How to Restore Vintage Brass Fixtures

Have you ever found a vintage piece and hesitated to buy it because the brass or metal looks scratched, discolored, or tarnished? We all have! But don’t hesitate. Cleaning vintage metals is actually fairly easy, and totally worth it. In fact, you can save a lot of money by buying the more junky pieces and restoring them yourself at home.

I’ve seen some people just take a can of spray paint to pieces, and that’s fine if your metal is beyond repair but you still cant live without it, but most of the time that isn’t the case. Besides, you’ll never get a true shine like you would with real metal. Instead of reaching for the spray paint, reach for a rag and some polish and see what you reveal.

I got this set of 50s drawer pulls on Etsy for a really great price. At first glance they’re junk, but if you’ve ever restored metals you’d see the treasure underneath that tarnish and “scratches” immediately.

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What you need is a metal polish product, like Brasso, and an old rag or two. Oh and some gloves.

How to Restore Vintage Brass Drawer PullsCover the brass in metal polish and rub into the metal.

How to Restore Vintage Brass Drawer PullsThen use a soft cloth to buff and massage the metal, you’ll notice black and green residue coming off on your cloth. That’s the tarnish! Keep going.How to Restore Vintage Brass Drawer PullsKeep polishing until there is no more residue coming off on to your cloth and the metal is sparkling new. Reapply more product if needed. This can take awhile depending on how tarnished your pieces are, but be patient.

How to Restore Vintage Brass Drawer PullsOnce all the tarnish is removed, give it a nice little polish with a clean cloth to remove any remaining residue or product.

How to Restore Vintage Brass Drawer PullsTada!! Good as new. Now put down the paint and pick up the polish!

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Mid-Century Inspired Refrigerator Makeover with Peel & Stick Wallpaper

The only thing that really bothered me about my new kitchen was the way the refrigerator looked in the space.

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Now don’t get me wrong it’s a nice brand new refrigerator, but the way the side of it created a big black rectangle in in the middle of everything bothered me.

I bought a peel and stick wallpaper a couple of years ago with the intention of covering my old refrigerator, but never got around to it. Luckily I found the paper when I was unpacking and since I’m still renting I decided to put it to use!Use peel and stick wallpaper to cover a refrigerator

I like the shape of the refrigerator door and I don’t mind the stainless, so I decided to only apply the wall paper to the sides and top to cover all the black. I was also inspired by the two-toned refrigerators that were popular back in the day.

The paper I used is a light minty blue with a metallic silver cross-hatch pattern. It looks very vintage to me and reminds me of mid-century upholstery fabric. I knew it would work perfectly for what I wanted to attempt.

All I had to do was pull out the refrigerator and apply the peel and stick the paper, carefully matching the seams and making sure to smooth out any air bubbles. This type of paper is very easy to work with and made the job extremely simple.Use peel and stick wallpaper to cover a refrigerator (before) (3)Use peel and stick wallpaper to cover a refrigerator (1)

To finish off the edges I used a thin washi tape in the same color and similar pattern. This gave it a more finished look and helped make sure all of my edges were properly secured.Use peel and stick wallpaper to cover a refrigerator 1.jpg

Use peel and stick wallpaper to cover a refrigerator 3.jpgWhat an improvement! The refrigerator no longer stands out like a sore thumb and adds a nice subtle color and more retro flair to the space. It also gives it a nice smooth texture which makes it way easier to clean than the bumpy texture that it had before. I love it!Use peel and stick wallpaper to cover a refrigerator 2.jpg

Now I’m going to use a different peel and stick wallpaper to cover that back wall as well. Stay tuned!

 

Easy DIY Felt Pom Pom Pillows

Accent pillows are one of the easiest things you can use to change the look of a sofa or chair in your home, and they’re also one of the easiest DIY projects to do. I wanted to bring a little color and fun to a bench I have in my living room so turned to my fabric scrap collection for something to make pillows with. I had some felt and pom poms and thought they would be perfect pillows for the holiday season. To be honest they might stay well after that.

To make a basic pillow you just need to cut a piece of fabric to the size and shape of the pillow you want to cover. Leave about an inch on each side for seam allowance. Sometimes I cut the fabric on a fold so I end up with one longer piece rather than two pieces. Either way works fine.

DIY Felt PomPom Pillows.jpgSew the pieces together at the sides, leaving one side open.

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Turn your pillow case inside out so the seams are inside. By the way you can do these steps with fabric glue like liquid stitch if you don’t have a sewing machine.

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Insert your pillow stuffing and then use a slip stitch or fabric glue to close the open end.

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Next figure out where you want to apply your pom pom trim and use fabric glue to adhere it! Easy!

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I also cut some of the pom poms off and glued them on in a random pattern.

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There you have it. Easy pom pom pillows!

DIY Fabric Wall Treatment//How To Use Fabric As Temporary Wallpaper

Do you like the look of wallpaper but can’t commit to installing any? Same here. A lot of the projects I do in my apartment have to be temporary because I rent, so I’m always trying to find inexpensive and temporary solutions to my design problems.

When I redecorated my living room earlier this year I knew I wanted to do an accent wall behind my sofa, and I knew I wanted it to be a pattern. I’d heard of people using fabric as temporary wallpaper before and decided I wanted to give it a whirl. I fell in love with a fabric that I ended up scoring for $6, and the other materials are really inexpensive, so it was no big loss if it didn’t work out.

For this project you need fabric (I used a light weight cotton), liquid starch, push tacks, an exacto knife, and a paint roller. For everything I paid less than $20 total!

Side note: I did this project on the rainiest day of the year, so please excuse the lighting in some of the images!

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First, I used push tacks to hang the fabric up on the wall. I tacked at the ceiling line and sides.

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Then I used a paint roller to apply the liquid starch to the fabric.

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I started at the top, smoothing out air bubbles and wrinkles as I worked my way down. Make sure you saturate the fabric thoroughly so it sticks to the wall very well. I repeated the process for each piece, matching up the edges on the sides. This fabric had a label on one of the selvage edges, so I cut that off before applying it to the wall.

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Let it dry thoroughly for several hours. I let mine dry over night.

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Next, I used an exacto-knife to cut around the edges of the wall and around any details like air vents and electrical sockets. For any left over air bubbles, I just sliced them and re-saturated, then pushed any air out. DIY Fabric Wall Treatment (9).jpg

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That it! I was actually shocked at how much easier it was to do than I imagined. It took me a few hours but wasn’t as labor intensive as I anticipated. Here’s how it turned out!

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I love it! 

To remove it all you have to do is set a corner with warm water and peel it straight off the one in one piece. I actually removed a piece and put it back up on the wall because I didn’t like the placement. The best part is this fabric can be laundered and reused whenever I choose to remove it! 

Clean up is also a breeze. Just regular soap and water will do! 

Have fun! 

DIY Dyed Corn Husk Wreath

I’m totally one of those people who likes to hang a wreath to celebrate every season. For Thanksgiving this year I wanted a to bring in some natural elements while keeping a pop of color. Since it happens to be the time of year when I buy corn husks for tamales, I figured I would try to use some of the corn husks to make an autumn wreath! I wasn’t sure if it would work out the way I envisioned but it totally did! 

This wreath is extremely cheap and easy to make. Here’s what you’ll need:

Foam or Straw Wreath Form
Corn Husks (I used an 8oz pacakge)
Colored Dye (I used Rit. Food coloring and easter egg dye also works.)
Hot Glue Gun

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First you’re going to mix up the dye color of your choice and then soak the corn husks until the level of color you desire is achieved. I chose to only dye the tips of my husks for an ombre effect.

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Let the husks dry completely before assembling your wreath.

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Next, using a hot glue gun, start gluing the husks to the wreath form in one direction, layering the husks all the way around until the wreath form is covered. Split up the husks into thinner pieces for more depth and keep adding in more husks until you reach your desired volume.

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And that’s it! Easy peasy.

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I love the way it looks like feathers! I’m in love with the way it turned out and will probably keep it up throughout winter too.

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A Green and Gold French Provincial Side Table Makeover with Chalk Paint®

Back in 2011 I posted one of my first furniture makeovers here on the blog. It was this French Provincial style side table that I found near a dumpster. I took it home, scrubbed it down, and gave it a fresh coat of white paint.

Upcycle entry way projects

Over the years it has found its way around my apartment and eventually retired and went back into storage. You guys know I love to switch things up with the seasons so I thought it was time to bring it back in, but since it needed a new paint job I decided to give it a different look!

Table Makeover with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan.jpgNormally I go with fresh whites, or bright colors, but when I saw the new Amsterdam Green from Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan I was in love and decided to try a different direction. The green is a deep, warm, vintage green that looks amazing against the gold accents I wanted.

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One of the reasons I really love Chalk Paint and recommend it to those who are painting furniture for the first time is that it’s very forgiving and easy to use. It applies nicely and dries very level and fast.

Table Makeover with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan (3).jpgFor this project all I had to do was apply two coats of  Amsterdam Green Chalk Paint® with a Pure Bristle Brush, no priming necessary. I like this brush. It holds a lot of paint and covers a lot of surface.

Table Makeover with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan (4).jpgThen, once the paint was completely dry, I applied Clear Chalk Paint® Wax with a Wax Brush and buffed it out with a soft cloth. This helps protect the paint and give it a more finished look.

Once that was done I added some gold details and a new crystal drawer knob.

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Voila! All done! Such a dramatic change and it took almost no time and effort.Table Makeover with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan (7).jpg I’m loving the vintage feel and warmth it’s adding to this corner.

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I’m really happy with the way it turned out and think it adds a really nice vibe for the season. Now what else can I paint…?

Feeling inspired? To purchase these products, find your local Annie Sloan Stockists here!

 

This post was sponsored by Unfolded, but all opinions and ideas are my own.

 

DIY Plastic Halloween Flamingo Skeleton

I’m finally getting into the Halloween spirit and wanted to share a quick DIY project with you guys. You probably already know that I love the retro kitschy vibe of plastic lawn flamingos, so I figured why not turn them into skeletons for Halloween?  Cute idea right? Well, I have to admit that this is one of those times where I thought I was being really original and creative, and then saw that you can actually buy them like this. Well, a scarier demon version anyway. Fail. I already had the materials laying around so I did it anyway! Here’s how I did it in case you want to make some yourself.

First I started with a plastic pink flamingo.

DIY Plastic Flamingo Skeleton

Then I sprayed it with satin black spray paint. Which looked pretty cool on its own, but I went with the skeleton idea anyway.

DIY Plastic Halloween Flamingo Skeletons

Then I used a white Sharpie paint marker to make the skeleton.DIY Plastic Halloween Flamingo Skeleton I’m not an expert on bird anatomy so you’ll have to forgive my crude interpretation of a flamingo skeleton. Listen, I did my best!

DIY Plastic Halloween Flamingo Skeleton