Thursday, February 19, 2015

French Farmhouse Cabinet

I don't normally do large pieces of furniture but lately I have been finding some great pieces like the two vintage bedroom sets I found and painted aqua.  When I found this beauty, she was washed with stark white paint.  Her leg was broken and she had been left out in the elements which split and cracked her counter top.
The first thing she needed was a good furniture surgeon to mend her broken leg.  That would be my husband.  He did a wonderful job and you can't even tell.  She's as good as new.  Her counter top got a good sanding and so did the rest of her.  I painted her Old White, except the counter top.  That got a coat of primer gray automotive paint and then that was rubbed down with gesso.  I wanted her counter to mimic an old worn metal top.  She got some pretty French drawer pulls to glam her up a bit.  Her white coat was glazed with some diluted Minwax stain to give her some nice aged patina.
On the lower doors I reverse mod podged a toile image.
I used a small corner stencil in each of the corners of the shelves and then used Frog Tape to join the corners and box the back section of each shelf.  
Once that was done, I used some of my French stencils which I always mix and match to get the desired wording that I need to use.
By mixing up the stencils, you can get something really original and it adds charm to an old piece of furniture.
This would be a fantastic cabinet in a bake shop.  Don't you think?
I'm thrilled with the way she turned out.  I'm using her for display in my space at Aubergine Emporium, but she is for sale too!
Thanks for your visit.

I may be partying at...

Mondays           Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday

Wednesdays     Savvy Southern Style   Ivy and Elephants
                         My Salvaged Treasures
                                           

Fridays            French Country Cottage       My Romantic Home        Miss Mustard Seed
                                    
Saturdays        Funky Junk Interiors
           

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Milk Paint Cabinet

Last Saturday, I ventured up the coast to Ventura, California to take a milk paint class from Mary Livingston.  She has an adorable shop called Lavender Blue and she just recently expanded her store to larger quarters.  Mary has been painting with milk paint since she was in high school.  Our class lasted around 3 hours and during that short period of time Mary shared so many tips and tricks that she has learned from her many years of experience.
Primitives are not for everyone, but where I live and sell, original peely paint pieces are highly sought after and coveted, and although I have tried to attain this look with every paint and special effects product on the market I have never been able to replicate an original paint finish.  Until now!
I can't give you all of Mary's secrets because she is writing a book, but I can tell you the tools I used, and by the way, Mary has her own line of milk paint.  It's called Lavender Blue.  This product really delivers.  See all that glorious crackle?  I didn't have to use glue or a crackle medium either.
I painted the cabinet with Calendula which is an old yellow color.  Then I top coated with French Linen which is a white.  I'm a mix and match kind of person, so I started with a candle stick.  This is my own trick so I can share it with you.  I rub my corners and any place on my piece that would receive natural wear.  Then I paint my piece.  When I sand those areas that are waxed, the paint falls away unevenly like it was worn that way over the years.  So yes, I did rub this piece down with the candle.  I did not use a binding agent either with the paint because I could get the aged finish much better without it.
I used a heat gun to dry the paint and I worked in small sections.  I painted a side and then dried it with my heat gun.  Then I went to the other side.  Then I did a door and then the other door.  Working in small sections helped me concentrate until I reached the desired aged look I was going for.  I also rubbed a little Annie Sloan clear wax here and there.  I'm not sure it's compatible with the milk paint because it is an oilier wax so next time I will stick with the Lavender Blue wax.  This all sounds like it took me forever, but the cabinet was done start to finish in around two hours.
When all the painting was completed and dried, I scraped it with a paint scraper to get any flaking that occurred with the heat gun.  Then I gave it a rub down with a wet cloth.  The wet cloth helped expose the Calendula that was hiding under the French Linen color.  Milk paint will wash right off if it's not sealed with a sealer such as wax or hemp oil.  Next I took a fine grit sanding block and just sanded enough to knock off any more loose paint and to gain a little more patina.
When all of this was completed, I rubbed it down with a light coat of clear wax mixed with a little dark wax.  Mary's wax is more like a thick hand cream and, therefore, it is much easier to manipulate into the crevices than a harder wax.  This look isn't for everyone, but if you love aged patina like I do and many of our customers do, then I strongly suggest you give milk paint a try.  Below is the before picture.  Milk paint gave this cabinet an amazing transformation and so did Mary's wonderful class.
Lavender Blue has a website and they do ship the milk paint and the accompanying products.  Their website is http://www.lavenderblueventura.com.  

Thanks for stopping by.

I may be partying at...

Mondays           Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday

Wednesdays     Savvy Southern Style   Ivy and Elephants
                         My Salvaged Treasures
                                           

Fridays            French Country Cottage       My Romantic Home        Miss Mustard Seed
                                    
Saturdays        Funky Junk Interiors




Sunday, February 8, 2015

French Figural Window

I found this window a couple of weeks ago.  Unlike my faux etched windows, this is the real deal.  I spotted it on a dealer's truck before it was unloaded and could only see the top portion of it.  It was love at first sight.  I bought it on the spot. 
It stands about five feet high and about two feet wide.  The detailing is incredible and, of course, I love anything with French details.  I put it in front of the hedge in our front walkway to see what it would look like and I love seeing the foliage through the window.
I have no place to put it in my own house so off to Aubergine Emporium it went.  I hope it finds a good home very soon.
This might be my find of the year, and it's only February.
Thanks for your visit.

I may be partying at...


Wednesdays     Savvy Southern Style   Ivy and Elephants
                         My Salvaged Treasures
                                           

Fridays            French Country Cottage       My Romantic Home        Miss Mustard Seed

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Contemporary to Farm House Chic

I've been finding a lot of these import pieces of furniture lately that are akin to Home Goods, but I have been having a nearly impossible time finding good vintage pieces to redo.  So while I'm waiting to find the stuff I really love, I'm reinventing some of these newer items to fit my style better.
This is a great TV stand, console, cabinet, whatever you want to call it.  It's two-tiered, has some great storage space and overall it had great lines and detailing, but with the finish it had on it, it had a contemporary vibe, almost Asian.  Definitely not my vintage look.
This is a very functional piece, but let's face it, it's not high end and it's not heirloom quality so I didn't spend a fortune on expensive designer paints that are so popular these days.  It got a good sanding since it had a very high gloss finish, then two coats of latex paint in a warm white tone.  The surfaces were painted a medium shade of gray just to give it a little more personality.
Then to give it a more farm house feel, I shabbied it back just a bit to give it a more worn appearance.
Once that step was done, I rubbed a bit of Minwax stain diluted with mineral spirits.  I didn't want to muddy the finish,  I just wanted to give a little depth to the imperfections.  When it was all completed, I sprayed it with a clear coat to seal in the stain.
The photo below is the before.  This is the photo where my husband is saying "You want to do what?  It looks fine the way it is."  Then I say "Just paint it!"
Thanks for visiting.

I may be partying at...

Mondays           Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday

Wednesdays     Savvy Southern Style   Ivy and Elephants
                         My Salvaged Treasures
                                           

Fridays            French Country Cottage       My Romantic Home        Miss Mustard Seed

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Faux Etched Window Tutorial

One of my best sellers when I sell at the Little French Flea Market are my faux etched windows.  They are very simple to do and although there's a lot of photos in this post, it's a quick and simple process so stay with me.  You will need Martha Stewart's Frost Etching cream available at Michael's and Joanne's.  You will also need a stencil of your choice, a mixing bowl - my mixing bowl is about a half cup custard cup - acrylic paint and a stencil brush.  Of course, you will need a window.  I get mine at the salvage yards.
I use approximately a dollop of the frost etching cream and about half as much of my acrylic paint.  That's it.  Mix it together.
Clean your window on both sides and work from the back side of your window.  Once this product dries, you can clean it with windex and a paper towel but do so gently.  Since the front of the window does not have the design on it, that can be cleaned normally.
Your stencil will be turned over because you are working from the back side of the window.  Tape your stencil in place.
I keep a paper towel handy so when I dip the stencil brush in the paint medium I can dab it off so I don't get too much paint on my brush that could run under my stencil.  It's the same principal as when you're working on walls or wood.  Now just dab the paint on your stencil.
Make sure you cover all the lettering on your stencil image.
Now rinse off your stencil in the sink so that the frosted etching cream doesn't dry on the stencil.  It's easy to get off if it's not totally dried.
For this window my stencil wasn't quite big enough to fill my window space so I needed to come back and do my corners with a second design.  Put your extra paint mixture into a zippy bag for about 20 minutes while the window dries enough to lay another stencil on the window.
Here is what I had left of my mixture after doing a whole window.  It doesn't take much.
Here is a Paris window I did last week.  The scrolly stencil is from    Wall Masque Stencils and the Paris stencil is from  Maison de Stencils.
Here is another popular stencil I use, also from Maison de Stencils.
Here is the cute little window I just finished.
This weekend I will be selling at the Little French Flea Market.  It's our first flea market of the year.  We have moved to Northridge so please note the new address.  Hope to see you there.
Thanks for stopping by.

I may be partying at...

Mondays           Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday

Wednesdays     Savvy Southern Style   Ivy and Elephants
                         My Salvaged Treasures
                                           

Fridays            French Country Cottage       My Romantic Home        Miss Mustard Seed
                                    
Saturdays        Funky Junk Interiors

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Chippy Rusty Antique Day Bed

I usually post my own projects in my blog, but this last week I found this fabulous iron child's bed.  Both of the sides fold in and then the ends fold in to make the whole thing lie flat for easy storage.
I love all the rustic patina.  This would be great as a day bed, a garden ornament or a planter.  It's full of vintage goodness.
Lot's of intricate curves and chipping peeling paint.  It's chippingly charming as a matter of fact.  
The Little French Flea Market warehouse is open this weekend.  It's loaded with new stock.  If you're in the area, come by and see us.  Also the Little French Flea Market (the actual flea market) is on next weekend.  We have moved locations and I will be posting the address next week.
Your visits are always appreciated.

I may be partying at...


Wednesdays     Savvy Southern Style   Ivy and Elephants
                         My Salvaged Treasures
                                           

Fridays            French Country Cottage       My Romantic Home        Miss Mustard Seed
                                 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Step Stool by the Yard

I've seen lots of yard stick projects on Pinterest, and I always think they are so cute.  So when my daughter sent me a picture of one that she liked, I decided we needed to make one for my grandson for Christmas.  I found a small step stool at the warehouse where I sell.  It was just a plain green color, but it was the perfect size.
Being the collector that I am, of course I had a pile of old yard sticks that I had been saving for just such an occasion.  Our grandson is 18 months old and he likes to be taller so he can see what's going on in the kitchen.
I painted this little cutie red and picked out my brightest vintage rulers.  Then my husband did all the brain work, measuring and cutting.
This was the perfect size for Carter.  He used it to get up to the Christmas ornaments on the tree so he could see them up close and personal (made it easier for him to undress the tree) and he also could carry it all over whenever he wanted to get something that he couldn't reach.
T
Here's the proof.  He got into Nana's See's truffles.  I don't share these with anyone, but Carter is kinda special.
He really thought he had hit the mother load that day.

Thanks for stopping by.


I may be partying at...

Mondays           Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday

Wednesdays     Savvy Southern Style   Ivy and Elephants
                         My Salvaged Treasures
                                           

Fridays            French Country Cottage       My Romantic Home        Miss Mustard Seed
                                    
Saturdays        Funky Junk Interiors