Posts Tagged ‘distressed’


make me pretty – fancy sideboard

October 13, 2015

I found this side board at one of my favorite estate sales, Overbrook Estates. They gather up stuff from lots of different estates and bring it to one warehouse location. I decided to get a little fancy with this one!

I painted the whole thing in a pale grayish blue and then highlighted some of the details with a warm platinum metallic paint. I painted the drawers and inside parts of contrasting orangy-red. A little distressing, an antiquing glaze and new drawer pulls and she is ready to go. Find her at Orange in Carytown!



make me pretty – another round up

July 30, 2015

I have been working on so much furniture, I haven’t spent much time blogging. So I am posting another round up of all my projects from the last month or so.

    I picked up this desk at an estate sale. I liked it’s petite size and roll top. It was originally white with metallic gold trim.

     Here I am in my new shed workspace.
  I loved the feet on this tv stand, and it already had a nice distressed paint job so I just decoupaged some paper on the doors.
 This is a chair my paint techniques for furniture students collaborated on at Vis Arts.

I have had this coffee table for years – got it at a Monument Avenue yard sale. I finally painted using a dry brush technique.


I rescued this desk from the alley of my old hood (I found Michael Jackson stickers in the drawers!) 





I gave this cabinet a super chippy finish to match it’s age.


I taught another class at the Visual Arts Center and my students painted this chair.

    Emerson bedazzled himself!

  I painted this mid-century dresser, and decoupaged fabric on the one drawer.

 I painted this very pretty, spindly desk.

And I made this cute bird and butterfly “chandelier” from an old lampshade and scrap fabric.


make me pretty – old rocker

January 20, 2015

I’ve had this old rocking chair in my garage for a long time. I imagined that it was going to be a very involved re-do but it actually ended up being super fast.

This chair is old and the wood had an interesting texture to it, almost like leather, that I didn’t want to loose so I just did one coat of paint and then sanded some of it off.

I took off the crazy, falling apart seat and cut a new base out of plywood with my new best friend, the jigsaw. I used a super thick piece of foam and covered it with this pretty fabric, which was actually a Dwell Studio table cloth that I got on clearance at Target a year or two ago.









I also used a brand of paint on this chair that I have never tried before. It’s called Fusion and they sell it RVA Antiques. I really liked it and it is cheaper than chalk paint, yeah!



make me pretty – the chair my class made

September 19, 2012

Last weekend I taught my paint techniques workshop at the Visual Arts Center. Not only do we go over seven different paint techniques for furniture but we also re-do one piece of furniture as a class. I bring in a chair, fabric choices, and we choose a paint color, wether or not to distress, and what type of glaze or antiquing to do. This is a lot of decisions to make by group vote and there were ten people in the class this time. There is so much potential for this experiment to go terribly wrong but somehow it always works out.

So here is the chair I brought in for my class, it was $4 at a yard sale in my neighborhood.

And the chair after. I think my class did an excellent job. I hope they had a good time – I know I did!








make me pretty – sweet antique estate sale chairs

August 29, 2012

Have you ever been to the Overbrook estate sale? If you haven’t you really should check it out. It’s held once a month in a warehouse on Overbrook Rd., kind of back behind the Diamond. They have a ton of stuff and the place seams to go on forever. I always seem to find something I want.

The last time I stopped by I fell in love with these chairs. They were only $10 each! I know most people would look at them and be like “ya, there’s a reason – there is no seat!” But I can fix that. So I picked up two of them and went to check out (bring cash or check, they don’t take plastic) and you know what the really nice Overbrook Estates lady did for me? She threw in the third chair for free! I didn’t even ask. I already thought I was getting a deal but the third chair seriously made my day!


So the first thing I had to do was tear out the old seat. Lots of hay, tacks, old leather and dust! I actually wore a mask it was so nasty!

Then I sanded, primed and painted. I distressed the chair to bring out all the detail and then covered it with a coat of furniture wax.

Next I made a little template for the size of my seat and had my dad cut out a piece of wood for me. Then I attached some nice thick foam and covered it with fabric. You can attach the new seat from the bottom with “L” brackets.
When I was all finished I brought the chair upstairs to take pictures of it before I took it to the antiques mall and my mom, who was over watching my kids, saw it and decided she had to have it. So this chair is now living at my parents house.

And my helpful hint for the day – self drilling skills. They have these little teeth at the bottom that help the screw go into the wood. I know I sometimes have a hard time holding the drill and putting enough pressure behind it to get the screw in. These screws make it so much easier!


make me pretty – my biggest project yet!

August 20, 2012

When I re-did this chair for R•Home magazine a couple months ago I knew that I had three more just like it waiting in the garage for me to work on. Along with a dining room table with a leaf. Oh my goodness, the same chair four times. This was not super exciting but seeing it all finished and put together is pretty awesome!

Here is the before:

And here it is all set up at the West End Antiques Mall.







The sad thing is that this dining set is so much nicer than the one I have at home (which could really use some work)! If I had a smaller family this might just have ended up in my house.


make me pretty – crazy victorian chair

October 7, 2011

I was walking through this crazy labyrinth of an estate sale and stumbled across this chair. It has a strange shape but I kind of love it. I didn’t actually try sitting in it until I got it home. This chair is super uncomfortable – the back feels like a rock!

And the whole thing is dark and depressing. I have to bust out the cream paint!

So when I started to take the chair apart I found this crazy hay bale cushion. WTF? Someone had reupholstered this chair recently and they left this in? It had to come out!

I pulled out all of the hay and put in new webbing. Then I put in a piece of soft, comfy foam and covered that with batting. I put a layer of batting on the back too.

Then I covered the seat and chair back with this gorgeous fabric I found at u-fab. It reminds me of watercolors and adds the touch of modern that I think this old chair needs. I made my own trim and decided to double it up on top but only do one layer on the bottom.

Here she is:


make me pretty – secretary desk for the roosevelt

July 21, 2011

I have been known to trade graphic design work for furniture. I like to barter. That is how I acquired this desk. It has been sitting in my garage for a while because I knew the first thing I needed to do to it was strip it and I wasn’t about to go near those crazy chemicals when I was pregnant.

So when my friend, who is opening a new restaurant, asked me if I had a desk that might work in the space I knew it was meant to be. I was really considering keeping this one but it is going to look so perfect in the Roosevelt!

Here is the before: So many layers of white paint!

This shot is in the middle of stripping (outside in the 98 degree Richmond summer soup!)

Oddly, there was a lot of gilt gold inside of the desk.

Here she is totally stripped and sanded.

Next I put two very thin coats of cream paint on. There is a lot of ornate, intricate carving in the desk, but it is very shallow – so I wanted to make sure you would still be able to see it at the end.

I then mixed a glazing medium with a dark teal paint. I painted it on the desk, really hoping to get it into all the cracks to accentuate the carving. It worked out, but unfortunately it also left blue streaks on the surface. So I got out the fine sandpaper and got to work. The finish I was left with was super distressed but I love it.

To make it a little more “darling octopus” I painted the inside of the drawers, and the cubbies in the desk, the same dark teal. I also found a really pretty fabric with the same colors and put it on the face of the cubbies.

You should go visit my desk, and more importantly the Roosevelt, when they open later this month!

PS – I also designed their logo! Check out more of my graphic design skills here!

Update!! Check these awesome pictures of my desk in the super lovely Roosevelt. All these photos were taken by John Murden. Thanks John!

PS- I got to eat at the Roosevelt a couple weeks ago and it was so amazing! The food and the atmosphere. I know I might be biased, but I’m not the only one saying good things. I actually haven’t heard one single bad thing!






make me pretty – the case of the missing telephone table

June 14, 2011

Every time i go to lamplighter (which is way too much – i can walk there from my house and they have the best Americano in the city) I would look at this cute telephone table. I loved it but I just knew it could be so much cuter.

So I asked if I could kidnap her, give her a makeover and return her home.

Then I started to feel the pressure. First of all I was re-doing a piece of furniture that belonged to someone else – what if they didn’t like it? And could I make a table that looked cool enough for Lamplighter and still fit in with the vibe of the place?

Here is the before:


And here she is after, back at lamplighter. You should go check it out there. And drink an Americano and eat a country style doughnut!



And a closer look:





make me pretty – short and wide stool

June 2, 2011

I love these short wide seats. I think they were originally meant as vanity stools but what a neat shape. Thanks to my friend Bird for finding this one for me and rescuing it out of someone’s trash pile!

Here is the before, with cutie Frankie:

And after:

I painted it green, distressed it and and added stain over top – all to match the single green leaf stem in this fabric.

PS – I am on vacation this week and this is what I got to look at as I walked the baby to sleep tonight. Life is good!