unpainted.

A while back my sister, niece and I took a Friday off work just for the heck of it.  We visited a few cute shops, had lunch at a fabulous spot in Stillwater (Brick & Bourbon where the whiskey & cola shaved beef was amazing), and ended up at Selma’s in Afton for some ice cream.  And all along the way we stopped at garage sales whenever we saw a sign.

We actually started out at a barn sale that we’d gone to last year as well.  It was one of the first sales I made it to last year after all of my regular spring neighborhood sales were canceled.

I bought a handful of things at the sale including this cool vintage camera to add to my non-collection (“non-” because I’m in denial that I collect anything) …

I get a little chuckle out of the ‘miniature’ name.  Here’s a comparison of this one to my truly miniature vintage camera …

The Falcon is about 5″ across.  For its day (1939), I’m betting it was considered quite small though.  I really just choose the additions to my non-collection based on looks.  I couldn’t care less about things like value, or how rare something is.  In this case, I loved the graphics around the lens.

I also picked up the frame to a dresser mirror at the barn sale.  It was pretty beat up, filthy dirty and the mirror was long gone.  But the price was right, so I grabbed it.  Unfortunately, once again I neglected to get a before photo.  Drat!  You’ll just have to use your imagination.

I cleaned it up, re-glued the joints, and as I was contemplating what color to paint it I realized that I kind of liked the look of the original dark stain.  So I decided to try something a little bit different this time around.  Instead of painting the frame, I gave it a light sanding to remove any loose bits of finish and then I refreshed it with some of Dixie Belle’s No Pain Gel Stain in Walnut.

I’d used this stain before on more of a bare wood surface, but this time I just wiped it right over the lightly sanded original finish on this frame using an old t-shirt.

This is the moment when I really wish I had a ‘before’ photo so I could show you the difference.  It was more of a subtle sprucing up rather than a dramatic change.

Gel stain sits on the top of a surface rather than soaking into it like traditional stains.  For that reason you can use it over an existing finish without removing every trace of the original top coat.  In this case it just sorted of blended everything a bit.

Once I’d let the gel stain dry for a couple of days (it’s an oil based product and takes longer to dry than water based products) I added part of re.design with prima’s Somewhere in France transfer to the bottom.

Then I used clear wax over the entire frame to give it a tiny bit of sheen.  I followed up by adding a piece of hardboard in place of the mirror.  I turned that board into a chalkboard simply by painting it with Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky, then sanding it with 220 grit paper and not adding any sort of top coat to it.

And there you have it …

What do you think?

Are you on board with my decision to leave this one unpainted?  Or would you have preferred to see it painted?

I really enjoy taking something that many people would have thrown in the burn pile and turning it into something worthwhile again.  It’s so satisfying.

I think it would be perfect for a kitchen or dining room.  You could write your menu on the chalkboard when entertaining.  Or maybe you could just keep your grocery list on it.  If I had the wall space, I’d keep it myself.  But since I don’t, it’s for sale.  If any of you locals are interested, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the No Pain Gel Stain and Midnight Sky paint, and to re.design with prima for supplying the Somewhere in France transfer.

28 thoughts on “unpainted.

  1. I think it looks fabulous unpainted. Black and brown used correctly is a very sophisticated look and with this mirror frame, I believe it was the way to go!

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  2. Love it with the stain refresh. The carving is so beautiful. Just do t see stuff like that anymore. The transfer on the bottom is very subtle and the perfect touch! That’s what I love about your blog. It’s not the same ole same ole over and over again. Love the fun variety!

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    1. Thank you for saying that Sheri! I often feel like I am sharing the same old thing too much. But, it is fun to step outside of my usual box every now and then 🙂

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  3. This is freaking fabulous! Once again, your innate sense of style has shown through in your saving of this throw-away piece no one else would ever find inspiration for. You’ve taken a piece of trash, something worthless, and made something beautiful. Not many have that talent. it’s classic, chic, and will stand the test of time.

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  4. This piece turned out lovely. I think that it would be wonderful in a dining room, entry hall, or library. One could even put it in a Victorian bathroom. It is a beautiful piece. 😊

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    1. Well, LOL, not quite everything. I’ll be sharing another do-over next week. Another piece that just wasn’t selling and I decided to reimagine it. Stay tuned for that one!

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  5. Nice!! I’m seeing more and more stained or partially stained wooden furniture on the blogs I follow. Does this mean painted furniture is cycling out? I certainly hope not as I love painted furniture. But as we have discussed before everything old is new again and everything is cyclical.

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    1. I hate to say it out loud, but I think the love of painted furniture is on the decline. Of course, there will always be those of us who love it and never grow tired of it, but just like you say, everything is cyclical.

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