Friday, July 20, 2012

Doncha love red?

We've been busy!  Carol and I did a marathon furniture makeover at a client's home.  We sanded, de-glossed, painted, painted, painted - and top-coated four pieces of furniture in two days.  Here are the before and afters...
This well-built desk with hutch top and file drawers suffered from that horribly dated finish: Pecan - the blandest of all "natural" wood stains.  The owner wanted a distressed finish with razzle-dazzle color to liven up the room.
Here it is devoid of hardware and doors and sanded.
These two file chests were to be coordinated, but not matchy-matchy.
The finished file drawer chests - color is just a bit off here - red is redder, as per the desk.

The client was very pleased - and we just love how they turned out.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Snazzy Remake...

The "Kushner" Chair...after -  I just love black and white...
An old chair was given to Cottage Chic (my shop) as a "do whatever you wish" project.  It sat in the shop for over a year with its drab floral cushions and uninspiring finish.  After painting it black to emphasize its lines, I had a brainstorm.  Over thirty years ago, I was an intern/volunteer at the Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia when it was just getting started.  Artists were invited to create designs that were silk-screened (hand pulled) in limited editions.

The Chair "Before"
Robert Kushner was among the first artists invited, and I was able to keep some of the first proofs that were pulled.  I don't know what they were titled as I was unable to stay to see the project all the way through, but I found one of the images online at an auction house, so they are of some value!  I just know how great the image looks on this chair.  And it's really comfortable!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Side Table Makeover

This old side table held charm in its turned legs and beaded drawers, but layers of (yuck) beige-pink paint and missing bead trim made it shabby - not chic.  One drawer wouldn't close - but the worst problem was the broken table top split off at the back.

I removed the top and replaced it, and because I save everything, I had some old wood beading that had come off of another relic.  It was close enough in size and shape to please the client, and voila!  Here it is with a distressed black finish, satin topcoat.  The sticking drawer required only glue and an overnight clamp with minor sanding.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Snazzy Shelf

I found this shelf (?) that I think used to be part of a large piece of furniture.  It seemed to be made to fit into a shallow cavity as a topper. If anyone has other ideas, let me know.

Here it is as found.
I immediately made it part of my "Mad for Turquoise in 2012" binge.  The warm wood color showing through contrasts perfectly with cool, cool, aqua.
Here it is after three coats of paint and careful abuse with an orbital sander.
Lastly, I gave it two coats of satin polyurethane, drilled out screw holes and affixed it to the shop for a photo.  It will sell in my shop or is available by emailing me.  It's approx. 16 x 11 x 7. 

Redo # 2012 -01

This is the first post on a new blog about making do, trash to treasure, rejuvenation, re-use and recycling.  There is not much that is more satisfying than a wonderful, functional and/or decorative "after" - and I hope to publish many of these along with tutorials if there is interest.

Here we go!

An old turntable/radio cabinet like this, made from maple in a country French style, is perfect for a rejuvenation.   No one wanted it as none of the components worked, but I saw potential. I gutted the speakers, radio and turntable, added a new bottom to the storage on top and sides.  (I have jewelry plans for the really cool tubes and colorful soldered bits - and parts of the speakers will end up as yard/outdoor art.)  I regret I failed to get a "before" photo, but here is the finished piece.
A shelf was added to each of the former speaker cavities.  I even used the original hardware - just painted it.

Attractive storage - side cabs are perfect for books, center door for stuff to hide, and top space for anything! I have a huge collection of old VHS tapes that fit perfectly - spine up - here.
The finish I chose is two tone: dark taupe under and in the storage spaces, with a light sandy taupe as the topcoat.  I utilized a resist technique for the chip-away distressed finish.

So much of the new furniture available/affordable for the average person is very poor quality and not even made from solid woods but MDF, pressboard, and glue.  One nick in that "fancy" sprayed-on pretend-a-wood finish and another Chinese import becomes junk.  This cabinet will be handed down to the next generation.