Fake it til you make it!

By Sarah from Atomic Magpie. 

I love mid century decor and heaven knows my house borders on being a museum, but sometimes the price sticker for an original piece can quickly put something out of reach (and straight onto my wish list!).

I’ve wanted a vintage starburst mirror for ages, but I’ve never found one that I loved enough to spend the big bucks on. So when I saw this rusty, beat up, department store effort on a local swap and sell site (FOR FREE!), I knew I could make it (aka fake it) into something that scratched my Mid Century Starburst itch…well, for now anyway!

Before. A little bit tacky and way too bedazzling

Before I continue, I need to confess – this thing sat in my garage for months before I touched it. In fact, I avoided it….refusing to even look at it. I’m not sure why exactly, but now that it’s done, I wonder why I was so intimidated by a piece of metal. Anyhoo, I digress. This mirror was rusty and grimy. The smaller mirrors were either falling off or gone, which was ok because I hated them. And that was the first step – after removing the large center mirror for safety, I used pliers and pushed/popped the smaller mirrors off. This was not too hard as many of the joins had rusted.

Mangled baby mirrors

I worked my way around the frame until all the small mirrors were gone. As bad as the rust looks in the photos, thankfully it was only surface deep, and none of the rods had rusted through.

Is it seven years bad luck if you break a mirror deliberately?

Once I had removed all the small mirrors, I wiped the whole thing down with a wet rag. This is where it got a little messy. A lot of the paint starting flaking off in chunks where the rust had lifted it. These chips of paint stuck to everything – the rag, my hands, the drop cloth, you name it. After removing as many of the obvious paint flakes as I could, I went over the whole thing thoroughly with 200 grit sandpaper to remove peeling paint and rust. This part was laborious, mostly because every time I thought I was done, I’d see another patch I had missed. I’d say I spent about an hour sanding. Not my favourite thing to do, but necessary.

Almost there!

Once I had gotten as much of the rust and paint off as possible, I sprayed the whole thing with a coat of Killz primer with rust protection. I then followed up with 3 coats of my ever trusty Rustoleum Metallic Gold. It is by far my favourite gold spray paint, I love the final colour and tone.

And there you have it! A modern day starburst mirror, with a mid century vibe. Love it!

After1-001
Starburst in the Afternoon Sunshine….Fabulous!

From TV Dinner to Happy Hour!

By Sarah from Atomic Magpie

Recently, I picked up a couple of vintage tray tables for a few bucks. You know the kind, the ones that fold up and fit neatly down the side of your fridge or couch. Metal trays for eating TV dinners on the couch, all the rage in the 50’s and 60’s. They were in rough condition, but I loved the shape of the legs (anyone that follows my projects knows about me and great legs!)

Before. It’s hard to see how damaged the tray is, but it was
 
I knew the tray tops were pretty close to unsalvageable, as they were dinged and rusty and chipped. It’s hard to tell from the photos just how beat up the trays were, but trust me, they were. When it comes to vintage furniture, I’ll almost always attempt a restoration over a revamp, but alas it wasn’t an option this time. The legs were in much better shape, so I set about to repurpose them. I wiped them down with a wet rag and lightly sanded them with 200 grit sand paper. Next I applied a thin coat of Kilz spray on primer with rust protection. I did the same to the trays, just to see how they might look with some paint on them (the answer is – not much better). Accepting that the trays were beyond help, as I had originally figured, I decided to ditch them and move onto another plan.
  
I’m all about the legs!
 I covered the black feet caps with painters tape and applied two coats of Rustoleum’s metallic gold paint to the legs, making sure I gave them plenty of time to dry in between coats. I finished them with a quick spray of Rustoleums clear coat.

I had an old wooden tray lying around that was the perfect size to fit in the legs, it even had a ledge on the bottom, so the legs just clipped in without sliding all the way open. I painted the tray with Rustoleum’s flat black. Once it had dried fully, I found some awesome paper, which I cut to the size of the tray. Using Mod Podge, I applied a thin layer to adhere it and, when it dried, I applied another layer over the top to seal. After my Peacock table makeover and the Mod Podge freak out I had then, I knew the bubbles this time were normal and would go away once dried, which they did. Easy. 
 

Voila! A portable bar table
 
So there you have it. A quick and simple repurpose – from a TV dinner tray table, to a sweet, portable bar table. Easy and fab!
Cocktail time!
 

From Dumpster to Diva, a table transformation!

By Sarah from Atomic Magpie

Itching to revamp something, this little table was basically a throw away I decided to play with. Nothing vintage about it, this particle board decorator table was plain, ugly and pretty hopeless, so with little to lose I went to town.

Before
Before. An old, cheap throw away.

I removed the legs, the only real wood component, and lightly sanded the pressed wood table top. It had some raised water damaged spots, so I knew painting wouldn’t be enough to fix it. The trim was plastic faux wood, also virtually impossible to do much with. I used Kilz Spray on Primer to prime the table top and trim.

Primed
Primed and ready to go

While that dried, I sanded the legs and used Minwax Gel stain in Hickory to stain them a lovely rich color. I’m obsessed with gel stain since it saved my last makeover project from disaster. It just goes on so smoothly, with little prep and still lets the gorgeous wood-grain shine through.

Legs stained
Legs stained

I used Rustoleum’s Gold Metallic paint to spray the trim and edge of the table top. I did two light coats and 24 hours later I used Mod Podge to affix some awesome peacock paper I had to the table top. I did 3 layers of Mod Podge on top of the paper, and on the side trim to seal it. This was my first time using Mod Podge, and even though I had followed the instructions and used a credit card to smooth the paper after adhering it, I had a little freak out moment when the paper appeared bubbly with tons of air pockets after the first coat. Not really knowing what to do next, I left it to dry over night, and was thrilled to see that once it had dried, all bubbles had vanished.

Mod Podge and Peacock paper perfection
Mod Podge and Peacock paper perfection

As a final little touch, I decided to pay homage to mid century table legs and I taped off the bottom of the legs and used the gold spray to create the look of metal ferrules (leg caps). A nice little cheat that turned out wonderfully.

Fake it til you make it!
Fake it til you make it!

So there you have it, a quick and easy table makeover that turned the dumpster table into a fabulous, feathery showpiece.

Et Voila! Tres' fabulous!
Et Voila! Tres’ fabulous!