Thursday, December 29, 2011

Project De-Brassify

The reason that things were a little quiet for Dumped and Discovered this fall is that Mr. Dump and I have been working on a BIG PROJECT. Bigger than any furniture transfomation - we are in the middle of transforming our lives!   Quite simply, we sold our lovely, already-painted and brass-free house for a move to my childhood home, full of brass, maroon and hunter green.  No offense to my parents (I'm not sure they read this anyway), but it is straight up 1991. Oh, oh, oh.  (If you got that Paula Abdul reference, 2 points.) 

We needed more space to paint furniture, which my parents' house provides. We also needed some space to practice our home improvement skills. You know, when it's not our house we're practicing on. Besides, my parents are semi-retired and rarely in Charlotte anyway, so they won't notice, right?  Seriously, though, everyone knows it's not the right time to sell a slightly outdated house, so we're hoping to be the best renters ever and make much-needed improvements to the house while my parents wait for the market to improve.  We will be honored to have you come along with us on this journey of transforming a classically 1990's house (complete with a Vanilla Ice poster in my brother's room) into a home fit for a more 21st Century pop princess (for example, 30-year-old Britney instead of "Baby One More Time" Britney.)  You get it.

The first room my sister and I tackled (over my mom's objections) was the dining room.  I'll let the pictures tell the story -

Here's a close-up of the wallpaper, in case the magnolias weren't obvious enough -

We wanted to bring the room into this century, so we did the following: took down the wallpaper border (with glee); painted above and below the chair rail with a lovely gray color, sweet-talked my dad into hanging a newly-painted chandelier (we found a hideous brass one at Habitat for Humanity ReStore and painted it black); and staged to perfection.  Oh, we might have evicted an oversized plant and a couple of really country-kitchen accessories, too.  Sorry, Mom.  They were fashionable in their day.....we think.

At last, the AFTER pictures - it's a room you can eat in without stirrup pants now!  No perms required! (Note: in 1991, when this room was first decorated, both my sister and I had spiral perms.  We were hot.)

Also, astute readers of Dumped and Discovered will note that we replaced the more traditional buffet with the one that we just painted - lovely!  Nothing like a new paint job to make you want to replace all the furniture in a room, right?

One question for you lovely readers - we are having a battle with my mom about whether or not to take the "inserts" out of the windows.  We took them out for these photos, but it turns out my mother is rather attached to them.  What do you think?  Inserts or no inserts? 

Happy Junkin'!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go AWAY!

Just my luck...  It was the first day of my winter break.  My sister was in town with a "To Do" list in hand.  Our painting clothes were on and we had determination in our eyes.  We looked outside and what do you know.... IT WAS RAINING.  Ugh!  We had both looked forward to painting for weeks, and Mother Nature had different plans.  So... instead, we organized and unpacked some of the boxes that were thrown in our new home.  (We officially closed this week - more details on that soon!)  We also tackled some smaller accessory projects that I'll share with you in future posts!

The next day, we woke up and the sun was shining (sort of).  The weatherman said that showers were coming, so we sprinted outside and grabbed our sanders.  We decided to tackle the beauty below.   


From this picture, it doesn't look like she is in really bad shape.  However, the top was pretty scratched up, and you could just tell that she desperately needed to show off some of her incredible curves and details.  The dark wood did not do her justice.  

My sister and I used quite a bit of elbow grease to sand the top down to the original wood. 

Then we painted the bottom antique white.  While painting, it started to sprinkle.  I finished putting the final coat on the bottom of the piece and carefully lugged her into the garage.  When she was finished drying, we distressed the edges, and stained the top.  Now she is absolutely stunning.  In fact, I think that I have convinced Mr. Dump to let me hang onto this one!

Here's another shot of the piece in the dining room.  You might notice the crazy lady sitting on the floor in front of her.  I'm not sure why I let my sister take pictures of me in front of our pieces.  She's the picker and the cleaner - not the photographer!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season!  I can't wait to bring you MANY more Dumped and Discovered treasures (weather permitting) this week!
Happy Junkin'!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

BIG Changes

A couple of BIG things have happened in the last few weeks... (I'm not making excuses for not posting, but life has been pretty crazy!)

1) WE SOLD OUR HOUSE! We've had it on the market since April, and we know that we are very blessed that someone decided to make us an offer. We wanted to move for a variety of reasons. The main one being that we could paint in privacy and have a little more room for our Dumped and Discovered treasures.

2) My sister has collected so much stuff for Dumped and Discovered that she had to rent a U-Haul over Thanksgiving to bring us all of our treasures! We have since decided that she should either get a bigger car, stick to finding smaller things for Dumped and Discovered, or start her own business.

Speaking of D.C. treasures... I bought this beauty while I was visiting my sister over the summer.

Not too long ago, I did a very similar piece (see here for the original post).  I intended to use the same color because the tomato red sold very quickly at the Sleepy Poet.  However, after a little sanding, I found out that the top of the buffet wasn't solid wood. Therefore, I couldn't sand the top to it's original state for stain. I thought that the tomato red would be overwhelming on the entire piece so I decided to go with a more neutral black.

Before I painted the piece, I had to fill in some major dents and scratches by using a stainable/paintable wood filler.

I decided not to distress this one because I wouldn't have much of a contrast against the dark brown "wood."  Now it is simply stunning.  I cannot wait to make it back to the Sleepy Poet because I think that it will look even better with red and green decorations!

My boss sister has already informed me that we will be completing LOADS of projects over the break!  I have almost two weeks away from my lovely fourth graders and I cannot wait to spend time bringing new life to old furniture!

Happy junkin'!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

This Little Light of Mine

Everyone loves a little drama, right?!?  Well, this next post begins with a little drama.  No one really knows who should win this one, but somehow I'm ending up with all the credit.  Remember my parent's beautiful home in the mountains?  (If not, go to the original post here).  Look closely at the kitchen and you will see that there is a spot for a hanging light over the sink, but it is missing the perfect light.

Mom looked at a variety of lighting stores, shopped in magazines, and even brought a few to the cabin to try them out.  She just could not find the perfect light. She wanted something that had a "cabin feel" minus the typical antler/forest animal theme. She wanted something rustic, yet classic. And then it hit them... (cue the Days of our Lives theme song). Well... it hit one of them... Mom says that it was her idea, and Dad claims that he was the genius behind this one.  Wouldn't it be cool to drill a hole in the bottom of a colander, connect it to a light kit, and hang it over the sink?  Genius.  It doesn't matter whose idea it was.

For Mom and Dad's kitchen, they found an old colander in the basement that had the perfect combination of cream and brown to match the cabinets.  For our D and D project, we went a little colander crazy and bought the following colanders (new and old) at a variety of stores.

We started with the cute blue one in the front.  We used a Sharpie to trace the size of the bulb connector from the light kit.

Thanks for the demo, Dad!  Then we Dad used a drill to cut the metal.  (He always gets to use the fun power tools!) 

Then he and Mr. Dump used a file (not a nail file - this one is for metal) to make a perfect circle for the connector.  If you are trying this at home, be VERY careful!  The edges are extremely sharp. 

I spent most of my time watching and cheering them on!  (Please ignore the messy hair and no makeup... At least I showered that morning!)

When the hole was the perfect size, we attached it to the light kit that we bought from Lowe's Home Improvement. 

Then we had to try them all out!  (I didn't take pictures of all of them!)

They look even better at night! I love how the light shines through all of the little holes! 

This project is fun, different, and can be done in very little time!  I have already started thinking about other items that I can use for lights!  Pretty much anything that can have a hole drilled in the top/bottom would be perfect for a project like this!  Now two of our colanders are patiently waiting in The Sleepy Poet to find their perfect home.

Happy Junkin'!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

You Say Tomato, I Say TO-DIE-FOR!

I am ashamed.  It has been 70 LONG days since my last post.  70 LONG days of fourth graders sucking every ounce energy out of my body.  70 LONG days of longing to pursue this passion that I have missed so much.  In other words, adjusting to my full time job and my full time hobby has been a bit of a struggle.  The children of our future have taken precedence over Dumped and Discovered (isn't that the way it should be?!?). Sure there has been the occasional yard sale and a couple afternoons of painting, but I have not been able to commit like I did this summer.  After a very frustrating day at school, I decided that I needed a little more balance in my life.  I put the stack of papers aside and grabbed the computer.  Balance.  I bet it is something that we all strive for.  Why is it so difficult to find balance in life?  Instead of beating myself up about not being able to commit to Dumped and Discovered, I decided that my goals moving forward needed a bit more balance.  Instead of a "project a day" like I was able to maintain this summer, my new goal is a "project a week" for my fabulous followers.

Soooo... Get ready for a big one!!!  Remember this hutch?  We bought it at an auction (click here to see the original post) for $25.00!  It was one of the hottest days in Charlotte and almost everyone was gone when it was time to bid on the furniture.  (Lucky us!)  We debated for a long time about what color to paint this beauty. 

We decided that red would be a fun color for a kitchen, so we went to Lowe's to pick out the perfect red.   On the way to the paint chips we glanced over at the mis-tints (of course!) and there it was.  The Perfect Red!  In fact, The Perfect Tomato Red.  And the best part??  It was only $5.00!!!

While Mr. Dump painted, I sanded (and sanded, and sanded) the top of the buffet.  I wanted to stain it a dark color to break up the red. 

I added a walnut stain from Minwax and applied Polycrylic when it was dry.  Here is the fabulous after:

I forgot to take an "official" after picture before we took it into The Sleepy Poet!  Please ignore the price tags that are hanging down on the top. 

Also, check out the "Sold" tag on the blue enamel top table!  Yippee!!  To give you a little preview of what is coming in my next post, (I promise I'm going to write it within the next 7 days... NOT 70!) take a close look at this picture.  You will see an incredible project next week!  Thanks so much for sticking by me during this busy time. 

Happy Junkin'!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Pop of Color

Adding color in unexpected places makes an ordinary piece of furniture EXTRAordinary!  You all know how much I love turquoise and I would paint every piece that color if Mr. Dump would let me.  The shelves pictured below were dark and uninteresting when I bought them.  They were in desperate need of a makeover to show off all of the beautiful accents on the bottom.

I was so excited about this piece that I forgot to take a lot of "in between" pictures!  I painted the inside turquoise, and the outside a soft white.  Then I distressed the edges and now it is absolutely perfect!  If you want to show off the great details on a piece, white is the perfect solution!

On a different note, I went back to school today for the first time in two months.  With all of the fun that I've been having this summer with Dumped and Discovered, I wasn't sure how I would feel about going back... As soon as I walked into my classroom, my uncertainty turned into pure joy.  I have the best job in the world and I cannot wait for a wonderful year!  Don't get me wrong... I am going to miss painting everyday, but teaching is what I am meant to do.  Have a wonderful week doing the things that you love.

Happy Junkin'!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Coffee Table Makeover

School hasn't even started and I am already slacking on my daily blogging projects!  I am so sorry!!!  What a week this has been...  My sister was visiting from D.C. and we had high hopes for all of the wonderful projects that we would complete.  Her car was full, and our paint guns were ready.  Boy were we dreaming!  It turns out that Mr. Dump and I decided to officially pull the trigger and rent our house.  We have had our house on the market for quite a while and haven't had a whole lot of interest.  Instead of painting furniture, we prepared for a gigantic moving sale and packed most of our house.  Needless to say, our garage is still full and we were only able to complete one measly project...
This beautiful coffee table had major problems on top, but loads of character.

We decided to mask all of the imperfections by sanding the top to its original form.

Then we painted the legs and stained the top.  After distressing the edges and adding a layer of rub-on polycrylic, it is now a beautiful coffee table that we may consider taking to our next house. 

We added the original claw feet, but may end up painting them black to add a more modern feel. What do you think???

We also added more pieces to our booth at Sleepy Poet.  Thanks to my sister's boyfriend, Kortney, we have a new and improved website that will be up and running in the near future!!  Here are some pictures to give you a little taste of what is coming!

Thanks for being patient during this hectic time!  I cannot wait to get settled and start painting!!!  More projects will be arriving this week!

Happy Junkin'!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Digging into the D and D Vault - Part 5

Well, I'm digging into the vault for one more post.  The final piece that I want to share with you from long ago is lovingly known as "The Beast."  This was a piece that we inherited from Mr. Dump's family, and it is one that we never thought that we would be able to part with.  
We loved the beautiful inserts on the glass doors, and the piece was in fairly good condition.  There were a few scratches and minor dings on the top, but overall it didn't need a ton of work... Or so we thought...

We painted the piece antique white and the stain started bleeding through the paint.  This was early in our painting career, so we thought that another coat would cover it up... WRONG!  We ended up having to Kilz the whole piece to keep brown spots from shining through.  We put what seemed like twelve more coats of antique white over the Kilz (hence the nickname) and it turned out to be one of our favorite pieces.  We sold it at The Sleepy Poet and we are still bummed that it is not sitting in our house.

I can't wait to show you what my sister and I have been working on this week!  Brand new pieces are coming soon!!!

Happy Junkin'!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Digging into the D and D Vault - Part 4

I'm a little freaked out...  Actually A LOT freaked out.  After traveling to visit with family in Baltimore, I discovered that people are actually reading this blog!  I was completely overwhelmed with the compliments and feedback that I received from EVERYONE!  It was beyond amazing, and it made me feel really good that people are enjoying reading about this crazy obsession hobby of mine.  We had such a wonderful visit and it made me excited to come home, complete some of my projects, and share them with the world!  My sister will be in town this week, (apparently her car is FULL of stuff) and we will be painting like crazy!  Before I show you some of those projects, I have a few more to show you from long ago.

I bought this china cabinet at The Salvation Army.  It was dark and had lots of awkward metal accents.

We cleaned it up and sanded some of the rough edges.  Then we painted the piece antique white and distressed all of the wonderful details.  I spray painted the hinges and pulls to give them a more modern look.  After putting the whole thing back together, this is what we ended up with:

I have one more week before I head back to school (sniffle... sniffle...), so I'm going to be working nonstop to get ahead on some of my fabulous finds!  Thanks so much to everyone that is reading about my projects, and thanks again to my Baltimore friends and family for such a wonderful weekend!

Happy Junkin'!