the french ceramics linen press.

I’m so excited to share today’s makeover with you.  I put a lot of effort into this piece.  I really think it paid off and I’m hoping you think so too.

I’m a big fan of linen press dressers, so when I saw this one on Craigslist it was a no-brainer even though it was at the very top of my usual price range.

What makes this a ‘linen press’ are the interior drawers.

Every time I see one of these I want to save it, even though I know it’s a bit more work than a traditional dresser.

This one didn’t require much in the way of repairs, just a little adjusting for one of the doors that was sticking.  I simply sanded the bottom of the door a bit, tightened up the hinges and now it works fine.  You’ll also notice that some of the detail trim has broken off, but I’m OK with that.  I think it just adds to its vintage charm.

As soon as I brought this piece home I knew I wanted to use the French Ceramics transfer from Prima Marketing’s line on those interior drawers.

I thought Dixie Belle’s In the Navy would be the perfect compliment to the transfer.

I began by stripping the top of the dresser with Citristrip.  Next I lightly sanded the entire piece and then cleaned it with a damp cloth.  Then I painted the shell with Dixie Belle’s In the Navy and the interior drawer fronts with Fusion’s Limestone.

The Limestone took two coats, but believe it or not I got away with just one coat of the In the Navy.

I waxed the top of the dresser using Dixie Belle’s Best Dang Wax in Brown.

That walnut burl wood veneer is kinda gorgeous, so I wanted to bring it back to its former glory.

I waxed the areas painted in In the Navy with Dixie Belle’s Best Dang Wax in Clear.  By the way, you can feel perfectly safe using DB’s Best Dang Wax inside your home.  It has almost no scent at all and it contains no petroleum distillates.

Once that was done I got out my Bronze Age art alchemy metallique wax from Prima Marketing …

and applied that to the details on the fronts of the doors using a q-tip.

The Bronze Age provided just the right look.  I think a brighter metallic would have overpowered the piece.

And now for the really fun part.  Yep, there’s more!  I applied the French Ceramics transfer over the Limestone on the inner drawers.

Yowza!  I absolutely love it!

Let’s talk logistics for a minute.  I needed two sets of the transfer for this project.  I used the entire first set and just the left 6″ from the 2nd set.  The transfer comes on three sheets that are 22″ wide x 10″ tall each.  The pattern has a repeat both horizontally and vertically.  Meaning that you could line up the design into perpetuity going either across or down. Since the drawers are 28″ wide that meant that I could add another 6″ to the width by lining up the sheets from the 2nd set for that remaining 6″.  Boy, that was about as clear as mud, right?

Suffice to say that you can line this pattern up fairly easily both across and down and it will look seamless.

I gotta say, whoever ends up owning this lovely linen press might find it difficult to keep the doors closed.

Maybe that makes it perfect for a messy person who never quite gets doors shut.

If you’re wondering where to purchase the Prima Marketing French Ceramics transfer or their art alchemy metallique waxes, check out their ‘where to buy’ page.

If you’re wondering where to buy the Fusion paint in Limestone, check out their ‘where to buy‘ page.

If you’re wondering where to buy the Dixie Belle In the Navy paint or any of their waxes, you can shop with them directly online or find a retailer near you.

And finally, if you happen to be local (Twin Cities, MN) and in need of a gorgeous linen press dresser, check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for more details.

Many thanks to Dixie Belle, Fusion and Prima Marketing for sponsoring this project by providing the paint, waxes and transfers.  As always, although this is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

caviar with a vodka chaser.

Have you ever tried caviar?  I’ve tried it a couple of times.  The most memorable was when Mr. Q and I were in St. Petersburg, Russia where we we tried on fur hats, ate caviar and then washed it down with shots of vodka.

But even with the vodka chaser, this delicacy is pretty much lost on me.  Give me a bag of potato chips instead any day.

But there is one kind of Caviar that I just can’t get enough of …

Dixie Belle’s Caviar!

I’ve shared several pieces painted in this color over the past year starting with a pair of Windsor chairs that I painted back in February.

They were followed by a lovely vintage dresser.

Then in July I painted a gorgeous vintage bed in Caviar.

And more recently I painted the simply beautiful hutch in this color (although the inside is painted in Fusion’s Coal Black which is a pretty good match, just a little different sheen).

On Monday I shared the latest collaboration between me and my handyman Ken, the black bench.

And I still haven’t had enough Caviar!

In addition to the bench, I painted several more items in Caviar recentlyAnd I played around with some other ‘chasers’ including clear wax, black wax and black glaze.  I started with this vintage train case (do you call it train case?  or a vanity case?  or a makeup case?) …


I cleaned the case first with soap and water.  Then I painted it with two coats of Caviar and stenciled it with craft paint.

I finished it with Dixie Belle’s Best Dang Wax in Black.

I find it easier to apply an appropriately thin coat of wax using a brush rather than a rag.  Once applied, I go over the waxed surface with a clean cloth right away to remove any excess wax.  You can then wait 10 or 15 minutes and buff to a shine, but I’m not a super shine lover so I don’t do very much buffing.  The brush pictured is one that I reserve exclusively for use with dark wax.

Today’s q-tip:  usually I advise adding a coat of clear wax prior to adding dark wax, but with pieces painted in black that isn’t necessary.

Next I painted a library chair in Caviar, and then finished it with Dixie Belle’s Best Dang Wax in Clear.

I have to admit that I didn’t notice a whole lot of difference between using the clear wax versus the black wax over the Caviar.  Also, as an FYI, I used Dixie Belle Best Dang Wax in Brown on the vintage dresser above which worked beautifully as well.  So if you have a particular color of wax on hand already you could just use that over the Caviar, no need to buy a special wax.

Next I painted this rather heavy wooden tool box in Caviar, stenciled it and then tried something different for the topcoat.  I used the Dixie Belle Black Glaze.

I applied the glaze using a cheap foam brush.

It went on so easily and the glaze seems to add just a tad more sheen than the wax does.

I actually finished this toolbox before I finished the bench that I shared on Monday.  It was my guinea pig for the glaze.  It went on so easily and looked so good that I went ahead and used the black glaze on the bench too.

One thing to keep in mind is that some of the water based poly’s are not recommended for use over black because they can become streaky.  For that reason I tend to stick with wax, glaze or hemp oil when adding a top coat to black.

If you haven’t tried Dixie Belle’s Caviar, you absolutely should.  And although I wouldn’t recommend following it up with a vodka chaser, I do think clear wax, black wax or the black glaze are all great choices!

the black bench.

Well, I guess it’s lucky that I moved my painting operations indoors last week.  Here’s how things were looking at my house yesterday.

October 14th is maybe just a tad early for this sort of thing, don’t you think?

Cossetta seems to agree with me, can’t you see the faintest hint of annoyance on her face?

You know what?  It wasn’t until I was editing the photo that I noticed that her tiara is missing.  Do you suppose the squirrels stole that too, along with my mini pumpkins?

Not to worry, I popped outside after writing this blog post and located her tiara on the ground under all of those snowy ferns.

Well, fortunately things were warm and cozy inside and despite the snow on Sunday, we did get a few hours of sunshine on Saturday and I was able to get some photos of a few pieces that I finished up last week.

Remember the twin headboard and foot board that I picked up at a garage sale where everything was a quarter (yes, absolutely everything, including this bed)?

I pretty much knew from the get-go that I wanted to have my handyman Ken turn this into another bench.  But first I had to sell him on that idea.  You see, the first bench he made hadn’t yet sold at that point.  He wanted to wait and see if that one sold before committing to another.

But of course it sold!  It was awesome.  And as soon as that happened I carried these pieces over to Ken’s workshop to be made into another bench.

I heeded some advice given by Laura who commented that I should cut a little off the legs of the headboard this time to make the back of the bench a bit shorter.  Ken cut about 3″ off those back legs before assembling the bench.

And as you can see, I also took the advice that Meggan (a.k.a. the thrift doctor) left in her comment and painted it black.  Specifically, Dixie Belle’s Caviar.

I did a bit of distressing with sandpaper, especially around the spoon carving.

Instead of waxing this piece (which, let’s face it, would have been a workout) I top-coated it with Dixie Belle’s Black Glaze.  That couldn’t have been easier to apply using a foam brush.

I also painted the back of the bench this time.  Since it’s lower, it could conceivably be used at a dining table, in which case the back needs to be painted.

This time the pillow shown in the photos won’t be included with the purchase.  I have a pair of these pillows that I think I purchased from Restoration Hardware, or maybe it was Pottery Barn, several years ago and they are my favorites.

The boots won’t be included either 😉

I just picked those up at DSW last week and honestly I’m not even sure yet if I’m keeping them myself, but clearly I’m going to need some boots this winter if this weather keeps up.  I need to try them on again with some heavier socks to see if they really are going to work.  But when you wear a size 11 shoe, you pick stuff up when you see it because they’ll be gone the next time you go back.  So you buy them first, and then think about them later.

But I digress.

How do you like the bench?

It’s pretty sweet right?

If any of you locals could use a black bench for your foyer, mud room or possibly even your dining room, be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

Many thanks to Dixie Belle for sponsoring this project by providing the paint and glaze.  As always, although this is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

If you’re wondering where to buy Dixie Belle products you can shop with them directly online or find a retailer near you.

a never ending bedtime story.

Back in August I purchased this full size bed frame at the MacGrove garage sales (there are metal side rails included, they just aren’t pictured).

Aside from being a bit orange, it really is made out of rather pretty wood.

But this sort of look isn’t a hot seller just now as is, so I decided to give it a new look to try to make it more marketable.

I started with some basic prep, a light sanding followed by cleaning with some Krud Kutter and rinsing with clean water.  The I painted the bed with three coats of Fusion’s Limestone, a beautiful creamy white.  Once the final coat had dried overnight, I pulled out a new transfer from Prima Marketing’s line called Never Ending Story.

What I noticed as I was applying it is that it isn’t really a story.  Instead it’s a collection of fabulous quotes such as ‘never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore’, ‘strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value’ and  ‘all of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them’.

How inspiring to sleep near such wise words.

This particular transfer comes on three sheets that are 10″ tall by 22″ wide each (for a total of 30″ tall by 22″ wide).  I used two of the sheets side by side on the foot board, and just a portion of the third sheet on the headboard.

Then, because I just couldn’t bear to leave them blank, I used a couple of the knob transfers on the little raised rectangles on either side of the headboard …

This one is from the French Maison set.  It’s the one in the upper left portion of the sheet …

I trimmed off the little curlicues at the top and bottom so that it would fit, which left it looking less round too.

It’s a tiny little detail on the headboard that is barely noticeable, but I still love it.

Another detail that I should point out is that this transfer isn’t really meant to be placed side by side like I did on the foot board.  The quotes do not read all the way across the full foot board.

But the transfer has a distressed, faded appearance anyway … it’s not like the wording is crisp and meant to be easily legible, so I don’t think that matters much.

I love the unique look of this bed now, and it’s perfectly themed for a bookworm!

If you’re wondering where to purchase the Prima Marketing Never Ending Story transfer or the knob transfers, check out their ‘where to buy’ page.

If you’re wondering where to buy the Fusion paint in Limestone, check out their ‘where to buy’ page.

And finally, if you happen to be local (Twin Cities, MN) and in need of a Never Ending Bedtime Story bed, check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for more details.

Thank you to Fusion for providing the paint for this project, and to Prima Marketing for providing the transfers.  And a special thank you to my sister for squeezing this bed into the back of the already full SUV that day at the MacGrove sales 😉

simply beautiful.

As much as I love the gorgeous pieces I’ve done lately using those beautiful Prima Marketing floral transfers, or the really cool buffet that I shared last Friday stenciled with the decor wax, sometimes I like to just keep it simple.  So that’s what I decided to do with today’s piece.

I picked this one up a week ago at the Lynnhurst/Fulton garage sales.

It was ridiculously bargain priced, but it also was in pretty rough shape.  I didn’t get a good ‘before’ shot that shows how badly warped the top was so you’ll just have to trust me on that.  But my handyman Ken had to literally cut it into strips and then glue them back together again to attempt to flatten it out.  He made several other repairs that I neglected to get photos of too.

Once Ken was done with the repairs, it was my turn to make it pretty again.

I started by painting the inside in Fusion’s Coal Black and the outside in Dixie Belle’s Caviar.  You might be wondering why I didn’t go entirely with one or the other, and the honest answer is that I didn’t have enough of either one to paint the entire piece!

So I opted for the Coal Black on the inside because it will be fully washable once cured which is really nice on a shelf.  Plus it’s rather putzy to wax the inside of a cupboard.  The Fusion paint doesn’t need a topcoat, so I avoided that task.  I went with the Caviar on the outside because I just slightly prefer the look of distressed and waxed chalk paint over the look of Fusion.  The Fusion paint has just a little bit more shine (although it is still considered matte) than the waxed Dixie Belle paint.  And by the way, I waxed over the Caviar using Fusion’s Black Wax.  I absolutely love all of the waxes from that company whether it’s Miss Mustard Seed, Fusion or Homestead House.  It’s soft and creamy smooth, so it goes on easily.  Plus it’s perfectly safe and doesn’t contain any aromatic hydrocarbons (if you don’t know about those, check out my wax post).

I added a simple little ‘1918’ stencil above the door.  You know me and my numbers, I’ve got a thing for them.

You may also have noticed that I chose to remove the fretwork from behind the glass.  I really feel like I could have gone either way with that.  Some people love that look, and others prefer a more simple look.  Since I was going for simple with this one, I took it off.

Then finally, the pièce de résistance, I used some of the Prima Marketing knob transfers on the knobs!

This design is from the Cursive Letters set.

Let me explain how this style with the black background works.  These are black rub-on’s.  The portion that shows as white in the picture above is clear, these are not white rub-on’s.  So if my knobs were painted solid black, the design wouldn’t really show up much.

Instead I painted my knobs black on the ‘stem’ of the knob, but a creamy white on the face.  Then I applied the transfer.  Once that was in place, I sanded around the edges of the knob to remove any excess white paint and to give them a distressed look.  I followed up with a topcoat of Fusion black wax.

It may appear like the entire knob was painted black and then the transfer was applied over the black, so I just wanted to make that clear (pardon the pun).

I love how the knobs add just a little touch of the unexpected to this cupboard.

I feel like this piece is a great example showing how you don’t necessarily have to do something fancy or use complicated techniques to salvage an old piece of furniture.  Sometimes all it takes is a little paint  …  and maybe some cool knob transfers … and your piece will turn out simply beautiful.

If you’re wondering where to purchase the Prima Marketing knob transfers, check out their ‘where to buy’ page.

If you’re wondering where to buy the Fusion paint in Coal Black or their black wax, check out their ‘where to buy‘ page.

If you’re wondering where to buy the Dixie Belle Cavair paint, you can shop with them directly online or find a retailer near you.

And finally, if you happen to be local (Twin Cities, MN) and in need of a simply beautiful cabinet, check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for more details.

a galaxy far, far away.

Sometimes I take on a piece that I think is going to be a fairly simple makeover and it just ends up taking forever.  Today’s piece is one of those.

First off, we drove to a galaxy far, far away (to the opposite side of the Twin Cities) to pick this one up.  I’m really not sure what possessed me.  Normally I won’t go that far for a piece of furniture.  And it wasn’t particularly bargain priced either.

I guess something about it just spoke to me.  I also thought it would be a quick paint job, but that ended up not being the case.

My initial plan was to strip and wax the top, but then I discovered that it’s full of really deep scratches.  So deep they seem to go right through the veneer in some spots.

So that scraps that idea.

Next, one of the pulls was missing and one was broken.  Sigh.  You know what that means.  All new hardware.  Then as the icing on that cake, when I removed the rest of them I found that they had all left big gouged out rings around the holes.  Those had to be filled before I could move on because the new knobs I selected wouldn’t cover up those rings entirely.

Next, as Mr. Q and I were moving this piece around to get that ‘before’ photo taken I realized that one of the back legs was a bit wonky.  So I had to ask my handyman Ken to take a look at that and do some repair work.  That required taking the back off the piece so that Ken could get to some nails that were holding the leg in place.  He removed the nails, then the leg, and then added fresh glue and new screws to hold the leg in place.  It’s much sturdier now.

Finally, my initial plan was to paint this piece either white or pale grey and then use a Prima Marketing transfer on the front.  However, I quickly realized that the mahogany stain on this piece was going to be difficult to cover with a pale paint color.

So at that point I re-evaluated.  It was time to consider using a dark color to save myself further headaches, and that meant no transfer.

Then I remembered a tutorial by Brandy from Brushed by Brandy  I believe you have to join the How to Paint Like a Pro Facebook page to watch that video though, so if you aren’t already a member I encourage you to become one.  Brandy used the new Prima Marketing decor wax with a stencil.  Eureka!  If I hadn’t seen her video, I don’t think it would have ever occurred to me that I could stencil with these waxes.

And it just so happened that Prima Marketing had provided me with a bunch of their new waxes, as well as some of their amazing stencils.  So I had all of the necessary ingredients to try this technique.

So I started  with some test boards.  These were just scrap chunks of unfinished board.  I painted them with various Fusion paint colors and then stenciled them with the different wax colors.

From left to right the paint colors on the boards are Ash, Bedford and Midnight Blue.  I tried several wax colors over each paint color.  This was a great way to both practice stenciling with the wax, and also to see how I liked the various colors together.

I quickly realized that my two favorite combos were the Diamond Dust wax on the Bedford paint …

and the Galaxy wax on the Ash paint.

Obviously I’m a fan of the more subtle combinations, but there are many different looks that you can get using these waxes with a stencil.

Since I wanted to keep my paint color dark, I decided that the Ash would be my best bet, paired with the Galaxy wax (now are you getting my galaxy far, far away title?)  Some black knobs with a matte finish that I found at Hobby Lobby would be the perfect finishing touch.

After my usual prep of light sanding followed by cleaning with a damp rag, I painted the buffet with two coats of the Ash.

Once that was dry, I used the Imperial Damask stencil and the Galaxy Decor Wax (both from the Prima Marketing line) to add the most subtle textural-looking design onto just the door and drawer fronts.

Isn’t that a cool look?  Although it looks fairly pronounced in that photo, it actually looks a little bit more subtle in real life.  In a dimly lit room you can barely even see the damask pattern.  And it also shows up better at certain angles more than others.

In case you are wondering, once it has dried/hardened the wax does not smear or rub off.

I couldn’t resist adding a gorgeous pop of color to the inside of the buffet with Dixie Belle’s Peony.

I just love this beautiful vibrant pink.  Using this color on the outside might scare off some of my more conservative mid-western buyers, but having it on the inside is a whole different story.  It’s just there to make you smile when you open those doors.

I debated adding some of the wax to the carved details on the buffet to highlight them, but in the end I just distressed them and left them alone.

This next photo gives you a better feel for how subtle the waxed stencil pattern is from straight on.

In the long run, I’m very happy with how this piece turned out!

If you’re wondering where to purchase the Prima Marketing stencils or decor wax, check out their ‘where to buy’ page.

If you’re wondering where to buy the Fusion paint in Ash, check out their ‘where to buy‘ page.

If you’re wondering where to buy the Dixie Belle Peony paint that is inside the buffet, you can shop with them directly online or find a retailer near you.

The knobs came from my local Hobby Lobby but you can also find them online.

And finally, if you happen to be local (Twin Cities, MN) and in need of a gorgeous dresser, check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for more details on the buffet from a galaxy far, far away.

the imperial garden dresser.

You probably remember this beautiful dresser that I shared a couple of weeks ago with its amazing … and huge … Prima Marketing Rose Celebration transfer.

Prima had sent me several of the new transfers in their line and this was the first one I tried.  What I didn’t mention when I shared this was that I chose my ‘least favorite’ of all the transfers they sent to try first, just in case I got it wrong and wrecked it somehow (which obviously didn’t happen).

Now, before you take that wrong, that definitely doesn’t mean that I didn’t love this transfer.  What that really means is that the rest of them are even more fantastic.  If that one was my ‘least favorite’, just imagine what the rest of them are like!

As soon as I finished that dresser I was on the hunt for another dresser to add a mammoth transfer to .

To be specific, this time it’s the Imperial Garden transfer (this one is 44″ wide x 30″ tall) and it looks like this.

If you look closely at the background you might guess why I fell in love with this transfer at first sight.  Do you see it?  It’s Venice!  See the gondola (lower left)?  And those classically Venetian buildings?  Since I’ll be spending my 55th birthday in Venice this year, this transfer felt special.

I wanted to find a dresser that would accommodate most, if not all, of the design.  If you’ll remember I had to trim about 6″ off of the sides of the transfer on that previous dresser.

So when nnK sent me the Facebook Marketplace ad for a dresser that someone she knew was selling, I jumped at it.  It looked right about the perfect size.

Mr. Q picked it up while I was at work one day last week, but as soon as I got home I took some measurements and discovered I was right.  It’s the perfect size!

The next step was to pick a paint color.  There were so many possibilities.  I could have gone with an off-white, of course.  But I also could have chosen a pale pink, either Dixie Belle’s Pink Champagne or Fusion’s Little Piggy (both of which I had on hand).  Either of those would have been gorgeous.  I also debated using Fusion’s Lichen, which is a pale green grey.  It was a perfect match for some of the greens in the leaves.

But I ended up choosing Fusion’s Inglenook.  I absolutely love the pale blue green color and I thought it would work beautifully with the colors in the transfer.

I also made the decision to leave the top ‘as is’.  I think this is a first for me.  But the dresser had been recently refinished and although the finish is a bit shinier than I would have chosen, it was in really good shape so I left it.

I figured that if I didn’t love the way it looked after finishing the rest of the dresser, I could always paint it later.

I also made the decision to remove the existing hardware and not put it back on.

These pulls might work for another piece down the road, but they would have fought with the design of the transfer.  So I filled the holes for the original hardware using Dixie Belle’s Mud before painting and I added glass knobs instead.

I followed my usual protocol of sanding lightly and cleaning with a damp rag, then I added two coats of Fusion’s Inglenook.  Once the paint was dry, I distressed the edges of the dresser by hand sanding them with 180 grit sandpaper.

Next I applied the transfer.  I used the same method I used last time (find that here).

Once the transfer was applied, I sanded over it very lightly by hand with 220 grit sandpaper to give it a more faded, vintage look.  That’s totally optional and just a matter of preference.  Some of you may prefer the look of the transfer without sanding it.

Adding the transfer completely transformed this dresser.

Although it was in nice shape before, it was kind of ho hum.  The previous owners did a nice job refinishing it, but I think they robbed it of its character.

But now it has plenty of personality again.

The little chair in the photos is from the Mac-Grove sales.  I started out painting it grey, but it ended up being a bleeder (ie. the red stain bled through the paint) so I zapped it with some spray on shellac and then ended up giving it a coat of the Inglenook while I was painting the dresser.

Then I used the left over remnants from another Prima Marketing transfer to dress it up a bit.

I love the petite size of the chair.

I also used a few of my hydrangeas to stage this piece.

They are looking pretty much amazing at the moment, so it was hard to resist getting them in a few photos!

If you’re wondering where to purchase the Prima Marketing products, check out their ‘where to buy‘ page.

If you’re wondering where to buy the Fusion paint, check out their ‘where to buy‘ page.

If you’re wondering where to buy the Dixie Belle Mud that I used to fill the old drawer pull holes, you can shop with them directly online or find a retailer near you.

If you’d like to order the glass knobs I used on this piece, you can find them at D Lawless Hardware.

And finally, if you happen to be local (Twin Cities, MN) and in need of a gorgeous dresser, check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for more details on the Imperial Garden dresser!