Stereo cabinet turned storage

insidestereocabinetbeforestereocabinetcompleteafterACK! I can’t find any pictures of this stereo cabinet as it appeared originally… but trust me, it needed help!  Someone had tried refinishing it and, well, it didn’t work.  The interior was painted a strange Pepto Bismol pink color (which looks white in this picture) and the exterior was stained — over VARNISH — a red-er color stain.  I’m sure the owner had good intentions, but please don’t try to stain over varnish people! You will never match the original varnish color!! I pulled out the strips of wood on the bottom, originally meant for record storage, and repainted the inside blue.

Had some extra fabric left over from a previous project, so used this to cover the inside shelf all the way around. Modge Podge is my best friend for covering wood with fabric.   While the doors were off, painted them with a super fun Rose Metallic paint that I hadn’t tried, Buttercream by @JoAnn_Stores.  I’m sad because I really like but have heard that JoAnn’s is discontinuing the Buttercream line 🙁  Then finished this lovely off with knobs from @HobbyLobby; now I’m officially a #knobsnob!!!  I named this project Two/Too Fly Blue because two flies managed to get stuck in the paint on the doors! Oh how I miss the warm weather… even the pesky flies.



Fun blue mirror


mirrorhangingPicked up this mirror @Savers for $8.  It was cute but someone had obviously painted it black, the paint was chipping and also was on the mirror.  I like to see when others have tried to change or update furniture, but I don’t understand why sometimes people don’t take the extra steps and take the item apart before painting.  I think this person ended up giving this mirror away because it didn’t turn out well.  Believe me, I am the queen of trying shortcuts and let me tell you, they NEVER work out.  If you invest a little extra time, you’ll be happier with your results.

mirrorpaintedblueSlapped some @decoart Vintage chalky finish and voila, a new bright fun mirror!  Finished with Deco Art clear wax, a little distressing and have a brand new vintage looking mirror!  Fun, easy and inexpensive!


Quick, easy and cheap deco update!

Candlebluewallmounts and candle holders are an easy way to change the look and feel of indoor and outdoor spaces.  When these metal sconces were originally purchased they were black, which was nice, but we knew that they could be spiced up.  The image of the two candle sconces was painted in our favorite spray paint and color… Surf Matte by @Krylon.  In our area we have difficulty finding this color and count on purchasing @JoAnn_Stores and @HobbyLobby. The sconces were then distressed with 100 grit sandpaper.

2in1candleholderThe single sconce was painted with Catalina Mist, Satin @Krylon and also distressed with sandpaper.  Hanging these gems on our dingy fence was certainly eye-catching–you should see them lit up at night!


A $2 antique replica?!

I’m insanely fortunate to own some priceless beauties, such as this hand painted Saint by my late great Uncle Cliff Westermeier.  Uncle Cliff is a celebrated artist and author of Man, Beast, Dust.   This painting is thought to be from his Santos collection.  He was married to my Grandpa Jack Stout’s mother’s sister.

This painting greets me every morning and I always think I would like more similar beauties, but I haven’t the time nor skill to oil paint.  Here is my quick workaround.  The first photo below is a frame I bought from Goodwill in Denver for $1.  It is obviously a fine laser-cut piece of wood in need of a minor repair, which was easily remedied with wood glue.  I then stained the piece with Minwax Dark Walnut stain.  Next, I covered the entire frame in a coat of  chalk paint #DecoArtProjects blue or Colonial.  Another thifty acquisition I made recently were books with prints from famous artists… 5 books @ $1 each… SCORE!  I trimmed a photo from the book then broke out my Modge Podge and glued this lovely Madonna and child image to the $1 frame.  I then aged and distressed with low and high grit sandpaper as well as dark wax.  The finished product is no where as special as the hand-painted original Saint, but it was sure fun trying to recreate something similar so quickly and inexpensively!
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The Real McCoy?

I thought I’d share my first “is it real or is it a reproduction” story.  I honestly didn’t know a thing about figuring this stuff out, so I reached out to a pottery expert; thank you Jean Bushnell for your insights!

I sent the first set of images below to Jean and asked if this McCoy Windmill Cookie jar is worth $30?  Jean replied back — is there damage? Chips? Crazing? It was produced in the 1960s, so there should be some wear.  If it’s real, it could be worth double.

Yay!  But wait… no crazing whatsoever.  No chips.  No damage.  In fact, despite the fact that the paint had come off this one looks pretty darn clean. Perhaps it’s just in mint condition? Nicely packed away all of these years?  Unlikely.

Next, Jean asked for the measurements as it should be 10.5 inches tall with the lid which mine was. Things seemed to line up okay here. Decisions, decisions.


I decided to search for a REAL McCoy Windmill Cookie jar online and have included some side-by-side photos for comparison.

realmccoy    sidebysidemm

Upon doing more research, including eBay sales – which ended up being not much more than the purchase price, I ended up walking away.  Do you think I made the right decision?  Please tell us your real vs. reproduction stories below! Happy thrifting!

Goodwill… more like Greatwill!

Since we are on the topic of thrift store reviews, I would like to include an experience from another Thrifty shopper…

Erica at the Goodwill in Westminster made my first real adventure into the furniture rehab world a great experience. I was interested in a small table that had been priced at $20 a few days earlier. I really didn’t have time to find a customer assistant, but couldn’t get it off my mind. It was cute! When I went back a few days later, the table was there but wasn’t tagged. That’s when I found Erica who introduced me to the inter-workings (new word) of Goodwill’s business model – from receiving, production, distribution, re-distribution, and on to the floor for sales. Quite an operation run by some of the nicest people around. I have a whole new respect for what they do.

She asked me what I thought the price of the table should be. I said $10 and she said how about $6.99! When I asked her how they price items, she told me that all personnel are encouraged to help customers make a value offer when asked. If an offer seems too low, the sales agent will suggest a value price, but at the end of the day making a customer feel they’re being treated fairly and getting a good deal is most important. Each store has a daily sales quota, and it’s very important to have repeat customers. I’m in. A whole new world of thrift shopping! Who knew…obviously Thrifty Rehab does (wink, wink)!

Thanks for your input Pam!  Please keep your experiences coming in and as always, happy Thrifting!

Thrift Store 411

The most frequent question I am asked: where do you find the best deals?  This is difficult to answer, as I cannot lump or label any one company, so instead I’ll relay my experiences prefaced with the fact that even though I am always looking for a good deal, I am not a “bargainer.”  Thrift stores collect money for charities – worthy causes, and my aim is never to shortchange or haggle prices.

ARC on Quebec and County Line was where I found my first score and where my addiction began.  I picked up this vintage electric desk fan; excellent condition mechanically and visually – $9.  Of course I have been back many times since and have not found anything remotely as memorable and believe me, I have savant-like memory when it comes to thrifting (real life, not so much).  Recently they had an antique sewing desk marked at $80.  It was in serious disrepair and needed more TLC  than the average person has time.  Weeks later it is still there but now at 50% off — still not a deal.  I told an employee that if they would part with it for $20 that I would consider taking it.  The employee abruptly told me that they won’t take less than what it is listed.  Combine this with the fact that most items are suddenly outrageously priced, my local ARC went from my favorite, to least favorite.  Don’t even get me started about my experience at the ARC in Loveland, CO.  On the flip side, I had a stellar experience at the ARC on Colfax & Pierce in Lakewood — the employees helped me fill my car with 3 stuffed cart loads.  I apologized to the young manager about getting so much with a small car.  Her comment was “don’t worry ma’am, I’m really good at Tetris!” She is a keeper and so is this ARC.

Goodwill has several locations near me and all locations are fair and the employees are all helpful.  I got my beautiful dining room table & chairs at my local Goodwill for $80.  Beth got this gorgeous hutch for $50 and Pam got a full sized hutch for $50 — stay tuned for their up-cycle stories & pics!

I have to admit that for the longest time I didn’t even know that Savers was a thrift store but now that I know, they are a regular stop.  The employees are SUPER nice and friendly, so I give them 5 stars.  One deal was this antique wicker-back rocker for $7.

Last but not least, my favorite thrift store… drum roll… Mile High Thrift Store on Sheridan.  Mile High only takes cash, but you won’t need much as their prices are the lowest by far.  I would be there everyday if it were not for the location and hours Monday thru Saturday 9-6.  Now that you know about this little secret gem tell me about your favorites! Happy thrifting!



Americana Eagle Table

OMG funny story!  So I picked up this little table, mostly because of the detailed and intricate carvings on the legs.  If you look up close, there is a little half moon carved on the foot of each leg, so cute… but the top… no bueno.   I was literally seconds away from chipping this Eagle carving out, when I decided to a quick search.  And GUESS WHAT?! A similar table is listed on Bonanza for $399! Of course my table isn’t in perfect condition, but that’s not the point. The point is, do your research first!!!  Mr. Eagle almost got replaced with a mosaic (which honestly I still think would look better).


Mersman 2-Tiered Table

Every time I visit an antique store, I see one of these 2-tiered tables and I want one and guess what?! I got one! Although it’s use and practicality may be somewhat limited, I see this table displaying vintage trinkets, amazing jewelry and accessories… or of course, cupcakes!

I think it looks nice with light gray chalk paint but now that I have researched this little table, I hope I didn’t change its value…?  An identical one is posted here.  Please leave me comments if you happen to know!


Lil Rocker

Nothing is cuter than child sized furniture!  When I found this little treasure, I knew Kira must have loved it!   But now that Kira is off to college, her rocker can be enjoyed by others 🙂  I used DecoArt color Vintage for the base, and then added a touch of DecoArt’s color Smitten (coral) and DecoArt’s color Everlasting (white) for the vine/flower stencil in the middle.  I can’t wait to use more of the Smitten/coral color on a bigger project… the color is gorgeous!