Monthly Archives: April 2013



As much fun as I’ve had making over new (to me) pieces, it’s even more fun when someone loves something I did.

When my mom came here to attend Dumpster Diva’s class with me she took a liking to my little table I did here. So…she took it home with her 🙂

Then I had an empty space next to my sofa. So I began a search again for another table. I found this one on Craigslist:


And I decided to paint it to match the first piece I ever did which sits proudly behind my sofa. I used Annie Sloan chalk paint and Minwax dark walnut stain as a glaze. I sealed it with poly:

And it moved right in:


I guess I should start looking for pieces I can sell, since more of my pieces have ended up in my house than not! Although I do currently have a garage full of client pieces I am working on. Casa de Cass designs is moving full speed ahead!


Estate sale finds…


When I started working on furniture I was curious where people found their pieces to work on. My first piece was just a dumb luck find on our local FB garage sale site. I use Craigslist but often get beat out because I can’t drop everything and go get it that instant.

So…after more research I learned that a lot of people frequent estate sales. Lots of older, sturdy furniture just begging to be made over can be found at estate sales. I started stalking following a local estate sale service on Facebook and saw some pieces they posted online. I happened to be free that day so I ran over there. Sadly the pieces I went for were either sold or not in good repair when I got there 😦

Instead I found this little nightstand


My youngest claimed it as soon as I got home and I decided I would paint it in Annie Sloan Old White and distress it for her. I sealed it with Annie Sloan clear wax.

What do you think?


I think I can’t wait to hit up the next estate sale 🙂


Labor of Love (& friendship)


Most of my friends know that what started me on this DIY obsession adventure is seeing my friend Diane’s hutch redone. That rabbit hole led me to find Dumpster Diva but most of you don’t know I bought a table from her (DD) prior to learning how to do-it-myself!

We had a table (2 in fact). A formal dining table (as old as I am) that I bought from my grandparents and an “everyday” table we purchased back in 1999 for over $1000. Our everyday table was well loved and served us well but a little large for our current space. It had 6 chairs and 2 leaves and extended to 8′ long. When I bought my new table from DD I thought I would just sell my old table for a couple hundred bucks. No such luck. Because it was a lighter oak color,


No one wanted to pay a decent price for it. Never mind that the chairs were sturdy, table functioned great and it was solid wood. So….it sat in front living area making the place look like a furniture store. I considered painting it and then trying to sell it for more. But I worried that I would paint it white and potential buyers would want black or vice versa. And quite frankly I did not want to put forth the effort. So….it sat. And sat. And sat. Then my best friend Heather asked me if I would paint it for her. Suddenly I was motivated. Sort of.

I pestered her to death with pictures and “Do you like..?”‘s. She graciously told me what she liked and didn’t and we decided on a “shabby” white finish with a stained top. How hard could that be?

Well….I started sanding the top. I sanded for 8 hours, broke a sander, bought a new sander and managed to only sand 1/3 of the table. I sent Heather various texts expressing my absolute hatred for this stupid table. She lovingly thanked me for my hard work and listened to my venting. My neighbor came home and said “oh, you have the wrong type sander, wanna borrow my (better, faster, more expensive) sander?” DO I?!?!? Duh!!!! One hour with his nifty sander and table was all done. All done! One hour!! Boy did I feel stupid.

Here’s the table top laid out before sanding (garage lighting makes it look yellow, but it was really just a light pine or blonde oak color):


Here’s my teenager giving me a break and helping me sand:


Here’s the table top fully sanded and “raw”:


I painted all 6 chairs and the table base and tabletop edge in Annie Sloan’s Old Ochre and sealed with Annie Sloan clear wax. The table top was stained in MinWax Provincial and sealed with 7 coats of poly.

Here’s a before shot of a chair (those boogers were a pain to paint also!):


Here’s the chairs painted:



And here’s a step by step of the tabletop prior to poly:


Once we put the tabletop back on the base it really came together nicely and I began to like the way it turned out:


Man, that is one loooong table! Anyhow, after much temper tantrum venting on my part (through the entire table process) we were finally able to deliver the table to my dear friend Heather and see it set up in her dining room. Doesn’t it look great in there?


And I’m thrilled to say she was my first paying customer and I’m now working on a new piece for another client…I believe “Casa de Cass Designs” has been born 🙂


Painting Class


Back in February when I started researching redoing/updating furniture, I was told about Dumpster Diva. What is a Dumpster Diva you might ask? Well, it’s this neat lady that has an absolute gift for repurposing and redoing furniture. She has a shop in McKinney and she doesn’t throw away anything. What she also does do is teach painting classes. So…I decided I would take one. I figured if I could learn half as much as her, I’d be off to a great start. I told my mom about it and she decided to join me. Later, a friend of hers decided to join us also. The problem was Dumpster Diva was booked til April. Since you have most likely read my other blogs, you know I didn’t wait til this class to start painting 😉

So for $150 I signed up for a 4 hour painting class. Dumpster Diva (DD) provides all supplies except the paintbrush (she asked us to bring a Purdy Cub XL 2″ brush) and she even provided pieces from her “pickin’ pile” that we could choose from.

My mom and I saw a photo DD posted a few hours before the class of the pickin’ pile:

We got very excited and rushed right over to class. We were um, 75 minutes early 😉 but we wanted to know how the “pickin’ order” of this class went. I had my eye on the brown dresser to the right. When we arrived, DD said pickin’ order was first come so we rushed in the back and snagged our pieces. Success! The brown dresser was MINE ALL MINE!!


See…I wanted to find a dresser for my sons room; one I could try a 3 color technique on. The base color I wanted was brown so this was just perfect! Step 1 complete with no effort on my part! I chose Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Bayberry Green and Buttermilk to make what I had in mind.
I started out by painting the Bayberry Green haphazardly over the brown. Lets just say at that point I realized how industrious I was going to have to be to finish in the allotted time!


After the green dried I mixed up the buttermilk and went to town again quite haphazardly over the brown and green. Once all colors of all paint had dried I used a wet sponge to “wet distress” the piece and reveal more of the green and brown underneath.

I played with it a little to find the level of blending I wanted.

I used the same technique on the hardware and then I waxed the piece.
Here’s an updated pic after I got it home:

And the customary before & after:

Not too shabby, eh? And the most important part: my son loved it! I wish I could paint everything multiple layers – this technique is so much fun!

Bathroom makeover…Part 2


So after the cabinet in my bathroom got an update I was dying for the rest of the bathroom to catch up. I started out by going to Sherwin Williams to find a Sea Salt paint chip.

I then took that chip to Lowes and tried to find similar colors in paint chips. I happened to wander by the oops paint – I think I’m magnetically drawn there – and they had a gallon of Valspar Beach House in the “signature paint & primer satin finish”. It retails for $38/gal and they wanted $15 for this oops can. Was this my lucky day or WHAT?!? I went to the girl at the counter and asked her to add white to lighten it a tad. She happily obliged 🙂 at that price it was close enough to Sea Salt and I went with it!

I took my steal of a deal paint and went home. I set it in the garage and told my darling husband “I got the paint because it was a great deal. You don’t have to do it today but whenever you are ready, this paint is right here for you! Just whenever you are ready honey!” He got the hint 😉 and the next day he started painting!

Our bathroom is so small it’s awkward to photograph but here’s a few before shots:


Pardon the mess – we just piled everything in the tub and then I remembered the “before shot”.

My kids wanted to help dad paint so it became a family affair (I supervised, naturally!):


And finally it all came together:


It’s not a million dollar makeover but I do smile when I enter the bathroom now and I think the blue is a nice calming color. It makes the space nicer until we can make more expensive updates and I’m happy!


Bathroom makeover – Part 1


I started with “the piece that started it all” and quickly started running out of extra places to put furniture in my small house. So…I though to myself…what else do we have existing (therefore FREE!) that I could transform? And then it hit me: MY BATHROOM! My bathroom is small, poorly designed and plain, oh so very plain! Our budget is extremely limited and a total remodel is not in the plans til the kids are grown and moved out. At earliest that is 6 years from now (OMG I only have 6 years left with my kiddos!!!).

Back on track… so I decided that I could possibly makeover what we have and try to make the bathroom a more relaxing, soothing space.

Those who know me know I have always professed a hatred of painting. That’s why I find my love of painting furniture so ironic. But what I should have been saying all these years is that I hate painting walls! I love what color can do for a room but I hate the act of painting walls itself. My husband, the sweet loving half of our relationship, always says he will paint but I feel bad asking him to do what I just don’t like to do. So after 2.5 years in our house, our bathroom has stayed white and plain. UNTIL NOW!!

My birthday and Mothers Day are coming up. I asked darling hubby if he would paint the bathroom walls for me as a gift for one of those. He agreed!! I found this PIN that is my inspiration.

I decided I would attempt to find an oops paint (cheaper!) and have it tinted as close to Sherwin Williams Sea Salt as possible. I begin that quest today! In the meantime, I can totally start working on my vanity. It’s ugly as is:

So I decided to jump in with both feet. I started by removing the doors. I removed 3 of the 4 and the screws holding them on then my darling teenage son came along and said “mom, if you just unscrew the screws a little the door unhooks and you don’t have to take all the hardware off” OOPS! Guess he really does know more than his mama 😉

We removed the doors, attached the hardware, then labeled the doors:

I tried another new chalk paint recipe (1 c. paint + 1/4 c. water + 1 tbsp. plaster of Paris) and started painting:


I debated with my darling husband over whether we should distress this cabinet or not. We decided not. I sealed the piece and the doors with Valspar Clear Satin and look at how it turned out:


The Before & After:

Stay tuned for Part 2…