No, I'm not dead. The combination of gearing up for Vintage Charm Holiday Boutique, and sick kids has occupied my last couple weeks. I definitely have projects to share, just gotta find the time to post about them. My most recent project I loved so much I decided to make time to share.
I LOVE the vintage-industrial look. Particularly, I've been dreaming of card catalogs. Think back to Library Day in elementary school.
( *For those of you under 25, a library is a place that houses books. *For those of you under 20, a book is a bunch of papers with words printed on them.)
Remember the process of looking something up before "Google" became a verb? You have to actually get up out of your chair, walk, using your own 2 legs, and dig through the card catalog so you could find a book on the subject. I'm not going to even bring up the Dewey Decimal System.
Anyhoo, I find several pieces by just going on Craigslist, heading to the furniture section, setting a price limit and seeing what comes up. It's like a box of chocolates.
Last week, while browsing, I came upon this super-cool, solid wood CD cabinet.
I instantly had a vision. This cabinet was dying to become a card catalog.
First, I removed all 15 wood knobs, added them to my stash, and filled all the holes with Bondo. I know I've mentioned this before, but if I am going to paint a piece, I always use Bondo instead of wood filler. It is so much easier to get a smooth finish, doesn't shrink, and it sands beautifully. Pretty stinky though.
After sanding the Bondo smooth, I brushed on one coat of Pitch Black by Old Fashioned Milk Paint to both the drawer faces and the body. Once that dried, I added some Snow White to the left-over black milk paint, bringing the color down to a charcoal grey with a blue undertone. Brushed that on over the black.
Oh forgot to mention, before applying the second coat of paint I applied a bit of Vaseline to the corners and a few edges to create a "resist" and leave the black exposed.
The milk paint was already starting it's chippy coolness before the paint was fully dry. After waiting a few hours, I took some steel wool and gave the whole thing a good rub down, releasing any loose paint. I've found steel wool works the best for removing paint without leaving those tell-tale sandpaper scratches.
I wanted to add some richness to the color, and add a little.... I don't know.....grimey-ness. So, I rubbed everything down with a coat of Antique Walnut stain, and left it to dry without wiping. It worked great! Kinda dirtied up the finish and settled into the cracks like a glaze.
I sealed everything with 2 coats of matte poly by Rustoleum (love that stuff!), and it was time to attach the hardware.
I found brass label pulls from D. Lawless Hardware for a shockingly low price! While on the subject, I had a great experience with D. Lawless. No, they haven't given me anything to say this, I just wanted to share my pleasant experience. While ordering on-line, I accidentally typed in my credit card number wrong. The next day, I got a phone call from Roberta from D. Lawless telling me the transaction couldn't process. I sorted that out, and received my order 2 days later!
While researching card catalogs, I noticed the drawer faces had 2 kinds of hardware: the label holder pulls, and a little knob. I figured out that the little knob is attached to the metal stringer rod that holds all the cards in place. I've seen furniture transformed into card catalogs before, but they always leave that detail off. I am nothing if not detail oriented.
Being the cheapskate I am, and not wanting to flank out tons of cash for little brass knobs, I wracked my brain for a solution. Did I mention there are 15 drawers on this puppy? Anything close I found was over $2 each. That would cut into my profit by almost $40.
Then I came up with a substitute. Wood button plugs! I just needed to paint them and attached them to the drawer faces like tiny knobs.
I finished both the label holder pulls and the button plugs in my faux tarnished brass finish (tutorial coming soon), and added them to the drawers.
I printed off some labels, put the drawers back in, and here's the final look.
I'm really happy with the way the paint turned out. It looks old and worn.
I think the button plugs worked great to mimic the brass knobs.
What do you think? I was going for authentic. Did I make it? At first I liked the contrast of the new, white paper, but as I look at it more, I think I'm going to antique the labels as well. Good idea?
Well, if you love it, make sure to stop by the Vintage Charm Holiday Boutique in Mesa, AZ on Nov. 21-23. I think it would be perfect in a bedroom for jewelry. I'll be bringing it and lots of other fun pieces to sell!
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