Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Junk Stalker

That's me... I admit it. I am a stalker of old junk, discards and rejects. Sometimes it's warranted, even before the stuff makes its way to a trash pile. 

This was one of those occasions.

Exhibit A - What... you wouldn't have stalked this?

Ain't it a beaut? I saw it amongst a bunch of junk up against the side of a house I pass each day going in and out of my neighborhood. I thought to myself [with a certain little light igniting inside], why is that stuff outside and sitting up against the wall? [excitement building] Are they moving? [wonder in my eyes] or could it be... [gleefully rubbing my hands together...] "did they just clean out the garage or the house?" [heart beating quickly] Because you know what that means, right? That stuff was likely going to the road! Yes! 

My eyes went wide at the thought of it. It wasn't yet bulk trash day and I figured just maybe they'd done some work but couldn't put the stuff out for a couple of days. I noticed the junk because of "Exhibit A" there in the pile, silently trying to get my attention and begging me to look beyond the grime, that embarrassing topper and the surrounding company - and I saw the potential there beneath it.

Aside from the fact that it looks like a little cart with some sort of awkward plank attached to the top, I thought that if for nothing else, I might salvage that little ladder part. One could always use a little ladder, right? So I tucked the sight of this into my storehouse of salvage memories (which is thankfully far more secure than a lot of my other memories - except the childhood ones, of course - but that's a story for another day) and I drove on and waited for trash day, craning my neck each time I drove by to make sure the pile was still intact, breathing a little sigh of relief each time it was. I had this fear that another junk stalker might snag it first. 

Now you know I'm delusional, right?

On trash day's eve I got my son, who was home for a visit, to go on a junk adventure with me to see if the people had put the pile of junk to the road. He surprised me and gladly obliged. He had been interested in the stories of my finds and I think he was curious about actually going out and really getting something from someone's trash. 

Sure enough, I called it! This little beauty was lying there half buried among the rest of the unwanted items, which included a bunch of huge mirrors that I ended up having to leave behind due to space considerations. However, I got a bonus I hadn't seen when everything was waiting in the side yard pre-trash day pile.

The base was broken, but so what...

...look at that color and those cool rusty hooks!

And so this turquoise gem came home with me as well. The best part of our junk adventure was having Cael help me with the somewhat embarrassing (the homeowner came out while we were dissecting her trash.) and dirty work of scouring the pile and getting the stuff in the car! 

It's always more fun and less embarrassing to excavate with a junk buddy.
Once I got it home, the plywood was removed (it had been screwed into the handles, leaving holes -which I never filled - typical). I got to cleaning the cart, and wow, was it filthy.

It makes me feel good to see the half-clean side against the still dirty side and to document the work that went into my finds. Unfortunately, cleaning wasn't enough for this. It needed to be refinished or painted. At the time, my go-to paint was a very dark brown. 

So it got a few coats of that and looked pretty spiffy, all in all, like a dark wood. Like a proper little cart.
My vision was to have casters on the legs and make it a rolling cart. The holes are already there at the bottom of the legs, but I was never able to find the kind of wheels I wanted with a small enough prong to fit. So, until I come across some, my little "cart" remains immobile.

Here's how it looked during the first stage of it's new life at my house.  But with all the aqua painting going on, the brown got a little dejected. It had begun to feel like an outcast again, even here in its new home.

Yes, life and aqua paint got in the way,
 and this tray table once again took on a new life and a new colorful outlook.

As is often the case when painting things like this with legs (which includes chairs), I had to paint it a few times to find the color that looked right. On this one, I ended up finally using the last of the aqua mix I created for the tables on the frame and legs and one of my other aqua colors on the tray area, just for a little interest. 

I considered painting a lighter aqua design over the paint on the tray section, but these decisions take time. Much time. I'm no artist, so I would have to come across just the right design and work up the nerve to mess with it. I'm in no hurry, and I kinda like it like it as is too.

Turns out the aqua room is even more aqua-filled than pictures previously let on.

And do you notice anything else? 

I removed the ladder-shelf-thingamajig. Don't the legs looks long and graceful now? I thought the ladder-shelf looked odd attached, so it has been removed and painted its first obligatory wrong color of paint. It will eventually be repainted (probably a bunch of times before I get it right) and who knows what kind of a life it will be living in the near future. 

And, no, I didn't fill in the holes where the ladder thingy had been attached either. I know. I need to work on that.

There you have it. The result of junk-stalking the neighbors trash. 

It is a nice addition that looks meant for my house, don't you think? Just wait 'til it gets a set of wheels!

So tell me...have you ever stalked the junk before it got to the trash pile?
I'll be at:
Knick of Time Tuesday @ Knick of Time
Be Inspired @ Elizabeth & Co.
Craft & Tell @ Cherished Bliss
Show Me What You've Got @ Our Delightful Home
Metamorphosis Monday @ BNOTP
Motivate Me Monday @ Keeping It Simple
Craft-O-Maniac Monday @ Craft-O-Maniac
The More The Merrier @ DIYHSH
Manic Monday @ Serendipity And Spice
Open House Sunday @ Mod Vintage Life
Mop it Up Monday @ ISBMTF
Nifty Thrifty Sunday @ Nifty Thrifty Things
Sunday Show Off @ Twigg Studios
Say G' Day @ Natasha in Oz
Saturday Nite Special @ Funky Junk Interiors
Frugalicious Friday @ Finding Fabulous
Get Schooled Saturday @ Too Much Time
Show & Tell Saturday @ Be Different Act Normal
Simple & Sweet Fridays @ Rooted in Thyme
Furniture Feature Friday @ Miss Mustard Seed
What Have You Redone @ Redoux

Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Inspiration Friday @ At The Picket Fence
Fridays Unfolded @ Stuff & Nonsense
Vintage Inspiration @ Common Ground
Treasure Hunt Thursday @ FMFPTY
Live Laugh @ Live Laugh Rowe
Share Your Cup Thursday @ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
Creative Things Thursday @ The Vintage Farmhouse
Time Travel Thursday @ The Brambleberry Cottage
Open House Party @ No Minimalist Here
Wednesdays Adorned From Above @ Adorned From Above
What's It Wednesday @ Ivy & Elephants
Terrific Tuesdays @ Adventures of a DIY Mom
All Star Block Party @ New House New Home New Life
Primp Your Stuff Wednesday @ Primp
Your Whims Wednesday @ My Girlish Whims
Share The Love @ Very Merry Vintage Style
Share It @ The Winthrop Chronicles
Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style


  1. I LOVE it! Good idea to remove the ladder. She fits right in, in your home! Xx

  2. I find myself always painting furniture white or black so I don't have to repaint when I change colors! Liz, your cart was two colors in one post! You are quick!

  3. Liz, put your big girl panties on and just march up to the door and tell them you want that thing on the side of their house. That's what I do. (Yes, my husband says someone is going to shoot me, but I am very non-threatening looking!)) Love its new and improved look. The legs are much sexier without the heaviness of the ladder shelf. Hope all is well with your family and the weather!

    Distressed Donna Down Home

  4. I am the same way! I'm always on the lookout for free junk. I love the new color. Your room looks like it came out of a magazine! I'd love for you to share this {and anything else you'd like} at my link party.

  5. Oh, Liz, I love how your cart turned out, especially after giving it some aqua paint. I noticed right away that the ladder shelf was gone. Very good move! It has great style!
    Thanks so much for stopping by,
    Mary Alice

  6. Love it! And the new color! Thanks for sharing at the All Star Block Party!


  7. Hi, Liz!!!
    I loved the cart and the paint color!
    I read your whole post, but did not understand why ou took the little ladder out?
    And YES, I have stalked junk (to my son's horror)at the curb or just outside! Today I missed a suitcase, because we could not figure it out if it was to give away or if the neighbour had just come from a trip and left that one at the curb (who knows, maybe he wheeled one in and was coming back for this one?)!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!!! Now when my son sees something at the curb, he just yells: No, NOOO!!! But I stop anyway!!

  8. Wow, I love this and I love the colors!
    Marcie @ www.IGottaTryThat.com

  9. It look so gorgeous - I love the colour your picked!


  10. Hi Liz - this is exactly the sort of thing I'm prone to.....love the hunt, love the process and love the finished results. I adore the turquoise on this table - it makes it look so retro yet fits in with your beachy style. Thanks for sharing it at the All Star Block Party!!

  11. Hi Liz,

    Your amazing! I love the cart. It looks fantastic now.


  12. That came out soooo great!! I was thinking on the first pic...that is going to look awesome without the weird top plank. And the aqua ... perfect!!!

    When I saw pics of the turquoise coat hanger I thought it was attached to the wall, that might look funky somewhere.

  13. I LOVE it! The color gave new life to your abandoned at the curb find! I think it is incredibly sweet that your son came with you! My family aids and abets me, too! True love♥

  14. Fabulous! You found a jewel hidden beneath all the junk! It looks beautiful in your house; totally belongs there!

  15. Great pieces. I love this post. I have a Blog Hop and I would love it if you would link this post. You can find it at
    It is called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Blog Hop.
    I hope to see you there. Have a great Day.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above

  16. Very cute... love the little table's slim profile! Awesome coat hanger too. Gotta love junk! :)

  17. Really cute!! I love that color! Especially next to your yellow chair. Nice!!

  18. Ha! You are so funny. My kiddos are so trained to look for junk now, it can be a little embarrassing sometimes;) You cart is so cute! Good Eye!

  19. "Stalking for junk". . . . .I like it! Now, I have a name for my favorite pastime!

  20. HI LIZ, THIS CORNER OF YOUR ROOM is very cute.

  21. Very, Very clever! The color is so perfect in your room. I need you to come shopping for junk. Thanks for stopping by. Have a fun week!


  22. I'm impressed by your energy and vision. Do tell the aqua paint name and brand. It seems to be THE popular color these days. Forget Panetone orange; long live aqua.

  23. Beautiful Blog, Liz!! Yes I can see we have very similar taste in projects and decor..So glad you stopped by Shoestring! Now I can follow you!!! Hugs!

  24. You totally crack me up!! I don't even know what day we have heavy trash pick up. But our neighborhood has backdoor pickup so it's hard to see what's going out. It looks awesome and I would never know where it came from if you hadn't filled me in!!

  25. LOL this stuff just amazes me

    The creativity and talent!

    When I was younger and raising my kids I used to refinish furniture or paint unfinished furniture ( and by the way you just need a kid to "distress" furniture, ha ha ) but this is above and beyond / AWESOME! :)

  26. Great finds! Love that table and the color you painted it. Worth any bit of embarrassment (been there too!) Thanks for linking up-

  27. I love the looks.... good job!!!!

    Thank you for linking up to the ALL STARS BLOCK PARTY!!!


  28. Ah! I love that color. It looks beautiful in your living room. I love it.

  29. I thought it was cute with the ladder attached... until I saw it without! Definitely a good call to remove it. I hate filling holes, too...!

  30. Gorgeous. I thought it was great before you painted it but it really is darling in aqua and that coat rack is worth stalking! Good job.

  31. Ps - went back to read older posts and had to become your follower! Stop by and say hello over at Dear Helen Hartman sometime.

  32. Love all your finds! The table is perfect with the new color, and I can't wait to see what you do with the coat rack. Have a great weekend!

  33. What a great find and remodel! Just love it in the aqua! Free things, rock, huh??

    Have a fab weekend!

  34. Stopping by for a visit from Miss Mustard Seeds today.
    I must say you did a fabulous upcycle! You're truly talented!

  35. oh my gosh, you have seriously restored it to a fabulous beauty! i wish i could "see" things more for the potential they have and not just what they "are." yesterday i bought a cart like yours (with casters!) and it's wicker, but i want to spray that puppy up in a bright green color. if only it wasn't so stinking hot out....

  36. Sweet little side table, love your aqua color choice!

    I just assumed we ALL stopped and picked up "good junk" from along side the road....my latest score was two wood and metal labratory chairs (awaiting painting) and a sweet little piano like padded bench on four lovely carved legs just begging for ASCP paint, wax and distressing.

    Small House / Big Sky Donna

  37. Amazing! Hard to recognize after revamping...

    I honestly didn't done it. It's hard to escavate junks in Sweden as we have gigantus containers and people junk their junks directly in there. However, I ask my neighbour who sold their houses if they have some old chairs or so.

    Happy w/end.

  38. Your table turned out great....I'm a sucker for the aqua/turquoise color too! I am currently carrying an aqua purse w/rhinestones for the summer. I am your newest follower and I invite you to swing by at Decorated Chaos and visit me, (and check out my purse too LOL). http://decoratedchaos.blogspot.com


  39. Great finds!!! I too love a good junk pile on the side of the road. My girls are at the age that they think they are going to die of embarrassment if I stop, so I just drive by. . . leaving the treasures for another fortunate soul! Your son gives me hope that one day my girls will go with me!

  40. I loved the table with the shelf and brown ... and without the shelf and aqua .. its just a cute little table. You did a great job!
    I was thinking If you had some plexiglass cut you could display black and white photos or old post cards under the glass. maybe some lovely fabric. I think you picked a winner with this little table ... it has a lot of charm. well at least it does now ... after you got done with it :)

  41. I love this. You have a great eye for what something has the potential to become!

  42. I love the table and color, as well as your entire space. I adore your kitchen table too, I love chunky legs on furniture. winks, jen

  43. Wow, that turned out fantastic! I lovelovelove that color.

  44. Gorgeous colour! Looks so awesome in your home.

    ~Steph @ Silver Boxes

  45. Love the color of this table! It is perfect next to your furniture. I love the look of your whole room!! : ) I'm you're newest follower and sharing this on my facebook! I have a link party going on now if you would like to share.

    Thanks so much!

  46. Stopping by to tell you this post is featured this week on Share the Love Wednesday at Very Merry Vintage Style! Stop by and grab a feature button when you have a chance & have a great 4th!

  47. Dear Liz,

    Thank you so much for linking with my Wednesday Adorned From Above Blog Hop last week. I have listed your posting as one of my featured links for this week.


    Grab the link below to show that you are a featured blogger on Wednesdays Adorned From Above Blog Hop.

    I am a featured blogger at Wednesday Adorned From Above Blog Hop

    Thank you again for participating, and I hope that you have lots of links for this week.

    Debi Bolocofsky

  48. It's really awesome, I love the color, it looks wonderful in your living room.

  49. I say keep on stalking the junk piles! And what a bright happy color!

  50. Liz, I love this!!! My dad is gone now, but my Uncle, the last living Lithuanian, told me that Liths are HUGE junk collectors...so we come by it genetically...LOL!!!
    Following you back


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