Guest Post: The Trashy Girl

Today I have a Guest posting about something new! I am always intrigued by the things people can create and just how awesome creativity can be. And I find it so neat that Facebook reconnected me with this girl from my childhood (our families attended the same church!) and that I am able to share with you the beautiful things she has created.

Veronica, from The Trashy Girl, is sharing how she takes old furniture pieces and makes something new and beautiful. I hope you find her post as interesting as I did! Be sure to visit her blog and follow her on her furniture adventures! 🙂

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Next door to my grocery store stands a 3-story furniture and interior design store. Every time I run to pick up milk, I have to look at it. It’s there. It’s always looming.

You need to buy those pastel tables, Veronica. You need them.

“Shut up, subconscious!”

There is always that pressure to buy the things in the window display because they are so beautiful. There is always that voice telling me not to care about my credit and just throw all my purchases on the card. There’s always that jealous bit inside of me when I see someone walking out of the store with those hot pink candlesticks or wrought-iron birdcage I loved so much.

Then one day, I was at a thrift store and I found a little coffee table. It looked similar in size and style to one in the store window, but it was older, unpainted, and had chipping wood. I almost passed it by. Then, I had the most amazing idea.

I could paint it!”

It took me several tries with several pieces of furniture over the years, but eventually I got the hang of it. Now, I can make furniture or home-decorating pieces in the exact style I see them when they are selling for hundreds. And I can afford mine with the loose change jar or money left over from the food budget. Plus, I can give these pieces a unique touch. I can have truly one-of-a-kind pieces in my home. And it’s so much fun to do, too!

I would love to share with you an example of one such project.

In a thrift store near me, I found a beautiful Link-Taylor bedroom set from the fifties. Every piece had beautiful curves, sturdy craftsmanship, and elegant design. These mid-century pieces are always timeless. I don’t have a truck, nor did I have the $400 it would have been to get all ten pieces of the set. But I did have enough room in our car and enough money to purchase the end tables, so I did. At only $18 dollars apiece, they were a steal!

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Knowing I would paint them, I stopped at the hardware store on my way home and searched the clearance paint section. $5 a gallon for leftover paint? Absolutely! I purchased a gallon of a beautiful light blue pastel and brought it home with me.

In addition to the project piece and paint, other supplies needed included sandpaper, a warm wet washcloth, and a screwdriver. That’s all! Wiping down the table with the cloth, I then sanded the rough edges and any cracking paint until I was left with a clean, albeit dusty, pallet. Wiping again to get rid of the dust, I then let it dry. Now it was time to paint.

If you are painting a very dark wood or a non-porous surface, I recommend putting on a coat of primer first. After priming, paint with the grain in long, deliberate strokes. The lighter the color of the paint or the darker the wood, the more coats you’ll need to apply, so be sure to be patient (this is the hardest part for me) and let each coat dry completely before applying the next.

 

I decided to paint the trim on this piece using simply the smallest-tipped paintbrush I had and some white paint. I actually made the lines imperfect on purpose. There is so much charm in this little touch, and the piece still looks classy and beautiful.

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When it comes to the hardware on the pieces I do (the drawer pulls or handles or hinges), if they are in rough shape, they don’t necessarily need to be replaced. I often use a can of stainless steel-tinted spray paint and just give them a fresh look.

Finally, after all of the paint has been applied, has dried, and is in acceptable shape, I like to put on a protective coating. I use Rustoleum Crystal-Clear Enamel spray. Yes, it’s for rust, but it also puts a beautiful sheer protective coat, and I can use it on just about any surface.

Some pointers to remember when doing any kind of painting project – do it in a well-ventilated area, wear paint clothes, and use a drop cloth under and surrounding your project piece. Spray painting (including spraying the enamel finish) should be done outside.

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I leave you now with pictures of the finished product. As you can see, these tables have been given a fast and inexpensive update. Just remember the next time you see a piece at the thrift store or at a garage sale, think about what it could be rather than what it is. The potential is practically limitless!

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