Pin-spired: Antiqued Flower Pots Just in Time for Summer

Pinterest strikes again. I was Pin-spired last week to give my old flower pots a makeover just in time for some summer flowers. I learned about using petroleum jelly to distress with spray paint from Holly over at Down to Earth Style. I followed her instructions exactly, so head over to see how it is done. Her project is with a frame but the process is the same no matter what you are painting.

I had a surplus of Aquaphor, so I used that instead going out to the store for petroleum jelly. For the first coat, I sprayed my holders down with some Rust-oleum Metallic Spray Paint in Hammered Black. Once that dried, I spread on my Aquaphor goop in random patches. Then, I sprayed them with Rust-oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover 2X General Purpose Spray Paint in Heirloom White. I waited for it to dry again. Then, I used a putty knife to scrape off the spots slathered in my goop. I also scraped some random spots with my putty knife for more distressing.

There you go. A quick and easy update completed during one nap time. You got to love that instant gratification. This project is part of my deck makeover I hope to be sharing soon. Are you working on sprucing up any outdoor spaces for summer?

Cottage Inspired Dining Hutch - Before & After

I know I owe you one more video tutorial on dark wax to complete our dresser makeover we have been working on for a couple of weeks now, but I have lots of other things I have been painting that I have been dying to share with you. So today, I am excited to reveal my cottage inspired dining hutch.

paris grey kitchen hutch

This piece is truly amazing. It is a Thomasville and was in such good condition I almost had a hard time painting it...almost. I bought this thing back in January thinking I would use it in my dining room, but as some of you might remember, I had a dining table and hutch fall into my lap in February that belonged to my husband's nana. After I refinished those, I fell in love with them and their history. This beauty then got shoved into my husband's office until our neighborhood garage sale lit a fire under me to finish this baby off, try to sell it and promote Pretty Distressed.

My garage sale looked more like a showcase. I set up a digital frame with all my work loaded onto it complete with my ever favorite before and after shots. Anyone who merely glanced at these pieces got an earful about my blog and love of furniture painting. It was so much fun. Maybe a warmup for a flea market or vintage show? Lots of people left with my Website in hand. Note to self: I really need some business cards. 
My French Linen dresser that is the star of my Chalk Paint video tutorial series sold this weekend, but this gorgeous hutch still needs a home. It is finished in Paris Grey, and I did an Old White dry brush technique on the back of the shelf to give it a really shabby, cottage vibe. Check out my Shop Furniture tab to purchase this piece and see what else I have for sale. 
annie sloan chalk paint

annie sloan paris grey dark wax

annie sloan chalk paint paris grey

For all of you anxiously awaiting completing the Chalk Paint video tutorial series, the last installment will be on Tuesday where we will apply our dark wax. I will be taking Monday off, and I hope you are, too. Until then, have a great Memorial Day weekend!

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Over the River and Through the Woods to Carter's Cottage

Last week, my husband gave me the day off. Yes, you heard me, an entire day without having to dress, bathe, feed or transport anyone but myself. Glorious. So what did I decide to do...hop in the car and drive out to the heart of downtown DeKalb, Ill. to visit my local Annie Sloan stockist, Carter's Cottage.

Previously, I had bought my paint from a local store that shipped to my home and at a store in Tennessee when I went to visit my parents, but from now on I am making the drive out to DeKalb to see Christie. 

I was lucky enough to get a chance to meet Christie Carter, the owner and designer of Carter's Cottage. She was gracious enough to spend some time talking with me about her journey to owning her own shop. This lady is amazing and so inspiring. Not to mention her painted pieces are amazing. She knows Annie Sloan personally, in fact, Annie called her directly to ask her to sell her Chalk Paint®. Can you imagine!? 

I spent about two hours there just taking in the store and drawing inspiration. I ended up leaving with a few cans of paint of course, but I also bought some sweet bird nests and blue eggs. Along, with carrying Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® and refinished furniture, Carter's sells wholesale goods, too. And Christie and her crew do a fabulous job selecting the perfect country chic items to complement their cottage decor. This place is a dream.

I think one of my favorite pieces was this graphite hutch. I have been dying to try this color out, but I am a little intimidated. This hutch makes me want to give it a try or maybe I will consider just buying this gorgeous piece.

Carter's Cottage also offers Annie Sloan painting workshops for those looking to dabble in Chalk Paint® or learn some new techniques. I am going to attend the next class in May and can't wait to share the experience with you.

DeKalb is also a great little destination town. While you are down there, you can visit all the other independent shops in the historic downtown area. There are antique, salvage, craft and clothing shops with some seriously cute stuff. And I love the idea of supporting independent business owners versus a big box store. As a tip, Christie shared that all the restaurants are open for lunch on Wednesdays if you want to make a day of it and of course they are open on the weekends.

So there is my magical day at Carter's Cottage. I left feeling inspired and can't wait for my next visit. Do you feel the same way about your local Annie Sloan stockist? 

Pin-spired: DIY Country Chic Window Treatments

branch curtain rod

Are you a Pinterest addict like me? I love that there is a simple place to go for inspiration and store it all in neat little categories. This weekend, I finally turned one of those pins into reality, and I am beyond excited to be sharing it with you today.

This project was "pin"-spired by Jennifer over at Town and Country Living. I am a little bit obsessed with burlap. I love its natural, earthy color and the relaxed, country vibe it gives off. I really loved the idea of pairing it with a tree branch for an extra punch of rustic charm.

I started this project by dumpster diving over at my brother-in-law's house after he had a long day of pruning his trees. I measured my window and searched the pile for a branch that was long enough and fairly straight. I had to cut off lots of excess branches, but I found two sticks that worked really well for me. If you don't have trees yourself or a relative or friend that you can use to "branch hunt," take a drive around town. Right now, people will be pruning to prepare for spring. If you see a pile of wood in someone's yard, go knock on their door and see if they are okay with you taking a stick or two off their hands.

branch curtain rod

You will need to debug your branches before you bring them in your home. I washed mine down with a bleach and water solution and a scrubbing brush. After a quick rinse with the hose, I let them dry in the hot sun for an hour or two. If your sticks are smaller, you can place them in a garbage bag and put a bug bomb in there. Most of us don't have a spare kiln or oven big enough to bake these suckers, so those are the best suggestions I have for killing any critters on them.

For hanging the sticks, I used some steel corner brackets. As I have told you before, my hubby likes to use his drill, so he helped me hang the branch. I do know how to use the drill, but doesn't he look so hot using power tools? After we figured out where the stick would be flush with the wall (your stick will not be straight so don't panic) we marked those two spots and hung the brackets there. Then, hubby drilled a screw straight into the stick. Leave enough space between the branch and the wall to weave the fabric through.

hand branch on wall

Per Jennifer's suggestion, I bought landscaping burlap to swag on my branch. I work with burlap a lot and normally get it from the craft or fabric store, but this is a lot lighter and flexible- perfect for swaging. I tied it off at one end and looped it around the branch a couple of times. Then, cut it to the length I wanted and tied off the other end. No sewing. Super simple. 

burlap curtain

burlap valance

burlap branch valance

I just love it, and cannot believe how cheap it was to make this project a reality. Thank you again to Jennifer at Town and Country Living for the "pin"-spiration. Does this "pin"-spire you to take a pin a make it come to life in your home?

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Foyer - Before & After

I look around my house sometimes, and all I can see are the mountains of projects I need to tackle. It is often hard for me to pause and reflect on just how far we have come on our journey of making this house a home. Today, I want to take the time to slow down and enjoy my foyer. 


Let's start with the walls. I wanted to brighten things up with a cool neutral, so I selected Sherwin Williams Pediment. This baby has been in the Pottery Barn Collection for a couple of seasons, and it is really beautiful and versatile. I used SW Emerald paint for this job since the foyer will take on a lot of heavy traffic. It is super durable and wipes up really well.

The old flooring really chopped the house up- tile in the foyer, vinyl in the kitchen and carpet in the living, dining and family rooms. We selected Morning Star's Solid Antique Strand Handscraped Bamboo from Lumber Liquidators. This wood is really stunning, and the hand scraped aspect really gives it a rustic look. We also added new, taller baseboards.

Thanks to my new found love of refinishing furniture, I was able to decorate this space without breaking the bank. The dresser is from Goodwill and the shutters were from my mom's garage. The metal orbs are from Hobby Lobby, and the rest of the items on the dresser are from HomeGoods. I didn't pay over $15 for any item. My bench and rug are also from Hobby Lobby, and I had those left over from our previous house. I also made the pillows myself.

foyer makeover

Never finished
I am hoping to eventually replace the chandelier in the foyer. I conveniently cropped it out of these photos. It is glass, brass, and ugly. I also plan on staining and painting the banister this fall once the weather warms up, and I can ventilate this puppy. But I refuse to dwell on any of that today. Today, I am enjoying my foyer and how far it has come!

Take some time today, and bask in one of your recent accomplishments. You deserve it!

Linking up at Savvy Southern Style