The Interior Frugalista

June 22, 2017

Mom's Floor Standing Jewelry Chest Got A Makeover

Last Fall when sorting through Mom's things in preparation for her move to a long-term care facility, taking her Queen Anne jewelry armoire was not an option. My sister, in need of a larger jewelry box, was the lucky recipient.

Not a fan of the golden oak, she recently asked if I would refinish it for her and so Mom's floor standing jewelry chest got a makeover.

Floor Standing Jewelry Chest Makeover

This is what the jewelry chest looked like before...

Floor Standing Jewelry Chest Before Makeover

...and open.

Open Floor Standing Jewelry Chest Before Makeover

Before I get into the makeover details, did I mention, today is Furniture Fixer Uppers Day? What that means is that five talented and creative bloggers have come together to breath new life into five furniture pieces that had seen better days. Normally we would have six to share but Larissa from Prodigal Pieces had to sit this months challenge out.

In case you missed last months challenge, I transformed an office bookcase into a Farmhouse Cupboard.

Queen Anne Floor Standing Jewelry Chest Makeover

Curved Floor Standing Jewelry Armoire Makeover

Prepping for paint

After a bath in vinegar and water and a towel dry, I dismantled the hinged parts of the cabinet. Next, I removed each drawer and labeled them with painters tape. I'm a bit of a bull in a china shop when it comes to painting - some might argue life in general. The black felt inside the armoire was in excellent condition and so to protect it from my sloppiness, I ran painter's tape along all the edges.

Prepping Jewelry Cabinet for chalk paint

I left the original hardware on because I didn't plan on replacing them and from my experience, those soft little screws strip quite easily.

With some chalk paint, it doesn't require priming, de-glossing or sanding first. I put that to the test by painting without prep and doing the scratch test 24-hours later. If you run your nail across the paint and it doesn't peel off, you've got good adhesion.

The base coat

My sister wanted a distressed shabby chic finish but rather than the golden oak showing through the distressed areas, she wanted black. I gave the chest an undercoat of chalk paint in the color Graphite, a dark gray.

Graphite Base Coat on Jewelry Chest Makeover

The top coat

Over the charcoal gray, I chalk painted three coats of Old White. You can see the black underneath after distressing. Although in some areas where I sanded back more than others you can see the golden coat peering through.

Tip: If your preference is having NONE of the original wood showing through after distressing, you have two options:

  1. Wet Distress: While the paint is still wet, rub a damp rag along the parts where you want the bottom paint color to show. (I had to leave the house shortly after finishing the white coat and so couldn't do this.)
  2. Petroleum Jelly Resist: After the darker undercoat is dry, apply petroleum jelly onto a cotton swab and run it along the areas you do not want the top coat to cover. (My original plan until I forgot.)
I also distressed the lion head drawer pulls.

White Painted Lions Head Pulls on Jewelry Chest

Adding a graphic

My sister asked if I would add the word DREAM onto the top because the jewelry armoire would be used for her costume jewelry in her bedroom. I had some dream decals in my stash that I liked the font. Not wanting to simply pop a decal onto the lid, I transferred the typeface by placing a sheet of graphite paper underneath and traced it with a pencil. You can't see the pencil mark so I can still use the decal on a future project.

Image Transfer on Jewelry Chest Lid

Using craft paint and a script liner art brush I handpainted the graphic.

Hand Painted Graphic on Curved Floor Standing Jewelry Chest

Decoupaged napkins

I always like to add an element of surprise on the inside of my furniture makeovers. For this piece, I choose dollar store napkins.

Dollar Store Napkins to Decoupage Jewelry Chest Drawers

But first I painted the sides of the drawers with a coat of Old White chalk paint. Napkins are 3-ply and so before decoupaging, you have to remove the extra ply, thus making the paper quite transparent. Had I not painted the sides of the drawers, the golden oak would peer through the paper. Ahem, ask me how I know.

1 Ply Napkins Ready To Decoupage On Jewelry Armoire

Oh and one more thing, make sure the pattern on the napkin is facing upwards towards the top of the drawer. Yeah, ask me how I know that too.

But first, before separating the napkins I cut them in half horizontally. This made it very easy to pull apart the layers along the cut line. Next, using a foam brush I applied a thin but generous coat of Mod Podge onto the sides of the drawer. You have a little play room with a thin napkin and so I eyeballed the placement and essentially dropped it in place. Very carefully I adjusted the napkin and dabbed the spots that didn't have good contact with my fingers, not worrying about wrinkles.

Once the Mod Podge was dry I used a craft knife to carefully cut the paper to size. To protect the napkins from the drawers sliding open and closed, I brushed Mod Podge OVER top the paper.

Note: make sure you have a generous amount of Mod Podge on the brush or you risk tearing the paper and don't go over the same area twice. 

After it dries use fine sandpaper to smooth out the edges.
Decoupaged Drawer Sides on Floor Standing Jewelry Cabinet

I repeated the same process around the mirror on the inside of the lid.

Decoupaged Lid Mirror on Floor Standing Jewelry Chest

The Oops that was a blessing

Using a lint-free rag, I applied clear wax over the painted armoire. Next, I grabbed my go to horsehair shoe shine brush to buff the wax, forgetting that the last time I used it was on my sister's Black Handcrafted Table to which I had applied dark wax.

Oops, the plan was to have a clean look on this piece but I was loving the depth the dark wax was giving the creamy white. So I kept buffing the dark wax all over the cabinet, without reloading more onto the brush. The subtle antique finish is so pretty.

My sister doesn't know I changed the plan but she'll find out when she reads this post. Hi Carol, I hope you like it?

Jewelry Chest Chalk Painted White

White Chalk Painted Floor Standing Jewelry Chest Open

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time you know I'm all about the legs.

Queen Anne Legs On Floor Standing Jewelry Chest

I'm quite pleased with how Mom's jewelry chest looks now. Goodbye golden oak - hello creamy white.

I wish my Mom could see her floor standing jewelry chest and have the ability to tells us what she thinks. Alzheimer's robbed her of that.

I had just as much fun giving this floor standing model a makeover as I did with all the little jewelry boxes I've done over the years. I call them mini furniture makeovers. Like this Jewelry Box Repurposed Into Remote Control Storage and Mint Vintage Jewelry Box Makeover.

If you enjoyed this Queen Anne Floor Standing Jewelry Chest Makeover, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

Floor Standing Jewelry Chest Makeover Before and After

I'm so excited to see what my talented blogging friends did with these furniture pieces.

Furniture Fixer Upper June Challenge Before Makeovers
Girl In The Garage
Petticoat Junktion
Confessions Of A Serial DIYer

You will find this project linked to these fabulous PARTIES.

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June 14, 2017

Playful Scandinavian Half Painted Chairs

The plan today was to share the easiest chair makeover EVER. One - two hours tops and this baby would be declared finished. Less than two hours later I hung up my shop apron and went for a celebratory dinner. So proud of the way I transformed my beechwood chair into a playful Scandinavian half painted finish.

And then this happened...

The following morning with coffee in hand I went down to the workshop to admire my fulfilled creative vision.

And I hated it.

I'll share the reasons why later in this post but in the meantime, this is the end result - which I love.

Scandinavian Half Painted Chair with Bentwood Stool

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this makeover I'm so excited to announce a new monthly blog series called the Thrifty Chicks.

Thrifty Chicks Monthly Themed Blog Hop

On the second Wednesday of every month, a few of my creative junk lov'n friends and I will be coming together to share a project based on a different theme. This month the theme is chair and our task is to either transform or repurpose a chair.

How To Create The Scandinavian Half Painted Look On A Wooden Chair

Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this post so you can see what products I used or recommend to complete this project. If you make a purchase through the links, there is no extra charge to you and I will receive a small commission to support my blogging wardrobe with a fresh new set of pajamas (don't judge). See my full disclosure policy.

Supply List

Beechwood Chair
Pure Ocean by Dixie Belle Chalk Paint
Linen White by Rustoleum Chalked Paint
Minwax Polycrylic Gloss Finish
Mouse Sander and 80-grit Mouse Sanding Pads
Painters Tape

This is what my chair looked like before...
Danish Beechwood Chair Before Makeover

Not bad for a $2 thrift store find but it did have a little damage on one of the legs. Looks like either a doggie got hungry one day and called the chair lunch or the previous owner sat in these chairs regularly wearing stilettos and wore a groove into the wood. Something tells me it was the later.

Beechwood damaged chair leg before makeover

Prepping and repairing the chair

The first task was to give the chair a good scrub with vinegar and water. Then I filled the gouges and sanded only the parts of the chair that I would be painting. In the photo below you can see how I used painter's tape to protect the areas I would not be painting and to create lines where the chair would be half painted.

Prepping the Danish Wood Chair before makeover

Executing my paint vision

I painted half of the seat, the top rail and dipped feet in two coats of the color Pure Ocean, a turquoise blue chalk paint by Dixie Belle Paint Company. After a couple hours I declared the chair the easiest makeover EVER and walked away proud of my half painted finish.

Hated the look

This is where I walked into the shop with coffee in hand to admire my Scandinavian half painted chair vision and froze.

I hated it.

It looked all wrong.

The dipped legs looked dippy, the back rungs looked naked, and the whole thing looked like a half-baked attempt at painting a chair. Sorry, but in my state of panic, I completely forgot to take a photo.

Onto Plan B

It felt like the chair needed a pop of crisp white but the question was where? Painting the other half of the seat defeated the half painted look. After a lot of pondering I decided to paint just the two middle chair rungs white.

I liked it.

I liked it a lot.

Top half of Scandinavian Half Painted Wooden Chair

But now the bottom half of the chair looked like it needed some white and so I added a white dipped layer above the blue on each leg.

Hated it.


Don't the legs remind you of a croquet mallet?

Changed the plan for Scandinavian Half Painted Chair Makeover

...and the ridges were sanded and onto Plan C.

Plan C

Go big or go home said the Aqua dipped feet.

Scandinavian Chair with Aqua Dipped style legs

I'm much happier with the results - it just needed that pop of fresh crisp white that is so popular in Scandinavian furniture.

Danish wooden chair half painted in Aqua

As for the Bentwood Stool

This is the second makeover for the bentwood stool. Last year I gave it a Farmhouse Style Makeover (oh goodness, I just realized I used the same branches in those photos too). After several unsuccessful attempts to sell it at local markets, it sat in the basement collecting dust. Realizing the stool would pair beautifully with the Scandinavian chair, I gave it a fresh new look.

Top view of Scandinavian Half Painted Chairs with Bentwood Stool

Want to know the best part about my Playful Scandinavian Half Painted Chair?

...there are TWO!

Pair of Scandinavian Half Painted Chairs with Bentwood Stool

If you like the half painted dipped leg Scandinavian look, please share this makeover with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.
Playful Scandinavian Half Painted Chairs Before and After

So what do you think of the Scandinavian half painted chair technique, do you like the look?

I can't wait to see how my talented friends transformed these chairs/chair parts.
Repurposed Dining Chair by Little Vintage Cottage
Repurposed Chair to Bird Feeder by Thrifty Rebel Vintage
Leg-o-matic Chair Refresh by Lora Bloomquist

You will find this project linked to these fabulous PARTIES.

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June 8, 2017

How I Painted A Handcrafted Table Black Without Black Paint

Last week I made the proclamation that no new paint would be coming into the workshop until all the old cans were empty. My sister asked me to paint a handcrafted tiered table her husband recently inherited and she wanted it painted black.

There was only one problem, I didn't have any black paint. Determined to make it happen, in this post I'm going to share how to paint furniture black when you don't have any black paint.

How To Paint Furniture Black Without Black Paint

How I Painted A Handcrafted Table Black Without Black Paint

Black Handcrafted Tiered Scalloped Table Makeover

This is what the table looked like before...
Handcrafted Tiered Scalloped Table Before
I fell in love with the scalloped tier and curvy legs.
Handcrafted Tiered Scalloped Table With Curvy Legs
But especially the hand hewn edge along the top.
Handcrafted Tiered Table With Hand Hewn Scalloped Edge

Prepping for paint

The table had a lacquer finish and so in order to give the paint some bite, I roughed up the finish with a mouse sander and 80-grit sanding pad. Next, I gave the table a good scrub with vinegar and water.

Painting the table NOT black

In my stash was half a can of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ in the color Graphite, a dark charcoal gray.

I tell ya before I applied the first brush stroke, I looked upward towards the heavens and asked out loud to whoever handcrafted this table (assuming they've passed) to please forgive me for what I was about to do.

I painted two thin coats, meaning I added a bit of water to a milk-like consistency and sanded with 220-grit sandpaper between coats.
Handcrafted Tiered Table in Graphite Chalk Paint

Distressing the paint

I ran 220-grit sandpaper along the edges allowing the paint to remove where it may without forcing the distressing. I love the contrast between the black finish and blonde wood peeking through.
Handcrafted Tiered Table Distressed

Turning the gray paint black

It's actually pretty simple to do.

The secret...
Handcrafted Tiered Table Turned Black With Wax
...apply Dark Wax. With a small wax brush in circular motions (like applying hand cream) with and against the grain of the wood and waited about 30-minutes.

It was a beautiful day and if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the photo I posted of me relaxing on the deck mid-day. Why sit in a dark basement workshop watching wax dry when you can be enjoying 30°C (86°F) temperatures outside.
Black Handcrafted Tiered Table
I wiped the excess wax with a lint free rag.

I should note a couple of things. Normally you apply a coat of clear wax first before applying dark wax. Also, with dark wax, you work in manageable sections and wipe away excess wax immediately.

I wanted the wax to be as dark as possible and so waited 30-minutes before wiping away the excess. I wouldn't wait any longer than this or it will be difficult to remove - as it was it took a bit of elbow grease.

Once the excess wax was removed, I buffed the wax using my go-to horsehair shoe brush to a matte finish. Like shoes, the more you buff, the shiner the finish.
Handcrafted Tiered Scalloped Table with props
One would assume this table was painted black, don't you think?
Handcrafted Tiered Makeshift Black Table

Handcrafted Tiered Scalloped Table Before and After

Of course, there is always the option to buy some black paint but if you're in a pinch, this trick will get the job done.

I quite like black painted furniture and have done a few makeovers using black paint. Like this Black Map CoffeeTable and this Black Waterfall Hutch. The hutch is currently for sale in my booth at the Blue Jar Antique Mall for any locals that may be interested.

You will find this project shared at these fabulous link parties.

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June 1, 2017

How To Make Cash Wedding Gifts Special

Nowadays it seems the norm to give cash in a card for a wedding gift. Call me old fashioned, but it doesn't feel very personal. I get that the old days of wrapping a blender or toaster weren't all that personal either but you always remembered Aunt Martha gave us this toaster.

In May we attended my nephew's beautiful outdoor wedding in the Rocky Mountains and I wanted to add something to hold our cash gift and wedding card that was heartfelt and hopefully memorable. Something the Bride & Groom could use afterward for wedding keepsakes or a functional use like a jewelry box, remote control storage, or whatever they so choose.

Personalized and Chalk Painted Wedding Keepsake Box

This is such an easy way to make giving a cash wedding gift more special. Whether you find the perfect box at a thrift store or purchase an unfinished box at Michael's, you can add that memorable personal touch that says, Aunty Marie made this for our wedding.

How To Make A Cash Gift Special With A Personalized Wedding Box

This is what the wooden box looked like before, it still had the original price tag on it. What doesn't say wedding more than the raised LOVE detail and the photo frame lid is perfect for pictures from their wedding day.

Wedding Keepsake Box Before Makeover

Clean, Strip, and Prep 

The first thing I did was remove the felt liner on the inside of the box. Lucky for me it literally popped right out without leaving much glue residue behind because it was attached with double sided tape - nothing that Goo Gone couldn't remove.

Wedding Keepsake Box Interior Before Makeover

Tip: Remove the pieces carefully to use as a pattern for cutting the new liner. Mark the placement of each piece with a pencil to ensure the new liner goes back in the same place for a snug fit.

Once the tape residue was gone, I gave the entire box a good scrub with vinegar and water and wiped dry with a clean rag. I was happy the box was black because it gives the perfect base color for distressing later. To give the paint some bite, I sanded the exterior lightly with 150 grit sandpaper.

Painting the box white

I had some Fusion Mineral Paint in the color Picket Fence leftover from the Funky MCM Bar Cabinet makeover and applied three coats to cover the black finish.

Before the last coat dried I used a damp cloth to wet distress the raised embellishments on the top and around the edges. The paint was protected with a clear wax finish.

Wedding Keepsake Box Painted Picket Fence by Fusion Mineral Paint

Lining the box with scrapbook paper

I must've spent an hour in the scrapbook paper aisle at Michael's looking for the perfect paper to line this box. I hemmed and hawed so long the staff was ready to slap a name tag on my chest. Do I go black and gold, like the wedding colors, or traditional white lace - too many possibilities? I finally settled on this wedding paper...

Wedding Keepsake Box lined with wedding scrapbook paper

As noted earlier, I used the original felt as pattern pieces and outlined them lightly with pencil on the back of the paper. I cut each piece using a Westcott Titanium Paper Trimmer and attached a small sticky note to label where each piece fits inside the box.

Starting with the short pieces, I applied Mod Podge to the back of the paper using a foam brush and placed them inside. Next, I added the long front and back pieces followed by the bottom piece. After the glue dried I brushed two light coats of Mod Podge over the top of the paper for a protective coat.

Adding pretty hardware

I had this pretty knob with backplate in my stash for a couple of years that I picked up at Hobby Lobby. You can read all about that adventure in my post, Canadian Girl's Maiden Voyage To Hobby Lobby.

I measured the front of the box both horizontally and vertically to find the center and drilled a hole using a drill bit the same size as the screw for the hardware.

Chalk Painted Wedding Keepsake Box with Knob from Hobby Lobby

The finishing touches

I've made several wedding boxes for clients (none of which I've blogged about) and I will usually hand paint a graphic onto the top with the Bride & Groom's names and wedding date. This box has a photo frame top and so I contemplated printing the graphics onto wedding paper and slipping them inside the photo frames. However, more than likely they would be replaced with wedding photos so onto Plan B.

Personalized Wedding Keepsake Box with photo frame lid

I had to get creative about the placement of the wedding graphic because on the inside of the lid is the back plate for the photo frames.

Instead, I designed a label on, using their wedding invitation for inspiration and printed it onto Avery Pearlized Ivory Rectangular Labels, and attached it to the photo back plate on the inside of the lid.

Wedding Keepsake Box with personalized graphic

The box was the perfect size to slip the wedding card and cash gift inside and wrap it in a pretty gift bag with tissue.

Wouldn't you agree, receiving a cash wedding gift is that much more special when hidden inside a hand painted Personalized Wedding Keepsake Box?

Cash Gift Inside Personalized Hand Painted Wedding Keepsake Box

Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this post so you can see what products I used or recommend to complete this project. If you make a purchase through the links, there is no extra charge to you and I will receive a small commission to support my blogging wardrobe with a fresh new set of pajamas (don't judge). See my full disclosure policy.
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