Some Two Tone Action on a Buffet and Dining Room Table Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

A popular trend in furniture is two-tone. This can be accomplished in a couple ways, one by using two different paint colors or with what I have done, one part stained wood and one part painted wood.

I love this look on furniture. I have seen it done a few ways, one leaving the drawers stained and the body painted, or the reverse the drawers painted and the body stained or how I did it, the top stained and the body painted.

Lucky for me I was able to work on a project like this while in Houston over Thanksgiving.  Here is the before of the buffet. I think it was beautiful to begin with, but my client wanted a Refurbished with Love furniture facelift.

buffet table before

The buffet was a rich dark walnut color. 



For those of you who would like to try this, I came have a couple of tips that should help you if you decided to venture out and create your own two tone piece of furniture. 

Some helpful tips: Make sure the pieces that are stained wood are rich with color and unscratched. So take the extra time to sand out all dings and blemishes. 

Also, do your painting first! This way if you make any mistakes or get paint on areas you wanted stained, simply sand them out.  Remember painters tape is our friend!

Finally, before you begin staining the wood cover the painted areas with plastic. Take that extra time, because if stain splashes on to the painted parts it does not come out. 

Once you are done hopefully you will have a piece of furniture you love.  And I do love this one!

refurbished top after

buffet after

close up on side

close up on distressing detail

lightly distressed

Good luck and I would be happy for you to share any project you have done like this.

A Dull Buffet Table Transformed into an Eye Catching Table

This beautiful table was a major score for my client. She inherited the table when she moved into her college apartment. The old renters didn't want it and left it behind. Talk about one man's trash is another woman's treasure!

Like most of us who live in small spaces all furniture most be functional as well as beautiful. For my client this table was absolutely functional, but it did not fit her decor.  Here was the table before.

table before
The table had some watermarks and scratches I needed to remove. That's when she contacted me. Together we decided on this beautiful Greek blue from Annie Sloan with dark wax. One thing I love about Annie Sloan paint is by adding dark wax you can completely change the color. 

table after

table leaf after

table top

Here is the table painted with Greek blue before the dark wax.

table before dark wax is added

She also admired furniture with lace and doily detail. I found this beautiful lace and stenciled it randomly on the top.

here is how i put the stencil on

after all stencils added

table before dark wax

For the lace stencil I used Martha Stewart's silver metallic paint. I love how it has a simmer to it. I have used this paint before on a barstool and it is beautiful with or with dark wax.

A Dish Towel with a Special Meaning and a ReStyled ReUsed Crate

Since Earth Day was Monday, I wanted to share ways in which I ReUse old materials or find new ways to use everyday items.  Last September, I visited New Hope, PA for the first time and while shopping around in Peddlers Village I found this adorable dish towel.
dish towel before
You can buy your own here.

The phrase "Love You More" has a special place in my heart which made me love this dish towel.  Instantly I knew I had to buy it, but also knew it would not stay a dish towel for long. I was going to turn it into a pillow for my couch.

After some easy sewing I made this!

dish towel turned pillow

Not your average dish towel anymore!

Also on Earth Day, here at RWL I did my part to recycle. I love old wood. I am that crazy lady stalking  construction workers asking if I can take their old wood (that they are throwing away). I also like the distressed wood on shipping pallet/crates. So many times you can find me taking old crates right from the trash. Why do I like this things you may ask? I like them because the wood is aged just right for making vintage signs or building coat racks.

So I did just that on Monday. Along with my fur baby and my trusty orbital jigsaw (by the way I love this thing). I sat outside in the beautiful New Jersey weather and started cutting away at the old pallet.

crate before
 (Don't worry my fur baby was out of the way for the cutting.)

The wood I cut on Monday will be used to make new signs for my upcoming festival, but here you can see an example of how I use this type of wood.

I ReStyled and ReUsed a different pallet for my "Nothing Makes Sense But Us" sign.

wooden pallet after

Who would have guessed this wood was covered in dirt and on the side of the road.

I will have more signs like this at the Hoboken Spring Art & Music Festival May 5th.

Happy Earth Day!

linking to:

Big Day for Refurbished with Love!

February was a busy month for Refurbished with Love! Lots of reupholstering and a DIY article, "Vase Into Lamp" in Hoboken Digest Magazine.  Doing the article was lots of fun and it turned out beautiful!!

I originally found this candle hurricane at HomeGoods. It had a leather scrap secured around the top which was easy to remove. Also, I love the Mercury Glass.

Here are my step my step directions on how to make your own DIY Vase Into a Lamp.

lamp article

DIY, transform a vase into a lamp, step by step instructions:

Step 1: Picking out your vase
I suggest purchasing a vase from your local discount home furnishing store.  A few tips to remember when selecting your vase; make sure the bottom of the vase is not too thick (the thicker the bottom the longer it will take to drill your hole). Also, turn the vase upside down and make sure it is sturdy enough to hold a lampshade. Finally, try to select a vase that is the same thickness from top to bottom. These types of vases tend to be sturdier when flipped upside down.  

Step 2: Set Up    
Before you begin, it is best to prep your workspace. Here are the materials you will need: (Left to Right)

-Measuring cup (1 cup) filled with cold water and one ice cube
-Emery cloth sand paper
-A vase or candle hurricane (used here) to act as the base of your lamp.
-Small hand towel
-Permanent marker
-Cutting board (sturdy surface)
-Lamp rewiring kit (you can find one at your local hardware store): On/Off socket, cord
-Cork adhesive backing
-Electric Drill with a ½ diamond drill bit
-Wire strippers
-Screw driver

On my workspace, I use my wooden cutting board and a dishtowel to keep my vase from slipping off. Keep in mind, little pieces of glass will break off and the towel underneath keeps your workspace neat.

Step 3: Getting Started
Once your area is setup, use your ruler to mark the center of the vase bottom.  Using a permanent marker draw a large circle, this will be the area where you drill your hole.

Before you begin drilling, pour water on the underside of the vase, this will help keep your drill bit cool. You do not want it to overheat, because this can wear out the bit. If the surface cannot hold water pour it over your drill bit as you are drilling, keeping the surface wet.

Step 4: Scoring the Glass
Start with your drill as parallel as possible to the vase.  Drill slowly and do not use too much pressure or you may break the vase.  Hold the drill in place, it will move around a lot, but you are trying to break through the hardened glaze surface.  Once you have started drilling you want to create a mark similar to this one. Think of this as scoring your glass. 

Step 5: Drilling 
Move your drill into a perpendicular position with your surface. Drill slowly and with a firm grip. Soon you will feel the glass break as you break through to the other side. This step will take about 15 minutes depending on the thickness of your vase.   

You will also need to drill an additional hole towards the bottom of the vase for the cord to run through. 

Step 6: Sanding
Now using a piece of emery cloth sand paper, sand the inside of each hole which will dull the edges. Be very careful, the glass is very sharp!   

Step 7: Wiring Your Lamp
Now that the hard part is done, you can now wire your lamp. Using the cord included in your lamp kit, feed the cord through the bottom hole into the candle stick/pipe included in the kit. You will need about 6 inches of cord at the top of your vase.

Before you push the stick through the top hole, screw on the washer and a nut to the pipe. (double check that both are larger than the top hole).  Pull your pipe and cord through the top and screw on an additional washer and nut larger than the hole (these will help secure the pipe to the vase).

Next, pull the two strands of cord through the socket base and screw the base onto the pipe. Using the two strands of cord, tie an ‘underwriters’ knot. You will need to determine which wire is the ‘hot’/positive wire (this wire is smooth and has no ridges.) Loosen the brass screw on the lamp socket. Using the positive wire, wrap it around the brass screw firmly securing it against the socket without leaving any wires sticking out. Tighten the screw to hold the wire in place.  You will need to do the same to the ribbed wire and the stainless steel screw.  

Resemble the socket by pinching the socket shell back onto the socket base. Screw on the power knob and test your lamp. 

Step 8: Finish
Once your lamp is working properly, apply the adhesive cork backing to the bottom of the vase to protect your furniture’s surface (you can also use felt fabric.)

Finally find an amazing place for your new lamp!

Please let me know if you make and a lamp and how it turns out!

Check back for pictures of the chairs.

I made my own chalk paint!

Recently, I have wanted to explore using chalk paint on furniture. Fortunately for me I had a client send me their desk and stool which was the perfect candiate to test out this paint. For those of you who are not familiar with chalk paint, it is a fast drying paint mixture that creates a 'chalk-like' matte finish. It is a popular paint and said to be easy to use when creating a shabby chic look or when distressing furniture.

In theory, I like the idea of chalk paint but on the hand, it is very expensive. Since I was not comfortable paying $30 for paint, I started researching  recipes on how to make my own.  I found a couple great recipes one on the blog Elizabeth and Co. and the other at I Heart Nap Time blog.

Below is the guinea pig an old Ikea desk. Typically, I steer clear of Ikea furniture but the desk fits perfectly in my clients small Hoboken apartment. They wanted the desk to painted navy with gold highlights and were totally open to me trying chalk paint.

desk before

Chalk paint has a great deal of benefits.  It is the best type of paint to use on furniture that cannot be sanded or furniture you do not intend to strip. Also, it is extremely durable. I ended up using the Elizabeth and Co. recipe.  Overall I was very pleased with the mixture, however, it dries out quickly therefore I suggest making small batches of paint.

desk after

close up on leg detail and upholstered stool

close up on desk top

Next time I want to try I Heart Nap Time's recipe. I wonder if using a smaller amount of plaster of paris will make the paint last longer.

linking up to:

A place for six to eat...

My clients, Kelly and Rainer, wanted their old dining room table and chairs to be refurbished with a modern look which included refurbishing everything from the seat cushions to the various water stains and chipped pieces of wood. The whole ensemble was in desperate need of a "Refurbished with Love" facelift!

It turns out their dining set had a matching china cabinet in decent condition which I used as a guide to match the new stain for the set. Since the table top had a layer of wood veneer, I chose to use new a product to refurbish it, a gel stain by Minwax.

I haven't had any experience with gel stains before, but supposedly they are an alternative for 'faux' wood surfaces. In the end, I developed a big love/ hate relationship with this gel and there are more reasons why I don't like it.  First off, I should warn you, the gel has the consistency of pudding and is better applied with a sponge brush as opposed to a bristled one. Secondly, it dries ten times faster than your typical oil based stains. Therefore, if you are working on a large area, I suggest staining it in sections. This will help tremendously considering if it dries on you, it will be tough to get out. However, should you run into this problem, I suggest applying additional stain over the dried section and buffing the heck out of it! Lastly, the gel seemed to leave a residue on the wood and was rough to the touch. This was obviously frustrating since you need your surface to be smooth as silk before applying the polyurethane at the end. Lastly, fom a price conscious perspective, the gel stain only comes in quart size amounts at a whopping $16, which can add up quick when trying to pick the right color for your piece.

table and chairs after

Half of the table had water damage and uneven color in many areas. 

table top before

table top before

table top after

chair after

chair after

close up on stud detailing

Overall, the dining set came out beautiful and the stain was spot on for matching the cabinet! I also upholstered the dining chairs in a neutral fabric picked by the client and added a stud detail which gave the chairs the modern appeal they were looking for.

Overall I do not think I would use a gel stain again, however I was very please with the final outcome.  This was a big project for my small work space, but definitely a fun one to transform.

I am now pleased to say, seating for six is now available at the Hoboken brownstone of Kelly and Rainer. 

Linking To:

My Etsy Store

Many of you have asked where I sell my furniture, well besides my mini pop-up shop at festivals and trade shows you can also find Refurbished with Love furniture and home accent items here at my Etsy store, Refurbished with Love.

my etsy store

I do have many more things to add to my shop, I just need to find the time to take pictures! Therefore, thank you in advance for your patience. In addition to these items I have 4 lamps, 4 tables and a chair not shown in my online store. If there is anything in particular you are looking for please send me an email and I will send you images of more items.

Happy Shopping!

Dressing Up Your Dresser

My most recent refurbishing was for a client with a 20 year old five drawer dresser. My client loved the dresser, but knew it was in desperate need a of furniture face lift overall, the dresser was in good shape. It had a few surface scratches, some chips, a broken drawer glide and a broken base board.

dresser before
Refurbishing it didn't take long and within a week we were picking out paint colors. I always try to advise my clients to find a few shades of a color they like because we all know, but many of us forget, once paint dries it's a slightly different shade. With this dresser we were on the hunt for the right shade of grey, not to blue and not to green. Our first choice too green, but after a few more tests we found this beautiful Benjamin Moore & Co. grey blue Gibraltar Cliffs color.

dresser after (puppy not included)

My client selected these knobs from Anthropologie.  The ones we used have more of a brass finish. The link will show you a zinc finish. Our knobs were found in the store. She wanted the dresser to have a distressed look. We agreed a light distressing detail would be best.

I have more refurbishing projects coming up. I will post pictures soon!