Changing it up

I am at battle with the Mountain Cedar trees of Central Texas, at least that is what the news tells me.  This past week has been one long, continuous sneeze, and I have heard that it’s a result of strong winds blowing the cedar pollen into our Dallas area.  Yuck.  I’m tired of it.

Despite feeling pretty crummy, I was able to finish up a furniture project and make it out to a few estate sales. My booth space up at ACM was in desperate need of a fresh look, so it was good to find some new inventory.

DSC06668

The cane-top table and chair set was quite a project, but came out nicely.  The table and chairs each got a coat of Maison Blanche Sugar Cane and were antiqued with dark wax.  I recovered the seats in natural linen and left the top of the table and back of each chair stained to give it some contrast.

DSC06669

Here are their “before’s”

DSC06646

DSC06649

They weren’t a set but fit together so well.  I was ecstatic to find the chairs at an estate sale, anything cane is hard to come by in this area.

Speaking of cane, I also found an adorable child-sized cane rocking chair and small cane-top table at a local flea market.  You can see them peeking out from under the table on the bottom left of the photo.

DSC06668

It’s quite a collection of cane! I love it though.

I also found an awesome church pew.  It anchors another section in my booth that is “wedding” themed.

DSC06674

I really wish I could keep it, but just don’t have the room in my house.  Underneath the pew is an awesome loooong crate that came out of an estate sale attic.  It would make an amazing planter.

The green drawer, milk bottles, and cotton were also weekend finds, as well as someone’s old Sunday School Bible.  They made a great display together.

DSC06675

I am a sucker for vintage artwork and found quite a bit of that also. These three tiny house prints are my favorites.

DSC06683

And with February right around the corner, I threw in a few vintage Valentine’s postcard banners for good measure.

DSC06676

That Mountain Cedar took most of my energy, but I had just enough left to freshen up the space a bit.

Hope you like it.

 

Elizabeth and Co.
All Things Thursday Blog Hop
9d4c4-fffbutton2

Blue the New Black?

I love the color blue. It’s my favorite color, and I have it splashed throughout my home.  Most of my clothes are blue, and I guess I’m lucky that I have three boys because they get to wear mostly blue too!

Given that love, I was excited to see the cover of the newest issue of the Pottery Barn Catalog the other day when I pulled it out of my mailbox.

DSC06650

If Pottery Barn features it on their catalog cover, you know it must be in style! I’m curious to see as the year goes on if I see more and more blue popping up in decor catalogs and blogs.

And speaking of blue . . . over the past two weeks I have moved out all of my Christmas items from my space at ACM and have moved in some new inventory.  As I was setting it all up a few days ago, I noticed something–most of it is some shade of blue! It wasn’t a conscious plan, but after all the warm colors from fall and Christmas, I think I was just longing for my cool, crisp blue again.

There is this awesome 5 gallon vintage blue lard bucket I found in NW Arkansas

DSC06551

and this wonderful primitive blue wooden shelf I grabbed several months ago at Canton

DSC06558

This sweet little pitcher I bought at an estate sale last weekend also has a splash of blue.

DSC06553

And remember this green dresser?

DSC05514

Guess what color it is now? Yep, blue.

DSC06562

It wasn’t selling like it was, so I gave it a quick makeover with a new Maison Blanche Chalk Paint color I decided to try, Sugar Cane. It is a very light, delicate blue.  I highlighted the lines with some ASCP Old White and it has a pretty new look.

DSC06582

I wandered a little bit around the rest of our mall and found some more blue.

DSC06585

DSC06589

DSC06587

So with all this blue, we must be in style up at the ACM.  I wonder, is blue the new black for 2014? If it is, I won’t complain!

e2120-silver_pennies_button

 

 

Elizabeth and Co.

 

Top Posts 2013

The new year is almost here, it’s always fun to see what were the highlights of the year that’s ending.  I started this blog in February, and here is a quick peek at the top 5 posts from then until now.

1. Hand-Painted Gray Chest

This was my first attempt at hand-painting a detailed design. It was a fun project and I love how it turned out.  I think it takes top spot because it is a very popular image on Pinterest.

DSC03506

2.  Duck Egg Dressers

These “His” and “Her” antique dressers were such an awesome find.  I practiced my refinishing skills for the first time on each of their tops.  I was so excited that they sold as a pair, since they were bought and re-done together.

???????????????????????????????

3.  Milk Paint Experiment

I will admit, this one surprised me.  I think it may have received so many hits because it details a special paint resist technique I tried using Vaseline. Either way, it’s #3!

???????????????????????????????

4. An Adventure in Upholstery

Oh my goodness, this project basically took up my entire summer.  Working on this French settee was my first time attempting to reupholster anything and so was a major labor of love. I met the lady who purchased it, and she was buying it for her daughter’s French-themed nursery.  It’s always fun to know where a piece is heading.

DSC04214

and #5. Artissimo Sideboard

This is probably my favorite piece of the year.  I tried out a new MMS milk paint color and it was purchased by  a local friend for her entryway.  She bought it as a birthday present for herself.  I think it went from 70’s outdated honey stain to modern glam. It also has been popular on Pinterest.

DSC05436

I am not surprised that all of these posts are about furniture makeovers! They continue to be the bread and butter of my business.  I love finding and writing about my unique small treasures, but my real passion is the furniture.

Thank you for all of your support in 2013 and for making these posts so popular!

Happy New Year

e2120-silver_pennies_button

Milk Paint vs. Chalk Paint, My Take

I get lots of questions from friends and family about what types of paint I use on my furniture and what my thoughts are on the different paints available.  Most of those questions center around milk paint and chalk paint–the two hot furniture paints out on the market right now. Other bloggers have taken aim at answering this question about the pros and cons of each paint, but everybody has a unique perspective, so I’ll offer mine to my faithful readers.

Milk paint has been around for quite awhile, but from my understanding chalk paint is a relatively new product.  In the past 2-3 years both types have gained lots of popularity because of their ease of use and great color pallets. They are both wonderful products, but they produce different results.

There are several different brands of each, but the two I use are Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint, and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

b07ac7be7350a4d50c0293c99b4de34f

21bb2e34bdafd1a58ff487a095b5d732

For the purpose of this post, you can assume any mention of milk or chalk paint refers to these two brands.

Let’s get started!

**********************************************************

Milk Paint

Milk paint comes in a powdered form and is mixed with water before use.  You only want to mix up as much as you will use in one sitting, because the paint is perishable.  It is a thin paint, and can produce many neat effects, from looking like a colored stain to that awesome “chippy” effect you have probably seen.

Milk paint requires no prep on the furniture, although how well it sticks depends on the existing glossiness of the furniture’s finish. The more glossy the finish, the more the paint will naturally peel and chip away.

Here are the Pro’s of Milk Paint:

– affordable cost

– beautiful color pallet

– creates interesting, one-of-a-kind texture with its natural chippiness

– environmentally friendly

– different colors can be mixed to create your own custom color

Here are the Con’s of Milk Paint

– can be difficult to mix and get the paint smooth

– is  a little unpredictable, the chippiness cannot be controlled without purchasing another product to add to the paint

– color can easily turn streaky as pigments separate, you have to keep mixing the paint you’re using

I really love using milk paint, although I would not recommend it to a furniture painting “beginner” because it is so different than any other kind of paint you may use. It requires some practice, but once its mastered you can use it to create really unique looks.

Here are  a few pieces I have painted with milk paint:

???????????????????????????????

Ironstone over Shutter Gray

DSC02995

Luckett’s Green

dresser 1

Luckett’s Green

DSC05436

Artissimo

DSC05658

Artissimo

I usually save milk paint for those pieces whose natural surface is in good shape.  I like the chippy effect, and so I tend to only use milk paint over surfaces that I am ok with showing through.

******************************************************

Chalk Paint

Chalk Paint is sold in quarts and has a wide range of trendy, yet classic colors.  It’s a thick paint that you can use at full strength, or water down to your liking.  It will stick to just about anything, so it is a great option for covering a laminate wood surface or even metal.  It is almost fool-proof to use, and because of that, I consider it worth the almost $40 a can pricetag.

Several of the colors I have used covered well in one coat.  Each quart of paint will go a long way–I have painted a full size bed frame (with rails), dresser, and desk with hutch with one can. Like milk paint, it distresses easily and so requires a top coat of some kind.  Annie Sloan sells soft waxes which are a great option, and those can be used to add additional depth and texture to the piece.

Chalk Paint Pro’s

– very, very, very easy to use.

– provides great coverage and can transform a piece quickly

– beautiful array of colors available

– versatile paint, easy to clean up and store

– easy to mix and create custom colors

Chalk Paint Con’s

– high cost, roughly $40 a can

– Annie Sloan’s line lacks dark colors

– can’t create the interesting natural “chippy” look that milk paint can

I would recommend chalk paint to anyone, even to beginners.  Its a great time saver because it will stick to anything without having to previously sand and it dries in about 20 minutes.  It does need some sort of top coat to take away that chalky, flat look though, and using one color for a whole piece can look a little cheap.  I think my pieces have gotten better over time as I have learned how to use more than one color to add interest and detail to a piece.

Here are some pieces I have done in chalk paint.

DSC05170

Custom mix French Linen and Pure White with Old White accent

DSC04137

custom mix French Linen & Duck Egg Blue with Old White and Dark Wax

DSC04221

Duck Egg Blue with Old White dry brush

DSC04160

Aubusson Blue

DSC03506

French Linen with Old White

DSC04499

Aubusson Blue

???????????????????????????????

Duck Egg Blue with Old White and Dark Wax

DSC02148

Paris Gray

So who is the “winner” ? Well, neither.  I love and faithfully use both paints. Each has its own unique qualities though, and so I pick which to use based upon the piece I am painting and my vision for it.  They are both awesome products and are taking over the DIY world, so maybe you should give one a try.  I hope my thoughts have educated you a little, I’m happy to answer any other questions you may have.  Happy Painting!

Linking up to:

e2120-silver_pennies_button

Dining Table #2 Reveal

A month ago, I accidentally bought an antique dining table and 4 chair set.  I say accidentally because I made someone on a Facebook garage sale site a really low offer, never thinking they would accept it, and they did!  Whoops. I broke the news in a car ride to the store with my husband . . . “Um, honey, I know I just got a dining room table out of our garage, but I kinda accidentally bought another one today, and I’m going to need you to go pick it up, pretty pretty please?”  He chuckled, and as always, gladly offered his help.  What a great man.  Also, I think he remembers how early on in our marriage he accidentally bought a laptop off Ebay . . . so my low budget dining room table seems like chump change compared to that.  Even though it was a somewhat unintentional purchase, I am glad it came my way.

DSC04796

It had some great potential, and after having such a great time working on the French Provincial dining table, I was anxious to try another one.  It was sturdy, although very dingy and covered with a super glossy shellac.

DSC04797

The seat covers were some kind of thick paper, almost like wallpaper . . . strange.

I decided to go the same route as my last table, so I set about to sanding down the top.  With my new orbital sander, this was a much quicker process, although it still took me several days of working on it on and off.

DSC04988

I really don’t like sanding, its much too dusty for my liking.  But I’m always glad I did when I get to this point.  Look at that beautiful wood!

DSC04991

This is just the pre-stain conditioner, and it’s stunning . . . by the way, do you all know to always use a pre-stain conditioner? It makes the final stain come out much more even, rather than splotchy. I use  a Minwax product that is quite inexpensive.

DSC04994

After staining the top with a Mixwax Dark Walnut, I decided to go with a light grey for the base and chairs.  I had some ASCP French Linen on hand, and lightened it up with a little Pure White.  It hit a very light sanding on the high points, and some actual fabric for the seats.

DSC05179

DSC05175

Instead of spotty shellac, the top is now buttery smooth and a great contrast to the light grey.

DSC05156

I highlighted the flower detail on the chair backs with some white.  They have some great texture now.

DSC05170

DSC05171

Updated, modern, yet still petite and a little whimsical.  I’m happy with it.

Next up is this great Basset sideboard I found recently at an estate sale.  I was lacking in inspiration for a bit, but I think I know now what direction I’m taking with it now.

DSC04727

It’s gonna be great, stay tuned . . .

Linking up to :

Domestically Speaking Power of Paint

Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday

Dining Table Reveal

I finally finished the last of my four major summer furniture projects! Yay!  This French Provincial dining room table set was the last thing on my list.

DSC04540

I bought it from a lady on a Facebook garage sale site who was selling it for her elderly mother.  It had the hallmarks of furniture purchased in the sixties/seventies;  honey colored stain and powder blue cushion covers.  Unfortunately, I didn’t grab any great “before” pictures.  By this point in my furniture re-do marathon I was running out of steam.

You can see in this picture though a little of that original light stain:

IMG_1307

Sorry for the blurry pictures.  It was a little chaotic around here for awhile.

Here is a hint of those powder blue seat covers:

DSC04263

They’re flipped upside down, but you get the drift.

I started out by giving all four of the chairs two coats of Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue.   Then my plan was to sand down the table top and stain it with Minwax Classic American.  My goal was to have it coordinate with my Empire Buffet I made over a month earlier.

DSC04161

The table sanding was a beating!  It took me forever to get down to the natural wood, and once I did, I discovered my cheap palm sander had gouged out the wood in several places.

DSC04253

I took the plunge and purchased a higher quality orbital sander to get out all of those gouges.  Thankfully, it did the trick.  After sanding on and off for 3 weeks, I was finally able to give in that new coat of beautiful stain.

DSC04503

DSC04531

Isn’t it gorgeous?  Then the bottom of the table got the same Aubusson Blue treatment, and the chair cushions were updated in a modern, coordinating fabric.

DSC04495

I’m very happy with the final product.  The buffet is still for sale in my space, but I’m hoping once I get the table up there later today they will enhance each other and both will find a new home soon.

DSC04520

DSC04499

Everybody is waking up from their naps.  Gotta run!

Linking up to Furniture Feature Friday

and

 

Henry Link Lost & Found

Several months ago while I was working on my Duck Egg dressers, I  decided to paint one of my own pieces while I had the extra Duck Egg Annie Sloan paint.  It was this piece, given to use for free back when my husband was getting his Master’s Degree and we were pinching every penny we had:

DSC03084

It was a neat piece, and I liked the distressed look of it, but it was a little too distressed if you know what I mean.  It looked like a dog had chewed on one of the front legs, and there were several big dings out of the wood.  But again, it was free! It hung out in our guest bedroom for awhile, and then it found a new home in this awkward corner by our entryway.  I was doing some rearranging to get ready for the arrival of #3, and I decided to use the small chest that was in the awkward spot as his changing table.  So, the free yellow chest of drawers was put in its place, and ended up fitting the spot quite well. Unfortunately, the distressed yellow was almost the same color as our walls, so it definitely needed a new color to make it sing.

Here is what it looks like now:

DSC04133

Much better!  I was going for shade that matched the gray/blue in my favorite home decor piece, my Pottery Barn wool rug.

DSC04152

I use that gray/blue as an accent color throughout my main living space.

Well, here’s is where the story gets fun! Last week, I was looking around on Pinterest to get some furniture painting inspiration, and spotted a chest that looked exactly like mine! I made my way to the original blog and discovered that it was a Henry Link piece from his Bali Hai collection, made popular in the 1970’s.  There is quite a following out there for this specific vintage line, and here I was with my own piece!  Who knew?

Now that it’s repainted, I think it is truly beautiful.  I ended up going with a custom mix of Duck Egg blue and French Linen, topped off with Antique White accents and Dark Wax.  I love now how the detail of the faux bamboo really stands out.

DSC04137

DSC04138

The original hardware is also fantastic.

DSC04136

And now since I’m in the know on Henry Link, I have been keeping my eye out for pieces for sale.  I found this cute little nightstand for $20 on CL earlier this week.

DSC04436

I’m not sure if it’s for real or a knock-off, but it has that same great hardware and faux bamboo detail.

DSC04441

Maybe I’ll start my own collection.

**************************************************************************************************

Update on my French Settee, it sold 3 weeks after putting it in my space, along with the matching chair I reupholstered!  I had the privilege of meeting the customer who purchased it.  She was a sweet young mom, who was expecting her second little girl.  She was putting together a french themed nursery, and thought both pieces would be perfect.  One day she envisioned her two little girls curling up on the settee reading books together . . . I love it!  It was a joy to get to hear how my work was going to be used.  She said she would email me some pictures of the nursery when it was all finished.

Linking up to Furniture Feature Friday