And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Latest Project

Here at Barefoot Cottage, we have a lot of disposable furniture. You know what I mean, the big box store presswood and laminate stuff that is fabulous if you move often or live in apartments. It's easy to move, pretty modular (so it fits in a variety of spaces), and relatively cheap.

I hate it. All of it. Every pressed sawdust inch of it. Every time I look at this stuff, I feel like this isn't really our  home. Like I have to be ready to move at any time. And yes, I realize I have issues. 

So, when Mr. Barefoot decided he was going to get himself a new TV for his birthday, and we realized that the new TV was not going to fit in the old entertainment center, a wonderful opportunity arose. I got to buy REAL furniture!

Now, you would think that I would run out and get a real piece of furniture for the TV, right? No way, Jose. See, I already had this wonderful antique dresser (my folks got it for me as a kid) that I thought would be perfect for the TV. It needed a coat of paint (or two, or three), but it would be great. Unfortunately, it was currently being used as storage for our tiny main floor bath. To solve the bathroom storage issue, I took one of the cheap modular bookcases from the dining room, and put that where the dresser had been. That was a much better fit, anyway, as the bookcase was narrower and taller. It fit the space better, and I was able to fit TONS of stuff in bins on the shelves. Not a perfect solution, but pretty good. That left a gaping space in the dining room, and a single lonely bookcase that I didn't really like anyway. 

So, to make a long story short(er): When my hubby got a TV, it was the perfect opportunity for me to get a china cabinet!

$$ is always a factor, and I found this lovely little piece on Craigslist for $50. It's HUGE. Like, 70"w by 79" high. It takes up almost the whole wall!

It was nice enough the way it was, but there was some damage here and there. Chips, damaged veneer, that kind of thing. I didn't take close ups, because I was using my cell to take pics. It was a little dated, but very solid and exactly the size I needed. And I'm a lover of all things DIY, so I figured it would be a piece of cake to spruce it up a little. 

Yeah, piece of cake. What was I thinking. ;-)

It took forever to get all the hardware off, and then I started sanding. And sanding..... and sanding.... Finally, after my arms were about ready to fall off, I was ready to paint. Of course I forgot the all important step of priming the piece, but I was in a hurry. What can I say? Then I had nightmares dealing with the cold fall weather (it being too cold for the paint to adhere properly) and finding time to work on it, and oh-my-gosh-I-need-this-ready-by-the-end-of-the-week-and-I'm-running-out-of-time-what-am-I-going-to-do!!!!! No worries, I made it happen. 

I frosted the two outside glass doors, putting lace down and spraying with Rust-Oleum Specialty Frosted Glass spray paint

I know it's not the greatest picture. But it looks cool, anyway. 

The rest got painted Heirloom White, again by Rust-Oleum. Love that stuff. Mr. Barefoot was hoping for a flat or satin black, but I thought that it would be too dark in our tiny little cottage. Luckily, he was willing to be swayed to my way of thinking. 

All the hardware got hit with a coat or two of Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. Love that stuff. I used it on an old brass lamp/table we got for free when Mr. P's folks moved and didn't want to keep it. Instant facelift on anything. It's also the paint I used on our bathroom vanity to make it all pretty and new. Hunh. Come to think of it, I used it on Mr. Barefoot's old nightstand, too, that got repurposed as a tv stand in the guest space/family room downstairs. Yeah, I love that stuff.

Then came the real trouble. I knew I wanted to distress the china cabinet a bit. But should I antique it or not? I debated and debated, then finally went for it....... and hated it. I have this love hate relationship with fake antique finishes. I love them in pictures, but in real life it just looks dirty to me. So, I dry brushed with the Heirloom White over the antiquing, and hit it with the sandpaper again everywhere I had done previously. It was just enough to tone down the antique glaze, without getting rid of it completely. Finished product? Love it:

I know, I know. I should have taken a picture (and closeups) before I filled it with all of my stuff. Sorry, folks, I was too excited to get my house back in order... at least somewhat. I'm toying with the idea of putting fabric behind the frosted glass doors. The idea was to hide all my books, and the frosted glass just isn't opaque enough to do the job. I think it will help bring out the detail in the frosted lace, too. Mr. Barefoot wants me to leave it alone, but... yeah, when do I ever listen to him. ;-)

china cabinet - $50
paint - approx $30 for both heirloom white and glass paint. I already had the ORB
sandpaper, dropcloth, misc - approx $20

Total: Right around $100, and a few days of hard work followed by several days of cure time for the paint before moving it in. I did not put any clear coat on. I may regret that in the future, but quite frankly I ran out of time. I also know myself well enough to know that this project isn't finished. I will probably be hauling it out in the spring to work on it again, and I don't really want to have to strip off another layer when that happens. So it stays as it is for now, and it's a VAST improvement from what I had.

Now I just have to paint the walls (I have picked the perfect color already), replace all the trim in the house, make a new table top for our dining table and paint the base and chairs........ 

Next time, maybe I'll tell you the story of my dresser makeover...

~....And that's all I have to say about that....~


webb said...

Lovely, just lovely. You did a great job and should be very proud of yourself!

Kelli said...

LOVE it!!! I have to say I wasn't very hopeful when I saw the before pics but you have it looking totally kickass now!!!

Kelli said...

I showed it to my hubby and he really liked it, too. Were the lights part of the original unit, or did you put them in? They look awesome.

Also, we vote for the fabric behind the doors. I think you're right, the lace detail would show up better.

Anonymous said...

Dear Barefoot Gardener:I think that your hutch thing came off real nice! You have got so much energy just when you need it.You know what, I have this "little" um BIG, project that I could really use some help with, even if you could help me just with your wonderfull imagination I think that I could make it happen!! It's a corner stand shadowbox kind of thing, that I have been building for the wife but getting nowhere real fast for the past 3 years. Please help! D.J.H. THE POINTLESS FOREST

barefoot gardener said...

Webb - Thanks so much!

Kelli - Glad you like it! The lights were part of the original unit, and Mr. Barefoot is so cute about it. He loves to play with the lights just like a little kid. Hehe! Don't tell him I said that! lol! I agree about the fabric, so now I am on the lookout for the perfect fabric and thinking about the best way to attach it.

D.J.H. - Love you! I will give you a call.... later this week, I think?

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

That is 100% amazing! Respect!