Wednesday, April 27, 2011

DIY Vintage Sign Restoration ~

I felt so lucky to spy this old business sign at Flea Market Wednesday.. The wood has a absolutely gorgeous grey patina from years and years of being exposed to the outdoor elements...... Only a few speckles of black paint remained on it's surface... A faint outline of the original letters lightly graced the weathered wood...


A full 8 feet long, I wasn't sure it would fit it in my SUV... 
so I walked away...

A few minutes later, 
my heart fell into my stomach and I panicked...

I thought...

"Why didn't I buy that sign???"

"Hurry go back" 
I told myself!!

Since I was an early shopper this past week,
(the kids were on spring break)

my sign was still there!!

The seller refused to negotiate with me (grrrr...)
but I bought the sign anyway...


Love the soft driftwood color!!!


You can see a very faint outline of the original letters 
which had virtually no paint remaining....

It 's ghost appearance spelled out:

KINGS COUNTY ABSTRACT CO


A slight indent revealed that the letters were once pressed into the wood...

I knew I would want to paint the letters back onto the sign...


So I traced each letter's outline back onto the wood
with a regular lead pencil...

This gave me a foundation outline to repaint each letter...


I bought acrylic paint from Joann's Fabrics. 
It was called "stencil paint" and was about $2.00 for the bottle.





I painted the letters in pure black 
knowing that I would be sanding and distressing them back off...


Here's the sign 
before I distressed the paint...



I bought some sandpaper specifically made for paint removal... 



It was very coarse and did a great job at removing just the paint 
without scratching the wood all up!





I went over the letters till I removed just the right amount of paint. I could have gone a bit heavier and taken more off, but since I was going to hang the sign very high, I stopped while the letters were still somewhat dark.


The black edge shown above is the original paint....


I have high ceilings in my kitchen 
with some niche areas that were empty and undecorated. 

At 8 feet long, 
this sign was a "statement piece" 
big enough to fill the empty space...




I added my vintage tea tin 
which I purchased a while ago 
at Flea Market Wednesday....

and dropped in a (fake) ivy...



I also added 2 glass bottles to balance out the other corner...




For two years, I never knew what to put up there. I bought this sign because I loved it.  I never guessed this is where it would end up.... It just seemed to work out!  I love when that happens!

So glad to finally have that space decorated!

It was such an easy project,
I want to make another sign!


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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Flea Market Wednesday - The Good, The Bad & The Rather Ugly~

I'm not gonna lie... 
Flea Market Wednesday wasn't fun.... 

It seems that every dealer and their sister were snatching up the goods. I can never get to the Wednesday Flea early enough (to find the really good stuff) because I have need to drive the kids to school. Those darn kids! Don't think I haven't wondered if they could just walk to school on Wednesdays....

(I'm kidding!)

There's nothing worse than parking your car and seeing treasure after treasure being loaded up in somebody elses truck! Okay, there is something worse.. bad flea market behavior!!

I saw it on Wednesday... 
(we will get to the "bad behavior" in a minute)

It was about 9:00am and I had just arrived at the flea market... A perfect morning to stroll about the flea market... 68 degrees and sunny... So, I was casually browsing the first aisle and feeling pretty good since I had already found and purchased a vintage brown transferware bowl/pitcher combo....


I added the brown transferware bowl to my collection....


This was GOOD!

Back to the flea market...
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a new seller arrive. She got out of her truck and started to unpack her merchandise... all of a sudden she was surrounded... other dealers started pulling and yanking stuff right out of her unloaded truck... There were masses of people all trying to "pick" this seller's goods... 

It was overwhelming to watch... The seller could not keep up with the crowd and I felt bad for her... People were yelling prices and snatching her things left and right... I watched from the distance... not even sure what I was seeing..

I turned to another shopper and jokingly said,
"What's she giving away???"... 

I was told 
"She just arrived and 
 she's got fresh merchandise"...

Fresh??

I looked over again....
I envisioned a pack of coyotes swarming their prey... 

Have you ever seen behavior like this???  
It was BAD!


Now are you ready for some 
UGLY??!!


I found this Rooster - Chicken concrete statue 
at Flea Market Wednesday 
just sitting an a seller's van... 

You know what that means right?? 

When an item is sitting in plain view
"In the Van"...

It's an unspoken flea market rule 

Let's call this
Rule #2

(Interested in reading about Rule #1 click here)

Rule #2 :
"I bought this item at the flea market 
very, very early this morning, 
(when you were busy taking your kids to school...) 

and it's for sale...

but you're going to pay me
DOUBLE
 what I paid for it" 


Since I have a thing for chickens
and 
I really like this dealer

I was willing to pay his price...

which was still a bargain in my book...

even if he did double his money!

But there was an unsightly ugly problem with the statue. 

Some of the paint was wonderful
and very chippy
which I loved.....


And some of the statue had been repainted
in a horrible shades of

red
and
brown...

The white paint seemed to be original 
with a great crackled patina....

but

the brown base looked so ugly with it's repainted finish!

To make matters worse, 
the red areas were newly painted 
a horrible shade of 
clown red!!

So, I debated whether or not I even wanted the statue....





The red part was the color that bothered me the most. 

The clown red was much brighter and uglier than my outdoor photos show. I expressed my concerns to the seller, not because I wanted him to knock some more $$ off the price, rather, I just wasn't sure the colors of this statue was going to work in my kitchen...

The seller gave me the best tip EVER!

And now I'm going to share it with you....

EASY OFF OVEN CLEANER!!

He told me to spray the 'new paint' with EASY OFF 
and then scrub it with a brush...

Guess what?

IT WORKED!!

Here is the before....


Notice the brown base above....


The Easy Off bubbling up the paint....


and the old, original paint starting to appear!! 
Look at the yellow and green original paint starting to appear!!

I did a total of 3 Easy Off coats on the brown base 
and I was very happy with the results!

BASE AFTER:



Next, I started to work on the red paint
and it was sticky and a bit more stubborn...

I ran out of oven cleaner after the first coat...

But, 
I am very impatient 
so I brought the statue into the kitchen anyway 
just to check it out...




I think the red areas could use 
another coat or two 
of the Easy Off...

and possibly some sandpaper!


But I think it's a BIG improvement 
after just one coat of the Easy Off!!



The statue is a nice compliment 
to the needlepoint cushion on my settee ...


Next time you see a great statue 
with a bad repaint job...

don't be afraid...

Get some Easy Off and strip the paint!

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Beachwood Wicker Hurricanes at Target ~

This is a Public Service Announcement!!
Get in your car and go to Target 

RIGHT NOW!!!


These are the cutest wicker hurricanes with glass inserts...
Something you would see at Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn...



The Wicker is a driftwood color 
wrapped around a dark zinc color metal...
Glass insert is included!!


Smith and Hawken I {heart} you!!!


I added flameless candles so I don't need to worry about them indoors...


I love them outdoors as well!!


The price was AMAZING...
$14.99 for the small 
and 
$19.99 for the tall...

I bet you could see these at Restoration Hardware for $89 and up!!

They are on the Smith and Hawken end cap...
GO NOW!!!
They are sure to sell out!!

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