How To Transform A Vintage Bookcase Into A Farmhouse Cupboard

I'm on a mission - no new paint comes into the workshop until the existing paint cans are empty. Kind of a challenge when your mind steers toward all the colors you don't have.

The only vision I had going in was that I wanted this Vintage Double Glass Door Bookcase from 1957 to look like a Farmhouse Style Cupboard.

I hemmed and hawed about what color to paint it because it will be going to my booth. I had a strong urge to play it safe with white, which was very hard to resist considering I had a full can of white chalk paint in my stash.

Vintage Bookcase to Farmhouse Cabinet After

I had half a can of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Old Violet leftover from Old Violet: A 1940's Waterfall Sideboard and another in Arles leftover from Waterfall Headboard Bench With Leather Hide Seat. While my brain said no, my gut said throw on the first coat and go from there...and so I did.

Vintage Bookcase To Farmhouse Cupboard with Chicken Wire Doors

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this makeover, I should mention that today is Furniture Fixer Uppers day. That means six talented furniture reimaginers coming together to bring you six fabulous furniture makeovers.

How To Transform A Vintage Bookcase Into A Farmhouse Cupboard

I was contacted by a local company who was in the process of moving and no longer had room in their much smaller office for this bookcase. Lucky for me I acquired it and this is what it looked like...

Vintage Bookcase Before Farmhouse Cupboard Transformation

This was one of those makeovers where I truly was flying by the seat of my pants and told my head to take a hike and let my gut the bookcase speak to me.

Ooops! Changed the plan mid-makeover and how I worked backward

This is a perfect example of, "if you don't like where the makeover's going, change it - it's just paint".
The plan was to paint two coats of Old Violet on the exterior with a dry brush of white and heavily distress with a mouse sander. And then this happened...

Vintage Bookcase to Farmhouse Cupboard with Old Violet Paint Wash

After brushing the second coat of Old Violet on the bookcase I moved over to the doors to do the same. What I discovered was the first coat had a lovely washed appearance that I really liked.

Why I didn't discover this before applying the second coat on the bookcase is beyond me. Poor lighting? Asleep at the wheel? Hyper-focused on the original plan?

Now panicked that the second coat of paint was drying, I dipped my brush in water and applied pressure to thin the paint, unloading the excess paint off the brush and back into the can (waste not want not).

While wet I removed more paint (wet distressed) with a paper towel to reveal some of the wood underneath. It took a lot of paper towels and reloading the brush in water but it worked, giving me the same washed appearance as the doors.

Vintage Bookcase to Farmhouse Cupboard with Distressed Finish

Adding depth to the color and getting dirty with dark wax

Again, wanting to transform this bookcase into a farmhouse style cupboard it needed an antique dirty finish. First I applied a coat of clear wax with a round wax brush, which really deepened the old violet-blue color and enhanced the distressed finish.

Vintage Bookcase to Farmhouse Cupboard Clear Waxed

While the clear wax was still wet I applied a coat of dark wax, rubbing it into the wood grain and nooks and crannies with a small round wax brush in sections.

Next, I wiped away the excess dark wax with a lint free cloth. Once the entire piece was dark waxed I buffed it to a matte finish using my go to horsehair shoe shine brush. You can see the difference between the clear wax pictured above and the dark wax pictured below...

Vintage Bookcase to Farmhouse Cupboard Dark Waxed

The interior that cut the mustard

Again I hemmed and hawed about what color to paint the interior. Initially, I was going to install tongue and groove pine boards to the back but time is money, as they say when flipping furniture.

Instead, I painted the existing oak backboard with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Arles, pulled from the colors in the new knobs for the doors.

Vintage Bookcase to Farmhouse Cupboard with Arles Painted Interior

Out with the glass and in with the farmhouse charm

Initially, the plan was to etch the glass using a farmhouse stencil until my eyes landed on a roll of chicken wire in the corner of the workshop. What says farmhouse more than chicken wire, right? Out with the glass (which I'll reuse someday on a future project) and in with the chicken wire.

Two pieces were cut larger than the door opening and lined up for the most optimum placement to attach the staples. Starting at the top the chicken wire was stapled onto the door frame and then pulled tautly and attached at the bottom. Next, each side was stapled and the excess wire cut with wire cutters. I recommend you wear safety gloves during this step.

Vintage Bookcase to Farmhouse Cupboard with Chicken Wire Doors

Installing hand painted hardware

I've had these lovely large hand painted porcelain knobs in my stash for a few years and was so happy to finally put them to good use. Don't they look perfect not only with the paint colors but with the Farmhouse style transformation?

Vintage Bookcase to Farmhouse Cupboard Hand Painted Knobs

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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How To Quickly Refresh A Perfectly Fine Wrought Iron Plant Stand

...and not feel guilty about it. We have a saying in our house, "if you stand still long enough, she'll paint you". Such was the case with this perfectly good wrought iron plant stand.

Aqua Painted Wrought Iron Plant Stand

There was absolutely nothing wrong with it but you know what? Just because we acquire something, whether it be from a family member or friend, doesn't mean we have to keep it in its original condition if we don't like the finish.

I loved the scroll detail and scalloped skirt around the top but I hated the dark antique bronze finish. In my mind, they were just begging for a pop of color.

Aqua Wrought Iron Plant Stand Makeover with Potted Mums

Same with those lovely curvy legs and scroll base...

Aqua Scalloped Wrought Iron Plant Stand Base

Besides, if I didn't give myself permission to make it my own, it would most likely end up in the corner of a room somewhere collecting dust.

This is normally where I share a before picture. As I was about to press the button on the spray paint can I asked myself if I'd taken a before picture. 100% certain that I had too lazy to go back inside to check, I got busy.

Ahem...imagine this plant stand in an antique bronze finish.

How To Quickly Refresh A Wrought Iron Plant Stand

I only needed these three supplies and an afternoon to get the job done.
Supplies for quick Aqua Wrought Iron Plant Stand Refresh
Disclosure: Below is the supplies I used to complete this project. Affiliate links are included so you can see what products I used or recommend. 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.

Supplies List

Painting The Plant Stand

Before painting the stand I gave it a good scrub, using a toothbrush to get into all the nooks and crannies. I made sure it was completely dry before applying the paint.

I sprayed two light coats of Aqua, letting the paint dry an hour between coats. My preference is to flip the piece upside down and paint the underside first.

Spray Painting Tips

Remember to always use spray paint outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
Shake the can for around a minute before use and often during use.
Hold the can around 10-12 inches from the surface.
Spray lightly in a back and forth motion in long steady strokes.
Wait an hour between coats.
Paint will be completely dry after 24-hours.

I wish I had the before picture to show you a comparison because this pretty Aqua made the plant stand come alive.
Wrought Iron Plant Stand spray painted Aqua

Adding A Protective Finish

Normally at this point, you would apply a clear coat protective finish but I had other plans. I wanted the beaded detail around the perimeter of the top and the scroll detail to be highlighted in white.

I imagined this plant stand being both indoors or outdoors and so using white wax was not an option. Instead, I applied white glaze and once fully cured (in about 3-weeks) it will provide a protective coat.

Aqua Wrought Iron Plant Stand with white glaze

Tips for applying glaze

Dip just the tips of an inexpensive chip brush in water to dampen (not saturate) the bristles. This helps the glaze move along the piece better. Next, dip just the tips into the white glaze and apply it over the paint in long brush strokes.

Normally you brush on glaze and immediately wipe off the excess. Instead, working in sections, I thinned the glaze by moving it with my brush over as much of the surface as I could before having to reload.

Scalloped detail on Aqua Wrought Iron Plant Stand Makeover

On the top, I applied the glaze much the same way in long even brush strokes. I left the glaze a little thicker in the nooks and crannies and divots in the metal, especially on the scrolls and beaded detail on the top.

White glaze over Aqua painted Wrought Iron Plant Stand

I love how the white glaze softened the Aqua paint color.

Quick Wrought Iron Plant Stand Makeover

Now that the wrought iron plant stand went from dark and boring to bright and fresh, I could see it welcoming guests on a front porch or adding a pop of color on a backyard deck.

 Aqua Wrought Iron Plant Stand Refresh

If taking a spray paint can to this wrought iron plant stand makes the difference between it being put to good use or hiding in the basement, then doesn't it make sense to paint it...guilt free?

I hope I've inspired you to pick up a can of spray paint if it means putting that acquired plant stand or metal furniture to good use.

You will find this project linked to these fabulous PARTIES.

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10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas for those living in long-term care

If you've been following me since the Fall then you'll remember back in October we made the difficult decision to move my Mom into a long-term care facility. As the first Mother's Day since her move approaches, I'm struggling with gift ideas. What do you get when Mom only has a small hospital-like room? The gift can't take up much room, shouldn't be too valuable that it risks being stolen,  and falls within the facility's safety guidelines.

As I struggle to come up with ideas I thought perhaps some of you may be experiencing the same challenge. So today I'm sharing 10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas that provide comfort, hold precious memories, and hopefully bring joy for Moms, Mother-in-laws or Grandmothers living in long-term care.

*This Mother's Day Gift Idea Collection has affiliate links which mean that 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.

10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas

For Those Living In Long-Term Care

CLICK ON IMAGES or TEXT to be redirected to Amazon for product details and/or to purchase these great items.

You Are Loved, Throw Pillow

As soon as I saw the sentiment on this pretty pillow my heart melted. What a lovely daily reminder to have on a bedside chair or at the head of their otherwise institutional looking hospital bed.

Twin Patchwork Bedspread

Most long-term care facilities encourage personal blankets or bedspreads to give the room a homey feel. As we recently learned, an expensive duvet can mysteriously disappear. This pretty patchwork quilt style not only conjures feelings of comfort but is inexpensive and machine washable.

Lavender Skin Lotion

Frail skin tends to get so dry and the staff at Mom's facility encourages us to keep a supply of body lotion on hand for them to apply before bedtime. The scent of lavender should help calm and relax Mom before bed.

Paper Flower Arrangement

While flowers are always beautiful, sometimes it is a danger to have real plants within arm's reach, especially with Alzheimer's patients. This is a great alternative that keeps on giving colorful blooms throughout the year.

Floral Hospital Gown

It is difficult for staff to put a regular nightgown over Mom's head now that she can no longer dress. These pretty floral polycotton open back gowns provide complete coverage but make it easy for the staff to slip on and off.


With Mom in a wheelchair, it is so much easier, and I'm sure more comfortable, to put a pair of slippers on rather than shoes. The hook and loop strap on these pretty Champagne color velour slippers it much easier for staff to slip on and off. They come in multiple colors pretty colors too.

8-inch Digital Photo Frame

I love the idea of family being able to upload photographs into a digital photo frame. I especially like that this frame comes with an auto On/Off Timer so the light from the screen isn't bothersome at night. Even better is that it has a video player so you can upload video clips of special events she may have missed.
M808z 8-inch 800x600 High-Resolution Digital Photo Frame - Micca

Multi Picture Hanging Display Frame

If the facility your loved one is in does not allow digital photo frames because of the electrical cord factor, this is a great alternative. I love how this has 30 clips and adjustable twine so family can easily interchange photos with recent events. 

Inspirational Wall Art

I think the sentiment on this adorable Metal Pigeon Heart Garden Wall Art is so fitting. It could be hung on the wall with a photo collage or on the room door.

Summer Wreath

Most facilities encourage hanging wreaths on the doors for a personal touch but also so the residents can easily identify their rooms. This pink peony wreath is so pretty for Summer and at only 14-inches, perfect to hang on a room door.

I hope you were inspired by these gift ideas and found the perfect gift for your loved one.

Happy Mother's Day

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