Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Repurposed "Art Moderne" dumpster find

During our master bedroom remodel, we tore down our old closet, and moved it to make two smaller-but efficient closets. In doing that our bedroom gained a long wall with negative space.  I told my husband that I desperately wanted to find a small desk that I could make into a custom vanity (inspiration from this pinterest-found blog).  I started combing craigslist for free or cheap furniture.  I looked and looked, but could not find anything I really wanted.  I knew the next town over did its yearly large dump day (everyone throws out their unwanted items onto the curb and they haul it off) and over the weekend just prior to pick up many people comb the neighborhoods for dumpster finds.  It is actually quite a thing to see, so many are looking for scrap metal, or usable goods, and many people put stuff out there knowing that us scavengers will be out looking!

Early on a Sunday morning I loaded my two littles into my suburban, and put a movie on for them while my husband was sleeping after his overnight shift, and headed over to scavenge In the corner of my eye I saw something that looked like a dresser and drawers and I was AMAZED at what I found after only about 10 minutes of searching. 
Under all that dust is a functional and beautiful piece!
A 1940s wartime "art moderne" style vanity built by a mainstream company (it could have even been manufactured by women during WWII). I had originally hoped to leave some of its veneer, but it was chipping up in a lot of places, and had quite a bit of water and residue damage.  I shopped pinterest for ideas, and headed to home depot to decide on spray paint colors.  Instead of using regular paint, I chose to use a high gloss professional enamel spray paint to make sure that it would be easy to clean and water proof.

For this project:
  • 1 vanity
  • 2 cans of professional enamel black spray paint
  • 2 cans of key lime green spray paint
  • 2 yards of fabric
  • 1 large cardboard box  (for making drawer inserts )
  • Sand paper (fine/medium)
  • 1 can of 3m spray adhesive (gets kinda messy but works the best) you will need newspaper to lay down cause this can get messy)

I first cleaned it up, and awed in its great lines, and fixed the two drawers that weren't in the best of shape. So we sanded the surface a little bit with a fine/medium grit sand paper cause it had a bit of finish left on it, removed the damp dust and spray painted it. It needed two coats to make sure it was even, and be sure to let it dry thoroughly. If it is nice and warm outside it can sit outside, and it will harden well, you really don’t want it to be too cold, or it will stay sticky and take longer.  
you can kind of see the damage to the veneer, but there was quite a bit, and there was no fixing it

Once the black has cured and hardened, you will want to mask off the black face of the drawers with paper and tape. Measure or trace the inside of the drawers so that you can begin to make the liners with fabric and cardboard (lining the inside of the drawers is great because it can protect from makeup spills, and cover any previous damage. Ours had this sticky resin gunk mess (shown ) that I could not get off so doing this covered that up)
Nasty sticky residue in the drawers that We couldn't get off

Then spray the interior of the drawers (don’t worry about doing the bottom, as this may affect the functionality of the drawers), and while they are drying, work on the inserts.

about 1 1/2 inches around and fold smoothly 

We reused, re-purposed and built all of our bedroom furniture, so to make them match we used the high gloss black spray paint on all of our furniture, and then gave each piece a decal by using a stencil by Martha Stewart from home depot using flat black paint that we already had from a different project.
After everything has dried, put the dresser together and place it in the desired place.

As you can see here, we used the extra fabric to cover over this stool that I had in the garage. I used to use it as my hair chair, but a few years ago I got my hands on a professional chair to put in my little hair "salon" down stairs. We also spray painted the chair with the same black spray paint 

The lighting in our bedroom is not fully adequate. I will have to bring in some lights and take a much better photo.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My pallet headboard

Why build a Pallet Headboard?

Quick answer: BECAUSE!!

Long (but not too long) answer:  

-They are always intriguing. It doesn’t matter if you are a master craftsman, a tinker, or just good with power tools. They always look good, whether you paint them, stain them, or leave them rustic (although you may want to do a rough sand to prevent snags and splinters).

-Easy on the pocketbook. Pallets are everywhere. They can be found on craigslist, in the trash, on the curb… or if you are lucky, you may know someone (or  few) whose job always has a large quantity waiting to be rescued.  Bottom line; do not pay for any pallets, unless are paying for delivery. Pallets can be found essentially anywhere at no cost. 

My project:
  • 2-4 Pallets of different width boards.
  •     Sawzawll (you really want a corded sawzall it takes lots of juice to prep the boards)
  • Chalk Line
  •   Deck screws (1 1/4 – 1 ½ will do)
  •   Circular saw

*Knowledge of basic power tool operation and safety is a must for this project. 

The beginning of laying out headboard (yes, it was dusk)

Prepping the boards is fairly tedious, but easily done. (I prepped my boards, I’m on the tiny side). Here is a great link that explains with photos how to dismantle a pallet (How I learned).

Some of the boards will need ugly sides removed and also some nails will be sticking out too far, they can be removed with a grinder (or use a hammer and/or a nail setter).  After prepping the pallets, I staggered the boards evenly with the ugly side up (Remember that everything will be opposite, so think carefully before placing them) it's like fitting a puzzle together. 

awesome hubby fastening the back side
Once the boards are laid out in the pattern you like, center and measure the desired length and width, using a chalk line.  After marking the lines, we used the ugly pieces of the pallets  the back side of the headboard to ensure that all board creases were fastened. 

The next building step, flip over the headboard , and mark the desired width with a chalk line. Using a circular saw, cut off the ends.  

First flipped over... awe how pretty!

  If you want to make the headboard look as if it goes to the floor, you will need to add some misc. scrap pieces as shown below, and remember to fasten the backsides.

My Hubby measuring a board to fasten the scrap bottom pieces.

(To attach a metal bed frame, there must be holes pre-drilled, and attached using carriage bolts.)

The lower portion of this headboard will be hidden by the bed 

I loved the headboard in its rough form, but on a whim I decided to paint it with some left over teal paint from a previous project.  I did a very light rough sand, and went to town with the paint. I just did a light single coat, to keep it rustic.
I fell in love immediately.


We added a simple $15 desk lamp to the headboard by taking the base of the lamp off and feeding it into a pre drilled hole.

We built the night stand as well, but that is for another time.
We have since moved the bed to the other wall so it isnt up in the corner, but we had to rearrange the bedroom before we could do that. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

New year, New blog

I took a long hiatus from blogging. Although I am still doing projects and making food, between school full time and my two little ones, I barely have enough time to formulate the projects I have done into a full fledged blog. When On breaks from always busy full time school schedules, I do start missing my blog, and so I have decided to try and amp it up a bit, and do some much needed series writing. This blog is all about cooking, baking, and just having fun with my home.

Coming up:
Building a Bench Seat in the Kitchen
A Small Master Bedroom remodel
    - Dumpster Find Vanity customization
    - Dumpster Find old door into headboard
Pallet Headboard and night stand for my Tween/guest room
Living Room Update
Basement bathroom Revamp