Restyled antique radio cabinet

Restyled antique radio cabinet

Remember this little one? I started working on her a while ago and she was sold before she was even done, to us! I’m sorry everyone but we’re just too in love with her and for practical reasons, we needed a bar.

I spotted this little one on kijiji over a year ago. What “had me at hello” were her amazing door mouldings. Rare to see this kind of detail on a piece – it made me swoon! The inside still had the original radio shelf (large u-shaped hole near the back) and someone had nailed two planks to the bottom. Even the feet had been altered and cut into squares (weird!). But, I’m a “I’ll deal with later” kinda girl, so we loaded her up and took her home.

Over the years I’ve learned quite a bit on how to repair and modify pieces but this one was a challenge. First I started with the legs. The radio/bar was just a little too tall for my vertically challenged body and since I prefer no cross joint on furniture legs the decision was easy – take off the bottom half. It immediately looked so much better!

 

Then I had to deal with the shelves. Despite my business name, I’m actually quite a perfectionist. Not only did I have to replace the shelves, I also needed the right mouldings to butt up against them. Did you know that if you buy wood at any hardware store they will cut it to your dimensions at no extra cost? This is so amazing when you have big ideas on how to fix things but no time to do it. One small-ish board made two shelves. Wood trim was added to bring it all together. Oh, and anytime I get to use my air-nailer is a good day. Love that thing!

The final repair (exhausted yet?) was to fix the moulding I loved so much. There was a small piece missing on the bottom of the right door. I sanded and cleaned the part that was missing and then used regular wood filler to make my moulding. It was like playing with play-doh or I imagine the more mature would call it sculpting?! Regardless, once wood filler dries, it’s as hard as wood. I sanded it down to the right shape and thickness and it looks exactly the same as the other side. Pretty proud of that achievement.

Once everything was fixed and in place it was time to prime and paint. I knew the minute I saw the ad, that this little one would be painted in one of my all-time favourite colours, Mustard. Not only is it my go-to yellow, it just happens to be milk paint. I won’t go on… you know how I feel about milk paint.

The finishing touches were papering the back in a honeycomb pattern and the tiny bubble-gum knobs. It just all worked together. All that’s left to do is to fill it and You’re all invited! 😉

Snow white, milk painted, adorable night tables

Snow white, milk painted, adorable night tables

 

The minute I spotted these two, I knew I had to have them. Gorgeous night tables with Queen Anne legs and curves abound. I couldn’t wait to get them home to give them a much needed makeover.

 

 

When planning how to paint pieces I usually start with paint colour and then pick accessories as I go. This time was very different. You might remember that over a year ago (if you followed my fb page way back then) I received an order of knobs (photo inserted), and in it, were these amazing, milky green glass furniture jewelry, or knobs as some of you may call them. 😉 I was dying to use them but hadn’t found the right pieces until these little ones came into my life.

 

 

After the knobs were picked I had to decide on paint. If you know me, you know I have a fear of painting things white. I’m always afraid it’s too safe, too plain, too overused, too difficult to topcoat but, for these knobs and these tables, there was no other option. White was the perfect non-colour!The challenge of painting with white was even more so since I used Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Snow white, for the first time. I won’t go on about how much I love this paint since you all know by now. It did what I loved and turned out amazing.

 

 

I used Rustoleum Chalked Protective Topcoat (only one finish option, matte) and it turned out beautifully. You can’t even tell it’s there. So happy to have found this product.

 

 

I also had the drawer liners stashed away for the perfect piece(s). The perfect finishing touch for the perfect pair of night stands. They might even be too pretty to hide in the bedroom! 🙂

 

Slate bowed front french provincial dresser

Slate bowed front french provincial dresser

This incredibly gorgeous bowed front, french provincial, solid wood dresser is a stunner! It’s been a while since I’ve posted new work but you’ll be happy to know that in that time, my love for milk paint has not waned. 😉
 
The paint’s pigments leave varying shades of colour that give so much depth to a piece and of course milk paint does all the yummy things that milk paint does, like crackling and chipping. Every time I paint with this paint, I feel as though I’ve created a masterpiece. Seriously, I love this paint! My only disclaimer is that it isn’t easy to work with, but once you get the hang of it, it’s so rewarding.
I am usually pretty satisfied with my GF gel topcoat but although it’s amazing on dark paints and you can’t ask for a harder, more protective finish, it’s impossible to use on lighter colours. In the Spring, I was obsessed with finding the best matte topcoat, that wouldn’t yellow and would leave the perfect finish without streaks. I’m happy to say that I found a product that checked all the boxes: Rustoleum Chalked Protective Topcoat. I like it so much I used it and recommended it at my workshop in June. Nothing but good to say about this product. I might even like it as much as the GF! 😮
Of course all great furniture pieces have to have the right jewelry. I chose to whitewash the pulls and I love how they turned out. They’re absolutely perfect!
It will be difficult to see this one go, but she’s for sale.
Pitch Black, milk painted sideboard

Pitch Black, milk painted sideboard

This gorgeous vintage piece with stunning appliques hit all of my furniture criteria; unique, intricate and striking. One of the heaviest and biggest pieces I’ve ever worked on, but definitely one of the most beautiful.

 

 

I used my go to paint these days, milk paint, in Pitch Black.  Again, the milk paint did all the wonderful things I wanted it to: different shading of black and crackling and scaling. This stuff is fascinating to work with. I swear, when I start talking about my obsession with milk paint, people’s eyes glaze over. I’m nuts about this stuff!

 

 

After I painted and sanded her back to near wood, I focussed on the finishing. I rarely talk about this step, but topcoating is really the most important part of the process. It is also the most frustrating, time consuming, confusing and for most people, the most boring part of furniture refinishing but if you don’t do it, you’re certain to regret it. The first time you put a hot mug or wet glass on the piece, you’ll ruin it. For all you wanting to learn how to do this, don’t focus on the paint, focus on the topcoat.

 

 

I always say I put three layers of topcoat on the surface of the piece and two everywhere else, but that’s really the minimum. I topcoat until it’s near perfection and sometimes that takes 5 or 6  coats. I obsess about it!  I pity the person that will ever have to strip down my work. They’ll be swearing on my grave for sure. 😉

 

 

Once the finish was done it was time to accessorize. Furniture hardware can be so much fun! I have a ton of knobs on hand and I think I tried everyone of them on this piece and none of them were right. In the end I realized that her original hardware was made for her. Whoever planned her out knew what they were doing. Although they were the perfect match in shape and size the brass was too brassy, so I painted and topcoated them too. I love how it all pulled together in the end. She’s a stunner!

 

Stunning vintage china cabinet, milk painted and polka dotted!

Stunning vintage china cabinet, milk painted and polka dotted!

 

Over time I’ve come to realize that it’s important to love every inch of every piece I buy. If that voice inside my head says “I love everything about this except for…” the warning bells go off and  I move on. This small, divine, vintage china cabinet hit all the marks for me. From it’s delicate appliques to the curved legs and the sweet pulls, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind. She was a definite buy.

 

 

She’s close to 100 years old (made somewhere between 1907-1937) and the only sign that points to her age, is her gorgeous patinated wood. I really wanted to highlight the crackling and beauty of her exterior. Old Fashioned milk paint, in Pitch Black, was the go to paint for this one. The pigment of milk paint almost seems to absorb into the wood. It’s so fascinating to work with and this shade is stunning! I distressed the black quite a bit to get some yummy wood to show through.

 

I also wanted to use this adorable Spoonflower polka dot paper I had stored away for just the right piece. I papered the back and painted the interior with General finishes Snow white milk paint. Love this white! It matched the paper exactly.

The exterior was top-coated with General finishes Gel Topcoat and the interior with their High Performance Topcoat. A ton of work to get this one done but so worth every minute. One of my all-time favourites for sure! She’ll be hard to top but I’ll give it a try! 😉

Vintage mustard dresser with delicate ball knobs

Vintage mustard dresser with delicate ball knobs

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There’s a woman out of Montreal that restyles furniture so beautifully. Her business name is “Orphans with Makeup”. What a great name, right? When I saw this dresser for the first time, I thought this is an orphan in need of little makeup and a lot of loving. I’m a sucker for that kind of furniture. I feel like if I don’t do something they’re doomed. Yes, I’m that crazy!

 

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I sometimes forget to take before shots before I start working on them. This is one of those times. Sorry! I only remembered once I had applied the applique and the drawers were sanded, but you get the picture. She had great bones but was looking a little tired. This one got the royal treatment with an all over makeover.

 

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She was sanded, washed and primed and I also applied Danish Oil on the inside and outside of all her drawers. I then painted her with Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Mustard. Can I say how much I love this stuff! It gives such a different look and the pigment is unlike anything else I’ve ever used. It crackled and chipped and distressed in all of the right places. Really fun stuff! After that, I sealed her with General Finishes topcoat. Another favourite.

 

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I’m pretty thrilled with how she turned out. Delicate white ceramic knobs and charming drawer liners just put her over top! Can you see how her top slightly curls up on the front left side. I think it’s the beginning of a smile. What do you think?

 

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