I have been working on projects.

So much time and so much effort goes into what I do. It takes a certain amount of planning, research and knowledge not to mention the time in the garage. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of it. It lights me up, and when I see the reaction from people who appreciate how I took this piece of furniture that was drab, beat up, being thrown away, broken, and not of use…that is when I feel a sense of satisfaction that nothing can compare to.  I know that I took something that other’s discarded and made it into something that anyone would be proud to have in their homes.

I also love the feeling that I saved this inanimate object from being destroyed. Kept it from becoming part of the landfill situation. Which is something I have spoken (and typed) about at great length.

There are those times when the piece of furniture is something that I already own. Something that has been moved around, dropped or damaged by my other half or, one or all of my four kids as they grew up.  All of that applies to this piece of furniture.

I got this huge thing from a friend before he died. From what I understood it was given to him by his father before he passed away, because it had belonged to his mother who died when he was very young. I am not sure why he gave it to me, other than that even at that time I had a passion for furniture.

Of course, I started before I had the thought to take a before picture. I also knew this would be a major labor of love/hate that would go on for a while.


When I start these kinds of very large projects, I get so excited and it can be hard to slow down and take my time. I hear that out of everyone who does any kind of project. We can all hear the call of the finish line!

I was informed by my Grandmother, (someone I would never argue with) that this is called a linen press. Due to the large nature of this piece, it was common to find them in larger older homes. Most people just avoided moving them.  I absolutely understand why!!

While I was working on “the linen press”, I found some interesting things.

One of the things that I found interesting was the writing on the bottom and side of one of the drawers.  What is says is:  Rebuilt by John Duk  Cabinet Maker Phil PA June 192120171020_131314-1This tells part of the story of this piece of furniture. It inspired me to start doing the same thing. Writing a short note in an inconspicuous place letting those who will have that particular piece of furniture after me, what I did, who I was and when I did it. It lends to the story behind how far a piece of furniture travels, and helps tell it’s story.  I thank John Duk, from the bottom of my heart.

The drawers are very stable, so John did a good job!

They were stable but not very pretty. Like most of the finish on this thing, it had darkened, had shadows, clouds and discoloration all over it. So I started with the drawer fronts.


The finish was like nothing I had ever seen before. I also want to note, there are locks on every one of these drawers and both the cabinet doors. I was given the key to it, and when I went in search of another key, so that I’d have two… no one could help me. I was told by one reproducer of keys (yes..they are on the internet) to look for “Jailer’s keys”. (I kind of wanted to laugh…) These locks were like nothing I had seen before. On the larger side, they seemed like overkill for a cabinet.  Two of the locks didn’t work, and I was able to take them out, and work with them to get them to smoothly open and close. With many suggestions of what to and what not to use for lube, and a shout out to all of you guys who helped me. (THANKS!!!)  One thing is for sure, these locks were made for this cabinet, original to the piece and unique.

So I continued on by taking all of the locks out, cleaning them, lubing them and fixing them so that they all worked.


Here she is with all of her drawers and cabinet doors devoid of finish. The drawer fronts were veneered, the cabinet doors and body were solid mahogany.


Once I got this far, things slowed down. I got the flu….a flu that lasted almost three months. So she sat in the garage, waiting.


Once I got better I started working on her almost immediately. This is a very large piece of furniture to have sitting in the middle of a workshop. I needed her out ASAP!!

So to work I went again.  This is after one coat of polyurethane. I let it cure for three days, before doing a “knock down” fine grit sanding. 1518752792689


I was trying to take my time.






So I finally got most of her done, and brought it into the house (with much difficulty..and I had help!)

I am glad to have her mostly done.  I will update this post when the cabinet doors are done and the escutcheons are in place. (most of them are missing, so I will be purchasing reproduction to replace).      From my garage to yours!!

cabinet almost doneLorie


The Kids Table

This table has been around a few years. It was made many years ago by my Grandpa. It was left on the deck outside at Grams and Grandpa’s house in North Carolina for several years and had started to rot. My Mom saved it and gave it to me with the hopes that I would set it to rights.  I had to rebuild most of it…out of more scrap wood, not that it is a big deal. It was built from scrap to begin with.  I knew that I could not match the finish on the pieces that had survived so that meant it was going to get painted, at least part of it was getting painted.20160922_153521-copyI used the old pieces as a template, and tried to get everything realigned correctly.  That sounds SO much easier than it was. After a bit of frustration I got it put together and began to sand the entire thing. I think the hardest part of most of these projects is slowing down and giving things enough time to dry before putting on the next layer.  I get excited and have a tendency to not take the pics I need, cause I want to get it done.


I think that this little table came out fine. Now I can once again enjoy the little table that Grandpa made!!

From my garage to yours!!




The Fishy Table

My brother Robert is the person who feeds my addiction for refinishing, or rethinking furniture, the most. He has supplied me with many furniture pieces, most that really just needed to be cleaned up and the finish refurbished.  This is not one of those  pieces.

This poor little beach table, it was sad, flakey, and kind of…messed up. (for lack of better terminology).

Here is the before pic of this sad little table, and I want to note…this is after it had been cleaned up (and by cleaned up, I mean that I had scraped paint off of it for two hours!).


I found out as I started sanding this table that it was made of cedar.  I really wanted to redo it in that natural cedar color. Not happening.  I couldn’t get all of the paint removed…but I did get a lot of it sanded off.

20161214_1147091I will be cleaning up blue paint dust for forever in my garage!!  The top was really bad too!


So I sanded and cleaned and worked really hard to get all of the flaky stuff off.  I got to the stain and prime stage and of course got excited and forgot to take a picture and moved on to painting it. But here is the next pic.I had gotten the top cleaned up and stained and painted the bottom at this point.


The stain is Minwax’s Red Mahogany and the paint is Olympic’s  Blue Songbird.  I really liked where this was going, but I just wasn’t feeling the blue.  I love the color, but it just wasn’t what I was looking for, it didn’t scream “BEACH” at me.  So, I sat and thought about it, and came up with this idea.20161226_1304511

This is a paint wash over the blue.  The color I used to do the wash is Valspar’s Fish Story.  I had a tad left over and just made sure that the paint was cured. Not just dry, but CURED.  I mixed water with the Fish Story and painted it on, wiped it off, paint it on, wipe it off, until you get the results you are looking for.  These kinds of finishes really have no wrong or right, just go with it and if you don’t like it…try again.


Finished product…Better than the before!!  And this fishy just screams, “Take me to the beach!!”

From My Garage To Yours!!!



I Just Couldn’t Wait to Share!

I love it when I find a good deal.  I almost come unglued at the seams when I find something that is free!!20161027_1640291

This filthy little dresser was on the side of the road…I know (gasp!!) you have never heard of such a thing!!!  I drove by it once…and decided that if it was still there I would pick it up on my way back.

It was still there waiting for me.  So into the back of the truck she went.  My other half loaded it up for me like the good hubby he is!!


On to the dresser….  I really had no idea what I was going to do with this thing at first.  Honestly, that is very unlike me.  Most furniture that I pick up…I have a plan for.  But this little diamond in the rough was a pure pity pick up.  So I stuffed her into the garage and went about my business.  I walked past her…and got the feel of the height and width of her.  One day a couple of weeks later…it hit me!  A kitchen island!!!  OH YES!!!  So I started planning what color, and really looking at the floor space in the kitchen trying to decide if the space was big enough to accommodate an island. I went as far as taping together peices of paper the same size as what I wanted, and putting it on the floor in the kitchen with my shop stool on top of it.  Just so I could get the feel of what it would be like.  I got really ansy at this point, cause I wanted that kitchen island, NOW!! lol…I can’t tell you how many times I said that to my other half.  He puts up with me so well!


I decided white would be the color of the body, and that I was going to do a stained wood top approximately one inch all the way around, bigger than the current top.  So that meant I needed wood, pallet wood to be precise. So I stopped at my favorite place for pallets (the business is called Superior Stone, they do some amazing work!!) and saw that they had set out some remnants next to the pallets….for free!!!!I picked up the most amazing piece of black stone, and through research came to the conclusion that it is soapstone.  There is a small defect in one corner…but I am ok with that!!!  20161103_0829131



So I primed and painted and got her inside.  I wasn’t really sure what to do with the knobs. Usually I go to Hobby Lobby and pick out something amazing!  But with Thanksgiving coming up and Christmas right around the corner, things are a bit tight.  So I was going to have to make do!

20161121_0826521I went ahead and set her up in the kitchen… I just love the height of this thing.  I will eventually take my shop stool back out to the shop, once I build a new stool for in here.

I thought long and hard about the knobs, and decided that at least for the time being, I would use what I have.  So I gathered up the knobs that were on her and hand sanded all of them down to clean and free of yuk.  Yes, yuk is an actual thing…at least in Lorie world it is.

So…I worked on the knobs (I did this yesterday, and I couldn’t wait to share this!) and this is what I came up with.


This was a simple thing really.  I sanded the wooden knobs, which are probably the cheapest knobs on the market, unremarkable, round and made of wood. But what is good about them is that they can be finished in so many ways.  I was really unaware of how many things you could do to make these knobs more custom yourself, everything from staining, decoupage, hand painting, spray painting, stenciling, and so on…I am sure you get the picture. Out of all of the knob crafting I found, the one idea I really liked was using a type of machined nut and  using epoxy , attaching a stone, crystals, glass, beads, sculpting out of poly clay…that list is limitless… and using a proper sized machined screw to attach it.  I couldn’t get all fancy at this point.  I wanted to keep it on the cheap for now. So I used some black craft paint, watered down for a stain, and some water based polyurethane to finish it. The above pic is what I got.

20161121_1918081It’s not terrible. I think they are way to small, but the Hubby loved them.  So, I did this with a remnant piece of soapstone, Olympic One Ultra White Semi Gloss paint (that I bought for another project), and some Minwax water based polyurethane (that I had leftover from a few other projects) and some black craft paint.  Zero dollars!!  And this pity pick up isn’t in a landfill!

From my garage to yours!!  Happy Thanksgiving!!!




The Cutest Coffee Table

Hello!!  I did this coffee table a while back for my youngest daughter.  It was a little table that I remember playing at in my early childhood. It was in a little house that my Gram lived in when I was a very young child, which was the house my mother was raised in.  Then it was moved to a sun room in the house she moved into later, which is the house I have the most memory of.  It had been sitting in a shed at my brother’s house, and he offered it to me.  So I took on the challenge!


A couple of the reasons I felt this would work at my daughter’s house is because it was in her color scheme, and it kept it in the family.  This picture is of it cleaned up and sanded, getting ready for transformation.  I decided that staining the wood a bit on the dark side would hide some of the imperfections, and would help the tiles pop.  I think it worked!

wpid-20151030_133621.jpgAt this point I was trying to decide if the teal would be overpowering as the color of the base, and if keeping it white would be a better choice.  I actually took my finger and dabbed some of the teal directly onto the green in the tiles. The teal disappeared, the difference was so slight.  I decided to go for it!!


As usual, I was really excited at this point and didn’t take the picture of it with jus the teal paint.  This is with it antiqued.  I used Valspar’s “Fish Story” for the teal and for the antiquing…I used Minwax “dark walnut” stain.  I like that it brings out all of the legs detail.


I really love how this turned out.

From my garage to yours!!


I am in it for the long haul. Yes I love furniture!

Furniture tells the story of the many lives and hands that it passed through.  Who built it? Who bought it? Why did they get rid of it and how? 20150825_103157

In the case of furniture that has been around a long time, (if I know it’s history) I revel in the fact that I will fix, repair, and make it useful and beautiful again. So that many years from now hopefully my great-great grandchildren will display it and proudly proclaim that my handwriting is on the bottom of the drawer telling; where it came from, what I did to it,  why I did it, and what year it was done.

If I don’t know it’s history, then usually I have saved it from becoming trash.  Occasionally, I will receive a piece from someone who knows that I like to do this and donates it to my addiction.  Personally, I like to think that I give it a new life. I was informed recently that only dreamers think that way.  Here I thought I was being logical.


The intertwining of people and furniture (in my opinion) is a very intimate thing. What could be more intimate than the chair you sit in everyday, the table you eat at, or the side table that holds the books you read and the cup of coffee you drink?  All of the things that make up our lives and all of the spectrums of emotion we have, are done on and around the things that make our lives comfortable.  Furniture.  Home is a place that offers that feeling of put your feet up, relax and de stress, comfortable and is well known. CAM00064

I know we live in a world of TV programing and Internet access that steers us toward a very design conscious mentality when it comes to our homes. The trendy, sometimes over done, the magazine worthy rooms that no one could ever possibly keep that way. The de clutter, over organized concepts that are great… if all your time can be spent organizing your stuff. Okay, okay…some of these things are really great.  I love the idea catalog that Pintrest is for me.  I love to use some of the organizing tools I have learned from the internet and the boatload of blogs out there.  However; that having been said, I think it takes a lot of discipline to stay organized (I am only half way there..), and unless no one lives in the rooms of your house…those magazine worthy rooms are just not happening. At least not for long!!!

It is ok to have furniture that doesn’t match, it’s ok to not have your room designs down pat or to be in a constant state of flux. I plan to a degree and then I give it room to breathe.  Like a good bottle of wine. Honestly,  I prefer it that way…the ever evolving change in my house reflects my life.  It is ever changing, and things that make sense today, may not tomorrow.  Like life, it is never done. 20160925_165941

The next time you have a piece of furniture that you have outgrown, don’t throw it away.  Give it a new life, or give it away. Donate it, or find a person just starting out…or having to start over.

From my laptop to your ears and hopefully your heart,



I Did This For Less Than $20

It was a couple of days after hurricane Matthew had hit. Trees and power lines were down everywhere. People seemed dazed and a little confused. No power, water damage and trees on houses and cars were a popular theme.  We lucked out with minimal damage.

After the storm had passed, and we were on our way to our daughter’s house. I found this little gem.

20161019_171123I knew that this was veneer over fiber board, and that it had obvious damage.  But…I saw potential.  And the price was as right as it would or could ever get!!!

I decided that some of it’s parts were just not worth saving, the side doors on it were pretty bad. So I removed them and this was the results.


I have a habit of getting really excited at this point and I usually forget to take pictures.  Also, we have just moved into this house, so finding things is a bit of a nightmare.  So, I used spackle to fill the holes down both sides where the hinges had been attached (yes, the kind you would use to fill holes that you make in a wall).  Of course I also removed all of the pulls and hardware. One thing about painting a piece like this that I love is that I can experiment with it (mostly because all that I would lose on the financial end, is my time and a small amount of materials).  So, yes to drywall spackle.


I used my standard Zinsser water based primer on this and I wasn’t sure if it would adhere to some places on what I am now calling the TV console, but it did!! Also I wasn’t sure if I had enough paint to paint this thing…so I took all of the samples I had that were of a neutral nature and mixed them together.


After going through all of my saved chips, this color is the same, or at least extremely close, as a color called Drifting Dune.  It is a beige-grey-white. It works! I did three coats of paint with a sponge roller.


If you are going to paint a surface, you don’t need a sprayer for that nice flat finish.  They make it look easy, until you realize that just like spray paint in a can…there is overspray, and clouds of paint.  I have learned all of this the hard way.(I am not saying don’t use a sprayer. I am just saying when you are doing a small job, sometimes less is more.)  Sponge rollers will give you a nice flat paint finish and you don’t have to construct a paint booth to use it.

Here is the finished product!!

20161022_144612Yes, it took a little work, but look at all of that storage and shelves!! Plus the TV fits so well!  More proof that furniture doesn’t have to cost a fortune!  Oh, and by the way, the knobs are from Hobby Lobby 50% off.  My total investment in this piece is: $12.00 for the knobs, and if I count the paint at around $3.00 for a full sample, a couple of bucks for the primer,… this baby cost me less than $20.00 and isn’t rotting in a landfill!!!

From My Garage To Yours!!