We LOVE when you guys send in photos of your creations.
We get that proud parent feeling… “look at what our babies became!”
Cheryle & I were just talking about doing a piece about mirrored furniture & O’verlays
and like magic this photo arrived in my inbox from a custom client:
I think my exact “Danika” words were :
“Holy crapsticks! That looks a-MAZ-ing!!!!”
We immediately wrote back to the creator of this project, Laurie Sternberg, and asked her if she would be willing to do a guest post for us detailing her makeover. She kindly agreed to give a blow by blow account of the transformation of her piece in a small NYC apartment.
(It can get dramatic, but she proves it can be done!)
AND she explains how easy it is to add mirror to an existing piece.
Wait until you see the before shot, she had amazing vision!
So here is our O’verlays ninja, Laurie Sternberg:
I wanted a sideboard that would fit a particular place in my dining room. In particular, I really wanted this one:
but there isn’t enough ramen in the world to make an extra $3,500 fit into my budget.
Instead, I scoured Craigslist until I found this faux-wood piece, which had the dimensions I needed. It was light oak veneer over some pressed wood, I think. It had paneled doors, and it was dead plain, with the sole exception of the shaker-style arched sides and kickplate. I bought it for $25.00, plus the cost of listening to my friend’s husband complain that he wouldn’t have offered to help me carry something six blocks if he knew it was going to be such a piece of junk. Whatever.
I started by clearing out my husband, my kid, and my dining room. Refurbishing anything in an NYC apartment is a challenge — once the rug was rolled up and I had scattered newspapers around, and I bribed a friend to come over and help. There was barely any room to move, but we got started.
First, we took off the doors and the hinges. That proved harder than we thought. I would like a electric screwdriver for Christmas, please. Then, we power sanded the top and the doors, and most of the trim. I happen to live two blocks from a local lumber store (which is unheard of in NYC), so I was able to ask them to make specific cuts of 1/4 inch birch. I had them cut the birch 1/8″ smaller than the side panels, and 1/8″ smaller than the kickplate. I glued the sides and kickplate to the original piece with liquid nails, and followed up with finishing nails, thereby eliminating the “shaker-style” arches.
We dragged the whole piece down to my “courtyard,” which is really the garbage collection area. Getting that thing in the service elevator was a comedy of errors, since it took two of us to get it in the elevator, but only one of us could fit in there with it. Once we were set up in the courtyard, we spray painted the inside and out with several coats of Rustoleum High Gloss White, lightly sanding and using a tack cloth in between. If I had it all to do all over again, I’d paint it with Zinsser Cover Stain, and then oil paint and a roller brush, which would have gone much faster, but I didn’t know any better.
It took two days to spray it, and it took a week for me to get feeling back in my index finger. The courtyard looks like a compulsive tagger went to town on some kind of straight-edge rampage.
Once the piece and the doors were dry, I dragged them back upstairs to my apartment, and touched up the dings I got while we were in the service elevator. Eventually, I reattached the doors, and changed out the handles to these sparkly crystal balls.
I had Clinton Glass and Mirror cut some plain, 1/8 inch mirror to fit inside the panels. Again, I had the cuts made 1/8 inch smaller than the measurements of the inside of the panel, and they fit perfectly. I glued the mirrors in with liquid nails, and let them cure for 2 days.
I couldn’t decide which O’verlays I wanted, so O’verlays was kind enough to provide a mock up of three different styles created in the measurements I needed.
(The measurements were the same as the mirrors)…
I printed four copies of each style, laid them out on my desk as if they were four sets of door panels, and people in my office voted on what doors they liked best. In the end, I don’t know why I bothered, because I went with my first choice, but it was a fun way to be super professional for a week.
I ordered the Gigi panels, and glued them on with liquid nails while my three year old ate mac and cheese next to me. That part could not have been easier or less dramatic.
And, ta da! A decent interpretation of my coveted $3,500 piece, for a grand total of $122.
Pretty unbelievable don’t you think!
Thank you so much Laurie for sharing this labor of love. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below and we can answer them.
If you have a makeover story you would like to share,
or a custom piece you need help coming up with a solution for
please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
I can help you come up with custom panels that will turn your old or thrifted piece into something amazing- and I will make it as easy as possible!