Meet “Rucker”, the round table

As I started filling in the shop it was obvious I needed a round display table for the center of the space. I have this amazing industrial cart in my garage that is just begging for a cool round reclaimed top, but I just don’t have the time right now to track it down. It would be crazy cool…but it will have to wait patiently for the proper makeover.

But when I was down at Home Inspirations to start to pack up to move my space, I was chatting with another vendor friend that I needed a round table. A customer overheard and offered to sell me hers. “It’s solid, round …but it’s oak and really needs to be painted” was how she described it. Hmmm…I may just be able to do that!

We arranged the deal and on moving day swung by her place on Rucker Ave and picked it up. It was the perfect size, but she was right…it was that yellow colored OAK – that was just screaming for a makeover.

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meet Erin

Remember this color?

florence graphite paint

Here was it’s victim…

desk before

I picked up this desk awhile back from a very sweet elderly lady. She was quite proud of it, and was thrilled that it was going to be <cough> refinished.  I fell in love with the rope detail on the top and my initial plan was to strip and re-stain the top and paint the rest of the desk in this great color concoction made from a mix of Annie Sloan Florence and Graphite.

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non-traditional buffet

Several people asked me about the dresser featured in my last post about glitter, so I thought today I would tell you a little about how “Sophia” was painted. I picked up this french provincial dresser at Value Village and knew it would be perfect to use as a buffet in our dining area.  Our great room is filled with various types of wood and I had been looking for a paintable piece for quite awhile.

Here is how Sophia looked when I bought her.  I loved the style…but that bad yellow and brassy gold hardware needed some work.

sophia before

I mixed French Linen and Graphite by Annie Sloan to achieve a dark grey. Painted two coats and followed with a clear wax. I then lightly distressed areas I wanted to show a little wear, but kept it fairly light. I then used a dark wax to grunge it up a bit and add a layered effect.

I cleaned up the hardware and then free hand painted them and all of the carved details using a dark brown acrylic craft paint.

Sophia Closeup

I love how Sophia turned out! Dressers are a great alternative to a traditional sideboard for your dining area. They provide so much interest and great storage too!

Sophia 3

Sophia dresser full shot


Sophia MSS

Meet Florence

Another thing I picked up at the Ruffles and Rust Vintage Show was a can of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Florence. It is such a fun color and this was just the piece to try it out on! 

When I started painting I planned on covering the whole thing and just distressing in certain areas, but sometimes plans change. 🙂 The dark color of the original stain took on a really cool patina effect when I dry-brushed the paint allowing a lot of the dark stain to come through.         Continue reading

Custom Hutch Transformation

Painting a hutch is a huge job, but the end result is probably the most dramatic out of any other type of furniture.  This client was working with a designer to update their living and dining space.  I was contacted by the designer to re-work the dining room hutch to be repurposed as a display cabinet in their living room.

The original hutch was very well made from pecan and had a high gloss honey finish. Great lines…but the color, brass hardware and mirrored back looked dated.

I’m just not a fan of mirrors in the back of cabinets. The reflection causes the items on display to look cluttered with no focal point and shows the unattractive back side of everything. The mirror had to go!

I think I’ll put together a post with ideas on how to change a mirrored hutch or cabinet in the future! 🙂

Here are the swatches I was given to work from. The fabric is of the new dining room chairs and the accent paint color called Grapy from Sherwin Williams.

The final product!  The outside is a combination of 2/3 Annie Sloan Pure White and 1/3 French Linen and a custom mix was used on the back mirror to coordinate with the room’s accent paint color. Then I waxed and distressed to highlight the great details of the hutch.

I took the update further by painting the brass hardware with an oil rubbed bronze metallic spray paint and lined the drawers with a coordinating fabric for a finishing touch!

It sometimes just takes a little nudge

I’m a big believer that people come into your life for a reason. Sometimes it isn’t always obvious at the time, but often I look back at the start of a friendship or business relationship and see the influence that person had on my life – kind of like a “blip” on a heart rate monitor. Their impact can hit you like a freight train or maybe just a unintentional little nudge that sends you down a path you didn’t know you were ready for.

This client, Suzanne…was that nudge.

Suzanne was redecorating the entire first floor of her home and was looking to replace her more traditional style living room furniture with something lighter that would give her the beach-inspired look she was hoping for. As she shopped furniture stores and online catalogs, her and her designer realized the size and shape of the furniture she already had worked perfectly, but the finish was just wrong.  A mutual friend recommended she contact me to see my work.

<insert panic>

First of all, Suzanne is about as close to a ray of sunshine that a person can get…so when she talked to me about her ideas, I couldn’t help but get excited. But when she dropped off her high gloss cherry veneer furniture with a picture from the Ballard Designs catalog,  I suddenly felt a tinge of sympathy for what I put my hair stylist through. How was I going to make this look like that?!!  What if I wreck it?!!  I really love doing this…but maybe not for other people. Well, I couldn’t bring myself to call her up and tell her to come back and get her furniture, so I took a deep breath and went to work.

Here are the before and after photos of the tables. I painted a curio for her as well. Along side them should be a picture of me since I think finishing this first “real client” project changed me more than the furniture.

  Tables “Before”

 Suzanne Tables “After”