Jan 29, 2015

My First Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Project

One of my best buds gave me this old, gorgeous wash stand for my living room.  I loved it as is, but every night it would stare at me and whisper "paint me.... paint me".  Argh, so I did... and I ended up painting it 4 times until I got it right.

I wanted to give it the "chippy" look, but the only way to get a true "chippy" look is to use milk paint.  I'm so anti-milk paint.  I hate that you have to mix it yourself, and I hate that you only mix what you need, because you can't store it.    So, I researched a few different ways to achieve the chippy look with chalk paint, and a few people suggested using Vaseline or candle wax.  

I coated all the edges in candle wax and gave the piece a coat of Old White.  I tried scrapping off the paint and yea, nothing happened.  Then I covered the edges in Vaseline and gave the piece a coat of Arles.  When I started scrapping off the paint, it literally just scrapped off.  In chunks.  It looked horrible,  So I sanded the crap out of it and gave the piece a fresh coat of Arles.

I caved and brought home some Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Boxwood.  I gave the piece 2 coats of Boxwood, waited for it to dry, and started chipping away with an old Star Bucks gift card!!!
It was the exact results I wanted.  I love the finished look.  The piece looks old and weathered in this awesome army green colour.  I just love it.  

And no, I will not post any pics of my failed "chalk paint chipping".  It was that bad.

Knobs are from Pier1.

Jan 1, 2015

"Ombre" Dresser from Annie Sloan's New Book!

In Annie Sloan's new book Room Recipes for Style and Colour , she showcases a stunning dresser, done in colours created with different mixes of Barcelona Orange and Greek Blue.  The dresser caught my eye right away, and I really wanted to replicate it... but, of course, with my spin!!!


Here's a pic of the dresser - Luckily for me, it was also featured on the cover of Fresh Style magazine.  I didn't want to take a picture of inside Annie Sloan's book.... I know nothing about copyright this and that blah blah blah.... but a magazine cover is fair game, right?!?!

Anyway, Nicole, from The Painted Bench in Oakville, had the perfect dresser for the project.  I can't believe this green, monster dresser was headed for the trash.

The key to getting this sucker right, was the colours.  I spent a looooong time mixing and playing with combos of Greek Blue and Barcelona Orange.  I wish I had taken pictures of all my trials, because it is truly amazing just how many colour variations you can get with just 2 cans of paint.  The possibilities are endless with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  

Here it is... All complete!  The top drawer is blue with a touch or orange.  And the bottom drawer is orange with a touch of blue.  I wish I could share the formula for the other drawers, but I had no method to my mixing.  I just kept playing until I got it right!!

Sooooo...Whose do you like better?!?!??! Annie or Cait?!?!?! hahaha

Dec 3, 2014

Making your Uggs Look Brand New with Chalk Paint

I have no idea where or when I came up with the idea to chalk paint my Uggs... but one day, I got it stuck  in my head, that one - my Uggs are my most favourite thing ever to wear and they look like crap, and two - you can chalk paint anything.  So today, I got a little brave and tackled them.  The result is AMAZING, and I am so excited:)

Here's how I went from my old, nasty, stained and worn Uggs... to the FABO new kicks!!

First I gave my boots a good wipe down with nothing but a dry scrubbie.  I wanted to get off as much dirt as possible, and loosen whatever fibers were left... 

Next, I taped off the "Uggs" logo because I still wanted to be cool.... I used scotch tape rather than painter's tape, because I wanted good adhesion to avoid the paint bleeding.  Painter's tape wasn't tacky enough.

Next, I taped off the bottom sole, spongy part.  I didn't want to paint that part juuuust in case it didn't wear well outside.  I have 99.9% faith that the paint will adhere and wear well outside, but since it was my first time painting Uggs, I decided just to leave it as is.  Next time, I'll paint it... It'll look better.  I may even go back and paint the bottom on these guys!! hehe (Oh, and again, I used scotch tape)

Next, I got my paint ready.  I painted this pair with Annie Sloan Graphite.  I thought about doing Aubusson, or Emperor's Silk, but chickened out...
I added just a wee bit of water to loosen the paint.  I'm so awesome, I even took a video to show you the consistency...

Then I painted my boots with a small Annie Sloan brush.  I just brushed the paint on in a back in forth motion, making sure to cover all sides of the fibers with paint.  I never had too much paint on my brush at once because I didn't want it to soak through.  It's always easier to add more paint, then to take it off.  Always, be patient and take your time.  These pics are after one coat.

The boots looked great after one coat, but I did 2, just to get perfect coverage.  Annie Sloan recommends waiting overnight between coats to be sure the fabric is completely dry.  Shhhhhhh, don't tell her I only waited an hour.

Next, I used a lint free cloth to apply Annie Sloan clear wax.  Just a thin layer.  The clear wax gives it a bit of a leather, shiny, look, and also makes the boots water repellent.  So YES, I can wear them outside and not worry about the paint dripping off and puddling at my feet.

And here is the final awesomeness...

Happy Feet...

Oct 17, 2014

Mixing a Custom Colour using Chalk Paint

I LOVE LOVE LOVE painting people's furniture for them.  Bringing an old piece back to life is awesome, especially when it's a sentimental piece... but 99% of the time, I'm painting the pieces either white or black.  Needless to say, it does get a tad boring every now and then...

Recently, I had a new customer bring me an old dresser she wanted done for her new baby girl's nursery... and she wanted it HOT PINK!!! Yea... a colour ;)  Annie Sloan doesn't make a hot pink, so I custom mixed a colour to acheive the look I was going for...

2 parts Old White to 1 part Emperor's Silk

The key to making a custom colour is lots of practice.  Grab a blank sheet of paper and start mixing, being sure to record your recipe along the way.


I had a hard time getting a good pic of the pink I mixed.  My house is dark and I don't get a lot of natural light, but you get the idea!!

Oct 10, 2014

Side Table Before & After

Another piece my neighbour brought over was this old, beat up side table.  I wanted to sand it down and stain it to match her beautiful sugar cane hall table but the top was just too stained.  So, I decided to give it a few coats of Annie Sloan French Linen, and aged it with the Annie Sloan dark wax.  I picked up the cute paris stencil from The Pained Bench in Hamilton.

This just goes to show that no piece of furniture should be tossed.  With just a bot of elbow grease, and it can look new and fabulous all over again!!

Oct 6, 2014

Mahogany Hall Table Before & After!

Recently, a friend of mine that lives just 2 doors down was moving, and rather than be burdened with moving her beat up and outdated furniture, she left it with me to refinish.... The best part, she says "Do whatever you want.  Work your magic!"... music to my ears.

The first piece I completed was this gorgeous sugar cane hall table.  I didn't want to change it too much, since it was a beauty on it's own, but it definitely needed some work.  You can see the table top was in rough shape.

I sanded the top down and gave it several coats of Minwax Jacobean stain (my favourite colour), and the bottom is finished with Annie Sloan Graphite.

Here's another "Before" pic of the roughed up top...

I'll post pics of the other projects I finished for my neighbour soon!!!

Sep 7, 2014

Backyard Before & After

I'm the world's worst blogger these days.  My backyard has been done for weeks now, and I am just getting around to blogging the before & after pics now.  It has just been a mad house around here.  This summer, we tackled a new deck, new landscaping, 2 bathrooms and a kitchen reno.... all the while, juggling the kids at home and our regular, every day madness.  But thankfully, it's all coming to an end, and I can see the light.

We weren't even planning on doing anything to the yard this year.  It certainly wasn't part of this year's reno budget...whoops.  But after the world's longest winter, I begged and pleaded (whined) to the hubby, and he caved.  

Here are some 'Before" pics of our yard.  It was a completely unusable space.  We had these massive, hideous pine trees and that gave the grass a full layer of prickly needles and nasty pine cones.  The yard was so sloped, that really we couldn't do anything with it.  No garden, no swing set, no fire pit.. natta.  The one piece of the yard that was flat was covered in gravel and weeds.  I believe some previous owners may have had an above ground pool??  I dunno.  All I know is that you had to have shoes on back there, and there was no way to sod it even if we wanted to.  

(I just spent an hour looking for my 'before' pics, and can't find anything, so I'm jumping right to the "during" pics)

Trees are gone and deck footings are going in!

This pic really shows that horrible gravel/weed/must-wear-shoes section

This pic doesn't do the sloped yard justice.  It really was a horrible slope that ruined the space

2 big ass pine trees GONE!

Here are the "after" pics.  I'm very happy with the outcome!

My goodness, my picture taking skills are sucking lately... you get the idea.

We leveled the yard off into 2 separate sections with a whopper retaining wall. I'm inlove with my deck.  Originally, I was going to do something fancy with a built in fire pit and different sections, but at the end of the day, we decided to go with something simple, and functional.  I'm so happy we did, because it's a great, usable space now.

We have a ton of room to do whatever we want now.  We are planning on plating a few gardens, and adding more cedars for privacy next year.  

I also plan on removing that hideous chunk, block thing in the corner some people refer to as a "water feature".  I was adamant against such feature, I am still adamant that such feature needs to be sledgehammered.  So, we will see next year.... honestly, it's embarrassing and needs to go.  Whatever.

Worst part of the whole experience was that it was a 3 week job, that turned into a 3 month job.  My fault for not laying down the law with our landscapers.  Lesson learned through this whole process, is to get EVERYTHING in writing.  Including a reasonable timeline. I still don't understand why people think it's okay to work on several jobs at a time.  Here's my job - finish it - then move on to the next.  SO frustrating.  

At the end of the day, I'm so glad that we forked out the dough to complete our yard this year.  It's been a a great space for us to enjoy this summer, and I SO look forward to adding lots of personal touches next year.  It's a great foundation.  The retaining wall has lent hours of fun for the kids to play on.  They run circles in the yard while I lay in the sunny hammock and drink beer.. Me happy :) (Thanks Hunny!!) So, so, so happy.