Coffee, Tea or Free?

Another trash to treasure redo for the 3R’s: Recycle, Refurbish, Relove! At a not-so-recent yard sale, Coach and I came across this coffee table…

it was a little yellowed, scuffed and dinged, but I knew it was the perfect shape and size for my family room. The cost? It was a free “throw-in” because Coach was buying a “new” set of golf clubs, since the set he previously owned could have been used in the filming of “The Greatest Game Ever Played”. 

So for $80, he got a nice set of clubs with a bag and I got the table! We lived with it for awhile until I figured out how best to refurbish it. That was the before, this is the after:

Here is how I did it. Coach lightly sanded the whole thing, I added the dark blue paint coat to the base- this is the color you want to see when the crackling does its magic.

I wanted the top to remain a natural wood finish so I left that alone. This is the crackling medium from Plaid Enterprises. You can get it very cheaply at any local craft store. A little goes a very long way.

This is a liquid you apply wherever you want the topcoat to “crackle” to show the undercoat paint color. I applied it sparingly, to give the piece a more natural cracked finish. Paint the surface with crackling medium. Allow to dry. Paint over that with your top color.

Be careful to only brush in one direction. Do not go back over where you previously brushed as it will smear the crackled look!

Alow to dry. I added a coat of water-based matte polyurethane prior to brushing on the antiquing glaze, since I didn’t want the finish to be too dark. The poly blocks the glazing from being absorbed too deeply into the painted surfaces. This is the glaze I use, but you can also use any clear glaze with your color mixed in for a custom look.

Working in small sections, brush glaze on

then wipe off, leaving as much or as little as you like. (make sure you use gloves- this stuff stains-well, because it is stain!!)

At this point, I glazed the top as well, since I wanted it to be a bit deeper and richer color than the original unvarnished look. Allow to dry.

Final step. Annie Sloan  soft paste wax. Available in light and dark finishes. I probably could have skipped the glazing part if I had used the dark.

I had been hearing a lot about this product, and I was anxious to try it out. Very smooth application, you literally smear it on in a smooth coat (I left it lumpy here to illustrate, but you need to make it smooth) with a soft cloth…

allow to dry, then buff it off.

What a finish! Glowing and warm. Kind of like a freshly polished and buffed pair of old leather shoes. So country pretty. Family room table project complete. Total cost? Coffee table: free! Glazing: was $10 but it was from the Whale Table Project, and I only used a tiny amount, so lets say $1.00. Wax: $28.00, but only used 1/4 of the can, so $7.00 for that. Paints, brushes and water based poly are all stuff I had on hand from many previous projects, so we will say $2 tops for all. Total cost? $10.00!

Do you have a project you have been working on, and need some help with the finished look? Send questions or photos my way @ countrydesignhome@gmail.com. Can’t wait to get out to Brimfield for some new 3R’s projects!! Susan 

A Couch for Coach- Before and After

So, Coach and I have been trying to find a couch for the porch for a couple of months now. He insisted that the wicker love seat was just not long enough for afternoon napping, even using the Wally the Whale table as a foot rest. After many yard sales and curb alerts, we finally found this on one of our trash to treasure hunts at Todd Farm in Rowley.

Although it had clearly had been neglected, was filty and ragged and hosting a family of icky bugs, we decided to take a chance. For $20, the price of two burgers and fries at Five Guys, we had our couch! It was sturdy and well-made, just required some major TLC. We were even more excited when we checked online and discovered the same Benchcraft sofa selling used for $300!

The re-furbishing: We spruced it up with a bleach wash and bug spray, then primed it with Kilz to remove odors and stains. Finished with Rustoleum outdoor glossy white. So clean and pretty!! The original cushions had to be tossed, as they were smelly and moldy and just plain gross. So I created new ones from foam, poly batting and some fabulous European down-filled pillows I got on clearance at-where else-Home Goods for $20 each! (I am saving the pretty ruched satin covers for another project.)

I wanted the couch to have a more casual feel, so I made the covers from solid navy outdoor fabric, using a knife-edge for the pillows rather than formal welted cushions.   

Do you LOVE our new couch!?  It’s stylish and casual and plenty long enough for afternoon naps on the porch and it complements the other refurbished pieces already in place.

The cost breakdown: Sofa $20 Fabric $40 Foam Cushion $40  Poly Batting $5 Pillows $60 Thread $3  Paint: $7 Total Investment: $175

A little more than I usually spend on a re-furbished trash to treasure. But since it is the largest piece on the porch, and is going to be sitting right in front of the ever-stylin’ whale coffee table, I figure it was worth the investment. A whole new life for a down and out couch, saved from the dumpster with my Three R’s Principle: Re-cycle, Re-Furbish, Re-Love. Have a Terrific Tuesday! Susan

A Whale’s Tale- The Reveal!

Here’s the story, about a Whale named Wally (well, it’s actually Wallace, but his “fins” and family call him Wally)  Back on the 4th of July, I started the D.I.M. project- Do. It. Myself. (Because If I Don’t, Who The Hell Else Will?!?)- I referred to as refurbishing Mr. Whale. Today, the reveal! That beat-up, barnacle-covered, down-in-the-spout old pine coffee table I picked up for $5.00 at a yard sale has a whole new look!!

After the whale -washing

the sanding 

then re-glueing and painting the base

taping  and striping

adding the stars

then re-sanding the edges and top and adding the antique glazing (this stuff is typically used for kitchen cabinets but when a whale needs a new coat, anything goes!) You paint it on…

then wipe it off-the more you leave, the darker the finished product.

Final step- polyurethaning  (I used water-based polyacrylic so it will remain clear and not yellow). I wanted to use a rub-on wax for a less shiny finish, but since Wally will be spending the majority of his time outdoors on the porch, he needed a strong, clear coat for protection. 

Wallace the Whale has a whole new life!

Pierce Brosnan (yup, 007 himself) once said: “We owe it to our children to be better stewards of the environment. The alternative? – a world without whales. It’s too terrible to imagine.” Along with tips from my recent “Saving Mother Earth” blog post, I’d like to think that I am doing my small part with my Three “R” principle: Re-Cycle, Re-Furbish, Re-Love. Most of the items on this porch wall were also re-claimed!Wally is a perfect example of what you can do with a little elbow grease and some imagination to re-love an object that might otherwise be headed for extinction. 

Now it’s a smooth sail for Mr. Whale! Time to tackle the couch…Susan

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