April 1, 2013 4 Comments
Our entryway has been a bit of a mess ever since we moved in (the one from the garage to the kitchen; the main entrance doesn’t really get used, but this one gets lots of traffic). So much so that I don’t even have any decent pictures of it. You can catch a glimpse of it here:
And then here’s a phone shot from a few weeks ago when we finally hung a mirror.
The problem is that the piece of furniture we had there (an old server) just did nothing for us storage-wise. And it also wasn’t really my style. So I had been on the hunt for a solution, but wasn’t exactly sure what would work. And with a growing Mini Bunches, I’m also not positive that whatever solution we find now will be something lasting for the future. Which brings me to my point: I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. Or time. Especially if it’s something we might outgrow in a few years. Enter thrift stores–the cheap solution to almost everything.
And so two weekends ago, when Mr. B was away for his annual Idiot Nation trip to Vegas, I hit up my favorite thrift store. You know, the one where I found this blue beauty (I’m still regretting not scooping her up when I had the chance, but I digress) . . .
Unlike my last visit to this particular Salvation Army, this time around it was slim pickings. But just when I was about to leave, I spotted this:
Admittedly, not much to look at, but I liked the mid-century lines, the size was right, and it was solidly built of wood (except for the yucky laminate top, but I dealt with that during my last furniture refinishing adventure, so no big deal there). And the price? Just right. Actually, better than just right–just $15 kind of right. SOLD.
Once I got it home and wrangled it in the house (it’s super heavy so some wrangling it did take), I got to work. Since I only had nights and nap times to work my magic, I wasn’t planning an extensive refinishing; rather, I was just going to follow the steps John and Sherry took on their TV stand overhaul and hope for the best. So here’s what it looked like once I got it home and completed the first step: CLEANING.
I scrubbed the piece down with a Magic Eraser just like YHL did. And I also wiped down the drawers with a vinegar-soaked rag. My results? Well, as you can see above and below, the Magic Eraser removed the finish in quite a few places.
Again, since I only paid $15, I wasn’t too upset about that, but if you’re trying to fix a piece that you really care about, then maybe test out the Magic Eraser in an inconspicuous spot first to be safe. But it did remove a lot of grime, so it wasn’t all bad. As for the vinegar wipe-down of the drawers, that totally worked–it completely removed all the musty old smell. So we were 1 for 2 at this point.
Up next? A little conditioning treatment. Using these (again, just like YHL):
I first used the Howard Restor-A-Finish to wipe down everything. It definitely brought some shine back and made the dried-out wood come back to life a bit.
Much better, right? It didn’t completely fix all the spots where the Magic Eraser had, er, erased, but it helped a lot. I then used some leftover Minwax wood stain in walnut to rub in the really light spots, and when even that didn’t fix things, I used a Mr. Sketch Scented Marker in Brown. That, my friends, worked WONDERS. I just scribbled it on, and then wiped it away. It was just about perfect at evening out any light patches. So once all of that was done it wasn’t looking so bad . . .
My last step was to give it a good ol’ rub down with some wax–the Howard Feed-n-Wax. And just like Mr. Miyagi says: wax on, wax off. That step took less than 30 minutes, and this thrift store find was complete!
In addition to the desk, we also added a coat rack (from Crate & Barrel here) and a basket for shoes.
I’ve also ordered a steel truck from Steele Canvas to put on the left-hand side of the desk. That way we can just drop our bags into it and hopefully keep the area looking reasonably pulled together.
So there you have it. Our second attempt at wrangling some type of order in our entry way. Here’s hoping it works!
And a little bonus Mini Bunches just for making it all the way through this post . . .