WARMING UP WHITE- shabby chic coffee table

The weather today is rainy and curling up in a furry blanket would be wonderful,
but as every other day there is much to do. We delivered a large dresser into town last
night and had the honour of touring a large 1912 apartment in the midst of renovations.

That is one perk I never considered when I started up cycling furniture.
I have seen the inside of some wonderful homes around Vancouver, but when you started
to venture into the heart of downtown you get to see some magical history in the buildings.
Imagine the carved details of this love seat frame built into the walls and trim of a home.

Back in the country my latest endeavor is a provincial coffee table
with another wonderful french graphic.

I don't do too many coffee tables but my mother had a hand in bringing this one to me
so I couldn't refuse. Could I?

Before you leave ...

take a quick look at some of the new hardware available in the Etsy Shop .

There are 1000's of pieces of up-cycled hardware to choose from at 
firstfinds hardware store

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GOLDEN ERA DEJA VU - night stands

Déjà vu, from French, literally "already seen"
You maybe thinking you have already seen these night stands
Even thinking it was just a few days ago
Well the truth is I found another perfect set on our thrift shop hop
and came home to work on them right away.
So yes you are seeing something very similar again but with their own magic.

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HELLO BIRDIE - hand made clock

I built this clock from scrap wood and used parts from a broken thrift store clock.

Every time I started to work on this clock I ran into another issue.
I had to let the wood acclimatize, drilling out a washer, figure out the batteries
I was using were almost dead, to deciding to re-painting over the first image I didn't like.

There are all sorts of bird images on the internet to take inspiration from and work
with so keep looking till you find the one that makes you happy. In the end I'm over
joyed with this handsome cutie that I hand painted in Emperors Silk.
Not every projects works the first, second, or even third time I try it but I'm always up for the challenge. Think about this simple little clock and the weeks of trouble I had before giving
up on a project, rethink it, walk away if need be, but make sure to try again. 
P.S. I will not be teaching you how to build a clock!
I do not have enough experience or patience for it.

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ARLENE's - white bedside cabinets


These bedside tables are going on my list of all time favorite redos.
 I've been on a mission to find bedside tables to work with, I didn't realize I had to go to Mission to
find them. Mission is a town about 40 minutes away from us and we just don't get over there enough.

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THE POWER OF PAINT - pink striped dresser

This dresser use to be in a man's garage,
storing tools and other greasy manly things.
This makeover reminders us of how powerful
paint and color can be.

Check out the Before and After below

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RICH ESPRESSO FINISH - black and white paris dresser

Richer than black, warmer than ebony, it's ESPRESSO!
and I'm not talking about coffee ladies.
I painted the top of this Paris rue dresser with one coat of ASCP Graphite over a medium colored
wood finish. Graphite is a dark charcoal color but is too flat on it's own.
Once the paint dried I applied a liberal layer or 2 of ASCP dark wax.
Above you can see the upper edge has dark wax on it and the lower edges is just raw graphite paint.
I took a dozen photos to show you this and it's still iffy whether you can see the difference perfectly.
The dark wax takes a long time to dry if you want it to be rich and heavy. I let it dry for several days,
 buffing occasionally then adding a coat of clear wax to give it a nice shine.

These handles are done the same way as the Etsy hardware.

I added some well placed graphics to the drawers.
*Well placed* is an interesting term considering I tried several different ideas,
in several different locations, sanding away the mistakes in between attempts.

These graphics were drawn and filled in with black paint pens. 

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HOW TO BUILD A CONSOLE TABLE - using an ammo box


I'm re-sharing this post with more building details for
others who want to re purpose their own ammo boxes.

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MAKE YOUR OWN STENCILS - sheet music dresser

I have a trick for you to make custom stencils, any size, shape, and inexpensively.

I don't have time to run to the craft store or wait for an order to come in the mail and because I
work on larger projects I like to be able to make my own stencils to fit the right size of my projects.


** I print out a simple graphic on regular paper the size I need.
** Then I cover the front and back of the paper with strips of clear packing tape.
(This makes my stencil thicker and paint resistant.)
**The final step is to cut my stencil out with a shape knife and get to work.


I recently used these fancy Fleur de lis stencils to finish off a sheet music dresser I did.


Be sure to stop in to see what's new in shabby chic white hardware available at firstfinds.
The Etsy shop is filled with all sorts of vintage hardware.
There is over 1000 pieces of used hardware to choose from



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Okay this post can't wait any longer.
It is long over due as I finished this table, Parlour Table that is, days ago.
However I have lost the before picture.
I know there was one taken I have seen it, but do you think I can find it ... NO!
So with your imagination think hard about a simple yet dark oak wobbly table.
Have you got the image in your mind?
Well it won't work if you keep looking at the nice ornate white one I am showing you.
Close your eyes and think hard.
I painted it in old, distressed the edges, and waxed it with Minwax.

But before doing all the pretty stuff I had to make the table strong and stable again.
I tightened every joint possible with clamps and glue but it still shifted to and fro,
and it needed a little character added.

That's where the fancy bits come in.
The scrolled wood work you see at the back
stabilized the shifting and took a ho hum piece of furniture and made it attractive.
My scrolled wood work was purchased while on a road trip into the US,
and it was a second hand find and I still have 2 more of them to play with.
Maybe one day I will get a scroll saw and try my hand at creating these lovely designs.

As you can see I didn't stop there,
I also cut up some more of those plastic wall decorations to add some ornate details
at the front edges of both shelves.
She has now found a new home.
Stop in to see what's new in shabby chic white hardware available at firstfinds.
There are over 1000 pieces of used hardware to choose from

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PAINT BLEEDING - midcentury table

Does everyone remember the little mid century side table I picked up thrifting?
The plan was to spray it with a can of high gloss oil base white paint, however this was
also the perfect opportunity to show you ASCP can create a perfect white finish and teach
you a little trick of mine to deal with paint bleed.

I am referring to the strange browny red marks
that you might encounter while painting vintage furniture.
Your best defence to any problem is to understand what and why it happens.
What it is are OILS (tannins) leaching into your water based product and changing the color.

Why is because in these areas the wood is exposed and raw letting the oils come out.

Solution is simple ... you need to block/seal these areas locking in the tannin oils.

What I do is wax and repaint.

Wax is a good barrier against the oils and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint adheres to wax!

Alternatives are oil based paints, primers, and shellacs.
I know many ppl use Zinsser spray shellac, which I have used in the past to seal knots.
Not all woods bleed equally, pine for example generally doesn't give you too much issue
except for the knots. I find oak pretty easy going but mahogany can be just as bad as a red
shirt being thrown into a wash load of white underwear. Everything turns pink!

On this side table the original finish had been scratched and was starting to lift and flake off.
Consequently once my first coat of AS Pure White started to dry there were bleed spots all over.

*** OH THE HORROR!!! ***

If you look closely on the above photo you can see the entire face of the
drawers had a streaky bleed. In the upper right hand corner you
can also see a heavier line of bleed where it had been scratched.

Here is another area with heavy bleed, the bottom of a leg had
been banged around and the original finish was compromised
exposing the raw wood in tiny spots.
 The same thing will happen if you sand an old finish and expose the raw wood. When I am dealing
with heavy bleed it sometimes takes 2 or 3 applications of wax and paint before it completely
diminishes, but in the case of the drawer faces it was one coat of wax and a second coat of paint.


no buffing

You only have to treat the bleed you do not have to redo, repaint, re wax every inch of your project. 

For example I had bleed coming through at the 3 seams where the angled trim attached
to the top but the rest of the surface was fine. I only waxed and repainted the seams.

I hope this information helps you understand the problem so you can also solve it.

Good Luck with your projects and your bleed!


Have you stopped into firstfinds hardware store lately?
Here are just some of the items available for your projects.

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