custom, DIY, furniture

A Place to Hang Your Hat

My partner and I have consistently complained that we needed a better place to hang our new farm hats other than plopping them down on the kitchen island or the new bar cart every night after a long day of work. We couldn’t justify spending $40 on a hat rack that we weren’t in love with… ok, that I wasn’t in love with, especially when I know I  could make a better one.

IMG_4549

The solution seemed simple… Make one! Just last month, I refinished a lovely little bar cart for my home. I had some leftover wood from the new top that I had fitted and some remaining paint as well. I also collect knobs and hooks when I go to craft stores because I always think, “Oh! I like that! I’m sure I’ll find a project for that.” I never know when I’ll need them, so sure enough… these little wooden knobs were a good previous purchase.

My apologies, the pictures aren’t the best. Our little wood cabin is pretty dark and the wood walls don’t help. (Side note: Can I tell you how difficult it is to decorate a wood walled cabin when you have wooden furniture?! It’s a lot of wood.) I combat it with as much white as I can to brighten it up though.

I really enjoyed making this little hat rack, so if you’re in need of a quick little hat rack, I’d be more than happy to make you a custom one for cheaper and better made than the ones you’ll find at the store. Email me!

Before & After, custom, DIY, furniture

Dresser All Dressed Up

Have you ever had a project that you’ve had on your list for a little longer than you care to admit? Well, I’ve got a few of those in my shop. Things are a little slower these days as far as custom pieces so I’ve had some time to catch up. I acquired this dresser years ago and have moved it several times. I’m happy to say that she’s now received the makeover I’ve been meaning to give her!

Dresser Makeover

This dresser had some rot on the bottom but the rest of it was in incredibly sturdy condition.

  • Removed all drawers, doors, and hardware
  • Flipped several times to remove the bottom piece with rot
  • Trimmed the side pieces and rebuilt for support
  • Sanded down and filled all major blemishes
  • Painted with dark grey paint
  • Applied ebony stain to new feet and piece
  • Attached new hardware with leather accents.

This piece is for sale. If you are in the Austin area and interested, please contact me.

Before & After, custom, DIY, furniture

Step Into Some Turquoise

Years ago, someone gifted me with this little table. I’ve been holding onto it because I just couldn’t find the right idea that matched its personality. I thought I wanted to do multi-colored striping on the top section. Admittedly, I wasn’t in love with that, but with a little patience, the right one finally came along.

Step End Table Makeover

This little guy was structurally sound but just needed some cosmetic repairs.

  • Remove all peeling wood and sand down
  • Fill various holes and cracks
  • Glue some of the laminate
  • Redefine crevices with Dremel tool
  • Paint teal, gold, and black
  • Coat with a polyurethane

This piece is for sale. If you are in the Austin area and interested, please contact me.

Before & After, custom, DIY, furniture, Uncategorized

Bar Cart Makeover

Back in August, someone had gifted me a few pieces of furniture during their downsize/move. This bar cart was one of the few and for the first time ever I thought, “I’m doing this one for me.”

The thing about moving into a new cabin in the Texas Hill Country is that believe it or not, I didn’t have a whole heck of a lot of furniture. I had done a huge downsizing myself just a year and a half before. I mean, I had all the furnture in my shop but… the bar cart is the only thing I saw coming into my home. The funny part of this is I don’t drink anymore, but I sure need the extra storage!

The Bar Cart Breakdown

Here’s a breakdown of what TLC this bar cart received:

  • Removed warped top and all hardware
  • A quick sand and a coat of white paint
  • Cut a new top down to size
  • Stained entire piece with walnut tinted wax
  • Replaced all hardware including door latches and stops

Here she sits in our front entrance way under the shelf I made with the same stain and all my house plants.

Before & After, custom, furniture, Updates

The Workshop is Open!

I have yet another exciting announcement to make: The workshop is now open! I know I’ve posted a few chairs here and a bench there, but the workshop is now fully operational and ready to take on larger pieces for custom refinishing work.

What does that mean?

What does that mean exactly? Well, if you have a dresser, a desk, perhaps a dining room table set that is in need of some TLC and elbow grease, it means that I now have the space to be able to refinish these pieces. It’s very exciting!

The Perks

My previous shop was a great place to get started and I rented it for years. I had great company, views, and space. While the new shop is just a little bit smaller, I have to say the perks are worth it. It is bright, has windows, airflow, cabinets, and most importantly, it’s sealed off from the elements. And… I’m rigging it up for AIR CONDITIONING! I cannot tell you the number of times I have dripped sweat into a finish and had to start over. This is so exciting. The best part? It’s right outside my front door. I can have coffee and stroll just a few feet to the shop and go back and refill on coffee in seconds. (Clearly, the coffee is important.)

All this being said, bring your rundown furniture to me for a furniture makeover. C’mon! Keep me in the shop as much as possible!

Before & After, furniture

Pride Bench Transformation

I’m continuing with the PRIDE theme over here, as it is PRIDE MONTH! Plus I still had some of this fabulous fabric left. So far, I’ve created a PRIDE Embroidery piece, plus a pair of chairs, but what I’m most excited about is this bench. It’s definitely a huge transformation for this piece.

PRIDE Bench IMG_3872

Several years ago, the owner of the bar I managed gave me this little bench. It’s been sitting in my studio for quite some time. I thought about redoing the original seat, but I decided to really give it a big makeover using the rainbow fabric. I’ve never really done a lot of reupholstery other than the occasional seat cover. Let’s just say I have a whole new appreciation for those that reupholster furniture. Between the corners and covering some of the structural work… I learned a lot.

The Process

  • Removed the original seagrass seating and swept up piles of dust
  • Sanded down the bench and filled in holes
  • Put in seat support framing and fitted a new seat top out of wood
  • Painted the bench a mustard yellow
  • Installed 3″ foam cushion and reupholstered with rainbow fabric.

This bench is for sale. If interested, please feel free to comment or email me! It needs a good home! (Let me know if you need a pillow to match… I think I have enough fabric left.)

Before & After, furniture

The Prideful Pair (of Chairs)

I posted just the other day about PRIDE in my “Embroidery with Pride” post. Well, I didn’t think of any reason to stop there. I wanted to keep the theme going for the entirety of June as it is PRIDE Month. That being said, I’d like to show off this fabulous set of chairs I recently refinished.

IMG_3912

The Prideful Pair

FullSizeRender

Several years ago, I refinished a rocking chair right after David Bowie’s passing. I reupholstered it with this loud rainbow fabric. I’ve been holding onto the remainder of it waiting for the perfect time and pieces to use it. PRIDE seemed like the only appropriate time to me. In my mind, these chairs were the perfect choice. Their simple build allows a lot of room for loud paint and the rainbow fabric.

The Process

  • Removed the seat, sanded, filled in holes and dents, then continued with structural repairs
  • Applied sky blue base, then an overcoat of purple and sanded down to achieve the distressed look
  • Continued with a polyurethane topcoat for maximum durability
  • For the seat, I removed two layers of upholstery, including countless staples and upholstery nails
  • Put in new seat padding and reupholstered with rainbow fabric.

These chairs are for sale. If interested, please feel free to comment or email me! They need a good home!

Before & After, custom, DIY, furniture

Raising the Bar

Raising the bar… or at least, trying to.  It’s been a little bit of a nutty week over here and I feel like I can’t quite seem to bounce back from last week.  Why am I so flustered? Well, my truck got broken into, laptop stolen and much more. As someone that lives out of her laptop between blogs, marketing, social media, editing pictures, etc. it’s been a little bit of a whirlwind with changing passwords, locking screens, and calling all sorts of agencies from banks to the IRS and everything in between.

With all the craziness, I’ve been trying to focus on the things that matter.  A laptop and window can be replaced. While the majority of my pictures and documents were online or backed up, some of the most recent work wasn’t. Therefore, I’ve just been focusing on creating new things to share. Some of the images that I can’t get back are the high resolution pictures of this new bar I refinished.  I think the iPhone pictures will work for now though.

This little bar cart was a curbside find by it’s current owner.  It was in need of some serious structural work, before receiving a light sand and a coat of paint. After the repairs were made, the first coat of paint was applied only to discover Home Depot mixed me the wrong color! Now, knowing that there is no return policy on paint, I decided to improvise and mix what paints I had in the shop instead.  I ended up with a cool charcoal grey coated with an ebony stain.  A much better fit rather than the vibrant navy that had been first applied.  The hardware was upgraded and she was ready to return home!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

custom, furniture

Home Decor & the New Year

Happy New Year! 

I sincerely hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday and rang in the New Year surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones.  I, myself, had a very quiet holiday and spent it with friends and their family. It was filled with cooking, of course, and a little bit more lazy time than I typically allow myself.  2020 is here though and chomping at the bit so it’s back to “work”.  

Besides cooking up a storm and experimenting with new recipes, I’ve been getting a little more time in my shop these past few weeks. While the cooler weather doesn’t necessarily agree with my fingers, some of the pieces that I’ve been completing have got me, let’s say, starry-eyed. 

Request for a Galaxy Desk

One of my favorite things about doing custom work is the challenge. It gets my brain going in a different way. When this client approached me about a desk, I was over the moon. She set her parameters: purple and if you can make it galaxy-themed that would be great.  Admittedly, a galaxy themed desk wasn’t something I had done before but with a little inventiveness, I think this Facebook Marketplace find that was scuffed up, drab brown, and some minor structural damage is now sturdy, smooth, and a touch over the top.  A desk this glam needed a chair to match so I grabbed one from my overstock of chairs and threw some paint and velvet on it… BIG BANG! 

 

Midnight Blue Chair

As I previously mentioned, I have an overstock of chairs in the shop.  It’s one of those items that people gift to me to refinish and flip. This particular chair I decided to refinish and give back to the owner this holiday season. Knowing their favorite color was blue made it pretty easy.  These chairs are American-made and hard to come by. Oddly enough, it’s the second one to come through my shop.  While this one had some chew marks on the legs from a puppy, I chose to sand it down and keep the blemishes as I thought it added character and it’s something for the owner to chuckle at. After, I painted it a deep blue, applied a walnut stain to the exposed wood, and finished it with wax. 

If you’re in the Austin area and have a piece of furniture in need of some TLC, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’d love to help.

DIY, furniture, Uncategorized

Spring Cleaning

With moving and sprucing up a new (older) home, I feel like I’ve actually been Spring Cleaning for months.  But now that Spring, however slowly, is on her way in, the real tidying up can begin.  In my last post, I mentioned the longing to be in my wood shop.  If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been lacking in the refinished furniture department quite a bit.  

My poor neglected shop had really become a storage unit while the dust settled on the home front.  And as soon as it settled, I went ahead and stirred it all up again, with the appropriate respirator, of course. 

This past weekend, I completely reorganized my shop space.  I mean, moved every piece of furniture, took out every paintbrush, went through every container of stain and paint.  I’m grateful for the pot of coffee faithfully by my side to help aid in the process. 

I said farewell to several pieces of furniture that were past salvaging, made a list of new items to join the shop, and have cataloged all the pieces I will be refinishing soon. 

I wanted to share with you what I have in store for these pieces!

Wood Chairs – Pair

These wooden chairs are in great condition.  They’ll be getting a light sanding, painted either red or more of a dark turquoise (still deciding) with a stained finish, and reupholstered with this Frida Kahlo fabric.  

Dresser

This dresser came from Germany in the 1960s.  It does have some water damage on the bottom and I will do what I can to salvage this part of it.  I’m thinking of painting with a dark grey and having these fabulous leather wrapped brass pulls from Anthropologie for the outer handles. 

Dresser

Coffee Table

Someone gifted me this coffee table a while back.  I’ve been so intimidated by the veneer, but I think I have found a solution.  Inspired by the painted benches at Fresa’s Restaurant on South First in Austin.

 

Chairs- Set of 6

I posted these chairs way back when.  They have beautiful yet simple carved designs in the back.  I wanted to stay true to the originals on these.  I’ve begun staining them a little darker than how they came to me.  I’m planning on refinishing the seats in a plush velvet, perhaps turquoise.

 

1916 Vanity 

This little beauty needs a lot of work.  Removing the original paint is a beast of an undertaking, and the mirror frames need a lot of work too.  I have every intent on keeping the original glass, despite its age and blemishes.  I’ve started painting it pink.  That’s not too much, right?

China Cabinet 

I’m not going to lie, I wish I had space for this piece myself.  I am planning on painting it a light grey with a walnut stain and keeping the legs with the original wood and, of course, getting glass in the door.

img_0351.jpg

If any pieces speak to you, let me know. I’d love to find a home for these gems and make more room for neglected pieces to come in for love and a spruce. 

Contact me at lauralee@madebylauralee.com