A Painted House

Archive for the ‘Thrift Store Finds’ Category

How to drive yourself crazy with a project that was supposed to be fairly simple, if a bit time consuming:

1.  Decide you want a ginormous gallery wall of family pictures.

2.  Stalk your local Goodwill  on 50% off days, raid your Mom’s basement, and eventually collect 58 frames.

3.  Disassemble 58 frames for painting.

4.  Have a stroke of genious and number each frame and its corresponding glass/innards for easy reassembly later.

5.  Lay out all 58 frames on the garage floor.

6.  Spray paint 50 frames and then run out of paint.

7.  Make a special trip to the hardware store.  Buy an extra can just in case.

8.  Paint a second coat to cover all those places missed the first time around.  Watch in irritation as the paint on 55 out of 58 frames bubbles up in one place or another.

9.  Don’t panic.  Let them dry overnight and hope it will be better in the morning.

10.  Hand-sand 55 frames with steel wool to remove cracked paint.

11.  Attempt to touch up the sanded spots on a half dozen frames with your final can of paint.

12.  Feel like screaming when the paint not only bubbles up again, this time it’s worse.  Wonder if perhaps you’ve managed to accumulate 58 frames with some form of Frame Cancer.  Or Paint Repellant Syndrome.

 

 

13.  Give up.  Chuck the entire pile in the garage and call it a night.

Moral of the story:  Always, always, always prime before you paint.  Just, ACK.

Am I too late?  Are you over Christmas decorations already?  ‘Cause I’m kind of over Christmas decorations.  Mine will last through our last family Christmas celebration next weekend and then those babies are coming down!  But before they do, here is a quick tour of how I sprinkled Christmas throughout the main living areas of our home.

Let’s start with the entryway.  I hung a wire wreath form on the back of our front door and as Christmas cards arrived I clipped them to the wreath with clothespins.  I love Christmas cards and we’re blessed to receive about 100 of them every year.  Our “wreath” is overflowing!

The (still un-painted) card catalog in our entry holds a simple Christmas vignette.

I tucked some colorful ornaments into the silver wreath I bought at a thrift store after Christmas last year.  The personalized snowmen were a gift from my parents our first married Christmas.   The book is an old copy of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and came in a box of items my Grandmother gave me a few years ago.  The red and silver potpourri was a garage sale purchase about five years ago.  It used to smell like cinnamon but that’s long gone.  Now it’s just pretty!

On to the kitchen.  My Christmas decorating philosophy for this year was simple:

  1. Purchase oodles of ornaments on 80% off clearance last year.
  2. Put them everywhere.
  3. The end.

You guys know I love color in my regular decor and my taste in Christmas decor is no different.  I bought packages of lime green, aqua, white, black, silver, and red ornaments and mixed them all together in any container I could find.  Here is the kitchen hutch all glammed up with sparklies:

(Are you so, so tired of seeing this same shot every time the season changes?  You probably are.  Sorry.  I just love this piece.)

 

This kid-safe wooden nativity was on clearance for $5 last year at The Christmas Tree Shop.   James enjoyed playing with the little figurines and I didn’t have to worry about anything getting broken.

The table’s centerpiece was simple…just ornaments arranged in my favorite Pier 1 bowl and plopped on my Goodwill pedestal.

These colors make me smile:

The island centerpiece was also simple, consisting of the lighted Dayspring knock-off nativity I made a few years ago.

Let’s take a quick time-out.  See that beautiful shot above?  How clean and organized my counters look?  Did I mention we arrived home yesterday from a long weekend of travel with a van fuuuuull of Christmas stuff?  I’m just that good.

OR, this is the wide angle when I stepped back and zoomed out.  Lamps I salvaged from my Mom’s basement?  Check.  Packaging for our new coffee maker?  Check.  Computer, coffee, to-do list, tissue for one kid’s snotty nose?  Yup.  Pants on which I dripped wax at the Christmas Eve service?  Sigh.  Containers of leftover goodies, sink full of dishes from dinner, and a pile of mail to be sorted….in general, Christmas barf.  Feel better about yourself.  Just keepin’ it real.

Let’s move on.

The living room has our stockings hung by the fireplace and more ornament clusters.  Creative, I am.

The back half of the room (hi, new wall arrangement!) displays our ceramic nativity, a vase of poinsettias, and yet MORE ornaments sprinkled throughout the china cabinet.

Finally, the Reading Room.  This arrangement sits on top of the piano:

The jingle bell wreath was on clearance for $3 at Big Lots.  I hung it on the front of the mirror that usually lives in the entry with a 3M removable hook.

This little piece of artwork was a quick Christmas craft.  I covered the cardboard back of a 11×13 frame with wrapping paper then hot-glued on some sparkly snowflake ornaments.  I thought it turned out really cute!

More ornaments, this time arranged in a metal basket found at Goodwill.

Last stop, the Christmas tree.  Of course I didn’t think to take a picture before Christmas when the floor under and around the tree was absolutely covered in wrapped packages for our family, and friends, so instead you can marvel at how simple and frugal we are with our small pile of gifts. 😉

Hope your holidays were as sweet as ours!

I’ve finished another room!  It happens to be the smallest room in the house, but a room nonetheless.  The main level half bath is just off the foyer, so it’s one of the first spaces you see when you enter our house.   (Welcome to our home!  Aaaaand here’s our bathroom.)  So I wanted it to be decorated as much as any other room.  Here is where we started:

Builder’s grade oversized mirror, yellowy beige walls, no accessories of any kind.  Then when shopping at TJ Maxx with a Christmas gift card, I happened upon this bathroom rug.  My color scheme was born!

I also bought this matching hand towel….how cute are those little embroidered butterflies?

Here come the Befores and Afters!

I wanted the paint color to be dramatic, since it’s a small space.  So I matched the darkest gray in the rug to a Pittsburgh Paints color called Gibraltar Gray.

The builder’s grade mirror had to go.  After some searching I found this lovely brassy mirror on 66% off clearance at Hobby Lobby. It was originally $89.99 and I paid $29.99.  I gave it a coat of Adhesion Primer and then several coats of white and an accent color from Dutch Boy called College Park Green (though it’s actually an aqua, not green at all).

Before and After:

Remember this?  I told you it was destined for a makeover but I bet you never guessed it was meant for a bathroom!

Here it is now, repurposed as a magazine rack.

This bathroom is tiny and I was having trouble finding a solution for the magazines my husband piles in there that didn’t take up most of the floor space.  (Confession: I totally switched out most of his magazines for mine for these photos because, well, his are ugly.)  So I came up with the idea of a hanging magazine rack and put it on Travis’ To Do list.  Then I spotted whatever this thing is (Any guesses what it’s original use was?  I can’t come up with any) for $3.00 at Goodwill and I knew I could make it work.  Without having to wait six months for Travis to have time to make me one.  Patient I am not.  The best part is how little space it takes up in the room – look at that low profile!

For accessories I mostly “shopped the house”.   The vase on the vanity came with some flowers my sister sent me on my first Mother’s Day.  I kept it because I loved the color…and lo and behold it’s a perfect match.  The faux hydrangeas came from Hobby Lobby.

The little shelf used to be in our guest bath at the Whitehall house.  Now it displays tea cups from a set I pilfered from my friend Emily’s garage sale pile.  The color is perfect and you can’t beat the price!

It also holds an aqua glass pitcher that was a gift from one Shelly Alley several years ago and a little creamer I found at Goodwill.

So should you come visit me you might find 75% of my house somewhere on the spectrum of Unfinished, but my potty will be pretty!  The end.

Last week a friend and I bundled up our four boys and did something stupid took them all on a thrift store shopping tour.  I was looking for two specific things (a desk chair and framed mirror), neither of which I found, but I did find a few other treasures.  Wanna see?

These Land’s End boots retail for $50.  FIF-TY DOLL-ARS.  Are you kidding me?  Who pays $50 for a pair of kids boots, which they will grow out of in one season?  Seriously.  I don’t even own an item of clothing that cost that much.  I paid $2.00 at St. Vincent’s, gave them a good washing, and tucked them away for next winter.

Ok, I’m really, really, really done buying Christmas items now.  Really.  But this wreath was too pretty to pass up.   It still has the Hobby Lobby tag on it for $39.99 and I paid $10 at the Salvation Army.  It looks kinda irridescent and gaudy in the photo, but in person it’s just beautiful and shimmery.

This one I won’t tell you about just yet, other than to say it was $3.00, because it’s part of another project.  Any guesses what it will be?

This wine rack was $2.00 at Goodwill and now holds towels in my bathroom.

See?

The following glassware came from St. Vincent’s and the Salvation Arm.  The apple and short canister are in my kitchen, the pagoda-looking one is on display on a shelf I will tell you about soon, and the vial is headed for my bathroom shelves.  I paid around $8.00 for all four.

And since I’m covering thrift store purchases for the month, here are a couple of items I bought on a quick trip to Goodwill earlier this month, looking for that elusive bathroom mirror.  Isn’t this little biscuit tin cute?  I don’t know if it’s meant to hold the Tea or Dog variety, but I loved the gigantic cork topper.

Did you know that you can spray paint yellow trays with roosters on them and then put them in your living room?  You can.  And the world thanks you for it.

This little milk glass bottle was $1.00

And finally, I have a thing for little pedestals.  For example this one that I bought at Goodwill several years ago and painted, pictured in our old kitchen:

Display Disposables

This pedestal bowl is wooden and I spray painted it white  (shocking!).  It sits in my living room next to pictures of an adorable baby.  I imagine it will look beautiful full of ornaments at Christmastime.

But technically it’s not a Christmas decoration.  Because I’m done with that.  Really.

So we find ourselves in that awkard period between the holidays and Spring when the Christmas decor is down and put away but it’s way too early (and optimistic) to be bringing out warm-weather decor.  (Insert longing sigh when I moved my Spring wreath to the side to put away the Christmas boxes).

So in an effort to pretty up my newly-nekkid kitchen hutch, I continued my quest to Embrace the Blue.  (No idea what I’m talking about?  See this post .)  Thankfully I have some wintery snowflake decor to use that isn’t also Christmasy.  Check it out (you can click on the pictures for a better look):

I had two blue, white and silver placemats (gifts from my mother-in-law on our first married Christmas) which fit perfectly under my favorite white serving bowls.  (Note to self: find something to put in the white bowls).  The matching cloth napkins were crumpled up and stuffed into the domed glass containers on the shelves.  The small glass jars were filled with white and silver tea lights and the big cookie jar contains pine cones.  The pine cones I’ve had for years, gathered up from the forest floor at a Wisconsin resort.

The display cabinet holds a few blue snowman dessert plates and mugs, gifted to me  by my Mom several Christmases ago.

This little display sits on my island:

An Evergreen scented candle and two sets of snowmen and snowflake napkin holders, arranged on a wooden pedestal I bought at Goodwill last summer and spray painted white.  That little pedestal was such a great find at just $1.00 since it was missing the glass dome.

Grand total for this kitchen decor makeover?  $0!  Gotta love that.

Note:  This is a repost from my former blog, for the sake of archiving all home-related projects.  Original publish date:  August 3, 2010.

This little beauty was only $1.70 at Goodwill.  Imagine!

DSC_0048

Two coats of spray paint and it’s now hanging out on my kitchen table:

DSC_0063

As a side note, I’ve decided to stop fighting the blue in my kitchen.  Would I have chosen blue countertops?  Never in a million years.  Will we keep them forever?  Definitely not.  Are periwinkle blue counters what we have for the forseeable future?  Yep.  So rather than trying everything I can to detract from them, make excuses for them when people come over, and pretend they don’t exist….I’m just going to go with it.  Enter the blue tablecloth and center stage for a tea pot that has a sentimental place in my heart.  Consider this my experiment in living with a french country kitchen.

Note:  This is a repost from my former blog, for the sake of archiving all home-related projects.  Original publish date:  August 3, 2010.

I’ve been wanting a chair I could revamp to use as a desk chair in the Reading Room.  (Note: for those unfamiliar, the Reading Room is what I call the room intended as a formal sitting room, but which we’ll use as an office/library.) 

This is the one we had but it’s a) not pretty, b) going to live in Travis’ basement office and c) is chewing up the carpet because it’s on wheels.

Reading Room 7.14 (3)

So, off to Goodwill we go once more!  Hello, lovely:

DSC_0043 DSC_0044  

Or not.  The fabric was horrid, the wood all scratched and dinged, and don’t even get me started on the padding underneath that awful plaid.  Shudder.  But the price was right:

DSC_0042

To revamp this chair I:

  1. Removed the seat, pried off and disgarded the old upholstery and padding.
  2. Purchased some foam padding at Wal-Mart and cut it to fit the seat.
  3. Spray painted the frame with two coats of white semi-gloss.
  4. Dug around in my fabric stash for something with which to recover the seat.  As I don’t know for sure what I’m going to do with the reading room (though I do have a mental picture that involves white/creamy yellow/red) I didn’t want to spend money on fabric that may or may not go with the final product.  Instead I found the curtain I made for our bedroom in our apartment, which will not be used as a curtain again.  Perfect!
  5. Cut a scrap piece of fabric bought at a yard sale for $.25 to use as an under layer, and then stapled it over the foam padding to create a smooth layer.
  6. Stretched and stapled the curtain fabric over the seat.
  7. Re-attached the seat to the frame.

Ta da!

DSC_0067  DSC_0068

Much better:

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Grand total:  $5 for chair, $4 for padding, $4 for paint  = $13


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