Archive for the ‘dressers and beds’ Category

I’m currently going through the dreaded emotional rollercoaster
and the physical endurance test of clearing out mom’s house.
It’s a double-edged sword.
I get to at long-last bring my own belongings out of storage to make it feel like home for me, but it also means parting with most of mom’s belongings.
Which often feels like I’m erasing her.
Tears are frequent.

I feel like I should share the path of change, so,
first- mom’s room before & after.
I sold her [inherited] bedroom furniture. . . . . to a nurse.
And that’s probably the only part that she would have liked.
The next morning I had a meltdown~ “WHATdid I do?

These were early pictures of setting it up and styling it for her~
no idea what happened to the pretty finished shots–?
The furniture passed to her from our beloved great auntie who bought it brand new to go in the house she was building in 1910.
Below is the way the room has been REdone.
With MY things, but, in her honor.

The foundation of the room got a fresh painted job because of all the holes that needed patching. This time the white has a warmer tone. The drapes were already changed to the soft, sheer white with lace, the hand-hooked wool garden rug remained.

The dresser, nightstand, and antique French bergère were pieces already dedicated to “her room” in my former house.

The bed was a long-ago project I posted on. It was an aMAZing mirror that had been broken- I bought the frame to make into a bed!

The looong cabinet was a $13, 5-yrs-ago Craigslist find that finally came out of my stashes, got a good cleaning, some repairs, and fresh paint job!

Many meaningful things have found their place in here–I just couldn’t let all her belongings go. I find myself sitting quietly in her room with regularity, and take comfort in being around her—stuff.

I struggled with letting a LOT of her things go and find I’m letting more of my own things go to strike a balance.

Missing you so much mom—
wish Heaven had visiting hours.

I love this last pre-cancer picture.

Want to see the “new” Living room?
That’s a big change, come on back


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Step 1- mom’s move downstairs.

The focus was all about getting her settled into, and moving around safely in her new 1st flr spaces.  She’s pretty shaky, and I worried about all the obstacles of the furniture-shuffle, and purging of drawers & closets to fit in the smaller spaces.  Putting anything together for myself would have to wait, so I’d just have to deal with the absolute CHA-OS until further notice….ugh.

the INSPIRATIONAL BED!Step 2- My turn!
Let the Games Begin!

Although I LUV the upholstered & caned bed I made for the guest bedroom I’d been using, I longed to use ONE of the beds I’ve collected and REworked just sitting in storage!  I could totally visualize a fresh room design with each- but THEN I saw this AWEsome bed from Perigold!
I knew exACTly the direction I was taking!

Ooooof!  Can you believe the price?!?
Time for a “Sensible Chic” version!



My project starts with the most aMAZing bed
found on fb marketplace
last summer!

O! M! G!

I popped the panel back in the footboard, but the bottom rail that holds it in is missing.  That’s okay- I only wanted to use the headboard right now anyway.

O! M! G!

Here’s the beginning- sleeping on the floor.
The bed downstairs was incredibly high, so this was weird-weird-weird!

UGH! Sleeping on the floor.

The first change!  Still on the floor, but it was feeling better!
I also added a 100yo door I split in half as “shutters.”
And THAT’s a story I’ll come back to later!

Still on the floor- but changes are happening!

Being frugal –cough-cough, CHEAP!
I shopped sales, used a 40% coupon, and still got what I wanted.
$55 for padding, batting, and linen!

upholstering begins-

upholstering begins-

look at that crown!

The bed box/frame

building the Bed Box/Framethe final choice-

I bought and cut down pine boards to build a simple box frame to 54″×80″.
I ripped some of the cutoffs down to create cleats & rails to screw to the inside bed box/frame to support the box spring & mattress.

I sanded and spray painted everything with the RustOleum Metallic Rust.
I discovered by accident that it can mimic stained wood, and the Metallic Rust mimics Mahogany.  I hauled all the parts inside-upstairs to assemble.
Just one more of those UMPteen million trips up&down the stairs.
I screwed the decorative legs to the end corners (only had 2 legs) and cut the 2×2 dowel to create hidden legs at the head of the bed frame.
The newly upholstered headboard is actually hung a little higher on the wall,
so the bed itself is a separate piece.

My "Sensible Chic" version of the VERY expensive Perigold bed!

my legs (rescued from a curbside chair)


I rescued the legs from a wingbacked chair thrown out for garbage!  (then I threw the remains out too!)

And lest you should forget the inspirational bed—

I like mine better!

the inspirational bed-


my NEW AWEsome bed!

All in for $158.66!

Can you believe?!?

And this is just the beginning!

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Bow-fronted dresserI stumbled onto this “pretty” dresser for cheap,

then took a much needed, relaxing drive to a very small, out-of-the-way town to go get it!

An awesome drive with some aMAZing old homes along the way—I’d love to make the drive again just to take lots of photos!

Anyway- I bought the dresser.  Sure, I knew it had some obvious issues, but nothing I couldn’t handle, and the owners rapidly loaded it up for me.  When I was home and off-loading it I finally started to see other problems.
Oh boy.

The biggest problem-
a completely broken,
poorly “repaired,”
(& totally concealed) front left leg.  And remember the front is a big curve!

leg & veneer repairOkay- this is not so much a problem for MY skills as much as, with mom’s full-time cancer care—I just don’t have much time for this.  I just wanted a FUN-EASY project to work on when I can find bits of time.
So -g r e a t- let the fUn begin.

I started with all the veneer problems, and then pondered on that broken leg.  At first I was hoping to clean out the terrible “repair” job and fill it with bondo.  It never set up with enough stability, and I’d NEVER put my name on that kind of work, so after a LOT of wasted time & materials- I ended up cutting away all the damage and just REbuilding it.

*Sorry- no pics to share.  But- I used scrap wood I keep on hand, figured the angles of the straight side to the curved front, glued & nailed in place, let it fully set up—then fine-tuned/shaped with coarse sandpaper in a belt sander.  Now it is  S O L I D.

I also stripped the top and discovered issues hidden under the SUPER DARK over stain job someone gave it at some point.  Looks like it was overly sanded in a few areas, but it REstained nicely and looks beautiful now!

top stripped and REstained

I waxed the top instead of clear coating it—I just think it brings out the richness in the wood more and is softer to the touch!  But that’s just my preference!
OH!  And I heat-set the wax before the final buffing.  The wax becomes a harder, more long-lasting, durable finish. 

painted 7 thin coats w/a weenie rollerNext- I taped off and covered and protected the top, then painted the body with a spongy weenie-roller—about 7 very thin coats.  Left side, right side, front, left side, right side, front, left side, right side………
Each thin coat dries so quickly and all those thin roller-coats finish more like a sprayed piece.
*Hint- I don’t have a sprayer.

Once completely painted–it had several days to set up before I could come back to it.  Actually, it was probably a week later (hospital schedules and all).  I had planned a decoupaged face and the time-lag gave me lots of time to plan the finished look.  AND figure out some other more appropriate hardware.

Victoriamagazine on ig!I was looking through ig and this caught my eye—it reminded me of a poster in my stashes!  That’s how my plan came to be. . . with a few adjustments.  

I measured off, taped my poster to the dresser face, then used a sharp Exacto to cut each drawer section free.  I was careful to save each face-frame part since I still wasn’t sure if I’d use it or not (I did in the end).  A pencil gave quick registration marks for placement to keep everything aligned.
Working from the top down, I pulled each drawer(s) out as I worked on it.  It let me double-check the alignment because 1) paper stretches when it’s wet, and 2) I was already messing with each section by my personal method of “distressing!”

my personal method of "distressing!"

Yes!  I wad it up
into an abusive ball.

Yes, it gets torn some!
It’s all part of that
“aging” process!

Then I smooth it out gently by hand, apply a really good wallpaper paste and REapply to the drawer face.
I prefer to smooth it out and position it with my hands at first, THEN use a flex-plastic scraper to gently smooth it out, pushing out the excess paste, and finally, wipe it down with a damp rag making sure the edges are well affixed.

Here’s my poster (from Hobby Lobby).

my Hobby Lobby poster-

Positioned and taped in place.

Working on the last drawer-

working on the last drawer-

MY distressing technique!

And then I decided it really did need the slight face frame cross sections after all.
You can also see I added my selection of vintage hardware right away!
SO much better!

*I filled former hardware holes and REdrilled before painting.  I poked through the paper with an awl to reveal the new hardware placement.

the small cross sections to the face frame

Now you can see how the poster was NOT large enough to cover the face,
but I had a plan!  I taped it out to expand the size with a “frame.”
But that wasn’t all.
I used a liquid gold leafing pen to freehand outline the very outer frame edge.
Irregular on the inside edge–crisp on the outside edge.

I just like that subtle contradiction!

Creating a "frame" and extra detail.

I guess I forgot to tell you how I lightly sanded all the wallpapered edges, huh?
In hindsight, I wish I had widened the “frame’s” sides.  Oh, well. . . .

Creating a "frame" and extra detail.

This project was completed in drips & drabs of time.
I bought it May 18th and finally finished it on the 29th.
I loaded it in the car right away and it went to the antique mall the next day where I spent hours REsetting my space to accommodate it!  WoW- my space had become a neglected disaster area!  And guess what?

It sold right away!


But my space is a disaster once again for the new void.
So I found another dresser to work on.  Stay tuned.


Not an antique-
not even vintage-
just  O L D.
But pretty now!

Bow-front Dresser w/decoupaged poster

Bow-front Dresser w/decoupaged poster

-my next dresser-

my NEXT dresser project

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Stealing an hour here, a half hour there,
I’ve gotten to work on a few projects!

A broken rocker, a vintage folding table, a really old school chair,
a broken kitchen chair, I cleaned up a small, very simple old dough bowl…
and REdo a REpurposed 2-tiered stand.

I was SO happy just to get to work on –something!

–Summer 2017 was the last one my mini-me-niece asked to spend with me.
She’s older now and would rather hang out with her friends—
I say with a pouty bottom lip, they grow up too fast.

* She went to the gym with me all summer.  We played, goofed around, annoyed & harassed each other, experimented with all kinds of vegetarian dishes–and she wanted to work on a few projects with me!
*Gosh, I hope she still favours me above all others.

my mini-me working on a project!She discovered pinterest that summer and saw something she wanted to try making.  We dragged through my stashes for interesting parts.  We cut up and sectioned parts of a bed post, and I happened to have some wood rounds.  I made all the cuts, and gave guidance on how to put the parts together, but she did everything else and had her own ideas for what she wanted.  She seemed pleased in the end, and loaded it with mini cupcakes for a family bbq—and then wanted to sell it for the money!  That’s my girlie!

Unfortunately, it never did sell, and I think she’s long forgotten the project–so I pulled it out of my antq mall space and painted the whole thing just plain ole white.  It actually looks awesome now, and I’m not sure if I should tell her about it.  But it’s back in the mall for sale again!

my mini-me working on a project!

She primed and painted all the parts, and I helped her create a fanciful top with chandelier and lamp parts.

I helped her drill center holes to join everything together with a wooden dowel and wood glue.

The wood rounds were sanded, then I ran them through the router table with a 1″ round over bit.  She sanded away with a variety of my sanders.  I think she found them all kind of fun!

I can’t find the picture showing it all loaded up with cupcakes,
darn it, and it looked really cool!

Catherine & Aleigha

my mini-me working on a project! my mini-me working on a project!

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So, long story short~

This was part of my late uncle’s bedroom furniture at Grandma’s house wAy down in IL.  I know –somewhere– there’s got to be a picture showing its original severely dark stain~but I can’t find it.

When we cleared out grandma’s in the sale to cousins, I brought it back to change things up in one of mom’s guest bedrooms, and painted both bed and dresser a soft white.  Seriously– this was already old hand-me-down stuff that moved from Grandma’s farm, up to her hill house, and then to mom’s.

It had a 1904 date on the back side of the headboard I’d never noticed before.

Uncle Fred's old bedroom furniture

Above, painted a soft white for a lighter, shabby chic look in the guest bedroom.  Eventually, it got bumped for another 1930’s set.

Below, painted something funky for a teenage nephew to use for a while. . .

REpainted something funky for a nephew~

And then it all came back –again.  With no one else in the family having need of it—I gave the dresser a total makeover and sold it in the antique mall.  Remember this project?  (it’s near the end of the post link)

one last makeover for Uncle Fred's dresser

And finally– I’ve pulled the bed from storage for

one last REinvention before Nellie’s Barn Sale!


I padded and upholstered the headboard with one of my vintage grain sacks.  The foot board is just REpainted, but I did add vintage wood wheels—
I LUV them, they’re just fun, and it’s SO much easier moving a bed around!

Uncle Fred's old bed with one last makeover!

I also added a padded back rest and tied-on seat cushion to this petite rocker (the neighbor gave me) with the leftovers from my
bed project—
I think they look really cute together!

Nellie's Barn Sale!They’re already getting great attention and feedback from the Nellie’s Barn Sale pages and on instagram!
OMG–I’ll be packing Wednesday, driving & setting up Thursday!
Hope to see you at the show
Friday or Saturday!


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another serpentine dresser project!I love this style of dresser, they’re just so pretty!

Uh. . . well. . .
they CAN be so pretty.
OMG is THIS one sad.
What was someone thinking here–???

The problems.

I’m just speculating, but, did someone streak a brush full of stain through the wet paint to get this look?  Ugh.

The wheels were toast.

The hardware was just  W R O N G.

It needed several repairs and one drawer bottom needed replacing.

And O-M-G it STUNK.  The car (and my nose) needed serious venting out.

another serpentine dresser project!

I took it to the strippers first thing Monday.  It wasn’t going to be a “pretty” wood so I opted for my UNorthodox strip job—“…just wreck the top please, and I’ll go from there!”  Stripping solution was also used to kill the horrible smell, and I pressure washed EVERYthing CLEAN.
(above & below- the top “stripped”)

I bought a new set of wood wheels before I left and –GOT. BUSY.

The Top.  The wood was that REALLY heavily grained oak.  I’m not a fan.  So we left the stripper on to melt-bubble-crackle the paint, then lightly rinsed it off trying to NOT disturb the effect.  I left it to dry in the sun -THEN- hit it with course sand paper to get a VERY chipped up paint effect.

getting a chippy paint finish with stripper-

floetrol-I was only looking for TEXTURE at this point.  I sprayed the top with primer to seal in my chippy effect, then added Floetrol to a simple white paint so I could brush paint the top and body and not have obvious brush strokes in the end.

I had several ideas for the end product.  When I decided on using some of my collected vintage ’40’s wallpaper, I found the white was TOO much and over-sprayed with Rust-Oleum’s Chiffon Cream Chalk paint.  It gave a much softer, off white that worked much better with my wallpaper!

WoW!  NOT easy to get a picture of the top for the end effect.  Trust me—it looks authentically chippy-layered old!  I waxed the top and buffed it out 4 times.  It is absolutely smooth as silk!

the chippy top~

adding new & larger reproduction wood wheels

I pried off the old broken and missing wheels, and replaced them with an almost 2″ reproduction wood wheel.  It raised the height to 27½”.  I’m thinking this would be better as a night stand/extra storage dresser.

painting the body~

drawers repaired and now painted too~

I added an orphaned mirror.  I like the scale and height but wish it was oval to go better with the curvilinear serpentine-front.

Now 5’7″ in its overall height!

~and I added an orphaned mirror!

adding 1940's wallpaper!

I waxed the wallpaper with the rest of the dresser—yes, it did alter the softer yellow color, but will give it more durability.
I added back the missing drawer stops, gave it appropriate hardware, and put the whole piece back together again—with the additional mirror!

my newest Serpentine-fronted dresser project!

a detailed string of "pearls"

I love the detail of the string of pearls!

Isn’t she beautiful now? 


my newest Serpentine-fronted dresser project!my newest Serpentine-fronted dresser project!

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the Art Deco nightstandLast fall my bf came for the weekend with a carload of projects she needed help with.

She teasingly calls me Bobbie the builder.

But I couldn’t do everything and gave her a tutorial on the varying tools, one at a time per task–which gave her a chance to get comfortable & confident!  WE were able to tackle a LOT of the projects!

A couple of projects got left behind for me to take on solo, including this

Art Deco nightstand.

It has a missing drawer, missing hardware, and the veneer shows how much it’s been banged around & abused–

but it’s still really solid!

REinventing the Art Deco nightstand

I thought it was worth “restoring” and would REmake the missing drawer,  but then I started thinking about the repairs, hardware, and RESALE,    and decided to REINVENT.

I removed the door and demo’d the drawer section.  That left a dado on each side to be filled–I ripped wood from the drawer parts for the “same wood” to blend in.

filling the dado's after demo

filling the dado's after demo

I used a caulk styled construction adhesive to apply the strips for 2 reasons.

1- Instant bonding.

2- As I pushed/hammered it in, the excess oozed out and let me scrape it away for a level surface.

filling the dado's after demo

While that set up and the other areas of fill (chipped veneer, hinge and hardware holes) I took the top off and stripped it.

some of the details and the top

the primer and base coats

Then I finally started priming.

I forgot to coat it with varnish first for bleed through, so Thank God it didn’t!  2 coats in I decided to take a short cut and use the spray chalk paint again—have I become lazy?  I used the Linen White to better cover my primer coats.

THEN I grabbed a warm beige to over-coat the white and wipe it off.  I just wanted to accentuate the details of the cabinet.

While each coat of paint was setting up (that chalk paint is very thin but multi-layered paintsdries SO slowly) I worked on a shelf.  I used the door and the drawer rail.

This little project won’t fetch a big price tag so I’m trying to minimize any expenditures.  That’s also what made me REmake it into a NIGHT TABLE.

And from this picture you can also see that I made it a fixed shelf with larger quarter round shoe molding.

Bullet clips cost money.

All in all, I think it came out pretty cute.

The top was stripped and only waxed silky smooth.   But it all works!


And it’s at the antique mall for sale already–




Lighting is the color difference in the pics–

the ART DECO night table

the ART DECO night table

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Bouguereau~So I bought it in the morning and was finished by nighttime.  And today it’s in the antique mall looking for a new home!

This is how the day

the project

went (yesterday)

I was 1st in line, with 1st dibs on this dresser.  I noticed 2 others lingering–once I pulled the ticket, they disappeared.  I honestly wasn’t sure until that moment if I was going to buy it, but now so glad I went early. 

It took 2 of us to load it in the car so I wasn’t sure HOW I was going to deal with it on my own getting back at the house~yikes!

I had a planbut plans can should be “fluid.”

THE TOP– was in awful condition and since I don’t like painted tops, out came the stripper.  But even stripped, the veneer was pretty well shot having a LOT of water stains and smoking burns.  I tried sanding, but to no avail.  Plus, it was going to need a LOT of REgluing. Such a waste of time.

the SHOP HOP dresser--the topYou know how it goes–if I was trying to be oh-SO careful sanding, I would manage to damage the veneer.  But I was trying to remove it and couldn’t damage it to save m’danged life!  Okay~so a bit of exaggeration, but I’ve NEVER had such difficulties removing veneer before.

The raw wood top underneath the veneer had all the pencil marks and notes of the carpenter–I should have taken a picture before I sanded the whole thing down.  It was very cool.

The raw wood top actually looks way better than the Walnut veneer and I’m so glad I went to all the trouble!  I clear waxed the top to keep its beautiful patina, and buffed it to a silky hand.

Funny how you can’t see the damage in the picture—??

THE DRAWERS, thankfully, needed only a modicum of attention.  I had a few minor repairs to perform, some puttying and sanding.  BUT- the numerous appliqués were mostly broken with missing sections.  I decided to just strip them away—I had a different decorative idea!

I have loved the beautiful works of  Bouguereau  forEVER!  So I went dragging through my old print calendar collections and found 5 I really liked–but 1 I thought would appeal to the masses and lend a sweetness to this piece.


I stuck with a classic pale gray & soft white color scheme.

Mostly because it just looked so heavy-handed, and I really thought PALE PAINT would totally lighten, brighten, and freshen it up.

*I was told that fully stripped it might have lighter wood tones, but the MIX of woods and veneers are why the stain was so dark.  Too bad, I love pale stripped wood and this design would have been cool!
a pale color scheme

I brushed on primer before taking the easy way out with spray paint.  I was trying to get this done FAST and to the antique mall asap!  Maybe it will still get some attention from the SHOP HOP!

the vintage SHOP HOP -2018

the new hardware-

I’ve taken on some grueling projects of late, the last two kindly gave me a reprieve.  I think I earned this break—thank you Lord.

I haven’t been to a flea market in a loooong time and my hardware selections are depleting.  BUT- I found 6 pieces more true to the styling and that matched up pretty good  (even color) to the side carrying handles.

Carrying Handles!

Isn’t that cool?!

the new hardware-

Someone drilled monster holes to add those modern “ball” wheels–presumably to make moving this big, heavy piece around easier.

I intended to remove them in favor of reproduction wood wheels, but I would need more time to plug the holes with large dowels, then re-drill.  So I painted their wheels into the body of the dresser hoping they would blend in.

Once the paint seemed well dried, I decoupaged my Bouguereau selection to the empty medallion.

It was the perfect finishing touch and

I LUV it!

–and that was my crazy 24 hours–


the medallion and Bouguereau the SHOP HOP dresser

the SHOP HOP dresserFANCY thrift store DRESSER!

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W E L L —I did.

I saw this late day Wednesday in a little

2nd hand shop I seriously had NO BUSINESS going into.

It had an unbelievably low price—my 1st instinct was to jump on it!  But, “c’mon Catherine–big dressers are  S L O W  to move & this looks like a fairly big project.”

She. Has. Issues.

FANCY thrift store DRESSER!

Can you believe that?Then the manager says, “We’re participating in the big SHOP HOP Friday and Saturday, and it will be 40% off—you know!”  Oh, gee, thanks.  AS she shot a very devilish smile my way for all the trouble she knew she was causing.

I just needed to check if it was still there at closing Thursday, then show up FIRST THING Friday morning.  If someone’s already bought it, it’s the end of my angst.  Or it’ll haunt me.  But I took my chances.

You may not want to look at the price tag—I made it small so you can just bypass and not irritate yourself.

I skipped the gym this morn  to be there before they opened —just in case, as she warned— there’d be a line waiting.  I was there alone for quite a while.  And then they came.  LOTS of “them.”  But I was FIRST!

Omg, it has pretty handles on its sides to help move it!

I’ve NEVER seen THAT before!

It has pretty handles on its sides!

Y e s,  it’s pretty.

But it wasn’t without trouble.

And I’ve been working on it ALL day.  I’ll report back tomorrow after I’ve settled it in at the antique mall.  Omg~it looks aMAZing!


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Judy's old bathroom dresser

I was pretty sure it was a Wash Stand,

so THANKS everybody for the confirmation!

But I had NO IDEA that door was for the chamber pot!  Well THAT’s the end of THAT!

I realize it had to go SOMEwhere!  But ewe!

Now I’m even MORE glad I gutted that part O-U-T!

To REcap—

Judy's old bathroom dresser

And then I was going to fit out -or- box in the new open area.

the bottom gutted & fitted out

You can see that I changed my mind here.  I decided to short cut this whole part.  Uh, huhlazy.

I kept the paneled walls—it was in good shape, was “pretty,” and only took a little sanding and paint!

Instead of cutting a panel to close out the drawer section, I cleaned that up better and painted the underside of the drawer to go with the lower area too.

I only had to cut a new floor for the cabinet.  AND notch it in and trim it all out.  UNfortunately, this was the only big-enough oak board I had, and it had some “green” sections.  I was trying to use things I had on hand.

the drawer all cleaned up

It's now a SIDE TABLE!

All in all

I like the outcome!


I still think this would be awesomely perfect as

a side table

by a chair or sofa!

It’s exactly the right height.

Or pretty perfect as a NIGHTSTAND too!


And it’s at the antique mall for sale–


It's now a SIDE TABLE!

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