Vintage Card Catalog Makeover

Today, I am so excited to share my vintage card catalog makeover with you! Last month, I picked up a vintage card catalog for $20 at an estate sale. I blogged about the estate sale here in case you want to see all the awsomeness that I picked up. Structurally the piece was solid. Visually it was covered in layers and layers of brown paint- right down to the hardware. Very cool hardware I might add. If I am being honest, the card catalog was a cool piece and I would’ve brought it home even if it was in bad shape. I really try so, so hard to be more choosy about the pieces I bring home but then I see a cool piece and all my good intentions go right out the window.

I have to say, I am very impressed with my turn around time on my vintage card catalog makeover. Most of the time, I bring home my treasures, show them to you and tell you what I am going to do with them and then- crickets. Not this time though. This was not going to be another out of sight out of mind scenario.  I was in the middle of stripping the finish off our soon to be powder room vanity but I kept the card catalog in my sight line while I worked on the vanity. I could literally see the layers of brown paint taunting me out of the corner of my eye.

vintage card catalog makeover

I was dying to know what was under all those layers of paint especially on the hardware. I was hoping for brass pulls and raw wood that I could leave as is.  Antique or tarnished brass and unfinished wood are giving me all the feels lately- sigh…

vintage card catalog makeover

The pictures above are the only before pictures I could find. The pictures below are the only in progress pictures I took. Apparently I had a whole “before” and “in progress” photo shoot in my head but never actually took the pictures. So sorry, it is something I am working on.

vintage card catalog makeover

I used Citristrip to remove the layers of paint for the vintage card catalog makeover. It has a pleasant orange smell and can be used inside. It is also way less toxic and drippy than other furniture strippers.

vintage card catalog makeover using citri strip

 

I followed the directions and generously applied the Citristrip to the piece with an old paint brush. After about twenty minutes the paint started to bubble and I used a scraper to remove the paint. Before I go any further reading about stripping furniture is a lot nicer than actually stripping furniture. Smells like oranges, paint it on and scrape it off  sounds easy enough and it is but in real life, stripping is MESSY. No matter how hard you try stripping is a goopy messy experience and you will still need to do at least a little sanding as well. That being said, the finished product is so worth it. Take a look below:

vintage card catalog makeover

I was hoping for raw wood and brass and I got it- to a degree. I was able to strip the card catalog down to the raw wood. There were some scratches and dings that were hidden by the layers of paint but I think it adds to the character of raw wood.

vintage card catalog makeover

 

vintage card catalog makeover

I love the dove tail detail on the top. Do I wish it was on both sides? Yes. It just adds to the character of the piece.

vintage card catalog makeover

I removed all the paint from the hardware and while it was brass it was tarnished in a not good way. The back plates looked too brassy and some of the pulls were great – but not all of them. The stripped hardware did not add any character to the card catalog so I applied a couple of lite coats of antique brass spray paint and that did the trick. Spray painting the hardware brought out the character of the pulls and I love how they turned out. I thought about spraying the hardware black for more contrast but Big Daddy also liked the brass and you already know I am developing a thing for it. Antique brass spray paint it was.

vintage card catalog makeover

All I did inside the drawers was scrub them. Whatever was used to seal the inside was in good shape, not pretty but it will do. There was no way I was going to strip or sand inside the drawers.

vintage card catalog makeover

Since it is October and all the Halloween decorations are scattered all over my house (totally not exaggerating), I couldn’t not style the vintage card catalog for Halloween.

vintage card catalog makeover

No vintage card catalog makeover would be complete without one final before and after:

BEFORE:

vintage card catalog makeover

AFTER:

vintage card catalog makeover

What do you think of my vintage card catalog makeover? I love it! Even though I do not know exactly what I am going to do with it, or where I am going to put it, the card catalog is a versatile little piece with tons of character. The possibilities are endless: jewelry box, craft room or office organizer. It could be used on a buffet table to hold utensils and condiments. It would be fun to use for seating cards. Just decorating it for the seasons/holidays would be fun! My niece came over after school today and loved it! She thought it would be great for American Girl Dolls- too cute. Not bad for $20 and a little elbow grease.

 

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I’m sharing at:  My Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaCupcakes and Crinoline, Knick of TimeCreativity UnleashedCraftberry BushWaste Not Wednesday

Comments

  1. Holy %$#@##$%%! That turned into the coolest piece!! I’m glad you brought it back to it’s “natural” state.
    I am absolutely green with envy! Fabulous job!

  2. What an amazing transformation! I love it. And all of the possibilities…

  3. You really brought this card catalog back to life. I honestly thought it was a metal piece from the first image and when I saw the beautiful wood, I was amazed :) Awesome job!

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