Craigslist Credenza Redux


After I wrote the cry baby blog post about trying and failing to get a credenza off craigslist, someone emailed me back and I went the next day to pick it up.

Here’s the one:credenza

That was ages ago! Then, it sat under our tv for months, making the tv too high for my liking. It was laminate, not in as good of shape as I was hoping for, and that alleviated any possible guilt about painting/holes/changing it. So, I stared at it for a couple of months and came up with a plan.

After some time with wood filler, paint and a jig saw, it’s much different!

I filled in the missing laminate, gouges and scrapes with some simple carpenters wood filler, then sanded them smooth. I gave the whole thing a good wipe down with TSP solution, then primed it with a mini foam roller and some BIN shellac primer (mine is tinted gray). 018 025

I used the remainder of my Behr sample color matched to Farrow & Ball Teresa’s Gray, and then used a sample can of Teresa’s Gray that I purchased from Farrow & Ball, when I ordered the Down Pipe.

Look how cute! Gah, I love miniatures. It makes me want to punch someone in the face. Or squeeze kittens. Farrow & Ball sample pot

I purchased these legs and mounting brackets, and then spray painted the metal gold and painted the wood. 002 014

I turned the whole thing upside down and cut off the legs flush, with my jig saw. No pictures of that because… jig saw and camera shouldn’t be manned at the same time by one person. Unfortunately, I got a tad bit overzealous on one of the legs. It was easily remedied by building it back up with wood filler. 004 006007

I screwed the leg mounting brackets on in the corners, in the area where the old legs had been. Which, I don’t have a picture of?

OH HAIIIIIIII. We got a cat, she was a stray. Her name is CatDog (she is a dog trapped in a cat’s body). She is cool with the stuff we do in this house. 022

Everything, including the brackets got another coat of paint.laminate credenza painted before and after ; Farrow & Ball Teresa's Green This is when I discovered that the Farrow & Ball Estate Emulsion was not good for grubby little fingers and it wouldn’t stay clean. So, I bought a spray can of Gloss Poly. It did not go well. In some areas, nothing, then in other areas, big yellow puddles. 016

Lame. I sanded lightly with 220 grit sandpaper to remove those. I used a foam roller and applied gloss poly from the can.  It DID change the color slightly, making it a little more golden. Much more durable though. Which is good, because my daughter just drew on it with pen just this morning.

While all the paint was drying, I took the drawers onto the porch to be sanded. That was a generally unpleasant experience since it’s literally freezing in Minneapolis. It was quick to get the finish off the veneer, but some of it in the corners was also removed. No bigs. Then, I stressed about what color to stain the wood. Like, probably more than a healthy amount. I knew that I wanted it to be warm, but not too red, and not too dark. I dabbed the wood with a wet cloth, ok! ok! It was some spit on my finger, but, it worked. And I liked the color! 3 coats of satin water based poly (’cause I had the time and was feeling ambitious), and it was just what I was hoping for. 001 005

I taped off the little circular pulls and painted them gold as well, to match the legs. 008

The last thing that I did was make two 1 1/2″ round holes in the back for wires. The center console area is where the xbox and electrical are. 020 021

There’s the bracket!

It seems like a lot of steps, but it actually went very smoothly and quickly,

ANYWAYS! Look! It’s like a new piece of furniture. laminate credenza painted before and after ; Farrow & Ball Teresa's Green laminate credenza painted before and after ; Farrow & Ball Teresa's Green laminate credenza painted before and after ; Farrow & Ball Teresa's Green laminate credenza painted before and after ; Farrow & Ball Teresa's Green

Sorry. The only ‘before’ that I have is one my husband quick snapped on his iphone. And ignore the dust. Everything in this house is eternally dusty.


Also! Today is my 2 year house-iversary.



Painting glossy wood trim – Dark and White

First of all: Hardcore stained wood fanatics – Be cool, don’t jump my ass.  kthnxbye.

I have been painting the wood trim in my house. Someone put this poopy colored (no exaggeration, I’ve had a baby, I know) opaque varnish all over the wood. You can hardly see any wood grain anymore, but is very glossy and the dark color drags down the whole house.

Gross poopy colored opaque varnish
Gross poopy colored opaque varnish

See? Yuck.

I start by patching all the holes and/or cracks with spackle. I have found the light weight kind the easiest.caulk and spackled

Then paintable caulk in any seams.

Don’t forget to caulk along the sides of the moulding where it meets the wall!

oil based primer on glossy wood
Pre-caulked seam between trim and wall
oil based primer on glossy wood
After caulk between trim and wall

I use my trusty oil based primer. I know that there are latex primers that say the stick to glossy surfaces, but besides the BIN kind, I just don’t trust them. I have been using Zinsser, although I am not loyal to the brand. Make sure that you have mineral spirits on hand, very helpful for any drops and cleaning the brush. I like swishing the brush in mineral spirits, dawn soap, and then swishing in new mineral spirits for brush cleaning. For mini foam rollers, I would dispose of them after each use.

I use my brush to get the primer into all the little nooks and crannies, and then go over it and the flat areas with a roller. The first coat will NOT look good. Or opaque. Or white. In fact, it’s going to look pretty awful. That’s cool.oil based primer on glossy wood oil based primer on glossy wood oil based primer on glossy wood

I am a double primer sort of girl. I feel like the second coat gets any tiny missed spots. I use the same method of the brush and mini foam roller.

If the final top coat will be dark, use a gray tinted latex primer. I used Glidden Gripper Primer underneath the F&B Down Pipe top coat.Glidden Gripper primer on oil based primer on glossy wood 011 Glidden Gipper Primer on oil based primer on glossy wood

Two coats of Farrow & Ball Down Pipe (the last one being Estate Eggshell), and done!Farrow & Ball Estate Eggshell Farrow & Ball Estate Eggshell

If painting white, after the oil based primer, do a second coat with white latex primer. I use Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 primer. I thought that I had a picture of this coat, but I guess I don’t! Sorry! It will look brighter white, but still patchy.

If going from dark wood, like my trim, to white, expect to do at least 4 coats (more likely 5.) Two of primer and 3 of top coat color. I personally like Floor and Porch paint for trim, it’s satin and durable. I used Sherwin Williams in Snowbound 7004. This is the 5th coat:Sherwin Williams SnowboundSherwin Williams Snowbound Sherwin Williams Snowbound

It’s just so much brighter already!  

The haps in the dining room

I started working on the crown in the dining room. Unfortunately, a malfunction with the rented saw resulted in a lot of waste, frustration and swearing.

Also, turns out that, no, coping is not a skill I posses. Ha. I mean that both literally with a coping saw and figuratively.

I now have to order more crown moulding, and start again, a new day.

Progress is progress, even when you have to take it all down and start over again. Yeah?

Looking directly up at the ceiling , against the wall

At least I like the way it looks when it’s up.030


Is not a virtue I could ever claim to have.

My family is always making fun that as soon as something pops into my head… “madeline wants it done yesterday.”

And it’s totally true.

I think that is the hardest part for me right now. Nothing is done or fully pulled together. I have a completed vision in my head, but only some of the items, and not all the funds/time/place in the remodeling timeline.

Reasonably, I know that I shouldn’t be buying a new and bigger rug for the living room, when I hate the wall color and have to tear down all the drywall anyways, patch a million holes/sand/paint, reupholster the couch (pick a fabric! and save monies). But what do I find myself doing? Bidding on rugs on ebay. Like some crazed maniac.

I am sure this sounds incredibly self pitying, and that’s ok with me. I am sure that I am not alone in these feelings when your whole house is in shambles and you can find a hammer sooner than you can find your other shoe.

First word problems, ya’ll.



You guys,

Do you see what ugly couch could become?!

engineer-print-frame-01 found on pinterest here

I am requesting fabric swatches all over, but it’s hard so far to find a fabric that fills my aesthetic/durability/price requirements. But the picture above gives me hope.

DIY Dinosaur magnets

A while back I saw some cute dinosaur magnets on etsy and wanted them, but the price probably stopped me from purchasing them.

Then, a couple of weeks ago I asked my sister to pick up some plastic dinosaurs from the dollar store so I could try my hand at making my own. She got me 3, a t-rex, stegosaurus and a triceratops.DIY Dinosaur magnets

I promptly spray painted them.DIY Dinosaur magnets

Rust-oleum Fluorescent Pink, Rust-Oleum Matte Robin’s Egg, Design Master GoldRustoleun Fluorescent Pink , Robin's Egg, Design Master Gold spray paint DIY Dinosaur magnets

Doesn’t this guy look so happy to be pink?DIY Dinosaur magnets

Annnnnnnd. The spray paint remained tacky and didn’t cure. I used acetone to remove the tacky spray paint, so I could use a spray paint primer before re-spraying them.

I used a sharp utility knife to cut the t-rex and triceratops in half, and decided to keep the stegosaurus whole.

I picked up some magnets from Michael’s, 8 for $1.99, and used a hot glue gun to attach the magnets to the dinosaurs’ backs.DIY Dinosaur magnets DIY Dinosaur magnets DIY Dinosaur magnets

Spray paint primer, then spray paint.

All in all, it cost me $3 for the dinos and $1.99 for the magnets. I had the spray paint on hand. Way cheaper than if I purchased them on etsy.DIY Dinosaur magnets DIY Dinosaur magnets DIY Dinosaur magnets

DIY Dinosaur magnets
Ryan Gosling loves t-rex


I like keeping the fridge fun, since the rest of the kitchen (i.e. cabinets and counter tops) tends to lean traditional.


I need these tiles in my life for my bathroom remodel.

I would sell my kid, maybe even make a new kid in my body, to sell for these tiles.

Speaking of tile, I finally finished the subway tile wainscoting in my kitchen. I even grouted and caulked all the joints and seams! It only took 5 months.

Also, I ordered paint from Farrow and Ball for the dining room. It was kind of surreal to mail order paint, and kind of pricey. I feel like maybe this paint should cure cancer? I have spent an obscene amount of money on paint this year. I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT, OK?!

I have a day off work scheduled to install the crown moulding in the dining room, too. The internet is like: ‘you can cut it this way, this way, or this way, This degrees, or that degrees. Cope it or miter it. TOTALLY EASY TO DO, GUYS.’

I am nervous and intimidated. But! I get to use a 12″ sliding compound saw. Awesome.

Disclaimer: I had wine with dinner, and didn’t bother proof reading.