Smoked Mirrors No More

Today is one of my happy days.

* I get to stay home all day long.
* I'm reconnecting with my spaces and spending time re-evaluating my projects.
* I cooked Chicken Curry for lunch and the kids and I sang "Oh the Lord is Good to Me" before dining & chatting together at the kitchen counter.
* I'm blogging!

I'm focusing intently on my living/dining room this month since I realized I'd become rather schizophrenic in my decorating lately.  I found some great fabric for my sitting room drapes, hung the fabric from the rod to see if I would like it, and it's still hanging there.

I started a wall collage one Sunday afternoon on a whim ~ even went so far as to size and order my prints for framing ~ then walked away and never finished. 

So I pulled myself up by the bootstraps and made myself focus.  Living/Dining Room First.  Then we will address some other spaces.

Probably our biggest need is a coffee table between our two sofas:

and believe you me, I've looked high and low trying to find something suitable.  I may have a lead as of just this morning, and am currently (eagerly!) awaiting a response.

But the piece I really needed to tackle first was this beauty in disguise:

 I found this buffet on craigslist for $40.  A young lady was heading off to college in another state and couldn't take it with her.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but it had an awful yellowish-speckled finish, smoked mirror backing, and a large rectangular hole on top which used to be smoked mirror, too.  Scary.

But the heft and width was perfect for behind my one large sofa whose back faces the dining room and kitchen.

I also LOVED the legs.

Mr. Wonderful helped me cut a piece of thin wooden "skin" to fill the hole on top. He built some supports underneath as well, so I could place items on it without it sagging.  What a guy.

I used woodfiller to fill in the cracks around the insert, then sanded the top smooth with my mouse sander.  I then sanded the body by hand.

I did not bother to paint a primer coat but went right to Behr's Premium Plus Ultra paint with built-in primer in Ashwood, two coats.  I even painted right over the smoked mirror backing on the bottom.  Why not?

Once dry, I distressed the edges with a block of sandpaper, rubbed Minwax Provencial Stain over the whole piece in sections, wiping off excess with a clean cloth.  I then finished the top with two coats of Minwax Poly-Wipe, a wipe-on polyurethane, and sprayed the body with a water-based polyurethane.

And here she is!

The clock face knobs are from Hobby Lobby, perfect on this piece:

The hardware on the middle drawer is from another dresser I'm refinishing.  I'm not 100% happy with it, but I think it works fine for now:

You can see a brief glimpse of the lamps I found at Value Village for $15 each: 

Although kinda scary in color, the height was exactly what I needed.  I also like the urn shape.  Trying to vary my texture in the living room a bit, I opted to paint them a glossy white---kind of a stretch for me:

I then painted the bottom in Krylon's oil-rubbed bronze,and although I don't have a good picture of the whole lamp yet, you can see the bottoms here:

Overall, quite the transformation:

This afternoon I'm tackling the recovering of my dining room chairs.  I've loved our dining set since we purchased it 6 years ago, but I wanted to lighten it up a bit, take it down a notch on the formality scale.  Hopefully by tomorrow they will have gone from this:

To this:

Such a fun, happy, family-friendly print, yes?

Last night I finished chair #3 of eight while watching a dvd set of Christy.  If I'm going to finish today, I'd best get busy :-)



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