Category Archives: Rad Re-Do’s

Chanel Accent Bedroom Project on a Budget

Easy to Complete Projects for Our Chanel Bedroom Re-Do

If you have been following along, then you know I am re-decorating my daughter’s bedroom to transform it into a Chanel paradise for her. I was going to paint this weekend but I got just to lazy to paint.  The painting will have to happen another time. I am currently working on easy budget friendly projects to help add some Chanel-like decor to her bedroom up-do.

Flower’s and Vase

vase18I started  compiling a list of Chanel type decor that would go in this bedroom. Since I am on a budget of no more than $125.00,  I have to be very very careful where my money gets spent. Hence, the cheaper the better. I am going to show you a very inexpensive project I have been working on that will go into the final bedroom as an accessory for the desk or dresser.

Chanel Budget Project to Help Enhance the Room

This was an easy project  I was able to complete in an hour. This was  including the drying time of the paint. I apologize for forgetting to take a picture of the can/vase I was using for this project before I began.vase05 It was hot pink when I started as you can see from the inside of the vase. It is a tin can that I am using as a vase. My daughter’s accent colors besides black and white is lilac or a  light purple. I mixed a very deep purple that I had on hand with grey. Both paints on hand, I achieved this beautiful lilac color by mixing the two colors. I used two different chalk paints,  so no prep work was needed before I painted the lilac onto the hot pink tin. vase03I applied three coats. After the first two coats of the chalk paint I used a steel wool pad and lightly sanded the tin  so it would have a smooth surface. I then applied one last coat and then a clear protective wax for durability.vase06 I felt wax was a good enough protective coating  for the paint since it was just going to be sitting on a desk or shelf.

After I applied the clear wax that I purchased at Joann fabric awhile ago, I waited over night for the wax to cure to make sure the coating stayed durable.

I  purchased a black sparkle banding in the wedding section of Hobby Lobby at 50% off. It was $2.50 for the roll with plenty of the roll left  for other projects.vase07 I was using the banding to wrap a few pieces around the vase to add a little panache. I used a small hot glue gun to adhere the banding to the vase. I decided two bands would contain just enough flair for this Chanel inspired bedroom. As you can see from the picture below I had my banding ready to go and cut to size before I plugged in my hot glue gun. I was very carefully and used the hot glue to place the band around the vase.

vase10After the bands were placed around the vase, I needed to go to work on the flower bundle I purchased in the wedding department as well at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. vase13The flower puff was $5.00 with the discount. I decided that the flower puff also needed a little flair. I had tiny rhinestones already in the house.  I knew it would look more fun to add them to the petals for extra sparkle. It would add to the sparkle fun.vase12 When I think of Chanel I think of elegance and sparkle goodness. Elegance and fun=Chanel. I placed the flower puff inside the  vase so only the petals that were going to show, were, well, showing. This way I only needed to  add rhinestones to where you would be able to see the petals. I put a dab of glue about the size of the tip of a pin head onto the petal and then used a tweezers to add the rhinestones.vase17 I suggest using Adhesive Tech glue for such precise projects. This glue is great for design work on paper and fabric as only a very fine line of glue comes out of the bottle every time. It can be found at Walmart for around $2.00, if you need to find it.

vase15After I added the rhinestones to the petals, I placed the flower puff into the vase. There we have it. A Chanel looking vase that matches our bedroom color’s on a budget.

Material’s Listing with Cost

Metal tin bought at Hobby Lobby for $2.40

Lilac and grey chalk paint was on hand and free

The black banding was 50% off and was a cost of $2.50

Flower puff bought also at Hobby Lobby in the wedding section at 50% off was the most expensive piece at $5.00

Rhinestones were on hand so basically free

Also on hand was the hot glue and glue gun as well as the wax that was used during this project. The total cost for the matching Chanel bedroom accessory was $9.90 and took less then an hour not counting letting the wax cure overnight.


What Chanel inspired bedroom projects can you dream up on a budget? I can’t wait to hear.

Rad Bedroom Re-Do on a Budget, Getting Started-Part One

How To Get Started

In my case getting started was easy because the room that was being re-done is my teenage daughter’s room and well, she knew what she wanted to do already. She wants to go from what she currently has, seen throughout the pictures to a Chanel themed room. So what I am saying is that it is important that you first pick a theme or a color pallet to work with first before you get started re-doing anything.

Now What Do I Do Now That I Have My Theme

r01Chanel is very upscale and glamorous. They also use black, white coloring as well as stripes to pull the Chanel  theme together. I needed to take a complete inventory of what items I had on hand that could be used. I will save a lot of money by re-using materials I already own.r06 I also suggest making a list of items that need to get done to make your vision a reality.r04

My To Do List

r06I need to decide whether or not to re-use the furniture she already owns. Since I am on a budget the answer was definitely ,yes I will re-use her current furniture. I had to think about art for the walls as well as colors to use on what items. I highly suggest you go to your local Salvation Army, Goodwill, Savers or any other resale shop near your house to start getting creative. Look outside the box. Look at items in a new way. Ask yourself, “Can that be painted.” Is there another intended purpose I can use this item for? BE CREATIVE! It’s your chance to be cheap, creative and think outside the box. You will be so pleased with your outcome.r10

Use of Space

r13This needs to definitely be mentioned. How is your space being used currently and can it be re-arranged to suit your purposes more efficiently?  Can it suit your needs differently? In my case I moved the bed to the opposite wall of the room and it changed the entire dynamics of the bedroom.r16


r17Once you have an idea of your theme and the items you have and need to purchase, you can go ahead and lay out the projects that need to be completed to finish out your space. In my space, for example my project list would look like this:

Find oops paint in a lavender grey to paint the walls and paint the walls.

Look for black and white bedding for a designer look (Done)

Paint boxes bought at Goodwill in black, white and striped black and white

Paint the inside of letter J light up black

Print out famous quotes by Coco Chanel, then take them to Kinko’s to be sized for picture frame collage

Paint large mirror we already own either white or black or white with a black wax overlay

I think you get the gist of what I am talking about. Because I am re-shaping this room on a very tight budget I am also painting the furniture with oops cabinet paint I found in black. Don’t get discouraged. Rome was not built in a day and your room transformation will take time. You are saving yourself a ton of money. Remember that as well as the results will be fantastic if  you take your time.

r13So far in my teen bedroom makeover, I have rearranged some of the furniture. More will be rearranged as it is transformed into another color. I picked out the bedding for the re-do and I have laid out my up coming projects. This room will take a while to complete but I can’t wait for the finished reveal.

Stay with me each week as we get farther along in the room re-decorating process.

r17FYI, painting the walls this weekend is my first major undertaking in the transformation.

I can’t wait to hear and see what room y’all are going to re-do on a budget.

P.S. This room is very large and I tried to get picture’s from many angle’s.

How To Paint An Upholstered Chair To Be Soft

From This
To This



Ugly is in the eye of the beholder I suppose, however ugly in my case means didn’t match anywhere in my house. Maybe not ugly so much as doesn’t match,  can’t be used so we need to spice it up. So what do I do I asked myself?  Well, if your me, then you already know that you paint everything and anything so why not an upholstered chair?chair05

I’ve recently done a ton of research about the subject. I found information on using acrylic paint, chalk paint, spray paint and fabric paint. With all these suggestions came cons to every one of the techniques. They are uncomfortable to sit on or the materials are really expensive to buy. The point is they all seem to have cons attached to the techniques used. I needed to be resourceful and crafty to make this particular project work.chair02chair04

Well, I think I did it. I came up with a way to combat all the cons to upholstery painting. I recently tried out my new technique on a Goodwill find. So if it didn’t come out the way I wanted it to I was only out $7.99, the price of the chair because I will always find uses for the other materials used. The chair I painted is soft and had a raised pattern to it, which is exactly what I was looking for in this project. Like I said the chair was cheap and the materials were not very expensive at all. Score!  The materials were also easy to come by and the product looks fantastic applied to the chair I believe. Judge for yourself.chair03

I used  a textile medium to help with keeping the chair soft and not scratchy when you sit in it. What I really think was the secret ingredient was silkscreen ink.chair12 I mean think about it. Silkscreen ink is made to be used on fabric and can be washed. Hence it should be soft when applied. Right?  I can’t remember ever wearing a t- shirt that has been silk-screened that was uncomfortable to wear. Have you?

The Actual Technique Used for Upholstered Soft Painted Chair

First I cleaned the chair very well. I vacuumed it taking care to get into the crevices very well. I then used a lint roller to make sure there was no hair pet or human left on the chair.chair06

Next a mixture of water and fabric softener were mixed up in a squirt bottle. I sprayed down the entire chair with the fabric softener mixture wetting it real well, then waited to let the chair dry very well. Using the fabric softener mixture was another step I used to ensure the softening of the fabric before I started applying the silkscreen mixture.

Time now to prepare my silkscreen mixture.chair10 The mixture consisted of silkscreen ink and textile medium. Mixing very well is very important in this step. You will want to mix two parts textile medium and one part silkscreen ink.chair11 I used black silkscreen ink I purchased from Amazon along with the textile medium.  About the only downfall to using this method is that your color palette is very limited I noticed. You can mix the silkscreen colors to get more color choices but yet your choices are still limited. I just wanted a plain black chair so my color choice was a no brainer.

Personally I suggest applying your mixture using a very good non shedding paint brush. I started in the corners and crevices in the seat cushion fold, then moved on to the the edges of the chairs completing all the edges before I went on to the body of the chair.chair09chair08

I went from the seat cushion, to the arms then to the front of the chair  then to the back of the chair. Really there is no right or wrong way to apply this mixture.chair15chair14 The first coat of course absorbed into the chair more then any other coat I did. As a matter of fact the first coat was the hardest but the second and third coats were a breeze. Yes, I painted on three coats total. To be honest three looks good but four would have looked amazing. I let the coats dry for two to four hours between coats, waiting the longest time after the first coat.

chair07After the silkscreen mixture was completely dry. I waited forty eight hours to be completely sure the chair was dry. It was time to re-stain the chair legs. I love, love, love gel stain. I used Minwax this time because I had it on hand. I believe Minwax has discontinued this line but General Finishes makes a great gel stain line. I just purchased General Finishes gel stain in onyx and I can’t wait to refinish my banister with it.  Off topic but the point of gel stain is that it works like chalk paint. You don’t have to strip the wood you use this product right over the existing stain. Bonus!chair19

Gel stain is oil based so it doesn’t clean up with soap and water so I use a throw away sponge to apply the stain, then I throw away the sponge! It’s easy to use so just paint it on and let it dry. I painted the legs. Let them dry. Then, Bam! Beautifully painted project chair can be checked off as complete.chair21

From A Shutter To An Utterly Awesome Storage Solution Using Krylon’s Chalky Spray Paint

storage01When Bitches do it. It is usually best. I laugh, but when I have an epiphany about a solution to a problem I  have to act on it lickedy split. As with many things, life has gotten away from my daughter and I. Lately we haven’t been blogging with the consistency that we should be but I absolutely had to share this one with y’all and fast. I was completely  giddy with the way it came out that I was bursting with excitement to share it with y’all.  What was so awesome with this project was two fold. For one thing, I was able to majorly re purpose something I had laying around the house. Secondly, it came out great and it serves an awesome purpose.storage04

I apologize for not having many before pictures but it didn’t occur to me to blog about this project until it was completed. Then I knew I had to blog about it because not sharing this project would have been criminal.

I used three new products that I found by Krylon. Krylon has come out with chalky spray paint, matte spray finish and spray wax.storage13 I decided I needed to try them out and a great way to do that was on this shutter. Why the shutter you ask? Well,  because shutters are down right hard to hand paint with a paint brush.storage05

I started  prepping the shutter by washing it down with a solution of water and TSP. I used a rag and thoroughly wiped down the shutter with the solution, getting all the nooks and crannies. Then I used the hose to hose down the shutter to get all the TSP solution off the shutter. I then let the shutter dry in the sun outside.

storage14Once the shutter were all dry it was time to spray paint using my newly bought chalky spray paint in the color of Waterfall. I picked up all the Chalky Finish spray paint  at Jo ann Fabrics. I set the shutter up on two saw horses outside on my lawn for the spraying process. (Please spray away from your house and cars or anywhere else that the over spray may hit.) Like I said I set up in the middle of my front lawn because I knew over spray would hit nothing but maybe grass. (I could defiantly live with Waterfall blue grass until the next cutting if I had to.)

The spraying part was easy. I just sprayed the paint going in the direction of down the shutter and then up the shutter making sure to get in between each row of wood space. The part that makes them shutters. Each direction got two coats of spray paint. I let the paint dry about fifteen minutes in between each coat. It was so hot out that five minutes probably would have been enough time to wait in between coats. After the last coat was applied I let them sit to dry over night.

After I let it sit overnight to dry, I sprayed the shutter down with the Krylon Matte Sealer.storage17 I again did two coats going up the shutter and two coats going down the shutter with the sealer, changing the direction after each coat. I let the coats dry about ten minutes between each coat.  The dry time will vary depending on where you live and the climate.

The dry time was quick. I could have left the shutter alone after spraying on the matte sealer but I always use wax on any piece of furniture I work on so I figured the shutter should be no different. I suggest waiting at least four hours before applying the spray wax.storage15

To be honest I was not a real big fan of the spray wax while I was spraying it on. I felt like it was coming out gummy and thick not to mention it looked like it was dulling the shutter. I sprayed the same 4 coats that I applied of the other sprays. I did two up the shutter and two down the shutter alternating the way I was spraying. I then let the entire shutter dry for twenty four hours before bringing it in the house to hang. Once the wax dried, I used a clean rag and shined up the shutter which brought back the luster and shine I thought I wasn’t going to get back.

After I hung the shutter in my craft office I added storage to it. I bought S hooks and wire baskets from Amazon to hang from it.storage06 I also added office binder clips. (The large one’s.) These work great for clipping paper’s to the shutter or for hanging stuff off of them.storage09 The most useful by far has been the S hooks you see to the left. I was able to hang the wire baskets by using them as well as hanging stuff from them like paint brushes.

storage08Here are some of the wire baskets I was able to hang from the shutter.storage07 You can see, if you look closely enough that I was able to use the baskets for my mixing sticks, screw driver, cutting knife and my stippling brush. In the picture to the right you can slightly see where I was able to use an S hook to hang my bigger screw driver. This shutter is able to hold many of my crafting essentials on the wall for a great way to see everything that I have on hand as well as ease of getting to what I need quickly.storage01storage05 This was a fun project and as you can see the shutter holds a ton of supplies. I am always adding more supplies to this shutter. I would suggest this project to anyone who needs storage. Not only can this be used in a craft room but it can be used in a garage, kitchen or office. Enjoy and here’s wishing you a happy project experience.

Salon Station Makeover Using Chalk Paint and Tissue Paper

I am especially proud of this re-do. I spent a little extra time on this piece because it was really dirty, scratched and well, just plain nasty. It went from this white Formica yuckiness to this really cool storage  center. It started out as a hair dresser salon station and now it is a craft storage center.

Prep Work Phase

table01First thing that needed to be done was to clean the heck out of this piece.  409 cleaner was used because it is a de-greaser and it really needed to be de-greased.  A magic eraser was used along with the 409 to get any scuff marks off the piece along with any grime.  Cleaning the inside and outside very carefully was very important for the adhesion of the paint.  It was then dried with a lint free cloth. I personally hate, okay, dislike sanding, so, I just didn’t sand this time.  The beauty of using chalk paint is not needing to sand. You can rough up the piece if you want to,  but it’s really up to you. I don’t do it because it’s messy and I can be lazy at times.table09

Taking all the drawers out was necessary to get them really clean. It was  also important to remove all the hardware on the drawers. (Handles can be recycled for a different project).

Painting Phase

I decided to use Folk Art Chalk Paint in Cinnamon color.  This chalk paint was purchased at JoAnn Fabric. When you first start to apply the paint, it really looks nasty. However, after two to three coats it starts looking nice.table10 It looks really great after you apply the last coat. Greatness is achieved when you apply the dark wax. (More about that later). I am getting ahead of myself. You can see the brush I like to use when applying chalk paint in the photo. (I bought this one at Lowes) and it was about $9.00 but it lasts for a long time when taken care of. (More about clean up later).

Chalk paint dries fast.  By the time you are finished putting on your first coat you can usually jump right into your second coat of paint. The deciding factor on how many coats your piece will need is going to be dependent on how opaque the paint color you chose is. This piece needed about four to five coats. The paint was opaque and I wanted the paint to adhere to the piece nicely as we. It really wasn’t bad to apply or take a long time because I was able to do one coat right after the other.table12

Part of why I decided to use the cinnamon color was because I had this really pretty tissue paper with a cinnamon color running through it and I wanted the colors to match.

Clear Wax Phase

After my four to five coats were applied, it was time to apply my clear wax .BIG TIP: (Make sure you let the paint dry for three to four hours before applying wax or the paint will come off with the wax). Overnight is preferable but if you are impatient like me three to four hours should be sufficient.

There are many different clear waxes out there that can be used. I used the Folk Art brand that can be found at Jo-Ann Fabric along with the paint. With a coupon it’s a bargain. The wax lasts a long time and finishes many pieces.table11

A designated wax brush is a good idea. (I bought a set of eight wax brushes on Amazon for about $45.00).  The set I purchased is out of stock but here is a similar set of three for $26.00. I have designated brushes for paint, clear wax and dark wax.

Back to the clear wax. You do not need a lot of wax to achieve your goal  of covering the piece sufficiently. I can’t stress this enough. A little wax goes a long way.wax04

Lightly dip you brush into the wax or pour a small amount of wax onto the lid that comes with the wax container. Load your brush and start in either long strokes or in circular motions to distribute the wax. wax01Remember your goal here is to really work the wax into the piece. It might take a little elbow grease but just keep spreading your wax until you think it just won’t spread any longer, then reload your brush with a small amount of wax. Your piece will be a little tacky, (not the looking bad kind of tacky but the sticky kind of tacky). and this is completely normal. After you have gone over your piece completely with the clear wax it’s time to take off even more wax.(Yes, I said even more wax). Get a clean lint free rag. Hint: ( Using cotton t shirts that are now rags, because you just cut them up for this purpose is a great recycling idea for those old t shirts.). Now take your t shirt and rub as much wax off as possible with a light hand. It will still be tacky and that is okay.wax05 Our goal here is to help along the drying process. That is the entire purpose of the rag buff. Leave your piece to dry over night. The wax needs to cure so it is very important to give it about 12 hours to cure.

Dark Wax Phase

Once the clear wax has cured it will be time to apply our dark wax over our clear wax. You will know your clear wax has cured if the piece has a nice smooth glide to it and the wax is no longer tacky to the touch. The same process that was used for the clear wax will be used for the dark wax only we will be very light handed when loading the brush. I like to start 3/4 of the way away from the end of whatever piece I am doing. This is important because if you load to much wax onto your brush you have more room to work with it and spread it out.wax06 Remember a tiny bit goes a long way and more can always be added. Start with a dime sized amount until you get the hang of how the dark wax will spread. A MUST DO:(You always want to put a coat of clear wax on before the dark wax, so the dark wax has a way to spread, and your piece doesn’t come out looking dark and streaky. If you make a mistake and apply to much dark wax you can put a little clear wax over it and wipe it away. The purpose of the dark wax in my opinion is to deepen and enhance the color of the paint you are using. It also adds a chic look to your piece. Like the clear wax really work the dark wax into your piece and really spread it around with using only long strokes this time. The wax will catch in all the fun little blemishes and imperfections your piece has. (Another post coming soon on how to distress your furniture before you paint it). Let the dark wax cure for at least 12 hours before returning any drawers to the piece of before attaching hardware. This would be where you would buff your piece with your rag t-shirt to give it a glossy look and harden the coating. A piece of smooth steel wool is also useful when buffing your piece.

Mod Podge Drawer Phase

table08Chalk painting the drawers on this piece was not in the cards. Using tissue paper and Mod Podge was what I felt would be the best fit for this specific piece of furniture. As stated earlier, the drawer handles were removed for cleaning. The drawer fronts were flat so it was easy to measure the drawer faces for the tissue paper. Remember when measuring the drawer fronts that you must account for the rim of the drawers if planning on covering those as well with tissue paper.

With the drawer fronts facing up, a layer of Mod Podge was spread directly on the drawer. The tissue paper was then laid onto the drawer front. I didn’t worry about laying the paper perfectly because I wanted the paper to have wrinkles in it. I smoothed down the tissue using a side of an old credit card. (My husband was glad to get rid of the credit card). The corners of the drawers were folded and a little Mod Podge glue was added to help keep the corners down in place. The tissue went over the side of the drawers but this was fine because the excess was going to be cut off after the glue had dried. Do one drawer at a time. After the tissue has been laid and glued in place, spread another layer of Mod Podge over the tissue paper and leave it alone to dry. Proceed to the next drawer. After all the drawers are tissue papered go back and brush on another layer of the Podge. Three to four layers of podge should be good to keep the tissue paper protected on the drawers. Let the Mod Podge dry overnight.

After everything was nice and dry it’s time to go back and trim the edges of the drawers. Using a metal ruler and an X-Acto knife I was able to place the ruler on the edge of the drawer and carefully cut away the excess tissue paper with ease. My paper was now dry and looking good but there was still something missing….. I knew I needed to add something else, but what? Ah Ha. Dark wax was needed to add depth to the drawers.(Can you tell I really like to use dark wax).

Adding Dark Wax To The Drawers Phase

I just lightly added dark wax to my dark wax brush and brushed the dark wax on the front and edges of the drawers. I did this with a very light hand. The Mod Podge acted as if it was the clear base coat, so no clear wax was necessary to add. The dark wax got into the edges of the creases and imperfections. This small added step made all the difference in the look of the piece. The piece now all meshes and matches. Basically it flows. Now it the time where you can apply either the handles you removed or the new handles you procured. HINT:(Don’t forget when looking for new handles that handles actually come in different sizes). Make sure you measure your handle from hole to hole to buy the correct size handle in case of replacement.

Clean Up Phase 

Needless to say as you are working on this project it is important to not let your brushes dry out. After you are done using your brushes they need to be cleaned right away. To clean up the brush you were applying the chalk paint with use a little warm water and Dawn dish soap because that does the trick. Rinse your brush thoroughly with warm water. Add a small amount of dish soap into the palm of your hand and swish the brush around your hand while under the warm water. Continue this process until your brush comes clean of color. Hang your brush from the handle end if possible to dry, otherwise just lay it on it’s side.

For the wax brushes I like to wash them out first with a brush cleaning solution or a mild mineral spirits. I follow the same procedure for washing wax brushes only I substitute mineral spirits for dish soap. After the washing is complete I wrap a paper towel around the bristles to get the excess water/mineral spirits out of the bristles.

(A complete post on keeping your tools clean and in good shape will be coming soon).

Sit Back and Enjoy Your Accomplishment Phase

table00This part needs no explanation other then to say I bet it looks fantastic and cheers to you for finishing your project!

How To Use Chalk Paint To Take A Piece From Blah to Aah!

How I changed an old piece of furniture into a beautiful modern piece of furniture!










I love using chalk paint on furniture. I mean if you are going to paint furniture what better way than the easy way, right? Chalk paint is very popular these days and easy to use as far as furniture paint goes (hence the popularity). I generally use whatever chalk paint I have on hand, mix different chalk paints to create a custom color,  or create my own chalk paint from “scratch”. Chalk paint is very easy to make, and you probably already have the ingredients in your house..More on different ways to make chalk paint coming soon.

As far as brands go, I don’t currently have a preference. Do you? If so, please leave a comment below about your favorite brand. To be honest I usually use the cheapest one I can, which is usually the one I can find a coupon for. With coupons, chalk paint in actually very affordable. I also like chalk paint because you don’t usually have to sand your piece before you start, and the paint will adhere to just about and surface.

I bought this little beauty for my daughter because she has always wanted a lingerie chest. I scoured Craigslist, Offer Up, garage sales, and countless re-sale shops  for one in good condition. Unfortunately, the ones I found in decent condition were very expensive. I finally found one at an estate sale for $50.00 , but it still needed work.

The very first thing I did was take the drawers out and clean them. I used tri sodium phosphate (a great cleaning solution) to clean the insides out. As you know, used furniture can be really grody on the inside-yuck! The joints were also coming apart at the seams and needed to be re-supported. Luckily, not all the drawers needed fixing. I decided to use wood glue in the joints, and a vice grip to hold the corners in place overnight while the glue dried. I did this to all the loose corners.

I then took all the old hardware off the chest. I usually do this so I can add some of my own whimsical knobs, and to update the piece. In this case it was necessary because one of the original drawer pulls was broken completely in half (and beyond repair). And as you all know, trying to find that exact vintage handle to replace it would have been a nightmare.. Which is another reason why I keep a lot of knobs, drawer-pulls, and handles on hand. Now you know that I am a handle and knob hoarder. We all need our vices.

Even though you don’t have to sand a piece when you are going to use chalk paint, I decided I wanted to do a quick once over with sand paper. In some parts of the piece this was done to help smooth it out, and in others I sanded it to give it more “character”, because you know, I’m a hipster (duh!). What’s the point in getting a vintage piece if you’re just going to make it look perfect anyway? You know, like “perfectly imperfect”.

As you can see something must have spilled in one of the drawers (ewww)  so I needed to do something about the mess in the drawer, but what? Well, to be honest I took the easy way out and just sanded the muck off the drawer to make it flush with the drawer. I then cut out a piece of black felt fabric and glued it down into the drawer. Ta-Da! Crisis averted!

This muck was also on the side of the drawer (double ewww). I painted the sides of the drawers the same color as I painted the face of the drawer to cover the muck.

So far so good. I had to decide on a color scheme for the chest and I knew that I wanted each drawer a different color. With colors to decide on?  I dumped all my paint out onto my workroom floor and lined them up. I started with the brown and worked my way up the drawers making and mixing new colors as needed. HINT: Add a teeny tiny bit of black to any color to tone down that color and create a muted variation of the color.

I know I said that I was painting this for my daughter’s room but the colors are.. well..more of the color scheme of my bedroom, therefore, I think it will end up in my room hehe.

I painted each drawer with a different complementary color. The red drawers took about four coats but the other colors took only two coats. HINT:  red is the most transparent paint color, and will always take more coats to reach it’s full vibrancy. This paint dries very quickly so it’s easy to do a second coat quickly after the first. I like to do a very, very light sanding between coats to get a smoother looking finish. Since this paint is made to be grainy,  sanding between coats helps a lot with this. For the bones of the chest, I chose a bone color to compliment the earth tones in the drawers.

Now that I had the drawers and chest painted it was time for phase two.

I wanted this piece to hold up to a lot of wear and tear, so I put a coat of polyurethane on the drawers and on the chest itself. I used a rub on poly because I knew I was going to wax it after the poly had dried. This was just to give the piece that little extra protection so it stands up to wear for years to come.

While the poly was drying I switched my focus to the hardware I was going to use. Since the original hardware, as cool as it is, was a bit dated for my update (and one of the handles was literally broken in half); a new plan was needed.

I measured the holes in the drawers where the handles were, so I would know what size handles I needed. Unfortunately though, I ran into a problem. This size handle is not being made any longer because this piece is (at least) 45 years old. The solution: MCM handles. I needed to find handles from what we are now calling the MCM period, or( Mid Century Modern period). I wanted to find handles that would not only fit the piece, but would also elevate the piece and give it a more modern vibe. I hunted literally everywhere I could think of. I tried Ebay, Etsy, garage sales, flea markets, antique markets-and you know what? The handles were right under my nose. They were right here in my own house. Can you believe the perfect fitting handles were in my own house the entire time! I had them in a paper bag in my garage labeled handles. Isn’t it funny how things just work out that way sometimes? The handles I found had one small problem though.  they were solid brass and they would not come clean no matter what trick I had up my sleeves….. so I did what anyone in my situation would do…. got out a really awesome matching spray paint color, and yes, it killed me to paint these solid brass handles, but I did it anyway. And  it’s a good thing I did, because they look terrific on the chest. The color was terrific, and as you can see, the handles compliment the chest perfectly. (I was one handle short so I used two of the brass pulls that I had on the top drawer).

All in all I am thrilled with my choices. Even in the picture the handles look like they’re smiling.

Adding some wax

After I added two coats of the wipe on poly, it was time to add the wax. Wax on, wax off. A little humor for those of you who remember a little Karate Kid action. I am not ashamed to admit I liked that movie. Back on topic however,  it’s time to wipe the chest and drawers with clear wax. I used my wax brush to accomplish this task but you can use a clean-preferably white- rag. I put on a light coat that was just enough to cover the entire piece. HINT: f you put to much wax on just wipe the excess off with your rag. I wait about 12 hours (or 2 hours if really impatient) for the wax to dry. It is important to wait at least awhile to let the wax dry before you buff it off. Wax should be your last step in finishing a piece of furniture, that’s why I put the poly on before the wax. It wasn’t really necessary for me to use the poly, but I wanted extra protection, as I stated before. 

Now, the wax is dry so now it’s time to buff, buff, buff. I start this process with a white cotton rag. When the wax is no longer sticky-feeling and my hand just slides along the piece, I know I am now ready to add the dark wax. HINT: It is very important to put a coat of clear wax on before the dark wax, so if you make a mistake and put too much dark wax on your piece, it can be wiped off.

I used the same type of brush that I used for the clear wax but this brush is designated as my Dark Wax Brush. I  like to start with the dark wax in a very inconspicuous place on the piece, so I can get my rhythm and/or mojo going. I dip just the tip of my brush in the dark wax and (if necessary) wipe some of the wax off to avoid making globs on the piece I  just worked so hard on. Moving my brush in one direction, I try to spread the dark wax over the area before dipping again. I try to use long strokes, so I avoid getting too much wax in one area.

This is done over the entire piece until I am happy with the coverage of the dark wax.  Let the dark wax dry, then buff with a soft cloth. To finish up I go over the piece with a very fine steel wool. The steel wool will buff out the piece and give it a good hard coat.

There you have it. How I paint a piece to and take it from “Blah” to “Aaah!”.