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It’s been a while since I’ve painted something, and since I clearly have a painting problem, it was time for me to get out my paint again. A few months back when I went to IKEA I picked up a curtain rod and two Ritva curtain panels. In true IKEA fashion, these “white” curtains are actually quite off-white, but this actually worked in my favor for this particular project.

See I decided to add curtains to the window/wall in my entryway. Back when I moved in, I painted a stripe on the wall in loo of actually painting the whole entry. It was just a temporary solution until I could decide on a color I liked, but I ended up loving the stripe.

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Which is a blessing and a curse considering the rest of the walls are sort of off-white and not that exciting. I’ve considered painting the walls and just repainting the stripe, but eh, not interested. All this to say… the off white curtains perfectly match the off white walls! Yay!

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Pretty crap pictures, but you get the gist. Pretty standard curtains, nothing exciting. But of course, my plan wasn’t to leave them this way (although it took me like four months to actually do anything about my plans).

My plan all along has been to paint a design on the curtains. I considered all kinds of designs. Stripes, polka dots, Dalmatian spots, but I finally settled on swiss crosses. Sure swiss crosses are currently very trendy, but I’m okay with that. I like them. I’m not worried about something being too trendy.

I used the same fabric medium I used for my painted fabric ottoman mixed with the black paint (Ace Hardware, Cannonball) from my kitchen.

Thankfully it is gift wrapping season around here so I taped gift wrap to the table as a buffer for the paint. It worked perfectly! Of course, per Jasmin-style I started to measure and create a template, but eh, I’m not much for patience. So I just freehanded the crosses. I did borrow two yardsticks from my Grandma (grandmas are the keepers of yardsticks after all) which helped give me at least a general idea of if my lines were straight so I think that helped, otherwise I could have easily gotten off course.

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I actually didn’t take long at all! Maybe two hours? Tops. It of course helped that I didn’t measure each and every line. I would say the crosses were around 4.5″ each way and I did a staggered row of 12 between two rows across the width of the panel.

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And there it is! I really really like them! Of course, I hoped I would, but you never know with DIY projects. I’m also genuinely surprised my lines are straight, I mean, that never happens. Yay, for project success!

Um, hi. I’m still alive. Just realized I haven’t blogged since OCTOBER. What. Can’t even believe it’s been so long. Good news is, I’m back to blogging and projecting. Maybe not quite on my old schedule, I don’t even know how I managed to do five posts a week before, but maybe I’ll share once a week from now on. Maybe. Don’t hold your breath or anything! So back to the projects!

As I shared in Part 1 (one million years ago), I moved my CB2 laptop table to the other side of the room. The other change I made, is less of a rearranging thing, but more of an addition-and-shift thing.

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Ever since I got this bar cart this lamp has been on it. I’ve never had any complaints about it until I found something better to go there. It all started with a trip to the wonderful IKEA. I haven’t been to IKEA in about two years so I was really excited to make trip out there a few weeks ago. I got a few items, but my favorite thing I got was a fiddle leaf fig. I’ve been wanting one for sooo long, but the are 1) hard to find and 2) very expensive. Thankfully, IKEA is the king of the cheap and cool. This plant was only $12!

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I already had this pot, but it was a weird yellow color so I went with my go-to gold color. I actually had a hard time deciding between white and gold but went with gold since I was already doing the little plant stands in gold. I usually use Rustoleum Metallic spray paint, but when I couldn’t find it at the store I took a risk and bought Krylon Metallic.

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Turns out it was a good risk because I love this spray paint even better! Here’s a comparison:

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Yalls just gonna hafta ignore the super blurry photo, ain’t nobody got time to retake photos. It’s my Buddha lamp if you can’t manage to see that. Anyway, I spray painted the Buddha lamp with the Rustoleum spray paint and the plant stand with the Krylon. I like how the Krylon one is a warmer tone and is more matte. I kind of what to redo the lamp now…

Back to the living room, here’s a pulled out view of my new fiddle leaf fig and the little plant stands.

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Happy plant house!

Like I mentioned earlier this week, I have an end table problem. Since my living room is such an interesting shape and I have a lot of seating, I naturally need more table space to make it function properly.

Sooo I actually added two more end tables. Yeah, I know, who needs five end tables? Apparently me. Although, I don’t technically have five end tables, I do have five table surfaces (sofa table I built, bar cart, CB2 laptop desk, and the two new end tables which I’m about to get to).

I should clarify, these two end tables aren’t “new”. They are actually two tables I’ve had for a very long time. In fact, besides the dresser I refinished that lives in the guest room, these are the only other pieces of furniture I’ve kept since high school. I had the decorating bug even back then because I can clearly remember driving down a busy road, seeing a yard sale across the road, spotting these tables, and making an abrupt u-turn to go get them. At the time they were silver, and I spray painted them black (remember how black used to be so in? I wanted all my furniture to be black, now I only want white!).

In this house these tables have floated between the front porch and the guest room.

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I love the art deco-y vibe of them, but they aren’t great end tables because they are too short. So I’ve struggled to find a true place for them. Then… I got lazy (shocker!).

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I started using these little tables as my own personal spray paint station during the winter when it was too cold and snowy to spray paint in the yard. Besides being a generally bad idea to spray paint on a covered porch, it also ruined the tables.

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Gotta love when lazy-you of the past creates more work for present-you. Oh well. I was recently inspired to make these little tables into plant stands so cleaning them up became a priority. My first step was to clean off the glass, and all I needed was a $1 paint scraper. While it was messy work, it was easy and sort of cathartic to clean all the paint off.

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Next, I decided they should be gold because gold is awesome. I usually use Rustoleum Metallic spray paint but the store didn’t have this brand, so I decided to take a risk and use a different brand, Krylon Metallic.

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The finished product is amazing!

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I love these little tables even more now! There isn’t a pulled-out shot of these because I also did another change in this area which I will reveal in another post soon.

Oh, and a note about the spray paint brand change – I LOVE the Krylon Metallic spray paint! It has a really nice matte finish which I appreciate. I did another project with this spray paint and it’s easier to see the finish on that project so I’ll wait and do a further analysis of it then.

I love that these little tables have gotten a new lease on life 12 years after I found them!

My living room is not only an odd shape but it also has no obvious focal point which makes arranging furniture in here difficult. I’ve done a good job of arranging the large pieces of furniture, but I still struggle with the little pieces like end tables. End tables are basically the bane of my existence. Thankfully, I finally found a solution for one of the side tables that has been moving around my living room for the last three years. Jasmin-+0017-2771952115-O

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And here again on the left side of the other couch?

I can’t find a picture of it, but for the majority of this past year this table has been on the right side of this couch in front of the window.

This a laptop desk from CB2 that I got when I first moved into this house. I really like it but for whatever reason I haven’t been able to find the right spot for it. That’s is until now! P1130842

This wall has changed quite a bit since I first moved in (the TV used to be on this wall), and more recently it housed the harp and a reading lamp. Then I moved those two pieces to other rooms, and it was looking pretty sparse over there (not pictured).

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But I really like this new arrangement. It makes the chairs seem more purposeful.

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So that’s it, just a little change, but one that helped solve a three year frustration. So why the Part 1? Because Part 2 involves solving another end table problem I’ve been struggling with. Coming soon!

Mixin’ it up in the bedroom

September 17, 2014 — 2 Comments

I now realize that title could get weird… but nothing weird going on here! Just some regular old re-decorating. I swear.

The main wall of my bedroom that is visible from the door has been through a lot. Other than painting my bedroom blue, the room has basically remained the same since I first moved in. That is except for this one wall. It’s taken the brunt of my decorating whimsies. Take a walk with me through the evolution of le wall.

In the beginning the wall was cream and housed my old black bookcase.

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Then things got blue.

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Then the bookcase went bye-bye, but the books remained behind.

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Then my books got a new home in the dining room and the wall got a Switzerland consolation prize.

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Then there was the purchase of a cheap craigslist desk.

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With the purchase of the desk the wall was finally starting to take shape as a pretty and functional space. But then I just kind of stopped. I had a vague idea of doing something with cork boards, but I got a new job with a big cork board at my desk and it satisfies all of my cork board desires (I mean, it wasn’t hard to do).

When I cleaned out my closet I moved all my extra decorating stuff to the basement – only one tub worth though because I’m attempting to nip any hoarding tendencies in the bud – but 5 photo frames didn’t fit in the tub. So for whatever reason I set them on my desk… aaaand they remained there for at least a month. Why? Who freaking knows.

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It’s five matching wood frames I got from Pier 1 several years ago (on the back wall it’s the one with the photo of the Brooklyn Bridge). The frames were previously hanging in my dining room before the big paint extravaganza. Side note: seeing this old photo makes me really miss my green dining room. It looks so pretty! I like how light the new dining room is (plus the bookshelves, obvs), but the green was really wonderful also. 

Back to the frames, I’m really dragging out this story unnecessarily – I hung them on the blank wall. That’s what all this is leading to if you hadn’t already gotten there yourself.

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This actually includes two updates, first the frames and secondly the suitcase. So I was driving through a neighborhood on my way home from the art museum one day when I saw this sweet old couple stacking stuff on their curb with a sign that said “Free”. Well, that is my magic word so I obviously stopped. I love this suitcase. It doesn’t have a handle which doesn’t really matter since I would never use it as an actual suitcase. The invention of the rolling suitcase is the greatest invention of recent time (basically) so there is no way I’m going back to the dark ages of carrying a suitcase, please. This suitcase was just too cute to pass up though. I actually think it would be fun to use around Christmastime but for now it looks pretty cool under this desk. I put the chair that was at this desk back in the dining room because I don’t use this desk as a place to sit. I actually never intended it for that reason, I’d much rather sit in my big sunny dining room to work, but I wanted a desk in my room more for organization than as a workspace.

I’m still debating painting the frames white, but I thought I’d at least hang them first before I made a decision. If you are curious, this is major progress for me since like to make rash decisions. Go me!

My porch has come a very long way.

From a blank slate in January of 2012:

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To a few $15 craigslist chairs and… some other junk in 2013.

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Then a few weeks ago I hit the motherload when I got this amazeballs vintage couch and rattan coffee table (plus two other pieces of furniture) for $100:

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I would have been happy to leave the porch like this for a while, considering what a vast improvement it was, but then I had brilliant idea. I love the look of draped cafe lights, and it occurred to me I could probably do that look on this porch. It took me a while to pull the trigger but when I saw string lights on clearance, I went for it. I’m super glad I did! Party porch is on!

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please ignore craptastic yardwork… I am absolutely *that* neighbor :/ P1130801 P1130804 P1130806 P1130809 P1130808 P1130807 P1130814

I bought simple screw-in hooks, drilled pilot holes into the wood trim (and in one case the ceiling) and then screwed the hooks in by hand. It was super simple! The only big issue with this whole lights on the porch project is that I have no electrical outlets outside so the cord has to be draped through the screen door and the front door. My Dad came over and made a face about it, but then I convinced him it was totally fine to jam electrical wires through a door that is opened and close multiple times a day. What could possibly go wrong????

You may also have noticed my new wreath. There was already a nail on that very spot so I’ve known for a while I wanted to get something for there but could never really come up with anything cool. I figured a standard twig wreath is pretty classic. I’m still considering adding or doing something to the wreath. I just hung it up there to see if I liked it and to contemplate my next move. Dip-die? Ombre? Stripes? We’ll see what happens!

Even though I think the porch looks extra awesome right now, nothing is every really completely finished around here. I still have my crazy pipe dream of screening in this crappy little porch, but you know, I have my limits. I can only do so much and screening in the porch has proved to be a little beyond my skill set. But maybe some day!

The last thing I want to do in here is to get a big outdoor rug to cover the floor. When this house was painted a few years ago the painter painted the floor of the porch, but unlike the rest of the house this floor has not held up very well. Also, I’m terrible and have definitely spray painted a few too many things out there so not only is the paint chipping off but it’s covered in black, gold, and white spray paint marks. Oops!

But for this summer, I’d call this porch makeover a success! IMG_5443

Ah, I love craigslist. Not news by any means, but it’s still good to reiterate occasionally.

My front porch (and let’s be honest my yard) is not the most attractive part of my house. The outside of my house itself is adorable but the yard and porch haven’t gotten nearly as much attention as the inside has. I have big plans for the porch and the landscaping in the front, but big plans generally equal big money.

Let’s talk about porch furniture for a second. It is stupid expensive. Like what the??? You want me to pay how many thousands of dollars for an outdoor chair??? Hard pass.

Two years ago I finally bought two chairs to put on the porch. They were only $15 for the pair on craiglist! Paired with an old sidetable, the porch remained this way for uh a very long time.

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Unsightly? Yeah. Functional? Sure!

When the home tour rolled around the next year I borrowed two outdoor chairs from my parents to upgrade the look a little.

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A few days months later I returned the borrowed chairs and my porch returned to it’s sad state.

Over the past few years I’ve checked craigslist sporadically for affordable and unique patio furniture and I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything remotely good enough. Which is saying a lot since I love craigslist and have had great success in the past. Because of this my idea transitioned into putting a day bed out there, which would be awesome, but would also require thick screens to protect it from the elements. Unfortunately, screening in the porch has become my DIY version of a pipe dream.

So when I saw this listing on craigslist I was intrigued to say the least:

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Depending on how you feel about vintage furniture you either think this is the best thing you’ve ever seen or the ugliest thing you’ve every seen. I love it.

At seven feet long and about three feet wide it’s the perfect size to fit next to the front door. And for $100 I got the couch, a glass and rattan coffee table, and a rattan lounger with footstool. Such a great deal!!

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It wasn’t until I got both pieces on the porch that I realized the rattan on the couch and on the coffee table isn’t the same color but oh well. I doesn’t change my love for this crazy couch. Does it look like the patio furniture of a granny in a Florida retirement community? Absolutely! That’s why I love it!

Also, because of naps. So many naps happening on this couch lately.

As for the rattan lounger and footstool they are too big to fit on this tiny 7’x11′ porch so they are currently awaiting their fate in the second bedroom (where old furniture goes to die in this house). I’m debating between selling them and just moving them to the basement.

So I’m back in love with craigslist. It may have taken two years but I got a full four piece patio set for only $100 which is like a $17,000 savings.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the word ‘sofa’? I also hate the words ‘swag’ and ‘sneakers’ in case you are wondering (Apparently, I hate words that start with an ‘s’).

Anyway, the point is there are tables which go behind couches and they are often called ‘sofa tables’, but since I just can’t call them that, I’m going with ‘behind-the-couch table.’ Just go with it.

My living room is long and skinny which makes arranging it interesting. I’ve found that a table behind the couch not only “shortens” the distance between the couch and the rest of the room, but it also gives me a place to display cool stuff. The one I found I wanted was from IKEA and it cost $170 (It is now discontinued). So since I couldn’t afford it at the time I created my very own behind-the-couch table!

I used empty tubs and boxes to create the “table” and then covered it in fabric.

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It was like this for almost a year before I gave it a makeover by adding another layer of tub lids to make it sturdier. I also changed the fabric to a clean white sheet.
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This version lasted another one and a half years. It was always on my to-do list to build or buy something more permanent, but the temporary version worked so nicely it wasn’t a major priority.

But the temp solution definitely wasn’t flawless. Of course, it all comes back to Bob. As you know, Bob sucks. He regularly sits on this “table” meaning it was starting to buckle under his weight. Last week, when he got particularly riled up about a cat/squirrel/mail person he knocked over one of my plants. Thankfully he didn’t break the planter but it looked like this:

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If this were a solid surface I could easily wipe off the dirt, but since it’s a sheet it requires removing all of the things, washing the sheet, and then putting back all of the things. And I’m super lazy. I’m so lazy that I would rather build a table than just wash the sheet. I guess maybe that doesn’t make me lazy, just weird.

So I just did it. I followed a few tutorials (this one and this one). Here is what I bought to make a 75″ long behind-the-couch table to fit behind an IKEA Karlstad couch:

2 – 23″ tall 12″ x 2″ boards

1- 75″ long 12″ x 2″ board

4 – corner braces, size 4″

1 – 15 quantity box of 1.5″ wood screws

4 – 3″ wood screws (I had these on hand)

Honestly the most difficult part of this whole thing was buying and having the lumber cut. It was stressful because I’ve never done it before. Also, loading and unloading the lumber to and from my car and then into my house was a little sweaty.

I connected the “legs” to the main board by using the corner braces. I pre-drilled the holes which made it really simple and fast.

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When I stood the table up (quite a bit more difficult than you would think) it was a bit wobbly. I decided I’d rather lose the smooth top surface for sturdiness, so I drilled four (two on each side) 3″ screws to further stabilize it. Since this step was unplanned, I just used what I had on hand. I was lucky enough to find 4 – 3″ screws but they unfortunately didn’t have a flat profile. Ah well, it wasn’t worth a trip to the store so I have no regrets.

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Next came my least favorite part, painting. I can’t seem to go a weekend without painting something. If I believed in purgatory, I’d venture to say it involved an endless painting project.

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As you can see, I’m so lazy, I didn’t even bother to paint the underside. Future Jasmin may be annoyed at this decision, but present Jasmin is very pleased with the choice.

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I am not the best at being patient so I should have sanded more, should have put on a second coat of primer, should have bought a clear sealer, should have should have should have blah blah blah. You should do all of those things. Do as I say, not as I do.

I tried my hardest to wait a full 48 hours so it would cure, but I only made it about 30 hours. Again, do as I say, not as I do. Seriously.

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A power strip and router are hiding under the table.

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Not bad if I do say so myself!! And the best part is it only cost me $41 and one afternoon. If you are nervous about building a simple piece of furniture like this here’s my public endorsement: You can do it!*

*As long as you have a power drill and a vehicle big enough to transport the wood. Oh, and $41.

Closet Makeover, Part 2

June 27, 2014 — 1 Comment

As I showed you earlier this week, my closet makeover was a beast. You’d think I’d be used to painting after all of the painting I do, but it sucks every time. Especially since none of my windows open (they are all either painted shut or the pulleys are broken), it’s like a brain cell murder party whenever I paint. But what can a girl do?

After letting the paint dry, it was on to the fun stuff!

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SO MUCH BETTER. Before doing this project I knew it would be better, but I never imagined it would be this much better. As for the changes I made, I added a few framed photos just for fun, moved one box that used to live on the floor to up on the shelves, and then I bought a new towel bar for my scarves. The previous bar I was using didn’t have the proper hardware so it was just barely hanging on with two nails, so I figured $16 for a solid bar was worth it. In fact, that is the only thing I had to buy for this project. I already had primer and white paint (from my dresser makeover). This is a pretty amazing makeover for only $16!!

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In full disclosure though, I did not put everything back in here. The tub on the ground that was full of decorations didn’t come back in. For now it is in the second bedroom closet, but eventually it will go to the basement. I try not to use my basement as a storage unit, because I don’t need to keep junk, but since decorating is one of my passions, one tub of decorations is pretty reasonable.

Though I’m extremely happy with the result, there are still a few things that need to be done in here. Like the two bedrooms and hallway, the closet floor really needs refinished. There is so much paint on the floors (not from me!), but I just don’t have it in me to do the floors right now. Also, you may have noticed the ugly brown cord hanging from the ceiling fixture with no lightbulb. Yeah, that’s a weird one. If I put a lightbulb in the socket is works, BUT there is no way to turn it off. There is no light switch and the pull string doesn’t work. Someday I’ll get an electrician to help me out, but for now, it is what it is. I haven’t had a light in there for two and half years, so it doesn’t really bother me.

My favorite thing about this makeover (besides the low cost obviously) is how tall the closet looks now! It feels a mile taller in there, it’s amazing.

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Random thought on the topic of closet organizing: You know how there is all this weird pressure to have matching hangers? It’s like the ultimate closet fantasy, matching hangers. It’s pretty dumb, but I’ve totally bought into it. In fact I’ve bought into about three times. First it was nicer blue plastic hangers, the kind that are better than the cheap plastic ones. But then I decided I didn’t like the blue ones so I moved on to wood hangers. Those were nice but they were so thick, they took up too much space. Lastly I got into the thin velvet hangers. Those are great, but stupid expensive. Soooo now I have smattering of all types of hangers. Ah well. They are just hangers ya know?

A few weeks ago I notice one of my friends pinned this on Pinterest:

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I was intrigued by the picture so I followed the link to Lilly & Thistle’s tutorial. Sometimes these types of images can be deceptive. Like they show an amazing transformation, but then you read the tutorial and it’s 37 steps long with 14 very expensive ingredients. Thankfully, this tutorial is really as simple as just oil and vinegar.

I don’t have a lot of unpainted wood furniture in my house, but my bed is an antique spindle/Jenny Lind bed. It’s over 100 years old and it’s starting to look like it.

Spindle Bed

 

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After putting 3/4 cup oil (I used olive because it’s what I had) and 1/4 cup vinegar into another cup and grabbing an old towel, I went to work. As you may remember from science class, oil and vinegar don’t mix so I recommend bringing a spoon with you to keep the mixture, well, mixed. About 10 minutes later, I was done!

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Fotor0622190313 It’s hard photograph, but the difference is really quite dramatic in person. The wood went from being dry and light colored, to dark and hydrated. I did this about a month ago and the wood as still retained its darker tone. It’s pretty amazing actually! The mixture didn’t heal every blemish, but there were definitely a lot of smaller scratches it did heal.

I highly recommend it!

Bonus, I finally got around to fixing one of the spindles that broke off. No more gap-toothed headboard!

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