DIY Aha Moment

With all of the painting and staining and top-coating I do on a daily basis, you would think that I know all the tricks of the trade. And I do…kinda…sorta, well, for the most part. Except every once in awhile I have an “aha” moment where I think- “geesh- why didn’t I think of this before?!?”

Do you ever open a brand new can of paint and think, “oooh, how pretty!?” Well, I do, every time, because I love the potential and promise that a fresh new paint color brings to any project. So, I use the paint for that project, then slap the lid back on until the next time…and then I pry it off (because now it’s kinda stuck to the rim because of the left- over paint from the last time) for the next project. And so it goes, and with each project the rim becomes more caked and coated with dried paint (that break off into little tiny micro-chips..which eventually fall into the can and leave lumps while I am painting.) And eventually, I can no longer get a nice snug seal on the paint can and the remaining paint becomes dried and unusable. Ugh.

Annie Sloan Old White Can Edge

So, the other day, after I opened my can of Annie Sloan Greek Blue Chalk Paint (oh, my goodness, this color is swoon-worthy…) I vowed to make sure the cover and rim were clean and clear when I was finished for the day. But here is the issue: there is that second indent in the edge of the can where the lid fits- and that fills up with paint as you wipe your brush along the edge to remove excess paint during the painting process.

Paint Can Edge.jpg

It is virtually impossible to get it clean and paint-free unless you do some surgical intervention with Q-tip(s)-time consuming and messy!

I have tried using the “rubber band” method, where you place the rubber band in the center of the opening and run your brush along that instead of the can’s edge.

Paint Can Rubber Ban Method

But I can attest to the fact that since rubber bands are made out of, well, rubber, there are times when they “bounce back” and the paint will splatter around. And, its messy to remove. Plus, every once in awhile I need to stop and restir my paint and then the rubber band is in the way.

Yesterday, I was looking at the can of paint I was about to open (well, actually, I was searching for the paint can opener because I always seem to lose those), and right beside it was a roll of painter’s tape. You know, the blue kind that we use to mask off anything and everything. My AHA moment! So I grabbed the tape and created a rim guard all around the perimeter of the opening, inside that second indent where the paint typically collects.

Painters Tape Edge Annie Sloan Greek Blue

Because the tape is straight and a quart can is round, I used several small pieces, overlapping as I went along to create a paint barrier. I went to work, painting my pieces, and when I was done, I simply peeled the tape away from the edge and voila!

Removing Tape from Annie Sloan Greek Blue

Perfectly clean…no more caked edges and micro-dots of paint on my projects! Shark Tank here I come! This is a sneak peek at the pieces I am using the Annie Sloan Greek Blue Chalk Paint on- isn’t it gorgeous!?

Annie Sloan Greek Blue Painted Chair

Here’s hoping you have a perfectly mess-free Friday, everyone! Susan xoxo

 

 

 

Hail to the Whale!

Coach and I, well, we just love whales. I am not certain how it all began, but I can say that one of our very first “all day” dates took place in lovely Mystic Connecticut. In Mystic Seaport, it is all things nautical, and I suspect perhaps that day spent touring the Charles W. Morgan (the last wooden whale ship in the world!)

Charles W. Morgan

the Seaport Museum and the Mystic Aquarium, all the while basking in the glow of young love, might have sparked the beginning of a life-long passion for those majestic denizens of the deep. So, I paint a lot of whales…on trunks and planks and tables, pretty much any flat surface.

Whale Porch Table

After all, who can resist a gentle, giant creature with a hint of a smile-especially when decorated with the American flag? Recently, Coach came upon a stack of old cabinet doors (well, it might not have been recently, it’s just what has surfaced in the barn most recently.)

Hail to the Whale Before Cupboard Door

They were simply painted creamy white, or so we thought. Until he started to sand the edges and behold! This amazing teal blue emerged.

Hail to the Whale Black Background

Sometimes you have in your mind what color scheme to use on a piece, sometimes the piece dictates the palette. In this case, there was cream and teal and a country red color…perfect for an American Flag Whale! I went with a black background for greater impact and contrast to the flag whale itself. For the flag colors, I mixed paints until I came up with the exact shades of teals and reds that matched the existing colors on the frame. I have, in my workshop, perhaps 50 or so of those little Behr sample paint pots

Behr Sample Pots

that you get at Home Depot for a couple of bucks…in a multitude of colors. These are my go-to samples when I am mixing paints-economical and plentiful…and if I mix a color I really love, I just use the color match app to have them mix whatever amount I need! Once I painted the background, it was a pretty simple process-I used a whale stencil

 

Whale Stencil

for the overall pattern in cream, then taped off the stripes, and added the red.

Hail to the Whale Taped Stripes

Now, I know there aren’t 13 stripes- he was just too narrow and it looked too tight, so I went with a more interpretive look.

Hail to the Whale Star Field

After that, I added the star field using a stencil I cut out with my Cricut Air machine.

Cricut Gold

Do you have one of these?? If not, you need to hustle over to your favorite craft store and buy one, like now! If you do crafts, or scrapbooking, or make signs or stencils or just about anything where you need to apply graphics, this is your go-to machine. See this little square of stars?

Star Stencil

By hand, that would have taken me hours to cut…and then a few more in the ER getting stitched up from the X-acto knife thumb slice… With the Cricut, it took maybe ten minutes to design and cut the stencil. Simply incredible!

Once the whale had dried, I added the matching stars in the four corners. Upon close inspection, you can see where I allowed the faint outline of the original hardware to remain.

Hail to the Whale Hinge Detail

I think it gives the piece character to leave the blemishes there for everyone to see. After that, it was simply a matter of a topcoat…and I went with my go-to favorite: Flat Out Flat by General Finishes. **As a side-note, when you paint on this topcoat, it initially appears milky white,

Hail to the Whale FOF Wet Finish

which kind of freaked me out the first time I tried it. But, once it dried to a clear, softly glowing finish, I was sold. So, the whale is now finished and ready for his new home.

Hail to the Whale Finished Logo

This is the wall grouping that greets visitors at my back door, but alas, he’s not staying put.

Hail to the Whale Wall Grouping Logo 1

He’s migrating north to the Barn at Todd Farm where he’ll have a whale of a time with some other pieces I have recently completed. Have a “whale-y”great Wednesday, everyone! Susan xoxo

 

DIY Country Door Chalkboard

Country Door Chalkboard Country Design HomeOver the holidays, I was working on quite a few projects simultaneously, neglecting to take either before or after pics or even no pics-my bad. Which makes for not very good DIY instruction-giving. But, I have managed to piece together enough photos of a couple of chalkboards I created so I could share them with you. Both of these chalkboards were originally vintage doors-the cupboards long gone, but the doors rescued for another purpose. One was very old pine

Country Door Chalkboard Before reversethat I painted and one was a beautiful cherry that I revived with stain and poly. The centers of both doors were painted with Benjamin Moore Chalkboard Paint (my personal favorite),

Ben Moore Chalkboard paintthen the hardware was added. In both cases, I used cup pulls, attached upside down, to create chalk holders (because what’s a chalkboard without some handy chalk?!). After much trial and error and incorrect measuring, I discovered that the simplest way to mark the drill holes for the handles is…paint. Place a tiny dab of paint on the edges of the posts…

Country Door Chalkboard Marked Holes…flip it over and press down on the surface of the wood. Lift up and voila, two holes spaced perfectly apart and ready for drilling.

Country Door Painted HolesFor the wood door, I used a copper cup pull, then added a matching copper knob for an interesting, more elegant detail.

Country Door Chalkboard Mahogany and CopperAwhile ago, Coach and I had been fortunate enough to find a bunch of old metal “stuff” at a yard sale- clamps and bolts and covers and registers and what not- which I have been using as needed for building and creating. When I first spotted this metal Country emblem,

Ford Country Squire Emblemit immediately brought back memories of all of us kids in the back of our Ford Country Squire station wagon (no seat belts or car seats back then, folks, just pile in and off you went!)

Ford Country Squire via Fordaddict.comSo I saved it until I could find just the right piece to use it on…and this is it! An old country pine door that was painted with a few coats of greens and blues and then waxed. (Sorry, I have no clue what colors these are- I just kept adding colors and sanding and then adding more colors til I got the desired effect.)

Country Door Chalkboard Detail CloseupI have about 100 of those little Behr paint pots in all different colors.

Behar Lavender Paint SamplesA little goes a longgggg way, so they just keep accumulating as I need another color for a project.

Once dried, I drilled a couple of holes at the top of my old door and tapped the “country” emblem into place.

Country Door Chalkboard Emblem in PlaceOf course, both of these pieces were intended for our shop in the Barn at Todd Farm, but I just couldn’t part with my Country Door Chalkboard. It now hangs proudly in our family room…for the holidays I used some children’s coloring page graphics for my message. This is so simple…reverse chalking for perfect chalkboard graphics! Print out your graphic on any paper,

Country Door Chalkboard Merry Christmas Graphicthen flip it over and rub chalk all over it.

Country Door Panel Reverse Chalking GraphicTape it into place on the chalkboard, then use a pencil and lightly trace the lettering (try not to press down with your whole hand, as any pressure on the chalk outside the lines will result in lots of smudginess.

Country Door ChalkboardWhich you will then clean off with a damp Q-tip.)

Country Door Chalkboard Q-Tip eraserOnce its time for a new graphic, simply wipe off with a damp cloth and say what you want to say! Which is:

Country Door Chalkboard Country Design HomeA gentle reminder to keep working towards my goals, not just keep thinking about them. So my goal for 2016 is to remember to take photos of my work to share, and my wish if for all of you to have a great weekend! Susan

Re-Loved Red Country Cupboard

Good morning everyone!  I hope you all had an incredible holiday…for us the past two days have been a whirlwind of family, food and so much fun! Even this little guy has gotten into the holiday spirit (this IS his happy face : )Bartlet on the Christmas RugAnd we still have the weekend yet to party! But, in the meantime, I thought I would share my latest project with you, since it is so merry and bright : ) This was a Craigslist purchase that Coach picked up about a month ago. It sat on the porch, waiting for my broken foot to heal (UGH) until finally, I just went ahead and worked on it, boot and all,

Walking Boot for fractured footbecause I needed to get it out of the family room before the holiday! The BEFORE: scratched, dark pine cupboard with a veneer plywood backing.

Red Country Cupboard BeforeAFTER: A Re-Loved Red Country Cupboard with a ship-lap planking background. A happy piece for (I hope) a happy home!

Re-Loved Red Country CupboardHere’s my how-to:

  1. Sanded down the surfaces, buffing out the deep scratches on the lowest exposed shelf. Re-Loved Red Country Cupboard BeforeLuckily for me, other than some scratches and dirt, this piece was in good shape. No mildewy or cigarette odors-that is the worst to try and remove!
  2. Painted with two coats of Annie Sloan Emperor’s Silk Chalk Paint- the most gorgeous color red. Annie Sloan Emperor's Silk Red But, the funny thing about the color red is, no matter what brand you use, it still takes several coats to get a uniform color throughout the piece, especially when painting over a dark surface. In this case, I was planning to distress it anyway so it really didn’t matter that it wasn’t a super uniform finish. I sanded down the edges, Red Country Cupboard Sanded Edgesthen finished it with a coat of Varathane Matte Interior Polyurethane. I love this stuff- has essentially no odor, dries quickly and leaves a soft, slight sheen.
  3. For the backing, I just couldn’t leave that dark pine veneer, so I added some ship-lap pieces of rustic pine planking Coach dug out of the barn. I cut them to the right size, fitting them behind each shelf like a puzzle.Ship Lap Pine Planking
  4. I then stained them a with a General Finishes Country Pine stain for some added contrast.General Finishes Country Pine Stain
  5. Dry-brushed them with a light coat of Americana Chalky Paint.Americana Chalky Paint
  6. I laid them all into place, then used Gorilla glue Red Country Cupboard Gorilla Glueto secure them to the back wall. Once dried, I used my staple/ finish nail gun to secure them permanently without making any apparent nail holes.Re-Loved Red Country Cupboard Interior Planking
  7. Of course, as I was lining up the planking, I created a few scratches on the already finished red cupboard.
  8. So I mixed some paint and poly together and re-applied to the scratched areas, blending into the already finished wood.Red Country Cupboard Paint and Poly Glaze
  9. I replaced the “colonial kitchen hardware” with a simple wood knob and some iron hinges and we’re done!
  10. AFTER: the Red Country Cupboard all decked out and ready for the holidays : )Re-Loved Red Country CupboardI hope you all had a magical holiday and that your new year will bring you much joy-I know we are all looking forward to 2016!! Have a great post-holiday weekend, everyone! Susan

Crafting With Wood Pallets

Do you ever look at the thousands of Pinterest pages filled with pallet projects and think: “well, that looks fairly easy, I think I can make that”. No? Well, I have. All the time. I actually have one of those Pinterest pages: Pull Apart A Pallet, which I am continually adding to as new and innovative ideas pop up (170 pins and counting…). But I have yet to actually make anything. Why? Well, wood pallets are the perfect medium for creating rustic wood items for your home and garden-for FREE. But, the trick is to figure out: 1.Where to get them-for FREE  2.How to take them apart  3.How to transform the wood pieces into something else that is useful and attractive and  4.How to finish them so they actually look like a rustic pine piece and not like a pile of wood that you nailed together. So I was delighted when I recently received a copy of the book “Crafting With Wood Pallets” by Becky Lamb. (Published Sept, 2015 Ulysses Press)

Crafting with Wood Pallets CoverIt is the answer to a DIY’ers pallet prayer. Not only does it have the pretty pics of the projects, it also includes the nitty-gritty DIY details: everything from where to find them to what type of tools and equipment you will need , how to actually take them apart, all of the measurements and dimensions for each project and the final finishing touches. Loads of super cute projects to choose from as well, like this Catch-All Caddy with the leather strap handle.

Crafting with Wood PalletsHow about some inspirational wall art? The lowly pallet has been transformed into a truly unique piece using colorful paint…

Crafting With wood Pallets…Becky instructs on the proper techniques for that as well. Loving this Entry Table/Wine Bar-it is simple and the perfect size for a narrow entryway or tuck behind a sofa while safely storing your glasses and bottles.

Wood Pallet Wine BarJust in time for the holidays (with not a moment to spare…) a porch star! As you can see in the photo, she includes all of the specs: supplies you will need, tools required and the skill level, plus the time it will take!

Wood Pallet Porch StarAnd finally, you can’t forget your favorite family pet who could be convinced that this (and NOT your bed) would be the perfect curl up and cuddle spot.

Crafting with Wood Pallets Dog BedMore than 25 complete project plans in all, with full instructions, cutting measurements and finishing techniques. So, I know you are wondering which project I have made?! Well, the truthful answer is none-YET. I have been sidelined for the past month with a few fractured bones in my foot. Yup. Suffice to say it is never a good idea to clean out and organize your basement workshop in your bare feet.

Walking Boot for fractured footBut, even though I haven’t yet created my first pallet masterpiece, I wanted to share this book with you because it would be the perfect gift for a DIY’er on your list. It is available on Amazon.com (with Prime, you can still get it shipped in time!) but also at Barnes and Noble. And I promise, once I am back in full-on DIY mode, a pallet bed for Bartlet

#bartletthefrenchiewill be tops on my list, thanks to Becky Lamb and her book, Crafting with Wood Pallets! Have a great Friday everyone- one week & counting until you know who arrives! Susan 

The Marketplace at Adams Farm

Marketplace at Adams FarmFor those of you who have followed my blog since its inception, you’ll remember that I got my start in the “junkin'” business at the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market in Norwood. I had some great times staging my monthly-themed space in the old mill with all kinds of reclaimed and reloved vintage wares.

Vintage Thymes Monthly MarketSince then, I’ve moved north and staked my claim at the Barn at Todd Farm, while Nancy Murphy and Robin Hanlon,

Robin Hanlon and Nancy Murphythe original founders of Vintage Thymes,

Vintage Thymes have temporarily closed the monthly market while they search for some new digs. In the meantime, in order to keep their huge following of vintage-lovers happy, they have focused their attentions on an exciting new endeavor, The Marketplace at Adams Farm in Walpole, MA!

The Marketplace at Adams FarmNow partnered with Carol Bentley from Fleurish Home & Garden

Fleurish Home & Gardenand Marybeth Grey from Vintage Shade of Grey,

The ladies of Marketplace at Adams Farmthese four ladies are hosting a 2-day event at the Marketplace at Adams Farm on this coming Saturday & Sunday, October 24 & 25th from 10-4. The Marketplace will be much like the weekend markets at the mill: amazingly talented vendors offering their hand-made, re-refurbished and re-loved wares. You’ll be strolling the grounds of this bucolic “field of vintage dreams”

Adams Farm Walpole, MAwhile enjoying live local music, furniture painting demonstrations, food trucks, raffles and of course, shopping-lots of shopping!! Admission is only $5, but a word to the wise: arrive early-on both days!

The Marketplace at Adams FarmWhy? Well, if you ever had the opportunity to visit the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market on the opening day, you’re aware of the immensely passionate following these ladies have garnered over the years. I suspect there’ll be lots of folks waiting at the entrance for their chance to have first dibs on the vintage wares being offered at the Marketplace. If you love vintage (and, I mean, who doesn’t!?), it’s going to be an event that you do NOT want to miss (and it looks like we may have a nice, sunny weekend as well : ). So, I’ll be seeing you at the The Marketplace at Adams Farm… and if you happen to run into Robin, Nancy, Mary Beth or Carol, tell them Sue from CountryDesignHome sent you! Have a terrific Tuesday everyone! Susan

American Flag Coffee Table

Inspired by the red, white and blue decor from last week’s blog, this past weekend I decided to create an American Flag Coffee Table.

American Flag Coffee Table LogoUsing an old brown table that we picked up at a flea market for $5 (you know, those ones that were mass-produced in the 70’s and are at every flea market and yard sale throughout the land…)

American Flag Coffee Table BeforeI transformed it from a drab brown circle to a colorful Americana coffee table! Here is the how-I-did-it:

1. I painted the base legs with a couple of coats of Heritage Blue Stain by General Finishes.

General Finished Hertiage Blue Water Based StainLove this stuff. It is water-based, has very little odor, dries quickly, can go on any surface and leaves a beautiful, satin finish.

2. Sanded the scratched and worn top…I am not sure what the finish was, but it certainly made a powdery white mess! Thank goodness it is finally warm enough to use my mouse sander outdoors!

American Flag Coffee Table Sanded3. Once it was sanded and wiped clean, I taped it off. The American Flag is probably one of the simplest designs you can use-stars and stripes. Easy to do with painter’s tape and a stencil. The table was just the right size to have 13 2″ stripes, so I doubled up my rows of 1″ painter’s tape from top to bottom.

American Flag Coffee Table Taped StripesThen I blocked off the area that would be the star field, and used the Heritage Blue to paint that area as well.

3. Painted the red stripes first, then allowed to dry completely…actually overnight. Because I knew I would be taping right on them and didn’t want to risk pulling the red paint off if it wasn’t completely dry. I used some homemade red chalk paint…need the recipe? Click here…

American Flag Coffee Table Red Stripes4. Re-taped along the edges of the red stripes and painted with white (also used some homemade custom chalk paint).

American Flag Coffee Table White Stripes5. Using the same white from the stripes, I stenciled the stars onto the blue field. You could also use a star-shaped stamp as well. I just happened to have a whole bunch of different style star stencils…

American Flag Star StencilI knew I would not be able to fit 50 stars, so I just went with a pleasing arrangement using a simple star pattern.

American Flag Coffee Table Stars and Stripes6. Sanded down the entire piece to distress it just a bit.

American Flag Coffee Table Sanded and DistressedTIP: when you are sanding red alongside white, keep the sanders separate. The red builds up on the sanding bar and can smear onto the white.

Red Tinted Sanding SpongeIn which case you end up with pink stripes. Which is cute, but not necessarily  all-american.

7. Finished with 2 coats of General Finishes Natural Stain. 

General Finishes Water Based Wood Stain NaturalIt is clear and works as a nice satin finish for any surface where you don’t want to add color.

8. Voila! A Red, white and blue table-perfect for a nautical or Americana theme for your red, white and blue porch or family room!

American Flag Coffee Table CompleteSo where is the table now? At the Barn at Todd Farm! Since I already have an American Flag Whale Table,

This Old House Whale Tableit only seems right that someone else has this beauty for their home. Wow-it’s Thursday again already, everyone!! Hope it is memorable! Susan

 

BHG Flea Market Decorating Book…A Review

Better Homes and Gardens Flea Market Decorating Book

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Everyone know Coach has books. Lots of books. Thousands of books.

Stacks of books in the barnAlthough typically he is more inclined to pick up historical books and vintage magazines rather than novels or DIY manuals, he recently came across this Flea Market Decorating Book at a…where else…flea market, so he grabbed it for me. This Flea Market Decorating…Creating Style with Vintage Finds book by Better Homes and Gardens (*BHG) was published in 2000, but is even more relevant today than it was than a decade ago. Today, flea marketing is big business, and dealers, decorators and homeowners alike know the thrill of the hunt and how to create home environs with one amazing found piece as the inspiration. This book contains page after page of glossy photos with inspired decorating ideas utilizing all styles of flea market finds. Some are maintained in their original form, some are altered in the necessary way to fit the intended space, like this hospital gurney turned bathroom vanity.

BHG Flea Market Decorating Hospital Gurney Bathroom Vanity

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

The book is separated into chapters: The hunt (what to look for when flea market shopping), defining a style (which style suits you?

Cottage Style

BHG Flea Market Decorating Antique Cupboard Cottage Style

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Retro Rustic

BHG Flea Market Decorating Retro Rustic Dining Set

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Modern Country

BHG Flea Market Modern Country Decorating Bedroom

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Salvage Chic

BHG Defining a Style Salvage Chic

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

or Fifties Plus

BHG Flea Market Decorating Mid-Century Modern Fifties Plus

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Once you find your treasure, you’ll find the chapters bringing it home (integrating your newly found pieces into your existing home decor, both inside…

BHG Flea Market Decorating Dresser in Kitchen

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

…and out

BHG Flea Market Decorating Outdoor Patio

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

&  can it be saved (with helpful DIY tips…everything from refinishing wood to rewiring old lamps)

BHG Flea Market Decorating Book Restoring Finish on Table

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

to be most invaluable. At the end there is a national listing of flea markets and look here..my two favorite Massachusetts markets! Brimfield Flea Market and our very own Todd Farm Flea Market (April can’t come fast enough, my friends!)

BHG Flea Market Decorating Book Todd Farm AdIf you are an avid flea marketer (like me and Coach) and love to decorate with vintage furnishings, this book could quickly become your flea market bible. So many inspired ideas and great design mixed in with helpful hints and information. If you are lucky enough, you can find it at your local flea market, or it is still available on Amazon.com. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go make a bowling pin trunk : )

BHG Bowling Pin Trunk Table

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Do you have a favorite room designs with flea market decor?? If so, please share it with me- just send a pic and I will post it here and on my social media pages : ) Have a great (& not too snowy) Sunday everyone!! Susan

 

New Life For An Old Cupboard-Without Paint!

When Coach first acquired this unpainted vintage glass front cupboard, my first inclination was to paint it, distress it and add some new knobs.

Vintage Glass Cupboard Before

But every time I walked past it, for some reason it tugged at my heartstrings just a bit, although I was not sure why. We don’t have anything else like it in our home, and its just a simple little cupboard…one that you would find in your grandmother’s kitchen. And then it hit me…it was reminiscent of my grandmother’s kitchen table…the same wood color, the same glowing finish. So, as an homage to time gone by and Sunday Pot Roast dinners at my grandmother’s house, I decided to clean it up, shine it up and give it new life, but to leave it unpainted. Some old furniture just screams for a coat of paint and some embellishment, but this vintage hutch quietly begged to be restored to its former quaint and simple beauty. It was quite dirty and greasy, so I cleaned it up with some household cleaner. I was left with a rather splotchy finish…it appears that someone along the way decided to add a layer of varnish or stain in a rather streaky fashion. Using some Mastercraft Poly Gel Wipe On Stain,

Vintage Cupboard Mastercraft Wipe On Gel StainI attempted to even out the overall color as best I could. You simply paint or wipe the stain on,

Vintage Cupboard Side Panel Gel Stainlet it sit for a couple of minutes, then wipe it off, leaving as much or as little as you would like.

Vintage Cupboard Front Panel Gel AppliedYou need to work quickly and in small areas, as this stuff gets tacky fast. (It is a bit smelly, so despite the below freezing temps, I had the window open and a fan running continuously.) Once all of the wood was finished, I decided to add some vintage wallpaper to the back of it to add some color…this fresh green check is simple and looks like it could have been in grandma’s vintage kitchen.

 

Vintage Cupboard Check Paper Background and Drawer LinerI papered the back using decoupage glue…this wallpaper was not pre-pasted, and then followed suit with the drawer as well. The hinges were dirty and in need of some cleaning,

Vintage Cupboard Hinges Varnishedso I left them, along with a bottle of brass cleaner for Coach to use, thinking that would do the trick…until he called me and said it wasn’t working. So I instructed him to try the silver cleaner…again no luck. So I took another look at them, first thinking it was rust and then finally realized that whoever varnished the piece left the hinges in place and varnished right over them! Time for the heavy duty stuff: this LIFT-OFF varnish remover does the trick,

Vintage Cupboard Lift Off Varnish Removerhas very little odor and is water-based…so not too offensive to use indoors. I put the hinges in a metal tin with the remover, waited 20 minutes, scrubbed with a little warm water and an old toothbrush (do you save yours? I always do, just for times like these…,)

Vintage Cupboard Scrubbing Hinge with Toothbrushthen buffed with a bit of steel wool and they were good to go.

Vintage Hinge Buffed with Steel WoolI love the detail on these hinges…very art deco, and matched to top crown of the piece,

Vintage Cupboard Refurbish No Paint Top Crownwhich helps to determine what time period it originated from. There were six rather beat up wood knobs,

Vintage Cupboard Knobs Beforeso I replaced the glass door hardware with some cut glass knobs,

Vintage Glass Front Cupboard with Glass Knobsthen crackled and painted the door and drawer knobs to match the green plaid paper.

Vintage Cupboard Crackled Wood KnobsFinally, I filled the finished piece with some of my milk glass collection…can this be any cuter!?!

Vintage Cupboard Finished Filled with Milk GlassIs the finish perfect? No. I would’ve had to strip the entire piece down and start fresh if that was the look I was hoping to achieve. What I wanted was a fresh piece of furniture that looked as if it had been used and loved and worn, so that it would tug at someone else’s heart strings. Then they would use it for their own collectibles and kitchen wares…and someday their grandchildren would remember it fondly.

Vintage Glass Front Cupboard FinishedBecause, alas, I have no room for it in our home, so this one is in the Barn at Todd Farm if you’re interested in taking a look. Have a fresh new week, everyone! Susan

Vintage Ski Hat Rack & Wreath

Oftentimes, Coach will come home with stuff and my first reaction is, “not one more thing-don’t buy anything else!” And I stomp off to go find something to do while I stew about the fact that the barn is no closer to being my workshop than it was six months ago. Because it’s still full of stuff…no matter how much we sell, it never seems to get emptied. So after I get over it, I go back and look at the new stuff that he has brought home…sometimes right away, sometimes a few weeks or months later. Inevitably, I discover some new pieces that I can work with. Such is the project I shall name:

The Vintage Ski Hat Rack On The White Picket Fence With The Stove Burner Wreath. 

Vintage Ski Coat Rack

As with most of the items I refurbish, I have no clue where they came from. All I know is one day they just appear on the porch or the deck or the yard or the basement, where they remain until I decide what to do with them. So here is the story of The Vintage Ski Hat Rack On The White Picket Fence With The Stove Burner Wreath. At the barn last Sunday, one of the other vendors was admiring the skis that we had in our shop. He had recently created a coat rack from a large pair and instructed me on the how-to. So, since I had a white picket fence section (doesn’t everyone?),

Vintage Ski Hat Rack White Picket FenceI decided to mount the skis on the fence to create a functional wall-hanging rack for caps. The skis are on the small side, so I supposed you could hang a kids jacket or two on it as well. Once I mounted the skis to the fence. I added the hooks.

Vintage Ski Hat Rack Hanging HooksBut it just looked so plain, so I decided to add the wreath.

Vintage Ski Hat Rack on Picket Fence by Country Design HomeSince I didn’t have a wreath form handy, I used the next best thing: an old rusty burner grill from a stove top. It’s round, it has little hooks for wrapping stuff around it…why not?

Rusty Stove Burner Grill

So I took some garland and wrapped it around the burner ring and secured with wire.

Wrapping Burner Grill with Greens for wreathThen I made a little garland with some berries and twigs and such and attached it to the bottom of the wreath with wire.

Wreath made from Burner Grill

Then I added a burlap bow to the top.

Burlap Bow for wreath

Then I hung it on the Vintage Ski Hat Rack On The White Picket Fence. 

Vintage Ski Coat Rack

Cute-right?! This will be at the shop at the Holiday Open House in the Barn at Todd Farm this weekend. Hope to see you there! Sue

 

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