Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Frenchie Dresser Makeover

Oo la la.  I loved this little dresser as soon as I saw it at a yard sale.

The size is so versatile--you can use it as a dresser, a bedside table, a console in the entry or living room, or even in a bathroom.

Once I was done with it, I knew that it would be similar size and style-wise to these chests from Wisteria, ranging (on sale) from $800 to over $1000.


The issue with these 60's to 70's French Provincial pieces is they have laminate tops, and sometimes drawer fronts.  If you've ever tried it, you know that painting over laminate is a pain in the old patooti.  It involves a really good primer.

Chalk paint to the rescue!

I decided to use ASCP in Paris Grey.

After painting, I went over it with Briwax in Golden Oak.  I love this wax over Paris Grey.


I wet scrubbed a couple of areas so the original finish came through.  I liked the cream against the grey, giving it a worn, aged look.

Then I finished the entire piece with ASCP clear wax and put back the original hardware.

I'm really happy with the end result--what do you think?



It will be going to Mr. P's Emporium soon--I'll be pricing it waaaay less than the Wisteria Chests!

Sharing at:

Elizabeth & Co: Be Inspired
A Stroll Thru Life: Inspire Me Tuesday
The Dedicated House: Make it Pretty Monday
Green Willow Pond: What We Accomplished Wednesday
No Minimalist Here: Open House
Savvy Southern Style: Wow us Wednesday
French Country Style: Feathered Nest Friday
Redoux Interiors: Link Party
Miss Mustard Seed: Furniture Feature Friday
Coastal Charm: Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

Friday, July 26, 2013

Painting Brick With Chalk Paint

I finally did it.  Something I've been wanting to do since we moved into the house 10 years ago.
Yes, I do tend to procrastinate.
I've been wanting to paint the brick around our fireplace, but the thought of using a special primer, then painting the whole thing again with latex paint just made me tired.
And then along came chalk paint!
Of course I've been using chalk paint on furniture for the last couple of years. I've seen other people in blogland use it for brick--even asphalt--and it looked great.  So I decided to take the plunge.
Here's the fireplace before painting. (The mantel was decorated for Valentine's Day)

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White.  I read about a project in her book, Color Recipes, where she painted limestone walls, and decided to use the same technique on my brick.
She diluted the paint, so I did too.  I used about 2/3 paint to 1/3 water.  I just eyeballed it, so the ratio isn't exact. It took two coats. 
After painting the brick, I decided the mantel stood out too much color-wise and cut the fireplace in half visually.
So I did a color wash on the mantel.  I was going for generally the same type of look as my door, which is on the other side of the room.
Here's the mantel after, with the wash.  I'm not liking the white with the color of the stain of the mantel wood, so I'll probably be painting the whole thing out.  But I'm going to live with it for awhile.
I was going to paint the dated brass fireplace doors with heat resistant black paint, but the doors are so rusted and hard to open, I decided to just buy a new set down the road.  Fireplace doors are not cheap though, so I will have to put up with the ugly brass for a bit longer. But it will look better in the long run.
I sealed the paint with General Finishes poly in flat.  I didn't want shiny bricks.
All in all, I love the change.  I think it brightens up the room and goes well with the beige walls and white furniture.
And by diluting it, it only took a little more than half a can of the ASCP. So the cost was cheaper than if I had to buy primer and paint.
Cheaper and easier--what more could I ask for?
Before, from last winter ...

And after, with my summer white pillows and the rug I changed out awhile ago ...

And in this case, procrastinating paid off, because chalk paint wasn't around 10 years ago!  :)

Sharing at:

French Country Cottage: Feathered Nest Friday
Twelve O Eight: Inspiration Monday
No Minimalist Here: Open House Party
Timewashed: Blissful Whites Wednesday


Friday, July 19, 2013

Confessions of a Yard Saler

Neither heat indexes of 105, high humidity, or frizzy hair will deter me from my appointed rounds of ...

Yard sales!
I freely admit to a couple of addictions.  Obviously, by the title of this blog you know that Craigslist is one of them.  Yard sales, thrift shops, and auctions are right up there too. 
I just can't help myself when I see one of those signs that say Yard Sale with an arrow.


My car automatically turns in the direction of the arrow all by itself!  I get flushed with anticipation about what treasures I might find as I pull into the driveway, and my heart goes pitter pat.
It's a sickness.  It really is.
Sometimes I'm disappointed, sometimes not.  This last weekend I was pretty happy.
First I found this little Silver Crest dish for $4.

And this platter for four bucks.  I love how translucent it is!

Then, Arbuckles came into my life.  Look at this great crate!

It looks like someone took the crate and refurbished it with the hinged lid.  Or maybe it came this way -- the hinges look pretty old.

Arbuckles Coffee is still around, but  the crate looks vintage.  The woman I bought it from said she found it in her barn in Pennsylvania.  I love it.

(She also found a Civil War era crinoline in the barn she was selling. Don't you just love stories like that?  I wish I had an old barn!)

I was going to sell it, but I've decided to keep it.  I can stash extra pillows or throws in our family room, and it's big enough to use as a coffee table if I want. 
It was $30. 
My final purchase of the day was this little French chest of drawers.  I think it's a great size, and can be used for a variety of purposes.

And look at those legs! 

It needs some love, but it's in great shape. I'm thinking of Paris Gray for the paint, we'll see.  It will be going to Mr. P's.
All in all, a good haul for this excursion! But I hear more yard sales calling my name for this weekend ...  :)


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Coastal Charm: Nifty Thrifty Tuesday


Monday, July 15, 2013

Desk Makeover

Well, it's hot, humid and plain old yucky here today, with no end in sight for awhile.  Which means I'll be working inside this week in my air conditioned, messy basement instead of my hot, messy garage.  I have dreams of having a beautiful, organized workplace one day ...
Anyway, I finished this desk last week and wanted to show you how it turned out.

You may remember I picked it up at Goodwill.  It was in basically good shape--just a small crack I had to fix--but I've found that plain maple doesn't sell well, and it was a little boring. So I decided to give it an update.
I painted the base and top in ASCP Old White.
And the drawers in Ce Ce Caldwell's Seattle Mist. 

I did a little dry brush of the Old White on the handles.
And distressed the piece to make the details like the scalloped top stand out.
Then I finished it with Ce Ce Caldwell clear wax.
Before ...
And after ...
I took it to the booth today.  I hope someone likes it and buys it soon, so I can get some more stuff out of the basement!

Sharing at:

Coastal Charm: Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
The Dedicated House: Make it Pretty Monday
Elizabeth & Co.: Be Inspired
Redoux: Link Party
Miss Mustard Seed:  Furniture Feature Friday

Monday, July 8, 2013

Stuff Happens

When life breaks a mirror ... you make a chalkboard.  That's my new philosophy.  One to live by if I do say so myself. :)

I spent the holiday weekend doing some painting, including some chalkboards.   One of the chalkboards originally started out as a gorgeous mirror.  Beveled.  Huge (it's about 40" wide).  To die for.  I bought it from a vendor who was closing out her business, and I got a great deal on it.

So I took it down to the shop the other day, and had it leaning against a display case while I got things ready to hang it.

You guessed it.  A customer knocked it over.

It broke.

Into little pieces.

I almost cried.

The poor guy offered to pay for it, but it was obviously an accident.  He knocked it over as he was moving out a table that he had just bought from me. 

So I brought it home and made a chalkboard out of it.

While I was at it, I made one for a big turquoise frame I've had around.

And painted some silverplate trays.

Then  I prepped for a big project that I've been procrastinating about for a couple of years now.

It involves this.

And this.

Can you guess what it is?

Right as I was about to get started on it though, I got a phone call from the store that a dresser sold, and I now have an empty space.

So I stopped that project and moved on to this one.  I picked it up at Goodwill.

I'll show you the "after" in my next post.

At least I plan to.

But, you know ... stuff happens.

Like broken mirrors.

So you change direction and move on.

(But since I don't want to live with a ladder in my family room forever, I'd better get these projects done soon!)

I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July weekend, and that whatever happens in your life this week is all good stuff!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mr. P's & Life, Etc.

Summertime, and the living is ...

Well it sure ain't easy around here right now!

I feel like I've been running from one fire to the next this  week, and I'm sooooo looking forward to the long holiday weekend!

One of the things that has been on my mind is assessing the current state of Mr. P's Emporium.  If you read this blog you may remember last winter when I was trying to decide whether to, a) keep Mr. P's going, and b) move to a new location.


I didn't want to give up on Mr. P's, so I ended up moving to my current location in Manassas. That was definitely the right decision.  I made more in my first two months where I am now, (the Homestore, 9720 Liberia Ave., in Manassas in case you want to visit!) than I made in the entire six months I was at my last location! Plus, the owner of the antique mall has given me the opportunity to work one day a week in the store in exchange for my rent.  So that means I make more of a profit -- woohoo!
However, you definitely don't go into the vintage business to get rich--you do it because you love it.  (And in my case, because I didn't want to be called a hoarder!) Unforeseen issues such as a sick geriatric kitty and household calamities have made me decide I need to bring in a little extra. So I'm back freelancing, and just picked up a couple of projects that should take me through the summer. They are part-time and I can work remotely, so it's a perfect fit for right now.
But that leads me to my next big decision for Mr. P's: Whether to open a second location.  I have a great opportunity starting this August or September.
Can I handle sourcing, painting furniture, and merchandising for two locations, plus work 1-2 days a week in the store(s), plus continue freelancing?  Do I even want to do that?  Will this limit me for other opportunities that may come up down the road like shows or whatever?
So I'm pondering ...
In the meantime, let me wish you and your family and terrific Fourth of July!  Hope your summertime living is fun and easy this weekend!