Wednesday, March 9, 2016


I have actually been waiting almost 2 years for someone to ask me to do this to a dresser.  I never found the time to do it just "for fun" and knew the motivation was going to come from someone who was paying me to do it.

Can you believe the photo above came from the photo below?  

After prepping and spraying the piece in the color blue, I let it cure for a few days before I masked it off.

To be honest, I was all like..."wouldn't you like it if the ENTIRE drawer was gold and the line NOT running through the middle of it",(ya know, being a big baby about having to masking off the very detailed drawers). And she was like "Hmmmmm...NOPE"!  Can't say I blame her.  Having the line run through the drawers like we did definitely gave it a more special and custom look.

After masking it off, I sprayed a few light layers of the gold paint.  She really liked the color of Krlyon Brass and although I was a little nervous about taking a can a spray paint to one of my pieces, I knew I would be using a very careful hand and clear coating it with lacquer so it would have a very even finish.

So, after saying a few prayers and promising to never have a bad thought again, I removed the tape.

I actually wasn't too terribly worried because I took the extra time to "do it right". I have a tutorial on creating the perfect stripes here.  It is always worth the the extra time because the last thing I to do is touch up an imperfect line on a perfectly sprayed dresser with my shaky hands.

I am proud to say I did not have one touch up that need to be done on any lines.  That will most likely never happen again.

So there you have it!  A few clear coats of a clear, semi gloss lacquer and it looks beautiful!

I also love how the nightstands turned out in one of my my metallic finishes.  My client will be using these as nightstands in a bedroom and the dresser as a buffet in her dining room:)

I also have to mention that my client sent me this gorgeous inspiration photo below.  She loved this dresser by Haylie, who looks to use gold in a lot of her pieces.  She does beautiful work her IG acct can be found here .

I am glad I was able to help my client create a gorgeous piece for her new home!

Friday, November 13, 2015


The world would be a better place if we all had a neighbor like I do. We call each other before we toss out anything, just in case one of us need it.  Such is the case with the old fence they were tearing out.  It had been there forever and weathered just perfectly!  Originally, I just wanted a section for some crafts.

Eventually I ended up going back for a lot more!

Ava was all on board and took it upon herself to haul the first section over.  

A client brought me this dresser. It that had the worst "professional" finish I have ever seen, complete with many drips and a horrible spray job.  Granted, this was in the middle of me prepping it but it needed a complete overhaul.  

My clients were very open to anything and said "do whatever you think will look good" which is fun and terrifying all at the same time.

Knowing now, how well the fence posts cleaned up after pressure washing, I decided to use them for the top. 

Construction adhesive and a few brad nails is all it took.

 After trimming out the edges with ripped down pieces, I added a few clear coats to bring out the natural color of the wood and it looks beautiful giving the perfect rustic modern look I was hoping for.

I also decided to use the same wood on another dresser. A lot more work actually went into this makeover but the herringbone wood pattern on top was definitely the best part.

The before photo

I wanted to add feet and in this case, to do it right meant I had to cut off the base of the dresser.

Naturally, it was a huge process as I had to rebuild the base to make it sturdy enough for the leg brackets to be added.  I then trimmed it out with MDF.

The trickiest part was finding the center line so that it would be even.  I cut the boards on my skills saw at a 45 with just a little overhang. After glueing and a few brad nails, I let sit overnight and cut edges with a skills saw (and guard for a straight line).
I also added the trim to edges after wards.

A few clear coats makes a huge difference!!  I really love how it turned out!

 We also found a few other fun things to do with the wood:)

Sunday, July 26, 2015


In case you missed it, I goofed and accidentally painted the top of this dresser when my client wanted it stained...oops!  But like I always say, anything can be changed and although maybe a little more work, it's really not the end of the world. 

I also decided it was a good opportunity to share this staining tip with you.

 After I stripped the top I added one coat of General Finishes Java Gel Stain.  Photo below is after that one coat. 
It stained nicely after one coat but had a little blotchiness going on.  I was going to do another 2 or 3 coats but decided to do what I have done a few times before...add a dye stain mixed with clear coat. 

Here is the result after I used one coat of the mixture and 2 more clear coats added over top of that for protection.

This is a pretty cool product.  It can be used alone but is VERY pigmented and like it says, is a dye.  so yeah, I personally wouldn't put it on alone.  I add it to a water base clear coat. I personally feel you can add to any water base clear coat but it's probably smartest to add to a GF clear just to be safe

I have experimented with different ratios but find that 1:4 (ish) ratio is usually good for the projects I have done.  
It basically evens out and darkens the overall color of a stained piece.  For me, this has allowed me to NOT have to do many extra coats of stain to get the depth I want on many pieces. 

Another recent example is how I used it on these barstool seats.  I wish I had a good before photo but naturally, I don't.  They were in decent, but not perfect condition.  I added a coat of this mixture after lightly sanded them, to create a nice, even, new finish.  As always, I also add a few coats of clear afterwards too.

You can spray or do by hand.  I have done both and both work well.  
Because I had a batch mixed already I sprayed the seat but did the dresser by hand.

There are many different color dye stains but seem to usually reach for the dark brown. 

Hope this helps someone and good luck!

Sunday, June 21, 2015


First let me say, and I can't believe I am saying this because of the serious painintheassness involved (and yes that is a word, now anyway) …I am sooooo glad that the designer who picked this piece wanted to do a super high gloss, modern finish in a fun color!  That gorgeous gold hardware didn't hurt at all either.

Really just makes all of the hard work a little more worth it when I am in love with the finish too:)

I've had this idea of adding bamboo trim to a dresser in my head forever, but never found time. Actually, I have a LOT of ideas in my head that I don't have time for, just as I'm sure we all do.

I have always been a huge fan of Bali Hai furniture and really, anything with bamboo or rattan.  Maybe it's the combination of modern, boho, glam, vintage and funky with a touch of elegancy that makes me love it so much!   Whatever it is, because I am eclectic with my own personal design, it's always been a favorite.

Finding the moulding proved to be more way difficult than I thought it SHOULD be.  I mean, was I the only person in the world looking for this stuff?? Evidently I was.

Half round moulding would have obviously been a lot more easier to work with but that was even more difficult to find.   I finally found a website called Beacon Hill. They did have half round but either only "1 left" or "not in stock" every time I checked or called, so I just went ahead and order the full round moulding fully aware that I had extra work ahead of me.

I needed a flat surface for the bamboo so that it would sit on the flat drawer. Because of the uneven nature of this  trim, I could not get a straight cut with either my table saw or chop saw and really, these were not safe options anyway.  Although an orbital sander would work just fine, I have a large belt sander that came if very handy.  I do not use this tool often but when I do need it, I am always so glad to have it on hand.

Trying to cut 45's on my chop saw with this "bumpy" trim was a not working and truthfully, I wanted to quit after a few test cuts.
I ended up creating a 45 degree angle template using a clamp and a piece of wood after measuring with true a 45 degree angle.

I used this as my guide for the trim and because it was a soft wood and small piece, it took no time at all to sand it down.

In photo below you can see I set up one for each angle/side.  Watch your little fingers!!

I nailed the trim in place.  The angled corners were tricky but they all turned out pretty good.  Nothing that a little filler couldn't take care of.

You will notice that the old hardware is still on here.  At this point, I had no plans for the piece and was potentially going to use the old hardware.  If I were to do it over again, I would have sanded and filled in the hardware holes, making it a little easier down the road.

I filled in brad nail holes, large hardware holes and did a bead of caulk around the moulding to give it a very polished and finished look.

For fun, here is the "before" picture.

This is probably one of my favorite makeovers and so proud of how it turned out.

I can't believe I am saying this but I'd would really like to do this again and have another piece in mind:)

Thursday, April 30, 2015


This has to be one of my favorite projects!  You probably know by know how much I love the metallic finishes I have been doing lately, and then to be able to do it on a big, fat daddy piece like this…awesome!!

Here is how it all began…My new BFF David contacted me and told me that he is moving into a newly renovated studio condo downtown on the fifth floor (delivery details later).  He said he had just purchased this monster of a piece and wanted it to serve not only as an island in his little kitchen, but also as the statement piece in the space.

We brainstormed a bit on how we could add height to this guy.  Because it already had legs, my fancy 'add legs idea' was not an option.  I happened to have some really cool, old and large casters laying around that I thought would be a pretty and easy option…David was quickly on board.  I LOVE the industrial look it give this piece and not to mention, totally practical in this space where he will potentially be moving it around a bit.

Because it was going to be exposed, I replaced the old and cheap backing with a new piece of ply.  I was originally planning on doing a LOT of filling in to make it look seamless but after I got going, I decided I didn't like the look.  It just looked like I added a piece of ply to the back…not what I, or David was going for.  
After stepping back and thinking, "If this was going in my kitchen, what would I want".  I decided that trimming it out would give it the nice, 'finished' look we wanted. 

Adding trim

softening up the edges 

Ready to be primed

After many clear coats of lacquer, it was ready to be delivered.  In the middle of Downtown. With a big fat trailer.  On a one way street.  With 6 kids tagging along. In the middle of Art Prize on a Saturday!  

I am sure it looked like we were doing something completely illegal by the way we were parking and yelling and moving fast and running around…well, the parking job WAS completely illegal, but that's how we roll!

This had to get up to the 5th floor.  So after Marc pulled completely up on the sidewalk to get the trailer out of the middle of the busy street, we unloaded this sucker in record speed time and then he pulled away.  I really have no idea where he went…he just had to move the truck and trailer before we pissed more people off.  David and I had a good ways to roll the piece down the sidewalk to even get to the building door.  Each one of the kids grabbed a drawer.  Did I mention how crazy HEAVY this thing is?!?! After some debate about how to make it fit into the elevator, we worked it in and up she went!

Because I think David has incredible taste, I wanted (with his permission) to show off the space a little bit:)

This is the smallest and most beautiful studio I have ever seen. I love how he has put everything together to make the space feel warm and cozy, but still simple and elegant.

 He actually used leather spray paint to change this chesterfield sofa from blue to black!  I saw it on CL and liked it, but not the color…so mad I didn't think of doing that!  Looks gorgeous!

Lovin the lamp!