Opening up walls in old houses and studying the detail and craftsmanship that went into building homes a century ago is truly fascinating. After tearing out several plaster walls in the Mulberry House, I had boxes and boxes of lath I wanted to repurpose into art. In my opinion, the wood was far too beautiful to be thrown in the dumpster.
After using the leftover lath to make several pieces like the herringbone piece and “Family” piece below, I thought I would make a map of the USA. USA maps on pallet boards have been one of my “best-sellers” over the years. This post contains affiliate links.
I find old picture frames at garage sales, auctions, and antique stores all the time — and generally, all they need is a new coat of paint to give them life again.
So, for this project I took my garage sale picture frame and brushed it with two coats of leftover black paint.
Once the paint was dry, I cut my pieces of lath to fill the frame where the picture frame glass was originally. I used wood glue to secure the pieces of lath inside the frame.
Next I went to Google images and downloaded an image of the United States, printed, and pieced it together with tape.
After it’s pieced together and taped, flip your map over and cover the back with chalk.
Once the back is chalked, place the map in the position where you’d like it on your wood pieces, inside your frame.
I usually tape my paper down onto the surface so it doesn’t wiggle during the next step.
Use a pen to apply pressure over what you want to transfer onto the wood.
This gives you the chalk guidelines you will need for the next step.
In order to cover over the chalk lines, I used a Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Marker.
And…done with project #1!
Onto the dresser…
While at my friend’s house this summer, I noticed a garage sale down the street. I instantly spotted this cutie:
It was a little rough around the edges, but for a $20 price tag, I was confident I could make it beautiful again. A great deal of the trim work was busted off or damaged, so I pried the parts off that weren’t salvageable, and got to work sanding (aka: my least favorite part of the process).
When I was surveying this beauty before I purchased it, I noticed the bottom pieces of the dresser had detached from one another, but it was an easy fix with some wood glue and a clamp.
I was given a paint sprayer and shelter by HomeRight, and after using them to refinish this dresser, I can honestly say they are well worth the investment. The sprayer and shelter saved so much time and energy–and created a beautiful brush-stroke-free finish.
I used General Finishes Lamp Black and sealed it with GF Flat Out Flat. I am a huge General Finishes fan, but after using the Flat out Flat, –for the money, I would probably still stick to my favorite polycrylic to seal my pieces in the future. Both of the products I used sprayed very nicely out of the sprayer.
For the legs of this piece, I wanted to go with some variation, so I used my favorite stain, found here.
I cannot talk about this stain enough. I have used it on countless pieces, and it gives the most beautiful, smooth finish. I just love it.
Just look at the comparison of before to after. The second picture doesn’t even have a sealant on it yet. It’s that beautiful of a finish.
I hope this inspires you to look at garage sale furniture in a new way. Much of it is loaded with potential.
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GIVEAWAY ALERT!! I am clearing stuff out of our current home renovation–and this map of the USA needs to find a new home. Do you want it? Simply leave a comment saying, “I want it” on this post (not on Facebook because I can’t see all of those comments). The only catch is you must be willing to pick the map up in Fredericktown, Ohio because I don’t want to ship this one. Thanks for reading!
******UPDATE*****Lora won the painting. Thanks so much to everyone who played!