Sunday, December 27, 2015

My Favorite Makeovers For 2015

Happy New Year! Now that 2015 is about to be "history", I thought I'd share my favorite furniture makeovers from the year.

To read all about the makeovers and products used, just click on the links. And so without further ado, let's start the countdown!

This vintage dresser was responsible for my new love affair with the French Provincial style. This style is a timeless, romantic look characterized by curved drawers, a curved skirt, cabriole feet and very distinctive French pulls. This piece came from the Drexel "Touraine" collection - a high-end, highly coveted line from Drexel. They really don't make furniture like this any more!

My clients wanted a gray and white design scheme which gave this dresser such an elegant, classic look. It's been one of my most requested color combinations for custom jobs.

Looking back on this project, I honestly don't know what I was thinking when I plunged head first into it! It was so much work, and I really should have charged more for this custom job.

But, I learned a valuable lesson about believing in myself and my work and charging accordingly.

This French chair makeover was for a very special client: my Mom! It was a funny story about how many chairs I brought home (three) until I found the perfect chair for her!

Even though I fully disclosed that all I did was paint the chair, and that I took it to a professional upholsterer, I still got compliments on my upholstery skills! Go figure!

And, my all-time favorite furniture transformation from 2015:

Wow, was this project a huge labor of love! It had to be carefully disassembled to paint, and then it bled like crazy! But in the end, the glossy white paint and contrasting pale blue made this desk a huge statement piece coupled with the matching vintage chair.

I shipped it to a designer in Northern California and haven't heard from it since. Sniff, it doesn't call, write, text.....

So that's 2015 in a nutshell! I had so much fun meeting new clients, trying new products and painting techniques. I'd have to say that purchasing a professional spray system and having a dedicated spray booth was a game changer for my little hobby/business! The quality of my finishes when I spray is gorgeous and I can't wait to refinish a few Mid Century Modern pieces I have in super glossy paint!

Thank you for all of your love and support. I can't express how much your kind words, advice and support over the last few years have meant to me. I'll continue to bring you interesting projects in 2016.

Much love!

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Why I Love My Job

Every once in a while a piece of furniture comes along that reminds me why I love my job refinishing vintage and antique furniture.

Maybe the furniture gods bestow me with a memorable piece just when I need it the most.  It's like they know I'm fed up with a chronic skin irritation on my hands that several dermatologists still can't determine the irritant. I'll spare you the picture. (You're welcome.)

Or, that I'm feeling dejected because an a$$hole picks apart my work on a desk, grinds the price down, and then puts it in his $50,000 BMV. (Really wish I could show you that picture.)

Heck, it was probably a combination of both of these things when this lovely vintage dresser came into my life. 

It definitely put things in perspective and reminded me why I love my job. A piece like this doesn't come around too often and deserves a proper and attentive restoration.

I mean, really, don't you just love those gorgeous serpentine drawers!

I painted it in one of my favorite color combinations of gray and white with the original hardware refinished in silver. I used General Finishes Seagull Gray and Snow White. And, with all of my pieces (especially dresser and buffet tops) they are clear coated with a polyacrylic clear sealer for sheen and durability.

It's available to go to a new home!

And coordinates with other pieces of my holiday collection....

So that's my little explanation as to why I love my job. It's such a joy to refinish quality furniture that was produced in the good 'ol USA. I love giving my furniture another life to be used for another generation.

As for me, I'm taking a little time off to enjoy with my kids and get ready for Christmas. Here's hoping you and your family have a wonderful holiday season!

Merry Christmas!

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Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Vanity That Was Almost Stolen!

This vintage vanity has an interesting story as to how it almost didn't come home with me. I sent my Dad to an estate sale that was in his neighborhood to see if there was anything interesting. Luckily enough, my Dad was quick to spot a vintage vanity, purchased it for me and told the estate sale company I'd be by to pick it up later with my SUV.

Interestingly enough, when I went a few hours later to pick it up, the estate sale lady (whom I know) told me someone pretended it was theirs and tried to take it out of the house! Can you believe the nerve?

Fortunately, for me (and probably the vanity as well) it came home with me. It was fun to refinish this set using my popular color combination of gray and white with silver hardware.

The best part of this vanity is the surprise in the drawers and center compartment! My favorite aqua color as an accent!

I smile every time I open the drawers!

The chair got a faux fur treatment on the seat!

Wouldn't this make the perfect gift for someone special? I'm tickled that this piece was selected by Chairish as part of my holiday collection. Not local to Southern California? No problem - we'll ship to you!

Have a wonderful week!

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Monday, November 23, 2015

This Dresser is a Wrap!

I've been having so much fun refinishing the pieces that are part of my Holiday Collection. This junior French Provincial dresser was a mess when I got it, but I could see its potential! I don't even have a "before" picture to show you - maybe subconsciously I never wanted a physical reminder of it!

I easily spent two full days prepping this piece before even the first coat of primer went on it. And when the prep was done, I used a  lovely color by Benjamin Moore Advance.  I used my sprayer which explains the gorgeous finish and sheen. This paint takes longer to cure than the other brands I use, so keep this in consideration.

When I purchased this piece, the hardware was off and sitting in the drawers. And of course, with my luck lately, when I went to put the hardware back on, the pulls didn't fit! Not even sure which piece they went on, all I know is that I was spitting mad - especially because I paid a lot for this piece and now would have to purchase six new handles. (Won't be using that furniture buyer again!)

But fortunately, I found new brass hardware by D Lawless Hardware. Such a great hardware source and at very reasonable prices. (And no, I wasn't compensated - just my honest opinion!)

Well, this dresser makeover is a wrap! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends! And, don't forget to shop small on Small Business Saturday on November 28th!

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Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Sneak Peek of My Holiday Collection

I'm always getting asked by clients if I have matching furniture pieces. And then when I was looking around at all of the unfinished inventory in my shop a few months ago, I saw a pattern - they were all French Provincial pieces. That's when the light bulb went off - what if I refinished these pieces in complementary colors and finishes so that they all coordinate with each other? A sort of "Garanimals" of furniture at Mary Beth's Place?! And so, that's what I've been up to the past few months while also working on a crazy custom order schedule!

Here's a sneak peek of some of the pieces I've been working on..

A silver metallic dresser.....

A yummy turquoise highboy:

Its matching nightstand.....

And there's more! A few more dressers and a swoon-worthy vanity and chair are in the works!
I've had so much fun just letting my creativity run wild - and imagining these pieces together in a new home! I'll talk more about my refinishing process as time permits. In the meantime, additional pictures and details about these pieces are in my Etsy shop.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Pottery Barn Knockoff

One of my favorite design looks in furniture is a black weathered finish. I call this my Pottery Barn Knockoff finish - but it could just as easily be a knockoff of a Ballard, Restoration Hardware or Pier One piece. This type of finish goes with pretty much any decor - from farmhouse to a modern look.

The key to achieving this look is the color and type of the original finish. This is a technique that you WANT the original wood finish to show through. And, dare I say it, you WANT brushstrokes! Which is pretty hard for me to admit, considering how obsessive I am about my finishes being flawless!

So here is the before. It was in really great shape, and needed some light sanding on the body to correct some dents and nicks that happened over the years.

The top, however, was in rough shape. Deep scratches in the finish meant I had to strip the entire top, sand, and restain it. I used General Finishes Antique Walnut - it's a gorgeous natural color, that coupled with black looks gorgeous! It shines again with several coats of General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin. Good as new!

I painted the body in General Finishes Lamp Black. Because I was going for a rustic, weathered finish, I didn't prime first. And I painted it by hand, so that the original wood finish would show through my brush strokes.

And then I did some linear distressing just along the raised edges to make it appear as though it had been naturally worn over the years. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of a lot of distressing, so this is about as shabby as I will ever get!

All the original hardware needed was a long soak in mild soapy water and a gentle polish.

And there you have knockoff of a Pottery Barn piece. I love taking unloved vintage pieces and turning them into something new for the next generation to enjoy!

Follow along with me on my journey of rescuing furniture on Facebook and Instagram! The more the merrier, and thanks for stopping by!

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P.S. Forgot to mention that this beauty is for sale in my Etsy shop! (For an amazing deal, I might add!)

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Black and White With a Little Bling!

Here in Southern California, people line up for estate sales in the middle of the night. Seriously.

I've been missing out on some great furniture because I was too late. So when I saw a preview picture of a French Provincial set, I knew immediately it was Drexel, and it needed to come home with me. Even if I needed to camp out to get a good spot in line.

So yes, I was in line at 5:00 am for an 8:00 am opening. And incredulously, I was number 24!
See what I mean about the competition? This particular estate sale had a ton of vintage jewelry and I believe that was the main draw.

Fortunately, I was able to get this highboy and two matching nightstands. It had a matching long dresser, but a lady right in front of me paid $350 for it. I thought that was a ridiculous price, so I let her have it.

These pieces sat in my shop for months before I got a chance to work on them. A long summer of custom orders, trips, hot flashes, being too hot in the garage to work, hurting my hip from moving furniture around by myself, and a week laid up with the flu.

So when it finally cooled down enough to work, I knew I wanted to do something special and creative.

All three pieces were thoroughly sanded, cleaned and primed.

I used General Finishes Lamp Black on the body and outer edges of the drawers. The inset portion of the drawers and sides were painted with General Finishes Snow White.

I loved the original gold finish on the hardware, so I decided to add a little "bling" by using Modern Masters Metallic Paint in Rich Gold. I used a tiny artist brush and painstakingly handpainted the details. This process took forever - with a million touch-ups to all three colors.

When I finished, I then sealed everything with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin.

Didn't they turn out beautiful? Can't you just see these pieces in a glamorous bedroom? They're for sale in my Etsy shop. Let's hope they go to a great new home soon!

If you like this look, feel free to pin away! I've been "losing" myself in the Pinterest world lately; stop on by at Mary Beth's Place and have a look at all of the great inspiration I've been finding lately!

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