Monday, February 25, 2013

Master Bedroom Furniture Refinishes

I am not a design blog, but I do like to play at designing my own home and have had a little bit of practice doing so as the wife of a retired Military Officer.  In 24 years of marriage we have moved 11 times.  So, while my room designs will not reflect cutting edge design, they do reflect our love of warmth, comfort, and economizing by re purposing/refinishing as much as possible.  In that spirit, there were no big purchases made for my bedroom redo, and most of these furniture pieces have lived in other rooms in other houses.  Heck, they are likely to live in another room in this house at some point in their life with us!  It's the way I roll.
Case in point, the nightstand.  This washstand was purchased at auction about 20 years ago.  It's been a family room side table too.  It used to sport the original marble top, though the back splash was missing.  In one of our moves to Virginia the movers managed to break the top, so we had a piece of limestone cut to fit it.  While this was never in bad shape it did have some veneer damage and wasn't in perfect shape.  This made it a candidate (in my mind) for some Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue chalk paint.  I just couldn't see painting those handles though.  I have my limits!
This headboard was purchased when we were in a hurry to find a King headboard when we up sized our mattress.  It was originally black, came from the scratch and dent section (bargain), and had a very faint, faded design painted on.  I had filled in the scratches and dings and touched up the black and tried to make the design pop, but was definitely ready for a change.  More ASCP Old Ochre/Old White and some champagne and old gold metallic designs free handed on.  Pillows, some purchased, most hand sewn and I reused old forms from the last pillows I had on here.
I went through a trunk phase when we lived in Mississippi and then Kansas.  I added A LOT of tool boxes, stage coach trunks, and cedar trunks during those years.  They are just such great storage.  Here's one of the tool boxes with a new coat MMS Luckett's Green Milk Paint.  The rustic nature of this piece was perfect with the milk paint.  It chipped in a lovely way, and this has to be my fave color so far. It serves the dual purpose of hiding many lamp and phone cords and provides the Mr. with some additional night stand storage.

This reproduction pie safe came from my parents former unfinished furniture store.  This is the before...
here is the after.
I use it in my room as shoe storage.  I removed (and saved because I know I'll put them back in some day) the original punched tins and replaced them with Union Jack metal screening.  New paint and hardware to complete an update.  I can't tell you how many different places this piece has served in...lots!
This was a $12 antique store find, rewired by my Mr. and just so darned cute I had to show it, though I did nothing new to change it up.
Hand made artwork for an empty spot.
I've already shared my Love/Hate relationships with my ceiling fans.  Mainly the too dim, or too drab looking light kits available.  We found this small chandelier light at HD and because of the perfect fit of it's center rod we were able to retro-fit it to our ceiling fan.  It was brushed silver, but a quick Oil Rubbed Bronze spray had it matching the existing hardware in no time.  It was a quick and relatively cheap fix and allows us to enjoy the benefits of the ceiling fan with just a bit more style, and most importantly light!

There was also a mirror repainted, and another lamp got hit with a new shade and painted base.  And finally, there is a chair still waiting to be recovered.  It feels good to finally finish a room long overdue for some work.  It feels even better to look around my house and reuse what I already owned.  Many people are doing a lot of that these days and sharing there results, here is just one more!

Have a fabulous week completing your new and inspiring projects!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Master Bedroom Update

In my house updates and remodels get done like this.  Me:   " I think I've finally figured out exactly what I want done in the Master."  My Mr.:  "We'll start this weekend what do we need from Lowe's (HD, Menards, SW, or BM)?" as he's half-way to the door.  And we're off!  I've learned to get it all straight in my  mind before I mention much to him.  It's a good problem to have really!

We moved into this acreage, on a virtual whim and a prayer, nearly 4 years ago.  The previous owners did a lot to make it very sellable from a cosmetic stand.  I can definitely appreciate that.  And while there was nothing really wrong with the freshly painted taupe paint I'm more of a "color me happy" kind of gal.  Most rooms have had a least one touch up with paint.  Some will get it again one of these days.  But the Master BR was totally ignored and had turned into this drab, little dumping ground.  Time for a change.  I forgot to take a proper before, but here it is after we'd begun to prep the room for step one.  Nice and neutral.
Step 1:  Plank wall treatment on the back wall.  There are many good tutorials out there, but I use this one by Sweet Pickins Furniture to complete our wall.  Sausha's projects always inspire me!
We also used Utility Panels cut to 6 inches.  The Mr. staggered the start and stop to give it a more pleasing look.  Here it is completed.
Other than helping hold a board or two this was all his baby.  He's also the wall painter because "it's a relaxing job" and also because he probably doesn't like to clean up the ceiling after I oops touch it with the roller.  Once the nail holes were filled and sanded we gave this 2 coats of Benjamin Moore's Dove White.
The remainder of the walls were painted in Sherwin Williams Sea Salt that I had on hand from a past furniture redo.  Literally this entire room project has probably cost us less than $200.
Here she is now.  Lovely and serene and nothing like the cave she had been.  Isn't that plank wall wonderful?!  Purposely leaving some small gaps between gives it such a realistic feel.  Now, while my Mr. was busy planking and painting, I was also busy giving several furniture pieces a Twice Nice makeover.  This was all pre-plague in our house.
Another view from further inside the room.
We have been hoarding collecting antiques for the past 20+ years.  Many of them I have left alone for now.
A few get selected to be updated.

I will have the 411 on all the little projects that completed the room in the next few days.  Just wanted to give you an update on why it went quiet over here for so long.  Well, it was this and then the "plague"!  We are all mending finally and should be up to full steam by next week.  Have a lovely weekend.  Stay warm, and be careful if you were in the path of "Q" (what, they really couldn't find a name that begins with Q for heavens sake)!


Monday, February 18, 2013

A Bit of Modern

I am unashamedly more of an antique/turn of the century/primitive furniture lover.  I've always appreciated their lasting timeless beauty, and gorgeous twists, turned legs, and decorative details.  Recently I've been admiring a host of mid-century modern pieces for their very clean lines, focus on gorgeous wood, and streamlined proportions.  Here was a gorgeous piece that I could not even bring myself to put a paint brush near.
It sold very quickly so someone else really appreciated this lovely gal.  I've been fortunate enough to find other mid-century pieces.  Sometimes they are not in quite such pristine condition.  Like this one...
with good bones, but nicked up and missing the center door, and not quite right hardware.  The top however was salvageable after a good sanding.  A customer was able to see the potential from this photo, and we worked hard to turn it into this refreshed piece.
Ah, much better now.  We filled in the holes left by the missing door and opted to leave the center drawers open for easy accessibility.  We rebuilt the chipped off pieces on the drawers, filled the gouges and nicks of time, restained the top and found proportional hardware.  Pretty sweet.

This one time mid-century modern dresser is headed to a real estate office to work as a console/credenza.  She'll house forms and paperwork for the team of realtors.  New, straightforward hardware sure pops off that white.
I think these open drawers look great without a door covering them.  I could just as easily see the piece in a nursery holding all the diapers and onsies.  Or how about a family room, housing the gaming gadgets and DVD's?
The top turned out Gorgeous!  It was an unbelievable transformation and I wish I had caught a before photo.
The paint is Benjamin Moore, White Linen in the Advanced formula.  It required priming, but gave this a very smooth and durable finish.  The top was stained in Minwax Jacobean and finished with Minwax Antique Oil.  I just love the little hardware knobs on the smaller drawers!
I've come to really enjoy and love these little modern ladies.  It's a nice change of pace to work on one.  And there's a lot to be said for form and function when it comes to Mid-Century Modern.  

I'm sorry I've been quiet over here on the blog.  Life has not been quiet that's for sure!  Actually there has been a ton of painting activity.  My Mr. and I took a bit of a break after I finished this piece to actually work on our Master Bedroom.  The room known as "the untouched cave".  No bedroom should be the dumping ground/cave that ours had become.  I have a few more pieces to pull together and then hope to have a reveal of our new "restful escape".  It's amazing what a difference some paint can make!  There's also the dreaded sinus infection to recover from and then all will be back to crazy normal!

Have a great week!
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Monday, February 4, 2013

Que Sera Sera

Whatever will be, will be...  I have no idea why that song popped into my head this evening, but it's there and I'm going to make it work!  One of the best parts of following blogs is making new like-minded friends.  One of the most helpful parts of following blogs is finding out about great products that are out there, or the best way to use a product, or even a different twist on using a product you've been using for years.  And I always love that you can find information so quickly about new products.  It would have taken me forever to find out about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint if I hadn't found so many trail blazers out there using it and sharing it.  Same thing with Miss Mustard Seeds Milk Paint line.  So, thank you to all who have shared, and those who will come along and share in the future!

I've used MMS Milk Paints on 3 different pieces so far, and it totally blows my mind how different the results were each time.  The first time I used Lucketts Green, a GORGEOUS color, with amazing results.  Not that much chipping actually, just a bit of gentle aging.  Loved it.  So fun to work with paint that has the ability to age itself.
The second time I tried milk paint I used Boxwood, an AMAZING color, with beautiful results.  It chipped, and chipped, but looked so very perfectly worn.  Wow, I actually wrote a disclaimer on the sales tag so that a buyer would know that it was perfectly safe paint and not something left to poison their children!  It had that much patina to it.  Loved it.

Last week I used Ironwood, a BEAUTIFUL color, with fabulous results. It chipped, and chipped, and chipped, and then I got worried that it was all going to keep chipping until it was off so I contacted an expert, MMS.  And I worried for naught.  Have a look.
Do you see why a couple of those drawers had me concerned?  I wanted chippy, but I also wanted it to appear to have paint on it.  But Holy Cow Batman, that is some amazing chipping!
The chipping was mainly in teeny, tiny flakes.  A bit like a dresser with dandruff.

MMS assured me that she'd not run across a piece that wouldn't stop chipping.  I suspect that I had just been so light with the wax the first time around that I hadn't gotten enough on to aid with that adherence.
The final result is probably not for everyone, but quite honestly it makes my heart go pitter-pat more than a bit.  I adore primitive pieces like this mixed in with my other furnishings.  Probably the most beautiful thing with MMS Milk Paint is that you never really know how a piece will react with the paint.  It's like watching a personality take on a life of it's own!  Unless you add the bonding agent of course.  What a great new product to have in your arsenal right?
So que sera sera, whatever will be, will be...
Have a wonderful week!
P.S.  My blog seems to have been hijacked with those weird link words that take you to ads.  I'm sorry, I'll have to see about how to address this EXTREMELY irritating issue.
update  FIXED!
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Furniture Feature Fridays

Friday, February 1, 2013

NJ & Co. News and a Custom Piece Reveal

Good Morning Friends!  It's cold out there.  Can I hear an AMEN?

I just wanted to let my local, Midwest area peeps in on a brand new service NJ & Co, where I vend some of my furniture pieces, is now offering.  Who doesn't want to know when new items have been marked down?  Who doesn't want to know when a shipment of fantastic new things has arrived?  Who doesn't want to receive special VIP discount savings?  Here are the details, and stay tuned after for a quick custom furniture reveal!

NJ & Co.
Guess what?  NJ & Co. is now sending secret sales and specials to our VIP customers. And you're one of them. With our new VIP Text Club, we're sending text messages (no more than 10 per month) to let you know
about fabulous finds and special happenings in the store. 
Here's all you need to do: 
Text the word:  NJCO to 36000
As a special bonus, when you text, you will get a text back that gives you 10% OFF one regular-price item! So, next time you're in the store, just show us your text and you'll get the discount.
Thanks so much for your business, and we'll see you soon!
-NJ & Co.

Text HELP for help. Text STOP to cancel.
Msg&Data Rates May Apply. Terms & Conditions available at

Go, text, get signed up right now!  Even if you don't live in Omaha, you might live close enough for a road trip when you see hear about some of the stuff in there.  Yesterday a friend and I stopped by... oh art work, new RAD, and I do mean Rad chandeliers and light fixtures.  
Here's a quick pic at my new treat for myself.  
 We have a Golden, and this reminds me of the age of my oldest 2 girls when we first got our Golden.  Isn't this cool?!  I got more, and if I'm thinking about one of the light fixtures for my laundry room.  Shh, the Mr. doesn't know about that yet...

Now, in addition to creating some furniture treats for NJ & Co., and for our best of times Prairie Market, I've also been able to take on some custom furniture refinishes.  It's definitely keeping me hopping (whew)!

Sadly, I'm a dork and have rarely managed to get a photo of a finish before it gets picked up.  Here is one I just completed and it has returned to it's lucky birthday girl!  I just have to say that you gotta like a husband that would do this for his Mrs. for her birthday.  Thinkin' outside the box, love it!
A lovely french dresser, finished in ASCP Old White, heavily distressed, light and dark wax.
Here's a better photo of the true color.  I don't know what happened with that yellow mess above.
The clients seemed genuinely happy with the results...which is the best feeling EVER!  They were very sweet, very patient as they waited their turn, and very happy.  

I've got another finish to share next week.  Another custom piece in the "winter workshop" aka my dining room/everything room, and more pieces to come.  Have a great weekend everyone and stay warm and safe!