Category: Thrifty

Antique Table Up-do

Sometimes small projects end up having the biggest impact.  This table was easy to do and was quick to sell so I’m going to look for more of these!  Two colors: @ArtDeco Relic (dark gray) and @ArtDeco Lace (white) light sanding and clear wax.  As always when possible, I removed the top and painted both pieces separately. Boom, bang, done!

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Vintage Butler Style Magazine Rack

 

I found this nice little magazine rack for $8 and found a comparable for $48, woot!  As you can see the one I found needed some help. I decided to create 2 embellishments for it using my new molds by Prima Marketing, specifically Baroque No. 2 by Orchid Designs. Additionally, I’ve wanted to do a verdigris finish for a long time, so I thought this would be a good practice piece.

The first time I tried making the molds, I used the Paper Clay that is recommended and my results weren’t great.  This clay is what it states — “paper” and was hard for me to work with and takes 12 hours to dry.  The clay itself was really dry, not pliable and my molds cracked after they dried. This coupled with the fact that I’m impatient (I have one mold & need 2 embellishments!), I decided to try KwikWood apoxy putty by JB Weld. If you haven’t tried this stuff, it’s amazing!  It is so much fun to work with.  My Aunt introduced it to me when she had us make Gourd roosters.  She uses it for the feet, beak and comb because it dries super fast and takes paint immediately.  It’s not exactly thrifty, but it worked well for me on this project.  (I also used the putty to fix a few blemishes and chips in the wood paneling on the magazine rack.)

I simply glued an embellishment on each end and used bronze metallic paint for the first coat.  I then covered the piece with @ArtDeco Chalky Paint, color Pleasure. Using dark wax, I rubbed the colors together.  I have to admit that I’m not thrilled with the results AND I would like to get more green in my next verdigris mix so I’ll have to try again on another piece.  I’m done looking at this one for now 😉 Stay tuned!

Yellow Metal Bird Cage Lamp

I found a black & rusty, tall, free-standing bird cage at Goodwill and I knew it could be spectacular. Interestingly at exactly the same time, Hobby Lobby was selling a very similar version, but theirs weren’t vintage and as heavy-duty as mine 😉

Since the bird cage isn’t realistic for housing a live bird, I decided to turn it into something useful–a lamp!  When I was looking for a light bulb and cord, I wanted an on and off switch near the base, something I could paint that wouldn’t easily chip and an old style light bulb showing the filament. Success!  Ikea’s STRÅLA Cord set is fabric which nicely absorbed the paint. Also Ikea’s light bulb LUNNOM was the old-fashioned bulb I wanted,  additionally it’s an LED bulb E12 200 lumen, dimm-able, chandelier brown clear glass.  I spray painted the whole thing with @rustoleumusa color: Satin Strawflower and I love the results 💛💛💛   @ikeausa  #inwiththeold #stopsrust

 

Charming Cart

When I saw people chalk painting antique/vintage tea carts, I knew I had to find one to up-do myself.  I bought this cutie on Facebook Marketplace from college kids for $35.

As you can see, this cart required a good cleaning.  For this I simply used dish-soap and water that I combined in a spray bottle.  I took off the wheels and flipped the cart upside down so that I could paint underneath first. Interestingly, when I’ve perused some shops that sell chalk-painted furniture, often the undersides are not painted.  Have you seen this too?  I’m sure it’s a time and money saver, but my OCD won’t let me.

I love the butter-yellow color, @DecoArt Delicate, and decided to paint the top, drawer-front and tray with this color.  Dark gray, @DecoArt Relic, is one of my favorites too, so I painted the wheels and needed to tie these colors together somehow.  Hence I glued, then trimmed the cream and gray fabric ribbon from Hobby Lobby on the outer sides of the tray and drawer.

The butter wing-top was missing something, so I decided that the fleur-de-lis stencil was in order (thanks Donna!).

Each wheel had a groove where I imagine there once was rubber tread or something similar. Since this was gone, I decided to fill the void with rope. It was a fairly time consuming project, but I think it turned out pretty cute, what do you think?

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FUNctional Card Table

When I saw this old card table at Goodwill for $20, I knew that it had major potential.  I loved the fact that the center of it was removable and that it was already framed.  This made me think that when it wasn’t being used as a card table, it could easily double as framed wall art.  I searched high and low for an inexpensive poster that was 27″ square; which turned out not to be the easiest task. Eventually I found what I was looking for at @AllPosters .com for about $10!  Full disclosure: I didn’t take as much time and care as I should have to Mod Podge the poster to the card table center and ended up with bubbles that I tried to fix to no avail; but I can live with it for now 🙂  Lastly @DecoArt white/blanc chalk paint & clear wax made for a splendid finish!  It is the perfect mate for my new chair from my favorite chalking buddy, Beth Treadwell @coloradostyled ❤

     

Abandoned plum desk

I cannot take credit for the paint job on this sweet little desk; I purchased it already painted.  I often find pieces that someone has started an “up-do” and sadly, given up on.  Everything was nicely done, however the paint color rubbed off easily on my hands which is perhaps why it was abandoned.  Since I loved the color, and the chippy, aged texture underneath, I thought I’d see if I could resuscitate her.  Low and behold a thin layer of Clear Satin Polycrylic by @Minwax did the trick!  Since all of the hard work was already done, I simply jazzed up the drawer, changed out the knob and this lovely is now spending her new life with her new owner.

Thrifty Rehab Plum Desk   Thrifty Rehab Plum Desk

Dear Savers, I Miss You!

I’m super bummed that @Savers_Thrift stores in Colorado closed down.  I could always find a little something, something here.  ARC and Goodwill are typically hit or miss for me, mostly miss.  It’s somewhat discouraging walking out of a Thrift Store empty handed, but I often do.

AND is it just me, or are the Thrift Stores charging retail now?  Sometimes more!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at the price of an item, it will have the original retail sticker and then the Thrift Store does a markup!  Don’t get me wrong, I am ALL ABOUT helping the handicapped and less fortunate, but this new business model kills the excitement of finding a great deal.

So now Thrifting for me has become “Strategizing.”  Luckily, technology is a HUGE help.  Now I use an iPhone app called @EstateSalesNet, which is quite slick.  You can get email updates to see what sales are coming up in your neighborhood, including images of all the items!  The app has a built-in maps and Siri gives you all the coordinates!  You can “like” items that you might be interested in, and when you arrive at the location, your list is literally in your hand.  Gotta love technology!

At first I wasn’t a fan of estate sales because most of the time, someone has died.  Rummaging through the recently departed’s belongings seems disrespectful, not to mention sad!  Luckily the people hosting estate sales typically have amazing attitudes and happily share information and interesting facts about the former occupants.  For instance, one sale I went to the gentleman was a magnificent iron, metal and brass artisan.  His pieces were unique and gorgeous!  Because his story is so amazing I feel as though I’m fortunate to have something made by him and I too will continue his story and legacy.  Nonetheless, I’m still sad about Savers.

Chalk paint vs traditional paint

Truth be known, I hate painting.  I know that sounds strange coming from someone who paints nearly every day.  Currently, I have 2 bathrooms torn apart waiting for a new coat of paint and I can’t stop dragging my feet.  However when it comes to small furniture I’m not deterred.  The reason?  Two words: Chalk Paint.

Since I am doing everything I can to avoid painting my walls, typing-up this table of reasoning seemed fitting.

Chalk Paint   Traditional Paint
Forgiving.  Most drips can easily be removed with soap & water. Unforgiving.  Drips do not come out easily and typically require a stripper that will strip off the paint below.
Low Prep.  Chalk paint adheres to most surfaces so sanding and taping are typically not required or minimal. High Prep.  Trim needs to be neatly taped off with caulk for good lines.  One small bleed and it will be the first spot you see every time you enter that room.
Low Drips.  Chalk paint is, well, chalky.  Its texture is thicker than traditional paint so drips are rare.  And if you do catch a drip too late, just sand it down. Drips.  You have to get your tool and paint amount just right, otherwise, you’ll have runs.  Rollers help but not for me, I can still get drips.
Messy doesn’t matter. I get paint EVERYWHERE! It’s on my clothes, my hands, in my hair… that’s just how it is.  But again, it washes off easily. Messy matters.  The only way I have found to get dried acrylic paint out of my hair, is to cut it out.  And sadly, shag haircuts went out in the 70s.
Distressing hides imperfections.  Going back over the edges with sandpaper is a life saver for messy people like me.  Drips can be banished now too. I’ve not distressed anything with traditional paint so I can’t comment here.
Sealer – Yes, it’s an extra step but since its wax, it’s easily rubbed on & off.  Lastly I seal furniture with polyurethane so that glass marks aren’t left behind. No sealer required.

If you have never used Chalk Paint I urge you to give it a try.  All you need is the paint and a fat brush and wax or a sealer of some kind.  I don’t spend a lot of money on the actual paint and supplies and always utilize sales and online coupons when possible. I know everyone raves about Annie Sloan paint, and yes it’s good, however it is too expensive for me.  Bottom-line, you don’t have to be a good painter or spend a lot of money to enjoy Chalk Painting!

PS for those of you who have found the secret formula for making your own chalk paint, God bless you.  I have tried and failed many times, so it’s not in the cards for me. If you have a foolproof recipe to share, please post below!!!

Quick Update

Well hello…it’s been a while!  We have some exciting updates!  First,  our Etsy website is now up and running.  If you haven’t already, please be sure to check us out (white frame included).  Additionally, you’ll find adorable vintage knick knacks for all occasions, including our new vintage jewelry snowflakes!  If you’re ever looking for unique gifts that make your friends smile, this is your shop 🙂

Secondly, we have sold nearly all of our up-cycled furnishings!!!  Facebook Marketplace and Let-Go have been super helpful for sales, Instagram is the best for marketing and quick picture updates!  LOVE LOVE LOVE technology!

Stay tuned for a couple of upcoming big projects including an antique barrel chair with a spindle back as well as a timely makeover for 2 large display cases… can’t wait to share!

Meet Lacey!

laceyI named this table Lacey because I used spray painted over lace to create the eye-catching top of this little, vintage cutie. Supposedly you can reuse the same lace over and over on other projects; I’ll let you know if that’s true when I do!  I honestly wrestled with this table for a while, it was one of my first projects. I originally spray painted this table gray and yellow and well, it looked foolish.  I wasn’t sure I could fix it, so I nearly gave it back to the thrift store. I’m glad I didn’t because it turned out adorable!  I didn’t have to strip it either, with chalk paint, you can simply paint over just about anything! @DecoArt Relic (gray) and Honor (blue)