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Workbench Makeover {aka The Night I Forgot my Lifetime-Movie Education}

November 9, 2012 in Building and Repurposing, Furniture Makeovers, Gettin' Crafty, Thrifty Thursday

Do you watch Lifetime Movie Network? Odds are, you’re shaking your head yes. That is… if you’re a girl. OR – if you’re a married man. Face it guys… you’ve watched it too.

After logging countless hours of lifetime movies while killing time on the couch or painting rooms, and I like to think I’ve learned some valuable life lessons…

…or have I?

You know me… I love to find my men on Craigslist!

I saw this hunk-a-hunk-a-workbench-love and sent the guy a text. This just might be the workbench makeover I’ve been looking for! He responded with the photos above. Hmmmm For $30, what do I have to lose?

When he told me I couldn’t GPS his address, that should have been a warning to my Lifetime-watching self.

When he told me to follow the gravel road for three miles…

When I arrived after dark at the house and it sat a quarter-mile off the gravel road…

But as I pulled up and saw how flippin’ gorgeous the house was… and then turned my head and was instantly, insanely jealous about the uh-mazing workshop big enough to EASILY fit 8 cars inside…  my worries fell aside.

…and then Steve walked out. Old enough to be my Dad and walked with a bit of a limp. (He later revealed he recently had a wart frozen off his pinkie toe. Yup, Steve was an over-sharer… more examples to follow)

So Steve and I started yappin’. He lit up when I told him I like to tinker with power tools.  LIT. UP!

“You wanna see my pile of junk?”

Gee Steve, I thought you’d never ask. Heck yes!

Next thing I know, Steve’s digging in his shop for a flashlight because he wants to show me the pile on the side of the building. Yup… pitch black over there.

Did I follow Steve into the darkness?

Why yes, yes I did.  I’m sorry Mom. I know I shouldn’t have. But he said “pile of junk” and that’s like telling a 4 year old you have a lifetime supply of candy in your creepy van.

And WOW!  What a great pile of junk!

We got the workbench loaded in the car and as he helped me BUNGEE CORD my back hatch down, he says quite possibly the best thing he said all night.

“Ya know, if you’re gonna go junkin’, you gotta getchurself a truck.”

Wise words, my Steve. Wise words.

Side note – Santa, I could use some bungee cords for Christmas. Apparently those things are infinitely handy!

After not so securely fastening my hatch, Steve-O turns to me and says -

“You wanna come inside and meet my wife and see the house?”

My inner-Lifetime-Movie-watcher should have screamed “STRANGER DANGER” and jumped in my car… but did I?

“Ummmmmmmm Sure!”

Sorry again Mom… I know…. I know better. But the house was SO pretty and I could see a gorgeous kitchen through the windows!

So we head inside, I meet the wifey, and next thing I know, I’m getting a room-by-room tour of their home. Admittedly – I think the wife thought I was crazy… and between us, I probably was.  What the heck was I doing IN THEIR HOME?! Every time I was about to politely leave, I’d see something in another room that would suck me in. Gah. Gorgeous house!

So an hour later, I finally left.  But you should be proud of me…. I consciously made it a point to NOT allow myself to be cornered in a room. Ha! See – I told you I learned something from my Lifetime movies!

…and Steve wants me to call him so I can come back for him to teach me how to weld. Will I call? Probably not. :-(   But MAN I’d love to learn how to weld!

Steve might be right… if I’m gonna go junkin’, I need to getmyselfuh truck.  I laugh every time I see that workbench hanging out the back. It’s like my hatch flew open and my car threw up a workbench!

…and YES – I got that thing out of the car ALL. BY. MYSELF.  A wise man once told me -

“You’re strong like a small pony.”

I think he’s right.

The awesome people at Minwax sent me this can of stain to try out.  Have you heard of CLASSIC GRAY Minwax Stain?  Oh man… It’ll knock your socks off. It’s the perfect greyish grey without any red (rusty) undertones.

I flew home the next night to sand the top of the workbench and put a coat of classic gray Minwax stain on top. This stuff is really easy to work with!  Just brush it on, being careful to keep a wet edge. Then I let it sit for about 15 minutes. After that, I buffed it with an old t-shirt to remove excess stain. All of that happened well after dark… but this is what I saw in the daylight the next morning:

Yup… I’m liking it!  I concocted my own homemade chalk paint like I did on my last Craigslist Beau and gave him two coats of paint on the base.

Without further ado… what do you think?!

Not too shabby for a $30 workbench makeover, eh?!  He cleaned up right nice. I think Steve would be proud. He did build this with his own bare hands after all!  I love the time-worn dings and scuffs on the workbench. So authentic!

…and I think this workbench will be PERFECT for my craft room… paired along side my vintage lockers. Stay tuned… and update on those COMING SOON!

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Burlap Coffee Sack Bench Makeover

June 6, 2012 in Building and Repurposing, Furniture Makeovers, Gettin' Crafty

I got home from work tonight and went straight to work. Normally I use the DIY tri-fecta as my excuse for sitting on the couch, but tonight was not the case.

What’s the DIY tri-fecta? Well…. That’s my term for the perfect combination of Time, Money and Motivation.

Sometimes I’m motivated but I don’t have the time… or maybe I have the time, but I don’t have the money for all the supplies…. and sometimes I have time and money, but zippy motivation!

Tonight though… tonight the stars aligned. The tri-fecta was on my side.

  • Time – check.
  • Money – (already had everything) check.
  • Motivation – (hallelujah!) check.

I got to work on a project that’s been sitting in my basement for a year. (Yes… a year…) I’m not proud. I’ll admit it. I’m well on my way to being featured on an episode of Hoarders.  Call TLC… book my episode for 10 years from now. I just made that exact comment to a friend the other day. Scary how true it might be! :-)

Rambling… Dana, stop it!

Ok – lets dive in and get our hands dirty……..

I snagged this bench/stool/thingamajig at a yard sale last summer. It liked the size and the chippy black paint. Originally I wanted to paint it, but ultimately I decided the worn black paint was perfect for what I wanted to do.

  1. I gathered my supplies… Stool, spray adhesive, foam (yes, my dogs got to it before me.  Brats!), and a burlap sack.
  2. I trimmed the foam to size using a bread knife. It worked perfectly!
  3. I sprayed the foam with adhesive and stuck it down. Woop whup!

I used my trusty ol’ air compressor and brad nailer (with 1″ staples). It’s served me well… our first project together was the board and batten way back when!

I started with the short sides, sending a staple into each side of the stool. Then I just carefully stapled along each of the short sides, being careful to keep the fabric taut, but straight. I had to trim the long sides… there was just way too much burlap. Then I just slowly worked my way around, doing my best to tuck the corners. It’s not perfect… but neither is the paint job. Maybe it’s better that way!  I love using my nailer for projects like this. It’s SO much easier than a hand stapler. Trust me… your knuckles will thank you!

This was a really easy project… I might have spent a 1/2 hour total on this makeover. Of course, that doesn’t include time spent going to the store to get the foam (1/2 off at JoAnns with a coupon!)… but I bought that a year ago (yessss, a year ago….) so I’m not including that. Hey it’s my blog… I get to make the rules!


Just a quick recap…

  • Stool – came from yardsale
  • Foam – 50% off from JoAnns. Can’t remember the price, but it’s sold in stores!
  • Burlap coffee sack – $2 at Royal King (It’s a farm supply store)
  • Spray adhesive – already owned
  • Nail gun and staples – already owned

So that was my adventure for the evening. Love when the DIY tri-fecta comes together. Can’t wait to show you guys my next project. I should be able to wrap it up this weekend. I finally suckered some help carrying it into the house tonight. Trust me… it’s heavy!


Looking for more inspiration? Be sure to stop by some of my favorite link parties!

Monday The DIY Showoff | Craft-O-Maniac | Dittle Dattle | Making the World Cuter | Lines Across Tuesday How to Nest for Less | Home Stories A2Z | Tip Junkie | Sassy Sites | Coastal Charm Wednesday Southern Lovely | Primitive & Proper | Ginger Snap | Blue Cricket | Someday Crafts Thursday Live Laugh Rowe | Crafty Scrappy Happy | Perfectly Imperfect | Somewhat Simple | CSI Project Friday Miss Mustard Seed | Shabby Nest | See Vanessa Craft | Remodelaholic | 504 Main | Addicted 2 Decorating Saturday Funky Junk | Tatertots & Jello Sunday Nifty Thrifty Things | Sisters of the Wild West | Under the Table & Dreaming

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Curbside Coffee Table Rescued

November 17, 2011 in Building and Repurposing, Furniture Makeovers, Living Room

It’s true. I picked this one out of someone’s trash. Yup.  No shame.  Well…. Maybe a little shame. I did drive past the house 3 times before I got up the urge to pull over.  Then I staked it out for a minute to see if anyone was home. I bit the bullet and made a mad dash for the table, glanced it over up close and threw it in the back of my lil ol’ SUV. Woop!

Here’s the story of how my chippy little curbside find made it’s way into my living room!

I’ll admit – the table sat in my basement for a few weeks months until I decided to get cracking. If you saw my basement, you’d be calling TLC to sign me up for Hoarders.  My college roommate Bonnie was in town this past weekend for an UH-mazing visit with her gorgeous baby girl and hubby.  Every time someone went down to the basement, I shouted after them “Don’t judge me!” or “I can feel you judging me!”   Am I the only one that uses my basement as thrifty-finds-storage until the urge hits me to tackle a project?  Please say no.

In the pics above… here’s the breakdown…

  • Top Left – …..pictured in all her chippy, unfinished, cobwebby, “ewww what is that?” glory. It looks like she originally had glass inserts. No sweat. I can work around that.
  • Top Right – I went to Lowes and spent about 20 minutes mixing and matching varying width boards until I found a good combination. I highly recommend laying your boards out if you are going to butt them up like this.  You wouldn’t believe how many of them are warped! I (thank goodness) snapped this photo at the store so I would know how to line them up again at home.
  • Bottom Left – When I got home I laid them across the table top to see if I’d like the way I was headed with this project.
  • Bottom Right – ….yeah I missed a few pictures. Here’s a quick rundown:  Painted 2 coats of Annie Sloan’s Old White Chalk Paint right over that black finish (after washing it down first of course). The boards were sanded VIGOROUSLY and got one coat of Minwax Special Walnut stain.  I used wood glue and my brad nailer to attach the boards to the coffee table frame. Moved the table into the living room and “lived with it” for a few days to see if I liked the stain.

Decision made.  Needs more stain. I decided I wanted the color to be just a bittttt richer.

Pics Above:

  • Top row – Wet stain. Taken a couple seconds apart, but the lighting was a hair different. Decided to show you both!
  • Bottom row – Dry stain after wiping off the excess. Much better!

….and there she is in the living room!  After the stain dried I lightly sanded and distressed the base and gave the entire piece some Annie Sloan clear wax. One coat bottom and two coats top. Lil’ buffin’ and there she be. :-)

Originally I had thoughts of painting numbers or a design  (logo or something of that sort) on the boards to make them look like they were older and possibly snagged from a crate or wooden sign. After putting it in my living room though I was afraid it might make the room look a little too busy. I have the gallery wall, the dresser with the TV, a console table… would a jazzed up coffee table be overload? Thoughts? Discuss amongst yourselves… :-) I also had thought about adding some “jewelry”… maybe some metal hardware to the top to make it look like a gate or crate turned table top?  I searched high and low for something, but didn’t really know exactly what I wanted… try explaining THAT to a store employee when they ask if they can help you. Ugh. After living with the table though, I realized I put my feet up on it… a lot. And if I added metal to the top it could make it uncomfortable.

So here are a couple last shots of the table as it is today…. still not sure if I’ll jazz it up a bit… but for now I’m content. Maybe another day!

…and as I write this post, here’s what I’m looking at… last night’s Survivor on TV, my gallery wall, and a cute lil boxer face begging for attention.

Yeah she looks a little crazy there. I’ll admit it. Here’s her sleepy face:

Awww… snuggles!  I’ll show you more of the ladder you saw hiding out in the corner of the living room in the next couple days… and maybe a couple good shots of my new (old) scale that’s camped out on the coffee table right now.

PS – Can you believe those little pumpkins you see scattered throughout the living room were bought at Walmart last week for TWO CENTS a bag… less than a penny a piece! What!

Please check out some of the awesome link parties where I’ll be linking up. There’s a day-by day list in the sidebar to the right and a full run-down on my Features and Parties page!

Be sure to check out the awesome link parties where I’m hanging out this week. They’re organized by day on the right toolbar and can also be found here! Special thanks to Home Stories A2Z!

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