Sunday, July 17, 2011

Croquette Inspired Dresser

     Five years a ago, I went to a Parade of Homes in New Richmond, WI.  There were all these fabulous upscale houses built using reclaimed everything-they-could-get-their-hands-on.  There were so many great ideas and me without my camera.  One thing I remembered, probably because it was easy enough for me to pull off, was the pulls they used in the den.  They had taken old wooden croquette mallet heads and used it on the drawers and cabinet doors (hefty reclaimed barn boards sanded and oiled.  Gorgeous!!)
     I had this five-out-of-six-and-no-ball set for over a year in the shop with no buyers.  I'll bet they wish they bought them now!  The hard part is finding the right dresser or buffet to pull off the look and, of course, the right number of drawers.  When I crossed paths with this ugly little thing at a garage sale, I knew it was the one.
          I had to remove the veneer along the bottom and putty the lines in the drawers.  The original holes got filled in using my golf peg trick and wood filler.  Two coats of Rust-Oleum's Colonial Red and she was ready for her new sporty pulls.
     I wish I had taken before and after shots of the mallets because the coloring was faded enough and it had a grey weathering to it that wasn't all that appealing.  (I guess now I realize why they didn't sell.)  I painted a new stripe and polyurethaned the heads.  Of course, I kept the handles for another project I have no idea about.  The finished dresser....................
     I got lucky with the two smaller drawers.  I found exactly two wooden mushroom knobs with the same coloring and even a little matching paint on them like it was meant to be.  Two less in my overwhelming collection.  She's on a roll!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Chicken Finally Gets Loved

     Someday I am going to have to take pictures of our indoor junk yard for you all.  It ebbs and flows between estates we buy and we always manage to leave some space to walk from the front to the back, but woe to the person who needs something specific because it is usually somewhere in the back corner on the very bottom.  Murphy's Law.
     Because we find so many great estates, we can't get through all the stuff fast enough, so, inevitably, we see some of the same s*** packed and piled.  So, when my partner came at me with this chicken cut out from an estate from April of last year, I knew I had to do something with it now or it would meet it's demise in an unprofitable way.  It's funny how certain things get in your craw and it takes the brunt of your frustration.  I could hardly blame him eventhough this poor chicken was the least of our junkyard problems.  My partner got the short stick and had to 'reorganise' the mess.  Some things you can control and others like dressers that need new backs or chairs that need a major overhaul, are a bit more daunting and time consuming.
     I wanted to do something special with her but nothing 'spoke' to me.  I'm starting to think I'm some kind of board whisperer.  It's got to be the right saying on the right board in the right font or it looks awkward and forced.  Maybe I'm just anal.
     Meanwhile, I had this large bread board that I had been struggling with to find the guessed it...everything.  When I laid the chicken against it with the intention of putting thought into it later, it was like a light came down on it in spotlight and the angels started singing the Hallelujah.  Destiny!
      I painted the chicken white and scuffed her a bit to add some loving.  I then took some walnut stain to tone the white down and give her a look like she's been around the block, or coop, in this case.
     I scoured my fave haunts to find the right font.  I already had this board destined  to say something 'egg' but by itself, it didn't look complete.  Not until I had this chicken thrust upon me.  Oh, happy day!
     And, the finished look.............
     Just yesterday, I found the perfect board for a song snippet from The Sound of Music I've been dieing to do.  I'll post it on our FB page when I get it done.  BTW, congrats to us for achieving enough fans to get our vanity URL!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chalk Board Dresser

     My partner picked this simple little dresser up at an auction for cheap.

     To me, this one screamed that I should do something a bit different.  Because it was cheap and had easy lines, I felt it was worth the risk.  I've been dying to do something with license plates but that didn't seem quite right.  It had to be wooden-knob-friendly because I couldn't afford to put another 10 knobs into my collection.  I'm finding I have a secret aversion to the mushroom knobs.  I've only just found this out.  Don't ask me why, but the first thing I find myself doing is thinking how I can replace them.  I always thought they were sweet before but now I look at them like they don't have enough pizazz.  Anyway, I wasn't going to let a replacement happen this time.
     We had just bought some chalkboard paint for my 'Lunch Special' sign, so I had my sudden epiphany as I was finishing that project.  Chalkboard drawers!
     I sanded the dresser lightly and put on two coats of Rust-Oleum flat black.
     I added the chalkboard spray paint to just the drawers and the knobs.  I contemplated doing the whole thing but thought it would be too much of a 'dusty' look.  I'm glad I didn't because I really like the contrast between the clean black and the used chalkboard surface.
     The best part...   I got to keep the wooden knobs!

     Tip:  Don't forget to prime the surface before you actually write on it or the first thing you write will be permanent - always in the background.  It is simple to do.  Just take the side of your chalk and rub over the entire surface and wipe off.  That's it!  Now you are ready to write what you feel.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Marriage of Two Desk Parts

      I love it when people have an idea of what they want and we can make it happen!  My partner had just returned from an auction and still had this beauty in the van when he sold it.  A gal came in looking for a monsterous-sized desk she could use for a crafting table and when he showed her this, she saw the potential.
     Originally, it had been two separate pieces that were married together.  The back part of the top had been cut off to make it sit flush with the wall.  At one time this top would have been part of an island piece because you could see there was housing for another set of drawers.  What are people thinking, huh?
     So, the new potential owner saw some recently finished pieces and loved the idea of a natural top with the dings and character enhanced with a shabby chic white paint job on the bottom base.  Armed with a vision, we got to work.
     I started by scraping the thick grease layer off the top so my partner could sand it easier without gumming up the sander.

     He sanded the top down while still leaving the character and used old maple flooring to fill in the back part.  He ended with three coats of polyeurethane to seal the perfect character flaws.
     Meanwhile, I sanded off the silver spray paint oops on the drawers to have a more uniformly colored surface.  I painted the whole thing with two coats of Rust-Oleums Heirloom White and did a major scuff job to it.
    This is the process and end results...........
After scraping off the layer of grease
Maple flooring back

After three coats of polyurethane
Two coats of paint and a scuff job on the left

Scuff job done on bottom part

     Origianally, we thought we would just leave the top of the desk itself alone but after I thought about it, I knew that I would like to have it all painted.  Besides, if I was purchasing it, I would see the possibility of maybe separating the top from the desk someday and having two pieces for the price of one. 
     The two pieces separate were ungodly heavy!  I never really had a good lighting after we put the top on and I really didn't feel like asking him to move it AGAIN so I hope you can see how fabulously cute it really turned out to be.
     I realize we can't keep everything that comes through the door but I would have loved to have gotten the chance to get bored with this one.  He's lucky to have sold it while I was doing something else important, whatever that was.