(In the spirit of full disclosure, there may be affiliate links in this article, which means that I may get a commissions if you decide to purchase anything through those links. I only recommend products & services that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands.)
As we start a new year, it's always a good time to reflect. A time to celebrate your accomplishments and accept the things that were challenging and learn from them.
We've grown so much in this last year. I need to sit with that for awhile. It's too easy to keep pushing forward that you don't realize how far you've actually come. We've been working on goals for 2017 and there are so many exciting things I claim in expectancy for 2017. Part of that excitement comes from the understanding of where we started and where we are now.
I thought it would be fun to do a Round Up of sorts. A list of some of our top 10 Repurposed Furniture Projects. If I had to take a portfolio to an Interior Designer, these pieces would be at the top of the stack. I don't know if I can actually rank them from 1-10, though. You get so attached to each piece that it's hard to pick a favorite. Each time a I work on something, it becomes my newest and best. Perhaps that's a sign of growth...or restlessness. You decide. So here they are, in no particular order.
#1 - White China Cabinet with Glass Shelves
When I got home from picking up this piece, the Hubs couldn't believe I was able to get it in our vehicle. It was in two pieces and was huge. (For the record, when it was finished, we had to take two trips because we couldn't get them both back in the same vehicle. Ha!) The challenge with painting a China Hutch is that you have to paint all surfaces. That includes the inside of the hutch (top, bottom and sides). I used Amy Howard's Bauhaus Buff and it took 4-5 coats. That's a lot of paint. It was slightly distressed and sealed with Clear Wax. We took it to Very Violet, which is a precious Boutique in downtown Lee's Summit where we carry our line. It sold quickly. Sometimes big pieces can overwhelm a space. The glass shelves in this piece work well to keep it light and airy.
#2 - White Leggy Buffet with Stained Top
Would you believe me if I said I got this buffet at a Garage Sale? Typically I'd find something like this at an Estate Sale or Online, but hardly EVER at a Garage Sale. It had been with the family for a number of years, but wasn't original to them. It was part of a big set. A friend of mine bought one of the other pieces. What a fun project this was! Leggy Buffets are my weak point. I drool over them. It was painted in Amy Howard in Linen (3 coats), lightly distressed and sealed with Clear Wax. The hardware is all original. It found it's forever home at an historic B&B in Lee's Summit. I love when we find the perfect owner. It looks like it had always been there.
#3 - Repurposed Square Coffee Table
with Reclaimed Wood Top
Amy Howard doesn't like the term Dumpster Diving. She calls it "Roadside Shopping". That's how we acquired this coffee table. Our neighbor had it in a pile at the end of this driveway for the trash. I told the Hubs that I wanted to go ask him if we could have it. Normally, he would be too embarrassed to do such a thing, but when he walked over and saw it with me, he encouraged me to ask. It originally had a large ugly marble top that was detached. Our neighbor couldn't believe we wanted it and why, if we WERE going to take it, we wouldn't want the top. We never showed him the finished product. He may not have been so eager to let it go. I painted the base in Amy Howard Bauhas Buff with a heavy distress and sealed with Polycrylic. The Hubs took pallet pieces and engineered and designed the top with insets of square pieces. It's stained in Kona, which is our favorite stains. (You can get it here at our affiliate link.) He sealed it with several coats of Poly.
#4 - Curvy French Provincial in Black with a Metallic Glaze
This one stretched me. I wanted to push myself to try some different techniques, which can be scary. As a creative business owner, you want to try new things, but always have to be aware of what sells best. I may love to paint items in fun vibrant colors, but if they don't sell quickly, we lose money. Sometimes that means we have to stick to the tried and true finishes. Every once in awhile though, you take a risk that works well. This was one of those projects. The curves and lines were brilliant on this dresser. I had put a bid in on it at an Estate Sale. By the time I was notified I had gotten it, I had 30 minutes to pick it up across town, in the next state in the rain. Yikes! It was a close call as I wasn't sure it would fit with the other things I had bought. We got it all to fit, thankfully!! The base is Amy Howard in Black. Their Black is an incredible product. Most times I can get full coverage in 1-2 coats, which saves me time and money. I did a medium distressing then used 2 different Glaze finishes. The first one was in a Gray Glaze. The second was a Bronze Metallic Glaze. I didn't have to do anything to the original handles, either. The person who bought it planned to use it as a buffet in her dining room. Another match well made.
#5 - Linen Elegant Dresser
Picking is not for the faint of heart. This lovely dresser was purchased off a Facebook Swap Page. I typically don't get pieces that way, since those sites can be very competitive. You have to be at the right place at the right time, or it's gone. That day, my timing was perfect. One of the later comments on this sale post pleaded "Please don't paint this gem!!". Little did they know, how much better it would look than the original finish. I had to carry this piece down a flight of stairs with the seller and out to our vehicle on an icy driveway. We're diehards for great pieces. I painted it in Amy Howard Linen with medium distressing and sealed it with Clear Wax. Perfection! We took it to Very Violet. Their customers are the best. It found it's forever home quickly.
#6 - White French Provincial with Peek-a-Boo Drawers
This dresser had a sweet little surprise when you opened the drawers. Each one was painted in Amy Howard's Indian Summer. It made me smile. It's kind of like wearing a pretty undergarment that only you know is there. It just feels good. Imagine the buyer's surprise when they first opened a drawer! They loved it and snatched it up. The rest of the dresser is painted in Amy Howard Bauhaus Buff with a light distressing and sealed with Clear Wax.
#7 - Rustic Console Made from Reclaimed Wood
This has become one of our Signature Pieces in 2016. The Hubs handcrafts each one to the sellers dimensions. The bottom is made from reclaimed wood and the top is Barnwood stained in Kona. I can't even explain how seriously he takes these Console Tables. He's meticulous. The base can be custom to any finish, however, this one is painted in white, distressed, antique glazed and then sealed with poly. The base is Satin poly and the top is Gloss poly. This particular custom order was quite large. We had the opportunity to deliver it and see it in it's forever home. It fit perfectly.
#8 - Stately Buffet
Just to show you that we acquire project pieces in many different ways, we purchased this Stately Buffet from an online auction. You have to be careful with online auctions, as they can get carried away on price quickly. We were cautious and got this one at a great price. It was part of a large suite and came from an Estate. I found an address label in one of the drawers which indicated the owner lived on Grand Street in Springfield, Missouri. I can only imagine the large victorian home this must have lived in for many many years. We painted it in Amy Howard Bauhaus Buff with a medium distressing and Clear Wax. What a grand statement it makes! The buyer was thrilled with it. They even had skeleton keys that worked perfectly for the doors. It was meant to be.
#9 - Romantic Dresser with Mirror
I had to drive farther than I thought I would to get this sweet romantic dresser. We painted it in Amy Howard Linen with a medium distressing and Clear Wax. Those bottom drawers are deep and huge. These are the type of dressers that make my pulse race. You are hard pressed to find solid pieces of furniture like this anymore. The mirror makes the dresser. It wouldn't have the same feel without it. I love the sweet little apron at the bottom, too. By the way, one of our tips for painting a mirror is to paint it without tape, distress, wax and then scrape it with a straight edge to get all the paint and wax off. It's a time saver for us. Make sure you don't scrape the paint before applying the wax. Wax right over the paint, otherwise, the wax is too hard to get off the mirror by itself. The buyer for this dresser bought it from only seeing the online pictures and drove 4 hours to come get it. Now that's devotion.
#10 - Black Leggy Buffet
We saved this leggy buffet. Literally. It was in the basement of an Estate Sale and no one wanted it. The top veneer was completely destroyed. It was lifted and cracked. It almost looked like a roller coaster track. Taking veneer off, even when it's lifted and cracked, is no easy feat. I normally wouldn't do this on just any piece, but the only area that was damaged was the top. It was a challenge, but worth it. The hubs cut a piece of Birch plywood for the top. He glued and nailed it in place. We set some weights on top to let it sit overnight. You'd never know it wasn't the original top. The rest of the buffet was horribly dried out from being neglected, too. It needed to be painted to save it. There were many layers of paint techniques to achieve this look.
1) Amy Howard in Linen - 2 coats
2) Amy Howard Toscana Milk Paint in Noir - 2 coats
3) Antiquing Glaze
4) Clear Wax
5) Dark Antiquing Wax
6) Dust of Ages
There are so many other sweet pieces we've painted this last year and many more to come. It's always the thrill of the hunt to find, repurpose, save and restore treasured items. We give them a second chance. We give them an opportunity to be loved and cherished anew.
What was your favorite repurposed item from 2016? Maybe we've inspired you to try something new. Maybe you'd like to entrust us with a project piece. Stick around for the ride. You'll never know what new ideas and techniques you'll see from us.
P.S. We purchase all our Amy Howard chalk like paint, products and wax from Very Violet in Lee's Summit, MO.
Welcome to Re•Nue Home Studio
January 27, 2016
DIY Valentine's Day Projects: Sparkle Gem "LOVE" Letters