Antiques Booth · DIY

A Little Bathroom Bauble for the Mermaid Enthusiast

I bought these little wooden signs at The craft supply when they were on clearance, at the time, I didn’t know what I would do with them but they were too good of a deal to walk past.

I decided to paint a little sign for the bathroom to go in my booth simply because I had a set of nautical themed robe hooks and I wanted something to hang on it.

I began by lightly sanding the surface and then wiping it down with alcohol.

Once dry I applied a coat of primer

and then lay down a base coat of a semi translucent aqua and immediately applied a sandy beige glaze to go over it by mixing paint with glazing liquid.

After that I hand painted the lettering on it and it had to dry overnight afterwards.

To finish it off I applied a burnt umber and rust colored glaze in the corners to age and distress it just a bit. I used rope from ace hardware to tie a sailor’s knot and hung it. Easy Peasy!!

A quick project for a weekend! Let me know what you think? Any mermaids in your life? My oldest daughter would happily switch places with Ariel if she could.

Antiques Booth · DIY · Uncategorized

A Minty Little Table

I picked this little table up and loved it right away. You know how when you meet someone new and you can just tell that they have seen some stuff? Well, this table was just like that, it had seen a few things. It was coated with this awful cherry-ish stain that had almost been thrown onto it Jackson Pollock style, and someone had painted over the lovely antique brass casters. I knew I could give it some love and make it special again. And I can honestly say that by the time I was finished, I didn't want to put it in my booth. It matches my daughter's nursery perfectly and I ended up loving it. If it hasn't sold the next time I check out my booth, I may be bringing it back home again!

NOW, all that having been said, I was so excited to get started on this piece that I committed the cardinal sin of blogging and COMPLETELY forgot to take a before picture of this lil guy so I'm going to have to ask you to use your extraordinary imaginations. Close your eyes and imagine it! Do it! Okay that's enough imagining.

I began, as usual, by de-cobweb-ifying (trademark pestle and wick 2017) and wiping the entire piece top to bottom, inside and out, with denatured alcohol. I then lightly sanded the entire piece to give it a little "tooth", wiped it down again with D.A. and, after it dried completely, lay down one coat of primer. The following day I painted it with two coats of this lovely light minty color, which I am in love with right now. The little table cured for 2 days and then I lay down a thin coat of poly and voilà! Once I put the little glass top back in, it was perfect! The only other thing I did was lightly deglaze the sweet little brass casters with acetone and a cotton swab to get rid of the old stain/paint that someone had carelessly slathered them with.

Antiques Booth · DIY

Matching Solid Wood Tables Get a Second Go

     Friends, it’s been a while since my last post and I can only blame my children’s insatiable need to eat, be bathed, and either be tucked in or woken up (selfish babies ;P) and this insane, humid, soggy, and ungodly hot weather. Which, I am sure sounds like an empty excuse, but truly, I painted several pieces of furniture this week and the first coats of primer and paint were fine, but the jump in temperature and humidity left the last coat of paint tacky to the touch for 4 full days!!! In any case, I’m back on track and have a few posts in the cache and I’m ready to share what I’ve been working on.

    I picked up these two matching end tables and, trust me y’all, they needed some LOVE. These tables were solid wood, but that wood had taken a royal beating in every possible way, additionally, they were antiques, but were cheap reproductions of higher quality pieces. What does that mean to me? That I’m going to invest some elbow grease, but it’s not worth a ton of time spinning my wheels on pieces that are not worth a sizable return once refinished. Like every other piece of furniture I touch, I began by scrubbing the layers of old wax, varnish, and pure filth off with a little denatured alcohol and a lot of the aforementioned elbow grease. I then sanded them heavily, using heavy grit sand paper, and proceeded to use finer and finer grit until rounding it out with an ultrfine grit by hand on every square inch of every surface of both tables. At this point, on other pieces, I can usually see the light at the end of the tunnel, I can usually run my hands over a freshly sanded piece of furniture and just SEE how it’s going to look when it’s done. This time around, there were tons of old drip marks, large gash marks, and dents from days-gone-by. Normally I would spend an hour filling dents and scratches, sanding, cleaning, sanding, cleaning…you get the idea, but as I mentioned earlier, since these are not going to be a huge return on my small investment, I wanted to just give them a little love and spruce them up. Some pieces are worth the investment and time it takes to either fully restore or refurbish them, and some are more…”fluff and paint” kind of furniture and these two tables were DEFINITELY the latter. This is what they looked like after their final sanding.

Not pretty…

I then began priming, and due to their rough shape, I knew that I wanted to give them two coats of primer. But if you look closely at the table on the right (below) you can see little drip marks tin the decorative groove on its top, both had this and it appears that someone just slapped on some varnish or poly or stain (who knows) and let it drip into the groove all willy-nilly like.

After trying, and failing, to sand the groove out by hand, I decided to get out my dremel and clean it out. Let me tell you, it worked brilliantly. 

After dremeling (/dremelING/ verb : The act of kicking a task in the teeth with a dremel.) the nasty gunk out of the groove, I used a 220 grit sponge block sander with an angled edge to get down into the groove and smooth it out. It wasn’t perfect but, again, no spinning wheels here, folks.

Then it was time to vacuum up the mess and degrease again with denatured alcohol. Once that was dry, I hit it with another coat of primer and let it dry for 24 hours. I then painted both tables with their first coat of a very light cream colored paint. Everything up until this point was just business-as-usual progress, but then there was a crazy shift in the weather and the heat, humidity, and rain set in. Coat number two took 4, that’s right, F O U R days to completely dry. On day number two, I started letting them cure in front of a fan and I’m sure it helped, but I’ve never had it take so long for paint to fully cure. 

     Here is the finished product, I think they came out great. Each table still has a few nicks and dings, but they traveled light years to get where they are and I am very pleased with them. They have loads of character and were definitely worth the work. Have you ever had to dremel the snot out of a piece of furniture? Tell me what you think! Be kind to each other, y’all.

Antiques Booth

Boothy Update

     By now you know that I have a little antiques booth at the Greenbriar, (I shared a little bit about it here) but I haven’t updated you in a while on that experience so I thought I would take a minute to do that. There is a pretty steep learning curve involved in having a booth like mine, many little surprises along the way (who knew dish towels and tea towels were in such high demand, anyway?!) and I feel like my bank of knowledge and the tools in my toolkit have been multiplying exponentially since taking on this challenge.

      I made some small improvements to the aesthetics of my booth itself and have put out several new pieces of furniture, new decor items, and lighting, and the results have been mostly positive and well received. 

     My little Bunbun starts school this coming August and I’m hoping that, with the ever-so-slight increase in free time, I will be able to commit more time to refinishing projects and blog posts, because as it currently stands, spare time is scarce, y’all! I have decided to part with my GORGEOUS antique farmhouse table, it’s so pretty and the patina and natural aging of it still make my heart flutter, but it’s quite large and sometimes you have to let go of the old to make room for the new (write that down y’all!). With everything going on at the Crowder house these days, a little change goes a long way though, so I think I will be in the market for some refinishing pieces soon (tell my husband to stop trying to make me get rid of things to which I am irrationally attached! Ha!).

     Since starting the booth, I added some creamy distressed finish paneling to cover up that awful pegboard, I added some “brick” columns that lend themselves more towards the “Belgian Countryside” vibe that I’m really into right now (and more in line with the direction my booth will be heading as I gradually sell off my current inventory), and I added some lamps, although, assuming they will sell, those won’t stick around for long, with any luck. 

     This week I decided to adjust some prices to make room for several new items I’m working on and before I did that, I wanted to share the current iteration of the booth before it evolves yet again. Let me know what you think, follow me for updates, and, as always, be kind to one another!

Antiques Booth · DIY · Inspirational

My Little Antiques Booth

This month, inspired to do a little more, and possibly make a little extra pocket change, I rented a little booth space at an Antique mall. It was an interesting process, which, like many things, turned out to be far easier said than done.

       I started by simply taking an initial inventory of items, both large and small, that I wanted to get rid of. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have been undertaking what I have lovingly been calling “The Great Purge”. It started this winter when I read a copy of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and has been steadily ongoing ever since.

     Being that I had quite a few pieces that I was ready to part with, I began by staging them. I stacked books, bud vases with peonies, little figures, or dishes that I intended to sell, all staged in a way that would be indicative of my personal style. In my research, I had quickly discovered that the antiques business is pretty competitive and that most of the booth rental spaces in this area have waiting lists that are months, even a year long. Many of them had lengthy, somewhat obnoxious “online only” application requirements that involved submitting personal information along with an ample supply of photos of your goods or of your current booth somewhere else. 

     My background is in sales, I worked in retail for many years, working my way up through management of several stores, eventually into visual merchandising. Which was the happiest I had ever been in my career. I eventually worked into inside sales and corporate sales which was much more lucrative (but far less personally rewarding or fulfilling). That being the case, although I was uncertain of this new venture, I am always confident in my ability to properly stage a home and all the decor in it. 

     I began applying to this store and that… and waiting, thumbs twiddling anxiously, only to go several weeks with only one auto-generated response. I am far too impatient for THAT silliness and consider myself a “take action” sort of girl, so I decided to get busy getting involved and getting to know the owners of these stores personally. I went to the locations around my town that I was most interested in and spoke directly with the owners. Some were incredibly helpful, offering insight and advice, others were a bit…exclusionary. Eventually, after calling several times, I was able to speak to one of the owners of my favorite antique store,  “The Greenbriar”. He was incredibly friendly and polite and I told him of my desire to rent a small booth and my experiences down this path thus far. I told him of my background in Visual Merchandising and my desire to eventually stage houses in this area and in interior decorating and, just like that, he wanted to meet me. It turns out he also had a background in Visual Merchandising. 

     The next day, with toddler in tow, I went in to meet him with my iPad loaded with every pic of my carefully staged items and that was it. We just clicked, like old friends. I saw the space he had available, one he’d set aside for someone with design experience, and with butterflies in my stomach I told him I’d take it! 

     When I signed up, I was under the impression that I would have several weeks to get ready, to decorate, prep, organize, tag, and carefully design the interior of my booth. However, I received a phone call asking me if I wanted to try to get set up in time for their Mother’s Day event since it was their second busiest shopping day of the year. I decided on the spot to try, knowing that, allowing me only 8 days or so to prepare, I wouldn’t get it looking exactly as I had envisioned in time for the event, but not wanting to miss out.

     It has been very much a trial by fire so far, I hadn’t selected a name for it so I just used “Pestle & Wick” since it required zero thought, and my sweet husband and I were at the store until 10:30 with my toddler by our sides. I learned that the stickers I had selected to price my smalls (that’s antique biz lingo, ya’ll!) simply didn’t work, they were cute butcher paper hearts but they were far too easy to remove and fell off of smooth surfaces like dishes. I learned that there are some pieces that I’m irrationally attached to, like my beautiful antique blue painted farmhouse table. I ALSO learned that you never know how much your husband loves you until he willingly drives with you out into who-knows-wheres-ville and watches the kiddos so you can pick an elderly couples old, super scary abandoned motel (yes, that actually happened). 

     It isn’t exactly as I imagined it might be, at least not quite yet, but each week I make little improvements to it and it’s coming along. I intend to post updates as it evolves. Please comment below to tell me what you think. Please follow me so you can stay up to date and follow me on my journey! If you have your OWN story about antiquing, picking, thrifting, or just retail in general, please share them. I can’t wait to hear what you all think!

I can tell you that my booth ALREADY looks differently than in these photos, but that post is for another day!

                           Be the good, ya’ll!