Saturday, October 5, 2019

ReStore Project 1 It's Magical but not Magic: Using Transfers

Let's start here with the photo of the finished product so you are lured in to read this article. I mean seriously, the before photo probably won't do much for you. Looks like a pile of crap I got at a second hand store, am I right? Alright, but you came here for the story....which starts with a contest. 

The other day I caught up Alex the Manager at the Corning ReStore. He asked if I was going to sign up for ReCreate It. My days at Habitat are over, so I'm actually eligible, but I had a commitment the day they had set aside to pick up the gift card for the material. I signed up anyhow and hoped they would me pick something out later. 

Lucky for me they let me participate! They gave me $50 in store product to make something fun. Here's what I bought the first time I went. The first thing I picked out was this $10 nightstand and that $15 hand painted lamp. I looked it over really well, but my only concern was that the bottom drawer was really tight. It sounded like it was stuck but that things were also stuck behind it. My concern with the lamp was that I probably wouldn't find a glass shade and it REALLY needed to be rewired. 

There were a whole collection of things & garbage (not shown) behind the drawer which I discovered after I finally got both drawers out which took quite a bit of coaxing. The drawer itself I fixed with a bit of wax along the track and an orbital sander on where it was sticking. Sadly the necklace was cool but nothing epic! 

The nightstand was very easy to paint. Probably because I cheated slightly. Let me tell you how. My before painting trick that is super easy is to wipe the surface down with a deglosser in lieu of sanding or stripping. My favorite stuff to use on old varnish is to wipe down the surface several times with Kleen Strip Deglosser. My current bottle is still going strong five or more years later and this product can easily be picked up at Home Depot or Lowes. After getting it all cleaned off and ready to paint I used plain old white Rustoleum spray paint on the top and silver on the bottom. I let the silver paint drift into the white and vice versa to get the two toned look. The paint I already had. Since this is a donated piece, I wanted to keep the cost down. I also wanted to keep the cost down to prove to you that you can make super cool things really cheaply with items you can buy at a normal hardware store. 

You are curious about the flowers. They are part of a VERY LARGE transfer that is set up to work on a BIG HUGE DRESSER. My point is that I used three sheets and a very snippet of another and have A LOT of this transfer left. 

It's made by Prima and is called Rose Celebration. I got mine off Amazon. See it's something they carry in stores IF you live somewhere you can find things like that. I do not. I live someplace that has a couple of hardware stores and then there is pretty much on-line shopping. The magic of transfers is that they completely can change the look of your project in about a half hour. It's literally like using a rub-off only it's much larger and more forgiving.  There are five trillion Youtube videos out there showing you how to use transfers. I didn't watch one. I used the directions and the little stick thingie they included. It was easy. You just have to be patient and careful. 

I bought a rewire kit for the lamp that was around $12 in Walmart because there is no way I wasn't rewiring the lamp. I can't have someone having their house burn down on my conscience! A rewire kit is generally around $12 at any hardware store. It also comes with the wires already stripped and generally directions. You pretty much just need to be able to read the directions & use a screwdriver. I had my husband check my work, because again, fire is bad. The bottom & top of the lamp base were sprayed with black spray paint and then I used some gold metallic luster paint to bring out the details. 

The total cost in this project so far is around $60. Let's break that down.

$10 Nightstand 
$15 Lamp 
$5 Lamp Shade
$5 Wood Top 

$35 in donated product 

$12 Rewire Kit
$13 in Prima Transfers for the nightstand & round decorative piece

$25 that I spent 

You may of noticed that I also made a round decorative piece that can get used with the lamp & nightstand. That was from my second trip to the ReStore where I picked up a very cheap brass Persian tray & a $15 table with a round beat up wood top. I did not take before photos of the top, but suffice to say it's much prettier now. 

I'll be back with that project that didn't involve any painting. I did however use paper clay & molds. Check it out on the little glass bottle which isn't quite finished yet! 

Happy Hunting for your bargain!


  1. You did a amazing job...there beautiful.keep up the good work

  2. Seems like I am reading your post after ages !! Did i miss or you didn't post ? have done a very fab job recreating the donated pieces..gave them a new pretty life !

  3. Oh my. I love the drawers! Those blooms are so pretty!

  4. Loved, loved, loved your submission since the first day I saw it at the library. Yesterday when I went to Restore to check the bidding I saw the before and after paperwork. That made your project all the more special. Was sooooo tempted to bid on it as my colors. You are a gifted artisan. P.S. I did send Restore a note today that I was saddened over the bids received. Saddened that the community is not supporting Habitat more. Was thinking the items should be displayed on Market Street where people are more inclined to spend money.

    1. Hold tight! I have another! I made one that is a lot different but with the same transfers for Pawz and Purrs to auction off!!! I agree that projects should be on display on Market Street, maybe even in Centerway! Pawz and Purrs will do it virtually, so we'll see how they make out.


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