Reuse and Recycle.

Kory bought the house in March of 2007, and I moved into our little red cabin in the woods in May of 2009. It was a tiny 2 bedroom house with 4 people and 2 dogs.  I love love love our 34 acres, but the little red house, well it wasn’t always so fun. Frozen pipes in the winter, cold floor that seemed to lean a little. My husband likes to joke that the eggs were always thick on one side!

As we tore down the house we learned that it was built to be a ‘summer home’ aka no insulation and definitely not designed to with stand cold winters in Thunder Bay, hence the frozen pipes.

It was built in the 60’s by the older gentleman who owned the property. Through talking with neighbours we learned that the old house was all built using the wood off of the property. The walls were stacked 4×4’s!! Sort of like a log home without the pretty log look.  It was 4×4’s, tar paper, panelling, 2 layers of siding and that was it. Did you notice I didn’t say “insulation”?!?!  brrrr is right!

One neighbour had mentioned that the house was solid wood, we weren’t quite sure what he meant until we started tearing off the panelling to find this…

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No Insulation!!

Although we were shocked to see the insides of the walls, we soon got very excited about what we could make out of them! We kept as many pieces as we could, getting rid of ones that were just in to rough of shape.  Of course our luck at the time was as we wanted to start to burn some of the wood we didn’t want to keep, a fire band was put into place because we were so dry in the area in May 2016. So unfortunately we had to pay to get more hauled away then we wanted to.

So what could we possible do with these beauty’s? Make furniture!  We always knew we wanted a huge island in our new kitchen, it was important for us to have a place to gather with friends and family over. A place where you stand if you wanted to or sit comfortably  while having a visit, eating a  meal or just ‘hanging out’.

We wanted to build something simple, something that would show off the gorgeous pieces of wood and something we knew we could make ourselves.

Look at the beautiful detail in that wood. The bark and the worm tunnels through it are definitely my favourite part.

Prepping the piece for the build really wasn’t to hard. A belt sander with some 80 grit and a whole lot of poly and it was ready to assemble.

The best part about this piece is no one in the world has one the same. It’s truly a Moose Valley Design original.

Let’s talk about the top. Right now we don’t like the colour. It end up being to orange for us. So since it’s a tinted poly and not truly a stain, I’m hoping it’s fairly easy to change it up. The problem being we don’t want to have to take the top off to do it.  A light sanding (by hand or dust will be everywhere!) and a re-coat of a different shade should do the trick. Fingers crossed it’s that simple.

With our many trips to Winnipeg last summer (Oh I love IKEA and Costco) we bought the bar stools. Soon realizing we didn’t buy enough. So we go back again in May and we’ll be getting at least 4 more.

The island is really all we ever use. I think in 4 months we’ve sat at the kitchen table twice, and that was with company over.

Question is what do we do with the rest of the wood!!??? Plans are in the works 😆😆

Kijiji Deals!

I will always let you know where I sourced my furniture pieces, as everyone asks “where do you get all of these pieces from?” And I have to say it’s getting easier as time goes by, friends family co-workers etc now approach me with items they have. It’s great! And sorry to those I haven’t picked up from yet…please don’t give them away or sell to someone else I promise I’ll be there!!!!

It really is great finding fantastic deals on Kijiji! But in saying that there are people who have a crazed idea of what a deal is. Some ask a silly amount of money for items I’m surprised they aren’t giving away to places like Habitat or bringing to the dump (which I suppose costs money, so right back to my first suggestion…give it to Habitat).

Then there are some who have a great item that they just need to get rid of and want to make a couple of dollars. These are the deals I love to find! Like this great dresser. I paid $25 for it and the lady was more than happy to see it go. If I had to guess at the age of the dresser I’m gonna go with 1950’s it’s solid oak and weighs a ton, and I mean a TON! Look at the lines of it though, aren’t they great?!?!

When thinking of TV stands for the new house I had envisioned something about dresser height. I didn’t want it to tall as I hate looking up to watch TV (sorry, no offence to those who have it above their fireplace, I don’t know how you do it!) I wanted a good eye level height when sitting on the couch. Ideally the TV would be on the stand it came with so that it can easily be seen from sitting at the kitchen island as well, but for some reason the stand went missing…but we won’t talk about that.

Lets be honest, I am always and I mean always on Kijiji (besides Instagram and Spotify) it’s the app I use most!   And so when I saw this pop up I jumped at it right away, thank goodness Kory was home to help me out, as this one was not easy to move. (sometimes I have no choice but to go get these items by myself, not always fun but a necessity). Our truck is a big 4×4 as well, so it’s heavy lifting  up high to boot!

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Before (also before of coffee table left side and kitchen table behind)

It wasn’t easy working on a whole bunch of  projects at once, although I find that I never only have one project on the go anyway, it’s usually at least 5 or 6 or let’s be honest…15. With a new house to fill up soon buying all new furniture was out of the question, I had to be resourceful and come up with some fantastic ideas to fill up all of the beautiful rooms that were in the works. The only new items we did buy were couches, Made in Canada of course.  Any old items that did come into the new house were either painted (table) or refurbished (cabinet), nothing came in looking like how it left the little red shed that’s for sure.

I hadn’t discovered My Painted Door (FYI all my paint is from there now) yet so I was only using latex Behr paint. Which is great paint don’t get me wrong, easy to work, covers well and cleans up no problem.  But no waxes or finishes for the top coats etc.  I do like to try all different types of paints, I’ve used spray chalk paints, milk paints, mineral paints and of course latex paint for my furniture projects.

So this piece I covered in china white Behr paint. I had ordered handles for the kitchen cupboards, making sure to have extras and that what was used on the final piece. Always ready to reuse/recycle I kept the brass knobs for another project, but the ugly leafs going in opposite directions did not make the “keep” pile.

I did sand all of the yellow paint off of the top, as I knew I wanted to stain the top a nice dark chocolate colour and that means all of the old had to come off. I used a Verathane gel stain in espresso, I wish I could find more colours in that product as it was so easy to work with.  The sides I just sanded off the old paint as much as I could, not worrying about getting it all, knowing the paint would adhere to the remainder.  In the end I was super pleased with this dresser and it was the exact look I wanted for our living-room. 2A4A8458.jpg

Not a Tiger

Like all furniture re-finishers (aka paint old stuff) I always take a before picture of my projects, ok, ok, ok I might have forgotten a time or two, but the screen shot of the Kijiji ad usually saves me! This time I took a before in the workshop…but some maybe screenshots.

chalk dresser

This dresser I got a great deal on, like most items I picked it up off of Kijiji. How do I find these items you ask? I’m constantly on my app on my phone. And now that I have started painting regularly, friends send me links or tag me in buy and sell Facebook ads as well. It’s great!!

Everyone was a bit panicked when they saw that I had painted this. Let me assure you this was NOT tiger wood by any means. It was almost like the manufacturer took a marker and drew lines. In person this looked really fake,  so I did not feel bad painting this piece at all.

I used a spray paint on this one, I don’t usually use spraypaint but I thought I would give it a try.  This was Rust-oleum chalk paint spray. I did spray a primer underneath first which helped for sure.  Then I sprayed 2 coats of this great colour, called Serenity Blue (it’s mint green). After I sprayed it, I thought it looked a little to bright so I decided to try out my Homestead espresso wax. I had never used wax before I was quite nervous but I took out my paint brush and dug right in.  I turned out fantastic!   I rubbed the wax on letting it sit for about 5-10  mins and then just took a cloth and wiped it off. Not only did I get a great look it feels like super soft and sealed in. As the package states it about 30 days before it’s fully hardened or cured. And since I now did this 6 months ago I’m not afraid of putting anything onto it. I had a vase that had some water on the bottom and it didn’t leave a mark at all.

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The drawers were a bit hard to open and close when I first picked it up so I took a cheap one dollar candle and rubbed it all along the gliders. Now in saying that the this is a very old dresser and I’ve had to do a bit more work to get the drawers to sit level and open/close nicely.  Soon it will be up for sale and make room for another project!