Fixer Upper Los Gatos Style

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2 Years Ago today we were in Venice on our honeymoon!

After a couple of weekends of travel, My Man and I hit the estate sales hard in the last couple of weekends!  I also scoured Craigslist for free items. FREE under Craigslist in Los Gatos and Saratoga has proven to be a productive search.  It’s a great way to find unique pieces!

IMG_5240It didn’t take long before we had a garage full of pieces to get to work on.  Annie Sloan’s ears must have been ringing the last few days because I have been Annie this, Annie that with the chalk paint. I went all out! I used Duck Egg, Graphite, Old White, English Yellow, Paris Gray, and French Linen.  Check out all the gorgeous Annie Sloan colors! We used both clear and dark wax.

We bought Annie Sloan chalk paint at Magpie’s in Willow Glen.  It’s not cheap – $41 a quart with tax! We also make our own sometimes (not with any of these pieces).  Here is the “recipe” for homemade chalk paint!  The key is plaster of paris and warm water mixed with the paint.

Let’s start with this semi-mid-century dresser and nightstand.  It was filthy when we bought it. At first we thought we could wipe it down with Windex and see what happened. Not so much. After 40-50 years of use, the oil from people’s hands discolored the wood.  It was still in terrific shape so we rang the bell for Annie Sloan!IMG_5071

French Linen came to the rescue followed by clear wax.  I wanted the dresser and nightstands to be unique so I left the formica top alone. It coordinates so well with the French Linen!

The next piece was a mid-century credenza.  It wasn’t very attractive originally.  But I loved the three doors (including the one that folded down) and the hardware.  They looked like the sun to me!

IMG_5059I went Paris Gray on this piece.  I also used my hand-sander and went to town before I waxed it. It crapped out on me just as I finished the piece. It broke in half for the most part.  My husband and I chuckled. We paid $5 for it 3 years ago at an estate sale so I guess we got our money’s worth.  I hopped on Amazon.com and ordered a new one for just $24! The piece was finished with dark wax. I don’t think photos do this credenza justice. It’s so vintage looking!

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The next set is a mid century modern table and chairs (set was from 1956!  made in Van Nuys, Calif.).  My high school classmate (Kris Burshnick), has an older daughter who moved out to San Jose after graduating from Indiana last year. She moved into an apartment recently and needed a dining room set.  She loved this set as much as I did.

We bought a gallon of dark gray “Oops” paint at Home Depot for $9 and went to work on it! It needed to be scrubbed and also painted with two coats.

Morgan’s roomie, Megan, picked out the floral print.  The finished product was gorgeous!  Total stunner with lovely bones.

I forgot to take a picture of the next dresser before we went to work on it.  It was a cheapie that used to be in a bathroom (probably for about 30 years old honestly).  My man took an old table, cut the legs off and added them to the bottom of this dresser.  I wanted the dresser to be a little taller to give it some sass.

My neighbor Lindsey suggested I paint it English Yellow (middle below). It was brighter than the sun after two coats (hurts your eyes doesn’t it)! I quickly decided to distress it and then dark wax it. The knobs were originally big wooden ones (yuck!) so I went in our knobs bucket (we don’t throw anything away — see the blue bucket – it’s filled with knobs!).  I spray painted them gold!

IMG_5235I love the way it turned out! It reminds me of our honeymoon in Italy two years ago!  The legs were key in turning it from ugly duckling to a gorgeous sunshine swan. This dresser was super thin so it might look really good in a dark hallway.

After such a BRIGHT dresser, I toned it down for the next dresser set.  This vintage Bassett dresser I mixed some French Linen into Old White to give it an oatmealish color.  Vintage furniture in this kind of shape is practically priceless! What do you think of the before and after photos!

What’s not to love about Annie Sloan Duck Egg?  Even My Man loves it! Look how gorgeous it looks on this vintage Bassett dresser! (before and after)

I was on a bit of a Duck Egg roll, so the next dresser I did in Duck Egg as well.  This one I distressed lightly and waxed it with clear wax.  Just gorgeous.  It looks kind of beachy. I also spray-painted with gold paint.  I love to use the original hardware when I can. This maple dresser is also vintage and might be the heaviest piece I have ever helped carry!2016-05-10 15.46.25The final dresser and nightstand were the grand finale.  It was a Bassett dresser-the tags were still in the middle drawer!  This dresser was probably 50 years old, but it looked brand new!

IMG_5088My friend Kristin Ribas is in LOVE with Graphite and Gold. She suggested it for this dresser on Sunday while over for Mother’s Day. When she said it, I was like “Hmmmm …” It took three coats of Graphite.  I took my time with this dresser because it deserved all my attention!  See The In Between back there?  Read more about it here: The In Between.

I spray painted the original hardware gold (seems to be a pattern with the gold hardware!). It was finished with clear wax.  I am obsessed with Graphite and Gold.  I wrote a blog about it a couple of months ago.graphite dresserset of graphitenightstand graphiteLove it, don’t you?

P.S. Lara Spencer and Fixer Upper — we are ready when you are!

About UpCycling

daysunplanned View All →

Why Travel, Cooking and DIY? A creative type, I have always loved painting and decorating as a hobby. Upcycling is a real passion. My mom was a Home Ec teacher when we were growing up. I learned a lot from her and because I love hosting get-togethers, I had to step up my game in the kitchen as well. And lastly, my love of travel comes from my Grandma Schmitt.

An Illinois native, I worked in the White House Communications Agency early in my career (President Reagan), prior to returning to Illinois State University to finish my undergraduate and Master's. After a couple of post-graduate internships (minor league baseball and Big Ten Conference), I then worked in college athletics full-time for more than 22 years -- first at the University of South Carolina for 15 years and then at Santa Clara University for the last seven years. We moved to Tampa, Florida in Dec., 2016 after spending 8.5 years in Northern California.

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