Wednesday, November 19, 2014

furniture makeover -- a trash picked plant stand

I can never help myself when I spot furniture on the curb. I always have to take a look. I've found some gems over the years. Some of my favorite pieces, actually (this one, for example). There have been some ill-advised picks, too, but that's ok because when I came to my senses those ended up back on the curb. There's something beautiful about the cycle of it all. Recycling. One person's trash...

This past summer I found a plant stand on the side of the road while we were walking the dogs. I didn't pick it up then and there (sometimes a mistake), but came back after our walk on our way to run some errands and it was still there.

before

It was a bit battered and a bit wobbly. The undersides of the different shelves hadn't even been stained, but I fell in love with the thought of giving it new life with some bright paint. I sanded it lightly and tightened up the spindles, adding a little glue between the spindles and one of the side stands which was swinging freely. Then I stored it until I had time for painting. I also needed some time to decide on a color. Oh, the possibilities.

This fall I worked my way through painting a few little tables I use as plant stands. I painted them with leftover paint from other projects. I love how happy they look now (I plan to share them with you once I finish I couple other painting projects). On a roll I decided that my found plant stand would be next. Instead of going out to buy new paint, I decided to use one I already had (the same paint I used for my little wall cabinet here. It is Eucalyptus Leaf by Behr). I like that my outlay for this project was nothing other than time.

I've streamlined my furniture painting over the years and have found a system that works pretty well. Start with primer and then over a course of a few days paint at least two, but probably three coats of color. Nowadays I always finish up with protective top coat (I like this Minwax product) because the paint by itself never wore well for me. I usually paint three coats of that, sanding lightly after the first two coats (all three coats can be done in the same day with a couple hours between for drying. The last coat needs 24 hours to cure). Even though the overall process takes almost a week, the nice thing about it is that it doesn't take much time any of those days. A quick coat and you're done.

When I was done the plant stand ended up in the dining room, although I'm not sure if that's where it will stay.

mint, aqua, chartreuse, wood floor, behr paint, eucalyptus leaf

I like the combination of colors there against the white walls.*

painted furniture, hanging plant, white walls, behr paint, eucalyptus leaf

Even without plants the piece brings a bit of cheerful brightness to the room.

I'm not really sure what plants to put on the plant stand, either. My little plants are all nestled into sunnier spots and most of the larger plants won't fit. I'm trying out a couple from here and there.

houseplant, behr paint, eucalyptus leaf

houseplant, doily, milk glass, behr paint, eucalyptus leaf

Imagining vintage doilies under each plant (and milkglass planters... geez, maybe Matthias is right and I am an old lady).

I think I may need to find a few more little plants, a thought that makes me miss living in Cleveland where I had so many houseplant buying options a very short (and very traffic filled -- nope, don't miss it) distance from my house.

What about you? Do you pick up furniture off the curb or like to refinish old pieces?


*Do you notice the reflection in the mirror? You can see the mustard of the living room walls. That is one of the painting projects on my list. And it's been on my list for quite a while. Maybe admitting that and seeing, yet again, how bad the color looks with the rest of my belongings will spur me into action.

6 comments:

  1. laughing because there are a couple old dilapidated dressers in the garage which we scavenged, and which will probably go back into the trash when I realize I'll never do anything with them . . . you give me hope.

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  2. Absolutely love the plant stand and the color! Your living spaces always look so fresh and bright! Yup, the mustard walls don't work, at least for you! :) Looking forward to seeing the little tables you painted. Love this post!

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  3. Beautiful, stylish, and lovely!

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  4. What a difference!
    I've found so many treasures on the side of the road, too. My family laughs until they see how just some tidying up and a little paint can transform it.

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  5. The plant stand is such a lovely fresh colour. If you don't want to use it for plants, maybe some tea lights or fairy lights would look nice wound around it? :-)

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  6. That is so sweet! Love the color - it makes the stand look fresh and new. If the plants don't like it perhaps teacups would!

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