October 27, 2012

French Provincial Dresser Set

My newest clients, Samantha and her hubby, are moving into their new house and are in need of a new look and style for their new digs. Samantha wants to mix old with new and bring in pops of color.One piece she recently had done is a cute little green side table.
For her bedroom she wants to keep the furniture clean, crisp and classic so she decided to go with white.

I think these pieces look so classic and beautiful.
I used Swiss Coffee and used my homemade chalk paint recipe, very lightly distressed, added new glass knobs and sealed with wax.

What do you think of classic white pieces?
Love them em' or hate em'?

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DIY by Design

Custom Green Side Table

A few weeks ago on my Facebook page I asked for help picking a color for an end table that I wanted to paint. I was given some great ideas but someone snagged it before I could pick a color.
My client Samantha and her hubby bought a new house and she is wanting a new look for her new space. She wants to add pops of color so I sent her a few ideas and we picked a great shade of green.


The inspiration photo is from Desiree form The 36th Avenue
I think it came out great and Desiree was sweet enough to tell her readers a color that was close to the custom color she mixed.
I used Cliveden Pasture which can be found at Lowe's.
I used a black glaze to darken the green and sealed with wax.
Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint was used on the original pulls.
My client Sam wants to mix old with new and I think this piece does it. I also love that she isn't afraid of color!
What do you think, could you rock a green table in your space?
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October 20, 2012

Custom Baby Doll Cradle

I really wanted to name this post "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" but decided to stick with something less creepy.

My client Erika has a little girl that has a birthday coming up and she wanted to have her baby doll cradle painted. I have some amazing clients who have all been very laid back and a pleasure to work for but I think Erika might win the award for being the most laid back. I asked her what shade of pink she wanted and as we were walking about of the playroom she picks up a block and says, "Uh, something like this...I'm really not picky". Seriously, most laid back and easygoing award goes to Erika!


I used homemade chalk paint because I foresee this cradle getting lots of use and the paint will hold up well.
I also distressed along the edges.
I hope Erika's little girl loves her updated baby doll crib and has a great birthday!
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October 08, 2012

Custom Gray Nightstands

Here is a quick before & after of a pair of nightstands I painted for a new client. These are going in her daughters bedroom.



The color in the pictures isn't very true to the color they are in person. They are a pretty shade of gunmetal gray. Who knew gunmetal gray could be pretty....trust me it is, plus I think the name gunmetal gray is cool!
My client had this color custom matched so we don't have an actual name for it.

this picture is a better example of the color.

Man, it's hard photographing and staging little tables!
I used my homemade chalk paint (1 cup paint and 1/4 cup baking soda) so the paint would be a little  more durable since these are going to a little girl.
I lightly distressed the edges and sealed with wax.
 These are going to look so cute in a little girls room!
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October 07, 2012

Custom TV Console

My latest client needed a new TV console but she needed something that was narrow to fit in her space. After a few weeks of searching she found the perfect piece....well, it was almost perfect.





Sorry for so many pictures but I think it turned out great so I wanted to share as many as a I could!
If you look at the before picture you can see that I removed the decorative flower piece below the top drawer which completely changes the look of this piece.
I used Lotus Flower by Valspar  and added baking soda to make chalk paint. This color is a shade of cream but it's more of a  creamy white with not a lot of yellow undertones. I think this is a great cream color and I love it! I sanded the top and stained it a darker brown black color to compliment the iron hardware. I also spray painted the hinges to get rid of the tacky gold.
I sanded the chalk paint, lightly distressed to add a little depth, and sealed with wax a couple coats of wax.
Now this TV console is perfect!
What do you think? I love to hear you thoughts.
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Painting Questions Answered

I get a lot of emails asking how I paint furniture, what wax I use, how to mix homemade chalk paint....the list goes on! I love answering questions and I have also met some really cool people in the process. I really want to answer every email I get but I am starting to get busy and I foresee me falling behind in replying to emails as I would like.

I asked people to submit any painting, waxing, distressing questions they may have on my facebook page and on the blog. You guys came up with some great questions so lets get started!!

I have waxing problems. It seems to remove the paint.  I have used BriWax (original & clear) & MinWax Finishing Paste Wax. I can't find what is referred to as "dark" wax. What is it? HELP!!
 I use Minwax Finishing Paste and Johnson's Paste Wax and I have never had any issues with the paint coming off. I use homemade chalk paint so this might be why the paint isn't removed when I wax (chalk paint is very durable and doesn't peel like normal latex). Make sure to apply your wax in thin layers and make sure your paint is fully cured (not just dry to the touch) when you wax!  
I've always used Minwax Finishing Paste but I noticed that sometimes it would leave a hint of orange on white furniture. I came across a blog called In My Own Style and I was introduced to Johnson's Paste Wax. It's a clear wax that won't tint the color of white or light colored paint. Plus it's half the price of Minwax.  
I use these waxes on my chalk paint but I don't leave it on for as long they suggest. I work in small sections because one time it dried fast and rough so since then I work in sections.
For example, I wax all of the drawers at once, wait a few minutes, wipe of the wax on the drawers and then start on one side of the dresser and work my way around. I usually do 2-3 coats of wax per piece of furniture.
Dark wax can be hard to find at your local hardware store but it can be bought online. Dark wax gives an aged, glazed look and gives a protective finish at the same time. If you find a local Annie Sloan retailer you can buy dark wax from them. If any of you have tips for buying dark wax locally please share!
How can you age brass hardware?
This answer was given to me by a friend...he said:
"My leather smith told me to take the brass hardware, put them in a pillow case with some gravel/rocks and slam the crap out of em against the concrete. Then soak them in Vinegar, let dry, then take some heat to them. When you start if the brass has some sort of protective coating use acetone to remove it.  For the heat on the brass use flame not a heat gun".

OR, there is always spray paint!! I would go with the spray paint....
Oil Rubbed Bronze by Rustoleum is gorgeous and it gives a great black metallic look.

Does it have to be real wood furniture to refurbish?
No, it doesn't have to be real wood but real wood is easier to paint.
Laminate, MDF, pressed board....they can all be tricky to paint but it can be done. Bonding primer will be your best friend with anything that isn't real wood. I use water based Zissner Bullseye primer. You will have to do some prep work like sanding and filling holes before you prime.
When I first starting painting furniture I was so scared I would ruin whatever I touched. I spent hours searching the web and blogs with tips. Censational Girl had some great beginner tips. I don't follow all of these now, because I have found things that I personally like better, but it's a great place to start until you find what works for you!
Here are a few examples of pieces that were not real wood but came out great. 

 Do you ever put anything besides wax on a piece (say for a dining room table)?
Another way to seal furniture is polyurethane...Water-based polyurethane that is. All poly will create a yellow tint on light colored paint (not just white) but water-based poly is less likely to yellow.
If your table top is not painted I highly suggest poly but if the table is painted white I would suggest using wax to seal the top. 
Here are a few links that may help with any other questions you have about painting and sealing a kitchen table....Wills Casa, Our Vintage Home Love, Centsational Girl.

** I have used poly but I am not a huge fan of the glossy look it leaves. I prefer wax because it is more of a matte finish and there are never any brush strokes plus wax is much faster to apply! If I use poly I prefer wipe-on poly which doesn't leave brush marks and can be applied much faster than brush on poly.

I have painted furniture, but feels rough after I am done. What have I not done right? I don’t want it to be shiny but maybe I should polyurethane it to death. Suggestions, please!!
Nobody likes to prep furniture but it's a step you shouldn't skip if you want a smooth finish. Sanding is a must but wiping off all of the dust is an even bigger must. If you aren't sure if you thoroughly wiped down everything go back with your hand and feel for any spots or dust you may have missed.
Lightly sanding between coats can lessen the chance of having rough spots. Use a high grit paper (220-300 grit sand paper) and very lightly sand that coat of paint and then use a damp cloth to wipe off the dust. Do this between each coat of paint you apply including primer. Yes,this is very time consuming but your finish will be gorgeous.
If you don't want the shiny look use wax to seal your furniture because poly can be very shiny!!
How do you deal with paint runs that you don’t catch until the paint is dry? Using chalk paint, it seems to be really bad runs that are as thick as mud and tough as glue! Any suggestions?
Paint runs are the worst but can be easy to fix. Use 220 grit sand paper and if the drip is running down then sand up (NOT side to side). Go slow and easy and it will slowly sand down. Distressing furniture makes this an easy fix because you can simply distress the area where the run is.
Take your time and pay extra attention to corners and edges because that is where runs happen the most. Another tip is not using having too much paint on your brush. It's so tempting to load the brush with paint but thinner coats are better and lessen the chance of drips!

 I have a dark dining room set that I want to paint white for my beach cottage style house.
I've never painted anything before.
Do you recommend Annie Sloan? I imagine I would need quite a bit.
I want something easy and I'm afraid of spray paint.
I have only used homemade chalk paint but if this is your first time painting something I would recommend using Annie Sloan. A quart of paint can go a long way so I would start with one quart and go from there.

Chalk paint is very, very forgiving but maybe you should practice on something small so you can get the hang of using chalk paint, sanding, distressing, and using a protective coat. If you mess up on a practice piece all you can do is learn from your mistakes.

Do you know how difficult it would be to remove waxed chalk paint if someone wanted to return to the natural wood later? Also, is a waxed surface impervious to water? I take care of a lady with Alzheimer's and both she and another lady who stays with her when I leave for a few hours tend to set things on the furniture that are sometimes wet.
It wouldn't be hard to remove paint that was sealed with wax but it can be time consuming and messy. You could either strip or sand if you wanted to return to the natural wood. I tell my clients that even though the furniture is protected you should still be careful with the surface and use coasters. 
I painted my coffee table with chalk paint and sealed with two coats of wax. It has been colored on by my three year old, has had drinks left on it without coasters and has had numerous crusty things left on it. Did I mention I have a three year old?! There have been a few water rings but I use a colorox wipe on them and come right off. However, I can't guarantee the same for your piece of furniture but I persoanlly haven't had any problems!

 I want to paint my kitchen cabinets with your
chalk paint formula. Do you think it is durable
enough for this? If so, what wax or top coat would you sugest?

I haven't painted cabinets yet (we are planning on painting ours in the next couple months) so I can't answer your question completely but I will do my best.
If you do use my chalk paint recipe make sure you are wanting to distress your cabninets. My homemade chalk paint recipe (as most homemade recipes) leaves a gritty texture and you need to sand the paint to get the smooth chalky finish. You don't have to distess with chalk paint but it is easy to do because of the texture/finish it leaves.
Here are a few links that might be able to answer your questions about painting your cabinets:
In My Own Style, bella-tucker, Vintage Restyled
Some of the recipes may be different but the more resources you have the better!
I too would like to know if poly/varnish etc. can be applied over wax. I would also like to know if you approach a piece of furniture differently in color choices or experimenting if you think you will keep it for yourself?
It is not recommended that you use poly over wax plus I don't think it would adhere that well. I'm not an expert on this so if anyone knows otherwise please let me know!
Most of the stuff I paint and post this blog is either a custom piece for a client or something I picked up and will list for sale.  
When I first started painting and selling pieces I tried to do something a little different each time. I tired to have the finished project be something that I would want to look at 24/7 in case it didn't sell.
This piece was super distressed and I don't know if I could keep this in my home today because it's just not me but it was a great piece to try something new. Thankfully, this dresser sold!
A lot of people wait for a piece to "speak to them". I don't really work that way....I usually jump in head first and try not to look back. If that fails I ask my husband for his opinion. I don't always agree with what he suggests but it does help me think outside of the box and try things I normally wouldn't.
I have only done a few pieces for our house and they were all very white, and gray and blah. My husband suggested I should paint something yellow and I thought he was nuts. We went to Lowe's later that day and found an opps paint for $5 that just happend to be yellow.
This table is in our living room and adds a great pop of color.


I have a question about spray painting. I like to use spray paint for small items such as mirror frames. The problem is that sometimes the paint will wrinkle up during the second coat. The funny thing is, it won't always happen. Like I will be spraying something and the paint will wrinkle, and then I will pick up the next item (same environment, same paint can, same everything) and it won't wrinkle! What is up with that?

How can I make spray painting easier and more professional looking?
Girl, I have one paint enemy and it's name is spray paint. I know exactly what you mean when you say the paint wrinkles....and this is one of the reasons it is my enemy! I have read all of the tips, tried all of the tips, and failed miserably. To be honest, I think I am too impatient to use spray paint.
I will say that I think the quality of spray paint makes a difference. When I used the Valspar spray paint (the one that was about $3) and I noticed it wouldn't work as well. I started using Rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint (the one that is about $7 a can) and I love it. I only use it for hardware but it works great.
Since I really can't answer your question the way I would like to I have included a great link that might be able to help! All Things Thrifty, Classy Clutter, BHG
What do you do to the inside of the drawers? Do you paint them as well?
I don't paint the inside of the drawers but I do sometimes line them with fabric. I only line them if they aren't very pretty or have old pen or scuff marks on the inside. If the drawers are in good shape I just wipe them out with a damp cloth and clean them up a little.
I want to know how do you remove the veneer on top of the dresser before repainting a dresser? 
Removing veneer sounds scary but it's easier than you think. I did a blog post on removing veneer  and it gives you great step by step tips.
I hope I answered all of the questions and I hope my answers helped.
I am working on a Chalk Paint 101 post that I hope to have up soon.  
When I started painting furniture I made a lot of mistakes. There were drips, uneven coats of paint, the back of a leg forgot to get painted....you get the idea.
I am still learning new things but that is the fun part. I truly believe in jumping in and just doing. Don't over think it, don't over analyze it, just roll up your sleeves and get to work. People are afraid they will mess up a piece of furniture. You really can't mess it up....that's why they have paint stripper and sand paper. Whatever you do can be undone so go make some ugly furniture pretty!
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October 04, 2012

Custom Dresser ~ Changing Table

Meet my best friend Emily and myself circa 1983 - 1984-ish. I think we were three in this picture but we have known one another since we were infants (5 month old infants).
In 8th grade, Emily moved from Texas to Georgia. We would write each other letters (this was before email), make long distance phone calls with our parents permission (this was before cell phones), and occasionally visit each other.
Through all of these years and the hundreds of miles we still stayed in touch and stayed friends.
Now we are both married and starting our families. I am so honored that we get to experience this next part of our lives together.
Emily is on the left and I am on the right. I would like to add that I am rockin' that homemade haircut!
Emily is having her first baby in December and asked if I would paint a dresser/changing table for the baby. Emily and her husband Brian aren't finding out the sex of the baby so she wanted to keep things neutral.

A few detail shots

I am delivering this piece next weekend so hopefully I can get a few photos of it in it's new home and with baby stuff on it! 
I must say, this post is making me a little emotional but I am so happy for Emily and Brian.
I can't wait to meet their baby!