Working on Hutch Turned Bookcase!

Hello Everyone!

Ok…so, have you ever gone into a big box hardware store looking for furniture feet or legs?  Just to find out that they are way out of your budget (In my world, any amount of money is out of my budget! lol) at approximately ten dollars a piece, for just furniture feet? Don’t even get me started on table legs!!  Its more than I want to spend on a piece of furniture that I just rescued off the side of the road or was given so that it didn’t go into the local landfill.

The point is to find a way to remake furniture and do so with the idea in mind that it shouldn’t cost a fortune!!  I aim this blog at people who are young and just starting out, or are just plain frugal!!  And in my world…re doing a piece of furniture for a 100 dollars is not frugal!  I am not saying that doing things on the cheap is always easy…but it is doable! I also think that if you are going to spend money, it should be well thought out and in the right places.

Take this desk/hutch for example.  My son and his wife gave me this piece of furniture when they moved into a bigger space. They have made two additions to their amazing little family, and are in the process of “reworking” their spaces.  (that would be that expand, retract, rethink thing that happens when you move!) The hutch and desk together were more than I wanted to attempt…so I separated them.

Here is the hutch now with feet (I am sorry, sometimes I get so excited when I get an idea that I forget to take the before pictures!) and shelves.wpid-20150827_135827.jpg

Now I will go there and say, she doesn’t look like much. I added the bottom shelf, and the feet.  the bottom shelf is pallet wood, sanded, tacked and screwed into the bottom. The feet…yes, lets talk about the feet!  Those are the finial tops for post! You can find these in the fence and deck lumber area of you local big box hardware store. (I got these at Lowe’s)…for approximately $3.40 plus tax each.

When I started working on this piece I really did not like how it was going. It seemed top-heavy (which it is) and bulky (which it is). I did not like the frame piece that I added to the bottom (so that I could add legs) showing. So I just knew that trimming the bottom out was in my future. Off to the hardware store I went!!

wpid-20150922_193358.jpgI added the trim pieces at the bottom, and I did a crappy job!  My miter saw quit working and I no longer have a miter box….so I just squared them up and nailed them on!!! I am still not happy with that but I figured I will change it later, once the saw is replaced or working again. I also shimed up the front feet to make the entire piece lean back a little. This is an easy “ish” thing to do. I simply took a paint stir stick and cut two pieces of it, and drilled holes to fit over the screw in the foot, and screwed them back in. It helped a lot and made the piece more stable.

Once I had that done, I used a de glosser or liquid sander to take the shine off of the piece.  It is my personal opinion that you can paint anything, you just have got to know how!!  When it comes to anything with a plastic type laminate and/or particle board or fiber board USE A DE GLOSSER!! Do not attempt to sand it with sandpaper! I have done this and what I got was scratched up plastic or shredded fiber board…do what works for you, this is just my experience.

wpid-20150925_111834.jpgI love this part, when you start applying the primer. I used Zinsser water based 1,2,3 primer here.  I loves me the Zinsser!!!  (note, they do not sponsor me or my blog, I just really like their products! Use what works for you!) This primer is great for laminates. My word of advice on primer is to read the label!! It will tell you if it is good to use on wood, laminate, metal, MDF or particle board. It will also tell you if you need to sand first to use it or not!!  NOTE: the old school concept of oil versus water based; now a days we have water based formulas that work as well as oiled based products.  THAT HAVING BEEN SAID if you are going to use a piece in what I call a water area (a table top, kitchen, bathroom, or someplace where you might have to scrub it more often than casual use) do yourself a favor. Either use the oil based primer and paint or do your research and find the water based alklyd paints and primers that are out there. Word of caution: Water based alklyd paints (Sherwin Williams has one) are NOT cheap!!  Not that any paint is, but these run around 60 bucks per gallon.  Although I hear they are better for the environment as far as disposal is concerned, are much easier to work with due to easy clean up and less fumes and they are as good as the old school oil based stuff! I know someone who used the water based alklyd on her kitchen cabinets.  I would have sworn they were done with an oil based!

Here I used a water based primer, and a latex paint. This is a bookcase that will see very casual use.

wpid-20150925_115011.jpg         These two pictures are the first coat of primer and the first coat of paint.  I have to slow myself down at these points mainly because I want there to be wpid-20150929_123928.jpga chance for the primer to fully dry (I am in Florida, which equals humid. I always give primers overnight and first coat of paint overnight!). If it is not, the first coat of paint will not fully dry and the whole piece will have a tacky feel to it.

Also, when you are at this point, the urge to rush is there because you are finally getting to see what you have worked so hard on coming together.

I am so pleased with how this bookcase turned out!

My daughter wanted this to match the Jesse table I posted earlier.  So I pulled out the stencils and went to work. 

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Although I did love the piece in the creamy white we painted her, this pic is after the second coat of paint.  The stencils did add that bit of oomph!  Also, I want to point out something… My daughter initially wanted for the engraved embellishment on the top of this bookcase to be filled in with wood filler.  I have learned something about doing that…I ALMOST ALWAYS, undo it later.  It just never seems to look right. The advice being that you should work with what you have.
So, in the same terracotta color, I painted the top center embellishment and placed the scroll stencil on the sides.  I think she came out really pretty! 

wpid-20151001_115200.jpgThe stencil placement was decided by my daughter… Just to give credit where due.

When I was done stenciling, I let all of it dry overnight, and used Varathane’s water based poly on it and let that dry overnight.

It always feels good to know I kept something from filling a landfill.

From my garage to yours!

Lorie

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Happy Birthday to My Brother!!

This is what I did this weekend: I threw my brother Robert a birthday party!  I had such a good time making this cake! Coming up with a design, and then trying to make it….flames aren’t easy!  My Brother has been a pain in my butt, but also a light in my life. He reminds me of where I came from, that scruffy child running through the palmetto and sand, digging holes, hunting for turtles and snakes and sitting on the docks fishing. We were brought close by the events of our childhood, and by sharing the stress of issues born of that time.  Here is to you Robert!

wpid-20150927_103921.jpgFrom me to you, enjoy the family you have.

Lorie

Getting Benched

I used to live in a house where I had an eat in kitchen and a dining room.  This was required with the rather large family I have. So, I had two tables, and ten dining room chairs..(not to mention the rest of my “chair collection”, which I didn’t realize I had until an old friend of mine decided to enlighten me.)  Well, the wonder of moving into a different home is that you have to expand or retract on the STUFF level until you find a good fit.

white chairs before I am retracting…  I had these chairs in a different post. I liked these chairs, I had fun redoing them…and giving them all new seats.  But in this house, they were left out in the garage sad and unused.

white chairs afterSo I decided it was time to do something about this.  With the youngest needing furniture and quite honestly feeding that furniture addiction that I have…I felt that these could be put to better use.  My oldest daughter had wanted a bench…and although she has nowhere to put this one…it isn’t like the youngest wouldn’t take it.  So I found myself on a mission:  To build a chair bench!!!  Why not? I asked myself, it isn’t like I didn’t do a headboard bench…  So I took them apart and It began!

wpid-20150828_152048.jpgThe first thing to decide was how the bench would go together.  I had a hard time with design on this. I watched YouTube videos and read Pintrest post, and other bloggers versions of this. Now, I am not saying that what those people did isn’t spot on.  I just needed to do this in traditional Lorie fashion. I prefer furniture that is sturdy and even chunky, and I just can’t bring myself to take apart something that isn’t broken without good cause.  To me…this just wasn’t good cause. So I got on with the process.

I decided on my favorite color…red!wpid-20150908_142848.jpg

I painted a dresser I use as a TV stand this color. It’s Olympic’s Gumball Red, in a semi gloss finish.   I found this to be a rather dynamic red, which is why I like it!! And although it took a long time,  I decided on having the chairs in the facing each other configuration. I cut some scrap wood I had and routed the edges…then decided it would need a back.  I stained the wood in mahogany red, and used Minwax polyurethane on it.

wpid-20150919_135204.jpgI wasn’t sure about how this would sit.  My opinion of furniture is that it must look good, but it could look great all day long, if no one wants to sit on it, what’s the point?  So here is the dry fit on the seat and the back. It sat fairly well…So I finished it.

wpid-20150920_125555.jpgwpid-20150920_125645.jpgI am really happy with the outcome! I wasn’t trying to make it not look like chairs were involved, I just wanted a certain shape. This one works for me, what’d you think?

wpid-20150920_125710.jpgIt just goes to show, that even old dining room chairs can find a new life. I like this trend, and I think that this will look great no matter what home it finds!

From my garage to yours!!

Lorie

The Jesse Table

Well, I don’t know about anyone else…but I am ready for fall!  Not that in Florida we see a change in the seasons really, but in spite of that I just love Florida fall!! We have those long fall days where the sky is blue and the air is crisp and you open all of the windows in your house and the breeze blows through so fresh and clean….  (heavy sigh)…

Ok, back to reality.  I found a cute pedestal table on the side of the road in pieces.  I hauled it home, put it together, and really didn’t give it another thought.  UNTIL…my youngest daughter decided she wanted it.

20150123_085220I thought about it, the table wasn’t the sturdiest thing and she has a young one at home.  We talked and decided it needed to be fixed and painted…  Soooo, that is what I did, all new hardware in the pedestal and a paint job.

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I decided to paint it Olympic’s Bone White.  Now, this happens to be a flat interior paint…but I LOVE this particular take on white.  It is creamy and not yellow or grey…or blue for that matter.  And if your like me, you have pulled swatches and paint chips by the dozen looking for the perfect white.  In my world…this color is it!!!   My daughter thought about it being white and went through my stencil collection and said,…”hey mom…can you do these two stencils on it in orange?” I thought to myself….ORANGE???  ok.  So I mixed together some craft paint I already had…yellow base, a small squirt of red and a little bit of brown….I got a sort of orange-y terracotta color, and this is me starting the stencils.

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I let it dry and did two coats of Varathane’s water based Polyurethane to seal it.

wpid-20150922_142029.jpgI love how this little table turned out!!  I have a hard time believing that a table that someone threw away became this. It just goes to show, you don’t have to throw away furniture. There is always a way to breathe new life into things instead of filling up a land fill with them!!

I hope everyone has a happy fall!!

From my garage to yours!

Lorie

To Stain or Not to Stain…that is the question…sometimes.

Hey Ya’ll!!  Back again!

So, I had an antique sideboard that had been severely water damaged during hurricane Andrew, down south Florida way.

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The veneer lifted due to the amount of water that had poured onto it, and my Gram decided to pull it off.  Eventually I ended up with this piece and finally decided to fix what I could.  I had the table to this set, and the base had fallen completely apart but the top was in good shape. The table was one of those that had the leafs that dropped down and under on the ends.

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I decided to cut the top of the table to replace the wood on it’s matching sideboard.  Not a bad idea…right? OMG…this thing was heavy, hard to lift and I did it with out waiting for my mule…the Hubby!  Not a smart move on my part. But after smashing my hand, I finally got it in a position where I could take it apart.    20150616_160735

I used the old pieces as a template, and then had to fit them.  The table top was much thicker than the sideboard shelves I decided to replace.

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Initially I thought that the wood wouldn’t match well enough to just stain and poly. I was absolutely convinced that I would have to paint it.  While I was working on this, I had been working on the stool end table shelf that is posted earlier on here.  Well…while I was staining the round top and shelf planks, I spilt some of the stain onto the top of the sideboard (I know, horrible me…I work on top of pieces I am working on..lol..welcome to my crazy world!). Of course I grabbed a rag and rubbed it in. I liked the way it looked, so,…I thought…it’s pretty signature me to leave the shelves wood and paint the body, maybe THAT is what I will do!!  Heh, heh…yeah, right.     I let the stain fly, I finished sanding out what I hadn’t already on the body of this piece and started staining.  Oh, what a sight!!  The wood didn’t match exactly but it did enough for me to not feel bad about staining the entire thing.20150822_11312420150825_095545

I knew that this was going to my youngest daughters, temporarily. So it had to have a durable finish on it. So stained and poly’d it was!!

I noticed that the original knobs were cracked.  So…off to Hobby Lobby we went, and got it some new ones!

Don’t they look good together? I thought so too!

20150827_100729It just goes to show, you don’t always have to paint a piece.  I know it’s the trend, but I believe that the only time you should paint a piece of furniture is when there is no recourse.  I know that this old girl will have many years left in her, and will last for another four generations to come.

From my garage to yours!!

Lorie

The Desk That I Made Into A Cabinet!

Ok, this is another story of my brother Robert.  He had been saving a desk for quite some time for my youngest daughter.  I finally found the time to go and get it, and it got parked in my garage. Just like so many things do  And the little voice in my head said, “I will get to it eventually”…eventually came sooner than expected.

This thing was ugly…and I couldn’t figure out what to do with it, so I kept moving it around my garage, and moving it, and moving it…..

wpid-20150609_121704.jpgUntil one day, I picked it up and it cracked across the top. Yep, I had picked it up from the wrong side. One of the legs had already buckled a bit…(this is a story of why you should never push furniture) So, I came up with the idea to saw it in half!!  Yep!  My other half looked at me as though I had lost my mind!  And promptly came out and helped me like the good hubby he is!!

wpid-20150722_114511.jpg Soooo, When we cut this thing in half..what I wasn’t prepared for, was that there was a piece of wood on the side that attached the long drawer to the rest of it.  I hammered, and pulled and used my utility bar…and finally got it off! and it looked bad….so bad, that I had to fill it!

wpid-20150724_121302.jpgI thought, “this is gonna look like sh*t!!!”  But, I let the wood fill dry (I love the stuff that is pink when it’s wet and dries to a tan color!!)  and sanded the crap out of it!!!  I was sure that I had ruined this thing and was going to have to tell my brother that it ended up in the trash.

But one thing that I have learned from doing all of this, is that even if it looks like a failure, don’t give up.  Finish it!!!  You would be amazed at how many times I didn’t like it until I got to the end.

wpid-20150725_100623.jpg So we used the trusty ole Zinsser primer. When I saw it primed, I got a new perspective, this just might work.  Everyone wanted to know why I cut the one side so wide…the main reason is cause that is where we cut it. It was just on the cabinet side of the crack I had put in it.  And I wanted the top to be as big as possible. Plus…I liked that it was different, and not perfect…

So with the white of the primer on it…I decided to go with a warmer white.  I went with Olympic’s Bone White.

wpid-20150727_171412.jpgI have to say…I went to Hobby Lobby for the knobs!  WHO KNEW??? They have the most amazing selection of knobs and the prices aren’t bad if you wait for a 50% off sale!!  I think the knobs make this little cabinet!  I really like how she turned out.

So, Moral of the story: This could have ended up in a land fill. Now this old girl has a few more years to be of use!

From my garage to yours!

Lorie

It’s Been A While!

Hey!!  I know it has been a while since I have posted anything, but life has a way of getting away from me.  I hate being in the garage in the deep heat of the deep south. I have however, gotten some things accomplished.

For instance, this very cute stool….well, ok…not so cute right now. But she has potential.

wpid-20150825_112542.jpgI had this stool ever so long ago. It had a cushion on it.  My oldest daughter moved out into an apartment that had a breakfast bar…and so, this stool and another (no, they didn’t match, but we put cushion covers on them in the attempt…lol) went into the apartment.  I got them both back recently, and this one had the cushion torn off.  Not a big deal…I sat and looked at it. Then went onto Pintrest and the internet in general to see what we could use this for.

So I sanded the legs down, and prepped them for painting.

wpid-20150825_112615.jpg I really didn’t do a great job…just made sure that what was left of the finish was scuffed up, and the marks around the bottoms of the legs were sanded off.  Then I decided to put two shelves on the bottom.

wpid-20150825_121806.jpgQuite honestly…that is pallet wood for the shelves.  I cut what I needed with my chop saw, and decided on which direction I wanted them to go in.  I could have put them on the lower rungs and had a sort of “stopper” in front of the shelves. As this was going to my youngest daughter (who loves to read) I thought it might be better, if books were to go onto these shelves, to make it where they were at easy access. The wooden round is a table top I got from Home Depot for my oldest daughter’s wedding cake to sit on. The round cost around 5 bucks. I felt this was a good use for it.

I decided to paint the legs in what I had left of the Valspar’s Fish Story, it is a beautiful teal.

wpid-20150825_130607.jpgI didn’t get a picture of it, but after doing a dry run with the table round, I painted the edge of the existing round top.

I decided at this point that I was going to make it match the magazine table I did, as they were both going into the same room. So I stained the wood in Minwax Dark Walnut.

wpid-20150825_143955.jpgI loved how this turned out…but knowing that this table would be going to a house with a child, I decided to polyurethane the shelves and top.

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I think it came out pretty good!!

So that is one of the projects I did this summer! I hope it inspires you to not throw out old furniture…even if it is broken…there is always a way to make use of it!!

From my garage to yours!!

Lorie