A Little Color, or sugar, Never hurts

I spent this weekend getting a couple more pieces ready to sell.  The first was easy, I had come across a mirror in a solid wood frame.  The mirror had tape and stickers all over it, and the frame was splattered with paint from not removing or taping  it before painting the walls around it.   As I sanded off the paint, I was torn between restoring the natural wood and painting it.  Of course, paint won out.  :-)  I find that at the moment everyone wants painted pieces rather than the natural look.   Here is a peek at the original condition.


The mirror is a large one measuring 3 feet by 2 feet and 3 inches.   It’s also very heavy!  I decided to use the color I did because I thought it lent itself to more uses. I can see this over a mantle, by an entry way or even in a child’s bedroom.  There wasn’t much to show you of the process.  I gave it a light sanding to remove the older finish and the splattered paint, removed the tape and stickers with elbow grease and some goo gone, then painted it.  Finally, I gave the mirror a good cleaning with white vinegar.  Here is what it looks like tonight, sorry I can’t find a location to photograph the mirror without it showing half my apartment.  It is being listed on Craigslist and set in the office where I sell my things.


Before I show  you the table I finished this weekend as well I want to share a story that put me in my place.


My granddaughter stopped to visit with some sugary candy her mother bought her.  She had dropped one on the ground outside my door but didn’t realize it until later.  By the time it was noticed it was covered in sugar ants.  My immediate reaction was to pick up the candy and toss it.  She informed me that we couldn’t do that because the ants were hungry and were eating.  Of course, I didn’t want them to eat this candy then decide to come inside my house looking for more food.   I received a very gentle lecture that ants are just as important as the birds, bunnies, and bees we try to provide food for.   I saw her reasoning and left the candy where it was.  By the next morning there was no sign that the candy or the ants had ever been there.  Leave it to a child to remind me that I shouldn’t choose which life is more important and deserves a treat now and then.  :-)

Back in May when the university students moved I was overwhelmed at times by the amount of things we dragged back to save.  I found this little table which even without a top was worth saving.  It was hand-made, but why there wasn’t a top on it, or signs of a top every being on it had me puzzled.


The next day out looking for what was waiting for garbage pickup I found this cabinet door.


As soon as I saw that door I knew I had my table top.  I removed the hardware to save, and then waited for my friend with the saw to cut it down to size, he got busy with work and it never happened.  Then another neighbor asked me if I needed any help, I asked if he could cut down this door for me.  He was happy to help.  In less than an hour I had a top ready to go. I primed everything, there was no question this would have to be painted as I was combining 2 completely different kinds of wood to come up with a functioning table. The top was then attached with L brackets which was simple to do.


I believe I’ve told you that not everything ends up as I first intend them to.  This table was an example of changing my mind half way through.  I began this table in May with the promise of summer approaching, I wanted color and could picture this on a porch, but with autumn fast approaching the look didn’t feel right anymore.

WP_20130831_014I almost forgot to take a picture of this and had begun to prime the table bottom which is why you can see white paint on some of those slats.   My original idea was to paint the frame white, and have the bottom look like you see, the top when cut down was going to have the blue color on it to tie the piece together.  Doesn’t work for me now.  I was about to list this on Craigslist when I remembered my daughter-in-law had redone an antique stand for a nightstand in her new bedroom and sent her a picture with the measurements, it’s now heading out-of-town to become the second nightstand in her master bedroom.  While the paint is still drying, thanks rain, here is what the table looks like now.


Just to give you an idea, here is the table my daughter-in-law recently painted, it’s slightly taller and has more character, but the paint will tie them in nicely.


Speaking of my son and his wife.  My son has just been named “best husband ever”.  Here’s why.  His wife had spotted a china hutch she really wanted.  She sent the picture to him and to me.  I could definitely see the potential, but my son didn’t like it.  Growing up with me he always had antiques around and never grew to love them.  But a couple of days later, while his wife was out, he drove the few blocks and bought the hutch for her.  All of $50!  and set it up in the garage where she could work on it.  When she got home he made a crack about the garage being a mess and she needed to do something with the stuff out there.  (They just moved in a month ago and things she wants to paint or is in the process of are stored there).  When she opened the door to the garage she leaped into his arms and proclaimed him the best husband ever.  So what do you think of her $50 china hutch?

kassy's hutch

Yes, she should have been my biological daughter, we think very much alike, but while she lives a couple hours drive from me we still share ideas over email, thank goodness for the internet.


Would you have done something different with these two pieces had you found them?  Inspire me for the next find.  :-)


27 thoughts on “A Little Color, or sugar, Never hurts

  1. Being put in our places, LOL just loved how your Granddaughter pleaded the case of those ants, Smiles broadly here…. I think our grandchildren would get on famously… We took my granddaughter to the allotments Tuesday and she set too watering first of all.. Then I pointed her out some mint we have growing there and gave her a leaf to try…. Her eyes lit up as she reached for a second leaf to chew!… Then she spotted caterpillars, This year the garden is overrun thanks to the many butterflies this year… She is always asking ‘Let me feel’ or let me touch, so she spots a caterpillar then a bigger one which she wanted on her arm.. She laughed as it wiggled its way up her arm and then it decided to do a pooh! on her, She laughed again and couldnt wait to tell her Daddy she had been poohed on by a Caterpillar…. She sat ages too watching a Grasshopper.. Braver than I was as a child As I know I disliked how they jumped.. making me jump too :-)

    Its so so good to know your little one is so in tune with Nature… We so need to rear our younger generation with these principles and perceptions that All is important for Life is Precious… :-)

    • Sue, not only do I wish we could meet face-to-face, but I wish our granddaughters could grow up near each other. They are so alike and connected to nature, I believe they would be life long friends. My little one wasn’t happy when she was poohed on by a caterpillar last summer, nor was she happy to fall in an ant hill and get bit, they really do sting, but she hasn’t become fearful of any of them. She’s at the age now where she doesn’t ask to have me pick up the bugs, she’s does it herself. How cute that your granddaughter found a grasshopper to be so fascinating.

      I am hopeful for this next generation, they are so much more in tune with what is important. I follow a couple of bloggers who are barely 20 and are so wise, they are also very outspoken about the environment. Then I watched a documentary called the Collective Evolution which was made by 4 young men, the last 15/20 minutes were so powerful as they talked about the consciousness and what we need to awaken. If you want to check it out you can watch it for free at http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/collective-evolution. Our schools may be failing our children, but many are educating themselves outside of the school walls and seeing the problems that they will have to contend with.

      • Thank you Lois, I will be sure to follow that link, and yes I too am so hopeful they are seeing how we need to nurture nature as we have ruin much of it. They will be the ones picking up the pieces…. And yes to say my granddaughter is only 2 yrs and 9 mths, She amazes me… :-)

        • Sue, I didn’t realize your granddaughter wasn’t 3 yet for some reason. This year has flown by so quickly I think I added a few more months to her age. She is amazing, and she’s lucky to have you to show her around and teach her the life lessons from nature she needs.

          • Yes Lois she is amazing her vocabulary is like a five yr old. And her Daddy is now teaching her to read, and our jaws drop at times with the wisdom she comes out with, Definitely here on a mission, and yes I feel its my mission to teach her as much as I can about Nature.. :-) Enjoy your weekend and don’t you go working too hard either! :-) xxx

          • Sue, your granddaughter is very lucky to have such loving people around here who see her intelligence and give her all the opportunities possible. I too feel it is my mission to share what I know about nature and teach the little ones about caring for Mother Earth. My granddaughter, much to her parents amazement, can identify trees, many plants and flowers. She’s not reading yet, but loves to be read to.

    • I may have to play around with that idea a bit, I’m not very good with writing fiction. The funniest thing about the ants is that I had been doing everything I could think of besides poison to get them to stop coming in my house. Since the candy I have only found a couple, she may have drawn them outside for me :-)

  2. I’m with your granddaughter and leaves the little creatures alone, they’re just living like the rest of us animals :) the mirror looks fantastic, I have a stack I have to paint and am inspired by your blue color. Your little table is a great makeover and I love your daughter in laws hutch! I am always on the lookout for ones like hers, great find!

    • Too funny, Jayne, and btw I’ve missed your posts hope you get back to blogging soon. I did leave them alone and those ants enjoyed their treat very much. :-) It was a strange reminder to me of how I don’t think some times about the decisions I make. I’ve been battling those sugar ants this year who for the first time found their way into my apartment. All I could picture was that mess of ants leaving a trail right back into my home now that I seem to have gotten rid of them (no, I didn’t poison them….just very careful about what I left out). I’ll have to go look up the color for you, if you were closer I’d share the can with you as I still have plenty.

      Isn’t that hutch amazing and for only $50! I can’t wait for her to show me what she has done with it when it’s in place and filled with her pieces.

  3. I think the blue of the mirror would look perfect if it were going into your apartment since you have a lot of blue accents. If I were going to try to sell it, I would have left it the natural wood with an accent like Lynn suggested. Although that would have been a lot more work, so painting it may give you more bang for your effort. All you need is one person who likes the blue.

    Also, I think the white was a good decision on the table since it was going to tie to another different, but white table. However, I was excited with the different color slats. I was thinking it was going to be for a boys room.

    • Live and Learn, the wood was a dull and dark shade nothing spectacular, I knew if I left it alone it would be a long time before it found a home. I did toy with painting it white as white sells very quickly, but then so did the green and black end table I did. Yes, I think the blue would look nice in my home but I have no need for a mirror. Now the little table, I really wanted to use a range of colors on it, but for some reason when I went back to it once getting the top cut down I no longer felt the initial pull towards it. I try to go with my gut on these pieces. Don’t worry, you will see colors like that again when the right piece comes to me. So sorry I disappointed you, I honestly thought showing that initial testing of color those seeing the picture would have hated it.

    • Pecora Nera, thank you, I often wonder what my readers think of the pieces I share once they are repaired and ready to move to a new home. As for leaving it the natural wood look, I find that most people are into either white or bright colors and anything that resembles Ikea so I knew the natural look of the wood would never find it a new home.

  4. Love what you have done with the table and your son is a honey, that hutch dresser is gorgeous. Your granddaughter sounds a honey too lol, bless her, what a sweetie.
    You won’t get any inspiring suggestions from me, I’ve said in the past I am hopeless at this sort of thing. I have a wooden 2 seater for outside I bought to do folk art on, painted it blue and never did put the painting on. I have found an old spice cupboard (actually my son gave it to me instead of throwing out) but it’s black with green flowers, that’s a one day project that will probably not get done either!!!

  5. Bless your granddaughter (and thank you for listening, it’s so good for kids to be listened to). What a wonderful husband, good to hear you raised a lovely son. I think guys are good at doing what they know their ladies will like – it’s a bit puppy dog like in some ways, they go ‘right, she likes this, I can get that, done, she’ll be happy’ – so simple and beautiful!

    • Hi, Sarah, it was very hard for me to leave the candy on the ground, but didn’t feel I could break her heart and refuse to feed the ants. Thankfully when they were done eating they didn’t come inside looking for more food as those ants are hard to get rid of and a huge annoyance, every thing you set down, even a glass of water they will be all over within moments. He’s a good kid/guy. He doesn’t like the china hutch but had fun surprising her. Hopefully, it will grow on him.

  6. the sugar story is adorable….so kind a child..and your daughter (in law’s) hutch is beautiful..

    re the two items,..well, I probably wouldn’t have painted it blue, unless it specifically for a baby boy/young boy…

    so, I have been watching a few buy it at garage sales/fix it up / sell it for a bunch (shows), and they always seem to try to be as outrageous as possible, grin…and it usually sells for a bundle..so that is where my mind is..

    the mirror…I think I would have put a darker color of some sort, with some “detail” on top of the color..Another thing I might of added (as I’ve seen in these shows), is there is a way to frost designs /words EASILY into parts of the glass…or …I know…yes, this
    a darker frame, with some kind of “interesting” designs on top of the dark/carved into the dark and then the carved bits highlighted with another color, and on the mirror…Silhouette or silhouettes of some kind

    the table…
    well, I really did not think the table and the door were too much different in wood /wood color
    -I think I would have hung on to the original color, just fix scratches/dings…attach the door as top..THEN put some kind of edging/pattern/design in a darker (black?) color

    in fact, if the mirror was done as I was thinking, do the table with stripes/pattern/highlights in the dark color of the mirror frame…
    THEN , those little designs I thought should be in/highlighted in the mirror frame, make them close to the wood color of the table..
    a Hall Mirror/Table set (hang mirror horizontal if not enough room upright etc)

    gosh..i feel as if I’ve done a job, grin..
    it was fun to imagine
    you did ask..grin..

    • Lynn, I did ask and loved your ideas, thanks for sharing them I may use a few down the road.. I have a set of end tables I am toying around the idea to do some stripes on the tops of next which is why I didn’t with the little table. Plus the little table in all white will fit perfectly with the master bedroom design in my son’s home so I don’t have to bother selling it. :-)

      I see things that sell for a lot in the larger cities, but for some reason no one around here seems to be able to make a lot of money off redoing furniture, I tend to try to do something simple that will draw a bigger audience, but I did do an a few end tables with a bit more color, the last one in a green milk paint with black edges and it was loved by the person who bought it. I just have to be able to find the right buyer for something unique.

      Glad you had fun imagining what you would have done.

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