Monday, September 22, 2014

Coat Check

Just over a week ago, I wore a winter coat and gloves when we took our daily walk
and this past weekend it was warm enough for shorts and sandals!
Typical Minnesota weather.

I planned to stain window sashes and sew curtains during my vacation,
but I had a bit of a setback while staining the windows,
so I put the whole business aside until the noxious odor subsides.

Imagine you're standing on a ladder, carefully staining window muntins,
(they're part of the window and not removable), humming along to the radio,
 and enjoying the pleasant breeze coming through the window,
when the pint of dark walnut stain you're using somehow
  drops to the floor!!!
Yup.  That's it in a dark walnut nutshell.

*FYI, Minwax oil based stain can be removed from:

freshly painted walls
recently painted doors
crisp white trim
brand new windows
repainted furniture
refinished hardwood floors
human legs, feet, and hands

All it takes is plenty of patience and a gallon of mineral spirits......
  and a window left open for the next month or two.

Well, after that fiasco,  I set my sights on transforming
 a different kind of window.  I almost chucked the project out of sheer frustration,
 but being stubborn by nature, I was determined to finish it no matter how long it took.

I picked up this door/window? a few years ago because I liked the
beautiful wood finish and thick beveled glass, although in the end
I chose to display the honey colored finish on the back side.

Here's the inspiration photo for what I wanted to create:

General and Fancy Drapery Reverse Painted Glass Sign « Griffin Trading Company
Reverse painting on glass by the Griffin Sign Company.

After several unsuccessful attempts with paint markers, stencils, and spray paint,
I resorted to hand painting the letters with a flat artist brush.  I painted a reverse image
of the letters on the back side of the glass with 3 coats of metallic gold craft paint
followed by 2 more coats of harvest gold paint to make the letters opaque.

The last step takes a leap of faith.  After the letters have cured a day or two,
paint right over them with black craft paint.  Don't work the paint too much on the 
first coat or you'll pull up the letters you've painstakingly painted!

If I get tired of it, the paint can easily be removed with a razor.
How do I know this?   Because I've already done it
3 times!!!

No display is complete here at 911 without adding an item
with questionable wiring, so I propped my deer lamp on the shelf.
I glued leftover fabric from the kitchen onto an inexpensive shade from Lowe's
to dress it up a bit and covered the raw edges with rick rack.

The black baby shoes belonged to an old neighbor.

I think this was the very first alarm clock I ever bought,
way back in the early days of our marriage.  Speaking of.....
we celebrated our 35th anniversary yesterday!  We spent the day in Duluth
on Saturday and I came home with 2 new pets.

I don't think the cage is old, but it's cute.  The birds?
My guess is vintage Christmas tree ornaments.
Look how happy they are basking in the sunshine!

Well, I tested out the lamp last night, and...............

It works!

I won't go into detail about what happened to the first light bulb when I plugged it in,
but from now on the cord will be safely tucked behind the sign.

Thanks for stopping by!

*I'm joining the parties at:
Mod Vintage Life Mod Mix Monday
Cozy Little House Tweak it Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style Wow us Wednesday
Revisionary Life Thrifty Life Thursday
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson Share Your Cup Thursday
Funky Junk Interiors Party Junk


  1. Oh my goodness, I can't imagine how you felt when that stain went everywhere. What a mess that must have been. The little window sign is very clever. You are so talented at putting things together. I should hire you to come down and put a little style in my house!

  2. Oh dear! No pun intended! What a horrible fiasco! I would have said a few choice words

    LOVE that sign!!! Everything you do is awesome

    Happy Fall!

  3. Oh Vickie, I would have just stroked out with that mess! Hardwood floors, freshly painted doors & walls, oil-based? Did you call 911??? Wow, really, you should maybe write a post on exactly how you managed that one.
    Your sign is the bomb - I love old signage, and that's just a perfect display. The comment on the questionable wiring - I was laughing, but am surprised I haven't caught my house on fire yet. And is there ANY shade that is inexpensive, really?
    Happy Anniversary! (I thought your birds were real, seriously).

  4. Your sign is fabulous, Vickie...of course, everything you do is!!
    I can just see me spilling a whole can of dark stain...yikes!! I think about that every time I get on a ladder with a can of paint in my hand.
    Mary Alice

  5. I don't know that I would have continued after spilling the can of stain.

    I love your sign and am trying to figure out a project where I can try the method.

  6. I love your sign, the shade, the lamp, the shoes....all of it!
    I don't think I would have recovered from a walnut stain spill, Vickie. No way.
    Hope you have a good week! I'm jealous that you have a breeze and open windows. :)

  7. Oh Vickie about the stain spilling. What a mess I feel for you. Glad you could get it all out. I love love the coat check sign how great is that. Great job now you need to make me one LOL! Love it.
    It is going to be 70's all week here and maybe even an 80 on Saturday. Yep I had on a coat last week too. We have the same crazy weather. Will savor every day this week of sunshine, windows open with breezes coming in. Have a great week.

  8. Happy Anniversary, Vickie! It sounds like you needed a special day away after the stain fiasco! How awful. The window sign turned out beautifully, your experimenting with methods paid off! Such a charming vignette!

  9. Hi Vickie, stain scares me as I am known to spill, stumble, and fall. Glad you got it fixed though. Questionable power cords on vintage lamps are normal here too. Love your entire vignette, Olive

  10. Hi Vickie, You are one talented lady~~~the coat check sign is fabulous!! Thanks for the How-too's.....I would be prone to follow your first one, mineral spirits and all! Sounds as if you kept your cool...that in itself says a lot! We'll not be defeated...We'll not be defeated....(that's an old christian hymn) couldn't help myself...that's what came to my mind about you tackling this project. Happy 35th!! That's so special ~~~Blessings~~~Roxie

  11. Hi Vickie, LOVE your sign!! I would be beyond crazy to drop dark stain all over. WOW I can just see it now. So glad you got it all removed. The bird cage is a treasure even if it's not vintage. The birds look real!!
    The little lamp is darling and I love the fabric on the shade. Sweet vignette.

    Wishing you a happy anniversary and many many more.

  12. You are so clever. The sign is adorable and so is the lamp.

  13. That sign turned out great! It's so professional looking. The whole vignette is very nice. Those birds looked so real, that I had to do a double take when you said you brought them home and they were just Christmas ornaments. They look so real! Glad that the stain came out! I would've cried if that happened to me.

  14. Love how the coat check turned out vickie! You find the cutest and most unusual things. Like that sweet deer lamp and those sweet, sweet birds!

  15. well you may have had a bumpy road getting there but it all turned out beautiful!! Love the birds too, at first I thought they were real!!!

  16. very cute sign. My heart sunk when I read about you spilling the stain. So glad you were able to clean it all up but I know the smell was wonder you quit on your project. I would have too.

  17. OMGosh, I can't imagine cleaning up that mess! Ugh! Being a painting contractor, I have to say I was lucky that never happened to me!

    Love the sign, you did a fabulous job.

  18. UGH what a mess to have to deal with and the odor to boot :(

    That sign looks great and I was holding my breath about the lamp thinking you'd have it catch on fire or some other horrible fiasco / mess : ) Whew :)

  19. WOW...nice hand skills on the lettering, Vickie! Your coat check window looks great, and I love the quirky vignette! Quirky vignettes are some of my favorite things in the world. :) Glad you got the stain cleaned up!

  20. Oh no! And I thought a jar of pasta sauce was bad. Yikes! The sign is lovely. Congratulations on your 35th!

  21. Your weather sounds a lot like ours in northern IL (we've used both the heat and AC this past week) though no winter coats or gloves just yet, thank goodness. I *love* your deer lamp. The black checked shade you made is just perfect. And how cute is that bird cage?! At first glance, I thought the birds were real.

  22. I can imagine how you felt when that stain spilled. No, REALLY, I can. Wish I couldn't. But let me just add you're lucky it was just a pint :/.

    We share a lot of blog friends Vickie and I figured it was long overdue to pay you a visit. Love your sense of humor and writing style (and your projects ain't too shabby either). That little bird cage is precious, and I too thought they were real at first!

  23. your spill made me cringe, vickie. so sorry! as always, the window redo is fabulous and the lamp couldn't be cuter:) and happy belated anniversary!

  24. I love your coat check sign! Very fun. The walnut stain spill, however, will make me think to be extra careful next time I use it or touch it. Even if it comes out!

  25. Dark stain - a nightmare, plus a huge amount of hard work to do the clean up. You are the queen of the big paint/stain accident story. Loved your post today. Lots to think about and lots of goodies to see. Loved your glass reverse lettered and painted black sign. Pinned.

  26. Hi Vicki! So happy I didn't miss this post...I love it!

  27. I know it took awhile and lots of work but it was worthy it. Your Coat Check sign turned out awesome. And love the whole vignette. Happy Anniversary Vickie! May you enjoy many, many more. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

    Hugs and Kisses

  28. oh my gosh. I'm surprised I haven't had a paint or stain spill yet, I'm don't even put the lid back on half the time. And happy 35th anniversary to you! My god did you get married when you were twelve? You look way to young for a 35th anniversary :)

  29. It looks great! And oh, how I love those precious little black baby shoes! What treasures! Hugs, Diane

  30. Vickie, what a disaster! Hope you can breath again-lol! Love your window and of course the whole vintage vignette!! :)

  31. And back to chilly again tomorrow. Maybe I wouldn't mind if I had a cute coat sign like that.

  32. Hi Vickie! It's always such a pleasure to find a new post from you! I adore your little pink clock with the birds, it has decided me that I need to start collecting clocks, which is kind of sad news, actually, considering how many collections I already have! Anyway, just wanted to say how much I enjoy your posts, and how much I appreciate your style, execution, and especially how you use color which is always a complete inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing with the rest of us!

  33. I think I need some black baby shoes...Thank you for sharing this week at Revisionary Life Thrifty Life Thursday. :)

  34. Love the display, I think it was well worth you time and effort. It looks amazing!

  35. Love your little lampshade with the rickrack trim!

  36. first of all, I thought those were real birds, but was concerned because it's such a small cage...ok, I read all of your post, and then cannot believe you hand painted that framed glass sign. Just think, you could always go into a new line of work, sign painter and electrician! xoxo

  37. You must have had a steady hand to paint those letters, they're perfect, what a great sign.
    My projects are piling up because I haven't done anything for ages, and in the pile is a couple of old windows - food for thought !


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