Thrift Store Transformations

DIY: Painted Thrift Store Desk

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Y’all know I often circle the local thrift stores in the hopes of finding new treasures.  Last week, I found a solid wood desk with a few scratches and dings, but overall in really good condition.  I mixed up a batch of color with some leftover paint samples, and transformed this old fashioned desk into a lovely green gem perfect for my little girl’s room.

Here’s the Before and After:

 

I had been looking for a desk for my daughter’s room, and got really lucky when I saw the $16.00 price tag on this desk at the local St. Vincent de Paul.  Yes I know.  Sixteen dollars.

 

But get this.  I asked the manager for a discount, and he gave me 40% off, so I only paid $9.60 for this solid wood desk.  Total score !

It would have been easy to sand it down and stain it like I did with this dresser, but with those feminine base legs and that French style hardware, I just had to place it in my daughter’s room, and that meant I had to paint it.

I was inspired by these bright pieces I saw at the local Antique Fair a few weeks ago, selling for hundreds of dollars.

 

I decided, rather than painting the desk a cream color like all of the other furniture in her room, that I would mix it up !  Be bold ! Paint it green !  But what color green ?

I had some leftover color from her wall paint, added some apple green paint from my stash, and I mixed in some gray too for a custom color.

Painting Older Wood Furniture:

Supplies:

  1. Medium grade sandpaper
  2. Primer
  3. Paint color of choice
  4. Roller brush and holder
  5. Polycrylic protectant

Step One:  Remove hardware. Sand your surface to remove any varnish or debris in preparation of primer.

Step Two:  Prime your piece with a good primer.  I prefer the spray variety since it saves a lot of time, but you can also use a brush on like Zinsser’s oil based in the brown can.   Allow to dry for recommended time.  I highly recommend these snap on spray paint guns, they save time and finger cramps, plus assist with even application.

 

Step Three:  Roll on the paint with a roller and follow up with a paintbrush to smooth any uneven spots and fill in any hard to reach nooks.  Apply two coats and allow to dry for 24 hours.

A few helpful tips on paint application:

  1. Use a new roller brush (not the rolling tool, the roller brush itself).  I tried to be “green” and reuse an old roller leftover from a previous project, but it had tiny fibers and dust on it, which ended up in my paint, and I had to hand pick it all out, wasting about thirty minutes and causing intense frustration.  Aaarrrggghh.  Spend the extra $2 for the new roller – trust me.
  2. Paint in an area where there is no chance of a breeze.  In my case, it was my garage with the garage door closed and the screened window open.  I have tried to paint outside several times, but the gnats and dust always ends up in my paint, and I really wasn’t looking for that extra “texture”.

Here I am painting in my garage last Thursday late at night in frustration because my personal favorite was kicked off American Idol.  I was working off my anger.   (My poor Danny. Sniff, sigh.)

Step Four (optional):  If you seek a distressed or antiqued look, go over the edges of your painted surface lightly with sandpaper to expose the wood underneath.

 

Step Five:  Apply a protectant like Minwax Polycrylic to your piece to protect your marvelous paint job.  I like to use Minwax products for a good reason.  If you’ve distressed your edges with sandpaper, the poly also helps to enhance the wood tone underneath.  Allow your poly to dry for at least 24 hours.

This French style hardware antiqued and beautiful so I didn’t paint or polish it.

I lined the drawers with some pretty paper too.

 

Final Result

Here’s the desk in her room:

What do you all think of the new desk?  Are you about to paint a piece of furniture and completely transform it?   Do tell.

 

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Painting Oak

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Last week I found a beveled glass mirror at the local thrift store for $8.  It was the perfect size for my daughter’s bedroom.  The only problem was that it was oak.  All it took to transform it was just some sanding, a bit of primer, and some white spray paint. 

Here’s the Before and After:

before and after

There are two schools of thought on painting oak. 

Read the rest of this entry »

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DIY: Tufted Bench Transformation

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Last week, I picked up this dowdy bench with really great lines at a local thrift store.  It was $12.  I transformed it this past weekend with fresh paint, a bit of silk, and some custom fabric covered buttons.  If you want to know how to create a custom tufted seat, follow the tutorial at the end of this post.

Here’s the Before and After:

The first thing that had to go was the original fabric.  Ewwww.  The bench seat was easily removed with a screwdriver, but those side cushions were another story.  I thought they would simply peel off with a little tugging.  I was way wrong.  I had to take the end of a hammer to them, and the inner stuffing completely disintegrated in the process.  Pliers were necessary to get the green fabric off.

 

The paint had yellowed, so I decided to prime it and give it a fresh coat of white paint.  Then I gave it a good coat of spray paint in RustOleum’s ‘Heirloom White’.

Once the bench’s wood frame was completely painted, I recovered the bench with some fabric and a staple gun in some pale green silk.   [That’s “lemongrass” colored silk from Joann’s Fabrics – it was on sale for $8 for 2 feet.] Note:  If you are tufting a cushion, make sure you drill your holes through the seat cushion before you cover with fabric.

 

Tufting Tutorial for a Bench or Cushion

Supplies:

    1. Screwdriver to create holes in seat cushion
    2. Long needles (called Decorator Needles) from craft store
    3. Thin twine or embroidery thread (regular sewing thread is not strong enough)
    4. Button cover kits
    5. Staple gun and staples

Once the bench had been covered in fabric, I created the custom buttons with the scraps of silk leftover and some custom button kits.  These kits make it very simple to use your fabric of choice to create custom buttons for tufting with the same fabric you use to cover your seat cushion.

Thread your decorator needle with the thin twine or embroidery thread.  Push the needle up from the bottom through the pre-drilled hole.  Once you come up on top of the cushion, thread your needle through the button.  Push the needle back down through the hole and pull button tight to fabric to create desired amount of tufting.

 

Use your staple gun to secure the thread to the underside of the cushion.  Staple the thread once, then pull the thread in the opposite direction, and staple it down again.  Secure with a knot.

One final problem with my bench was covering the marks from those previous side cushions.  Rather than creating my own side cushions like I did here and here, I chose to keep the sides open and airy.  I covered the marks from the previous cushions with hot glue and some simple gimp trim.

 

 

 

Bench $12, Primer and Paint $6, Fabric $8, Button Kits $7, Needles $4, Embroidery Thread $1.  Total = $38  Isn’t it amazing what a little paint and fabric can do?

 

 

Isn’t it amazing what a little paint and fabric can do?

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