Before and After


Here’s what I’ve been working on lately. Please disregard the plywood floors but that is what is allowing me to use my dining room as my work space right now, until we get our new floors in!

 
Not really Mixed Media, more decoupage, but I really needed to work on some of the projects cluttering the garage. I don’t love decoupage and now wish I had done a transfer instead.
I used some images from the Graphics Fairy, but the main image is an illustration, which was the inspiration for doing this desk this way, from the late 19th century by Albert Robida called “Leaving the Opera in the Year 2000.” I found it on a site called The Public Domain Review which has some really interesting images. Once I saw it, I knew I had to use it somehow.
This is so not my usual style which is more French Country and Cottage. When I had the top done, my husband came home, and I thought I would get “the look,” you know the one that implies, “God, what is she thinking?” But he surprised me by saying, “You’re not selling this one are you? That’s so cool!” My #1 fan.
So OK, I guess I have to keep it even if it doesn’t go with anything else in my house!
Here’s what it looked like before.

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My latest project was a makeover for a sad little box that I got at the thrift store so long ago and sat in the basement forever.  I think I paid less than $5 for it and it is a good thing because the supplies cost a little more than I would have liked.

But, boy, do I love the results!

ugly-duck-box

Here are some of my inspiration pictures.

picmonkey-image

Here is the before.  Sad little duckies…..

img_0943I took the whole thing apart, removing the hardware and peeling off all the lose paper.

img_2717What a mess!  But in that mess was pure French gold!

I applied plain brown kraft paper to the inside of the chip board pieces using a watered down wood glue.

img_2718And added a French script fabric to the outsides and trimmed with a faux leather fabric.  Both of these fabrics were on the clearance rack at the fabric store.

I reused some of the hardware, which I repainted with a faux rusty effect using black and copper spray paint.

Added black upholstery tacks  found at the hardware store to the faux leather strips and Voila!  Ugly duck to French swan!

ugly-duck-collage

 

 

Doesn’t every kitchen need more storage?  I have this alley way of a galley kitchen that is sorely lacking in the storage department.  So what to do?

I ‘inherited’ this extremely ugly but utilitarian storage cabinet.  Oh, no! There was no place in my renovation plans for something like this!  Here is a cabinet that is exactly the same as the one I had.  No, just no.

old-pantry

So, in shopping for a replacement, this was on  my pin board:

And this one:

No, can’t justify paying those prices for a pantry cupboard, not while we are still in renovation mode.  And we scrounged the thrift/antique places with no luck in finding a suitable replacement, at the right price, without having to do some work on it.  If I had to paint it, might as well paint the one I have.

So, after some chalk paint, some graphics magic from the Graphics Fairy, and some added molding,  voila!  Old store sign fancy pantry!

Old Store Sign Pantry

Old Store Sign Pantry

 

Before and After

Before and After

Still have to add some handles, but so happy with it!

#GraphicsFairy

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My daughter didn’t think I’d want it back.  In her defense, it was a mess. One of the drawer fronts was fallen off, the back was in pieces, it was dark, dirty and scratched up.

IMG_2690.JPG

It just had not fared well with a house of kids and cats.

So it took the four hour ride home with me and sat in the dining room for a couple of months before I got to it. And naturally, I didn’t take ‘before’ photos.  Just cuz.

But here are some in progress shots.  After I removed about a hundred nails. And filled in the scratches on the top with wood filler. And sanded the h+++ out of the whole thing.  And replaced two of the drawer bottoms.  And put the whole thing back together with new glue and nails.

IMG_2600We had a whole pile of old maps from National Geographic Magazines.  I glued (mixture of wood glue and water) some inside the drawers to add some character. I guess I have been in a traveling state of mind lately.

IMG_2601I also had removed the brass hardware off the drawers and gave them a cleaning.  I used an internet tip about using mayonnaise to clean the brass.  It sounds weird, but it really worked.  Put it on, let it set for a bit and scrub off.  I left a little of the patina on because I didn’t want it too brassy, shiny.

IMG_2602.JPGPainted the sides of the drawers to match the top using my home made chalk paint recipe with a sample jar of Behr color called Harbor, although I didn’t want a nautical look, I liked that the color matched the maps. (click the link to find my recipe on that post)

IMG_2605I used a compass image from the net and enlarged it using Block Posters, a free site that allows you to enlarge a photo. The image must be in a format that they accept.

I used carbon/transfer paper to trace the design onto the dresser top and then painted in the design.  After the paint was dry, I sanded it lightly to give it a faded look and then added stain because the paint was a little too bright for the look I was going for.  I just put a little stain on a paper towel, rubbed a little on and buffed it in until I got the effect I was looking for.

IMG_2606.JPGLeaving the wood natural, I added a couple of coats of Minwax Polycrylic to the whole thing, and a couple extra coats to the top.

So with the compass, I decided to use the popular saying from Lord of the Rings, but when I looked up the poem for the proper wording, I found the actual first line, and thought it appropriate for the piece. “All that is gold does not glitter.”  It seemed to fit.

IMG_2694I guess my advice is don’t be afraid to put some elbow grease into something that looks like it might be worth the effort.

IMG_2693IMG_2692.JPG

(I do not have affiliates.  I provide links so you can see what products I used)

Thanks for reading,

Lisa

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It doesn’t take a lot of fancy, expensive paints to make over an outdated chandelier.  Don’t let them fool you!  You can get great results from simple, cheaper options.

Chandy Finished makeoverSo, if you’ve been looking into doing this, you have probably found other blogs who have used various name brand chalk and metallic paints. Here are a couple I loved, Diane’s at In My Own Style, and Amy’s at Maison Decor, and a zinc look makeover from Leslie at Colorways, whose chandelier’s style is much like mine was.

Sometimes you have to leave your chandeliers attached to the ceiling while you paint, but we were moving our light (along with the dining table) across the room so it was coming down, making the make over so much easier.

I also love to take apart my electricals and play with them!  I get so excited to start my projects, I always forget the before pics, but you’ve seen enough of these outdated shiny brass chandeliers, haven’t you?

My chandelier being taken apart.

My chandelier being taken apart

But take pictures of any funky ways things are assembled, like the way this wire goes around this part, so you can reference them when you put it all back together.

Take pictures for reference to assist in assembly later

Take pictures for reference to assist in assembly later

 

I took the whole chandelier apart and taped up the sockets to keep the paint out.  Then, started it off with a shot of Rustoleum antique bronze spray paint…. not much of this shows at the end, but I like having that dark base.

Then, I started layering my home-made chalk paint.  Here is my recipe:

Chalk Paint

For the painting process, I have some pictures from a lamp I painted the same way.

Shiny brass lamp to make over

Shiny brass lamp ready for make over

The paint I used on this project was made with a sample of Behr Chenille Spread, which is an off-white.  I used a chip brush and instead of stroking it on, I stippled it, which is a fancy way of saying I dabbed it on.

Antique Bronze spray paint and coat of white chalk paint stippled on

Antique Bronze spray paint and coat of white chalk paint stippled on

Next came a bit of blue chalk paint, this is called Provence Blue.  I used this sparingly.  I wanted to simulate a patina on old metal.

If you do too much, don’t worry.  Just put more white on top.  I would also use a paper towel and dab off if I put too much on.  I liked how that gave it more texture.

The next layer is a bit of brown spray paint.  I kept the can about 18 inches away and let it sputter so it spattered on the pieces.

Brown spray paint spattered on the white and blue chalk paint

Brown spray paint spattered on the white and blue chalk paint

Again, with the white, and if I wasn’t quite happy with it, I just kept adding layers until I was.  There is no right or wrong with this, just do what makes you happy.♥

To add a little shine, the last layer was a Ceramcoat Gleam acrylic craft paint in silver that I had on hand.  I used a foam brush to put it on and then used the paper towel again to rub it in.

Even acrylics can be used to add layers

Even acrylics can be used to add layers

Silver acrylic paint rubbed on as final layer

Silver acrylic paint applied on as final layer

Now to assemble the chandelier parts back together.  I wasn’t entirely happy with the original composition of the pieces.  I played with how they went together.  The top pieces were put back the way they had been, except I turned them upside down.

On the bottom half, I wanted to eliminate the big round piece.  I just didn’t like it.  It is easy to change things up this way.  I had some threaded rods from other lighting projects, but you can buy some different length rods at the hardware store in the lighting parts department.  Lighting nipples

So I just played with the pieces and the rods until I got something I liked.

The chandelier is now going to be a plug in instead of hard wired. (The outlet was wired to a wall switch, so we can flip the switch to turn it on)  I added the chain and attached the new wire to the existing wiring in the chandelier. Wire and chain can be purchased by the foot at the hardware store.  Adding the new wire is pretty easy to do.  All the wires to the various arms of the chandelier all come together in the center.  They were held together with pigtails (those little plastic caps).  Unscrew the caps, remove the old wire that went up to the ceiling and attach the new wire, re-attach the caps.  Done!  Thread the wire through the chain.  There are plugs that you can add to the other end of the wire to plug into the wall.  Ask a person at the hardware store to help you find these.

I also added some bling with glass beads from Fire Mountain Gems.  I used a small drill bit and drilled holes in to candle holders so I could attach the bead drops I created.

Look at the bling!

Glass beads attached to the candle holders

Glass beads attached to the candle  holders

Completed chandelier makeover

Chandelier make over

 

 

 

Fireplace Collage

Our fireplace was pretty blah run of the mill.  I wanted to take our fireplace from, “Oh there’s a fireplace” to “Wow, look at that fireplace!”

We couldn’t really afford real stone, but that was my dream.  I have been on Pinterest pinning photos of country style big ol’ stone fireplaces, and boy, I loved that look, like this one:

Inspiration Fireplace

Inspiration Fireplace

(source unknown)

Or this one:

Another inspiration fireplace

Another inspiration fireplace

(source)

And this was the style I was striving for with the mantle we were going to use.  More on that later.

And this inspiration fireplace

And this inspiration fireplace

(source)

Well, in looking around Pinterest, I found a few people who used a product called Airstone that is sold through Lowes.  They don’t pay me a thing for telling you this, I just want to let you know what I used.

In particular, I used the suggestions and great how to from Diane at “In My Own Style” We used a chop saw with masonry blade (although we went through a couple of them since we did a lot of cutting).

So this is what it looked like before.  Of course, we had already started our ceiling project (which you can see here) so hubby is on the step ladder, and this is the only photo I have with the fireplace intact before I started ripping it apart.

Fireplace: Before

Fireplace: Before

It was an ok fireplace, very traditional, but not very exciting.

So I took it apart. The old mantle is on the left.

Fireplace in Transition

Fireplace in Transition

Then the fun began.  We removed the ceramic tile hearth in front of the fireplace and laid a slate tile purchased from Home Depot. Again, I don’t get paid for that, just providing the info for you.

Then, as mentioned, we used Airstone in the Spring Creek color.  I love all the variations of grey in the stone.  My only caution would be to order new boxes online.  We ended up with a box that we think had been returned to the store and the pieces were all the same color instead of the variations of colors.

 It was easy to use.   We used corner pieces on the edges, cutting them so they laid against the wall, giving a more three dimensional look on the outside edge.

Fireplace in Progress

Fireplace in Progress

Next came the mantle.  We found this driftwood plank on the beach a couple of years ago.

I knew when I saw it that it would be our new mantle.  It has so much character, and after aging a couple of years in the basement, and a couple coats of poly, it is perfect.  We built out a ‘shelf’ to help hold up the mantle and something to anchor it to.

Sorry, I don’t have much for photos on this process, but we built a box with 2×4’s and mounted it to the wall and then the mantle piece to the box to hold it up along with a couple of unfinished Stockport wood corbels.  I painted them with leftover paint from other projects which was flat black and a metallic bronze color, then a couple coats of poly.

Corbels and reclaimed wood mantle

Corbels and reclaimed wood mantle

Here’s another close up of that great reclaimed wood!

Reclaimed wood and shell

Reclaimed wood and shell

It has all the wood grain with crevices and holes–just so much character!  Don’t worry, I sanded it very well to avoid splinters!

So, here is the before

Fireplace: Before

Fireplace: Before

And here is the after

Fireplace Awesome!

Fireplace Awesome!

I’m still working on the vignettes and this is not the permanent artwork.  The artwork going up there was in storage and I’m still rounding up all the treasures I want to display on the mantle, but I couldn’t wait any longer to share our progress.

Fireplace Collage

Let me know what you think!

I love unusual chairs.  I love this hand carved chair and I so wish I knew its history.  We acquired it from my husband’s uncle’s estate.  Because of the hand carved features and the style, I think it is 19th century. Here is the before.

Button Chair Before

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, this is not actually the before.  The before was the back/arm rest in a couple of pieces and one of the side pieces unattached.  I brought all the pieces home, glued them together, and had this.   I also removed some metal bars that had been attached to the seat bottom to hold a cushion.  It really wasn’t working.

My next step was to make a new seat.  I took a newspaper and traced around the inside of the seat.  You can see there is a lip and I wanted the seat to nestle right inside and have that lip hold up the seat.  I used 1/2 inch plywood and traced my template on it.  Here I would suggest taking your paper template and trace it to cardboard and pre-fitting it to the seat area.  This would have saved me a lot of time.  The paper is very flimsy and so it really was not an accurate template, so I ended up having to truck my piece of plywood up and down the stairs trimming off a little here, a little there until it was just right!

My next step was to use the same template and trace the shape onto the cushion.  I wanted a real thick, cushy cushion so, even though I still had some of my free foam cushion left, I broke down and bought a 4 inch cushion from JoAnn’s Fabric.  Wait until a 50% off one item coupon comes up because this stuff is $$$$!  I actually went to the store where they will sell it by the yard.  I bought a 24 x 24 inch square.

I made a grid on the paper template to determine where I would want my buttons to be on the cushion.  I transferred where the buttons should be placed to the plywood cutout and drill holes in the plywood, smaller sized bit since they only need to be large enough to get a needle through, but large enough to find!.  I didn’t do step by step instructions on making a tufted cushion because it is done so well by Brooke at All Things Thrifty.  I used the same buttons to cover which are available at most sewing supply stores.  Again, I bought mine at JoAnn’s.  The only thing that didn’t work well for me was drilling the foam.  I ended up using my scissors and snipping the holes in the foam which worked out fine.

Here is a picture of the buttons in place, ready to be tufted.

Buttons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is what the back looked like after I finished the tufting, stapling and trimming.

Buttons Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kind of funky looking, but look at the top!  Love it!

Buttons Tufted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I’m done a project like this, I like to finish off the bottom of the seat like professionals do.  Only I don’t want to buy the black dust cloth off the web, so I buy the black weed guard fabric at the home improvement center.  It is very much the same thickness and consistency.  It is a lot in a roll, but not expensive. Just place on the back, staple in place, and trim close to the staples.

I also cleaned up the wood.  There were numerous recommendations from members of a Facebook Group called Your Funky Junk for the product, Howard Restor-a-Finish.  I think the wood is maple and I didn’t find a Howard in maple, so I used the Walnut.  I also used the accompanying  wax, Howard Feed-n-Wax.  These two products worked very well to clean up and shine the wood without changing the finish or removing the lovely, aged patina that I didn’t want to lose.  Perfect!

So here it is.  The comparison of the foot really shows the improvement on the finish.

Button Chair Collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m so happy with the makeover.

Buttons Makeover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Just disregard the plywood floors, please!  Still a work in progress!)

 

 

 

 

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