Spray Paint: My BFF

DIY: Thrift Store Coffee Table goes Glam

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

I circle the local thrift stores like a vulture.  Last week at the St. Vincent de Paul, I saw an abused coffee table with a beveled glass top and really great potential. 

thrift store orig

The price tag read $25.  I walked away.  I came back two days later to bargain, and she was still there, but marked down to $17.  Yay for me!

I wrestled this puppy into my car with the help of my mom (thanks Mom!) and gingerly drove home, far below the speed limit and while biting my fingernails, cause I could hear that glass rattling in the back.  (I guess we should have asked for more duct tape.) At home, I prepped it for its spray paint makeover. 

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DIY: Salvaged Dresser

Monday, March 9th, 2009

I was at the Goodwill store with my sister-in-law the other day and she spotted a very abused dresser. She very much wanted a dresser for my nephews who share a room, and she was particularly fond of the “piratey” hardware. Unfortunately, it looked like a hunk of junk.

Centsational Aunty to the rescue! I promised I could bring it back to life. Daring me, she plunked down the $15 listed on the price tag.  Accepting her dare, I bought the following supplies: MinWax tinted stain in Antique Red ($8), some medium grade sandpaper ($3), and one new pull in chrome for $3 (which I later spray painted ‘antique bronze’ with Rustoleum to match the existing hardware).

First step: Get rid of hideous water marks and stains all over top of dresser. Did you know that mayonnaise takes out water marks on wood? No kidding. I’ve used this trick before when “oops” you leave your water glass on wood and it leaves a stain.  Mayonnaise usually gets it out in just a few hours.  Below, you can see Mini CG helping me in the mayonnaise application.

Second step: Get rid of disgusting burn mark on top of dresser. I gently sanded it out using medium grade sand paper, working with the wood grain, not against it. The picture shows what it looked like before I sanded it. After getting rid of the burn mark, I then gently sanded the rest of the dresser before applying the stain.

Third step: Apply tinted stain to sanded wood top and drawers. Amazing how one coat of Minwax tinted stain completely changed the piece, it was so easy ! I used a sponge, and followed the directions on the can. You can see in the first photo how the stain dramatically changes the raw unhealthy wood into an even smooth surface. The stain transformed the dresser to give it a rustic red stain, perfect for my nephews!

Final step: Apply one coat of polyurethane to top (for protection).  Reattach “piratey” hardware!


It’s done!

You can imagine what a dresser like this costs retail!  My 9 year old and 7 year old pirate loving nephews are going to love it ! I can already picture their pirate ship and treasure chest sitting on top. Aarrgggh.

Dresser $15
Tinted stain $8
Sandpaper $3
New pull hardware $3

Total cost: $29  – sweet! 

[4/29/09 Author's Update: This project won the Minwax company's Showcase Project - see this post.]



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HOMEmade: Letter Hooks

Saturday, February 21st, 2009
We all love alphabet letters, hanging in the house, spelling out whimsical or inspirational words, or perhaps just your child’s name on the wall. I prefer a letter that multi-tasks, like these do:

There’s just one teensy problem. While they look nice on the wall, they are practical only if secured into a wall stud. Well, wall studs are typically 16″ apart, or sometimes, just randomly spaced (if you own an older home). How to make a statement and actually put it to use? Secure the chosen letters to a wood background.

Here’s what I did. I had a piece of smooth scrap wood left over from the remodel. I spray painted it green, let it dry, then I had Mr. CG screw the letters to the wood. Then Mr. CG secured the wood directly to the wall studs. Ta-dah! Instant organization and charm for my mud room. Here’s mine:

Here are some other alphabet wall hooks available online:

From Anthropologie:

For $16 For $8

For $12

From Sundance for $10:

From JCPenney, on clearance for $5:

From Antique Hardware & Home, on sale for $3.19 each

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