Lighten up!

For years whenever my husband and I would purchase furniture it seemed we always picked the same dark brown pieces over and over. Now when I look around my house at this sea of “brown”, I want to give it all away and start over.  Knowing that wasn’t going to fly with the husband, over Christmas break I decided I would just start by painting a few pieces.  With Tim home for the holiday, he was adamantly against me painting.  Actually I think he was just against any painting messes.  So as soon as his car left the driveway on the Monday following Christmas break, I quickly grabbed my drop cloths, brushes and paint and got straight to work!

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I decided to tackle this armoire that houses our TV in our sunroom. We bought it when we first got married almost 15 years ago so I wasn’t too concerned if it didn’t turn out.  I figured I would just replace it if I screwed it up too badly.  Tim is not that observant so he probably wouldn’t even notice if it happened to be gone the following week.

 

I cleaned it thoroughly because my kids are constantly in and out of it with greasy little hands. After that I applied a coat of Pure White paint by Annie Sloan.  As you can see it is a pretty dark piece so I did apply two more coats of paint, allowing dry time in between applications.  I used Annie Sloan’s clear wax after the last coat of paint had dried.  I sanded only slightly because I didn’t want it to look super distressed but wanted a nice smooth finish.  After sanding and wiping it down with a dry cloth I applied one more coat of clear wax.  This piece of furniture gets a lot of use and I knew it would need some extra protection.

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I love how it turned out. It really lightened up the room which was what I was going for.  I am also happy to report that husband loved it as well.  I think he actually liked that he didn’t have to look at the “in progress” stage.  Not to self…..Do whatever you want but have it cleaned before spouse gets home!

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Armoire makeover for outdoor patio using Annie Sloan chalk paint

My sweet friend Katie H. asked me if I would transform a beautiful armoire belonging to her mother, Gail.  Gail was looking for a piece that she could place outdoors under her covered patio where she could store things, such as candles, pool supplies, etc.  Katie and Gail found this piece and wanted it to be painted in a rustic way and chose Flow Blue by Miss Mustard Seed.

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Miss Mustard Seed makes a great milk paint that peels in certain places giving it a really natural old feel to the piece.  If you use a bonding agent in combination with the paint you will not get any of the peeling.  I mixed the paint and knew I would have to add the bonding agent because this piece was so shiny.  I applied the first coat and then waited for it to dry.  Upon returning I found this…..

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Insert SCREAM here!

Some things milk paint will just not adhere too.  I made an executive decision and scraped off all the paint.  Then I slightly sanded the piece.  I had to go with my old standby, which I know will stick to ANY surface….Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I chose a similar color to the Flow Blue called Aubusson Blue.  It is a gorgeous color.  I applied two coats allowing for dry time in between. Next I added a dark wax to age the piece and sanded off certain areas.  When finished I wiped the whole piece down and added two coats of Shabby Paints Vax!  This stuff is AWESOME.  No buffing required.

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Katie and her husband Ron came and picked it up today.  I was dying to know what Gail thought.  Katie sent me a picture of the armoir in its new home and Gail texted me, “It’s beautiful.  I absolutely love it!!  Thanks so much!!!”  Whew, another happy customer and another lesson learned…..not all paints are created equal!

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Annie Sloan updated settee

I found this awesome settee on craigslist and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  I have to say it wasn’t much to look at when I saw it.  I knew with some Annie Sloan chalk paint, she could beautiful once again.

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I applied two coats of Annie Sloan Pure White to the entire settee.  Once dried I sanded to distress and then applied my favorite wax mixture.  I used 1 part Annie Sloan Dark Wax to 2 parts Mineral spirits.  This “waters” down the wax and allows you to brush on the entire piece rather than rubbing the wax on.  I find that it gives it a more realistic aged effect.  Afterwards you simple take a lint free cloth and wipe the wax glaze off.  This leaves the finish super smooth.  You will still need to add a protective coat of wax.

Now to reupholster this piece….All I have to say is thank God my Dad was staying with me while he is in transition of moving to Florida.  He sat and removed every single staple from the old upholstery.  THANK YOU DAD!  That was probably the hardest part of this makeover.  Once he removed the old fabric we realized that none of the foam or wood could be reused.  It was completely shot.  My dad took the plywood to Lowe’s and they custom cut two new pieces for us.  He then went to Hobby Lobby to pick up new foam.  We quickly got to work replacing the entire seat.  It is so much more comfortable and sturdy now.  I added a decorative trim around the fabric to hide the nails and give it a little more pizazz.  I just love the way it turned out.  What a difference some paint and new fabric can make.  My oldest daughter is trying to hijack this piece for her room.  I need to sell it while she is at school:-)   I think it would be great as a bench in a living room or entry way.  It would be perfect in a mud room as well.  Just adorable.  Right now it is sitting at the end of my daughters bed and it does look like it belongs there.  🙂  If it doesn’t sell I know it was meant to be right where it sits now.

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