Saturday, January 24, 2015

Before & After: Mod Triangle Dresser Makeover

Well I'm back with another furniture makeover for you. It's been a while... not too long, but a while :) I designed another funky piece and just went for it. The idea was drawn out in my idea book and just a few days later my parents found a great petite dresser at an estate sale that was worth the risk.

It was inexpensive, but the piece also isn't the best quality I've seen, which is why I wanted it. It made it easier for me to experiment with one of the many ideas that float around in my head, and if it didn't turn out, I would not feel bad about "messing the piece up." The main thing I wanted to try was a mod or geometric triangular pattern on the drawers. I love straight lines and geometric designs but wanted to try something new and different. I contemplated switching the wood and white portions on the drawers (before it was done) but ended up keeping the triangular portion natural wood and painting the rest of the piece.

To start I removed the hardware and began stripping the drawers with citristip. I think it is pine veneer, but I'm not entirely sure. Once they were stripped I let them dry overnight and sanded the drawers clean and smooth the next morning. I also filled in the old holes from the hardware and sanded it smooth. Next was staining, and from experience I knew there was a possibility the wood wouldn't take the stain evenly. To help prevent that I gave each drawer a coat of pre-stain wood conditioner 10 minutes before staining. This particular wood veneer didn't take the stain color well. It just wasn't getting dark like I wanted. I ended up using a mix of stains and 4 coats to get the color as dark as I wanted it. I used Rustoleum's Dark Walnut, General Finishes Antique Walnut Gel Stain and Cabot's Ebony stain. I mixed the GF Gel Stain with some of he Ebony stain for the last coat and that really helped to darken up the color.

In the meantime the frame of the dresser was sanded with my palm sander then cleaned and primed with my grey tinted Zinsser Cover Stain primer. I applied the primer with a foam brush and sanded it smooth. For the color I wanted a light-medium grey. I ended up mixing Sherwin Williams' Gauntlet Grey and Stone Mason. Gauntlet Grey had warmer undertones and looked a bit more taupe while Stone Mason was a cool grey. They mixed well for the perfect shade. For sealer I used General Finishes High Performance Topcoat in Flat finish on the frame of the dresser.

 Once the drawers dried for 24 hours I sealed them in General Finishes HP topcoat in satin. I was then ready to tape off he triangles on each drawer. I measure in about 3/4in from where the previous hardware holes had been (I wanted those covered in paint). It took a while, but I then had all 4 drawers taped and ready for paint. I made sure to use my handy trick to get clean lines, and then I applied 4 coats of white paint to the drawers. Once it was dry the white painted portions were sealed in GF's HP topcoat in gloss.  As much as I liked the look without any hardware, the piece needed some to make it functional so I added some simple oil rubbed bronze knobs I've had for a long time (bought from Habitat for Humanity Restore a few years ago).

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Furniture Buying Guide: Where to Look for and Buy Used Furniture Pieces Online to Paint and Sell

Today I'm going to talk about searching and finding furniture for your own home, or, more specifically as it relates to me, pieces to paint/refinish and sell. This post will relate more towards those who run or hope to one day run a business painting, refinishing and selling furniture, but I don't exclude anyone :) For years I have always been asked by people who follow my blog, "liked" my facebook page, follow on Instagram, or those actually buying piece, "where do you get your pieces?" Well, here's a good list of places to look as well as tips for each site to help you in your search for some great treasures!

First I want to point out that this is a list of all places around the Seattle area and Western Washington that I frequently search. I have a set price I am willing to pay for certain pieces. Larger items like buffets, mid century modern dressers and credenzas I am willing to pay more for than something smaller, like a desk or nightstand. It all ultimately depends on the quality, style, and size of the piece, as well as what it will most likely sell for. If you are looking to paint or refinish a piece and start a business selling pieces, those are the characteristics you want to look for. I'll go into details of those things in another post, but for now let's focus on where to hunt!

Craigslist is one of my top places for finding pieces. Searching takes just a few minutes everyday or a few times a week (I used to be a constantly-checking craigslist searcher) to see what's recently posted. Get used to Craigslist, it's a great tool for finding furniture and a bunch of other items for heavily discounted prices!

**** Tips for Searching:

1. Use broad keywords that will also narrow down your results. Try searching things like "dresser" or "buffet" or "solid wood" or "antique" or "credenza" or "sideboard" or "chest of drawers" or "desk" or "mid century" or "modern". This applies for all different types and pieces of furniture like secretaries, vanities, nightstands, bed frames and so on. Make sure to put in one keyword or one keyword phrase at a time. Searching "dresser" will yield you more results than searching "solid wood mid century dresser". Don't expect sellers (especially those selling in a lower price range) to have properly listed all of the details about a piece like the wood type, style and maker. They don't get that specific. Sometimes that is better for you, the buyer, because you find a quality piece for a great price.

2. Limit your Craigslist search by also choosing the location/area of the item, price range and most recent.  I also choose the "gallery" viewing option so I see a photo of the item before having to click through to the listing. If a posting has more than one photo you can even hover over the image and click the next/side arrow to see all photos before clicking on the listing. I keep the location close to me but sometimes broaden it if I'm looking for a certain style of piece or really want more inventory.

3. Search the categories that apply. I use "furniture" and "antiques" when looking for furniture. I deselect the other categories that don't apply. I also choose "by owner" and do not include listings "by dealer" since those items tend to be out of my price range.

4. Sort the results by newest. This is how I search, but other great options are ascending price or relevant. If you search frequently sort by "newest" that way you can look at the first few results, up until the last time you checked craigslist, then be on your way. This makes searching really fast.

5. Search and check often! When there is a good deal, it will go fast and have a lot of interest. You have to be ready to pick it up that day, even in a few hours sometimes. I've also found that the end of the month is a great time to check Craigslist often. People are moving and trying to sell things, and it's often for a great price if they don't want or can't take it with them. Weekends are also a great time to look (especially Saturdays) since people are cleaning out extra things or taking the time to list pieces if they don't have time to do so during the week.

6. Once you find a piece you want, contact the seller. Email, text or call, depending on the contact information they left and their preference. Make sure you read the post so you have as much information as the seller included. If you have any further questions, politely express your interest and ask your question(s). I also say to always leave a phone number as an option for the seller to contact you. It's shows you are serious about the purchase and might result in a more timely response.
Dimensions are important to ask for if they are not listed to make sure the piece will fit in your vehicle. Also check that a piece is smoke free. I wouldn't recommend asking more than 2 questions in an email or text, it can be annoying to see someone who asks a lists of questions. Decide on a pick up time and be sure you are flexible with this. Also, don't flake out! If you can't make the time you decided on, are running late or decide you no longer want the piece, let the seller know. Either reschedule of let them move on to another buyer.

7. Download the Craigslist App. If you are board or have a spare minute while you are away from the computer, use your phone. I purchased the Craigslist Pro App for $0.99 a few years back. There are also many free versions you can use as well. The Pro App had some features I wanted, like being able to set up alerts for when certain posts come up with keywords you are looking for.

8. Lastly, BRING CASH! I think this is obvious for any purchases from online sites, but this is just a reminder :)

*** I'm throwing this one in as well, but search Craigslists "Garage and moving sale" section. People list sales weekly and there are often nearby sales that are not listed on other larger sale sites. Garages sales, Moving sales and Estate sales are seasonal around here (oh, the rain!), so I don't search in the winter months, but late spring/summer and sometimes even fall I check to see if there are any great sales going on. Sales listed on Craigslist show a small portion of what will be available. Don't email the person and try to show up early or have them hold an item. That's not how this works. ***

Offer Up
Last year I was turned on to the site Offer Up. I have the App on my iphone that I use most of the time, but they do also have a website. Unlike Craigslist where you can just search without having an account, you need on with Offer Up in order to contact the seller. It's not the largest or most well know platform for buying and selling used items, but that doesn't mean you can't find treasures! I found this Broyhill Brasilia credenza for a steal!

**** Tips for using Offer Up:

1. Once you set up your account (Name, email, password) you can search. Just like Craigslist use individual keywords or short keyword phrases to search. (See above for more tips on this).

2. Make sure you pick your location. The site shows results closest to you, then they get farther away the more results you scroll through.

Honesty Time: There are a bunch of things I don't like about the site, and more that are frustrating about the app. First, you can't sort by price, you just have to go through it all. Second, on the phone app the price is not displayed until you click through to the listing. Third, each item listing only allows for 1 photo, and most people take crappy photos (what's with that?). Fourth, it's not the most well known site and app so there are not as many users, which means not as many items listed, at least when it comes to searching for furniture in the furniture and antiques categories.

3. Once you have used a keyword and searched, go through the listing and find something you want. Click on the listing and read the information, then you can click "Buy" or "Ask". If you have questions, want more photos, or want more information about the item then click "Ask". This allows you to message the seller. Your response and theirs should also be sent to your email. If you want to purchase the item then click, "Buy". If the seller selected that they were firm on the price when listing the item, then you will only have the option to click "Buy", and this will automatically send the seller a message telling them you want to buy [Item] for the asking price.

If the seller did not specify that the price was firm when the item was listed, when you click "Buy" you will have the option to enter an offer.

Personally, even if I want to offer a lower price before seeing the piece, I do not use the "Buy" function. I prefer to message the seller with the "Ask" function expressing my interest with the piece, asking or offering a time I am available to see it and pick it up, then asking if they are negotiable. Sometimes I negotiate in person, and if a piece is listed at a great, fair price, I don't negotiate at all. Whichever you choose, just make sure you are kind and respectful when doing so.

So I don't use Offer Up often, I only search it when I can't find anything good on Craigslist, but I have purchased a few pieces off of the site and have seen some great pieces (for amazing prices) when I didn't need more projects or didn't have room for more inventory. It's at least worth a shot to see if you find some something.
Estate sales are one of the best places to buy furniture. Garage sales are hit or miss with furniture (sometimes it's just baby stuff), but estate sales usually have some furniture, or even a lot! With you can enter your zipcode and the results will start with the sales closest to you and move out from there.

***Tips for using

1. Search your zipcode and browse the upcoming sales in your area. I usually pick sales based on their location and distance from where I live and what days they are on. I love that this site shows sales that are currently happening and sales that are a few months away. 

2. Browse the photos that are included with the sale listing. Browsing the photos will give you an idea of what items are being sold at the sale and the style of those items. I also look for the furniture, but there are other great things to find at estate sales. Almost every sale listed has photos a week or 2 before the sale actually starts, sometimes even sooner than that. If there are not photos yet, check closer to the sale date.

3. Majority of the sales listed are put on by estate sale companies. If not it will say "privately listed sale". When companies put on sales there are rules that they have to keep when running the sale. They only allow a certain number of people in at a time, some only accept cash while others accept cards and so on. Read through the Terms and Conditions that are included to be aware of all the expectations and requirements of the company. 

4. I wrote a whole separate post about Attending and Buying at Estate Sales. Read through these tips on attending and buying at Estate Sales. This is what I've learned and figured out from scouring Estate Sales for awesome furniture treasures. 

There are other places to search for Estate Sales. I mentioned above that Craigslist is a great option for finding Estate and Garage Sales in your area. You can also just venture out and follow signs on the weekend. They should lead to some sales.

Auctions (online)
Auctions are another great place to find lots of furniture for sale in one place. It can be hard to find auctions in your area, but google "your location" + "auction". That is how I first found and started attending an estate auction in my area. For me, the best thing about the auction house I attend was they also run the auction online. I only attended 1 time, then I figured out it's easier to bid and watch from home and only make a trip to pick up what I purchase. Also, I hate wasting 3-4 hours just sitting through an auction waiting on certain pieces. 

***Tips for buying from online auctions:

1. Always look through and preview the photos. That will show you what is available and what you want to purchase. I make sure to look at the photos in order of the item numbers so I know at what point in the auction they will be up for bidding. 

2. Figure out your login and account. Do a test login. The site I use always has problems with their login so I try to sort it out before the start time. Make sure to write down your bidder number. You'll need this when you go to pick up what you purchased. 

3. Make a list of the items you are interested in. Include the item's number, a description of the piece, and write down the maximum you are willing to spend for it. **I want to note that all auction companies charge sales tax (usually 9.5% around here) as well as a buyer's premium. In my experience the buyer's premium is around 12%, but I'm sure it varies. This is how the company makes money. Just be sure you factor this in and add it on to your purchase price and max budget.*** 

4. I do this a lot with all types of furniture that I buy from all different sites and stores, but research the piece. That might sound weird to some people, but learn more about the piece. Type descriptions of the style, wood, color, shape, number of drawers, hardware style, etc. into Google or Ebay and see what comes up. Even Pinterest in a good place to search if you want pictures of similar pieces. I'm usually able to find the exact piece or a similar piece with just a bit of searching and playing with keywords. Then see what it sells for and just gain some general knowledge about it: Where was the piece made? When was the piece made? Is it veneer or solid wood? Would it be less collectible/valuable once painted? What have other people done with similar pieces?

5. Write down any valuable information you gained for future reference. You may want to change you max budget for the piece at this point based on what you learned.

6. Do your best to inspect the furniture piece and/or photos. If you do not go to preview the furniture, carefully look at any and all photos of the piece online. The auction site I use does a pretty good job of communicating any major flaws with the pieces, but that is not always the case. Just be aware if you buy something online, sight unseen (other than just a photo), when you go to pick it up the condition may be worse than you anticipated. Photos can make things look better than they truly are.

7. Find something productive to do while you sit and wait. This is just personal preference. I guess you could just watch the auction, but those things last hours. I usually have homework to do or a school book to read and just check back every so often to see what item number is up for bid and try to time when the next item I am interested in will be up for bidding. Sometimes I just leave the site up on my computer and come back in half an hour when there are large gaps between pieces I am interested in. My favorite is when the item you want is toward the beginning and you can bid, and be done!

8. If you do win an item, write down your bidder number, the item number, and the your winning bid (purchase price). Make sure to add on sales tax and the buyer's premium tax amount to your total. The auction site I use does not have you pay online. You just show up the next day during the open hours to pay and pick up items.

9. If you own a business restoring or painting furniture, bring your reseller's permit. Companies usually keep these on file and it keeps you from paying tax on the furniture piece since you will sell it and end up paying sales tax. Do not use your reseller's permit for items you are not reselling for your business.

Local Buy-Sell-Trade Groups
This is one place I look, but don't find a whole lot. It will totally depend on your area and what groups people have started. Search Facebook for "Buy, Sell, Trade [your city]" or "Shop and Swap [your city]" and see what comes up. There are certain Facebook groups that use different names but still have the same purpose of buying and selling used items with your neighbors. The Facebook group in my town is called the "[city name] Trading Post". It may take some searching and asking around, but most places have sites like these. Some cities/towns even have sites just devoted to furniture! I wish there was one of those around here. Most of the time, once you find one group there is a list of other groups to join for your area. 

***Tips for Buy Sell Trade Groups:
 I don't have a whole lot of tips with these (or experience), but here are some general tips on how there groups work.

1. Once you join the group items pop up in your Facebook newsfeed (or you can directly view the page to see what people are posting). The item goes to the top of the group page when listed or when a new comment is added.

2. Read the rules and guidelines for the group. Some have very specific rules on how to list items and how to comment, claim and set up pick-up. Don't break the rules, people can get crazy about them.

3. Read the post and all information the seller provided. You then comment with your interest. Many say "first" and so on depending on what spot they are in the line for the item. 

4. To set up a time to see and purchase the item people send the seller a "pm", or personal message. Make sure to comment back on their post that you messaged them so they can check their FB messages. If you are not FB friends with someone and you message them it goes to their "other" folder and they do not receive a notification about it.

5. You then communicate with the seller to agree on a time and place to meet for the item. In the small town I live "PPU" or "porch pick-up" is a widely used options. The seller leaves the item on their porch and the buyer leaves money under the mat or another place agreed on by both the buyer and seller.

That's how these types of groups usually work. I recommend finding one and joining to really see how it works and what items people are selling.

Honestly I think this one is more trouble than it's worth. I rarely see any good furniture pieces on freecycle and some people are so fast you never have a chance at anything. Plus the amount of emails you get is crazy. The one good furniture item my mom found on freecycle was this antique buffet I painted black.


Did you find this post helpful? I'd love it if you pinned this post on Pinterest. I'll be writing a second part to this post talking about places where you can hunt, buy and score secondhand furniture (not online). Do you have any online sites that you use to find furniture? I would love it if you would share in the comments below! 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Furniture Buying Guide: Tips for Attending and Buying at Estate Sales

I have learned a few things from attending my fair share of Estate Sales. This post is specifically for those buying furniture and is part of series of post about buying furniture for your own furniture painting or refinishing business. It also applies to others as well, this is just what I have experience with. 

To start out, here are a few piece I have purchased from Estate Sales and painted to sell:

Deep Blue Cabinet: purchased for $86.

This piece was bought by my neighbor at the same sale at the cabinet above. I then painted it for her. Bought for $100.


1. Show up early. Like, earlier than you think, especially if there is something you really want to purchase. The hardcore estate sale attendees show up a few hours before sales start. Sometimes 3 hour, 2 hours or 1 hour. These are usually the people who own and run antique booths. They come for the small items (so glad most don't compete with me for furniture!) and the collectible items (and some come from far away). That doesn't mean you don't' need to show up early if you are not buying smalls because most likely, other people want the same great item you want. 

2. When you show up check the door or ask for the sign in sheet and then sign in. Most sales I have been to post a sign up sheet on the door to record the order of the people who showed up for the sale. If the company does not provide one someone else will usually start one. When the sale starts the company calls people based on the sign up sheet and only lets a certain number in at at time to control the chaos. 

3. Wear the right things. If it's rainy, have a rain coat or umbrella. Have hot tea or coffee to stay warm if it's cold, and wear comfortable shoes. You may be standing in line for a while in an outdoor, uncovered area before the sale starts, so come prepared. A friend or something to entertain you is also nice so you stand around aimlessly bored out of your mind. If you don't plan on showing up early, then your shouldn't have to worry about this. 

4. Bring blue tape and a sharpie. This is what the experts do. Don't show up without it and stand around like, "uh..." (that was me). Write your name and "sold" (just a name usually works) multiple times on the tape. You can also rip pieces off and stick them to the backside of your hand. So this is how it works, people enter, find what they want, and stick the tape on the piece to claim it as theirs. This is really helpful if you are alone and can't stand by and claim multiple things at one. Now, this is for medium and larger items that are hard to carry around. Don't do it on little tiny things. Also, don't just put tape on everything if you are not really gong to buy it. You may make someone or the company miss out on a buy or sale, and that's not nice. Be respectful. 

5. Bring a reusable grocery bag. This is good to hold the small items you want to buy while you shop and help to carry them out once you purchase them. Not all sales offer bags to carry the items you buy, so come prepared.

6. When you attend a sale I recommend you bring cash. Even though many estate sale companies accept credit cards you can avoid fees with cash and sometimes negotiate a better price if you have the cash in hand.

7. If you want to negotiate, don't do it on the first day. Most places will not negotiate at all on the first day of the sale. I will say that price estate sales that are not put on by a company will be more open to negotiating. Overall, second and third days are your best bet if you are wanting a lower price. 

8. Most items are half off on the last day. They want everything gone and want to make money on as much as possible. Just because you are not able to attend a sale on the first day does not mean it's not worth going. I've found great things for amazing prices on the last day. Just know that you should show up early on the last day because people may be waiting in line to snag that item they have been eyeing for half off.

9. If you own a furniture business, bring your reseller's permit. Many estate sale companies will keep this on file if you have been before, but using it will save you on sales tax. Be sure you only use it if you will be selling the item as part of your business.

10. When buying larger pieces have transportation available and with you. Once you purchase an item you will need to take it with you or pick it up in a few hours. It's best to have a large vehicle with you so you don't have to come back or have to borrow a friends vehicle. 

11. One of my favorite things to do is bundle. Whether it is multiple of the same item or just a large amount if items, offer a bundle price for everything. When added up individually your purchase may be $57, but offer $50, or $45 for everything. This also works if you are trying to negotiate on one piece, but are also interested in something else. Offer or ask for a bundle price for buying multiple pieces.


Estate sales are great places to look for furniture. I like these sales because there is usually more than once piece available. You could end up with multiple pieces, or if someone else snatches the one you were eyeing, you have more options. Do you have any tips to add? Share them in the comments! I definitely don't know everything when it comes to Estate Sales and there's always more I can learn.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top Ten Furniture Makeovers and Projects of 2014

It's crazy to look back at all that I have accomplished this past year and also get a refresh of all of the furniture pieces and other projects I did. So, here's a round up of my favorite, that were also your favorites and some of the most viewed pieces on the blog.

I'm starting out with a piece I see everyday... my geometric headboard. This time consuming piece was a lot of work, but it's a great statement piece that I love having in my room... and it was the most commented on project/post as well as the most viewed furniture project of 2014. If you want to read the tutorial, you can find that here.

Next up is a Mid Century Credenza Refresh. I love this one and all the gorgeous wood that stayed. This was another popular post and readers were happy to see the wood refinished and not painted over. The glossy white top pairs so well with the rich wood on the rest of the piece.

It's fun when a new type and style of piece comes along, like this Grey on Grey Cabinet I painted for my neighbor. Neutral but fun.

Next is the first black milk paint piece I did with bone knobs. This sweet little dresser was just perfect for the oversized knobs, and I love the white and black contrast.

Now it's time for some color! Coral has become an accent color I really love (you saw it on the geometric headboard too). This dresser makes me want to paint something vibrant right now!

Another makeover with minimal paint was this geometric MCM dresser. Just a refresh to the wood and a little design on the top drawer gave this piece a new, modern look.

You can tell I love mid century and modern pieces :) So here's another! This Persimmon dresser was faded before, but a bold new color gave it an updated look.

This seemed to be a favorite on facebook, a blue-grey hepplewhite buffet. This one even stuck around and ended up in the dining room.

I love buffet's, so here's another. I went with the same black milk paint finish and oversized bone knob combination that I used on a previous makeover.

And last but not least, this Reverse Dipped Dresser Makeover. I loved trying a new design and taking a chance on this dresser... I think it paid off!

It has been a great year and I'm excited for 2015. There may be some new changes ahead, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Giveaway: Win a Quart of Old Fashioned Milk Paint (Closed)

This post and giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by any of the companies included in this giveaway. If you have any questions regarding this giveaway, contact The Weathered Door. Prize will only ship to those in the US. Sorry this isn't international.

Hey guys! To say thank you for all of your support I'm giving away one of my favorite products, Old Fashioned Milk Paint!

You can win a quart of milk paint from The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co. in your choice of 'Slate' or
Pitch Black'. If you follow along here you probably know I love the colors and the great finishes you can create with milk paint. If you are new to milk paint and want to learn more about it, I've written a detailed post on using it, which you can read here. There are 4 ways to enter, choose 1, or choose all! Use the rafflecopter widget below to enter, it may take a minute to load, but it should appear. Good luck and thank you to all of you following, commenting and encouraging me :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 8, 2014

Before & After: Antique Library Table in Homestead Blue

I was provided with paint for this post but all opinions are honest and my own. For more information, see my policy here.

I had the opportunity to paint with Fusion Mineral Based Furniture Paint. This paint is made by Homestead House, the company that makes MMS Milk Paint. I bought a pretty antique library table at a garage sale (it was half off the day I went!) for a great price so I paid for it and ran because it was such an awesome deal. This particular table opens up and has the butterfly leaf store inside. I'm sad to say the leaf inside is warped so much that it won't even fit into the table top, but this piece is still neat without the leaf.

The first thing I had to do was choose a color, which sometimes is really hard because so many colors could work on a piece. I knew I wanted a muted color, but not a neutral. I settled on Homestead Blue after looking through all the colors on the FMP website. Homestead blue is a mix of blue and green, which I call a muted teal, and it's not in-your-face bright. I have to mention that I love the containers the paint comes in because they are plastic and have lids that screw on.  I'm over the metal paint cans make a mess when you pour and get rusty so easily.

Back to the table! The bottom half was in pretty great condition, but the top had some issues that needed to be addressed. There were some cigarette burn marks (though the table did not smell like smoke at all), lots of water rings, and a worn, uneven finish. I sanded the worn finish off of the top using 150 grit sandpaper and my palm sanded. I then sprayed on clear Shellac to block out any stains and bleed through since the water rings and other marks that would easily come through the paint otherwise. The reason I used shellac instead of primer was incase I chose to distress the piece once I was finished. I wouldn't want any white primer coming though.

Now, I heard this paint was good, but I've used a lot of paints all with different positives - awesome colors, good adhesion, minimal brush marks or great coverage. Well let me just tell you, Fusion has all of these! I seriously only needed one coat to get full coverage. There were a few spots around the details on the legs that I missed and had to hit again with my paint brush, but one coat and done. This stuff also levels so well you can barely see brush marks, and the finish looked so good once it dried I couldn't distress it. Since this piece will most like receive a lot of wear, I used a water-based topcoat in flat to seal it and protect it.

Definitely give this paint a try, and Fusion has a really gorgeous color palette to choose from. Click here to find a retailer close to you to purchase products.

Monday, December 1, 2014

My Favorite Tools & Resources: How to grow your blog and improve your photos

Over the past few years of having a blog I have found some great resources that have helped aid in growing my blog and improving my photos. All of these resources I have personally purchased and use. This post is not sponsored, I just want to share these resources with you and help answer the questions I get asked about photography. So here's a list of the most helpful resources I have found:

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Furniture Reveal: Green Chippy Nightstand

I was really drawn to this nightstand because of those long giraffe-like legs. I think it gives the piece a quirky look. This nightstand was found on craigslist where I picked it up along with the matching dresser.

I lightly sanded the nightstand, then I mixed up some milk paint (OFMP Tavern Green) since it was one of the only colors I had left. I made sure to add the bonding agent to prevent chipping... which obviously didn't work :)

I used 3 coats on the piece, then let it dry overnight. In the morning it was cracking and chipping like crazy! I used a spackling knife to get off most of the paint, vacuumed the piece and then took it outside to sand it. To seal the paint I used 2 coats of Country Chic Paint's Tough Coat. Once it dried I lined the drawer with some grey triangle print paper and added a knob I found on clearance at Pier 1.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How to Paint over Laminate and why I love furniture with laminate tops (and why you should too!)

A while back I got an awesome mid century dresser with a laminate top for a screaming deal at goodwill. I feel like there's this negative connotation when it comes to pieces of furniture that have laminate tops. For a lot of people, it's a reason to not buy or attempt to refinish and paint a piece. Well I'm here to tell you otherwise. I actually think it can be a good thing! (Here's the dresser I'm referring to, only he very top is laminate)

I reasons why I love when a piece has a laminate top is because

1. It can be painted over
2. It usually means the top is in good condition

Let me explain a little more. First, laminate can be painted over. It's not difficult (at all), you just need to do it right. I'll go into the how to paint laminate in a minute. Second, laminate is more durable than wood when it comes to scratches and dings. Most likely a piece with a laminate top will be in better condition. The tops of furniture get a lot of wear. Things are set on them, slid across them, and even dropped on them. That leads to little dings, scratches, gouges and often chipped veneer. On certain pieces that is fine, but other times if you want a clean and modern satin or glossy finish, those flaws will be highlighted when light bounces off of them.

More often then not I see laminate used on mid century pieces. When I paint mid century pieces I go for a modern, clean look without distressing. Because of that I'm not looking to highlight or embrace the flaws that can add character to antique furniture, so I happily welcome a piece with laminate.

Here are some pieces I have painted that had laminate tops:
Glossy Black Campaign Chest
Orange Geometric Nightstand
Persian Blue Nightstands

How to paint over laminate

1. Begin by sanding the laminate. Be sure to use the correct protective gear (a mask and safety glasses). I personally take a 150 grit piece of sandpaper and sand the whole top in a circular motion. You can also take an electric sander to the piece. Once it has all been sanded, you should be able to see that it's scuffed up and not as shiny and smooth as it was before.

2. Clean the surface. Get most of the dust off with a vacuum and then a damp paper towel or cloth. I recently started wiping piece down with a TSP substitute (the TSP substitute does not need to be rinsed off like actual TSP) which helps prep surfaces for paint. Run your hand over it, if you feel any particles, wipe it down again with a dry cloth.

3. Prime with an oil based primer. I like to use a foam brush to apply primer because I don't have to deal with brush marks, plus they are cheap and I just toss them once I'm done. I use Zinsser Cover Stain. This stuff is great and it acts as a bond coat. I don't put it on very thick with the foam brush, so I apply 2 thin coats. You can also buy primer in a spray can and spray it on (not as cost effective, but saves you time).

4. Sand the primer smooth. Once it is dry, sand it with a really high grit sandpaper (320 or 400) to smooth out any marks left by the brush. They will show through when you paint, so make sure it's smooth! Sand, vacuum and wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove all particles.

5. Paint! Now you can go ahead and paint the piece. I usually do about 3 coats of paint (that's an average) for total coverage, especially over white primer. Also, be sure to seal the paint so it's wipeable and durable. A great water based poly (I love General Finish high performance topcoat) is best for high traffic areas and can handle being wiped down.
** As a side note most primers are tintable, so if you are using a darker or bright color over the primer getting it tinted to a medium grey usually means less coats of paint. That's a plus! **


So hopefully this makes you rethink the next piece you see with a laminate top. They really can turn out awesome! Have you painted over laminate before?
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