Furniture

Revamped antique dresser

I grew up with this antique dresser always somewhere in my house. Ever have an affinity for something just because you grew up with it? Well, that’s how I feel about this dresser. It’s not quite my style, but I love it nonetheless. With four drawers, each with their own keyhole, and a beautiful curve — this piece is exactly what comes to my mind when I think of an antique dresser. My dresser comes with an added bonus — a small teal bead that me and my sisters stuck in one of the keyholes. We could easily remove the bead, but it has become sort of sentimental through the year — like, oh, is that the dresser with the bead stuck in it?

Antique Dresser_Before

Anyway, long story short, my mom and step dad had the dresser at their hose for years. Over the years, it somehow made its way into the garage and became a storage chest for nails, screws and the like. Needless to say, it got a little bit beat up.

Antique Dresser_Before_Top

The top really needed some love. With a crack 1/3 the way through it and all sorts of nastiness to the finish, it was crying for some help.

But let’s rewind….

Before I could tackle any of this, I had to clean this puppy up.

Dresser SPiders

Talk about some serious spider webs.

OK, back to the restoration.

Restor-A-Finish

I pulled out my walnut restor-a-finish and a new bottle of mahogany finish and mixed the two together. The dresser was an in-between color, so I figured a mix would be the best option.

Before I started the application of the restor-a-finish, I first wiped down the whole dresser, removed the drawers and took off the hardware.

You can really see the color variation in the finish in this next picture, especially underneath where the hardware goes. You might also notice some doggy paws keeping me company.

Drawers_no hardware

I also filled the crack in the top of the dresser using Elmer’s wood filler.

Filling crack

Once that dried, I sanded it smooth.

Then, I got to restoring. Using gloves and a ventilator mask for safety, I started applying the restor-a-finish to the whole dresser. All you have to do is put it on with a paper towel and let it soak in. In 20 minutes, wipe the finish back off. I did this twice, although that probably isn’t necessary. When that was dry, I simply added some feed-n-wax to the piece. You use the same method for the wax — wipe it on with a paper towel, then in 20 minutes remove it again.

And that’s it! I reattached the hardware and put the drawers back in.

Antique Dresser_Top_After

Check out that top! All sorts of fancy and nice.

Top

Here’s another shot. You can see there are still scratches in the top, but they don’t stand out anymore because of the treatment done. If you wanted the scratches out completely, you’d have to sand down the stop, which would remove the original finish of the piece. It’s a toss-up. The scratches don’t bother me, so I opted to let them stay with the original finish of the piece.

Ready for the whole thing?

BEFORE:

Antique Dresser_Before

AFTER:

Dresser After 2

It has such a nice color to it again!

This dresser is a perfect example of not needing to paint old furniture. Don’t get me wrong — I love a painted piece of furniture, but I hate to see beautiful antiques covered with paint because people aren’t aware of their other options!

Dresser After

My mom and stepdad will be sad they let it go. Now I need to figure out where it will live in my house. I am thinking it will go in our guest room and that we could use it as a future changing table for future babies. That seems to be a popular trend these days, anyway. Wouldn’t this be adorable in a little girl’s room? Of course it would, that’s why my mom got it for her three daughters 🙂

BONUS:

I don’t usually share outtakes from my projects and photo shoots, but Remmy was all over me for this project. I guess when his momma is outside, he’s gonna be glued to her side.

Remmy in project
Here he is in his cone of shame. Don’t worry, he’s OK. He just irritated his paw and wouldn’t leave it alone.
Rem2
Don’t worry, Rem. I wanted to take your picture, not one of the dresser.
Rem1
Staring contest. I won, he got bored.
Rem3
Oh, were you trying to take a picture? My bad…
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Home Improvement

My mint tiles

OK, guys. I have a new obsession and that obsession is Restore. Habitat Restore, to be exact. And it is amazing. AH-MAY-ZING!

My neighbor first introduced me to Restore in Baltimore and then Restore came to Columbia! Are we lucky or what? (Hint: The answer is yes!)

I go there pretty often now and had to share my newest find: Mint Green tiles!

{A Smith of All Trades} Tiles_Dirty Tiles

I scored about 50 of these beautiful tiles for $.25 a square foot. Yes, $.25! I paid $4 total 🙂 Love it!

As you can see in the photos from the store, the tiles were pretty dirty. I scrubbed the tiles for over an hour and they cleaned up beautifully.

{A Smith of All Trades} Tiles_Clean Tiles

Neither of those photos do the color justice, but this one is a better representation:

{A Smith of All Trades} Tiles_Color Shot**drools**

You might be wondering why I bought tiles? Well, for my birthday gift next month we are going to redo our master bathroom.

Here’s a couple of not-so-hot pictures of our bathroom. It’s teeny, so it’s hard to get the whole thing in one shot.

Out bathroom looks a little different now with a shower curtain and a few pieces of art hung on the walls. But it’s nothing spectacular.

Here’s what I’m thinking….

{A Smith of All Trades} Tiles_Sketch

Yes, it’s a sketch. And yes, this will likely change. But anyway… I am thinking a faux wainscoting treatment to the bottom half in white with a neutral color on top. We’ll replace the vanity to get something a little larger in the space, update the medicine cabinet and the lighting…. and then add the mint tiles as accent tiles. Like I said, the final product probably won’t look a thing like this… but this is my inspiration for now.

{A Smith of All Trades} Tiles_Bucket

And for $4, I was willing to take the risk that these beautiful tiles will fit into my not-so-final master plan.

Happy Tuesday!

Home Improvement

The Nest

Hi Blog. Long time, no write. Life has been busy and my blog has suffered a little. OK… it has suffered a lot. Things are crazy in the DC area with the government shutdown. The hubby is a government employee, so things are really stressful. Work has been busy, and we’ve been non-stop adventuring on our random trips to Chicago and then New York City. My neighbor and I also decided about a month ago to make exercise a priority, so instead of coming home and crafting, she and I get together almost every night to walk! It has been wonderful and I miss her dearly this week because she’s away for work.

So long story short, my blog has dropped a few notches.

Having said that, I do have a fun home improvement project to share that the hubby is just tickled by. Right before we went to New York, we bought a Nest! In case you don’t know what that it, it is a smart thermostat that learns your patterns and supposedly saves beaucoup bucks. It is also totally fancy looking and can hook into your phone! Brian is pretty enamored with it, which I find to be both amusing and adorable.

To install the thermostat, we had to remove our old one. It worked just fine, bu it wasn’t fancy enough for us. Oh la la!

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Once we removed the old device, Brian marked the wires so he could attach them to our Nest.

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Then I patched and painted around the old thermostat. Honestly, the wall was pretty jacked up and I didn’t do a fabulous job. But that is something I can fix later. We didn’t want to wait hours to install the new thermostat because it was hot.

IMG_4230

Once the paint was dry, Brian hooked up the new Nest and got it synced with our wifi and our phones. Now we can adjust the temperature no matter where we are, which has been really great while we are away on trips.

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Not only is the Nest pretty and functional, it is Brian’s new favorite thing to show off.

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Here he is bragging to his buddies about his cool thermostat. We are such dorky homeowners.

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If you are still sticking with me even with fewer posts, thanks for hanging in there! I do have several projects in the works, including a refurbishing of a jewelry box that I desperately need to be done so I can use it!