Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sandwich Board Sign

Well here is a bit of a twist. Mrs. Smith has a booth at the Oregon Street Antique Mall in Redding, CA. It is upstairs and has quite a variety of vintage finds and a few new items. The Antique Mall is well established, but they are always looking for ways to appeal to new customers. For the longest time, we have had this little fold-up sign that was really quite pitiful, but it still worked a few times.

I do not consider myself an artist, but I did offer up my services to create something to draw in a few more customers. I saw a few signs in a booth at the store that I thought would give the sign a vintage look, so I asked the owner of the signs if I could trace a stencil of them - and with her agreement, I began my journey. Cayse - the owner of Oregon Street Antique Mall, gave me the supplies I needed - so it was up to me to get the sign together.

Here is what it looked like after the first coat of paint, and putting the hardware together.

And after some stenciling and spray paint. A little sanding and some wax.

And below is what it looks like on the street - make sure you stop in if you live in Redding.

So until next time. Thank you for stopping by.

Mr. Smith

Junk To Treasure - Beach Style

Well it has been a week on the road for me in Minnesota - you can check out more about that at Gate 87A . So I had some time to work on a few items over the past few days. One of them I picked up at Junk N Treasures - a great place to shop for us, but we try to find really rough stuff so Wanda will give us a deal. This shelf was rough - I tried to take a few pictures to show the before.

Almost 7' tall. At one time it had cabinet doors on a couple of bottom shelves.

Can you see the dirt and grime? Probably some guy's garage shelf. Lots of dirt and one spot with gooey stuff like molasses.

And this one spot that needed repair. We paid $25 for it (bundled with some other junk).

So, I got out the belt sander, the sanding block, a putty knife and a wire brush and started cleaning. I put some wood filler in the gaping crack, and clamped it back together, then started painting. I used a roller to cut the time of painting, not really knowing what type of final finish I wanted. I had some darker oops paint that I thought would give the dirt and grime a good covering on the shelves. Here it is after that paint.

Then a few coates of white. I think Mrs. Smith wanted it white, but some of the grease and grime was still coming through the white, and I would have had to paint several coates to get a really pure white look.

After reading a post regarding "color" from Bungalow 47 , I decided I wanted something new and colorful - and bright. Another can of oops paint - and working with a brush that I cut to make it easy access to the smaller spaces - I was determined to finish this journey with something cool and "beachy".

I brushed the paint on lightly, so the white would come through. Wow I like this look.

So thank you Bungalow 47 for your inspiration. Not sure if this will go in our home or the store, either way, I enjoyed cleaning up this piece of junk and turning it into someone's treasure.

Mr. Smith

Linked to:
Funky Junk Interiors
The Shabby Creek Cottage
At The Picket Fence
Beyond the Picket Fence

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Other World

If you are looking for more from TheSmithGarage - I typically post while I'm traveling over on my original blog - Gate 87A . Many times - I post over there when I am stuck in airports and I've gotten through all I need to for work. It's fun and takes me to some interesting places - mostly in the Midwest, but sometimes to the Southeast - and all parts in between.

So jump over and check it out. Otherwise, I will be back next weekend in TheSmtihGarage.

Mr. Smith

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Summary of Upcoming Projects

My day job has been keeping me quite busy, and I have nothing on the slate at TheSmithGarage to be finished anytime soon, but I thought I would peak your interest to come back and see some of these fabulous pieces that will progress over time. We always have new furniture - haha - furniture in need of work - coming in. Mostly from weekend garage sales or maybe a piece or two from thrift stores, and we love getting free stuff. Here are a few projects that will have to come under a title of their own at some point in the near future.

This is an Oak Finished TV Console Mrs. Smith and I have had for many years. Boy Wonder had it in his room until he decided a few months ago he didn't want the "giant" tv anymore - remember he wanted the Union Jack Dresser . So the tv was sold and he put the money in savings for a flat screen at some point in the future. This TV Console on the other hand - went to TheSmithGarage for me to work on and make it into something "sellable" for more than $20. That's the going rate for these on Craigslist .

So my neighbor stopped by the other day while taking his evening walk with his two Cocker Spaniels and mentioned how he restructured theirs to make it work with a newer flatscreen tv. My idea was to cut it in half - make the bottom a console and the top a desk. My neighbor said he took the top of and placed it right over the bottom part, then used the oak sides for other projects. Sounded like a really good plan, plus it would cover any hack-job my saw would do to the oak bottom. So here it is primed and ready for a nice coat of fresh paint.

Amazing, huh? You may ask why I use a primer if I plan on using any type of clay or chalk paint. Well, Some pieces of furniture just need a good base to start. I'm not sure what color this piece will get, but I thought it would be nice to have a lighter base before applying a final coat. I want this piece to have a very smooth/polished finish. Enough on this for now - so what happened to those oak sides?

Enter - two really rough "waterfall" vanity sides. Yep, that's all Mrs. Smith found sometime last Summer while garage sale hunting. The structure was sound, but much of the veneer is falling off. Here they are before I started working on them a few weeks back.

A few weekends, some wood putty, some pieces of oak from an old tv console, and some other scrap wood from a train table that boy wonder had as a child - and -

Now I know some of you are shouting - COOL! Yeah - that's what I thought too. Wood and furniture that some would have discarded for a landfill or co-gen power plant - Mr. Smith has made a masterpiece! See - I have some skill - and some might call me an artist. We really do like upcycling whatever we can. So you can see there is quite a bit of putty on this, I want to get a fairly smooth finish - and I still have a lot of sanding to do on this yet. I will not be using primer on this piece - mainly because this will be our display piece at Oregon Street Antique Mall for our CeCe Caldwell's Paints . With clay and chalk paints - you don't always need a primer on bare wood. I like to do it when I have a lot of wood putty or if the piece has been resurrected from total destruction, but I won't primer this piece to make a point to how good CeCe Caldwell's paint is. I will most likely paint several colors on this piece, then have someone script the color name over the color, so folks get to see the colors right on the display shelf. Great idea - eh?

Here is another project awaiting paint. This is a "dumpster dive" dropleaf table. Now I may have mentioned this in passing a few weeks back. I didn't actually dive in myself - although I would have if I saw this in there. A friend of mine from church called Mrs. Smith about it when she was getting her nails done at the shop where I also get my hair cuts. Mrs. Smith in turn called me and said I needed to go pick up a table. So as the story goes, they get a lot of folks dumping stuff in their dumpster since it is not locked up. The nail person saw table legs sticking out of the dumpster and pulled the table out. Noby wanted it at the shop, but Mrs. Smith's friend knew she would want it. So here it is -

 It is actually a pretty old farm table. It has flat steel screws and square nuts holding the legs on.

I had to replace one of the leaf holders underneath, but other then that - it was in pretty good shape. It even has an original glass knob on the little drawer. This table is really cool, can you believe someone threw this out?

And the last piece I will cover today is that buffet you see off to the left above. We paid a little more for this one, but it is a large buffet that will surely sell for top dollar when completed. It also had a lot of damage on the drawer, and sides - plus it had some really chippy latex paint that comes off in chunks

So - please sign up to follow along on TheSmithGarage blog so you can see how these and other  upcycled pieces of furniture turn out in the near future. We are sure to see more exciting pieces come through. And if you want to purchase any of them - let me know and you can buy them next door at TheSmithHotel .

I really do want to hear from you - so let me know what color you think would go well on these pieces. Pick from the CeCe Caldwell's color chart . And sign up to come back and see them. You won't want to miss the finished products.

Mr. Smith

Monday, February 13, 2012

St. Valentine's Day at TheSmithGarage

Hello readers.

St. Valentine's Day is upon us. It is not typical that you will see me post something like this to the world - or maybe I should. My sweetheart means a lot to me. We have experienced a lifetime together. I met Mrs. Smith (formerly Ms. Scott) over 20 years ago at college. Immediately drawn to her for some strange reason - well - I guess it isn't that strange - young man - young woman - drawn together. Regardless, we will be celebrating our 20th Anniversary in March.

"a long time ago"

20 years married - I have to give ALL credit to God, for without Him, Mrs. Smith and I surely would have followed the easy road out of marriage. We are both very much in love still, and it is great realizing just how much more we have to look forward to. Both of our kids still love us - my teenage son even says it once in a while.. I am happy to cuddle with my 10 (almost 11) year old daughter to watch a movie. I was lucky enough to take some cupcakes over to Mrs. Smith's Grandmother today (my only living Grandmother). She loves me and treats me like a grandson. My father-in-law and I get along great - and Mrs. Smith's mother actually likes me too. They have been married 42 years. My parents have been married 46 years. So we have had some really good examples in life of how to hang in there.

Grandpa&Grandma Smith, Drama Queen, Boy Wonder, Grandma&Grandpa Scott

"two years ago"

The last couple of years have been rough for us - learning our risk tolerance. I guess I have always been a great salesman, and Mrs. Smith has always been very dedicated to getting the kids to and from whatever they need to do - therefore staying home and not working. But the last few years have been quite a bit different. When I was "rightsized" out of a job two years ago, we had to make some tough decisions together - and our primary goal was making it work - whatever we needed to do together. God has taken care of us. I have a job that I enjoy very much - it takes me across the country, but it pays the bills and challenges me daily to find better ways to connect with clients that are remote.

"last year at the Art Hop"

Mrs. Smith has stepped up in so many ways. She is a very savvy businesswoman - never would have seen that coming. Maybe I should have - the way she runs the house is incredible. She knows how to be frugal at home and with business. She knows what people are looking for in their decor. Her business appeals to young and old. She finds things that others value - buys them very cheap - and sells them cheap enough to move the item, while still making some money (some times). TheSmithHotel has not quite turned a profit in its two years, but it sure has helped with Uncle Sam - and this might just be the year!

Hats off to Mrs. Smith - My Valentine and the greatest gal in my book.

Mr. Smith

PS: go over and visit Mrs. Smith next door at TheSmithHotel .

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Henry Link Bamboo Dresser

Another project for this weekend that will for sure be finished is this Henry Link Bamboo Dresser. Here is a before picture. By the way - on top is a drop leaf table that a friend of mine pulled out of a dumpster for me. Friends rock.

So this was a really rough piece. Mrs. Smith and my son picked it up last Summer at a garage (shed) sale for $5. I know - there are people out there that paid top dollar for this same dresser - I hope you are not one of them. There were leaves in the drawers, a mud wasp nest in the structure behind the bottom drawer - all kinds of dirt. This picture above is after I used my shop vac, and a wire brush to prep it. No sand paper on this piece, the paint was just a little too "chippy", so I thought a wire brush would do the trick, and it did.

So here it is after just one coat of CeCe Caldwell's Carolina Sun Yellow, which is appropriate for this piece since it originated in South Carolina at the Henry Link factory. Did I mention it has a Formica top (that is a type of shiny plastic for those of you that didn't know).

Looks nice huh? Still wet on the bottom when I took this photo. Notice how muted the color is. It went on like mustard (the color, not the texture). So I am applying a CeCe Caldwell's clear wax to this piece. I just like wax because it gives furniture a professional looking finish, and it feels good and protects the paint from dings and chips. This is actually the first time I used CCC paint, and I liked it a lot. I was testing it to see if TheSmithHotel would be a retailer for Northern California. And the verdict - yep. We will probably take delivery of our first shipment in early March and we will have it at Oregon Street Antique Mall and our online store. More about that later.

So I am waxing this piece when a sudden thought comes to me - I feel like i want a cup of tea! Why you ask? After all, I don't drink tea unless I am sick, and even then I prefer coffee. I am a coffee snob, love it, drink it, breath it. I have used a French Press for the last 2 years, and recently started using a single pour filter. Just love coffee! So why the thought of tea? The wax smells like honey! I like honey in my tea when I do drink it, so I thought about tea. This wax smells so good. The first ingredient is Beeswax. It is all natural with no petroleum, so no dizzy sensations. It is really good stuff and very easy to apply. Here is a picture after the wax was applied.

Look at how vibrant this turned out! Someone is going to love this piece when it goes in the shop. You have to let this wax cure, so in the morning I will finish it off and put the hardware back on. I didn't even mess with the hardware, Mrs. Smith said it looked good in its current capacity, so no changes there. Be back tomorrow for a finished product, stop back by to check it out.

Saturday Morning - bright and early before anyone was up - I stepped out into TheSmithGarage with my cup of joe. I buffed out the wax that I had applied the night before and put the hardware back on (as is). This piece looks smooth - very smooth. The wax settled in and the tone softened quite a bit overnight. Here is the finished product:

Someone will really enjoy this in their Beach Theme room. I hope you enjoy as well.

Mr. Smith

Linked to
Beyond The Picket Fence
You Are Talking Too Much
Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Fridays
Primitive & Proper
Funky Junk Interiors

Since I am not an "expert" on CeCe Caldwell's paint quite yet - here are some other blogs I follow that already carry CeCe Caldwell's and have a few more words to say about the product.
Orphaned Decor
Bungalow 47
Vintage Shabby Chicks

Friday, February 10, 2012

Antique Italian Hand-Carved Desk CeCe Caldwell Carolina Sun Yellow

Greetings from TheSmithGarage, just on the other side of the door is TheSmithHotel . So last Summer, we picked up this really rough desk - veneer falling off - but it had some character that I really liked. Needless to say, I have not had time to work on it. It also had a bow (warped) across the top, so I wasn't really sure what to do with it. See some pictures on my previous post - Italian Desk and Child's Dresser ASCP . So I finished pulling off 2 layers of veneer.

The wood left in here is rough-cut 1x1 slats. They were sandwiched between two layers of veneer, so there is still a layer of veneer under then which holds it all together. Remember I talked about the little bow in the desk. I decided to try an experiment - what did I have to loose - I already completely destroyed this hand made antique Italian desk - probably crafted by some carpenter in the 20s right after the Great War. So in hopes of taking out the bow, I slathered a large amount of old thick latex paint on this wood, then put a new piece of 3/16" veneer over the top, stapled it down, and turned it over on a flat surface. Then I stacked every gallon of paint I had in TheSmithGarage on the center of the desk - like so:

I called it my "Tower of Power" and asked Mrs. Smith and the kiddos to stay away for fear of certain death by falling paint cans. Notice I started priming the wood, not quite sure at the time what color the base was going to be. I let it sit like this for a week. The bow is gone. I can only assume the moisture of the latex paint combined with the weight brought the desk back to a flat surface. You can see in the photo below that the legs still have some warp in them, but the desk firmly sits on all fours. I did find a world map that I will be using on the top.

The next step was to pick a color. Originally I thought about a blue - to match the oceans on the map. But during my drying time - I ordered a can of CeCe Caldwell's Carolina Sun Yellow to paint a Henry Link 6-drawer Bamboo Dresser. I really liked the color, and it matched some of the countries on my map - so I went bold and painted it yellow. Here it is still upside down - easier to paint.

Isn't that a great color? Picture is with the new camera as well - which picks up the vibrant color. I love it and think someone will really enjoy this desk in their writing room. So come back at the end of the weekend to see the top take a journey and be transformed. My first experiment in Mod Podge - should be easy, right? Let me know what you think and if you have any tips for me when it comes to Mod Podge - please, any help you can give me would be appreciated.

Here is the top - wood filler is drying around the edges, after I sand it I will be ready for the map.

Thanks Tammy at Tattered and Timeless for the tips. Believe it or not - this really is my first time using Mod Podge. Here is a shot after a coat under the map , wait for drying, then a coat over the top and dried.

It went down well on the first undercoat. Mrs. Smith had some type of rolling thingy bob that I used to roll out most of the bubbles. After it dried, I cleaned up the edges with a scalpel. At first I thought I messed up, but again Mrs. Smith reminded me that Mod Podge is water based, so I got the edges a little wet and they cleaned up nicely. Thanks Mrs. Smith - what would I do without you? So I put the coat of Mod Podge on top and I kind of freaked out again - it started bubbling. An hour later - it was flat again. Why do these things happen to raise the stress level? Regardless - it looks pretty good right now. I will be putting some Polyurethane on it Sunday and see if we can finish it up some night this week. I will post a final picture when we get it all finished.

Share your thoughts.

Mr. Smith

Linked to:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New Camera for TheSmithGarage

I am a Blackberry user - old school right? Well, I think I have been using a BB for about 8 years, so it just comes natural - plus it has always been a "company phone", so who is to complain. So you may have noticed that some of my pictures are a little fuzzy - not quite as crisp as some "Big Time" bloggers. It just always seemed really easy to take pictures and post to my blogs with the BB. Mrs. Smith at TheSmithHotel has a little nicer camera, plus she is an iPhone user.

So when I realized this last week that I had the opportunity to get a free camera with some flight miles that I had been accumulating, I jumped on it. So here is what I have been using up to this point.

Not complaining - like I said - it has worked just fine. But here is the new "free" camera. Free with flight miles.

Here are just a couple of things I figured out today - panorama

Don't look at the mess - Mrs. Smith just made 3 pans of Cinnamon Rolls (yum) - but wait, how did Drama Queen get in there 3 times? Crazy stuff - huh?

I think Snow White is enjoying the seat warmer still.

This is totally off from the typical blog for TheSmithGarage, but it was a little exciting to have that little package show up at the door today (the camera). I am sure when the weekend rolls around, it will be another whirlwind of some really cool and exciting furniture transformations.

I have some exciting news coming up this weekend and you will want to tune in and tell all of your blog friends. TheSmithGarage will be starting a new adventure that you will want to be a part.

Please comment....and add my link to your blog and tell me about it - I will share something special about your blog too.

Mr. Smith

Sunday, February 5, 2012

French 9-Drawer Louis XV Style Dresser

Feb 5th ~

Didn't realize I had such a great piece of furniture until I looked up French 9-drawer dresser on the web - this is actually a style - you learn a lot in TheSmithGarage. I am always trying to keep up with my 5th and 8th graders as they move through history.

So here is how it looked when I picked it up a few weeks back:

Don't you love the German green backdrop of my '65 VW Bus? Well, it was the end of the weekend and I must get back to my real job in the morning. I watched the Super Bowl, even though I am not a football fan, we had a good time over at my in-laws' place. Before going to bed here on the West Coast, I thought I would put a coat of primer on this. I have noticed from using ASCP Pure White, that I could use a quick light coat of primer if I really want good coverage plus ASCP is $40 a can, so I would rather throw some primer on for my base coat then finish it off with my ASCP paint so I can get a really good working surface. Here is what it looks like tonight.

I was going to do it in ASCP Provence, but Mrs. Smith asked me to do a white piece as the store is filling up with lots of colors for the Spring. So white it is. The same hardware will go back on this piece, but I really like the nickle finish - so out comes my "Engine Spray" that I also use on my VW Bus muffler every few years. Come back to see it when it's finished, I think you will love it.

Feb 7th ~

Well, this evening I was out finishing up this piece with my daughter (Drama Queen as Mrs. Smith calls her) in TheSmithGarage. She really should have been finished with her homework much earlier, but there was drama, and she ended up out with me after dinner - still working on math. I painted this one late last night with the ASCP Pure White. Well, after waxing tonight I put on the hardware - and Drama Queen tells me, "the drawer pulls are too shiny". Really? All that work and this is what she tells me? So I ask Mrs. Smith - and sure enough - she doesn't like them either. So I guess the muffler silver wasn't such a great idea. So I took off the hardware and back to the paint booth with a semi-gloss white - not too thick. I guess we'll see the next chance I get out there how it turns out.

Skip to Feb 8th ~

Did I mention that this is made by Dixie Furniture? Noticed the brand on one of the drawers when I was affixing the hardware this evening. A quick 15 minutes later - and here is the finished product.

Some details - I do believe Drama Queen was right about the hardware. White looks better then muffler silver.

Let me know what you think? And if you like it - share it with your friends and tell them about TheSmithGarage.

Mr. Smith

See some other great French inspired 9-drawer dressers:
The Shabbiest Chick
Heritage Home Creations
Hartwood Roses
Primitive and Proper
Shades of Amber
Miss Mustard Seed
Decorating Insanity

This post was also shared at Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Friday Link Party

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Italian Desk and Child's Dresser ASCP

Welcome back if you are a reader - and thank you for checking out the hap's in TheSmithGarage. Check out Mrs. Smith's blog over at TheSmithHotel - I know, clever aren't we. I have started two new projects this weekend - even though I have several in progress already. Last Summer, Mrs. Smith and I picked up a really cool desk at a moving sale. It looked like it had been outside for some time, weathered and a few problems with the legs and drawers, but I knew it would be a beautiful piece someday, you gotta dream, right?

 Look at the detail on the legs, and of course the stamp "Made in Italy".

At one time I had entertained adhering a map to the top to cover the splits, I also thought about wood filler. But this evening - I decided to remove the first and - if possible - second layer of veneer. After about 15 minutes, I decided to put on the safety glasses. I just finished a book by Stephen Ambrose entitled "The Wild Blue" about the men and boys that flew B24s over Germany during WWII. The Fifteenth Air Force was stationed in Italy, and I am thinking this desk was made sometime shortly after their departure. Just seems to be from that time period.

Back to the safety glasses - wood chips were flying all over TheSmithGarage while using a hammer, a putty knife, and a flat bar that I had to sharpen with some of my "garage sale finds" steel files. A half-hour later:

Wow those Italians used a lot of glue. Look how the 1x2s are set on edge to give the desk rigidity across the span under that second layer of veneer. We will have to come back to this - but I expect a full recovery of this piece for some happy buyer - and it will be painted - pretty sure.

Now knowing that I really wanted to work on something that would show completion by the end of the weekend, I decided late tonight to put a coat of paint on a child's dresser Mrs. Smith had me pick up this week. In trying to think of a good color for a child's piece of furniture - I turned to my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) stash and chose the Provence Blue. Wow that stuff goes on beautifully, and let me tell you - anyone can use ASCP, it is pretty foolproof. Here is where we started:

Blurry pictures, huh? Sorry, using my Blackberry and it is somewhat dim in the house. Not in TheSmithGarage tonight - no. It was dipping below 40 degrees, and it just seemed right to bring it inside since everyone else is asleep already. And, ASCP is non-toxic, doesn't smell - so no one will know. After only an hour - here we are:

In the morning I will give it a sanding, waxing, throw on some knobs and update a finished product on TheSmithGarage blog.

Here is the finished product - very nice. I painted the plastic knobs with engine silver spray paint. It kind of  has a nickle plated look - which goes well with the blue/green hue.

Let me know what you think? Also, let me know if you have any comments on ASCP, better yet - if you have used CeCe Caldwell's paint - comment for sure. I want to know if you like CCCCP.

Mr. Smith