Wink of Wood

 
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This pair. This pair of 3 drawer chests. This pair of 3 drawer chests with their clean lines and their gold buckle hardware. I wanted them so bad that I drove two towns over to pick them up. Twice.  No - not because they didn’t fit in my car but because for the first time in my furniture flipping career, I had to call an audible on account of the screaming baby in the car.

When I set up the meet, I figured all I really had to do was get baby H and me dressed enough to be considered decent, drive out there to pick them up, throw them in the car, then head home. Easy, peasy lemon squeezy.

That was my first mistake.

Baby fell asleep on the way. The seller was running late - no big! We can just wait in the car.

Strike two.

I had scheduled this pick up during what I learned later that many moms call “the witching hour” - that hellish time of day where baby can seem inconsolable…

YOU STRAIGHT FOOL YOU.

Never. Stop. Driving. If baby is asleep in the car, you keep that magical motion going or you’ll have hell to pay. Unbeknownst to me, the delicate window to get these pieces and be on our way without a nuclear meltdown BEGAN TO CLOSE as soon as we pulled up to the rendezvous. After 10 minutes of waiting, baby H went all Chernobyl and we had to evacuate STAT.

Driving home, my hormones triggered a meltdown of my own. I had been so hell-bent on maintaining my need to create that I hadn’t stopped to consider her needs. What if we drive all the way out there and we can’t get the pieces to fit around her car seat? Where will baby wait if I have to finagle them down some stairs?? What if something breaks in transit and there is super sharp debris rattling around her in the car??? These questions were raising an unforeseen growing pain of new motherhood (emphasis on the pain): how to rewire a ME to better think about SHE.

As she was wailing for relief from the car seat, I realized I had popped her in the car like an accessory. Something I could just bring along with me on a craigslist pick up like a tape measure or moving blanket. Yeah… NO. Babies are not tape measures people. And they will (un)happily let you know that.

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It was a valuable lesson about new motherhood and I have a hunch that I’m not done learning it. And perhaps never will be. Yes these dressers were a great buy for the business but if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. I pulled a new-mom mulligan and reached out to the seller to explain our no-show. She was gracious enough to reschedule with me the following day so I had a second chance to make juggling baby and a small business work. So we set out again - this time I made sure that baby had a full belly and a clean diaper first, and that the pieces were grab-and-go ready, and that they would fit safely around my most precious cargo (the baby… not the dressers). Fortunately for us this time, it worked out in the end but I’m acutely aware that that might not always be the case. And that’s ok. The beauty of owning your own business is that you should make it work for your family. Not make your family work for it.

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With the challenges of my first postpartum pickup behind me, I worked on the dressers when it wouldn’t interfere. Stringing together bursts of productivity during naptime or when Dad was home - and even sometimes with baby snuggled up and strapped to my chest.

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A series of nicks and dings meant I had to paint the majority of the pieces after all the repairs. I chose a favorite sIlky black paint finish for the body but still wanted some way to keep at least a touch of wood.

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The only place I could salvage ended up being a unique opportunity for a wink of wood. I knixed the original concave metal backplate in favor of staining the recessed cavity behind the gold buckle pulls.

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It’s just a peek but I hope someone will appreciate the subtle detail.

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I added dark walnut legs with brass sabots (that’s fancy furniture talk for brass shoes) to play up this little detail.

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With such richly dark pieces, I decided to keep the styling simple with a couple white accessories and a pair of arched floor-length mirrors.

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These babies are ready for a new home and I’m ready for a new project - provided I’ve figured out how to be a mom and a maker… *wink*

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Black 3-Drawer Dresser Set
Now Available for Sale
32”W x 18”D x 30”H
$795 for the pair

If you are interested in this piece or a custom order like it, email me at cate@stylemutthome.com

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Wall Mount Task Lamp || 2018 Flip List Item No.6

I did it again.  I took apart three light fixtures just to Frankenstein one.  This would be the fourth lamp I've built or rehabbed which means I may have a problem.

DIY Brass Chandelier

Geometric Lamp Copycat

Little Orphan Lampie

It started (like it always does) with a handful of parts that piqued my interest at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I wanted to replace the angular brass shade with the matte black one but couldn’t figure out to attach it so that it could adjust in any direction I needed.  So I brought the parts home to my workshop and added build a wall-mounted task tamp to my Furniture Flip Bucket List

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But then I found this interesting lunar landing light fixture with four articulating brass shades.  

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So I promptly harvested one to complete my fully adjustable assembly:

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My new lamp swivels

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The shade articulates

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And the brass pole can go up or down while staying mounted to the wood block on the wall.

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Oh yes and I have a new dresser to share too ;)  

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When I shared the original dresser on my Instagram stories, I had asked you about color for this piece.

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Admittedly, some of you baulked when I whispered I may be thinking orange for this one.  But I stuck with my vision and found the perfect mid-century inspired orangey-red for this one.

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Even though I painted the entire body, I kept the tapered legs in the original finish.

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I kept the original brass hardware too.

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The extra warm tone to this piece made it especially fun to style with a pop of turquoise and some delicious terracotta.

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I'm liking this color so much that I'm not listing it to sell in the warehouse just yet.  But in the meantime, at least I can cross off another flip list item.

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Five down, Two to go.  Catch up on the 2018 Furniture Flip Bucket List:

How to Repair A [Seemingly] Hopeless Dresser

As I mentioned on Monday, I finally found the perfect dresser for the next item on my 2017 Furniture Flip Bucket List.  

 
 

There's just a few little problems...

 
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And one big one.

See what I mean? Gasp!  There's a huge chunk missing from the decorative trim molding.  

Up until this point in my furniture refinishing career, I have only re-attached existing splintered pieces.  I've never conjured missing pieces of a dresser before.  I mean do I whittle it?  Cut the whole section of molding out and replace it with as close a match as I can find?  No my friends.  I am here to tell you today - there is another way.  And all you need is a few items from the hardware store:

A can of minwax wood filler with hardening agent
A wood shaver
A plastic putty knife
Scrap wood
screws
Some sandpaper

After watching a couple helpful videos, I learned that step one is to attach a piece of scrap wood underneath the damaged area with a few screws.

Following the instructions on the Minwax can, I mixed the wood putty with the hardener and applied it quickly to the effected area.

And I applied some to the chips in the veneer on the drawers while I was at it.

After letting it set, I gingerly detached the scrap wood - first by unscrewing it from the dresser, then by cutting away the excess hardened wood filler.

Now comes the fun part - sanding the hardened wood to match the contours on the molding as close as possible.

To get those clean lines, I used a wood shaver on the bottom until the wood filler felt flush with the underside of the drawer frame.

And also on the front edge since sanding would have rounded the edges too much.

After that, it was a matter of sanding the entire body of the piece to prep for paint.

And sanding the drawers to smooth out the repaired areas of the veneer too.

Now it's time to paint.  

Can you spot the repair?

How about now?

Once painted, the damaged areas are virtually undetectable!

I am so pleased to find that such a seemingly "big" problem can be fixed by such a small can of wood filler!

I hope this little tutorial saves a dresser or two from the dump.  And if you end up giving this repair method a try, feel free to share your experience with us!

P.S. Read more about this dresser's transformation on Apartment Therapy!