Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blood, sweat and tears...long post...

Oh-my-oh-my-oh-MY!!

It's DONE, despite the blood, sweat and tears (literally!)...ummmm...and MUCH colourful language. Now that it's completed, I have to say that I am utterly DELIGHTED with the end result. It's the most ambitious thing I've done so far, and despite much frustration, I learned so MUCH. I'm a happy old gal today, enjoying frequent "appreciation moments" in my livingroom. (does anyone else do that?)

This is a three piece "wall unit/bookshelf" set. It was the very FIRST "nice" furniture I'd ever bought...about thirty-six years ago! Hmmm, well, I THOUGHT it was nice at the time. I also THOUGHT it was solid wood. Nope to both. ACK! Back then, it was that dark knotty pine we all loved. (lol) Since then, it's been through several different families, and when it came back to me, it was just SO VERY SAD.

I wasn't sure I could rehabilitate it, but my boy-kid issued a challenge...the gauntlet was thrown...and I accepted it (ha ha Michael!). I have spent...easily...fifty hours and REAL BLOOD on this thing.

Let's see, what have I learned? I used a brad nailer for the first time...my little brother David lent me his brad nailer...LOVE...I bought myself a new electric drill (lime green! ha ha!) and a new electric screw driver. I used a spade bit and a carbon steel hole saw bit...for the first time. Hey...sounds like I'm getting SERIOUS about this new hobby (addiction) of mine.

I also have to say that I've learned MUCH from my blogging friends, who so readily and generously share their skills and inspiration. The most important lessons come from Ms Katy over at "A Single Mom and her Drill," whose determination SO inspires me, Ms. Gail over at My Repurposed life, whose MANY projects are on my bucket list and have a special place in a hard-copy binder built just for her (lol...but seriously!), and the newly minted young Dental-Doctor JaimeLyn over at Crafty Happy Scrappy, who (despite the fact that she's younger than my daughter!) teaches me about the importance of the personal connection to our projects. If you haven't visited these blogs...DO IT!! The inspiration you'll find is utterly AMAZING.

Okay then, so these poor things were a MESS. The re-do was NOT worth it...at least not in the "monetarily valued" sense...but the family history sense of it is simply incomparable. I have photos of my son (when he was four years old) in front of this thing, belting out "You've Lost that Loving Feeling" from his all time favourite movie "Top Gun," using an old coke bottle as a microphone (he's now 25) and my daughter's first day of school (SHE'S now 35 and Mum to four wonderful boy-children!) My son was BORN with an affliction to airplanes (lol), and now is an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer...big surprise.

But...oh my...it was so VERY ugly when it came back to me, having spent a few years in a single fella's apartment...ummm...whatever you can THINK about this there...would be accurate. It was scratched. It was gouged. It was water damaged. It had "critter-bugs" making a home in it. It was a MESS, pure and simple. So, here are some pics...

There are two of these, with two cupboards at the bottom of each one.

Okay, so in my long ago "believe-anything" youth, I bought these shelves. This was the very FIRST "nice furniture" I'd ever owned, and I was SO proud of my purchase! They were in my various homes for the best part of thirty years, then in various other people's homes...including my son's. When I bought them, I was TOLD these were solid dark pine. Ummm...NOPE!

Not sure how this happened, but there was water damage on the base of every unit (ummm..Michael???). The veneer peeled and cracked. That horrible fake wood stuff underneath the veneer was ROTTED. ACK!! Here's the evidence, from the base of all three of the pieces:


Okay, at THIS point I was ready to quit. Didn't have a CLUE how to even START. What a mess 'eh?


Here's how I started. I had to dry these out, then try to stop the water based rot from seeping up any further. I used this wonderful product called "PC Petrifier Wood Hardener." I turned the book cases upside down, poured this stuff into this clamped area...and waited.

See those bits of wood? They're paint stirring sticks! (lol) They were heavily used in this project...stuck in many places with Gorilla Glue and clamps and nails...they're FREE!


Another view of my amateur attempts to fix the damage. Upside down again. In the "paint stick channels," I built up plastic wood in several layers, letting each layer dry before adding the next.

Here's an interim shot, where I'd filled the channels with plastic wood. Once this dried, I sanded it off with a "rasp" (yet another tool I'd never used before), then with coarse sandpaper. This would be the base of the units, so it had to be level. This goop dries WONDERFULLY HARD.

Now on to the cupboard doors. So dated. So ugly (lol) First step, take the dark wooden knobs off.

Second step, fill those "decorative" ovals with plastic wood...start priming...

Finish priming...overfill with "Spackle..."

My hands looked like this...a LOT...and one of these fingers received three stitches as a memento of my hard work (lol)...as if I could EVER forget!


I tried getting those strips of wood off the doors too, but they wouldn't budge, so it looked like I was stuck with them. Start to prime the backs of the cupboard doors...VOILA!! GREAT idea! Turn the FRONTS of the doors to the INSIDE, use the nice clean finish insides for the FRONTS!

Started priming...used Zinsser Cover-a-Stain throughout...LOVE the stuff, filled the holes left from the knobs.

Here, you can see a hint of the blue I used on the interiors. It's Martha Stewart French Court blue. On one of the units, there was damage on the wooden strip that has to hold the hinges.

I chiselled the wood strip off, then filled it with spackle...

...then replaced the wooden strip with (yep, you guessed it!) paint stir sticks!

So...priming done, three coats of paint on (I used Martha Stewart Heavy Cream with the blue)...starting to look like I just MIGHT be able to live with it.

Decided to cover up the wavy top and update the piece a little with crown molding. My SIL Susan suggested this...otherwise, never wouldathunkit (so THANKS Sus!).To make that work, I had to even out the top edge so the molding would sit flat. See all my paint sticks again? Also, I cut and nailed bead board onto each end.


I will never NEVER again do crown molding! It was sheer torture! Those who know me are aware of my spatial perceptual disability, and trying to figure all this out was an absolute horror! However, with a you tube video for help, and my trusty little Stanley mitre box, I managed...sort of...


Siigh...once the crown was on, across all three units, I realized the units were actually NOT the same height...just by half an inch or so. This resulted in my "girlie fix..." remove the molding, then use some narrow molding underneath the crown to hide the problem. See the plastic wood at my mitred corner? Oh my...the good, the bad, and the ugly. I liked the narrow strips, and added another one beneath the first.

Here's a close-up of the cupboard doors, replete with new bead board and updated handles.
All that discolouration was from my grubby hands...everything is now all clean and pretty! I sanded very lightly, didn't want dark stain or wax...was looking for a more "cottage-y" look.


So, here's my finished product, with three coats of Minwax Polycrylic applied to all the shelves, and one coat everywhere else. You KNOW...this thing might well last ANOTHER forty years...by which time I'll be a memory too...so my dear children can cope with moving it/trashing it (lol).


See that small painting on the right bottom unit? That was gifted to me twenty years ago by a wonderful friend, long since departed this life. She was once-upon-a-time-long-long-ago my "boss," and we later became dear friends. It depicts "Lawrencetown Beach" here in Nova Scotia, where she and I would go for picnics. What a beautiful memory...thank you "Missus Mac."



One last look at the "befores..."


...and one last look at the "afters..."


Thank you SO much for visiting today, and for taking the time to read my jumbled ramblings. I'll come to your space too, as long as there's a link for me. I wish you a week filled with the passion of your own hobbies, and time well spent with people you love. Partying with these fine bloggers this week!

Edited to add...generously featured

(THANK YOU Ms Gail!)

Photobucket

(THANK YOU Ms Jackie!)



(THANK YOU Good Time Charlie!)

Redoux

(THANK YOU Amy and Emily!)

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(And THANKS Kammy, for letting me know that this project had the most hits at your linky party!

Trash to Treasure Tuesdays at Kammys Korner

PLEASE do click and visit these blogs above for LOADS of inspiration!

84 comments:

  1. I have refinished a wall unit before...never again! And it did not turn out nearly so well as yours! I hope you enjoy it for a long time now.

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  2. Love it.

    Found you via showmewhatyagot and hope you’ll swing by! I have a great giveaway today:

    http://hellolovelyinc.blogspot.com/2011/10/more-stencil-splendor-giveaway.html

    best to you.

    michele

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  3. You did a great job on that! It looks awesome!

    Wendy
    www.designedtodwell.blogspot.com

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  4. That turned out so nice and I can tell it was a lot of work. But you ended up with a very nice piece.

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  5. What a transformation! I love it! Lorie @ Reading Confetti

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  6. I can't believe that is the same piece of furniture, lol. Awesome job!

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  7. Thanks for your comments on my blog....your project goes way beyond anything I would ever attempt...Am a new follower! Have a great day!

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  8. I had to keep checking back to see if you had done the impossible. You have! I love them!

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  9. oh my heavens you are amazing for even attempting this! Great job. I don't think I'd even have the patience :(. Love it!

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  10. Oh my gosh! You've got more determination than I do. I would have piled it in a heap on our bon fire pit waaaaay before I made it through all those hurdles! It turned out FABULOUS! Great job, and I love your green walls!

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  11. This was obviously a huge undertaking. The update was well worth it! You have transformed her into a beauty! andrea@townandprairie

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  12. I Cant believe you stuck through it..so worth the effort...Great job.
    Karin
    www.artisbeauty.net

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  13. Wow - you win the prize for the amount of elbow grease used! They look lovely, so major kudos to you!
    My first visit - from revisionary life
    -Revi

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  14. Wow, what a ton of work, but the end result is gorgeous!

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  15. Deborah,
    I'm so amazed at how different this wall unit looks now. Honestly, even I would not have attempted that. I totally learned something new today. You are one persistant and gutsey lady. Watch out, the kids will want to borrow it back once they get a peek at it. Great job! It's beautiful!

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  16. You did an amazing job on your wall unit! Wow. I think I would have taken one look and run! You made it look great!

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  17. Wow, amazing transformation! I don't know if I would have had the patience for all those fixes!

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  18. Oh my goodness what a lot of work, and what a transformation! You've GOT to submit this to betterafter.blogspot.com. Thanks so much for visiting us as well!

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  19. Ok...that is some major mojo. Very impressive. That certainly called for a few days off I'm sure! Thanks for finding me and leaving the nice comment on my blog @ turnstylevogue.com

    Shari

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  20. Deborah I'm adding you to my list of AMAZING crafty women! This is insane! They look so good!!!!!

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  21. Helllo New follower Wow, Wow, what a job you took on and they came out so fantastic! I understand giving the pieces a new life. I will be back to check on you!

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  22. Wow, Deborah! What a lot of work, so many details, but amazing in the end. Thanks for all the info. Makes me want to attack something again. Love the beadboard on the sides and the crown molding.

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  23. Oh my goodness, that looks amazing! You did a fantastic job!

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  24. I just tried to follow and your gadget isn't there. I will try again of course. Thanks again for stopping by Johnnie's Junk!

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  25. I got it girl! I'm your newest follower. Come back and visit me anytime!

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  26. Holy Mackerel woman! You belong in This Old House or something! That is fabulous!.

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  27. Blood, sweat and tears is RIGHT! My gosh, but what a payoff! I'm in awe of your persistence. :)
    Enjoy your fab new pieces~
    Heidi @ Show some Decor

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  28. Deborah, thanks for leaving a comment at Project Queen today. I love your blog and have been a follower for quite sometime.
    You did a fabulous job on this wall unit! My goodness though...what you went through!!!
    I will remember your post the next time I see a really cheap wall unit...ha! Seriously though, it really turned out great. All of your projects do!

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  29. Found you through It's All Connected and all I can say is WOW! I wouldn't even have known where to begin with these shelves and you totally rocked them out!

    I am now a devoted follower for sure. Plus I now can vindicate mysself to hubs and show him that yes, someone DOES "rescue" stuff in even more pitiful shape than I do :)

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  30. Ha ha,that looks like the kind of project I would sucker my husband into doing,he would threaten to divorce me after 35 years of wedded bliss and it would turn out less than perfect but I would never say a word about any of the flaws. You did a fantastic job on it, looks like a wonderful addition to your room, the beadboard and crown molding were totally worth all the blood (your husband may disagree on that one) sweat and tears. Enjoy!

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  31. holy glutton for punishment! but it looks AMAZING! and how much did you learn along the way???? you ROCK!!!

    amy

    (thanks for your kind comments on my post!!)

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  32. Thanks for stopping by my neck of the woods. I can't even believe how much effort you had to put into these cabinets but OH WOW how great they look!!!

    Dana @ craftedniche.wordpress.com

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  33. Wow you are a miracle worker. It looks great and I love how you posted pics of what you did.

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  34. OMG, I love, I mean LOVE, this ! That is incredible (and would look so good in my house :)

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  35. That is just ridiculous! I can't believe you did it. That is a testament to being determined AND creative. Well done :)

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  36. They really do look tons better. It's such a good feeling!:) Lol, I didn't start that rough, but my finished product most recently didn't work out nearly as well as that.:)
    They're so nice:)

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  37. wowser! That looks like a really BIG project.
    thanks for stopping by....just became your newest follower.
    xojana

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  38. That shelving unit looks great! I can tell that a lot of work went into it. Great color choices too. Your a pretty good carpenter! I'm one of your newest followers. I'm working on a single book case today. I just sprayed primer on it. I've had it probably 20 years. It was time for a makeover.
    http://dianewingpurses.blogspot.com/

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  39. Oh my word! I would have never in a million years had the patience and fortitude to do that! It turned out great though. I really want to try crown molding... maybe one of these days!

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  40. You did a fabulous job!!! I love how they turned out but it does look like a lot of work.

    Ruth

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  41. Holy mother of GOD. I cannot BELIEVE you took that on and actually made it look like a piece of furniture again. You are a saint.

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  42. HUGE difference-I know that was a lot of work! Great job!

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  43. You did an amazing job! I love the fresh look of white furniture. It's beautiful!

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  44. Holy Moly, What a lot of work...It looks amazing! So.....what's the next project? (hehehe) Keep your fingers safe.

    Ingrid

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  45. OMG, are you kidding me? That is one incredible transformation. I hope your next project involves less blood. Beautiful work.

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  46. WOW That looks AMAZING!! Beautiful job! Martina

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  47. Oh my goodness! Words can't even describe this! At the beginning of your "befores" I was thinking, uh, and you didn't trash it?? I most certainly would've! AWESOME job!!! Visiting from Serenity Now!

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  48. Wow! That is an amazing transformation. Good for you for sticking with it! I'm so impressed. When I saw that water damage I wasn't sure they could be fixed, and now I have shelf envy! Thanks for sharing I found you via At The Picket Fence
    Krista
    krista-artista.blogspot.com

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  49. Wow! That is one great transformation. Bet all the hard work is worth it when you saw the finished piece :)

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  50. Wow, you have energy and perseverance to spare! You did an exceptional job on this project and it came out beautifully. I think I need something like this right over there....thanks for the inspiration!

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  51. Oh my gosh, Deborah. You are amazing! While in my mind I would like to undertake a project like this, I know myself well enough and don't near the amount of patience it would take. This is truly a beautiful transformation.

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  52. Wow you are a persistent woman! And ingenious, too. Clever use of what you could get to get the job done, lots of trial and error learning. BTW, I want crown molding, but share you spatial difficulties :-). Right now my big challenge is trying to get my blog built and me and my book (the online instructions lost me completely) aren't getting too far. Hopefully someday I'll have it up for you to visit!
    Janet Christianwifemomcrafter@gmail.com

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  53. Love it so I'm pinning it on Pinterest :)

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  54. My oh my! What a mammoth effort!!! I didn't know that water damaged chip board was salvageable!!! I've learnt something new today - thank you! :)

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  55. wow that turned out absolutely beautiful. All that hard work was worth it! Thank you so much sharing and for linking up to our party Show and Share this week! Come on back this Wednesday to link up your current projects.

    A mommy's life...with a touch of YELLOW
    tyandwhitneyulrich.blogspot.com

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  56. I can see where the blood, sweat and tears came into play. But you did a beautiful job!

    Thanks for sharing this lovely post at Potpourri Friday. I appreciate your participation!

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  57. I so admire your grit and determination to redo that wall unit. How fabulous!

    Thanks for dropping by my blog, and happy baking and upcycling!

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  58. WOW great job! I think I would of given up but you continued on and look what you did!! Way to go!

    Also, thanks for dropping by my blog and your comment!

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  59. Wow! It turned out amazing! Thanks for the nice comment on my blog. You have a beautiful blog.

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  60. I've given you "The Versatile Blogger" award on my blog http://www.krista-artista.blogspot.com/ Please come on over and check it out!

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  61. wow--what a transformation, great job!

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  62. I have sliced a finger or two deeply. No fun! I am so impressed by the hard work you put into this and it looks fantastic! I especially love the blue in the back. (I'm a new follower, found you on My repurposed Life linky) =)

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  63. Deborah, I think you get more comments than anyone else I know on your stuff! Wow, you deserve it, cuz your stuff is AWESOME!!!! I would just LOVE LOVE LOVE if you would share this (and your other beautiful makeovers) on my first ever Trash To Tuesday Party over on Kammy's Korner. THANKS!!!!! :)

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  64. sorry, forgot the link!! http://kammyskorner.blogspot.com/2011/10/trash-to-treasure-tuesday-link-party-1.html

    Party Hardy!! :) (Okay, so I'm actually nervous as all get out that my first party is going to an epic fail, but a few of us can party hardy and hopefully soon it will be a LOT of us!! haha)

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  65. Oh it looks like it was worth the blood, sweat, and tears beautiful. Thansk for sharing at Bacon Time.

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  66. ohhh my goodness my friend!!!!! eeeeekkkk this is so so so so so amazing! You win the best up-cycler and refinisher EVER award!!!!!! :o) Seriously this project just blows me away!!!
    Jaime

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  67. Nice save! They look amazing. Thanks for linking up to Share the Love Wednesday; hope you'll be back this week!
    Mary

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  68. Oh my WOW! How can that be the same book shelf??? You did so much and it looks amazing. I love the blue! Great job!!!

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  69. I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see all the pictures. That is amazing! I love that you saved something that so bound for the dump, and you made it look brand new and gorgeous. I am inspired! I will be featuring this post in my link up party tomorrow, thanks for sharing!

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  70. That was the most amazing refit I have EVER seen. Hope your hands recovered ok. It looks gorgeous now. You are terrific.
    - Joy

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  71. super makeover!! love how you gave it a fresh new look!!! we featured you!
    Amy and Emily

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  72. good job, crown molding really adds to it.

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  73. Congrats - this had the most hits at the Trash To Treasure Tuesday Party and was featured on Kammy's Korner!! :)

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  74. Holy Moley! And I thought I had it bad with that buffet! Girl, not only do you win the "Turning A Real Piece Of Junk Into A Diamond" Award, you get the "Gurrl Power Kick Some Furniture Butt" Award too! Not that they really exist or anything, but if they did you'd win hands down. That has got to be the best furniture makeover I have ever seen! AWESOME! Pat yourself on the back because you did a heck of a job! I am totally following you now! LOL!

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  75. Wow, you were impressed with our small transformation. This is amazing.
    Oh and as for the plumbing we hired that part out. we just installed the sink and faucet

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  76. Hi Deborah and greetings from Ontario. I lapped up every word of your blog. I was so, so, so impressed with the job you did. The units look absolutely beautiful and pat on the back for your son for encouraging you to continue with it. I recently found your blog and am now following and will visit often. Please pop on over and look at mine and perhaps you will follow me also. I would really like that. Hugs, Chris

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  77. wow! that is unbelievable!! Thanks for stopping by bellesbazaar-heather.blogspot.com

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  78. Hi from PEI,"Wow" just doesn't seem big enough for all you did! I found your blog thru pinterest and you have inspired me. I am looking at some old "sent to the garage" furniture with a new light. Thanks for the great blog!

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  79. Absolutely amazing job! You're gifted!

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