Paris Grey Hutch Makeover

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It's been a while since I shared a client piece on here, but I had to share the latest client piece I finished. This thing is massive and was in such rough shape when I got it. I just love the way it turned out!

This hutch had been in a storage unit for some time and smelled pretty funky, so I started off by sealing the entire piece in

Zinsser Shellac

. This product along with neutralizing smells helps seal water stains and bleed through. It is always a great idea to coat a piece in Shellac if you don't know its history. I took an old sock and applied it over the entire piece before painting.

Originally, we had decided to rip out the mirrors and replace them with beadboard like on my personal

hutch makeover

. Once I ripped out the mirror, I realized the paneling on the hutch was real wood! It was in such good condition, so I could not bring myself to replace it. In the end, I think the beadboard backing would have detracted from the simplicity of this piece. This was a huge win.

My client selected

Annie Sloan Paris Grey

for this piece which is a great choice for staying neutral without doing white. Exciting side note, you can know buy Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on Amazon!

And for the top, she wanted a two toned look so I used my new go to stain

General Finishes Java Gel Stain

. The veneer on this top was pretty thin, so I used the stain right on top of the finished wood. This is a technique exclusive to gel stain. It is so pigmented you can use it right on top of finished wood. It definitely has a learning curve, but it has a huge payoff. I'm going to make a video on this technique soon for my YouTube channel, so make sure to

subscribe

if you want to see it.

My client's husband had some wood working skills, so he cut a shelf to replace the glass one in the hutch. You can see it in the pic above. I stained it with the Java Gel to match the top of the sideboard. I applied

General Finishes Gel Topcoat

to seal both pieces. Check out these awesome videos the folks at General Finishes put together to show you how to use these products. There is one for

gel stain over an existing finish

 and one for

applying gel topcoat

 (go to the 5 minute mark to see the portion on topcoat).

To add a touch of masculinity, we decided to replace the old hardware with antiqued cup pulls and knobs. This is more costly and in this case I had to drill new holes for the cup pulls, but it gives the piece a whole new look if you are up for the cost. I purchased the hardware from Menards for around $70, but you could also buy it on Amazon. The pulls are from Hickory Hardware, the Williamsburg Cub Cabinet Pull and the Cottage Cabinet Knob in dark antique copper. Click on the pictures below to see their specifications or to purchase them on Amazon.

The original hardware was not a standard 3" size. I run into this a lot with older pieces. Since I was using a cup pull there was no need to fill in the existing holes. I drilled new ones to fit the 3" cup pulls,  and they covered the old holes. If you are drilling new holes, I highly suggest getting a

cabinet mounting kit

. It will make measuring so much easier!

I finished this piece off with some light distressing. Then I sealed the entire piece with

Annie Sloan Clear Wax

. Then I used a light application of

Annie Sloan Dark Wax

around my distressed areas.

My client also decided she wanted to keep the glass in the cabinet doors. So I had to tape them off and spray paint the brass etching with some

Rust-oleum Universal All Surface Spray Paint Metallic

. This is my go to paint for getting a metal finish on hardware/metal. I used the color Burnished Amber.

I forgot to take pictures of this, but it is the same technique I used in a

sideboard makeover

if you need more details. Here is the finished door.

I had to crank through this pretty quickly because my client was relocating to China and had to start getting her stuff in shipping crates. I loved the way this turned out, and I am excited to know she will have a piece of cozy, farmhouse style in her home all the way in China!

If you need more step by step instructions on working with Chalk Paint. Check out my

YouTube Channel

 to see all my tutorials. I am hoping to really ramp up my channel this year. Let me know what you want to see.

And don't forget you can now buy Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on Amazon. Use my affiliate link on Amazon to help support Pretty Distressed! 

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The Making of a Farmhouse Table

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I have wanted to make over my kitchen table into a farmhouse table for a while now, but I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with it. Then when I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Blue Egg Brown Nest, I fell in love with her kitchen table transformation. I knew I wanted something very similar, so I set to work.
My inspiration courtesy of Christen Bensten at Blue Egg Brown Nest.

Here is what I was starting with. We bought this table from the previous owners of our home in Indiana. They were downsizing, so we were able to purchase a lot of their furniture at a great price. This table was in really good shape, but I was never a fan of the table top's finish. It was too orange for my taste, and the varnish was very dull which means it did not wipe up well. The chairs were pretty oversized and looked a little out of place in our small dining space. 

And here she is now- light and bright. I just love the worn, farmhouse look of the table with the white metal chairs. It totally fits with my white kitchen, and I love the contrast it creates with my dark stained island.
white farmhouse table

I would love to tell you how easy this project was, but I am into telling the truth on this blog and not whitewashing (pun intended) the details. I decided I wanted to try to strip off the black paint on the apron and legs of the table, stain it a weathered oak color, and then do a coat of white paint on top. I wanted natural wood coming through versus the black. This turned into a big mess that I will save for another post where I will talk about using chemical paint stripper. To be honest, I am still scarred from this process, and it is just too soon to talk about it without getting red in the face or breaking out in tears.


So let's jump ahead. Here is my table stripped down to bare wood (or as close as I could get it). I used my Dewalt Orbit Sander for the table top, and it worked beautifully. It only took me about 30 minutes to strip the whole top using a 60 grit sandpaper disc. After I was done, I wiped it down with a tack cloth and went over the table again with a 220 grit sandpaper disc and wiped it down one more time. My table top is a veneer which means there is a very thin layer of wood on top of a pressed board or particle board, so I had to be careful not to sand right through the veneer.


After using two different chemical paint strippers and my orbital sander on the apron and legs, this is as close to natural wood I was going to get without losing my mind and my nose hairs. Stripping paint off of wood that was raw at its application, especially black paint, is pretty impossible, but let's save that for another post. I am starting to get angry, and you wouldn't like me when I am angry.

To stain the base of the table, I used Varathane Wood Stain which is a new product for me. It is really different from Minwax stain which is what I typically use. It is thicker, almost paint like and works a lot faster. I wiped it off only a couple minutes after I applied it. I was pretty nervous at first because the Varathane Early American was very different from Minwax Special Walnut. It was super orangey, but a coat of the Varathan Weathered Gray mellowed it out quite nicely. Phew!
1st Coat - Varathane Early American Wood Stain
2nd Coat - Varathane Weathered Gray Wood Stain

While my stain dried, I tackled the table top. I used the same technique Christen from Blue Egg Brown Nest used on the inspiration table, dark wax on raw wood. She got this idea from  another princess of paint, Miss Mustard Seed. They both used Miss Mustard Seed's Antiquing Wax, but I decided to use Annie Sloan Dark Wax because I already had some. 


I took a hammer and screwdriver to the table top before I applied the wax to give it a distressed, worn look. I also left some of the spiral dents from my sander on the table. I applied the wax pretty unevenly to give it a farmhouse look and then wiped down the excess with a lint free cloth as I went. The color is just perfect! The dark wax on raw wood has such a beautiful patina.This was the most satisfying part of this project by far, and since the wax works as a sealant, I did not use a protective coat like a polyurethane or polycrylic on top of it.

After I let the stain dry for 24 hours, I did a very light coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in my go to color, Old White. Once that dried, I did some light distressing with 220 grit sandpaper to get some more of that natural wood to show through. Since I worked so hard to get that weathered oak color, I didn't want to completely cover it up. I decided not to wax the base at all and left it chalky just like the inspiration table.

I finished off the look with six white metal bistro chairs from Amazon at a great price. They wipe up so easily which is just perfect for my season in life with my three little mess makers.

chalk paint





farmhouse table



We have been using the table for about a month now and the finish is holding up which is something I was worried about. Since it takes 30 days for the wax to cure, I made sure to not keep anything on the table for an extended period of time. It wasn't that hard. We just would clean up right after we ate and did most of our projects and homework at the counter.

I am only using hot water and maybe a little soap if needed to wipe up the table. This might freak you germophobs out. I don't have raw chicken on my table, so I am okay with not wiping it down with a disinfectant or chemicals. I think it is okay to use a Clorox wipe if need be every now and then. I just don't want to over do it. 

This was a project a long time in the making, but I am really pleased with the results. Do you have a table you would like to turn into a farmhouse dream? Does this post scare you or inspire you? I hope inspiration wins out in the end!


Goodwill Dresser Video Tutorial - Part 3 (Dark Wax)

Thanks for coming back to see the last installment of my Goodwill Dresser video tutorial series. Today, I am covering the topic that seems to give most furniture refinishers the highest anxiety- dark wax. But let me put your fears to rest, it isn't really that tricky to master.  Annie Sloan Dark Wax is amazing stuff. It gives your piece an instant antique look that would normally take about a hundred years to occur naturally.

In case you don't know anything about my Goodwill Dresser, here she is.

I created this series, so you can get this same look right in your home. I think this will always be one of my favorite pieces, and once you create your own, you might just feel the same.


Here are some links to products used in this tutorial:

Make sure you check out the other videos in this series, Part 1 and Part 2. I would love to see your creations, so send me your before and after shots if you decided to try this technique out on your own. 

Duck Egg Blue Love

It's my favorite kind of day here at Pretty Distressed- a reveal day. I recently got to refinish this roll top desk and was totally grateful that my client let me come shoot it in her home.

duck egg blue

I have been wanting to refinish a desk for a long time, and I literally jumped for joy when she selected Duck Egg Blue (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®) as her color. I have done accent pieces in this color all over my house, but have never been brave enough to paint an entire piece with it. I used Old White on the back of the desk to provide a little contrast and didn't wax it so it has a nice chalky look. The hardware was also painted with Old White and finished with Annie Sloan Clear Wax.
pretty distressed

She is a girl after my own heart and really let me distress the tar out of this thing. I also used a lot of Annie Sloan Dark Wax to antique it even farther. I shot this piece in its new home, an amazing three season porch off their kitchen with tons of windows and natural light. The thing that got me most excited is how well the Duck Egg Blue looks against the rust colored concrete floor. Gorge!


annie sloan roll top desk
I am very excited to add this beauty to my portfolio and am thinking I need to find a piece to paint Duck Egg Blue for my home. How about you? Would you be brave enough? If you have doubts, I hope this piece puts them at ease.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission on products you buy through these links.

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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