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.

sizing up your drawers.

Back in March when our governor issued a Stay at Home order, I decided to forgo making Craigslist or other online purchases for a while.  Of course, back at the beginning we all thought that was going to last just a few weeks.  Now, here we are in week 9 and although the official order has loosened up a bit, things are most definitely not back to ‘normal’.  Recently our State Fair (which takes place in late August) was canceled, and that has led me to realize that there very likely won’t be any neighborhood garage sales this summer.

Sure, there will be a handful of sales here and there, but I don’t think many local governing bodies will want to publicly endorse large gatherings by organizing a neighborhood sale.  And usually there are some pretty huge turnouts for those sales.

I would admit that I’m in mourning over the loss of my beloved neighborhood garage sales, but of course I know that in the scheme of things that are important in this world, this is pretty insignificant.

So instead, I’m continuing to dig deep looking for projects to share with you guys.  I suppose I should face facts at this point and admit that I may have a few more piles of stuff in my carriage house than I realized because I seem to keep hauling things out of there to ‘improve’.

This past weekend I pulled out two orphaned drawers …

For the life of me, I couldn’t remember which piece of furniture these came from so I did a little searching in my blog history only to discover that I purchased a pile of random drawers at a garage sale back in 2016.

Good grief, that means these have been sitting around out in the carriage house for almost 4 years!  Yikes!

I started out by asking my handyman, Ken, to cut them down to half their original size … depth-wise.

He basically removes the back, cuts down the sides and bottom, and then reassembles with the back.  For someone with the proper tools and skill (Ken, not me), this is fairly simple.  He had them finished and back to me in an afternoon.

Next I sanded them lightly, cleaned them up with a damp rag and then painted one in Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy (top) and one in their French Linen (bottom).

For some reason the hardware would not come off easily.  I’m not sure if it had been glued in place somehow or what, but I decided that rather than fight with it, I’d just paint over it.

The Sawmill Gravy drawer was missing its keyhole escutcheon so I added an unpainted one from my stash at the end.

I had some fun dressing each of these up with some scraps of transfers leftover from previous projects.

The French Linen drawer has a section of the Cosmic Roses transfer that was left over from the bed I painted back in March.

I pulled out the Paris Valley and the Classic Vintage Labels transfers to use on the Sawmill Gravy drawer.  I simply cut out each element I wanted to use individually and then placed them on the drawer where I wanted them.

I just love playing around with transfers in this way, and I especially love being able to use up leftover scraps whether it be transfers or drawers.

Now, at this point you might be thinking to yourself ‘well, that’s all well and good, but what in the world are you going to do with a re-sized drawer?’

I have a few ideas.

First up, use it as a planter box for a row of faux topiaries, these are from IKEA.

Or how about using it to corral your collection of blue canning jars.

Fill it up with a bunch of ironstone …

or some old books …

Or maybe just fill it up with some of your favorite flowers.

Although I took that photo outside, I should clarify that this drawer would not really hold up well outside.  Mainly because it’s made of wood, the inside is not sealed at all and I used wax as the topcoat which isn’t suitable for outdoor items.

However, you could use it this way on a covered porch.  You would need to keep the plants in liner pots and take them out to water them though.

Do you have any ideas for using a re-sized drawer?  Be sure to let me know in a comment!

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.

planter chairs.

I know I’ve shared planter chairs before, but I whipped up a couple of them last weekend and I couldn’t resist sharing these with you as well.

If you aren’t familiar, a planter chair is basically a chair turned into a plant holder.  I particularly like them for holding big baskets of flowering annuals, as you’ll see in a minute.

But first, I start with chairs that have seen better days.

Typically they are chairs that have ruined cane seats and I can usually pick them up super cheap at garage sales.

Let’s face it, repairing cane is probably best left to the professionals.  Or at least to people with far more patience than I have.

It takes all of my patience just to remove the bad cane, I can’t imagine sticking with it long enough to also replace it with new cane.  So instead, I turn them into planter chairs.

Once I’d removed the cane from both of these chairs (using a utility knife and a pair of needle nose pliers), I painted one in Dixie Belle’s Bunker Hill Blue and one in Kudzu.

Once the paint was dry, I sanded the chairs to distress and then added a topcoat of Dixie Belle’s Gator Hide.

Gator Hide is their most durable topcoat option, so it’s a great choice for outdoor pieces.  I will point out that the Gator Hide has a bit more sheen than I normally like for furniture, which is why I tend to stick with either clear wax, hemp oil or the flat clear coat.  But in this case, I thought I’d go for durability.

Here’s a  q tip for you on finishes.  The more shine to your finish, the harder it is to achieve perfection.  Drips, brush marks, streaks and imperfect coverage will all show up more readily in a satin or semi-gloss finish.  Shhhh … don’t tell anyone, but this might be the real reason why I usually go for a flat finish.

For these planter chairs though, I wasn’t concerned about perfection.  The gorgeous flowers will draw attention, not any possible flaws in the finish.

These chairs would be perfect as is for peony cages, much like the non-painted chair in my own garden that I shared last week.

But they also make great plant holders.  Just buy a big hanging pot of your favorite flowering annuals and pop it in the hole where the seat once was.

If your pot is smaller than the hole, you can staple a strap in place to hold it.

I added a big pot of Wave petunias and one of my wordy plates, and ta da …

I add words to pretty plates using adhesive vinyl and my Cricut machine (for more details on this process, check out this post).

It works great on old enamelware pot lids too.

And if you don’t happen to have a Cricut machine, the Classic Vintage Labels transfers from re.design with prima work beautifully for this purpose as well …

This pair of planter chairs, and some more wordy plates and enamelware lids are going into the growing pile of stuff that I’ll be taking in to Reclaiming Beautiful this week.  I’m so glad they’ll be able to open back up again on Thursday!

With some warmer weather finally here, and lots of plants coming up in the garden, it’s finally starting to feel like summer is coming this year after all.

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the products used on my planter chairs.  If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

the seed store rocker.

First, under the heading of ‘whatever happened to …’, here are some updates in case any of you are even remotely interested.

  1. Princess officially canceled our European Capitals cruise this week.  Of course, I didn’t really think there was much chance of that still taking place, but it was a little disappointing to have it made official.  At this point I think we are all realizing that it’s going to take a lot longer than we thought before we can return to traveling the world.
  2. My progressive bi-focals came back in and work much better than the first version.  I still can’t really wear them for computer work, but I think they’ll be great for garage saling … if we ever get to do that again.  I’m also pleasantly surprised to find that they work quite well for working on painting projects, as well as for gardening.  Again, thanks to all of you who left comments suggesting I should take them back in for adjusting.
  3. After a couple more visits to the Endodontist, I think I might finally be recovering from my 2nd round of root canal problems.  Phew.  I’m glad to put that behind me (although I still have to get the crowns done, my regular dentist is not opening until June).

I know that compared to much of what’s going on in the world, these were all very minor things.  I feel a bit guilty even mentioning them here.  Everyone in the q is for quandie family is healthy including handyman Ken (who I do worry about with this COVID thing, since he is 80+), and I’m very grateful for that.  I hope all of you are staying safe and are also staying well.

Hopefully I can take your minds off world problems for just a few moments today by sharing a small project I worked on.

While I had the Dixie Belle Sea Glass paint out for the piece I shared on Monday, I decided to also use it on this little vintage rocker I purchased ages ago at a garage sale.

I’d been waiting for inspiration to strike before painting it.  I thought it might be fun to use another of the Vintage Seed transfers on it.

I started by painting and distressing the rocker.

Then I added a section of the Vintage Seed transfer to the seat.

But I felt like the chair back was crying out for a little something too, so I pulled out the Classic Vintage Labels transfer and found the perfect thing.

Once the transfers were applied, I waxed the entire thing with clear wax.

I feel like I could create an full back story on how this little rocker came from a seed store in Pella, Iowa.

Can’t you just picture it in the window of an old fashioned Main Street general store?  One that not only has basic goods, but also has a full section of gardening implements and seeds?

Maybe one like the old general store in Marine on the St. Croix that my husband’s ancestors owned in 1907.

I’m planning on taking this little chair in to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell once it re-opens.  In fact, I’m building up quite the pile of smalls waiting for the Stay at Home order to be lifted.  I feel a little bit like we’re going to totally miss the spring/garden season this year and I have all kinds of fun goodies waiting in the wings.  Fingers crossed that shops can open up again soon!

In the meantime, as always, thanks to Dixie Belle for providing the paint and to re.design with prima for providing the transfers 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.