Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ombre Dresser Make Over

I love the ombre look so when I was 'gifted' this very old dresser, I immediately pictured it in my beachy guest room with ombre drawers.  It was in pretty rough shape so there was a bit of prep work that had to be done first.

There were a lot of chips, nicks and gouges on the drawers and the top.  I sanded first and then used wood putty to fill in all the gaps.  After drying, I sanded again.  I also decided to remove the knobs as they were wood and didn't fit with the style of the dresser.
 Wood putty has become a great friend -- it really DOES fix and hide a "multitude of sins".
 I often choose to leave pieces "as is" in back.  Often there are some really neat details that give a hint of just how old the piece is or even where it was manufactured.  This piece just had this great, old number "20" on the back so I kept it unpainted.  The rest of the dresser got two coats of Annie Sloan Pure White chalk paint which was then distressed and waxed with clear wax.
 I added these vintage look glass knobs and used Arles, Emile and Provence chalk paint for the drawers.  No real recipe.  I just started with the full strength color on the bottom and kept adding white to the next layer up until it was almost completely white.
It fits so well with the theme of my room -- and you can't beat the price . . . free!


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Valentine's Day Warms My Heart!

 I think my favorite holiday to decorate for is definitely Valentine's Day.  The Christmas decorations come down, the house gets a good cleaning and then, the Valentine decorations go right up.  

I search all year long for vintage items to incorporate including these angels and postcards.
 How great is this book?? Love IS eternal!
This old bottle capping device is usually out all year but gets moved around and accessorized with the different holidays.

I also love decorating and filling small drawers around the house for the holidays.  This little drawer is in my buffet in the dining room.
Battening down the hatches for the coldest temps of the year here in Chicagoland so having my cheerful Valentine decorations up may not warm my toes but will definitely warm my heart!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Fence Board Art

 I love using old fence boards for artwork.  I get them for free whenever I see someone taking down a fence, on Craigslist, on a curb . . . wherever I can!  I wanted something to put above my upcycled windows in my living room.  I started with painting one coat of chalk paint on the boards, then sanded lightly and painted on the words.
The words were printed out on paper and then taped together.  Using graphite paper, I transferred the script to the boards and then painted using black, acrylic paint.  Finally, I sanded the words lightly to distress a bit and finished with a coat of clear wax.  When using this technique, I have a few, simple TIPS:
1.  Invest in a good brush.  This one cost me about 10.00 and is a number 2 round brush.  It's perfect for lettering and fine detail. 

2.  Choose a simple font.  The one I love to use is called Abbeyline and was downloaded for free at 

3.  Water down your paint.  I keep a small jar of water on the table and each time I dip my brush in the water, then in the paint (which I pour out onto a piece of cardboard or plastic lid) and then lightly brush the excess paint onto the cardboard before heading to my project.  This was probably the most helpful tip -- you get nice, smooth, fine lines this way.


My favorite kind of project:  Free, simple, quick!