Dumpster-rescued chair redo and a different way to strip varnish

A few years ago, my dad rescued some office chairs from a dumpster. This solid wood beauty was one of them:


OK, so maybe “beauty” wouldn’t be the best way to describe it, but it definitely had potential.

This chair sat in our basement for a couple of years, also serving as my stepladder for painting projects. So it definitely got some added wear and tear from that. ;)

Last week, I finally got around to refinishing it. My goal was to paint it to look like the metal chairs that are so popular right now in home decor catalogs, such as this set from Ballard Designs:



Below is a short video highlighting the technique I used to create a similar metallic finish, along with details on how to strip off old, stubborn varnish and paint using the HomeRight® Digital Temperature Heat Gun.

The paint I used for this project was a combination of Warm Silver, Smoke, Pewter and Black Pearl from the Modern Masters® Metallic Paint Collection. (I applied Warm Silver first, then a combo of all of them for the final two coats, mixed together to achieve my desired finish.) I used the least amount of Smoke, so you could probably forego that color if necessary.

After a few short hours of work, I now have a modern-looking, high-quality furniture piece I can use in a variety of ways around our house.

12ModernMastersagedmetalchaircloseup1final 13ModernMastersagedmetalchair

What do you think of the finished product?

Special thanks to HomeRight for sponsoring this post, and to Modern Masters for providing the paint needed to complete this project. As always, all opinions – and sweat equity – are 100 percent mine. 

My favorite quick and easy DIY Christmas projects

If you’ve still got any fight left in you before Christmas and you feel like you might be able to take on one … more … project, ;) I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite quick, easy and, of course, thrifty DIY projects I’ve done that would also make great gifts for special someone.


Click on the text or photos below to be taken to the tutorial for each project.

1. Ballard Designs knockoff message board


2. No-cost holiday centerpiece


3. Pottery Barn knockoff birch candles


4. Pottery Barn knockoff Noel sign


5. Canning jar candle holders


6. Driftwood candle holder


7. Wooden block chalkboard art


After all, there’s still time to glue our fingers together and have a good, old-fashioned craft meltdown before Christmas, right? :)

Pottery Barn knockoff Noel sign

I love the look of this Noel sign from the pages of Pottery Barn:

Noel Pottery Barn image


I’m not so enamored with the price tag, however. Cue brainstorming for a thrifty, DIY version.

I headed to Hobby Lobby and picked up four, large MDF letters for $3.50 apiece. I also used a 40-percent-off coupon that brought the price down further.


As soon as I got home, I took the letters outside and gave them each a coat of my favorite black primer.


I brought the primed letters inside to dry in warmer conditions.


Here’s where I veered a bit from the Pottery Barn version. My goal was to create letters that looked like aged metal. I used this Etsy sign I saw online as my inspiration:



Next, I lined up a bunch of containers of Modern Masters® Metallic Paint.


The main colors I used for this project were Copper Penny, Pewter and Black Pearl.


I gave the letters a base coat of Copper Penny first, since it was an opaque color with fuller coverage.



After that dried, I used a sponge to apply the Pewter color randomly.


Then I used the same technique to dab on two more coats, one of Black Pearl and one of a mixture of Black Pearl and Copper Penny.

Finally, I turned the dried letters over and stuck on a few Command™ Strips to hang them on the wall. I’m not a big fan of punching holes in my walls, especially for seasonal decor.


Here’s the final result:




What do you think of my “aged metal” Pottery Barn knockoff Noel sign?

Special thanks to Modern Masters for proving, at my request, the metallic paint needed for this project. As always, all opinions – and sweat equity – are 100 percent mine. 

Before I go today, I want to announce the two winners of the $100 gift cards from Duluth Trading Co. Merry Christmas to:

a Rafflecopter giveaway