desk makeover, dresser makeover, Flea Market Flip, Uncategorized, Vintage Dresser

Vintage Desk Makeover

desk makeover copy

I was given this desk/secretary from my mom because I wanted to change the look of yellow and orange to something more modern. My sister and I had this in our bedroom until I was 4 years old and then it sat in her basement where she put sewing related items in it.

My mom told me the history of this desk and I saw it in a totally different light. It was my great-grandmothers desk, who was a Norwegian immigrant, that was bought to put in her new home. She passed the desk on to her youngest child, my grandmother. I then learned that it had a hutch on top. Of course I have to look up secretaries on lines and found some that it could have resembled. My grandmother’s home had slanted ceiling and it did not work to be that high so it went into the attic. When my grandma moved to a “modern” home she found that my grandfather got rid of the hutch. How dare he.

Later this was passed down to her youngest child, my mother. I do believe she painted it the white and orange. I had noticed green paint and some white. The inside of the drawers were a pretty oak but with all of the scrolls, I decided to not go down to the original but paint it. I may change it again down the road. I also noticed that the hardware was not the original. The drawers had a two hold pull but was filled in along with the keyhole in the top center of each drawer. How could they do that! The brass, large knobs were outdated and scratch so they were thrown. I found these at Hobby Lobby. They were a distressed white that gave it a modern but old farmhouse vibe. I did have the original pull for the little drawer inside the desk. It needed a facelift so I used a metallic bronze spray paint that I had on hand. I had to get new i-hooks but otherwise I put it back together.

For the paint I went with Behr white with the primer added. I have found it has great coverage when I did a previous project. I have used chalk paint also in the past. I was trying to decide what to do with the scrolls and I used a brown glaze I had on hand and it gave it a gold look. When I bought the hardware, it just didn’t seem to match so I took a fine paint brush and painted acrylic black paint to outline the deepest lines for enhancement. After that was dry, I took white acrylic paint that was a little watered down. I used a damp paper towel and wiped it over the top to tone it all down. There is a little of the brown glaze that still shows through but much more subtle.

By the way, I am the youngest child and 4th generation to have this desk. I have one child and I don’t know if he will want this someday. This is now in my home and I am using it as a desk again. I was excited to put my things inside. I hope my great grandmother would approve.

Acrylic painting, Mixed Media, Uncategorized, Wood painting

Be Our Guest sign

IMG_07968.5×27 Inch acrylic and stain on wood.

I made this home decor by cutting the wood to fit the lettering I wanted to apply. I used a “8 inch” board, but they are never a true 8 inches. I used a 1.5×1 inch board for the boarder.

I stained all of the wood and all sides of the border but only the top on the largest board. I let the stain dry over night then applied some white acrylic paint. I did paint it thicker in some areas and after it was dry I lightly sanded it, applying more pressure on the edges.

I picked the quote, “be our guest”, only because it is a different way of saying welcome. I did not do it after the Beauty and the Beast movie, however I did have the song, Be Our Guest, in my head. Okay, I am thinking of that song right now. Then I hand painted the letters on with black acrylic paint. Once the top was dry, I glued the border on and used finishing nails for extra support. I also applied a light layer of clear varnish on the top.

Time to find a spot to place it.

Reclaimed bifold door, Uncategorized

Reclaimed Bi-fold Door


This is a trash to treasure project. Something that most would have thrown away, I found a new life for this bi-fold door.

This door was a salvage from a home that was going to be torn down. The house was built in the 1910’s but this would have been added much later. There was only one door and that makes me think that it may have came from a small closet, such as a linen closet. It would have had to been a remodeled room because a craftsman home wouldn’t have a bi-fold door.

I did have a vision for this and since it is close to July, I went with a patriotic theme. I chose the inside of the door. The inside didn’t have as much paint but it was the way it was folded that I chose the back.

I started off with sanding the entire door to get any loose paint or wood off. I then painted the outer edge with a linen chalk paint. I had it on hand from previous projects. It wouldn’t have to be chalk paint. Then I painted the stripes, blue top and then the star. I waited 24 hours, then went over the entire door with stain by rubbing it on with a soft cloth. When I came to the white stripes, I wiped more of the stain away so it would be a “old white” but not to dark.

I haven’t painted the back yet but I could do something to that too and this will become reversible. Maybe an opposite season… a snowman.

colander planter, repurposed colander, Uncategorized


There are a few ways to repurpose a colander and I did mine as a hanging flower “basket”.

I liked this one because of the star pattern it has. Because colanders have holes they are able to drain very well. Just keep that in mind with what you have below it.

This was spray painted in a flat yellow painted. You can use a chain and hooks that can be purchased at your hardware store. In this one, it was twine. The twine gives it a more “country” then a chain and I do live in the country so this is fitting for me. Just keep in mine that twine will wear out faster then a chain. I will definitely have to keep this out of winter elements.

Something that can be done is line the bottom with a moss. I used straight potting soil and will find out if that was a good way to go or not.

Colanders can also be used as centerpieces.  The possibilities are endless and can be very fun and a conversation piece.

dresser makeover, Uncategorized, Vintage Dresser




This vintage dresser has been on the move many times. My sister purchased it at an auction and painted it off white. This was her dresser for college. Not long after I used it for college. In between moves it sat in my moms garage. I continued to use it after college as my personal dresser. My son needed a new dresser and I was thinking about buying him a new one, then thought, wait a minute… I need the new dresser so this became his. He went to college but did not take this dresser. I decided to transform it to look very different.

I had seen pictures of suitcases painted on drawers. I thought, “that was cool”. Then I looked into the room and looked at the cream colored dresser and had that vision. I did the top drawer and decided it was going okay. I did one drawer at a time without a lot of planning on color and how they were going to be designed.

Since this was a wardrobe I had the door to deal with. I went with a red border since I didn’t use red in the drawers and thought it would be another good color. Painting everything else black made everything “pop” and look more classy. I added chalkboard paint in the center for fun.

I wonder how many more years, or moves, I will get out of this dresser. Hopefully for awhile. It was well made!!

Barnwood bench, Uncategorized

Barnwood Bench

11″ deep. 30″ long. 18″ high

My friend, Tom Larson, is at it again. His use of reclaimed barnwood is a beautiful bench. He has great design and craftsmanship but the wood selection is what makes this bench so great.

Knowing that this wood came from someone’s barn and was saved before it was burned or taken to the landfill, is a wonderful thing.

Great job Tom!


Door Shelving, Flea Market Flip, Uncategorized


When my son was home for college, I had him cut the heavy door in half. He has long arms and is able to reach across much easier then I can. Plus he likes to participate in my projects.

I decided which side I wanted my front to be and screwed hinges on the ends for a 90 degree opening.

I found a 1×12 pine board that I had and cut my shelves and attached them with L brackets.

Stand it up and place in a corner spot. There you have it!!

Barnwood Vanity, Uncategorized

Barnwood Vanity

A friend shared his recent work with me and I wanted to share it. It is made of reclaimed barn wood. Around Iowa, and many other area, old barn wood can be a gem to find. Especially some that is in great shape. The character is what brings people to love it.

Tom Larson is a single father of two teenage daughters. One of them wanted one and he made it out of old pallets. When you make one for one daughter, you need to make one for the other. He went from pallets to barn wood.

He made the base first and is 18″ deep, 38 wide by 29 tall.

The mirror is 29×25 and this part takes more time and a trip to the hardware store. Buying lights, a light switch and a plug in. I noticed he used 4 outlets. Smart man since girls use multiple hair curling irons and a blow dryer. Maybe even a phone charger. The light switch makes it easy to turn the lights on and off.

I see great craftsmanship and a great idea.

I could also see this without a mirror but a bulletin or chalk board for those little detailed project.

Uncategorized, Vanity Makeover



Updating an old vanity isn’t as bad as you may think. The one I had was a few decades old but what I did was much cheaper then buying a new one.


I purchased a Rustoleum cabinet kit from Menards and cost about $80.00. The benefits are:

  • No stripping, sanding or priming required
  • Excellent paint adhesion
  • High-quality looks
  • Low cost
  • No noxious fumes

With this product, the company seems to be making a major move on today’s kitchen renovation market which, in the wake of the Great Recession, is about working with what we have. Especially what we have is existing, functional cabinetry.

Another benefit of Rustoleum’s new system is that everything you need comes in one kit, except for brushes and gloves. Make sure you open the kit in the store and have them mix the color you want. I brought it home and realized it wasn’t tinted yet. Before you start, remove and number the doors and set them up “assembly line” fashion for efficiency. If you’re going to change your cabinet pulls, this is also the time to drill new holes and fill the old but I purchased new pulls that would fit the holes.

The instructions are easy to follow. Start with their cleaner that removes grease and grime. This replaces the sanding process.

Paint the kitchen cabinets using the tinted “bond coat” paint provided. Two coats, dry between according to instructions. The kit comes with an optional glaze, which emphasizes the wood grain. I chose not to use it.

Last, apply the top coat and once it is completely dry you can reinstall the doors and drawers. There is to sizes of kits. I purchased the smaller one but for around $150 you can buy a larger kit for kitchen cabinets.

Mason Jar organizer, Uncategorized



This organizer can be used for many options to organize your bathroom or just decorating your home. The lids will come off and in most cases would be left off. I great option is to fill them with potting soil and planting herbs. I think I may do that. I will summarize how I did these.


I used a 1×6 pine board and cut them into 2 feet. I stained all of the boards with a stain I had on hand. Because I have used chalk paint on several previous projects I decided I wanted to have some in the linen color. Having the dark stain underneath would help when distressing the chalk paint and give it a little pop after I lightly sanded the surface. I then applied a dark Minwax finish.

I put two hangers on the top edge down 1/2 inch and about three inches from the ends.


I have four hose clamps on each board. The problem I had was to get a hole in them. I don’t have a fancy drill press but I used a Dremel to cut it. My son wanted to help and I gave him this job and I think he did a great. He used a drill bit also.


I measured and marked the spacing of the rings.


I used 3/4 inch wood screws to fasten them on.

To tighten the hose clamps use a straight screw driver. Make sure your jar is placed just under the lid.