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Growing up with parents who lived during the depression makes one become a bit frugal – well in some ways. For instance, I don’t purchase cheap purses (not since I was shamed at the Atlanta Apparel Mart years ago during a video shoot). I don’t buy the most expensive ones, but I certainly would not purchase a used purse and try to renovate it. There was that phase, however, when we took a wooden box and decoupaged it into a purse. I think this could actually have been used as a weapon.

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My renovation has been more in furniture and accessories. For instance, who needs to buy an expensive lamp when you can go to Goodwill (or choose your local flea market) and spray paint and add a new lamp shade? I had to throw out an old floor lamp this week which I’ve used in our Master bedroom for over 20 years. It was broken and just could not be repaired. It pains me to see it out by the driveway ready for trash pick up. My plans were to spray paint and reuse it. I actually had to purchase a new floor lamp since Goodwill did not carry what I was looking for (at least not that day).

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Most all the furniture in our home is second hand, picked up at a flea market or a hand me down from a relative. This post features a chest I purchased from a local couple who were downsizing. It was a bargain at $60 – and I was thrilled to get it. When renovating our upstairs guest bathroom (after becoming empty nesters) I was on a budget and wanted to spend the money on the floor and walls in order to get the look I was going for. So frugal me decided to use the chest for the bathroom vanity. It was quite the learning experience.

This piece was what you call tiger wood (no it was not created by some famous golfer). I had hoped to use the piece as is but close inspection of the top and drawers made me realize it would need to be painted, and the top removed. I’m a big fan of chalk paint and also the fact you don’t really need to sand or prep for most pieces. I’ve learned how to make my own chalk paint saving me a great deal of money.

The bathroom is basically all white, and I decided to paint the dresser itself white (Sherwin Williams Alabaster) and use grey (Sherwin Williams Passive Grey) on the drawer fronts and reuse the hardware (which just needed cleaning). The top would be Carrara marble which I hoped to find a remnant of at a local stone place – Art Stone Atlanta. Every part of the chest needed to be painted in order to eliminate the “old” smell. This can be accomplished inside the chest by spraying with Kilz (or any spray paint really). I used chalk paint on all other areas including the inside of the drawers. The drawers, of course, had to be cut out and prepared to handle the plumbing.

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The fixture used is from Faucet Direct. I wanted it to be wall mounted – just because I think it looks cool. After initial placement of the vanity in the bathroom we discovered it was not deep enough to accommodate the extension of the faucet (and not wanting to wet the floor every time it was used), we had to come up with plan “H” – Heaven only knows. We (me + Chris, my son in law contractor and his best friend Doug, the electrician) decided to add an extra 3 inches by adding pieces to the back, painted to match and unseen from the front.

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The result was exactly what I was looking for! I used this bathroom while our master bath was being remodeled, and I’m very pleased with its look and functionality.

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     I’ll show more of the bath on my next post – particularly the shelf I made from the top boards of the chest. To be continued…

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