Monday, October 30, 2017

Painting Laminate Furniture Easily

I get questions from my clients frequently asking me if I can paint their laminate furniture.  Yes I can!  And you can too! Let me show you how easy it is to do.

Laminate furniture is incredibly budget friendly and available readily at big box stores and always for sale in groups and local selling sites.   It's just not always appealing to the eye.  With a few easy steps you can completely customize it to your decor.

This desk started as a dark brown laminate hollow core piece.  A friend of mine wanted it painted and customized to use as a table for her shop in trade shows and markets - these are the perfect pieces because they are lightweight and easy to move around.

1. Clean! I use a TSP solution (I mix the powder with warm water) to give it a good scrub. Make sure to give the piece a wipe down with clean water to remove any residue left from the TSP.
2. Sand! We need to give the piece a little tooth for the paint to adhere to, so I gave it a good scuff with 150 grit sandpaper. I really like these - they last longer and are easy to use.
3. Clean again! Give the piece a good vacuum or wipe down with a damp rag to get rid of the dust from sanding.

Because we created a bondable surface for the paint with our prep steps, there is no need to prime first.  You can start painting now!
My go-to for anything needing high durability is the All-in-One formula from Country Chic Paint.  Hands down, this is my absolute favourite paint. This formula adheres like no other and is very durable - a must have on your paint shelf! I gave the entire desk two coats of Vanilla Frosting.

When the paint was fully dry, I taped off the stripes with blue painter's tape and painted them with a coat of Hula Hoop - a lovely warm grey from Country Chic's limited edition line earlier this year.

When the stripes were dry,  I gave the whole desk a light sanding.  I used Liquorice from Country Chic Paint to paint on the logo for her shop.

The All-in-One formula does have a topcoat built in, which is very durable. However, a piece like this that is going to be very highly used can benefit from added protection. I added two coats of Tough Coat.

There you have it! Laminate furniture can be painted, easily! If you have pieces like this in your home that you're tired of and need a new look, why not paint them?

**This post contains affiliate links to products I personally use, trust, and highly recommend**

Monday, October 23, 2017

Navy Classroom Bookshelf

This year my hubby and I chose to homeschool our kids and have a year of learning, play, and adventure.  I have to admit, however, that creating a classroom had me fairly excited!  We have a room in our home just off our kitchen that was once upon a time the kid's playroom, which turned into a furniture storage room (before I got that disaster under control and moved out of the house!), and then a family office.  The functionality of the space as our family office never really worked, so I was definitely ready to rework the space and get it set up as a classroom.

Confession: my family thought my notion of a classroom was humorous.  I always wanted to be a teacher, and used to set up a classroom and play as a kid.  I still have a penchant for school supplies and most things teacher related, and spent several years as a Teacher's Assistant and a translator for children with hearing impairments.

Anyway....back to the furniture....

I needed a bookshelf for my classroom to house all the papers and books for school.  I started looking around my stash and remembered this piece....the ultimate trash to treasure piece!  Many months ago my hubby and I were driving home in town and I saw this piece on someone's front lawn.  Just sitting there, no sign, no nothing.  Even in the whiz of driving by, I knew I needed it! I made my hubby turn around so I could get a better look at it! We sat there for several minutes - me telling him how much I needed it. It is a huge piece and we were in my car - not going to happen! But I really do have the sweetest hubby - he went back with his truck, knocked on the lady's door to see what the situation with it was, and scooped up this piece for free! Isn't he the best?!

It was rickety and not in great shape - which is not uncommon for furniture that I find!  It has boatloads of dings and dents - aka, character -  but had such potential. With a little TLC and a good clean, I got to work.  I removed the plank shelves inside and sanded and stained them.  I painted the rest of the piece in Peacoat - the perfect navy from Country Chic Paint.

I distressed the piece just around the edges using my favourite flexible sandpaper  and then gave the whole piece a coat of hemp oil.  This piece had no previous finish on it so hemp oil was the perfect topcoat to start with. Hemp oil will absorb right into the wood and protect it from the inside out. I like to pour a usable amount into a small plastic cup and use a foam brush (these are the absolute best and last forever!) to apply the oil.  When it was dry, I followed up with a coat of wax.

I added some pretty knobs and now this shelf holds a ton of books and stores all those office things that we all need but aren't so pretty! I aboslutely love this colour. It looks perfect on this not so perfect piece!

I am working on giving you a tour of the rest of the classroom - we did some more DIYs with Country Chic Paint around the room that I can't wait to show you!

**This post contains afilliate links to products I use and trust and highly recommend**

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Wishing Well Dresser

When the seasons change, it seems like our favourite colours change too! I am definitely drawn to cozier tones when the weather cools down.  I have definitely found a new favourite colour in the new limited edition line from Country Chic Paint. This colour is a gorgeous toned down turquoise called Wishing Well. Its a muted shade that still has big impact.  It pairs so well with any decor style you have - modern, traditional, farmhouse, even shabby chic.

I love adding a big dose of colour to these smaller dressers, and this colour was perfect.

I started out with my usual prep steps that I do on every piece - wash and then sand.  Even if you think a piece looks clean, it will surprise you how dirty it really is.  I wash everything with a TSP solution and then a clear water rinse wash.  I sand after I wash to ensure I am not pushing any dirt further into the piece. After that I gave the dresser two coats of Wishing Well.

My preferred style is lightly distressed.  It looks authentic and gives the piece character.  I distressed in obvious wear spots - edges and corners - and then gave it a light coat of wax to added sheen.  I prefer the look of a hand waxed piece! The limited edition colours are made in the All-in-One formula which has a topcoat built in, so if you love the matte look then your piece needs no topcoat!

Are you decorating your home for fall? If you're searching for the perfect colour to accent with, this one might be just right!

**this post contains affiliate links to products I trust and use at no additional charge to you**

The sign in these photos is from one of my favourite shops, Westoria.
The garland in this photo can be purchased from Little City Market.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Rustic and Modern Dining Table with Country Chic Paint

Dining tables.  Most of us purchase or inherit a set when we move out of home or get married and it last us through not only meals, but years of kids playing toys and doing crafts on, catch alls for groceries and papers - if you're anything like my family, the dining table gets used for everything and everyday.

A customer came to me recently with her family dining table that had grown with her family but now she was wanting a rustic but modern new look.  Years of wear and tear showed, so it was time for an update.  She knew she wanted the table black and rustic, yet chic and modern.  Black is the perfect colour for that - especially Liquorice by Country Chic Paint.

I started by giving the table a good wash with a TSP solution. TSP is a powder that you mix with warm water that easily removes grease, dirt, and oils - which you don't on your piece otherwise you'll have issues with adhesion.  Prep is never the fun part of the job, but if you want your finish to last, it's the most necessary and important step. I sanded the entire piece with 150 grit sandpaper, making sure all areas with wear were smooth with the rest of the surface.  I  gave the table three light coats of Liquorice, a sophisticated true black.

When it was thoroughly dry, I lightly distressed the table where normal wear would occur.  Doing this makes the distressing look natural and authentic.  It also highlights the shape of the table while keeping the bold and more contemporary look of a black table.

I finished the table off with several coats of poly in a satin finish, sanding with 320grit between coats.

A family piece that was worn and dated has a rustic and modern new look! It's always amazing to me what paint can do!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Taking Care of Your Paint Brushes!

One of my first recommendations to anybody that wants to paint their furniture is to invest in a good paint brush.  A good quality paint brush will last you for years, especially if you take care of it!  A good paintbrush will run you anywhere from $15 and up depending on what you are looking for.  I always give my paint brushes a good cleaning after every use, so when Country Chic asked me to try their new brush soap I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive. An old dried up unusable brush? Because I tend to be OCD about cleaning my brushes, I don't have any that are unusable! Because I completely trust in Country Chic's products, I decided to put the brush soap to the ultimate test. I dipped one of my favourite paint brushes in a can of paint and then let it dry for a week on my paint table. My favourite paintbrush was hard as a rock!

I gave my brush a good rinse in hot water, added brush soap, and worked the bristles in a circular motion in the palm of my hand until it was nice and sudsy.  The hard paint softened almost instantly! I kept rinsing and soaping my brush until it was clean. In total I used less than 2 tablespoons of soap.

In about five minutes my brush looked as good as new! I have used several different brush soaps on the market and this is by far my favourite.  You may have tried puck style soaps before - I always find they leave a filmy residue on my brushes.  That reside can transfer to your project when painting and can ultimately ruin your finish.  Country Chic's Brush Soap  cleans and conditions your brush but leaves no residue.  The light scent of peppermint essential oil in the soap is lovely! 

If you are ordering paint or a brush from County Chic, I highly recommend adding the Brush Soap to your cart! It's not expensive and will help you keep your paint brush investments in top condition for years to come!

**This post contains affiliate links**

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Simple Pine Cabinet Makeover with Country Chic Paint

It's garage sale season! As a furniture refinisher, this is the ideal time of year to pick up great furniture.  People are spring cleaning and purging their clutter.  I always carry a bit of cash with me this time of year for quick garage sale stops when I'm out and about!

I picked up this simple cabinet recently, despite the fact that I literally have nowhere to store more furniture! I knew I could get it done start to finish in and afternoon so I snagged it.  Projects that you can pick up for a great price and refinish in an afternoon are some of the most satisfying - they don't take a lot of time but can completely change in appearance!

This cabinet started out as a honey oak colour.  It was nothing special and definitely needing a new look.  I sanded the finish off the top and applied General Finishes Gel Stain in Antique Walnut. For the rest of the cabinet, I quickly and lightly gave it a sanding and then painted it in two coats of Happy Hour from Country Chic Paint. If you are looking for the perfect paint to do a quick project, the All-in-One formula is exactly what you need.  It has fantastic adhesion, and because it is a primer and a paint in one the coverage is excellent. It dries fast and has a built in top coat!

My furniture style is generally lightly distressed, which is exactly what I did with this cabinet.  I opted for a light coat of Natural Wax to add a little extra depth to the colour.  In order to seal the top of the cabinet, I gave it a coat of Hemp Oil.

From blah to happy in just a couple hours! Happy painting!

(Find everything you need to paint your furniture here!)

**This post contains affiliate links**

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

pebble beach dresser

Dressers are one of my favourite pieces of furniture to refinish.  They are always available for great prices at garage sales and in local buy and sell groups and sites. It always amazes me how a couple coats of paint can completely transform an average boring dresser! 

This dresser was a little banged and bruised so I sanded and filled where it was needed.  Then I painted it in two coats of Pebble Beach from Country Chic Paint. It is a beautiful medium grey with a cooler tone.  

The coverage of the paint is fantastic! When it was dry I lightly distressed it just around the edges to highlight it's shape. Distressing, even lightly, also adds some character and dimension to your piece.  I gave the entire piece a coat of Natural Wax, and then an extra coat of wax just on the top for added protection.

The cool grey tone of the dresser paired with the gold hardware is simple, classic, and beautiful! ! A simple transformation on a thrifted dresser with just a couple coats of paint

**This post contains affiliate links**

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Painting Furniture for Kids

Decorating children’s rooms has to be one of the funnest home projects - they are great rooms to add colour to!  A little over two years ago I painted a dresser for my sister who was expecting her first baby.  

Her nursery has to be one of the funnest spaces - full of rich colour and fun patterns.  That was two years ago, and my sweet little niece is ready for a big girl bed - and so we were on the hunt for a toddler bed that we could refinish for her!

This is an Ikea toddler bed that I found on a local buy and sell site for $30. It was okay in its dark wood state, but it was a little dinged up and needed some fun colour.  Her bedroom is full of different jewel tones and so I pulled several different Country Chic colours off my paint shelf and showed my sister some options.  She decided on Fresh Mustard.

If you have children, distressing their refinished furniture is a wise choice! Any future dings and dents will blend right in and you won't have to worry!

To add a little depth and to give it an aged look, I waxed the bed with Country Chic Paint's Antiquing Wax. Isn't her room adorable? If your little one is ready for some fun colour in their room, adding a painted piece of furniture is a great way to do it! 

Monday, May 15, 2017


Hello! I am popping in today to share with you a really fun project! A friend of mine texted me recently and asked me to create a large piece of wall art for her office. She had a large open space between two filing cabinets and needed something to fill it up.  She had a bench, but needed something on the wall.  

I used a sheet of 1/8" hardboard as the base. These are inexpensive and your local hardware store will usually cut it to size for you! 

I used these Country Chic products:
Lazy Linen
Pebble Beach
Rocky Mountain
Vanilla Frosting
Pocket Watch Metallic Cream
Texture Powder

For the base, I sanded the board lightly to give the piece a little tooth. I painted the board in two coats of Lazy Linen as my background colour.  Once it was dry I used painters tape to mark off a geometric pattern. I more or less made it up as I went, randomly measuring and taping off until I was happy with the design.

I used stencils from the craft store for certain parts to add depth and pattern. To create interest and dimension, I used paint mixed with Texture Powder a couple of the sections.

To blend it all together and blend it all together, I lightly sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper.  For a piece like this that is going to be rarely handed, it's not necessary to topcoat it.  However, I like to slight depth and overall look that a waxed finish adds, so I gave the entire piece a light coat of Natural Wax

My hubby framed it up and it’s ready to hang in our friend’s office! If you have leftover paint from projects, this is a great way to use it! 

Ready for a fun project? Find all the products I used here!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hi, I'm Cait!

Welcome to the blog! For any of you that have been following me for a while, you know that I used to blog. It got to be a little like my laundry pile and I couldn't keep up. But it's a new year with a new work flow.

 I thought I'd take a moment to introduce myself and my business to all of you! My name is Caitlin (you can call me Cait!) and Little City Farmhouse is my shop. I've been professionally refinishing furniture for many years. I've spent years researching, learning product, and painting furniture. I love my job and I hoard paint. Seriously.

 I'm married and I have two kids. My hubby is the power tools behind this little operation. Once the kiddos were both in school this painting gig became my full time job and I started blogging for Country Chic Paint.

The number one question I am emailed, on a daily basis, is "do you have a store?" Honestly, I wish I did! I know what it would look like, what I would carry, what my days would look like in my little brick and mortar store. That little dream will become what Little City Farmhouse is about this year, without the physical location. You'll be able to shop a product range online soon (including our Handmade Hearts and our Farmhouse Pillows) and see what is available for furniture if you live in the area for pick-up. Little City Farmhouse is about home, and the handmade products we create reflect that. That being said, the refinishing furniture isn't going anywhere. Painting is the heart of Little City Farmhouse!

I am excited to share with you my own home, work from my shop and other shops I love, advice and tutorials on painting, and an interview series with some incredible people. Welcome to Little City Farmhouse! Stay a while! Cait