Furniture Makeovers

Upcycled French Script Stenciled Coffee Table 

I rescued this lovely:( round leather coffee table from the side of the road in the rain a couple of weeks ago, Aside from the leather being in not so great shape and a bit wobbly, the rest of the table looked to be solid and well made! I threw it in my truck, brought it home and tried my best to hide it from my husband who now hums the “Sanford and Son” theme song whenever I bring any more furniture home!

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do to it right away, I usually wait a bit for inspiration to strike! I look on Pinterest and other blogs and websites for inspiration. I knew that the leather had to come off because it had too much damage but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do on there to  highlight the center.



The leather had been gouged and torn in many places. Luckily I just started pulling up the leather and it peeled off very easily. Underneath was in fine condition. I filled and sanded down any deep divots in the surface.

I took the legs off the piece, cleaned the whole piece very well and then sanded and cleaned again.  I made my own chalk paint with some calcium carbonate and water and  some  flat latex paint I had leftover from another project. The color was Polished Pearl by Behr.  Here it is with the leather off and the first coat of the chalk paint.


Originally I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in the center so I left it unpainted at first.  Then I decided to paint the center the same as the rest of the table.


Not the best shot, but you get the idea. Here its all painted in the Polished Pearl chalk paint.  Because it is white, it needed about 3 coats of paint, sanded in between each coat.


Then inspiration struck! I had gotten some stencils for Christmas from my mom that I had been wanting for some time and I decided to use the  old french script stencil in the center of the table.  I just used some black acrylic paint I got from Michael’s.


Here is the top halfway done, and it looks so pretty with the stencil on there. You just need to make sure to line up the marks at the top and bottom so you stay straight.



I started the stencil in the center at the bottom and worked my way up to the top.  I didn’t tape along the outline of the circle, I just touched up the edge of the table with some chalk paint any areas I had applied any black paint by accident.  I used a stencil brush being sure to take off any excess paint on a paper towel before applying the paint in a stippling motion.  I wanted a faded look here and there, I didn’t want it looking too new.




And here it is!! I distressed the edges with a sanding sponge and did a light sanding over the stencil as well.  I let it dry a day or two before applying and buffing  2-3 coats of   Johnson’s Paste Wax over the entire piece.



Just a close up to see the wood showing through.













So, the next time you see a yucky looking table on the side of the road, don’t pass it by! It can become something beautiful again! Good luck out there!

Furniture Makeovers

Red Cabinet Redo


This is a little cabinet I painted for a good friend of mine. It was a family heirloom but it needed some love and attention.  She wanted it painted in something dramatic and she thought that a deep Chinese Red would be just the thing. It was missing some trim work and wood detail here and there, the hinges were falling off and their were some cracks in the doors.  Before I could even get ready to paint I had to do the repair work.


I set about using wood filler to fill in any of the areas that were missing veneer or trim work. I filled in the cracks also along the edges of the doors.  I sanded well all over after it dried thoroughly and then primed using Bin Primer.




I used a sample pot of Sherwin Williams Positive Red and some Plaster of Paris to make my own DIY Chalk Paint.  I use a couple of tablespoons and a bit of water and stir it together and then add about a cup of paint.  This piece needed quite a few coats to get full coverage because I didn’t tint my primer. Lesson learned.; -)  I let the piece dry well in between each coat of paint.



I sprayed all the hardware and the hinges in Rustoleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.


I finished the piece using Minwax clear wax and then used the same wax mixed with a bit of Rustoleum’s Kona stain to make my own DIY dark wax.  I brushed it on first and then used my shop towels to wipe off the excess leaving some behind in the cracks and crevices.



Here you can see some of the detail of the wax in the corners and the edges of the detail.


I love the way this piece came out! It is so much fun to paint with such a bold color! Can’t wait to do it again! Do you think you could do such a bold color in your home? Try it! It might just be the pop of color you need to spice things up in your decorating scheme!

Furniture Makeovers

Aged Gray Buffet

This beautiful buffet started out as a simple piece, but my client wanted it painted a light gray color and more distressed looking. This was my first time using Rustoleum’s chalk paint line. I used the Aged Gray Color.




This is how this buffet started out. The center panels were made of a molded metal which were gilded.




I sanded the piece thoroughly, even though  the paint claims to adhere to a glossy surface, I never trust that it will. You are much safer giving your piece a good sanding to ensure that their is a “tooth” to your piece. This means that the paint has something to adhere to.
I used my palm sander to make quick work of sanding this piece. Then I started taping off the areas I didn’t want to get excess paint on.



Here are the doors sanded and taped ready to be painted.


This is the paint and the clear sealer I used. I think the paint went on very well, and dried quickly. I didn’t prime first.  I used my Wooster brush and a foam roller to apply the paint.


This was after 2-3 coats of the Aged Gray.  The coverage was great and I lightly sanded between coats to get a really nice buttery feel to the final finish.


Here is the door done with the Aged Gray.


My client wanted a very distressed look to this piece. So I started with my sanding sponge just on the edges and then increased in some spots using my palm sander to give more dimension and texture.
I made sure to hit the edges very thoroughly


After sanding the piece, I used Minwax stain in Provincial to give the piece more of an aged feel. I applied it using a rag, and then used a clean rag to take away the excess.



Here is the piece after applying the stain. All I did was use a rag dipped in the stain and then wipe it on. Then I wiped away the excess with a clean rag.


After distressing










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


vintage sec 2


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.

vintage sec 6vintage sec 7vintage sec 3



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.

onyx dresser 2onyx dreser 1onyx dresser 3

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!!



hutch 3
Can’t wait to do another piece with this effect soon!
Furniture Makeovers

Andrews and Lockhart Bench

This bench had belonged to a girlfriend of mine and was crying out for a redo! For $10 I brought it home and gave it a new life!

Again, I used my own white chalk paint recipe, probably 2-3 coats.  I painted a grain sack stripe in red along the top,  and then I distressed it just at the edges and on the front.  To paint the grain sack I just used some painters tape and kind of eyed it where I would like it to go. I used an artists brush to paint the red paint on. I used an acrylic paint I had from another project I used.

This is the piece with just the chalk paint and after I distressed it. I was kind of tempted to leave it as is, but I had downloaded a great typography graphic from the website The Graphics Fairy. She has so many wonderful images on there that are copyright free and you can use them on your own projects!!


I used Valspar’s translucent color glaze in Mocha to give an even more aged appearance to the trunk. I brushed it on and then wiped it off with a clean rag. I let it collect in the corners and in the grooves of the squares in the front.

After the images and the glaze had been applied!


Image from Graphics Fairy


I used an overhead projector to project the image onto the trunk.  I copy the image from the website and then I go to Staples and I have them make me an acetate so I can use it on the overhead projector.  I trace the outline of the image on to the piece and then I go back in with a fine brush and usually acrylic paint, in this case black and I fill in the image and the lettering.

So this is the final product!
I  forgot to add that I also used a laurel wreath stencil on the front of the trunk that I also got from The Graphics Fairy.  Once the image is thoroughly dry I apply the glaze with a brush and then wipe off with a rag.  I waxed the entire piece with Johnson’s paste wax and buffed to a shine.


I love how this piece came out! Let me know what you think!
Furniture Makeovers

Duck Egg Blue French Provincial Desk



  This French Provincial desk was so much fun to restore and paint! My friend gave me an inspiration picture she had found on Pinterest…
She wanted me to try and achieve this look with a desk that she had had for years but never got around to doing anything with.
I decided to strip the old paint off the fronts of the drawers, and I used Citristrip and sanded them  very well, however, the wood that was underneath was a kind of mish mash of different woods, so when I applied the stain, the coverage wasn’t  very even.  However, I really liked the drawers looking so rustic and thankfully so did my friend!
The desk needed a few repairs, the biggest one was repairing one of the legs.  Luckily, she had kept it so I just needed to glue and clamp for a couple of days to make sure it was properly secured.
I removed the hardware from the drawers and gave it a really good cleaning with TSP, which is a great all purpose cleaner.  You can find this at any hardware store. Vinegar works very well too.
I applied 2-3 coats of  Behr paint and primer in one in the color Gray Morning flat matte finish to give me that duck egg blue color. I sanded in between coats very well.

Because the top was going to get a lot of use, and it was a laminate, I used Benjamin Moore’s Advance paint in White Dove.  I used a eggshell finish. First, I sanded well to get a bit of a tooth, then I applied Bin primer and then  applied 3 coats of the paint.  I finished by using Minwax polycrylic  as well just in case. I don’t want that baby to chip!


I used acrylic paint Folk Art by Plaid in Wicker White to paint the foliage detail on both sides of the desk   I did this freehand and  just used a very fine brush to make some leaves with tendrils and vines.
I left the hardware alone and didn’t paint it.  I liked the distressing that was already on there, and thought it went well with the rustic feel of the drawers.
I polyurethaned the entire piece with Minwax polycrylic except for the drawers which I used Johnson’s paste wax on.


My client is so happy with her new desk and I think I really nailed this one!








Furniture Makeovers

Driftwood Finish Dining Table

Another neighbor to the rescue! His sister was getting rid of this gorgeous refractory dining table which unfortunately had a bit of damage to the top.  The piece has three veneer panels and one of them had bad water damage.  The table opened up to reveal two leaves on either side. And look at those ball and claw feet! To die for!
I was thinking about painting the top of the table because of the damage,  but I really wanted to preserve the beauty of the wood. As I started sanding it down, it revealed a beautiful wood grain beneath all the layers of lacquer.  I decided to replace the damaged veneer with a new piece, the only problem was it didn’t match the other two existing pieces that weren’t damaged.


I cut the piece of  veneer to fit in the old spot using my jigsaw.  I attached it using small brad nails and some wood glue.


I decided to use Minwax stain in Classic Gray to make the top totally seamless and uniform.  This way, it would hide the fact that the replacement veneer was a different color.  I just rubbed it on and it turned out beautifully!

The bottom was painted in white homemade chalk paint.  I lightly distressed the ball and claw feet.  I think by painting the base, it really brings out the lines of the piece and the details on the legs and feet.
I applied 3-4 coats of  an oil based polyurethane to the top to make sure there would be enough protection. I also used it on the base as well.  I sanded down after each coat to give it a seamless finish,
My son’s 2nd grade teacher ended up buying this from me!! She paired it with rattan chairs and it looks unbelievable! What a transformation!