the easy way to paint furniture.

I picked up this chest on chest dresser at a garage sale a little over a week ago.

I’m a big fan of this style.  I’ve done a few others (here, here, here, here, and here).

This one needed just a little bit of work before I got started painting.  Ken had to reglue a foot at the back, and then re-attach the top section to the bottom section.  The seller had taken them apart, but they weren’t meant to come apart.  Once the two sections were put back together, Ken also had to re-attach the trim that went around the spot where the two came together.

Next I removed the knobs and scuff sanded the entire thing.  It was quite scratched up, so I wanted to even out the surface a bit plus promote good adherance of the paint (Dixie Belle recommends scuff sanding to prep for their Silk paint).

Looking at that dark reddish stain color, I decided to make life easier for myself and paint this one a dark color.  Plus, it’s a fairly masculine looking piece, so a dark charcoal grey seemed an appropriate choice.  So I pulled out some of Dixie Belle’s new Silk paint in a color called Black Sands.

I’m going to share a huge q tip with you here.  Don’t be confused into thinking that Black Sands is the black Silk paint.  It’s actually a very dark charcoal grey.  I made the mistake of ordering the Black Sands thinking it was black.  Turns out that the color called Anchor is actually the black.  Hopefully this tip saves a few of you from ordering the wrong color!Besides making painting this one easier with a dark color, I also chose the Silk paint because it doesn’t require a topcoat so it saves the effort of waxing or adding a clear topcoat.  Plus, it has a built in stain blocker, just in case that reddish stain decided to bleed through a bit.  That isn’t usually a problem if you use a dark color, but sometimes that bleed thru can create a shadow through dark paint.

I ended up needing only one coat, plus a few touch ups here and there (spots I missed because I have terrible lighting in my workshop) to cover this dresser.  I also did two coats on the top of the dresser for added durability.

I was able to paint the first coat one evening after work.  The next day I added the 2nd coat to the top and then added the stencil (using Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy) …

This stencil is from Maison de Stencils, although I’ve seen almost an exact match for it available from Wallcutz as well.  With Wallcutz you can order different sizes which is a nice feature, at Maison de Stencils it is available in this one size only.  I filled in the bridges in the letters using a small brush to give it less of a ‘stenciled’ look and more of hand painted look.  If you’re confused about what that means, here’s a little bench I painted where I didn’t fill in the bridges.

See the difference?

Next I sanded the edges to distress a little and added just a quick swipe of clear wax over those sanded edges.  I like to do that so that the freshly sanded edges don’t look quite so raw.

I kept the original wooden knobs because I kinda love the oversized look of them.  They also got a coat of paint, some distressing, a quick swipe of wax and then I popped them back on.

And that was it.  All that was left was taking the photos.  It may have actually taken me longer to take the photos and create this blog post than it took to paint the dresser!

I staged it with some laundry themed items including some pretty monogrammed linens and the enamelware box of vintage clothespins that my friend Sue gave me for my birthday.

The moral to today’s story; if you’re looking for the easiest way to paint a piece of furniture then give the Silk paint a try.

And if you’re local and looking for a new dresser, this one is available.  Check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

Thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the Silk paint used for this project.

a garden rocker.

Do you guys remember the little rocking chair that I picked up at the Goodwill last January?

At the time I said I was going to hang onto it until I could give it a bath with the hose out in the yard because it was filthy.  Well, that day has finally arrived!  Or at least it arrived last weekend.  I scrubbed the chair down using some Dawn dishwashing soap.  I let it dry thoroughly and then re-evaluated the situation.  And you know what?  That chippy original paint was just too good to cover up.

I mean seriously, how hard do we work to create a fake version of this chippy look?

Plus the green color was pretty good.  Especially for a garden chair.

So, in keeping with that theme, I added a garden themed transfer from with prima’s Classic Vintage Labels to the back.

Then I topped the whole thing off with a couple of coats of Dixie Belle’s Flat Clear Coat to seal that chippy paint.

How cute is this rocker just tucked into the garden?  It won’t last forever outside in the elements, but you could probably get a couple of summers out of it.

Or of course you could always choose to keep it on a covered porch or in some other protected location if you wanted it to last longer.

I’m not planning to keep this one, but then again, if no one snatches it up I just might.  It looks awfully sweet there in my garden.

If any of you locals have just the right spot for it, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details!

a sweet, petite desk.

On Saturday my sister and I headed out to a city wide sale that was new to us, Columbia Heights.  It didn’t exactly meet my normal requirements, it wasn’t a neighborhood filled with gorgeous vintage homes and although technically it was a Saturday-only sale, the ad I saw said that many of them would be open starting on Thursday.  Quite a lot of the signs we saw said ‘Thurs – Sat’ as well.

But beggars can’t be choosers, as they say, so we gave it a shot.

Things started out real slow.  After about an hour of struggling to get our bearings on the map (only the major streets had names on the map), I’d made only one purchase so far, a blue Oxford Stoneware pitcher.

You may remember that I had a couple of these blue Oxford Stoneware pitchers last year.

After deciding ‘blue’ wasn’t my thing (I go through these phases), I ended up taking them into the shop and they all sold.

Then last week I was scrolling through Instagram and I saw a lovely floral arrangment in one of these pitchers and immediately regretted not keeping one of them to use as a vase.  So how serendipitous that I just happened to come across one?

And it’s perfect for the last of peonies.  The heat wave we had last week was the very worst timing for the peonies.  They opened, wilted and dried up all within the space of a week.  My pink roses aren’t looking so great either.  I should have watered them, many of the buds just dried up and turned brown.  I had to supplement my arrangement with some verbena and scabiosa.  I do still have my peony buds in the fridge, I’ll probably take them out in the next week or two to see how that experiment fared.

Anyway, it was a beautiful morning and we didn’t have anywhere else that we needed to be, so we hung in there in Columbia Heights and we ended up filling the vehicle (mainly because I purchased a large dresser, but still, it was full).  Here’s my complete haul.

The planter (on left) is a real concrete urn and super heavy.  Those are a rare find so I grabbed it.  At some point in its life someone painted it white and the paint is now peeling.  I’m going to have to see what I can do with that one.  Can I use a paint stripper on concrete?  Do any of you know?

I couldn’t pass up the dresser.

I love chest over chest style dressers, they look great painted.  This one even came apart so that we could easily load it into our still mostly empty SUV.  It’s going to need a little repair work from Ken before I get to painting it though.

I’m going to call the wooden toy truck my find of the day.

Mainly because my sister gave me the great idea of saving it for the holiday season and then putting a Christmas stencil on the side.  That truck bed is open on the top, so one could add an arrangment of greens, or fill it with small wrapped presents.  It’s totally going to be adorable!  So it’s being added to my growing pile of stuff I’m saving to paint up for the Christmas season.

I passed on another pile of old metal toolboxes that were too rich for my blood.  They weren’t quite as expensive as the ones I saw the week before, but still too high for me at $15 and $20 …

And that leaves the little desk.

Isn’t that sweet?  It looked as though someone had thought about re-painting it themselves because the top was already sanded down.  It felt quite sturdy despite its beat-up appearance, so I grabbed it.

And I’ve already given it a new look.

I continued the sanding job that someone had already started, gave it a good clean, and then painted it in one of my old favorites, Homestead House milk paint in Laurentien.  If you’re familiar with the Fusion paint color with the same name, yes, this milk paint is made by the same company and is the same color.  I thought this piece would look amazing in some chippy milk paint, and luck was on my side because it chipped just perfectly.  I even got a little crackle to the finish in some spots, like on the drawer front.

I used Dixie Belle’s Flat Clear Coat to seal this.  It’s a bit more durable than my usual wax, plus the clear coat does a better job of containing any further chipping down the road.

I added one of the Classic Vintage Labels transfers to the back …

And I added a section from the IOD Label Ephemera transfer to the drawer front.

I also switched out the wooden knob for a pretty little glass knob.

I don’t always line the drawers of my pieces, but when the drawer is 12″ or less square I like to add a piece of scrapbook paper as liner (the scrapbook paper is 12″ x 12″, so as long as I stay under that measurement it works).

This paper from October Afternoon was perfect with the Laurentien.

This is such an adorable little desk, and it is quite petite at only 21.25″ tall.  As sweet as it is, I don’t have a spot for it.  If any of you locals do, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale page‘ for more details.

fresh cut flowers stool.

A little while back one of my readers offered me a step stool (thanks again Brigitte!).  It was one of those projects that she thought she’d get around to, but she never quite finished it.

It needed some repairs before paint, so I initially sent it over to Ken’s workshop.  Unfortunately, once again I neglected to get a proper ‘before’ photo, drat.  But basically the wooden rung that held the steps in place was broken.  Ken made a replacement using a dowel rod.  He makes these things appear so simple, he just whisks something off to his workshop and returns it a few days later completely fixed.

This step stool had been stripped of its original paint (maybe Brigitte did that?), I could still see remnants of light green paint here and there.  I felt a tiny bit bad painting it again after someone (Brigitte?) had gone to all of that work to strip it.  But I suspect this piece was always intended to be painted because the wood isn’t especially pretty.

I started out thinking I would use Dixie Belle’s new Silk paint for this project thus saving myself the trouble of adding a top coat of some kind.  So I pulled out the three shades of white I had, Salt Water, Whitecap and Oyster.  I decided to try the Salt Water since that one is described as an off white.  After one coat of the Salt Water I quickly realized that it was still far too ‘white’ for my taste.  But not to worry, I had another project that was perfect for the Salt Water that I’ll be sharing soon.

In the meantime, sometimes you just gotta stick with what you know.  In this case, I know that I love the combination of DB’s Drop Cloth and Midnight Sky.  So I painted over the Salt Water with Drop Cloth on the base and then I painted the steps and seat in Midnight Sky.

So just in case you were wondering, yes, you absolutely can paint over the Silk paint with the chalk style paint.

I followed that up with a stencil on the seat, also painted used Drop Cloth.

The Fresh Cut Flowers stencil from Wallcutz was the perfect fit.

I used clear wax as a topcoat over the chalk paint.

This stool is one where the steps can be folded in.

And then it can be used simply as a stool.

I have to point out that the steps aren’t super sturdy.  I’m not sure I would trust them with a full grown adult’s weight on them.

Instead I think this step stool would make the perfect plant stand.

It would also work really well as a side table.

If any of you locals are in need of a fun side table or plant stand, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

Thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying their products used in today’s makeover.


do I dare?

I have a confession to make today.  I often encourage other people to live on the edge a little when it comes to décor, but I am seldom daring enough to do it myself.  I say things like ‘it’s just paint’ or ‘it only cost $30, so who cares if it only lasts a couple of years’, but then I don’t follow that philosophy myself.

Today’s post is kind of about that.

But let’s start at the beginning.  For a while now I’ve been looking for the perfect vintage sign to hang between the doors on my carriage house.  I have hung things in that spot in the past, like the sled I painted last Christmas …

and I have also had that fun galvanized container in that spot for a few years now.

But I want to change it up.  For the last couple of years I’ve just put a big fern in that container for the summer and called it good.  My carriage house faces north, so that’s a pretty shady spot.  But just shoving a fern in there every summer seems kind of lame.

A couple of weeks ago I accepted the fact that if I wanted a good sized sign for that spot I was going to have to make it myself (or spend a ton of money).  So I dug through my stash and came up with an old cupboard door that I’ve had for quite a while.  It’s on the large side, and I’ve been using it as a work surface on top of two saw horses.  I measured it and realized it was the perfect size for that spot.

Next I ordered a large stencil from Wallcutz to fit.In the meantime, I painted the door in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth in anticipation of the stenciling.  The stencil arrived in no time (Wallcutz really does ship things fast).  After playing around with the placement a bit, I decided to just use the wording from the stencil but not the border.  The border didn’t quite fit properly on my door.  To give the sign a more custom look I taped off a simple border and painted it black.

After I had the sign painted, I thought it might be fun to hang some of my watering cans from it.  So I added some hooks and hung the cans.

So far so good, but now comes the part I’m not so sure about.

A few weeks ago I was visiting my friend Jackie and I happened to mention to her that I was looking for a potting bench to go outside, something like what she had, and she said she had the perfect thing!  She showed me a primitive wood cabinet that was tucked away in the corner of her garage, behind a couple of other things.

It was awesome.  I knew right away that I wanted it.  And Jackie’s husband was even kind enough to deliver it once they’d dug it out of the garage.  But once I’d taken possession of it, I started to feel like it would be wrong to waste this piece by using it outside.

It won’t hold up to the elements forever.  Of course, I can mitigate some of that by only leaving it out in the summer, and tucking it away inside the carriage house in the winter, so that would help.

But still.  Do I dare?

I have some large, industrial wheels that Ken is going to help me put on the bottom to get it up off the ground and to make it more portable.  And I plan on giving it a good scrub and then a couple of coats of sealer to help protect it.  So both of those things will help as well.

But still.  Do I dare?

It’s going to get rained on in that spot.  The inside probably won’t dry out well, especially since it’s so shady there.

I’m not a huge fan of the blue on the doors, so I might want to re-paint those if I keep it, but I love the multi-colored, worn out boards that make up the top.

And it really is the perfect size for that spot.

Although I just have some clay pots and other garden implements on top for these photos, it would make the perfect spot for some potted plants.  Especially house plants that come outside for the summer and can’t be in direct sunlight.

I’ll have to move the sign up a bit to make a little more room under those watering cans, especially once the wheels have been added, but that’s easy enough.

All of which brings me back to my original question.

Do I just go for it and use this piece outside knowing that it won’t last forever, but I’ll probably get a few good years out of it?  Do I dare?

What would you do?

perfect for painting.

On Monday I showed you the mid-mod nightstand that my friend Jackie found for me free at the curb.

It was perfectly functional, but it did have a cigarette burn.

Well, I’m calling that a ‘cigarette’ burn but who knows what really caused it.  I can say that the piece does not smell of cigarette smoke, thank goodness, because that smell is hard to eliminate from old furniture (your best bet is to use Dixie Belle’s BOSS, but you do have to seal up the entire piece inside and out).

Anyway, that burn mark meant that this nightstand wasn’t a good candidate for stripping and refinishing.  Instead it was perfect for painting!

But first, I pulled out the Dixie Belle Mud to fill the burn mark, and then while I had it out, I decided to also fill the groove down the middle of the drawer (eliminating that faux two drawer look) plus I filled the holes for the original knobs because they were just a bit too far apart for my new hardware.

If you look closely at that photo you can see that I didn’t quite do a perfect job of disguising those holes for the knobs.  But you really have to be looking to see that.

I suppose those knobs were properly mid-century and certainly were original to the piece, but I thought they looked cheap.  I also wanted to go with gold hardware rather than silver.  I found that drawer pull at Hobby Lobby for $7.99, but knobs were 50% off that day so I only paid $4.

That pull totally elevates the entire look of this nightstand, don’t you think?

I painted it in the new line of paint from Dixie Belle, Silk All-In-One Mineral Paint.  The color I used is called Deep Sea and it’s a fabulous deep navy blue.

This is the first full on piece that I have painted using the new paint so I thought I’d give you all a run down on how this paint compares with their chalk paint starting with this handy chart that they created.

The Silk paint reminds me a bit of Fusion mineral paint, so if you’ve ever used that brand you’ll find this is very similar.  One big difference between the two brands though is that the Dixie Belle Silk paint has a built in stain blocker, and as far as I know the Fusion does not.  That being said, if you like using Fusion, you’ll like the Silk as well.

One big thing to keep in mind with both Fusion and Silk is that prep is more important with these products than with the chalk paints.  For the best results, I recommend a scuff sanding and a good cleaning before painting with Silk, and that’s what I did with this piece.

Let’s talk a minute about brush marks.  This seems to be a topic that gets lots of attention.  If you are super particular about not seeing brush strokes in your paint, you will have to be a bit more careful with the Silk paint than you are used to with the chalk paint.  Especially with the dark colors.  Be sure to use long, even strokes from end to end of your piece (don’t stop in the middle with your brush, this can be especially tricky on larger surfaces like the top of a buffet).  Don’t overwork the paint, in other words don’t keep going over the same spot over and over again.  If you need to go back over an area to get good coverage, wait until your initial coat of paint is dry and then add a 2nd coat.  Finally, be sure to use a synthetic brush with this style of paint.  I used Dixie Belle’s Scarlet Brush on this piece and it worked beautifully.

I got excellent coverage with two coats of paint.  This paint is a fabulous time saver because there is no need to top coat it.  So once your paint is dry, it’s done.  Really, the only complaint I have about this paint is that it doesn’t come in more colors!  I’m sure they’ll add more down the road though.

I happened to have the perfect amount of this paper on hand to line the drawer …

I purchased it on clearance from The Paper Source on Grand Avenue in St. Paul a couple of years ago and I’ve used it on several mid-mod pieces.  It pairs perfectly green, pink and navy.

For the final touch on this mid-mod nightstand, I added a little bit of Dixie Belle’s Gold Gilding Wax to the metal feet.

They were a sort of dull brass color to begin with, so the gold wax just brightened them up nicely.

Now that you can see the ‘before’ and ‘after’ side by side, do you agree that the change in hardware really gave this piece a more sleek, stylish look?

This nightstand is available for sale locally, so be sure to visit that page to get all of the details.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle for providing the products used in this makeover.  Be sure to visit their website to check out the Silk All-In-One Mineral Paint.


There has been a little bit of a theme around here lately.  I’ve been getting a bunch of freebies.

First was the roadkill cupboard that I shared a couple of weeks ago.

My neighbor, nnK, found it on the side of the road and dragged it home for me.

Then the weekend before last my sister and I headed to a local town, White Bear Lake, for their trash to treasure day.  I’ve shared this event a couple of times before here on the blog (here and here).  Basically the residents of WBL are encouraged to put their cast off items at the curb and people are invited to drive around and pick up whatever they want.

We usually come home with a few things, but this year we filled up the entire back of the van.

Can you believe that washstand was free?  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that one!

Those drawer pulls are all wrong for it, but I’ll find something better to replace them.

The concrete Asian style garden lantern was an awesome find as well.  Now, before you start wondering if I just stole that out of someone’s garden that was too close to the curb … no, it was in with a pile of other stuff and it’s broken.  The middle section is cracked.  But I am planning to try and repair that, and even if that isn’t successful, I can easily turn that part to the back and no one will ever know.  See …

Those two big boxes at the back of my photo contain a 7.5′ Balsam Hill BH Fraser Fir Christmas tree.  It was a bit of a gamble dragging that home with me.  It’s a pre-lit tree, so there’s a good chance that the lights may not work.  But I thought it was worth a shot since Balsam Hill seems to be a quality tree manufacturer.  I googled it, and when new, this tree costs $749!  Hopefully when it drag it out and put it together in November it lights up.

Otherwise it looks like it could be quite putzy to remove the lights and replace them.  But for a savings of $749, it seems like that might be worthwhile don’t you think?

The little black and white nightstand isn’t super exciting, but it was free and in fairly good shape so I thought why not?

Maybe I can do something funky with it.  We’ll see.

Finally, in addition to the roadkill cabinet and the haul from White Bear Lake, I also brought home this freebie recently.

My friend Jackie found this one on the side of the road as well.  It’s in great shape structurally.  There is a cigarette burn on the top though, so that meant that stripping and refinishing was out of the running as an option.

I actually already have this piece finished but I haven’t had time to photograph it yet.  I’ve been a bit busy.  My sister celebrated her 60th birthday this past weekend and my mom flew in from Las Vegas as a surprise for her.  My sister thought she was coming over to go garage saling on Saturday morning, and instead my mom greeted her when she got here.  You should have seen the look on my sister’s face!  It truly was priceless.

So, we spent a whirlwind weekend having lunch with my mom’s bff from high school (my parents were both born and raised in Minneapolis), a BBQ to celebrate my sister’s birthday, shoe shopping and lunch out on Sunday afternoon and then dropping mom back off at the airport Sunday evening.

Anyway, clearly I’ve been busy so you’ll have to wait until Friday to see how this mid-mod nightstand turned out.  Be sure to stay tuned!


in a sea of white.

Last Friday I posted about my struggles finding pieces to work on these days and based on the comments I received, many of you are feeling the same.  As I mentioned though, I was ultimately able to find this dresser on Facebook Marketplace …

This one was listed at $100, which seemed high to me based on the condition of the mirror frame.  But, it was close to home (and I always take those mirrors off anyway) plus I haven’t been finding much else, so I decided to bite the bullet and set up a time to take a look.

The seller had mentioned in her ad that this piece belonged to her grandmother and she was reluctant to part with it, but it had to go.  So many of us fall victim to ‘family heirloom syndrome‘.  We think we have to keep something, even though it’s not at all our style and we have nowhere to put it.  And I often find that sellers base the price of these items on the sentimental value it has for them rather than the actual condition and/or value of the piece.

After taking a look at the dresser and testing out all of the drawers, I realized that I really couldn’t justify paying $100 for it.  The drawers are a bit on the flimsy side and the bottoms of them had been replaced with old paneling.  The top of the dresser is warped (which you’ll see in a side shot soon) and the original wooden casters were totally worn down …

Those won’t be going back on.

I was fully prepared to just walk away from this purchase, so I said “I’m sorry but I just can’t pay $100 for this dresser.”  The seller then asked “Well, what would you pay?”  I knew that I wouldn’t be able to charge top dollar for it no matter how pretty it might look in the end, the quality just wasn’t there.  So I came in low at $60.  But the seller accepted that, so the dresser came home with me after all.

I really had been thinking I’d play it safe and paint it either white (and add a transfer) or black (and add a stencil).  But for some crazy reason, I ended up deciding that it needed a pop of color to brighten it up so I pulled out Dixie Belle’s Flamingo.


I know, right?  It’s not for the faint of heart.

When I read the comment from Sherry on last Friday’s post, “I get so unnerved bringing a piece into the store and being the only teal or red piece in a sea of white furniture (with a loud “what were you thinking?!resounding in my head)!” I had to laugh because that was exactly how I was feeling about this color choice.

Seriously, what was I thinking?  This piece is definitely going to stand out in a sea of white.

Well, let’s review the nuts and bolts of this makeover.

Of course I removed the damaged mirror harp and tossed it.  I’ll save the mirror and refurbish it separately in some fashion or other.  I also had to remove those worn out wooden casters.  Then I also removed the wood knobs and added them to my stash (as you know, I like using the wooden knobs on signs).  I felt like this color required some pretty glass knobs, sort of like adding jewelry to a party outfit.


Those are the 1 1/2″ antique clear glass knobs from D. Lawless Hardware, in case any of you are wondering.

After prepping the piece with some light sanding and cleaning, I started painting with the Flamingo.  After coat number one I was wondering if I had lost my mind choosing this color.  After coat number two I was reminding myself that this particular color does not cover well at all, I knew that from using it before.  By coat number three I was seriously considering getting out the white paint and starting over.

I decided to sleep on it instead.  The next morning I got up and realized that it was just the sides of the dresser that really needed a 4th coat.  So I added that, and then started sanding the drawer fronts to distress the edges a bit.

I know there are many furniture painters out there that don’t distress their pieces, and probably just as many who don’t like the look of distressing, but I feel like it adds tons of character to an older piece of furniture.

Finally, I added a coat of clear wax and decided that maybe Flamingo wasn’t such a bad choice after all.

full coral dresser

I still had to deal with those drawers with paneling bottoms.  I was hoping I’d have some sort of decorative paper on hand to cover that up.  It feels as though fate much have stepped in because I went through my paper stash and found this …

It was perfect!  I’d forgotten I even had this paper, and luckily I had enough of it for all three drawers.

Not only did I happen to have just the right paper, I also happened to have enough old wooden casters to replace those worn out versions.

Here is that side view showing the warp to the top of the dresser.

side view

It’s not massively warped, but there is a bit of a gap in the middle where the top doesn’t meet the side.  It wasn’t bad enough that it warranted taking the whole top off and trying to flatten it out and reattach it though.

I’ve staged this piece as a buffet.


But this sort of dresser can be so versatile.  You could use it in a nursery as a changing table, you could use it in your home office to hold your office supplies with a printer on top of it, you could use it in a bedroom to holding clothing … or, you could use it as a buffet in your dining room!

Now, about that color.  I know it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.  But I’m hoping that someone out there is searching for just that perfect pop of coral to brighten up their home.  In the end, it’s just paint after all.  I can always re-paint it down the road if it doesn’t sell.  That will just remain to be seen.


It certainly has a totally new look, don’t you think?

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle for providing the paint used on this dresser.  If any of you locals need to add a pop of coral to your home be sure to check out my available for local sale page for more details.


a ReStored bed.

My sister and I popped back into the ReStore last week and this time I picked up this bed.

Sorry for the poor quality of that photo.  As you may be able to see, my driveway was pure ice that day and it was really cold out.  I took a quick snap and called it good.

Anyway, I’m not especially trying to find beds these days.  I was actually hoping to come home with a dresser or a buffet maybe.  But, I didn’t find any of those sort of pieces that day, so another bed it was.

Compared to the gorgeous details on the bed I shared last week, this one seems a bit plain in comparison doesn’t it?  I’m afraid that bed is going to be a hard act to follow.  Still, I liked the fluted legs on the foot board of this one as well as the curve to the top of both pieces.

Lately I have been binge watching YouTube videos by Crys’Dawna at Bella Renovare.  I became familiar with her work when I was a brand ambassador at with prima.  I also see a lot of her work on the Dixie Belle sites.  Now, any of you who might also be familiar with her work are probably thinking to yourself that Crys’Dawna’s style and mine are drastically different, and that is absolutely true.  I’ve seen her use as many as five or six colors on one piece, and we’re talking the brightest colors available.  For example …

I’m pretty sure that you’ll never see me painting a piece quite like that (although I’ve learned to never say never).  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t admire her work.  Her blending of colors is flawless.  Even though I probably won’t ever copy her exact style, I can still learn from Crys’Dawna’s videos and possibly modify her techniques to suit my own style a bit more.  Or that’s what I was hoping anyway.

So I thought I’d give blending a try on this bed.  The first step was to gather my supplies.  I decided to go with shades of grey, so I pulled out Dixie Belle paint in Gravel Road, Hurricane Grey and French Linen.   I also needed a brush for each color, plus a brush for blending them, and finally a spray bottle.

You can get a spray bottle like this from Dixie Belle Paint Co.  It sprays in a continuous fine mist which works well for blending paint.

Now, let me stop here and say that this post is not going to turn into a tutorial on blending paint for two reasons.  First, you’d be much better off just watching some of Crys’Dawna’s videos to learn how to blend paint.  And second, as it turns out, I kind of suck at it.

Crys’Dawna makes it look so easy.

I spent half a day painting, spraying, and then blending, and then adding more paint, and spraying, and blending, and letting it dry, and then deciding it was awful and adding more paint, and spray, to try and blend it, and then letting it dry … you get the picture.  No matter how much I sprayed and painted and blended, I just never liked the end result.  It just looked like a splotchy paint job to me.  And for the life of me, I could not get rid of the obvious brush strokes.

So why am I sharing this failure with you?  I’m just keeping it real.  Sometimes things just don’t work out for me.  I definitely don’t have the patience to keep working at a finish like this.

After giving up on being able to achieve anything even closely resembling a smoothly blended look, I decided to go back to techniques that I’m good at.  I re-painted the bed in a solid coat of Gravel Road (the darkest gray) and then I pulled out the French Damask stencil from with prima.

I placed the stencil horizontally, rather than vertically as shown above, and I used the Hurricane Gray to do the stenciling.  I just wanted a hint of the pattern, not something that was totally in your face.  Using a color that is just a bit lighter or a bit darker is perfect for creating that look.

I added a faint ‘1902’ to the bottom of the foot board as well.

I was going for a very faded, imperfect look with the stencil so I wasn’t too particular about thoroughly painting every little detail.

Once the paint was dry, I sanded over everything and then added a coat of clear wax.

So what is the moral of our story?  I’m not really sure.  Of course we should all try new things and push ourselves outside of our comfort zone periodically.  But at the same time, every technique out there isn’t for everyone.  In this case, Socrates was right, “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”

Sometimes you try something new and realize it’s just not for you.

How about you?  Have you tried this blending technique?

Well, if you’d like to give it a shot, I’ve decided to give away my gently used spray bottle because I’m pretty sure I’m never going to use it again.  To give you something to blend, I’m also throwing in a couple of shades of green that I think would be lovely blended together, Kudzu and Palmetto.

Who wants to give it a try?

The rules:  I’m going to make you work for it just a little today, so to be eligible to win today’s prize please leave a comment telling me about a failed experiment of your own and what you learned from the experience.

Your comment must be left on this blog post, 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, January 31, 2021 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 $54, if the prize is not claimed by Friday, February 5, 2021 another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle for providing the paint I used on this bed as well as the items I am giving away.

In the meantime, this bed is for sale.  If you are local and in need of a twin bed, be sure to check out the details on my ‘available for local sale‘ page.

the st. paul hotel bed.

I recently saw the ad for this twin bed on Facebook Marketplace and I just knew I had to have it.  Just check out those curves …

My sister and I headed out on a gorgeously frosty day to pick it up.  The seller shared a bit about its history with us when we got there.  Apparently her grandmother purchased this bed when a hotel in St. Paul was selling off their old furniture.  Unfortunately, she didn’t know which hotel.  Later, the seller herself used it as her bed as a child.  Eventually it ended up in storage because no one had a use for it.  The seller was hoping that when her own kids grew up one of them would want to restore the bed, but no such luck.  None of them were interested.  So she decided there was no point in continuing to store it.  It should go to someone who would put it to use.

And that’s where I come in.  I’m not actually going to put it to use myself, but I am going to refurbish it so that someone else can put it to use.

I started out by giving it a light sanding, vacuuming away the dust and then giving it a good cleaning with some TSP substitute.  As I was wiping away the cleaner, the water was slightly tinted orange.  That’s always a clue that the stain is going to be one that bleeds through your paint.  So once again, out came the Dixie Belle BOSS.  Over the years I’ve learned that it’s just easier to be safe rather than sorry and go ahead and use BOSS when I even slightly suspect the stain will bleed.

So, everything got a coat of BOSS and I let that dry overnight.  The next day I added two coats of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  Once that was dry, I sanded the edges lightly to distress, once again vacuumed away any dust, and then went over it with a clean microfiber cloth.  I followed that up with a top coat of Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat (and if you’re wondering, yes, I did add the clear coat before applying the transfer).

Have I mentioned yet how much I love that foot board?  The curve!  The scrolly legs!  The perfectly framed space for a transfer!

IOD’s Le Petit Rosier transfer was practically made for this bed.  It was just a tad long, so I cut about 4″ off the bottom that I’ll save for another day, but the width was perfect.

And the top section of the transfer looks gorgeous on the headboard.

I have to tell you guys, applying this particular transfer is not for the faint of heart.  Because each little letter is a separate piece you have to be sure that you’ve got each one rubbed on individually.  I really thought my arm was going to fall off after finishing that foot board.

But it was absolutely worth the effort.

The bed does have side rails and slats.  I really don’t have enough space in my house to get good photos of complete beds, but I gave it a shot so you could see the full effect of the bed put together.

This bed feels super sturdy to me once assembled.  I think having four feet on the foot board adds a lot of stability.

I think I’ve given this bed a totally fresh new look.

What do you think?

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint for providing the BOSS, paint and clear coat used on this bed.  If any of you locals need a fabulous twin bed, check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for more details.