Friday, May 19, 2017

Bedroom Furniture Re-freshed

When a client offered me this bedroom furniture, how could I resist?
The curved foot board and the caning immediately grabbed my attention.
And the raised motifs.....simply perfect!

The furniture likely dates from the 1930's.  
It's solid wood with dove-tail joints and extravagant detail.
I could picture it it in a little girl's room, painted white.

You might ask why I'd want to paint these beauties, but guess what?
Originally, the set was WHITE. 
At some point the furniture was stripped and stained,
so by painting it white, you might say I'm actually restoring it!

  I decided to keep the wooden top because it contrasts nicely with the paint.
But I wanted to re-stain it with a darker color.
To do that, the top needed to be stripped.

What's the best way to strip away decades of wax, varnish and stain
without spending hours scraping and sanding?

My (not-so) secret weapon is MINWAX FURNISHER REFINISHER.

It cuts through old varnish and stain,  to reveal fresh wood underneath.
What could have been a tedious job, was done in less than 30 minutes.

Now comes a true confession!
Have you ever had an idea, but it doesn't work out the way you imagined?
That's what happened here.

First I painted the furniture a delicious Butter-Yellow.
BUT I didn't love it. 
The color detracted from the wood's beautiful detail, and the wood looked red. 
You may agree.
However, with paint, there are no mistakes, just extra work!

So, I shifted gears and mixed a mellow off-white color using
equal parts of  Annie Sloan Pure White and Old White Chalk Paint.

After sanding to distress the new paint, some of the yellow paint peeked through.
Ahh, this was so much more appealing.

The beds painted up beautifully, too.
Both are already spoken for, but the dresser and nightstands for sale.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Painting the Look of Weathered Wood - a Coastal Wall

Rather than move to a new home, my clients decided to renovate the lower level of their home
which opens onto a backyard oasis featuring a pool and lovely lake view.

Often, what I do is part of a larger project, so I rarely get to see things finished.
That's exactly what happened here.  I'd love to see how it all turned out. 

The homeowner has a charming style.  
I'd call it "beach house glam" -- a mix of rustic wood and lots of sparkle!
My job was to paint the wood for her feature wall.
This was made easier because I painted the boards before they were cut and installed.

The wood is NEW rough-sawn pine cut into 4" to 10" widths. 
But how do you lay out so many boards at once?

We set up saw horses and work tables in the garage.
This way we could work with several boards at a time, then move them to dry.
Once dry, they were sorted by size and stored on the rungs of the ladders. 

The best part of this project was working with my Mom.  
She was visiting us for several days when this project was scheduled.
I told her there was no sitting on the sidelines!
There's work to be done.   Here's a roller -- go for it!
And she did. 

To get a scruffy, weathered effect, we first rolled each board with a base color, 
then randomly skipped on other colors with a roller or brush.
There's no right or wrong way to paint these boards.
It's all very un-structured.  
And what fun we had!
Thanks Mom for your help!

Each board was different, but the over-all effect on the wall was soft 
and reminded my client of beach glass.

Another part of this project was to paint the switchplate covers to match the granite and the tile.
It's all about details!


......and Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Chalk Paint on Fabric: a Pair of Chairs

These parlour chairs once were in my mother-in-law's living room.  When the house was sold, our daughter wanted them for her own home.  How sweet that she wanted the chairs as a remembrance of her Grandmother, but gosh, their Victorian style and velvet fabric seemed stuffy for a young person.

But daughter is like mother.  We like what we like, and happily surround ourselves with things we love, or treasure, or that make us smile.  So, it shouldn't have surprised me that she wanted her Grandmother's chairs.   We both knew a little paint and new fabric would give them a fresh new face.

Uh-Oh!  Ourr daughter accepted a new job out of state, and I had no time to re-upholster the chairs.   Instead, I turned to Chalk Paint.  Yes, you can use Chalk Paint on fabric.

Here's how it worked for me.

This photo shows how one coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint changed the original chair color.

I lightly dampened the fabric and used thinned paint applied with a chip brush to get started.  Because the fabric is velvet, it absorbed the paint -- and it took a long time to dry before additional coats of paint could go on.  If we only wanted to lighten up the green fabric we could have stopped after one or two appications, but NO, we wanted a white background and the green had to disappear.

It took a LOT OF PAINT to get to this stage.   You may wonder if the paint makes the fabric is stiff, or if it cracks.  Nope!   Sanding between each coat of paint keeps things soft and pliant.  

Finally, the fun could begin.

 The yellow paint is  DECO ART- Chalky Finish.  I chose it for its compatibility with the chalk paint base, and it worked like a dream.  One coat coverage!  There were a few places where the yellow paint bled under the stencil, but a with a touch of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, the edge cleaned up beautifully.  That surprised me. 

The dots and chevron make such a fun, young statement on these vintage chairs. I'm lovin' it!

Chalk Paint requires a coating of WAX to finish and protect it.  Two light coatings on both the chair frame and the fabric finished this project nicely.  Now they are off to their new home!  On time, too!


Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Bold Headboard - Coloring Book Style

Coloring isn't just for kids!
  Stroll through any Art & Craft store and you'll see coloring books galore.
Adults have re-discovered the joy of coloring.
It's fun, restful and creative.
When a favorite client asked me to create a
 "COLORING BOOK" wall for her daughter's bedroom, 
 I was excited to help.

But first I do a test run so I can give my client a proper estimate.
Looking around the house,
I decided my guest room headboard was a good candidate for change.
Oh, these old doors begged for fresh paint!
Whoops....Almost forgot the BEFORE photo!
First, the background.
 I slip-slapped on a few vintage colors
 and added a punch of PARAKEET GREEN for fun.
This is case where things look worse before before they get better!
...and they do get better, promise.
Next, the flowers.
Using a few coloring books from the craft store
and some books from my bookshelves for inspiration,
I picked up a brush and began to paint.
There's no need to draw anything first.
This is a free-spirited, casual design.  You can't make a mistake with it.
So resist the urge to over-think this.
Grab a brush and go for it!
I used artist-brushes and diluted black acrylic paint
to paint the line drawings of leaves and flowers.

See how the background colors mix and mingle inside the design.
Flowers and leave have a mix of colors in them,
and that makes each one unique and interesting.
This is FUN!
The test run was successful
my guest room got a mini-facelift!


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Kitchen Table with French Script

Sometimes a mistake can lead to something unexpectedly wonderful.  
That's exactly what happened here. 
Wanting to re-stain the top of my kitchen table top, 
 I began to sand.....


Things got out of hand.  
What I thought was solid pine was actually veneer, 
and before I knew it, there was an ugly divot in the table top.
Hey, things happen! 
Re-staining wasn't going to work 

On to Plan B:  painting the table top.  
(Do you see my helper ready to pounce onto the fresh paint?)

 I painted the table simply,
 imitating those appealing vintage enamel-topped drop leaf tables.
You know the one's I mean. 

But it looked too-oo--o plain,
so I added some lettering, and liked it much better. 

For those who ask, the template is from Cutting Edge Stencils.
You'll find lots to inspire you at their website.

Much better -- 


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Not Your Grandma's Desk

 My Mom has a desk just like this one in her living room.
On a recent visit to her home, I casually suggested painting it for her. 
but she told me that she likes it just the way it is.
In other words, "Hands Off"!

So imagine my surprise 
when my neighbor offered me a desk just like Mom's.

I was delighted to have it,
 but would only take it, if she didn't mind that I paint it.
No problem!

So I carted the desk home and began to think about how to paint it.

White?  Black?  Color?  
Have I mentioned that I'm enamored with Mackenzie-Childs designs?

I'm a "plain-jane" sort of girl, 

and for the life of me, I can't explain why their sassy, 
exuberant style appeals to me, but it just does.
I'm smitten by it!

(Go ahead - check out their site, guaranteed you'll have fun, too!)

 I planned to use this desk in my guest room, 
the one with shabby white furniture and neutral walls. 

This desk would bring a decided touch of whimsy to the room.

To mimic the MacKenzie-Child style,
it's a matter of mixing colors and pattern, 
then adding a liberal amount of black. 

I used a damask stencil, brush-stroke roses, borders of checks, 

and the painted illusion tufting to get there.  

Each drawer was painted differently,

and the finial got some variegated gold leaf.

A trio of bunnies decorate the desk front. 

Now to finish the rest of the room!


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