Pauly D Foundation Auction Winner

Hi friends! It's been awhile since I have blogged about it, but I have been busy painting this spring. Today, I've popped in to share a reveal with you from earlier this year. This table is one of the most dramatic makeovers I've done in a while, and it was my first time working with the much raved about General Finishes Java Gel Stain.

Last fall, I donated a service to a fundraiser for our dear friends' foundation, the Pauly D Foundation. After tragically losing their son in an accidental drowning, the Pauly D Foundation was established to advocate for water safety and drowning prevention. Their vision is to make a difference by raising the bar on water safety education and awareness. I was happy to donate to such a wonderful cause. The lucky winner contacted me early in 2017, and we went right to work bringing life back to her much used dining table.


The top was in rough shape from years of use and the grandkids had given it their own special touch by carving their names in the apron with a pencil. It was definitely time to show this table some love. My client settled on a two tone look with a dark espresso top and white distressed apron. I have been intrigued by General Finishes Gel Stain for a while now. The way it works is that you can stain right over an existing finish, but this top had a lot of peeling and cracking. I decided to sand down the entire top and work with staining the raw wood for an even, clean finish.

I used my trusty Dewalt Random Orbit Sander that I always talk up on here. I started with a 60 Grit pad to knock off the existing finish and followed with a 150 grit pad to smooth it out before staining.

General Finishes has some great videos on how to work with their gel stain on YouTube. After watching them, I went to work. This is a picture after I put on the first coat of gel stain in Java. I found the whole process really easy.

I did two coats of stain and finished it off with General Finishes Gel Top Coat. I did three coats of top coat. And again, you can see the whole process by watching General Finish's video on gel stain on raw wood.

Once I completed the top, and gave it a few days to cure. I taped off the top and painted the apron and legs with Annie Sloan Old White. I used a 400 grit sand paper to smooth down the entire surface which let some of the original finish peek through. Then I finished the painted portions with Annie Sloan Soft Wax in clear.






It turned out just beautiful, and General Finishes now has a new fan!

The Pauly D Foundation is such a great cause, and I'm sure I will help out next year. If you have a service in the Chicagoland area or goods that you would like to donate to this fall's fundraiser, use my Contact tab to shoot me an email. I'll get you in touch with them!

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Painting Fabric with Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan

annie sloan paint fabric
By now, most of you know about my obsession with Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan. You can paint almost anything with this wonder paint, and the best part there is no sanding or stripping involved. For my latest project, I was lucky enough to partner with the folks over at Annie Sloan Unfolded to makeover an amazing antique settee with my favorite paint.

This beauty came my way when Angel from Angel Michelle Photography contacted me to breathe some new life into this piece as she was wanting to use it as a photo prop. The shape and detail of this piece was gorgeous, but the current upholstery choice- not so much. Upholstery work and fabric costs can skyrocket pretty quickly, so I decided to give painting this bad boy a try. I had read about this technique in Annie Sloan's book Color Recipes for Painted Furniture and More. I am pretty impressed with the results.

annie sloan cream

Here are all the fabulous products that Annie Sloan Unfolded was gracious enough to send me for this transformation. I used Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan in the color Cream for the upholstery and French Linen for the frame. I finished the frame with both Clear Soft Wax and Dark Soft Wax, and I got to test out my first Annie Sloan brushes, the Annie Sloan Pure Bristle Brush and the Annie Sloan Wax Brush.


I started out by wetting all the fabric down with a spray bottle. You don't need to douse it, but it takes the paint better if you dampen it. You only need to do this on the first coat.

There are two ways to go about painting fabric. You can dip your brush in the paint and then in a cup of water or you can make a water/paint mix with a 1:1 ratio. The paint will be really thin like the consistency of skim milk. I found I liked using the watered-down paint better as the coverage was more consistent for me. 

The idea is to paint on several light layers of really diluted paint. You don't want to glob the paint on because it will be very hard when it dries and could crack your fabric. Think of it more like dying the fabric versus painting it. I did four coats total on my fabric, and I let them dry completely in between coats. The fabric can only take on so much paint when wet, so I waited a full 24 hours between coats. Also, don't worry about getting paint on your frame as long as you plan on painting it like I did. If not, tape it off.
painted fabric

After I was happy with the coverage of my fabric, I moved onto painting the frame which I used the Annie Sloan Pure Bristle Brush. This brush is great for making expressive movement with the paint, and the paint really grabs onto the brush which makes getting the perfect coverage even easier. 
annie sloan cream

Once the frame was painted, I roughed it up a bit with sandpaper then waxed it with Clear Soft Wax and Dark Soft Wax. I was able to try out my first Annie Sloan Wax Brush, and I am obsessed. If you are looking to invest in a good quality wax brush, this is it. The wax went on seamlessly without having to use much elbow grease. Other brushes I have used make the wax ball up and you really have to use some muscle to work it into the paint. Another awesome feature of the brush is its tapered edge that allowed me to get in all the cracks and crevices of the frame with ease. This is a great brush to have if you are working on a piece with a lot of detail and definitely worth the investment in my opinion.

Angel and I were both amazed by the transformation of this piece. I can't wait to see what she comes up with for her client shoots with this gem. I can just see a little newborn perched on it or a family shot in an open field. I am for sure getting a photo session with my family on it soon! 
painted couch


chalk paint fabric

Thanks again to my friends at Annie Sloan Unfolded for making this project possible. If you want to find your local Chalk Paint® Stockist, you can use their Stockist Locator. Anyone out there intrigued to try fabric painting for yourself? 

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