The Interior Frugalista

March 15, 2017

Pining for paint (An Arabesque Stenciled Night Table Makeover)

You know when life tilts to crazy and all you want to do is crawl in a hole and escape? Into my hole, in the form of the basement workshop, I did. Nothing tunes out the chaos better than cranking up the stereo, pulling out a can of paint and escaping into the creative zone for a few hours.

I received a text message from Mr. Frugalista one afternoon asking if I could do anything with a pine two-drawer night table. Heck ya and how soon can you get it home? The price was right and it was in pretty good condition. So when the need to escape arose, this was the perfect project to get lost in.

An Arabesque Stenciled Night Table Makeover

A Pine Arabesque Stenciled Night Table Makeover


This is what the night table looked like before the makeover...
Pine Night Stand Before Makeover

After a good scrub with soap and water, I roughed up the pine with an 80-grit sanding sponge to give the paint some bite.

I painted this piece using chalk paint from Country Chic Paint in the colors Vanilla Frosting (a creamy white) and Elegance (a beautiful soft blue-green). Elegance is one of my favorite colors in their chalk paint line.

After the paint dried I protected the night stand with clear wax. To dirty it up with a time-worn appearance, I applied dark wax around the bottom skirt and where hands would normally grab the drawers to open and close.

Pine Night Table Chalk Painted

To add some personality I stenciled an Arabesque pattern along the top edge and center of each drawer front using the same Vanilla Frosting chalk paint color.

Pine Arabesque Stenciled Night Table

The pretty green glass knobs I had in my stash and were perfect to add some bling to this piece.

Pine Night Table With Green Glass Knobs

*I've included affiliate links in this post so you can find some of the products I used or recommend to complete this project.


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March 9, 2017

Mom's Wooden Stool Got A Befitting Makeover

I spent the better part of the afternoon trying to find a picture of my Mom sitting on HER stool. Being a Mother of seven children, many a potato was peeled and many a dish washed while sitting on this wooden stool. When she moved from an apartment to a assisted living suite where meals were provided, the stool became a plant stand with one of her crocheted doilies on the top.

Sadly, a few years later she was moved into a secured dementia unit and there was no room for her stool. I didn't have the heart to put it in the donation pile because of the memories attached to this little stool, so it came home with me.

The stool left little to be desired and in need of a makeover but I wanted to transform it in such a way that it honored the woman who rested her weary knees on it each day and so Mom's Wooden Stool Got A Befitting Makeover.

Mom's Stool Got A Makeover

Mom's Wooden Stool Makeover


This is what the stool looked like, nothing fancy and probably picked up at a discount store.

Mom's Stool Before A Makeover

The first thing I did was paint the entire stool with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ in the color Old White. Using a script liner art brush, I carefully painted a circle in the center of the top using the color Liquorice by Country Chic Paint. With a small paint brush, I filled in the outer edge.

Mom's Stool Makeover chalk painted white

Next, I went over to The Graphics Fairy website to find an image that would be suitable to honor my Mom. That's when I found the most perfect French Apothecary Label. I then went to the Block Posters website and resized the graphic to fit the center of the stool.

How to transfer graphics onto furniture

Using one of my favorite image transfer techniques, I printed the graphic on my laser printer. I cut out the circle and lined it up to the center of the stool and held it in place with painter's tape. Next, I slipped a piece of carbon paper (graphite paper also works) underneath and simply traced over the details with a pen.

Labeling the stool wasn't enough, it needed a Pharmacist's handwritten prescription. In Word, I found a script font that I liked and typed "Remedy for Achy Bones" and resized it to fit the label. Repeating the same steps as above, I traced the handwritten prescription onto the label.

Now that the graphic was transferred onto the painted wood, I used a script liner art brush and black acrylic paint to go over the image. If this image transfer technique seems overwhelming, there are many other ways to transfer graphics. I suggest visiting 12-Easy Image Transfer Methods on The Graphics Fairy's site.

I personally find this image transfer technique very relaxing and go into a zone - it's like meditation for me.

Mom's Stool Makeover with befitting Apothecary Label Seat

Normally I wax my pieces but considering this stool may get a lot of use, I decided to protect it with a satin polyurethane.

I had to chuckle at that last sentence...

Because I didn't inherit my Mother's domestic willingness to put a square home-cooked meal on the table each night.

Nor did I inherit her willingness to hand wash dishes.

So not a potato will be peeled nor a dish hand washed ever again on this stool. Sorry, Mom 😏

Mom's Stool Makeover against Gallery Wall

The stool has taken permanent residence against a gallery wall in our hallway - far from the kitchen.

I didn't notice until writing the post that if you take a close look at the reflection in the mirror, on the bottom right is a partially visible framed photo of my Dad who passed in 2005. Isn't it ironic, don't you think?

Ahem, back to the makeover...

After finishing the makeover I didn't like how clean the stool was looking and so I decided to try something new. I rubbed dark wax over the poly and it worked to give it an aged appearance. I rubbed the joints and the bottoms of each leg with more dark wax to "dirty it up". I did the same over the apothecary label and I was much happier with the finish.

Mom's Befitting Stool Makeover with Prescription Apothecary Label

I'm so happy I decided to take Mom's stool home with me that day and I will cherish it always. Hopefully, I'll come across that photo of Mom sitting on her stool peeling potatoes and I will mod podge it onto the bottom of the seat for future generations.

Mom's Stool Got A Befitting Makeover Before and After
As Mom's Alzheimer's disease progressed, her hands would become more and more restless. In order to help calm those fidgeting hands and keep them busy during the many hours of idle time per day, I made her a Busy Blanket. It is a lap blanket that attaches to the sides of her wheelchair. If you know anyone who has a loved one suffering from this disease, here is the link to see how I made Mom's Alzheimer's Busy|Fidget Blanket.

You will find this project linked to these fabulous LINK PARTIES.

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March 3, 2017

The Small Mid-Century Modern Cabinet that had no legs

Hello friends, yes you read that title correctly. Mr. Frugalista, a.k.a. furniture buyer has a keen eye for finding great furniture pieces for me to makeover. But last year when he came home with just the top of a small Mid-Century Modern Cabinet I gave him the "what in the heck were you thinking?" look and "where the heck are the legs?"

Into the Don't Know What I'm Going To Do With This pile it went and life moved on.
Small Legless Mid Century Modern Cabinet Before

Fast forward a few months and he came home with a package of four cabriole legs that he picked up for a song. Into the Leg Pile, they went.

Last week while working on another makeover I noticed the legs resting upside down on the top of my paint cabinet. A few minutes later while walking to the laundry sink to clean paint brushes my eyes glanced over at the now very dusty legless cabinet. DING DING DING

Cabriole Legs paired with Mid Century Modern Cabinet

...and a Metallic Night Stand with curvy cabriole legs was born. Once the legs were attached to the base, it gave the cabinet a completely different look.

Metallic Night Stand from repurposed MCM Legless Cabinet

Small Mid Century Modern Cabinet Now Curvy Metallic Night Stand


The cabinet had some wear and tear so I filled the damaged spots with Dynamic Dyna Patch. Wanting the knobs on this piece to be like the jewelry on the little black dress, I removed the original hardware and filled the holes with wooden dowels and filler.

Drawer hardware holes filled on Mid Century Modern Cabinet Makeover

To ensure a good bond with the paint and to avoid tannin bleed from the red stain on the legs, I primed everything with a coat of Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 Primer.

Cabriole legs primed for Metallic Night Stand Makeover

In 2015 the good folks at Modern Masters sent me their Matte Metallic Platinum Silver Semi-Opaque paint to try on my Vintage Art Deco Waterfall Vanity makeover. Having some leftovers I decided it would be the perfect paint to add glam to this curvy night stand.

Curvy legs on Metallic Night Stand Makeover

I applied the first two coats with a small foam roller and wasn't happy with the results. It was looking like a hammered metal patina and I wanted a smooth as a baby's bottom finish. Using 220 grit sandpaper, I sanded the paint smooth and removed the dust with a tack cloth.

Tips for painting with metallics


  • For semi-opaque metallic paint, like I used, it will take three coats minimum.
  • Stir the paint well before painting and often during. The paint has real metal particles, pearlescent pigments along with traditional color pigments and they need to be blended well.
  • Prime with acrylic primer or low sheen acrylic paint close to the metallic paint color. In my case, I could have primed with a light or medium gray paint color but because I used a white primer, it took four coats to get complete coverage.
  • Use a good quality synthetic bristle paint brush.
  • Or roll with a 1/2-inch synthetic nap roller (hence the reason I wasn't getting good results using a foam roller). Be sure to rinse and dry brush first to remove loose lint.
  • Apply paint in long even brush strokes (I painted from end to end).
  • Work with a wet edge to eliminate roller edge or brush marks.
  • Don't go over the same spot twice while the paint is drying.
  • I found by dipping the tips of my brush in water (damp not soaking wet) and then into the paint on my final coat, eliminated any visible brush strokes.
  • Allow paint to dry a minimum of 24-hours before applying a protective top coat.
  • Be mindful that top coats can dull the metallic shimmer. It's best to use one specifically for metallic finishes. I used Modern Masters Top Coat in a satin finish.

Silver and gold metallic night stand makeover

I always like to line the drawers on my pieces and had this pretty silver metallic contact paper leftover from the Antique Scalloped Tilt Top Table. I should note that the drawers on this little cabinet have dovetail joints - they don't make them like that anymore.

Paper lined drawers in Metallic Night Stand Makeover

I found the center of each drawer front and using a 1/16-inch bit I drilled a pilot hole for each knob. Next, I used a drill bit the same size as the screws that came with the new knobs and finished drilling the holes. I don't remember when or where I purchased these pretty turquoise ceramic flower bloom knobs but I had just two in my stash. It's like they were waiting for this particular makeover.

Turquoise Floral Bloom Knobs on Metallic Night Stand Makeover

I found the gold stem on the knobs too stark against the metallic silver, making the piece feel unbalanced. I rubbed Metallic Gold Gilding Wax along the top and bottom edges and that was the perfect finishing touch.

Mid Century Modern Cabinet turned Curvy Metallic Night Stand

I love pairing silver and gold with a pop of color like turquoise. I have to say these colors would look fabulous in our master bedroom. To sell or not to sell, that is the question?

Accessorizing a Metallic Night Stand Makeover

You'd never know that under this sexy curvaceous metallic night stand is a discarded legless mid-century cabinet.

Metallic Night Stand Repurposed MCM Cabinet Before and After
You'll find this project shared at these fabulous LINK PARTIES.

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February 23, 2017

Turned Leg Nesting Tables With Jacobean Floral Tops

It's the fourth Thursday of February and you know what that means, it's the second installment of the Furniture Fixer Uppers series. I had been planning for weeks to share a fun and funky mid-century modern makeover with you today. The fabric was purchased, the prep was started and then BAM I got hit with a bug that knocked me flat off my feet. 

Determined not to miss this challenge, one sleepless night during a coughing fit I took my box of kleenex and pajama-clad body downstairs to look for something that would take the least amount of physical exertion to makeover. I had this set of Turned Leg Nesting Tables on the workbench queue but I kept putting it off because I couldn't narrow down a paint color.

When you feel like you've been hit by a bus, it's amazing how quickly you can make a decision. My gut was saying green and so green it was.
Turned Leg Nesting Tables
Here they are pulled open...
Turned Legs Nesting Table Trio
The paint finish is looking rather dull in these photos because I ran out of energy before taking the photos to apply a protective finish.

Turned Leg Nesting Tables With Jacobean Floral Stenciled Tops


This is what the tables used to look like...
Turned Leg Nesting Tables Before
The plan was to take photos of each step to include in my tutorial but it took everything in me just to pick up a paint brush, let alone a camera. Most of this makeover was done on a rolling mechanics stool - oh how I can't live without this gem in my workshop.

*This post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I used or suggest to complete this project. See my full disclosure policy.

Prepping for paint

I always have a bucket of warm water, rubber gloves, an old toothbrush, clean cloth, dish soap, and a bottle of liquid sander/deglosser at the ready to give these pieces a good scrub. You can see in the photo above there was paint splattered on the feet so I carefully removed it with a 3M scouring pad.

Because of the light glossy finish, I ran a medium grit sanding sponge over the wood to give the paint some bite. When using a mineral based chalk paint you don't necessarily have to do this step but I'd rather error on the side of caution.

It's hard to tell in the before photo but there were a lot of scratches on the top of the largest nesting table and so I filled those and sanded smooth once dry.
Turned Leg Nesting Tables painted in color sea glass

Painting the tables

I used mineral-based chalk paint by Dixie Belle Paint Company in the color Sea Glass, isn't it such a beautiful color? I applied it with a paintbrush and just love the self-leveling qualities of the paint. I like to dip just the tips of my brush in water and then the paint to achieve long smooth strokes before having to reload my brush. It only took two coats for full coverage.  
Turned Legs Nesting Tables with white details

Accenting with white paint

To break up all that green and add a little accent, I painted the grooves on the table skirts and feet using a large script liner art brush and white acrylic craft paint. I left the groove between the ball turned detail on the legs green because otherwise, it looked too whimsical.  
Jacobean Floral Stencil for nesting table makeover

Stenciling the top

I applied a Jacobean Floral stencil down the center horizontally across the top of each table using the same acrylic craft paint used to accent the grooves. I used a brush to apply the paint although a small foam roller would have been much quicker had my brain been functioning on all two cylinders.

I prefer using a swirling motion rather than dabbing motion when stenciling with a brush, offloading the excess paint onto a paper towel until my brush is almost dry.

I used Frog Delicate Surface Tape to hold the stencil onto the fairly fresh painted surface. Considering the paint was applied just mere hours before stenciling, I avoided using repositionable stencil spray adhesive.
Turned Leg Nesting Tables with Jacobean Floral Stenciled Tops
I'm quite pleased with how these tables turned out, especially considering how sick I was. The color will be even deeper once I apply a clear coat satin finish.
Turned Leg Nesting Table Skirts
Before I share more beauty shots, let's talk a little bit about the Furniture Fixer Uppers series.
It's a monthly series where six blogging friends, who have a passion for rescuing furniture that has seen it's better days, come together to bring you six furniture makeovers with tutorials and helpful tips. The goal is to inspire others to breath new life into dated furniture at a fraction of the cost of replacing it with something new.

If you missed our first challenge in January, I turned an old Mid-Century Modern Bookshelf into a Funky Bar.

Like the bar, my nesting tables were looking rather dated and beat up and not something you would want on display in your home. But they were in perfect working condition and would be a shame to end up in the landfill. With a little paint and some creativity, they were completely transformed and can be used for many years to come.
Turned Leg Nesting Tables Makeover
I'm quite pleased with how they turned out and I hope you like them too.

Turned Leg Nesting Tables Before and After
You will find this project shared at these fabulous LINK PARTIES.

Are you as excited as I am to see how the talented gals in this group transformed these Fixer Uppers? We had a little chuckle over how two members picked the very same dresser without realizing it. Let's head over to each of their blogs by pressing the links below...
Edition Two Furniture Fixer Uppers Before
PRESS THE LINKS BELOW TO SEE THE AFTER PHOTOS
Just The Woods


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February 16, 2017

Small Portable Rolling Multi-Purpose Table

This poor table has had so many incarnations that it doesn't know which end is up. The last makeover had a fabulous faux oxidized copper top with a wood slat lower shelf. We were using it outside on our deck. While in winter storage in our shed a squirrel decided the wood slats would make a great all you can eat buffet.

When I heard this month's Power Tool Challenge was Favorite Tool & Best Tips, I knew this little table would fit the bill perfectly. Not only could I put the most used and one of my personal favorite power tools to work to fix it, but I could finally get that much needed rolling portable multi-purpose table for my office.

Portable Rolling Multi Purpose Table

For a little trip down memory lane, this is what the first makeover looked like...

Portable Rolling Multi Purpose Table Before

It was going to be paired with a headboard for a girl's room. When the headboard sold without the table, I turned it into a faux oxidized copper table for our deck. You can find that makeover here at Faux Oxidized Copper Top Table.

Portable Rolling Multi Purpose Table Before Squirrel Damage

After the squirrel chomped on the wood slats (Mr. Frugalista removed them before I could take a picture) I was left with this mess...

Portable Rolling Multi Purpose Table Before

Small Portable Rolling Multi-Purpose Table


So what was the favorite power tool I used to repair and beautify this table?

A power drill - actually, two power drills because one ran out of juice and I discovered the second battery back was also dead.

Tip 1

Always have the secondary battery pack on your power drill fully charged.

*Affiliate links are included in this post so you can find the products I used to complete this project. See my full disclosure policy.

Drill #1 - Dewalt 18-Volt NiCad 1/2-inch Cordless Drill



Drill #2 - Ryobi 3/8-inch Clutch Corded Driver Drill


If you find power tools intimating, then I highly recommend a power drill be the tool you start with. Like I said earlier, it is the most used tool in the workshop and the one that got me grunting like Tim The Tool Man Taylor in the early days of DIYing.

Painting The Table And Damaged Shelf

The first thing I did was unscrewed the lower shelf from the table, flipped it upside down, painted it using Fusion Mineral Paint in the color Picket Fence. I also stenciled two black grain sack stripes on the top of the shelf (not pictured).

Portable Rolling Multi Purpose Table Painted Black

Next, I chalk painted the skirt and legs black in the color Liquorice by Country Chic Paint.

Once they were dry I screwed the lower shelf back onto the table. No one's going to see that ugly mess now that it's facing upside down.

Reattaching shelf on Portable Rolling Multi Purpose Table

Unfortunately, the legs were too narrow to accommodate the casters I had on hand. Instead of buying new ones I decided to add a second shelf on the very bottom. Can never have enough shelves, right.

Casters for Portable Rolling Multi Purpose Table

Adding A Bottom Shelf

Bonus just happened to have the perfect size piece of MDF in my stash leftover from another project. All it needed was the same profile around the edge as the other shelf and so this was done using a router with a 1/2-inch round over bit. Then I chalk painted it black to match the frame.

I flipped the table upside down and lined the shelf up to the legs. It was attached with #8 Robertson 3/4-inch screws onto each leg. This provided the perfect base to mount the casters.

Adding Lower Shelf To Portable Rolling Multi Purpose Table

Installing Casters

After marking the screw holes for each caster with a pencil, I drilled pilot holes using a 1/16-inch drill bit.

Drilling Pilot Holes for casters on Portable Rolling Table

Tip 2

Pre-drill pilot holes to prevent the wood from cracking. It also makes drilling the screws so much easier.

Installing casters on Portable Rolling Multi Purpose Table

The casters were attached with #6 Robertson 1/2-inch screws.

Adding Wood Slat Top

Now for the top - I unscrewed the brackets holding the top onto the frame. Next, I lined up 7 1" x 3" pine boards that were cut the same length on the miter saw. I placed the good side of the grain facing my work surface. After lining them up perfectly straight, I clamped them together.

Adding wood slat top onto Portable Rolling Multi Purpose Table

I flipped the table top upside down onto the clamped boards and centered it. Using #8 Robertson 1 1/4-inch wood screws, I attached the boards along the perimeter to secure them in place.

Attaching wood top to Portable Rolling Multi Purpose Table

Tip 3

Here's a manly man tip for you to prevent the wood from cracking. Spit on the end of the screw first before drilling. I'm telling you, it works!

I reattached the top onto the base. Now what to do with the wood...

Assembling Portable Rolling Multi Purpose Table

Staining Wood Top

I stained the wood top with Voodoo Gel Stain by Dixie Belle Paint Company in the color Up In Smoke.

Staining wood top on portable rolling multi purpose table

Once it was dry I used the black paint remaining on my brush from painting the frame (I always wrap my wet brushes with plastic wrap between coats) and dry brushed long random strokes over the stain. I repeated the same step using the Picket Fence white color paint remaining on my other brush, giving it a rustic appearance.

Rustic wood top on portable rolling multi purpose table

I like the contrast of the white middle shelf with the rustic wood top.

Small Portable Rolling Multi Purpose Cart

Then I brought the table up to my office and am thrilled to finally have a portable surface to keep my editorial calendar/daytimer, pencils and pens at the ready, and anything else that I use throughout the day but don't have room for on my desk.

Portable Rolling Multi Purpose Table for home office

This small rolling portable multi-purpose table could be used for so many purposes, like in a sewing room for a serger, a craft room, a small work surface in the kitchen, or outside on the deck like we used to have it.

Quite the difference between the before and after.
Small Portable Rolling Multi Purpose Table Before and After
Before I send you off to see what my friends on the Power Tool Challenge Team made using their favorite power tool I thought I'd leave you with a couple more tips.

Tip 4

Always hold the drill perpendicular to the surface to ensure the screws go in straight and hold the drill tight by leaning your body into it. Using a drill press is ideal for ensuring perfectly straight screws but not everybody, including myself, has one. Here are some helpful tips that I found on DrillPressGuide.com on How To Drill Straight Without A Drill Press.


Tip 5

If you ever need a precise hole depth, measure the end of the drill bit to the depth of the hole you require. Wrap a piece of tape around the bit at that mark. Drill to the depth of the tape and you'll have the perfect hole depth every time.

You will find this project linked to these fabulous LINK PARTIES.

Power Tool Challenge Team Projects

My Love 2 Create - Triangle Hexagon Tray 
My Repurposed Life - DIY Cutting Board 
The Kim Six Fix - Scroll Saw Book Letters 
Create and Babble - Cut Wood Slices 
The DIY Bungalow - DIY Faux Fur Foot Stool 


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