Heirloom Dresser Update

A few weeks ago my brother called and ask me to come over and help with “a few projects”…. Which turned out to be redoing an end table, two dressers, a mirror, and a bookshelf hack.image

The dresser this post is about is that big orangey piece one in from the left. As you can see from the writing on the back, it was purchased in November 1943 (by my great grandmother- that’s her writing!). It originally belonged to my grandfather, then lived in my room at his and my Nonna’s house while I was growing up. Now it’s passed on to my brother to use as a buffet in his dining room.orange stained chest of drawers before

The yellow orange stain was really dating it, but I just can’t bear to paint a vintage piece like this so we decided to strip it down and re-stain it instead.

It had this sweet applique on the center drawer that I remember staring at all the time when I was growing up- is it a doe? a reindeer? the green fairy?? Who knows. It broke my heart to sand it off but at least now it’s captured in a photograph.

wood applique- close up

My brother sanded the whole thing down with the lowest grit sandpaper we could find, then I wiped it all with a damp cloth and applied two coats of Minwax charcoal stain and three coats of wax. I would recommend sanding it with 100 or 150 grit before staining but it was 90* out and we had been sanding forever so we opted to skip that step. It left a few spots with the old stain still in tact, which ended up looking pretty cool.

To apply the stain:

  • brush it on, let it sit for a few seconds, then wipe off the excess with a rag.
  • repeat 2-3 times until you reach your desired tone and coverage

…that’s it! Don’t let staining intimidate you, just apply a little at a time very slowly so you have lots of control over how it turns out.

gray stained antique bureau- close up

We also switched out the (old, round, wood) knobs for some nice metal ones my brother picked out. They read as gold in the pictures, but look more antiqued and silver in real life.

stained vintage dresser- close up

The dresser is gorgeous, and looks so good in its’ new spot. I can hardly tell it’s the same piece!! I really like the spots where we didn’t get the old stain and poly off and the original color shows through- it gives it an awesome weathered/rustic look that I totally dig and pays homage to it’s original form.

bureau turned dining room buffet - after

Once it was dry I rubbed on three coats of wax, which are glaring horribly in that picture above but really don’t show up that harshly in real life. This piece isn’t going to get heavy use, so just a few coats of cured wax should protect it plenty over the next few years of little ones with sticky fingers. 😉

I’m so glad this piece is staying in the family and can live on in a new way, the stain really updated it without being to bold or overbearing, and it looks great in its’ new spot.

DIY Vintage Dresser



This month I’m participating in a little DIY challenge called The Fab Furniture Flippin Contest and the theme is inspired by mom (because it’s Mother’s Day month!). Two of the lovely contest organizers have posts with more info and inspiration: Evey from Sweet Song Bird has one here and Stacy from Anastasia Vintage has one here.

FFFC post graphic final (png)Sooo here’s the thing. When I think of home decor, my mom’s house doesn’t exactly come to the forefront. I actually constantly rag on her for her house. Because it is SO. BEIGE. EVERYTHING BEIGE. ALL THE TIME BEIGE. Whew. She finds it calming. I find it incredibly stressful. Can you tell?

She’s also seriously against any kind of clutter. There are no tchotchkes. There are no knick knacks. Everything has a purpose. Sometimes when I go over to her house I swap around the pillows and move the table runner just to mess with her. SO. When thinking of an “inspired by mom” project I decided to alter a piece of furniture that I think can work a little harder for me, something that’ll hide an unsightly element of the house and clear up some floor clutter.

In 2012 I bought this dark wooden end table at the Habitat for Humanity restore (also in 2012, I had terrible photography skills):

dark wood end table - before picture

Then I spray painted it silver, glazed it with black, and swapped out the hardware (here):

dark brown end table - after - silver with black glaze

For while this held vases and vase fillers and candles and a whole bunch of other nonsense. And in the “inspired by mom” spirit, I donated 90% of that crap and cleared out the drawers.

THEN I got to work… hollowing out the drawers and cutting out the side and turning this fab piece of furniture into a DIY HIDDEN LITTERBOX :).

Hollowing out the drawers was easy, a few knocks with the hammer took care of it because the pieces were dovetailed together without much glue. Then I used the bottom of one of the drawers as a base and Gorilla Glue’d both drawer fronts on it. Once it was dried it was all one piece; I screwed it into the frame of the end table from the inside:

updated knobs on an old side table - fake drawer fronts

Next I had to hollow out the inside of the frame. Holy moly I did not have the right tools for this. I had a jigsaw, coping saw, and a hand saw and I Tim Gunn’d it (MAKE. IT. WORK.). I removed all the screws I could find, then used the coping saw to remove the middle divider between the draws. The ledges on the sides were a bit more complicated, and the hand saw worked for that part. I didn’t use the jigsaw at all for this part because it didn’t really fit.

Once the inside was hollowed out, I next cut a hole in the side (where the cats will enter to do their business). For this I needed a scroll saw. I don’t have a scroll saw though, so I used a jigsaw and hand saw and ripped all my hair out and then I finally got it.

Tip: to use a jigsaw when the point of entry isn’t the edge of your piece, just drill in a few large holes with a large drill or spade bit, then fit the blade of the jigsaw in the hole to start cutting.

disguised litter box in a repurposed end table

The bottom inside of the end table has a particle board piece underneath a frame of 1×2’s, so I caulked the seams where they met just to make sure no litter gets caught under there.

Then I bought a tupperware bin, filled it with litter, and popped it in:

secret litter box in an old end tableI used the cover of the container as an extra tray at the bottom and scooted the actual container all the way to the back, so the cats can walk in to the piece of furniture then step into the litter box (which will help stop litter from getting on the floor outside of it) Awesome! No more unsightly litter box hanging out in our living room! I think mom’d be proud 🙂

DIY Hidden Litter Box from SandpaperAndGlue.com


So what do you think of my updates? A prize package from CeCe Caldwell’s Paints is up for grabs and I’ve got my fingers crossed!!

Also, if YOU are a blogger interested in participating in an upcoming challenege just email Stacy (info@anastasiavintage.com) or Evey (info@eveyscreations.com)!

Quick SNAP! Recap

Last week I went to a 3 day blogging conference in Salt Lake City called Snap! and had an awesome/overwhelming experience. It was so good to be surrounded by people who totally get this whole blogging thing, and my intense love for all things DIY- but also WOW that’s a lot of excited women in one place.

The first thing I did when I got there was tour their local Ronald McDonald House Charity, which was amazing and eye opening. They have the ability to house over 70 families while children are awaiting and receiving treatments at the hospital nearby. 70! It’s a great charity and I 100% plan on looking up how I can be a part of my local RMHC, even if it’s just donating little things for family welcome bags.


After the tour, I tried to really hard balance out classes on behind the scenes stuff and classes on fun stuff, and I think that really helped me get the most out of the conference. I learned a lot about branding myself- and branding is something I really need help with. I’m such an introvert that I didn’t even notice how little I allow myself to show up in the blog. There’s tons of my stuff but barely any shots of me actually working on things. I’m going to try to correct that a bit (do you even care? or notice? hmm).

Screen shot 2015-04-27 at 11.42.17 AMPerhaps the reason I don’t share more of me is because when I try to I end up taking a selfie in a fancy bathroom with kind of an angry face going on? Whoops.

ANYWAY! CLASSES! I went to them.

Snap Collage

I learned how to tile and grout (including how to use a wet saw which is totally not scary at all). I attempted to hand letter and watercolor. I helped build a craft table. It was all really fun and inspiring. I came home with so many ideas that even though I laid down to bed at 11pm last night, I didn’t fall asleep until at least 3am. My head is swirling.

Snap friends collage

My favorite part though, was meeting a zillion friends in real life. Pictured above, left to right, is Kelly (Simply Kelly Designs), Michelle (Weekend Craft), Candace (Lucky Scarf), then me anchoring each picture, my roommate Vanessa (Tried & True), Stacey (Glued to my Crafts), and Michelle again. I hung out with Sarah (Sarah’s Big Idea) a bunch as well (which was super cool because she’s a power tool badass), then I also spent 2 extra days at Kenz’s (Interiors By Kenz) house after the conference was over to hang with her lovely family.

Whew! I have today off from work to “relax” and “get settled,” which I think is just going to turn into me starting 5 different projects and pretending I don’t have an entire suitcase of laundry to get through. 🙂

DIY Pet Food Stand

We have 3 cats and a dog in our house, and they’re all pretty big fatties. The cats all eat together in the kitchen, and then we feed the dog upstairs in our bedroom (if he eats with them, he’ll steal their food, and if we’re not in the room with him he won’t eat at all).

The old plastic gray food bowl we had started bothering me decor-wise. I found THIS idea in a Pinterest search, then headed down to my scrap wood pile to see what I had on hand…

DIY dog food stand for medium and large dogs

  1. I cut my MDF down to a rectangle with my miter saw, then used the bowls from my old stand to outline the inside circles I’d need for the bowls. Next, I used a drill bit to make 4 largeish holes in each circle. The holes are then where you can slip in your jigsaw to cut out the actual shape.
  2. Once the top was set, I cut my legs. Four 2x2s to go straight down, then two 1×2’s to as a more modern looking base. Originally I was going to use pocket holes to attach the legs to the top (you can see the holes I drilled for it), but I decided that was overkill so I just glued everything with Gorilla Glue.
  3. After the base was built I glued it to the MDF top and sanded the whole thing down. Then the top got 2 coats of Behr Waterscape, the legs got a coat of Natural Oak stain with Minwax finishing cloths, then I taped off a few random areas and made gold stripes (because everything needs a little gold!)
  4. To finish, I added 3 coats of Minwax Polycrylic to the top (don’t skip this step! especially if your dog is a sloppy water drinker)

wooden dog cat bowl DIY tutorial

Voila! Much better 🙂

Sidenote: Did you know it helps with digestion for medium sized and larger dogs to eat with a raised stand? Having to arch their necks all the way to the ground can make for an upset stomach.

wooden pet dish- inexpensive and easy to DIY

You see those things that look like empty shelves on the wall? Those are actually cat ledges- and they LOVE THEM. So yeah, our bedroom has a dog bed, a dog bowl, and 2 cat ledges. We’ve lost control of our lives.

(Also- ps- instructions for the DIY Craft Crate console table is here)


Tree Log Furniture Round-Up

A few months back I turned some old logs from my in-laws backyard into end tables for around the house, and I’ve been loving them (here’s) the full post with a how-to.

tree stump end tables

Today I’m collaborating with Hometalk to show off 19 Tree Stump/Log Furniture Ideas.


Everything from tables, to planters, to benches, to seats! Check out the full round up and so much how-to inspiration here!

How to Combine Leftover Candles

You know what’s a bummer? When your candle won’t burn anymore but there’s a ton of wax still in the jar. Turns out, it’s SUPER easy to melt down that wax and make a brand new candle- and really inexpensive too.

The only thing I had to buy for this project was candle wicks, and I got a pack of 50 from Amazon for only $9 (these ones). That’s less than half the cost of just brand new candle. Holler.

how to combine burned candle scraps  into a new candle

First things first, you need to get your wax melted. If you have a double boiler you can use that, but I do not so I had to to improvise:

  • Roll up 4 strips of tin foil and place them in a grid (like this: #) on the bottom of a sauce pan
  • Place your old candle on top of the grid, then fill the pan with water and turn the heat to medium
  • As the wax liquifies, you’ll be able to pick out the old wick with tongs so it doesn’t go into your new candle

While your wax is melting place your new wick in an empty glass jar and use a stick or skewer and some tape to center the wick and hold it still. 

  • Once all the wax is in your makeshift double boiler is melted down, pour it slowly into its’ new jar. (edited to add: I used old jars I had laying around- an alfredo sauce jar, a jelly jar, and a roasted red pepper gar. I am a hoarder.)
  • Let each layer solidify before adding a new one

how to melt down old candles and combine them to make new ones - an easy DIY craft project

A few tips:

  • The 3 wick candles were hard to pour out cleanly, so once the wax melted enough I popped it into into a glass measuring cup and finished melting it there, that way I could use the spout when transferring it to the new jar.
  • If you’re layering candle wax, you want the scents to go together. For my larger candle, I layered “snowflake,” “evening air,” and “pine” because they’re al nice outdoorsy smells that’ll blend into each other well.
  • Before throwing out the wick from the old candle, make sure you douse it in water. Because Smokey the Bear says so.

melt down old candles to form new ones - combine and mix candle scents

And that’s it! It’s so easy (and man, my house smells amazing now!). With the remnants from just one three wick candle, I made 1.5 new ones! Can you believe it?!

Top Posts of 2014

Last week I shared what some of my favorite projects are (here), but surprisingly enough those were not your favorite posts of the year. To finish things off for 2014 I thought I’d re-share this years hits, as well as join up with a few friends who are also sharing their hits, to end the year with an overload of inspiration!

top posts of 2014

Apparently, my top 3 posts of the year weren’t even from this year!!

Here’s the all time most popular posts from Sandpaper and Glue:

1. 31 Days Challenge landing page…. here you’ll find 22 posts full of tips for new homeowners.

new homeowner tips, 31 days, neutral home colors

2. How to Spraypaint and Glaze Furniture… and also, how to make some awesome metallic furniture.

glazed metallic silver furniture DIY

3. How to Draw on your Walls with Marker

sharpie wall

As for 2014, here’s my top 3 from within this year:

1. Tree Stump End Tables

tree stump end tables

2. Owl Theme Baby Showerthis post is just pure Pinterest eye candy.


3. How to Turn your Closet into a Built In Office … I’m so glad at least one power tool project made the cut!

DIY closet office


Ready for some more inspiration?


Check out Michelle’s top posts of 2014 over at Weekend Craft

Candace has got her awesome posts from 2014 over at Lucky Scarf

Rebecca’s got a 2014 list going over at Authentically Bold: Rebecca

And Kelly’s in on the action over at A Lovely Life, Indeed