Category Archives: FURNITURE MAKEOVERS

April 29, 2013

Lockers, Letters, & Luggage

The weekend before last, we hit up our favorite local antique show and scored some amazing finds, that I’ve been itching to share. Every spring I anxiously await the arrival of the Burlington Antique Show, and this year it did not disappoint. Antique shows are definitely a nice change from the familiar thrift stores that I frequent, but you really have to prepare you mind (and wallet) before you venture inside. You can almost always expect something worth bringing home, unlike thrift shops that are usually hit or miss, and products are often in great shape. That being said, I always brace myself for the price tag. Don’t expect those 50¢ deals. You’re typically going to pay a little higher for the convenience of all this awesomeness (real word) in one place. Which, I’m more than willing to do when I find things like this…

Use Industrial Yellow Lockers as Mudroom Storage | Cape27Blog.com

Hello, gorgeous yellow lockers. Where can I rub my face against you? I love yellow. I love industrial. I love storage. I LOVE YELLOW INDUSTRIAL STORAGE LOCKERS.

We stumbled upon this guy early in the morning, but were hesitant to buy so soon into browsing. A few hours later, it was still there (surrounded by a crowd of interested buyers) at which time I was more than willing to pull out the cash. Halfway to the car, as the dealer was helping us load up, I overheard him tell another interested buyer not to worry because he had yet another identical locker in the back. Say wuuuut??

Use Industrial Yellow Lockers as Mudroom Storage | Cape27Blog.com

We quickly decided that the twin must be ours, whipped the car around, and I frantically ran back to the dealer to snatch it up. The other interested couple was ever so happy to see that I’d bought the matching locker before the dealer was able to bring it out 😉 Shucks.

We paid $150 per locker for a total of $300. I’ve seen similar lockers go for MUCH more, like this one on Etsy going for over double the price at about 3/4 the size. Score.

Use Industrial Yellow Lockers as Mudroom Storage | Cape27Blog.com

It’ll be a bit of a switch in plans, but we’re hoping to use them in the laundry/mudroom. Hang up coats, backpacks, and the smaller storage cubes are perfect for purses, even laundry supplies, pet food, etc. I’m loving the color they are already, but there are a few rust spots that might force us to give them a few new coat of paint.

We also ran across an entire lot filled with these black and white marquee letters. We grabbed a medium sized “R” (Rettinger) for about $20. Not exactly sure where this will call home, but it’s neutral enough to work anywhere! I’m thinking maybe one of the future walls in the family room addition or maybe it’d be fun in the entryway. We’ll see :)

Marquee Letter 'R' | Cape27Blog.com

In efforts to completely fill the back of our SUV, just kidding, I picked up a set of these fun yellow suitcases for $30 (there are actually three). No, we will not be strolling through the airport with our vintage luggage. Instead, I’m planning to use these as toy storage in Zoey’s room! Barbie doll central. They’ll slide perfectly underneath her bed with the addition of a few casters.

Use Suitcases as Storage Beneath a Bed | Cape27Blog.com

Not sure yet if we’re keeping the mustard yellow. It’s looking a little dingy now that they’re home next to all the bright yellows, so they might need a fresh coat of paint. Maybe something fun, like a stripe or polka dots? We’ll be sure to share as we go!

How about you guys? Any antique shopping going on? Anyone have a preference of antique vs. thrift? More importantly, did you guys see Lizzy’s pigtails… cause holy cow cuteness. I died. (not biased)

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March 18, 2013

Refinishing and Painting a Dresser

I mentioned working on a side project when we cleared out the addition, and we’re finally ready to share! This is somewhat of an unusual piece of furniture for us, in that it doesn’t technically have a home. We know once the new living room/master suite is complete later this year, we’re going to be left with a large amount of space. Furniture-less space. So, while we do plan to live with the new layout for a while and try out most of our living room furniture before we go crazy buying more, we know we’ll be needing plenty of new (aka, thrifted and DIYed) pieces as well.

I was sifting through a local thrift store one evening when I stumbled on this gorgeous chest of drawers. You guys know by now ‘gorgeous’ has an entirely different meaning for me. Potential galore and a $50 price tag. Yup.

Refinishing and Painting a Dresser | Cape27Blog.com

Terrible picture, I know, but aren’t before pics supposed to be? This photo was actually taken once we brought home the dresser to our garage and took a sander to it. It had legs when purchased, which were clearly something added by a previous owner, that we removed. We scored a new set off of Ebay that better fit with the mid century period of the piece.

This guy actually set around for quite some time before I finally nailed down a plan of attack. I’m really digging the two-tone look that’s been popping up lately in furniture, so I decided to give that a try. Since the drawers are made of solid wood  I chose to keep them in a wood finish, while painting the rest of the piece a neutral gray/blue.

Umm. It is stunning. Yes, I’m biased. But I never thought this piece could look so good. The wood finish is super rich and provides just the right amount of contrast against the gray. I want to eat it up.

Refinishing and Painting a Dresser | Cape27Blog.com

I started by removing all the drawers and giving the entire piece a nice sanding. I began the new look starting with a new stain on the drawers. Let me just throw this out there. This was my very first solo staining project. I watched my dad stain furniture my entire life growing up, and I’ve witnessed Ricky work on a few projects as well, but I’ve just always been a little hesitant to get my hands dirty. Maybe intimated is the right word. You guys. It is crazzzy easy. Here’s what I did.

First up, gather your supplies. All three of them. I used Minwax’s Dark Walnut stain, a Purdy brush not designed for stain (rebel), and a few rags (these are actually from those bags of t-shirt scraps from Lowes/Home Depot/whatev).

Refinishing and Painting a Dresser | Cape27Blog.com

Pay attention. This gets crazy (kidding).

Brush on a very small amount of stain. I barely dipped my brush into the can. You can always add more stain to achieve a darker look, but you’ll have to re-sand and start over if you go too dark, so take it slow. Don’t worry about getting the area completely covered or an even finish, you’ll be using the rags to move it all around.

Refinishing and Painting a Dresser | Cape27Blog.com

Speaking of, you could definitely use a rag to bring the stain to the drawer, versus the brush. I just used a brush because there was very little stain in my can that couldn’t be reached without covering my hands in stain.

Now, depending on how dark you want your finish will determine how long you leave the stain on before wiping it down with a rag. I was going for a medium tone, so with such a dark stain I instantly wiped it down. I worked in small sections so the stain didn’t have a chance to set in completely.

Refinishing and Painting a Dresser | Cape27Blog.com

I spent maybe 15 minutes on all five drawers and only had to do one coat. How cool is that design on the middle drawer below?

Refinishing and Painting a Dresser | Cape27Blog.com

I’ll probably apply a poly to the drawers eventually, in which case I’d use our favorite water based polycrylic.

Now, onto the rest of the chest. (rhymes, chia)

I’m a huge fan of Sherwin Williams’ Pro Classic for painting furniture. It has self levelers for a super smooth, brush stroke-free finish that makes me want to sing. You can’t go wrong. (not paid or perked to say that, just sharing the love)

Refinishing and Painting a Dresser | Cape27Blog.com

Refinishing and Painting a Dresser | Cape27Blog.com

I painted the entire frame, including the slots between the drawers with two coats of Ben Moore’s Ocean Floor, no sanding in between. Oh, and you can get a look at the fancy new legs! They actually came in that finish, which works perfectly with the wood drawers.

Refinishing and Painting a Dresser | Cape27Blog.com

 And yes, that is paint on the left leg. No worries, it scraped right off 😉

A few days of curing and we were ready to piece everything together!

Refinishing and Painting a Dresser | Cape27Blog.com

Baby photobomb.

Refinishing and Painting a Dresser | Cape27Blog.com

Check out that richness.

Refinishing and Painting a Dresser | Cape27Blog.com

We’re planning to keep the chest in it’s exact spot, post renovation. If you can’t tell, it’s actually just around the corner from the dining/kitchen spaces, beside the sliding glass doors. It’ll be a great bonus to our new living space with plenty of storage! We haven’t settled on any exact color schemes for the space just yet, so I kept everything fairly neutral in hopes of making it work. And a good before and after side-by-side.

Refinishing and Painting a Dresser | Cape27Blog.com

Are you guys taking on any fun futniture makeovers lately? Anyone else dabbing in the two-tone trend? I didn’t think I could love a dresser makeover anymore than this one… It’s been done.

January 14, 2013

DIY Built-in Banquette Seat

Last time we checked in on the dining room it was looking something like this (minus the stencil art that we added later).

DIY Bench Seat | Cape 27

However, the past few days we’ve been working away at tackling the built-in banquette seat along with wrapping up a few other related, smaller updates. And here’s how she’s looking now!

DIY Built-in Bench Seat | Cape27Blog.com

We decided to do a wood-base along the seat and backside of the bench, and we’ll be adding an upholstered cushion portion to them both. So, basically, we’ve reached the halfway mark on this project. I’m hoping to order the fabric sometime this week and officially right this project off. It’s been a. long. time. coming.

DIY Built-in Banquette | Cape27Blog.com

The entire piece was constructed from Ikea cabinets, a few 2×4’s, and 3/4″ plywood. Once we had the general plan nailed down, the rest was a breeze. Totally a do-able weekend project.

Let’s dive right into the details! The base cabinets started off a little like this.

DIY Built-in Banquette | Cape27Blog.com

They’re Ikea’s 30″ x 15″ Akurum cabinets, designed to go above refrigerators. Which is obviously not what we did with them. Instead, Rick built them up on top of a 1/2″ wood support, allowing room for the doors to open without scraping the floor, and simply nailed them down from the inside to secure. If you’re making the bench seat and don’t plan to add the cushion seat on top, you’ll want to raise the cabinets up quite a bit more. Ideally, seat height is about 18″, depending on your table height. We’re thinking the 12″ cabinet height plus another inch in wood supports, above and below the cabinets, plus 4-5 inches in upholstery should put us right around there.

I’m going to do my best to explain this next part. It’s a simple idea, but we somehow missed taking a photo of the step. On top of the Ikea cabinets we placed a 3/4″ sheet of plywood, cut to size. The front portion is supported by the cabinets, and the back is supported by a 2″ x 4″ piece of wood. Basically, we screwed the 2×4 to the wall studs, and the plywood rests on top of it. Does that make sense?

DIY Built-in Banquette | Cape27Blog.com

You can see in the photo below where the screws are up against the wall. The 2×4 is directly beneath them. The rest of the plywood is screwed down to the cabinets. We chose to leave the edges of the plywood exposed, rather than covering them up with decorative trim. We’re banking on the fact that the upholstered cushion will disguise most of it.

DIY Built-in Banquette | Cape27Blog.com

Once the base construction was completed, Rick moved onto the back support. He started by building the top plate that would serve as a small ledge. There are two separate pieces here. The bottom wood piece is a 1″x1″ (a 1″x2″ cut in half) and screwed to the wall studs.

DIY Built-in Bench Seat | Cape27Blog.com

The second piece (1″x2″) then sits on top of that, with the larger side facing upwards. This second piece is also where you’ll want to cut your angle to fit snuggly with the plywood back support. As far as the angle is concerned, we kind of did a little trial and error here. My best advice is to use a few pieces of scrap wood until you can cut the angle you desire.

DIY Built-in Bench Seat | Cape27Blog.com

So, now that we have a place for the plywood to rest at the top, we then created a resting spot at the bottom of the seat. The 2×4’s that you see below (use what you’ve got) serve as a support for the plywood to rest on and be secured to.

DIY Built-in Bench Seat | Cape27Blog.com

Hopefully this next picture will help sort out any confusions. Rick attached the second piece of plywood to the top and bottom supports. Since the adjacent cabinets have countertops with a little overhang, we chose to end the bench seat just below that. Otherwise we would have created a whole mess of awkward cuts that weren’t necessary.

DIY Built-in Banquette | Cape27Blog.com

We puttied the screw holes with a few dabs of Elmer’s Wood Filler.

DIY Built-in Banquette | Cape27Blog.com

And chalked around the wood seams.

DIY Built-in Banquette | Cape27Blog.com

About an hour later it was ready for priming. Whoop, whoop. Now the real fun begins. I’m designated painter at our house. Ricky builds, I paint. I was in no mood to mess things up, so I opted to use painter’s tape. Everywhere. You guys know my feelings on Frog Tape :)

DIY Built-in Banquette | Cape27Blog.com

Since we were dealing with bare wood, I primed everything first with Sherwin Williams’ Harmony Primer. Not necessarily something I would or would not recommend, just what we had on hand. Although, it is a no-VOC line, so it’s great for projects with the munchkins around.

DIY Built-in Banquette | Cape27Blog.com

You can’t really tell in the photos, but the primer is a bright white and the cabinets are more of an off white. So, I followed up the primer with two coats of semi-gloss paint. The color is the same color we used on all the trim in the house, which matches the Ikea cabinets. If you’re looking for something similar, just take an Ikea cabinet door to any paint store and they should be able to match it for you.

And here she is :)

DIY Built-in Banquette | Cape27Blog.com

We also finally got around to adding hardware to the adjacent cabinet drawers. They’re the same pulls that we used in the kitchen, Ikea’s Lansa pulls. We’re not totally sure what we’ll do with the cabinets beneath the banquette. We’re afraid that even something as simple as a knob might be irritating to the legs when you’re seated. We’ll keep you posted.

DIY Built-in Banquette | Cape27Blog.com

Right now we’re just happy to be one step closer to crossing this bad boy off the to-do list all together. We’re hoping to then move back to the laundry room and finish it by spring time. Just before the addition begins! :) Speaking of, I seriously need to share our in depth plans in that department.

November 26, 2012

Paint Problems.

As in.. I have a paint problem. Not problems painting.

Also. I am addicted to Craiglist. You knew that.

Moving along with Catch-up. We already shared the new picture ledges and the fabric-covered box and now we’re back with some master bedroom updates. Wait. We have a master bedroom? Yes, we do in fact have a place to sleep.. You’ve just never seen it. Because it’s terrible. And also temporary. I’ve mentioned it a million times before and I’ll say it again for those of you just tuning in – We’re planning an addition onto the back of the house this coming spring/summer that will include a larger living room as well as a master bedroom/bathroom suite. So, this room that I’m about to share is really just our home’s third bedroom that we’re camping out in for a year or so.

After we move into our new room this will become the guest bedroom. We’re going to keep the furniture that’s in here now for the guest room and get new (probably craigslist and DIY) for our future bedroom. Point of my rambling? Everything you’re about to see is staying in this room and will act as guest furniture. Bam.

It’s kind of a mess. And in case you missed it, which is impossible especially in the space… it. is. teeny. Like only half of our bedroom furniture fits in the room teeny. The dresser and bed came from our previous home.

We’re hoping to Craigslist everything eventually and replace it all with pieces that better fit in the room. Maybe a DIY fabric headboard in our near future. But what I’m here to share today are the end tables.

We sold our previous end tables that were entirely too small for the bed and bought new ones on… guess… Craigslist. They looked like this.

It’s hard to tell in photograph, but they were actually pretty beaten up on the top. However, the tables themselves have gorgeous lines! If they’d been in better shape I totally would have embraced the wood finish. It was really pretty in person. The legs even somewhat resemble our media console makeover.

But now they look like this :)

Here’s their life story.. well, since they met me. Wahaha.

I started by removing any hardware and giving them a good sand. A fine grit should get the job done. Just enough to get rid of the shine.

This time around I decided to leave the insides of the drawers unpainted, so I covered them with tape and garbage bags. Working with what you’ve got at it’s finest.

A few thin coats of Zinsser’s Spray Primer. Keep those arms moving people. If you get drips, which I’ll admit still happens to me every once in a while, just let it dry and sand it back down. Don’t flip out, you can’t mess anything up beyond repair.

Now get busy. Painting time. We chose Ben Moore’s Pleasant Grove matched in a quart of Sherwin William’s Pro-Classic Semi-gloss. You can’t go wrong with this stuff. Built-in self levelers = brush stroke free.

 A few coats of Minwax’s Water-based poly later and they were ready for action :)

Although it’s a not as much fun bringing them into a room where everything else needs love, it is nice to finally give this room some much needed attention!

Check back later this week for more updates in this room and our plans for the future!

Ps – The green will make more sense once I tap into the rest of the room :)

October 24, 2012

DIY Ombre Chest Transformation

We shared the new chest that we bought to go beside Zoey’s bed a few weeks ago, and we’re finally getting around to how we later customized it! We’re no strangers to painting old furniture in need of a facelift. Just two weeks ago we transformed a thrifted dresser into a media console with just a little paint and a herringbone pattern. But what about painting new furniture? My rule of thumb usually goes by price, rather than old vs new. So, when we stumbled upon Ikea’s Koppang Chest for just $99, I was ready to whip out the paint brushes. Not so much because the price was crazy low, but more for the reason that I knew giving this dresser a facelift would take me 5 minutes top. And so it began.

Usually when we paint a piece of furniture, there are all kinds of nooks and crannies to work around. Which involves a lot of brush work on top of rolling out the larger flat surfaces. Not the case with Mr. Koppang. I simply slipped out the three drawers, removed the hardware, and applied not three, not two, but ONE coat of paint with a foam roller to each drawer face. Holla!

Choosing paint colors for an ombre effect can not be any easier. You just pick up a paint chip that has colors descending from light to dark and voila! Instant ombre. We actually chose every other color to ensure that there would be a visible difference between them. And I’d love to share the colors we used… but I lost the paint chips. Whomp, whomp. However, it looks like Ben Moore’s Glimmer 342 (darkest), Lightning Bug 340 (middle), and Early Dawn 338 (lightest) are a pretty close match!

We also switched out the hardware with a few clear glass knobs picked up at Hobby Lobby – the best place to find discount knobs that are very Anthropologie-ish.

Ok, it’s time for the lamp story. Not too long ago I shared an awesome DIY painted lamp from Ikea. It was great. Inexpensive clear glass lamp, fill it with paint, swirl it around, instant lamp in any color you choose. Well, the story didn’t end so happily. A few days of the lamp sitting in Zoey’s room (not even turned on once!) and the paint began to crackle. To this day, no idea what went wrong, but I’ve had a few other readers emailing me with the same problem. What the heck? Maybe it’s the paint brand specifically? No idea. If you’ve tried this project yourself with good results, please chime in! Any suggestions are appreciated!

Long story short, I wasn’t willing to throw anymore money into painting a second lamp that could possibly fail as well. Instead, I finally bit the bullet on a gorgeous white owl lamp that I’ve been eyeing for months! She was just $40 from Target, including the shade. So barely over the total price of the first lamp, when combined with the shade purchase. And honestly, I love this one SO MUCH MORE.

Ricky thought an owl might be a little creepy for a little girl’s room, but he’s totally on board now. I had plans of switching out the shade with a white one, but I think I’m actually digging the black now.

I know I’m a bit late on the ombre band wagon, but anyone else bringing a bit into their lives? We’re really loving how much life and interest it brings to the room!

UPDATE: Check out how we later transformed the inside of this dresser into a dress-up closet!