Saturday, June 10, 2017

Mid Century Book Case Revamp!

Hello Everyone!
Oh my gosh, I have learned how to  do so many new things since Memorial Day!  I want to share them with you, I just don't know where to start.

What have I learned you might ask?  Well....
1.  I have learned how to give myself a homemade hot oil treatment to help keep my turquoise hair lovely and healthy.
How do you love this sexy picture?  Was it worth looking this glamorous for eight hours?
I would say yes, it was worth it. The picture on the left is the picture that inspired me to decide to do a hot oil treatment.  I saw how dry my hair was looking Memorial Day and decided it needed some love.  The picture on the right is my hair a week later after the treatment under the same light.  As you can see, it looks much softer and healthier and the color actually looks a little deeper.  Which is amazing when you think that this is my fourth week of having it this color and everyone warned me it would fade fast.  Wow!  That's a long caption.

2.  I have learned how to cut and weave a shirt so that I can take and old t-shirt and give it that rock-star glam look.  (This is also a good way of making the shirt a little less tight on you if you have added a few pounds.)

This is my Ramones shirt that I have had for forever that I decided to weave to make myself look "rock star chic" for the Rock of Ages Musical I am going to see.

3.  I have figured out how to make flower barrettes using fake/silk flowers so that I can make my own "vintage style" hair ornaments to go with my up-dos.

So I can rock it in a Billie Holiday fashion.  Aren't these photos so glamorous?

4.  I started working on the art for a tiki-mermaid mantle theme for the living room this summer and learned that I can draw pop-art mermaids in the same style as Stephanie Buscema.  (If you haven't every seen her art, check it out. She does the most adorable vintage ladies.) Which is a skill that I think that I am going to use to turn a circle skirt into a kickin'  retro kitschy circle skirt using the old fashion method of fabric painting like they used to do back in the 50's. If I can make this work, I will have the skirt of my dreams for mere dockets rather than hundreds of dollars.

Here's a sneak peak of the pencil sketches.  I will show you the finished version after they are painted and decorating my mantle.  And I will keep you posted on how the skirt turned out.

5.  I sanded, stained and painted my mid-century mod style entertainment center that I bought in October to replace the $30 discount store book case that I was using in my living room!

Since this fifth one is the one that I am most excited about at this second, and I have to take some more pictures of me in the process of doing the others to show y'all how to do them, I am going to show you my make-over of my new mid-century baby!

The Story of my $40 Mid-Century Bookcase/Entertainment Center

Last October, the theatre where I work was having a costume/furniture sale.  Most of the furniture was nothing that I could use, but I fell in love with a little, damaged book case. I love the lines of it and I thought that I could turn into a cute little entertainment center.  It definitely needed some love, the sides were coming apart from where the piece had gotten water damage and the varnish was coming off on the sides and the top.  But I thought that it could be fixed.  So I bought it for $15 and asked my husband if I could store it in his shop.  He agreed with the stipulation that I would have it out of the shop within two weeks.
Well....... Life happened and, fortunately, my husband is a very patient man, so seven months later I finally had the time to start trying to bring it back to something worthy of going in my living room.

This is what it looked like when I pulled it out of the shop.  Its hard to see from this angle, but this is a very basic bookcase with angled legs.  Perfect if you like that mid-century style.  Which I do. I don't really care for the golden color that a lot of the furniture was stained back then, I like a darker wood, and the varnish was coming off the outside anyway, so my first step was to sand the piece with my electric sander.  So I sanded......

And I sanded......

Until it got dark.
So the next day I got into my furniture refurbishing outfit.

Please excuse my closet mess, I was also, at the time of this picture, going through a closet purge.  I got rid of 4 paper bags and one trash bag full of clothes.

Because what workman's outfit isn't complete without the addition of a bow made out of your own turquoise hair.  How much do you love my Frugal Femme phone?!?!?  I'm going to show you how you can personalize your phone like with your own design for only about $3.00 total for the case and all in an upcoming post.
And I sanded........ for what felt like forever.  Until all the old varnish was off the outside of the book case.
It was then, as I was looking at the inside and thinking - that varnish still looks new, its going to take forever to sand off.  That I decided to do some research into dual colored bookcases and how authentic would that look.  Turns out, that it would be pretty authentic.  Lots of furniture back in the 1950's and 1960's played with dual colored stains.  And I decided, mostly because if I had to sand anymore my arm was going to fall off, that I would go with this dual stained look.
So using this as my inspiration picture (even though its painted rather than stained):

I started..........sanding.

Well, to be honest, not right away.  First, I had to fill in the cracks made by the warping of the wood from the water damage.  I know that, to repair this correctly, I was supposed to get the wood wet again and then put it back to its original position using clamps and such and then let it dry.  But that goes beyond my skill set at this time.  So I decided to fill in the cracks with wood putty.  And then I sanded.....

And yes, I sanded some more......

And I sanded yet even more........

Until it was finally ready to be stained!
To be be very frank with you, this is the first piece of furniture that I have stained.  I usually use paint and, I'm not going to lie to you, about halfway through this process I wish I would have chosen to paint it because you don't have to do as much sanding and you don't have to worry so much about air bubbles and things drying in your stain while your stain dries for six hours.
So, this is not a how to blog like many of my other blogs, for that, you should probably go to another blog of someone who does this all the time.  But I was still pretty pleased with my results, so I wanted to share them.
And so I started staining the piece using my inspiration picture as a guideline.

And the first coat was done! (Except for the legs.  I decided I was going to remove them and do those last.)  Don't you think the cracks look pretty good for a first timer?  I do, so don't pop my bubble of pride.
And then I had to wait.  And wait, and wait, and wait.
I didn't do a very thick coat, but Louisiana decided to have one of its most humid days and nights while I was doing this, so it took twice as long to dry.  So I had to wait until the following afternoon to put on the second coat.
And when I was done, the piece looked like this:

The legs were still left, but it was coming along!
And, as I used a two in one stain that both stained and shellac-ed, I didn't have to do a top protective coat.  Hazzah!
For the legs, I decided that I wanted to recreate the look of those metal protective caps that you find on many pieces of mid century furniture.

See the little caps on the end?  I wanted to do that!

But I didn't even know if they made caps for square legs and I didn't want to wait anyway.  So I decided that I would paint mine on using Martha Stewart's Liquid Gilidng in Brass.  (I have used these gilding paints for for so many things!!!  I have painted outlets covers, Ambercrombie's antlers (my pub mascot dear head that I painted white and gilded the antlers), door knobs and locks, and touch ups on my metallic ballet flats.)
First I had to sand and then stain the legs with two coats of stain.  I did not take pictures of that.
Then I could put the gold "caps" on my legs.  My first thought was that I would just take painters tape and put all the way around the legs and paint.
The leg is angled, the tape was not, and getting the tape to line up the way I wanted was not an option.
I briefly considered free handing it, but even though I'm good at painting straight lines, I know that I'm not that good.  So that was not an option.
It was then that I came across the brilliant thought, or at least I thought it was brilliant, of using rubber bands.  I could put them on the legs and push them up and down to position them the way I wanted on the legs.  And I could also see how they lined up before I started painting.  Fabulous!  So, with a solution in hand I started to paint on my "caps".

Notice the rubber bands. :-)

It only took one coat of the gilding paint and it was dry in a matter of minutes.
Then I just had to wait for my husband to get home to hammer the legs back in place with his special rubber mallet for wood that distributes weight so that it doesn't damage the wood, and VOILA!!! My entertainment center was ready to go in the living room.

Its kind of hard to see the "caps" in pictures, although its clear to see when you look at it.  So I took a close up of one of the legs and my vintage vinyl collection.  Most of its Frank Sinatra, but hey, you got to have some of your childhood Disney thrown in the collection right?

I think it turned out pretty well.  And I feel it definitely fits the vibe of my 1965 house.
And that is all that I have for you today dear people.
As you can see from the beginning of the post, I have lots of different things that I want to share with you in the coming month/months and that's not even including the two week menu that I am in the process of creating for a summertime two week menu. So please stay posted and I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my latest project for my home!

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