DIY Modern Deco Bar Make-over on Found Vintage Cabinet

Happy Fall All! The heater kicked on for the first time this morning, so it is officially Fall at our house. The leaves are starting to fall off the trees, and short sleeves have turned to long almost overnight. I managed to get this little project finished before the chill set in and painting outside became challenging.

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Modern Deco Bar Makeover.

I found this neat little vintage cabinet a couple months ago in an alley nearby. She had definitely seen better days to be sure. Someone had made her into an audio cabinet and had cut out a hole in the bottom and the back and added a speaker holder inside. The top mount for the right-hand cabinet was broken, with the wood broken off where the bracket screws in. I knew this would be a fair amount of work to fix, but the ol’ girl had “good bones”. The instant I saw her I knew she’d make a great bar.

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First thing I did was fix the broken wood with wood glue and tiny nails, then screwed the bracket back where it should be. Then I patched and repaired the wood with wood fill, let it dry, and sanded the area smooth. I then removed the old vintage hardware and patched the old holes. Then it was sanding time, just a light sanding to get it ready to paint. I also removed the wood piece inside that had been added for a speaker. I cut a new wood piece to fit over the hole in the bottom, and covered that and the ugly back pieces with a pretty Asian brocade fabric I had lying around (I think I found it at the thrift store long ago).

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In Progress…

I painted the feet first with a chrome metallic spray paint, which I also used to paint the metal plate that is on the front of the bar now (This was an old door plate left over from work on the house. It covers the old hardware holes perfectly and adds some nice bling to the front of the bar). I used black gloss spray paint on the rest of the piece, 2 cans worth. The finish wasn’t quite to my liking so I added a couple more coats of gloss polyurethane on top of that.

I love this little bar! It looks great in the dining room and adds much needed bar and wine space. We have room inside to fully stock it and will add wine to the lower right-hand space inside soon.

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The reckoning: I bought the pair of acrylic and chrome pulls on ebay for $17. I spent about $15 on paint, and bought the vintage Lucite tray on ebay for $22. I already had the fabric on hand and don’t recall what I paid for it, probably about $5. Not bad for a new bar! By the way, those two big awesome brass candlesticks were also found in the alley. I still can’t quite believe someone would throw them away, but I’m so glad they did! The brass candlesticks on top of the bar were found at the thrift store for a few bucks each and the decanter is one I painted about 15 years ago but still love. The Halloween “snow” globe came from the Target after-Halloween sale (50% off) about 7-8 years ago.

Quickie Cute Stool Redo: A Faux Fur DIY Make-over for $3

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I did a super-quick little make-over on this stool today. It took less than 30 minutes! We’ve had this vintage stool in the dressing room for years (it was my boyfriends before I can along so who knows how long he had it) and I’ve been wanting to give it a redo. I found this heavy-duty piece of sheepskin-esque faux fur at the thrift store for $2.99 last year and it worked great for this. Faux fur is very forgiving for this sort of thing. I also had a piece of thick foam leftover from another project that was perfect. I grabbed my supplies (pen, knife, scissors and staple gun) and went at it.

Here’s what it looked like before:

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I started measuring the foam by turning the seat upside-down on top of the foam and traced it with a sharpie pen. I started the cut with a utility knife as it gave me more control, then finished it with a sharp knife, slicing with a steady up and down motion.

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Then it was time to get stapling. I placed the foam on the stool, then turned it upside-down in the center of the fur. Start by stapling opposite sides, pulling firmly but not tight. Once each of the 4 sides are tacked down, go to the middle of each tack and staple, again going to opposite sides.

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Because of the way the legs sit on this stool, I had to cut in and staple around them. I found the center point, cut a semi-circle where the leg would go and stapled on either side of the leg, again pulling firmly but not tight. Be sure and stop periodically to check that the fabric is fairly evenly pulled all the way around so it’s not lop-sided when you’re done.

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Then finish it off, going around the outside and tacking down the remaining open bits. Done!

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Now we have a fun and comfortable stool in the dressing room, and all it cost was $2.99 for the fabric from the thrift store 🙂

4 Cast-off Wood Chairs DIY’d Into Black & White Awesomeness, a Before & After Make-Over Story…

I’m such a sucker for black and white. I knew that’s exactly what I was going to do to these the minute I saw them hanging out next to a dumpster in the alley. They were solid and in decent shape, good enough for a quick make-over to grace my dining room table. I’ll admit, they are not my dream dining room chairs (those would be the fabulous Louis & Victoria Ghost chairs by Philip Starke & Kartell), but until the beautiful day when I own those ghostly wonders, these will do just fine, thank you very much.

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This is how they looked when I found them. Dirty and forlorn, with no less than 5 layers of upholstery on the seats. It was like a decade-by-decade fabric trip back to the 1950’s…

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After I removed the seats and all those crazy fabrics, I sanded the chairs with a fine sandpaper to get them ready to paint. I then coated them with a gray primer, which I ran out of in the middle of the job. I got lazy and stopped there (I’d coated most of the chairs anyway ;-). They turned out just fine.

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I did the center parts in a white gloss first, 3 coats. After that dried overnight, I covered the white bits with newspaper and painters tape to protect them from the black paint.

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I ran into some weird issues with the black paint (you can see the all the strangeness on the backs of the chairs) so I had to let it dry and sand some more, then re-coat the chairs. I wound up doing 4 coats of the black gloss spray paint.

I covered the seats in an awesome white reptile-pattern vinyl I picked up at last January’s 30% off sale at Denver Fabrics. I love it! Here they are in the dining room. Now I can actually have a proper dinner party. The best part is that all it cost me was about $45 in spray paint and fabric.

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PS: Want to more about those other chairs at the ends of the table? They were found chairs, too! Mackenzie-Childs Style Chair Makeover.

I found and made over these cool Vintage Folding Chairs too.