$10 Side Table Transformation

Recently a friend gave me a couple of things for helping her pick out some new furniture pieces for her house.
Among them was this side table.

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It was in awful condition– it was super scratched up and had even been stored outside for awhile. Not necessarily the shape or style I would normally choose, I decided to jazz it up with a bright electric blue paint and a fun knob from Anthropologie.

The first knob I tried didn't quite work.
The first knob I tried didn’t quite work.
The second knob was much better!
The second knob was much better!
Here's the finished product. Pretty fun, huh? I could totally see this jazzing up a room!
Here’s the finished product. Pretty fun, huh? I could totally see this jazzing up a room!

I’m saying this cost about $10 because the knob was $7 and I didn’t even use half a can of paint or primer. It was a totally simple fix, so before you throw away that piece that’s been bugging you, try painting it and giving it a new life!

Rehab Diaries: When You Just Need to Fix: Part II

Sometimes you just need to rehab something, but time (or energy) may not permit you to do all that you’d like.

Doing even a little something creative is better than nothing. Remember when I talked about shortcuts in Part One of Rehab Diaries?

Shortcuts generally don’t work out, but a quick fix isn’t exactly a shortcut, right?

My favorite way to get a quick fix?

A stain pen. It is total instant gratification. It’s cheap, too, ringing in at about ten bucks.

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I used this pen in ebony to go over some chips in my faux bamboo chair and freshen up the contrasting bindings.

I like the pens by Minwax. Simple, easy, and a great way to get a quick fix.

Be sure to be safe and use them in a well ventilated area. They are stain, after all!

Just for Fun… Some Easy Project Ideas

I am loving these looks right now… apparently I am ALL about the COLOR this week! ūüôā
Not sure where the photos came from, I’ve just shimmied them into the “inspiration” folder on my desktop over the past week.

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Love, love, love the look of this desk. The blue paint could really brighten up an old desk!
Loving this faux bamboo look that is taking over right now! This would be perfect in hot pink!
Loving this faux bamboo look that is taking over right now! This would be perfect in hot pink!
This drum table was listed at $429 on One Kings Lane. Love it! If you found something similar at a flea market/ thrift store, the look would be easy to recreate with a can of spray paint.
This drum table was listed at $429 on One Kings Lane. Love it! If you found something similar at a flea market/ thrift store, the look would be easy to recreate with a can of spray paint.

Notice a common theme (other than color) going on here? All of these items would make for pretty easy projects (the chair would probably be the hardest one because you’d have to re-upholser depending on what you find.) A coat of paint and you’re pretty much done. Perfect ideas for time pressed rehabbers who want to breathe new life into their space!

Makeover Made Cheap!

Here’s the thing…

I am SO TIRED of my living room. It is really, really pretty. I have a beautiful sage green couch that you just sink into, a gorgeous hand me down paisley goldish-colored chair. I have a green and gold rug with gorgeous vine designs with accents of burgundy and the tiniest bit of blue peeking out. To accent that blue, I’ve anchored a gorgeous baby blue vintage kitchen door onto my main wall. The walls are a pretty dove gray (it took 3 different colors to get there). Yes, the details are there, but they’ve also been there pretty much since I moved in three years ago… and it is dark! These colors are¬†gorg but I wanna switch it up for that bright, airy, LA vibe. Hey, we’re so close to the beach, why not?!

You’d think that’d be an easy thing for a rehabber to fix, right? Well, I guess this little thing called¬†time¬†keeps getting in my way. Oh, yeah, and his friend¬†money.

This project has been mulling around in my mind since Spring. I got rid of my dark wood coffee table and side table and started the stenciling project and made the $2000 dollar (but better cause it was under $20!) coffee table. Then I ordered a slipcover, but it didn’t fit. So I took it back, and the project has been on stall ever since. I think my mom is sick of me sending random texts saying, “hey, do you think making a slipcover is too hard for me?” (My sewing skills could use some work.)

Last week, I started cleaning some stuff out and re-arranging in preparation to begin this project again. The goal? Breathe new life into my living room for under $500.¬†(And I would prefer to avoid painting the walls at all costs… after trying three colors, multiple coats of each, and painting three coats to get the maroon ceiling white (what’s wrong with my landlord?) I said, “God as my witness, I will¬†never go through painting again.” Scarlett O’Hara brat attacks aside, let’s avoid painting, the gray is there to stay.)

Think I can do it? Is $500 reasonable for a total living room makeover? Do you have any tips?

Ghetto Rigged Rehab

I’ve been putting off this rocking chair project for over a year because I don’t have a clamp to hold the pieces together while the wood glue sets. Call it laziness, call it procrastination, call it I-just-can’t-ever-remember-to-buy-the-darned-thing when I go to the hardware store.

Today I was feeling inspired and decided “no more excuses” was the appropriate approach. Since most of my rehabbing has been trial and error, I figured it was the perfect time for a trial.

Here’s what I ended up with:

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If you can’t tell, I’m supporting the pieces with a dollar store candle, and old GRE prep book, hand weights, and a chip clip.

If you can’t quite get the picture with the close up of my mess, here’s another shot:

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I guess only time will tell whether this actually works! I’m going to wait a good day or two to remove my makeshift support system.

Taking all bets! Do you think I’m a little too hopeful or do you think this may actually work?

The Problem With Estate Sales (in Bel Air, at least)

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a sign for an estate sale. In Bel Air.
Now, I’m pretty nosey, so half the time, I want to go to an estate sale just to see the house and get some ideas for the dream home I’m building…

in my imagination.

Okay, so, I made a u-turn and drove up the windey roads, past the point where I thought I was probably lost and ended up at this estate sale.

What did I find?

A lot of marked up prices and a lot of junk. I mean, not in a “hoarder” way, and I’m sure a lot of the stuff was a lot cheaper than you would find at a boutique, but it was clearly worn. I mean, like, you-need-to-rehab-it-before-use worn. And a lot of the stuff I thought you could find at a thrift shop in the south for about a quarter of the price. (Oh, the good old south.)

Here are a couple of my favorite finds:

I liked this nightstand.
I liked this nightstand, but $450 for the pair is just too much. That’s $225 each, and they’ve obviously got a lot of wear and tear.
Hardware detail. So cool!
Hardware detail. So cool!
I like the shape and size of this chair, but it isn't anything special. See what I mean about needing to be rehabbed?
I like the shape and size of this chair, but it isn’t anything special for $400. See what I mean about needing to be rehabbed?
This couch was cute but had major water damage.
This couch was cute but had major water damage. I didn’t even bother asking about the price.
$75 for this telephone table!??! I MIGHT pay $15!
$75 for this telephone table!??! I MIGHT pay $15!
I think it would be really cute painted bright yellow.

Seemed to me that they were including sentimental value when marking prices.

Will I be going to any more estate sales? Yes, but mainly to get ideas and look at the homes!

Rehab Diaries: When You Just Need To Fix

With the craziness that’s been grad school, I haven’t had time to rehab much stuff lately.
Instead of giving up my favorite hobby,¬†I thought I’d try a shortcut. Well, we all know what they say about taking shortcuts.

Cane back chair
Remember these?

I’ve been itching to work on these $14 beauties since I bought them at Goodwill a couple of months ago.

I have been planning on staining the wood really dark and repairing (okay, maybe just staining) the cane backing… top that off with a bold print (I’m seeing black with big green palm leaves with maybe some mustard yellow and burgandy stuff on it) and you’ve got a gorgeous ¬†set of chairs.
The thing is, I’m short on time, and I hate, hate, hate the staining process.

So when I found this stuff at TJ Maxx, I figured it was worth a shot.
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It was under $15 for both things, and I thought maybe the “Ebony” tint would darken the wood.

Before I "Restor-a-finish"-ed this puppy.
Before I “Restor-a-finish”-ed this puppy.

It was really easy to apply, dried quickly, and the wax smelled good.

While the wood looked A LOT better after I applied this stuff, it didn’t darken it much at all.

After the finish was "restored." Much better, but not the look I was hoping to achieve.
After the finish was “restored.” Much better, but not the look I was hoping to achieve.

Moral of the story? It’s better not to cut corners.

If you just want to refresh a piece, Restor-a-finish does a pretty good job, but when you need to re-stain, just go for it.

Inlay Effect: Making a $10 Table Look Luxe

Yes, I am all about inlay. Yes, I have been debating getting a similar effect with stencil, yes I struggled to find just the right side table to stencil, and, yes, I had a bit of trouble learning the “right” way to stencil. The key seems to be patience, which I severely lack.

And since I lack patience, I want to give you an update on how the stenciling project is coming along. It isn’t¬†quite finished yet, but I just can’t wait.

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Isn’t it just GORGEOUS!? I have painted the different underhang-y parts (we’re technical here) with different designs to see what looks best, and since the legs are curved, it has been a bit hard to line the stencil up just right, but I’m still pretty pleased.

Here are a few photos of the process:

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After being sanded- since I was painting it black, the main purpose of sanding was a smooth surface. I didn’t care about removing all of the paint.
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After the first coat of black paint (I opted for two).
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After the stenciling process began. See how messy it is around the edges? Yeah, that took some getting used to!

Again, here are the before and after photos:

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Flea Market Flip Favorites: High Flyin’ Chandelier

I have to say I love a good light fixture. And when filming Flea Market Flip for HGTV, I loved making this one!
Why? Because I got to use a saw-zaw to cut the legs off of a nasty old birdcage. There’s just something special that gets my blood pumping while tearing stuff up with power tools(I blame my inner redneck.)

Birdcage Chandelier. Here's a secret: I hung it in my living room!
Birdcage Chandelier. Here’s a secret: I hung it in my living room!

I’m definitely not saying we were copied, but great minds certainly think alike. Shortly after we made the chandelier, similar fixtures started popping up for a fortune in stores like Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn.
What did we spend? Probably about $250 between the birdcage, paint, and chandelier. The good thing about elbow grease is that it is totally free.
Not a bad deal to make such a statement!

Our birdcage looked a lot like this when we bought it, but bigger and probably dirtier. This one was at Olde Good Things in West LA for $600 a couple of months ago (after the trend was big- that's why the price is so much higher than what we paid.)
Our birdcage looked a lot like this when we bought it, but bigger and probably dirtier. This one was at Olde Good Things in West LA for $600 a couple of months ago (after the trend was big- that’s why the price is so much higher than what we paid.)

When to (Not) Quit: Tricolor Table

Remember my post about  knowing when to quit?

Apparently I don’t.

And that’s not always a bad thing. Here’s a picture of the dining set¬†finally¬†finished (and I’m so, so happy with it!!!)

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How cute is this?! Note the orange tray from my DIY Tray post!

The neutral gray legs and chairs balance out the bright orange and Tiffany Blue. I’m sneaky and took a Tiffany & Co. catalog to get matched at the paint store. I love this set so much I am tempted to keep it, but it would look terrible in my hot pink dining room and wouldn’t be good for my hoarder-ish tendencies. Yeah, I just made up a word.

Anyway… here’s another pic!

side view table
Side view- don’t the colors work well together?

Okay, so I almost quit… but I couldn’t give up that easily. Plus the chairs were basically done, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt anything to mess with it a little more.

I ended up staining the lighter side one more time then re-staining the whole thing, which made it a lot more even. I actually like the differences in the wood- it really shows that this isn’t a new piece, and I LOVE that it has history!

Table Top
Once it was all put together, I really don’t mind the difference in color. It is aged wood, after all, which is part of the beauty of up-cycling!

I’ll do another post with some before shots so you can see just how far it has come.