Friday, January 21, 2011

Bench with Unusual Fasteners

It's in the details. He's made a similar bench style before but I love the creative elements he always manages to sneak in to make it unique. Do you see it? On the back side, he added handles to the back, top and bottom. The ones on top are a bit smaller and, luckily, he found some bigger ones to accommodate the width at the bottom. $110

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Black Cabinet

This ancient sewing cabinet had surface issues on the top that had to be mudded and, thus, painted. It had a makeshift plywood arm to hold the extension that I replaced with an iron one. I had a thought to replace the masonite with something more aesthetically pleasing but I really doubt it would ever get opened or used so it would probably be for nothing if I got too crazy. I could see it covered with a personal touch like old love letters and only you would know they were there. $47  SOLD

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Crate Shelving

OK, I know it is not a huge transformation but what I really wanted to point out was the painting technique I used. I had a little bit of my favorite yellow left but it wasn't enough to do a coat and I wasn't really looking forward to the whole inside/outside thing. I cheated. I diluted it with an equal ratio of water and did more of a wash. One thin coat was sufficient to give it enough color.
Admittedly, I am very cheap when it comes to putting any purchased product into our pieces because we want to keep the prices as low as possible. I usually find my paint at garage sales but the season is pretty limited here and used paint is not thought of as having a resale value. So, I have been buying it through gritted teeth until I discovered Rust-Oleum. The American Accents line is fantastic - a little bit goes a long way and the consistency is great. (No, I'm not getting paid, yet.)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Custom Signs

I've never painted signs before until a year and a half ago a gal came in absolutely frustrated. She'd been all over town looking for someone to paint something specific as a gift. By this time she was just meandering shops, basically giving up. It was partially the quoted price but mostly that no one was listening to what she was describing, that she was feeling dejected. I knew what she wanted - a crappy board and a crappy paint job. Easy, huh? I thought so, so I told her I would try it. Long story short, it was a hit and the price was very affordable. Thus began a new side-line. (Her home is going to be featured in a magazine this spring and they took pictures of the sign so I will keep you posted.)
Now, every board is a potential sign. Unfortunately, sometimes my partner and I are fighting over the same piece of wood. My favorite is old bread boards, but I've used weathered barn boards, dilapidated shutters, a fish scaling surface, picket fencing, paddles, and warped table tops. After finding the inspiring surface, I find a font that looks compatible to what I want to say and draw it in free hand, then, paint. Luckily, I've got a very steady hand as long as I stay away from too much coffee.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Unique Tables

Not just benches but tables, too! My partner is fabulously gifted at thinking outside the box when he's got time in the workshop. The harvest table is pieced using legs from another and bi-fold planking. He left the three hinges on the planks and put a paste wax finish on the top. $275
The coffee table started as a barn door that I pulled from the rafters of a shed that was going to be pushed over. (What I won't do for beautifully crappy wood!) He left the pull on it, sanded and topped it with paste wax. The legs got the paint/distress treatment. $105

A True Make-over

So many people can't see the potential in some truly hideous pieces. This sat in our indoor junkyard for over a year because, well,...look at it! Seriously, I don't know what I would have done if I couldn't have popped the trim off, not to mention the lovely vinyl flooring that was added to the top in it's previous life. So, minus the trim and some veneer, I took a heat gun to the top, ditched the hardware, puttied the holes, lightly sanded, painted and distressed edges. Finally, I found three relatively similar knobs from our huge odds-and-ends collection, and Ta-da! It turned better than even I anticipated. $46

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

3 Clever Benches

My partner really has a knack for seeing a bench with any given piece of wood. He started constructing basic benches in various lengths using all recycled wood. Now he has gone into a whole new creative direction offering more unique, one-of-a-kind pieces for our customers.
I only wish I had the before pics of the pile of lumber he starts with but I know his whole process is a work in progress and ideas change sometimes in the middle with an even better detail or solution in the end result.
The black started as a raw, beat up foot board. He made a wider seat to accommodate the heavier back using some old trim board from an apartment we gutted and, finally, added some legs that were gathering sawdust. $80
The green chair-bench (which can be seen in the background of the blue bench) is what I've nick-named 'the 3-year and 15 minute project'. He actually put the chairs together using hinges three years ago and then it sat, literally. With the mysteries of creativity, nothing seemed right for the seat until that day came when the stars aligned themselves perfectly and BAM! 15 minutes later, project complete. I painted it using a scant coat and a very dry brush to give a more weathered look, then distressed it in the right places. The slat seat, the same trim boards from the apartment, was left raw. $110
Finally, our most popular bench started as pew ends found in a barn loft. Using the apartment trim boards, he assembled the bench and beefed up the bottoms of the pew pieces so it would be a more comfortable height. I painted it all black for a more uniform base coat, then the blue and distressed to expose the black underneath. $125 SOLD

Sunday, January 9, 2011

White Buffet

At our corner store (101 Walnut Street), we have venders that trade space for time so that we can have two shops on the same block and not have the problem of having to hire someone that may not feel as passionate as we do. The theory being that if you are invested, you care about your customer.

I love our venders because they always bring something different to the table and are open-minded about possibilities. In this case, a vender brought in a sweet little buffet and was hoping to have it painted for a quick turn-around but felt the paint brush was not her friend. We worked out a deal and you can see the end result. I replaced the round mismatched knobs for square ones, used my new favorite paint - Blossom White by Rust-Oleum, and distressed. $115   SOLD

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Discovering White

I got inspired with this one. I had a customer wanting us to paint a dresser she had purchased from us white (veneer, don't worry) for her daughter's room. Of course it turned out cute but it's not something I would have done, not being a big white person. Love the look, but, admittedly, it scares me. I next turned to a shapely side table that needed loving but the right color hadn't been right until now. (I still can't remember 'before' shots so I didn't include it in a blog.) Then I turned to what had been a color dilemma before and knew it had to be white, too. Sometimes black and red can be so obvious that I forget there are other colors. Someone buy me a box of crayons!

This started as a standing flatware chest. We used it as a display case and quickly realized why the previous owners never put the legs on. They were pretty rickety. Upon retiring, it needed a face lift. I chopped the legs for more stability (they could easily come off for a different look, too) and gutted the inside. I painted it inside and out Blossom White from the American Accents collection, distressed it and added a knob. $32 SOLD

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Table with 'Character'

I am threatening to paint the bottom of this table. This is an example of what our customers can't overlook. The price is $35 and I still get the comment, "What's wrong with it?" If it was at St. Vin's or the Goodwill, it would have been snatched up the day it was put out. I'll admit to tightening the screws and adding a peg so the extensions work, but that is all I far. I know that if I just paint it (a medium blue to match the ticking in the chairs) and raise the price to $135, it will be gone in two days. OK, OK, I'll admit to something else, I hate painting. Does someone else have a vision or just need a cheaper-than-dirt table?