Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Before and After : Rustic Whitewashed Chest of Drawers *With Tutorial*

I'm a little behind on my website, so you'll see a lot of "Before and Afters" popping up here in the next few days (well, fingers crossed!). This beauty was a stunning vintage oak dresser that had small dings, dents, and character marks in the surface that I absolutely adored and hated to patch and cover up. So instead, I used a transparent white wash with a custom Off White Gel Stain made by Pure Earth Paint that I was able to purchase from one of my friends - you may remember the custom rustic china cabinet refinish that we did with this same color. It was the perfect accent to all that fabulous vintage texture and character!!

 I also sanded the top to promote adhesion and used General Finishes gel stains in first Java and then Antique Walnut to update the 70's color finish. You can use various top coats on this - I ended up using a wipe-on satin polyurethane to minimize bubbling / brush strokes; the GF Arm R Seal is a great, super durable choice as well.

More tips after the break!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Before and After : French Provincial End Table in General Finishes Coral Crush

I have been absolutely obsessed with the idea of painting something in coral! It is super chic and totally on trend, and I *love* gorgeous, vibrant colors! For this piece I used General Finishes Milk Paint in Coral Crush. The Before and After is such a HUGE change, it almost doesn't look like the same piece! 
 Isn't that transformation dramatic?? It always had clean, classic lines, but they have been given a revamp for the 21st century, and I couldn't be more pleased! Read on for more on how we got this look!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Before and After : Vintage Drexel 4 Drawer Lowboy Dresser / Chest in Onyx

I will be the first to admit that I had a hard time getting started with black furniture, because I always seemed to gravitate toward bold, bright colors. I have had several requests and done custom work with black paint over the last year or two and have grown to really embrace this gorgeous, chic and always classic. It's like a little black dress for furniture! Lately I have been using Pure Earth Paint in Onyx as my go-to black.

I am pretty much beside myself with happiness on this transformation!! It is amazing what a few coats of paint, a small amount of distressing, and some gilding wax on the hardware can do to turn a (not so ugly) duckling into a swan!

Are there colors you shy away from, but would love to give a try? Or techniques that seem daunting? Let me know about it! I'd love to explore those also!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Before and After : 5 Drawer Farmhouse Style Pine Dresser in Louis Blue

One of the first chalk paints I tried when I was first starting out was Annie Sloan Louis Blue, and I confess I had a lot of difficulty with it! I would always end up with darkish blotches in my wax application, whether I used a rag or a brush to apply, whether I used straight strokes or small circles, and whether I applied a tiny amount or a moderate amount at a time. (This is before I realized there were options other than wax!!) Finally I managed to find a technique that worked for me, which was to mix a small amount of paint into the wax to tint it, and I came out with a much smoother, more refined look.

Fast forward to this week, and this sweet classic pine 5-drawer dresser. It is the perfect size for any space, but needed an update from the 60's / 70's wood color. I adore a good textured wood surface, with little grain, nicks, dings, whorls, and generally just a lot of personality!

How did we get there? Read on for the techniques!

Before and After : Mid Century Modern Style Vintage Chest of Drawers

This gorgeous chest of drawers / dresser is a find that was sent to me by one of my fantastic furniture picker friends, and we fell in love with the shape immediately - especially the geometric legs! We decided to keep the color super simple and straightforward to showcase the classic MCM lines. For that we chose General Finishes Milk Paint in Coastal Blue, a dark rich navy.

The Coastal Blue finish paired with brightened gold hardware is effortlessly chic and oh-so-fabulously versatile. I love that it's out of the 60's, and into the timeless! What do you think?

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Antique Chest of Drawers / Dresser in Annie Sloan Primer Red

This gorgeous girl was a find by one of my friends, but it needed some TLC! I somehow managed to not get a "Before", but the after is a gorgeous Cinderella Story! I painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Primer Red, sealed it, and accented with dark wax. The hardware is absolutely stunning, but the dark bronze color faded into the background, so I made it pop with a little gilding wax. I think it's absolutely drool-worthy now!!

To make the antique drawers glide a little better, we rubbed both sides of the wood rails with beeswax, and also sanded down the bottoms of the drawer faces a bit. These quick steps made a lot of improvement to the functionality!

And just check out the before and after on this hardware! It takes practice to get used to using a light hand, but I think it's simply beautiful with a hint of gold! Rub N Buff takes just seconds but makes an enormous impact.

Do you have a favorite method of updating hardware you'd like to share? I'd love to give them a whirl and report back!

Before and After : Vintage Serpentine Front Chest of Drawers / Dresser

I am excited to share this beauty! I was contacted by this client in regards to another piece, but it was gray and she had her heart set on white. I just so happened to have this gorgeous serpentine front dresser in my Available Inventory - check it out if you've been considering having a piece custom crafted for your space! This client's room involved reclaimed wood and some rustic accents, so a bright white with just a hint of distressing was a gorgeous addition. For this piece I selected General Finishes Snow White Milk Paint and High Performance Top Coat.

Read more for tips on achieving the look!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Before and After : Console Table Makeover in Emperor's Silk

This console table was a hand-me-down gift from my in-laws, and we were super thankful for the new piece! It had some surface damage from a wayward Roomba, as well as from a little dog scrabbling to get under it to chase a ball, so we knew we could give it a whole new lease on life with a little TLC! It actually ended up being my Mother's Day project, and I absolutely love how it turned out! I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Emperor's Silk, which is one of the first chalk paints I ever purchased :) .

My home needs more color, so we even added to it with a teal geometric fabric on the door panel insets, and upholstered plywood to replace the missing back. We replaced the wooden knobs with smaller bronze ones (that I ended up turning gold with a little Rub N Buff since the bronze was too dark) and styling with gold, black, and white to add to the modern feel. I LOVE the end result!! Don't worry - it was still cat-approved!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Before and After : Vintage Bowed Front Dixie Dresser in Provence

This is definitely one of my favorite recent projects! I know you will love this sweet Dixie dresser just as much as I do! It had an absolutely lovely bowed front, and bail-style drawer pulls in great condition, but just really needed a little TLC to truly shine. I painted this beautiful lady in Annie Sloan Provence Chalk Paint, layered slightly, then lightly distressed. When it was sealed, the color became absolutely radiant!

The gold update to the hardware makes it just perfectly chic. I used a gold leaf colored Rub n Buff for a quick but impactful addition! Can you believe this is the same piece? I loved it so much I can't sell it! It has been moved into our guest bedroom that is slowly but surely (mostly slowly!) being updated. Can't wait to share more of our DIY home updates!

Before and After : Vintage Bassett Console Table Cabinet and Mirror Set

This lovely piece has been in the back of my head for what seems like forever! I bought the cabinet and mirror many months ago, and just haven't had an idea as to what color it wanted to be. Finally I stopped second guessing when I realized I had *just* the right amount of Paris Grey left! Those of you that use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint know that a little goes a long way :) so this was the perfect project.

And here's a close up so you can see the trim detail. Isn't it lovely? I have been totally obsessed with gray and gold lately!! It's very current, but also classic.

What are your favorite color pairings? I'd love to see them and maybe give them a whirl!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Before and After : Ornate Vintage Headboard in Annie Sloan Paloma, Paris Grey, and Pure White

One of my most recent projects is a super cool distressed / cottage / shabby chic look with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint blended and layered in Paloma, Paris Grey, and Pure White! I love that it's a little bit of a departure from what I 'usually' do, but that it's still classic and gorgeously elegant - while still being a little down to earth and approachable!

This gorgeous headboard came from a bedroom set that included a beautiful small chest / nightstand that I painted in Antibes a few months ago.  Remember this adorable green piece on the left? One of my favorites! Well, this next project is a testament to the versatility of the Annie Sloan color line - these chalk paints can be bold and beautiful, or soft and sophisticated. And no, they don't pay me to say that.. I just really dig the vintage-inspired colors!

Anyway, I absolutely ADORE this carved oak bedroom set! I will probably paint the large chest of drawers in a beautiful neutral, but I would realllly love to see it in a fabulous jewel tone! In the meantime, I decided to play with some leftover custom blended paint and incorporate it into this project. Isn't it amazing how different this looks from the green chest now?

Read on to see how we achieved this awesomely shabby chic look!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Before and After : Custom Vanity Refinish in Onyx

This client reached out because she had seen this gooorgeous 1920's vanity I picked up and posted on Facebook! If you're not already following my page, please Like it at ! It's a great way to snag new inventory and call dibs on pieces for custom orders! She has a furniture set from Restoration Hardware, and wanted the vanity in a rich black matte paint to coordinate. I selected Pure Earth Paint in Onyx, which is currently my go-to black due to its fantastic coverage!

Seriously, look at how it brings out those gorgeous carved details! Black gets overlooked as a classic neutral (by me also!) but it is just super chic and timeless. I very gently distressed the high points and edges before sealing, and updated the bronze rings around the mother-of-pearl inlay to a silver to coordinate with the client's crystal knobs.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Custom Refinish - Vintage Pedestal Table in Antique Walnut and French Linen

Let me open with sharing how very honored I am to be referred by designers to their clients, and also to be able to reincorporate a beloved family piece into a new space!! We updated the top of this one with General Finishes Antique Walnut gel stain, and the base with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen - this is pretty much the perfect 'greige'!

This client's table was passed down from his grandmother, and due to heavily abrasive cleaning products, the surface had become tacky/sticky to the touch over time. Thankfully the top was a thick solid wood, because we had to sand it back pretty far to regain a smooth touch. But you could tell, even with the bare wood, that the grain was going to be stunning! Read more to see how I achieved the stain!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Before and After : Ornate Vintage Chest in Antibes with Gilding

I will have to preface this : I *might* be a little obsessed with Annie Sloan's Antibes Chalk Paint. But can you really blame me??? This gorgeous green is pretty much emerald perfection. I want to paint pretty much everything, including my front door with it!! But I digress. Take a look at the enormous change from Before to After!!

For more details on how I got this look, read on!

Before and After : Vintage Drop-Front Secretary Desk in English Yellow and Cream

This sweet drop-front secretary desk makes me smile!! I updated it from a 60's / 70's-standard stain to a fresh farmhouse style with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in English Yellow and Cream. And, because I've been searching for a piece to add a little freehanded whimsical touch, I painted a bird on the drop front desk surface. It just makes this piece a little more unique! I distressed generously around the edges for a more rustic, farmhouse style shabby chic finish.

I just adore a pop of color, and English Yellow can be more neutral than you might imagine when blended out with a touch of dark antiquing wax! Cream can actually be a little tricky for me, but I adore how the distressing and dark wax gives it the look of almost a parchment color. I can't wait to see this one in a fully designed space - I think it'd be gorgeous with blues and grays, or oranges and rustic stains!! What are your favorite color combinations?

Before and After : Vintage Lowboy Dresser in Paris Grey and Java Gel Stain

This year has been an absolute whirlwind!! I am so thrilled to keep busy, and life is wonderful, but my blogging has been slacking! I am playing catch up and really love getting a chance to look back through some of the bee-yoo-tiful projects we've done lately!

Here's one of my favorites - a totally 60's lowboy dresser / credenza with an absolute facelift! I painted this with Annie Sloan Paris Grey, and put General Finishes Java Gel Stain on the top drawers.

Read on for details of how we got from "Before" to "After"!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Before and After : Vintage Bassett Lowboy 10-Drawer Queen Anne Style Dresser

I. Am. LOVING! The gorgeous bold, vibrant color of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Greek Blue. It is such a lovely, clear blue, and a total knockout/standout color for any accent piece! When I bought the paint, I was told that it was very popular, but some people seem to have trouble with it. The only thing that I can seem to line up with this idea is that the paint looks a little lighter/whitish when you distress it, but by dusting off the surface and wiping with a damp, lint free cloth, the clear and gorgeous color returned to those areas. So just be sure to clean off all dust before you seal your piece!

Doesn't the gold hardware seem even.. well, gold-er? ;) The updated color definitely makes the hardware stand out and appear more golden and radiant. Also, I frequently find that the hardware screws over time have difficulty holding the metal firmly in place, often when the wood has been worn back over time. Often you can put a washer between the head of the screw and the back of the drawer to help it find a solid grip! This can help prevent damage to the front of the wood surface as well.

What are your favorite color palettes?  Do you favor the classically chic neutrals, or love a bold color pop?

Before and After : Vintage Thomasville Pedestal Table in Old White

I am always so excited when I have just the 'perfect' piece on hand when a client is searching! For this project, one of the Red Door Lane customers was trying to find a vintage pedestal table for their kitchen, and I just happened to have one on hand that had not yet been photographed and listed online! (Just goes to show, you can always reach out and ask - we might have something that's still in a pre-inventory status!) This was a beautiful, solidly built piece that I just knew would be a perfect match :) Luckily they agreed, and loved the idea of a dark stained top and antiqued, distressed white pedestal base.

This color scheme is gorgeous, classic, and super versatile! They even used a blend of Old White and Pure White on their kitchen cabinets for a fresh, clean updated look. Here we used General Finishes Java Gel Stain and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White for the base and apron around the top of the table. I hope this piece is super happy in her new home!!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Before and After : Depression Era Chest of Drawers in General Finishes Milk Paint

This is one of the biggest furniture transformations (and they're all big to me!) so far! This sweet chest of drawers was an estate sale leftover with broken trim and handles, but the son saved it and knew it would find just the right home with a refinisher. I'm so blown away by the Before and After on this piece, and so grateful to be able to help it find a second life!  We did some patching and sanding, with an allover sand to follow to help the Milk Paint adhere.

For this dresser, I used General Finishes Milk Paint in Basil, a soft sage green with some gray tones. I put on two coats of paint, then distressed along high points and edges, and almost left it with the more uniform paint, but I'm glad I didn't! A friend had given me some Winter White glaze to try, so I painted it on and wiped it off for a color wash, let it dry a bit, and then came back to dry brush on a bit more of the glaze for a chic and antique look. We replaced the trim with a resin flower, which I painted in a blend of Basil and Snow White, and found some chic crystal style knobs to replace the hardware.

What a huge facelift! This highboy had a great structure, but was definitely a diamond in the rough. I can't wait to see it find a new home and be loved by another family!
 Here's one more - look at those legs!! Do you have a piece that's in need of some love? If you're in the Austin area, I'd be honored to see if there's some magic we can work with it!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Before and After : Vintage Bassett Chest of Drawers

This has to be my favorite style of chest of drawers right now - tall and beautiful, with tons of storage and a lot of character! I love love love serpentine fronts also. So when my friend texted me photos, I knew we were a match made in heaven! This sweet vintage Bassett French Provincial chest of drawers went to the front of my to-do list and got a custom blend of some of my clients' most recent favorite colors : Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White, French Linen, Duck Egg, and Louis Blue. I mostly blended the color, but left a small amount of variation so the layers would be a little distinctive. Next, I used washes of the color to blend it out, but leave the subtle color differences. I gently distressed for  a gorgeous, perfectly imperfect, shabby chic look.

Isn't she beautiful? The overall look is a little bit of a gray / "greige" for a gorgeous neutral. I can see this one in a master bedroom, or even a nursery!

What colors of paint have you been using lately? Try blending some of the cohesive color-family remnants and send us the photos! I'd love to see and share them!!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Before and After : Pine Bookcase

This bookcase belongs to our awesome neighbors who were *sniffle* moving away.. but just back in to Austin. It was originally a light pine color, and they wanted a more vintage feel to it. They had their hearts set on Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old Ochre, with an accent of Duck Egg. We decided against distressing since the pine was so light, but instead I put a touch of Dark Wax over the sealant on the edges and in the corners to add just a bit of dimensionality and age to the piece. There is a LOT of square footage, nooks, and crannies in this sort of bookcase, and due to the high wear surfaces I opted for Pure Earth Paint's Diamond Coat (now called Rock Hard) to seal. The updated antique hardware is exquisite, and was gifted to me from one of my fantastic clients! It brings a gorgeous stately vintage/antique feel to this previously modern-look bookcase.

Thanks for everything, guys!! I hope this bookcase is a perfect accent piece in your new home!!

Another photo with a closer view of that gorgeous hardware and the dark wax detailing after the break!

Home Project : Murphy Bed

Home projects seem to be few and far between since work has been so amazingly busy, but we were able to finish this lovely Murphy Bed with a hardware kit from Rockler, a little elbow grease, and a LOT of help from my mother in law cutting boards and assembling pieces!! We chose Seagull Gray and Snow White milk paints from General Finishes to help integrate this piece into our guest bedroom. There were SO MANY tiny pieces of trim that I individually painted that I think next time we might try painting them with a coat or two as full boards before cutting them apart and then just doing final coats to make sure we got all of the sides and edges.

It looks like I managed to not get a great "before" photo on this one (still looking - I could swear I had one!), but just imagine a giant light-colored unfinished wood box, because that's pretty much what it looked like before the paint and trim :)

It saves a TON of space, and folds out into a Queen sized bed! Perfecto! I also framed one of my daughter's awesome paintings because it fits amazingly with the modern/industrial chic vibe we plan to add in to this room. More on those projects soon(ish) ;) !! What other DIY home projects have you tried? I'm looking for my next great adventures!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Before and After : Antique Davies-Putnam Console Table in gilded Onyx

This beauty was absolutely a no-brainer for me to pick up!! I am still completely obsessed with the long fluted legs, and wanted to give this late 1800's/early 1900's Davies-Putnam Console table a chic, sleek modern update. I sanded the scratches out of the top, then hand-painted it with Pure Earth Paint in Onyx, sealing with Diamond Coat in Matte (if you're looking for this product, it's now called Rock Hard) for a soft, barely-there sheen with a lot of protection. This classic look was enhanced by just the smallest amount of accent gilding on the drawers and Rub n Buff on the drawer pulls.

This chic update to a classic drop-leaf table will be a stunning, versatile accent for many years to come! I hope the new owners take photos of it in its new home for me! :)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Before and After : Custom Vanity Set and Cheval Standing Mirror

I am so honored when clients select a full suite of furniture to update their new spaces! These clients selected a gorgeous 1950's Thomasville vanity as well as a Lexington Queen Anne style flip-top desk/vanity, and a standing mirror.

We started with the Thomasville vanity, which they envisioned with creams, taupes, neutral grey/brown, and gold. For this project we made two custom blends of Annie Sloan Old White and French Linen - a darker shade on the body and a lighter shade on the drawers. The gilded accents are absolutely STUNNING!! I now want to gild *all the things*!!

 Next we worked on the Lexington Queen Anne style desk / vanity and a cheval style standing mirror in a gently distressed, shabby chic look. To create this look I used layers of Old White, French Linen, and Coco blended together, then lightly sanded at high points and edges before sealing with Pure Earth Diamond Coat. Since they were in the same color family, I worked on them side by side as a Project Pair. Aren't they lovely?

These colors are super classic and will always be chic! Which is your favorite?