a french-ish bed.

A while back my friend/picker Sue gave me a heads up on a Saturday morning garage sale that was happening near me and I came home with a pile of goodies.

You’ve already seen the chairs made over …

This past weekend I worked on the bed.

Now, you might be thinking ‘hey, wait a minute, that bed is already painted! Q is totally cheating!’

But what isn’t entirely apparent in that ‘before’ photo is that it was spray painted.  Sometimes spray paint can leave an uneven sheen, especially on flat surfaces like this one.  Here’s a photo where you can really see what I’m talking about.

See those patchy dull areas?  Not really a good look, so this bed really needed a new paint job.

I briefly toyed with the idea of painting it in a warm white, and it would have been absolutely lovely in that color.  However in the end, I decided to save myself some effort and just go with the black.

I sanded the bed lightly all over to make sure I’d get good adhesion with chalk paint over the spray paint (by the way, just a random tip, milk paint does not adhere well over a shiny spray paint, just in case you were curious about that).  Next I cleaned the surface with a damp rag and then added a coat of Dixie Belle’s Caviar.

Since I was painting black over black, one coat of paint was totally sufficient.  Well … or, it would have been.  Except for the part where I had the headboard leaning against the Carriage House to dry and a stiff wind knocked it over face first onto my gravel driveway.  Ugh!  When will I learn not to do that?  This is not the first time this has happened.  I can only blame myself.

But after a quick sanding of the damaged areas, and another coat of paint, all was well again.

Next I pulled out the Somewhere in France transfer from re.design with prima.

I used about 2/3 of the full transfer on this bed.  I added one section to the headboard …

and another section to the foot board (have any of you also wondered why ‘headboard’ is one word, but ‘foot board’ is two?) …

You can really get a good bang for your buck with the Somewhere in France transfer by splitting it up to be used on 3 or more different projects.

Here’s just a bit of it used on a hat box …

I’ve also used it on a toolbox  …

And on this old wooden box…

It’s also a great transfer to pair with other transfers, like the pretty floral one (Lavender Bush) on this bed.

Or the gold crown from the Gilded Home & Nature transfer that I used on Lulu, my manikin.

Anyway, I digress.  After adding the transfer to the bed, I added a coat of clear wax to everything.

But before calling it good, I also decided to dig out the Vintage Gold Metallique wax from prima …

I used a q-tip to add a bit of the gold wax to the carved wood applique at the top of the headboard.

It was just enough extra gold to tie in with the transfer.

In case any of you are gardeners and are wondering about the hydrangea in the background, that is a Little Lime.  It’s similar to a Limelight, but smaller.  The Little Lime will grow to 5′, while the Limelight will get up to 8′ tall.  So if you’re looking for a hydrangea that will stay a little smaller, go with the Little Lime.

Normally this is the part of my post where I mention that this bed is available to local buyers, etc … but this one is actually already spoken for.  One of my good customers stopped by to pick up the do-over dresser from last Monday, saw the bed and called dibs on it.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and to re.design with prima for providing the products used for today’s project.

If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

If you’re looking for re.design with prima products you can find local retailers here, or online sources here.

back to the drawing board.

Sometimes you just gotta go back to the drawing board.

Perhaps you remember this dresser that I painted back in February …

I loved how it turned out.  But then, I happen to be a fan of toile (that is the Simplicity transfer from re.design with prima).  Especially the black and white version.

It would seem that not very many other people are.  Or, at least that’s what I’m blaming for the fact that this dresser hasn’t sold.  Of course, it could be many other things, like COVID-19 for example.  Or it could be that I haven’t stayed on top of keeping ads for it posted and updated online.

Regardless, it has been collecting dust for six months now, so I decided it was time to re-think the design.

I began by sanding the transfer off the top two drawers.  I’ve found that sanding is the easiest way to remove a transfer (to read more about removing a transfer, check out this post).  For those of you who have wondered about the permanence of a transfer, I can say that once properly adhered they will stay on until you want to take them off.  And when you do want to take them off, you can do so, but you won’t be able to salvage the finish beneath them in the process.

So once I had the transfer (and most of the paint) removed, I simply repainted the top two drawers in the same paint I used on this piece back in February, Amulent paint from The Chippy Barn.

Back then, this color was called Cottage White.  For some reason, The Chippy Barn decided to rename it and now it’s called Country Cream, just in case you are looking for it.

Anyway, with very little effort, I then had a totally blank canvas on which to start over.

Quite some time ago I ordered a few IOD transfers.  You’ve seen some of the smaller ones that I’ve used on watering cans, a step stool, and a button box.  But I also ordered the larger version of their Le Petit Rosier (it’s 24″ x 33″).  I’d been waiting for just the right piece to use it on.

Turns out, this dresser is the one!

It took quite a bit of elbow grease to get this transfer applied.  I really had to work at each individual letter to make sure it was down before continuing to lift the backing.  And there are a lot of letters …

And I messed up on quite a few of them losing half of an ‘a’ or the top of an “L”.  But overall I think those mistakes just sort of blend in.

Once the transfer was on, I waxed over it lightly with clear wax and then put the same glass knobs back on.

The polka dotted paper I used to line the top two drawers continues to work with this new look as well.

Now, all that remains is to see whether or not the dresser will sell this time around.

And if it doesn’t, then I am going to find a way to keep it because I absolutely love it.

But if any of you locals want to snatch it up, check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

a heartless hope chest.

A couple of weeks ago my niece asked if I would paint a trunk for her, and when she added that I could paint it any color I chose, I was in.

Actually, I say that, but you all know the truth.  I would have happily painted it for her even if she wanted it to be orange (or purple and green) or something.  But I was glad to be given carte blanche.

Now, those of you who are wood lovers (and if so, I can’t imagine why you are still following my blog) should look away at this point.  I will fully admit that the wood on this particular trunk was still in beautiful condition.  It is a cedar chest made by Lane.

That being said however, that lacy heart really had to go.

And as Mr. Q likes to say, it’s only paint.  If sometime down the road Kris decides she no longer wants the trunk painted, she can always strip it back down to bare wood and refinish it.  That wouldn’t be too difficult because it has such clean lines and no carved details.

Back in the day, a piece like this was called a hope chest.  I’m not sure whether or not my niece calls it that.  The Wikipedia definition of a hope chest is …

‘a piece of furniture traditionally used to collect items such as clothing and household linen, by unmarried young women in anticipation of married life.’

Hmmmm.  That feels like a pretty dated idea these days.  But I suspect that my niece was originally given this trunk to serve as a hope chest.  That heart kind of gives it away.

But I gave it a whole new look starting with a paint job using Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.

You know, when I first saw this color I really didn’t think it was anything special.  But since then I’ve used it on numerous pieces and I seem to keep coming back to it.  There is something about it that I love.  Maybe that it’s not a bright white, and it’s not quite grey or beige or cream either.  It’s just the perfect pale neutral.

To start, I sanded the chest and cleaned it with a damp rag.  Then I painted it with two coats of the Sawmill Gravy.

After giving it a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the finish, I added the bottom half of the Cosmic Roses transfer from re.design with prima to the front.

I’ve yet to see this particular transfer look bad over any color.  It’s amazing over pretty much any shade of blue …

It also looks great over a mid-tone grey like Dixie Belle’s French Linen

I’ve also seen others use it over yellow, or even some really dark colors, and it still looks fantastic.

But I happen to love it over this color in particular.

I happen to know that Cosmic Roses is one of my niece’s favorite transfers, so it was the perfect choice for her trunk.

Before I forget, I’ve got a really important q-tip for you guys today; don’t try to apply a transfer in your non-climate controlled carriage house workshop when there is a heat advisory.  I had a heck of a time applying the first sheet of this transfer (it comes in a total of six sheets, I used two full sheets and two half sheets on this trunk).  So much so that I gave up and had Mr. Q help me haul the trunk into the air conditioned house to complete the job.

Once everything (me, the trunk, and the transfer) cooled down, it went on perfectly fine.  So, lesson learned, 90 degrees combined with high humidity does not work for applying transfers.  Keep that in mind.

But, I finally got it applied.  Once that was done, I added a topcoat of clear wax to protect it.

So, what to you think?  A definitely improvement?  Or did you prefer the heart?

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint and to re.design with prima for providing the transfer for this project.

If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

If you’re looking for re.design with prima products you can find local retailers here, or online sources here.

another pair of chairs.

Considering the fact that I usually tend to avoid painting chairs, I seem to have been working on lots of pairs of chairs lately.  They seem to be finding their way to me despite my best efforts.  There was the pair of folding chairs that my neighbor, nnK, gave to me.

Then it was the pair of library chairs that I purchased at a garage sale.

And then there is the pair of chairs I purchased to turn into planters …

Although I still haven’t worked on them yet.

And today I’m sharing a pair of chairs that one of my co-workers, Jackie, found for me at a garage sale.

It’s another pair of folding chairs.  The original paint on one was black, and the other was a dark red.

The existing paint on these was so dry that it mostly came right off with the lightest touch of 220 grit sandpaper.  I sanded them to remove loose paint and then cleaned them with my Dawn/garden hose method to prep.

I decided to go dark with this pair in contrast to the previous pair of folding chairs that I painted in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth, so this time I used their Midnight Sky.

I used the same stencil that I used on the library chairs.

By the way, I used Dixie Belle’s Putty for the stencil.  Because the Dixie Belle paint is fairly thick, I find that it works really well for stenciling.

Once all the paint was dry, I sanded them to distress and then finished them off with some Fusion antiquing wax.  I love the way the dark wax kept the distressed edges from looking too freshly sanded.

I wish I had a cute little bistro table to go with the chairs, that would be adorable on a veranda or in the garden.

But they are also perfect for holding a watering can full of hydrangeas.

One of them would be perfect next to the front door holding a potted plant.  It would also make a great alternative to a piano bench.

Regardless of where they end up being used, I think they are vastly improved with just a little bit of paint.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle for providing the paint used for this project. If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

And if you are local and could use a pair of vintage folding chairs, be sure to check out my available for local sale page for more details.

the rebel yellow rocker.

I recently decided to try out Dixie Belle’s Rebel Yellow.

It’s a pretty shade of pale yellow.  It reminds me quite a bit of Fusion’s Buttermilk Cream, which is the pale yellow on this stool …

It’s also very similar to Homestead House milk paint in Ocher, color no. 2 on these pots …

If you’re already a fan of either of those two paints and colors but you want to use a chalk style paint, or you’re just looking for a nice pale yellow, I’d recommend Rebel Yellow.  I always like to have a pale yellow on hand, just in case something comes along that is calling out for that color.

To test out the Rebel Yellow, I pulled out a child sized rocking chair that my niece found for me at the thrift store over two years ago.  Unfortunately, I neglected to get a ‘before’ photo of it.  Just picture it in a medium toned wood with a shiny poly finish, OK?

Here it is with a couple of coats of Rebel Yellow, some sanding to distress and a top coat of clear wax …

Sweet, right?

I added one of the IOD Classic Pots transfers to the back (always add the transfer before waxing) …

This is the same one that I used on that adorable button box I shared a few weeks back.

It seemed appropriate for a little kid sized rocker.

I staged it with some colorful vintage books and my favorite tiny teacup and saucer.

It would be adorable in a nursery.

It really fits in well in my guest room and pairs up nicely with my Jenny Lind bed that is painted in the Homestead House Ochre milk paint.

But I definitely didn’t need a kid size rocking chair in there.  So when one of my regular customers swung by the other night to pick up the step stool from Monday, she decided to take the rocking chair home too!

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle for providing the paint used on this rocker. If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

the step stool.

I did a little lunchtime garage saling last week with my friend/co-worker/picker/garage sale mentor Sue.  We were in my VW bug, so saying I managed to fill it up isn’t really saying much.  But I did find a few fun things including this step stool (which just barely fit in the trunk).

The stool was a bit beat up and the rubber treads on the steps were pretty grungy, but what I most needed to fix (in my humble opinion) was the shiny paint job.  I’m just not a fan of shine.

Step 1 (pardon the pun) was to remove the rubber treads from the steps.  Luckily they were not glued down, but just had little tacks a each corner holding them in place.

Next I sanded the whole piece to take off some of that shine.

It was fun to note that this stool had been several other colors in the past.  Clearly at one point the top was red, and there were hints of green, pink and yellow in other spots.

A good rule of thumb is that shiny surfaces of any kind will not hold onto new paint as well as dull surfaces.  So always give them a good scuff sanding to remove some of that shine.  In this case I also sanded the edges back a bit more than usual to remove that red because ultimately I didn’t want to see it when I distressed this piece after painting it.

I’ve been on a bit of a black and white kick lately, so I opted to keep its most recent color scheme and just freshen it up.  I used Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth on the base, and Midnight Sky on the top.  The beauty of this plan is that it only took one coat of paint for each.

And as you can see, when I sanded the edges to distress I was careful to not sand back as far as the red paint so none of it shows.

Originally I’d thought I would add a transfer or stencil to the top of the stool.  But after contemplating that for a bit, I realized that this piece would be perfect to use as a plant stand or a small side table.  In which case, there is likely to be stuff on the top that would cover it up.  So instead I decided to add a transfer to the steps.

I used the bottom 7″ or so of the IOD Le Petit Rosier transfer (the smaller version, which is 11″ x 14″).

I had this bottom section left over after I used the top section on a watering can.

If you’re getting that weird déjà vu feeling, that’s because I’ve done something similar before.  I used the top half of the transfer on a watering can, and then the bottom half on the ceiling fan light fixture in my piano room.  Back then I sold the watering can.  Later I realized that I wanted one like it for myself.  So I ordered the transfer again specifically to use it on one of my watering cans, another non-collection of mine.  Not only do I have some unpainted versions displayed outside …

But I also have a few painted ones in the pantry.  See them there up at the top?

One of them is this pretty blue one that I painted using Homestead House milk paint in a color called Maritime Blue

And you can barely see it, but the one furthest to the right is white with a red spout.  It has a fantastically chippy finish, and now it also has a transfer …

And this time I’m keeping it!

But I digress.  The real subject of this blog post was supposed to be the step stool.

Even though I didn’t make sweeping changes to the look of the stool, keeping the original black and white color scheme and swapping out the rubber treads for a transfer … I think the difference is night and day.

Don’t you?

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle for providing some of the products used for this project. If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

And if you are local and want an adorable step stool, be sure to check out my available for local sale page for more details.

a classic mid-mod blonde.

I bet you are all thinking I’ve completely given up on painting large pieces of furniture these days, and in some ways that is true.  I’ve mainly been working on small items, and when I do work on furniture it’s smaller pieces of furniture too.  Things like the folding chairs I shared a week ago, or the pair of library chairs.

Today’s piece is no exception.  My neighbor, nnK, gave me this nightstand.  She had purchased a larger dresser and the seller gave her this matching piece as a freebie, so she passed it on to me.

It’s just your classic mid-mod blonde.

It was pretty beat up, which made it a good candidate for painting.  I started out by re-gluing some veneer, patching some spots of damaged veneer using Dixie Belle’s Mud, cleaning it well and then painting it in Dixie Belle’s Bunker Hill Blue.

I finished it with Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat.  Then I cleaned up the drawer pulls with some soap and water and put them back on.

The hardest part of this project was trying to get some decent photos of this color!  I tried going for an industrial vibe inside the carriage house …

Then when I didn’t like any of those photos, I tried taking some outside …

Slightly better?  Maybe?  OK, not really.

What I really need is a fabulous mid-mod bedroom to use for staging this piece, but I don’t happen to have one of those.  So this will have to do.

In addition to staging problems, I was also having technical difficulties with PicMonkey last night while trying to edit these photos.  For some reason I simply could not get all of the fonts to load, including the one I usually use for my watermark.

Ultimately I threw in the towel.  I used a different font and called it good, shut the computer down and went for a walk with Mr. Q.  It was a beautiful evening and I figured it was better to spend it enjoying a walk rather than fighting with my computer.

See?  Like I said, a beautiful evening.  I’m glad I enjoyed it with Mr. Q, even if it does mean a substandard blog post to share with you all today.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle for providing the products used on this mid-mod nightstand. If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

And if you are local and like the looks of this piece despite the less than stellar photos, be sure to check out my available for local sale page for more details.

a pair of folding chairs.

A week or so ago my neighbor, nnK, came over with a present for me.  She’d found a pair of vintage folding chairs that she thought I’d like being given away free on Marketplace .

Yep, they look right up my alley don’t they?

They were pretty grungy though, but what can you expect for ‘free’?

So I gave them a good scrub using the Dawn Powerwash that I shared on Monday.  Then I gave them a quick coat of Dixie Belle paint in Drop Cloth.  Once dry, I sanded them vigorously because at this point I had decided that I was going to keep these for the summer house and I like my stuff distressed.

Next I dug through my stash of transfers looking for just the right thing for these chairs.  Ultimately I pulled out two of the old Prima Marketing transfers that were originally designed by IOD (before they went their separate ways).  These were both favorites of mine, so I decided this was the perfect time to use them.

The Seeds transfer on the left is the small version.  It also came in a large size (and I’m still hoarding two of those).  I did a little search while working on this post and I couldn’t find a single source for the small version of the transfer.  Bummer, this was my last one.

The French Pots II transfer on the right can still be found here and there online.

The two chairs were the perfect addition to the summer house.

As was the little vintage green lamp that I purchased at a garage sale recently.

Once again, I snazzed it up with a little section from a transfer.

I don’t actually have electricity out in the summer house, so this lamp is really just for looks.  But its green base made it the perfect addition to the space.

I also purchased that vintage fly swatter at a garage sale.  There was just something about the old-fashioned simplicity of it that appealed to me.

And since there aren’t any screens on some of the windows out there, it makes sense to have a fly swatter handy.

I’ll continue to keep an eye out for more garage sale finds to add to the summer house.

But in the meantime, it’s coming along nicely I think.

a pair of library chairs.

To all of my American readers, Happy almost 4th of July!  I can always tell when this holiday is coming because I don’t get any sleep.  The 11 p.m. fireworks keep me up at night, plus I’m getting up at 6 a.m. to get some painting in before the day heats up too much.  So I think it’s fair to say that this is not really one of my favorite holidays.  Regardless, I’m going to celebrate with a giveaway at the end of this post, so be sure to read all the way to the bottom!

When I said I was going to post every day this week, I hope you guys realized that I meant just the weekdays.  Which brings me to the final post of the week.

I brought home a pair of library chairs from a garage sale a couple of weeks ago.

When you get up close and personal, you can see that the finish on the chairs was pretty tired.

But that was a pretty quick fix using some paint.

I cleaned the chairs using some TSP substitute, then I brushed on two coats of Dixie Belle’s Caviar.  Once dry, I sanded to distress the edges and then added a small section from a stencil to the chair back.

I’m always amazed by how much character such a simple detail can add.

I added a topcoat of clear wax to protect the finish and to give them that perfect subtle glow that comes from waxing.

This pair of chairs is no longer tired looking, and they are ready to head to a new home.  So if any of you locals are in need of a pair of library chairs, be sure to check out my available for local sale page.

So tell me, which garage sale makeover from this week was your favorite?

The button box …

The bird cage …

One of the buckets …

Bessie the cow …

The shoe forms …

Or the library chairs …

Let me know which one you liked the best!

And just to make it more fun, and because I haven’t done a giveaway in a while, today I’ll draw a name from all of those who leave a comment here on today’s blog post and the winner will receive a red, white & blue themed prize.

Included is 16 oz of Honky Tonk Red, Antebellum Blue and Fluff (white), plus one of my favorite decorating books, American Style by Country Living.

Thank you to Dixie Belle for providing the paint I’m giving away today!

The rules:  to be eligible to win today’s prize leave a comment on this blog post.  If you can’t think of anything to say, just let me know which of my garage sale makeovers was your favorite.  Your comment must be left on the blog, not on Facebook or Instagram.

I will randomly draw the name of a winner for today’s prize from all of the comments left on this post by Wednesday, July 8, 2020 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 $90 if the prize is not claimed by Friday, July 10, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

P.S.  You do not have to be an American to win my Independence Day themed prize!  I have no idea if they are letting packages across the borders these days, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

Good luck!

the faux family heirloom.

My neighbor, nnK (that’s short for new neighbor Karen, because when she moved in we already had another Karen next door) offered me an antique dresser a while back.  Her style is very mid-mod.  She loves blonde, Heywood Wakefield furniture in particular.  If you know what Hey-Wake looks like, you’ll quickly realize that this dresser is basically the direct opposite of her style.

However, she had been hanging on to this piece for years even though it really didn’t suit her style.  Why?  Because she got it from her grandmother and she thought it was a family heirloom.  Right up until her mom recently told her that no, grandma actually purchased this dresser at a garage sale.  It had never been a treasured family heirloom at all.

Suddenly nnK had the freedom to get rid of it, so it came my way.

Initially I thought I would just paint it black rather than trying to fight with covering that dark stain with a lighter color.  But I kept hesitating.  Finally I realized that even though it was going to take an extra step or two, I really wanted to lighten this one up.

I felt there was a good chance that the dark stain was going to bleed through my paint, so I started out by giving this piece a coat of Dixie Belle’s BOSS.

This product comes in Clear and White, and will block bleed through.  I had Clear on hand so that’s what I used.

I’ve learned that BOSS works best if you let it dry for a full 24 hours before painting over it.  This is one product where the recommended dry time really can make a difference.

I got amazing coverage with Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy over the BOSS.  I barely even needed a 2nd coat.

Once the paint was dry, I sanded to distress and then pulled out the Fresh Flowers transfer from re.design with prima.

Because this dresser is somewhat petite and only has two drawers, I didn’t want to overwhelm it.  So I just used the wording portion of the transfer.

I really tend to gravitate towards a more simple look.  In this case, I kept the hardware simple too.  If you look back at the ‘before’ photo, you’ll see that only three of the pulls matched.  I decided to even that out a little by finding another matching pull for the odd one out.

I wish I had four of the originals because I do like them a little bit better than the replacements.

But ultimately I doubt anyone is going to really pay that much attention.

The final touch was to coat everything including the drawer pulls with a light coat of clear wax.  A little bit of wax does a nice job of freshening up old drawer pulls like these.

This little dresser would be perfect as a TV stand.  It’s fairly low, and the size would balance out your average flat screen TV.

Or, you could just use it as a plant stand of sorts …

  filled with plants, or buckets of fresh peonies!

Speaking of which, it’s peony season!  It’s a short one, so we have to enjoy every second while it lasts.  It helps that my neighbor Arlene’s peonies bloom just a tad earlier than some of mine, and she’s super generous with them so that extends the season a little.

The white one and the pale pink one at the top of the photo are mine, the deeper pink ones are from Arlene’s plants.  I also have a really deep magenta colored version, and another variety of white, but those aren’t quite open yet.

So, I’m curious, how many of you are hanging on to a piece of furniture that’s not your style simply because it’s a ‘family heirloom’?  If so, maybe you should check the provenance on that thing 😉

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and to re.design with prima for providing the products used for today’s projects.

If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

If you’re looking for re.design with prima products you can find local retailers here, or online sources here.