Remove Tarnish From Silver and Metals

In my last post, I talked about my recent vintage salvage where I bought a vanity tray and jewelry tower from an antique market. Both items were beautiful, but needed a bit of TLC and a good cleaning. The tray was so dirty, you couldn’t even tell there was a mirror underneath all the dirt! I struggled to clean the rust off the edges of the mirrored vanity tray, and had to resort to Pinterest for some help. (Although these photos aren’t the best representation of how dirty the tray really was when I bought it, I wanted to show the tarnished edges before this cleaning process).

Dirty Before Photos

I found this Pinterest post about removing tarnish, and decided to try it. Here is my step by step tutorial on how to clean a tarnished item!

Items you will need:

  • Aluminum foil
  • 1/2 cup Baking soda
  • Hot water
  • Plastic container or bowl

Step 1: Grab a plastic container or bowl large enough, and line the bottom with aluminum foil.

Step 2: Place the container in the sink, and set the tarnished item in the foil lined container.

Step 3: Pour in 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda into the container (I used 1 cup), and make sure that your water is boiling hot when you add it into the container.

Step 4: Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, and you should see dirt beginning to float around. I used a toothbrush to try and scrub more tarnish off, but it didn’t work too well.

Step 5: If the tarnish doesn’t all come off, grab some more aluminum foil and use it to clean it some more. Follow my video below!

Step 6: Fully rinse the item in warm water, and wipe dry with a clean cloth!

 

Vintage Vanity Finds

As you all know, vintage shopping and antiquing have become one of my most recent hobbies. I’ve gone to the majority of local antique malls, garage sales, estate sales, and other similar stores several times, and I was ready to visit a new place to find treasures.

About 15 minutes away from my house, lies a charming historic city known as Cedarburg. It is home to many little specialty stores, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, and is just very unique. They also frequently have a variety of festivals that are recommended on the “things to do in Wisconsin” search, (especially to those visiting from out of state). I have always heard about Maxwell Street Days as a major attraction, but I had no idea what it was.

It was probably a good thing that I didn’t know much about it before, because I would have spent tons of money and several days there! Maxwell Street Days brings together hundreds of vendors from across the state that sell antiques, crafts, and other unique items. I could have gotten lost for hours if I had gone without my friend Leah, I’ve never seen so many vendors and goodies!

I have been searching for a mirrored vanity tray for quite some time now, but have found too many of them to be overpriced and not what I was looking for. I walked up to a vendor with several piles of “junk” containing mannequin legs, tools, broken items, and miraculously, a very dirty mirrored vanity tray! The lady was selling it for $8, but I bargained it down to $3! All it needed was some TLC and a good cleaning! (I wish I would have taken a picture of how dirty it really was before I started washing it down because you couldn’t even tell it was a mirror underneath.) There will be another blog soon on how to clean the rust and dirt off of it well since silver polish didn’t work!

I also have been looking for a jewelry tray/tower, not necessarily vintage, but just one in general. I have found several tutorials on how to make my own with candle sticks and plates from the dollar store. Luckily, I found one at Maxwell Street days for $10, and negotiated to buy it for only $5! Again, it just needed some cleaning and it would be perfect for my room! All I did was use an ‘all metal’ cleaner and a cloth to clean off the grime.

After Cleaning:

I love these new additions to my vanity! I use the vanity tray for my perfume and a vintage Chanel powder I inherited from my Grandma. The jewelry tray is perfect for small items like rings and bracelets. I would include earrings, however, I cannot wear earrings anymore.

DIY Chalk Paint

As many of you know, I have been painting a lot of furniture this summer for my future apartment (wherever that may be…still waiting on jobs). With that, I have been doing a lot of research on popular painting techniques that give a furniture a vintage look. The first technique that I used, was written in one of my previous posts for a coffee table that I painted.

With several other pieces of furniture still set aside, I took the time to watch a variety of Youtube videos and read a bunch of blogs on refurbishing furniture. One of the more popular techniques I came across, was to use chalk paint. Chalk paint gives furniture more of a matte finished look, and I personally love everything online that I have seen painted in it. The most popular and well known brand is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, however, it is extremely expensive. One quart starts at about $35, which is extremely expensive. I refused to pay this much for a small amount of chalk paint, so I did some research and found several DIY chalk paint recipes and tutorials.

I found several recipes online, and the best one came from Pinterest (click here to view tutorial). It worked extremely well and I was very pleased with my results. Follow the tutorial from the recipe linked above. I listed the chalk paint ingredients below and included where I bought them and for how much (although they can be bought elsewhere and at different costs).

Recipe calls for:

  • Plaster of Paris, bought from Michael’s$6
  • Valspar paint sample in Soft Panther color (ID: VRO88A), bought from Ace Hardware$6.50
  • SC Johnson furniture wax, bought from Ace Hardware$8
  • Foam roller for cabinets, bought from Ace Hardware$3.50
  • Water
  • Plastic container and spoon for mixing and storing the chalk paint
  • Furniture to paint

How to Apply the Chalk Paint:

After learning how to make my own chalk paint, I learned how to apply the paint. I followed the youtube video tutorial seen below. Note-This girl works for a store that makes their own chalk paint and wax, I just followed the tutorial and used my own chalk paint and wax that I had from the recipe above.

What I LOVE about chalk paint:

  • No need to sand down your furniture before
  • Dries faster than regular paint
  • The matte finished look to it
  • The wax goes on super easy and looks/feels better than using a polyurethane semigloss finish

Stay tuned for a tutorial on how my chalk painted furniture turned out in another post coming soon!

 

 

Old Furniture to Refurbish

Back on my garage sale hunting, rummaging, thrifting game this past weekend, and I found a few winners! I am moving soon, and went searching for some furniture, particularly a coffee table and some end tables. I plan on painting them with an antique look!

Find #1

I found this end table/coffee table at Goodwill for $13. I thought it was so unique and different from every other coffee table I had been looking at. I really wanted one that was different than the standard flat, short coffee table and was so excited to find this! Plus my favorite part about it is that it opens up for storage!

Find #2

I found this gorgeous tall table that used to be a sewing table that opens up. I won’t be unfolding it at all when I use it, but still good looking! I found this gem for $5 at a garage sale! I think I am going to use it as a small table for the entry way into my apartment.

Now time for me to paint them!