Cabbage Roses to Country Charm

The 80’s called and they wanted their dusty rose cabbage roses back. So I obliged. And our downstairs 1/2 bath, that used to look like this

Before Mirror
now looks like this! (I need to apologize for the not-so-great-pics. Do you know how difficult it was to squeeze into a 5 x 8 bathroom to take these?!)

Bathroom Completed 2

Many of the DIY projects in this tiny bath have been featured on my blog, including the vanity transformation, from boring beige

Vanity Before White Coffee

to rustic navy

After Tile and Vanity

the American flag art piece

Map and Sign on Wall Signed

and of course, my Oh Deer Buck Towel Rack.

Oh Deer Towel Rack
So what was once pink and beige with roses and LLadro dolls and shiny brass fixtures

Before Dolls and Statues

is now all dolled up with the new color palette of navy and green and polished nickel fixtures. The inspiration came from the fabulous wallpaper.

Bathroom Color Palette

This paper, that I scooped out of a clearance bin over a year ago for $10, has the appearance of old barn walls with textured crackled vertical striping. The woodwork, once Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee, is now Benjamin Moore Snowfall White.

After Toilet Side Vintage Vignette
The floor, previously smoky pale blue tiles (many of which were broken or cracked)

Old Bathroom Tile Removal

is now a stunning slate subway tile I picked up in a clearance bin at Lowes for $1.12 per s/f!

Slate Subway Tiles

Love our new faucet from Home Depot, which resembles an old well pump.

Faucet

The sconces used to be shiny brass and hung next to an ornate, floral gold mirror.

Before Cabbage Roses and Brass Sconces

but when I (my daughter found these, actually, but as soon as I saw them I had to have them! She and I installed them together, so thanks Kate!)

Sconce Closeup

found these at Home Depot I knew they would be the perfect complement to the rustic old mirror Coach had picked up at a yard sale. I just cleaned it and added some Annie Sloan Soft Wax for a glowing finish.

Mirror Wall Complete

This cute little tin shelf came from a downtown shop, and its the perfect size for holding tissues, soaps and some reading material.

Tin Shelf Complete

Love this feature wall. Well, this was the feature wall until I was blow-drying my hair the other morning and the needlepoint picture ($1 at a flea market, oak frame from AC Moore with a coupon) that was resting on the shelf got blown off the shelf, taking the brown wood vase with it, smashing them onto the new slate floor. Luckily, the floor was spared any damage.

After Toilet Side Vintage Vignette

So now this is the feature wall.

Toilet Wall After 2

This was a budget makeover, with the only major changes being a new toilet, new faucet and the sconces, all from Home Depot. The towels, candle holders, soap dispenser, toilet paper holder and scatter rug were from Home Goods, of course. Everything else is reclaimed, refashioned and repurposed, like these beautiful Mason Jars, once filled with preserves, now preserving the past while serving as functional containers.

Mason Jars Edited

The only thing I am still on the fence about is the sink. It is old, and has lost most of its shine, but it is granite. And blue.

Sink Wall Edited

My original intent was to paint it white using epoxy paint. But, after reading the scary warning label (my nervous system has taken enough hits lately…)

Warning Label

and knowing that there is virtually no ventilation in the tiny space, I decided to pass for now. So blue it stays, but it does look like a sink you might find in an old farm bathroom, so I’m OK with it. This, by far, has been one of my all-time favorite transformation projects in our home. It captures the essence and stays true to our country design home style, don’t you think? Stay true to your Tuesday style! Susan

Waxing Nostalgic

In a recent post, I blogged about transferring French Typography onto wooden furniture using wax paper– this week’s High Five For Friday! Yup-regular old wax paper– the old-fashioned kind we used to wrap our sandwiches in for our tin lunch boxes-is suddenly all the rage again.Sandwich wrapped in wax paperSo I thought I would give the wax paper transfer method currently posted on my D.I.M. Pinterest page a try, since I am working on some new pieces. Coach found this cute little old pine telephone table that I thought would work nicely.

Telephone Table Before

(This one’s from the olden days, folks, when we had those gadgets attached to the wall called telephones, with an attached cord so you had to sit down to talk on them and use loads of paper books with names and addresses and phone numbers in them : )…

Wax Transfer Phone Image

Here are the steps:

1. Cleaned and steel wooled. It hardly had any finish on it so no sanding needed. But I made sure that the inside was clean as well. Nothing worse than opening up some cute, vintage refinished piece only to inhale the strong odor of musty cigarette smoke.

2. Added 2 coats of Annie Sloan French Linen paint. Love the soft color and the flat finish.

Telephone Table Painted

3. Got some wax paper (this pic shows parchment paper which apparently works as well, but I haven’t tried that yet)

Wax papers

4. Find a picture- I got mine from the Graphics Fairy– and print it in your REGULAR INK JET PRINTER!! Not a laser printer, apparently that just melts the wax. Make sure when you go to settings you reverse it for the transfer process prior to printing. Cut the wax paper to the same size as a regular sheet of copy paper. Slowly feed the wax paper into the printer, being careful not to let it wrinkle or crease. Once printed, allow time for it to dry so it won’t smear when you lay it down on your piece.

Wax Paper in Printer

5. Dampen (NOT WET!) the furniture so it will accept the ink. Center the wax paper, print side down, on to your piece of furniture.

Wax paper transfer on table

6. Now just start rubbing all over the design, pressing firmly. I tried two methods of transfer- the credit card- which I found had too sharp of an edge to really press.

Wax paper transfer with credit card

The back of a spoon-perfect! Rub the image until  it is completely transferred.

Wax paper transfer with spoon

The harder and longer you rub, the darker and clearer your image will be. You can carefully pick up the paper and check underneath as you go along, but just make sure you put it back exactly in the same spot- otherwise the image will appear blurry. Allow to dry (about 5 minutes)

7. Finish with a coat of Annie Sloan Soft Wax.

Wax paper French Typography transfer

8. Since we no longer have giant phones and tons of phone books, I discovered a cute new storage place for my Ipad!

Wax Paper French Typography Transfer

TGIF everyone!! So happy to finally have some nice sunny weather-NOT!!! Susan

Coming Unhinged

Recently I have been working on quite a few pieces of “junk-tiques”, so Coach and I have been frequenting the auction, estate sale and flea market circuit, and have come home with quite a few great country finds.

CDH Junk-Tiques

Of course, most of them need a little, nea, a LOT of TLC, so over the weekend we opened up the HICC (seriously, you don’t know what that is?!?)

HICC

fired up the sander and got to work on the transformation process. When I came across an old commode at an indoor flea market, my intention was to sand it all down and then restain/antique it. But I just couldn’t bring myself to strip away all those years of paint and the beautiful layers of colors, ending with the final soft pink it is today. However, the same did not hold true for the drawer pulls and hinges-years of caked-on paint had obliterated the design and the finishes- who does that?!? Paint Removal with Vinegar I get painting the chest, heck, we all do that. And I understand that painted hardware is “in” right now, but people, if the hardware has beautiful inlaid flowers and a gorgeous pewter patina, leave it alone!!! Paint Removal from Hardware That being said, I needed to find a way to strip all of the old paint off without harming the hardware, my granite countertops and my sinuses. Pinterest to the rescue!! I found several DIY pins with all kinds of methods that did not include harsh chemicals, so I kind of combined a few and came up with my own quick and easy method. Simply: fill an old saucepan with water (enough to cover the hardware completely), add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar and a few drops of dish soap. Any kind of white vinegar will do, but I especially like this one because it says “Nice!”, and nice matters, as a friend of mine recently reminded me : )

Paint Removal with Vinegar

Drop in the hardware.

Removing Paint in Water and Vinegar

Bring the whole concoction to a boil. Paint Removal with Boiling Water Allow to slow boil for 20-30 minutes (keep making sure you have enough water in the pan- don’t want to singe the hinges!). Keep checking the pieces- after 10 minutes or so you will begin to notice stuff floating in the water, and if you pick up a piece, you can see the paint starting to peel away. Paint Removal Boiling Water After 30 minutes, start taking the pieces out one at a time-you need to keep the others submerged until you are ready to clean them, otherwise the paint will reharden and stick. I used a toothpick and a small toothbrush (preferably not one you are using again!) to get into the crevices. Paint Removal with Toothbrush Buff the piece with a terry cloth towel to remove any clinging bits, then rinse in water and wipe dry. Can you believe the beautiful detail I uncovered under those layers of paint!?!? Paint Removal Paint Peel At this point, you can use a little metal polisher-like this awesome stuff use because: 1. It’s from Cape Cod- which we love and 2. It really works!! Cape Cod Metal Polishing Cloths

Individual little cloths already soaked with not-too-smelly cleaner-easy and neat. Polish, buff dry and you are done. Once completed, the drawer pulls were re-attached to the pretty little pink commode, which I finished with a crystal door pull and a touch of Annie Sloan French Linen Chalk Paint and Soft Wax. Annie Sloan French Linen

So now the once simple pink commode with the layers of painted hardware has a new look, not exactly what I had envisioned when I first spotted it at an antiques market, but I think the improvised version is even better…do you agree?

Pink Commode Finished

And it also has a new heart– which I uncovered as I was sanding the layers on the bottom of the chest-so sweet!! Paint Removal Heart Detail Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone!  Just remember to do what you love, follow your instincts and don’t come unhinged if it all doesn’t quite go according to plan. Susan

PS: I have joined a new weekend blogging link party sponsored by Serenity Now: Creative Solutions for Staying Sane. It’s a fun read and has loads of great ideas for everything from cooking to awesome DIY projects! Check them out!

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