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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Furniture Re-Do

For part of their Christmas gifts for Grace and Taylor, I refurbished a couple of furniture pieces.
The desk for Taylor was purchased at Goodwill one cold, rainy Autumn afternoon. I already had a small backpack and some drawing paper and markers for part of her gift, so this went perfectly as the main piece. It was in very good shape, though Greg tightened all the screws to make it less wobbly. He says he thinks it was built from a kit.
I sanded it, then remembered to take a photo. Here's the before:
Angela didn't care what color I painted it as long as it wasn't pink. :o) I chose a very bright blue in a satin finish. First I primed using Zinsser Bin 1 2 3. That stuff sticks to anything. Then a couple of coats of the blue.
Instead of painting the seat, I used a thick piece of foam and some lime green fleece. This wasn't my original plan, but it's how it worked out, and the finished look is so bright and fun! Taylor looks like she enjoys it. :o)
The other project was to rehabilitate an old cabinet for Grace. This little cupboard originally belonged to my Aunt Jan. It was a birthday gift to her when she was little, and was built by her uncle (?). I remember this cupboard being in the guest room at Grandma's when I was little. After I had kids, Jan gave the cupboard to me, asking only that I keep it in the family if I ever wanted to get rid of it. I was doing home daycare at the time, so it got lots of use. Once the kids outgrew it, I used it for storage, and a couple of years ago, we took it out to the garage where it continued to store odds and ends I used in gardening and crafting. My estimation is that the cabinet is about 50 years old.
When I was visiting at my brother's house one morning, Grace was playing in their china hutch, claiming one of the drawers as her own. I remembered the little cabinet, and decided that would be her Christmas present, along with a fun little tea set. I talked to Aunt Jan to make sure it was okay to paint and re-do it, first. She was okay with the idea - I hope she's okay with the result! It was passed on to Grace with the understanding that it will stay in the family when they're done with it.
This first photo is the before, though I'd already taken the back panel off. Originally the entire piece had a hard cardboard kind of back on it, but there were holes in it and it was popping off the back, so I got rid of it.
Grace's favorite color is orange, so I picked out five different orange paint chips and had Grace pick her favorite. Her choice was "grated carrot" in a satin finish.
I decided to only replace the back on the bottom part and leave the top open for more of a display cabinet feel. The top doors came off, and the warped shelf was replaced. The replacement is just a white laminated shelf, modge podged with scrapbooking paper.

The drawer handles are original to the piece. The door knobs are what was on the cabinet. I don't remember if I put those on or if they were on it when I got it, but they were gold-ish and tarnished and ugly. They all look great with a couple coats of watermelon-colored spray paint.
We delivered the cabinet a couple of days after Christmas and immediately the kids divided the drawers and shelves between them and started filling it up with the tea set and other toys.
Taylor's desk has a history - somewhere. I don't know who used it, if it was a gift, what their favorite activity was to use it for. We're starting anew with memories for that piece. I hope that it will keep for generations, but whether it does or not, any enjoyment she gets from it now is enough.
Grace's cabinet is full of family history and I hope one day she will appreciate that and be thankful that she and her brothers got to add to the memories made with it. Just seeing how much fun they had filling it up for the first time made me smile.

5 comments:

Susan in SC said...

I love these! How sweet of you to do this for Grace!!!

Songbirdtiff said...

Wow! It's amazing what a little paint can do!

lisalyn said...

I just have to say that I happened upon your blog through the Tuesdays Tablescapes and I thought it was kinda cool to see another blog with the same template as mine. At first I was confused. :) Wondered how my blog got changed. Anyway, nice blog. I like your slideshow and the sidebar where you have your topics listed.
Enjoy your day.
Lisa

Aunt Jan said...

You did a nice job on these pieces. The cupboard needed new life. I'm so glad Grace likes it.
Aunt Jan

Heidi said...

Oh my gosh! These two pieces are just so adorable but what is even better are the smiles on Grace and Taylor's little faces. What a sweet thing for you to do!

Hugs ~
Heidi