First Finished Project of 2018 – Painted Antique Buffet

You may remember from a December post that I created this Christmas coffee bar on my antique buffet.   I purchased the buffet off Craigslist in the Fall and had plans to paint it but with the holidays I knew I couldn’t get it done until a later time.

Although I like antique wood and don’t always paint it, this piece just begged for a fresh coat.

Last week I decided it was finally time to tackle the project.  I lightly sanded a few spots on the top that were a little bubbled.  As we all know, an antique will always have some flaws and not be perfect.  I view that as part of the charm of an old piece.  They don’t have to be perfect!

The buffet originally had a “back board” on it that I didn’t want on there so it had three holes on the top that I needed to fill in before priming it.  I only had spackle so I tried that.  Not a great idea.  I finally went to Lowes and actually bought wood filler and filled it in more.  Then I sanded each hole to a smooth finish.

The next step was to prime it with a primer so the paint will adhere.  I’ve used a lot of chalk paint lately but I decided to use regular latex paint on these piece.  I used a brush to get around all the grooves and corners first and then rolled large areas like the top with a small foam roller.  I use this piece to store all my teacups and since I wasn’t painting the inside I just left them in there.

It took about three coats of paint to cover all that dark wood!

For the final step, I sealed it with Polycrylic in a matte finish when ended up being more like a satin finish.

 

The hardware was a antique brass color and I wanted it to be more dark bronze so they all got a fresh coat of dark bronze spray paint to give it this look below.  Miraculously, I had saved a bunch of old keys from my yardsaling hunts and one of them actually fit and locks the side doors.

I also lightly distressed the edges with sandpaper to give it a an old worn look.

 I really love the new look and how it brightened up my kitchen area.

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Swedish Christmas Home Tour

Every Christmas season our home becomes full of holiday spirit with tons of decorations even though we live in South Florida.   I am sure a lot of people that live where it snows would not even get in the Christmas spirit in our area.  Well, believe it or not, we actually do!  This year I chose to decorate with a Swedish theme since that is what my Minnesotan “roots” are.   You will see lots of white and red, tomte, Christmas goats (julebok) and other Swedish touches.  Every day I seem to add something new to the decor.  My favorite pieces are the wooden hearts and Dala horse tree ornaments that my dad made out of wood for me many years ago.  Browse and tour our home this holiday season.

I chose to add lots of red to the white room.

 

 


 

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

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I Can’t Resist an Antique Nightstand

While shopping at a local thrift store for a small coffee table, I found this little antique nightstand for $8 and just couldn’t resist buying it.  Although I don’t paint too many items to sell anymore, I just had to bring it home for that price.  I thought that maybe I could find a place for it somewhere in my house.   It also had the original glass knobs which I had removed already before I took this photo.

I loved the curved front drawer and the interesting “feet” on the front of the nightstand.

It did have some water rings on the top so I decide to chalk paint it.

Here is the result after several coats of chalk paint.  It was ready for purchase.  I posted it on Craigslist and some Facebook sites to sell and it sold quickly for a nice profit.  Interestingly, the person who bought it was going to paint it an off-white instead of the bright white that I had painted it.  Oh well, that’s what happens sometimes.  I hope the new owner enjoys it for many years!

 

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Thrift Store Pitcher Gets Makeover

Recently when shopping in Goodwill for a cute vase for fresh flowers, I spotted this cute light yellow pitcher.  It was a pretty large pitcher and was marked $7.99.  It seems to be old but I am not an antique expert so I am not sure.  My guess it’s probably a reproduction but I loved the curves and style.  Get in my cart now, you little cutie!

I was pleasantly suprised when I got up to the register and it was 50% off of this piece!  Yay!  Even better!

Although the butter yellow is cute, everything in my house is white and the yellow had to go.  Out comes a can of white spraypaint.

I tipped it upside-down to spray the bottom first and started spraying.  Always spray outside in a well-ventilated area.  I found that this particular paint was leaving some small sand-like bumps which is probably from the primer in it.  Uh-oh!  I let it dry and took some find sandpaper and sanded off any little bumps that I saw.

 

I actually ended up trying another can of white paint (see below) that I had in the garage to finish it up without getting more bumps.  This style of Rust-oleum seems to spray more evenly and easily so I should have just used it from the start.

The pitcher looks so fresh and white now and I will be able to use it as a vase and as a decor piece.  It will not be used for beverages.  I think it adds a bit more French style to my already “Frenchy” decor in my house and will be used year-round.  It looks like a real ironstone piece (at least from a distance).

I plan to use the pitcher to hold fresh flowers, but it looks just as pretty just sitting next to the other white pieces I have in the dining room.  I wish I had the room for a collection.

Use as a vase for flowers

Check back next week for more Practically Palm Beach tips!

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Why I Love White Dishes!

White dishes have been one of my obsessions for many years.  The reason I love them is they go with every season, event and holiday and you only have to have one set to store.  I have to admit that a great friend (you, Jennifer M.) shared this great tip with me over a decade ago and it just stuck with me.  You can simply add the colors of whatever season it happens to be to the table.  It is such a nice blank slate to start with and any color you pick works with them.  Forget storing many different sets for all the different holidays.  White is just more “practical”!

Pinterest Photo
Pinterest Photo

 

If you are a thrifty person like I am, you also probably keep an eye out for interesting dishes like the ones in the Pinterest photos here.

 

 

 

 

When I am at a thrift store or a garage sale, I am always looking for pretty white dishes.  In fact, my main every day plates were found (as a set with coffee cups, smaller plates, etc.) at a yard sale for $15 for the entire set (stack in front in photo).  I didn’t take the entire set out of the cabinets for the photo  – – sorry!  I’m not a fan of heavy plates so these cute lighter china plates are just perfect.

Recently, while shopping at Goodwill I found a second set of some cute IKEA white plates for about .69 each so I just couldn’t resist.  They are the ones in the back right in the photo.  I have to admit that after I got them home, I discovered they don’t fit in my dishwasher so they will have to be handwashed when I use them.  I guess the Swedes either don’t use dishwashers like Americans or maybe it’s just my dishwasher rack.  Anyway, I still love them and they could easily be mixed and matched with my other dishes when I need extras.

This little white tea set was my husband’s mother’s set.  Isn’t it just adorable?  I know it means a lot to my husband that I saved it all these years even though I never knew his mother before she passed away.  It rarely gets used but it is fun to have just as white decor.

I have actually sold of some of my white dishes recently because I just didn’t need that many pieces!  I’m fortunate that I live in an area that it is fairly easy to find a buyer for items that I really don’t need using Facebook Swip Swap sites.

I also sold this creamer/sugar set (didn’t need two sugar/creamer sets) and this Pottery Barn plate set (below) that I deemed too heavy after a few years of using it.  SOLD!

 

I’m almost embarrassed to say that even after purging my kitchen cabinets this year, I still have more white plates than I need.  Truthfully, I am sort of crazy about organizing my kitchen cabinets and keep all the white items in one space just for a nice consistent, organized look (see photo below).

I will try to remember to snap some photos of various holiday settings in the future and share them on a blog someday.

I think I am really needing a beach day soon…see ya!

 

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Yard Sale Coffee Table to French Country Treasure

If there’s one thing I have learned in the past five years it’s never, EVER pass on a solid wood piece of furniture that has lots of design if you have a place for it in your home.  Over my years of having a furniture painting business, I would specifically look for things that had character and “shabby” potential.  I just happen to love that look and if you are into repurposing, it also sells very well in our Palm Beach area as it fits in with a beachy look as well.  About a decade or more ago, I discovered I really loved the Rachel Ashwell “Shabby Chic” look.  It was soft, feminine and looked like it had been around for a hundred years.

And, it is actually a look that is fairly easy to do.  Personally, I’m not a fan of dark wood.  I’ve learned that the lighter the furniture, the less you see dust!  Yes, I have replaced brand new dark wood pieces that I bought with thrift store finds to paint because I just dislike seeing all that dust every day.  (That will probably be the best tip of this blog.)  Buy light-colored furniture pieces or paint what you have light!  You will spend a lot less time dusting.

While shopping garage sales one Saturday morning, I found this medium-colored solid wood coffee table.  To be honest, it was pretty ugly.  But, I loved the curvy legs and intricate design on the sides and legs and it was $15.  SOLD!

Yard Sale Coffee Table $15

I brought it home and decided to get some chalk paint out.  I gave it a couple coats covering the entire piece in a soft white chalk paint that I made from latex paint, some Plaster of Paris and water.  There are hundreds of recipes for chalk paint on Pinterest.  Here is one.  http://inmyownstyle.com/2012/08/testing-1-2-3-versions-of-chalk-paint.html

You can also splurge on the Annie Sloan version of the chalk paint or Lowes now also has a chalk paint that they can mix to any color.  That is a nice option I recently discovered.  This is what the Lowes chalk paint can looks like.   It is great to paint with and I use a nice 1.5″ brush.  I have learned that buying a more expensive brush will make your painting jobs easier.  The right tools are a must!  Instead of buying that cheap $3 brush, get the $9 one.  You will get a lot more use of out it, but you should clean it very well after each use with warm, soapy water.  Rinse it well!  You will have a much more polished product in the end.

It will most likely take at least two coats of the chalk paint to cover over a dark wood piece.  It helps to lightly sand with a fine grit sandpaper in between coats to make the surface nice and smooth.  (This is not required but will leave a smoother surface.)  Wipe with a dry clean cloth to get the residue off before starting the next coat.  Finally I waxed the entire piece with Johnson Paste Wax.  Rub it on with clean, soft rag.  Let it sit for a few minutes (see directions on the can) and then buff off with another soft, clean cloth.  It gives is a matte finish that will protect the paint.

Here is the finished coffee table in my family room.

After a project is finished – the beach is always calling!

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