Architectual Salvage Finds In New York And New Jersey!

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 are willing 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. I loved 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!

Making Christmas Ornaments Using Iron Orchid Designs And Redesign Prima Moulds!

I had so much fun making Christmas ornaments in 2021 that I wanted to do it again in 2022! I still need to make more clothespin snowflake ornaments to fill in the tree, but I also want to try making ornaments out of resin using moulds from Iron Orchids Design and Redesign Prima.

These are the two Iron Orchid Design Moulds I will be using, Birdsong, and Baubles. Both have the makings for beautiful ornaments!

The picture I took of my Re-Design with Prima Jewel Snowflake Mould did not come out and since I am away writing this post, I cannot take a new one. Later in the post there is a picture of it making a mould. Sorry about that!

I have used Amazing Resin and their casting mold to replace pieces of trim on furniture. I was surprised at how easy it was to use.

To start I poured equal parts of bottle A and bottle B in separate cups.

Then I mixed them together to start activation.

I stirred until it was clear.

It starts working right away so don’t take too long to get it into the moulds.

When it turns completely white it is done.

It pops right out.

Really cool!

Make more resin, pour more moulds, create more ornaments!

When you remove the ornament, it is recommended to put a base coat of paint for better adhesion of finishes later.

I used Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint.

Amazing detail!

My Re-Design with Prima Jewel Snowflake Mould.


Look at all the possibilities! I really had no direction, so I played!

Here is what I played with.

I started with Mod Padge because ornaments need glitter.

I did not want to cover the detail, so I applied the Mod Podge in certain areas.

Then I sprinkled Iridescent Glitter on.

I brushed off the excess.

Now for the detail. I used Re-Design Decor Wax in silver.

Love it!

Next were the Jewel Snowflakes. I have wanted to try Annie Sloan Pearlescent Glaze for a while. I thought it would give the snowflakes a soft glow.

I put on two coats.

The glaze not only gave it a subtle glow, it brought out the details as well.

I will definitely be using this glaze again!

I had yet to make a really shiny ornament, so I went silver with my birds.

I painted both birds using Re-Design Decor Wax in silver.

Then let it snow glitter!

For these ornaments I wanted to try an old-world look. I painted them with Waverly Chalk Paint in Mineral.

Once it dried, I applied ArtMinds white wax then wiped it off.

It almost looks like stone or aged wood.

In the end I decided I wanted glitter. The four on the right have iridescent glitter and the two on the left have fine silver glitter.

I can’t wait to add these to my Christmas tree this year!

To hang the ornaments, I will hot glue small ring picture holders (see picture below) on then I can slip the hook through.

Antique French Mirror Hack!

Have you ever seen one of those beautiful floor mirrors pictured in French country dining rooms. I did and have wanted one ever since, but with prices that range anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000. I will not be buying one of those. But that doesn’t mean I can’t create my own!

With this in mind I started to look for a piece to transform. I knew it would need to be tall, already have a mirror or a place to put one and have plenty of room to add embellishments. I looked on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist not really knowing what I was looking for but would know when I saw it.

Facebook Marketplace came through for me. I found an old antique closet door with a beveled mirror and to top it off the door had already been stripped. Halleluiah!

I am not going to lie, there is a lot of work to be done, but I am ready to take on the challenge. It’s what I do!

These are the type of mirrors I was talking about.

My door from Facebook Marketplace. It has a lot of potential; solid wood, already has molding around the mirror and plenty of room for embellishments.

I am going to put molding all around the outside of door to make it look like a frame.

I also purchased molds by Redesign with Prima to create embellishments using resin.

I am really excited to see what I can do with this door! See you next week for more progress!

Refinishing French Armchairs Using Chalk Paint To Create A Faux Wood Finish: Part 1

In previous blogs I have mentioned stripping six French dining chairs and the amount of work it took. I was so burned out by the experience that it took two years to even contemplate refinishing the armchairs that were part of the set. I took them out of storage and had them sitting in my office for a week and knew I still wasn’t ready to go through the whole stripping process again. But I had to do something because I really disliked the color of the wood.

I wanted a wood finish without the work, so I turned to chalk paint. I had created a faux wood finish on a half-circle table in the past and decided to give that a try again.

First, I painted the chair with two coats of Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint and two coats of French Linen Chalk Paint.

Next, I used Waverly Antique Wax and water to make a wash.

I applied the wash using a paint brush to create lines giving it the look of wood graining.

The combination of the antique wax and the chalk paint underneath create movement like you see in real wood.

You can see the lines from the brush strokes.

I let the antique wax dry overnight.

I really like the color it’s so rich and best of all no red tones.

I am using Annie Sloan clear and white wax.

After putting a thin coat of clear wax, I applied thick coat of the white.

The white wax is definitely lightening the color. You can see the difference in the back leg to the front.

It is definitely looking like real wood, but I still need to play around some more to get exactly what I want. Which leads us to part two of the French armchairs!

Below are some fabrics I am thinking about to recover the chairs. I would love your feedback to help me make a decision.

Fabric 1

Fabric 2

Fabric 3

Fabric 4

Next week more progress on the chairs and hopefully you’ve help me make a decision on a fabric choice!

French Chairs Revisited!

Two years ago, I refinished six French chairs I had gotten on Craigslist. The chairs had a dark stain and would need to be stripped. So began one of the most arduous time-consuming tasks I have ever done and for me that is saying a lot. It took several weeks to complete but, in the end, the final results were worth it! The next step was using wax to seal them before sending them off to be reupholstered. To my dismay after applying the wax it gave the chairs an orange yellow tone. They were still beautiful but not exactly what I wanted. But I could live with it because there was no way I was doing them over.

Until now two years later I am ready to try a wash technique to tone down the orange yellow tone.

Let’s see what happened!

These are the chairs before I refinished them.

I used a toothbrush; kebob sticks and elbow grease to get into all the crevices and reveal all the detail.

This is what happened after putting on the wax it brought out the orange yellow tone again.

It had nothing to do with Annie Sloan clear wax I could have put water on it and it would still bring out that tone.

Using Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint, I made a wash.

I sprayed five pumps of water into the dish with the paint and mixed it.

Using a lint free cloth, I dipped it in the mixture and wiped off any extra before applying.

I wiped the wash on the chair surface making sure to get into the detail.

The change was immediate. It looked just like it did before I added the wax.

It was easy to do and yes, I could kick myself for not doing it sooner.

I love the results! Just five more to go!

Good Will Frame and Decoupage Equals Beautiful Art!

Artwork has always been my go-to for finishing touches in any room. With that being said artwork can be expensive so I am always looking for ways to hang art inexpensively.

I recently ordered three different decoupage papers to use on upcoming furniture projects. My favorite is a copy of a painting by Johannes Vermeer called Girl With A Pearl Earring. I had never really thought about using decoupage paper to make a piece of art until I was at Good Will and saw a picture in a gorgeous frame. Looking at the picture and frame, (which I did not care for, sorry Rembrandt), I could envision the Girl With The Pearl Earring in it. The framed picture was seven dollars, so I snapped it up.

The decoupage paper cost thirty dollars and with the price of the frame, I was looking at just $37 total. I thought it was worth the risk since a similar piece of artwork this size was more than $500 online.

I went for it!

I found this print on the Toscana website. It is about the same size as mine. The price was $550.

This is the piece of art I purchased from Good Will. The painting is a Rembrandt called Young Woman At An Open Half Door. It had some damage which made me feel less guilty about painting over it.

There were several marks like this in the picture.

I had to smooth out the marks so they would not show through the decoupage paper.

Using DRYDEX spackling and putty knife I filled the holes.

After it dried, I sanded it lightly.

I also wiped off any dust and dirt on the frame and picture before painting.

Using painters tape I covered the border so I would not get paint on it.

Using Annie Sloan Old White chalk paint, I said goodbye to Young Woman At An Open Half Door. Sorry!

The canvas was ready to decoupage.

Meet: Girl With The Pearl Earring. I purchased her on Etsy from Margarita Posh Chalk Deluxe Decoupage Paper.

Spreading Roman wallpaper and border adhesive, I started from the bottom and worked up.

For me the key to success with decoupage paper has been using a dry large chip brush to smooth the paper out. Once I had the entire paper down, I went over it with another coat of the wallpaper paste.

I am sorry to say that I did not take any more pictures. I was by myself and needed all my attention laying the paper down. Next time I will do a video.

I was extremely pleased with the way the decoupage paper came out. However, I did have white space on both sides because the decoupage paper was not wide enough.

Using my acrylic paints, I matched the background paint and seamlessly blended it together.

Here she is! A beautiful piece of artwork added to my home for thirty-seven dollars.

So worth it!

Antique Buffet Transformation Before and After!

I started working on this buffet a few weeks ago. It took longer than I expected, and the total transformation took three blog posts. I will leave links to the other posts at the end.

The final post and reveal:

This is the buffet I transformed with Annie Sloan Oxford Navy Chalk Paint.

I repaired missing trim pieces using Amazing Mold Putty and Casting Resin.

I sanded the resin pieces then cleaned the piece getting it ready for painting.

My paint choice!

It required three coats to cover.

I stained the top with Waverly Antique Wax.

I added ” Decoupage Queen” Damask rice paper to the sides of drawers.

Refreshed the inside of the drawers with Annie Sloan Honfleur Chalk Paint

I used polyacrylic to seal the inside of drawers.

On the top and the base of the buffet I sealed it with Annie Sloan Clear Wax.

The finished piece. I love it so much that I decided to keep it!

Before and After

Antique Buffet Transformation Part One!

Antique Buffet Transformation 1.5

Part Two Of Decoupaged Cigar Box!

A few weeks ago, I transformed an old cigar box using “Decoupage Queen’s” decoupage rice paper. I loved the way it looked and received wonderful feedback on the finished product.

Even though I loved the piece, I felt like it needed more. The inside of the box had been cleaned and painted but nothing else.

On the original piece, I extended the decoupage paper over the edge by hand painting and blending to create a seamless look. I was pleased with the results and really wanted to try it again. With my newfound courage, I decided to hand paint something on the inside that would complement the decoupage on the outside.

With this in mind, I put my thinking cap on!

As I was looking at the original decoupaged box, I got an idea. I wanted to paint wings on the inside with a crown overhead.

First, I drew in the wings then began to add color. I tried to match the colors from the Bluebird Queen decoupage as best I could.

Note to self-make enough color to paint both wings. I really struggled here trying to recreate the colors I used on the other side. There was a lot of painting over and trying again, but I eventually got it.

This is what you call a big fail! I lived with it awhile, but I was just not feeling it. You guessed it I painted over the crown and repainted the top of the wings.

I took a break from painting and added feet to the box using dowel caps I had from another project.

I hadn’t given up on having a crown, but I just wanted something smaller. I ordered this stamp from Amazon which was more the scale I wanted.

I also wanted to add some background on the inside that was similar to the outside. I had cardstock with script writing on it that worked perfectly. In hindsight, I should have put this on first and painted the wings on the cardstock. Instead of having to maneuver around the already painted wings.

After using wallpaper paste to attach the cardstock, I aged it with Annie Sloan Dark Wax.

I glued the feet on the bottom of box then painted them gold.

It took a lot of work, but I am so glad I persevered!

The finished product!

Antique Buffet Transformation 1.5!

I know I said this transformation would be split into two blog posts, but it will be three instead. The reason being there was more work than I expected. Also, I started back to school this week and am still recovering from surgery. If that sounded a little whiney, I apologize.

My color choice of Annie Sloan Oxford Navy, albeit beautiful, required three coats to get the rich color I was looking for. I also wanted to stain the top of the buffet and I was going back and forth on what to use. When the piece was originally sanded, the red tones had been removed. I have found in the past when you reapply color, the red tones come back, and I did not want that. I settled on Waverly Antique wax. It has a rich brown color I hoped would prevent the red tones from reappearing.

With my choices made, I got to work!

I had never used Oxford Blue chalk paint and was excited to try it!

The first thing I did was paint over the repairs to the drawers.

Unless you knew it was there you would not be able to tell.

You can see here it was going to take more than one coat.

The color was so beautiful I started to think about keeping the piece.

I was taking a chance using Waverly Antique Wax to stain the top. I had never used this particular wax on such a large piece.

I am so glad I took the chance. It came out great! Best of all, no red tones!

This is when I knew I was keeping it!

To zhuzh up the drawers, I used “Decoupage Queen” Wallpaper Damask decoupage rice paper.

After trimming the edge, I cut a piece of the rice paper and placed it on the drawer.

Using a sandpaper block, I went around the edges.

The sandpaper block trims off the excess leaving a perfect cut.

The paper was too short, so I lined up the seams and removed the excess with the sanding block.

I brushed Roman Wallpaper Paste on the drawer and laid the paper over it.

I used my hand to smooth it out.

This is how it looks on the side of the drawer.

I really like the results so far. I still have a lot more to do. It needs to be sealed and I have to decide if I want a wax or topcoat (like Polycrylic). The inside also needs attention. I may use watered down chalk paint to tone down the red. The hardware needs a good cleaning and some type of gilding. I may also use gilding on the raised areas around the drawers.

The third and last post will be the final reveal!

In the meantime, Keep Pushing Your Creative Self!

Drawer Turned Into Charging Station!

I know it is necessary to charge our electronic devices, but do they have to be charging everywhere? This past weekend, as I was walking through the house, I saw devices on the kitchen counter, the buffet in the dining room and on the side table in the family room.

I had looked at charging stations in the past that held all the devices neatly in one place, but the station with all the devices was still in plain sight. I want them all together but hidden away. With this in mind, I looked around the house and settled on the cabinet in the family room as a good place. Our television sits on top of it, but underneath it has a ton of storage. It would be the perfect place to put all our devices.

With a plan in place, I got to work!

The cabinet has four large drawers down the middle and I cleared out the top one for the station.

I drilled a hole in the back of the cabinet and the back of the drawer. The cabinet already had a hole in the back for the television wire so what are two more.

I had some left over felt that I put in the bottom to line the drawer.

It looks neater and will help protect the devices.

Next, I fed the wires through the hole in the drawer and the back of the cabinet to be plugged in.

I had these metal stands and thought they would be perfect to hold the phones.

How cool is this!

Now the computer.

No more devices everywhere!

I added this container for wallets and keys. One stop and everything will be right there!

Now you see it, now you don’t!