Reloved Decor & More

Loving Trash Into Treasure

Month: September 2014

A Tale of Two Builder Grade Vanities

I wonder how many of the people reading this have old, oak-tone, boring, builder grade vanities in one or more of their bathrooms.  One or more have been in every one of the homes I have lived in in my adult life…which is a long time – just sayin.  The sad part is that many of us – me included – live with these eyesores for a very long time.  But no more at our house; I took matters into my own hands.

Last year we decided to update our master bathroom, which was adorned with green and pink striped and flowered wallpaper with matching two inch square pink mosaic tile floor.  Believe me when I say that the picture that conjures in your head is nowhere near as bad as the real thing.  I tore up the tile floor and laid new wood-look ceramic tile, stripped the wallpaper, painted and put up wainscoting with my husband’s help (actually, I was helper on that job).  We replaced the toilet, and, because it was in good condition, I decided to refinish the ugly vanity.  I sanded the entire cabinet before applying two coats of latex paint and finishing with polyurethane to protect it.  The job took me three days, and the result was okay – not great.



This wallpaper was awful.


This summer we decided to freshen up our kids’ bathroom vanity, and it was a completely different story having become a huge fan of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and especially its “no need to paint or strip” feature.  We removed the sink and vanity top that was cracking, old, and ugly, and in about three hours I had applied two coats of ASCP in Old White (allowing plenty of time in between for drying), and a coat of ASCP clear wax.  New drawer and door pulls on, new granite vanity top and sink installed, and it looked like a brand new vanity in less than a day.


Original builder grade oak vanity (with new pulls)

done vanity

New light, bright, high-end looking vanity


Here’s the before and after of the bathroom vanity painted with ASCP.  I am so happy with how it turned out and the difference it makes in the bathroom.  If you have one or more of these builder grade vanities that you hate looking at, I would encourage you to think about giving it a face lift.   Anyone can do it – I promise.

Tips and Tricks Learned:

  • Take the doors and drawers outside or in your garage for painting.  I tried to do it all in the small bathroom, and got covered with paint as I wound my way around obstacles to paint and wax.
  • Consider spray painting your hardware.  In the case of this vanity, I had already purchased new brushed nickel pulls.  But the hinges – which do show – were old and discolored.  I simply removed them from the doors and drawers, washed and dried them, then sprayed them with a coat of Rustoleum™ Brushed Nickel spray paint.  The result is awesome and it helps to make the whole vanity look like new.
  • Water down your paint.  ASCP is very thick and can be watered down to any consistency that you want, even 50/50 to use it as a wash.  I watered each coat down to about 90/10 making the paint go on smoother and last longer.
  • Sand lightly between coats.  This is certainly not a requirement for using ASCP, however this paint is very versatile and can be used to get many types of finish.  If you want a brushed finish, no need to sand.  If you want a finish that is very soft and smooth as glass, a light sanding with 600 grit sandpaper between coats will work miracles.

So, what are you working on?  I’d love to hear.

Thanks for reading!


                   ReLoved Decor Stamp

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You Never Know What You Might Find at Goodwill

Sometimes I hear the Goodwill store calling to me…come see my hidden treasures and make them like new.  LOL!  Okay, maybe it isn’t that dramatic.  But, it happens and it’s completely out of my control.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  And that’s what happened on the day I found this baby; I walked in – not really looking for anything in particular – and there it was, a mess of orangy varnish, scratches, and missing hardware.  I knew I had to have it.

I have to stop at this point to reassure my husband that this is truly how it happens.  I’m generally a very in-control kind of person.  But, when faced with a piece of furniture that clearly needs loving and whose potential I can literally see in my mind, I lose all control over what comes next.

Anyway, I bought the  old, beat-up, heavy as all get out dresser, and managed to get it home.  Here are a couple of pictures of what it looked like.

dresser4 dresser6 dresser7

It was immediately clear that I would have to replace the drawer pulls; some were broken, some were missing, and all were hideous.  I wanted something special that would accent the beautiful serpentine lines of the piece and really make it a show-stopper.  I found exactly what I was looking for at an Etsy shop called Violetteslippers.  She has an amazing assortment of vintage hardware and more.

Once I’d ordered my hardware, I got busy on the dresser.  All of the drawers worked well, and nothing was damaged or broken…always a good start.  But, the top was in very rough condition with several deep gashes and a large area that looked like a wet glass had been left there for years (see above).  After a good bit of sanding, it became obvious that the top was not going to be suitable for stain.  Since from the moment I saw this dresser, I envisioned it retrofit as a bathroom vanity with two vessel sinks, I didn’t mind too much that it wouldn’t be stained.

Because this piece had a crazy amount of varnish on it, I decided to give the whole thing one coat of Zinsser Bullseye Clear Shelac to seal all of the varnish as a precaution.  Sometimes the varnish on these old pieces has been coated in decades of furniture polish which can leave enough grease to interfere with the paint.  I figured the extra 40 minutes to coat it and let it dry was well worth my time.  As a side note, whether you choose to Shelac or not, it is always a good idea to wash the whole piece with a scrub pad and some warm water mixed with TSP just to remove all of the old dirt and gunk that may have accumulated.

I painted the entire dresser with two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White, with a light 600 grit sanding in between to get the softest finish.  After both coats of paint were dry, I applied a coat of Annie Sloan Clear Wax, followed the next day by a coat of dark wax to give the piece the aging and depth it deserved.  I finished it with a final coat of clear wax which not only protects the paint, but also gives it an amazingly strong, shiny finish.  Unfortunately, at this point, my drawer pulls had not yet arrived so I was in a holding pattern.  But, with the arrival of the mail lady that afternoon, I was able to give the dresser the bling it needed to make it a knockout.  I know I’ve said this before (and, I suspect I will often feel this way) but I love this result!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

  • The entire look of a piece can be transformed with beautiful hardware.  Take the time to either repair and refinish original hardware, or purchase hardware that will enhance the look you’re going for.
  • Sometimes, no matter how much love you give to a piece, it may be beyond stain.  I don’t think the sanding, filling, buffing, or repairing is ever in vain.  But, be flexible enough to know when paint is your best option.
  • All those years my mother spent teaching me that Pledge™ was furniture’s best friend:  WRONG!!  Refinishing old furniture has taught me the reality of the greasy buildup Pledge™ and products like it leave on furniture.  Good old fashioned furniture wax is the best thing for wood.  It keeps it hydrated and protected, and it is easy to work with.



Thanks for Reading!


ReLoved Decor Stamp



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Rebirth of a 1930’s Dresser

When I got my hands on this dresser, it had obviously been sitting in someone’s basement for years.  It smelled musty, had water damage, and had a mahogany top that was seriously unrecognizable!  Unfortunately, that meant I was so excited to start bringing it back to life that I forgot to take BEFORE pictures.  Oops!  I hereby promise (to try) not to ever make that mistake again.  After all, the best part is seeing the before and then the after, and I don’t want anyone to miss out on that.  So, suffice it to say, this dresser was a mess…what most lucid people would probably see as trash.

But, I am not most people (my husband would probably add that I’m rarely even lucid).  I saw potential in all of the detail hiding under the dirt and I saw what could be a beautiful mahogany top.  Off to work I went cleaning the whole dresser with a solution of TSP and warm water and stripping the top.  And sure enough, there it was…a diamond!  After stripping the top, I sanded it smooth, and stained it with Minwax Dark Walnut stain, which brought out all of the rich, beautiful grain of the wood.

When I completed the top of the dresser, I set my sights on the base.  Some of the base needed repair of water damage – nothing a bit of filler and some sanding couldn’t fix. The drawers all needed sealing to get rid of the musty smell that comes from generations of sitting in a basement.  I accomplished this by cleaning each drawer then sealing them with Zinsser Bullseye Clear Shelac.  This stuff is great – one coat and the drawers were clean and completely odor free.

I painted the entire base of the dresser with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen.  Now, let’s talk for a moment about amazing products…This paint  can be used on wood, metal, plastic, floors, walls, and even fabric; it’s non-toxic, virtually odor-free, and the best part: absolutely no stripping or sanding necessary!!  This is truly a painter’s dream.  So, on with the paint, followed by a light sanding with 600 grit sandpaper – just to get that smooth-as-glass finish.  Once everything was dry, I decided to add a second coat of French Linen in order to get the full coverage I was looking for.  This is not always necessary with ASCP, as it is thick and typically covers very well.  But, this is an old piece that I wanted to antique, so I decided to take the extra step.  At this point I decided to highlight all of the amazing detail on the front of this dresser by painting ASCP in Duck Egg Blue on the flourish, the fluting, and the flowers.  Finishing entailed one coat of Annie Sloan clear wax, followed by a coat of dark wax, and a final coating of clear wax just to seal the whole dresser and ensure longevity.

When it was done, I stood back and was in love with it!  I can’t really explain the feeling other than to say that it feels like taking a dead flower and bringing it back to life with your own two hands.  It’s an awesome feeling.

Tips and tricks learned:

  • ASCP goes a long way and can easily be made to go further by adding water.  Be careful about how much water you add, as you do not want to diminish your coverage.
  • Nothing can replace good brushes or the benefits of cleaning them completely after each use.  I use a little bit of mineral spirits to clean my waxing brush, and I soak my wax buffing towels in HOT water for 10 minutes before washing.  It’s amazing how much wax will come out with just that soaking.

IMG_3707 IMG_3705 IMG_3701 IMG_3703


Thanks for reading!


ReLoved Decor Stamp


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Creating Treasures Out of Trash

I love being creative!  And, over the years, I have been creative with all kinds of mediums from piano to toll painting, from scrapbooking to macrame (I guess that ages me.  Yes, kids, back in the 1970s tying knots in jute to make plant hangers was all the rage!)  The other type of creativity I have always loved involves home renovation.  I literally get a high from planning and executing a good renovation that results in something I enjoy looking at and living with.  This has culminated in a love for taking old, beat-up furniture pieces, and loving new life into them.

So, I am pleased to kickoff – a place where I can blog about my projects, give tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way, show pictures, and even post finished pieces that I have available for sale.  I hope you like it and will share it with your friends, family, Facebook community, and Pinterest boards.  I’m very excited to share my passion for creating treasures from trash.  And, I hope you will share your experiences with me too.  Please feel free to ask questions at any time…if I have an answer, I’d love to help!




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