Rescued & Revamped

Vintage Tea Towel Pillows

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

I’m such a fool for vintage linens.  I especially love heirloom fabrics with hand embroidered details, or cottons with a touch of ladylike lace.  Vintage tea towels remind me of something I’d see nestled on top of my grandmother’s vanity beside her silver comb and mirror. 

So when I spotted a stack of vintage tea towels at a local antique store for a few dollars each, I purchased three to create some unique pillows for friends who are about to have little ones. 

Just like a bride, I think every nursery deserves a touch of something old and something new.  So I created these tea towel pillows  – they are sewn together with a crisp cotton  vintage tea towel, a scrap of accent fabric, and some modern trim. 

cg tea towel pillows

tea towel pillows pair

green tea towel pillow (2)

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Patina Dresser

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Every time I go to antique fairs, I am always drawn to those pieces that someone has glazed with a bold color.  My entire house is filled with mostly dark wood tones or white painted furniture, so this time, I thought I’d have some fun !

As you know from this week’s sordid tale about stripping paint off furniture, I had my little heart set on giving my previously white Craigslist dresser the look of a French antique.   With spring drawing very near, I thought it a good time to add a pop of color to our home.  To me, turquoise is a color that is simultaneously vibrant and calming, and a reminder of coastal waters by the sea.

You’ll recall the ‘Before’ with the multiple layers of white chipping paint, and here is the dresser after it was mostly stripped of it’s paint. 

b and a2

Here is the patina dresser, given a romantic new look, and refinished in this fresh new color.  

cg patina dresser

I just love this piece now.  It looks like something I’d want to buy from an antique shop!  To achieve this look, I invested in new knobs, some appliqués, and some paint.  (Sources below)

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A Tale of Two Strippers

Monday, March 1st, 2010

So I bought this little dresser many months ago from Craigslist for twenty buckaroos.   It was the perfect fit for my mud room niche by the back door.  I needed its drawers to store all sorts of family things like those gym membership cards I rarely use, or the computer cords that belong to some contraption lost somewhere in my house. 

I also needed it to store winter scarves, hats, mittens and other seasonal items.  This dresser’s proportions were perfect and its price was right !  So I brought it home and tolerated its chippy white paint job for many moons until it dawned on me. 

This dresser was the perfect candidate for a little experiment I call ‘The Patina Project’.   I wanted to transform this little dresser into something with a little more personality and a Provencal feel.  I also wanted to find out just how two strippers would match up in the ring.  Old school chemicals vs. nouveau citrus paint peelers. 

The victim:   

craigslist dresser

 

There were several layers of paint all over this baby, and I had no idea what kind of paint it was.  Since my ultimate plan was to give it a rustic antique French country look, I boldly decided to strip all those layers off.   To me, painting over it would have felt like putting on dirty socks after a shower.  Or clean socks on muddy feet.  Or something sort of like that. 

Enter the two contenders.  In the left corner, weighing in at 32 fluid ounces was the old school KleanStrip, famous for its speed and paint crushing abilities.  Dangerous.  Flammable.  Unpopular with the greener public for its toxic reputation and the methylene chloride pumping through its veins. 

In the right corner, weighing in at 32 fluid ounces, was the young newcomer Citristrip.  A kinder smelling non-caustic version missing the methylene chloride, daring to challenge the old school establishment.  

 stripper v citrusstrip 

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