Old and worn out….but far from dead…..

Oh Gosh NO! I don’t mean your other half…..

Have you ever taken an outfit and ripped off a bow or appliqué, added a sash, a jacket or some other accessory to make it a whole new outfit? Well I love to do that with furniture. I have the ability to ‘see’ the finished product in my mind. I like to call it re-inventing.

I’m going to show you, via photos and words how to take an old bureau with some of it’s parts missing and turn it into something spectacular for your kitchen.

I had found and old bureau in a Victorian house my husband & I bought. It was a pretty rough

Rough shape but it's PERFECT!

looking old bureau but I didn’t have the heart to toss it out. I love old things and this was old!  Come to think of it, there wasn’t much storage in the kitchen. Combining two households we certainly had double everything for a kitchen. I needed a place to store pots, pans, baking sheets etc and my cutlery tray didn’t fit into either of the 2 drawers the kitchen had. This bureau had one complete drawer, one drawer front and the bottom drawer was missing completely! As bad as this old thing looked, it was perfect!

I stripped it using a heat gun. Heat guns are wonderful tools, it gets 1100 degrees on the hot setting! I had that paint off lickety split! Well actually about 6-8 hours over two days. Heating til the paint bubbled and scraping with the grain of the wood.

BEAUTIFUL! Can you see it?

Isn’t it beautiful? Can you see it?  Picture it? Ok, maybe it’s too soon.

So, after all that stripping I sanded it with 100 grit paper using a palm sander, working with the grain. Never against the grain it would make marks nearly impossible to remove.

Once it was sanded I tack clothed it clean then put a nice coat of Minwax walnut stain on it. Let it dry. I bought some fancy trim and a sheet of Luan and covered the back side of it. Putting in some spacers, (pieces of wood 3/4″ x 3/4″ x 12″) I added another piece of Luan over that, stained both  and covered the seams with more fancy trim. I put nice white shelving in the area where the drawers were missing and put hinges & a short chain (so it would lay flat when opened) on the drawer front. Then the insides of the cupboard area and the only drawer, I painted white semi-gloss.  I put 3 coats of poly over the whole thing, put casters on the legs and some nice antique looking knobs and brought it out of it’s basement prison and up to the kitchen.

A place for my cook books, Cutlery drawer.....

I had a cutlery drawer, a place to put cook books. A cupboard for the extra pots & pans and a nice big area for baking sheets and muffin tins! Oh what a gorgeous piece of NEW to me cabinetry! But it needed a better looking top.

I bought some tile and tiled about 2/3rds of the top, then I set out to make me a nice cutting board. No where could I find maple! I settled on ash. I cut the 1” x 4” plank into 3 pieces the width of the top and laminated them together.

Tiled top & cutting board!

Once the glue dried I planed both sides, sanded it with 80 grit, 100 grit 120 grit & 220 grit until it was smooth & flawless. I then put more fancy trim around the edges of the top and inserted my brand new cutting board.


VOILA  I now have an Island! And saved that poor dilapidated old bureau from the landfill site.  Remember the spacers I put on the back side and covered with Luan? Well, I now had a knife rack!

Complete.....with a knife rack!

I have other re-invented projects that I’ll share later. I hope you have enjoyed this one. Any questions? Please feel free to email me at: td@yourtooldiva.com

Thank you.



Above I took an antique painted item and made it look new. Now I shall take a plain pine shelf and make it look antique!  Go figger!

A twenty dollar pine shelf at a  flea market was a great find. It had a electric outlet with a short extension plug attached on the underside of the upper shelf!  What a unique item but it just didn’t quite work in the bathroom where I needed more storage.

My $20 fleamarket deal!

As you can see in the before photos it needed something.  So to “spruce” it up some I decided to ‘antique’ it.  It’s fast and very easy to do.


Cutting corners...







It had to fit a small area on the only wall space between a towel rack and the door but there was a heat vent on the floor. So, before I could ‘antique’ it, I had to make it fit flush up against the wall.  I traced the edge of the heat vent on each rear side of the shelf. Using a jig saw I cut away the corners, it now is the same shape as the vent and should fit perfect and flush to the wall. There was no backing on the shelf so it would not interfere with the heat flow.



A plain flat top....not pretty!

Then I realized that the top had no back so I decided to make one and attach it, to give a finished look to the top.  I stained it using a Minwax water borne stain closest to the shade of stain already on the shelf. (Walnut)

Antiqued ...shabby chic in all it's Glory!

Once the back was attached and stain dry, I run an old piece candle over areas that would usually be worn by time and everyday living, like; corner edges etc… Then I painted it 2 coats in an off white. Once dry, I took steel wool and went over the areas where I had rubbed the candle, exposing the original finish.

Coat hooks & PRIME storage real estate!

I then painted it with 2 coats off white. Once dry, I took steel wool and went over the areas where I had rubbed the candle, exposing the original finish. Shabby Chic.

Taking the Minwax water based stain,  I wiped stain over the shelf, doing only small areas at a time and quickly wiping it off leaving stain in the grooves, nooks and crannies of the wood. Continuing until the shelf was all stained and wiped. Which gave it the antiqued look I was going for.

I then put on a couple coats of Minwax Polycrylic in a satin finish. I attached 2 antique look coat hooks for towels.  I now had some vital storage real estate for my bathroom.

I just love these reclamations of articles that might otherwise end up in a land fill.

Thank you for droppin’ in please come back again soon.




Sometimes we desperately need things done around the home but funding is low.  This post is how to stretch a dollar and get creative with that dollar to buy time until the cash flow is more abundant.  For a couple hundred bucks, some time and a lot of patience, I painted our large  kitchen, back hall & dining room vinyl floor back in 2003. We bought 3 years out of ours while we saved for the floor we really wanted.   The original floor was a red marble vinyl and I changed it to green marble to match the tile counter top from a few weeks prior.

This area of the floor is 3 different pieces of vinyl!

Using Rustoleum for metal paint  because it is oil based and oil lasts longer. I bought a quart each of Hunter Green, White & Black in gloss and one gallon of Battleship Grey. I also bought 2 -1 ft sq. foam cushions from the craft store (you would choose your own size), and 2 foil oven liners, several rolls of ¾ inch masking tape and several stir sticks, several sets of latex gloves. You would also need a measuring tape and a China Marker or Grease Pencil and  8ft long piece of trim for a straight edge.

Not so pretty red vinyl flooring



Start by scuffing up the entire floor surface so the paint will have something to bite into. Sweep & wash the floor.




Once dry paint the entire floor with the Battleship Grey, this will be your base coat and will also serve as you grout colour.

Pretty shiny base coat

I love this grey base coat. Floor would look nice if left like this!

Luckily my floor was already the marble look with grout lines so taping them off was pretty easy.  If your old flooring is just plain, you will have to measure your area and mark your lines yourself using  tape measure and china marker and a straight edge. Taping off the floor into 1 ft squares, or the size that fits your style, you will also have to cut your foam to the same size as your taped squares. Scuff each square and wipe with a damp cloth.

Looking a bit square!

Pour small amounts of the paint colours onto the oven liner and swirl them together with the stir stick. Starting with a full square at a corner work your way outwards. Wearing gloves dip the foam lightly into the paint and ‘stamp’ in your taped off squares. Repeating until you can’t go further until or your back breaks! 🙂

Leave the edges closest to the walls for last as you will have to cut your squares to size to stamp those.

Paint stamping

Depending on the size of your floor this could take several days, but totally worth it when you see the finished product.   I put 3 coats of poly over the finished floor as well just for extra strength, scuffing & washing between coats.

A beautiful reclaimed floor! For under $200, some time & patience,

In total including base coat there is 5 coats on this floor.  It wears well and looked beautiful for 3 years.   I hope you have enjoyed this and you’ll be interested in coming back again and again to read my blog. I thank you for dropping in, I appreciate you taking the time.  Until next time…..Take care and happy DIYing.

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