Tag Archives: DIY

Nothing Wasted

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” Maya Angelou

This quote speaks right to the heart of the Southern Accents team. Not only do we have a team of creatives at SA, but, we have also surrounded ourselves with creative people who we collaborate with on a regular basis. While the heart and soul of Southern Accents is the rescue of salvageable architectural elements and antiques, we are also all about finding creative ways to repurpose some of the materials that we rescue. This is one of the areas where we can allow our creative juces to flow!

salvageartweb

Salvaged wood has become an increasingly large part of our business. As this side of our business continues to grow, so does our pile of wood cutoffs! We hate to discard anything so, we are always looking for ways to repurpose these wood scraps. Thanks to the talents of team member Josh Howe and local artist Leldon Maxcy, we currently have a wonderful collection of salvaged wood items that have been created from some of our wood scraps. You’ll find wall art cutouts of the state of Alabama as well as Cullman county. We have a new selection of custom made wood frames. We also have a collection of salvaged wood items from Josh which include beautiful cutting boards, honey dippers and even a night lamp… all made from salvaged wood.

For all you DIYers… we have something just for you! We’ve started packaging our wood cutoffs into craft packs. Each 12″ x 3.5″ x 14″ Priority Mail box is full of your choice of salvaged wood pieces. Choices include painted wood in colors of blue, white, green, natural, or a multi colored mix. Each pack could contain a mix of wood, beadboard and trim pieces. The packs are ready to ship and can be used to create your own work of art! Give us a call at 877-737-0554. Have your credit card ready, let us know your color choices and your box will be on it’s way!!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Stop by our showroom or visit us online at sa1969.com and take a look at our selection of salvaged wood art and craft packs. Art work starts at $25 and the craft packs are $24.95 plus shipping.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques


DIY – How To Patina Copper

Southern Accents has an incredibly talented team of artists and craftsmen who are constantly coming up with creative ideas. Recently, we decided to add a bit more interest to a four panel, round top door that we custom built from cypress wood. SA Team member Josh Howe came up with the idea of covering the panels with patina’d copper. He had several scrap pieces of shiny copper in the wood shop. All that was needed was a method of aging the copper. Josh did a little experimenting and the end result was so fantastic that we decided to share his recipe!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The process of aging the copper so that it gives off that lovely blue/green hue is fairly simple. It is a matter of treating the copper with an acid then allowing it to oxidize. The specific form of acid used will result in different color changes within the copper. While there are several chemical compounds you could purchase, Josh used a mixture of common household ingredients: vinegar, ammonia, and kosher salt.

Josh started with a clean, quart sized spray bottle purchased at our local hardware store. He filled the bottle with approximately 1/2 inch of salt. He then added equal parts of vinegar and ammonia to the bottle, leaving enough room at the top to be able to throughly shake the mixture until the salt was completely dissolved. The copper was cleaned and degreased using a lacquer thinner. The cleaned sheets were then taken outside and sprayed with the acid mixture and placed in the sun to dry. Heating the treated copper speeds up the oxidation process. While we took advantage of a sunny day you could use something as simple as a hair dryer to heat the metal. Depending on the desired result, the copper may need more than one treatment. Once the desired color was achieved, the copper was rinsed with warm water, dried, and sealed. If the copper is to be used outdoors we recommend a spar urethan which offers UV protection. For interior use, any clear sealant will do. When treating the copper, if the desired color change is not achieved with multiple treatments, scuffing the copper just a bit with a piece of steel wool will open up the metal pores allowing it to more readily absorb the acid mixture.

The copper we used was originally purchased from a local air conditioning company and was approximately 1/16″ thick. You can also use copper flashing from the hardware store. Do not however use the copper foils commonly found in craft stores as these are too thin and the acid will likely eat a hole right through these sheets.

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesThe method we used is one of many that could be used to create a lovely patina on copper. This process is not limited for use on copper sheets, but can be used to antique any copper item. Old copper pots, pans, pennies, bowls and other finds you may want to use as decorative items can be treated using this method.

To add another dimension to your creation, before you treat the copper with the acid solution, paint on a design using a cotton swab and petroleum jelly. Every spot covered in the petroleum jelly should remain shiny!

Copper is such a versatile metal. In addition to the beautiful colors it emits when oxidized, it can be etched, hammered, and molded into almost any shape. We’ve added a board to our Pinterest page filled with crafting and DIY projects using copper as well as a few pins on additional ways to add a gorgeous patina to this fabulous metal!

Written by: Lisa Jones


Five Dollar (And Under) Finds!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents is an architectural salvage store, but walk in our showroom or visit our website and you will quickly see that we are SO much more! We have a fantastic collection of small salvage items that lend themselves perfectly to creative DIY or salvage art projects. All of the items shown above are $5 or LESS!!

When on a salvage mission, quite often there are unique, small items that we are able to rescue. There are also a lot of small items that are architectural in nature that we remove directly from the house or structure whenever possible. Salvaged door knobs and hardware, skeleton keys, tin shingles, staircase spindles, small trim pieces, even salvaged wood scraps… all of these small items can be repurposed. We’ve seen so many creative ideas from our customers and others who have turned these items into everything from beautiful jewelry to unbelievable works of art.

The holiday season is just around the corner. Unique, handmade items are a great way to give a gift that has meaning. Now is the time to start planning for and creating those gift items! Stop by our showroom or visit our website and take a look at all of our unique finds. Our “$5 and under items” typically go quickly and are only available while supplies last! And, when you finish your work of art… send us a picture! We LOVE to see what our customers do with our treasures and would love to share your creations on our Pinterest and Facebook page for others to see! Send pictures to info@sa1969.com


The S “A” Team

Every Tuesday morning at Southern Accents begins with a team meeting. This is actually the only time during the week that we are all in one place at the same time. We gather upstairs and sit around our large, custom made salvaged wood table. Ben arrives with a bag of fresh, warm doughnuts from one of our local bakeries. Everyone grabs a cup of coffee or a bottled Coke from the cooler and we begin the meeting with prayer. The primary purpose for our weekly gathering is two fold: to encourage one another and to plan our schedule for the upcoming week.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Our weekly meeting has become an integral part of our business. We always spend a few minutes discussing personal issues. We talk about our kids, our pets, our weekend ventures. We laugh a lot and at times have shed a few tears. This is our time to catch up with one another and make sure that we are all doing well. If there are needs or issues to be addressed, we do it here.

The next order of business is business! We each have our “to do” list that we go over in detail. The goal is to make sure that we are all on the same page. We discuss custom orders, sales goals, deliveries, and upcoming projects. We talk about marketing and toss around ideas for newsletter topics. And we talk about wood… we talk a LOT about wood!

The bulk of our business involves wood. Wood doors, wood mantels, wood columns, wood corbels and wood trim. We have an entire warehouse filled with nothing but salvaged wood. Everything from old barnwood to antique wood flooring. Wood that has been salvaged from the walls of historic houses and vintage beams from old log cabins and industrial mills. If you were a fly on the wall listening in on the conversations, there would be no doubt about the fact that we love what we do! We have a team of creative artists who get excited about an upcoming salvage mission. Skilled craftsmen and wood workers who gaze on a stack of salvaged wood the way a painter looks at a blank canvas. Ask our guys what they “do for fun” and they will be quick to tell you that they spend their free time building furniture or creating artistic pieces for no other reason than to feed their creative soul!

Stop by our showroom or wood warehouse and talk to any of our team members! We love to hear about your creative ideas and to give input in the design process. Our knowledgeable team can help you pick out the perfect materials for your next project!


DIY Industrial Clothing Racks

With Southern Makersa little over a week away, we’ve been working non-stop to prepare for this exciting one day festival which will take place May 3rd in Montgomery, Alabama. Like last year, Southern Accents is once again instrumental in the design and construction of the entrance, the stage, work shop area, and covering the “dumpster” wall. We are also busy designing and constructing our own booth, as well as the booth for fashion designer Billy Reid.

The clothing racks are a great solution for studio apartments or areas where storage space is limited.

The clothing racks are a great solution for studio apartments or areas where storage space is limited.

The Billy Reid booth needed a way to display clothing and accessory items in their booth. Recently, we ran across pictures of industrial looking garment racks made from salvaged wood and galvanized pipe. These pictures got our creative juices flowing! We have around 50 salvaged industrial tables in our inventory. We immediately knew that these tables, which are 33″ wide, 5′ long, and 13″ tall, would provide the perfect base for our clothing racks. We decided to build three racks, each one a little different from the other. The industrial tables have a dark, wood stain, so after the design we lightly sanded each table just to clean it up a bit. The wood base provides a great way to lift shoes and other accessories up off the floor. We decided to add shelving to provide additional storage space. We selected vintage lumber that was 1 1/2″ thick from our wood warehouse for the shelving. We purchased 3/4″ galvanized pipe to use on one of the racks and 1/2″ black gas pipe to use on the other two. Our tables have short legs on each corner making our storage racks stationery. These legs could easily be adapted with metal casters which would make the racks more diverse and easier to move around.

Three side shelves were incorporated into this design. The galvanized pipe runs through each shelf, providing added stability for the shelves as well as the clothing rack.

Three side shelves were incorporated into this design. The galvanized pipe runs through each shelf, providing added stability for the shelves as well as the clothing rack.

Although these tables will be used by Billy Reid to display items from his clothing line at Southern Makers, they provide a great solution for studio apartments or rooms where there are no closets or very limited storage space available. We love designing the very cool, industrial look of these units. The tables specific design is limited only by your own imagination. We have a great selection of the industrial tables as well as a warehouse full of salvaged wood available for your project! If you are heading to Southern Makers on May 3rd make sure you stop by Billy Reid’s booth and take a look at our creations!!

We added full length shelves to this industrial table, further increasing the storage space.

We added full length shelves to this industrial table, further increasing the storage space.

The side hooks are a great added feature for hanging bags and long coats.

The side hooks are a great added feature for hanging bags and long coats.

For those attending Southern MakersSouthern Accents booth will be close to the stage. Please stop by our booth and meet some of our team members. We will have salvaged items and t-shirts available for sale. We are looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new friends!

Written by: Lisa Jones


Have You Been Pinned?

Southern Accents has developed a fascination with Pinterest over the past year. We enjoy seeing all the creative ideas, specifically projects that re-purpose salvaged goods, turning them into useful items or beautiful works of art. We appreciate that Pinterest provides a venue for us to showcase pictures of our own creations as well as those of our customers. We have created a Pinterest board titled “Project Spotlight”. On this board we have pinned completed project pictures from Southern Accents as well as many from our awesome customers.

This picture was sent to us by Sara Lassiter. Sara purchased the salvaged industrial cart from Southern Accents and turned it into a beautiful conversation piece. This is another one of our favorite finished project pictures!

This picture was sent to us by Sara Lassiter. Sara purchased the salvaged industrial cart from Southern Accents and turned it into a beautiful conversation piece. This is one of our favorite finished project pictures!

Working in the architectural salvage business, most items enter and exit our store as salvage. We LOVE that our customers browse through our showroom and warehouses and see the beauty and potential of the old, used, often worn items. We get excited when they select a piece and share with us their ideas and vision of what they want to do with it. Unfortunately, we don’t often get to see the finished project. Except… on the occasions when our customers send us pictures of those finished projects! In case we haven’t said this before, we LOVE to receive pictures from our customers! Small piles of salvaged wood turned into a work of art, a spectacular antique mantel that finds a new home, an old door restored to it’s former beauty… seeing pictures of the finished projects inspires us in our continued efforts to rescue these architectural treasures.

Ed and Laura Sergeant purchased the porch that we salvaged from an 1890 Victorian house in Little Rock, Arkansas and had it added to their own beautiful home. This is one of our favorite finished project pictures!

Ed and Laura Sergeant purchased the porch that we salvaged from an 1890 Victorian house in Little Rock, Arkansas and had it added to their own beautiful home. This is another one of our favorite finished project pictures!

This past week we have been gathering many of the wonderful pictures that have been emailed to us or posted on our Facebook page this past year. We invite you to browse our Pinterest board and see if you have been PINNED! If not, we invite you to send us your pictures! If you have purchased items from Southern Accents in the past, we want to see pictures of your finished projects. Please feel free to post pictures to our Facebook page or e-mail them to lisa@sa1969.com. Please include your name and any information that you would like to share with us about your project. We look forward to seeing and sharing your work!

The use of salvaged wood and ceiling tin in Justin Dyar's lake home blew us away!

The use of salvaged wood and ceiling tin in Justin Dyar’s lake home blew us away!

This magnificent door was custom built by Southern Accents from a slab of salvaged wood for customer Ann Pollard.

This magnificent door was custom built by Southern Accents from a slab of salvaged wood for customer Ann Pollard.


Salvaged Hardware

When thinking of architectural salvage, the first thing that comes to mind are all the large architectural pieces like doors, mantels, ornate gingerbread and large columns. When Southern Accents salvages any property, we do our best to take every usable item that can be safely removed from the building. This includes hardware. Naturally, we take all the hardware attached to the doors, but we also take it a step further by removing hardware from windows, wall heaters, cabinets, and shutters. We are continually amazed with all the creative ways our customers reuse and repurpose these salvaged hardware items!

Southern Accents has one of the largest collections of salvaged hardware in the Southeast. These bins are filled with salvaged brass, glass, and porcelain knobs.

Southern Accents has one of the largest collections of salvaged hardware in the Southeast. These bins are filled with salvaged brass, glass, and porcelain knobs.

Walking through our showroom you will see one of the south’s largest collections of hardware on display. While rare, one-of-a-kind pieces may be in a show case, you will also find bins, buckets, and wood crates filled with fun and unusual hardware pieces. Door knobs made from brass, glass, porcelain and iron are plentiful at Southern Accents. We have hinges that range from a primitive farmhouse style to a solid brass embossed design from the Victorian era. Upstairs our hardware displays glitter with brass door plates in all shapes, sizes, and styles hanging from metal pegs. We delight in watching our creative customers “dig” to find just the right hardware item for their latest project.

Scattered throughout our showroom are buckets and boxes full of wonderful old hardware!

Scattered throughout Southern Accents showroom are buckets and boxes full of wonderful old hardware!

Much of the hardware that we salvage can be cleaned up and reused as it’s original purpose. Customers walk in to our showroom weekly looking for door knobs. They love the vintage look of the old knobs that for many bring back childhood memories of visits to their grandparent’s home. Others relish the thought of contributing to the sustainability of our planet by reusing existing items whenever possible. And then there’s the artistic, crafty crowd that love to take pieces of old hardware, completely repurposing them into wonderful, unique items. Seeing the hardware pieces walk out our door and later return as a piece of stunning jewelry or part of a unique work of art thrills our own creative souls.

Mickey Davis is one of several artists who uses salvaged hardware to create unique works of art and usable items. Mickey's works, along with the creations of several other artists, can be found in our showroom.

Mickey Davis is one of several artists who uses salvaged hardware to create unique works of art and usable items. Mickey’s works, along with the creations of several other artists, can be found in our showroom.

Stop by our showroom to view our entire collection of hardware. Visit our Hardware page online to view some of our vintage and antique pieces. Browse our Pinterest page to see some of the very creative ways old hardware is being used and repurposed.

Whether you are looking for knobs, plates, hinges, pulls or just odd bits and pieces... we have a lot to choose from!

Whether you are looking for knobs, plates, hinges, pulls or just odd bits and pieces… we have a lot to choose from!


DIY Salvaged Wood Chalkboard

This past year Southern Accents built a couple of giant chalk boards for the Southern Makers event. Event goers were asked to chalk their answer to the question, “What Inspires You?” on the boards. The idea was such a huge hit that we constructed a second large chalkboard for the social media conference, Haven, in Atlanta. Each blogger attending the conference was asked to autograph our board. We have found a bounty of uses for these versatile boards and decided to share how we create our boards and frame them with salvaged materials.

Our resident artisan Roger Long happily demonstrated the steps by creating a small chalkboard in our wood shop. Using 1/4″ multi density fiber board, Roger cut an 8″ x 10″ board using a table saw. The fiber board is inexpensive, provides a smooth surface, and can be picked up at your local hardware store.

Spray chalk paint was used to coat the smooth side of an 8" x 10" piece of fiber board.

Spray chalk paint was used to coat the smooth side of an 8″ x 10″ piece of fiber board.

The smooth side of the board was painted using black chalk paint. The best method to use for a small board is spray paint. Larger boards can be painted using a smooth roller. Once dry, a steel wool pad was used to lightly sand over the first coat. The board was wiped clean with mineral spirits to remove dust particles and was given a second coat of paint. The board was then set aside until completely dry.

Roger Long cutting the salvaged wood boards to create the chalk board frame.

Roger Long cutting the salvaged wood boards to create the chalk board frame.

To frame our board we chose some gorgeous pieces of red barn wood from our salvaged wood warehouse. These pieces originally had a tongue and groove, which gave the inside of our frame a natural lip to hold and attach the chalkboard. If using solid pieces of wood a router could be used to create the needed grooves. Another option is to cut the fiber board larger than the inside measurement of your frame and attach it directly to the back of the frame using small tacks or staples.

Tongue and groove boards were cut and the edges mitered for use in framing our chalk board.

Tongue and groove boards were cut and the edges mitered for use in framing our chalk board.

The wood pieces were cut to a common width and then cut to the required lengths to frame the 8″ x 10″ chalk board. If mitering the corners, extra length must be added to each side to accommodate the mitered edges. There are many great tutorials online that give step-by-step instructions on how to properly miter the edges. Roger is a pro so the corners of our frame looked fabulous when finished. Another option is to create a solid edge frame. This eliminates the need for mitered edges and creates a more rustic looking frame for the chalkboard.

Wood glue was used in the frame assembly.

Wood glue was used in the frame assembly.

Once our pieces were cut, Roger laid them on the work table to ensure that they fit together properly. To assemble the frame he used a combination of wood glue and corrugated staples. The wood we chose for our frame was heavy so the corners were screwed together to reinforce the frame.

After the pieces were glued, corrugated staples were also used to secure the corners.

After the pieces were glued, corrugated staples were also used to secure the corners.

Screws were used in all corners to help secure our wood frame.

Screws were used in all corners to help secure our wood frame.

Because the wood had to be trimmed to a common width, the outside edge of our frame was raw. Using an extra piece of the red salvaged wood, Roger cut pieces of trim that he attached to the raw edges using wood glue and small staples. This gave the frame a very nice finished look.

Wood trim was cut and attached to the raw edges using wood glue and small staples.

Wood trim was cut and attached to the raw edges using wood glue and small staples.

Roger lightly sanded the trim at each corner, giving the frame a nice polished look.

Roger lightly sanded the trim at each corner, giving the frame a nice polished look.

Once the frame assembly was complete and the glue given time to dry, the chalk board was attached and secured to the inside grooves with small tacks. Roger chose to use two small eye screws and wire to create a hanger for the board. The finished result was beautiful! There is something about old red barn wood that is simply irresistible!

Small eye screws and wire were used to create a hanger.

Small eye screws and wire were used to create a hanger.

The chalk board was attached to the inside grooves of the frame using small tacks

The chalk board was attached to the inside grooves of the frame using small tacks

We realize that not everyone has access to a wood shop and all the right tools. Our goal is to demonstrate how salvaged items can be turned in to beautiful works of art and useful items. Our hope is that our projects will both encourage and inspire!

The finished chalk board!

The finished chalk board!

One of our salvaged wood frame chalk boards used at a wedding this past summer.

One of our salvaged wood frame chalk boards used at a wedding this past summer.

Written by: Lisa Jones
Southern Accents Webmaster/Marketing


To Paint or Not To Paint?

A frequent topic of conversation among our customers is the question of whether it is ever ok to paint a piece of antique wood furniture or architectural piece. There are several arguments that can be made in favor of painting, as well as taking a hands off approach, to leave a piece in its original stained condition.

If your piece is a collector item and/or you are concerned about retaining the value, then you may want to take a hands off approach where painting is concerned. Most collectors want the finish of an item to be as close to the original as possible. If the original finish happens to be painted, the time worn patina not only adds character to the piece, but could also add value if it is original. Resist the temptation to add a fresh coat of paint or lacquer before you consult with an expert so that your hard work does not take away from its value.

Another argument for retaining the original finish on a piece would be if it is a piece of historical significance. Any item that has a documented history should be kept in its original condition if at all possible. Even if the piece is damaged, restoring the damage usually will not increase the value.

Birdseye Maple Mantel -  circa 1890 from the Bruner house in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Birdseye Maple Mantel – circa 1890 from the Bruner house in Little Rock, Arkansas.

We would also not recommend painting rare and exotic woods such as birdseye maple, curly pine and burl walnut, to name a few. The grain patterns of these woods are exquisite and rare. Covering them with paint, in our opinion, is a crime. We recently rescued a mantel that was covered with several layers of white paint. We decided to strip the paint from this mantel and were so glad that we did. What we discovered is that the wood beneath all that paint was birdseye maple. This discovery drastically increased the value of this historical piece. We were also thrilled to be able to uncover and expose the natural beauty of this rare wood.

An argument in favor of paint is if your antique piece is one that you will keep and use in your home and retaining the value is not a concern. The finish may become more of an issue of personal style and coordinating your treasure with your homes décor. If the original finish does not fit the color or style of your room, painting can be a viable option. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, while the worn finish and imperfections of an antique piece might be prized by some, others might see it as an eyesore. While some collectors and purist would argue that it is never ok to paint an antique, the bottom line is that if you are the owner and the one living with the piece, you need to be happy with it. A nice coat of paint can give a needed face lift to a weathered door or add interest to a time worn dining room table.

Written By: Lisa Jones

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

If you are considering painting your antique piece, we recommend looking at the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®. This paint is easy to work with and requires little to no surface preparation. It can be used on just about any surface so its use is not limited to wood items. Various techniques can be used with the Chalk Paint® that will give your piece an old or antique look… or bring out the natural wood grain. This paint is available from our friend Teresa at Vintage West. If you are within driving distance of Cullman, Alabama, we highly recommend checking out Teresa’s Chalk Paint® classes!

Another product that we highly recommend for stained or natural wood pieces is Briwax. Briwax is a unique blend of beeswax and carnauba wax that naturally cleans, stains, and polishes. It is available in clear and nine wood tones from Southern Accents. We do not recommend using oils. Oil can soak into the open grain of wood and over a period of time can turn it black. Natural wax however will help restore the finish and is preferred by collectors and most craftsmen.


Shutter Love

When I saw this shutter in Southern Accents I knew I had to have it.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

I guess you could say that it ‘spoke to me’! I loved everything about it… the size, the color, the fact that it had louvers on one side and a flat panel on the other. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it! I’ve been in the process of transforming my daughter’s room from little girl lime green to vintage teen and this piece was a perfect fit. I hauled it to my trunk, dirt and all. I knew that I would not have to do much more than give it a good washing, which is exactly what I did. I literally took it out back to the water hose and scrubbed it clean with a stiff brush. I gave it a few days to dry and then took a palm sander and worked my way over the entire shutter. My goal was to sand off loose paint chips and further distress the finish just a bit. I absolutely loved the way it looked and knew that the color was going to look awesome against the chocolate wall.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

I dusted the shutter good and then gave it a clear coat of Polycrylic just to seal it and give it a clean finish.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

I dug around the store and came up with a double hook and a couple of clear glass knobs that I attached to the shutter. I wanted my daughter to be able to hang jewelry on the flat panel side and display pictures on the louvered side. I thought the louvers would hold the pictures nicely but they weren’t deep enough and the pictures flopped over. I came up with a quick fix that I think adds even more character to the shutter. I used some cool looking furniture tacks and criss-crossed some string in between. Perfect!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

All that was left was to add wire to the back so that we could hang it on the wall. She absolutely loves the finished project! She now has here eye on one of those ceiling tin magnet boards!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The guys at Southern Accents just unloaded a trailer full of awesome shutters. They will be going on the site soon or if you’re within driving distance come on by and take a look. We would absolutely LOVE to see pictures of your shutter projects!! You can send pictures to info@sa1969.com or post them on our Facebook page.


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