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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Messy Milkpaint!

I know, I know...
no Chalk Paint???

Milk Paint is def not perfect for EVERY project...
but it was perfect for THIS project

Milk Paint requires prep work
including bare wood or primer
and sometimes an additive to help it stick

You have to mix it up
and use it up...
(it doesn't keep)

I would not use it, say, on a Frenchy piece
that had an original lacquered finish...

But on heavily grained raw wood,
it's ideal

We went VIBRANT on this piece...
the lines were so clean and simple
we thought a shot of bold color
would be fabulous

Like chalk paint,
milk paint can look chalky (or milky!)
so this piece was waxed several times
for a deep, rich luster
and color

The finish is silky smooth...

It will be hard to part with this one...
I *sorta* considered keeping it
for my youngest son's room
but he wants a black dresser

so this one is up for grabs on Etsy

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Work in Progress....


Yes, this is the before...
a fabulous vanity
missing all it's knobs
and sporting a lovely latex paint job


Someone asked me
why I don't paint over latex
so I thought I'd explain...
your paint finish is only
as durable as whatever
is underneath it

Latex will eventually peel...
sooner than later if the painter
used low quality paint
or didn't properly prep the surface...

I don't see the point in doing a beautiful
chalk or milk paint finish
over a crappy paint job...
because when the latex peels,
whatever is on top will peel, too...

To me, it's sorta like
building a new house
on a sinkhole...
it may be fine today
but it's only a matter of time
before it all goes horribly wrong!


The latex also had some custom work...
glitter glue, marker, pink nail polish...
a little girl surely loved this vanity!


Here is the vanity in process...
for the record,
stripping furniture
it's smelly, it burns, and it's messy
very messy!


Here's the finished "stripped" surface
after stripping and sanding smooth

Underneath the latex was the original
lacquered finish
and below that, a heavy duty grey primer
that did NOT want to let go


The details, as well as the lip
needed to be stripped,
then brushed clean


But the final result
means that when I apply
my paint finish of choice
it will have the best possible foundation

(bare naked and ready for paint!)

It's a bit hard to tell,
but this piece is now back to raw wood

I've passed up many great pieces of furniture
that were painted in latex
because I hate stripping them...
but this piece was so lovely...

It took me a SOLID
8 hours to complete this...

and I won't be doing it again any time soon!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Worth the Effort...

This pair of end tables...
we call them The Twins...
Good Grief did they give me trouble!

They had another paint job
prior to settling on this one..
it was "OK' but I didn't love it
and I need to love it
in order to sell it

We opted for Old Ochre
(one of my favorite ASCP colors)
Simple, old-world, and elegant
with a dark glaze
to highlight each paint stroke
curve, and imperfection

Pretty French original hardware

We sanded the top back down to raw wood
and decided to stencil the top
with a lovely French Poem

Let's just say I had "issues" with the stenciling...
stenciling over a painted surface is so easy...
if you have a little bit of bleeding, you can touch it up
Stenciling on wood means
you can't easily touch up your errors
It took three tries
but so worth it!

We painted the inside of the drawers
Duck Egg Blue
(they were clean, but we thought a shot of color would be nice!)

I'm REALLY happy with the outcome
and was already scheming on where to put these
in my living room...

I know I can't keep everything,
so hopefully these will sell quickly
and won't end up flanking my sofa...
(We need to paint things that DON'T match our house!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pay it Forward

I can't be the only person this happens to...

If I say it out loud,
it usually happens.

It's weird, actually.

It happens a LOT.

I do need to learn to be more specific, however...
(when I say I'm going to win the lottery,
I mean more than $5)

At any rate,
it happened today
and it caught me by surprise
I said, out loud,
that I'd really like to meet Annie Sloan
She seems really cool
and all the stockists are genuinely nice people...

The stars aligned, everything fell into place...

And we will be going to...


Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Charmed, I'm sure...

I scored these amazing chairs
and had a very hard time
not keeping them...

but my friend and client, Becky
had specifically asked
for chairs

caned back
hand carved
(only two shown, there are four)

We painted them in a creamy white
then moderately distressed them
before waxing
(clear only)

We recovered the seats in a lovely
natural linen
with a slightly
darker gimp

Little bits of aqua
peek out beneath the white

We paired them with the
loveliest round table

The legs were painted in a custom
blended aqua chalk paint
and the top was stripped
and refinished

I think...
this is my favorite dining set
to date!

Monday, February 6, 2012

An Ending and a Beginning

It's no secret we've been
very pressed for time
Seems there is never enough time
in the day
I've adjusted my work schedule
to free up Mondays
and Friday afternoons
but we always
ended up spending
those days running to
tend our vendor space
we weren't getting much painting done

We love being Vendors at
Summer House Marketplace
it's a hike from our studio

All the back and forth
to Tampa
coupled with the time commitment
to keep our space
merchandised and full
was really adding up

It was a hard decision,
but we've decided
this will be our last month
as vendors

We're planning on spending
our resources
(time and energy!)
on our Etsy store
and our website

Our goal is to consolidate
our warehouse
and our studio
into a larger space
where we can have
a small showroom
open by appointment
and maybe a few days a month
for event sales

Watch for updates
and if you are local
and know of a space with
please let us know!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pink Preview

This dresser is giving me
such a hard time!

Hopefully, when I finally finish,
I'll say it was worthwhile...

We custom-mixed a lovely
soft pink
and a deeper grey

With heavy wax
and distressed hardware
this piece says
"Faded Luxury"

I'm hoping to make a decision
on whether to paint the top
or stain it
and finish the mirror
later today or tomorrow...

Watch for several new Etsy items by Sunday evening!

Lacquer Love

We've been wanting to try
Annie Sloan's new Lacquer

I'm interested to see
how it holds up
not only on floors,
but also
on cabinets,
and table tops!

We're in the process of putting down wood flooring
throughout our house,
and the dining room is currently waiting it's turn
it's bare concrete now
a perfect spot to test the lacquer!

I didn't want to do an elaborate design
or use up a lot of paint
because I knew it would be covered up
with wood shortly

I decided to just do a random bit
in a high traffic walkway...

nothing fancy, but it serves it's purpose!
I like the idea
that my little
will be hiding beneath
the floor
for someone else to find

We did this last week...
I free-handed LOVE (clearly!)
and allowed it to dry

I don't think I allowed it to dry thoroughly, however
because I as I applied the lacquer
some paint came off
(note to self...learn to be patient!)

I used one coat of lacquer
(Annie suggests two for high traffic
but I never follow directions)
and allowed to dry overnight
before allowing anyone to even walk past it

It's been suggested that bare concrete
should be sealed first
because it will soak up your paint
I didn't do that
(big surprise)

This concrete was fairly smooth
but perhaps if you are using
this on very porous
concrete you will want to seal first

So far, it's held up perfectly
There is a slight sheen
which I think is kind of nice

Based on my experience so far,
I'm completely confident enough
in the durability
to use it on a tabletop
(for a set I'm working on now)

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


As soon as I heard Robyn Story Designs
Had a pot of ASCP's
in house,
I had to swing by and see it in person...

It's a gorgeous, natural pink...
reminds me of worn ballet slippers
or the inside of softly colored roses

We'd been out picking that day,
and had just purchased this little table

It was in sad shape,
needing paint
and a refinished top

Robyn, being the generous soul she is,
told us to haul in inside
and dip a brush into Antoinette...
no need to tell us twice!

We added some gold leafing
to the trim around the drawer
to pay homage to the piece
Robyn was working on
in the same color

We couldn't be happier with the final product
It's just lovely

If you haven't already heard,
"Antoinette' will be available
in the US as soon as Friday
(get in line, sister! right behind me...)

Robyn is doing a fun little give-away
for the first fifty people
that pre-order this charming color...

This table will be available
for purchase at
Summer House Marketplace
and also
on Etsy