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The Secretary is In!

This afternoon I delivered another custom piece for a client – a lovely secretary desk.

Below are the BEFORE photos: (Even completely spray-painted black, it was very pretty.)

 Here’s the AFTER: painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen and Old White.

I distressed the edges lightly and added dark wax in the crevices on the crown molding and around the window panels, after sanding back the stencils.

She decided to leave the inside black. Thank goodness, can you imagine how much time it would have taken to hand-paint inside all of those compartments!!

Here’s the piece in her home, adjacent to its matching table and chairs. She loved it and I am so happy with how it turned out!

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Even the hairless cats like it!

Today I delivered a newly painted dining set to a client. It was an old pedestal 4-seat table that she inherited from her grandmother. The pieces had been stored in a basement for quite some time, but they were about to get a new lease on life.

Here’s what the set used to look like…

Here’s what it looks like now…

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen for the chairs and table base. The table top and some accents were done with Old White. I used several layers of clear wax for the table top, and buffed it nice and smooth. The chairs each were clear waxed and I used a little dark wax here and there for some aging. And as you can see in the pics, I distressed the corners, edges and spindly areas.

The client loved them, and while I was there dropping off, her grandmother arrived. That’s right – the original owner of the set. She approved too. But, the best part had to be when the client’s three hairless Sphynx cats started investigating. They hopped up on the chairs and rubbed their bald little heads all over them! It was great!

Now if I could just learn how to knit them a coat!

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DIY Lamp Makeover

I bet you all have an old lamp somewhere in the attic or basement that isn’t being used because you think it’s outdated, ugly or doesn’t match your decor anymore. I had one of those. In fact, it sat by itself for so long, I almost forgot it was even there. Today that lamp got a face-lift, with a technique I’ve been dying to try – stenciling!

Here’s how I did it:

Oh, can’t forget the “Before” photo. Plain Jane cream-colored shade, and gold. Gold. I don’t even know why I ever bought this.

DIY Lamp Makeover (1)

I chose to use ASCP in French Linen. I used a small brush and quickly painted a base coat over the entire black base and gold center. Nothing tricky here – just slapped it on. No primer, no prep beforehand. Just paint.

DIY Lamp Makeover (2)

While that was drying, I moved on to the lamp shade – the part I was most excited about, yet still a little nervous to attempt. I hadn’t stenciled before and worried that if I screwed it up, that was all she wrote. There were no other lamp shades to take its place. But, my worries quickly faded as I discovered how easy it was.

First, I taped the stencil in place on the lamp.

DIY Lamp Makeover (3)

Next I dipped the flat end of my stencil paint brush into the paint. The directions on the stencil said I should wipe the excess paint off the end of the brush onto a cloth. That is an important warning – too much paint and you’ll see it spread underneath the stencil. So take heed – less is more here!

After you’ve dipped and wiped, then start dabbing at an open section of the stencil, applying the paint in a circular motion. I had to dip and wipe several times just to complete each swirly shape.

DIY Lamp Makeover (4)

An important note to bear in mind as you are working – gently keep your stencil in place with just the tips of your fingers. If you apply too much pressure, you’ll inadvertently move the stencil. I found it slid around easily.

DIY Lamp Makeover (5)

Once I painted the sections of the stencil I wanted (in this case, the whole thing), I removed it and marveled at how good it looked, and thought, “dang, that was easy!”

 

DIY Lamp Makeover (6)

My next step was to turn the shade slightly and start working my way around. I chose to slightly turn my stencil, so the swirls would not all be facing in the same direction. And in some sections of the shade, I had the swirls running off the edges.

DIY Lamp Makeover (7)

You can see a few of the places where the paint was too heavy (I got lazy and stopped wiping the excess on the cloth) and it spread under the stencil border. But, I was so anxious! I had to tell myself to slow down. Once I got one side of the shade completed, I set it aside to dry. Then I went back to the lamp again.

I applied a second coat of French Linen. Once it dried, I started to distress lightly. Since I was working with metal, I chose to not use sand paper, but instead used a wet rag. I lightly rubbed the rag over the paint, until the metal beneath showed through. Like the edges on the base here.

DIY Lamp Makeover (9)

 

DIY Lamp Makeover (10)

See the gold peeking through in spot…

DIY Lamp Makeover (14)

After that was complete, I went back to the shade and finished stenciling the other side.

DIY Lamp Makeover (8)

And here it is all done! Doesn’t it look pretty nifty on top of the dresser, which just so happens to be in the same shade – French Linen!

DIY Lamp Makeover (11)

 

DIY Lamp Makeover (12)

 

DIY Lamp Makeover (13)

Talk about an easy way to give an old Home Depot lamp new life! Doesn’t she look all custom, boutique-chic now!

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Items for Sale

Scroll down for a running list of items currently for sale. If you are interested, please email me: niese.traci@yahoo.com or call 717-424-8788. Currently I do not ship. It’s pick-up only, please.

Thanks for giving my beloved work a new home!

French Country Coffee Table – $125

Bombay table newly painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old Ochre and Graphite, with clear and dark wax. Lovely legs! 45.25″ wide x 23.5″ deep x 17″ high (from floor to top)
Items for Sale (20)
French Country End Table – $100
Bombay table newly painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old Ochre and Graphite, with clear and dark wax. Lovely legs! 23.5″ high x 25.25″ wide x 16.75″ deep
Items for Sale (19)

The Hayden – Vintage Desk/Vanity Table – $175.00

Vintage desk or vanity table painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White with a base coat of French Linen. Drawer fronts also painted in French Linen. Distressed and aged with dark wax, and sealed with a top coat of clear wax. 40″ wide x 29″ high x 17.5″ deep
Items for Sale (16)
 
The Surprise – Storage Cabinet/Chest – $150.00 -SOLD
Heavy duty storage piece with 2 doors, an interior shelf and drawer. Painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paloma and Old White. Aged with dark wax and sealed with clear wax. The doors open up to reveal aged, decoupaged decorative paper. 25″ wide x 30″ high x 15″ deep
Items for Sale (18)

 

The Ida – Tall Vintage Accent Table – $75.00
Beautiful table gets a paint job with ASCP in Versailles with light distressing and clear wax. The round top is 13.75 ” in diameter, and it stands 31″ tall.
Items for Sale (10)
Pinky – Accent Table – $60.00
Little accent table painted with ASCP in Scandinavian Pink, distressed and aged with dark wax. Sealed with clear wax. 23″ high x 13″ wide x 13″ deep.
Items for Sale (15)
 
Vintage Shutters turned Memo Board – $20.00 – SOLD
Painted with Old White and dry-brushed with French Linen.
Items for Sale (17)
Pedestal Table with 4 Chairs and 2 Leaves – $450.00 – SOLD!
Painted with ASCP in Duck Egg Blue. Distressed and sealed with clear wax. The top has been stripped, sanded and stained a light walnut color allowing the grain to show through. Sealed with polyurethane.
Items for Sale (14)
Shaker Style Peg Rack – $15.00
Painted with ASCP in Versailles. Distressed and sealed with clear wax.
Items for Sale (11)
 
Shadow Boxes – $25 for the pair
Small and large shadow boxes, ready to hang, are painted with ASCP in Old White, distressed and aged with dark wax. Sealed with clear wax.
Items for Sale (13)
 
Bird Prints in Distressed Frames – $30 for the pair – SOLD
Lovely bird prints framed in newly painted wood frames. Old White, distressed and aged with dark wax, and sealed with clear wax.
Items for Sale (9)
Decorative Glass Dome with Newly Painted Base – $25.00 -SOLD!
Previously an old cheese serving tray, this gorgeous glass dome gets new life as a decorative table ornament with a painted wood base in ASCP Old White. Distressed and aged with dark wax. Sealed with clear wax. (Not to be used for serving food)
Items for Sale (12)

 

Vintage mirror, ready to hang, painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Arles with Old White dry-brushing, distressing and clear wax. Dimensions when hung in Landscape: 33″wide x 21″ high
Items for Sale (8)



“The Chloe” – 6-Drawer Dresser in French Linen – $300.00 – SOLD!
This beautiful 6-drawer dresser was transformed with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen, with 2 coats of clear wax and light distressing. The drawers are dovetailed, and the dresser was constructed completely from wood. The drawers are made with wood-cut tracks – no metal. I am not an antiques expert, but my guess is that it’s pretty old. The brass drawer pulls are exceptional, and are original to the piece. Dimensions: 45″ high x 36.5″ wide x 19″ deep

Items for Sale (5)

“Little Ben” – Child-Sized Bench – $60.00
This small Amish-style bench, perfectly suited in size for kids, was painted in  Old White Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, with clear and dark wax. It’s got an aged patina, and heavy distressing. Dimensions: 33.5″ wide x 25″ high x 13″ deep

Items for Sale (4)


“Sad Sally” – Accent Table – $25.00 SOLD!!
This poor little table has a crooked leg, and a slightly bowed top, but with a beautiful new coat of paint in Annie Sloan’s Duck Egg Blue, those imperfections only add character to an old piece. Shabby chic for sure! Dimensions: 15″ wide x 29″ high x 15″ deep

Items for Sale (2)

“The Buster” – Display Box – $20.00
Buster is a small 2-door display box, perfect for highlighting your collection of miniatures. The outside is painted with a base coat of Annie Sloan’s Old White, and topped with French Linen. It’s been distressed and coated with clear and dark wax, for an aged appearance. The inside is painted in Duck Egg Blue.

Items for Sale (1)

“The Diana” – Stenciled Lamp – $100.00 SOLD!
This fun, working lamp is painted in ASCP French Linen. The lamp shade was stenciled in the same color paint. A lovely companion to The Chloe dresser! 

Items for Sale (6)



“The Annie” – Frenchy coffee table -$125.00 SOLD!!
This beautiful, curvy coffee table was painted with a base coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paloma (warm grey/taupe color with a hint of lavender). Old White was dry brushed over the legs and base, and then aged with dark wax. The top was accented with french damask and vines, distressed and clear waxed. Lovely carved shell and finial designs.
Items for Sale (7)


“Miss Lovely” – Bench and Pillow – $450.00
This bench project included a paint and upholstery transformation. I gave it a new tufted seat, and painted the frame in Old White, with clear and dark wax, for an aged patina. I also made a coordinating little pillow.

Items for Sale (3)



If you have a piece of furniture you would like to discuss, please contact me. I am happy to come out and take a look and provide a quote.

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The Dresser – Before and After Photos

For all my neighbors who have seen me working in the garage day in and day out on the dresser – it’s done! Finally! But, I must say, I love how it has turned out. I think its just a thing of beauty. In fact, I am tempted to keep it. But, I really don’t NEED another dresser. And goodness knows, that I hope to keep finding diamonds in the rough like this.

So, here’s the new and improved dresser in French Linen (Pardon my make-shift staging in the garage. It’s just too heavy for me to get into the house by myself.):
Remember what it used to look like? Heavily stained, majorly dinged up, with pulls covered in years of grime, and probably the same stain on the wood.
Now the beautiful curves and carved sides are accented with light distressing, and sealed with clear wax.

I chose not to distress very heavily on the fronts of the drawers and did not distress on the top at all – except along the edges. Where you do see distressing, it was done to intentionally accent areas that were already imperfect – like scratches or dents.
And the drawer pulls got a good cleaning with  Brasso. They had been heavily stained with the same wood stain that was on the old dresser, and covered with years of dirt and grime. Look how lovely they are now – they shine and you can really see the intricate metalwork.
I had so much fun watching this transformation happen before my eyes. As soon as I started painting the drawers with the first coat, I was amazed at the difference. Amazed!
This dresser is for sale, along with a few other pieces I have completed lately. Click here to see my inventory: Items for Sale
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My first Annie Sloan chalk paint piece

As soon as I got home from the workshop, I bought myself some Annie Sloan chalk paint from my 2 local stockiest – On a Whim in Lucketss, VA and The Empty Nest, located inside Fox Den Antiques in Warrenton, VA. I purchased a quart of Duck Egg Blue, French Linen and Old White. I also grabbed a sample container of Paris Grey. My bounty was not complete without a can of clear wax and dark wax.

Later, I headed to Lowe’s and purchased natural bristle brushes (for painting), lint-free wiping cloths (for wiping away excess wax), sandpaper (for distressing), mineral spirits (for cleaning the wax brushes – soap & water cleans the paint brushes), and a drop cloth (to preserve the floor in my husband’s man cave, a.k.a. the garage).

With all that loot, I was ready to begin painting. My first piece was this box I found at a local consignment shop. I purchased it with the intention of painting it, as I love the shape of the box, but am not fond of the sunflower and checkerboard design. It isn’t the best quality – a little beat up, but kind of cute, right?

So, the first thing I did was give the exterior a coat of Old White. I slapped it on, as Annie directs, in every which way.  When it dried, I then painted the inside Duck Egg Blue. Already I discovered my first mistake – I should have painted the inside first. It was quite difficult to paint inside (as the little doors do not come off), and not get paint on some of the newly painted white parts. And – I need to invest in a smaller, artist-type paint brush for little areas like the strip of wood down the middle. But, after this struggle, it got much easier.
I let it dry and gave the exterior a coat of French Linen. Waited a short bit, and then it was ready to wax. I started with the clear wax over the entire thing – inside and out. After I applied it with the wax brush, I used my cloths to rub it in, and remove any excess. It felt smooth and dry to the touch. 
Next, I got out course sand paper, and distressed it on all sides. Since this piece was a bit rough to begin with, I decided to give it a lot of distressing, and really age it. So, the next step was to apply dark wax, so it could seep into those distressed areas and imperfections. After I rubbed off the excess (which you coincidentally do with the clear wax – pretty nifty trick!), I again gave it a final coating of clear wax. Then I lightly buffed it.
Here’s the transformed box:
I’m not sure where I will keep this little bugger yet in my house. And to be honest, there’s not a whole lot of little things I have to display inside. This might make a good piece hung on the wall with thimbles inside or something else of that little nature. Any other ideas? Feel free to share!