06 September 2011

Wedding Guest Post: PIY Pointers from Primitive & Proper

Hello Lather. Write. Repeat lovers!  I am so honored and excited to be a guest today for Lenore.  I feel like in blogging terms, Lenore and I go waaaaaaaaay back!  I just love her eclectic style, her love of all things blue, and her true personality.  She's a gem, and J is a lucky man.  I wish them all the best in their life together!

I am Cassie from Primitive & Proper, where I blog about furniture redos, my home, and my family.  That's me below with my daughter....

That picture pretty much sums how I go through life- enjoying the ride and laughing all the way!  I firmly believe you have to have the ability to laugh at yourself.  If I didn't believe that would I share this picture with you? :)

At this very moment, not much furniture painting is going on in my world as we are moving out of our home this week and into..... a deluxe guest room at my parents house!!!!!  Until we find the next house.  Maybe by the time this post goes live we will be under contract with a new to us home.  Let's hope so!

So for now I am just dreaming up all the next projects, including many furniture projects.  My absolute favorite type of furniture to paint is a dresser.  I tend to vary styles.... I like distressed and detailed; I like mid-century modern and sleek; I like cottagey and cute.  So I paint it all!  But no matter what piece I choose there are always certain factors I consider when selecting furniture.
Here are a few of my favorite dressers I have done....

Here is a quick go to list of questions to ask yourself when selecting a piece of furniture.

1. Is the piece solid wood?
This question is an important one to ask yourself because wood products are generally MUCH better quality and will stand the test of time.  MDF, particle board.... they will not last like good old wood. You can still paint particle board, and it will at least look better than well, particle board, as I did with this 1970's particle board cabinet.

2. Do the drawers open and close easily?
If this is a piece that you are selling or will be used regularly, you want to make sure the drawers don't stick, or fall out, or tip upon opening.  Also check the drawer bottoms.  Sometimes oder pieces are worn on the bottoms from their metal drawer stops which can cause holes in the wood.  If you can't repair the drawer bottom or the drawer, then don't buy it.  I am lucky enough to have a handy father who has taught me a lot and still helps me with drawers like on this dresser.  It sat in storage for a few weeks until I was able to get some dad-time to the rescue!

If the drawers are just sticking, often times, they can be fixed easily, just by rubbing a bar of soap along all the sides and runners to help them glide better.

3. Are there any major structural flaws?
It's important to check all the joints.  If the piece has legs make sure they are sturdy.  Push the dresser from the side and see if it wiggles or stands still.  If it wiggles, it is going to need some reinforcements.  Again, if you don't think you are capable, then just pass because it will end up causing you more grief!  I have learned about reinforcing and there are many tools you can use- you can use steel brackets to offer more support, and attach them to the loosely jointed areas.  You can also use trim screws which will recess into the piece.  SO then you just patch and paint over it and no one will ever know there is a screw there holding it together!

4. How is the current finish?
I always ask myself this, because frankly, if a piece has a beautiful wood finish, why paint over it?  If the finish is in poor shape or shows wear, then you won't feel badly painting it. :)  Sometimes if the finish is beautiful and you want a piece with a timber top, then it's an ideal candidate.  Then you don't have to refinish the top and can just paint the bottom.  So it definitely depends on what you want, but just don't ruin an exquisite antique- trust your gut.

5. Lastly, do you or could you love it?
If you are just not feeling it even though it meets every other standard, then don't buy it.  I have purchased many items and they have sat... and sat.... and sat.... waiting for me to get to them, only to be donated to Goodwill.  The piece needs to speak to you.

Since this was mostly informative, I will leave you with one more piece I finished and love.  And now I think I need to do another striped piece!

I hope you have learned something, and if you have any questions, you are always welcome to email me at cassie8978@gmail.com.  I have no secrets and will do my best to help you!

Lenore, thank you again so much for having me!  I wish you a lifetime of happiness!  I have really enjoyed seeing you travel down the road to marriage and look forward to seeing you travel down the road of life, hand in hand with the one you love. Muah!



  1. This is a very timely post! I have one coming up about this very topic--I'm looking for ways to paint up some old thrifted dressers. I love the technique on that first one!

  2. Excellent post and great info... Thanks for sharing...

    Check mine on dining room furniture.

  3. Cassie has all the goods! She's pretty much a genius in my book!!!

  4. Hi Cassie - Loved your post! These are all great reminders. Nice to see you in a different place, too! Keep on smiling and posting,

  5. Great Post- I love the furniture projects you displayed here- Nice to meet you.

  6. I LOVE all of Cassies work!! She is amazing!

  7. I adore that picture of you with your daughter. So fun! Thank you for sharing your furniture wisdom with us Cassie ;)

  8. Congratulations to you, Lenore! I wish many years of happiness to the both of you! Cassie is one amazing woman - talented, beautiful and a sweetheart. She has been a true inspiration to me. I love the magic she works on all her pieces. The striped dresser is one of my favorites! That is also one of my favorite photos of Cassie with her daughter.

  9. This post is full of so many good suggestions! I have been wanting to look into revamping vintage furniture this way.

    I am delighted to have stumbled onto your blog (and twitter) and look forward to following along!

  10. Great hotel, a perfect base for a visit to London! The staff was friendly and helpful, the rooms were spotless and this hotel provided a perfect base for our weekend in London. Find out your best reception venue in London venues in edinburgh

  11. This is so exciting! Can't wait for the Special Friends edition.buy eden goldThanks for the links big bro!Cheap Tera Gold

    I just want to say that you're doing a great job, keep it up!


Thanks so much for stopping by, I love reading all your comments! If you have a specific question, please email me at lhume1@mts.net. XO Lenore