October 2013

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cedar chest

You may remember that a couple of months ago I bought an antique dresser off Craigslist and picked up this cedar chest for $15 from the same seller:

cedar chest

It wasn’t really my style but I thought it looked like an easy piece to refinish and perhaps I could re-sell it for a profit.

It was in pretty good shape. The lid was a little rough:

cedar chest top

And I didn’t care for the handles. I removed all the hardware and worked on the lid first. I sanded it down and applied a light stain. It looked terrible!

Next, I threw some dark stain on top and it didn’t help much.

I googled and researched and realized I was going to have to venture into the world of furniture stripping. I actually had a can of stripper on hand but couldn’t get it open. I tried and tried and got so frustrated that I walked over to my local Ace Hardware and bought a different version. I didn’t buy the original stripper from Ace or I would have asked them to tell me how in the world to open the can. I could have still asked them for help opening the can. I’m sure they would have been happy to tell me the trick. But I was nervous about this stripper anyway. It sounded very harsh and dangerous to use. I had heard about a safer option that could even be used indoors. So I bought that and an empty paint can to put it in while I worked.

It was pretty easy to use. I brushed it on with a chip brush and scraped it off with a plastic scraper. It took two applications to get it down to the raw wood.

Next I applied wood conditioner and then three coats of Rustoleum furniture stain in dark walnut. I finished it with two coats of clear poly and was in love!

The base of the chest sat around in the office during this time:

When I finally got to it, I gave it a light sanding and painted with Behr Premium in Moon Rise. Even though I used the premium with built in primer, I had to apply three coats. I finished with two coats of clear poly.

Originally, I planned to fill in the holes where the drawer pulls were and leave them off. But the chest looked a little naked without them. Instead of scrapping them altogether, I decided to spray paint them with Rustoleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze color.

Finally, yesterday morning, I was able to put it all together. I LOVE how it turned out. My oldest son surprised me by stating that he thought it looked awesome. He usually doesn’t comment much unless I ask so I was very pleased. My daughter, who usually loves everything I do, didn’t care for the look!

And for the before and after:

cedar chest curvy

And for the before and after:

Cedar Chest Reveal

I’m not sure yet if this piece is making the trip with me to Florida. I am definitely more attached to it now that I’ve spent so much time with it. Do any of you have trouble letting go of pieces you re-finish? I sold a toy chest a few days ago that I had painted and it was so hard watching it get carried out the door! So silly, I know!!

fall pillow vignette

I didn’t put up an additional post yesterday announcing my participation in Nester’s 31 Days, because I decided not to participate. Really, the only thing I could come up with to write about for 31 straight days was de-cluttering which I desperately need to do. But I’m not ready to blog about it. I have no plan of action and I envisioned lots of posts showing you piles of clutter. Now there are other bloggers who DO have a plan of action to tackle their messes and I may follow along with them and post some of that here. The link above takes you to a list of all the people participating in the challenge. It isn’t just about de-cluttering. The 31 Days can be about ANYTHING.

What I did do yesterday was make some fall pillows.  I have never in my life enjoyed sewing but I have to say that I love making envelope pillows. They are quick, easy, and the reward is great! I’m not sure about the trend for using drop cloth material, though. I found it a bit frustrating because of the plastic backing. I really had to pull my material along to keep it from getting stuck in one place.

Here’s what I started with — drop cloth material left over from the sailboat craft:


I wanted a 16 inch pillow so I cut two pieces of fabric: one piece that was 17″ x 17″ and one piece that was 17″ x 22″. I cut the bigger piece in half and hemmed one side of each.

Next, I looked around for a quote to stencil on the front. Basically, I typed “fall quotes” into Swagbucks and found one I liked by Percy Shelley:

[T]here is a harmony
In Autumn, and a luster in its sky…

Obviously, I didn’t want to stencil that much on the pillow (I don’t have a cricut so I cut stencils out by hand with an X-Acto knife.) So I shortened it to say, “Harmony in Autumn.” My family seemed to think it was a little weird, but I like it!

fall pillow with stencil

fall pillow

I liked the pillow with a burlap pumpkin on my rustic bench:

fall pillow with pumpkin

But it needed some color, so I also whipped up an orange pillow with a white owl stencil.

owl pillow stencil

owl pillow

When I planned it in my head I didn’t know I’d have that cute stuffed owl (dollar spot at Target) so stenciling an owl on the orange pillow was probably unnecessary. But I’m going with it.

fall pillow vignette