Saturday, January 28, 2012

Amazing Thrifty Finds

I found this French chair replica at garage sale at 2pm this afternoon for only $15. This is just the look I am going for in my bedroom. I can just picture it with new paint in Old White and Paris gray and finished off with dark wax for patina. I think I 'm just going to have the upholstery cleaned, the fabric is actually a great color. I have been storing a wingback chair in my garage for months. I have just been working up the courage to do my first reupholstering piece. I was planning on that chair going in my room but I instantly changed my mind when I saw this chair. I guess the old wingback will be an item I will sell.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Nautical Themed Roll Top Desk

In case you haven't noticed I love to do very feminine pieces. I felt like I needed to show myself and my husband that I was capable of something different. This is my idea of whimsy for boys or men?

I got this roll top desk on craiglist, and I've had this chair in my garage forever from a dining room set I bought and didn't use just one chair. For the desk, I used Aubusson Blue Chalk Paint with a mocha glaze, then polyurethaned the whole piece. I used a spray can poly for most of the desk but on the writing surfaces and top I did a paint-on poly. I just felt like wax wasn't going to be strong enough for what might happen on a desk. Last, but not least, I distressed with a medium grit hand sanding block.

The hardware features a compass and were purchased at hobby lobby. I printed off an old map and lined the drawers using Mod Podge to stick and seal.

The chair was originally black. I used Old Fashioned Milk Paint in barn red. Milk paint is really wonderful, it has a great matte look and distresses in its own unique way. Old Fashioned milk paint is sold in a powder that you mix with water. I found it online, but some local home improvement stores sell it in cans premixed. It is cheaper than the chalk paint and goes a long way. It doesn't have a long shelf life once you have mixed it in water, so just mix a little at a time. It is non-toxic and works really well on porous surfaces or bare wood. It has something in common with chalk paint too- it can stick to any surface if you purchase a bonding agent called Ultra Bond to mix in. Well, I was out of this bonding agent, but I remember thinking it looked and smelled a lot like glue, so what did I do? I added a little (you guessed it) MOD-PODGE! It did the trick and stuck amazingly. I did notice that it distressed a little differently than with the ultra bond and it was even more matte than usual.

I put a new cushion on the chair and had a rough time finding a way to fit the chairs odd shape. Not my best easy reupholstering job. To get the ship design on the fabric, I printed a picture off of the internet on regular paper and Mod Podged it on to some canvas material. Then I sprayed water on it, ironed it, and let it sit for a couple of hours. I gently rinsed off the paper, then let the fabric dry and stapled it on the chair. Lastly, I put a very thin layer of Mod Podge over the ship for protection. The desk and chair will be available for purchase in my shop.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Difference Dark Wax Can Make

If you haven't noticed already almost all of my pieces have been finished with dark wax. Why do I love it? What difference does it make in my pieces? Dark wax produces a look that I can only compare to a glaze. Many DIYers use glaze or stain over their latex paint to give it an "old" or "dirty" look. Annie Sloan dark wax reminds me of shoe polish, it is soft and sticky and it can be applied by rag or brush. I think a brush works best to work it into carvings and paint strokes. Annie Sloan sells her own brand of wax brush but it is a bit pricey, plus I've noticed in her books that she doesn't even use the expensive wax brush! She just uses a cheap 2" brush, so that's what I use too.

Before applying a dark wax you must apply clear wax, because if not you will just stain the paint. A little dark wax on your brush goes a long way. After you have applied dark wax where you want, go over it again with the clear wax. The clear wax will pull some of the dark wax off so it just remains in the cracks and crevices. Another method of dark waxing that gives a very subtle aged patina is to mix a bit of the dark wax with your clear wax, then apply the mixture to your piece. Don't be scared to give it a try, if you hate it you can just paint over it again with your chalk paint. Yep, chalk paint can do that.

One last thing to keep in mind is that dark wax isn't just for furniture. I have used it on picture frames and mirrors, but use your imagination! It could also add a few years to that craft you just finished or that paper creation of yours. Have fun!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vintage Dresser

Here is a beautiful 6 drawer dresser done in ASCP Old White and Duck Egg Blue, then dark waxed to help give it an aged feel. This dresser is one that my dad found in a thrift store in Utah and brought it all the way here. That's love.

I have been getting a lot of e mails asking me about A.S.C.P. and how to use it. (By a lot I mean like more than 2 that aren't family, really this website has only been up like a week). In the next day or two I will be working on doing my first tutorial and it will go over what I have learned through experience and searching the web.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Damask nightstand

So, I know I talked about having a unique coffee table ready on Friday but things have gone unexpectedly south on that project. I have been debating if I should just use the legs of the coffee table and turn it into an upholstered bench seat. The glass in the table is gone and my plan to replace it with some plywood just isn't working

I did, however, finish another kind of fun end table or nightstand. Argh...... I forgot to take before pictures of it again. It was a dark cherry stain. I refinished it using my new favorite color, duck egg blue, In Annie Sloan Chalk paint. I love this paint! It requires no primer or sanding and sticks to any surface. Seriously worth the money. It also sands smooth as a baby bum and distresses easily.

I covered it in a clear wax, then a dark wax and a clear wax again. The top is also covered in polyurethane for extra protection.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Space Saver

Here is a cute space saver idea. My husband made this out of old pallets and I stained it with a bleached wood stain.

My daughter Laila's room is very small and I have been having trouble trying to figure out how to fit all the things a girl needs in it. It seems like every toy box, hat box, trunk, or decorative basket is already full of toys.

She is just so cute, family and friends can't resist buying her a new toy ;)

I should have a pretty unusual coffee table to show on Friday so be sure to check it out!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Picture Frame Ideas

Lately I have been scavenging for ornate picture frames for a few projects I've been keeping in the back of my mind. Today I'm going to show you one of my projects that I just finished. The inspiration for this came from, I love everything about the room makeover Emily did, but this espicailly caught my eye.
I also saw some similar idea in a Country Living magazine (can't remember the issue, I just tore the page out and put it in my idea binder).

I was at a thrift store the other day and noticed a huge, plastic, ornate frame. It was a brown rust color and had an ugly grape print in it, but I didn't care. The frame was only $12. I got to work with my A.S.C.P. and some patina metal glaze and had it completely transformed in a matter of hours. A few weeks earlier I had purchased some cork board squares at the thrift store for $2 with just this project in mind. I took some wood glue and glued the cork onto the picture frame backing. When it was dry, I covered it with some material I already had (in Country Living, they cover theirs with wrapping paper), and used the staple gun to secure the fabric. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint colors Duck Egg Blue and Old White. Here is the end result!

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I have been in the process of redoing my bedroom because it hasn't really had any style... ever. I love the feel of an old world, romantic french bedroom. Who doesn't? I found these pictures on and loved the elegant and luxurious feel.

I immediately noticed that these pictures had amazing chandeliers. I am in the stage of my life where spending a couple hundred dollars on a light fixture just isn't wise, so what did I do? I headed to my favorite local thrift store to see what I could find. I bought a cheap brass chandelier for $5. A little white Rustoleum spray paint fixed the cheap brass look in minutes. My next stop was Hobby Lobby for some faux crystals. I first checked the jewelry section and they had some pre-made strands but not enough matching ones and it was a little pricey. I bought a few faux crystals that I knew I wanted to hang solo and headed over to the christmas decor section where I found I huge package of white garland-type beads. These were a great alternative and much cheaper. I got my hot glue gun out and in one evening, I had this for under $20. What do you think?

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

Friday, January 13, 2012

Small Coincidences

Today I finished a beautiful buffet table for a dear client of mine. This client I met in kind of a unusual way. I had posted an ad on craigslist for one of my finished armoires and her daughter happened to see it, and was hoping I could refinish a dresser for her soon-to-be-born son. My husband noticed her e mail address and said, "Hey that address looks familiar". We looked into it and figured out that we had bought our couches from the daughter on craigslist when we first moved in to our house. This daughter had first gotten these couches from her mom. What a small world it can be here in Vegas at times. Anyway, her mom came with her to pick up the finished dresser, and she ended up seeing the armoire in my garage and bought it. She then cleaned me out by taking a look at the buffet and had to have it as well. She had it custom painted to match other pieces the she already owned. She said she will send me a picture of it in her home, I can't wait!
I was so excited to paint the buffet for her that I completely forgot to take a before picture. I have been kicking myself ever since. I actually thought the piece was already beautiful unpainted, it had aged just right. Unfortunately, the corners had been banged up after all the years and there was no way I could fill them and find a stain to match. The wood veneer on the top of the buffet was also peeling, so my handy husband replaced the whole top, then painstakingly sanded the edges to be perfectly flush. This piece was painted in A.S.C.P. Old White and then a mocha glaze and finished off with clear wax.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

A New Beginning Brings an End

When I told my sister I had been reading some design blogs and was thinking about starting an at-home furniture business, she was more than surprised. She said she couldn't even see me reading blogs, let alone writing one. I guess I never gave off the vibe of being a great homemaker and computer whiz. Weird. If you had asked me 3 years ago, I would have had much different plans for myself. For the past 7 years, I thought my mission in life was to medically save every animal that I came in contact with. I spent all my time working at a vet hospital, or going to school to learn more and move up in the working world. If you had asked me if I was ever going to stop working while I had children, my firm answer would have been "No".

I went through some painful growing over the past few years. I finally couldn't take dropping my screaming newborn at my sister's house almost every morning to be watched while I went to school and work. I was frantically trying to juggle finishing school before moving out of state for my husband to start his doctorate elsewhere. I ended up not finishing, but what I learned from this juggling act was far greater than any school lesson I paid thousands for. I learned that I didn't have to save every animal myself. I learned to define myself not by my past career. I learned to slow down and enjoy one day at a time. I realized that in the long run my sweet daughter didn't care if I was a genius, she didn't care about how much school I finished, and I wasn't born to be anything better than her mom. My daughter will only remember the time I did or didn't spend with her, she would remember how I treated others, and she would remember if I was happy, stressed, or worn out. The best thing I could be was exactly what I thought I never wanted. I love being a mom, nothing is more important.

This past year I have spent a lot of time studying furniture books, history, blogs, and magazines. It is something I enjoy. This is a great new start for me, I am so blessed. I am able to work at home and be there for my daughter when she needs me. I am able to bring beauty into our home to make it "our" place and to provide my family with the comforts and joy that a loving home should have. This is the beginning of a new phase in my life that I now can happily embrace... There is always time for more school later, right?