Friday, November 2, 2012

Chicken Fight?

I find some weird stuff at garage sales, I'll admit it. Most of the time, you never know the story behind someone is giving away, nor do you really want to.

Enter a g-sale I hit up a couple weeks ago and found (what I thought was) a cute side table.
The doors has a sort of mesh wiring on them and folded down to access a little storage bin.  Thinking it would be cute to fill it with colored binding books or something, the lady in charge of the sale walks over, and very officially says "Yea, you can put a whole chicken in there"... ... ... I'm sorry, what?

I kinda smiled but Im sure my facial expressions read "WTF did you just say?" because she started to ramble "Well, that's what my husband said.  Since that's chicken mesh wire on the front of the doors, it was obviously meant to hold chickens.".... oh please, go on....

"We never put any chickens in it though.  I wanted to raise chickens in the back yard and that why my husband bought it for me, but we never did.".... ... ... (insert my kindest blank stare here)... seriously! What was I supposed to say?!... ...  She continued, "Roosters. It's because roosters are too loud. We tried to put my dog in it once, but he didn't like it.  I don't think it was meant for dogs."

After continuing the conversation for a bit and assuring her that I would probably use it as a side table, not for dog storage, the story alone made it worth the $5 I paid for it.

So I took it home, looked it over, and tried to decide what best to do with my new "chicken storage unit".
 One of the things that first drew me to it was the fact that it was made 100% out of untreated wood... perfect for staining!

So I took all the hinges and doors off... making sure to keep all my hardware in a plastic bag so not to lose any small pieces.
 Even though the wood was already untreated, I wanted to give it a good sand down just to prep it for staining.
I think I used a 160 grit to ensure a nice even finish.
 And the doors...
 After all was said and done and wiped clean, I treated the wood with a pre-stain conditioner.
 I used an old rag and put it on following the grain of the wood.
 After about 10 minute of letting it dry. I wiped down any excess and prepared my stain.

Since this table chicken coop was going in the sunroom (aka Chris's man cave) I know I wanted something dark and manly which is why I chose an Ebony stain...

Can you tell we've used it once or twice before?

Anyway, it was getting late, so while the stain sat, I made a run to Home Depot.
 The main reason for my little shopping trip, was that one of the wire fencing things was missing on the bottom door.
  But when I got to Home Depot, I was a little let down at the price to just get ONE 6x10 square... I would have to buy a roll for $9.77...
Also notice how it was improperly labeled "Hardware Cloth"... not "Chicken coop wire".... psh,  get your stuff together Home Depot.
I convinced myself that I would do other projects with it "sometime" down the road and the $10 wasnt too bad... The guys at Home Depot were even nice enough to cut it to size for me!!
I could see a late night trip to the ER if I would have had to cut it myself... that stuff it sharp!! (I guess to keep all those dangerous, wild chickens in line)
 Since I didnt want the bright silver to constrast with my newly stained dark wood, I decided to spray paint the wiring to match my goldish-bronze hardware. Unfortunately, they didnt make the specific color that I wanted, so I found two that I liked which I figured I could mix together.
I love the name of the one on the left... Champagne mist...It sounds like the name of really classy stripper perfume.
Next item on my little shopping list was new drawer knobs.  The only thing that made this tricky was the fact that the knobs previously on my little coop were ones that screwed in through top of the knob into the wood... not screwed in from the back of the wood into the knob.

Here's a zoomed in, blurry picture of the knob with the screw in the middle to give you a better idea.
I found some knobs that I really like for only $1.29 each, but sadly, they wouldnt work since they would screw in from the back.
Just when I had almost given up hope, a little Home Depot angel name Marcus spoke to me and found a solution to my problem!
These hanger bolts would screw into the back of my new pulls and turn it into a forward facing screw!
Best $1.40 money could buy...

I happily skipped back home and took my project in the garage since it was getting dark out and its still hot as hell here since apparently Texas, nor all 10 billion mosquitoes, got the memo about it being Fall.

I preped all my wire racks for a good spray painting and went to town...
 First, with a layer of Rustic Mist... Followed by a dash of Champagne mist to give it a bit more shine.
 In the 10 minutes I was out there, I was bitten at least 27 times and decided to call it a night.

The next day, I made sure to give my new table a nice heavy coat of Polyurethane so we could put drinks and what-not on top of it without having to worry.
Remember: Stains get an OIL based poly coat... Paint gets WATER based.
 Still itching and learning my lesson from the day before, I took the rest of my project inside... (yay inside crafts! Chris loves it when I bring projects inside!)

First step was simply using a staple gun to reattach my wire gating.

Flipped it over and put on the new knob... ... ... sweet.
 Next was just reattaching the hardware...
 And putting the babe back together...
 UGH! I love it!

I went to the sunroom and put it into place in between the two chairs I made.
 I love that it darkens up the room a bit... makes it a touch more "manly".
Here's an upclose pic for ya.
 I kinda like that I didnt stain the inside of the little cubbies... I feel like it gives it some depth.  Although, over time, Im sure we will fill them with books, magazines, TV controllers and whatnot.

Here's the Before and after...

Quite the change from the "Chicken coop" huh?  I dont plan on trying to put Gus inside (or any other living animal for that matter) but I sorta giggle every time I pass it and think of the awesome conversation I had with that lady.

So what do you think?! Like it? Do you have any fun/random/strange/awesome garage sale stories to share? I would love to hear them!




  1. I love, love, love it!! great job!

  2. LOOKS GREAT!!! I would have thought that it was a pantry cabinet....ya know the ones that hold tators, onions and such. Guess that just goes to show ya!

  3. You are hilarious! Pretty great at restoring chicken coops apparently too!

  4. Love it! What an original piece! Very nice work :)

  5. Haha! I have this EXACT same piece in my house and have had it for 30+ years. It's definitely one of my favorites. And don't worry - we don't keep chickens in it! It houses cookbooks!

  6. I just found your blog today and LOVE it! My husband and I just closed on our early 1960's house in Richardson and move in this weekend. I stumbled on your blog while I was looking at the Back Alley Furniture facebook page.

    1. AH! Back Alley is awesome!!! HIGHLY recommended!! Richardson is amazing... I hope you enjoy it! Do you plan on starting a blog?

  7. gah! it looks awesome! so rustic with its new finish! perfectly done.

  8. Turned out fantastic. Great tutorial too. Thanks for joining TTT. Hgus, Marty

  9. Just stopping by to invite you to My Wednesday Linky party.

  10. Yay! A Texas blogger. I don't think that's a chicken coop but rather a potato and onion bin. It looks great!


  11. LOVE your new chicken coop storage!! What a funny story!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  12. Wow, great job on the coop! That project certainly isn't for "chickens"... thanks for coming and saying hi over at "my place"! Here's to not getting abducted on cra cra!!!

  13. OMGosh! That was one funny story! I love your little "chicken coop". You did an amazing job on it! Thank you for sharing. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  14. I love it! I hunting for old chicken coops now so your post caught my eye! Love it! That was a fabulous find!
    Thanks for linking up this week!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  15. I so enjoyed reading your adventure with the "chicken coop"! It turned out great by the way. I think every room needs at least one dark piece to ground it.

  16. Oh my goodness! I love your blog and this piece! The story behind it of course is great too. I think it needs a ceramic or pottery chicken to go in the bottom "coop", LOL!
    Thanks for sharing,

  17. I'm pretty sure it's a vegetable bin for things like potatoes, apples and onions that don't really need refrigeration. At least that's what mine was until we started storing coffee in it. Take a look: Yours looks great. Jo @ Let's Face the Music

  18. Very cute! I think I would have added a cute scrapbook paper to the inside back and side panels for a splash of color. But I would love a find like that.

  19. A lovely makeover and a new life !
    Have a nice weekend !

  20. I really like the look of chicken wire in front of the doors. It's funky. Thank you for sharing it on our blog at the Wednesday linky party!

  21. I'd like to invite you to join me at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

    I hope to see you there!
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  22. Nice looking project! Possibly could be used for hamsters?

  23. Very nice!! I want one! Lol... Although it's not a chicken coop, it's an onion and potato bin....


Comments make my heart happy... and I read every ONE of them... thank you so much for taking time to make my day!