August 2014

Refurbished Chiffonier Part Two

Before and After chiffonier via adore re mi.In part one you got to meet the grand lady, the chiffonier- a sideboard/dresser. In part two, she will be under a transformation with a little nip & tuck, just a little.  You will see the final result, painted and accessorized with more tips to make your job better (if you are interested in refurbishing.) Would like to check out part one, click here.

Now, let's start with a quick rundown from part one before you see the painting done:

sanding back the water mark via adore re mi.Sanding back the water mark on the chiffonier. I didn't need to sand back the entire dresser to it's original timber, just the top lacquer coat to allow Penetrol (see below) to absorb better.


chiffonniere via adore re mi.Penetrol was my saviour, it allowed me to save time on having to sand the dresser back to the raw timber. The Penetrol gave me a good surface for my undercoat to key to. Penetrol is a paint conditioner and primer which I used on its own rather than mix it in with the paint. This helped provide the timber with a sealed, non porous finish to allow a smoother paint job. I did 2 coats, each time allowing it to dry. No need to be too precious as it is clear and runny, but don't brush it on thick either.

Click here for more information on the product.

Now the paint job..


primer via adore re mi.After 2 coats of Penetrol, it was time for the undercoat. Dulux Prepcoat- a water based primer, sealer and undercoat in white. Tip: Water based can be a good choice for furniture especially for a nursery as it doesn't have smelly chemicals.

Now remove the drawers, old door handles/knobs and before you start to use the undercoat.
first primer coat via adore re mi.The above photo shows my first lick of undercoat paint. I did at least 2 coats, because I am super fussy. The undercoat is a little thicker and chalkier than the top coat, it tends to fill in the timber grain and uneven surfaces.  The undercoat is sanded back in between coats creating a good surface for your final paint.  Warning! Be aware of drips, especially in corners. Tip: Wipe off drips with your finger and if you have any untidy drips whilst undercoating, sand back.

top coat via adore re mi.Top coat I used: Taubmans water based enamel gloss in white.

refurbishing chiffonier via adore re mi.It is best to remove the doors, sand back the sides and paint separately when you do the top coat for a better finish. Tip: If necessary cover locks, hinges with masking tape. Tip: Fill any gaps or holes with a timber filler.

In above photo, you can see how far I painted in. Be aware where it needs to be painted when you open the doors and draws. Tip: Use painters tape if you want an extra professional finish when painting a straight line.


refurbishing chiffonier via adore re mi.You may encounter this '#$@*!' moment with these spots or small patches of chipped paint. Tip: Lightly sand with a sandpaper grit 400 (very fine) and paint over the spot. If you are fussy like me, I primed it first then top coat otherwise just use as many coats of top coat paint you need on this spot, not the entire section.

Next the shelves. For a unique finish, you can cover the inner shelves and/or inside the draws with contact, wallpaper, thicker craft paper or paint. I chose paint for a durable finish. The colour I decided on was a neutral colour suitable for a nursery room called Daffodil Mist by Taubmans, a sample pot size was enough.  Warning! Make sure you see the paint colour before you pay for it. I was mixed a different brand and the yellow was more mustard (baby poo), not the colour you'd want for a nursery room.

Taubmans-Daffodil Mist

Once the shelves were dried, I fitted the new hinges on to the door. Then I drill and screwed on the new door knobs I bought from Ikea.

refurbishing chiffonier via adore re mi

When I painted the top of the chiffonier with the final top coat, paint with one stroke across the length using a wider brush for a seamless finish.

refurbishing chiffonier via adore re mi

I then allowed the chiffonier to dry for a week so the paint could harden. Tip: Before I slid in the draws, I rubbed wax on the sides and under the draws so it would create less friction for a smoother slide. It was then ready for delivery.

I dropped off the chiffonier the weekend before my friend's baby shower and it looks great in her Federation home. I will be post photos next week to show you the chiffonier in her new room.


What did you think of the transformation? I am hooked to do more especially when most of us don't have the space or time to refurbish a furniture. So watch this space!


Please noteI am not affiliated nor endorsing any of the products mentioned in this series of posts based on the chiffonier. Personal choice for quantity finish. 


Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: Year 1983

The year Ash Wednesday engulfed homes in South Australia and Victoria; Flashdance & Return of the Jedi opened in cinemas; the Australian dollar note is replaced by a gold coin;  El Niño brings its severe weather around the world, is now called La Niña; and the year Michael Jackson's Thriller album hit number one, becoming his most successful album ever.

There is no doubt Michael Jackson is a music legend and he is recognisable in any generation, from the 1960's (Jackson 5) to today. Two of my favourite Michael Jackson albums are Off The Wall (1979) and Thiller. I played these tapes until the ribbon snapped, something we don't have to worry about these days.

The song I chose today is Wanna Be Startin' Somthin'. MJ wrote this song for his sister La Toya about her anguished relationship with her sister-in-laws and how people started rumours or exaggerated the truth to cause pain for no good reason.

Click here to listen. Please note: Because the uncertainty of songs on You Tube (some are taken off due to copyright), I am streaming through Spotify. It is free to join up and it's easy to navigate. You can save your songs without loosing any on your list. Hope you don't mind.

Michael Jackson- Thriller

Enjoy your weekend. And don't forget this Monday's post is the finished result of my chiffonier refurb.

Refurbished Chiffonier Part One

The first home I grew up in was a haunted 19th century Victorian house in Stanmore, Sydney, Australia. With original cobble stones and a diary stable turned granny flat, my parents bought their first home in Sydney in the 1970's for less than 50K. My parents including my tio and abuelita restored this neglected house back to it's grand, impressive state. I have fond memories playing hide and seek, murder in the dark and the Colombian asados (BBQ) my tio did so well, I can still taste the beef ribs. In this house my dad collected antiques and refurbished old furniture to suit the home's interior and so my fascination of musky smelling, velvet wallpaper and antique/retro furniture began (my home is more retro with modern wooden furniture than antique, no wallpaper yet.)

Fast forward to 2008, my husband's grandmother gave us her antique nursing chair (low seated and upholstered, though mine needs an uplift)  and chiffonniere or chiffonier (French designed smaller size sideboard/dressing table with legs). It was originally given as a wedding present to his great-grandmother in the 1920's then passed down to his mother. The problem with the bulky sized furniture is it is no match for a small size homes though ideal for storing of your bits and bobs. I was too attached to sell and yet it was taking over our courtyard, until I spoke to my mother-to-be friend P.

P wanted to find a chest of draws for her baby's nursery when I thought of this lonely chiffonier. After sending her photos and the measurements, she happily accept it with conditions to suit her modern nursery interior.

Conditions accepted. Time for work..

beforepic via adore re mi.At my husband's factory. Advantages: more space, open air and easy access to tools. Disadvantages: work inside when raining while the boys are sanding their work because sand dust and paint don't mix. Doing it from your home? Best place to do it is in the open like garden or garage when you are sanding. When undercover or in the shade, paint doesn't dry out too fast. Just remember to wear a mask when sanding.

The mirror is detachable and we kept it separate. This will be sold separately, untouched, in its original form.


sideview via adore re mi.Side-view of the chiffonier as its original condition.


watermarks via adore re mi.Close up of the watermarks embedded into the wood. I sanded back with sandpaper grit 120 then 180 (finer). Make sure you wipe the dust off before you prime.

chiffonniere via adore re mi.This product saved me from having to sand the lacquer off. To key in the Penetrol (paint conditioner and primer) I lightly sanded back once with sandpaper grit 180 throughout the furniture piece. I painted it straight on, you can also mix it into the paint. More info on Penetrol here.

inside chiffonier via adore re mi.What the inside of the chiffonier looks like.

Preparation before painting: removed doors, old nails and door handles . Also filled in any gap and holes with a timber filler. I am deciding whether to cover the shelves with contact, paper or paint. You will find out in Part Two.

Next week's post Project: Refurbished Chiffonier Part Two. What primer and top coat paint did I use with more hints and tips on painting with a quality finish. You will see the final result of the chiffonier then.

Please note: I am not affiliated nor endorsing any of the products mentioned in this series of posts based on the chiffonier. Personal choice for quantity finish. 



Flashback Friday

Year 2001

Keeping today's post short and sweet. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Spread Your Love seem fitting to my last post and I like this band from San Francisco. Click here to listen.

BRMC, Spread Your Love

Have a great weekend and see you all for Monday's post, it will about a project I've been working on the last month.

Enjoy your weekend!

“Depression is a flaw in chemistry not character”

Robin Williams quote


The day is little sadder after receiving the tragic news of Robin Williams death. Don't let this fade away because there are friends, family and strangers out there who still suffer from depression. Spread your smiles and send them a text, email or even ask "R U OK?" One day they'll be happy and the next feeling alone, so never stop asking this one simple question.

I am too familiar with this black shadow. A friend described me a perfect analogy, "Depression is like the hole in the middle of the sweet donut. When you're in it, you will always be surrounded by the sweetness of life, just need some help to be pulled out of the hole."

I am open about this because I am no longer in denial and I want those who are to realise it's OK, you are NOT alone.
Since being a parent, my train of thought has shifted using cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and anti-depressants; when I get those black hole days, I can't afford to lose valuable time with my daughter in my life, she (and my husband) is the pink icing of my donut.

However in my adolescent years it was a different story and I remember how much I hated myself; with low self-esteem, never felt I "fitted" in any group (I was a tomboy and wasn't interested in boys until later, the boundaries between my cultural up-brining and aussie friends clashed. Sounds like a normal 'teen' life but it was worse for me when social anxiety was added to the mix even though I love to socialise. As an adult today, a lot of those adolescent dilemmas no longer exists but the excess worrying has stayed on, anxiety is the problem.

As a mum of Miss Cheeky, I am full aware of all the signs if she ever falls into this pit, I will try to supply her with all the supports she needs when it is needed. Now, it's ok to have shyness or nervous energy (I have both!) but it should never stop anyone from doing what they want to accomplish. It's the understanding and support from the parent that is crucial. If you are a parent and do worry about your child, you can seek information from your local early childhood centre, family support centres like Catholic Care.


I wrote this poem when I was in my teens and kept it all these years to remind myself how you can be still inspired despite feeling depressed.

Darkness by adore re mi

The flip side of depression is you can be expressive visually, writing, baking or musically. Unlike anxiety, which  you become 'stuck' until you have calmed down, depression can move with you. When you fall into the pits call a friend, put on a funny movie or call helpline.

So just remember this... "Depression is a flaw in chemistry not character". So R U OK?

Help line: Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 Lifeline 13 11 14


My photography course: part one

My wonderful friends bought me an online photography course for my birthday last year in 2013. I was so taken aback by their thoughtfulness  that I walked around looking at the world from a different view, seeing so much beauty even in the darkest corners.

I only began this course last month due to some personal turmoil I had experienced this year and I am glad I waited for the right time, (I will share it to you in another post about being grateful.) The online course is called Ultimate Photography and it suits me fine. I can work in my own time and pace (normally when Miss Cheeky is asleep or at daycare). Luckily I am an night owl and while the night is still young, I work away on my course and get to drink my entire cup of tea (a luxury when you have kids in your life). It is early days and I will keep you up to date with my progress on this course.



The photos I took below are from my CANON EOS 450D with a 18-55mm lens and iPhone 4S. Examples of my 'before' pictures to compare with my later photographs as I learn more about the camera (to use manual and not auto, although my favourite setting is macro.) Secretly, I am hoping my darling husband will buy me a wide lens for my birthday next month.

4texture via adore re mi

Taken at my husband's factory.

gingercat via adore re mi

Passing by in Newtown when I saw this cat which matched its interior very nicely.

happy via adore re mi

Pierre via adore re mi

The late Pierre, king of the castle.

street art, sydney via adore re mi

Love those lane ways. Never know what creations you find. That man in the foreground is my husband, my bodyguard.

under Manly boardwalk via adore re mi

Under the boardwalk. Bette Midler was here.

blue lagoon1 via adore re mi

My favourite pic, 4 blue squares of reflection.

I want to thank you girls for getting me motivated again and bringing out the beauty that surrounds us. Part two will be about my progression of the course.

Adore Re