Salvaged Inspirations

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Getting Braver ~ Curvy Coral Dresser

Getting Braver ~ Curvy Coral Dresser

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Blog, color, Painting Furniture, Trash 2 Income | 6 comments

Are you as addicted to Pinterest as I am?

I’m one of those Pinterest’ers who tells myself I’ll spend 15 minutes checking out whats new in Pin’land. Then 1 hour later, I find myself in a trance and have to pry my eyeballs away from the screen!

Although Pinterest can be a time-vampire, there’s no denying it keeps me up on new trends and has unlimited inspiration!  As a perfect example; I tend to gravitate to more subtle muted tones when re-styling furniture. I keep seeing gorgeous painted furniture in turquoise, reds and corals so if you’ve noticed, lately I’ve been getting a little braver and using more vibrant colors!

This curvy dresser was sprayed in Sherwin Williams Ravishing Coral #6612 and finished with Minwax Furniture Paste for a soft sheen.  This dresser is gorgeous and is perfect for any feminine setting.








And for those of you who ‘need’ a before & after… here it is! {smiling because I LUV before & afters too!}



So what’s your preference…muted tones or a pop of color? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Also, if you have any paint projects on the horizon, the link below will give you $10 OFF any purchase of $50 or more for signing on as a Sherwin-Williams preferred customer.

Enjoy your day and happy painting!

Denise x

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7 Easy Tips ~ How To Remove Veneer

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Blog, Furniture Repair, How To Tips, Milk Paint, Staining Furniture, Trash 2 Income | 4 comments

Last week I transformed a horrible looking writing desk in Part 2 of my Road-Rescue Series. Today I’m going to show you exactly how I repaired the top by sharing some easy tips on how to remove veneer.

Although it looks like a big job, with these quick tips, removing veneer is not as hard as you might think.


Damaged Veneer


A little 101 on the topic… a lot of furniture is veneered. And just because the veneer is peeling, scratched or damaged doesn’t mean the furniture can’t be salvaged and re-styled to be beautiful again.

If the veneer is in fairly good shape with just some minor flaws;  uplifted areas can be glued back down, gaps and cracks in the veneer can be filled in with wood filler, and scratches can be sanded out… just don’t sand through the veneer like I did on a previous project!

If the veneer is in really rough shape, removing the veneer and painting or staining the wood underneath can turn your piece into a show stopper! Here’s the same writing desk after the veneer was all removed. The wood underneath was stained with a GF Gel Stain and then aged to create this old world look.


Writing Desk Top w Removed Veneer

GF Glazed Writing Desk & Chair



1. Remove loose pieces of veneer by hand.  As you can see I didn’t wear gloves… and yes… I did get a splinter or two! Do as I say… not as I do…lol!




2. Use a metal putty knife/scraper in a HORIZONTAL position to pry off the veneer.  It’s important to hold your tools horizontal to the veneer at all times being very careful not to gouge the wood underneath. I used this smaller putty knife I had on hand, but a wider one will help get the job done even faster.




3. If your “people-power” couldn’t get all the veneer off, use a hammer.  Use the leverage of a hammer on the end of your putty knife to apply more force on the veneer.




4. Use an old blow-dryer and your putty knife.  Turn the blow-dryer on high and hold it a few inches away while using your putty knife to pry off the veneer. The heat from the blow-dryer will heat and loosen the glue so the veneer is released more easily.





5. Wet an old towel in hot water and ring out the excess. Place a hot ringed out towel on the veneered surface and leave it on for several hours. The moisture will loosen the veneer glue and then you can use a putty knife to pry it off.




6. For any remaining stubborn pieces of veneer, use an old iron on high or steam setting. Place the heated iron on high setting on top of the damp towel and hold in each area for 30 seconds or so. This will soften the glue and help lift the remaining veneer.




7. After all the veneer is removed, you will have some glue remaining. Use a Putty knife/scraper to scrape off the glue residue and clean and dry thoroughly before staining or painting.




So there you have it! Removing veneer may take a little time but it’s not difficult! And to make things even easier for you, here’s a convenient PIN’able reference with all the tips!


Have you removed/refinished any veneered furniture… do you have any additional tips or tricks?

Have a question about removing veneer?

Leave me a comment because I LOVE hearing from you!

Denise x

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Road-Rescue Part 3 ~ Spraying General Finishes Milk Paint

Road-Rescue Part 3 ~ Spraying General Finishes Milk Paint

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014 in Blog, Milk Paint, Painting Furniture, Product Reviews, Trash 2 Income | 6 comments

Hello and welcome back!

For Part 3 of my Road-Rescue General Finishes Series, I used a General Finishes Milk Paint and Topcoat on this charming dresser.

There’s a lot of DIY’ers blogging about applying it with a brush, so I’m going to share my experience “shooting” aka “spraying” General Finishes Milk Paint.

Before we get rolling, I need to show you how gorgeous this finish turned out! I used GF Persian Blue which is a beautiful soft blue with grey undertones.General Finishes Milk Painted Dresser


Now, I’m curious why this paint is called a ‘Milk Paint’ because it’s nothing like milk paint!  But truth be told, they could have called it ‘ANYTHING’ and it wouldn’t have made any difference because I’m hooked! I L-O-V-E  it… and here’s why…

  • Acrylic based paint. Acrylic is a perfect furniture paint because it provides a durable finish.
  • Rich, thick and full bodied. It’s thickness reminds me of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint but with a little more of a “latex slide”.
  • A little goes a long way. I thinned the GF Milk Paint with water to spray through my spray-gun. I applied 3 coats and used 3/4 of a pint.
  • Sprays like a dream.  Leveled beautifully.
  • Sands nicely. I sanded with a light touch with #320-400 grit between each coat and it sanded and smoothed very easily.
  • Flat finish.  This matte low sheen is perfect for hiding small imperfections.
  • Easy clean up. Very easy to clean my equipment with soap and water.
  • Quick drying. Dried quickly so I was ready to re-spray within 3-4 hours.
  • Created a hard smooth professional looking surface. I’m super pleased with the professional spray finish it provided.
  • Durable enough to use for outdoor furniture. Although this isn’t an outdoor piece, the General Finishes Milk Paint is rated for outdoor use.
  • Low odor and VOC’s so better for the environment. It does have a slight odor but certainly not as harsh as other brands I have used.
  • Doesn’t require a topcoat and can be used as a one-can finish. For extra protection and durability, I did spray on the General Finishes Water Based Flat Top-Coat which sprayed equally well and did not need thinning.
  • Has excellent coverage. I sprayed 3 coats but I had full opaque coverage after my 2nd coat.


For all of you who saw the ‘before’ of these up-cycled handles on my Facebook page… I just had to add the above pic!

It’s amazing what painting drawer hardware can do!


To sum up my experience with General Finishes Products… they are excellent.

I’m definitely going to be purchasing more of this Milk Paint in the very near future along with more GF Gel Stain when my pint runs out.  The GF VanDyke Glaze in Part 2 gave me a beautiful finish. However, I did find the glaze dried a bit too quickly. Maybe that was because I was using it over another brand of milk paint… not sure?  As for the High Performance Water Based Topcoat, I really like the flat finish and will be adding that onto my supply list as well.

If you’d like to see the before picture of this dresser you can see it in Part 1 here.

Thanks for joining me on this 3 Part Series…I hope you enjoyed seeing the furniture make-overs as much as I enjoyed doing them!

Denise x


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Road-Rescue Part 2 ~ Desk w General Finishes Van Dyke Brown Glaze Effects

Road-Rescue Part 2 ~ Desk w General Finishes Van Dyke Brown Glaze Effects

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Blog, Furniture Repair, Glazing Furniture, Milk Paint, Product Reviews, Staining Furniture | 10 comments

Welcome to Part 2 of my Road-Rescue Series using General Finishes Products. I’d like to do some more of these ‘series-posts’… they’re kind of fun… and I hope you’re enjoying these before and afters.

When I first laid eyes on this writing desk, I wasn’t going to stop to pick it up. The top looked really beaten and un-salvageable.

After taking a closer look-see (sometimes it pays to slow down to investigate) I realized the veneer top was peeling off from water damage but the wood underneath looked pretty darn good.

Lucky me… a little work but an easy fix!

Writing Desk Before & After

Once the veneer was all removed, (I’ll post some easy tips on how to do this next week) the top was stained with General Finishes Java Gel Stain. The stain was aggressively wiped off  in areas to create an old look where it would have naturally worn with regular use.

The set was painted in Miss Mustard Seeds Tricycle Milk Paint and Glazed with General Finishes Van Dyke Brown Glaze Effects.

The GF Van Dyke Glaze is very similar to the GF Gel Stain. Looks the same, smells the same and is just as easy to work with. No runny mess and easy to apply.

I did find I had to work quickly with this glaze as it wasn’t leaving me much “play” time before it dried, however I L-o-V-e the ‘old-world-effect’ it provided for this piece.

GF Glazed Writing Desk & Chair

Road Rescued Writing Desk & Chair

Road Rescued Glazed Writing Desk


Stay tuned for the final Part #3 of the Road-Rescue Series when I’ll be painting with General Finishes Milk Paint. I’m really looking forward to giving it a try because I’ve heard rave reviews. If you missed Part #1 on General Finishes Gel Stain you can find it here.

If you have any questions or comments about General Finishes Van Dyke Brown Glaze Effects, I’d love to hear them!

And don’t forget to check back in next week. I’ll share some tips and techniques I used to remove this damaged veneer.

Enjoy your day!

Denise x

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Road-Rescue Part 1 – Staining Pine with General Finishes Gel Stain… Ohhhhh No!

Road-Rescue Part 1 – Staining Pine with General Finishes Gel Stain… Ohhhhh No!

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014 in Blog, How To Tips, Product Reviews, Staining Furniture, Trash 2 Income | 9 comments


If you’re following me on Facebook, you know a few days ago I received a fun box of goodies from General Finishes Corporation. I decided to put these GF products to the test by re-styling 3 road-rescued furniture finds.

My first curb-shopped re-do was the solid pine table below. Isn’t that yellow stain with the paint dreadful? I really didn’t like the colors someone had used {and that someone was me..yes, I just mumbled that under my breath in hopes you didn’t hear me} so this table’s been hiding in a dark corner.  Its “time-in-hiding” was brought to an end because of its large surface to Gel Stain.

A gorgeous surface but…ohhhhh no… knotty pine is a soft large grained wood that typically doesn’t take well to dark stain.

To get a nice even stain on this softwood, a conditioner or shellac is often required. Did I use a conditioner or shellac… NO!

On the General Finishes pamphlet, it states that this Gel Stain “…produces an even finish on hard to stain woods such as Aspen, Pine or Maple”.

My vision… a “Country-Charm-Coffee Table”.  So even if the GF claim didn’t hold true, some variance in tone would just add to the appeal.


So here’s the low down on this stuff…

The Java Gel Stain resembles a rich chocolate pudding. It has a slight odor but not as harsh as other stains I’ve worked with. I used a heavy duty lint free Shop Towel and worked in small sections.

It’s really easy to apply~ wipe on and then wipe off the excess so it doesn’t leave streaks. I waited 4 hours to dry in-between applications and I stopped after 3 coats.

I didn’t want my table any darker and I really liked the original warm yellow tones which were showing through… go figure…lol!

I’m confident if I had applied another few coats of the Java Gel Stain , it would have continued to even out and become a much deeper tone.




Here’s a few more reasons why this stain is pretty dreamy to work with:

  • No drips or runs and it stays where it’s applied… even on a vertical surface.

  • Glides on and applies smoothly with a lint free cloth or soft paper towel. 

  • Doesn’t require a lot of wiping off after applying.

  • Provides nice stain coverage.

  • No sanding between coats.

  • Easy clean up with soap and water.

  • No strong odor.

  • Urethane in Stain also provides a top coat.

  • Stain dries in a few hours before re-coating.



Since we’re on the topic of stain, if you missed this oldie but goodie, you can find more information on Staining-Over-Stain here. 

If you have any questions/tips/or advice on staining pine or the General Finishes Gel Stain… I’d love to hear your thoughts. :)

Also, stay tuned for Part#2 & Part#3 of this Road-Rescue Make-Over Series… here’s a sneak peek…


Have yourself a fabulous day!

Denise x

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Sanded Through Veneer… Really?…Grrrrr!

Posted by on Mar 13, 2014 in Blog, Furniture Repair, How To Tips, Painting Furniture, Staining Furniture | 6 comments

I’ve always heard there’s a danger of sanding through veneer yet I’ve never had a problem… until today… grrrr!SandThroughVeneerNightTable

I was working on this night-table and I wanted to stain the top and paint the bottom.

Apparently Walt and I (aka DeWalt) were a little too zealous and we sanded through the veneer exposing the MDF at the edge of the table.

Staying calm and carrying on… (in my case I believe this is called being-in-denial), I went ahead and stained the top anyway. I was hoping the stain would miraculously cover my mistake but no such luck.

Not the best pic but I hope you can see the exposed MDF prior to staining.


Sanded Through Veneer


Admitting my defeat, I came upstairs to my office and Googled how to fix this sand-through.

Here were my options~

  • Find A Really Good Re-Finisher 
  • ‘Draw’ the Grain Back on with Artist Color Pencils
  • Conceal with Artist Oils, Graining Pens or Furniture Markers 
  • Camouflage with Tinted Shellac
  • Re-Veneer the Entire Top
  • ‘Patch’ Veneer the Sand-Through Area
  • Tile the Top
  • Decoupage The Top
  • Just Paint Over It
Older pieces of furniture have a standard veneer that is approximately 1/16″ to 1/20″ thick. Today’s veneers can be as thin as 1/28″ to 1/40″. The specialty Maple, Oak, Walnut, Cherry, and Mahogany veneers can still be purchased in thicker sheets which is what M-M-M uses.


I opted for the quickest and easiest option which was to paint over my mistake. It’s not at all what I envisioned for this night-table but it turned out super cute!


Sanded Veneer Night Tbl



I’ve sanded furniture like this before so I know veneers can take a moderate amount of sanding. But after today, I’ll definitely make an effort to be more careful.

Have you ever sanded through veneer? If so, did you paint over it or use another method to fix it up?

Looking forward to hearing your take.

Denise x


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