Reloved Decor & More

Loving Trash Into Treasure

Month: October 2014

My Pinterest Breakfast Room Redo

I hope I’m not alone when I say that I love Pinterest for gathering home decorating ideas.  Because I also love to refinish furniture, I most often find myself looking at painted furniture ideas and dreaming about all of the additional rooms I will need to house the pieces I want to paint and decorate around.  One of my favorite pins is for an oak dining set (see picture below) with a pedestal table and pressed back chairs, pinned by  I so loved the look of this set, that I pinned it and determined to have one of my own. The problem was that a) these oak sets typically sell for  upwards of $900, b) I couldn’t seem to find anything used for less than $400, and c) I really didn’t want to spend more than $100.  One day while scouring Craigslist I saw an ad for “oak table with four chairs $50”, and even though there was no picture, my gut told me to ask for one.  Imagine my shock when the picture I received was exactly what I was looking for – for $50!!  The set was missing its extension leaf, but this didn’t worry me.

My Inspiration Set by Serendipity Furnishings

My Inspiration Set by Serendipity Furnishings

Needless to say, by day’s end I had the set in my garage and was revelling in the deal I had made.  It wasn’t until later that evening, upon closer inspection, that I realized the chairs were not in good condition.  Someone had attempted to repair them in many places and had used a crazy amount of glue, brackets, screws, and pin nails to do so.  I wasn’t too concerned though, because I knew that my super handy hubby could fix whatever was wrong with the chairs and make them better than new…I just had to tell this to him.

The table, which was in excellent condition, was the first thing to get finished.  Like the inspiration set, I wanted to refinish the beautiful oak top in a dark stain, but the apron in the same Olive Annie Sloan Chalk Paint I would be using for all of the chairs.  In my excitement, I once again forgot to get a before picture.  But, here is a representation of what it would have looked like new.

table before

After sanding the finish off the entire top of the table and applying one coat of MinWax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner, I stained it with a beautiful Espresso stain from Rustoleum.  The result was beautiful, but I decided to make the color even richer by applying a layer of Annie Sloan Dark Wax over a protective coat of Clear Wax.  Beautiful!!

Table top

Table top stained espresso

This is when the daunting task of repairing the chairs began.  Every chair had to be disassembled, repaired, reinforced, and rebuilt.  My hubby worked for a few weekends on these chairs, meticulously fixing all of the issues and rebuilding them to be strong as new.  He truly performed a miracle with this task, and even though I had confidence in him, I have to say that truthfully there was a moment when I looked at all of those pieces and thought we may be buying all new chairs.

Every chair had to be disassembled

Every chair had to be disassembled

Another shot of the pieces

Another shot of the pieces

This seat split right up the middle and had to be completely rebuilt

This seat split right up the middle and had to be completely rebuilt

The end dowling that held the top portion of the chair to the seat was completely broken off this chair

The end doweling that held the top portion of the chair to the seat was completely broken off this chair

Once the chairs were rebuilt and all holes and scratches were filled and sanded, I got to the painting.  I applied two coats of ASCP in Olive before applying a coat of clear wax to the entire chair.  In the words of my friend, Mary Ann, who did a similar set, “Holy spindles Batman!”  Because there are so many spindles on these chairs, I wanted to have a little extra working time when I applied the dark wax in order to have all of the details highlighted.  So, I mixed-up a glaze of 50-50 dark wax and unscented mineral spirits.  I applied the glaze over the clear wax before allowing it to dry.  Then, I wiped it back, making sure to push the dark wax into all of the nooks and crannies.  The Captain’s chair was finished first, and the change is quite dramatic.


Very golden oak


With two coats of Olive ASCP paint

With paint only

With paint only

After clear and dark wax

After clear and dark wax…look at how the wax makes the beautiful oak leaf pattern pop

I am so happy with the way this set turned out!  The design on the chair backs is so beautiful and really made to stand out as a feature by the addition of the dark wax.  As an unexpected bonus, the nice lady I bought the set from emailed me last week to say that her ex-husband had brought back the 24 inch leaf and she was holding it for me.  Score!

Finished Breakfast Area

One more thing I want to mention here is the addition of the beautiful bakers rack on the wall behind the dining set.  I have been looking for a large bakers rack for this corner ever since we moved into this house four years ago.  Last month, I noticed several posts by a local woman trying to sell two bakers racks that had been stored in her barn for years.  The first, a nice bronze-colored rack, sold very quickly.  The second, a very dirty hunter green and light oak rack was not moving.  So, when she lowered the price to $10, I jumped on it.  The whole piece was in great condition, albeit very dirty and funky colored.  I brought it home, hosed it off, and spray painted all of the metal with Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze.  While the metal dried, I lightly sanded the wood tabletop and added a coating of the espresso stain to match the dining table.  What a transformation – it went from drab to fab in about two hours and with an expenditure of about $12!  I absolutely love this bakers rack now.

Bakers Rack1


Tips & Tricks Learned:

  • One chair per day is an ideal way to go without causing spindle overload!
  • It is recommended that waxed surfaces be allowed to cure for 21 days.  This is especially important for a surface like a dining table that will take a great deal of wear.
  • Don’t be afraid to scour Craigslist and your local Facebook flea markets and yard sales for bargain pieces that may need a little reloving.  The result is a bargain that is very gratifying to live with.

Thanks For Reading,


ReLoved Decor Stamp

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Transformed Cedar Chest

We live in a lovely housing plan with nice neighbors and a good sized annual yard sale…not thrilling, I know.  But what happened during last year’s sale was kind of thrilling for me.  My wonderful neighbor told me to please take the Lane cedar chest that she’d been trying to sell for a couple of sale cycles.  I was shocked.  It was so kind of her, but it was also very “golden oak” and I didn’t have anyplace for it, but it was in beautiful condition and I knew that when the time was right I could make it into a family treasure.  Last week the time became perfect for just such a transformation.


Before minus a couple of knobs that I took off before remembering to photograph...oops!

Before minus a couple of knobs that I took off before remembering to photograph…oops!

...with trim removed

…with trim removed


After hefting the chest down the two flights of stairs and into the garage, I began by removing a couple of pieces of trim from the front, sanding the area, and sealing the whole thing with Zinsser Clear Shellac (with the exception of the cedar lining of course).  Having decided upon the perfect location for the cedar chest – under the massive window in our master bedroom – I also decided to paint it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite because the accessorizing decor in our room is all black and white.  Before I go on, I want to emphasize that ASCP Graphite IS NOT BLACK.  I say this only to caution those who may be looking for a true black not to be disappointed when they purchase the closest ASCP color.  There are ways to “tint” graphite to becoming true black, and many websites that will walk you through it if that’s what you are looking for.

...after one coat of Old White

…after one coat of Old White

Back to my cedar chest…once the shellac was dry, I painted the chest with one coat of ASCP in Old White.  I did this because my plan was to embellish the front (where I removed the trim) and lightly distress the whole piece.   The look I was going for had the old white peeking through at the distressed areas rather than the golden oak.  When the old white was dry, I sanded the chest lightly with 600 grit sandpaper to smooth the finish out.  Next, I painted two coats of graphite, allowing for plenty of dry time and one more sanding in between coats.  After all of the paint was dry, I used old white to paint the stencil I had chosen for the front of the chest. At this point, the cedar chest looked beautiful, but a little flat to me.  I also decided that I wanted to deepen the shade of the graphite ever so slightly.  So, after applying ASCP clear wax to the entire chest, I immediately used a layer of dark wax.  By applying the dark wax while the clear wax was still “wet,” I had a longer working time, thus giving me time to get just the look I wanted.

This is how it looked before any wax - nice, but a bit flat.

This is how it looked before any wax – nice, but a bit flat.

This shows a comparison between with clear and dark wax (left) and with only clear wax (right)

This shows a comparison between with clear and dark wax (left) and with only clear wax (right)

I did some light distressing at all of the high points on the chest and over the embellishments I’d painted on the front, giving it the look of a much-loved, older heirloom.  The final thing to add was the new knobs, and I really wanted to get some vintage looking crystal knobs.  However, since my wonderful hubby is not a fan of distressed furniture, and I had already distressed this piece, I decided to compromise and put on brushed nickel knobs that would match the rest of our bedroom decor.  I’m a big believer in picking my battles, wink, wink.  Now, in retrospect, I wish I had filled the knob holes and not put on anything at all.  The front is so pretty with the aged, distressed embellishments that I think I would have preferred it without hardware.  Perhaps that will be a future project.  For now, I absolutely love this cedar chest and hope it will be a piece that I can pass on for generations.


Tips & Tricks:

  • Be bold when it comes to altering even really nicely made pieces.  I was a little afraid to remove the trim pieces from the front.  But once removed I knew I had done the right thing.
  • Try using 000 steel wool to buff your piece to a fabulous shine the day after your final waxing.  It makes an already beautiful finish shine.

cedar chest done2


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Twin Pottery Barn Desk Hacks

For a long time now I have been a big fan of another decor blogger – Melody Smith of – who makes amazing home decor with everything from furniture and paint to boxwood trimmings.  So recently, when I realized my boys needed new school desks, I remembered the Pottery Barn Desk Hack she posted a couple of years ago.  It was her wonderful and economical take on a beautiful, very expensive Pottery Barn desk, made with secondhand filing cabinets, hardware store wood, and a little paint.

Off I went on my pilgrimage to find four matching secondhand filing cabinets – a nearly impossible mission!  I got lucky and found two within a week of each other on Craigslist for $10 a piece.  Then the leads dried up and I was left wondering what to do.  That’s when my new Pottery Barn catalog arrived, and there it was, the answer to my dilemma, a veritable answer to prayer – a single cabinet version!

From Pottery Barn catalog Summer 2014

From Pottery Barn catalog Summer 2014 sells for $557

I began by removing the hardware, sealing both filing cabinets, and painting them with two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White.

Oak-look filing cabinets with hardware removed

Oak-look filing cabinets with hardware removed

I painted the hardware with Rustoleum spray paint in Oil Rubbed Bronze, and applied two coats of Annie Sloan Clear Wax to the cabinets.  A day after applying the last coat of wax, I lightly distressed the cabinets in the hopes that the ongoing wear the boys will give them might look natural.  For the desk tops and legs, I merely purchased two 24×48 inch pieces of cabinet-grade birch plywood from Lowes along with four (two per desk) parson’s table legs.  With the help of my wonderful husband, I ironed birch edge banding to all four edges of each desk top board, then I stained them with a Kona stain from MinWax.  To my surprise, they were really beautiful!

I love the color and texture that came out in these desk tops

I love the color and texture that came out in these desk tops

I painted the table legs to match the cabinets, affixed brackets to the underside of the desk tops to accept the legs, and attached the tops and legs to the cabinets.  The results are totally awesome and work great for our school room.  My favorite part is that my total expenditure for two desks was less than $100!!

Desk Complete

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