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

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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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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).

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Source: fabric.com

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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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35. Before and After: Thrift Store Prints

Remember those prints I showed you a while back?  I scored them for only $3 a piece.  I really like the prints, but the frames…not so much.  Way too 90s for me.  I knew at the time of purchase that I would be either painting the frames or switching them out.  I decided it would be much easier to just paint them!

Here’s a before shot.  Such an ugly frame!  I like metallic silver, don’t get me wrong, but this is just yuck.

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These prints were professionally framed, which means the entire back was sealed.  I wasn’t about to waste time taking them apart to paint the frame, so I just slide some copy paper under the frame to protect the glass.

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Next, I painted on a layer of crackle medium; after it was dry, I painted on a thin layer of white acrylic paint.  That’s it!  Super easy peasy.

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I hung them up next to the DIY Feather Art I made a while back.  I think it looks pretty darn fabulous.

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I actually picked up these prints before I painted the feathers.  I picked the background hues so they would match. 🙂

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It’s super satisfying to turn a $6 find into something amazing.

I hope you’re all having a fabulous weekend!

XO,
Gabriella

 

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24. Made from Scratch: DIY Feather Wall Art

Happy Labor Day!

I’m at home today, but still working hard.  I’ll be teaching a lecture and lab at Carroll University this semester, and I still have a TON of prep work to do.  Even so, I thought I’d take a much needed break and show you some cool art work I made last week.  I’ll even give you instructions on how to paint these all by yourself!

DIY Feather Wall Art

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Materials:

canvas
acrylic paint
2-3 paintbrushes
paper plate (to hold paint)
plastic drop cloth (I used a trash bag laid out flat)
measuring tape
level
hanging method of your choice (I used Command strips)

Directions:

1. Unwrap your canvas and place it in the middle of the plastic drop cloth (i.e. garbage bag).  This project would ideally go a lot smoother with an easel, but I don’t have one…so you do what ya gotta do.  I purchased my canvases from Joann on sale for $5/each.  Scoreeeeee.

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8″ x 24″ canvas, $5 (sale price)

2. Using your acrylic paint color of choice and a wide paintbrush, coat the entire canvas.  Don’t forget about the sides!  This will be your background color, so pick anything your little heart desires.  I did three canvases in varying shades of blue: Spa Blue, Bahama Blue, and Desert Turquoise.

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Americana acrylic paint, $1.39/each

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3. Allow the canvas to dry completely.  Since we’re using acrylic paint, this will take about 30 minutes or so.

4. Now come the feathers.  It’s best to use three different shades in the same color family.  This will add dimension to your feathers and give them a realistic quality.  I used Cool White, Bleached Sand and Mississippi Mud.

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I think the feathers would look great in varying shades of grays or blues as well.

The base of the feather comes first, and you’ll want to use the darkest of the three shades.  Using a small brush, create a line down the center of the canvas.  Don’t worry about trying to make the line straight; it will actually look much better if there is a slight curve.  Once you have the first line drawn, slightly thicken the bottom 2″ of the line (this will be the “stalk” of the feather).  Finish off the base by using short, quick strokes to fan out the line (see closeup, far right).  Feel free to add extra paint to your brush as needed.

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5. Using the same brush, add in the medium color to the feather, starting near the center of the “stalk” and working your way out and up.  You want these strokes to be much longer, with a slight curve upwards.  I added the dark brown to my brush here and there to blend the colors and add depth.  You want both sides of the feather to ALMOST touch in the middle, making sure to let some of the darkest shade to peak through along the center line.

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6. Finally, add in the lightest color of the bunch (Cool White in this case).  Use this color a bit more sparingly than the medium shade, but the stroke pattern is pretty much the same as the last step.  Again, I added the medium shade to my brush every now and then to blend the colors a bit.

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7.  Let your canvas dry completely, and admire your work!  Feel free to sign your art. 🙂

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Hang them using your method of choice.  I used Command strips since these were so lightweight…or should I say “light as a feather”?  Yuk yuk yuk.

All in all, this project cost me about $25.  It would have been closer to $20 if I already had the brushes.  Still a better deal than buying something similar from a big box store!

I love how they turned out, and they look so pretty hanging on our wall.

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I hope I’ve inspired you to create some DIY wall art of your own!  Remember, it’s just paint…nothing to be afraid of!  If you don’t like the results or feel like you’ve made too many “mistakes”, you can always paint over them with your base color and start over.

XO,
Gabriella

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