A Turquoise Desk For Natalie


Natalie has been asking me for a desk upgrade for months. This girl is meticulous, organized, and focused. She needed something with drawers to store her markers, pens, highlighters, washi tape, binders, and paper. I finally found a nice, solid wood desk for a great price. 


I almost forgot to take a "before" picture. This was taken after I applied food filler to the inlaid rectangular area on top. I decided to fill it in for a smooth surface. I picture her pencil piercing through the paper every time she works at her desk. I hate when that happens. 

She wanted the paint color to match her guitar strap, which is a gorgeous deep teal suede. We went with Sherwin Williams Blue Nile.

I was surprised with her choice of hardware and decorative paper for the drawers. 


She didn't want anything too pink or girlie. Mission accomplished. Elephants and wood. I love it. 

Ok, I confess that I am baffled by the elephants. There was an entire aisle of hardware, but she fell in love with the elephants and there was no talking her out of them. Nor should I, because she has to love this desk. If she grows tired of the elephants, they are easy to replace.

Now I think the other side of the room needs more color...



Before & after:



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Navy Blue Desk

This beautiful desk is finally done and ready for its new home.


After seeing a previous desk I had transformed, a friend let me know that she was looking for a new desk. She wanted something classic and beautiful.

We found this beauty on CL and had it delivered to my garage.


She sent me an inspiration picture of a glossy navy blue desk with gold ring pulls.


Fresh paint, new hardware, shiny brass leg caps, and colorful drawer liners make this desk feel new.







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Metal Parlor Chairs and a Hometalk Collection

I’m almost finished with the beautiful desk below. The customer requested classic navy blue with a glossy finish but the heat and humidity in my garage is preventing me from getting the high-gloss finish perfect. 



So until Ohio decides to cool off, let's revisit one of my older projects that I haven't featured on the blog yet. 

I found these chairs at a furniture consignment store in North Dakota when we were living in Fargo. They were purchased for a larger project in our house, a wall-to-wall desk for the craft room, with space for three chairs. I regret that I didn't buy one more because an even number of chairs would be ideal if I choose to sell them someday. The consignment store had about 30 for sale, from a restaurant that no longer needed them. 






This is a simple case of fresh paint and fabric. I started with primer then applied two coats of turquoise paint. After two years and a move out-of-state, there are no chips or scrapes. 


The cushions popped right out when I removed the screws under the seat. The original fabric was not worth saving. With a bold print like the one I chose, it is important to center the pattern on each cushion. Once it was centered, I stapled it in place evenly, smoothing it out as I went along, to prevent bumps.

We don’t have a craft room in the new house yet, but we still use them in the kids’ play room upstairs.

When the folks at Hometalk asked me to create a board for my favorite chair makeovers on their site, I thought it would be the perfect time to show off these chairs too. 

There are so many beautiful furniture transformations at Hometalk. It was hard to narrow it down to this small sample. Chairs are consistently my favorite project because they are quick and affordable, and always have a big impact.


Click the image above to check out those amazing transformations. And follow along as I makeover one piece of furniture at a time. So much creativity and inspiration over there!

Before & after:


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Fab Furniture Flippin' Contest: The Old Jelly Cupboard


When you have parents who love rustic antiques, you grow up knowing a jelly cupboard from a pie safe, and a dry sink from a dough box. I have one of each, given to me by my Mom.

I grew up with this jelly cupboard. Mom let me take it with me when I moved to California with my husband (who was then my fiancé).

The concept of paint made of milk and a cupboard made just for jelly confused "eight year-old me."  I have since learned that milk paint is one of the oldest types of paint, non-toxic, with a casein base (hence the milk component), and jelly cupboards are antique cupboards made specifically for storing preserves over a long winter. The pantry of yesterday?

I don't know how old it is, but it is built with square nails, so I'll go ahead and say very old. This cupboard was painted in a brick red milk paint by my father in the 1980's. When I inherited it, I did not care for that salmon/brick color and painted it maroon - which I regretted - and then quickly changed my mind and painted it black. 


I lived with the black cupboard for several years, and it was fine, but it began to feel kind of severe, like a solid black rectangle without dimension. Our walls were golden tan which this picture was taken, and have been repainted neutral gray (BM Annapolis Gray).

When The Fab Furniture Flippin' Contest came around, I knew I wanted to give it a try. This jelly cupboard is perfect for Shabby Chic Storage, and a great opportunity to use Old Fashioned Milk Paint, so I added it to my project list and joined this contest:

furniture flipping contest
FFFC post graphic final (1)I started by removing the drawers, door, and hardware. I used Citri-strip to remove several layers of paint, and it required two thick applications. Then I sanded off the remaining black paint that wouldn't budge with the stripper. I did all of this in my living room, and no, there were no fumes.

There was a slight remnant of white paint that I chose to leave because it worked into my vision for the new finish. I don't remember the jelly cupboard being white, but it may be a layer of primer. Or I may have been too young to remember it when it was white.

I think this is beautiful. I chose to keep the top like this, with an application of light stain and top coat.


Now the cupboard consisted of bare wood and a whisper of old white paint. Using a resist technique, I added a layer of Vaseline to the parts where I wanted to retain those colors, even after paint has been added. The Vaseline acts as a barrier and prevents the paint from adhering to the wood, allowing for it to chip more easily. 

I considered green, red, and blue, and settled on blue because it is the one color I never tire of. This house is slowly being decorated with layers of blue, in all shades.


 I found a local Old Fashioned Milk Paint retailer and chose Soldier Blue.

I started with a light coat of white wash, nothing fancy, so the blue would sand down to expose a subtle white base.


After two coats of Soldier Blue, I sanded the parts that required more distressing. Without a bonding agent I knew the paint would chip, exposing more of the wood and white paint beneath it. I don't normally paint with a distressed finish, but I went for it with this piece. I really wanted it to look rustic, worn, and loved.

I added a coat of clear wax, and this brought out the details in the layers of blue, white, and wood. Wax is like magic, adding dimension and deeper color. 

Finally, I cleaned up the old brass hardware, and replaced the generic wooden knobs with gold/brass cup pulls.

I love the layers of blue, white, and wood.


This piece is so old. I think the oils in the wood worked with the paint to create more texture than a plain old latex paint, which would just cover the entire surface. I love this effect. It serves the jelly cupboard to show its age. 

I won't be storing any jelly in the cupboard, but it is a useful spot for my magazines, catalogs, and random decorative accessories.


The color makes a huge difference on this wall. The black cupboard felt depressing. This new finish adds color and brings out the other blue accents in the room.

I love the new view from the kitchen. I brought in the chair from the dining room and updated the gallery wall to suit the new arrangement.


Jason loves the updated cupboard. He said it looks like an old pair of jeans, and I couldn't have said it better myself. This is a very rustic and distressed look, and I usually create something clean and modern, but there is no point in making a jelly cupboard look crisp and modern. I like adding something old to the mix of new, and when it has a history, that's even better. 

I asked my Mom if she remembered the brand of milk paint my Dad used when he was painting furniture. She found these packages in storage and sent me a picture. I couldn't believe this jelly cupboard had been painted with the same paint 30 years ago by my Dad. 


Mustard, Barn Red, and Soldier Blue.

Check out all of the other beautiful entries linked up at Ciburbanity and Thirty Eighth Street. And if you are interested in entering the contest next month please contact Stacy at info@anastasiavintage.com or Evey at info@eveyscreations.com.


Sharing with Miss Mustard Seed
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The Eight Dollar Chair

I have a couple of larger, more time-consuming projects happening in the garage as I write this. Until they're done, here is a quick update to an older project.




I found this chair when we were living in Fargo. 



The chair is nothing special, just part of a larger set separated over time. I paid $8 at a thrift store, and that's a steal whether you plan to fix it up and keep it or eventually sell it. Chairs are so quick and easy, and you can always find a corner that needs a cute chair! (says the person fighting her urge to hoard all of the chairs)

I'll say it a thousand times: I don't like to paint every piece of wood that crosses my path. This is the perfect example of beautiful, worn wood, in great condition, that should be enhanced by the right fabric rather than painted a crazy color. Having said that, I will admit that I also bought the chair on the right in the picture above (from the same set), and painted it black. I regret that, and I'm about to remove that paint and start over. Learn from my mistakes.

I removed four screws under the seat, freeing the cushion. The original fabric was pretty gnarly and it went straight to the trash. I found an old GAP denim skirt in my closet that I hadn't worn in years, and played around with fitting it to the seat. The seams add a nice detail and broaden perfectly with the increasing width of the seat. 



I had such good luck with the Restor-A-Finish on the Midcentury Chair, and other pieces, and I gave this chair the same treatment. Look at that shine!




This chair lives happily in our navy blue dining room.  


Sharing with: Miss Mustard Seed
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Driftwood Table



But first...this is where we started.



This table caught my attention a few weeks ago, and it was offered at a price that I couldn't refuse.

It looked frumpy when I brought it home. The top was not appropriately attached to the base, which is why it sits at an awkward angle. 

I knew the legs would be white/ivory, but I just couldn't bring myself to paint the wood on top. 

After the first layer of stain & stripping agent was removed I loved the rough texture of the wood, but not the orange tones.


After patching and repairing the base and legs, I primed and painted it Antique White. Somewhere in the history of this table, a previous owner had a dog who liked to gnaw on wood. The top was attached correctly and sits level now.

I have been waiting for the perfect piece to try a gray wash/driftwood finish, and decided to try it on this table.

I sanded the top and applied a very watered down mix of white paint and water, quickly wiping it away with a damp cloth.



I did this twice and really liked the effect, but it needed more gray for a weathered driftwood look. So I mixed in some gray from my paint stash, and did the same wash, wiping away with a damp cloth after a few seconds.



Time for the top coat, and this is where it got a bit hairy. It looked so pretty, and I didn't want to alter it by adding wax or clear coat. But raw, unprotected wood is not going to last on a dining/kitchen table.

First I tried a wax, and when I rubbed in the wax it brought back all of the orange tones in the wood. I waited and panicked, thinking it might return to gray after it dried, but no luck. So I sanded that small area and reapplied the gray wash. Long story short: I should have started with Minwax Polycrylic. It is my favorite; it always dries to a hard, solid, satin finish. And because this table will be used, washed, and wiped down regularly, it needs a solid wipeable finish. Bonus: Polycrylic made the finish even more beautiful. It was a bit dull before, because I used flat paint in the wash. The satin poly added dimension to the grays, whites, and wood grain.





Before & After:




Sharing with: Home Stories A to Z
A Stroll Thru Life
My Uncommon Slice Of Suburbia
DIY Showoff
Silver Pennies
Miss Mustard Seed
House Of Hipsters


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