problem solvers.

Welcome back for day 2 of my 12 days of giveaways!

Today I want to talk about problem solvers.  When you’ve been refurbishing furniture as long as I have (25+ years), you know that running into problems is a given.  It’s rare to find a piece of furniture that just needs a coat of paint slapped on and it’s good to go.  More often, it has other problems that need to be solved first.

Luckily I have some help in that area in the form of my neighbor/handyman and number 1 problem solver, Ken.

Ken is a fixer.  He gets great satisfaction out of finding creative ways to fix things.  One of his favorite fix-it successes was the Humpty Dumpty dresser.  It was named that for obvious reasons.  All of the king’s horses and all of the king’s men may not have been able to put it together again, but Ken did.

After taking a fall off of the horses (the saw horse kind, not the kind the king’s men had), the Humpty Dumpty dresser looked like this …

But after a few days in Ken’s workshop, it looked like this …

To this day Ken still talks about how much he enjoyed rebuilding this dresser.  Sometimes I’m tempted to look for more pieces that are totally falling apart just to give Ken a puzzle to work on.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t think of a way to give away a ‘Ken’ today, but I can give away a couple of great products that help me deal with smaller problems.  The first problem being the dreaded bleed thru.

It’s always such a bummer when you realize your piece has stain that bleeds thru paint.  No matter how many coats of paint you put over this stain, the stain will just keep coming through.  But there’s a great fix for that though, Dixie Belle’s BOSS.  The drawers shown above are a great example.  They had some serious bleed thru issues as you can see on the top drawer, but the lower drawer shows how beautifully the BOSS worked to block the stain.

Another problem I run into fairly often is when a piece of furniture is missing just one drawer pull.  I always joke about this because if a piece is missing just one, it might as well be missing them all, right?

This washstand is a good example.  It was missing just one drawer pull, and I would have had a difficult time finding an exact match as a replacement.

So instead, I filled the holes for the original drawer pulls and added centered knobs to the drawers rather than pulls.

My favorite product for filling holes is Dixie Belle’s Mud, and I apply it using their little plastic spatula.

Today’s giveaway consists of these two problem solvers; Dixie Belle’s BOSS and Mud.

Plus a chip brush and the plastic spatula that works great with the Mud.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for sponsoring this giveaway by providing these products.

The rules:  to be eligible to win today’s prize leave a comment on this blog post.  If you can’t think of anything to say, just tell me what problem you run into most often while DIY’ing.  Your comment must be left on the blog, not on Facebook or Instagram.  You are not required to follow my blog, although it would be awesome if you did!

I will randomly draw the name of a winner for today’s prize from all of the comments left on this post by Sunday, December 1, 2019 at the stroke of midnight (U.S. Central time).

The fine print: no purchase necessary, you must be 18 years of age or older to win, void where prohibited by law, the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning, approximate retail value of prize is $40, if the prize is not claimed by Tuesday, December 3, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!

94 thoughts on “problem solvers.

  1. I’m curious about how much to pay someone to fix a problem or repair a piece of furniture before painting it. Do you pay Ken by the job or by the hour? What do you consider a good rate to pay for repairs to a piece of furniture?


    1. LOL, I pay Ken in bottles of wine 😉 Well, I say that laughingly, but sometimes it’s true. But for the most part though, I give Ken a cut of the profits when I sell a piece that he has worked on (I call it profit sharing). And no matter how much I give him, he always thinks it’s too much. Quite honestly, I think it would be difficult to make any money refurbishing furniture if you have to pay someone to do the repair part. Much like you can’t really look at the number of hours you put into a piece and expect to get a decent ‘hourly wage’ out of fixing it up. I definitely make less than minimum wage on most of my pieces. Both Ken and I do this work because we enjoy it, not because it’s profitable.


      1. Thanks for your prompt reply! I have a sofa table with a leg broken where it attaches to the table top. The piece broken off is missing. Ive talked with a master wood worker/turner who will look at my table after the holidays. I always enjoy what you choose to share with your readers – your projects, your tips, your home, your yard and outbuildings! Can you tell that I’m a little obsessed! Hope you have an enjoyable holiday season – happy Christmas!🎄🕊⛄️🎆


  2. Hi Q,
    Hope I win. And I do wish I had a Ken for all those ridiculously marked down furniture pieces with wonky I’ll fitting drawers I have to pass up.
    Thanks for your blog posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Let dapper Ken know that he is the object of a lot of lust today since most everyone I know could use someone handy around the house. I have a wooden sewing basket that could use some Mud to fill in a missing piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My greatest problem is drawers that don’t close correctly-or at all! Not something the giveaway will fix but I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Dixiebell BOSS- hope it smells better than shellac!


  5. You are my favorite enabler *wink* and I always end up smiling after reading your blog posts. I really appreciate your blog because I’m retired (old, lol) and pretty new at furniture makeovers so I need all the tips I can get. Now, my most annoying issue has been how to deal with drawers that don’t glide in and out smoothly or straight. Still trying to figure that one out but hubby (my Ken) is a big help.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One of my favorite ‘fixes’ you have shared is using a piece of a music sheet to fill in chipped veneer. I went on a hunt to find a piano bench with chipped veneer just so I could try it! Oh! And a hunt for vintage sheet musicI have both now and will be working on this for a winter project!


  7. Wonder if fixer Ken wants to start taking his gig on the road?😊. Recently found your blog – so glad I did! Fun to see your transformations & also learning about the products you use. Be great to win& try out today’s problem solvers!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. First, you know I totally want my own Ken. Right now I’m using my brother in law but he’s got limited time. Just took a small two drawer dresser that could easily have done what your Humpty Dumpty dresser did, the glue is totally dried up! I love the Dixie Belle Boss – it has saved me several times. I haven’t used their mud yet but I’m sure it’s great. Thanks for doing the giveaways, you are so generous to your readers.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have always wanted to try the Dixie Bell products based on your endorsements. I have a lot of projects that probably won’t be tackled until after the holidays. Im still looking for my ‘Ken’. You are so very lucky. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow, the timing of you talking about these two products is perfect for me. I’m going to make over a children’s cupboard, made by my grandfather, that my sister and I had as kids. I’m making it over for my young, great niece. Right now it’s stained in an aging orange-ish color. I want to paint it white and was a bit worried about coverage, I also want to add new hardware so will need to fill the previous holes. Great tips, and I’ll have to put those items on my shopping list…unless, of course, I win😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mmmm, my main problem is actually finding a piece I really like that is worth the time and effort. I think I need a good picker! Love your work and your vision!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I keep reading about these products and the good things people say about them but haven’t had a chance to try either. Right now I’m putting up faux ship lap in my laundry room and hoping I live long enough to finish! Lots of small nail holes to fill in. When it is finished I could call it the laundry/mud room! Thank you so much for the chance to win!!


  13. Hello, I recently acquired two storage units full of furniture and almost everything has an issue! Missing drawer pulls, missing shelves, broken legs, water stains, child abuse ie stickers and drawing in ink. So I’ve decided to fix as much as I can so they don’t find their way to the land fill. I’ve always liked to craft so this is just an extension of my abilities! I think the ‘Boss’ will help when I get to those projects!


  14. Oh my stars, I was reading your mind! I am so fortunate to have a supportive dad (my “Ken”) that helps me problem solve, even when he thinks my ideas are waaayyyyy out there 😉 I have not had an opportunity to use Dixie Bell products before, but if you’re a believer, then I’m all in! Thanks again for the wonderful giveaways, and for bringing us all to your neighborhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Wow! you are so lucky to have Ken as a neighbor. The house next door to me is up for sale; would he like to move to a warmer climate? 🙂 Would love to give BOSS a try.


  16. I’m wondering if the Mud could be used to make an appliqué from a mold? I have to figure that one out to replace a missing piece. Love your work.


    1. Hmmmm. I’m going to guess no simply because it’s a little bit grainy and you need to be able to sand it to make it smooth. You’d be better off using the Prima Marketing Modeling Material.


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