too soon?

OK, OK, I know, it’s way too soon for Christmas.

But that snow we had a week or so ago really put me in the holiday spirit.  Then add on the fact that the shop wants to start putting out the holiday stuff this week, so I need to have things ready to go.  Plus it has been unseasonably cold here.  One morning last week I checked the temp to help decide which coat to wear to work and it was 18 degrees (that meant the parka, in case you’re wondering).  In October!

Anyway, all of that added up to me getting my holiday items ready to go before Halloween.

For the past several years I’ve been painting up sleds as Christmas decor.  Way back in the early days, my first few sleds were flops.  I tried to stencil over the existing finishes on the sleds and that didn’t work well at all.

The stencil designs that I used were too delicate, so you just couldn’t see them well enough.

When those didn’t sell, I realized I needed to paint the sleds first, then stencil with a contrasting paint color.

Ah, much better.  Although sometimes it still works to keep the original finish, especially when it’s a perfect chippy red like this sled that I stenciled last year.

You may remember that back in June I came across a stash of old sleds at a lunchtime garage sale.  I had resigned myself to not being able to find much at garage sales this year due to COVID (ie. no neighborhood sales), so it was a bonus to find 4 sleds all together at one sale.

I started out with the two taller sleds with black metal runners.  These were actually newer looking and they had some stickers on them promoting Special Export beer.  I suppose they were giveaways at an event or something.

I removed the stickers using Goof Off, sanded down the wood and painted one in Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky, and one in their Drop Cloth.

I followed my usual process of painting all of the wooden parts of the sled, front and back.  Then I added some stenciling.  I used an old favorite stencil on the white one (sorry, I’m not exactly sure where I purchased that one) and I used a new stencil I ordered this summer from Maison de Stencils on the black one.

After painting both of these, I realized that it was quite time consuming to paint all of the wood parts, front and back.  I decided to do a little experiment on one of the smaller sleds and just paint the front of the flat wood slats and then add a stencil.

Once I had it done, I realized it was perfectly fine this way.  In fact, I might even like it a bit better than the fully painted ones, and it was so much easier to accomplish.

However, I think this method of painting just part of the sled worked so well on the two smaller sleds because they were old and had nicely patina’d worn wood.  The two taller sleds with newer wood might not have looked as good with partial paint jobs.

By the way, if you’re looking for this exact stencil design on Maison de Stencils website, you won’t find it.  I pieced together parts from three different stencils to create that look (this one, this one and this one).  It’s difficult to find a stencil that works perfectly ‘as is’ on a sled.  You have to get creative to fit things to those narrow slats.

I just painted the wide slats on the 2nd smaller sled as well.

The stenciling on this sled is all from one stencil (it’s this one).

If you’re wondering about paint colors, I used all Dixie Belle paints on these including for the stenciling, and the colors I used are Honky Tonk Red, Evergreen, Drop Cloth and Midnight Sky.

Last year I kept the red, chippy sled for myself and hung it on my photo cottage.  But now I’ve kinda fallen in love with the Saint Nick’s sled and it looks perfect hanging on the carriage house, so I’m going to keep that one instead.

But the rest, include the chippy red one, will be going to Reclaiming Beautiful on Wednesday.

That is, unless one of you local readers wants to snatch one up before then.

I’ve listed the sleds, plus quite a few other Christmas things on my available for local sale page. Be sure to take a look and see if there is anything you are interested in.

If so, you can email me at to call dibs up until Wednesday morning.  First come, first served.  After that, I’m bringing most of the stuff to the shop.


the art of presentation.

My friend Sue has a lot of titles here on q is for quandie.  She is my picker, my co-worker, my garage sale mentor, my occasional sale partner, my garage sale spotter, my garden advisor and of course, my friend.

She is also the master at putting together amazing gift baskets.  Every year she gifts me with a spectacular collection of stuff for my birthday.

A while back when my sister and I were shopping in Excelsior, I came across this book …

and I immediately thought of Sue.  She loves the art of presentation, and this book is all about that.

The book also provided a jumping off point for creating a cheesy themed gift basket to give Sue for her recent birthday.

I started out by pulling out a galvanized container that I used to give a gift to Ken a couple of years ago.

Although he enjoyed all of the contents, as is his style, he returned the container for me to re-use.

So I started by sanding down the chalkboard paint on the front, and then painting the entire box with Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.

Then I added some transfers from prima’s Somewhere in France.

They don’t quite have a cheesy theme, but I thought they would do.

While I was out thrifting with Meggan last week, I asked her to help me keep an eye out for some items that I could add to my cheesy themed gift and she helped me spot a couple of good options.

I like finding things that I can add my own touch to using paint.  The wooden handle of the cheese knife got a coat of Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky, and the wooden wedge shaped gift set got a paint job in Drop Cloth.

Then I added a JRV stencil to the front using the Midnight Sky.

Here’s the inside …

Next it was just a matter of adding some edibles.

Hopefully Sue will have fun putting together some cheese plates that will change lives!

the doctor is in.

 A while back I decided that my friend Meggan must have a PhD in thrifting. She definitely has a knack for finding great stuff at the thrift store, so I call her the thrift doctor.  If you don’t remember the tour of her home, you can find that here.

A couple of years ago she also shared some fun ideas with us for both holiday decorating and gift giving with thrifted items.

Meggan’s favorite nearby thrift store, Arc’s Value Village on White Bear Avenue, closed up shop over a year ago.  That was a bummer because we used to get together a bit more regularly for Thrifty Thursdays.  The shop was only a few miles from my house, so we’d head over there and spend the evening roaming their aisles.

Not only did the store close, but on top of that, COVID happened.  So Meggan and I hadn’t been out thrifting in quite some time.  But last Friday I took some time off at the day job, and we headed across the cities to the Richfield and Bloomington Value Village locations.

I just had to laugh when I woke up to snow falling on Friday.  Good grief, it was only October 23.  But I should have know better.  Meggan and I have a standing joke that any time we plan a thrifting outing the weather turns bad.  Usually we end up with either snow or sub-zero temps.  Fortunately this time it was just the snow.

I have to confess, there weren’t any really earth shattering finds.  But I did come home with a nice pile of goodies …

I’ve already given a few of them a makeover, starting with that pair of framed floral prints.

Those flowers kinda give me the creeps.  They definitely look like they could be poisonous, don’t they?  I also really don’t like that band of red around the inner side of the frame.  What’s up with that?

I was inspired to pick these up after seeing a recent blog post by Miss Mustard Seed though.  Maybe some of you saw it?  She posted about framing old pieces of paper (check it out here if you haven’t seen it).  So I thought these frames would work really well for that.

So after painting the frames in Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky (to get rid of the red) and adding a topcoat of clear wax, I pulled out some old papers and photos to see what I could come up with.

The old postcards I used are not family history, I purchased them at an estate sale.  So I’m not defacing family heirlooms or anything.  The photos are old family photos, but they are the ones where no one was able to identify the people in them when we went through them a few years back.

I also added a few Tim Holtz rub-on’s to my collages (the insects and other wording).

I’ve also given the wooden arrow sign a new look for the holidays.  After painting it in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth, I combined a few different stencils from Maison de Stencils to add some wording.

I also painted the little stool using Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  Then I added some Honky Tonk Red, followed by a Classic Vintage Label from with prima.

I also revamped a couple of other items I found on Friday, but they became part of another project that I’m sharing later this week.

And of course, some of the items will just be sold on ‘as is’, like the little hammered aluminum dish.

I’m not especially a fan of hammered aluminum, but I know there are collectors out there.  And this one was so sweet I had to grab it.

This shape of this silver sugar bowl really appealed to me as well …

Even with its slightly wonky lid and a monogrammed ‘R’, I had to have it.  Who cares whether your name begins with an ‘R’, right?

And finally, I also couldn’t pass up the tiara.

I already have one on Cossetta, the statue in my garden …

But you just never know when you might need another tiara, right?

small garage sale finds.

Last weekend my friend/picker/garage sale spotter Sue texted early in the morning to give me a heads up on a garage sale that was only two blocks away from my house.

So I ran a comb through my hair, brushed my teeth, threw on a particular undergarment that was necessary for appearing in public, made sure I had some cash in my pocket and headed out.

It was one of those sales where nothing was marked, but the proprietor said ‘everything is for sale, even if it’s nailed down’.  So one of the first things I grabbed was this little wooden box that was hanging above a workbench and had some old plastic shopping bags in it.

I can’t even really say how much I paid for it because I paid a blanket price of $20 for everything I purchased from the sale.  That included this item, a small cheese box that I’ll share in a minute, a dozen floral plates (that I’ll add words to for summer), a vintage nativity set, a wooden bucket, a gingham tray, and a small homemade bench.

So let me show you what I did with this one first.

I painted it in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth, and then added part of a Classic Vintage Label transfer to the front.

Easy peasy.

I lined it with some polka dot scrapbook paper too.

Now it’s perfect for containing a non-collection (because I’m in denial when it comes to whether or not I collect things) of old salt & pepper shakers.

I won’t be keeping it though, it will go to the shop to be sold.

Next up is the little cheese box, which started out like this …

If you look closely, you can see just how grungy it was!  So step one was to give it a good cleaning.

I didn’t want to lose the Land O’Lakes label on the sides of the box …

so after cleaning the box, I decided to just spruce up the end that had already been painted black with a fresh coat of Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.

After sanding that to distress it a bit, I glued on that Design Studio tag from Tim Holtz with some E6000 glue.  It’s from his Factory Tags set and I found it at Hobby Lobby.

After waxing the whole box with some clear wax, I lined it with some more of the polka dot paper.

The box isn’t quite big enough to accommodate some old silver knives, but it would make a sweet little container for something.

I’ll be taking both of these little items in to Reclaiming Beautiful, the shop where I sell on consignment in Stillwater, MN sometime soon.  Hopefully they’ll find a home with someone who loves them!

Thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint used on these projects.

the ugly, old, rusty, crusty ones.

I’ve long been a fan of old metal toolboxes.

But I have to say, it’s rather rare to find them with an original painted finish in a good color.  The ones in nice colors tend to be priced a bit higher too.

So I’ve been known to make do with the ugly, old, rusty, crusty ones that no one seems to want.  I clean them up and give them a paint job, like this fun one that I painted as a gift for my Secret Santa recipient at work last year.

That was such a fun one to fill up!

Another of my favorite painted toolboxes of all time was this one that I also did last year just before Christmas.

Over the summer my friend Sue found a nice little pile of the rusty, crusty toolboxes for me to work some magic on.  I’ve been hanging onto them until the weather got too cold to paint out in my workshop, thus requiring me to move my painting production indoors.

Well, it snowed this past weekend, so I decided that meant I could get going on these.

But wait a minute, back up a bit … a week ago Friday it was 80 and sunny here in Minnesota  (yep, we went from sunny and 80 one week, to snow the next, that’s how we roll here in the Midwest where there aren’t any moderating influences from a nearby ocean).  Knowing that cold weather was coming, I prepped all of these by washing them in the yard using my garden hose and spray on Dawn dish soap.  I let them air dry and then gave them a coat of Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S. in clear.  I’ve used B.O.S.S. to seal up rusty toolboxes before and it seems to work well.

Today’s q tip:  Only use B.O.S.S. as a sealer if you’re going to paint over it.  If you want to just seal a rusty toolbox without painting it, use one of the clear top coats.

I worked on toolbox no 1 first.  It was definitely the rustiest of the lot.  I started out by painting it in Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky on the outside, and Sawmill Gravy on the inside.  If you’re going to try this at home, I have to warn you, painting a toolbox inside and out can take a while.  Not because you’re spending a lot of time painting, but because you’re spending a lot of time waiting for paint to dry.  You have to let the top dry before you paint the bottom, let the inside dry before you can shut the lid, and so on.

Anyway, once I had it painted I added some bits and pieces from the Somewhere in France transfer from with prima.

I also added a gold bee to the top from their Gilded Home & Nature transfer.

As you can see, I did leave some bits in their original rusty condition.

Finally, I lined the inside of the box with some of with prima’s decor tissue paper.

The inside of the box is sealed with Dixie Belle’s Gator Hide, which is also the product I used to decoupage the tissue paper.  The outside of the box got a coat of clear wax (Gator Hide can leave black looking filmy or streaky).

I also completed toolbox no 2 over the weekend.  This one is painted in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth on the outside and Peony on the inside.

Isn’t that pop of pink brilliant?  I just love it.  I used some decor tissue to line this one too.

Next I pulled out the IOD Label Ephemera transfer and added some wording to the outside.

The bees are from the Classic Vintage Labels transfer from with prima.

The crown is from the Lovely Ledger transfer, also from with prima.

I ended up adding a quick coat of Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky to the handle to clean it up a bit.

Initially my plan was to take both of these in to the shop to sell.  I need another painted toolbox like I need a hole in my head … but … I really love how this 2nd one turned out!

I liked it so much that I rearranged my living room shelves in an attempt to accommodate it.  But no, it really didn’t work there, so I will take it off to the shop after all.  Probably on Wednesday.

You can check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for pricing info.

As always, if any of my local readers want to snatch it up first just let me know by either leaving a comment or emailing me at

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and with prima for providing some of the products used in today’s makeovers.

the flying nun washstand.

A while back one of my good customers told me she had an old washstand that needed a new home, and at the same time she was purchasing the french-ish bed I’d just finished.  So we did a little bartering and I ended up with the washstand and a little extra cash.

I have to confess that every time I looked at this washstand I was reminded of the flying nun.

Who else remembers the flying nun?  The premise of that show was totally ridiculous, but I bet nearly everyone watched it.  That weren’t that many TV choices in 1967.

Anyway, there was just something about those towel bars winging out from the sides that said ‘flying nun’ to me.  I considered removing them, but removing them would have left a gap where the arm of the towel bar fits into the top of the washstand.  You can sort of see what I mean in this next photo …

So after re-gluing that loose piece shown above, I decided the towel bars would stay.

I sanded everything down, cleaned it with clear water and then added two coats of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  Originally I was going to do something entirely different with it next, but after finishing the floral box that I shared with you on Monday I really wanted to try that same look on a piece of furniture.

So I pulled out another IOD transfer that I recently picked up.  This one is called Flora Parisiensis.

I’m sharing that image of the transfer because you may not even recognize it on my washstand.  I cut it all apart and created my own collage style look with it.  And much like on the box, I combined it with various pieces from other transfers, mostly Paris Valley from with prima, but there are a few other bits in there too.

I started with the top drawer and mainly used the leaves on it.

Then I moved on to the cupboard doors …

I added most of the words first, then layered in the roses, then filled in with a few more wordy bits in spots.

I put the main title from the transfer on the backsplash …

but then I did a really good job covering that up in my photos with my props.

So I felt like I should take at least one photo where that shows.

At one point in its life there must have been a shelf inside the lower portion of the washstand because the supports are still in place.

But after having Ken take a look, we both agreed that adding a shelf in that spot wasn’t really terrible practical.  You wouldn’t be able to put anything even somewhat tall inside.

I had also initially considered changing out the wooden knobs.  They felt a bit oversized to me.  But as it turned out, these are threaded wooden knobs that screw right into the piece.

I’ve only seen this style of knob on a handful of pieces and I felt like they were a feature that I didn’t want to remove.  Especially the one on the cupboard door because it has a little latch on the back that keeps the door shut when you turn the knob.

How clever is that?  So simple, yet totally effective.

I really have to laugh at myself right now.  One of my mottos is ‘never say never’ because whenever I say something like “I’ll never use gold paint,” I always have to eat my words.  And here I am fresh off saying “I prefer words over florals” and look what I’ve done.

But I have to say, I had the such fun working on this piece.

And I think the florals totally draw your attention away from the flying nun towel bars.

What do you think?

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint used on this project, and to with prima for providing the Paris Valley transfer.

making lemonade.

This whole pandemic thing has thrown us a bunch of lemons, hasn’t it?  Well, you know what they say, when life gives you lemons …

Mr. Q and I weren’t able to take our planned trip to Europe this fall, so I’ve been taking a few days off work here and there and acting like a tourist at home.

One of my favorite things to do when we travel in Europe is visit open air museums.  If you’re not familiar, an open air museum is a museum that exhibits collections of buildings.  Usually they are buildings that have been moved to the location from all across a particular country or area, quite often they are being saved from the wrecking ball.

I’ve blogged about them a few times.  My absolute favorite, and the most elaborate, is The Beamish in County Durham, England.

The open air museums in the Scandinavian countries are all amazing as well.  I’ve visited Skansen in Stockholm, Den Gamle By in Aarhus, Denmark, and the Norske Folkemuseum in Oslo.

Unfortunately, nothing near me can really hold a candle to these.  I’ve shared the Gammelgården in Scandia, MN.  It’s small, but still worth a visit.

We also have another open air museum in the Twin Cities that is a bit larger called The Landing.

A couple of weeks ago my sister and I stopped in at The Landing after spending part of the day in Excelsior.

The Landing is located in Shakopee, MN.  The grounds are open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and are free of charge.  If you want to go inside the buildings, you have to sign up (and pay for) a particular event that includes inside visits.

Debbie and I just wandered around the grounds on our visit, and we nearly had the entire place to ourselves.

There are interpretive signs at each location so that you can learn a little about it.

There is an area that represents a 19th century village and includes a church …

a cabinet maker’s shop …

a boarding house (with some fabulous galvanized tubs) …

a town hall and more.

I love the detailed trim on the town hall.

As you continue away from the village, you’ll find the 1889 farm first, then a little further out is the 1857 farm.

I confess that I coveted their little wooden cart.

Wouldn’t that be amazing with a Christmas tree in it?

I wasn’t quite as envious of their outhouse though.

It reminds me to be grateful for my tiny bathroom that seems awfully far away at night.  At least mine is heated and has electricity, and not a lot of spiders.

I was surprised to find that they had live animals at The Landing.

There were chickens, pigs and cows.

As you continue away from the village the final stop is the fur trapper’s trading post.

This building was built in 1844, before Minnesota became a state.

You know what?  I may not have been able to visit one of my favorite open air museums in Europe this year, but I made a little lemonade from the lemons being thrown at us by COVID by visiting The Landing instead.

How about you?  Are there any open air museums where you live?  If so, I’d love to hear about them.

the rose box.

Every time I paint a box lately I don’t bother with a before photo because I think ‘no one wants to see another painted box on my blog,’ so I don’t plan to blog about it.  Instead, my usual plan is to give it a quick makeover and then take it to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell.

And then it turns out like this …

and I realize that I really do want to share it with you guys.

Even if the bulk of you aren’t all that interested and really only want to see furniture.

But you know what?  This technique would translate well to furniture, so maybe this post does have some value for those of you who are furniture refinishers.  And in fact, it inspired me to do something entirely different than originally planned on a little washstand I’ve been working on.  I’ll be sharing that later in the week, so you’ll see what I mean.

But in the meantime, I’ll share what I did with this box.  It started out as just a plain wooden recipe box.  I painted it with Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth first and once two coats of paint were dry, I sanded the edges to distress.

Next I pulled out a bunch of transfer scraps to see what I could cobble together for this small box.  I started out with the wording, and that came from the Paris Valley transfer from with prima.  Once I had the wording transfers on, I decided to add some florals so I pulled out the Redoute 4 transfer from IOD.

I have to say, I fully appreciate the irony here.  I gave up being a with prima brand ambassador because they were doing so many floral designs and not enough words.  And here I am using their words, and IOD’s florals.  Go figure.

But I have to say, this rose transfer from IOD is the perfect floral for me.  The colors are slightly faded, and I love that the transfer has a distressed look with scratches built in.

That distressed look might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it definitely is mine.

By the way, if you aren’t familiar with this transfer you might be surprised to find that it’s quite large (24″ x 33″) and the full transfer looks like this …

I just used the flowers from the upper right corner.  I suspect that when I’m done with this transfer I may have a few leafy stems left over that I never use, but we’ll see.

This transfer costs around $30, but I’ve found a local retailer now so at least I don’t have to pay shipping.  I can use it on multiple pieces so that helps distribute the cost, but buying the entire transfer for one little box would be cost prohibitive in my opinion.  If I use it on four little boxes, that’s just $7.50 per box though.

I wrapped the floral design around the sides of my box.

I had to separate some of the elements and re-arrange them to make this work, like the two rose buds shown above.

I love working on little projects like these.  They are quick and easy and they allow me to test out some ideas without committing to them on a big piece of furniture.  I can also use up some scraps left over from other projects.  As I mentioned earlier, this one provided a jumping off point for a piece of furniture I’ll be sharing later in the week, so be sure to stay tuned.

But in the meantime, tell me … floral, yes or no?


gone paintin’ stencils.

Remember the trip Mr. Q and I were supposed to take this year?  It was going to be a cruise round trip from London stopping at 8 ports of call in Europe.  Not only was it an amazing itinerary, but we had gotten upgraded to a mini-suite.

I have to admit, I had a feeling it was too good to be true.  Us?  In a mini-suite?  Hard to imagine.

Sure enough, along came COVID and that put an end to our travel plans.  And at this rate, I have a feeling it might be 2022 before European cruises come back.  Damn!

Well, no use crying over spilled milk and I’m sure most of you are playing the world’s smallest violin for me.  I know, I know, there are far worse things happening out there.  A missed trip is nothing.  But I have been thinking about it a little bit lately because had our trip taken place, we would have just gotten home this past weekend and by now I’d be sharing stories from our travels.

I’m mainly bringing this up as a segue to today’s post.  You see, one of our ports of call was Hamburg, Germany.  So when Daggi from Gone Paintin’ sent me some of her stencils to try out recently, knowing that I was going to miss visiting Hamburg, she included a postcard!

That’s because Daggi is located near Hamburg.  The last time I shared a link to her blog, several people asked how to translate it.  I’m really not all that savvy with techie stuff, but when I bring up her blog using google, the google translate pop up box comes up automatically in the upper right hand corner and gives me the option of translating to English.

Hopefully that will work for you guys too because Daggi’s blog is definitely worth a visit.  Her style is very similar to mine, so if you like my stuff I can almost guarantee that you will like her stuff too.  It’s like my stuff, but with a European twist.

Paint furniture with Fusion Mineral Paint in Cathedral Taupe

She painted that dresser in Fusion’s Cathedral Taupe, and I especially loved how she rusted up the handles (you should check that out in her post).  She used a European product that is very similar to Dixie Belle’s patina paint.

When Daggi contacted me a while back and asked if I’d like to try out a couple of designs from her new line of stencils, naturally I said yes.  You guys know I love a good stencil.

That brings me to the birdcage that I purchased recently at a garage sale.

The birdcage actually came with a broken plastic tray at the bottom that was held in place with some clips.  I immediately trashed the tray, prior to taking the ‘before’ photo above.  It was a little gross.

But I kept the clips because I was optimistic that I could come up with something else to use for the bottom.  Then I remembered the wooden chargers from Prima Marketing.

I’ve done a couple of different things with these (you can find them here and here), but I still had a few of them left from my brand ambassador days.

Sure enough, the largest 14″ size was perfect for the bird cage.  I tested it out and found that I could even attach it to the cage using the clips.  It was kismet.

I painted the charger with two coats of Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy first.  Then I taped off some grain sack style stripes and painted them in DB’s French Linen.  Once dry, I sanded the whole thing to distress it a bit.

Then I pulled out one of Daggi’s stencils called Getreide Müller, which apparently translates to Grain Miller as per google translate.  I stenciled the design onto the charger using Dixie Belle’s Gravel Road.  I wasn’t able to fit the entire design onto the charger, so I re-arranged it a little.

While I had the Gravel Road out, I also painted the little swinging perch that came with the cage.

Once everything was dry I gave it all a coat of clear wax and then reassembled the cage using the clips.

I wouldn’t necessary use this cage for a real bird, but it would be fun to use for decor purposes.  Plus, since the bottom so easy to remove and then re-attach, you could put whatever you want inside the cage.

Like a vintage book, an old pair of binoculars and a black and white photo for example.

It’s would also be perfect for a plant since you could easily remove it for watering.

What would you place inside this cage?

You can find Daggi’s stencils in her Etsy shop (click here).  Although they ship from Germany, the shipping cost is not prohibitive and in fact is quite a bit less than I paid to have stuff shipped to me from Utah recently.  So I encourage you to check them out!


the sloppy drinker’s bar cart.

I was really rather surprised to see this fairly nice quality bar cart at a garage sale with a price tag of only $5.

The frame was in excellent condition, even the leather wrapped handle looked practically new. 

However, the wood had some fairly significant damage.

Were they using it as a plant stand?  or were they just sloppy drinkers?

Either way, it was a simple matter to flip the bar cart over and remove all of the screws that were holding the two wood shelves in place.  Well, fairly simple anyway, there were 32 screws!

I briefly considered painting the wood, but I thought that this was one of those times where stained wood would appeal to potential buyers more than painted wood.  Plus, I knew it would be quick and easy to refinish two flat, featureless pieces of wood.

So once I had the wood out of the frame, rather than using a chemical stripper, I simply sanded it down to bare wood with my orbital sander.  Next I got out my Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Stain in Special Walnut and wiped on two coats using an old t-shirt (allowing for drying time in between coats).

I gave the Special Walnut a full 24 hours to dry before adding two coats of Dixie Belle’s Flat clear coat over it.

I went with the clear coat rather than my usual clear wax just in case the next owners of this bar cart are sloppy drinkers too.  It will provide a bit more protection against spills.

After letting the clear coat cure for a couple of days, I re-assembled the bar cart and it was done.

I guess it says something about our drinking habits that the only liquor we had on hand for staging my photos was a bottle of Cointreau.

Well, we also had some Bailey’s, but we didn’t have any of the hard stuff.  What can I say, we’re not big drinkers at our house.  Just the occasional margarita or a little Bailey’s in our coffee.

I did a little google research and discovered that this bar cart is available new at Target for $150.  But even with my makeover, I’m letting this one go for half that price at $75.

So if you’re local and in need of a bar cart, either leave me a comment or send me an email at