Furniture Makeovers

Farmhouse Secretary

This unusual antique secretary was going to be thrown out before I got my hands on it! Its such a beautiful piece with so much potential, and I thought I would try to sell it as is.  After I got no interest, I decided to paint it! And I’m so glad I did. It was lined with fabric in the back and the bottom doors were missing but I knew it could look awesome!



The drawer opens to reveal a lovely secretary desk inside. I removed the old, peeling leather.

secretrary 5


I removed the old paisley fabric from the inside back.


I made my own chalk paint by mixing Valspar’s Tabby Cat Gray and plaster of paris with a  little water. I used Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore homemade chalk paint as well  for the inside back and shelves, desk area and the lower cabinet.

vintage secretary 1


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I heavily distressed the inside back and the outside as well to give it a time worn farmhouse feel.


vintage sec 5



Finally I waxed the entire piece with Johnson’s Paste Wax and buffed to a sheen.

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Furniture Makeovers

Onyx Tall Dresser

This fabulous dresser was generously given to me by one of the teachers at my son’s school.  It was her aunt’s and she had hated to part with it but had no room in her house for it.  I had a previous client who was in the market for a dresser for her bedroom and when I saw this piece, I knew that it would work beautifully in her home.

My client loved the dresser and wanted me to paint it a black distressed finish. It was in pretty good shape except for some poorly repaired wood putty in some areas, which I easily fixed sanding and or removing the old wood putty adding new wood filler in some areas and then sanding and priming.

I made my own chalk paint with Behr paint and primer in one in Onyx Black and plaster of paris and went to work.  I took off all the hardware from the drawers as well and used Rustoleum’s spray paint/primer in one in Carbon Mist. I left the top of the dresser wood. I used stripper to take off the old finish and then sanded with my palm sander.  I used Minwax wood conditioner and then a gel stain in Mahogany. I applied 3-4 coats of  Minwax’s hand rubbed polyurethane after the stain had dried.

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Furniture Makeovers

Oak Curio Transformation


A client of mine had this old dated oak curio cabinet for years, it was a piece she had bought with her husband when they had first gotten married, so it held a lot of sentimental value to her.  She had wanted to keep it, but didn’t know where else to use it in her home.  I had suggested that she re purpose it for maybe linens or towels, or maybe use it in the dining room to hold dishes, glasses, etc.  She loved the idea of putting it in the dining room for her extra platters, baskets, etc.

We decided that an off white with a glaze over it would be a perfect finish for the room that it would be going in.  We wanted to keep it light and bright.



This is just after sanding it down. I took off all the doors and hardware since I wasn’t going to be painting them.  I used my Ryobi  palm sander and some sanding sponges.




After a couple of coats of Polished Pearl in flat matte finish by Behr



Here is a detail of the carving and the distressing I did before I applied the final glaze.






I didn’t go crazy here, just the edges and the high spots.










And here is the final result! I brushed on Valspar’s Mocha glaze after I distressed the entire piece, and then quickly wiped off the excess with a rag. I kept some of the excess in the cracks and crevices.  I finished with Minwax clear wipe on poly to finish.


Needless to say, she was thrilled and so was I. The piece now looks timeless and could work in any room of the home!

Tell me what you think!

Furniture Makeovers

Hand painted hutch with grain sack design

This beautiful antique hutch was a piece that my client had in her family for many years. She wanted to keep it, but wasn’t crazy about the original state it was in.  We perused Pinterest and she sent me an inspiration picture and I got to work on updating it for her.

hutch before
This was the before….beautiful, but needed something more fun and up to date. We decided to go with a grain sack design for the back of the hutch, and a distressed gray for the outside, the shelves and the doors. I sanded the piece well, and then I painted about 2-3 coats of paint.



hutch in progress 2
I mixed up a DIY Chalk paint in a bluish/gray color called Tabby Cat Gray by Sherwin Williams in a matte finish for the outer part of the hutch. The inside was painted in an off white color called Polished Pearl from Behr  that I had used on another piece I had done.  I sanded in between coats to get a really nice smooth finish. After it was dry,  I distressed it pretty heavily on the edges with a sanding sponge and in some spots with my Ryobi corner cat sander. As you can see from the picture, I had started taping out here in order to paint the faux grain sack stripes. I also taped off for the small lines on either side of the thicker line in the center.


hutch in progress
I used a dark navy color in an acrylic paint that I had. I applied 2-3 coats of it to give it good solid coverage.



hutch detail after
Here is a detail of the hutch, after I had stained it and distressed it.  After I distressed and sanded the edges, I used Minwax  stain in Provincial to give an aged, time-worn feel to the finish. I used a rag to wipe it on and then quickly using a clean rag, I wiped off the excess, leaving the remaining stain in the corners and details of the hutch. After applying the stain and letting it dry fully for a couple of days, I used Johnson’s paste wax to give it some protection.



hutch after 2
I didn’t get to stage this piece the way I would have liked because it was heading out to its new home, but I was able to add some accessories that I had around the house and give it a little warmth to show off the pretty color combination and the faux grain sack which I am in love with!!



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Can’t wait to do another piece with this effect soon!