DIY | Vintage Dresser Makeover

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

I thought I would break up my Fall posts with a little DIY action. This was actually a project I worked on well before we were even fully moved into our new home. I’ve only waited this long to share the project because I so wanted to decorate it prior to posting, however, I have not yet found exactly what I am looking for…so stay tuned because there is definitely more to come!

If you remember my DIY china cabinet makeover post a few weeks back, then you may remember that Shahin’s dad and step mom provided us with that beautiful vintage china cabinet that I was able to update. I had only mustered up the courage to take that project on solo because I had exposure to this one first with a little help from my friends (cue in The Beatles song). And by a little help from my friends, I actually mean a LOT of help from my friends. I truly could not have taken on this beast without some of my closest girlfriends along for the ride – Stephanie (check out her blog here), Jennifer, and Ashley. See, no one should believe that a DIY project is a daunting task, rather, something extremely enjoyable – make a day or evening of it! After indulging in a few glasses of vino, a slice of Fuel Pizza, and some good ol’ catching up, we got right to work.

Below is an image of the original piece we were working with. Shahin’s dad and step mom also let us take this old dresser to revamp for the new house. When I initially looked at it, I knew exactly the direction I wanted to go in as I saw the great potential it possessed. It’s no secret that I am a lover of vintage things. I like anything that is rough around the edges but still encompasses elegance and character.

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{ The dresser: BEFORE }

I decided to scour Lowe’s for the perfect paint colors. I had a vision and needed to see it through – I wanted to get a vintage/worn feeling and knew that crackle paint was partly the answer. I had some experience using this medium in the past (when I worked on the vintage door for our wedding), but a good bit of time had elapsed since the last time I had touched it. So, what is crackle paint, you might ask? Pretty much the best thing ever. It’s a paint medium/faux painting technique used between different layers of paint that once applied, crackles on its own and can be easily distressed to provide an “old” look with layers of different colors peeking through. After purchasing a couple of paint cans (color choices shown below), a can of crackle paint and some sanding blocks – I was in and out of Lowe’s in less than 30 minutes. Done and done.

After removing the knobs on the dresser, we used my first color choice, Valspar’s Coastal Villa, for the bottom layer of the dresser. With four of us, we were able to knock it out pretty quickly. This is actually the same color I used for my china cabinet as I had paint left over and absolutely adored it. It may look beige here (the image does not do it justice), but it’s actually the perfect shade of greige (grey/beige).

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{ Valspar’s Coastal Villa – the color chosen for the bottom layer of the dresser }

After we let the Coastal Villa paint layer dry, we applied the crackle medium. Any crackle paint should do but below is one by Valspar that you can easily pick up from Lowe’s or order online here. Otherwise, you can always pick some up at any other home improvement store or craft store such as Michael’s.

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{ Valspar’s Crackle Glaze Medium }

Once the crackle medium was applied, we added the top coat of paint about an hour later (the minimum), but if you’re trying this project out – do not wait any longer than four. The second color I chose was Snowcap White, also by Valspar.

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{ Valspar’s Snowcap White – the color chosen for the top layer of the dresser }

Once we painted this on the dresser and allowed it to dry some, we could see that the paint was really starting to crackle on its own. However, I wanted to distress it even more. My friends and I used various tools such as screwdrivers in addition to the coarse sanding blocks to really rough it up, particularly around the edges. The finished product turned out BEAUTIFULLY – especially when I purchased new knobs (about $4/each from Lowe’s). That’s when the dresser really transformed.

TA-DA! Below is our finished/custom/one-of-a-kind beauty that I am so proud of! Y’all, no lie – it’s everything I could have hoped and dreamed. I love the distressed, old-timely feel mixed with a touch of classic elegance. The contrast between the grey and the white is ridiculously amazing and what I treasure most is that the original warm wood color is still somewhat visible through the crackling.

To finish it off, I put a lace runner on top of the dresser (which I upcycled from our wedding), and am now in search of the perfect set of gold or vintage brass lamps…oh, and of course some little nick-nacks and decor. Check out all of the lovely details below.

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If I had tried to purchase this piece somewhere, it would have cost me a small fortune. The DIY route was the best decision ever and even more, we now have a unique piece that can not be found anywhere else! I have to admit, I am one happy girl!

Interested in using the crackle paint medium? Here are a few very important pointers to remember:

  • Make sure that the two different colors of paint you choose have enough contrast. If you pick colors that are too similar to one another, the crackle/distressing will not be very obvious to the naked eye. Play with different color combinations – the possibilities are endless!
  • When applying the crackle paint medium, be sure to use it modestly.
  • Ensure that you are covering everything as the crackle is clear and can be hard to see.

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DIY | China Cabinet Makeover

Hello lovelies!

It’s been a little over a week since I’ve posted last but I have something pretty darn amazing to share with you today! The hubs and I are officially moved in to our little bungalow (circa 1929) and we are absolutely loving it! It’s been a hectic few weeks but we are finally finding our groove and getting back to some level of normalcy. Now, I have not yet had the opportunity to really decorate and put my personal touch on much, however, I know that comes with time. The important thing is that we are finally making our way through the boxes, clutter, and chaos.

Right before we moved, Shahin’s amazing father and step mom offered up a couple of great pieces that they were not using for our bedroom and dining room: an older dresser and china cabinet. I am not sure if anyone could comprehend how much this had me over the moon. Sure, we could go out and spend a fortune on all brand new furniture like many newlyweds do…OR we could take something preexisting with some character that just needs a little updating. Don’t get me wrong here, I am no expert when it comes to the DIY and furniture game…I am a novice at best. However, I’ve always been artistic and love projects so I was up for the challenge. The great thing about older pieces of furniture (or older anything, really) is that I can appreciate what it is but can also see the potential it has.

Right off the bat, I had a good idea of what I wanted to do with each piece. I am going to “unveil” both of them in the blog but this week, I will be unveiling the china cabinet! So without further adieu, below are the before and after pictures of this gorgeous china cabinet with information on what I did and how I did it!

Enjoy!

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This is where it all began – a wooden china cabinet. This piece was well constructed, sturdy and had a great deal of potential. The design and structure itself were beautiful and the beveled glass doors were swoon worthy.

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I went to Lowe’s and picked out the perfect shade of “Greige” (Gray/Beige). It was a tough decision but I ended up going with Valspar’s “Coastal Villa” (the image below really doesn’t do it justice). What I love about the shade is that it can have both warm and cool undertones as it picks up on the color palette of the room you have it in. This ultimately makes the piece very versatile if we ever decide to repaint the walls or move houses. Along with the paint, I picked up a few sandpaper sponges (course texture) so I could rough up the look of the cabinet once I was done as my goal was to make it ever so slightly distressed.

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{ Valspar’s Coastal Villa – the color chosen for the cabinet }

I removed all of the glass and got to painting right away. I did about two thin coats to ensure that I had covered all of my bases. I knew knobs were going to be something I needed as soon as possible so I popped into one of my favorite stores of all time, Anthropologie, and picked up a couple of knobs I’d been eying. Here’s the thing, with our dresser (which I will be posting about soon, stay tuned), I wanted to save some money because we had 8 knobs to buy. I decided to splurge with this particular project since I was a little more frugal with the last. If you know Anthropologie, you know that almost everything there is quite pricey – even the knobs I purchased were $10/piece. It’s not so bad when you only need 2 but think if you needed 8 – aye yi yi!

The associate at Anthro that was checking me out at the counter was super sweet but began probing me on the reason why I was purchasing knobs. I explained to her that I was upcycling a vintage china cabinet. No exaggeration at all…her jaw dropped. Becoming even more inquisitive, she started asking me how one would refinish a china cabinet and how long I had been in the business. I laughed and told her that this was just something personal I was doing for fun. It honestly kind of baffled me that someone (close in age) could not grasp the concept of taking something old and revamping it. Like the pure thought of not purchasing something brand new defined insanity. Is it really that unusual to update something? No. Intimidating? Maybe a little. The key is to go into every project with a positive attitude. If you’re anxious or even terrified, that’s okay! Fear the unknown but embrace it because what harm is it really going to do? At the end of the day, you may discover that you have a talent or knack for something and even if you don’t feel that way, perhaps you’ve come across a fun hobby. As the old saying goes: if you never try, you never know.

I’ve always been the kind of girl who would just go out and purchase something that I wanted. However, as I’ve gotten older, my tastes have changed and I now revel in thrifting, finding vintage items and making them my own. The hard work and effort I put into something has become both enjoyable and rewarding because I end up really appreciating what I’ve accomplished. But the best part of it all? You are ultimately creating a unique, one-of-a-kind item that cannot be found anywhere else.

{ Silver Mirrored Knobs in Orb }

After I painted the cabinet and let it dry, I took the sandpaper sponge and went around the edges and distressed it. I could have gone all out and beaten it up even more, however, this was something I wanted “lightly” antiqued.

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{ A little distressing with a sandpaper sponge provides a slight antiqued look }

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for. The finished product is below with a little before and after action. Can you see what a difference a little paint, distressing and some new knobs can do? It looks like a completely different piece! Come back soon because I’ll be showcasing how I’ve styled the inside of this china cabinet.

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The Big Move

Happy Wednesday, lovelies – I hope all of you are having a splendid week so far!

It seems like we’ve been working on our future home for forever now. The whole “patience is a virtue” thing definitely has a whole new meaning after this experience! But alas, I can finally say that we are officially move-in ready as of last night (thanks to the hubs and our dear friend, Andy for painting the master bedroom ceiling and trim). Shahin and I are both so excited to start this new chapter in our lives and see what all is to come! Even more, I’m ready for my two furry little hellions to have a fenced in yard to run around in!

So what’s next? The Big Move. I say it like that because I loathe (and I do mean loathe) moving. Tell me, is there anyone out there who actually enjoys it? At the beginning of my relationship with my husband (almost seven years ago), we moved several times and I always felt like a gypsy. Having not moved ever as a child, I could not understand how people did it so frequently without completely losing it because it drove me to tears almost every time! Needless to say, we have certainly not made it easy on ourselves when it’s come to this house; we’ve painted and taken numerous DIY approaches in an effort to save some dinero (which ultimately means it can go elsewhere – hellooo decor and other fun things). You can probably guess that the physical move is not going to be any different from our previous strategy. Yes, we are moving everything on our own (God’s speed). I’ve already been packing like a crazy person and of course we need to do some deep cleaning and touching up in our current abode. But how does one maintain a level of sanity while moving? Below are four steps I will be taking during this time and hopefully it can help you too if you’re planning a move in the near future!

1. Stay organized. It sounds a lot easier than it actually is. I don’t care how organized you are in every other aspect of your life (because I am borderline OCD when it comes to this), it is very difficult to keep everything (and yourself) together during a move. What I have personally found helpful during this process is Pinterest. I’m writing everything the box contains ON the box in addition to color coding by room (i.e. – kitchen is yellow, bedroom is purple, bathroom is blue and living room is green). I also have a running checklist of the number of boxes in each category to ensure all are accounted for.

2. Purging. What I mean by this is to really go through what you have and part ways with belongings. I know, it’s hard. In fact, my husband calls me a hoarder. Am I really? No. But I guess to some degree, I could be considered one. I like to think of myself as an emotional hoarder. I hold on to things that have sentimental value. I guess it’s okay to a point but there has to be a limit. I’ve sorted through many items with a fine tooth comb and have had to trust my gut instinct in many cases. If I look at an item and question getting rid of it, I end up putting it aside to donate. Why? Because if it were really that important, I would not be questioning whether to love it or leave it.

3. Have a course of action. Create a plan and implement it…it’s that simple. Are you renting a U-Haul? Are friends and family helping you? Are you going to be providing food and beverages throughout the day for those who are assisting? Are you doing everything in one day or spreading it out? So many questions that one should never left unanswered.

4. Breathe and channel your energy. Why stress over something this exciting? Is moving a royal pain? Yes. But it’s part of life and in many cases, a very fun time! Think positively and focus on the great things to come once you’re in!

The moving process begins for us this weekend and we are taking our time bringing over boxes since we are not on a time constraint. It’s best to have it done efficiently and effectively. As #4 suggests, I’m channeling my energy to all of the great things about our new home! As mentioned in my previous post (Home Is Wherever I’m With You), I will soon be sharing and updating you all on our touches, details, decor, DIY projects and ideas! Below is a little sneak peak of our home as a blank canvas! Stay tuned!

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{ Dining Room in Benjamin Moore Brittany Blue & Kitchen in Benjamin Moore Gray Lake }

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{ Dining Room in Benjamin Moore Brittany Blue & Kitchen in Benjamin Moore Gray Lake }

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{ Master Bedroom in Benjamin Moore Ocean Air }

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{ Master Bedroom in Benjamin Moore Ocean Air }

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{ Living Room in Benjamin Moore Brittany Blue }

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{ Kitchen in Benjamin Moore Gray Lake }