One woman’s trash is another’s HUGE DIY PROJECT!

So I’ve rented a booth at a local flea market and I’m loving the whole refurbishing, up-cycling and re-purposing of  things other people do not want…basically their trash! In order to do this, I have found myself scouring other flea markets in search of a “deal”. I found just that on my lunch hour (my first job…the profitable one!). It was a pretty little curio that was very beat up and dirty but it was a steal! image (4)image (1)


After working on the clean up portion of this little DIY project, I realized what I had gotten myself into. Not only did it need stripping and refinishing, but I had to do a little carpentry work as well. I can hammer a nail or two when needed and I am proud to say I didn’t ask my husband for one minute of help:)

The plan was to clean it up, strip it down, sand it and repaint it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint…I chose Duck Egg for the occasion. Determined to finish it in one weekend (mainly because of the look on my husband’s face when I hauled the piece and supplies into our basement) but I was also very excited!

It wasn’t long into the project that I realized why others blogged their DIY projects! Sure, it is helpful to see someone else’s work and a step by step breakdown of how it was done along with useful tips but I wanted something to show for my sweat, tears, sore muscles and time devoted! Someone else needs to see this!!

Don’t get me wrong, I watched many a “how to” video and read numerous blogs on the subject before diving into my own. I just never dreamed I would be offering up advice myself?! I’m sure I will be sharing more useful tips as I complete more projects…trial and error!

So, here it goes!

First, like I mentioned, it was very dirty and it was heavily waxed/stained. I used three products that I felt did a good job (in addition to sand paper and good old elbow grease!

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The trisodium phosphate took off tons of stain/wax and the denatured alcohol did a great job of just cleaning the piece up before starting the painting project. I did sand quiet a bit to cut back on extra paint needed and I wanted to prevent peeling and scratching off of the Annie Sloan paint. Lets face it, that stuff is wonderful but way to expensive to use carelessly! The wood glue was used to put a few pieces back together with a nail or two. It did have a crack that required wood putty. I will not share the product I used for it because I was sorely disappointed in it.

I removed all the doors, hardware, ect before starting.

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As per advise, I used a fine grit sand paper (220 or higher). I also used a respirator and thick rubber gloves when working with the TSP. Trust me, your sinus passages will thank you later! To apply the chalk paint, I used natural bristle brushes and sponges for tight corners and the framing around the doors.

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Two coats is all it took with a touch up here and there. I did prime the inside of the hutch simply because it was plywood/particle board and did not sand down well.

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After painting, I debated on dark wax or just clear…I obviously had not cleaned my wax brush well from last project and when I started to apply clear wax with it, it still had dark wax on it…thus, my mind was made for me:) I am, however, very happy with the result.

After painting and waxing each of the individual pieces…

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I then, started to reassemble the curio. I painted the hardware with gold metallic paint to give it a shine after cleaning it did not remove the tarnish and rust like I wanted.

Remember to let the wax sit for a day or two before manipulating the piece and it actually takes about 20-24 days for Annie Sloan to “cure”. Until then, it is susceptible to scratching and such.

Another tip: when applying wax, use the dark wax, applying with wax brush and then go over it with clear wax, using cheesecloth or cotton rag. The clear acts as an eraser for the dark and it also smooths out the dark wax and makes it look more natural. If you’ve used too much wax, just keep buffing with cloth. The more you buff, the shinier the surface.


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I am a very impatient person. Most of my “projects” turn out unsatisfactory because I rush the job. I did get this entire piece completed in 2 days but I took my time and did things right. I did not skip steps or skimp on the work. I have aching hands (probably will be drawn in an arthritic claw by morning), down in my back, sore knees, shoulders and chest from the sanding, waxing and painting. I sweat nearly as much as I do in a 60 minute spin class and I’m currently so tired I cannot rest!!!

My husband says, sell it in your booth!!! I say, NO ONE will pay the price I want for it given the blood, sweat, tears and pain I put into this piece. No, this one goes in the dining room. It is my inaugural piece into the world of refurbishing!!

As soon as I can get up off the heating pad, taper off the muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories, I will start another project;)




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