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.


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.


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  I think it went from 70’s outdated honey stain to modern glam.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.


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


Two-Tone Chest of Drawers

I finished one of my projects! Yay!! It is such a great feeling to mark something completely off of your list.  This week started out a little rough because of a nasty cold we had going around our house.  But after a trip to the doctor, some antibiotics, and some Benadryl everyone is feeling better, and more importantly, napping better.

So, before we get going with pictures, I have to admit a blogging fail.  I forgot to take a before picture of this great antique chest of drawers.  I was planning to use  some pictures that were emailed to me by the seller, but in an effort to de-crazy my inbox I must have deleted them.  Ughh.  Sorry.

I will tell you a little about the piece though. It was a find on Craigslist, being sold by a lady who had received it as a gift from her ex-boyfriend (note–people selling things from their ex’s are often willing to make you a good deal just to get it gone).  It was quite creaky and really very primitive, but the finish was overall in good shape.  It did have a trim piece on the top I decided to remove because it just didn’t fit right, and it needed two new drawer bottoms.


I decided to give it a two-toned look by keeping the excellent finish on the drawers and painting the rest in MMS Artissimo (I am LOVING that color).


I gave it a light sanding all over, just to help the paint stick.  Milk paint can be a little unpredictable though, and this piece is a great example. It ended up going on more like a wash or stain.  After the first coat I really liked the imperfections in the coloring and decided it fit the primitive feel of the chest well. So one coat and done.

While the paint was curing up, I set to work on the drawer bottoms.  I measured the drawers and went to Home Depot to find some replacement wood (do I get extra points for having all 3 kids with me during this process?)  I was helped by a wonderful Home Depot employee who cut two pieces to size for me at the store.

The drawers have a curved front though, so they needed a slight trim.  I took out one of the old damaged drawer bottoms and used it as a guide to trace the curve of the front.


Any Lego Chima fans out there?

Then I used my hubby’s jigsaw to cut the curves.


Again, bonus points for doing it by myself!

I slid the new bottoms into place, nailed them into the back drawer piece, reinforced the joints with wood glue, and let them set overnight.  On this day my two youngest kids were in a Benadryl induced super-nap, so it was a productive afternoon.


Now that the drawers were done, it was just a matter of giving the chest’s body a coat of clear wax.  It did this awesome thing where it gave the milk paint some great depth and brought the wood tone through.


On went the awesome knobs I found at Hobby Lobby …


And here is the final product:




It’s quite elegant and grown-up.  Here is a closer look at the imperfect, wash-look:



I’m having a hard time letting it go . . . I really like the way it looks in my house.  I would like to introduce some darker blues into my living room, so I’m considering using it to replace my Henry Link chest that’s in my entry.


One will have to go, I’m gonna sit on it a few days and think it over.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Hand-painted Gray Chest

Well I promised in my last post to show more about my most recent project, this wonderful antique chest of drawers.  Remember the teaser?


This was a really fun project for me and my first attempt at a hand-painted design.  I’ll walk you through the process.

Here is the chest before:


Sorry for the kind of crooked picture . . . I bought it from a young gentleman on Craigslist who said it had been his mother’s.  She had given it to him when he moved out on his own, but it “wasn’t his style”.  Imagine that 🙂 He said she was a little upset he was selling it, but I told him to tell her that I would make sure it made its way back into the hands of someone who loved it.

I was excited about the detail on it, but it also had some issues–chipping veneer, major scratches, a few big dents.  I thought a complete covering in ASCP would be the best way to go.  I love the look though of a naturally stained top, so I decided to go that route.


I sanded down the top to bare wood.  This was a time consuming process, but I was really proud to do it all by myself! I spent a few days working on it with a palm sander and then hand sanded it in some of the tougher spots.

Once I started taking off the hardware and removing the drawers, I noticed some evidence of prior painting.



Some blue, some green . . . I also discovered that someone had replaced the knobs will pulls and drilled new holes.  How many makeovers has this old girl seen?


Well, she is about to get one more, and I hope she stays this way for awhile.  Here is what she looked like after the 2 coats of ASCP French Linen and a newly stained top.


A little blah, right? Alot of the beautiful detail seemed to fade away, but then the flaws seemed to show up more!  So, I decided to add some detail back by creating a hand-painted design on the drawers fronts.  It would also help mask the small chipped spots.  It was a fun experiment, took me a few hours of sitting in my garage one night.  I did have to re-paint one drawer, but once I got the hang of my pattern I think it all came together great.


I wanted to keep it sleek, so I didn’t distress it at all.  I did decide to get rid of the original hardware since it was newer and didn’t really fit the feminine style of the piece.  The new knobs are from Hobby Lobby and are a blue and white porcelain.  I think they add a perfect splash of complementary color.



The top re-stained beautifully, and I finished it off with a coat of poly to give it some shine.  In the process of moving it inside to take a picture, one of its casters broke, so I had to order new (old) ones from Ebay.  Once they get here, up she goes to my space!

Thanks for looking, and have a wonderful rest of the week!

Linking up to Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday