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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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A little more “Me” in an Antique Armoire

June 10, 2012 in Building and Repurposing, Furniture Makeovers

When my ridiculously cute nephew was born, I gave my sister a couple chests of drawers for the nursery. They fit perfectly in his room… but it left just one problem.  Where would my clothes go?  Well, truth be told… for the last 6+ months they’ve been on the floor in laundry baskets. Now you see why I never show you photos of my bedroom!

I’ve had this armoire in my shed for a while now, trying to decide what to do with it. I knew I wanted it in my room… and I knew I wanted shelves… but what I DIDN’T know was how to “non-invasively” add them. (I think I make up at least one word a day…) It’s a great piece with tons of charm. It still has the original mirrors and even a KEY to open the side door. LOVE!  I wanted to give it a little more “me” though… new knobs maybe?  Maybe something more?

After brainstorming with my Dad (who offered several great suggestions!), I decided to get some metal shelving strips from Lowes to make shelving on the right side.

  1. I bought 2 pieces of 6′ strips
  2. I marked each one dead-center
  3. Then I used my trusty hack-saw to cut them in half.
  4. GNAW might be a more accurate word for my hack-saw technique.  (Don’t look at that step, Dad. You WON’T be impressed)

I measured from the top and marked where each strip should go. Then I just started adding screws! I used the smallest screws possible to minimize the damage to this great piece.

Next up…. the shelves.

I had plywood cut into strips at Lowes and then cut my individual shelves at home with a circular saw. (Don’t be scared ladies… circular saws are our friends!)

  1. I had 2 rolls of contact paper left over from my kitchen cabinets… might as well use them!
  2. I cut my piece and then carefully peeled back the contact paper.
  3. To be honest… the edges weren’t holding. Frown town. What did I do?  PACKING TAPE!  I just added a couple strips on the underside. Don’t judge… no one will ever see it. Unless YOU tell them to bend over and look!
  4. Tuh-Dah! All done!

For now I’ll have 4 shelves on the right and the cubby space on the left. Oh yeah… I also cut a piece of plywood for the cubby space. I wanted everything to feel so fresh and so clean, so clean!

I don’t have pictures of this next part… but it’s pretty self-explanatory.  I carried all the drawers inside and lined them with the same contact paper. I also swapped out the knobs for some fun cast-iron knobs I found 50% off at Hobby Lobby. (…and for any purists out there, shaking your head that I removed the old knobs… don’t worry, I kept them in a zip-loc bag for safe-keeping!

………..and I did one other thing. That, if you ask me, is the ICING on the cake. The cherry on top. The pop that it needed! I used cast iron numbers from Hobby Lobby to give this piece a little more “me”. I hated to drill holes in the drawers though… it is an antique after all. So what did I do?  3M strips! I bought the small poster strips, but they were still a bit wide so I just trimmed them down. Easy breezy.

Ok… Time to spill it.  I hope you love it!    This first pic is “unstaged”… and then I started having fun throwing props (and a dog) into the pictures.  Enjoy!

Bare bones…

….and with a few accessories from around the house….

…a closer look at the numbers (my favorite part!)…


Well,  What do you think?!

Hi Quinn!  How nice of you to show up for the photo shoot. Funny how you have a way of doing that!

I hope you guys like the armoire. I’m still settling in. Can’t believe just how much storage it offers!  I actually sold my headboard/footboard/big dresser/nightstand today… so I’m relying on this armoire to pack some serious storage!  …and in case you’re wondering why I sold everything… well, I want to MAKE a headboard! The pieces I sold were a matching set and I’ve been craving more of a “found” look.

Can’t wait to show you guys the process along the way!  If you scroll back up, you’ll see my mattresses in the armoire mirror reflection. They’re totally sitting on the floor right now. I don’t even have a bed frame!  Eeep!

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend. I’ll be sharing a recipe I tried this weekend in the next day or so. It is tuh-die for. Melt in your mouth good and laughably easy.



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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