Saturday, February 28, 2015

Pretty Drawers for Dixie

Sometimes I like to bring a little something special to furniture I refinish. In this makeover of a Dixie dresser and its two matching nightstands, I got my inspiration from paper I had previously ordered from Spoonflower.

This furniture was pretty beat up. There were scratches all over the place, but in particular, the "his"(or maybe it was the "hers") nightstand was a mess. Somebody didn't use a coaster!!

As you can see from the condition of the nightstand, this whole set needed a lot of prep. Sanding, filling, patching, priming, sanding, priming, sanding. Because I had to sand these pieces so much, I anticipated any potential bleed problems by spot spraying the sanded areas. I use Zinsser clear spray shellac to tackle these potential issues.

I painted these pieces in General Finishes Snow White and sealed them with their High Performance Top Coat in Satin. What a beauty!

The original bull pulls were spruced up with Rustoleum's Oil Rubbed Bronze spray.

The nightstands look just a little different than before!

I get a little excited whenever I find furniture with the "Dixie" name! Great quality and workmanship!

I'm happy I put the extra effort into making these drawers pretty. They really pulled the set together for a finished, designer look!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Paris Chic Secretary

This secretary desk has been in my stash for months, and all along I thought I would paint it white. But as I prepping the desk, the Paris shootings occurred, and all of my initial plans went right out the window.

It needed to be a Paris "Chic" secretary, so I pulled out my can of Annie Sloan Paris Grey and went to work. When I refinish secretary desks, I usually take everything apart: doors, shelves, backing, the insert and fretwork. This involves a TON of work, but I think this makes a huge difference in the end result. But this secretary had fixed fretwork and I so I had to carefully paint the fretwork while it was in place on the door.

I wanted a little pop of color and so I painted the interior in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg. The entire piece was sealed with clear and dark waxes. The dark wax added character and a natural patina to the little nicks that I intentionally left alone.

I decided to use the original hardware, but give it a little of bling! After I cleaned and primed the handles, I sprayed them in Rustoleum Metallic Finish and then gave them a coat of clear polyurethane spray for protection.

I wanted the insert to coordinate with the silver handles, so I used Rub 'n Buff in Silver Leaf on the edges. This was my first time using this product, and there was a little bit of a learning curve. I initially started using a little artist's brush for application, but found that I had more control by just using a small dab of it on the tip of my finger. I let it dry for a few hours, and then gently buffed the edges for shine! And for the final touch, I lined the small drawers with really pretty card stock I found at Joann's. 

I think this secretary desk turned out beautiful! It was as if it was always destined to have a little bit of "ooh la la"! And the white secretary desk, that was supposed to be? Well that's another project that I'll be sharing soon!

And while we're on the subject of secretary desks, I was so excited to have been asked to put together a board about secretary desk makeovers for Hometalk. Each of these desks show how with a little bit of paint and imagination, you can update a classic and timeless piece of furniture to fit today's modern lifestyles and decor! Stop on by and have a peek!

Have a great day!

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

A "French Blue" Desk Makeover

This makeover is a story about detective work, matching an existing color, and how changing out the hardware can completely alter the look of a piece. Last month, a client brought me a desk, chair and two end tables to match a small blue chest she had recently purchased.

I could tell right away from the drawer she brought me that it was painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

 But the color didn't look like the obvious ASCP blue choices, such as Provence or Duck Egg. Here are some side tables I have painted using these colors. As you can see, Provence is a brighter blue and Duck Egg has slightly green undertones.


Duck Egg

So I had to do a little bit of detective work to figure out what color this was! I tracked down the original seller of the chest, and she was kind enough to tell me that she made a custom color using ASCP Provence and Paris Grey. She didn't keep track of the ratio she used, so I started experimenting with formulas and this is what I came up with:

Provence 3: Paris Grey 1

Pretty darn close! I used a ratio of Provence (three parts) to Paris Grey (one part). I really like this color blue! Doesn't it look "French" and straight out of a country home? Maybe Annie will make this a new color and name it "Mary Beth"! Ha ha. Right.

My client agreed with the new color mix so I was ready to finally start painting! Here is a picture of the before of the desk. It was in really great shape for a vintage piece of furniture, and only needed minimal prep (light sanding on the top, corners and feet to even out previous chips in the paint finish).


Here is the after of the desk using the new color. I painted the original hardware with ASCP Pure White and used Briwax Liming Wax in the recesses.

I wasn't feeling the handles....I just didn't like the look and I wanted it to tie in with the nightstands that I had repainted.

I found French pulls for the desk from a wonderful little shop on Etsy called Fairy Home to match the existing holes. I was so happy with my purchase, the speedy delivery and great customer service from the shop owner, Leslie! Leslie has a marvelous selection of vintage hardware and offers color choices as well. Leslie is offering a 10% discount to my readers. Just enter coupon code FHSALE10 in your shopping cart to receive your discount! (Just so you know, I haven't been compensated for this "plug". I was so happy to have found another great source for hardware, I wanted to share my little "find" with you!)

Handles from Fairy Home

I ordered these unpainted so that I could match the other pulls I had already refinished. And so this little traditional desk with Queen Anne legs and Chippendale pulls, with a new "French" color blue and French Provincial pulls was transformed into a new look!

Hope you have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

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Monday, February 9, 2015

The Little Red Secretary

Have you ever seen an item on Craigslist and knew you just had to have it? Lost sleep wondering if the seller would contact you, and if you'd be able to snatch it up before anyone else? Maybe not. But I'm kinda weird about stuff like this.

I was so happy when the seller contacted me and I was able to bring it home! I had never seen fretwork like that on a desk, and I loved its lines. I knew as I saw it I needed to be red!

It was a very simple makeover. There was very little damage and scratches and just needed a light sanding. I used General Finishes "Tuscan Red" and their "Black" glaze to accentuate all of the lovely details. Several top coats in General Finishes Top Coat in Satin completed this transformation!

I painted the inside of the desk as well, but left the insert natural. All it needed was a thorough cleaning and a little bit Restor-A-Finish to bring it back to its original luster!

It's still available - waiting to go to a new home!

Have a great Valentine's Day!

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Friday, February 6, 2015

I Don't Paint Everything

When I ran across this cute little teak desk at a garage sale, my initial reaction was to paint it. I thought it would look really cute with the body left natural and the drawers painted in different bright, fun colors.

But then I searched the manufacturer's name from the stamp inside the drawer and my plans came to an abrupt and sudden halt!

The sticker indicated it was by Paul McCobb of the Planner Group. Mr. McCobb was a well-known furniture designer in the 50's and 60's.  In fact, this line from from the Planner Group was among the best selling furniture from this time period. Today, original and restored pieces are highly coveted!

Now, I honestly don't know very much about the mid-century furniture era. But I'm slowly gaining an appreciation for its furniture lines, design and simplicity. In fact, the MCM market here in SoCal is booming here with people restoring and/or repainting them. There are of course, the purists that can't stand MCM pieces painted, but then there are those that can't stand antiques painted either! I personally love the bright colors and geometric designs that are being used to restore these pieces.

But this was a business decision to not paint this desk. I had a very wise dealer tell me last year when I first started that I should do whatever is necessary to maximize profit and marketability for each piece. That's why you'll see a lot of light, neutral colors from me, because they tend to appeal to more buyers and sell more quickly. I do however, love when I get the opportunity to think outside the box with a custom order.

I've learned the hard way that pink furniture (although really fun to paint) is a tough sale. This is from a pink vanity that sat in our family room for months. That was really hard for this testosterone-laden house to stomach!

So my business decision was that the piece was more valuable restored to its original condition, including the hardware.

I won't bore you with how many packets of sandpaper I used (lots!) or how long it took to prepare the surface for a new coat of stain (General Finishes Antique Walnut) or how gorgeous it looked after I applied several coats of their top coat in Satin.

The clincher for me is that I sold it to a MCM collector who drove 100 miles to get it. I guess I made the right decision after all to not paint it!

Have a wonderful day and don't overlook the "diamonds in the rough"! You'll never know what you may discover!

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