restoration

chesty before & after

now i know some of you might think it’s sacrilege to paint over a wooden piece, but the fact of the matter is that this particular chest of drawers only cost me R300 (that’s like, US $40) – and it basically just had a shoddy veneer that was chipping in places.

i also took major shortcuts in it’s ‘resoration’ as i had to do everything in my tiny flat in an afternoon. i would have preferred to sand the entire thing down and give it a lighter oak finish, but that would have involved way more admin than i was prepared to go through for my wee chest right now.

so this is what i did step by step:

  • unscrewed all the door knobs
  • i washed this baby down with sugar soap – it was pretty gross (i imagine it stood in some kids room since it was built, it even had old eighties stickers on it)
  • gave the drawers 1 coat of plain old water based acrylic (in white, obviously) – applied with a roller
  • when that dried, i gave it another coat of plascon velvaglo (also white)
  • i gave the frame one quick coat of nova dye woodstain in mahogany (leftover from another project) – applied with a roller sponge. this stuff is amazing, is dries in seconds & you don’t need to varnish afterwards.
  • i took the doorknobs apart, painted the outside black and the inside gold

aaaand… that’s it! it came out pretty okay in the end, no?

inspired by this particular before & after over at penny people designs (which is a far better execution, but probably easier to do if you start with an untreated base)

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100 abandoned houses

houses

this site was featured heavily on the blogosphere a while back, but i keep returning to it because some of the houses are so awesome and i’m sad that they are wasting away! check out 100 abandoned houses. there is also a story at the NY Times about the pros & cons of people buying beautiful old houses in shitty locations. one woman bought an amazing old mansion in the middle of one of the most dangerous parts of NYC:

if you have an old house / apartment & you’re in the process of restoring it, be sure to check out Door Sixteen – Anna & her husband bought an 1890s Victorian rowhouse in Newburgh, NY a few years back (after moving out of Brooklyn) and they’ve slowly been restoring it since.  she has some pretty rad before & afters in her flickr (the bathroom renovations are awesome)

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