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  Seriously, though, everyone knows it's not the right time to sell a slightly outdated house, so we're hoping to be the best renters ever and make much-needed improvements to the house while my parents wait for the market to improve.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'!