Old Dresser into Dining Room Buffet

My husband and I recently decided to sell our somewhat formal dining room set in lieu of going to a more laid back feel in our dining room. We built this awesome harvest table from Colorado beetle kill pine, and bought some fun chairs that gave the room more of the laid back (and slightly retro) feel we wanted. But having sold the whole set, meant that we didn't have any storage for our entertaining supplies (and my 257 bars of Scentsy wax), so we needed to find a buffet for the dining room.

So, in my typical, too-cheap-to-go-buy-something-new fashion, I found this dresser at a yard sale that was begging for some love. It had gorgeous wood gaining,  some fun details (like the rounded up edge on the top and scalloped front), the drawers were all in working condition, and it had a ton of storage, so I decided to give this baby a makeover and repurpose it as my dining room buffet.


I loved the existing color of the wood and and wanted to show off the pretty grain on the drawers, but the top was in really rough shape. I decided to do a two tone finish; paint the top and sides (where most of the wear was)  and leave the drawers the stained natural wood. I also wanted to put some vintage style brass apothecary handles in lieu of the southwestern style handles that were on it to give it a bit more of a vintage look.

Old handles.... not really my thing.


I bought Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint in  Primitive and the creme wax to put over the finished paint. Since chalk paint has a very flat finish, sealing it with creme wax or polycrylic extends the life of the paint job. Creme wax give a very subtle velvety finish and polycrylic will give furniture a more satin or semi-gloss finish. Polycrylic sealer is more wear resistant (better for high use furniture), but with this not being a daily use piece and wanting a more flat/velvety look, I went with creme wax.

I wiped down the dresser with mild soap and water, then finely sanded the top of the dresser (although not required with chalk paint) just to work out a few of the bigger imperfections. I applied 2 coats of the chalky finish paint (which went on like a dream) to the top and sides of the dresser, and also the exposed drawer style and the feet. The paint dries very quickly, so I was able to paint 2 coats in an evening (dry time was about 2 hours in between). I applied a generous coat of the creme wax the next day and buffed it out to make it really smooth and give it a bit more sheen.

I measured the distance of the handle drill holes from the old handles and found some great brass apothecary handles on Etsy (my other happy place) that would be large enough to cover the existing holes. I mounted the new handles, then created some drawer labels which added just the right amount of vintage to this (now) buffet!

The whole project cost me about $70 (including buying the dresser) and took me a weekend (once I had my handles delivered).  It ended up being so much less expensive than buying something similar new or refurbished at a store, and we are super happy with the outcome.

Here is my 'new' dining room buffet!


Light Fixture Make Over On A Budget


Thank you Apartment Therapy for featuring this project!

So over the past year I have been obsessing over the open metal geometric shaped chandeliers that are popping up just about everywhere.  I love the modern yet classic look they give a space and I have been wanting a more interesting light for our eat-in nook in the kitchen.

Of course, I had a perfectly functioning light fixture in my kitchen, so purchasing one of these beauties wasn't necessarily justified. If you have ever set out to replace chandeliers in your home, you know that the price tag can be substantial!  Searching around for even a budget-priced light was going to set me back about $400. And, that's a no-go.

Happily, I was on my local Frugal Yard Sale facebook page for my neighborhood, and someone listed this large fully functioning light fixture for $20. The 6-light brass and glass chandelier design has been around since at least the 80's but something about it struck me... the pretty geometric lines were exactly what I was looking for in my next light fixture! In my head I envisioned greatness, so I purchased it and came up with a game plan. I figured even if it was a total flop, I was only out $20.

I knew I wanted that 'cage' look, so the beveled glass panels had to go. Yes, my mom would say I was ruining a perfectly wonderful chandelier... 

Since the glass couldn't be pried out of the frame without damaging the metal,  I *carefully* broke out the glass panes with a towel and hammer. (therapeutic, but seriously, only do this if you know what you're doing)

Then came the process of painting it.  I wanted a black frame to replicate the look I'd seen on other fixtures, so I purchased one can of flat black spray paint at Home Depot, and gave it 4 (yes, 4) complete coats of paint. This process was a bit tedious since there were so many crevices, but worth it for the smooth even finish

Finally, I purchased fresh candle bulbs and my husband hung it above our eat-in nook in the kitchen. Voila!

All in all, with the purchase of the original fixture, paint and new bulbs, I spent $40 on this 'new' fixture! Be still, my frugal little heart.

Trust me, I had my doubts about whether this fixture would turn out like I was envisioning, but I am super please with the end result. The cage design and geometric lines are exactly what our kitchen needed!

Happy DIY'ing everyone!

Garage Find into Mid Century Modern Nightstand

Meet my newest project. Pretty huh? I lovingly call this my "lipstick on a pig" project.

My darling husband found this little gem in a garage while helping to clean out his Grandfather's house. It was in rough shape for sure, but he knows how I love to make junk pretty, so he snagged it and brought it home for me to work some magic on. 

My husband has been using a boring glass side table as a nightstand, and I had been eyeing several mid-century modern nightstands to replace it with. But, being that I {can be} cheap, I couldn't bring myself to spend upwards of $200 for a nightstand. 

One look at this table and I knew that painting was in my future.  This baby looked like it was found in a shed, and was going to take some serious love to get it to look like a respectable piece of furniture. Sadly, the only real wood on this piece of furniture was the legs, and they were definitely worse for wear. So I decided to paint the whole thing - top to bottom (after a thorough scrubbing down with soap and water).

I had some Americana Chalky paint sitting around from a previous project so I busted that out and gave the outside a good coat. I sealed with with Polycrylic since the nightstand would be a high use piece of furniture. 

I really wanted leave the doors as they were,  and do the 2 tone look that I love, but in the end they were just too beat up and it looked unfinished.  So I coated the door and legs with a glossy grey spray paint, and revived the lovely metal feet with a coat of gold spray paint.

The plastic handles weren't doing it any favors, so I purchased some steel bar pulls at Home Depot, sprayed them gold as well and attached them to the doors. 

The finishing touch was some little brass corners to tie everything together and I called it done. Hope you enjoyed this fun project - happy painting everyone!

DIY Beetle Kill Harvest Table

Well, I have to say, this project was a first for our house. And thanks to Pinterest for making me believe that I (or my husband) can do anything apparently,  I decided that we were going to set out and build our own dining room table.

My husband (aka the hot table craftsman in our house) was super grateful when, while laying in bed,  I sprung on him my plan for our dining room. Specifically, building our own large dining room table which  meant lots of hours of for him to dust off his woodworking skills from highschool.

For a few years now, my obsession with Colorado beetle kill pine has been getting out of hand growing. I love the grayish blue color of the grain of this abundant resource here in Colorado, so naturally, I starting considering where to buy a piece of furniture for my home made from beetle kill pine.  My husband and I visited a friends mountain home in Winter Park a while ago, and, there it was. The most lovely beetle-kill pine dining room table. *AHHHHH* Cue the angel voices in my head.

So I started researching furniture builders in the area, and quickly came to the realization that having a large table made was going to be a bit out of our budget (considering we just expanded our family with an expensive addition, also know as a baby). So, after a lot more reading and researching (ok, spending hours on Pinterest) I found some great images of what I wanted our table to look like…

My husband, being somewhat fearless, said he would tackle the project for me. He measured and drew out a table plan we both liked, and away we went. It took us one weekend and we were done! HAHA! Not even close.

We found an awesome specialty wood store here in Denver, and selected our beetle kill pine boards. We went with 10″ wide boards for the chevron pattern, just due to the size and scale of the table I wanted. I have a big family, so the table had to seat at least 10 or 12 chairs around it. We designed a table base using black steel piping and fittings for the industrial look we both love.

Creating the table base was pretty simple and quick (took an afternoon). Making sure the pipes were cut the right size and threaded correctly was a bit of a pain, but the hardware store did this for us at no charge. Once the base was assembled, we painted it a dark graphite grey/black. The base for the table top was a large piece of plywood cut to the size we wanted for the top. This is what the beetle kill boards were adhered to. We measured the boards out and chalk lined our angles to make sure the edges were straight. We added a center stile which gave us a bit more flexibility for recutting boards if needed (which we did). To finish the sides of the table we cut long rail pieces and screwed them into the side of the table. The finish work involved hand-planing the top to get the boards all the same height, natural pine colored wood filler for the gaps and then a lot of time sanding to get a smooth even finish.

Once we were done sanding, we assembled the table in our dining room, wiped it down really well, and applied 3 coats of MinWax Polycrylic (fabulous stuff) to the top to seal the wood and give it a soft luster. 

The Polycrylic dries really quickly, so we had 3 coats done in about 4 hours. We added some brass corner detailing to protect the corners, and called it done!

So, After about 3 weeks, 237 trips to the hardware store, and purchasing about half of the tool section, we did indeed create our very own dining room table. I love it love it love it. Mostly because my husband worked so tirelessly on it and he poured his all into making it really beautiful for our home. He also completed it the night before Mothers Day, which was an added awesome bonus!

Enjoy the finished photos!

Tea Tray Makeover

Thank you to ApartmentTherapy.com for featuring this DIY Project!

So I love a good garage sale – it’s my guilty pleasure. Combined with the fact I love projects too, they are the perfect marriage. So, with very limited (no) free time (due to this little guy) I rarely get the chance to take on a large make-over project, so afternoon DIY projects are my thing right now.  My neighbor had this simple wood tea tray for sale, so when I saw it, I heard angles singing about the potential for a great little side table. (Lofty goals, I know).    

I love love love chalk paint for furniture, but having done a few furniture projects with different brands of expensive chalk paint (you know who you are), I decided to embark on creating my own homemade chalk paint (because I’m cheap) using a recipe I found here. I opted for a Plaster of Paris recipe, mixed with a sample size of Martha Stewart Premium Interior Latex paint in China Green Marble.

I wiped down the tray, but other than that, no prep needed. No sanding, no priming or any of that.  This is a good thing in my world. I had 45 minutes of baby nap time to get my paint mixed and the first coat on. The homemade recipe worked great. It covered like I expected and dried super fast. I brush painted the entire tray, even the woven part on the base of the tea-tray. I put a second coat on for an even look and finished it with furniture wax I purchased at the hardware store.

Lastly, I wanted a campaign style look for my shiny “new” side table. Hunting around, I located some simple brass corners online  and waited (not so patiently) for them to arrive. I adhered them to the corners (top and bottom) which gave the table just the right amount of sophistication.

All in all – I spent about $20. And, I still have enough Plaster of Paris to last me years of chalk paint creating!

So there you have it! My afternoon DIY project (okay, actually the project spanned 4 days, but only about 3.5 hours of sweat equity)

Enjoy and happy DIY’ing!