Posts Tagged ‘distress’


make me pretty – little bookcase

February 6, 2014

I have a small wall that I needed a bookshelf for. It needs to be so narrow, I looked and looked and couldn’t find anything that would fit. I was about to pay full price retail, which is something I rarely do, when I stumbled onto the perfect little book shelf at the thrift store. It’s solid wood, had a nice little carved detail at the top and it’s the perfect size! It just needed a new paint job.










I painted it a light bluish gray and then did a darker coat on top. Then I got my boys to help me sand off a lot of the first layer. I now have the perfect spot for my kind of out of control cook book collection!



paint techniques and finishes for furniture

July 3, 2012

I taught my first class at the Visual Arts Center this weekend and it was so much fun! I was a little nervous before we got started (ok, I had major butterflies). But once I met my students, and heard about all their crafty adventures, I knew we would have a good time!

The weekend workshop was about different paint techniques for furniture. We practiced on test tiles, covering seven different techniques. We also re-did a chair together.

I wasn’t sure how a chair re-do by consensus would turn out but I have to say I am impressed! And painting goes so much faster with four people!

Here are some of the paint finishes we practiced:

And here is our chair before:

And after we worked our magic:

I’m teaching this same workshop in the fall and an intensive at the end of August where everyone will bring their own piece of furniture and we will re-do them together. If you think you might like to sign up you should visit the Visual Arts Center’s website. They have tons of really great classes and it is such a fun space. I was a student there before I became a teacher!


make me pretty – green chair

February 10, 2012

When my friend, Leslie, sent me a link to the blog Nine Red I fell in love with this green chair.

Photo from Nine Red

So when I stumbled across this chair in the alley, I knew I would have to make it green. I know that this chair is missing a seat, the top piece of wood is busted and it’s, um, metallic gold. But it is so cute! Even in this state – can’t you see the cuteness!

So I chiseled off the broken wood piece, sanded down the metallic gold and got to painting. When I distressed the chair some of the gold peeked through and I kind of love it! I might just have to put a layer of gold paint after priming in some future projects to get the same effect.

So I’m guess this chair once had a cane seat and that is why there are all of these holes. I cut out a piece of wood for my seat base, added foam, batting and fabric and then secured it to the chair using these handy “L” brackets.

We have gotten in a new habit during my photo shoots. The boys like to climb up and get in on the action. Jasper has gotten really into dressing up lately, this week he has been a power ranger, iron man, a ninja and today he was venom (spider man’s enemy – I can’t believe I know this!)


make me pretty – stickers as stencils

October 21, 2011


So I learned a new trick. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before but it took a TV show to tell me about it. Instead of using plastic stencil sheets use stickers! Or even wall decals. You put it on, paint over it and peel it off and your done. I decided to keep the wood grain under my sticker but you could paint one color, put on the sticker and then paint over another color.

Here is my table before:


I put a sticker on the table top and shelf. Marshall’s has a great selection of cheap craft supplies lately, too, by the way. Lots of stickers, stamps, and some Martha Stewart stuff.




I painted my table a pale green and then took off the stickers. I lightly distressed the edges and then covered the whole thing with a layer of stain. Here she is:




Make sure you rub your sticker on really good. I thought I had but a little bit of the paint still got underneath.




make me pretty – blue chair take two

January 3, 2011

I know this blog is going to get pretty boring if I keep repeating myself but I had to do this one piece over. You might remember this vintage stool I re-did a few months back. I really loved the way it turned out and when I found this cute chair at the thrift store I decided to do it the same way. I know this makes for a boring blog post but I think the chair turned out super cute. I promise not to make this a habit! Look for something brand new from me next week!

The chair before:

And after:

And finally a picture of all of my boys and no one is blury or has their eyes closed!


make me pretty – obsessed with distress

November 29, 2010

Vienna, Virginia is a wonderful town. Why? Because they put their trash on the street. Not their regular garbage, but the big stuff for special pick up. Including old furniture!! You can just drive down the street and pick up free furniture!

And although I don’t live in Vienna, I have the next best thing. One of my best friends lives there and rescues cute things and brings them to me. How awesome is that?

So that is how this table began – a special delivery from a good friend. As you can see in this before picture it was in kind of sad shape. I had to peel two layers of wood off the top to get started, but luckily I planned to cover the top with fabric anyway.

So after doing some repairs to the table, I sanded it, painted it, distressed it and then stained it. I painted the table an off white to match one the colors in the fabric. Then after I distressed it I painted it with black stain. I have become kind of obsessed with this technique but I promise to switch things up form my next piece. Anyway, here is the after!


make me pretty – curvy little table

March 24, 2010

There were two things I wanted to try on this little table – a stencil and extreme distress. I wanted it to look old and worn out – like it had lived a life. Here is the before.

curvy end table

So after the usual sanding and priming I painted the whole thing gray. Then I used a stencil from this awesome book, Stencil 101 Decor, to make a pattern with a pale lilac paint on the top of the table. I also painted the knob, and the inside of the drawer, the same purple color.

The purple turned out a little pink when it was over top of the gray, so I decided to paint the whole thing with a black leather glaze from sunny good time that I had scored for $2 at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store! I applied a thin coat and then wiped most of it off with an old towel. Then I went I crazy with the sand paper.

I know it is not my usual cheerful fabrics and light colors, but I am happy with the way it turned out. My next project will be super happy colorful so look for that next week!