Thursday, April 26, 2012

70's Armoire Restyle

We're here in Disneyland having the time of our lives. I have been so dedicated to my Thursday posts that I took a minute to do it. J/K I wrote this earlier this week and am sending it in on Thursday. You thought I needed a life for a second didn't you?

It seems every morning when I go to check my Etsy messages, they are always asking if I have another square armoire with drawers inside. I've learned if I come across one, just buy it. This week I worked on a really neat 70's style armoire. The cool twisting trim on the sides and huge hardware caught my eye. For some reason I just kept picturing some colorful Moroccan feel.

Of course if I think about it, a bright Moroccan look would never go in my home. Maybe not yours either. I was asked to paint this piece French Linen and Pure White, but I had never used these colors together and was hesitant. I was used to the French Linen looking a little green after the dark wax. I looked at some other ladies' amazing work with these colors online and I was sold. I was so excited to use them together! I used dark wax to age the piece and added some distressing by hand as always. The inside has been painted white and has no dark wax. I love the inside to look so clean and fresh. It just brightens my day.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

White and Whimsical

My crazy week has finally arrived and tomorrow the plumbers will be taking over my home. I have spent all week furiously painting to clear out a spot in my garage. I also am one of those people who cleans their house for the plumbers. My husband will never understand but maybe some of you ladies will. I mentioned that I'd be going to visit the in-laws for a few days. My daughter is always excited to see her grandparents and I haven't mentioned it to her, because the second I tell her she'll expect us to get in the car right then.

We have a pretty amazing offer from my sister to go with her family to Disneyland too! Our daughter has never been and doesn't even know that it exists. She's just starting to enjoy the Disney classics. I'm just so excited to see her face when she sees it all. We'll be heading off to Disneyland 3 hrs after stepping off the plane from Grandma's house. Pretty crazy huh?

I also get really stressed whenever we leave for a vacation and can't bring another member of our family, my weimeraner Julius. If you don't know what a weimeraner is that's ok, all you need to know is they're as neurotic as I am. They're a family dog and if they're away from their family even for short amount of time, they're crazy and destructive. I always pick him up from boarding with sores all over his nose from rubbing it on the kennel.

My husband knows how a can't relax and vacation when I have to worry about him. Since he is such a great hubby, he found a great boarding facility. The dogs play outside all day with the other dogs on a playground and splash pad, and they only are in kennels when they eat. At night they have fake 'living rooms' where the dogs all sleeps on couches and their beds and they can watch TV. This last part sold me as well- they have cameras online for you to see what they're doing 24/7. I can breathe easy this whole week. Well, almost, I'll still have perfect strangers in my house all week while I'm away.

Anyway, on to the furniture. You may know already that I have an Etsy shop. It's not huge, I just can't keep up with the demand here in Vegas as well as across the country where all my Etsy customers reside. When I buy a piece that doesn't already have a plan to go to someone here in Vegas, I list it on Etsy for custom painting orders. This little 3 drawer chest of drawers was on there for a week or so before getting snatched up for custom painting. Is this a large nightstand or small dresser? I don't know, but it does have some amazing details on the drawer fronts. I was asked to paint everything white with no distressing. Just white, classic and beautiful. I hope she loves it!

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

My First Piano

I've been promising a piano picture for several weeks now, I guess it's time to follow through on my promises. I've been holding out on showing it for awhile because I know I wouldn't have two finished pieces to show this week if I didn't.

This piano is not mine but after painting it, I wish it were. I have a very similar piano and now I'm having some thoughts about painting it. If only I didn't already have a list of things to paint for my myself that's about a mile long. For some reason I just feel guilty for working on my own stuff when I could be making some money painting for others.

Well, this was the last piece that I finished for a really fun young couple who had so many great things for me to paint. They had a very clear vision of what they wanted their home to look like. Just like most of us, they said the process of getting to the "look" they were going for was slow going. Do you know this feeling? I do, it seems by the time I get a room halfway done it's been so long I decide I want to go for a different style.

I used Paloma ASCP for the base. This was a color I have never tried before but I really ended up loving it. It is grey with a very subtle purple to it. I painted the top coat with Pure White- I originally was looking for the Original White but it turns out no one in the United States carries it. Go figure. I used clear wax all over the piece for a subtle shine and also for protection. I added a bit of dark wax to bring out some of the carving.

As you can imagine this piano is extremely heavy. It was dropped off to my home by piano movers and picked up as well. I will have to apologize for my horrible garage picture. This baby just wasn't going anywhere for glamorous staging. I know the colors look horrible against my blue painters plastic, but oh well, you get the idea.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Another Whimsical Dresser

I did it again. I got so excited to start a project I didn't take a before picture. I do however still have the picture from the Craigslist listing.

You may have noticed that I do a lot of these 6-9 drawer French replica-style dressers. I just find them so romantic and whimsical. I realize they're not for everyone or every room.There seems to be a high number of these old dressers in this style here in Vegas. Am I complaining? No way.

For this dresser and nightstand (it's like an extra bonus when I find them with matching nightstand), I cleaned them up using a Simple Green cleaner. Then I sanded down the top where there were some old scratches and burn marks. I wanted a clean new surface before I painted the top. The body of the dresser is painted in Old White Chalk Paint. I was asked to paint the drawers a sage green, but Annie Sloan doesn't make a sage green. I turned to my DIY chalk paint technique and mixed my Glidden brand Dusk Sage with some plaster of paris. I dont measure this out, but just mix it until it becomes a thick paste, i add a tbsp or two of water. I can then paint the details and drawers in sage without sanding and priming. I finished with several coats of clear white and a very light amount of distressing.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Some Wine With That?

This week I had the opportunity to paint an already beautiful wine cabinet. The cabinet has beautiful carving and detail. I painted it in Paris Grey mixed with a touch of Aubusson Blue and graphite to darken it up a bit, then gave it a heavy dose of dark waxing to dirty it up.

Here is the (small, sorry) picture that my client sent me of what she wanted the finished product to look like. What do you think, is it close?

When the piece was dropped off my helpful husband wasn't home to move it. I guess I'm not as strong as I think or I had too much lotion on that day, because I couldn't move it for the life of me. I ended up knocking on a neighbor's door and asking him to move it into the house for me :) The things I do for furniture. I'm an incredibly shy person so this was like a milestone in my life. I'm sure my mom is reading this and is in disbelief.

In the next few days I'll be finishing up a piano makeover and a shabby French provincial dresser, so I'll be sharing those with you guys also.

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Versailles Hutch

This past week I finished a gigantic hutch. It feels like I had this huge thing sitting in my garage forever taking up space. I found this beast at a local thrift store, and it was missing a piece of glass but that didn't deter me. I've looked through enough blogs and Etsy shops to know I can easy add something like good old chicken wire.

The hutch was flaking a bit but nothing a good scraping and some cleaning couldn't fix. The piece had great detail and carving that caught my eye immediately. I'm a sucker for a little carving.
I had an almost-full can of Versailles sitting around and no plan yet to use it. Hmmmm...what color to use with it? I went to browsing the web and noticed there weren't a lot of pictures of refinished furniture in this color. I turned to the Annie Sloan website and noticed she mentioned it can look "old world" with colors like Louis Blue and Paris Grey. I would have never thought of putting blue with Versailles, but once I read that I couldn't stop thinking about all the amazing old buildings found in Versailles. I looked at pictures of old buildings with amazing architecture and natural distressing, and I wanted my piece to have some of that feel to it.

The thought of dark waxing this piece made my arms hurt and made me want to cry a little. I chose to make my own color of glaze instead. I didn't want it to be a warm brown color, but kind of like dirt and rain had made it the color of a building in Versailles.

I love the old worn look against the clean and crisp Lois Blue. I hope to sell this piece soon so I don't have to have it in my garage any longer. This hutch is huge so you'll have to just accept the picture of it in front of the garage. I've been horrible staging lately. It seems everything has just been so heavy or just awkward to stage. My goal is to get better at it.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dry Brushing Gives A Coffee Table a New Look

Hey there! This week I've been up to a lot of fun projects. First, I want to share with you a metal and glass coffee table that got a whole new look using a dry brush technique. What is dry brushing you ask? Well let me first show you the before picture of this coffee table.

Kind of an outdated look but not bad. It just wasn't the look my customer wanted anymore. Instead of spending tons of money by replacing this table she's had for years, it's much more affordable to just have it repainted.

Here is the after:

It almost looks like an old stone table now with the dry brushing technique. So how did I get this look? The base coat is ASCP in Paris Gray. Once that was dry I moved on to my second layer; the dry brush layer. I dip my brush in just a little ASCP Old White and I squeegee off any excess paint on the sides of the can. I then tap the rest of the excess paint off an a dry clean cloth. Then I paint in all different directions until I have the amount of white showing that I like.

I love how this piece has so many intricate details, I really wanted them to show. Once the paint was dry I brushed on a Valspar Antique Metal Patina glaze in sections and wiping off immediately. With the glaze I just wanted it to show what had settled in the cracks. The last step was a light distressing.

I also took this previously black mirror to a beautiful Provence with some dry brushing on the details.

Be sure to check back this coming week where I'll show off a huge European-inspired hutch and a piano!

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Monday, April 2, 2012


It has been a rough few weeks here in our home. Both my husband and daughter have been sick and I can hardly keep up with things. Well, about a month and half ago I started painted this dresser for a client who found me on Etsy. She had seen one of my sold armoire/dressers and wanted one similar, but with different colors. After much deliberation and changing her mind a few times, she decided on Coco with a Paris Grey wash. I have never used the Coco myself so I referred her to the Annie Sloan website to get an idea of the color. I painted the first coat and sent her a picture.

We both thought the Coco looked much lighter than what we anticipated. Back to square one. Do you pick a different base coat color or add some graphite to darken it up a bit? We decided on darkening the Coco, I then applied the Paris Gray wash.

Too light. Then I applied the dark wax...

Still too light. I planned on being able to have this done for her in a week but it was taking much longer. I ended up having to leave mid project and run to a wedding out of town for a week.

She had a whole week to decide on where she wanted to go from there. She decided on Coco with just dark wax over the top- a beautiful neutral that will go well in her home. The dark waxing brings out the carving just right. I was so happy with the outcome and thrilled to be done after a month of working on it.

When using Etsy, I always go through Uship with items that are very heavy and are going far. I've had great luck with it and the prices are the lowest I can find. My favorite part is they pick it up at your home and drop it off at the new owners.

No such luck this time. The shipper said he'd be here in a day to pick it up, but he didn't call or show. We called, him he said the next day, and this went on and on for days. He never answered when we would call. I stayed home for 3 days expecting him each afternoon to pick it but no such luck. I finally had enough and ended up canceling my shipping bid and picking up another Uship bidder. Instead of this beautiful piece being on its way to Boston to a new home, it is sitting in my living room looking out of place. My client has been amazing and very understanding. Just a few days and this bad boy will be places I've never been so lucky to visit.

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