Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesday Tutorial: Spice Rack Redo

I've become a little addicted to garage sales.  With the kids on break from preschool and Kids' Day Out, we have lots of time to kill.  Time that the kids are thrilled to fill with driving around town and looking at other people's junk.  Except, the crafting side of me shouts "That's not junk!  That's treasure!"  And a couple weeks back we hit the jackpot.  We found an estate sale brimming with vintage and antique items in need of a little TLC - for 75% off.  For $11 I walked away with a tiny vintage bench, a cute wooden crate, a gorgeous old magazine rack, and a counter-top sized spice rack. 

The only problem?  The spice rack was blue.  Bright blue. My kitchen accessories thus-far are white and stainless steel.  Not blue.  No problem - time for a little DIY touch-up and it would be good as new.  Easy peasy.  Almost.  Let's just say I learned a few lessons as I attempted this project - but I love the results.  Here's how it went:

1. Sand Off Old Paint 

I really didn't think this was going to be so hard.  It's just a little paint - right?  Wrong.  It was a lot of paint.  And it was powdery paint.  It got all over my skin, my clothes, the deck, the house.  My sand block was ruined.  And I didn't get off much of the color.  I gave it a good washing down and figured I'd just paint over it. 

Lesson Learned: Always sand off as much paint as possible.

2. Paint On Base Coat

So I got out a basic white acrylic paint to cover up the blue.  I thought a couple coats should do it. Not so much.  It was still very blue.

Lesson Learned: If your under color is dark, and you want your object to be light, use a thick primer paint, not something light and chalky like acrylic (which does much better on bare woods or when you want your dark base to show through).

3. Attempt Darker Base Coat

I wanted my final color to be ivory, and since my background was going to be a rust-colored paper, I figured a brown would be a good undercoat for the ivory.  That way, if it showed through the lighter paint, it would make a nice "shabby chic" effect that matched the backing.  Well, I was close.

Lesson Learned: Make sure your dark undercoat is the exact color you want to show through.  

After several coats of ivory paint, I decided there wasn't enough orange in my undercoat.  So, I mixed up a small batch of orangy-brown, dry-brushed on some streaks, then immediately blended with another coat of ivory paint. It's hard to tell in the terrible cell-phone photos, but the spice rack is now a nice "shabby" blend of rust and ivory.

4. Make Backing
5. Seal Backing and Spice Rack

To make the backing, I just used mod-podge to affix a piece of scrapbook paper to an old sheet of thin carboard.  I then gave both the spice rack and the backing a good coat of mod-podge to seal them up and make them easier to wipe down (this will be next to the stove after all).

Lesson Learned: Be careful with brushstrokes.  Make sure they go "with the grain" so they look natural.

6. Apply Backing

This step went exactly as planned.  Thumbtacks + rubber mallet = firmly affixed backing and no cracked wood.

7.  Enjoy The Finished Product

Not everything went exactly to plan, but I learned some important lessons, and I love my pretty little (cheap!) spice rack.  It fits just right on the counter, and I like the flowered background that peeks out at me when I remove a jar. 

Now I've got an even bigger project ahead of me.  Both boys have dressers that we snagged off Craigslist that are in serious need of refinishing.  Since they will soon(ish) have new rooms that I can actually decorate, I'm itching to give both dressers new coats of paint that match their new rooms' color schemes.  Keep an eye out for those before-and-afters soon!

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  1. That is super cute! I love how organized it looks on your counter top.

  2. What a great transformation great job. Stopping by from Tip Junkie link party

  3. Love the after! And isn't Penzeys great? We get almost all of our spices there. Thanks for sharing on Tout It Tuesday!


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