always believe.

Last summer my sister-in-law texted from a garage sale to ask if I wanted this doll cradle.

I thought it was crying out for a paint job, so naturally I said yes.  Look at all of those flat surfaces, they would be perfect for some stenciling.

Not only did my s-i-l purchase it for me, she also delivered it which was pretty darn awesome of her considering they live way over on the other side (and then some) of the Twin Cities.  Thanks again for doing that Tracy!

I’m still not quite sure about the direction I chose to go with this one because I decided to paint it black, Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky to be precise.

Maybe I should have gone with a color that was more traditionally baby-dollish like pink or yellow.  Or even just kept it light with my favorite Drop Cloth.

But no, I went black.  Maybe it’s a metaphor for this holiday season.

No, no, of course it isn’t.  I just thought it would pack a graphic punch painted black and then stenciled.  And I added an uplifting message to ‘lighten’ it up a bit.

I painted the entire cradle in Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.  Once dry I sanded to distress the edges, and then I added a mish mash of my favorite holiday stencils from Maison de Stencils using Dixie Belle’s French Linen paint.

I finished all of that off with some clear wax.

I also upgraded the bedding itself.  The stuff it came with was looking a little tired.

So I added a ‘sheet’ made from an old curtain with some tatted trim and my friend Sue sewed up a sweet little chenille blanket to add a little coziness.

The pillow case is actually a vintage hankie holder.  Back in the day one would have kept all of their pretty handkerchiefs inside this little cloth envelope (here’s one on Etsy to give you an idea of what I’m talking about).  I just stuffed it with fill to make it a pillow.

I have to tell you guys, I’ve had this thing lying around for years.  It was one of those things that I picked up at a garage sale because it was so sweet, but then had absolutely no idea what to do with it.  I’m sure I tried to sell it at my occasional sales and never had a taker.

Isn’t it funny how it ended up being just the perfect thing for this cradle?

You just never know when you might find a new use for something.

Speaking of alternate uses, the obvious use for this cradle is as a doll bed, but there are a few other ways you could use it.  Take the bedding out and replace it with evergreens for a unique table display.  Or fill it with wrapped presents under the tree.

I’ll be heading in to Reclaiming Beautiful with this on Wednesday, but if any of my local readers want to snatch it up before then be sure to send me an email.  The details can be found on my ‘available for local sale’ page.

So I’m curious, what do you think of the black?  Or would you have gone with a more traditionally girly color?

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle for providing the paint used on today’s project.

a day of rest.

I don’t know how things are going where you are, but here in Minnesota our governor recently announced a ‘four-week dial back’ in response to sky-rocketing COVID cases.  As part of that plan, ‘in-person social gatherings with individuals outside your household’ are prohibited.

That meant it was time to re-evaluate the plans for my birthday yesterday.  We were initially planning to have a wild party with 50 of my closest friends.  OK, not really.  But we were thinking about having a few people over for Chinese takeout.  Instead, we canceled those plans and I decided to treat myself to a day of rest.

Do I know how to have a good time or what?

Actually, not only do I not know how to have a good time, I also don’t know how to have a day of rest.  The previous Sunday I had also planned to have a day of rest but instead I painted the inside of my Welsh cupboard.

Quite honestly, this is something that I have been putting off since I first painted this cupboard back in 2015.

I originally painted the outside in Miss Mustard Seed’s Linen, and the inside in Fusion’s Linen.  And I never really liked the Fusion Linen (and this color has been discontinued, so maybe I’m not alone in that).  I always felt like it had a sickly greenish cast to it.

So finally, five years later, I’ve gotten around to painting over it.  This time I went with Dixie Belle’s Gravel Road, a gorgeous, deep, charcoal grey.

I’ve used this color on the insides of a couple of cabinets lately and I loved the way it made my ironstone pieces pop when I used them to stage the photos of those cabinets.

So I emptied all of the ironstone out of my cupboard and gave just the inside two quick coats of Gravel Road (I left the outside as is), followed by a coat of flat clear sealer.  While waiting between coats for the paint to dry, I washed up my non-collection of ironstone.

At least I chose the appropriate dish towel for my day of rest 😉

I’m fairly sure that it took me longer to wash all of the ironstone than it did to do the painting.

I broke all kinds of rules by putting my ironstone back in the cupboard without giving the paint enough time to cure.  In this case, do as I say, not as I do.  You really should give your paint a week or so to cure before loading it down with lots of heavy china.  But hey, it’s just my own cupboard, I don’t care if it’s not perfect.  I probably won’t move any of these ironstone pieces for another five years (or more).

I re-styled the contents a bit as I put them back in.  I chose not to put everything back, this time I wanted to keep the look just a tad cleaner.

I recently pulled out my Cricut machine and added some holiday-ish words to plates to bring in to the shop.  I hadn’t planned on keeping any, but ‘joy’ and ‘peace’ looked so good in my newly painted cupboard that I had to keep them.

Since I was on a roll with the holiday decorating, I added some greenery to the top of the cupboard to snazz it up for Christmas.

I love the fresh new look of the cupboard, and I love the way that ironstone really pops now.

How about you, do you like the new look or did you prefer the old one?

second summer.

I’ve been wondering lately whether the term Indian summer is no longer politically correct.  I think you have to go back to the origins of the term and see if it was meant to be derogatory to determine that.  So I did some research and found a few good articles including this one on MPR.

It seems that no one knows for sure why early Americans called it Indian summer but the term has been around for well over 200 years.  I always thought that it was an exclusively American thing, but recently our Venetian tour guide, whom I follow on Instagram, posted a lovely photo of the Grand Canal and mentioned their Indian summer temperatures.  So apparently the term has caught on outside of the U.S. as well.

Since the jury is out on whether or not it’s offensive, I think I’ll start calling it ‘second summer’ instead.  Sort of like in The Lord of the Rings when they have second breakfast (two of Mr. Q’s favorites; the movie and the 2nd breakfast).

And boy did we ever have a second summer here this past weekend!  Beautiful, sunny days in the 70’s.  Since we’d had temps in the teens and measurable snow just a week or two ago, it was quite a change.

I took Friday off at the day job so I could enjoy the weather, and I tried to cram as many of my summer favorites into second summer as I could.  We had my niece and sister over for a BBQ, nnK and I helped Ken’s wife Arlene clean up her garden and then we ate lunch on the deck (albeit without furniture, since that was already put away for the winter), I hung my laundry out on the clothesline, I did some work in my own garden (mostly planting bulbs) and best of all, I was able to work in my unheated carriage house workshop for three days in a row.

I took advantage of the opportunity to do a makeover on the bench that Ken made out of a headboard way back in January.

Here is the bench before I painted it.

And here is how the bench looked up until this past weekend.

And it did not sell.  I tried reducing the price, but still it didn’t sell.  Ken was convinced that the problem was that I left the legs and that piece on top unpainted.  Maybe he was right, but I think the bigger problem was my color choice.  No one is really decorating with pale, smoky blue these days are they?  I also wasn’t entirely happy with my transfer choice.  It looks like the very top of it was cut off a bit.

Regardless of the reason, I decided it was time for a do-over on this one.

So I took advantage of the nice weather and moved the bench back out into my workshop where I attacked it with an orbital sander and 80-grit paper.  It took a fair amount of elbow grease, and several sheets of sandpaper, but I sanded off the transfer and then I re-painted the bench in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.

And this time I painted the whole thing, legs and all.

Once it was fully painted, it really looked rather boring.  Up until that point I hadn’t decided whether or not to add a different transfer, but the plain-ness of the bench unadorned convinced me that it needed a little something more.

So I added part of with prima’s Parisian Letter transfer to the back.

And I added another section of the transfer to the lower part of the bench.

That little bit of trim at the top of the bench definitely needed something too, so I went with the bee from the Classic Vintage Labels transfer.

One bonus to having to re-paint this piece is the layered effect I got when I distressed the edges.

You can see hints of the pale blue underneath the white.  Having a couple of layers of color always gives a bit more ‘age’ to a piece, and I like that.

So now the question is, will this piece have as amazing a ‘second summer’ as we had here in Minnesota this weekend?  Will it sell now that it’s painted in a more neutral color?  Or will it continue to linger unsold?

Which version is your favorite?

Thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the paint and wax, and to with prima for providing the transfer used on this project.

If you’re local and you have just the spot for a bench, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details on this one.

the laundry co bench.

I picked up this homemade bench a couple of weeks ago at a garage sale.

I figured it would be a quick and easy makeover, and it was.  I painted it with Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth and then added a couple of stencils.

The stencil on the top is from Maison de Stencils …

and the one on the bottom is one of the Jami Ray Vintage mini stencils I bought a while back.

I had visions of a cute outdoor photo shoot to get pics of it, but it was super windy on the only day I had available for it.

I thought I’d be able to wait for a calm moment and snap a quick photo with some linens hanging on the line.

Yeah, that didn’t quite work out.

I even thought I’d just leave everything in place and wait until later in the day when the wind died down.  But that didn’t happen either.  If anything, the winds just continued to worsen over the course of the day.

So I eventually gave up and decided to just work with the photos I had.

I think they do a decent job of showing the transformation of this little bench using some paint and some stencils though.

What do you think?

This bench is for sale locally, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for more details.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle for providing the paint used for this project.

the flying nun washstand.

A while back one of my good customers told me she had an old washstand that needed a new home, and at the same time she was purchasing the french-ish bed I’d just finished.  So we did a little bartering and I ended up with the washstand and a little extra cash.

I have to confess that every time I looked at this washstand I was reminded of the flying nun.

Who else remembers the flying nun?  The premise of that show was totally ridiculous, but I bet nearly everyone watched it.  That weren’t that many TV choices in 1967.

Anyway, there was just something about those towel bars winging out from the sides that said ‘flying nun’ to me.  I considered removing them, but removing them would have left a gap where the arm of the towel bar fits into the top of the washstand.  You can sort of see what I mean in this next photo …

So after re-gluing that loose piece shown above, I decided the towel bars would stay.

I sanded everything down, cleaned it with clear water and then added two coats of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  Originally I was going to do something entirely different with it next, but after finishing the floral box that I shared with you on Monday I really wanted to try that same look on a piece of furniture.

So I pulled out another IOD transfer that I recently picked up.  This one is called Flora Parisiensis.

I’m sharing that image of the transfer because you may not even recognize it on my washstand.  I cut it all apart and created my own collage style look with it.  And much like on the box, I combined it with various pieces from other transfers, mostly Paris Valley from with prima, but there are a few other bits in there too.

I started with the top drawer and mainly used the leaves on it.

Then I moved on to the cupboard doors …

I added most of the words first, then layered in the roses, then filled in with a few more wordy bits in spots.

I put the main title from the transfer on the backsplash …

but then I did a really good job covering that up in my photos with my props.

So I felt like I should take at least one photo where that shows.

At one point in its life there must have been a shelf inside the lower portion of the washstand because the supports are still in place.

But after having Ken take a look, we both agreed that adding a shelf in that spot wasn’t really terrible practical.  You wouldn’t be able to put anything even somewhat tall inside.

I had also initially considered changing out the wooden knobs.  They felt a bit oversized to me.  But as it turned out, these are threaded wooden knobs that screw right into the piece.

I’ve only seen this style of knob on a handful of pieces and I felt like they were a feature that I didn’t want to remove.  Especially the one on the cupboard door because it has a little latch on the back that keeps the door shut when you turn the knob.

How clever is that?  So simple, yet totally effective.

I really have to laugh at myself right now.  One of my mottos is ‘never say never’ because whenever I say something like “I’ll never use gold paint,” I always have to eat my words.  And here I am fresh off saying “I prefer words over florals” and look what I’ve done.

But I have to say, I had the such fun working on this piece.

And I think the florals totally draw your attention away from the flying nun towel bars.

What do you think?

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint used on this project, and to with prima for providing the Paris Valley transfer.

the sloppy drinker’s bar cart.

I was really rather surprised to see this fairly nice quality bar cart at a garage sale with a price tag of only $5.

The frame was in excellent condition, even the leather wrapped handle looked practically new. 

However, the wood had some fairly significant damage.

Were they using it as a plant stand?  or were they just sloppy drinkers?

Either way, it was a simple matter to flip the bar cart over and remove all of the screws that were holding the two wood shelves in place.  Well, fairly simple anyway, there were 32 screws!

I briefly considered painting the wood, but I thought that this was one of those times where stained wood would appeal to potential buyers more than painted wood.  Plus, I knew it would be quick and easy to refinish two flat, featureless pieces of wood.

So once I had the wood out of the frame, rather than using a chemical stripper, I simply sanded it down to bare wood with my orbital sander.  Next I got out my Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Stain in Special Walnut and wiped on two coats using an old t-shirt (allowing for drying time in between coats).

I gave the Special Walnut a full 24 hours to dry before adding two coats of Dixie Belle’s Flat clear coat over it.

I went with the clear coat rather than my usual clear wax just in case the next owners of this bar cart are sloppy drinkers too.  It will provide a bit more protection against spills.

After letting the clear coat cure for a couple of days, I re-assembled the bar cart and it was done.

I guess it says something about our drinking habits that the only liquor we had on hand for staging my photos was a bottle of Cointreau.

Well, we also had some Bailey’s, but we didn’t have any of the hard stuff.  What can I say, we’re not big drinkers at our house.  Just the occasional margarita or a little Bailey’s in our coffee.

I did a little google research and discovered that this bar cart is available new at Target for $150.  But even with my makeover, I’m letting this one go for half that price at $75.

So if you’re local and in need of a bar cart, either leave me a comment or send me an email at

the palmetto mid-mod dresser.

 I wasn’t really looking for furniture when I was out garage saling with my sister recently, but this mid-century dresser was just too good of a deal to pass up.

Even though mid-mod isn’t really my personal style, I still enjoy working on these pieces.  Plus they are just so darn easy to sell when they’re done.  And I had an inkling that this dresser would be much improved with a simple coat of paint.

I hope I don’t jinx it by saying that, and I also hope the color I’ve chosen doesn’t make it harder to sell.

I’ve gone with a color from Dixie Belle called Palmetto.  It’s a vibrant blue green.

This was really just a basic paint job.  I sanded the surface to give it more gripping power to hold the paint, then I cleaned it with a damp rag, then I brushed on two coats of Palmetto.  I finished it up with Dixie Belle’s Flat clear coat.

Easy peasy.  Nothing fancy.  Just a huge pop of color.

Before I put the original drawer pulls back on I washed them with Dawn dish soap and then brightened them up a little with a layer of with prima’s Decor Wax in Eternal.

The gold is gorgeous next to the blue green of the Palmetto.

My new Savoy camera was perfect for staging this dresser.

The green of the knobs and strap are almost a perfect match for the Palmetto.

This is one of those chameleon colors that is hard to capture in photos.  I struggled with getting the white balance just right.  Really, the color changes based on the light anyway, sometimes looking more green and other times more blue.

It was fun giving this dresser some new life using paint.  What do you think of its new look?

If any of you locals are interested, be sure to check my ‘available for local sale’ page for the details.

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing products used in this makeover.

the herbier cabinet.

It becomes more and more apparent as I write this blog year after year that I am definitely a creature of habit.  And it seems as though one habit I can’t break is bringing home larger pieces of furniture, and then procrastinating on finishing them until winter is looming and I have to get them out of the carriage house.

Last year it was the Cabinet of Curiosities, this year it’s this large cabinet …

This piece was afflicted by a series of delays, mostly because I couldn’t make up my mind on how to paint it, but there was a bit of procrastination involved as well.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

One of my favorite customers alerted me to this cupboard because it was sitting at the curb with a ‘free’ sign on it in her neighborhood.  I sent Mr. Q to snatch it up, but he returned empty handed.  It was too big to fit in our Ford Transit van (delay no 1).  But my neighbor/handyman Ken offered to hitch up his trailer and go back with him to get it.

I neglected to get a true ‘before’ photo of the inside once they got it home, but originally this piece had a very heavy mirrored back.  That made absolutely no sense to me since you really could only see the lower half of your body in the mirror, and then only if the cupboard was empty.

So, the mirror came off right away to be replaced by some faux bead board paneling.  Unfortunately, 4′ x 8′ sheets of paneling also don’t fit in our Ford Transit van.  No problem, normally I would have one cut in half at the store and a half piece would be sufficient for the back.  However, Home Depot wasn’t doing custom cuts during the initial COVID shut down (delay no 2).

Luckily I have some connections.  My sister works at Home Depot.  Just not the Home Depot near me.  So we made arrangements to meet her at her store where she was able to finagle someone to cut the paneling for me.

Next up was coming up with a solution for the shelving.  Again, I don’t have a proper ‘before’ photo to show this, but the cupboard came with metal shelf brackets and shelves that were made out of cut down cheap hollow core doors.  Hmmmm.  Can you say tacky?  That stuff all went into the trash.

Instead Ken made new shelves similar to the ones he made for my giant English cupboard.

Ken also did some patching on the top of the cupboard where some notches had been cut out, I assume to make it fit around trim or something as a built-in.

I used Dixie Belle Mud to fill the seams, and now you can barely see them …

Next up was painting the interior of the cupboard.  After giving it a bit of thought, I decided I really wanted to repeat the color combo I used on the vintage medicine cabinet I did earlier this summer, which meant using Dixie Belle’s Gravel Road on the inside.  However, I didn’t have enough Gravel Road on hand to complete the job so I had to place an order (delay no 3).

The interior received two coats of Gravel Road, followed by a coat of Dixie Belle’s Flat Clear Coat.  That took some time to accomplish with painting top and bottom of the shelves, three sides and top and bottom of the interior, and allowing for drying time in between each coat.  It also took nearly a full 16 oz. of paint.

I love this dark color for showing off some ironstone.  But of course, the doors are not glass so this cabinet isn’t meant for display.  Instead it’s meant for storage, and you could fit quite a lot of stuff inside!

The next step was painting the outside.  I thought this would be the quickest step, and it really should have been.  I mixed up the same Sweet Pickins milk paint that I used on that medicine cabinet, Window Pane.  I started to paint and quickly realized that my milk paint was too clumpy to use and no amount of mixing was dissolving the clumps.  So I had to get out a strainer and strain the paint in order to use it.  FYI, to do that I just use a handheld metal mesh strainer like this one …

VINTAGE POST 1935 Wire Mesh Strainer Handheld Metal Wood Handle 2 ¾” Basket - $7.99 | PicClick

I’m sure I purchased it at a garage sale for a quarter or something like that.  I use it just for paint.

So I persevered and painted on the first coat.  I know from experience that the first coat of milk paint always looks bad, so even though I wasn’t loving the way it looked so far I kept going and added a second coat to the top of the cupboard.  And you know what?  I still didn’t like it.

At that point I was out of mixed paint and would would need to mix and strain some more to keep going.  Instead, I decided that milk paint just wasn’t going to be worth it this time.  So I cut my losses and switched to Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.

As soon as I started painting again, I knew I’d been wise to make the switch.  The color of the Sawmill Gravy is just a tad warmer than the Window Pane, and it was covering beautifully.

Two quick coats later and the painting was done.

For the final touch I decided to use the IOD Label Ephemera transfer on the doors, but naturally I did not have it on hand.  So I ordered two of them online from Jami Ray Vintage (delay no 4).

I’m sure you are wondering why I didn’t just get everything I needed all at once in the beginning, but sometimes my ideas evolve slowly over time. Originally I was planning to use a with prima transfer on this piece, but in the end I just had to have the IOD one instead.

To clarify, here is what the entire Label Ephemera transfer looks like.

I’m using just parts of it on this cupboard.

My biggest complaint about this transfer is that they overlapped a bunch of the elements rendering sections somewhat unusable on their own, which drives me a bit mad.  I think they meant this transfer to be used as one big design, but as you’ve seen, I like to break it up and use the elements separately.

Since this cupboard has two symmetrical doors, I really debated whether to make them the same or put different sections of the transfer on each door.

I just couldn’t break out of my symmetrical shell though, so I made both doors the same (which meant ordering two of the same transfer).

Lucky the cupboard was free at the curb, because these transfers were $25.50 each (on sale) plus shipping.  I ordered a few more things to make the shipping cost a little more palatable, but it still adds up.

But I’ll get quite a few more projects out of the rest of each transfer as well.

You may have noticed that I painted over the hardware on this piece.

Not so much because I didn’t like them ‘as is’, but more so because I wanted them to not stand out quite so much.  This way they blend in a bit, but still have a lot of character.

So finally, after several months of stopping and starting, this cupboard is finally finished.

This is one of those times when I would really love to keep this one for myself, but the only way I could find a spot for it would be to get rid of something else.  I debated getting rid of the Belgian bed bench next to my back door, but we sit on that to put our shoes on so I think we’d miss it.  I also considered replacing my Specimens cupboard with this piece, but I really love that one too.  Plus it’s on wheels so that I can easily move it and use that spot for furniture photo shoots.  This piece is a little too heavy for that.  I’d replace my Rooster cupboard with this one, except this one is a tad too wide for that spot.  Ditto for the botanical cupboard on my front porch.

So this piece is for sale to a local shopper who can pick it up.  Be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

Thanks to Dixie Belle for providing the Mud, Sawmill Gravy, Gravel Road and Flat clear coat used on this project.

upgraded seats.

My picker has been finding some fun things for me lately including this old school chair and stool.

These two pieces have a few things in common.  They both have blonde colored wooden seats.  They both have unattractively colored metal legs.  And they were both in pretty rough shape.

So I knew right from the start that I would paint both of them entirely, including the metal legs.

I started with the stool first.  I sanded the wooden seat and then cleaned everything with some TSP substitute.  It looked like this stool may have been in someone’s workshop, and I just wasn’t sure if there were any oily residues on it that might resist paint.  I like to use a grease cutting cleaner in these cases rather than my normal plain ol’ water.

Next I pulled out The Gulf from Dixie Belle Paint Co.

Isn’t that just the most delicious aqua?

I painted the entire stool, legs and all, in The Gulf.

Once dry, I added another snippet from the IOD Label Ephemera transfer to the seat.

By the way, in case you are keeping track, so far I have used this one transfer on 7 pieces (the medicine cabinet, the folding chair, a painted pumpkin, a wooden box, a mirrored box, a recipe box, and now this stool).  The funny thing is that I mishandled the transfer when I first took it out of the tube and ended up ruining a section at the top (it stuck to itself), so I could have gotten even a couple more projects out of it if I hadn’t done that.  I still have a couple of small pieces left too.

Once the transfer was applied, I used clear wax over the entire stool.

Next up is the school chair.  I had some Chalked spray paint in Charcoal left after painting the table I shared a couple of weeks ago, so I started by using that on the legs.  I thought it would work well paired with Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy on the wooden parts, but after getting one coat of the Sawmill Gravy on I really didn’t like the two toned look.  So I pulled the spray paint back out and painted over the Sawmill Gravy.

Then, I was stumped.  The chair was a perfectly blank canvas with the solid dark grey color on it.  I debated adding a grain sack stripe and stencil (like I did on this one), I also considered painting a union jack on the seat (maybe in grey and mustard like I did on this school desk), but that is a lot of work and I didn’t think this chair was worth the effort.  I even went through all of my with prima transfers looking for one that would be perfect on the chair, but I didn’t think any of them were quite right.

Finally I went through my stash of stencils and came across my notice of decommission stencil from Maison de Stencils.  You may remember that I used it last October to create a sign …

The stencil was the perfect size for the chair.  I masked off the border on the design, since I was placing part of it on the chair back and part on the seat.

I love the way it turned out.

I used Dixie Belle’s Putty to do the stenciling.  Once it was dry, I sanded over everything to give it a worn appearance.

Then I used clear wax to finish.

So, what do you think of my upgraded seats?

I took both of them in to Reclaiming Beautiful this week, so if any of you locals are interested you should head to Stillwater and check them out!

I also brought in the notice of decommission sign because I never managed to get it there last year.  You’ll also find some of my painted pumpkins at the shop …

And my Farm Life cupboard door signs …

And the mirrored box …

And the boxes …

And the camp stool …

In other words, a whole bunch of stuff!

an updated antique.

Earlier this summer my friend/picker Sue texted to ask if I wanted to buy a small table that her brother was getting rid of.  Not only was the price right, but her hubby could deliver it right to my door!

And here it is.

Just look at all of that beautiful detail.

But it had been refinished at some point in its life and given a super shiny finish.

As you all know by now, I am not a fan of shiny finishes on furniture.

Although this piece is constructed out of some lovely wood, there was no way I was going to strip the base with all of that detail.  That would have taken much more patience than I possess.  But stripping the top would be totally do-able.  So that’s where I started.

In case you are wondering, I use Citristrip for all of my stripping needs.

I like it because it’s safe for indoor use (although I did strip this particular table outside) and doesn’t have any harsh fumes.

Once I had the top of the table stripped, I then masked it off with newspaper and painter’s tape because my next step was to paint the base.  I took one look at all of that detail and decided spray painting would be my best bet.

I used Rustoleum’s Chalked spray paint in Charcoal.

Here’s something interesting I came across while looking online for a picture of the product to use, I found it at a website selling the paint for $19.90/can.  Yikes!  I buy it at my local Menards where the ‘everyday low price’ is $6.48/can.  I certainly pays to shop around sometimes!

And here’s another tip for you today, I use the Comfort Grip Spray Paint Gun (also from Rustoleum) when I’m doing a lot of spray painting.

It just clips onto the top of the can.  It totally saves your finger from having to press down on that spray button all the time.  That helps me get a smoother result with the spray paint too.

The Chalked paint can be distressed just like any other chalk-style paint.

Sticking with my theme of doing things the easy way on this project, I top-coated the paint with Dixie Belle’s Easy Peasy Clear Matte Spray Wax.

Just spray it on and wipe away any excess.

It worked beautifully over the Chalked spray paint.

OK, so after stripping the table top, spray painting, distressing and spray waxing the base, I pulled out a few options for finishing the table top.

Here’s what each one looks like when you open the can …

I immediately eliminated the Dixie Belle Weathered Gray Gel Stain (bottom) because I wanted a darker gray.  Then I eliminated the Varathane Weathered Gray stain (upper right) because I didn’t love the blue undertone it had.  That left me with Homestead House Stain & Finishing Oil (SFO) in Driftwood (now branded under Fusion Mineral Paint).  I liked the warmer tone and darker shade of the gray in the Driftwood.

That is just one coat of the SFO.   This product is meant to be applied in several light coats.  Each coat progressively adds a little more color, durability and sheen.  But in the case of this table, I really liked the color after just one coat so I left it at that.  I could have added a couple of coats of the Natural color SFO over the Driftwood to add durability without adding color, but I didn’t have any of that on hand.

Keep in mind that this is how the Driftwood SFO looks over the wood on this particular table.  It is semi-transparent, so the look will depend a bit on what you’re putting it on.

All in all, I think this gorgeous antique table has been given a totally updated look, don’t you?

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co and Homestead House for providing some of the products used on today’s project.

If you are local and could use an updated antique table, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details on this one.