Monthly Archives: May 2013

Time out!


Several months ago, I blogged about some projects I did for my sister for baby Norah’s nursery (linky here).

A month or so after that I stopped at a community garage sale and found this great little chair for only $2:


I knew instantly that Norah needed that chair as a “time out” chair. Her brother has one and it gets its fair share of use. Obviously Norah, taking after the women in our family isn’t going to need a time out chair 😉 but just in case….I snagged this one 🙂

I started sanding it and discovered that it had been blue, purple, white, green, yellow and flowery in its past lives:

I decided to paint it black as a base and I just used some black latex paint I happened to have leftovers of. Well, after painting for months with chalk paint which dries in a matter of 5-30 mins depending on brand I was really not happy that the latex paint took about 3 days to cure properly 😦
See…..I like immediate results (read: I have zero patience!!). And when I don’t get that, I get bored and move onto something else. This is why chalk paint works so well for me! So while Norah’s black time out chair was curing, I got distracted bored and worked on about 6 other projects. So it sat…and sat…and sat!

When I finally got a break from my other projects (and the date for my next trip to Lubbock started looming closer and closer) I mixed up the remainder of the guacamole paint I had used on Norah’s book case and got busy painting the lil chair.

Following my sisters instruction from the bookshelf I only did minimal distressing (just enough for the black to show through) and then it was DONE!

Not bad for a $2 garage sale find, huh?

Musical Tables


I have posted before about a dining table or two 😉

It started with us realizing that our current table wasn’t working in our small kitchen nook space:

So I made it over and blogged about that here.
I purchased a table from Dumpster Diva and it looked like this:

But it just wasn’t working for our space. I did lots of Pinterest research and came up with some inspiration photos like this:

And a few other pins like this one and this one. So….I listed my black table for sale and went on the hunt for a round table. I found this on Craigslist:

It came with 6 super sturdy chairs with loads of carved detail:

And the table itself had some nice detail:

I bought it and it sat in the garage until the black table sold (1 week!) and the day they picked up the black table I started painting the round table and all 6 chairs. My family reminded me that I had said NO MORE TABLES. Painting difficult pieces is like giving birth. During the process you say lots of things and afterwards, the bad memories fade! 😉
I painted the table and all 6 chairs from start to finish in ONE DAY! I used Annie Sloan Old White and heavily heavily distressed with 220 grit sandpaper. Then I waxed the chairs and table base with Annie Sloan Clear Wax and then did 4 coats of poly on the table top so we could eat at the table without placemats, coasters etc.
Here’s the table:

Here’s the chairs:


The leaf insert which we may never use:

Customary before/after:

And the table all set up in our space:

I’m going to add some different decor to the wall and replace the light fixture but for now I love the table and love the new look it gave our space and the size is perfect. Wonder how long til I start bugging my hubby to install those built in benches…?!? 🙂


“Sisters are different flowers from the same garden”


A side benefit to doing what I do, is getting to help people make over furniture that they like (it’s sturdy, it functions well etc) but they may not necessarily like the color or finish of.

My sister purchased some furniture from our grandmother right after she (sis) got married. She liked the lines of the piece and the great storage but after a while, I think the plain oak finish wasn’t to her tastes. So….when she discovered they would be moving back to Lubbock (where our mom and much family lives) when she was 7 months pregnant she asked me to come help with unpacking. Since I’m known as fairly OCD ahem, organized and available, she asked me. Through many conversations I learned that she also wanted her bedroom furniture made over. Clearly, she had asked the right person 😉

So I packed up my supplies,

20130522-101631.jpg I like to say “Have paint, will travel!”

(And my teenager) and headed to Lubbock. Here’s the furniture before and forgive my tired self for not reassembling the furniture for better “before” pics but I had driven 6 hours and unpacked 3 rooms the day before so I wasn’t really feeling it.
This was a tall chest:

The nightstand:

The dresser/mirror combo:

And the headboard/footboard:


As you can see the furniture was sturdy, had great lines (love the curves) and was overall a quality set. She decided she wanted it painted white with slight distressing. So, I chose Annie Sloan Old White and after distressing I waxed it with Annie Sloan Clear Wax. The exception was the tops of the nightstand and the long dresser. I finished the bodies of those in wax, but sealed the tops with Minwax Polyurethane to withstand drinks, the occasional spill and my toddler nephew and soon to be niece 🙂
Here are some afters. First the tall chest:

I bet you didn’t even pick up on these great details when you saw the “before” pics, did you?



Something about white makes details just pop out on quality wood pieces. I LOVE IT!!
Here’s the nightstand:

The dresser/mirror combo:

This dresser/mirror pic was taken during the night (very, very late at night) so it appears yellow but that’s just the interior lighting. I promise it’s the same gorgeous white as the other pieces.

Here’s the headboard/footboard that my teenager ended up doing under my supervision (see…anyone can do this!) because my arm was hurting from the 3 pieces I did the day before and the 14 pieces I did the 6 days prior to going to Lubbock. Must. Learn. To. Pace. Myself!!


Overall, I thought it was a great transformation. My sister feels like she got new furniture without having to spend new furniture $$, and I got to spend time with my sister, my brother-in-love and my amazing nephew. All because I decided to try painting one day. WINNING!!


Red and Black – client pieces


Over the months, I’ve had quite a few people approach me to quote them on painting custom pieces for them. I find that so cool. Not only do I get to make some extra $$ but I get to paint pieces of furniture that people will have in their homes for years. Wow.

This particular client had shared with me what she was looking for furniture wise and during my daily strolls through Craigslist I sent her links to things I thought would work. She found these great pieces…..

This long dresser:

2 of these night stands:

And a tall chest:

With these 5 drawers that I was too tired to put back in just for a photo op:

She decided she wanted the long dresser to be red with brushed nickel hardware. So I used milk paint in Barn Red and Salem Red and created a custom blend. Once painted and distressed, I used clear wax, then dark wax. Both from Annie Sloan.
Here’s a shot of the drawers with the left side waxed and the right side just painted and distressed. It really shows how the wax deepens the color:

Here’s the completed piece:

And the customary before/after comparison:

She then decided she wanted the tall chest and the nightstands to be painted black and distressed with gray hardware. She wanted a true black so I chose CeCe Caldwells chalk paint in Beckley Coal. She wanted a medium to heavy distress so here’s how they turned out after distress and clear waxing with Annie Sloan clear wax:



And the customary before/afters:



I was able to complete all 4 of these pieces in 3 days from start to finish. I loved the way they turned out, do you?


File that under Fabulous Find ;)


Another fun thing about my hobby/side job is that I periodically stumble across great deals for…ME!!

The first piece I did I usually refer to as “the piece that started it all” but others refer to it as “the first piece you did” or “that dresser thingy” when asking me how I created that finish. You can read about it here but I’ve decided to call that finish my “signature finish”.

I was cruising the online classifieds and I stumbled across this filing cabinet:


For 2 years I’ve been managing our files in canvas totes. And hunting for the perfect cabinet (lateral, 2 drawer, decent looking, and CHEAP!) Then BINGO! There it was! $40 and a slight mishap during loading and it was all mine 🙂 Let me tell you that booger is H-E-A-V-Y!!

I rushed home and painted it in my signature finish. Annie Sloan Old Ochre paint with Minwax dark walnut stain as a glaze, then sealed with poly gloss.


I spray painted the handles black and put it all back together and by the next day it was sitting next to my desk…which I also painted while it was in the garage during floor remodel 🙂

Here it was before ($20 online classified find):


Here it is after in my “signature finish”:


Here’s a pic of the filing cabinet inside (the colors always look different from my garage to inside the house:

Now I have a nice little office setup that was made over in a day and I love it! Stayed tuned for more client pieces soon…..


Santa Fe Turquoise


One of the great things about this adventure turning into a side business for me is when I get to help my friends turn furniture deals into really great pieces.

My BFF found this great deal on a set of pine bedroom furniture for her daughter.


There were 5 pieces in this set:
a toy box
3 different chest/dressers and a hutch/bookshelf. Initially I said “Sure, I can do that”. Then when it was delivered I looked around and thought to myself “man this is a LOT to paint!” I’m always up for a challenge so I got to it 🙂

There was some kind of flower decal on each piece of this set and the great thing about chalk paint is that it goes right over anything so I didn’t even have to try and sand/remove it.

I started by painting 2 coats of CeCe Caldwells Santa Fe Turquoise:


Then I did a coat of Annie Sloan clear wax and then a coat of dark wax to distress it using 0000 steel wool to work the wax in. You can see here the difference between a drawer that is just painted and one that is dark waxed and distressed:

Once I’d finished the dark wax I went back over each piece with another coat of clear wax to seal it.
Here’s the finished set:




On the hutch I chose to not dark wax the inside because a) it will most likely be covered with books and stuff and b) it would have been too much dark wax in my opinion.

Here’s the customary side by side comparison:

I really liked using this paint. It had much better coverage than the yellow and I love the way each piece transformed. I did 2 coats on all these pieces and still had about 1/4 can left over. Best of all, the sweet girl I painted this for loved it. The greatest part of all this for me is when I finish a piece and the person I’m doing it for loves it. Best. Feeling. EVER!

I have a garage with 9 more client pieces calling my name so stay tuned…


Bumblebee dresser


As my business is growing and people are bringing me more and more furniture to paint I’m getting to try different techniques, different types of paint and different colors. I LOVE it!

A client brought me this dresser that she found for $30:


It was in a sad state of affairs. Half the hardware was missing, one of the support legs was damaged, and the top was badly gauged. I called in my husband “Sgt. Fix-it” and he spent several weeks getting this dresser paint ready for me. He’s so awesome!

The client wanted a yellow dresser body with a black top. The exact shade of yellow she wanted could only be found in the Cece Caldwells line of paint. So I picked up a can of Carolina Sun Yellow and got to work.



We learned we hadn’t sanded the top properly when the black paint looked like crap and we had to strip:


And re-sand:


I made my own chalk paint for the top. I learned that the CC paint (in yellow at least) does not quite have the coverage that the Annie Sloan paint does. It took me 6 coats to get complete coverage with the CC yellow. I then did a little light distressing and put a coat of wax on it to seal it. The client had me spray paint the hardware from the top row of dressers and she bought new for the bottom 4 drawers. What do you think?



I don’t even like yellow as a color choice and I liked this one 🙂