I found these two end tables at a garage sale. They were not quite the same but close enough that I decided they could be a set!

It just took a little refinishing to make them match and shine!
you can see that they are slightly different colors and have slightly different builds to them.
But I like taking furniture that isn't necessarily meant to match and making them a set with their design.
I started by sanding down the tops.
When sanding down a top like this I recommend wearing a face mask. Otherwise you end up breathing in all kinds of crazy nasty dirt, wood, sealant, etc. Anything that's stuck on the top of that furniture piece. And we all know that could be anything...
I always start with a lower grit sanding paper and then make sure to finish it with a higher grit - in order to leave a nice smooth surface.

After getting everything sanded and smooth - I was ready to stain.
I ended up doing two coats on stain on these because the first coat didn't leave them as dark as I was hoping. The second coat made them perfect!

After letting the stain dry these needed sealed. I used a poly on the top in order to get a nice strong seal. No one wants an end table that isn't sealed properly...

After that staining and sealing the tops - time to paint.
Because I wanted to see what I was doing without sitting on the ground - I lifted them up! it worked great!

After the paint dried - I distressed them. I wanted to be able to see some of the redish brown through the black paint. (That's why I kept a reddish tint to the newly stained tops)
And then it was just a matter of finding matching pulls - since the current holes in the drawers were spaced for very different sized pulls I decided the knobs would be easier to match and would look just as good - if not better.
A trip to Hobby Lobby later and we were in business!
The only thing that else that needed done was sealing the paint job. I used spray seal for that. I like that it doesn't need sanded, and that it is significantly easier to apply than any other type of seal.

After that I left it overnight  - the top poly seal needed time to set properly. After a good nights rest it got a quick sand to smooth it out and all was done!
Since I refinished the trunk with a beach theme and loved it I decided that I could refinish a dresser that had the same feel.
Plus beach themed rooms and houses are very big here so it makes reselling beachy items easier :)

I started with a plain dresser - someone had painted the whole thing black - and not done a very good job of painting it ... so it definitely needed a refresh.
I started with the base and painted it a fun aqua-y-teal-ish color. I got this paint at Lowes on clearance. They were discontinueing this line and so the paint was super cheap even though there was nothing wrong with it. Best way to buy paint ever! I got to pick the color and get a discounted price. Score!!
Because this piece had been previously painted and it wasn't sealed I didn't need to sand it or use chalk paint. Regular paint worked perfect and had no adhesion issues.
Next I painted the drawers. I decided to do them white to lighten the whole piece up.
It was actually at this point that I decided it should be beach themed. it already had that feel... so I took it all the way by adding the stencils.
When I got the dresser it had 4 matching handles and two mismatched ones. I decided that the top drawer could be different instead of purchasing 6 new handles for this guy.
I found some fun anchor knobs at Hobby Lobby and then painted the remaining handles to match.
Distressing, sealing and installing knobs/pulls... and he's all done!
Awhile back - like months ago.... I found these nightstands and paid WAY too much for them. But I loved them and wanted to use them for my house so I figured it was ok to overpay a little if I was keeping them right? Maybe not, but they are still dang good nightstands... taller than most and solid wood. So I bought them.
they have been sitting in my garage for ages. I kept debating what exactly I wanted to do with them and so kept putting it off. Do I put them in the guest room upstairs? Or replace the ones in my master bedroom and move those ones upstairs? Eventually I decided that I liked them enough for them to go in the master. Plus they are taller than the nightstands that I had in there and height on a nightstand is always a plus...
Once I decided where I wanted them - then it was easy to decide what to do with them. My master has all grey with wood accents so that's what I wanted to do with these. Because the wood color that they started wasn't quite the right color I stripped down the tops and drawer fronts.
I tried a new kind of stripper on these because a friend told me that's what she used and its not as harsh as the other kind I used that would melt my gloves and burn my hands.
So my review of this wood stripper  - its good. I think it does work as well as the other kind. AND its not as harsh on you when you use it. I used regular gloves instead of the big ones and it was fine. It didn't melt through them. I will definitely use it again.
BUT ... I then sanded while some of this was still on the wood and that was a bad idea. Well... the sanding wasn't but wearing shorts and short sleeved shirts while sanding was... Because it was still on the wood and the sawdust got on me... you get the picture. I got this all over me and it wasn't the best situation. It burned on my skin. Soo... Key message - This stuff is good and it strips off the varnish and paint equally well as any other stripper I have used AND it doesn't burn through your gloves or stink nearly as bad as some of them. BUT you cant assume that its completely free from harming you because of that. If it gets on you it will still burn the same as any other stripper.. Safety First!!! Protect yourself :)
So sanding all done - I stained the tops and the drawer fronts. While the stain set I painted the bases of the nightstands the same grey as the dressers in the room.

They turned out perfect!!
I've been struggling with what to blog about this week. I have finished a couple cute things, but I completely spaced on taking pictures throughout the process and just finished with with no description pics. . .

So the struggle was - which of these fun projects do you want to see without getting to see the 'how to' portion?...
I landed on this one. Mostly because I finished it yesterday and I haven't done a lot with stencils so its different than most of my projects
I purchased this trunk at a garage sale. It was understandably falling apart and looking pretty junky. It did already have the wheels on it though and that's what made me like it.

SO I brought it home and painted it white. Nasty yellow spots came through the paint though and so I had to go buy some Kilz spray paint to come back and try again.
I was planning on spraying the Kilz and then doing another layer of the creamy white paint but once the Kilz was on - I really liked the bright white instead of the creamy white I was targeting previously.

At this point I actually just left it for days... I kept going back and looking at and thinking - what next? Not sure what to do to it to make it awesome.
During this 'not sure what to do' phase I happened to be strolling around Walmarts new crafty section - they are trying to compete with the craft stores - I saw a pack of beach stencils. Living in SC right next to a beach I figuring this would come in handy. (At that point I didn't know what I would use them on.. just that I was sure they would be good for something...) And when I got home I looked at that blank white trunk and thought - perfect!
So I sorted through the stencils and picked a couple to stencil on.... Then I sanded them for a more worn look - and to cover up the mistakes I made in stenciling... I'm not super good at getting that perfect. :( But once sanded it looked great!
Last but not least I tackled the inside. It was gross and dirty and had peeling paper... I cleaned it best I could and then recovered the whole thing. I started with trying to use spray adhesive to attach the paper - but quickly resorted to wood glue instead. The spray adhesive was having issues spraying out and thus holding super well - the wood glue seemed to hold better at all the edges anyway so why not use it for the whole thing? SO that's what I did.
And wala!! Finished beautiful trunk.
I found this old desk at a garage sale and thought she was beautiful! Well at least she had the potential to be beautiful. At the time of purchase it was pretty run down looking and well used...
Not that that's a bad thing... just means its perfect for refinishing!
Now like way too many projects I forgot to take a picture before I got started :( But don't worry! I found some look-alikes online so you can get the idea.

These pictures aren't perfect... the top one has the wrong drawers - hence the drawer picture separate... This desk also looks like its in perfect shape... my desk did not look like that. It was dirty and dingy and chipped and stained - but otherwise very similar.

I decided that I wanted a teal accent on the desk. SO what did that mean I did? Yup - you're exactly right. I spray painted it. :)
Because I knew that I was only going to do a light sanding for a light accent I only sprayed all the edges. I didn't need to do the whole piece.
One thing that I am still not used to here in SC is what the humidity does to drying times. In WA I would spray paint something and then I could paint very soon after.. Like an hour maybe. The spray paint would be dry and sealed and all would be good to move on... Here - that's not really the case. The spray paint takes forever to dry - its still tacky sometimes after several hours. So this was painted and then just sat for a couple days actually until I had time to go back to it.
At which point I painted it black.
While that was all drying I recovered the chair's seat.
I had this material in my scrap pile from pervious projects. Best way to use material!
After letting everything dry and then edging it - it was looking good!

So I sealed the whole thing, reattached the seat and thought I was done...
A couple days later I decided it was too boring.. It could be way better!
SO I went back to the store for more of the same fabric and I put that on the back of the hutch. I used spray adhesive for that. And then I tacked it in place with my staple gun while reattaching it back on the hutch itself.
I didn't get it outside for some new glamour shots so you see my garage in the background here... but I think its way more fun now!
SO - I think that one of the defining moments in becoming a DIYer is dumpster diving... You know you are committed when you stop at garbage piles and pull out peoples old trash in order to turn it into something great.
This isn't my first time doing this BUT its the first time pulling something this large out of the garbage pile and having to dig for all the pieces...
I saw this beauty while on a date actually... we were on our way to see the Angel Oak in SC - If you haven't been its kinda cool. Super big sweet looking tree. Not too much to do while there other than check out the cool tree- just FYI... but still worth going and seeing.
Anyway - we are on the way there and we drive by this less than nice - lets say - complex that has a big dumpster out front. Next to the dumpster I see some furniture... We continued on to the Angel Oak and then as we were leaving? Yup - you got it. I made my date stop to check out the dumpster furniture with me! Lol. Figure if he can't handle it then he isn't the guy for me right?
So we check it out and there are two gorgeous dressers. There was no way it would fit in his car so sadly we left them.
I couldn't stop thinking about them though and so later I drove back out there and saved this one! All the drawers were broken and in pieces. I had to dig through the rest of the trash to find everything that belonged to this dresser. I got some strange looks from some of the complex residents who were chillin outside having a drink. . .  
But when I started to load the dresser they came over and helped me get it in the car :) So I cant complain!
My car isn't big enough to fit both of the dressers that were there and by the time I made it back (a couple days later) the garbage truck had obviously been by. I can only hope that someone else saved that one before that happened...
You can see that she isn't in the best shape... The paint is peeling where it looks like she may have been exposed to some weather. And as I said all the drawers were in pieces... But most of the pieces were there and in relatively good shape.
So that was step one. Reassemble the drawers.
This involved wood glue, the mallet you see there, and the nail gun. Because these drawers had been ripped apart and not nicely disassembled the dovetail edges needed a bit of reinforcement in order to get them to hold properly.
I lucked out that the only piece completely unsalvageable was one of the drawer bases. I had to go to Home Depot and buy a super thin board that I could cut to size. Cutting the front edge wasn't easy... I just don't have the right tools for that. And since I didn't want to purchase a scroll saw - It wasn't quite as easy as I had hoped. But it still worked out!
Once all the drawers were reassembled I made sure that they fit back in the dresser properly...
They all fit!! And as you can see it was missing a couple of the pulls. Because I liked the pulls so much and didn't want to get all new ones I decided to find some that would go with - without worrying about them being exactly the same. I spray painted them all to match so they would work.

The next step was to sand the dresser and drawer fronts. Needed to get any of that paint that was peeling removed and off so that it wouldn't cause problems with the new paint.
It looked significantly worse after sanding... good thing I was covering all that up!
While sanding the drawers my hand sander decided to die on me... It was my less expensive hand sander that I purchased when I was sanding my stairs (since my super nice one was with all my stuff that hadn't arrived yet...) But I've been using it since then and its been great! Apparently it decided that I used it too much :(
Oh well... I have my other one though so I pulled that out and finished the job!
And then because I wanted a dark contrast when I distressed I spray painted the whole thing black
After letting that dry I pulled out the paint!
It took several coats to get them completely covered. And then I distressed them. I wanted to let that black paint show through a little...
Same with the base unit - several coats of paint... and then distressing. I
Last but not least and always important - I sealed the piece. I used the spray seal because I was already worried about the drawers fitting too tightly and didn't want to add another layer to make things more tight...

And then I put it all together.
She looked amazing!! And this is why sometimes digging through the dumpster is totally worth it!
I purchased this Lingerie cabinet off facebook - Paying way too much for it... I thought it was solid wood (they advertised it as such...) and it looked to be in pretty good shape.
I was wrong. It was not in great shape. The person before me had wanted to refinish it and couldn't remove the handles so they went ahead and painted right over them... This is a red flag. if ever you are shopping for furniture to refinish watch out for the pieces that someone has gone ahead and painted right over the knobs/pulls. Its possible they were just lazy and so its not a huge deal... but its also possible that there is a reason.
On this piece they had used these insert things to hold the knobs in.
Now I realize that these make attaching knobs or pulls easier if they are stripped or the hole it too big for your screw to hold it in... However - if you want the piece to last and to ever possibly be redone. Never use these. Get new knobs, buy a washer to hold the screw  - something. Anything. This is what made the last person not even try and just paint right over the knobs/pulls - making a huge ugly mess of a cabinet :(
You can see below that in order for me to remove them - I had to rip apart the pulls and scratch up the front of the cabinet..

Lets suffice it to say there was lots of trying not to swear while removing these pulls... Something that usually is no big deal...
If you are looking at furniture and see this issue (you can recognize it by the lack of screw holding the handle in - see below) you may want to run the other way. OR at the very least - request a huge discount due to this problem.
After longer than I care to admit - I finally got all those knobs and pulls removed. At that point I sanded. I had to sand off all the paint that had pooled around the handles when they pained over the whole things. And I needed to remove some of the tool marks I made while removing them. Good thing at least the drawer fronts were wood- even if the drawers themselves weren't.
Lots of sanding and scraping paint off later - I got to repaint it. I decided I liked the white clean look... SO I repainted it white again - only this time I didn't allow the paint to drip and make a mess as it had done previously...
After painting I lightly distressed the edges and sealed it.
Last but not least I added new handles that I found at Hobby Lobby - gotta love Hobby Lobby's selection of knobs and pulls. Once of the best places to get them! And of course if you plan it right you can get them half off. Those went on and she was done!

Since I have been building a crate inspired theme now in my house - with the crate bookshelves and the crate entertainment center - I decided that my desk should also be made out of crates as well!!

This is clearly a simple design. Because the desk is simple it works in any corner because you can just flip the desk around and what is now the back would become the front. Keeping all crates accessible!
Started by staining the crates. And then cutting 2x4s to be the feet on the bottom. I wanted these crates up off the floor and sticking with my simplistic design I didn't want fancy feet - 2x4s cut to size were perfect. Those were also stained and then I made the base.

The top was made with two 2x10s. I routed the front and back edges in order to get a nice rounded front (even if I flip it around still nice rounded front...) And of course stained the top as well. The top I stained the same color as the floors. I kept the crates the same color as the bookshelves on the opposite wall.

Finish it off with a good layer of poly.. Yes I used the same floor poly I've decided I really like for any stained projects. And she was good to go!
I wanted a little bit of extra storage above the desk and so I used a couple more crates. Clearly this is even more simple!
I just stained them and sealed them and used brackets that I found at Hobby Lobby to add extra support when attaching them to the wall. This little desk area works perfect for me!
Remember how I am horrible at remembering to take before pictures? This is another one of those situations...
I bought this dresser for $10 at a garage sale. They were just happy to sell it because all the veneer was peeling and looked terrible.
Now when veneer is peeling there are only a couple things you can do. 1) Peal it all off 2) glue down the edges and repair/fill in the gaps 3) Sand down the edges so you don't notice and paint - then you can either embrace the lines that inevitably will still show or pray that no one notices...
I originally decided to go with option 1 - I was able to peel it all off on one side and then when I started the other side it did NOT want to come off. This left me with option 3.. Seeing as I had already peeled a bunch of it repairing was now out of the question...
So I sanded all the edges where I had peeled the veneer and prayed for the best.. . .It didn't matter what I did to the dresser anything would look better than it had - and than this.. I mean come on..
The drawers on the front all had chipped veneer on them as well.. and I sanded those out also. I couldn't seem to get it to show in the picture.. Clearly my sending actually worked better on the drawers!

But as you can see the drawers are all completely smooth and I kept thinking that I wanted to do something fun with this dresser. (You open it from under the drawer - so no knobs!)

I keep looking at those pictures online of people who have transferred a large picture or something to the front of a dresser like this and I think that looks awesome! But then I went online to see how much a picture large enough to cover the front of this costs... and it was way out of my price range.

I may be a little too cheap for that... But then I thought - hey - I can still do something similar and go with fabric on the drawers that still gives it character. So off to Hobby Lobby I went.
I found map fabric! I fell in love at first site... and it was 30% off... even better!!

Now this isn't the first time that I have put fabric on furniture. You can check out this post where I put it on the drawers. But in that case I used Mod Podge to attach the fabric to the drawer. To be completely honest that made the fabric/drawer front a but rough. Something about the mod Podge and the fabric I used didn't get along well and it felt funny. It still looked good... but wasn't my favorite. So this time I decided to try spray adhesive and then glue down the edges with wood glue.

At first I tried just keeping the fabric the exact size of the front of the drawer but that looked terrible... so instead I used a larger piece and wrapped it around the drawer front. Top/bottom and sides. This worked way better!! Plus it gave me space to glue the edges where no one could see.
The fabric repeated itself and so I didn't need to worry about it lining up perfectly. I decided it wasn't worth trying to make the edges match cause they were all kind of random and repeating anyway.
This time my drawer fronts are soft just like the fabric! I know you're thinking - why do you want soft drawer fronts? what does it matter? It doesn't. I just like it better than the rough ones I got last time I tried this. :)
Once all the drawer fronts were covered I turned to the dresser itself. And painted him black.

To be fair I may be painting a bunch of things black in the near future. I may have gotten a bunch of black paint for super cheap... Doesn't matter what I paid for it - its still good paint and thus should be used! Plus I am really liking the black distressed look lately. So this gives me the perfect chance to do a lot with it!

So after the paint dried I distressed the whole thing. Here is a close up of the distressed detail.

So of course I had to see what it looked like... So even though I haven't sealed the dresser I put the drawers in just to make sure they slid and to see what it was looking like.
Its looking good!!

The last thing I needed to do was seal the dresser.
So I purchased some poly (not floor poly - which I love but seems to yellow anything but stained wood) that is supposed to be satin finish. I think that they and I clearly disagree on what satin looks like.
Cause that's what I used here and I would say this looks like gloss. I really didn't want it to be so shiny. I hate that I cant find the brand that I like in WA here in SC... So I'm still looking for a new brand that's not going to break the bank but that works!

Because I am not keeping the dresser I decided that the poly was good the way it is... even though I would prefer a softer feel and not the shininess that is here - I'm going to stick with it. It still looks good and I know someone will love it :)
Ohh - and PS - You caaaann see the lines from the veneer... but because the drawers with the map faces are clearly the focus you don't notice unless you are looking for it. Sometimes you can distract from other flaws with shiny objects.... or well maps... but you know what I mean... lol  :)
SO I found a set of end tables and matching coffee table at a garage sale. You know the kind - the ones that everyone is getting rid of cause they are old and not really in style anymore?
Usually the tops are completely scratched or have water stains on them...

To be completely honest they really aren't that bad... its just that they are no longer in style. And I really like that the ones I found have tops that open up to be bigger... But in this refinish I am removing the tops anyway so that will go. I will have to use them for something else in the future :)

These that I picked up were begging for a redo though - I mean one of them was missing part of its top... and the coffee table was in bad shape.. lots of scratches and dings and dents and water marks. No good!!

SO the first thing I did was remove all the tops!
I've been wanting to try building a top out of pallet wood and thought this might work and I had a couple pallets...
Except that when I took the pallets apart -the wood broke ... I think my pallets were old and crappy. Since I wanted to get this going and haven't searched for where to get free pallets yet - I just used wood I had in my garage instead to build up a new top. SO instead of pallet wood it was made out of new wood that I made look rustic...
I built three of these. Two for the end tables and a larger one for the coffee table.
Then I painted and distressed the bases. I chose to do that before attaching the tops so I didn't have to worry about spill over of either the stain or the paint..

And while that was drying I stained the top pieces.

Once stained and dried I used my favorite floor sealer to seal the tops of these tables. I have found that using the floor sealer on something you painted - bad idea... it does not look good and I don't know.. its just bad. But it works perfect on any wood stained surface and is soo much stronger than regular poly that I used to use.
After letting the poly dry overnight I gave the whole thing a good sanding. I cheated and used my hand sander with super fine grit sand paper.
This leaves a funny film on the wood and so I wiped it off with a wet wipe but I it came back... I used a little furniture polish on them and TaDa!! They look perfect!!
At this point its just a matter of attaching these new tops to the bases. And attaching the drawer slides to the new tops as well so that the drawers work and all done!!
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    About Me

    I am a lover of all things crafty! I recently started refinishing furniture in addition to all the other fun crafts that I make and decided that I should create a blog to track all the fun I am having!
    Please leave me comments and questions and I will try and get back to you as soon as possible!
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