Hi there, I’m Denise and I’m so happy you’ve dropped by!
Salvaged Inspirations was created in 2013 and shares my love of restyling and repurposing vintage furniture and thrift decor.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always enjoyed finding interesting pieces at flea markets, garage sales, and thrift stores. I’m the kind of girl who has more fun curb-shopping than buying retail!
This blog shares my passion for furniture painting. Although I wasn’t sure what direction it was going to take when I wrote my very first post, the SI Blog has turned into an online journal of before & afters, a resource for diy furniture painting techniques and documents my successes and failures along the way.
I hope the 250+ blog posts and tutorials inspire you and other DIY enthusiasts to take another look at that neglected piece and restyle it into something amazing!
So welcome…. grab a cup of coffee and stay a while! 🙂 And I hope you stop by often so we can have some fun sharing our thrift tales while breathing new life into old items one piece at a time.
Some TidBits About Me… In No Particular Order…
LOVE to laugh…NOTHING better than a good laugh to lift the spirits.
Own a dishwasher yet never use it…yup, still wash dishes by hand.
Scorpio Alert: I’m extremely passionate, fun, secretive, focused, loyal, excitable and I let my EMOTIONS RULE.
I like inspiring quotes.
I dream of being a famous artist with an eccentric lifestyle….who doesn’t wash dishes.
Enjoy nature, animals, long walks, travelling, gardening, thrifting, drawing, photography, music, art and a good book.
Can’t stay in the bathroom to brush my teeth if my life depended on it… I walk around the house and only go back to rinse.
I’m a great listener but find it challenging to talk about myself.
Addicted to traveling. I love seeing new places and things.
I have the best sister in the world.
Wherever in the world I travel, I always visit the local library and art museum(s).
Geek Alert: I’m a book worm, love to read and still ‘check-out’ books from my local library.
I hate having wet toes when they’re suppose to be dry.
Have great fun up-cycling furniture & selling pieces I’ve salvaged and lovingly re-furbished.
I LOVE my freedom. Being able to do what I want when I want is HUGE.
LOVE spending time with family, friends and “My-Mystery-Man” aka M-M-M.
Admire positive, fun, creative, inspiring people.
Like and often use the words: “FREE”, “ALMOST FREE”, “THINGY”, ‘CREEPY’, “WEIRD”, “UGLY-CUTE”, “FRIGG’N”, “FRIGGY”, “KINDA”, and “REALLY, SERIOUSLY”?
I’m a night owl. If I’m in bed by midnight – that’s early.
Don’t use an alarm – I wake up organically.
Old lady alert: I cross stitch and think needle art is relaxing.
I do my best to buy and eat organic produce/products.
Not crazy about cooking.
I can be a walking contradiction.
Laundry – can’t be bothered until I’m down to my last pair socks.
Ok…maybe that last one was a little too much information…lol.
P.S.S I’d love for you to visit often and share your thoughts and ideas.
I’m truly grateful for every comment and interaction I receive and want to thank you for dropping by and spending a little time with me!
I searched to get information about paint, paint drying, paint curing, etc. So many times I’ve followed the instructions from the paint can, even the paint store folks, then screw up a piece of furniture or house trim. One of my searches brought up your site and confirmed paint drying versus paint curing. Thanks for the information. I’m subscribing today !
Marg Chaput says
YOU SOUND SO MUCH LIKE MYSELF. LOVE LIFE.
I’m so inspired . When I saw your pottery barn knock off buffet you did. I have the exact same piece and also had removed the top. Thank you so much for the ideas I will probably do it exactly the same
Hi Diane! I’m so happy it gave you a few ideas. I’d love to hear how yours turns out. Happy Holdiays!
ana robleda says
Hi, Denise! I’m usually a bit allergic to subscripe to any pages, but I haven’t been able to resist yours! So thanks for sharing your amazing job. Old habits die hard, they say, but you have changed mine!
I love old pieces of furniture that can tell stories, and giving them a new life. Recently I have come across two night stands that come from about 1920, from Galicia, the northwest region of my country (by the way, greetings from Madrid, Spain!!!), and I have wondered if maybe you could give me some ideas for them. Would it be OK if I send you some pictures?
Hi Ana from Madrid! Madrid is on my bucket list to visit one day! Your two nightstands sound fabulous. I don’t usually give color advice (color is such a personal preference!) but if you need some help with technique(s) I’d be happy to help. Feel free to reach out anytime. And thanks for subscribing. xo
Thanks, Denise for answering so quickly!
Recently I have launched myself into a new adventure. For years I have been restyling pieces of furniture for friends, family and, of course, our home. A friend of mine asked me to restyle her living room and then, I started wondering, “why not turn a passion into a professional adventure?” COVID in Spain has striked hard, and being a professional translator, my workload has been reduced up to 70%, so… here I am!
I have created “La Casa De Madera”, in honour of our first home in the countryside. I have a simple webpage, https:// lcdm2020.wixsite.com/lacasademadera.
If you need an excuse to get away from the table these holidays (in Spain, that’s what we do: eat, eat and eat!!) saying that there is a poor soul that needs your opinion, please, use me!!! Feel free to make any comment… or none!
Well, back to the nightstands: I have already worked on them caulking and sanding, One of them, which I call “La mesilla de la abuela (granny’s nightstand)” has not the top. They have a lovely chestnut wood, and I wanted to leave some of it raw,
I have not been able to upload the photos here, so I have sent them to your email. I’m sorry if that is a nuisance for you, but I have done my best and no success!
Thanks again !!
My best wishes for 2021!
I was just wondering where you sell your furniture pieces. I absolutely love your work!
Thanks so much Amy! Most everything on the #siblog is for sale once I’ve refinished a new piece. I also sell on Kijiji and FB Marketplace. 🙂
Siblog? Kijiji? And FB..do you have a link you could share?
BTW…out of the thousands, I mean thousands lol of links I have saved,not always watched completely your emails I ALWAYS look at immediately and love every piece of realistic advice! My favorite part is you use a number of different products! I don’t like to stick to 1 line of products because 1 can of clear coat may be $39.95 and Walmart has one for $10! I would love to know if you have a favorite paint? Stain? Tools? Transfers?Wood glue,etc. I have always wanted to try Annie Sloan and wise owl. Btw…I have a good stockpile of roadside or yardsale finds,some paints,brushes,tools. I am absolutely terrified to get started! I have items I want to keep,give away and sale. Any advice?
I love your blogs. Please don’t change a thing!
I have some 1/4 round that has a very light stain with varnish and I need to darken the stain to match a new floor. I tried just using a darker stain but it would not absorb. Is there a product I can use that won’t require me to have to sand all the 1/4 round first (we are talking several rooms.).
Rina Murphy says
Following — I’d like to know too — I’ve used deglossers, but I’ve been hit and miss with them. Thank You!
Hi, Just a bystander here but have you tried gel stain? Not sure if it would work but I have gone over the old stain on a table and then textured with a dry brush.
I am curious if anyone has tried the gel stain on laminate flooring?
Hey Denise, Gotta say I am totally feeling everything I have watched as far as your DIY videos. Then I read a bit about you and now I dig u even more. I wanna be just like u when I grow u!!!
I think I’m doing a great job at getting there.
I felt that I was alone n my being a night owl and my best came out in the night. With that said…
I am taking an online upholstery class. I have loved upholstery since I was a little girl because I use to watch my grandpa while he worked in his upholstery shop. I fell in love with it then and am now given the opportunity to follow my passion for upholstery. But, on the way I have learned that I LOVE to work with wood as well.
So, we have bulk trash week every month in our community which has turned me into an upcycler…
I consider myself skilled enough to start making a living doing these things and was wondering g what u did to get your start and how.
I love that you love what you do and Love that you stay you while doing it.
Any advice you are able to give will be greatly appreciated.
Keep em coming sister…
All the way from Texas,
Hi Carol and WELCOME! Upholstery classes sound amazing, I would love to try that. I do a little upholstering here and there but pretty straight forward easy stuff. 🙂 When I turned furniture painting into a business, I told EVERYONE what I was doing (including all my neighbors and the pizza delivery guy…lol) and practiced on a TON of curb-shopped finds. Social media was/is a must to get clients and eyeballs on your work. And also, don’t be afraid to price your work in line with your experience. When I first started, I was always questioning myself that I wasn’t selling my pieces for as much as I “thought” I should — yet I didn’t feel comfortable selling them for full pop. Be kind and patent with yourself. Feel proud selling your pieces – for whatever price when you’re first starting out. Prices will increase but the experience is priceless. I sound like an AMEX commercial..lol. All the best to you Carol. I’m cheering you on from my end! x
I was wondering where in Canada you are, Denise? I am near Perth, Ontario.
Ah, Perth! I’m in Burlington. 🙂
Mindy McCarthy says
I’m struggling! I’m just trying to decoupage a wood board with napkins and it’s not turning out well….1) i just want to be clear about the process… I put a layer of decoupage on the wood first then lay down 1 ply of the napkin….. then do I paint a coat of decoupage over the top of this (after it’s dried?) 2) after my attempt (lol) was all dried , it had a yellowish-icky hue to it 🙁 how do I avoid this? 3) I used the sander with 220 grit and it chipped off a bit more than I wanted… any tips for this? Would it be better to just use the sand block and distress by hand? Do you have to paint the wood prior to laying down decoupage, napkin etc? Pfew I think that’s all my questions for now, and I haven’t even tried furniture yet…eek! Thanks for any advice!
denise goodwin says
HI Denise..we recently tried paining a velvet sofa with chalk paint it some stains on it ..it had been cleaned thoroughly …and we probably didn’t keep it wet enough during the process and also read something about wet sanding…idk but it went wrong ! we love the shade of green over a original medium pink color….but there are spots that cracked and spots that has darker shading of the color, I s there anyway to fix this ???..please help we need it for an event soon.
I have to be totally honest with you Denise, I’m not the person to be giving advice about painting velvet because when I tried it – it went all wrong. 🙁 That said, I don’t want to leave you empty handed so heres an amazing video by Debi using a clay/chalky paint to dye her velvet couch. Maybe if you were to sand off some of the paint that is causing the ‘cracks’ and ‘dark spots’ on your sofa and incorporate some of Debi’s tips… hopefully, it might help. ??
Anne McKechnie says
You sounds just like me except I do like to cook ,lol I have my last pair of sock on 🙂 I am originally from the UK, you can find great antique buys there. Most people go for the new modern look in furniture from stores like Ikea which amazes me!
Joanna Tadrowska says
Jestem z Polski i już zasubskrybowałam Twego bloga, hurra to jest to czego szukałam:)
Próbuję sił i pierwszy wielki mebel jest gotów…..tak zaczęłam 4 tygodnie temu spełniać swoje marzenie…..
pozdrawiam Cię serdecznie,….spadłaś mi jak gwiazda z nieba ze swoimi dobrymi poradami
Cześć Joanna! Cieszysz się, że znalazłeś #siblog i zachęcamy Cię do podążania za marzeniami i pracy nad swoim pierwszym meblem. To sprawia, że mój dzień! XO Z jakiej części Polski pochodzisz? Mój tata urodził się w Warszawie i miałem przyjemność odwiedzać go w 2008 roku. Taki piękny kraj. Wszystkie moje ciotki nadal tam mieszkają, więc mam nadzieję odwiedzić wkrótce.
Catherine ten Hertog says
Hi Denise. I love your work and I love the fact that you are Canadian. I think we in Canada sometimes have a more challenging time finding vintage pieces at affordable priced as compared to upcyclers in the US with a population 10 times the size of ours. Also the prices in Canada seem to be higher as well with the more limited supply. Occasionally the best pieces are curbside finds. Perhaps more of a challenge to upcycle since they often need prepared but totally worth it. Keep on upcycling.
Thanks so much Catherine! And good luck in the giveaway! XO
HEIDI FIDANZA says
JUST READ AND WATCHED YOU.. YOUR GREAT! IM STARTING TO REDO SOME PIECES, IM SO EXCITED, WATCHING VIDEOS TO SEE WHERE TO BEGIN. I HAVE PURCHASED AND GOT FOR FREE SOME PIECES. FIRST QUESTION IS TELL ME ABOUT THAT CONFERENCE IN CALI.
HAVE A FAB NIGHT \
Hi Heidi…WELCOME! Here is a link with some more info on the conference in Sept. Theres also a link to their FB Page dedicated to the event. 🙂 https://www.primawinecountryescape.com/events-2/redesign-with-prima-market-event-1
Just found your page today and am excited to start painting some older thrifted items to sell.
What paint color do you recommend ao the pieces sell quickly! Can’t wait to bing read your older blogs.
Thanks so much!
Hi Carol, WELCOME! So happy you’ve found the #siblog!! Overall, the neutrals sell a little faster. Whites, creams, blacks, grays. That said, I’ve painted in yellow, reds and mauve and they’ve sold even before they were listed… so it just depends. I always paint in the colors that make me happy and what the individual piece is calling for.🌸
Dinorath Restrepo Rey says
Es la primera vez que leo tu blog y en verdad me encanta ,me entusiasma tu ánimo y alegría ,La desbordas en cada ,trozo de escrito. Soy una mujer mayor que sueña con las cosas que pueden ser hermosas de la vida. Te doy las gracias desde mi país Colombia.
Hola Dinorath de Colombia! ¡Qué feliz que estés aquí y que hayas encontrado el #siblog! UN GRAN CALIENTE Bienvenido!
Mary Armenteros says
I just posted a comment on your FB page about upcoming Convention in Ontario, CA at the end of Sept., the video you made was talking about. I may have missed it, but what are the other details. I would like to sign up. I recently relocated from CA to NV, and have been thinking of a trip back to visit family & friends . This would be the perfect opportunity. Please post the link if there is one.
Hi Mary! I think I may have already responded via an email you sent but here’s the link to the FB Group for The ReDesign Dixie Belle 2019 Workshop. I would love to see you there. 🙂
Hi Denise,florence here from Australia.
I cant clean the hardware on an old chest ive painted tried everything.
Its very decorative so wondered if youve painted hardware with success ?
I sure have! You can see a few examples here.
Sarah christine nyland says
Hi Denise, first time on your blog, and reading your bio you sound like a really great lady !! I recently moved to Scotland’s Book Town, its just amazing 15 bookshops, most serving fabulous coffee :)) I am slowly furnished my lovely little house here, mostly from thrift shops. I have sourced some small bits, a magazine rack and a nest of tables – they are recently made in china, poor quality, but have potential. How would you suggest I do a lazy make over on them? They are brown laminate, so I was thinking “chalk paint” could work as no priming required, and strong colours… or do I just go white for simplicity? many thanks, Sarah
Hi Sarah and WELCOME! Scotland’s Book Town sounds like my kinda town! 😉 And ya, a chalk or mineral paint would be a great ‘lazy’ makeover for laminates. I have a full painting laminate tutorial here. As for colors, it’s such a personal choice it’s not fair for me to chime in. Pick what YOU love! Go with what your gut is telling you, not what you think others might like to see. Have fun and hope to chat again soon. 🙂