Friday, July 26, 2013

Red is the color of my true love's ... top coat?

There is a plethora of red empire dressers out on the web. As well as some awesome antique white ones, but right now red is my obsession. I've spent the last few days bringing a left-for-dead empire dresser back to life and what better color than Tricycle could I pick?

Who would imagine that this handsome guy started out as ........

Mr. Bad Rabbit:  How much did you pay for that?
Me: Uhhhh, what?

Can you believe that veneer? I think there ended up being more in my car than on the dresser by the time I got home.

We kept it upside down to flatten the warped top. We used the weight of the dresser to flatten itself out and by the time I was ready to paint, the top was flat. (It was a year later, but I never checked it before that.)

I took all the veneer off the front. This time, instead of using an iron, I went back to using my heat gun. It's been a couple years since that blackened table incident and I've learned a thing or two since then.

 Such a handsome devil.

First, I painted the dresser black, then when it was dry, I sparingly put patches of Vaseline willy-nilly over the paint.

For the majority of the dresser I just let the milk paint do its thing and produce those fine cracks I'm so wild about.

This dresser is really rustic which is perfect for milk paint.

 Here's my chance to ask for advice. My camera lens (18-55, the lens that is bundled with the Canon Rebel) causes lots of distortion. See how one knob is looking up and the other is looking down? I'm tired of it. Any recommendations?

I painted the plain knobs that were original to the dresser and waxed them. Buffing was sure made easier by my drill attachment!

And now, the supporting cast:

 The toys. Rabbits and horses call to me with their little voices;
come buy me, come buy me,

and then I am in their power.

 I came across this old birdcage at a yard sale. I'm not usually the one who finds the really cool stuff but this time I guess it was my turn. We did some research and found the cage to be from the early 1900's. And is that Luckett's Green?

 The chippy chair, again, from a yard sale. The seller couldn't wait to get rid of it. Her loss, my gain.

 Really not a prop but I like the unusual door plate. I don't remember seeing one like this before and the best part is the door was free!

Linking up to:
my uncommon slice of suburbia
funky junk 
nifty thrifty things
make it pretty monday

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Heart Dresser

The first thing Mr. Bad said when I showed him this dresser on Craigslist was "What's with the Ugly Heart Thing?" The next thing was: "You're not really going to buy it are you?"  He wasn't feeling the love for this dresser.

I brought it home and it sat in the barn for about a year while I painted smaller things. Finally, last Monday, we brought it into my work room and I started thinking about how I wanted to paint it.

Usually, I work out the colors in Photoshop before I paint large pieces and that's what I did with this one. I settled on a neutral palette after first experimenting
with color.
Then I got all crazy and started running the image through filters. I ended up with an image that kinda looked like the distressed image in my mind.
Mr. Bad's comment: "You aren't taking that Ugly Heart Thing off?"


 The finished piece, complete with Ugly Heart Thing.

I started with Rushmore (American Paint Company) on the drawers. It turned out more gray than I'd planned but I liked it. I then dry brushed ASCP CoCo over the Rushmore and followed up with a wash of CeCE Caldwell Seattle Mist over the whole thing.

I purposely left brush strokes to "catch" the dark wax. The pulls are original but
I sprayed them with Oil-Rubbed Bronze. They had been brass and just didn't work for me....

I did the same paint layers on the top but I sanded down to the smoothest surface I could. I also did two washes of Seattle Mist.

Three coats of wax got me the really pretty lusture I wanted. Before the third coat of wax I wet sanded the top with 500 grit sandpaper. I wet sand a lot but I forget to mention it. Wet sanding creates a smooth-as-glass surface.

The sides and trim are American Paint Company Navajo White with clear
and dark wax.

 The dresser has this copper inset - real copper - with a wood applique attached on top. It's unusual, I've not seen that before. At first I wasn't sure I liked it but then it kinda grew on me.

I should note that all the distressing was done with a green scour pad and water. I love that technique! It's a much softer look than sanding down to the wood.


This dresser has such nice details. I absolutely love it. And guess what?

Heart Thing, I think I love you.

 This is such a romantic dresser, don't you think?

And now
it is at the Collector's Market in Medford awaiting a new home.
It will make someone very happy.

Linking up with:
take it on Tuesday 
nifty thrifty tuesday 
wow us wednesday 
whatever goes wednesday 
the trendy tree house 
transformation thursday 
furniture feature friday 
redoux interiors
funky junk interiors 
finding fabulous
sunday showcase

Friday, July 12, 2013

Just a little something extra

A while back I painted this cute antique table which I'd found during a trip to Reno. I had it in my booth until I realized it wasn't staying together at the middle seam, so home it came. I have no leaves for it so I put brackets underneath to hold it closed. Plus, it got some casters.

Since I had her home I thought she could benefit from a non-invasive cosmetic procedure.

So, now:
 I added a distressed border around the table edge and a medallion - that's what I call it for lack of a better word - in the middle. I wrestled with which way to orient the medallion. I suppose I could have made it round.....

See the little casters? (Changing the subject from a possible second re-do) Ooooooo, I love casters.

This is a fairly small table. I'd say it would be good for a kitchen where it could be kept up against a wall until needed.

The center medallion was painted with Benjamin Moore's Aura paint. It's my go-to paint when I need something with the qualities of chalk paint. I stained the entire top, painted areas and all, with Dark Walnut stain.

I wish I could tell you where I got the stencil but I don't remember for sure. It might have been either Hobby Lobby or JoAnne's.

I distressed the medallion to match the legs which were painted previously.


I love working with furniture that has had a full life. The pieces with cracks and rough spots are so much fun to paint!



I used my vintage china as a prop and was
pleasantly surprised how well the china and the table complimented each other. It started all kinds of ideas percolating. Most of them bad. :-) No, I can't keep this table. No. No. No.


Sneak peak!
Check out the fun little cabinet I grabbed at a yard sale a
couple weekends ago. It was love at first sight.

I can hardly wait for its turn to come around for painting.
I might bump it up in line a little ....

 Linking up with:
miss mustard seed
the dedicated house 
nifty thrifty tuesday 
whatever goes wednesday 
clever, crafty and creative 
the trendy tree house 
transformation thursday
redoux interiors
funky junk interiors
finding fabulous

Friday, July 5, 2013

The many faces of Milk Paint

My milk paint example piece sold so I had to do another one. I couldn't find a kitchen stool so I used one of the chairs that I was saving for me. Aw, well. I'll find another chair. (Like I don't have a half dozen chairs in the barn.)

Who's still nervous about using Milk Paint? Seriously, don't be. It's different from Chalk Paint and not even close to Latex or Acrylic but it's not to be feared. Really. Boo boos happen, sand paper comes to the rescue and you're back on track.

I seem to be stuck on this green. The sewing machine table in the background was painted years ago,

This is the finished chair. Since it is my example and sits next to my paint display, I wanted to show as many of Milk Paint's qualities as I could. A tall order, but I got there.

And now - how I got there.

I took these "during" photos with my phone so they're a little funky. Without a tripod everything shakes.
I'd previously painted this chair and sanded it back down because I didn't like it, so it was ready for a new look. I randomly put down a coat of the lovely Mustard Seed Yellow. I'd decided to let the paint do what it wanted (for the most part) so I wasn't too concerned about coverage.

Then I moved into the kitchen for more elbow room. :-)

Splish splash. I applied blotches of Kitchen Scale and Flow Blue that would later peek out from under my final coat of paint. A little bit of hemp oil here and there helped with that. I also put some stain on the bare wood areas because they were so pale.

Then, a final coat of paint. Was there ever a better green than Lucketts Green? I love it. It's so 40's looking. I look at my Duck Egg Blue hutch and think, hmmmmmm.

 When the paint dried I went around the chair and lightly distressed it.

Notice how flat the paint is. I think it is flatter than chalk paint.

I used a damp green scour pad and immediately wiped away the loosened paint with a soft rag. I rinsed the scour pad often so I wasn't just moving green paint from one place to another. The paint lifts easily so a feather-weight touch is required. When you distress, go as lightly as you can and then if you need to you can rub a little more. Lightly, lightly, lightly.

With the gentlest touch the layers of paint will show through.

Then I left it. Went to do dishes or something. Played with the dog. Slept.

I actually left the chair overnight and by morning the famous 'chipping' had appeared. This is an important step. I have found that getting those perfect small chips can take several hours. The larger chips sometimes happen while you are painting. You can sit back and watch the cracks race across your surface. When you're ready, apply a little Poly to stop the process. Who says watching paint dry is boring?

With the paint dry and the chipping finished, I sanded lightly with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the lumps and bumps.

The next step was a thin coat of clear wax, then more sanding. Then another coat of clear wax and sanding again. I use 400 grit sandpaper for the last round of sanding. I find it removes the last of the bumps and smooths the surface perfectly.

I pushed dark wax into the crevices and cracks with a stiff brush - actually a stenciling brush - then buffed. I have a brush attachment for my cordless drill which has saved me much muscle strain. I LOVE it!

This little work horse will change your life!

 I got everything I wanted; distress, chips, bare wood, smoothness and shine, shine, shine.

 I do love me some chippiness!

Ready and waiting to go to Farmhouse Treasures where it will hopefully inspire new customers to try Milk Paint for themselves!

Linking to:
the shabby creek cottage
be different act normal
funky junk interiors