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October 6, 2009

Tuesday’s Retro Guest – Sara’s Restoration of Her 1950s Shadowboxes!

I love these Retro Guest Tuesdays, because we all get to see the great projects everyone has been up to!  The rehab of these shadowboxes was so cool, and I am DYING over the finished product.  Fantastic job, Sara, and I love the color!

OK, so I picked these Shadowboxes up at an antique store recently, and as you can see they needed a ‘leetle’ bit of help! Oddly, I bought these at 2 different antique stores right next to each other. They are almost exactly a matched, mirror image, pair except the one on the right has a little pole holding up the upper shelf. I got them for $10 each, and I *think* I saw my Mom roll her eyes at me (just a little bit) when I picked them up.   🙂  I could not help myself though, I had to have them because I knew I could make them ‘all better’. I just  love that ridgy/grooved wood they used on a lot of this type of stuff back then too.

100_1979            100_1980







The Shadowbox with the red showing through was in the worst condition. All the white paint along the bottom was flaking off ( I think it was exposed to water at some point because I could see a faint water line) so I had to get off all the flaking paint that I could and kind of sand it down a bit. The other Shadowbox was filthy too, just no chipping paint! Yippee! So, I got them all prepped and ready to go and then I had to decide, hmmmmmmmm – what color should I paint these??? I could not go with boring old white, no way! So I thought about all the wild 50s colors I could paint these: red, pink, turquoise, yellow – nothing seemed right to me. Then I thought of my favorite swivel chair I bought at an Estate Sale, and the funky lime green/Chartreuse color. PERFECT! So I went with Rust-Oleum Key Lime Gloss!




So I painted, and I painted, and I painted, and I painted some more – then I went back to Home Depot for more paint – and paint, paint, paint,  annnnnnnd I had to go back one more time! It actually took 3 cans of paint to get a decent coverage on these shadowboxes. EEPS!  Hello, Home Depot! They must have thought I was tagging my neighborhood in my own special color of wacky green. I am now known at my local HD as “Sara the Key Lime  Tagger”. he  he!  You can see in the next pic why I needed a lot of paint, it seemed like the red kept showing through. Don’t want that!





I also had to paint glass backers for these shadowboxes. These both came originally with a back. One still had the original black painted glass back, so I could only assume the other one had a glass backer as well. One trip to Ace and we came home with our new glass backer! Since one was already painted black, it just needed a touch up over some scratched areas. Here I am getting ready to paint the clear glass.










And, here are the finished black glass backers!











Hooray! I am finished with the painting, and now they just have to finish drying – I only got in a little bit of trouble for painting part of the clothesline green too  :)! Oops!











And, here they are – the freshly painted and newly glass backed shadowboxes. Ta-Da!


 Here they are, finally hung on the wall, in all their kitschy glory! 100_0245 - Copy

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11 Responses to Tuesday’s Retro Guest – Sara’s Restoration of Her 1950s Shadowboxes!

  1. RetroRuth Reply

    October 6, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Oh my god! I love the way these look with the figures in them. And you totally can’t tell that they don’t match. In fact, I like the way they are a little different from each other when they are on the wall. Great job, and I am so jealous!

  2. sablemable Reply

    October 6, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    OMG, says sable from her sick bed! Those rock!

  3. Sara in AZ Reply

    October 6, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks so much Ruth! I really like the way these turned out too. I was surprised at how much work I had to do to get them ready for paint. Sanding, filling, gluing, etc….but I am really happy with the result. Now we will have to find you some shadowboxes!

  4. Sara in AZ Reply

    October 6, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Oh No Sable!!!! I hope you feel better soon 🙂 I am sending you ‘get well’ vibes ~~~~. Thanks though!

  5. Kelly Reply

    October 6, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Wow! Those couldn’t possibly look any nicer. I was really cheering when you said chartreuse! Fantastic. (and it never, ever takes one trip to Home Depot. I think that’s why they have candy bars at the registers.)

  6. Sara in AZ Reply

    October 6, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Kelly! Thanks so much!!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE chartreuse, it is such a great color. The Home Depot employees are now eyeing me suspiciously every time I go near the spray paint! 😉 Seems like my husband and I practically live there anyways, so it is good they have those candybars.

  7. Amy Reply

    October 7, 2009 at 4:06 am

    very nice and very retro!

  8. Sara in AZ Reply

    October 7, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Thank You so much Amy! Gotta love the retro!

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