Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sandpapered Vintage Beauty - and I'm not talking about me.

I've been reading all the DIY blogs to figure out how to vintagify the cupboard I wrote about it in my last blog post. You can read about it here. And still I did so many things wrong.

First, lemme tell you it was hard work! You have to do a lot of little things like

- tape over the hinges so you don't paint them
- cover the glass doors with newspaper so you don't paint over them

As you can see in the picture above, I painted one coat in grey - that was a totally unnecessary step unless you wanted the cupboard to be grey with touches of white. But I made the mistake of using too much paint for the 2nd coat of white. So the cupboard is now white with a little grey showing through. Sigh.

I also painted the inside white (again unnecessary - who's gonna look inside?) and as you can see one coat of white is not enough.
Bear in mind you have to wait for the sun to dry each coat of paint...and you don't wanna do this during the rainy season. Each time it threatened to rain, I had to call for help so somebody would carry the heavy lady inside with me....(altogether now..sighhhhhhhh)

Husband also helped me to re-hinge the two glass doors that the carpenter did a shoddy job of - they didn't even meet at the right point, at first.

After painting the whole cupboard white, here are the curvy legs mentioned earlier, with no character.

Then I used sandpaper to distress it. See how they look more vintage now? Oo la la...

Then I painted wood wax over the cupboard in strategic places while wiping it off immediately with a cloth (just like the DIY bloggers told me to - such obedience)
So much more character now! However, this was the tricky part. Overdo the wax thing and your cupboard will only look - dirty. Which it did. I had to sandpaper several spots where I thought it looked dirty instead of vintage.

Whichever way, my Mum is gonna say, "Why would you strip paint off the cupboard that was old and dirty and re-paint it to look old and dirty?"

It's ok. She's 78.

More work. The original knobs were missing. I didn't like the colour of the hardware knobs I'd bought (they looked too 'new'), so I just stained them with the same wood stain I had...(right pic is after staining)

Look at the beautiful knobs now...
Since I knew I'd be using it for my daughter's homeschool books, I wanted the inside of the glass doors covered with a curtain. Cos I didn't want the books seen. Really, all those pics you see of gorgeous bookshelves with books displayed on them? Now c'mon, does anybody really have collections of books that come in almost the same colours so that it matches with everything else? Look. Here's my point.

Or have all books in almost the same if not the same size?

It's just not real. So I wanted to cover the glass with curtains cos I didn't want the books to be seen.

Here's the before and after.

The terrible BEFORE

The Terrific AFTER!

I was so pleased with it, that I kept turning to admire it during every commercial break while watching American Idol (and trust me, nobody gets my attention when I'm watching American Idol)

BEFORE - One-eyed Jack.


AFTER - Lady Victoria (yes, I named her cos I get personal like that)

And yes, my husband will be very pleased to hear me say he was right to bring the before home.

What do you think about my sandpapered vintage beauty? and I'm not talking about me.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Today I Got to Know a Stripper (this post is G-rated)

Ok, confess right now. How many of you scrolled down to look at all the pictures before you thought of reading this?


I've just resigned from my much-loved job in the kindergarten. You can read about that here. (There was a change of management and the new management...well... brought too much......
'Nuff said.

So I'm taking a break at home. And that has its benefits....cos today I got to know a stripper!

Some months ago, this is what the cat husband dragged in. It has to be at least 50 years old.

My Mum wanted to get rid of it cos one of the glass doors had broken. So it had been sitting around her house for the longest time. My husband insisted we bring it home. I didn't want to, cos I knew who'd have to work on restoring it, y'know?

We huffed and we puffed and brought it home, where it has been for several months.

Since I became unemployed (this week), the other day I huffed and I puffed and shoved it into our Iswara (!), legs sticking out and all, and took it to the carpenter's to have new glass doors fixed. For the shoddy job he did, I could've done it myself (I grumbled about the cost - 120 ringgit for the two doors. I didn't want him to do just one, in case it didn't match the other)

Then I tried sandpapering it. But the ancient paint was so thick I knew it would take me forever
to get it off.

Painting a new coat over several layers of old paint would give it a horrid finish. So back to the DIY blogs I went.

Aaah....a stripper! That's what I needed. Come to me, babay!

Paint a thin coat of stripper on. And look what happens within minutes! WHOA! The paint starts to 'bubble' up and comes off dry, easily! (yes, that's me with mask and gloves on)

My stripper in all her glory at work! Don't you love what she does? (and she only cost 10 ringgit, wink wink) This was my first time ever! I loved watching her do her thing.

Then, you use a scraper and scrape the whole paint thingy off. This has gotta be the most fun part.

Ok, it isn't as easy as I make it sound. Cos under that layer of thick, white paint, there was a thin layer of greyish-blue paint (geez, fifty years ago, they had such a nice paint colour?).

I tried brushing on a wee bit of the stripper but it didn't bubble up. It just got a little gooey. And I was afraid to brush on more lest the wood got eaten into.

But this blue layer was thin, so I decided to just leave it and sandpaper as much of the white paint off, as I could.

And then I saw them! So that's what my husband must have fallen for! It was those gorgeous, curvy legs!

I'd seen them before but now I was looking at them in a different way. In an after-4hours-of-stripping-and-sandpapering way. Sheesh.

And now I'm putting-my-left-hand-over-my-heart-with-my-right-hand-raised-up-in-a-Scout's-honour, to say that I did NOT deliberately put this piece of news there! I just noticed it as I was uploading these photos! (read the newspaper...)

Morals of this story:

1. don't judge a book/blog post by its title

2. there's still potential in old things (and people)

3. if Tiger Woods hadn't hung around so many curvy legs....perhaps he might not have gotten
into so much trouble...

4. if you're going through a period of sandpapering, with people rubbing you up the wrong way, at school, at work, at home.. perhaps it's to show you the stuff that you're really made up of.


Stay tuned for the reveal of this sandpapered vintage beauty....
(ummm....I'm talking about the cupboard!)

This writer takes a lot of trouble to come up with these crazy posts. Do take a minute or two to leave a comment which will be much, much loved! And have you signed up as a follower yet? Promise you, all posts will be G-rated.