Upcycled Heirloom

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So my mother has had my great grandmother’s picture frames in the shed for as long as I can remember.  When I moved into my first house I took them with me, trying to figure out what to do with them, but instead they stayed in my basement.  When I moved to my new place, and saw the master bathroom with double vanity sink, I knew instantly I would transform the old frames into matching mirrors for the his and hers sink.  Here is what they looked like before:

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They were definitely roughed up, but a little bit of patching and love I knew it was fixable.  Years and years of dust and grime had built up on the frames.  I decided it needed a good cleaning, but was afraid to use anything harsh on them.  I stuck with good old dish soap and hot water.

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It was an instant improvement!  The chips that were on the frames needed to be patched.  I used wood filler, and did my best to shape some details in it, which proved to be difficult.

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I decided to use Rustoleum spray in antique bronze.  They came out awesome!!! Once they were all cleaned, patched, and painted, I brought the frames to Wayside Glass to have mirrors put in them.  I was honestly a little nervous that they would not be able to put the mirrors in the frames because they are so old.  However, they managed to do it, and they came out wonderful.  Thanks to my wonderful boyfriend, they were hanged perfectly and they completed the whole vanity look.  Here is the finished product.

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“Worn by the Sea”

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One of my returning clients wanted me to re-finish a very old piece of hers.  I loved it the second I saw it.  It was a five drawer dresser, all original hardware, on wheels, and even had cute little key holes:

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The piece definitely needed some luvin’.  The inside’s of the drawers had fabric tack-pinned in them, and it looked as though it had been there for 200 years!

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My client loved the two tone look I had done on a bedroom set, and thought it would look great on the dresser.  She picked her own colors, and we discussed that the lighter color on the drawers with the darker color on the outside would look best.  Since the hardware fit perfectly, and were quite beautiful, I decided to spray them with good old reliable Rustoleum.

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I used my new paint spray gun (yes, I finally have it down ….), and I think the piece came out awesome!  We talked about distressing it ever so slightly to give it that beach look because her house is right on the water in Quincy, Ma hence the “Worn by the Sea” title, fitting I think.  Here is the finished product:

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Sleeping Soundly…. Finally!

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WOW, I didn’t think this bedroom set would EVER get done. There were so many problems, I went through two paint guns, and had to purchase another one just to finish the job! Although I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out. I had done some staging for a lovely couple who was moving to North Carolina. They had this 1940’s bedroom set that they weren’t taking with them, and we made arrangements to have it Renewed Reloved. The bedroom set was in wonderful condition, it has really been taken care of over the years.

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I love the original hardware on this set, and knew I was going to keep them untouched.  Ok, so begins the sh*t show.  I lightly sanded all the pieces so the paint would adhere nicely.  I used colors that I had left over from painting my own house.  I try not to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint if I can help it, no offense.  I used “Mesa Verde Tan” for the outside, and the drawers were down in “White Down,” both by Benjamin Moore.

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At first I painted the entire end table “White Down,” but I thought that it was just so boring, and didn’t do the set any justice.  However, I liked the dark original hardware against the off white. I loved the “Mesa Verde Tan” that I used for my master bedroom, and thought it looked really good against the off white.  So there you have it- a two tone set.  So I set up shop, ready to paint.  Little did I know that I would soon have a mental breakdown.

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Honestly, every time I tried to attempt to paint this set somethings went wrong.  Both my paint guns stopped working.  Finally the new Wagner one I purchased did the job.  It was a long battle, and a big under taking, but when all said and done I think it came out incredible (yes I am patting myself on the back, but shush).  Check out the finished product.  All of which can be seen and purchased at 23rd & Bird located inside the WinSmith Mill in Norwood, Ma.

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The Perfect Match

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I’ve been dying to share the finished product of my bedroom dresser, but I have been so busy with the house renovations I haven’t had a chance to finish it!  Well it is finally done, and I love the way it came out!  I had done an entire bedroom set for a customer, a long time ago, and in exchange for doing her daughters headboard and footboard, she offered me this dresser.  I absolutely loved it, and it was in good shape (aside from the cosmetics).  I’ve held on to it for a long time, because I wanted to make sure that whatever I did to it would be PERFECT, and I also knew that I wanted to keep it for myself (hehe).

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Best part?  I matched the detailing on the front to the end tables….well actually, the other way around: I came across the end tables that also happened to have the same design!! Trust me that was pure luck.

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Of course, the top’s veneer was chipped and peeling away.  So I decided to just take off all the veneer so it would have an even surface.

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It proved to be quite difficult, the veneer was stubborn in some places, but perseverance prevailed, and I was able to get it all off with out damage.  I sanded it down to give it a nice smooth surface so that it would be ready for paint!

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I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in “Old White,” which was the same color I used on the end tables.  I also used “Shabby Chic” to highlight the detailing on the front.  I distressed it a bit, waxed it, and it was like a brand new piece.

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The dresser has an incredible seining mirror, and the detail work from legs to the posts follow all the way through.  The mirror has aged over the year, but I think it gives it character, and I love the hardware used to fasten it to the dresser!

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Here are some shots of the legs and sides.

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At last, here are some more shots

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AND, just to brag a bit about how good of a match this turned out to be, here is the dresser’s detailing in the front and one of the end tables I am using as my bed side tables.

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Damn,  i’m good!  Haha!

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My handmade “Book Ends”

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I have been dying to share this post, but I obviously had to wait until work was completed!  Well I’ve had a dresser for a long time that I knew I wanted to use in my house, but just hadn’t gotten to it.  Well I figured being in my new place would be the perfect opportunity to do my bedroom with new pieces, but OLD Renewed Reloved pieces.  I had been on the hunt for end tables that met the following criteria:

1) Taller than wider

2) Antique

3) The legs needed to match the legs on the dresser

4) Drawers/Storage

5) Ornate hardware

After stalking Craigslist for weeks, and looking in antique stores I FOUND THEM! A pair to boot!  I managed to get them both for $50!

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 So I went and got the tables and was all excited.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I work on furniture all the time, but these end tables were a b*tch.  The veneer was peeling/chipping… I patched some of it with wood filler, but in some places it looked like sh*t, and I’m too much of a perfectionist to stand for that.  So, I do what all rational people do in a dilemma- make more work for myself.  I decided on the sides that had the worst peeling I would just chip off all the veneer.  At first it went smoothly:

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And then…. it got nasty, and I couldn’t quite get under the veneer to lift it with out denting the wood underneath.  So I experimented.  I knew that the veneer was held on with glue… I grabbed a damp facecloth and used my iron to heat up and steam the facecloth.  This helped loosen the glue, and made it easier to wedge my razor and putty knife under the veneer.

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A pretty genius idea if I do say so myself, and I should probably let you know that the face cloth I used was thrown out….

Next I sanded the sh*t out of them.  There were lots of dents, they were worn, so I really made sure to get a smooth surface.  On the middle drawers I discovered an ornate design. Of course the veneer was chipping, so I peeled it off.  I knew I wanted to preserve the pattern, so I took a pointed metal nail file and traced the shape.  I didn’t know what I would do with the design but I knew I wanted to keep it and incorporate it some how.

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 I sanded everything down, and they were ready for paint!  I used Annie Sloan’s chalk paint in “Old White.”  I love the color because it is so versatile, and really highlights pieces.  I decided that I would use left over paint from one of my bedrooms to enhance the design on one of the drawers..

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I hand painted it with Benjamin Moore’s “Shabby Chic” that I used in one of my guest rooms.  They came out gorgeous, and believe it or not,  they matched the same pattern I have on my dresser (but you won’t see that until later <<wink wink>>).

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I had to do 3 coats of paint (shoot me now), because the wood was so dark and aged that it was bleeding through.  This is usual because Annie Sloan Chalk Paint covers pretty well, but sometimes it does happen.  This like weird yellow or sometimes pink stain comes through.  You need to apply another coat.  I distressed them, waxed them, buffed them, and polished the hardware…. here is the finish product…. DAMN they are gorgeous!

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Now wait until you see the dresser- it looks like a complete set!

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