Journey from Junk Coffee Bar Upcycle

Journey from Junk


 This piece was a true upcycle piece! Found in a barn, dirty and used hard! I found it last summer and was just waiting for the right inspiration. It was a perfect February project! My idea came together when the old mirror frame I had purchased broke and the mirror came out. I decided that the mirror was too heavy for the frame and It needed to be replaced with something a little lighter.  It is so very satisfying to take old things, breath new life into them and create something unique and VERY COOL! It is original and can never be duplicated 100%.  This is how I created a coffee station from misc. pieces!

Step one was to remove the old stained cardboard back of the cabinet. This is one of the easiest improvements you can do for a cabinet or bookcase or possibly a desk. I purchased a piece of barn wood looking backerboard at Home Depot for approx. $18.00. It was a 4 x 8 piece and they cut my measured piece for me! Tip: measure twice, cut once (thanks grampy!) And there is plenty left over for several more pieces of furniture. I also decided to line the mirror with this, so I measured a rough area to cover the opening and had them cut this also. My husband will use the band saw to trim it in the shape of the mirror.  Do not put back on cabinet yet, just set aside. It is easier to paint a cabinet without a back on it!

I then glued and clamped the mirror back together and left to dry.

Next, I moved on to hardware. The hinges were quite rusty, and this piece was inexpensive, so I decided on new hinges. $2.52 for 2 at Lowes.  Tip: take a picture of the hinges on the cabinet and measure carefully. Hinges have changed a lot over time and are not easily replaced on old pieces. This can get expensive if you must order custom.  Do not put on the cabinet until after painting. I then removed the key hole parts as there is no key and filled the hole with stainable wood filler. Next, I purchased legs at Home Depot for $5.00 each.  I cut two strips from pieces of pine I had in garage and attached to bottom of cabinet for leg support. I used wood glue and screws to attach.  I then measured and predrilled holes to screw the legs into. Tip: if the legs have screws already in them, which these did, take a marker and color the end of the screw and place the leg where you want it. This will mark the spot where you need to predrill a hole!

Next decide if you need to sand any of the doors or drawers to help them open and close with ease. Even the thinnest layer of paint will impact how this goes so make sure, if you need, to at this point sand those areas smooth so that they can open and close with ease.

The next thing I looked at were the sides with peeling veneers. I decided to use the embossed wallpaper to cover the sided and the door insets. Unlike the piece I did like this with before, this time I will be dry brushing over the embossed pieces to highlight the details. The roll was approx. $17.00, and this is the second piece I have done with it and I have enough left to do several others! I would estimate the cost around $5.00. I measure, cut and applied the paper following the super simple instructions on the paper. This needs a 24 to 36-hour dry time so I took this opportunity to do a scrub cleaning with dawn dish soap on entire piece and set aside to allow the piece to dry completely! Take the doors off and remove all hardware in this process. You do not want to paint over hinges. They will look terrible in no time!

You are now ready to paint! I started with Kilz Primer as this is a dark wood and probably had chemicals in it. You do not want bleed through ruining your paint job! If I were painting a dark color, I might skip the primer, but I have chosen a light grey and white dry brush combo.  I primed the entire piece inside and out! I then let it sit over night to dry.

Now the easy part! Paint. I chose the Country Chic Lazy Linen and Simplicity to dry brush. I painted the entire piece inside and out and allowed several hours to dry. I then touched up with a second coat and let fully cure overnight. I then took the simplicity and dry brushed over, highlighting the embossed area. Love it!

The next thing was to put plain white drawer liner on all the shelves. I do this with most things involving the kitchen. I NEVER use contact paper. It is terrible to remove and we all like to have fresh drawer liner very occasionally! I simply use tacks to put liner in place. At home I simply lay it on the shelf and do not even tack down! Now that the inside is complete go ahead and put the backerboard on the cabinet in the same direction as the wood grain you are placing in mirror. That way when the cabinet is open the wood grain will appear continuous throughout the piece. Next put your hinges on and hang your doors. You can do it yourself, but it is so much easier with a little help holding the doors! For this piece I choose handles so I followed the tip earlier mentioned to mark the holes and predrill.

The last thing I did with the base cabinet, after putting the back on, I painted one coat of paint on the back. With todays “open concept living” you never know if the piece will be used to divide a room, create a seating area etc… so you always need to make sure the back is ok to show.

For the final part I attached the backerboard to the mirror and hung a cute metal coffee décor piece on it with hooks for coffee cups. I then attached to the bottom piece with metal brackets that I purchased on each side and a piece of wood attached down the middle to further brace the middle since there will be weight hanging on it.  I did not glue, just screw so the two pieces can be transported separately

And there you have it! My Journey from Junk Coffee Bar! I love it, lets hope my customers do also!!

Click on the pictures above for more views of the project!

Diamond in the Rough - Embossed Bureau

This piece was truly a diamond in the rough! At first glance my immediate thought was awesome, then I focused in and realized there were a lot of challenges with this piece and would take some time but it is January after all, and well here in Maine, we have time. Sometimes timing is everything and as it happened my mother shared a post in a Chalk Painting group with me that used the embossed method and I new immediately that this was the piece!

Here at the nest we love to talk paint, projects and creative ideas. I knew everyone would love to see a how to do this project! So here is a step by step of the project.

Below is a slideshow of the piece before beginning. The major issues were the veneer peeling, broken knobs, and key holes that appear tp have been dug out! Yikes, who does that! Also oil stains and cracks from time! We call them wrinkles in time!

Step one: PREP. This is the most important part of any project. If you are going to spend your valuable time and money you want it to last. Anyone that tells you Chalk paint requires no prep work is not giving you good advise. The amount of prep depends on the piece. For this piece the prep work was critical. You cannot fix everything, nor should you. I like to breath new life into old pieces but I value the age and character that old pieces offer! To repair the veneer, I used wood filler to smooth out flaking veneer, peeling anything that appeared loose and about to peel. I then used wood filler to fill in the dug out key holes as these could not be saved. I removed the broken knobs as my vision was telling me glass knobs would be needed to complete the look! Next I removed the drawers and sanded any edges that were needed. Depending where your piece came from, basement, garage, old home, storage or other, wood tends to swell as it absorbs moisture and shrink as it releases that moisture. Your drawers may not glide as you would like, so take the time to do this before you start painting. A wax rubbed on all drawer sides and edges will help them glide smoothly also!

After this is complete sand off any excess wood filler and any rough parts on the wood. Now grab some dawn dish soap and water and clean your piece 100%! So important! Once clean, wait 24 hours and let it dry completely before moving to next step. ALWAYS plan on prepping your piece the day before you need to paint. Never rush this, your prep work determines how your paint will set and last!

For this piece, due to dry time, this is where I also applied the embossed wallpaper to the drawers. Just follow the instructions on the paper it is simple and quick but requires 36 hours to dry before painting.

This piece was a dark wood oil stain and I knew there was a strong risk of “bleed through” using a white paint. Sure enough the embossed paper told me what I had suspected. When dry the paper turned orange in many places because of bleed through! You do not want this t happen with your chalk paint. This is in the Photos below! The next step was to prime! You usually do not have to do this with chalk paint except when there are dark oil based stains! For this I used Zinger, The Pro’s Choice! Once primed, let dry 24 hours! You need to let it dry through and be sure that all bleed through has been covered!

Click on the image below to see all prep photos!

If you have patiently waited the 24 hour dry time, you are ready to finish this off! I chose Country Chic Simplicity Paint. Do one coat and let dry completely. I usually wait 24 hours before the 2nd coat to see if there are any bleed through spots. Thank fully there were not! If this happens, simply put a little primer or shellac over the spot, let dry, cover with paint. I then apply a second coat and let it dry completely. Then do a light sand with a 220 sandpaper to get a smooth surface!. Identify any touch up area and take care of those.. Once you have the second coat complete and you are happy with it, let it fully cure for 24 hours! You are now ready to wax! For this I used a Country Chic Pearl Wax, as I wanted this to piece to shimmer slightly. I use the country Chic wax brush and a lint free cloth. Brush your wax on and smooth out and remove excess with the cloth. If you have used other waxes before, you’ll likely notice this is quite different than most others on the market. This wax doesn’t contain chemicals, whereas most other waxes on the market do contain them. Most people find Country Chic wax not only easier to use, they also like that it is a completely safe and non-toxic product. It actually smells really nice!
Wax will slowly wear off the surface, so it’s recommend you apply new wax about once or twice a year.

You are now ready to finish your piece with hardware, put it all back together and enjoy! You did it! Just beautiful!

Below are photos of the finished product!