wet distressing.

A few weeks ago I had a few extra minutes during my lunch hour so I stopped off at a local Goodwill store.  I didn’t find much, but I did pick up a couple of gold frames.

I thought both of these would make good candidates for using a wet distress technique.

I started by removing the glass and the floral prints from each frame.  Then I painted the larger one using two coats of Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky and the smaller one using two coats of Fluff.

As soon as the paint was dry I used a dampened terry cloth rag (a nubby cloth will work best for this) and simply rubbed paint off the raised surfaces.

It’s that easy.

Here are a couple of tips on wet distressing.

First, it works best on surfaces like this that have a raised design that you want to highlight.

Second, it’s a great choice when you want to distress down to another layer (in this case, the original gold of the frames) without going down to the wood underneath.  You’ll have a bit more control over that with wet distressing as opposed to sandpaper.

Third, it works best on paint that has just dried.  The longer you give the paint to cure, the harder it will be to wet distress.

Finally, it works best with a chalk style paint like Dixie Belle because this kind of paint is ‘reactivated’ with water (again, before it has had too much time to cure).

Another great benefit of wet distressing is that it doesn’t create any dust, which makes it perfect for winter indoor work (especially if you work in your living room like I do).

You can reveal as little or as much of the base color as you like.  And if you remove too much paint, just put more paint back on over it and try again.

When you achieve the look you were going for, simply add a coat of clear wax for protection and call it good.

I kept the original floral print in the smaller frame.

But I changed out the print in the larger frame.  I didn’t care for the red floral that came with it, so I went with this Eiffel Tower print instead.

What do you think?  An improvement?

Have you tried wet distressing?  Or do you have any other techniques that you are partial to?  If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle for providing the paint used on these frames.

You can find Dixie Belle products here.

I gave at the office.

Did you guys miss me on Wednesday?  I skipped right over having a post because … well … I gave at the office this week.  In other words, I spent all of my energy at the day job.  I’ve been putting in a little overtime of late because this is crunch time for me at my ‘real job’.  I’m not going to lie, it’s been a bit stressful.  I just haven’t had any energy left at the end of a long day to work on blog projects.

In addition, I can’t share the dresser that I finished last weekend yet because it’s part of a collaboration that I’m working on.  The reveal date isn’t until February 10.

But … you know what … how about if I give you a sneak peek at my piece …

Shhhh, don’t tell anyone that I showed you that 😉

Anyway, my point is, I have very little to share this week (and possibly next as well).  I’m going to spend some time this weekend working on my next piece(s) of furniture, but don’t know that I’ll get any of them done in time for a photo shoot before the sun goes down on Sunday.

In the meantime, I have one little project that I can share today.  This is one that I wasn’t even sure I would blog about because it’s not terribly exciting.  However, since I’m desperate for content, I’m just going to go with it.

Remember the Cosmic Roses dresser?

When I purchased that piece the seller asked me if I wanted the mirror frame that went with it, even though it didn’t have the mirror glass or the harp for attaching it anymore and the trim was broken off.

Of course I said yes.

Although I’m fairly sure this frame never went with that dresser.  It’s not the right size, and had a totally different wood finish.  I knew I could do something with it though.

My handyman Ken made quick work of gluing the trim piece back on the top and cutting a piece of hardboard to fit.  I just had to paint the hardboard with some chalkboard paint (I used the Rustoleum black chalkboard paint on this one), and then paint the frame.

For the frame I went with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Farmhouse White.

I haven’t been using as much milk paint these days, but this piece reminded me how much I love it when it gets perfectly chippy.

I really love taking something that was destined for the dumpster and giving it a new life.

Not only have I been too busy to create things for the blog, I’ve also been too busy to get my stuff in to Reclaiming Beautiful.  Hopefully I’ll make it in there next week, and this chalkboard will go with me.  I want to get it there before Valentine’s Day has come and gone!

Thank you to Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint for providing the milk paint I used on the chalkboard frame.

classic vintage labels.

One of the new transfer collections available from re.design with prima is called Classic Vintage Labels, and I absolutely love it.  I mentioned it last week when I shared how I used one of the sections on a secret Santa gift …

Here’s what comes with this transfer.

There are 27 different labels included in this one set, so I decided to get to work and see if I could add some labels to a few more things around here.

First I gathered up some raw materials including some enamelware and some clay pots.

Then it was as simple as just adding the rub-on labels.

This set of 4 enamelware refrigerator boxes got jazzed up with some labels.

The Bees & Queens label is definitely one of my favorites.

The transfers adhere beautifully to enamelware.  I added one to this old pot as well.

I think it makes a great impromptu ice bucket.

It feels like this cafe label was meant to go on this bucket.

This container was perfect for a hot chocolate gift basket that I put together.

Next I added a few labels to some clay pots.

I’d purchased a variety of cyclamens to give as hostess gifts over the holidays and it was fun to present them in pretty pots.

Even just the simple bee transfers add a lot to a plain clay pot.

Of course I couldn’t resist buying a cyclamen to keep for myself.

I love the pop of bright color they add to cold January days.  The flowers on these last quite a long time too, so you can enjoy them for a while.

Is it too early to start transitioning from holiday decor to spring decor?  Because I feel like I’m ready.  How about you?

Thank you to re.design with prima marketing for providing the Classic Vintage Labels transfers used in all of these projects.

a jewel tone jewelry box.

My picker, Sue, texted me a few weeks ago and told me she was at an awesome estate sale and I should check it out.  My sister was on her way over so we could do some holiday shopping anyway, so we just had to take a little detour when she got here and head to Stillwater.

One of the items I purchased at the estate sale was this wooden box.

I think it might be homemade, although I’m not entirely sure of that.  I’m also not sure of it’s original purpose, but I’m going to call it a jewelry box.  It could also have held small hand tools, or nuts and bolts I suppose.

Clearly it was in need of some paint.  I painted it in Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.

Once the paint was dry I pulled out the Royal Burgundy transfer from re.design with prima.  This transfer comes in six sheets, but I only used two of them for my project.

I did the front and the top of the box.

You might be thinking that it was a total waste to use just two of the six sheets for this box (and trust me, I was thinking that too at first), but I can always use the other sheets for at least one if not two more small projects.  In fact, I already used the scraps from just the two sheets I used on this project on the ice skates I shared last week.

So really, this is a great way to get more bang for your buck with the transfers.

Aren’t the colors in this transfer gorgeous?  I love the combination of the chartreuse with the bright pinks.  Jewel tone colors are perfect for a jewelry box.

I lined the drawers with some patterned scrapbook paper.

And I swapped out the original knobs for these petite glass knobs from D Lawless Hardware.

This box ended up being so darn photogenic I had a hard time deciding which photos to use for my post.

You probably didn’t really need to see quite this many.  But I just couldn’t help myself.

By the way, I did draw the winners for the last two days of my 12 days of giveaways.  Congrats to Lynn and Alice for winning those!

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and re.design with prima marketing for providing the products used in today’s project.


oh deer.

Congrats to Laura Hopwood, the winner of the day no. 2 prize.  I’ll be drawing a name for the winner of the day no. 3 prize tomorrow (is this getting confusing for you guys too?  I’m doing my best to keep track of it all), if you haven’t commented on that post you have until midnight tonight!

In the meantime, today is day 4 of my 12 days of giveaways, and I’m first sharing the transformation of this adorable (if I do say so myself) metal toolbox.

This toolbox started out looking like this …

My picker, Sue, found this for me.  She always grabs metal toolboxes when she sees them.  She knows I love to give these a new life with some paint.

To begin with I washed the toolbox using Dawn dish washing soap to cut any grease that might have been left behind by the former owner.  Next I added a coat of Miss Mustard Seed’s Tough Coat Sealer to prevent the rust from coming through my paint.

Today’s q tip:  Keep in mind that the Tough Coat Sealer does not block stain from bleeding thru (try the Dixie Belle BOSS for that), but I have found that it works well as a protective coat over rust.  It also works well as a top coat for a rusty piece when you want to retain the rusty look.

Next I pulled out a couple of new Dixie Belle paint colors, Sawmill Gravy and French Linen.  I can tell you now, both of these colors will be making their way onto my list of favorite neutrals.

I first painted the entire toolbox in two coats of the Sawmill Gravy.  Once dry, I taped off a wide stripe down the middle and painted it in the French Linen.  After that dried, I sanded the box lightly and then added a few sections from re.design with Prima’s Deer transfer.

I have to say, I totally underestimated the cuteness factor of this transfer!  When I first saw it I thought it was only going to be good for some sort of man-cave or hunting shack item.  But then I looked a little closer and realized it had a reindeer on it.

Seriously!  How cute is that?

If you have a few men in your life and you are looking for something that’s not feminine and flowery, be sure to check out the Deer transfer.  And if you really do need to dress something up for the hunting shack, this transfer would still be perfect for that too 😉

Now, for today’s giveaway.  I wish I had a spare Deer transfer, but unfortunately I don’t.  I do, however, have some Sawmill Gravy and French Linen to give away.  I also thought, why not give them away along with the toolbox itself?  They fit perfectly inside.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for sponsoring this giveaway by providing the paint, and to Prima Marketing for providing the Deer transfer that I used on the tool box.

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 tell me what you would keep in this toolbox.  Your comment must be left on the blog, 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, December 6, 2019 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 $65, if the prize is not claimed by Sunday, December 8, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!

painted hydrangeas.

This past Saturday morning my sister and I headed up to the Holly Jolly Market in Otsego, MN.  The market is held in a greenhouse so not only are there really fab vintage holiday goodies (and trust me, if you are local you shouldn’t be missing this one each year), but they also sell spruce tips and other evergreens at great prices.  I bought a dozen spruce tips for $21.99 plus a few random greens for $5.99 per bunch.

If you’ll remember back, last year I didn’t manage to get my front window box decorated for winter.  We were on our Adriatic cruise for two weeks in November and when we got back on the day after Thanksgiving the dirt was frozen rock hard so I just decided to skip it.

This year I was determined to get on it early, before the dirt was too frozen to work with.  I really thought November 9 would be early enough.  Nope.  The dirt was already partially frozen.  So I followed a tip one of my readers shared with me and I poured hot water on it to thaw it out a bit.  It worked like a charm and I was able to get those spruce tips sunk into the dirt.

While at the Holly Jolly Market I was admiring some deep red dried hydrangeas in one of the booths, so I asked the vendor how she managed to retain that rich color.  Her trick?  Spray paint.  As soon as she said it, I remembered that a couple of years ago one of my readers also recommended spray painting my dried hydrangeas.

Funny enough, in addition to red, the vendor also had some sprayed some with the Rust-Oleum color called Eden which just happens to be the same color I used on my Adirondack chairs, remember?

So when I got home from the market I dug into my spray paint stash and came up with a red, and the left over Eden from the chairs.

While we were at the market it was a beautiful, sunny morning and the temperature was above freezing.  The forecast wasn’t great though.  It was supposed to start raining by 3 pm, then turn over into a wintry mix.  The temps were predicted to start going down and keep going down with a high only in the teens Fahrenheit expected by Monday.

I knew I needed to get the window box done that afternoon or my dirt would be even more frozen.  By the time I got to the spray painting step it was drizzling and getting colder by the minute.  So if you’ve ever wondered if you can spray paint dried flowers that are wet with rain, in temps just above freezing … well, turns out you sure can.

In fact, it created a kind of cool effect, don’t you think?  Although I don’t suggest trying this on furniture 😉  I also don’t suggest doing this while wearing your favorite new parka, especially if you accidentally shake a wet and freshly painted blossom 😦

I’m quite sure that my neighbors thought I was nuts standing out in the rain cutting flowers off my hydrangea bush, holding them up and hitting them with the spray paint.

But it was definitely worth it in the end.  I got most of the spots off my parka, and the hydrangeas look fantastic.

Once I had the spruce tips, the hydrangeas and some twig lights in place, I added this giant jingle bell that my sister gave me a couple of years ago.

Things still looked a little bare, so I threw in three galvanized snowflakes that I’ve had for years.

They have battery operated lights in them and I always used to hang them on either the house or the carriage house, but honestly they always looked a little odd at night.  If all you can see are the lights, well … they just look like a random collection of oddly placed lights.

By the time I got to this point I was soaked through, starting to get cold, and it was starting to get dark so I called it quits for now.

I think I still need to add some twigs with red berries or something to add another layer of color up high.  I may have to take a walk in the woods and see what I can find for that.

But in the meantime, I’m feeling pretty good about filling up my giant front window box for less than $40.

How about you, are you rushing to get some outdoor decorating done before the temps plummet even further?  Or are you lucky enough to live in a warmer climate where you can decorate outdoors at your leisure?

a thing for boxes.

I seem to have a thing for old wooden boxes.

Remember the one I found at the estate sale back in August?

I ended up simply adding a portion of the Prima Marketing Somewhere in France transfer to the front and then sprucing it up with a little furniture wax.

I was hoping it would work on the shelves in either our living room or piano room, but it’s just a tad too big.  So for now I have it in our bedroom.

We had a couple of my South Dakota cousins over for dinner a while back and my cousin David insisted that this box looks like a tiny casket.  It’s far too small to really be a casket for a person of any size though, so then he claimed it was a cat-sket.

Hmmmm.  Well, I guess it could work for that.  Luckily our cat Lucy is still going strong.  We did have a bit of a scare with her last week, but after a bunch of expensive tests her vet has decided she simply had a virus.  She’s doing much better now, knock on wood.  Plus all of those tests did show that she’s doing pretty good for a cat of 13, so hopefully we won’t be needing a cat-sket any time soon.

My love of old wooden boxes continued with my ‘find of the day’ from the St. Anthony Park sales.

I decided to give this one a paint job in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth, then I added an old Prima Marketing transfer called Memoir (the small size).  This transfer is no longer being manufactured but you may be able to find one online if you search.

Just about half of the transfer fit on the front of the box, and I put another section on the top.

I decided to leave the inside of the box alone.  I didn’t want to cover up the King Radio decal.

Those dividers pretty much eliminate any chance that this one is a cats-ket 😉

I used Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta in Orange Grove on both the inside and the outside of the box.

That freshened it up a little and gave it a fabulous scent.

I was having a bit of a split personality moment while staging the photos for this one.  I was initially thinking that it would be perfect for storing old family photos or other ephemera.

But then I switched gears and realized it would also work well for storing some art supplies.

Either way, it’s a fun little storage box.

Once again, it’s too big for my living room/piano room shelves, so I’ll likely take it in to Reclaiming Beautiful to be sold.

If you have a thing for old wooden boxes too, check out some of the others that I’ve done here, here, here and here.