A Little Claire-ification

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31 Days To An Organized Home: Day 28 – Restoring The Card Catalog (Part 2)

on October 28, 2012

Welcome!  This is Day #27 of my “31 Days To An Organized Home” challenge.  If you missed it, you can catch up with Day #1 here!


I am circling back to a piece that I love – our antique card catalog.  So much potential and sooo many little drawers to organize.   I am calling this “Part 2” for two reasons.  The first is that I already mentioned this piece in my “Restoring Something Old” post a few weeks back, basically showing some pictures and saying that I would be restoring it later this month (It’s 10/28.  It’s later. The clock is ticking.)  The second reason will be revealed towards the end of this post.  And it’s a good one, so stick with me here.

In that earlier post I had mentioned that this piece was salvaged (basically out of a school dumpster) by my now retired teacher Mom about 20 years ago.  I just love it and yet it has been very neglected over the years.  A few more “Before” images before we jump in:

The front:

The top:

And a side view:

I had (very sloppily) painted it white some 18-20 years ago.  Then about 5 years ago I decided to paint the legs blue and we started stripping the paint off of the top section around that same time.  Then we just got sidetracked and never came back to it.

Now, you should know that my love affair with aqua / robin’s egg blue / light turquoise knows no bounds.  I will likely have an entire post with all of my favorite things and design ideas that include this color at some point very soon and yet… I’ve decided to go a different color route with the card catalog this time.  But, make no mistake, I could change my mind and re-paint at any moment.   This fact is not lost on The Husband, who had been sanding away for about two hours at the time this photo was taken.  😉

Aside from the bulk of this piece, fifteen little drawers take an exceptionally long time to sand.  I once again may have bitten off too much for one day.  Oops.

Two drawers before and after sanding:

Yes, I realize that this reemphasizes my sloppy white paint job back when I was young and impatient (now I’m just old(er) and impatient).  If The Husband weren’t taking charge of the prep, it would already be painted and back inside at this point.  And it also wouldn’t turn out as well.   What a difference a sander and taking a little time can make.  I’ll keep praying to be more patient (that will make my Mom happy too).

Speaking of the drawers (oh yes, the “organization” part!), we use this piece for all kinds of little storage, but it’s gotten a little out of control over the years.  Here are the “Before” pictures of the drawers starting with the top row:

And the middle:

And the bottom:

Now that’s a whole lot of random right there.   I knew before starting this project that at least half of what was in there could probably  Just.Go.Away.

Oh, but I was mistaken – it was more like 75%.  Absolutely useless things taking up space.  Phone chargers for phones we haven’t owned in years, random parts to things we also either no longer own or that we don’t need to save, Many duplicate school and office supplies, etc.

I am surprised we didn’t find Jimmy Hoffa.

So I worked on going through the drawer contents and the writing part for the better part of the afternoon, and I came back expecting that the paint would be dried and that we could reassemble and move forward with the “After” photos.

By this point the Husband had the first coat of paint on the base and the second on the top section and he was still finishing the sanding of the drawers (which he swears entailed removing the hardware and “doing it the right way”).  Pfffft.  That wasn’t my plan.  MY plan was to get this finished and posted today.

After the drawers were all finally sanded and had their first coat of paint, “Mr. Patient-Pants” finally gave me “the look” and closed up shop so that the paint could really dry (“the right way”) overnight.  Humbug.

Of course he’s right, though.  We can’t put the hardware back on yet.  I will not have my “After” picture this evening.

At that point I came back to my computer to sulk for a minute (or ten).  Always attractive.  But (insert whiny voice) this was the post I was working on and the project isn’t done so… what now?

While “sulking”, I popped over to another blog that I love and found this golden little gem and (somewhat sheepishly) remembered that sometimes it just can’t get done in a day.  Or even two.  Jules over at “Pancakes & French Fries” (and her Laundry Room adventure) is the second reason this post is now called “Part Two”.   Her blog is great (and her Husband’s reaction sounds familiar…).  😉  You should definitely check it out.

So at the end of the day, it’s all good.  There will indeed be a “Part 3” to the Card Catalog Saga tomorrow. Life will go on.

Any furniture restoration stories or thoughts on this project will most likely help this Mama’s sanity.  I like to keep things in perspective so your stories and comments below are VERY welcome!

Sweet dreams all and I hope that this coming week brings you much inspiration, many beautiful moments and a lot of laughs.




Linking up to:


6 responses to “31 Days To An Organized Home: Day 28 – Restoring The Card Catalog (Part 2)

  1. Jules says:

    Haha! I love it, Claire. I’m sure you’re not surprised, but I would have wanted to put the handles on before the paint cured, too. 🙂

    • Claire says:

      LOL – no surprise there. Why does it have to take so long?!?
      I hope you are feeling better now and I am so glad you were able to stop by to see the post!
      Looking forward to the “Laundry Room Reveal”. 😉
      – C

  2. Super cute! I’d love to have my own card catalog piece some day – – though it’s clear a lot of elbow grease is needed to upcycle it, from the sound of your post, it’s totally worth it! Thanks for sharing. Found you at the Alderberry Hill linky party. -Lauren

    The Thinking Closet

    • Claire says:

      Thanks Lauren! I am so glad you stopped by. The card catalog has been a challenge but it’s all assembled so hopefully the new post will be up soon.
      Glad to have found your blog as well! 🙂

  3. Rebecca Owen says:

    I have a card catalog sitting outside (covered), and i don’t yet have the guts to restore it! i want it to be perfect! Found you at Alderberry Hill. There’s a party at my place if you feel like linking up! I’d LOVE to have a card catalog at my party… 🙂 jedandivy.blogspot.com

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