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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


old mother hubbard went to the cupboard.

Today I’m continuing my series of favorite non-furniture projects with a few different upcycles featuring old cupboard doors.

I’ve always grabbed cupboard doors when I find them cheap at garage sales.  Sometimes they even come with fab vintage hardware, which is always a bonus.

And a while back I also figured out that you can find cupboard doors fairly cheap at the ReStore.

Of course, my favorite thing to do with them is to simply turn them into signs.

Lately I’ve been using up a bunch of wooden knobs by adding them as ‘pegs’ of a sort to the bottom of the signs.

I think my all time favorites of these are the ones I did last Christmas.

Those knobs are perfect for hanging your Christmas stockings.

But I think a simple sign without knobs works well too.

Usually I use stencils to create my cupboard door signs, but sometimes a transfer works well for them too.

The Farm Life transfers from with prima were perfect for creating a set of 4 ‘signs’.

This giant ‘Market’ sign was made using a transfer too.

It’s fun to add a little something extra to the cupboard doors using molds.  I added some molds to this Halloween themed sign …

They are a bit subtle since I painted them the same black as the rest of the sign, but I like that subtle detail.

They are a little bit more noticeable on this one …

And a shell themed mold was the perfect accompaniment to the nautical themed transfer on this pair of doors.

Looking back through my old projects, I realized I’d completely forgotten about one of the projects I did with old cupboard doors.  Although most of them have been made into signs, I made this one into a tray.

Those fork drawer pulls were especially perfect for adding handles to a cupboard door to turn it into a tray.  I think I found those at Hobby Lobby, but when I stopped in there the other day they didn’t have them anymore (or I really didn’t get them there, I’m not sure).  Too bad because I was hoping to find more so I could make some more trays.

Oh well.  I’m sure I’ll find other ways to repurpose old cupboard doors.

How about you, do you like to snatch up old cupboard doors when you see them?  And if so, what have you done with them?

the spring flowers cupboard.

One of my favorite customers found this little wall cupboard thingie at an estate sale for me.

(Please ignore the reflection of me in my shabby painting clothes in the mirror.)

I have to admit that the veneer on this piece was actually quite pretty.  I would have felt bad about painting it, except for the fact that the veneer was starting to buckle in a few spots and it would have required refinishing to bring it back to its former glory due to some blotchy fading.  I suspect it was kept somewhere where it was exposed to some sunlight.

But then, there’s also the fact that it just wasn’t anything special ‘as is’.  I knew I could give it a bit more personality with a makeover.

I started by painting the inside in Dixie Belle’s new Silk paint in a color called Tide Pool.

If you haven’t heard must about Dixie Belle’s new line of paint, it is rather different from their chalk mineral paint.  It has a built in stain blocker, primer and top coat.  That’s a big plus because you only have to buy one product instead of three.  You also only have to apply one product instead of three, and it takes fewer coats to get good coverage at that. However, it still took two coats to get full coverage inside this cupboard.  Once cured (21 to 30 days) it is also washable.  All of these qualities make this the perfect paint for using inside a cupboard like this one.

Next up I painted the outside using Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  After sanding it a little with 220 grit paper to smooth it out and distress the edges a bit, I took a look at the transfers I had on hand.  In the end, I decided the Cosmic Roses transfer from with prima would work beautifully with the Tide Pool color.  Plus I just happened to have a partially used portion of it in my stash.

I just played around with various segments of the transfer and placed them where I thought they looked best on the cupboard.

I wrapped the transfer around each side.

If you look closely, you’ll see that I don’t achieve perfection when doing this.  Especially around those hinges.  But I’m OK with that.  Perfection is totally overrated.

After wrapping the section of transfer that was on the front of the cupboard up and over the top I was left with a harsh edge about 1″ in on the top where it ended.  I didn’t like the look of that.  So I sanded that edge to soften it, and then I layered another section of transfer over it.  It blends quite nicely now.

As you’ve probably noticed, I swapped out the original brass knobs for some clear glass.

I happened to have a couple of smaller ones on hand that fit perfectly and they add just the right amount of sparkle to the piece.

This was such a fun little project to work on, I totally enjoyed it!  Honestly, creating pieces like this is what keeps me going these days.  It’s so satisfying to take something that was boring and outdated and make it pretty again.

I don’t have anywhere to put this one though, so I will be selling it.  If any of you locals are interested, please be sure to reach out by Tuesday (the details are on my ‘available for local sale‘ page).  Otherwise it’s going in to Reclaiming Beautiful this week!

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

it’s raining buckets.

Continuing on with my themed posts about past projects, today it’s raining buckets!

I adore a good bucket makeover, so I pick up old buckets whenever I see them at reasonable prices at garage sales or thrift stores.Sometimes the patina is absolutely perfect ‘as is’ so I just clean them and add a little something to dress them up.

A segment of the IOD Label Ephemera transfer works beautifully for that.  The bucket above is one that I loved so much I had to keep it.  And if you’ve been following me for very long, you know that it’s fairly rare for me to hang onto stuff but occasionally I just can’t bear to part with something.

I also have hung on to this next bucket because I have this small faux Christmas tree that fits it perfectly.

And then sometimes I part with things and later regret it, as is the case with this giant bucket.

I purchased that at a garage sale and the sellers told me it was an old coal bucket.  It was super heavy and I think around 3′ tall.  I added the transfer, which is from the Parisian Letter transfer from with prima.  At the time I didn’t think I had a need for it, so I sold it.  Now I’m wishing I’d turned it into a planter, what was I thinking?

I’ve found a few buckets that have the perfect patina and only need a little something added.  Sometimes it’s a transfer, but some of my earlier buckets were stenciled.

Actually, that French Market bucket is another item I have hung on to.  It serves as the trash can in my bathroom.  I did do a couple more French Market buckets that I sold though.

But stenciling onto a curved surface can be slightly tricky so I usually take the easy way out and use transfers now.

Can you blame me?

It’s simple to do, and they turn out great.

I’ve been known to paint the entire bucket as well.  Sometimes that’s to cover up a surface that isn’t ‘pretty’ (beauty is in the eye of the beholder), but sometimes it’s just because I also love the look of a painted bucket.  This white one was one of my favorites.

That transfer is from with prima and is part of the Paris Valley transfer and the paint is Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in Ironstone.

I usually get a pretty fabulous result with milk paint over galvanized metal.  As long as it’s not metal that has been coated with a shiny, smooth finish.  This next bucket was painted in Homestead House milk paint in a color called Laurentien, and I just love the chippy result.

I recommend sealing the chippy ones with a clear water based sealer like Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat.  That will help limit the amount paint that continues to flake off in the future.

Both that bucket and the next one have transfers from with prima’s Everyday Farmhouse set, and this one is painted in a custom milk paint I mixed up using Miss Mustard Seed’s Boxwood and Kitchen Scale.

Painting isn’t just for galvanized buckets, I painted this wooden bucket in Homestead milk paint as well.

That gorgeous color is called Soldier Blue.

Way back in my early days, before I knew about the magic of rub-on transfers, I painted this next bucket in Fusion paint and then used the transfer gel method to add a graphic (you can find more details on how to do that here).

I have to admit though, I find that method a bit putzy as well.  It’s so much easier to just apply a transfer.

Transfers are a great choice for dressing up enamelware buckets especially.  They will stick to that glossy surface much better than paint would.

It’s a super simple way to add some oomph.

And then there are those times when I just leave a bucket as I found it.

I loved the original blue stripes going around that bucket and I felt like I just shouldn’t mess with a good thing.

Gosh, is anyone else really looking forward to peony season looking at these last couple of photos?

Sorry, I got distracted by pretty flowers for a minute there.

Anyway, there you have it.  I’ve given you 16 buckets from which to choose a favorite.  Can you do it?  Can you narrow it down to just one?  I know I can’t.  But if you can, be sure to leave me a comment and let me know!


suited to suitcases.

I was searching for something on my blog the other day and as I searched thru old posts I noticed a few themes when it came to my smaller, non-furniture, projects.  I was going to write just one post sharing all of those themes, but it started getting really long.  So I decided to make it a series starting today with the first one …

vintage suitcases.

First of all, I want to note here that I only paint the damaged and/or ‘ugly’ suitcases.  None of the suitcases in the photo above have been painted.  And of course, ugly is in the eye of the beholder.  But for me that means the 1950’s Samsonite style luggage like this one.

After painting them, I like to dress them up in a few different ways.

Back in the early years of the blog I was known to hand paint lettering on them.

I have to say, that was definitely one of my favorite suitcases.  It’s painted in Fusion paint in Seaside and Bedford.  You can get more details on the technique I used to add that lettering here.  Hand painting is very time consuming though, and I was never totally satisfied with the results.  We’re always most critical of on our own work, aren’t we?

I also tried adding a ‘chalk board’ to a couple of suitcases, which made the lettering a little bit easier using a chalk pen.

It was a little easier, but still too time consuming for me so I moved on to stenciling.

I have a few stencils that fit perfectly on an average sized suitcase, and stenciling is so much quicker than hand painting.

I even did a Christmas suitcase one year.

This past Christmas I found the perfect stencil for a suitcase, but didn’t actually find any suitcases.  Fingers crossed that I can stock up on some this summer at garage sales and then put that one to use.

Stenciling isn’t always the best choice for all suitcases though.  I purchased a cast off stenciled suitcase at the thrift store that was a good example of what not to do.

Getting a crisp edge to your stencil on a pebbled surface like that one would be pretty much impossible.  I gave this one a makeover using a transfer instead.

Many of the with prima transfers are perfectly suited to suitcases, like this one …

and this one …

If you’re wondering what one does with these suitcases, they are really just intended as decor items.  I shared Nancy’s house here on the blog last summer, and she is the one who purchased the suitcase in the photo above.  She had it out on her covered porch.

And adding a suitcase to my display of dress forms looks pretty good too.

As an added bonus, they can provide storage for items not used all the time.  I keep Christmas ornaments in some of my vintage suitcases,

and craft supplies in others.

By the way, if you’re ever trying to find posts on my blog about a specific subject matter, such as vintage suitcases,  there are a few ways to look.  You can use the search box over on the right hand side by typing in some key words where it says search for stuff here, or you can look at specific categories like “garden”, “house tours” or “travel” under sorted., and if you know approximately the month and year you can look in visit the archives for that time frame (also on the right).  If you’re looking specifically for a furniture makeover, check out the fab furniture (before & after) tab at the top of the page (just under my header photos).  You can find some specific how-to posts by clicking on the how to. tab up there as well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at some of my suitcase makeovers.  I spent the entire weekend working in the garden rather than painting anything, so I don’t have much in the way of a new project to share this week.  You may have to bear with me until I get the gardens in order this year.

In the meantime, which suitcase look is your favorite?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

woodpeckers are picky eaters.

The other day my neighbor nnK called to say that she had picked up some trash on the side of the road for me.  Wasn’t that thoughtful?  I bet not everyone has a neighbor who brings them road kill now and then!

LOL, but seriously, she did pick this up off the curb somewhere, and she knew it was right up my alley.

cupboard before

I just recently mentioned here that my preference is working on old, primitive pieces and this one certainly fits that description.

It was definitely in need of some TLC.  The outside was bad enough, but the inside was positively gross.


I thought that upper shelf was just kittywampus on accident, but no, it was purposely installed on an angle like that.  I have absolutely no idea what it was used for.

I wonder if the wild bird food guide that was stuck to the front of the cupboard is a clue?


I just have to say, it looks like pheasants and woodpeckers are picky eaters, while mourning doves and redwing blackbirds will eat just about anything.  Perhaps this cupboard hung on the wall in a nature preserve and there were bird identification guides of some kind on that angled shelf.

Well, regardless of its original use, I knew that angled shelf had to go.  I called my handyman Ken over for a consultation and he advised removing the existing two shelves and replacing them with one simple shelf, and I seconded that motion.  We worked together to remove the existing shelves, and then Ken took the cupboard back to his workshop to add a new shelf.

Next up was cleaning.  As I mentioned, this thing was disgustingly filthy.  Luckily we’d had a patch of warm weather and I was able to hose it down out in the yard.  The first time around I cleaned it with some Dawn dishwashing soap.  That worked fairly well for the dirt, but there was some sort of oily residue on the inside bottom of this cupboard.  In fact, there was originally a piece of cardboard lining that bottom and it was totally saturated with oil (you can see it in the ‘before’ photo above), and that had seeped through and soaked into the wood as well.  Anyway, the Dawn barely touched the oil.  So I brought out my TSP substitute and cleaned those oily spots again.  The cupboard was drying out in the warm sunshine, and I noticed an interesting phenomenon.  Even though initially those oily spots looked clean, the warmth of the sun drew more oil to the surface as it heated up.  I basically repeated this process of cleaning with TSP substitute, letting the sun draw out more oil, and then cleaning again about 4 times.  By the 4th pass I had made pretty good progress, but the oil was definitely not entirely eliminated.  But I had a plan in mind for this.  I turned the cupboard upside down.

Now what was once the bottom is the top.  Next I decided to put Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S. to the test.  I added two coats to all of the oily areas of the cupboard and then let them dry overnight.  After painting the interior in Dixie Belle’s Gravel Road and the exterior with their Drop Cloth, you can’t see a speck of oil seeping through either.  Here is the top (which again, was once the bottom) …

See any oily spots seeping through?  Nope, I didn’t think so.  Also, FYI, I took these photos about a week after painting so some time has elapsed.

I have to say, I am super impressed by this.  Even so, I am glad I flipped the cupboard so the once oil saturated interior bottom is now the inside top and you can’t even see it unless you stick your head inside the cupboard, or take photos of it from a low angle.

I wanted to retain some of the original patina on the outside of the cupboard, while also cleaning it up.  This is one of my favorite things to do with these old primitive sort of pieces.  To do that I simply added one quick coat of the Drop Cloth.  I wasn’t aiming for full coverage, just a sort of touch up (and some parts of the cupboard were not painted originally, like the back and the inside of the door, so those got a little more paint).  Then I sanded the fresh paint back again, especially in areas that would naturally be more worn like around the latch.

Now it looks deliciously worn, but not gross.

I simply had to keep Frank’s Wild Bird Food Guide as part of the finished cupboard, so I attached it inside the door.

It’s just stapled in place, so the future owner of this cupboard could easily remove it if they don’t want it.

By the way, those clay pots?

Yep, I found the size I needed for my wrought iron plant stand at my local plant nursery, Bachmans.  And I found it a bit ironic that they literally say ‘perfect size’ on the tag.

And conveniently enough, they were already white washed.  All I had to do was add the transfers.  I paid $2.99 each for the pots, and was able to buy just the four I needed.

The bucket I used for staging is a bit of foreshadowing.

I added that same section of the IOD Label Ephemera transfer to the front of the cupboard.

I recently stocked up on that transfer after learning that it was retired.  So yes, you’re going to continue to see a lot of that one added to random pieces this year.

The inside was finished with Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat and the outside has a clear wax topcoat.

Here is a side view because I realized that you can’t really get a good feel for the depth of the cupboard from the photos I’ve already shared.

You have a few options with this cupboard.  You could hang it on a wall using a french cleat to support the weight.  Or you could put it on top of a dresser to treat it like a hutch.  You could also add some casters, legs, or feet of some kind to the bottom and have it be a stand alone piece.  I decided not to do any of those things myself so that a potential buyer would have options.

It’s really a good size to use as a bed side table.

But I love the idea of mounting it to the wall in a potting shed and using it to store gardening supplies.

It’s really just a fun ‘container’ of sorts for pretty much anything you’d like to store inside of it.  If nothing else, I feel really good about taking something that was cast off on the side of the road and turning it into a functional item that hopefully someone can get some use out of.

If any of you local readers need a unique storage solution, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page to see the details on this piece.

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the all of their products used for restoring this cupboard.

losing my mojo.

Before I get into today’s post, I just wanted to say that I really wish I could give some wax brushes to each one of you who left a comment on Monday’s post!  I never suspected that so many of you don’t even have one wax brush, let alone a bunch of them.  I have to say, once you’ve used a brush to apply wax you’ll never go back to using old t-shirts.  It’s just so much easier with a brush (although I do still buff it afterwards with those old t-shirts).  If you haven’t yet left a comment on that post, you have until midnight (U.S. central time) tonight to leave a comment and be in the running to win the pair of Dixie Belle brushes that I am giving away.

OK, moving on.  I have a confession to make.  Lately I feel as though I have really lost my mojo when it comes to painting furniture.

I just haven’t been having any luck at finding pieces to work on.  First of all, it seems like the prices people are asking for their cast off furniture have gone up (have any of you noticed that?) and it doesn’t seem as though the prices I can charge for my pieces have gone up commensurately.  I haven’t been able to find much of anything for less than $100, and that is typically the most I will spend.

Secondly, I’ve been striking out with the online purchases I do set up.  I’d arranged to meet someone at their storage facility to buy a dresser a couple of weeks back and the person never showed.  We waited in the parking lot for 45 minutes, I messaged repeatedly, and nothing.  I finally heard from her three hours later when she messaged to say that she got held up at work.  Really?  And she couldn’t bother sending me a message to let me know?  As you can tell, I’m still bitter about that one.

I found another piece on Craigslist recently and arranged to go pick it up on a Thursday evening, and once again I was ‘ghosted’ by the seller.  Although we’d agreed on Thursday evening, and I’d set that time aside, the seller never got back to me with her address.  I finally heard back from her on Sunday evening, ooops, she’d forgotten about me.

Not quite as annoying, but still somewhat frustrating, in many cases I send an inquiry about a piece of furniture and just never get a reply of any kind.  I assume the items are sold, but I still see the ads listed.

Really though, all of those things just feel like excuses.  The truth of the matter is that I don’t know what direction to take these days.  I know I could paint up some mid-mod pieces and they would likely sell quite quickly.

But the competition for snatching up these pieces has gotten quite fierce, and now the sellers seem to know that they can get more than $50 for them too.  Plus, I’m just not feeling inspired by the mid-mod pieces of late.

I sometimes wonder if I should just play it safe with some more traditional sort of pieces painted in neutral colors, like the sofa table I painted a while back.  It sold quite quickly, so I think this style is a safe bet.

But I’ve never really been drawn to this style, and it doesn’t satisfy my need to feel creative to paint these pieces.

I really love pieces that have that sort of shabby chic vibe.

I’d certainly work on more of these if I could find them.

bed full

What I really love most of all though are the primitive, farmhouse, rustic sort of pieces.

This is the style that I have in my own home, and the look that really speaks to me personally.

But, these pieces generally require more repair work and it’s difficult for my handyman Ken to work on larger pieces in the winter.  It gets so much easier when he can just pop over to my carriage house workshop and let himself in to work on something.  Then I just come home from the day job to find pieces magically repaired.

Hopefully I’ll find more of these primitive sort of pieces this summer.

For those of you who also paint furniture, I’m curious to know, what kind of pieces are you working on these days?  What styles are selling best for you?  Are you still finding good bargains on Craiglist?  Do you choose pieces that inspire you creatively, or do you stick with pieces that you know will sell easily (or maybe you are lucky enough that those two things are one and the same)?  Inquiring minds want to know, leave me a comment!

In the meantime, I did manage to bring home a dresser that I found on Facebook Marketplace last week.

dresser before

I’ll be finishing this one up over the weekend and sharing its makeover with you next week (and I think you might be surprised by my choices on this one!), so be sure to stay tuned.

an embarrassment of riches.

Recently Dixie Belle sent me a few of the new brushes they have come out with. In fact, they sent me three sets of two of them. The first set were prototypes of a sort and they just wanted some feedback on the quality. Then they sent a 2nd set of them … honestly, I’m not quite sure why … maybe they just mistakenly sent them? The third set was the final version of the product, and they have the name of the brush engraved on the side of the handle which is a nice touch.


I’ve worked with both of these brushes now and I found that the Best Dang Brush works beautifully for stenciling.

It’s nice and big, so you can make quick work of it.

I also think the Best Dang Brush would work well for waxing, although I haven’t tried it.  I did try the La Petite brush for waxing, and it worked quite well.

That pointy end is perfect for working the wax into corners.

Both of these new brushes are now available on the Dixie Belle website in case you are in need of a fantastic stenciling or waxing brush.

Receiving these new brushes made me realize that my brush storage system was already at full capacity and I needed a new solution. So I headed off to Hobby Lobby and I came home with these galvanized containers.

They are divided into three sections each (although you can’t see that in the ‘before’ photo) which will help keep my brushes standing upright.

They aren’t terribly exciting to look at, but I liked the size of them and the price was right. They were originally $12.99, but 50% off the day I found them, so I got them for around $6.50 each.

Of course I had to dress them up a bit first, so I added some sections of the IOD Label Ephemera transfer to the front of each one.

Someone recently mentioned in a comment that this transfer has been retired.  Such a bummer!  It was so perfect for using on small projects like this.  I guess you should stock up while they last (but leave some for me please)!

I decided to put all of my paint brushes into one container, and my wax brushes in another.

I know some of you must be looking at all of those brushes and thinking ‘jeesh, that’s an embarrassing quantity of brushes!’ and I don’t disagree.

When it comes to paint brushes, I really can use lots of them though.  In the summer when I’m able to paint out in my carriage house workshop I often have multiple projects in different colors going at one time.  I’ll often have half a dozen or more brushes in use simultaneously.  I also like having different brushes for different things.  Sometimes I want an angled brush (to get a clean edge), sometimes a brush with a short handle (to paint the insides of cupboard), sometimes a smaller brush, sometimes an inexpensive chip brush because I know I’m going to wreck it (using it for applying mod podge, I can never get that brush perfectly clean again) and so on.


So yes, I really can use this many paint brushes.

On the other hand, I definitely have too many wax brushes.

Don’t get me wrong, I always apply my wax with a brush and it’s very convenient to have enough wax brushes that I can use each one exclusively for a particular color of wax.  At a minimum it’s good to have one brush for dark wax, one for white wax, and one for clear.

But as you can see, I have far more than that.

Quite honestly, having this many extra wax brushes has led to total laziness on my part.  Rather than wash my wax brushes, I just pull out a new one when I’m ready to wax.  How wasteful is that?  So as soon as I’m done writing this post, I’m going to wash all of my wax brushes so that they are ready to go for my next painting project.  I find the Fusion Brush Soap is perfect for cleaning wax brushes (check out this post for more on keeping your brushes clean).

I always end up feeling a bit guilty when I have ‘too much’ of something.  Excess makes me uncomfortable.

So I’ve decided to give away the extra set of these brushes that I received from Dixie Belle.  I suspect that some of you don’t have a bunch of wax brushes, or possibly don’t have any at all.  For the first couple of years that I was painting furniture I applied my wax with an old t-shirt because I didn’t want to splurge on a good quality wax brush (and FYI, it’s much easier to apply wax with a brush).  I’m hoping this pair of brushes can go to someone who will put them to good use.

The rules:  Simply leave a comment on today’s blog post to have your name thrown in the hat to win.

Your comment must be left on this blog post, not on Facebook or Instagram.  You are not required to follow my blog, although it would be awesome if you did!

I will randomly draw the name of a winner for today’s prize from all of the comments left on this post by Friday, March 26, 2021 at the stroke of midnight (U.S. Central time).

The fine print: no purchase necessary, you must be 18 years of age or older to win, void where prohibited by law, the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning, approximate retail value of prize is $50, if the prize is not claimed by Friday, April 2, 2021 another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle for providing the items I am giving away.  Good luck!

a tiny dresser.

When I returned to the office at my day job after my recent trip, I found this waiting for me on my desk.  My picker/co-worker Sue had picked it up for me at an estate sale while I was gone.

Nothing special to look at ‘as is’ really, it was definitely in need of a makeover.

I didn’t get a photo of the insides of the drawers, but they were lined with green felt.  So, I removed the green felt and then immediately painted the outside in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.

Then I picked out some pretty scrapbook paper to use for lining the drawers.

Once I’d chosen the paper, I also chose another Dixie Belle paint color to paint the insides of the drawers, Vintage Duck Egg.  I thought it worked beautifully with that blue ribbon on the paper.

Once everything was painted, I sanded to distress the edges and then I pulled out some transfer scraps to add some personality to the outside too.

I used a combination of bits from the IOD Label Ephemera transfer and from the Tim Holtz Specimen rub-on’s (the butterflies and the numbers on the knobs).

Once I had the transfers on, I added a top coat of clear wax.

I used my tiny camera and an old family photo displayed in a vintage flower frog to stage my photos.

In case the scale of this piece isn’t coming across at all, this little dresser is only 7″ tall and 6″ wide.

Using this little piece as a jewelry box is the most obvious choice.

But I think it would also work well to store smaller craft supplies, like your washi tape.

Or maybe your metallic waxes …

It might also work well on your desk holding all of those pesky office supplies like post it note pads and paper clips.

It would make a unique container no matter what you choose to store inside of it.

This tiny dresser is for sale, in case any of you locals are interested (check out my available for local sale page for details).

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

a mirror makeover.

I find mirrors so challenging to photograph.  I re-do my share of mirrors, but I rarely share them here on the blog simply because I can’t seem to figure out how to take a good picture of one.

But I thought I’d give it a go today.  Please don’t judge my photos too harshly, starting with this ‘before’ picture.

Of course this is simply a mirror that I removed from a dresser.  As you probably know by now, I like to do that.  Dressers just seem to sell more quickly without their mirrors, in my opinion.

But I don’t just trash the mirrors, I generally revamp them.  Sometimes I remove the mirror and switch it out for a chalkboard (like these).  Sometimes I paint the frames and add hangers to the back so that they can be hung on the wall instead of mounted on a dresser (like these).

In the case of this particular mirror, neither of those two options seemed like exactly the right choice.  The silvering was not in great shape so leaving it a mirror wasn’t going to be the best choice.  The frame wasn’t terribly interesting, so turning it into a chalkboard wasn’t going to be a great option either.

This was the best I could do trying to capture the look of that silvering on film.  All of those black spots and markings are in the silvering behind the glass of the mirror.  In other words, they could not be cleaned off.

So ultimately I decided to let those flaws add to my piece rather than detracting from it by adding a transfer over the front of the mirror.

But first I painted out the wood frame in Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Typewriter (a.k.a. black).

Here’s a quick q tip for you; I never tape off mirrors or windows when painting them.  I find that it’s quite easy to remove excess paint from the glass using a razor blade.  Just be sure to use a sharp blade.  No need to waste your tape!

It’s interesting how milk paint reverts back to powder when you do this, while chalk paint comes off in curls or strips.  I wonder if you could sort of reconstitute that milk paint powder by adding water to turn it back into paint again.  Hmmmm.  That would be an interesting experiment.  Maybe one for another day.

I was hoping to get some good chipping on the frame, so the only prep work I did was to clean it with some TSP substitute.  I didn’t do any sanding.  Sure enough, I got some amazing chippy-ness.

Next up was applying the transfer.

I must warn you that applying a transfer to glass or mirror can be a little tricky.  The transfer will be attracted to your glass surface like a magnet.  Seriously.  Get too close and it will reach out and grab that glass and not let go.

So when working with glass, my advice is to dry fit your transfer with the backing paper still in place.  When you have it exactly where you want it to go, tape it down along one side.

Next, carefully, keeping that taped edge down, fold the transfer towards you along that taped edge and then remove the backing paper.

Then very carefully flip it back over and apply as usual.

Goodness.  Trying to get my camera to focus on that was an exercise in futility.

By the way, that is a section from the Parisian Letter transfer from with prima.

For my photos I’ve hung the mirror over a desk.  It would work really well in any spot where you want to reflect some light, or maybe get a quick glimpse of your hair before you head out of the house.  It certainly won’t let you examine yourself in any kind of detail though.  At my age, that seems like a bonus rather than a flaw.

I probably would have had better luck with my photos if I’d waited for an overcast day.  Instead it was bright and sunny and we had lots of snow to reflect the light as well, so my piano room was flooded with bright light.

But hopefully my photos do some justice to the end result.  I think it looks pretty fabulous and if I had a spot for it, I’d keep it.  But I don’t, so this mirror will be for sale.  If you’re local and you need a mirror to bounce some light around be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.