Stereo Cabinet to Media Console

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When you hit up a lot of thrift stores, like I do, you start to see the same items over and over. Stereo cabinets are one of those discarded items I always spot but never purchase. They are as common as donated bedpans.  Usually in the same department as bedpans.

Sidetone:  Who donates these bedpans?  

Why are they being sold and not thrown out?  

Are bedpans a hot seller?  

This can’t be sanitary?

Surely not.   

This, my friends, is why you must always carry hand sanitizer into thrift stores.

And also why thrift stores smell so funkay.  

Bleh.
  

Anyway.

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Enough bedpan talk. 

 I had never purchased a stereo cabinet before, but always admired them, thinking one would make a good media console.  It’s the perfect size and shape for storing your cable box and your kid’s collection of Disney movies. 

 

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I found this old radio console for $25.00 at Goodwill.  The thrift store goddess was looking down on me that day because when I asked about purchasing it the Goodwill employee exclaimed “$25?  That’s too high!  Let me ask my manager if we can get you a better price.”

Well, if you insist. 

So I scored it for $15.  

It was already gutted with the record player and speakers removed. 

All I had to do was shine it up.

 

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Since the lines of the piece were very mid-century modern I decided to stick with a modern look. I busted out my go-to color, Naval, from Heirloom Traditions.  It is the absolute perfect color of Navy.  

 

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I only painted the body and sealed it with Dark Umber Soft Wax

  

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Midcentury media cabinets are hot items, as I had been eyeing a few from West Elm when I searched for my own media console.  The price tag for furniture like this is not cheap – so this Goodwill find is a steal. 

 

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I found a similar credenza from Urban Outfitters for $649 but I might be too old and uncool to shop somewhere like that anyway. 

 

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For the interior and the front panel of wood I just revived it with hemp oil.  You seriously just rub the stuff in and it brings the wood back to life.  No staining needed.

 

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The inside had this lattice work as a makeshift self.  I cut a piece of wood to replace it but the lattice is sturdy and I sort of like how it looks.  Maybe a little janky for some people, so I will give whoever buys this piece the fancier shelf and let them decide.

 

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The top flips open, where the record player once lived, but now is the perfect spot for a cable box.

 

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The openings on both sides would be a great place for wire baskets.  

 

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I don’t do many midcentury or modern pieces but sometimes people think of painted furniture as only for “shabby chic” decor.  Painted furniture can be whatever you want it to be and that’s what makes it addictive. 

 

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Although this modern piece isn’t a project I would normally tackle,  stepping outside of my comfort zone makes me feel like I am growing as an artist.  Maybe I will sell my new credenza and keep this one instead.

You can also check our more projects painted in Naval here and here.

PS:  This piece of furniture is for sale.  Email me at allison@refunkmyjunk.com if you are interested!

 

 

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Working With Metallic Paint & Finishes

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Metallic paint is one of my favorite ways to dress up a piece of furniture!  The transformation is always a show stopper and the process is pretty easy, especially if you have messed up as many projects as I have.  Maybe this post should be called Metallic Paints – What Not To Do – A Cautionary Tale. Dun Dun Dun.  

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Heirloom Traditions sent me some of their new Metallic Masters Top Coat and I knew exactly what I would do with it.  

 

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I’ve had this piece of furniture for over 1 year and have struggled to get inspired by it.  Obviously, since it has been collecting dust for that long.  I bought and painted a dresser for my bestie when she was expecting a baby girl and the person who I bought it from had thrown the credenza in for super cheap, so of course I said yes.  Now that I think about it her daughter is now 2 years old so it’s even more sad I’ve had this for 2+ years.  

 

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Metallics are really fun to play with but knowing a few key tips when using it can make a huge difference.  

 

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TIP #1:  Paint A Base Coat

The first thing you want to do is paint a base coat onto your furniture.  Even when I have used Ralph Lauren Metallic Paint and Martha Stewart Metallic Paint I always put a base coat of paint down before applying it.  Using a chalk-type paint like Heirloom Traditions almost acts as a sort of primer to soak up all of the metallic goodness.

 

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This piece I painted in Repose, a soft light gray.  I wanted a silver finish so I stayed with a gray paint.  

 

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Tip #2:  Stir and Stir Often

Metallic paints and top coats need to be stirred really well.  The pigments are really high quality and heavy so they tend to settle at the bottom of the can.   Lack of stirring will result in inconsistencies in brush strokes.  Again, this is with any metallic paint or topcoat you use.  

 

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I painted the entire body of this piece with Precious Pearl and used a sponge brush on the smaller areas.  

 

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Tip #3:  Work with Long Brush Strokes

Move your brush in long strokes and in the same direction as your previously painted finish.  This helps minimize brush strokes and not have an obvious edge where one brush stroke started and another one ended. 

 

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I kept the door fronts in the matte finish of Repose and stenciled Precious Pearl  to have a contrast in matte and metallic finishes.  It’s not super obvious but the light really picks up the metallic, giving it a modern, yet glamorous, effect.

 

A video posted by Allison Griffith (@refunkmyjunk) on

I made a quick video on Instagram showing my trick to stenciling – it’s all in the brush and how you apply the paint – in a circular motion.  I swear by this stencil brush from Royal Design Studios – they gave me a brush so I could try it out a few years ago when I made this stenciled canvas wall art for my bedroom.  I will never stencil any other way. 

 

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I did have to touch up a few areas where the stencil bled through but it only took me a few minutes to put my OCD at ease.  
 

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The Metallic Masters Top Coat is a metallic and a top coat in one – so that is all I had to do!  Done.  

 

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Metallic Masters are available in two finishes,  a top coat and a patina.  The top coat is a liquid brush on formula and the patinas are more like a wax consistency that you apply and wipe off the excess.  The patinas are also more highly pigmented with the metallic.  

The Metallic Masters Top Coat and Patina come in several colors:  Tarnished Silver, Precious Pearl (which is what I used on this project), Golden Glimmer, Copper Penny, and Champagne Shimmer.   If you want to buy them before I have it on my shelf you can head over to Heirloom Tradition’s website and shop online there. It won’t hurt my feelings.  Promise.  

 

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What do you think about metallic furniture?  I read somewhere that metallics and mirrored furniture was on it’s way out in 2015.  I just can’t be friends with who ever said that.  We would never get along.  

metallic paint

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.

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My TOP Yard Sale Shopping Tips

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This morning I did a few segments on our local news with Ashley from Freedom 43 Rise & Shine about one of my favorite subjects – yard sale shopping tips!  (You can check out the segments HERE) Most people love the thrill of the garage sale hunt but get discouraged when they spend a few hours hunting for goodies on a  Saturday morning and come up empty handed.   
 

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Since we are right in the middle of prime garage sale season I  decided you can’t live another day without these tips!  Today I am sharing my top 6 yard sale shopping tips so you, too, can have luck treasure hunting in your own town!  

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Tip #1:  Be prepared.

The best way to prep for Garage Sale success is to have a list of the items you need.  Browse your home and take inventory of the household items you might need to buy or replace soon.  From small appliances, to children’s toys, tools, and storage containers – see what you need and keep a list handy to keep you on track .  If you are shopping for furniture make sure you measure the space in your home where the furniture will live.  Nothing is worse than finding the perfect piece of furniture, hauling it home, only to have it be too large for the space (ahem, notlikeIamspeakingfromexperiece).  Also, keep a list of everyone’s sizes handy.  

I like to use my iPhone notes section to keep track of what I am looking for. Currently on my list is:  a blender for mixing Milk Paint, outdoor kids toys, kids fall clothes ( sidetone:  I try to stick to name brand clothes when buying at garage sales – not because I care about the brand – but because I feel like the quality is better), and of course, always furniture and smalls.  

Tip #2:  Map Your Route

Now you have compiled your list of the  items you are looking you can now use it as a guide for determining what type of neighborhoods you want to shop in.  Typically newer homes will have more clothing, children’s toys, and baby items because they are usually owned by young and growing families.  Older homes are usually owned by a more mature crowd and will most likely have more vintage pieces and home decor.  This is not a hard and fast rule, but a good guideline to help you decide where you want to spend your time. 

yard sale shopping tips

I would highly recommend using a garage sale app for your phone to keep track of what garage sales you want to go to.  I use Yard Sale Treasure Map. It will pull all of the garage sales from Craigslist and your local paper and display them on a map for you.  You can click on the red dots to read the garage sale’s ad and then you can decide if you want to save it to your route.  After you have saved all of the sales you want to shop at then Yard Sale Treasure Map will make a list and even create the most efficient driving route to hit up every single sale.  Seriously, when you have small kids like me, and you are paying a babysitter so you can garage sale, you gotta have a game plan for every second of your time. 

yard sale shopping tips

 

Tip #3: Decide What Time You Want to Go

If you want the best selection then 8am on a Friday or Saturday morning is the best time to go.  If getting the lowest price is your main motivation then go at the end of the sale – usually around 1:00pm.  People who are having the sale are tired, hot, and over it.  They are ready to not ever look at their items again and will be ready to give deep discounts.  If you have ever hosted a garage sale you know what I mean here – at this point I would pay someone to take this  stuff out of my house.  

Tip #4:  Don’t be Afraid to Haggle

Asking for a lower price can be intimidating at first but once you get the hang of asking then it can be addictive.  I have asked for discounts at Walmart before – much to the dismay of my embarrassed husband.  Hey, if their fresh flowers are past the expiration date on the package and are 50% dead I think I should get a 50% discount!  Here are some great ways to negotiate a lower price: 

  • Buy in bulk from one seller.  Make a pile  of items from the same seller and calculate the total.  Say something like: “This pile adds up to $25, would you take $18?”  They will usually be more than willing to give you a deal the more junk you are taking off of their hands. 
  • Let the seller name the price.  Put the price in their court.  You can say things like “What is the lowest you can go?”  or “Is this price firm?”  Let them respond.
  • Don’t be rude.  Please. In any way.  At all. Never.  The world has enough trolls.  Don’t be one. 
  • Have exact change!  Get lots of one dollar and five dollar bills.  It’s seriously awkward when you negotiate a seller down to $5 and you hand them a $20.  

garage sale tips

 

Tip #5:  Know The Going Price for Items

Have your phone ready to look up the value of items on the spot.  

A perfect example of this is when I found a Jeanette Shell Pink milk glass cake plate for $2.00 at a garage sale.  I was able to quickly look on Etsy to find out the going rate for this cake plate was $100!  Booyah. 

Even if you are searching for kids toys you can find out how much they cost new on Amazon with the touch of a button and decide if you are getting a good enough discount to to buy it used.  

A few of my other favorite websites are 1stdibs.com – a great resource for looking up antique furniture and Ebay.  

Tip #6:  Have an Open Mind!

Look at everything! For years I would turn my nose up at adult clothing at garage sales until I scored a $158.00 Easter dress for $10 with the tags still on it!  Lesson learned.  Now I never pass up the clothing table.  

Be imaginative – finding beauty in lost and discarded items is half of the fun! 

What is your best tip for Garage Sale success?  Leave a comment and let us know!

yard sale shopping tips

 

 

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A Trip to a Netherland’s Thrift Store

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I have another European buffet makeover for you guys today. I know. Don’t hate me. 

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I blogged about a European buffet a few weeks back.   Jaime from Lavender and Lemon painted another gorgeous piece for our upcoming Lost & Foundry Warehouse Sale in July.  
 

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She purchased this buffet at a thrift store called RD4 in Maastricht Netherlands.  She explained to me that thrift shops in the Netherlands are called Kringleloopwinkle which translates as circle loop store.  Jaime lived in Europe for 4 years and has the most amazing furniture to show for it. I googled to find more info on RD4 and stumbled onto this nugget of information from livingingk.com:

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Dumping European furniture for Ikea?  Say it isn’t so.

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I also let my daydreaming get even more out of hand when I found the address of the Kringleloopwinkle, located the store on Google Earth, and proceeded to photoshop our faces in the window.  The expressions on our face says it all. #likekidsinacandystore

 

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The buffet was painted in a mixture of Thunderous, Mocha, and A La Mode (more on that below) and finished in White Lime Wax by Heirloom Traditions Paint.  

 

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heirloom buffet

She used 4 parts Thunderous, 1 part Mocha, and a smidgen of A La Mode.  I played with the colors and I loved this greige color she developed.  

 

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White Lime Wax is the perfect finishing touch to a European piece of furniture.  Anytime I need some European inspiration I browse the painted furniture section on 1stDibs.com   (if you click on the link I did the search for you).  Most of the pieces look like they were finished in White Lime.  Using White Lime is an easy cheat to getting a high end look.  It looks great on oak because the grain is so deep and the wax enhances every groove in the wood. 

 

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The shield carved into the doors of the buffet are so unique.  I have been searching all over the interwebs to find out more about this shield but I have come up empty handed.  And before you get your panties in  a wad about painting this piece it was broken and in bad shape before Jaime took a paint brush to it.  M’kay.  And if you know anything about this piece of furniture please let me know.

 

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The metal detail, once painted and distressed, looks gold and gorgeous. 

 

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See what I mean about bringing out the grain?  I could just eat White Lime for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  It looks good on everything.

 

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The piece even has it’s original skeleton key. I keep imagining someone in the 1800’s locking something very important in here.  

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This piece of furniture will be a statement maker in any home.  I can’t wait to see who buys it!  

What do you think about the White Lime look?  Have you tried it yet?  I know some of you have because I have been sold out of it!  (I just restocked last week –  so rest easy – it is in stores and in my online shop as well).  I would love to hear about or see pictures of your projects.

Check out a few other projects I have finished in White Lime here.  Yes, I have a White Lime problem.  Paula, the Creative Director at Heirloom Traditions just sent me a huge box of new products from Heirloom.  I think that was her way of gently  saying “Can you blog about something else besides White Lime Wax?”  Ha.  

If you are not local to the OKC area stop by Heirloom Traditions website  and find a retailer near you. 

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