Sunday, December 14, 2014


Even though I am blessed to be busy with custom pieces, I had really been wanting to do a piece just for "fun" for a few weeks now. 

I seem to always pick the "ugly duckling" piece that has been sitting in my inventory and has been overlooked for a long time.  

To be honest, I can't believe this beauty was still here.  Despite the missing trim and fact that it needed some love, it was really a cool looking piece.

After I prepping and spraying the piece in BM-Chelsey Gray, I used Antique Gold Rub N Buff on the areas that I wanted to highlight.  

Afterwards, I glazed the entire piece but the gold wasn't popping as much as I had wanted it too just a bit too dull.  

I added Martha Stewart Gold Metallic paint over top of the glazed Rub N Buff.  Because this product is fairly translucent (meaning it would take many coats to get a nice, full coverage) one coat gave me exactly the look I wanted.

This photo below is BEFORE I used the MS Metallic gold.

In this photo below you can see the gold is a bit brighter.  This is AFTER I did a coat of the MS gold.

I then added a few clear coats of lacquer to seal it all.

This piece is for sale and you can get the details HERE:)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I love how this buffet turned out for my client.  The top was refinished in General Finishes Burnt Umber.  She wanted a red tone but I was afraid to go TOO red with a mahogany stain and new that Burnt Umber would provide a rich, warm red color.

The base was done in General Finishes Enduro line.  I will NEVER use any other products when doing black.  The black undercoat, topped with the black poly is gorgeous!  I also added a clear of Enduro-Var in satin.  You could get away with not doing a clear on top of the black poly but I am a bit obsessive about my finishes:)

Not sure why I didn't notice, until I went to clean and then reattach the original hardware that the finish was in rough shape.  Typically the hardware on these older pieces are in decent condition and just need to be cleaned but with this set, the original finish had chipped off.  Even though the chipping was on the dangle part of the hardware, I needed to treat all the bits and pieces to keep a consistent finish.

Although I like many shades of gold for hardware, I knew my client would not.  My next choice would have been an Oil Rubbed Bronze but it would have blended into the black too much.

I really wanted to try and get as close as I could to the original finish so decided to spray (after sanding, cleaning and priming) the hardware in Rustoleum Antique brass, which to me, really has more of a copper-like look.

After a few coats of the Antique brass had completely dried, I "dusted" them with the Oil Rubbed Bronze lightly, still letting a bit of the brass peak though. 

I also did a clear coat over top and here are the products I used. 

They turned out even better than I was hoping and honestly, this is going to be my new "go to" finish for antique pieces…I love it!

Perfect against the black!

Monday, December 1, 2014



It's rare that I paint by hand these days.  Most of my clients are looking for a more "finished", high end, factory like finish, which I can achieve best with a LOT of prep work, high end products and a professional grade HVLP sprayer. 

When my client told me she wanted a "chippy", very antique and distressed look, I knew I was going to have to use different products and techniques that I am normally used to. 

I have used Old Fashioned Milk Paint before but I wasn't crazy about the results.  With that particular piece, I didn't sand it at all.  This resulted in a VERY chippy look, which I didn't like it and long story short….stripped that piece and went a different route.

I decided to sand this buffet.  It wasn't super glossy but I was already going against every bone in my body by not removing doors, painting over the hinges and not priming, so I didn't want to push it and give my self a complete anxiety attach by not sanding it also!  Plus, even though I know this product has a mind of it's own, I wanted to be able to control the chippiness a little bit.

After sanding, vacuuming and giving it a good wipe down.  I mixed my product as instructed on the package and started painting.

I ended up doing 2 coats, 3 in some areas of the color Barn Red.

I wasn't impressed with the flat and dull finish at this point and got a little nervous but knew I would be sealing it, so didn't have a full panic attack.

It did flake and chip off in most of the areas you see.  I used a putty knife for that but probably because I sanded it, I needed to distress it a little bit by hand as well.

Not looking pretty at this point whatsoever!

I used my favorite wipe on topcoat... General Finished Arm-R-Seal in the satin finish.  It is oil based and the only product that I have found you can successfully wipe on by hand. I use a sock on my hand to wipe on.  It dries quickly and is a very hard and durable finish.
I did 2 coats on the top.

Just for the record...I would never do this (seal by hand) with one of my sprayed pieces but it works beautifully on a hand painted, antiqued piece.

My worries about the flat finish quickly disappeared when I saw how nice it looked with the sealer.  I did not want this piece to have a lot of shine, but just a nice luster and blend in the rough looking areas from using the putty knife.  It also deepened the tone of the wood peaking through.

So pretty!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A double DO OVER!

Ok, Ok, it's KILLING me but I will admit it.  I did a "do over"….twice.

I am sure my impatience had (everything) a lot to do with it but when I do a piece to sell and it doesn't sell within a few weeks, it REALLY bothers me! Or maybe I just get sick of looking at it in my shop every day and need a change, whatever it is, I hope someone likes it this time around:)

The color is Ben Moore Hale Navy. I know the elephant and brick look a little strange in color but I had to adjust the color to get the true depth of the dresser.

Here is the first round.  I LOVED this! But looking back, it was probably too risky adding the gold inlay. Not everyone likes gold like I do.  Although I received a lot of positive feedback, it just wouldn't fit into most decor. 

(I have the inlay still if anyone wants to play around with it on another piece…no charge:))

And the second round, I am just not sure what happened here. I kept the box the same as round 1, but removed the inlay and redid the drawers in a pale aqua.  The stripes on "round 3" is actually this drawer color. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


For some reason, I am super picky about particular things, as we all are I suppose.  When searching for my new refrigerator, I found it very difficult to find one that did NOT have a water dispenser in the door, that was NOT counter depth (I had the room to go deep), was a side by side and had handles that at were at least close to my other  GE Cafe appliance handles.  This proved to be a very difficult task!

Because evidently I thrive on difficult, 'you can't get that', tasks…I was determined to figure something out!

This Whirlpool side by side had almost everything I liked, including the price of under $1000.  Unfortunately it did not have the fancy hardware I was looking for.  But that didn't stop me!

Someone mentioned that Jenn-Air owned Whirlpool.  I liked Jenn-Air's Pro style handles.  They were pretty.

I decided to totally take over Gerritt's Appliance one afternoon and after making friends with the manager, sweet talked him into letting me try swapping out a few handles to see if they would fit.

To my, and the managers surprise, the pretty Jenn-Air hardware I liked fit beautifully onto the Whirlpool model! For an extra $200, I was getting the fridge I wanted!

Now it was onto my next task:)

Original Whirlpool hardware

Jenn-air Pro Handle kit


Monday, September 15, 2014


I originally had planned on adding some sort of trim and design work to the wall behind the TV console but after framing up the closets and realizing so much of that wall was going to covered, I changed my focus to the closet doors flanking that space.

Because I had procrastinated on ordering the interior doors (along with many other things), I was able to order flat slabs for those 2 doors, in place of the style I had throughout the house.  This allowed me to create and add any trim design I wanted.

I WAS going to do the same design  as the room divider that is between my dining and living rooms and original to the house. I love that piece and thought it would be nice to carry that detail into the den but last minute, actually while I was laying out the cuts, I changed my mind.  I do that a lot…change my mind:)

Marc ripped down a few 1x10 pieces of maple into 1" strips for me to cut to size.  I was going to do it myself but will be honest, cutting straight lines (even with a guide) isn't exactly my strong area:)

 I wish I could find my inspiration photo that I had for this design.  I couldn't find it and don't know if I had one saved on my phone, pintrest, computer or houzz or maybe it's just all in my head.  I am never quite sure sometimes.
Nevertheless, after playing with the dimensions, my calculator, calling Marc into the garage for advise and different design options for a few HOURS, I came up with this.  

Knowing I would be having to fill in and sand these doors, I used a bead of glue and as few brad nails as possible.

I also hit each piece with a sanding block after each cut and before attaching, which really helped with not having to do so much after it was put together. 

 As you can see, I had a lot of ideas and sketches going on:)

The room is far from being complete but I really do love how they turned out and really, the only thing I would do differently is start the door border out at 2x the thickness as the trim inside the frame.

After doing the first door I realized it would look best to have the border thicker and let me just say, it was a LOT easier to do it on the second door with a clean slate than it was filling in all of the cuts afterwards.

I also love how we were able to hide the cable box under the console


Tuesday, September 9, 2014


I am aware that most people who refinish know about the "tips" and "tricks" I provide, which is the reason I rarely share, but once in a while,  I just feel the need to help that one person out if I can:)

This is one of those tips…

Personally, I remove 99% of my hardware, including hinges.  I am not saying a painted hinge is a bad thing, but when you are doing a super modern piece it just doesn't look clean, or modern, or right…so yeah, I guess a painted hinge can be a bad thing.  I said it. Now I feel bad, but a little better

The unfortunate thing is that when you remove old hinges, it can be tricky to get doors lined up JUST RIGHT when reinstalling, so I assume that is my most people paint hinges.  It's totally easier. I get it and I actually now charge a LITTLE more when refinishing a piece with doors because I KNOW I will be spending an extra hour removing and reinstalling those babies.  I hate it.

A problem I also find with these old hinges is that often times the holes are stripped or too large to use a flat screw that will sink into the hinge holes and actually allow the door to close nicely.  When this happens, there is a pretty simple solution.

I have a tupperware container full of different sized that I use for different reason as well as dowel rods on hand, for different "fix" it reasons. I find my dowels at Lowes, Homey D, Joanns, Hobby Wobby…they are all over

I found the right size dowel, which was probably the smallest in diameter that they make and cut to size.  I guessed on length but knew I didn't want it sticking out at all. 

With a little dab of wood glue, stuff that baby in and let dry for a bit.

Now your screws with "catch" and pull the hinge in tight!

I have also used a toothpick many times as well.  Sometimes you just need the hole filled in just a tiny bit to make the screw catch, like on the other door side.  

I like to use the flatter toothpicks, not the round ones.  But don't use a flat toothpick to pick your teeth, that's just dumb.

And don't pick your teeth in public, that's just gross.