DIY Aha Moment

With all of the painting and staining and top-coating I do on a daily basis, you would think that I know all the tricks of the trade. And I do…kinda…sorta, well, for the most part. Except every once in awhile I have an “aha” moment where I think- “geesh- why didn’t I think of this before?!?”

Do you ever open a brand new can of paint and think, “oooh, how pretty!?” Well, I do, every time, because I love the potential and promise that a fresh new paint color brings to any project. So, I use the paint for that project, then slap the lid back on until the next time…and then I pry it off (because now it’s kinda stuck to the rim because of the left- over paint from the last time) for the next project. And so it goes, and with each project the rim becomes more caked and coated with dried paint (that break off into little tiny micro-chips..which eventually fall into the can and leave lumps while I am painting.) And eventually, I can no longer get a nice snug seal on the paint can and the remaining paint becomes dried and unusable. Ugh.

Annie Sloan Old White Can Edge

So, the other day, after I opened my can of Annie Sloan Greek Blue Chalk Paint (oh, my goodness, this color is swoon-worthy…) I vowed to make sure the cover and rim were clean and clear when I was finished for the day. But here is the issue: there is that second indent in the edge of the can where the lid fits- and that fills up with paint as you wipe your brush along the edge to remove excess paint during the painting process.

Paint Can Edge.jpg

It is virtually impossible to get it clean and paint-free unless you do some surgical intervention with Q-tip(s)-time consuming and messy!

I have tried using the “rubber band” method, where you place the rubber band in the center of the opening and run your brush along that instead of the can’s edge.

Paint Can Rubber Ban Method

But I can attest to the fact that since rubber bands are made out of, well, rubber, there are times when they “bounce back” and the paint will splatter around. And, its messy to remove. Plus, every once in awhile I need to stop and restir my paint and then the rubber band is in the way.

Yesterday, I was looking at the can of paint I was about to open (well, actually, I was searching for the paint can opener because I always seem to lose those), and right beside it was a roll of painter’s tape. You know, the blue kind that we use to mask off anything and everything. My AHA moment! So I grabbed the tape and created a rim guard all around the perimeter of the opening, inside that second indent where the paint typically collects.

Painters Tape Edge Annie Sloan Greek Blue

Because the tape is straight and a quart can is round, I used several small pieces, overlapping as I went along to create a paint barrier. I went to work, painting my pieces, and when I was done, I simply peeled the tape away from the edge and voila!

Removing Tape from Annie Sloan Greek Blue

Perfectly clean…no more caked edges and micro-dots of paint on my projects! Shark Tank here I come! This is a sneak peek at the pieces I am using the Annie Sloan Greek Blue Chalk Paint on- isn’t it gorgeous!?

Annie Sloan Greek Blue Painted Chair

Here’s hoping you have a perfectly mess-free Friday, everyone! Susan xoxo

 

 

 

Hail to the Whale!

Coach and I, well, we just love whales. I am not certain how it all began, but I can say that one of our very first “all day” dates took place in lovely Mystic Connecticut. In Mystic Seaport, it is all things nautical, and I suspect perhaps that day spent touring the Charles W. Morgan (the last wooden whale ship in the world!)

Charles W. Morgan

the Seaport Museum and the Mystic Aquarium, all the while basking in the glow of young love, might have sparked the beginning of a life-long passion for those majestic denizens of the deep. So, I paint a lot of whales…on trunks and planks and tables, pretty much any flat surface.

Whale Porch Table

After all, who can resist a gentle, giant creature with a hint of a smile-especially when decorated with the American flag? Recently, Coach came upon a stack of old cabinet doors (well, it might not have been recently, it’s just what has surfaced in the barn most recently.)

Hail to the Whale Before Cupboard Door

They were simply painted creamy white, or so we thought. Until he started to sand the edges and behold! This amazing teal blue emerged.

Hail to the Whale Black Background

Sometimes you have in your mind what color scheme to use on a piece, sometimes the piece dictates the palette. In this case, there was cream and teal and a country red color…perfect for an American Flag Whale! I went with a black background for greater impact and contrast to the flag whale itself. For the flag colors, I mixed paints until I came up with the exact shades of teals and reds that matched the existing colors on the frame. I have, in my workshop, perhaps 50 or so of those little Behr sample paint pots

Behr Sample Pots

that you get at Home Depot for a couple of bucks…in a multitude of colors. These are my go-to samples when I am mixing paints-economical and plentiful…and if I mix a color I really love, I just use the color match app to have them mix whatever amount I need! Once I painted the background, it was a pretty simple process-I used a whale stencil

 

Whale Stencil

for the overall pattern in cream, then taped off the stripes, and added the red.

Hail to the Whale Taped Stripes

Now, I know there aren’t 13 stripes- he was just too narrow and it looked too tight, so I went with a more interpretive look.

Hail to the Whale Star Field

After that, I added the star field using a stencil I cut out with my Cricut Air machine.

Cricut Gold

Do you have one of these?? If not, you need to hustle over to your favorite craft store and buy one, like now! If you do crafts, or scrapbooking, or make signs or stencils or just about anything where you need to apply graphics, this is your go-to machine. See this little square of stars?

Star Stencil

By hand, that would have taken me hours to cut…and then a few more in the ER getting stitched up from the X-acto knife thumb slice… With the Cricut, it took maybe ten minutes to design and cut the stencil. Simply incredible!

Once the whale had dried, I added the matching stars in the four corners. Upon close inspection, you can see where I allowed the faint outline of the original hardware to remain.

Hail to the Whale Hinge Detail

I think it gives the piece character to leave the blemishes there for everyone to see. After that, it was simply a matter of a topcoat…and I went with my go-to favorite: Flat Out Flat by General Finishes. **As a side-note, when you paint on this topcoat, it initially appears milky white,

Hail to the Whale FOF Wet Finish

which kind of freaked me out the first time I tried it. But, once it dried to a clear, softly glowing finish, I was sold. So, the whale is now finished and ready for his new home.

Hail to the Whale Finished Logo

This is the wall grouping that greets visitors at my back door, but alas, he’s not staying put.

Hail to the Whale Wall Grouping Logo 1

He’s migrating north to the Barn at Todd Farm where he’ll have a whale of a time with some other pieces I have recently completed. Have a “whale-y”great Wednesday, everyone! Susan xoxo

 

Bling It Up With Country Chic Paint

This month’s #Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest was sponsored by Country Chic Paint.

Country Chic PaintThe theme: #BlingBling featuring Country Chic’s Metallic Cream Paints. Now, pastel and blingy is typically not in my wheelhouse, as I am pretty much a rustic, country kind of gal. But this challenge was SO FUN!! I chose a vintage waterfall night stand cabinet as my project piece because it had lots of trimwork and details, perfect for showing off the bling.

Vintage Art Deco Night Stand Trim

And I picked these particular two colors because, well, they are just gorgeous. They are Elegance Country Chic Paint, a soft gray-green pastel hue:

Country Chic Paint Eleganceand Silver Bullet: a metallic cream paint that leaves a bright, shiny finish.

Country Chic Paint Silver Bullet This was the before: a sad, scratched and worn little brown night stand that Coach and I picked up at an estate sale for a couple of bucks.

Art Deco Night Stand BeforeWhen I look for a piece to refurbish, I always have that moment of “should I or shouldn’t I paint?” I didn’t hesitate to paint this piece because there were cracks and chips and gouges and unmatched pieces.

Vintage Art Deco Night Stand SideUnsalvageable, in its former condition, really. But this is the after:

Vintage Art Deco Night Stand Staged LogoPretty and blingy and so freakin’ cute! Here’s the how-to: per the instructions that arrived with the paint, I cleaned the whole piece, then primed it with a coat of blocker/sealer.

Vintage Art Deco Night Stand PrimedThe body of the cabinet was painted with Elegance– this is a very smooth, rich paint with great coverage and deep pigments. It leaves a very flat, chalky finish that is smooth to the touch with no chalky residue. LOVE. The luscious Silver Bullet metallic cream paint had the appearance and texture of silver marshmallow fluff-YUM. Brushed on thickly but smoothly, filling in some small cracks and evened out the finish. Vintage Night Stand Painted Country Chic PaintI then used it to paint the tarnished and worn metal handles as well. It adhered just as well to the metal handles as it did to the primed wood.

Vintage Night Stand Art Deco HandlesTwo coats of the silver cream and I was finished with my piece. Or was I… In order to take this to the next level, I decided to add some real bling to the wood trim.

Bling StripA bit of bedazzling

Vintage Art Deco Night Stand Closeupand a final coat of matte finish poly was all it needed to bring this little night stand back to life. Thanks to the Country Chic Paint Company, who provided each of the contestants with the paints and supplies necessary to transform our pieces. And, of course, thanks to the ladies of the Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest

FFFC main graphic updated (4.9.2016)who never cease to amaze me with their skills-both with painting and transforming furniture and with their organization of the monthly contests! To view some of the other great Country Chic transformations, click the links below!

http://www.sweettearefinishing.com/2016/05/may-fab-flippin-contest-with-country.html

 

http://www.slightlycoastal.com/diy-metallic-furniture-chair-makeover/

Have a great long weekend everyone! Hope yours days are touched with a bit of bling : ) xoxo Susan

Kitschy Coral Coastal Cupboard

Kitchy Coral Coastal Cupboard Logo ViewHello everyone! A couple of weeks ago I mentioned my participation in the “Fab Furniture Flippin Contest”, where each month, contestants are provided with paints and products to create a unique project and win prizes! For April, we were provided with 2 quarts of Pure & Original Classico Paint in our choice of colors…well, today is the big reveal! This project was not without much angst and frustration, as I stumbled along the way quite frequently, but I am so happy it is finished and sooo kitschy cute! The inspiration for the furniture flip was this vintage wallpaper Coach picked up awhile age that I had been hanging onto for just the right piece to transform.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Vintage Wallpaper InspirationJudging from the colors and the cartoon-like illustrations, I am thinking it was from the 60’s or 70’s, but I am not quite sure. What I am sure about is that 50 year old wallpaper is quite brittle and tears super easily, which wreaked havoc with my overall design plan! But here is the flippin’ how-to:

This old simple cupboard was hand-made of plywood with a rough finish.

Coral Coastal Cupboard BeforeIt had been painted multiple times, with the final coat being a dark hunter green with some (I think they were supposed to be) celtic designs painted on the doors and side panels. First  I , OK, Coach sanded it to remove the white designs as they were thick and raised. Then I pulled off the chair rail molding they had put on the base front and added some baseboard trim to the front and sides, followed with painting the cupboard body in White. The nice thing about this particular paint brand is that although it has a matte, chalk-like finish, it requires no waxing or final coat of poly for protection.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Base MoldingThe paints colors I originally chose did not quite match my vision, so I ended up ordering a couple more colors for contrast and accents.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Pure and Original PaintsI know, you’re thinking “yikes- that’s a lotta color”- but just wait and see : ) The doors and interior were painted in Nautique, (no primer needed, BTW, but I will disclose that covering the celtic designs with the White required an extra coat or 2…)

Coral Coastal Cupboard Pure and Original Paint Nautiquea yummy green- blue, and the body was painted in White. I had originally planned to wallpaper the back panels with the vintage paper, but I didn’t have much and it just kept tearing. So I saved two pieces and used them for the door panels. So then I had planned to use bead board for the back panels, but the piece, being constructed of plywood, was already super heavy. So I chose my favorite faux beadboard wallpaper and used that instead.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Interior Backing Beadboard WallpaperI wanted to match the coral color in the wallpaper, so that’s where the other two paints, Lipstick and Clear Amber came into play.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Salmon Pink MixtureMixed with the White, I matched the color perfectly

Coastal Coral Cubboard Pink Paint Mixtureand painted the wallpapered back panels with that, along with some trim I used to frame out the wallpaper panels that I had glued with some Wunda Size onto the doors panels.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Glazing Mixture for TrimOnce the coral dried, I mixed the White with a small amount of satin glaze, painted it over the pink, then wiped it off quickly with a damp rag,

Coral Cupboard Glazing Beadboardleaving the white glazing in the grooves and detailed areas, softening the overall color and giving it a more vintage appearance.  

Wallpaper Panel with TrimThe original top was just a low arc which was not really visible. To amp that up, I cut out a piece of old pine

Coral Coastal Cupboard Decorative Top Pedimentand painted it the Nautique, then glued and screwed it onto the original arc.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Completed Beadboard and Painted Top(In this pic you can see how the glazing softened the coral paint color on the beadboard) But the new top looked just a bit too plain, so I added a glazed coral starfish as the crowning touch!  

Kitschy Coral Cupboard StarfishAnd finally, I spray painted the hardware copper so it would go with the coral, 

Copper Painted Hingesand added some vintage white porcelain knobs to the doors.

Coral Cupboard Door DetailSo there you have it, from dark green drab to whimsical coral and aqua fab. I know that these 70’s colors aren’t for everyone, but for me, I feel that they honor the vintage wallpaper and bring this dingy old cupboard back to life. 

Kitchy Coral Coastal Cupboard Side ViewThanks to #Pure&Original Paints who provided the gorgeous paints and colors…if you’re interested in trying out this amazing paint, click on the link to the right on this blog. And a huge thanks to the hosts of the  #FabFurnitureFlippinContest

FFFC main graphic updated (4.9.2016)


for giving me the opportunity to enter this challenge!  To check out the transformation magic that they did with their paint choices click here:

http://www.thirtyeighthstreet.com/2016/04/fab-furniture-flippin-contest-pure.html or

here: http://www.sweettearefinishing.com/2016/04/pure-colors-original-elegance-april.html

Have a flippin’ fab Thursday, everyone! Susan

Compensation Banner

Nautical Map Trunk Makeover

Nautical Trunk Makeover Finished Country Design HomeCoach picked up an old (sort of) trunk from a friend who is selling their home and moving away to warmer climates (so lucky!!) The trunk was in very good shape, it just needed some sprucing up. The inside was near perfect, so I left that alone.

Nautical Trunk InteriorThis piece is solid pine, with these medallion cutouts on the front panel that were just screaming for some pretty decorations.

Nautical Trunk Makeover BeforeEnter, the maps. You know, they seem to keep multiplying (can maps actually produce offspring? its appears so…) so I just have to keep finding ways to use them!  The soft honey pine color was still quite nice but a wee bit too light, so a quick sanding and a coat of General Finishes Antique Oak was all it took to bring it back to life.

Nautical Trunk Makeover General Finishes Antique OakFor the three medallions, I pulled a map from Coach’s stash with some gorgeous nautical colors in greens and blues,

Nautical Trunk Makeover mapso I grabbed some paint cans and started mixing until I got just the right colors to match the map.

General Finishes PaintsSince the wood was so nice, I just couldn’t bring myself to paint the entire thing. So I just did the front panels to complement the maps, keeping the edges clean so they would create a wood “frame” that matched the remainder of the stained wood.

Nautical Trunk Makeover Wiping edgesRealizing the that medallions were hand-routed, so they would not be identical, I made patterns for each one and labeled them,

Nautical Trunk Makeover Paper Patterns for Mapsthen used them to cut the medallions out of the maps. Perfect fit! I have had difficulty in the past getting a nice, smooth surface with paper adhesion using modge-podge type products. They always seemed to buckle and pucker, no matter how much I smoothed them during the process. A tip I garnered from Hometalk.com worked perfectly! Prior to attaching with the glue, I sprayed the map pieces, both front and back, with a couple of coats of this Krylon matte finish, then allowed to dry.

Krylon Low Odor Matte Finish SprayNow on the can it said “low odor- safe for indoors”, and since it is still winter here (even though it was 60 degrees yesterday-amazing…) I gave it a try, using my dining room table, windows slightly open for ventilation. Well, I am here to tell you that, even though there was some odor, it was significantly less than anything else I had previously used. And it dissipated super quickly! And, now, you ask, did it work for its intended purpose? Did it eliminate the wrinkles??? Yes, indeed!! When I painted the glue on the panels and placed them on the surface, they laid super flat and smooth!!!

Nautical Trunk Makeover Wrinkle Free Maps(hmm, do you think it could eliminate my wrinkles??)  Once in place, I added a final coat of the Krylon Spray just to secure them into place and protect them. I kept the shiny brass hinges and added these nautical arrow handles

Nautical Trunk Makeover Arrow Handle Detail PMthat I picked up at Hobby Lobby-love! So here is the final project top- the colorful maps and the brass hardware are a nice contrast to the glowing wood finish. This trunk is the perfect “coffee-table” size, and provides quite a bit of neat storage. 

Nautical Trunk Top ViewNow I am off to find another “map-it-out” project! Have a great first day of March everyone. Let’s hope it stays like a lamb...Susan

Faux Gold Leaf…It’s A Sign

Vintage Grocery Sign Completed Gold LogoThe other morning I woke up dreaming about how to make my own gold leaf for little to no $$$. What, that’s not a thing? Doesn’t everyone wake up dreaming about DIY projects? I had been working on a vintage GROCERY sign and had decided it needed more pizzazz than what a plain cream background could provide. So, I thought that since gold leafing

Paris Inspired Gold Leaf Table Top clear coatwas simply some hammered paper-thin gold sheets that you glued on the surface,

Applying Gold Leaf to Paris Tablewhy not use glued, thin textured paper that you painted gold? I know it’s not 24K…I mean, after all, I’m not going to be wearing the darned thing, so I am pretty sure that its OK for a wood sign, am I right? For those of you not familiar with “gold-leafing”, suffice to say that it has been used for gilding and decorating for centuries…click here for a little Wikipedia history lesson.

So I grabbed this antique oak dresser panel

Vintage Grocery Sign Dresser Side Panel(yes, this is the side panel from a vintage oak dresser that was beyond repair…I broke it down and am using the wood and salvaged pieces) and began the sign-making process. Here is the How-I-Did-It:

I cleaned the panel, then rubbed it down with some steel wool just to remove any surface stickies and smooth it out.

Vintage Grocery Sign Cleaning Old Frame with Steel WoolThere were two little dowels that were protruding from one end-they had attached the panel to the top of the dresser in its original form. I was in the kitchen so I didn’t want to drag out the power saw- enter the Ginsu Knife!

Vintage Grocery Sign Ginsu Knife CuttingThe ad says “cuts through a log, and then slices pineapple perfectly”. Well, I didn’t slice any fruit with it after I sliced off the dowels, but it worked great!

Refreshed the entire oak frame areas with some General Finishes Antique Oak Stain.

Vintage Grocery Sign General Finishes Antique Oak StainPainted the inside of the frame with a coat of chalk paint to lighten it up and create a bonding surface for the glue.

DecoArts Americana Chalky Paint PrimitiveCut out two pieces of wrapping tissue- this was in a gift box I saved from Christmas-so it was free!! But you can buy a whole package of it at the dollar store for well, $1. The thinner and cheaper, the better.

Vintage Grocery Sign Tissue Paper Cut To SizeSpread “Wunda Size”, a water-based glue which I use for all of my paper-adhesion projects…

Vintage Grocery Sign Wunda Size Glue…all over the surface-my original intent was to do 1/2 at a time, but the bottle spilled out a little more than I needed.

Vintage Grocery Sign Spilled GlueSo I scooped up what I could save (this stuff is like liquid gold…every drop counts!) and spread the rest out across the entire surface. Waited about 10 minutes until the surface was tacky and sticky (NOT dried!) Remember, wherever you put the glue, that is where the paper is going to stick! You can use any type of glue-even watered-down school glue- for this, but I would not use a “Modge-Podge” type product, as I think it would be too thick.

Laid the tissue down onto the tacky surface, beginning at the corners and then working along, smoothing it with my fingertips as I moved down the length of the board.

Vintage Grocery Sign Smoothing TissueIt is OK to have the creases and wrinkles, that’s what gives it the gold leaf appearance. (this stuff is really sticky-thankfully it washes off with water!)

Vintage Grocery Sign Sticky FingersI used two pieces, so there was a seam down the middle, but I just tore off the edge of the overlap piece and then smoothed it down.

Vintage Grocery Sign Tearing Tissue along edgeNow, tissue paper is not quite as fragile as real gold leafing, so I had a few seconds to reposition and move the paper until it was properly placed. However, once it touches the glue, you cannot slide it or it will tear-just lift it and move it along. But if it does tear, just smooth it back down with your fingertips and keep going. That is part of the look you are trying to achieve anyway. Once I was finished smoothing, I allowed it to dry completely-about an hour.

Vintage Grocery Sign Drying Tissue Paper with GluePainted with two coats of this gold paint

intage Grocery Sign Gold Metallic Paintyou could use any gold paint you have on hand-as long as it is metallic. I found this one in a mark down bin at AC Moore for like, 50 cents. As the paint went on, it enhanced the wrinkly surface, creating the veining effect of real gold leaf.

Vintage Grocery Sign Gold PaintFinally, using a stencil,

Vintage Grocery Sign StencilsI spelled out GROCERY,

Vintage Grocery Sign Gold Leaf Closeupthen painted it free-hand with some black chalkboard paint. See how pretty the black lettering looks against the glowing gold?

Vintage Grocery Sign Stenciled and PaintedFinished with a coat of spray matte acrylic sealer.

Krylon Matte FinishAdded two vintage hooks for hanging. Done. But this one’s not staying in my kitchen…

Vintage Grocery Sign in Window…it is just one of the many projects I’m bringing up to the Barn at Todd Farm this weekend! The total cost for this project? Zero. Zip. Nada. (well, except for my very valuable time and expertise : ) Everything I used I had on hand. If I had to purchase a large package of gold leafing, enough to cover this project, it would have cost a pretty penny (hmmm, now that I have this leafing thing down, I could definitely try coppering something, or even faux leathering…) So there you have it…gold leafing on the cheap. And speaking of gold, its Oscar weekend! Hope your favorite movie wins! Susan

Dried Paintbrush Rescue

Remember the time when you were painting something and then got distracted and left the wet paintbrush on the work table and discovered it the next day all dried up and hard as a rock-like they can stand up on their own hard as rocks?

Dried Paintbrush Rescue BeforeNo? Well, I do…because I’ve done it more than once actually too many times to count. Which makes me mad, because good paintbrushes, especially my favorite Shortcuts by Wooster

Wooster ShortCut Paintbrush

…ain’t cheap. I had tried many possible remedies to bring them back to life in the past, but alas, no matter what I tried, the outcome was always the same…trash time. Until now! Recently I spotted a post about this very subject (and of course, I cannot remember if it was on Facebook or Pinterest or Hometalk or Instagram or Twitter…so much social media makes my head spin…which is why I most likely got distracted and forgot the brushes in the first place…). But the solution was simple- just soak the hardened brushes in fabric softener! So, off to the dollar store I dashed where I purchased a bottle of LA’s Totally Awesome Fabric Softener…for a $1!!!

Dried Paintbrush Rescue Totally Awesome Fabric SoftenerLet me tell you…it is totally awesome!! I dropped the rock-hard brushes into the blue drink and left them overnight.

Dried Paintbrush Rescue in Fabric SoftenerThe next morning…with little expectations of a positive outcome…I pulled out the brushes out

Dried Paintbrush Rescue Softener on Brushrinsed them off, and…tada!!! I now have soft, usable brushes again-and they have a clean, fresh scent too!

Dried Painbrush Rescue After(I know what you’re thinking…this brush looks disgusting…why would she want this anyway?! It happens to be my favorite detailing and dry-brushing brush so I just hated to see it go…) So now I keep a jar of the softener on my work bench. When I finish a project, I rinse the brushes off and then drop them into the softening tank, keeping them ready for action. And that’s my DIY PSA for this Friday folks…more to come! Have a great weekend everyone-stay warm in the knowledge that we are inching towards spring…Susan  

Editor’s Note: After I published this, I came across the original article I had read with this great idea! Thanks to Jennifer Allwood from The Magic Brush for the great DIY tip!!

 

Coastal Cottage Cabinet

A couple of weeks ago I shared the pantry makeover that we had just completed at my daughter’s condo. In that story, I mentioned a big, black cabinet that she had been previously using to store her kitchen overflow of appliances and food and tupperware (LOTS of tupperware : ). So, this was the cabinet then:

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Before Black

and this is the cabinet now! A beautiful Coastal Cottage Cabinet to that fits perfectly into cozy, beachy study.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Full TMThis piece was originally purchased-by me!- many years ago at HomeGoods-and right from the get-go, Coach never really cared for it-he thought it was too modern for our country farmhouse style. So after a couple of years, we found a new (old) cupboard to replace it, and this one was delivered to my brother’s home, where it became part of their home office. Fast forward a few years, when they were moving and the cabinet needed to go. So off it went to my daughter’s condo for her pantry, where it remained until she decided she needed something narrower in its place, so we built this:

DIY Pantry FinishedSo, we offered for sale on Craigslist (no takers) and then my mom said she thought she could use it in her new study. SOLD! So we loaded up a trailer and transported it to its final destination, (thanks, Chris and Coach!) mom’s house. But the black color was just not going to cut it in her breezy coastal-inspired study. Painting time! Since it is winter here, the transformation took place in her guest bathroom (which is actually larger than both of mine put together…). so some of the photos are a little dark…but, here is the how-I-did-it:

We decided on a creamy white, so Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White was the choice.

Annie Sloan Old White Chalk PaintWe toyed around with colors for the back wall of the cabinet

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Background Blueand I ended up custom mixing a soft coastal blue using some of my Behr paint pots…I have quite a selection if you need any…

Behr Sample PotsFor the doors, I first used a can of Krylon Spray Chalk Paint in Paver Gray...

Krylon Chalky Spray Paint…simply blocking the window panes with paper that I slid under the wood to protect the glass.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Paper MaskingIt worked perfectly! Isn’t this color gorgeous?!?

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Painted DoorBut, alas, it was a little too dark for mom’s taste, so I ended up dry-brushing the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint over it to lighten it up.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Dry Brush Annie Sloan Old WhiteThen sanded the edges to distress it.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Door PanelFinished everything with a coat of Varathane Matte Polyurethane.

Varathane Matte PolyBut, once it slid the completed cabinet into place, it still looked a little blah,

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Lit Aso mom and I both thought that some maps on the bottom half (which are not windows, but actually faux-wood panels) to add some interest. Asked Coach for some maps…he delivered.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet MapsApplied the map squares with two coats of Wunda-Size

Wunda Sizeand smoothed them out to make them wrinkle free. (You can have all the tools in the world, but sometimes the best thing to use is the palm of your hand : )

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Smoothing PaperSo now the base looks like this. I cut the maps with some space in between so it appears as if you are looking through a window.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Map Detail

Added one final coat of poly to the maps and the cabinet was done! Time for mom to fill it with some of her favorite pieces.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Doors Open LogoThe beauty of this cabinet is in the multi-paned windows…which is why I loved it in the first place.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Clay VignetteWhile the entire cabinet is striking… it is the special vignettes…

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Starfish Vignette LOGOthat mom has created in each window that makes it her own.

Coastal Cottage Cabinet One DoorHere it is in the corner by the window…she’s not quite done decorating the rest of the room…so pics to follow once everything is in place. At night, it adds a soft glow, and in the daytime, it reflects the light from the large windows that span the entire wall…so even on the darkest day, there is lots of light in this space. 

Coastal Cottage Cabinet Full TMSo there you have it, an ugly duckling transformed into a beautiful swan. This poor tired cabinet that had been around the block…more than a few times…now has its forever home. Have a great Friday everyone…even if its snowing in your neck of the woods-as it is here! Susan

Pioneer Goods Co, Boston

This past Sunday, Coach and I took advantage of this incredible weather in Boston and headed into town to do a bit of vintage shopping.   I mean, guys, this weather, are you kidding me-63 degrees on February 1st!? I had been anxious for quite some time to check out this funky corner shop on Tremont Street called Pioneer Goods Co.

Pioneer Goods Co StoreFrontso we headed to Boston’s South End, enjoying the afternoon sunshine. Justin Power, the owner and shopkeeper,

Justin Pioneer Goods Cois the son of Amy Chalmers from Maison Decor, and upon entering the shop, you can instantly see how the artistic abilities run deep in this very talented family!

Pioneer Goods Co Interior ShotsBut while Maison Decor celebrated French culture and design, Pioneer Goods Co is showcasing Americana at its best:

Pioneer Goods Co Flagfeaturing flags and maps and dry goods for sale, as if you were in a grand general store in the adirondacks.

Pioneer Goods Co Hudson Bay BlanketOpen for less than two years, Pioneer Goods Co. has received many accolades from the  press and social media-his own apartment even being recently featured on Apartment Therapy. The shop is filled with incredible American treasures that Justin has collected

Pioneer Goods Co PTAand are displayed alongside masterfully painted pieces that he has transformed,

Pioneer Goods Painted Dresserusing Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (he is a stockist, as well, so you can purchase the paint directly from him). Justin has been a life-long antiquer and collector, thanks in part, to his mom, who just has such an eye for the potential beauty in simple objects. This stunning, oversized steamer trunk greets you upon entering the shop-we’ve all see these around, right? Those drab, dark green and gray hulking pieces-but have you even seen them looking like this?

Pioneer Goods Steamer TrunkPainted creamy white, with the glowing, opalescent hardware…

Pioneer Goods Co Trunk Detail…perfect for a dramatic entry way-with loads of extra storage! With the feeling of a warm and cozy cabin, every staged vignette is striking and could be a feature wall in your own home.

Pioneer Goods Co Frame VignetteJustin mixes new and old,

Pioneer Goods Co Flagssparkling…

Pioneer Goods Co Chandelier and Mapsplus rustic vintage and bold…

Pioneer Goods Co Pigs and Cows…with just a touch of whimsy, to create visual eye candy throughout the store.

Pioneer Goods Co Deer HeadAnd this month, as a special treat, Amy is bringing Maison Decor to Pioneer Goods in an exclusive pop-up shop, adding some pretty to the pioneer…

Pioneer Goods Co Maison Decor Pop Up SHop…through the end of February!

Msison Decor @ Pioneer Goods CoThe address is 764 Tremont Street, Boston (there is street parking all around the shop) They will be open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12-4 for the winter months (if you can call this winter…),

Pioneer Goods Co Pop Up Shop 2plus you can shop Pioneer Goods Co online, or if you see something you like in the photos (omg-that trunk!) you can email him at justin@pioneergoodsco.com, check it out on Instagram or by calling 857.263.8799. If you are a lover of rustic, rugged New England style, you must…

Pioneer Goods Co Go GLobeto Pioneer Goods Co. it is definitely a “must-see-and-shop”…either online or in person. Enjoy this crazy weather everyone…every day like this is just one day closer to spring! Susan

DIY Kitchen Pantry On A Serious Budget

Can you believe we built this DIY Kitchen Pantry from some reclaimed kitchen cabinets and and old door…for less than $100!?!?

DIY Pantry Finished Country Design HomeHere’s the how-we-did-it: Last weekend, my daughter and I (with a bit of help from Coach-he’s the table saw guy) installed a new pantry to house all of the appliances and glassware that just did not fit in the kitchen cabinets of their condo. So, for less than $100, what was once a back hall (leading out to the deck) is now a fully functional-and very sexy…if I do say so myself… pantry- with loads of storage. The before:

DIY Pantry BeforeThe after:

DIY Pantry Finished Country Design Home How did we do this for less than $100?!?! The pantry base was created from a fantastic Craigslist find-an old set of kitchen upper cabinets, with the shelves, that someone was GIVING AWAY FOR FREE! They were old, dark scratched and dented pine-beautiful!

DIY Pantry Base BeforeSince the space is pretty tight (behind those louvered doors is their laundry room) we had searched for a furniture piece that was long and narrow without much luck. Until I spotted the posting for this piece: it was exactly the right size: 12″deep, 61″ long and 37″ high. Perfect! I flipped the base over so that the hardware was now at the top instead of the bottom and got to work painting. So, I sanded,

DIY Pantry Base Sandedthen primed,

DIY Pantry Kitchen Uppers Primed(because I thought they were going to be light gray, but then she decided that red would be fun). This area is an open passageway with full view from the kitchen, which has the same color scheme of white, gray and red, so it flows nicely. And then she asked if they could be stained red. Um, nope. Once you’ve primed there is no going back.

DIY Pantry Red PaintedSo I used two coats of Americana Chalky Paint called Romance (aw, how sweet),

Americana Chalky Paint Romance Redsanded it to add a bit of distressing,

DIY Pantry Door Painted and Distressedthen used some General Finishes Natural Stain mixed with a bit of Brown Mahogany to achieve the “stained red” look.

General Finishes StainsFinished with Varathane Matte Poly for a slight sheen and protection.

Varathane Matte PolyFor the base top, Coach and I visited a shop on the south shore of Boston called Rustored Salvage.  Frank and Mike would have referred to this as a “honey-hole”- tons and tons of industrial salvage and interesting artifacts. This little guy must’ve been in old wood heaven!

DIY Pantry BeaverThere we found several items, including this old plank door-well, at least part of an old plank door

DIY Old Wood Door Plank Topwhich was the perfect size-14″ deep by 67″ long- so for $10 we had our top by just cutting a couple of inches off of the ends. These shelves had been kicking around in the barn for awhile…

Pantry Shelves…Coach said he got them for free. I don’t ask any more… I sanded and stained the two shelves

General Finishes Stainsand the pantry top with General Finishes Stain- mixing these two colors to even out the variations in the old wood planks, then finished with two coats of Varathane Satin Poly. Unlike the painted base, I wanted the stained wood to glow…

DIY Pantry Varathane Satin PolyI mean, seriously, how gorgeous is this piece of old planking now that its revived and refinished!?

Pantry Top Shelf Stained The shelving hardware brackets are Rubbermaid Brackets from Home Depot – they match the stainless appliances and hardware in the kitchen.

Rubbermaid Shelf BracketsWe had the chrome knobs on hand from a previous project-never used. We used the same hinges, just spray painted them silver to match the chrome knobs and shelving brackets. We’d gone shopping for something else but couldn’t find any that she liked. So, spray paint it is!

Spray Painted Silver HIngesThe installation was a bit tricky-this condo building was constructed at the turn of the century and has many quirks…one of which is slightly uneven floors and walls, another of which is off-center wall studs. So we had a little shimming and lifting to do to get everything level, but we secured the unit to the wall,

DIY Pantry Shelving Installedthen the top to the base, then the shelving above. There were two basic criteria: we had to leave a space to fit Bartlet the dog’s food bin-that’s a lotta food for such a little pup!

#BartletthefrenchieAnd… the shelving had to be secure enough to hold all of the glassware. Done. 

DIY Pantry Shelving by Country Design HomeAnd then came the fun part! Staging and storing.

DIY Pantry Shelves Country Design HomeAll of their beautiful glassware they had received for the shower and wedding gifts are now proudly on display, as well as several appliances that previously took up the precious little counter space they have in the kitchen.  So what was once an open hallway with an oversized black cupboard blocking the light…and the deck door…

DIY Pantry Before…is now a fully stocked pantry, ready for their next party…and the final tally was  $92.00!! $67.75 for the brackets, $5.00 for the screw stud drywall anchors- these are super sturdy anchors-necessary if you are going to be hanging shelves to hold precious glassware! The base was FREE, the paints and supplies I already had on hand (what DIY’er doesn’t) except I purchased the additional red Americana Chalky Paint at Michaels for $5.00

Americana Chalky Paint Romance(yay, coupons : ), but I will still add in a couple of bucks for all of the paintings supplies. So there you have it, a DIY Pantry on a serious budget…less than $100!!!

DIY Pantry Staged Country Design HomeThey get a great, much-needed storage space and we’ve saved a few more pieces of old wood from a landfill. 

DIY Budget Pantry Country Design HomeAnd I know you are wondering, what happened to the giant black cupboard that was in the hallway…to be continued. Hope you don’t get a lot of snow this weekend…cheers, everyone! Susan

%d bloggers like this: