Monday, June 3, 2019

a dresser secretary with a completely different look

As a furniture refinisher, sometimes I pull pieces out of storage and wonder what on earth I was ever thinking buying it in the first place.  This was one of those pieces.  

It's state was unfortunate to say the very least.  I pulled it out and decided to get rid of it because I really didn't like it and had no ideas at all for it.  It sat outside my shop for a couple days until I decided to try and get some Pinterest inspiration.  I found a few pictures of secretary pieces that were open instead of having the drop down door and so I decided to give it a whirl.  

I filled the hinge holes with Bondo and sanded smooth.

I also banged off the ugly trim piece at the bottom and the entire piece instantly had a new look.  I added some new trim in a few places, sanded the entire piece lightly, and gave it two coats of Amulent Paint from The Chippy Barn in the colour Balsam.  

It doesn't even look like the same piece! It's so sleek and fresh and has a stately new look.  I knew I wanted to give it a catalogue/library type look, so I played around with hardware placement.  When I'm not sure exactly what I want to do, I usually draw a few things out on the photo of the piece.

A few tweaks later on the hardware, and the piece was finished.

It's such a drastic change! A few pieces removed, a little bit of trim added on, and a fresh coat of amazing paint! 

If you haven't tried Amulent Paint yet, it's a definite must! It's a ceramic paint that completely self levels to an incredibly smooth finish.  It distresses beautifully too! 

I love it so much i might have to find a place in my home for it! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

refinishing a vintage art desk

I picked up a small vintage desk a while ago and tucked it in the back of my little shop.  Several days later a friend messaged me asking if I had any small desks for her to use to keep her sketchbooks and pencils in her master bedroom - but it had to be small because she had a specific spot it needed to fit in.  The little desk I picked up was perfect!

I saw this desk with a really classic finish.  Something that bordered on a little bit preppy like a two tone blazer - inspiration really comes from everywhere!

We settled on a warm cream with a stained top and drawer handles.  We chose Cheesecake from Country Chic Paint.

I sanded down the top and stained it with a warm Cappuccino coloured stain.  I also stained the pull out and the drawer handles the same - I love the look it gives and ties the whole piece together! I finished the stain with a couple coats of Hemp Oil for protection.

I brushed on three coats of Cheesecake for full coverage and then sanded and distressed it.  Country Chic Paint's All-in-One formula has a built in topcoat that is very durable.  It dries to a very matte finish, so if you like that look, you don't have to topcoat it!

I love how this piece turned out!

If you'd like to purchase Cheesecake paint, Hemp Oil, or any other Country Chic Paint product, use code FARM10 for 10% off your purchase at!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

an antique china cabinet in white

I have been fortunate over my painting career to paint some beautiful pieces for lovely clients.  This piece is one of them:

My client asked me if I could paint her antique china cabinet in a slightly off white, with no distressing at all.  Easy, right? Far from it!

Here is where we started out:

Pieces of this age are notorious for bleedthrough.  So after a good cleaning and light sanding, I gave the cabinet three coats of Kilz Stainblocking Primer.  I prefer to buy it in a spray can rather than having to brush it or roll it on by hand.  It's a little more expensive, but saves a ton of time!  Other primer options to block bleedthrough would be CoverStain or BIN.  I've had great success with Kilz and it's about half the price of BIN here, so that's what I use.

A key to getting a nice smooth finish when using primer is sanding lightly between coats. Depending on the texture I'm left with I use 220 or 320 grit and do a nice light sanding.  Vacuum up and apply your next coat of primer.  Use as many coats of primer as it takes until you're not seeing any more bleedthrough.  It may be 1 - it may be 5! You just never know how fussy each piece will be.

Onto the fun part! I sprayed this piece with two coats of Crinoline from Country Chic Paint.  I absolutely love this white.  It is a warm, slightly off white, that has no yellow tones.  It perfect and beautiful every time.

When you're distressing, you don't have to worry about sanding on the final step because that's what you want to do.  However, when I am doing a solid finish, I don't like to do any further than a light kiss sand (definitely not a technical term! You barely want to be touching the surface) with 320-400grit.  So I lightly sand between my coats with 220 grit of paint to ensure a nice smooth finish.

I finished this cabinet off with a few coats of satin poly.

I absolutely love how this piece turned out!

If you want to use this beautiful white too, visit and use code FARM10 for 10% off your entire purchase! (Affiliate link)

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

an elegant chest in elegance

Sometimes when you're refinishing a piece of furniture you start with one plan and it goes sideways - in a good way - and naturally comes together on it's own, coat by coat.  This is one of those pieces - and for the life of me I cannot find the before photo!

This was a solid oak piece and even though it was nice it lacked any presence.  It needed a refresh! my first inclination was to strip and stain the top and paint the rest of it a creamy white - classic, right? I decided maybe it would look better and more cohesive in one colour because it's a small piece, and so I gave it one coat of Vanilla Frosting from Country Chic Paint. I just wasn't feeling it at all:

Not bad, but meh. And yes it is sitting on my dining room table - between the winter temps and my shop not wanting to warm up and a new puppy in the house the table was the only safe place!  I couldn't see it finished in my mind - and when I start a piece I usually know exactly what I want the end result to be.  So at this point I had two choice: sand it off and start over, or roll with it.  Because sanding isn't my favourite job, I opted for choice number two and just roll with it!

I opened up my paint cupboard and tried to find a colour I hadn't used in a while but that still had a classic feel to it. I ultimately chose Elegance from Country Chic Paint - a blue grey.  I gave it two coats.

I loved the colour but then was at another impasse.  Did I want to leave it as a solid colour and add a stamp? Transfer? Pattern? I honestly left it sitting for a few days and decided to distress it and see what happened - and I loved it! Not only did the wood show through, but so did the Vanilla Frosting paint, giving it a worn and aged look.

Now for the finish work - I needed to add some depth, but I didn't want to go with wax because I wanted to give this a hard finish coat.  I pulled out Smoky Quartz and Slate glaze, unsure if I wanted to go with a brown or grey tone.  I tried them both and The Slate Glaze from Country Chic Paint toned beautifully with Elegance.  After applying a slip coat of Clear Coat (Country Chic Paint), I glazed it, let it dry and then gave it two more coats of Clear Coat.

I love the depth and character this piece has now.  All the pretty carved details stand out now because of the layers of paint and the glaze sitting in all the grooves and low points.

If a piece you're working on isn't going as planned, take a step back and see how you can just roll with it and create something organically that is better than what you were originally going for!

I love working with Country Chic Paint.  If you would like to order any of the products I used for this project, or anything else on their site, use code FARM10 for 10% off your purchase!

Monday, January 21, 2019

creating a weathered distressed look for a china cabinet

Long time no chat friends! I took a longer than anticipated break, and while I don't feel any more rested - ha! - I do feel very ready to get back to work!

In December I finished a few projects up that I didn't get time to share with you.  This is one of them:

A customer brought me this china cabinet to refinish for her and requested a very worn and weathered look.  A great way to do this is to layer colours.  She chose Vanilla Frosting and Cobblestone - both from Country Chic Paint.

I started by giving the entire cabinet two coats of Vanilla Frosting.  As a base layer it wasn't necessary to do two full coats, but I like to be in full control of the distressing finish work, so I like to have a solid finish to start with.  When it was fully dry, I gave the cabinet two light coats of Cobblestone, leaving the interior of the cabinet Vanilla for contrast.  I love the look of it!

My customer wanted this cabinet heavily distressed so that it had a weathered look.  I used a combination of 180 and 220 grit sandpaper - any lower can sometimes result in a scratched look and I definitely didn't want that.

I left the top doors off for photos - but I really actually like the look of it open!

I vacuumed and wiped it down after distressing to make sure there was no dust left before I topcoat it.  I used Country Chic Paint's Clear Coat to topcoat the entire piece, using three light coats.

I love refinishing china cabinets - especially ones that have great bones but dated finishes! The transformation is always great!

If you'd like to order the colours I used for this project, and anything else you might need, use code FARM10 for 10% off your order from Country Chic Paint!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

an old look for an old trunk

It's been a while friends! There is a lot to the business of refinishing furniture besides just painting, so but I am so happy to be able to share some new work with you!

A customer recently dropped off this trunk for me to refinish for her.  She had stripped most of the paint off and then was feeling finished with the project.  She knew exactly the look she was after, but here is the trunk in it's original state:

This piece had dings and dents and so much beautiful character and charm - and we wanted to keep it all.  I vacuumed it well and gave it a wipe down, but left the bits of old paint here and there to give it some original texture when it was painted.

I painted it in three coats of Devotion from Country Chic Paint.  Red can be a tough colour to paint because it is so highly pigmented. This piece was also raw wood so it soaked up the paint readily.

When it was fully dry I dragged it into my house to finish up the glaze work (where it's much warmer!).  Before glazing, I like to paint on a slip coat to make the glaze easier to work with and so it sits onto of the paint instead of melding with it.  It also prevents accidentally wet distressing your piece.  I used Country Chic Paint's Clear Coat as my slip coat.  I let that dry overnight before moving onto the glaze.

I used Graphite Glaze (also from Country Chic Paint).  It's a rich black that pairs with red beautifully. You can see in the photo above how much depth the glaze gives the red paint.  I ended up thinly painting on the glaze and not wiping it back - I really liked the look of it.

I let the glaze fully dry and then gave the trunk three more coats of Clear Coat for protection.

The trunk, despite having a fresh coat of paint, still looks old and full of years of character and charm!

I don't paint many pieces in red but this one is definitely growing on me!

To try Devotion, Graphite Glaze and Clear Coat, use code FARM10 when ordering from! (Affiliate code)

Thursday, November 15, 2018

french provincial dresser in classic white

It's no secret that I love refinishing French Provincial furniture.  Oddly enough, it's not my style for my own home, but it just looks so dang good painted! French Provincial furniture wears colour so well, but it also looks so classic and stately in neutrals - especially white!

This piece had sat in my shop a little while, and clearly was subject to a bit of overspray! Whoops!

To clean this piece up it got a good wipe down with Krud Kutter and then a light sanding to prep the surface for paint.  Never, ever skip prep steps!

I sprayed this piece with a white I absolutely love - Crinoline by Country Chic Paint.  It's a slightly off white with a warm undertone.  I find myself grabbing it off my shelf time and again because it's such a beautiful shade of white.  The piece got two solid coats and then a light third coat in areas that needed it.

I finished this piece off by lightly distressing to show off it's beautiful lines and then sealing with clear wax.

I'm so tempted to keep this piece, but where oh where would I put it....

If you'd like to try this beautiful colour, you can order it from and use code FARM10 for 10% off your purchase! (Affiliate code)