is English green a thing?

I watch a lot of British television.  Mostly garden shows, detective shows like Vera or Father Brown, and the occasional Graham Norton.

One thing that always seems to catch my eye are brick or stone cottages with a vibrant green trim.  I searched high and low online for a photo of the shade of green I picture in my head, but couldn’t find the exact color.  I have this photo that I took at The Beamish back in 2017.

That green isn’t quite as vibrant as others I’ve seen, this next one might be a bit closer.

Hopefully you get the idea.

Last summer I decided to change up my front door color to what I think of as that English Green.  I ended up choosing a color from Behr called Mown Grass.

Then earlier this week I pulled that color back out and painted the obelisk trellis that my handyman Ken made.

You may remember that earlier this spring.  I painted up a Flower Market sign to hang on my back deck.

Well, OK, it was supposed to be spring, but we had that freak snow storm on April 1.

I used a Dixie Belle color called Kudzu on that sign, and I really love it.  At the time I was only thinking about what color would work well on the dark olive green-ish color of our siding.

I never even thought about the pair of Adirondack chairs that would sit in front of it.

It wasn’t until we pulled them out of winter storage this spring that I realized their existing yellow-green color was all wrong with the Kudzu.

I did love that color on the chairs.  It’s Rust-Oleum spray paint in a color called Eden.  It worked beautifully with all of the lime green foliage in my gardens.  But it definitely didn’t work with the sign.

But that’s OK because the chairs needed a paint touch up anyway.  So after giving them a good cleaning with some TSP substitute, I went ahead and painted them with the Mown Grass too.

It’s the perfect garden green.

And this color works much better with my Flower Market sign.

Try to ignore the fact that there is a hole in our deck under the chair on the left.  We’re working on getting that repaired.  It’s on the list with all of the other spring projects.  But I can check off ‘paint the Adirondack chairs’ and that feels good.

How do you like the new color?  And have you ever noticed that shade of English green?  Leave a comment and let me know!

chairs, tulips and daffodils.

Phew!  My trip to Disney World really took it out of me.  My sister and I were there for 8 days, and we walked more than 20,000 steps almost every day.  It was really fun, but also really exhausting.  I’m still recovering.

I made a bit of a tactical error in that I didn’t have a completed project lined up to blog about upon my return.  So I’ve spent the last few days wondering just how in the heck I was going to come up with something, and where I was going to find the energy to quickly get it done.

Then I remembered this pair of little wooden chairs that I’ve been meaning to sell.

My friend/picker, Sue, found these for me back in the fall of 2018.  I’ve had them hanging on the wall in our bedroom since then.  But I’m ready for a change so I thought I’d move them on.

I was initially thinking about painting them in chippy milk paint, but the wood had a rather nice patina.  So rather than paint them, I decided to simply add some Classic Vintage Labels transfers to the backs.

I gave both of them a garden theme.

They are a bit wobbly, so I wouldn’t necessarily want a small child to sit in them.  But they’d be perfect for holding a potted plant, like this little pot of muscari.

I staged them out in the garden, mainly because I wanted to show off my daffodils.

And my tulips.

But that being said, these little chairs wouldn’t hold up for more than one or two seasons if you left them outside unprotected.

They would be awesome on a protected porch though, or maybe in a sun room.  Or really anywhere inside.

In that last photo, you may have noticed that my scilla (all of that stuff that looks like grass in the garden behind the chairs) are pretty much done blooming.  They have been followed up by the daffodils and tulips.  I planted a few new ones last year (for more details on that, go back to this post), so I thought I’d share how they did and exactly what they are in case any of you want to get some this year.

This first daffodil is Narcissus Double Delnashaugh.  It’s a late blooming double, and the white and apricot flowers are fairly long lasting.

If you’re not a fan of the typical yellow of most daffodils, this is a great alternative.

I also planted Narcissus Double Cheerfulness.

The flowers on this one are about half the size of the first one and not nearly as showy, but they really are rather sweet I think.

I managed to save a couple of patches of tulips from the deer by surrounding them with chicken wire.

If you use the green chicken wire, it’s not nearly as noticeable when it’s in place as the silver stuff so it’s not a horrible eye sore.

Also, I just loosely circled each patch and that seems to do the trick even though a deer could easily pop his head over it to eat the tulips.  My neighbor nnK gave me that tip.

I’ve been removing the chicken wire during the day so I can enjoy the tulips without it though.

These are Darwin Hybrid Pink Impression tulips.  And just to put quantity in perspective for you, I planted 100 of them and that gave me a patch this size …

I purchased these tulips, and both of the daffodil varieties from Longfield Gardens.  I also purchased three different varieties of allium from them last year, so I’ll keep you posted when those start blooming.

In addition, I planted some cheap tulip bulbs from my local Menards, but those were the ones that the deer got to before I could cover them.  So they look like this …

So it’s pretty much impossible for me to compare the quality of the cheap tulips with the more expensive tulips from Longfield.

But back to those chairs, what do you think?

Do you like them this way, or would you have painted them?  Leave a comment and let me know.

my all-time favorite.

 For today’s ‘re-run’ I decided to share all many of the pieces I’ve done using one of my all-time favorite transfers called Seeds.

I’ve never actually added up how many times I used this transfer, I’ll try to do that with this post, but I’m not sure I’ll find all of them.

Unfortunately, this design is now retired and after a quick search online I was unable to find it for sale anywhere.  If any of you are retailers and have these available, be sure to leave a comment below with your details so people could buy them (or so I could buy them).

This transfer came in two different sizes and two colors, black or white.  And I’ve used them all, so let’s take a look shall we?

My first ever use of this transfer on a piece of furniture was the Blue Alligator dresser.

I had custom mixed the milk paint color for that piece using three different colors and two different brands of milk paint.  It’s equal parts Homestead House Loyalist, Homestead House Upper Canada Green and Miss Mustard Seed Kitchen Scale.

I loved the resulting color, and I named it Blue Alligator.

This was early days for furniture transfers (although smaller rub on transfers have been around for decades) and since then they have cleaned up the look of that hazy halo that a lot of people complained about.

But it never bothered me.  I was so thrilled to find a product for adding detailed typography to furniture that wasn’t incredibly painstaking and time consuming (hand-painting).

That was back in April 2017, and I used the smaller version of the transfer on a metal stool that month as well.

Or a portion of it anyway.

I used the upper half of that smaller transfer on a little wooden stool a couple of months later.

The next larger piece that I used the Seeds transfer on was this dresser in July 2017.

 I mixed up a custom milk paint color for this one too, mainly to use up a few partial packets of paint I had on hand.  I started by mixing equal parts Miss Mustard Seed’s Eulalie’s Sky and Shutter Gray.  The resulting color was just a bit too blue for me, so I then added another equal part MMS Grain Sack to both lighten it up and add a little more grey.  I loved the subtle pale blue gray color that I ended up with.

In autumn of 2017 I added the Seeds transfer to yet another dresser, this time over Fusion’s Limestone.

In January 2018 I used the smaller version of the transfer again, this time on a washstand that was painted in Miss Mustard Seed’s Linen milk paint.

I advise using caution when applying a transfer over chippy paint as the transfer can pull off the paint, rather than adhering to your piece.  You may want to add a clear coat over your milk paint first, then add the transfer to avoid that problem.

The next piece that received a Seeds transfer was this linen press dresser painted in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.

That piece was a bit of work since I initially painted it in milk paint that then proceeded to almost completely chip off.  I had to sand it down and start over with Dixie Belle chalk style paint.  But in the end it was awesome.

Next up came the garden beds.

It’s not often that I find a matching pair of twin beds, so I was thrilled to find this duo at a garage sale.

I added the smaller version of the transfer to the back of this chair in July 2018 …

and also to this little wooden stool in the same month.

While I was at it, I also used some remnants from a large Seeds transfer on this wooden tote.

Let’s see, are you keeping track?  What am I up to?  An even dozen pieces so far.  Let’s keep going.

I used another small sized transfer on a mirror frame that I turned into a chalkboard in September 2018.

and also on this washstand in October of that year.

That one is also painted in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.

I also had some fun using pieces of the smaller version of the transfer on this pull toy.

I still can’t believe I paid less than $1 for that horse and cart at a garage sale.

I also applied bits of the smaller one to this vintage refrigerator box.

The following January I used the larger version again, this time on one of the bed benches that my handyman Ken created from an old headboard/foot board combo.

That bench is painted in Fusion’s Bedford.

In summer of that year I used the smaller versions on yet another washstand that was painted in Drop Cloth.

I also used the smaller version on the back of a wooden folding chair in July 2020.

It wasn’t until January 2021 that I used the larger version on a big piece of furniture again.  I think that’s because I was hoarding my last couple of these transfers knowing that I’d eventually not be able to find more.

That armoire was perfect for it though.

It remains one of my all-time favorite pieces.

I used another of my carefully guarded stash of Seeds transfers on this dry sink last summer.

Wasn’t it just perfect for that piece?

As I mentioned in the blog post about that one, I don’t necessarily recommend hoarding a stash of transfers like I have done.  They do tend to dry out a little over time, and then they become harder to apply.  Not impossible necessarily, but certainly more difficult.

But when they keep retiring your favorites, there doesn’t seem to be any other option.

Sadly, that dry sink received the last of my large sized Seeds transfers.  However, I did have a few scraps that were left over from pieces where the entire transfer didn’t fit.  I used one of them on the wooden box I painted for my potting shed last fall.

Then one of my lovely readers was kind enough to send me one of the smaller ones, and it made its way onto this little cupboard.

In the end I had one small white Seeds transfer left.  But to be honest, I never liked the white version.  The first time I used it was on a wooden box that I painted up as a gift for my sister in April 2018.

Yep, not spectacular.

I wouldn’t have purchased a second one, but when I ordered a black one from a retailer online she sent me a white one instead.  When I contacted her about the mix up, she admitted that she didn’t actually have a black one, so ultimately I just kept it.

I finally used part of it last fall on this toolbox.

It worked out well on that piece, I think because it was just a small dose.

I also tried to use the remainder of that one on this case …

I applied it over the I.O.D. Rose Chintz paint inlay, and that was a bit of a fail.  I ended up sanding that down and painting over it.

Although I did keep the little “New York” bit on the side.

OK, so I think I counted 26 pieces with some portion of the Seeds transfer on them.  Yep, I’d say this one was definitely a favorite of mine.

How about you?  Did you use the Seeds transfer on anything?  Or do you have another favorite that you used over and over?  Leave a comment and let me know.

this furniture is permanized.

I thought I would try something a little different while off on vacation this week, re-runs!

Hey, it works on T.V., so I thought maybe it could work here.

I’ve picked out a couple of different furniture makeovers from the past to share with you guys this week.  I tried to go a ways back so it wouldn’t feel too repetitive for those of you who follow me on a regular basis.

I refurbished these mid-mod pieces back in 2018.  Wow, can you believe that was five years ago now?  Time flies, doesn’t it?

Here is how they looked when I brought them home …

I purchased these two along with a 3rd matching dresser that I painted up separately, and forgot to get a ‘before’ photo of.

I thought it was funny that the manufacturer said these pieces were ‘permanized’.

I once again tried googling “Kroehler permanized furniture” to see if I could find any info on it, but that mostly took me to my own blog post about these two pieces.  So I still have no idea exactly what that means.

After scuff sanding and cleaning, I painted this pair in Fusion’s Ash.

This dark gray works beautifully with the mid-mod style.  I don’t typically use Fusion anymore, these days I would swap that out for Dixie Belle’s Gravel Road.  That’s simply because I find that a chalk style paint is more error proof than an acrylic paint.  It adheres to a dicey surface better, it distresses more easily, and if you water it down a tad you don’t have to worry about brush strokes.  On the other hand, chalk paint does require a separate top coat while the acrylic paints do not.  It’s a trade off.

I painted the inside of the bookcase portion of the headboard in Fusion’s Mustard.

I love that pop of mustard yellow next to the gray, and it’s so easy to find bedding to coordinate with that combo.

In addition to the paint, I also refreshed the hardware using some of Prima Marketing’s art alchemy Metallique wax in Bronze Age.

The bronze was gorgeous next to the dark gray.

Although I painted these two pieces to match, if I remember correctly they didn’t sell together.  I believe the dresser sold right away and it took a while to sell that headboard.

As for the 3rd piece from this set, I went in a different direction with that one.  I painted it in Fusion’s Park Bench.

I definitely went through a phase where I painted at least half a dozen mid-mod pieces in this gorgeous green.  They all sold super fast too, so it was definitely popular.

I lined the drawers on this one with some paper I’d found that was perfect to pair with the Park Bench.

 I wanted to retain the original light gold on the drawer pulls for this piece, so I just washed those with soapy water and put them back on.  But the little round knobs were a much darker brass color than the pulls.  To get a better match, I again used the Metallique wax, but this time in a color called White Gold.

This trio was not actually the first time I followed this formula.  The previous February I’d painted another pair of mid-mod pieces in the same colors.

When I went back and read the original blog post, I was reminded that this pair had sat on Craigslist unsold for weeks before I purchased them and they were very reasonably priced.  Five years ago you could still get mid-mod pieces like this pretty easily.  I feel like that no longer seems to be the case, do you find that as well?

This time the tall dresser was painted in Dixie Belle’s Gravel Road.

And the credenza style dresser was painted in Park Bench.

You can check out all of the details on those makeovers here and here.

So tell me, which color appeals to you the most, the dark gray (whether it’s Fusion’s Ash or Dixie Belle’s Gravel Road) or that fabulous Park Bench green?  And what do you think of the mid-mod style, do you think it will continue to be popular for another five years or even longer?

Leave a comment and let me know.

viv’s furniture, part 2.

On Friday I shared the makeover of my friend Viv’s nightstand.

I mentioned in that post that I was also working on the larger dresser that went with it.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a ‘before’ picture of the dresser.  To be honest, it was just so big and heavy that I didn’t want to spend the energy to get it set up for a ‘before’.  So you’ll just have to use your imagination knowing that this large dresser was the same wood tone as the nightstand, and initially had the same round wooden knobs.

And now it looks like this …

I followed the same process that I used on the nightstand on this dresser.  I filled the holes for the original knobs with Dixie Belle’s Mud.  Then I scuff sanded and cleaned it.  I added a base coat of Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S. just on the top, because much like with the nightstand, it had some water rings and other damage to the original finish that might have popped through otherwise.

Finally I painted it with two coats of Dixie Belle’s Gravel Road.

Once dry, I sanded lightly with 220 grit paper and then finished it all with some of Dixie Belle’s Easy Peasy spray wax.

You might think that all of that took a fair amount of work and was rather time consuming, but that was actually the easy part.  For me, anyway.

The hard part for me was adding all of those drawer pulls … and keeping them straight.

I fell back on a trick I’ve learned from my handyman, Ken.  I made a template.

First, I measured all of the drawers.  I initially thought that the top two rows of drawers were all the same size, but lucky I measured, because they weren’t.  The top row drawers are 1″ shorter than the middle and bottom row.  So I have two horizontal lines on my cardboard template.  The top line is for the taller drawers, and the next line is for the shorter drawers.  I simply used the template on all of the taller drawers first, then cut that extra 1/2″ off and used it on the shorter drawers.

Unfortunately, I totally messed up when I got to the two bottom drawers.  Although I had adjusted everything for the different width of those two drawers, I completely forgot that Viv had purchased wider pulls for them.  So I drilled my holes at the same distance apart as the shorter pulls.  Ugh!

So I had to go back to the drawing board and fill those holes back in with the Mud, wait for them to dry, sand, re-paint, then re-measure everything and drill again.  Luckily I’d only done one of the bottom drawers when I realized my mistake.

And fortunately, it wasn’t too difficult to fix.

I added just a few props before photographing this one, my grandpa’s artwork, some books and an old phone.

Once again, it was fun to give this piece an updated, more modern look.

I think it turned out rather fabulous, don’t you?

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing all of their products used in this makeover.

viv’s trippy blocks nightstand.

First up, congrats to Monica.  I drew her name at random to win my Dixie Shine giveaway from last Friday.  Now, on with today’s post …

As you guys know, I don’t typically do custom work.  I’ve learned over the years that I find it too stressful to try to meet someone else’s expectations about how something might (or might not) turn out.

I also don’t like working on something that isn’t really my style.  To explain what I mean by that, I always tell the story of a customer who once asked me to paint a dresser for her because she absolutely loved my work.  She wanted it to be exactly like other pieces I had painted.  Except purple.  And not distressed at all.  And with lots of flowers on it.

In other words, nothing like my normal stuff.

But every once in a while there is an exception to my ‘no custom work’ rule.  The furniture owner has to be willing to pretty much allow me to do my own thing without much input.

In this case, the furniture owner is my friend Viv.  Now that she and her husband’s four kids have all flown the nest, she’s turning what was formerly the boy’s room into a guest room.

She’s added a pair of queen size beds (it’s a large room!) with fabulous upholstered headboards, new linens and a new paint color on the wall.  She had asked me over to give her some ideas on what else she could do with the space, and when I saw the nightstand and bureau combo with their dated finish I immediately suggested she paint them.  Duh.  Obviously.

Well … OK, in the end, I offered to paint them for her, starting with the nightstand.

This piece of furniture was in really good condition.  Certainly better condition than 99% of the pieces I normally work on, and probably about 50 years newer.  The only problem was a few water rings on the top, and well … that orange-y sort of stain color (please just ignore how much that matches my floors, ugh!).

So aside from my usual prep process of scuff sanding and cleaning, I also opted to apply a base coat of Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S. on the top before proceeding with the paint.

That brings me to today’s q tip:  when you have water rings or other damage that has compromised the existing finish, that change in texture may be hard to disguise with just a coat of regular paint.  You could end up seeing a ghost of those rings after your paint job.  To prevent that, create a uniform base by adding a coat of stain blocking primer, like the B.O.S.S., before painting.

That did the trick on this piece.

I painted Viv’s nightstand in two coats Dixie Belle’s Gravel Road.  Then I decided that the flat shelf at the bottom of the table needed a little something extra.  So I pulled out two stencils from Dixie Belle, Basket Weave and Trippy Blocks, and applied them to a tester board to figure out which one I wanted to use.

I used Dixie Belle’s Silk paint in Black Sands for the stenciling.  The color is a bit darker than the Gravel Road, and the sheen of the Silk paint is just a bit less matte than the chalk paint.  Whenever I mention the Black Sands color, I like to point out that it is not black.  It is a really dark grey, don’t be thrown off by that name.  I’d tried this technique once before (on this piece) using their Midnight Sky and Anchor (which is the black from the Silk line) and loved the subtle results.

I decided that Trippy Blocks would do the best job of modernizing the look of the nightstand, which was mainly what Viv wanted me to accomplish.

Once I had everything painted, I gave Viv the option of whether or not to distress the edges and in the end she decided against it.  So after a very light sanding with 220 grit on the flat surfaces, I sealed this piece with Dixie Belle’s Easy Peasy spray wax.

Next we decided to switch out the original wood knobs for something sleeker and more modern looking.  I had filled the center holes for the original knobs with some of Dixie Belle’s Mud before I painted, so we could do anything she wanted with the hardware.  Viv did a little shopping and came up with these drawer pulls from Menards.

They definitely go a long way towards making this piece look updated, don’t you think?

The pulls came in a wide range of sizes, so we were able to use one size on the nightstand, and two different sizes on the larger dresser (which you’ll see on Monday).

It’s always so satisfying to me to see the massive difference a little paint and a change of hardware can make to a piece of furniture.

I think we definitely met our goal of giving this nightstand an updated look.  What do you think?  Leave a comment and let me know!

the summer villa dresser.

When I saw I.O.D.’s spring release, I looked at the two new transfer offerings and thought ‘nope, not for me.’  I’m just not a fan of bugs, fish, mushrooms or monkeys.  I was so disappointed.

I was really hoping for new typography transfers that would work well on my toolbox makeovers.

Unfortunately, the designs that would have been perfect for toolboxes were offered as the Melange paint inlay rather than as a transfer.  I so very much would have preferred those designs as a transfer.  Why?  Because I do a lot of layering on those toolboxes, like you see on this one …

 I can’t think how you would layer the paint inlays in a similar fashion since you have to apply each one into a fresh coat of paint.  I know, I know, I could apply the first inlay into paint, and then layer another over it by applying it into a top clear coat on top of the first inlay, but doesn’t that sound putzy and time consuming?!  I also could apply a paint inlay as the bottom layer of a design and then layer a transfer over it, like I did on this tackle box where I layered wording from the Label Ephemera transfer over the Rose Chintz paint inlay.

But transfers are so much easier to layer!  If any of you know of a better method for layering paint inlays, please leave a comment and clue me in.

Anyway, initially I wasn’t going to purchase anything from the new release.

But then I saw the Summer Villa paint inlay.  And I had to have it.  I really tried to talk myself out of it.  After all, these dang paint inlays are rather pricey (it was $46) and I was fairly sure I’d only get one use out of this one.  As I mentioned last Friday, I’ve had mixed results with trying to use the inlays more than once.

  Still, I couldn’t resist, so I ordered it.

You know, sometimes you just have to splurge.  I have to admit, I spent more on a pedicure last week than on the paint inlay, and in the end I’d rather have the inlay (although my toes do look pretty good).

After ordering the paint inlay, I needed to find a piece of furniture to put it on.  I checked the measurements, and then started hunting on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.  I ended up finding this dresser on Craigslist.

It presented the perfect canvas for the Summer Villa paint inlay, the front of this dresser is just slightly smaller than the inlay.

This was an almost perfect Craigslist transaction too.  The seller responded to my inquiries right away, we set up a time for the pickup in the afternoon on the same day, and when we got to his house the dresser was at the curb and ready to be loaded.  Best of all, we didn’t have to navigate another icy Minneapolis alley.

I say ‘almost perfect’ because there was a bit of a bait and switch problem with the damaged legs.

Not only were the curved feet missing, but the curved bits further up the leg were also missing.  Somehow I wasn’t aware of that before I got there, and it seems like a detail I would have noticed.  In fact, I went back later and pulled up the photo from the ad …

As you can see, those curved bits further up the legs were still intact in that photo.

I did ask the seller if he had the pieces that fell off, and he did not.  But you know what?  I bought it anyway.  We were already there, the dresser was ready to go, and the price was right at just $40 (yes, the piece of furniture was less than the inlay … and the pedicure, come to think of it).  I was fairly confident that Ken and I could figure out a way to deal with those legs.

After I got the piece home, I had Ken come over for a consultation.  We ended up deciding to remove the curvy trim board from the bottom of the dresser and replace it with a straight board that was flush with the flat fronts of those legs.  That made it far less obvious that there was a curved bit missing.

Then, in an attempt to make those flat legs looks more intentional, I added some molded medallions.

I made these using I.O.D. paper clay and the Ancient Findings mold from with prima.  I glued them in place with regular wood glue.

After doing some other small repairs like gluing veneer and such, I scuff sanded the piece with 220 grit paper and then cleaned it.  Next I began painting with a coat of Dixie Belle’s clear B.O.S.S.   This dresser absolutely had the look of a bleeder with that dark reddish stain.  Better safe than sorry.  As I was applying the B.O.S.S. to the sides of the dresser, I noticed that my brush was picking up some orange coloration (that happens sometimes with severe bleeders), so for a little extra insurance I gave those sides a 2nd coat of B.O.S.S.

I also then painted that fresh new board and those medallions with a coat of Dixie Belle’s Coffee Bean.  I did that so that there would be a uniformly dark undercoat.

After waiting 24 hours (if you read the fine print, the B.O.S.S. should be allowed to dry for 24 hours to reach full efficacy in blocking stains), the next step was adding two coats of Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.

I debated between Drop Cloth and Sawmill Gravy, but ultimately decided that the Sawmill, with its slightly gray undertone, would be perfect with the paint inlay’s shades of gray.

The paint went on quickly and beautifully over the B.O.S.S. and only took two coats for full coverage, which isn’t always the case when painting white over a very dark color.  That’s another benefit to using the B.O.S.S.

Now it was time for the inlay.  After trimming the edges off each carrier sheet, I laid out the full design on my baby grand piano (yet another great use for it!).  I then measured the width of the front of the dresser and cut down the sides of the inlay to fit (I took off about 1.5″ from each side).  I then held the inlay sheets up to my dresser to make sure that key areas such as the cow’s head and the people in the boat didn’t fall on a line between the drawers.  I then adjusted up or down accordingly before trimming about 6″ off the top and another 1″ off the bottom.  Fortunately there was a lot of sky at the top of this design, so it still looks OK with that much trimmed off.

This inlay comes on 8 separate sheets.  When applying a big overall design like this, whether it’s a paint inlay or a large transfer, I find it best to start at the middle and then work my way out to either side, and that’s what I did here.  Also, after applying the first row of sheets, I realized that it would be far easier if I trimmed my sheets down to the height of the drawer fronts and then did each drawer separately.  So I did that from there on out.

You can find full instructions on applying an I.O.D. paint inlay in this post.

After letting the applied paint inlay dry, and then removing the carrier sheets and letting the drawers dry thoroughly, I sealed the inlay with some RustOleum clear matte spray sealer.

Next up I sanded the edges of my piece to distress them, then gave everything a final topcoat with clear wax.  I also added just a bit of dark wax to the medallions to give them a little more depth.

Talk about getting a pedicure, don’t those legs and feet look so much better!

I freshened up the insides of the drawers by sanding them lightly, cleaning them well and then adding a coat of Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta in the Orange Grove scent.

I opted to replace the original wood knobs on this piece with some glass knobs from D. Lawless Hardware that I already had on hand.  I knew they would come in handy some day!

I felt like the glass knobs would be a bit more in keeping with the formality of the transfer design than a painted wooden knob, while also sort of disappearing into the background.

I really wish I had a dark grey wall to photograph this piece against, I think it would be stunning against a darker wall color.  I keep looking around my house trying to find a way to make that happen, but I have absolutely no spare wall space that I could paint dark gray for photo staging (maybe it’s time to reconsider that photo cottage?).

So we’ll just have to make do with photographing it on a white wall.

So, about the Summer Villa paint inlay, I feel like this is a ‘one and done’ sort of item (unlike the I.O.D. Label Ephemera transfer that I’ve purchased at least a dozen times!).  It is stunning, but it’s not terribly versatile.  Although it can be trimmed down a bit, you still need a fairly specifically sized piece to put it on.  You can’t really rearrange the design at all, although I suppose you could split it down the middle and use half on one piece and half on another (that could be pretty fab on a pair of nightstands, for example).

Still, I loved using the Summer Villa inlay to create this particular piece of furniture.  It turned out exactly how I pictured it.

Hopefully someone else out there will fall in love with it too, because this piece is for sale locally (see my ‘available for local sale‘ page for the details).

What do you think of this makeover?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the B.O.S.S., Big Mama’s Butta and the Sawmill Gravy paint used in this makeover.

the top heavy cupboard fix.

I promised I’d share what I ended up doing with that top heavy mini-cupboard.

If you’ll remember, I found it while thrifting a week or two ago.  I almost put it back on the shelf because I wasn’t sure it would be worth the effort to save it.  It had such a wonky, top heavy look.

In addition, what I didn’t show when I mentioned it last was that it was filled with gross contact paper.

I think yucky old drawer liner might be near the top of my list of things I really don’t like to deal with.  Right after smoky smells and mouse pee.  I mostly try to avoid old contact paper, but I completely draw the line at the other two!

Fortunately, the adhesive on the contact paper had really deteriorated, so it came off rather easily.

Next I had to deal with that top heavy look.

I asked you guys for suggestions, and several of you had some really good ones including just removing the door, or maybe moving the door to the bottom, or even flipping the cupboard upside down turning the top into the bottom and then cutting off the old legs and adding new ones.  I did pop it upside down to see how it would look and that might have been an option that worked well.

However, after consulting with my handyman Ken, we decided to remove the door and then cut back the top half of the cupboard so that it was stepped back rather than flush with the front.  If you look closely at the photo below, you can see where I marked the new measurement for Ken.

Ken simply used a jig saw to cut everything off beyond that 5″ mark.  Then he did his best to recreate the curved sides below the upper shelves.

I wanted to possibly re-use the door on the bottom section, but Ken felt it was too warped to use.  I suppose we could have added a new door, but in the end, I think it’s fine without a door.

After sanding and cleaning the piece, I painted the inner bits with Dixie Belle’s Kudzu, and the outer bits with their Drop Cloth.

I just love this combination of white and green, especially in springtime.  OK, well, spring is definitely not here yet, we still had some single digit temps last week while I was working on this one.  But surely it’s just around the corner, right?

Next I lined the shelves with that pretty gingham scrapbook paper you’ve been seeing me use a lot of recently.

Once again, I am totally kicking myself for putting the majority of my garden themed props out in the potting shed, including my green flower frogs.  There is still a 3′ bank of snow in front of the door.  So for now, I have to make do with my basic uncolored frogs.

Finally, I added a Classic Vintage Label transfer from with prima to the ‘work surface’ before giving everything a coat of clear wax.  Well … not the paper of course, but all of the painted parts.  The paper, by the way, is not adhered.  It’s loose, so if someone wanted to switch it out for something else they could easily do so.

In addition to those frogs, I also staged this one up with the itsy bitsy dresser that I painted up a while back and few other bits and bobs.

Isn’t it sweet?

This little cupboard would be the perfect addition to a craft room, potting shed, desk top, etc, etc.

I think Ken and I did a good job of eliminating that wonky top-heavy look and giving this little cupboard a fresh new look with some paint, paper and a small transfer.  Ultimately, I’m glad I didn’t put this one back on the shelf at the thrift store.

What do you think?

The cupboard is for sale, so if you are local be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for all of the details.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint used in this project.

open ’til dusk.

You may remember that I picked up this petite dresser while out thrifting a few weeks back.

It was a Goodwill find, and I mentioned that I don’t always like to buy furniture at the Goodwill because it’s usually in pretty rough shape.  And this piece was no exception.

The veneer was all chipped up around the edges of the drawers and the top of the dresser.  At some point, someone must have torn away the damaged bits and re-glued the veneer because despite the chips, what was left was held firmly in place.

There was also a hole in the bottom drawer, and there was a gap at the back of the top where there must have once been a mirror attached.

Finally, there was some pretty ugly wallpaper lining the drawers that had been seriously glued down.  Now this is the avocado green and harvest gold that I remember …

Pulling this stuff out was more trouble than I’d bargained for.  After pulling off the loose stuff, and scraping away at the rest, I still ended up with this …

What did they use to adhere this stuff, contact cement?

Finally I decided to just sand off what I could using my orbital sander.

And I still couldn’t get it all off.

So after Ken replaced the drawer bottom with the hole in it, I resorted to re-lining the drawers with some paper that I happened to have on hand with one main difference.  I did not glue mine down.  If some future owner wants to switch it out, it will be as easy as lifting it out of the drawer.

As for the outside of the dresser, I started with a good sanding and cleaning, then I painted it in two coats of Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.

Next I pulled out the Flower Market – Open Til Dusk stencil from Wallcutz.

If this looks familiar, it’s because it is the same general design as the Farmers Market stencil that I used last fall on this sign.

The stencil was a bit taller than the front of this dresser, so I decided to cut it down.  It would have been harder to get a nice, crisp result if I’d left the stencil whole.  So I trimmed off the top two lines of wording, and then applied the lower portion to my dresser front.

I first used Dixie Belle’s Putty to create a shadow for the word “FLOWER”.  Then, once that was dry, I moved the stencil up and to the right just a little bit and stenciled the little flourishes in Putty, and then the rest of the stencil in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.

I used an artist’s brush to fill in the bridges on the lettering, and then added some dimension to the Putty colored flourishes with some dabs of Drop Cloth.

Finally, I decided to try adding the “Open Til Dusk” wording to the top of the dresser.

I placed it at the front because most people will put stuff on top of a dresser, so this way the wording will still show in front of any stuff.  After I got it on, I wasn’t entirely sure I liked it.  However, Mr. Q voted to keep it, so I went with it.

Let’s just talk for a minute about the bang for your buck with stencils.  I used the 18″ x 30″ version of the stencil on my dresser (this stencil comes in 8 different sizes ranging from 9″ x 15″ up to 21″ x 38″).  The size I used is priced at $25.95 (but FYI, there is a BOGO sale going on today at Wallcutz, so you could get two for the price of one, go check it out).  The beauty of stencils is that you can use them over and over and over.  You can mask off sections, and just use part of one.  For example, I could see using that “SEEDS – STEMS – BLOOMS” wording on something smaller.  You can re-arrange the layout by moving the stencil around.  And you can even cut a section off and use it separately like I did on this piece. And of course, you can use any color of paint you like with a stencil.  I especially like using them in white over black paint like I did on this piece.  If I just use this stencil 5 or 6 times, my cost per use is only going to be around $5.  That’s a total bargain in my book.  But in the end, even if I were to just use it once, it’s still cheaper than a transfer or a paint inlay.

As for the original wood knobs, I opted to just paint them in Midnight Sky and call it good.

They don’t completely disappear, especially the ones over the “F” and the “R”, but they mostly disappear.  I felt like trying to paint them to somehow match the stenciling would make them stand out even more.

By the way, remember those veneer chips I mentioned at the beginning of the post?  I could have taken the time to mitigate them by using some wood filler, but I didn’t bother.  I just painted right over them.  One’s eye is drawn to the stenciling and tends to completely ignore those flaws.

My handyman Ken helped with cutting down a board to fill in that gap at the back of the dresser where a mirror would have been.

It’s just a simple, plain board, but it finishes things off back there properly.

I went to Target and spent a bit of money on fresh flowers to stage this piece, but that’s OK because this post was sponsored by Wallcutz.  So I had a little bit of a budget for props.

The fresh flower display at my local Target was so adorable, with faux chalkboard signs showing the prices and that inspired me to do something similar with my staging.  Isn’t the color on those Gerbera Daisies gorgeous?

I mixed in a few of my faux flowers to fill out the scene.

At the beginning of this post I called this dresser ‘petite’.  That’s because it’s only about 27″ tall.  I think that makes it the perfect height to use as either a T.V. stand or as a nightstand alternative next to the bed.  It would also be the perfect size for a child’s room!

It was so much fun to give this little dresser a new life with some paint and a stencil!

What do you think of how it turned out?  Leave a comment and let me know.

This piece is for sale, so if you are local and have a spot for it, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the paint used in this project, and to Wallcutz for sponsoring this post and providing the stencil.


perfection is not the name of my game.

I bet you guys have practically forgotten that I also paint furniture.  It definitely has been a hot minute since I worked on any.  That tends to happen this time of year though.  I usually have a big push in the fall to finish up any pieces that are out in my workshop, and then I go into Christmas mode and mainly work on smaller items of some sort.

Then shortly after the holidays I get itching to work on furniture again.

So with that in mind, I started searching Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist to find a likely candidate and I came across this dresser.

I chose it for a couple of reasons.  First of all, the price.  I got a great deal on it.  Second, I thought the style was fairly versatile.  It has a bit of a mid-mod vibe without being overtly mid-mod.  I liked the relatively clean lines and the curve.

The dresser needed a few quick repairs before I could get around to the fun part of painting it.  Ken replaced a missing runner underneath one drawer …

Then I did a lot of gluing of loose veneer.  If you look closely at the before photo you can see that there was a lot of veneer damage on the sides of the drawers and on the base.  So once I had the loose pieces securely glued down, I used some of Dixie Belle’s Mud to fill any gaps.

Next up I stripped the finish on the top of the dresser using CitriStrip.  It wasn’t until I had the top completely stripped that I noticed there was a chunk of veneer missing up there too.

Well, drat!  I know nothing about patching veneer, so I wasn’t going to attempt that.  I also hated the idea of filling it and then painting the top after all of that work stripping it.  So ultimately I decided to just live with it.  Since when am I aiming for perfection?

Well, about that … here’s a little sidebar for you … I tend to fall down rabbit holes on YouTube and my most recent rabbit hole is Baumgartner Restoration.  He does fine art restoration with painstaking attention to detail.  After spending too much time watching his videos I was starting to think that I should be aiming for perfection myself.

But then I remembered, this is cast off furniture not fine art.  My goal is functionality and decorative appeal, not perfection.  This flaw is towards the back and any potential buyer is likely to have something on top of this dresser that covers up that spot anyway.

A pile of books does the job perfectly.

So after sanding the top smooth, rather than re-staining and adding a clear coat, I decided to just give it a coat of clear wax to bring out its beauty but also leave it a bit more on the rustic side.

I decided to hedge my bets and give the base a coat of Dixie Belle’s clear B.O.S.S. before painting it.  I wasn’t sure if the orange-y stain would bleed or not, but I’ve learned over time, better safe than sorry.  It’s so much easier to just go ahead and add that B.O.S.S. from the get-go (too bad I didn’t apply this knowledge to the boxes I shared on Friday!).

Next came two coats of Dixie Belle’s Bunker Hill Blue.

It’s such a gorgeous, rich shade of blue.

While the paint dried, I decided to brighten up those figure 8 drawer pulls with some metallic wax.

In this case, I used the with prima décor wax in Eternal.  I find it easiest to just apply this stuff with my finger while wearing a latex glove.  Before applying the wax, I prepped the pulls by simply washing them in hot water with Dawn dish soap.

I let the wax dry for about 24 hours, and then buff it up just a little with a soft cloth.  Those gold pulls really pop against the Bunker Hill Blue.

Before putting the pulls back on, I lightly sanded the paint with 220 grit sandpaper and then finished up with a coat of Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta in the Orange Grove scent.

If you’ve never used this product, I like to describe it as halfway between wax and hemp oil.  It contains all-natural hemp seed oil, coconut oil, beeswax, and carnauba wax.  It works really well for rejuvenating dried out wood, but it can also be used over chalk paint (or milk paint for that matter).

I apply it with a wax brush and then buff away the excess with an old t-shirt.  In this case, a dark blue t-shirt to avoid leaving white fibers behind.

This dresser is super sturdy, and crazy heavy.  They really don’t make them like this anymore.  It’s also quite large.  I’m not sure it looks it in the photos, but it is 4′ wide.

I hope that even though I didn’t achieve perfection, I did breath a little new life into this one.

What do you think?

This piece is for sale locally, check my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.  And as always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint and butta used in this makeover.