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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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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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.

b052d8e3c72245a2c4204759e6c0b10a

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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28. Three tips for scoring great finds at Goodwill.

Goodwill is probably one of my favorite places to shop.  I know some people would turn their nose up or rather die than walk into a thrift store.  You don’t know what you’re missing, my friend!  If you’ve never shopped at Goodwill, there are a few things you should know that will undoubtedly improve your shopping experience.

Large framed print, $7 @ Goodwill

Large framed print, $7 @ Goodwill

1. If you shop at a Goodwill in a nice neighborhood, chances are the items they sell will be of better quality.

I mainly shop at one Goodwill that’s in a pretty well-to-do area, and I consistently find really nice things.  I’ve bought tons of clothes at this particular store, with labels from places like Banana Republic, Ann Taylor/Ann Taylor Loft, GAP, Old Navy, J. Crew, and a bunch more.  Seriously!  Really good stuff, in good condition.  I’ve even found items that still had the tags attached.  The Goodwill I frequent also buys stuff from the local Target, which means brand new stuff at a great discount.  My Goodwill currently has a bunch of Halloween costumes and accessories for sale, a good majority of which is brand new and still in the packaging.

Fun Machine Organ, $30 @ Goodwill

Fun Machine Organ, $30 @ Goodwill

2. Shopping at Goodwill is often hit or miss, and you have to be willing to sift through duds to find treasure.

There are plenty of times that I go to Goodwill ready to burn a hole in my pocket only to leave empty-handed.  It happens!  I also make sure I have the time to really look through the racks (if I’m shopping for clothes).  My store organizes clothes by type of item, then by size, and then by color.  I usually start with clothes that are my size, but I will often look through the next size up.  I normally wear a size S, but I often find things in a M that fit pretty well.  There will be a hoard of ugly, outdated garments in any thrift store, but if you’re willing to go through everything, I guarantee you’ll find good stuff!  Every once in a while I find superb vintage pieces as well.  Example: I own a fabulous vintage black velvet blazer I found at my favorite Goodwill, and it only cost me $6.  A piece like that would cost MUCH more in a vintage boutique or antiques shop.

Small milk glass vases, $1 @ Goodwill


3. Think outside the box and keep an open mind.  Just because it’s ugly now doesn’t mean it has to stay that way!

I’ve found a lot of great home items at Goodwill that I plan on tweaking to fit my decor style.  Like the piece of art, but hate the frame?  Paint it!  Pretty much anything can be improved with a little glue and paint.

Framed prints, $3 each @ Goodwill (I will be painting the frames to freshen these up!)

Framed prints, $3 each @ Goodwill (I will be painting the frames to freshen these up!)

Items also need not be used for their intended purpose.  For example, I bought a very large wooden magazine rack yesterday, which I plan on painting and distressing for use as a blanket caddy.

Large magazine rack, $10 @ Goodwill

Large magazine rack, $10 @ Goodwill

I also found a cute wire basket that I loved but didn’t immediately have any idea concerning its purpose in our home.  I realized I had no good storage for my belts, so I rolled them up and the basket is now their home.

Rose gold wire basket, $4 @ Goodwill

There you have it!  Those are my three tips for having a great experience while browsing the racks at your local Goodwill.

090813_7

Happy shopping!

XO,
Gabriella

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22. Before and After: Vintage Metal Cabinet

I love vintage stuff.  LOVE it.  Especially when it’s rusted, banged-up, dented, chippy, in-desperate-need-of-a-face-lift vintage.

The thrill of turning something from “yuck” to “yum”?  It just can’t be beat.

In walks this beauty, stage left.

082813_1

I didn’t take any photos of the inside of the cabinet, but let me assure you…it was nasty!  At some point in time, this poor lady obviously sat in someone’s dark, dank basement, because her bottom was full of rust.  Gross.

I spent hours cleaning this baby up with steel wool and rust remover, and then added a thick coat of rust preventative in primer form.

To improve upon the vintage appeal of the cabinet, I chose a fun retro aqua called “Opal Silk” from Behr.

082813_2

Source: behr.com

Yep, I just used a latex paint over my primer!  As long as you use the correct primer, you can pretty much paint anything with latex paint.  I just made sure the finish was on the shiny side so you can wipe it down if it gets dirty (satin or gloss, whichever you prefer).

Here is the final product:

082813_3

Isn’t it amazing what a coat of paint can do?

We originally used this in our kitchen when we lived in Bay View (a Milwaukee neighborhood south of downtown, right on Lake Michigan).  That flat was the upper floor of a duplex built in 1905, which meant basically no cabinet space.  It used to house all of our dishes, wine glasses, and pots and pans.  It fits a LOT of stuff!

After we moved to our new flat, we had no need/room for this cabinet.  The new kitchen has plenty of cabinet space, and there are two built-in china cabinets in the dining room.  This lady, unfortunately, took up residence in a basement yet again.  This one is dry, so no worries of rust, but I still felt bad about neglecting the poor thing.

I decided to sell the cabinet on Craigslist in hopes of finding her a good home, and lo and behold, I did!  She is now sitting pretty in an academic office space in an updated warehouse.  Hooray!

I obviously have a strange attachment to furniture…don’t judge me.

“Before and After” time!

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I hope I’ve inspired you to make something old and yucky look new and pretty again!

XO,
Gabriella

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