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Thrift Store Treasures

  • One of the things I enjoy most with old furniture is finding ways to bring new life to an old piece that’s near the end of it’s usefulness.  Just because an old piece isn’t useful in it’s current state doesn’t mean it cannot be transformed into something new that’s both attractive and useful in a home.

    Take old beds, for example.  Most older head and foot boards were made for beds with mattresses were not as thick as pillow top mattresses.  The head and foot boards were typically shorter, and they are now dwarfed by today’s mattresses and bedding.  It’s not uncommon to find these old foot and headboard stacked in the back of used furniture areas in thrift stores.

    These twin headboards shown were great candidates for coat racks. I purchased them last spring–and like any good DIY-er they sat in my lots-of-potential-and waiting-to-be-completed pile.  With cooler weather in Texas (and summer heat behind us) I was able to work on them in my garage!

    When converting headboards like these, I often find it helpful to trim down the length of the legs.  With my circular saw, I did that on both these pieces, at an angle opposite of that on the tops.

    I then primed both pieces with white Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 spray primer.  The top piece was then painted Lowe’s Valspar “Lost Atlantis”, and the bottom Lowe’s Valspar “Turquoise Tint”.   I purchased sample sizes of both of these paints, and they were only $3 each.

    Each piece was then glazed black, Each was distressed using coarse sand paper, and the distressing revealed both the wood tones, and white primer I had applied.  A single coat of polyurethane was applied to each to protect the finish.  I then attached heavy duty wall hangers from Home Depot on the backs, and hooks from Hobby Lobby were placed across the fronts.  The heads of the wood screws used to attach the hooks were spray painted black.

    Both of these pieces now have great potential for coats, jackets, kid’s back packs, beach towels, scarves…you name it!  And they will also add charm and character as decorative wall pieces.

  • How a discarged maple hutch was repurposed into a bookshelf - Before & After from Facelift FurnitureOne of my favorite things to do with furniture is to repurpose pieces destined for the curb.  This maple hutch top was a great candidate for the garbage heap, but I found it instead at a thrift store.

    Separated from it’s original cabinet, it was in an awkward state, left to linger without much a life ahead of it.  But I saw the potential for a bookshelf, having previously repurposed an old hutch in a similar way. So out came my circular saw.  I drew a straight line along it’s sides and back, and then cut away the lower leg supports.

    I then painted it Antiqued White, used Tea Stained glaze to provide a weathered look, and then distressed the piece.  With it’s original adjustable shelves, a  “new” bookshelf was born!

  • Desk with shelves, painted Off-white, chippy distressed, and with Tobacco colored glaze.  New hardware.  

     
    For more Before & After photos
    of upstyled pieces, go HERE.
     
    Or visit our Facebook page for even more Before & After photos
  • Half the fun with upstyling old, dated, weary and worn furniture is seeing the potential.  A recent customer saw what could be done with this clothing armoire, and here are photos to show its transformation.

    The armoire was painted Off-white, distressed, and with tobacco colored glaze accenting the detailed areas.  All original hardware retained.

    More photos below…

     
    Or visit our Facebook page for more Before & After photos
  • Vintage Stereo Cabinet ~ Before & After. From Facelift Furniture's DIY Blog.This highly dated stereo has been completely converted into from an eye sore to an eye catcher that now serves as a flat screen TV stand.  All internal electronics and cabinetry were removed, creating a large storage space accessed through the top.  Includes original burnished brass hardware.  

     *  *  *  *  *  *

    I’m often asked where I buy used furniture, and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Bryan, TX is one of my favorites places to shop.  I frequent ReStore often, along with several other local thrift stores like Goodwill and the Twin City Mission’s Second Chance stores.

    Last summer while launching Facelift Furniture, I purchased this retro stereo cabinet at ReStore and saw lots of potential.  I also realized a lot would need to be done to convert this piece into someone both desirable and usable.  This was a major exercise in deconstructing a piece that was very well built.  Let’s say this was also a great learning experience for someone who is better with a paint brush than building things with his hands!

    First, I had to remove the old stereo components from inside the cabinet.  That wasn’t too difficult, and fortunately my battery powered screwdriver helped a lot with that.  I also had to figure out how to remove those curtains which covered the speakers AND replace them to look like the two inner faux doors.  The faux doors with curtains were popped off by removing long wood screws from the inside.

    Vintage Stereo StepsSomehow, I also needed to remove the inner inset cabinet to open up the area below for storage.  I have to admit, I kind of stalled out at this point.  I wasn’t sure how to get that inset wood out other than by sawing and I wasn’t convinced that was the best way to go.  Additionally, the speakers were still attached and I could not figure out how to remove them.  So until about a month ago, this piece served as a painting stand for many other projects in my shop.  But with spring at hand, I had an itch to conquer lingering projects and this was high on my list.

    Having worked with furniture full time for over a year now, I’ve actually deconstructed a few other pieces, and discovered that heavy wood screws are often key to holding furniture together.  Recently, I wondered if the inner cabinet was held in place with screws that could be removed.  It was, and before I knew it, I had the inner cabinet completely out.  Not so hard after all!  I had to figure out the speakers next, and by accident I realized the speakers nuts tightened and untightened off the bolts the opposite of how we know must nuts and bolts to work.  So off came the speakers.  Finally, the cabinet was completely gutted!

     Now came the last step before painting.  The outer faux doors needed thin wood panels cut to size to fit where the curtains had been.  A few weeks ago, I found wood in my shop that would work, and cut 8 pieces to size.   I was excited to see them fit!

    About a week later, I fastened them in place with both wood glue and small screws, and then reattached the doors back on the cabinet.  In the photo at right, the left door is back on and the right one is yet to be reattached (you can see through the lower speaker hole).

    Now all that was needed was paint.  So late last week, I scuffed and scrubbed down the cabinet for applying grey tinted primer.  Priming itself seemed like quite the improvement!  Then came the actual paint, and my choice was Barn Red, a new addition to our line up.  It’s brighter than than Chili Pepper Red, and I had an idea it would help this piece take a big leap.   

    Yet paint alone is not what makes for a great transformation.  Glazing and distressing take it two steps further–they are like the icing and candles on the cake!  So with a heavy black glaze treatment in the detailed areas, and distressing of wood edges, this cabinet underwent a MAJOR transformation!  The original pulls were reattached in original condition, providing a nice throw back to it’s original design.  

    Vintage Stereo Cabinet ~ Before & After. From Facelift Furniture's DIY Blog.
     
  • For her custom order, Kara selected these super chunky hexagon and coffee tables we had  available for custom refinishing.  Her choice of color was Sea Blue with heavy black glaze.  These pieces were transformed and came to life with a whole new look!
    Sea Blue Chunky Before & After - Facelift Furniture
  • Peacock Blue Vanity DeskBeautifully detailed vanity desk painted peacock blue, with black glaze and light distressing. Six dovetail drawers with original hardware. From top to bottom, this piece exudes charm and character!

     
    Peacock Blue Vanity Desk Front
    White-SPACE
    Peacock Blue Vanity Desk Drawers
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