The first time I saw this piece I was smitten. The lines, the medallion and scroll work were a perfect candidate for dry brushing a technique I have been wanting to try. I know my wood lover friends think it is beautiful as is, but there was too much damage (which you will see in a minute) to be saved.
Like in past projects, there was a lot more prep work than I expected and also like the other projects, I did question why I had purchased it. In the end like many of my projects I am glad I did!
Let’s see what happened…
Look at that medallion definitely drool worthy.
I am not a fan of this piece of molding on top, so I removed it.
It had been glued as well as nailed in, so it took some work to get it off.
I had to use pliers for the stubborn nails.
Next was cleaning which is twofold. You clean but also check the piece closely for anything that may need a tweak.
This was the third rag, yuck!
I didn’t like the hardware that was on the piece, so I removed it. In order to put on the single knob that I want, I needed to fill the holes first.
I have seen this product used by other furniture refinishers on You Tube and the results were great. So, I decided to give it a try.
The directions were easy to follow. Scoop out puddy, add hardener, stir and apply. The fumes were very strong. Definitely use it in a well-ventilated area.
When I was cleaning the desk, I noticed that some of the veneer was lifting off.I used a putty knife to pull up the loose veneer then took it off. Once it was off, I filled it in with Bondo.
I also used the Bondo to fix two of the edges on the drop door that were chipped.
Everything sanded and ready to paint!
There were so many things I had to repair on this piece I did not have enough time to finish it this week.Make sure to look for part two next week I can’t wait to share!
Part one of my decoupage art wasGirl With A Pearl Earringby Johannes Vermeer. To create the piece, I purchased Posh Chalk Decoupage paper from Etsy, and I got the frame from Good Will. It was a huge success. It currently hangs at the top of my staircase, and I love it!
With my second attempt, I wanted to experiment with a different medium like a print instead of decoupage paper. I had already purchased some digital versions of prints from Etsy and had them on a flash drive. I went to Kinkos and had two printed. Girl Reading by Jaques-Emile Blanche and the other print I could not find information on, but it is beautiful. My thinking was that if the prints worked, I would not have to buy decoupage paper and therefore save money. The prints were $20 a piece versus $30 for decoupage paper version of the Girl With A Pearl Earring plus shipping. I ended up saving a little money, but the jury was still out as to whether or not it would work.
This is what happened:
I found four of these pictures at Good Will. I couldn’t pass them up. Each one has a very solid wood frame and is perfect for a print.
My original plan was to paint the frames in a faux wood finish, but it just wasn’t working so I went to plan B.
Plan B was to paint them with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Athenian Black.
I put on two coats of the Athenian Black.Once it dried, I sealed it with Annie Sloan Black Wax.
I used Roman wallpaper and border adhesive to attach the prints the same way as I do with the decoupage paper.
I started at the top, applying paste then placed the print on top.
As I worked my way down, I smoothed out the wrinkles with a brush.Then I applied paste on top of the print which turned out to be a mistakebecause it caused the paper to bubble up.
To fix the problem I waited until it was dry then put a slit wherever there was a bubble
Once the slit was open, I pushed glue underneath.
The bubbles smoothed down, but I still had some wrinkles.
I added gold around the inside of the frame and the outside to make the print stand out more.
I repeated the same process with the other print, but I did not put the paste on top and there was no bubbling.
I am glad I tried this method. The pictures are beautiful but, in the future, I will stick with decoupage paper. It is much easier to work with.
Those of you who know me won’t be surprised that I decided to redo the Girl Reading print. My family says it looks great, but I see all the mistakes.
I have had two lanterns and a milk- glass vase in my stash waiting to be refinished for a few weeks. Every time I saw them in my office, I said today is the day, but it wasn’t the day.
Well, I am happy to say that the day has finally arrived!I transformed the two lanterns using an antique metal treatment and the vase using a faux cementmixture. I had inspiration pieces for both and If I say so myself came pretty close to matching them!
Without further ado let’s get to it!
This Pottery Barn lantern was my inspiration the cost $129 not in my budget.
I picked my lanterns up at Good Will for $8 a piece (definitely more budget friendly).
The first thing I did was tape around each pane of glass. I normally don’t tape but, in this case, if the paint gets under the glass, you will see it on the inside of the lantern.
Ready to start!
I used Rub ‘n Buff antique wax as my first layer.
I squeezed some out on paper so I would not contaminate the tube.
Then started applying.
First layer done now for some dimension with dark wax.
Using a sponge and Waverly Antiquing Wax I tapped it all around to create texture.
Look at all that texture!
In some areas it was too dark, so I went back and touched it up with the Rub ‘N Buff.
I used my brush to spread it out then went back over it with my spongeand dark wax.
I also mixed green and blue acrylic paint and added it to the top and edges to add even more depth.
The great thing about this technique is you can go back and tweak it without having to start all over again.
The final result!
I plan on using them outside so when the weather is warmer, I will apply Polycrylic water-based sealer to protect the finish.
Here they are side by side not an exact match but pretty darn close.
This concrete urn is my inspiration for my next transformation. The price of small urns varies but can be anywhere from $50 to hundreds of dollars if they are antiques.
I purchased this milk-glass vase at Good Will for $4.99.
To get a faux cement look I mixed together Annie Sloan Old White Chalk paint, Waverly Chalk paint in Mineral and baking soda.
I made pouncing movements on the vase to make even more texture.
It began to really look like cement.
Using my sponge to bring out the detailing with dark and white wax.
I also used some sandpaper to distress it in some areas.
The finished product!
I think I like mine better!
Do you like to use faux finishes? I would love to hear what you have done!
When I woke up this morning, it was -6 degrees outside. My plan today was to play around with Easter table settings using spring decor I thrifted last week. I decided to go ahead with my plan and not let the frigid weather discourage me.
It turned out to be a lot of fun and even though it was -6 degrees outside, it made me think of Spring!
The first thing I did was iron my tablecloth.
It is so big I have to lay it on the table and pull it forward as I go. If there is an easier way, I would love to hear it.
I wanted a vase of flowers for the center of the table but did not want to go to the store to get some. I remembered I had some faux flowers in my stash and used those.
They were to long for the short vase I wanted to use so I used a wire cutter to trim them.
I cut three then taped them together.
Centerpiece taken care of… check!
To tie the flowers and vase together with the tablecloth, I placed them on the green tray I also thrifted last week.
I could not resist these bunnies at the thrift store. They are adorable.
I found four of these ceramic eggs and really liked them, but did not like the yellow bow it originally had, so I painted them gold.
I like the napkin tucked under the charger. It gives your guests easy access and looks nice.
Next, the bunnies and plates…
glassware and silverware.
Here is the result!
I love the green and blue color palette itreminds me of spring.
I am really looking forward to using this design for Easter dinner this year!
You know the days where everything seems to be aligned in your favor. Well, that happened to me on one of my visits to Good Will. It seemed like everywhere I looked there was something I could not pass up. Best of all, I did not have to fix, paint or tweak any of the pieces. They were great just the way they were!
Wait until you see what I found!
I will admit that I passed these vases up the first time. They were beautifully had painted, but I was not a fan of the content on the front.
I went home and told my mother-in-law Audrey about them, and she said just turn them around. I was lucky enough to go back and find both vases and purchased them for $10. This is the backside of the vases, and she was right.
I fell in love with this plate the minute I saw it. I have seen plates like this at Good Will, but never with detailing like this.
What do you see when you look at these?
I saw bookends but as it turns out they are shelves.
A woman was carrying this tray around and I was bummed that I did not get to it first. Then I saw her a few minutes later minus the tray and backtracked until I found it. Yea!
Lastly this beast of a mirror. The frame is wood, and the edging on the mirror is made of wrought iron. Hence the nickname beast because it is very heavy. I plan on replacing my current mirror in the foyer with this but because it is so heavy, I need to make sure I have the right hardware before hanging it up.
Now the Styling!
A trick I use often is placing a one-dimensional piece on a stand. It immediately becomes a statement piece that can be used anywhere in your home. I chose the dining room, but it could have gone on a side table, shelf. kitchen counter etc.
For now, I am using these as bookends, but I reserve the right to use them as shelves in the future.
I placed the vases on the buffet in my dining room and the colors go perfectly with the painting and the buffet.
I am excited about projects I am currently working on and can’t wait to share them with you all!
What is it about the New Year that drives us to want to purge, reorganize and update our surroundings? Didn’t we have 365 days prior to the New Year to accomplish this?
Well, I am no different than anyone else. I too have fallen victim to the “New Year” need for change!
I started last week by organizing my Christmas decorations and the crawl space they will be stored in. If that was not enough, I also tackled a catch-all closet in the basement and this week I am working on the drawers in the buffet in my family room.
The buffet organization has been on my list ever since I changed the top drawer to a charging station and stuffed everything from that drawer in the others with no rhyme or reason. Over the course of the next few months, they only got worse.
With items from Good Will and Amazon I got to work!
I don’t usually show the inside of my drawers to just anyone. I am also pretty sure I have had nightmares about this, but you are like family so here it is!
Like I said, it was haphazardly thrown into the drawer.
The bottom drawer had all my exercise equipment and tapes.
This drawer is one of the worst. It seems like everything we did not know what to do with ended up in here.
I looked on Amazon for drawer organizers. I found a set of six wooden ones for $60. That was more than I wanted to spend so I went to Good Will.
I visited two Good Will stores and found these boxes at the second one. I couldn’t believe my luck. They were almost exactly like the ones on Amazon, but each of boxes came with a bonus liner. There were five in total. Three smaller boxes and two larger. The smaller ones were priced at $2.99 a piece and the larger were $3.99. The total was $16.95. Much better than $60 on Amazon.Another Good Will score!
The liner looks like it says Teleflora and they were probably used for flower arrangements. Whatever they were used for, having a liner will make it easy to clean and keep the boxes from getting marked up.
I wasn’t sure about the color, but they looked great!
I put the liners in and they were ready to be filled up.
They worked perfectly. The only problem was when I shut the drawer they slid forward.
I found these rubber tabs and put them on the bottom. Voila, no more sliding.
I put games in the bottom drawer where my exercise equipment was and moved the exercise stuff to the laundry room.
I finally sorted through the drawer with everything that you don’t know what to do with and was left with batteries, lint brush and flashlights. Yeah!
After weeding through everything in the buffet, I was left with a bunch of cards and needed something to store them in. I saw this organizer on Amazon and ordered it.
The box had five holders for cards. I used one for birthday cards, another for note cards and a third for miscellaneous cards. I put my address book, stamps, and address labels in the other two holders.
Maybe now I will get my birthday cards out on time!
I am back from my hiatus, refreshed and ready to start 2023 with a bang!
A top priority for me is organization. It was very difficult for me to decorate for Christmas this year because all my decorations were in various spaces around the house. After our house renovation, there was drywall dust still lingering and it made it difficult for me to go into our crawl space or the basement because of my allergies. This left my husband and sons the task of putting away the Christmas decorations last year (which I was very grateful for) but it resulted in me not knowing where anything was. I ended up opening a lot of boxes searching for items. Some I found, and others I did not.
This actually set the stage for a Christmas organization that I have been dreaming about for a long time. I know other people dream of exotic places with half naked men or women serving them Pina Coladas. I dream of organized spaces with everything labeled. Problem, I am not sure, Freud might have a field day, but it makes me happy!
This is the crawl space I was talking about that we gained from the addition. You can see how haphazard everything is. It is a large dry space that is perfect for storing items we do not use every day. My plan is to pull everything out of the crawl space and organize each box. When I am done, I will know what is in each box and have a designated area to store them grouped as seasonal, household, outdoors etc.
When I was decorating this wreath for the window in my dining room, I had trouble finding everything I needed. I usually store picks, battery powered lights, and ribbon separately. Which is fine, but I had to go through all the boxes in order to find what I needed.
To store it this year, first, I took everything off the wreath.
Then I took the picks and battery powered lights and put each in individual plastic bags.
I then placed the wreath along with the other items in a storage bag.
Closed the bag.
I bought this instamatic camera to help with my organization I (you will see what I mean in a minute).It takes a picture and spits it out instantly.Some of you might remember these when they were popular before we had color printers and cameras on our phones. They can still be pretty useful even today!
And finally put a photo I took from my instamatic camera on the outside of the bag. It shows me exactly what and where it was the previous year.
Next on list were the rest of the decorations in the family room and dining room.
I broke down the chandelier first separating each of the items and repeated the process with the other vignettes placing all the pieces on the dining room table.
I put the smaller items in plastic bags.
I placed the larger pieces on the bottom of a tote then filled it with the rest until everything was loaded.
Prior to breaking everything down I took pictures of each vignette with my instamatic camera. I took the pictures and tucked them inside a photo album sheet and taped it to the side of the bin.
It took longer than it usually does to break down my decorations but next year I hope it not only makes finding the decorations easier but putting them away as well. I guess we will find out next year!
I still have the front room where the Christmas tree and mantle are. I will tackle that next week because I want to enjoy the Christmas tree for one more week.
I tried doing the chandelier last week while my mother-in-law and husband were there. Both of them were watching me while I worked which is fine with me, but the deafening silence was telling me that they did not like it. To be honest neither did I! I took it all down and did not touch it again until Tuesday morning at 2:30 am. I couldn’t sleep and decided to decorate the chandelier. It was quiet and I was by myself. A perfect time to do it. I know, I know, this seems like a repeat of last week!
I actually enjoyed the solitude. I was tired the rest of the day, but it was done, and mother-in-law and spouse gave it a thumbs up!
The picks I used were long and drapey.
I used floral wire to attach them to the chandelier.
I wrapped greenery ties around the wire to hide them.
Because the greenery was long it was easy to cover each arm.
I used only four picks to cover all five arms of the chandelier.
I had these beautiful pinecone swags that sparkled and thought they would look great.
After adding the pinecones, I wound ribbon all around the arms of the chandelier.
Finally adding berries to the top for color.
The finished product!I love the simplicity of it!!
A couple weeks ago for whatever reason I decided to repaint my entryway, and I don’t mean a touch up here and there I mean change the color. I have a beautiful gray-beige color in my front room called Doeskin and wanted to use a complementary color in the entryway. I took myself to Home Depot and picked out Nightingale Gray which was lighter than the Doeskin and Ottertail which was much darker. I painted squares of each on the entryway wall and left it overnight. In the morning I decided I liked the Ottertail which contrasted better with the white moldings and doors. Using the sample, I painted one wall and the treads going up the stairs. This is not how I usually do painting; I take my time and live with the sample squares seeing how they look in daytime and night sometimes taking weeks to decide. I was locked in at this point and needed to paint the rest of the entryway to make a final decision. I went back to Home Depot got a gallon of Ottertail and painted the entire entryway. Guess what? I did not like it!
At this point I started to panic not only did my husband and I have a trip planned to New York City but the holidays were right around the corner. What had I been thinking!
After talking myself down I was able to put it out of my mind while my husband and I took our trip and had a wonderful time. However, when I returned home, I had to face the music and decide what to do.
I liked the dark color in some areas of the entryway where the contrast was very striking but not others like the painted stair treads. It took some repainting walls, stairs and why not throw the ceiling in as well but in the end, I liked the results.
Will I do this ever again? I would like to say no but I know myself and the name of my blog is “Impulsively Creative” after all!
Let’s check out what I did!
This is Ottertail by Behr I told you it was dark.
The stair treads. It looked good to startbut was too dark at the end.
I forgot about the French doors. I wanted more of a contrast, so I repainted those as well.
I tried taping the glass, but it took too long.
Much easier to scrape after.
I tinted the ceiling paint with Absolute Zero by Behr. I have done this in my Front room, laundry room, powder room and pantry and love it. When you first put it on it is pretty drastic but once the entire ceiling is painted you really can’t tell. I love painting the ceiling it gives it softer look compared to the stark white.
Recap of what I did. Repainted stair treads back to original color, painted all the walls in entryway Ottertail except the wall going upstairs, the wall on side of stairs and the wall leading into the kitchen from the entryway.
Painting that corner where the dark and light paint meet was a bear but the dark on the doorway to the kitchen just wasn’t right.
I purchased these corbels at the “Purple Painted Lady a couple years ago and finally found a place for them. The shelf is perfect for the space it breaks up the wall color but does not intrude upon entering the house. I chose this artwork because it needed color and I happen to love both prints.
I told my husband this is the mom at the park enjoying the day.
This is the mom at the end of the day after daughter is in bed everything is done for the next day,and she is too exhausted to even read.Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
My husband’s high school, Brooklyn Tech, had a banquet last weekend that we attended. We decided to take advantage of the long Veteran’s Day weekend and travel to the New York metro area right after work on Thursday which meant we had all day Friday and Saturday to play! We could have gone to see a play or visited a museum, but we decided to go to Architectual Salvage places instead. My husband and I love to visit these “shops” and have done so in many places, but never in the New York City area. We were curious to see what we would find and if there were any bargains to be had.
We visited a few places but were blown away by two in particular, Amighini Architectural in Jersey City, NJ and the other one was Old Iron in Brooklyn, NY. Both were amazing in their own right, but the juxtaposition between the two was amazing.
Let me show you what I mean!
Our hotel was in New Jersey, so we started here.
It took us a while to find it, but the minute we drove up I knew it was going to be special.
This beautiful wrought iron fence is what greets you when you arrive.
When you come around the corner it is set up like a courtyard. There are two gorgeous urns on elegant pedestals with stunning tile leading to an amazing door! I don’t think there are enough adjectives to describe how beautiful it was,and we weren’t even inside yet!
This is on the left when you walk in. Look at that detail.
This door is bigger than the front of my house and would never work in a million years, but one can dream!
The fireplace is made of stone with hand carved features. It seemed almost sinful to have brooms and such leaning on it.
Again, would not work in my house but WOW!Where art thou Juliet?
The sun came out right as this came into my sightline and took my breath away.But then I looked up!
Up above me in the rafters were these huge stained-glass domes. Just like the window light was filtering in and words cannot even describe the beauty of it.I imagine these must have been in churches, old theatres, cathedrals etc. I am just glad someone saved them.
They also had an office area with decorative items set up in vignettes.
I stepped over to look at this marble table and saw another table that made my heart stop.
On the table were dozens of architectural wooden trim pieces. I immediately thought of the door I am transforming to look like a French Antique mirror. Having these detailed pieces would take it to the next level.
We looked around for someone to help us and were pointed to a gentleman who was very sweet but spoke very little English. We managed to convey our message that we were looking for pricing on the trim pieces. He explained that the pieces are normally used for refurbishing their pieces and he did not have pricing. He had to call someone else, and she spoke only Italian. She then had to check with someone else and get back to us. She finally got back with a price of over two thousand dollars. We told them that this was out of our price range. The gentleman who was helping us was trying to get a better price for us which he did, one thousand two hundred dollars. At this point we did not want to offend anyone and simply said we appreciated the work they are doing and the time they gave us but would not be able to purchase the items. They were very gracious and appreciative of our words.
I can sincerely say that I was not disappointed. The beauty and grandeur of the place is something we will never forget.
Salvaging part two: Siegel style
The second place we visited was the total opposite of the first. Here we would have to dig for our finds there were no vignettes anywhere to be found. But that was okay because we like to dig!
My rules of salvaging: take your time, lift and sift through everything, go through more than once, and think outside the box.
Also be realistic about how much work you arewilling to put in. A perfect example are these iron newel posts. Refinishing them would take a lot of work. But if you can commit, the end result would be amazing!
When I first looked in this area, I saw old sinks but look past the sinks against the wall.
Look at this gate! There was no way of getting it home or anywhere to put it at my house, but like the other place, a girl can dream!
When we come back, I would really like to get a wrought iron gate for my garden. There were a lot of smaller ones to choose from.
This looks like trash but there is some good stuff in here. Next to the dresser is a table, on the small rectangular table is a small trunk for storage and in the back is wood and hopefully some decorative trim pieces.
I found this antique bed behind some other items. Iloved it and purchased it for our guestroom.
I found this wrought iron full bed on Etsy for $895 dollars. I paid $100 for mine. I would say that is a good deal!
Here is another diamond in the rough. The table has beautiful details it just needs a glass top and the bottom repaired.
My next purchase: I have been looking for a plant stand for our patio. I love the shape and the rust.
I found this one on Etsy for $169 plus shipping. I paid $40 and like mine much better.
I am happy to report that we were able to find architectural trim pieces for the door I am transforming into an antique French mirror. It will take some work to clean up but it all cost $40 instead of $1, 200.
It was such a fun trip. I hope we get to do it again soon!