A PRETTY DETAILED DRESSER

Ever fall in love with a piece of furniture the minute you set your eyes on it? This was the case with this antique oak dresser.  The original details on the mirror were so pretty!

A Pretty Detailed Dresser (Old White Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan) 

A Pretty Detailed Dresser (Old White Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan) 

I wanted to leave some of the wood so I sanded the top smoothly, but not so much that I would lose the patina on the wood.  Sometimes if you sand too deep, your wood will look very white.  You can see below on the bottom left that there is some dark black spots. By leaving some of the dark patches, you will get more of an aged look.

Minwax Special Walnut stain.

Minwax Special Walnut stain.

I used Minwax Special Walnut for the stain and applied three coats of Country Chic topcoat.

I finished the bottom of the dresser with Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan in Old White.  I sealed it with clear soft wax and also some dark soft wax was added, focusing mostly on the details on the mirror and edges.

Pretty detailing on mirror.

Pretty detailing on mirror.

A Pretty Detailed Dresser (Old White Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan) 

A Pretty Detailed Dresser (Old White Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan) 

This is how it looked before the transformation.

"Before"

"Before"

This dresser is for sale for local purchase only.  Please email me if interested.  Details here.

Cette commode est disponible pour vente locale seulement.  SVP, communiquer par courriel si intéresser. Détails ici.

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"LIQUORICE" OAK DRESSER

I recently finished another black-painted piece.  I've been getting quite a lot of requests for black pieces, and yet I thought black furniture was on its way out.  Well I guess, black is still "The New Black"!   I must admit black paint always transforms furniture to such opulence and it never disappoints!

Here is my latest..........

Oak dresser finished in "Liquorice" Country Chic Paint.

Oak dresser finished in "Liquorice" Country Chic Paint.

This oak dresser was a piece brought to me from a client that had purchased my two black end tables.  (See below).   You can read all about the transformation how I added legs to the end tables here in my post Adding Legs to End Tables.  

She also will be adding a cream-colored large Armoire to this bedroom so I think these 3 black-painted pieces will look great and help anchor the bedroom.

I finished the dresser with my go-to black paint - "Liquorice" by Country Chic Paint.  I distressed only on the perimeters and the edge moulding.  I then sealed the dresser with Minwax Furniture Paste Wax.  Since oak is a rough wood,  you will not get as much of a sheen as some of the other smoother woods.   In this case, since it was painted black, it is an advantage as finger prints show up quite a bit on black painted pieces.

Oak dresser finished in Liquorice by Country Chic Paint.

Oak dresser finished in Liquorice by Country Chic Paint.

Oak dresser finished in Liquorice by Country Chic Paint.

Oak dresser finished in Liquorice by Country Chic Paint.

Oak dresser finished in Liquorice by Country Chic Paint.

Oak dresser finished in Liquorice by Country Chic Paint.

I remembered to take a "Before" picture only after I started working on it.  The piece had previously been stripped so the paint adhered very well and therefore did not require any sanding.

As you can see, I had to paint this dresser in my entrance as my garage is presently bursting at the seams with furniture.  I recently acquired a beautiful  four-poster bedroom set dating from the late 40's.  Can't wait to start painting it,  but I have to finish some commission pieces first.   I am also hoping to find some time to add some winter ambience in my home with some evergreens, pine cones and wreaths and hopefully snap a few pictures.

There are just not enough hours in a day............

"Before"

"Before"

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A few weeks ago, I showed you a "Fall Inspired Sideboard" which I had posted about but only got the chance to show you a few pieces separately.  My client was nice enough to send me some pictures taken from her home.   You can now see it all put together.  She has a beautiful charming home and I think her set looks great in the room.

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PLAIN KITCHEN CUPBOARDS TO SHAKER STYLE

Well this post has been long overdue!  My first post ever was a recap of my Budget Kitchen Makeover and I had promised to do an in-depth tutorial on how we (well "we" is actually my husband!) transformed our kitchen cupboards. That was 1-1/2 years ago.  I know, I know - bad blogger! The biggest change was transforming our plain melamine rust coloured cupboards to shaker-style cupboards.  I've put off writing this post because I was not sure how to recreate and explain it when it is not work-in-progress, but since I have received a few emails inquiring about a tutorial, I thought I would attempt to explain it. 

It is a long post, and a little technical.  Hope it makes sense to you.

So this was how the kitchen looked after the reno was done (this was about 4-1/2 years ago).  You can read how we did it here on a $4,000.00 budget, but this post is focusing only on the transformation of the kitchen cupboards.

We had our house built 18 years ago and below were the cupboards that came with the house.  Plain old builder's melamine cupboards.  They were looking outdated and frankly that rust colour was just too loud for me.  I longed for white shaker-style cupboards!  Since the cupboards were still in good shape, we decided to re-style them.

Kitchen_before_147.jpg

........and here are some close-ups of some of the transformed exterior doors.

Exterior doors.

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........and here is a close-up of one of the interior doors.

We started by removing all the doors from the cupboards and the fronts of the drawers.  I chose to leave the drawers as is and just painted them.  We did not remove the cupboards from the wall so it made living with this reno a lot easier.

We gave all the doors and fronts a really good sanding.

Then we measured two inches around each door.  This is where you are going to cut through your doors.  Even though the doors were different sizes, I still cut 2 inches everywhere.  So what you are left with is basically a frame with a hole in the middle.  The "X" below gets removed and will be replaced by 1/4" mdf.

Kitchen_130425_4832.jpg

OK, so this is where it gets too technical for me and so I've asked my hubby to step in and explain this to you all in detail.

"To start the square hole, I first drilled 4 holes through the doors with a drill, then used a jigsaw to cut the whole square out.

Your hole will be a little rough, so you can use a pad sander or file to smooth it out a bit. The corners are especially important and a chisel can help square it up.

Once the hole is made, a rabid joint must be made in the back of the door so that the recessed mdf board can fit flush.  I used a router with a 1/2 inch bit and a center pilot guide. As you go around you will notice that the corners of the new recessed area are rounded rather than square.  It is easier to round off the corners on the new board than to try to square-off the cut.

It will be easier to round-off corners than to try and square them.

It will be easier to round-off corners than to try and square them.

When you cut the board you can leave a tiny gap so as to allow expansion, just to be safe, although the board will be glued with carpenter's glue and will probably become whole with the door.

Once the board is ready, a generous amount of glue is applied and a weight is put on the back to assure both pieces of wood are in full contact during the drying period.  Once dried, scrape off the excess glue from the front.

You can now add the small decorative moulding around the front.  This moulding will help to hide the chipping that may have occurred when cutting the hole with the jigsaw.

You can glue it and nail it in place with a pin nailer.  Do not attempt to nail this with a hammer and nails, as these will be too big and will wreck the delicate moulding.

Now that's one heck of a bed-time story, guaranteed to put you to sleep ;-)"

Thanks Mike!

When all the doors were done, we sent them out to a refinisher and had them spray-lacquered a "Pure White" color.  This cost only $800.00.  Now because we did not remove and send out the whole cupboards, but merely the doors, there were some sides of the cabinets that needed painting.  For these, we purchased some "Pure White" paint (I believe I used Behr paint and primer) and just rolled on the paint. (See black squiggly lines below).  You could barely tell the lacquered doors to the rolled-on doors.  Sending out only doors will save time and money.

To break-up all of the white cupboards, we decided to add glass to some of the cupboard doors, so for these we did not add the mdf board but had glass installed.  I sent out these doors to a glass and window store. 

The original mint green contrast moulding that was originally installed on the top and bottom of the cupboards also got removed and I left it as is.  I think just this makes a big difference in updating kitchen cupboards.

So that's about it.

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SMALL ARMOIRE FOR A SPECIAL CHILD

One of the nicest things about being a 'furniture artist' is that I meet the nicest people.  Really!  My client asked me to paint this tiny armoire.  She was preparing a guest room for a young "special needs" child that she offers respite to AND she also works with special needs children as a feeding therapist.  Isn't that so kind?  Some of you may or may not know that my oldest child Vincent, is a "special needs" child too.  I still call him my child, but he is actually 23 years old.   Anyone who chooses to work with special needs children, holds a special place in my heart.

Shabby chic tiny armoire.

Shabby chic tiny armoire.

I finished this armoire with Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in "Linen".  I began with an overall light sanding, then painted 3 coats of "Linen" milk paint and distressed the edges.  I did add the bonding agent to the first two coats but it still chipped just a bit on the door a few days after I had finished painting.  To me this just adds character to the piece, but if you absolutely do not want any chipping to occur, in my opinion (and this is just based on my experience) besides adding bonding agent to ALL your coats of paint, you should try and wax/seal it as soon as the paint dries.  I've noticed that if I wait to seal it a few days later, chipping can still occur, even though no chipping was visible initally after the painting dried.  But rest assured, once it is sealed, no more chipping will occur thereafter.  

Pine armoire painted in MMSMP "Linen" with vintage child's embroidered dress.

Pine armoire painted in MMSMP "Linen" with vintage child's embroidered dress.

I was looking for some tiny props to style this small piece of furniture and so I styled it with this tiny vintage child's cotton embroidered dress, which believe it or not, used to belong to me!  It used to be "white" but with age it is now the colour of old linen, which is how Marian of Miss Mustard Seed describes the colour "Linen" in her line.  It is one of my favorite colours.

Pine armoire painted in MMSMP "Linen" with vintage child's embroidered dress.

Pine armoire painted in MMSMP "Linen" with vintage child's embroidered dress.

Embroidered cotton dress.

Embroidered cotton dress.

Vintage painted mirror, dried hydrangeas, lavender wreath

Vintage painted mirror, dried hydrangeas, lavender wreath

Dried hydrangeas

Dried hydrangeas

This armoire will be paired with a headboard that my client purchased from me a few months ago.  A headboard which I had also painted in "Linen".

Shabby chic headboard finished in "Linen" (Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint)

Shabby chic headboard finished in "Linen" (Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint)

I think it is going to be an adorable little room, don't you?

This is how it looked "Before"

"Before" picture.

"Before" picture.

I'll be back in a few days with another painted project I finished this week.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

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DINING SET (FALL INSPIRED)

Fall inspired Buffet.

Fall inspired Buffet.

Are you enjoying crisp Fall days?  I do love this time of the year but hate what is around the corner!

I was commissioned to paint a full dining room set which  I've been working on and off for over a month. Because the pieces were given to me and delivered at different times, I am unable to show it to you as a whole set.

My client did not want it painted WHITE.  She describes herself as more of a "beige" person.  We agreed to paint it in "Coco" Chalk Paint®.  Coco is one of my favourite neutrals.  I also love teaming up Coco with Country Grey.  You can see some of my other finished pieces in this combination.   Restoration Hardware Table and Driftwood-Like Dresser.  After sanding lightly, painting and distressing, I sealed it with a clear wax.  I also highlighted some areas with an antiquing wax.  I did not use the Annie Sloan Dark Soft wax as it can give a little bit of a greenish tone on some colours.  You can see the difference in the above-mentioned other pieces I did in which I did use the Annie Sloan Dark Soft Wax.  I would love for Annie Sloan to come up with a greyish dark wax.

Here are some pictures taken in all of Fall's glory!  I am lucky to have a nature park a few steps from my house, which is where these pictures were taken.

Fall inspired painted buffet.  Annie Sloan "Coco" Chalk Paint®.

Fall inspired painted buffet.  Annie Sloan "Coco" Chalk Paint®.

Painted buffet and painted pumpkins

Painted buffet and painted pumpkins

Antiquing wax was used to highlight some areas

Antiquing wax was used to highlight some areas

I did apply just a bit of gold gilding wax on the hardware just to brighten them up a bit.

Gold paste wax on hardware.

Gold paste wax on hardware.

I did take some quick I-phone pictures of the other pieces, but nothing styled.

Six chairs that will be re-upholstered.

CocoChair1.jpg

Here is a work-in-progress picture of the table top.  I just wanted to talk a bit about this.  My client specifically asked that the table top not be waxed because she wanted the ease of a Varathane (poly) finish instead.  Now, because the rest of the dining set had antiquing wax applied in certain areas, I had to replicate this look with the poly.  Since you cannot mix wax and Varathane, after I applied the first coat of Varathane, I went in with an angled brush and painted Graphite Chalk Paint® in the edges of the moulding and then wiped most of it out, leaving only the Graphite paint in the grooves, thereby replicating a Dark Wax.  A second and third coat was later applied all over the top.

CocoTable1


CocoTable2.jpg

Here are the "Before" pictures.

"Before"

"Before"

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Since we are in Fall mode, here are some pictures taken in the same park one early Fall foggy morning.  I've shared these on Facebook, but for those who follow me here, thought I would share these here too.

Early Fall foggy morning. (Parc de la Cité, Saint-Hubert, Quebec)

Early Fall foggy morning. (Parc de la Cité, Saint-Hubert, Quebec)

Canadian Geese (Parc de la Cité, Saint-Hubert, Quebec)

Canadian Geese (Parc de la Cité, Saint-Hubert, Quebec)

(Parc de la Cité, Saint-Hubert, Quebec)

(Parc de la Cité, Saint-Hubert, Quebec)

Can you see the squirrel running across the electric line below?

(Parc de la Cité, Saint-Hubert, Quebec)

(Parc de la Cité, Saint-Hubert, Quebec)