I’m not really a fan of my bed. It was my grandmothers and really wanted to keep it but I’ve always wanted a romantic vintage metal bed. So I’m trying to make it work. I’m afraid to paint it until I know what I’m doing with my bedroom. So to make the bed look better, I tried out a lot of nightstands. I couldn’t seem to get them right either. They were either too big, too small or not the right color.
In my basement I found an old nightstand from when I was a kid. It had seen better days. The veneer was pulling away and it had water stains. I did a lot of research and found that the secret to fixing it is wood glue, water and a hot iron. It worked and you wouldn’t even be able to tell once it was painted. I painted it with CeCe Caldwell’s Destin Gulf Green.
I took a workshop at Community Forklift with Shabadaba Chic on transfers. She showed us how easily you could print an image and then transfer it to furniture or fabric. I wanted to give it a try on the nightstand and found an image I liked from Graphic Fairy . The hardest part was getting the image exactly where you want it. I thought I had it right but it was either a little high or a little too low.
I loved the nightstand so much, I went on a search for another one on Craigslist to use in my bedroom. I’m happy to report I found one for $30.
I can honestly say this is not how I wanted the cabinet to look. I had a completely different vision for it. I guess it is true when people say “the piece spoke to them”. Or in my case the mistakes spoke to me.
This was my cabinet from when I was a little girl. It had stickers all over it and my sister and I wrote our names inside the door. I’m not sure why but we also wrote the words cat and dog on it. I bet we were feuding about which animal was better. I liked cats and she liked dogs.
At some point and time I painted it a high gloss blue and it was that color for many years. I was planning on painting it with Annie Sloan’s Duck Egg Blue. I’ve never painted on high gloss paint before with Annie Sloan’s paint and was curious to see how it would turn out. So I went to town and I painted the whole cabinet in no time flat. Then a few hours later I went back and the cabinet looked just like it did before. WHAT…the paint didn’t take!!! I thought it didn’t work on high gloss paint and I headed to Google to do a little research. My solution was to try putting primer on first. I just finished painting my dressing room with paint and primer combo by Marth Stewart in Butternut Squash. I didn’t have any other primer handy and thought it really wouldn’t matter because you wouldn’t really see the pink/peach color. After the primer/paint dried I added another layer of Duck Egg Blue.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to end up with but I started sanding. Not sure why but I moved from lightly sanding with my hand to using my electric sander. I couldn’t believe what was being revealed. In my opinion it was gorgeous. I always liked dressers that look like they have been really roughed up but never thought I could do that. I was so happy to see all the colors coming thru.
I finished it up with some antiquing wax and added the handles I found at one of my favorite places The Pink Cabbage in Ellicott City.
Now here is the crazy thing, the Duck Egg Blue chalk paint DID work on high gloss paint without primer. I figured this out when I started putting wax (by accident) on the inside of the door where I didn’t put any pink primer. So really I did all that for nothing. However, I’m so happy I did because it is my favorite piece.
UPDATE: I moved the cabinet into the hallway and I use it to store my bathroom towels. The hall is painted yellow. I don’t think the cabinet displays well with the yellow paint. So guess what has been added to my to do list.
I live in an 1894 folk Victorian house with no central air. So twice a year I go thru one of my least favorite rituals….the changing of the AC units. I used to take them down two flights of stairs to the basement. UGH!!!! I always waited too long and end up installing them when it is humid and 90 degrees or removing them when it is freezing cold outside. Now, once they are removed they don’t go far. Usually they end up in front of the window on the floor and become the new table in that room. All sorts of things would end up on top of it even my cat Pablo. Every day I would pass by it and wish that it would go away or that I had a closet it would fit in. If you ever lived in an old house you know that is almost impossible. My closets aren’t deep enough to hang clothing in let alone put an AC unit it in.
So I had an idea!!!!! I wanted them to disappear. I didn’t just want to cover it I wanted it to be unrecognizable. My goal was to use what I had and not spend any money. So I looked around the house and thought why not dress them up. I had several mannequins, a lot of costumes and left over fabric from co-producing a variety show called Tilted Torch with my friend Miss Joule. I made most of my costumes and thought why not use them rather than having them sit on a rack.
I put the heavy AC units on a dolly. This way I could just wheel them back to the window they need to go in. Then I looked for a dress that was long and wide enough to cover the AC unit. In order to not mess up the dress, I thought I should first put a petticoat on the mannequin. Once it was all dress up I put the mannequinn on top of the AC unit and adjusted the height so the dress almost touched the floor. I was in LOVE!!
I’m so happy with how it turned out. I ended up creating another one with a vintage mannequin and left over fabric. Can you believe the previous owner of the house left the mannequin in the attic. They covered it with a sheet and used it as a ghost for Halloween.