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the cleaning cart turned kitchen cart…

So, I was trolling craigslist one night and ran a search for "industrial" in the general "for sale" category and I spotted two of these industrial cleaning carts for sale... I closed the listing, dismissing it, and kept clicking around, but those carts stuck in my mind.  There was something about the shape of them...  AND they were dirt cheap.  Cheap enough that it was worth the gamble, even  (read more …)

oak buffet reveal & new matte Tough Coat

Unless you follow me on Instagram, you last saw this piece with the top stripped and one coat of paint.  It's in the "ugly stage" - the stage when you want to drop it on the curb and let someone else look at it.  But, that would be a mistake. It may not look like it at this point, but this buffet is almost there. The graining on the top was so beautiful and I didn't want to hide it with paint  (read more …)

oak buffet in-the-works

Last week, a reader left a comment asking for me to show more behind-the-scenes pictures.  It was a simple, polite request and it made me realize I don't do that as much as I used to.  I think I always feel like the pictures have to be pretty, "Pin-worthy" images that will be liked and shared.  Pinterest, Instagram and the infamous Facebook algorithm really changed what bloggers (on the whole)  (read more …)

milk paint 101 | topcoats

I realized I totally dropped the ball on our Milk Paint 101 series!  I left you at the first coat and promptly forgot about you. So, you've applied the number of coats needed in order to get the finish as opaque as desired.  In most cases, two coats do it.  Sometimes more are required if there is a high contrast between the color you chose and the surface you're painting. Once everything is dry,  (read more …)

making a “vintage” chalkboard

As I shared yesterday, the past couple of weeks in the studio have been devoted to getting things finished that have been hanging around for way too long.  I've ignored some of them, because I knew they would be a pain-in-the-rear to work on, like the French chair with nailhead trim (yet to be revealed), and I ignored others because I just didn't know what to do with them.  I knew they had  (read more …)

creating a chippy finish

One of the reasons I love milk paint is because it can chip and flake in a way that makes a freshly painted finish look authentically old.  This chipping can be a bit random, though. I've tested out a lot of different products and techniques to consistently force chipping to happen and, while I've achieved some great finishes, the consistent, authentic-looking chipping has been illusive. Until  (read more …)

tufting a sofa | fabric covered buttons

I totally understand that tufting is intimidating.  It's tedious and it can look really bad if it's not done well.  And, if you're tufting from scratch, it involves math. Geometry at that. So, if you've shied away from tufting, that's okay.  You are in the company of many, many other good people who would just rather buy a piece of furniture than deal with tufting. I generally don't buy tufted  (read more …)

milk paint 101 | first coat & the ugly stage

Sorry that it's been over a month since I last posted in the milk paint 101 series!  I like blog series, because they help me focus my writing efforts, but I am still Marian and I still get distracted. So, let's continue. But first, here are links to the first three parts of this series, in case you missed them... part 1 | what is milk paint? part 2 | how to mix milk paint part 3  (read more …)