components as follows:  fabric, batting, foam, seat bottom.  Make sure the bottom of the seat is facing up.  Trim the batting and fabric to leave a few inches around the seat bottom.  (Extra is better…you’ll be trimming away the excess anyway!)

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Pick a side and start stapling the batting/fabric to the underside of the seat bottom, as close to the outside as possible; start in the center and work your way out, stopping an inch or two from the corner.  Repeat on the opposite side.  Finish the remaining two sides in the same fashion.

Now comes the fun part: the corners!  Ha, not really.  This is the most difficult part, and requires a bit of fabric manipulation.  I don’t have a great picture depicting this step, but luckily I found a wonderful alternative via the interwebs:

Next comes the paint!  Prep the chairs by wiping them down with a mild cleaning solvent and lightly sanding each chair with medium-fine sand paper.  Wipe down the chairs again, this time with a lint free cloth (this step is important, it’s gets rid of all the dust from the sanding).  Apply 1-3 coats of paint (depending on the type of paint and the desired coverage).  I used Behr paint and primer in one in “Elephant Skin” and got the job done properly with two coats.

After the paint has dried completely, simply reattach the seat bottoms to the chairs and you’re done!

Are you ready to see the final result?!  Here ya go! 🙂

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I think my favorite part is the fabric.  It’s a neutral linen with just the slightest hint of shimmer:

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The before and after is pretty dramatic!

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Sadly, we are going to be getting rid of these chairs. 😦  I really, really love the way they turned out, but let’s face it…I don’t have two dining room tables!  The upside: I can use the extra cash for other projects. 😉

I hope you are enjoying what little is left of your weekend!

XO,
Gabriella

 

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