happy halloween.


This year I’ll be observing Halloween in my favorite way;  staying home, wearing comfy fleece, and watching Hitchcock’s The Birds.  I would love to say that I’ll also be handing out candy to darling little kids in costumes when they come to my door, but historically we only get two or three ‘trick or treaters’ at our house.

But meanwhile I thought I would share a quick chair makeover with you.  The legs of this chair were sticking up out of my car with that haul of stuff I showed you last week.  Here’s how it looked when I pulled it out of the car.


I needed another chair to keep in my home office a.k.a. the Q Branch so that when my sister comes over she has somewhere to sit if we’re surfing the web.

Although it was gloomy and grey this past weekend, the temperature on Saturday morning was in the low 50’s.  It felt plenty warm enough outside to paint, at least for a tough Minnesotan like me 😉

I know that some paints require a minimum temperature of 60 or so, but not milk paint.  I checked with the Homestead House people and they said that I can apply milk paint in temps right down to freezing.  It will work perfectly well, but may take just a tad longer to dry in colder temps.  How handy in my climate!

So I headed out into the carriage house and painted three coats of a mix of Miss Mustard Seed whites (Linen, Ironstone and Grain Sack) on the chair.  As is the case on most pieces I paint for myself, I would have been thrilled with tons of chippy-ness but that didn’t quite happen.


I hope that it will wear more with use over time.  Fingers crossed.

I had a little paint left over while working on this project, so I pulled out a step stool that I picked up at another garage sale this summer.  This is the only ‘before’ photo I could find.


  It was already painted white but was a chippy mess.  Especially on the top, I’d say about 80% of the paint was missing from the top.  If you look closely you can also see that the paint was totally peeling away underneath.  One of my tricks with pieces like this is to scrape off the peeling paint, give it a good sanding and then just add a fresh coat or two of milk paint on top of the existing paint.  I don’t fully paint it, I try to leave the wear on the edges alone.  But the fresh white paint gives it a cleaner look.  Shabby rather than grungy.


The stencil just adds that little extra something.

I thought it would be fun to throw in my Happy Halloween pillow and share these pieces with you today.  I don’t intend to keep the chair and the stool together as a pair, but they would work well together, wouldn’t they?


I snagged the pillow from the $1 aisle at Target (although it cost $3).  It was the last one they had at my store when I grabbed it several weeks ago.  I am betting they went really fast at that price.


So, how do you like to spend Halloween?  Painting with milk paint outdoors?  Out prowling the streets with the kiddos?  Living it up at a costume party?  Or like me, warm and cozy at home with some hot apple cider and a classic horror film?

14 thoughts on “happy halloween.

  1. We live far away from people on a farm so I only get one trick or treater each year. It goes like this…. my husband goes out the back door, around to the front door, knocks and demands Reese Cups when I answer. I ask “and what are you dressed as young man?”. He answers, “A tired and hungry husband so cough up those treats lady”. I give him the bag, close and lock the door and run to the back door to lock that too. We have no life as you can see.

    Love the chair and stool! Tomorrow we get near 70 degrees so that’s my last chance to paint for the year.


    1. That’s hysterical. I love that you have such a well established tradition for the holiday 😉 Hey, get out the milk paint, you can keep painting until you get freezing temps!


  2. When I lived in the burbs I bought tons of candy and had a ball with the trick or treaters, but now that we live semi in the country, we are lucky to get three or four groups of kids. I scaled way back on the amount of candy we bought so watch, there’ll be more this year! Last year we had our neighbor kids come twice (only ones that came) and we unloaded a bunch of candy into their bags. We’ll watch TV and hope for a doorbell!
    The chair and stool turned out wonderful – I have a tall chippy stool that I should try a stencil on!


    1. What’s your strategy on left over candy? Do you buy candy you like so you can enjoy the leftovers, or do you purposely buy candy you don’t like so you won’t eat the leftovers? I’ve tried both, and either way I tend to eat too much candy 😉


  3. Love the color you chose for the chair. It looks really nice on the caning. Trick or Treat night was last night in our town. We had four trick or treaters, the grandkids, so while we didn’t have many we had the best. Tonight is our towns Callithumpian celebration. A parade, lots of good food and spending time with friends and family. Callithumpian means, load boisterous noise and has been a tradition in our town for decades. Happy Halloween.


    1. I’ve never heard of a Callithumpian celebration! How fun. Thanks for sharing that with me, now I kind of want to find a Callithumpian celebration to go to myself.


  4. Happy Halloween! I’ve seen the pillows in the dollar section and they’re great for that price! Especially for seasonal things. There’s a hello fall one that’s pretty cute too. I like Debbie’s chair! Maybe she’d like to prop her feet on the stool too:) Our family skips trick or treating all together (nut allergies). We used to go and donate the candy but that just felt like torture so 5 years ago I started a new tradition. We go costume bowling! Bowling alleys are virtually empty on Halloween, so we have the place to ourselves and it’s a blast. Something we all look forward to. Sometimes you just have to get creative and it turns out, it’s more fun than trick or treating ever was!


      1. Seth and I were Chip and Joanna 😉 I’ll send you a pic. Sawyer was Napoleon Dynamite, Sully was a motorcycle dude and Henry just wore a skeleton hoodie (teenager). We had a blast!


  5. Love the chair and very thoughtful of you to think about an extra chair for your sister! AS for Halloween, I go to my daughters and take care of passing out candy while she and her husband take the kids trick or treating. Love seeing all the kids costumes, and seeing how happy they are. NOTE: If you come to the door with a cigarette hanging out of your mouth, you will NOT get a treat…just a lecture…and yes, this happened. Unbelievable.


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