Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Jewel. Tones. Are. AWESOME. 

Goodbye bad, original, dated stain job. 

Welcome to 2012 dresser. 

Painted in Sherwin Williams oil based Rainstorm in high gloss. 

Hardware original. 

For more info look under "The Shop" tab at the top of the page.

PS. Remember my post on how to create a faux wall?
Same idea for the wall behind this dresser. :)

PPS I want to sincerely thank David from the Craft Corner for featuring my blog as one  of their "Best of the Web" features. 
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Winston Part 2

Remember the 1st Winston?

Well turns out he's got a twin.

and here's the before

I was thrilled when a sweet client approached me about doing another Winston.

I love his vibrant colors against the stain and I was SO happy when she wanted the double rings in the top drawers. I love the little bit of elegant quirkiness it adds. 

After doing two of these I am more determined to make one for our home.
Winston needs to be a triplet. :)

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Monday, February 20, 2012

So you want to paint a picture

When I started restoring furniture, I never thought that hand painting detail work on the pieces would be something I would attempt. 

I've never taken an art class, I have no special art skills,  so I've been teaching myself as I go. 

Here are some tips I've learned.

Brush choice 

Like I said above, I've never had an art class, so I chose my brushes mostly based on price aka cheap.  My favorites are the synthetic bristle brushes from Michael's. They sell different brush packages with various brushes and brush tips. 

I like the synthetic because they are soft enough to be malleable, but stiff enough to give you clean lines. Plus they don't shed like hair bristle brushes.

This is my #1 brush of choice. 

The angled edge created great lines and it's a great filler brush. 

Free handing vs. Stencils

Stencils can get pricey and unless you're planning on using them multiple times, they may not be worth the investment. We've actually never bought a stencil; we make our own. I find that the biggest advantage to a stencil is that it helps with sizing your image to scale. 

When I was painting the Princess Chest, I had a cut out of the princess. I made a few light pencil marks around the edge to help guide me, but then I removed the stencil and painted it free hand. 

Free hand painting works best (in my experience) when you work one small area at a time. Don't try to outline the area; start from the outside edge and work in. 

The Power of Tape

Taping lines is a great way to a little pizzaz to a piece. 

There really is no secret method of taping lines. 

I usually tape the horizontal lines all the way across and then lay the tape for the vertical lines over top.

 When you remove the tape, you will have 8 small unpainted sections, 2 for each corner. 

For these, instead of taping them off again, I use a straight edge, lie a piece of paper, and fill in one half the the space, move the straight edge to the other side, and fill in the other half. 

One small tip to painting taped lines: Paint tends to build up along the edge of the tape. This can be avoided by tapping your paint brush along the surface or by dry brushing a slowing adding more layers of paint. 

To add a curved corner to your lines as I did on the bowed buffet, simply do not overlay the horizontal and vertical tape line. When you decide the size of curve you want, tape off your horizontal line to the right length leaving room for the curve, and do the same with your vertical line. 

Once the lines have been  painted, remove the tape and add the curve. You can free hand it, or find a curved object, like a bowl, use that as your curved edge. 


Really the best technique is whatever you feel comfortable with. If I'm free handing a curved line, like drop lines on the princess chest, I practice a few times on a piece of paper or a scrap of wood. As I said above, if you're using a stencil or taped lines, paint tends to build up along the edge of the tape/stencil. This can be avoided by tapping your paint brush along the surface or by dry brushing a slowing adding more layers of paint. 

Always remember, it's easier to add more paint that it is to paint over a mistake, so take your time. :)

Less is more

 You don't have to add detail to every inch of your piece. It can be really tempting to think, "Oh just one more stripe." or "A few more pokkadots would be sweet." With the princess chest I tried adding a boarder to the top. For me it was too much, but since everyone has different taste just remember if you're happy with it then you don't need to keep adding to it. 

How true is that? Don't get discouraged if you paint a little outside the lines, or if it looks hand done, because guess what?! It IS! 

And that's what makes it special! You've put a lot of time and raw developing talent into your work so be proud of it. :) 

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Monday, February 13, 2012

A Chest for a Princess

Happy Monday, I hope everyone had a great weekend!

We made our weekly "Samples for lunch at Costco" trip and spent a lot of time Skyping with various family members. (Rhett always looks behind the Mac screen to see if Grandma and Grandpa are hiding back there.) 

And apparently my husband hijacked my blog.

How sweet of him. :) 

I'm so glad that you all now know so much...more...about me and what a goof I am.
 But really- who was I trying to kid?  :)


Anyway here's the latest addition to the shop! 

A cedar dress-up chest for a little lady.  

Ever since the Very Hungary Caterpillar dresser I've been itching to do some more decorative painting. 

PS I've got a post lined up for later this week with tips, techniques and hints for those who are interested in trying to add some decorative painting to furniture or projects. 

She's painted in Ballet Slipper by Martha Stewart with all detail and wording hand painted. 

Click on the For Sale at the top of the page for more info.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sneak Attack

Hi. I'm Jake, Julia's husband. I figured since I help Julia sand and prep her furniture that she wouldn't mind if I took a few minutes to write on her blog:)

I've noticed over the course of this blog Julia has tried to keep herself out of as many pictures as possible. I see pictures of me and a lot of Rhett but when it comes to her ... well they're either just of her hands or they're her favorite pictures. So I thought it was time that everybody got to know her a little better and to help with that (drum roll please), I'd like to present 10 things you didn't know about my wonderful wife!

Here goes.

1.  She is a great dancer.

2. She needs at least one nap a day.

3. Cooking is not her favorite pastime. 

4. She get's really excited about road trips and it's very cute.

5. She demands attention when she speaks.

6. She would fight you over Taylor Swift tickets.

and she might just win

7. Julia loves the ocean

But her worst fear is cold water

8. She thinks she's pretty awesome

But we know the whole story:)

9. I love when she pouts

and when she throws fits

10. No matter what she says, she is not praying in this picture.

 I love my wife so much and am so proud of what she's done with this blog. She is the most beautiful woman I know and even though the pictures you'll get of her will usually look amazing like this.

I think this video that I made while she was pregnant really shows how I feel about her:)

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