|For the Love of Leftovers|

I love leftovers.

Let me be more clear; I love scrap material leftovers, not food leftovers. Yuck. Food leftovers are never as good as they were the first time whereas scrap leftovers get better with age; and I love them “ripe”.

Here’s one pile of my leftovers on hand.


Yesterday, I decided to turn them into a chalkboard for one of my barren dining room walls.

When we moved, our highend items were wood created by a specialty moving company. They came out and built custom crates in our garage to safely transport each item (tv’s, taxidermy, antique mirrors, etc.) I broke the crates down as we unpacked and saved the good pieces of wood for later use. (My coffee bar in our new house is also constructed using this scrap wood. That is the project I was working on when our house caught fire. Anyway – post on that project coming soon…)

I used a 1×8 board for the top, and 1×4 boards for the other three sides.

I cut an arch in the top board to resemble the archways throughout our home.

I didn’t have to cut down any of the boards. I used them all as is. That’s a perk of having so much on hand. There has to be the perfect piece somewhere (although, cutting a piece down probably would have been faster than “hunting”).

I sanded each board with my palm sander to get the best penetration for the stain at application.

I constructed the pieces with wood glue and stapled the seams together on the backside where the boards met. Plywood was then glued and stapled to the back side of the completed frame.



I then covered the middle chalkboard part with a plastic trash bag and painters tape so I could stain the frame without getting stain on the chalkboard area – I didn’t want the stain to hinder the chalk paint adhering to the plywood. I added a coat of my favorite stain (Minwax Honey) and after that dried a bit, I added some streaked black paint that I rubbed in to make it look as though the frame had been oiled or burned. I removed the bag and tape and added a couple coats of Valspar Chalkboard paint.


I let the project dry for 3 hours before adding script.

Here is the finished, hung project.


Construction/paint time: 1 hour

Dry time: 3 hours

Hang time: Forever (well, until the next relocation, anyway. It’ll have many homes in its lifetime.)

(I have the board hanging on the wall with Velcro Command Strips by 3M at all 4 corners. I love these things.)



She’s snug as a bug on that wall.

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|When In Doubt, Paint It – Part 2|

When deciding what items in my stash to keep, throw or donate, depend on one thing: shape. 

When deciding what ugly items to purchase from a thrift shop, depend on one thing: shape. 

If I like the shape/design/architecture of any item, it’s a keeper. Anything, and I really mean anything, can be painted. Whether made of wood, glass, plastic, metal, foam, clay, porcelain, leather, etc., etc., (just like Apple has an “app for that”) the hardware store has a “paint for that”.

When setting out to create my Gallery Wall a few months ago, I lacked one necessary thing: frames. I had a few, but not enough to create any type of gallery. I needed to go shopping. Since I’m a thrifter, the local second hand stores were my go to destination. 

NOTE: I will not buy most anything brand new (unless it’s underwear) or well priced decor items from stores like Gordmans or TJ Maxx. Prices on new items are nothing short of ridiculous. If I don’t find what I’m looking for on my first trip to a second hand store, I keep looking. The project will wait until I find pre owned items that will fulfill my vision. Or, it better be a damn good priced clearance item. 

This trip I got lucky and found these beauties:


A set of two, for $3.99. Yes, they are ugly as sin but look at that detail in that frame! And, they had wire loops on the frame for hanging, rather than a hanger on the rear of the photo mat! Double score. ✔️✔️

I took them apart to toss the picture and paint the frame. In this case, I guess many years ago, the picture was glued directly to the glass. I thought about throwing the glass and all away, but in the future, I may want to use it to display an actual photo so I saved the glass for safe keeping if I need it later.

To remove the picture from the glass, I placed the glass in hot water so I could soak off as much of the photo possible, then scraped the excess with the flat back of a tablespoon. I used Glue-be-Gone to clean the paste residue and did a final cleaning with windex to make it look brand new again. Now both glass pieces and mats are wrapped and stored for possible future use.

I took the frames to the garage after I wiped them down with a washcloth and sprayed it with a few coats of (flat) off white paint and let it dry. That was it. No prep, no long processes, nothing. Just cheapy paint from Walmart – it’s magical stuff. Magical stuff at only $2 a can and in multiple fantastic colors!

Behold:

 

My spray paint technique: 

My first coat is very thin – almost like I “splatter painted” the item. I do not do full coverage with my first coat. I find the faint painting on the first coat gives the remaining coats something to “hold” onto. After the first coat dries, I spray an almost full second coat. I apply a third coat only as needed. Because of the iron material these frames were made from, I did a third coat.

The two frames and their architectural beauty really round out my gallery wall. 


Probably the best $3.99 I’ve ever spent. 😉

See the lovely 6 panel “window” frame back there? It was once a (putrid) green colored framed mirror. Thrift shop find. I paid $5. I removed the mirror and revamped the wood frame with, you guessed it, paint. I watered down a little bit of black furniture paint I had on hand and “washed” (wiped) it onto the frame with some paper towel. I went in afterward with a sponge brush to get the crooks and crannies that the towel couldn’t access. Any excess paint was simply wiped away. Some of the green shows through and it looks fantastic. (As you can see in the photo below, I beat the frame up a little bit with nails to create “worm holes” to add some character before applying the thin black paint to the frame.)


I bought this (once ugly) wooden sign at a craft fair that someone hand painted with a slogan and weird checker border. In my defense, it was cute 15 years ago. Fast forward, now, not so much anymore, so I painted it with black chalkboard paint. Now I can change the look whenever I want in just a matter of minutes with chalk!

Paint can be your best friend (it is one of mine)! It is the easiest, cheapest way to make a change; to anything (except humans and animals). Plus, if you don’t like the end result, it easy to do again. So, take a chance and go paint something. Then, share it with me so I can see! 😍

Thanks for reading (and following)!