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Furniture Painting Tutorial: Worn Turquoise


I realized I forgot to take a lot of before shots of a lot of these pieces, which is a bummer. I get so excited about starting a project that I forget! I am trying to become better at that, because I know all of us love before and after photos for inspiration! 


I absolutely LOVE turquoise. It’s my favorite color, but I don’t have a way of working it into my home at the moment, so when I needed to fill my booth with new pieces, I was so excited to finally try out Annie Sloan’s Florence! It has this vibrant, bold vibe to it which I really dig.

It’s such a gorgeous color, isn’t it?


A few months ago I found a cheap dresser that I knew would be perfect for this repurposing project. It was in perfect condition. I didn’t have to sand anything down or fill in any holes or scratches – which is always  rare plus!

Here is a quick cell phone shot of the BEFORE:



How to Paint Furniture: The Basics



This is the first part of an on-going series of how to paint furniture

Back when I was learning how to paint furniture, I went from zero to information overload while trying to research the topic. There are so many tips, tutorials and techniques on the Internet and in books about how to paint furniture that it will make your head spin.

Here’s the thing — what I needed back then was information on the very basics.  I needed to learn the essential steps of painting a piece of furniture, without experimenting with special paints, techniques and 20 different products. It is important to know how to properly prep, paint, and seal a piece before learning about all the extras.

Note: There are many different schools of thought when it comes to painting furniture and woodworking in general. This is simply the method I have found that works best for me and my clients.



  1. Drop Cloth
  2. Latex water-based paint
  3. 1 – 2 quality paint brushes
  4. Foam rollers
  5. Oil-based primer
  6. Medium & fine grit sandpaper
  7. Lint-free cloths
  8. Tack Cloths
You can find all this at your nearest home improvement store.


Clean – The very first thing you really need to do before tackling any project is to thoroughly clean your piece of furniture. I usually just use hot, soapy water and it works just fine.

Rough Sand – If your  piece of furniture has a glossy finish to it, you will need to sand it with 100 grit sandpaper until the surface is dulled. The easiest way to do this is with an orbit sander, but a normal sanding block will work as well.

Repair– If your piece has any holes, dings, chipped veneer  — or if you need to switch out old hardware, you’ll need to repair it will wood filler. Using a putty knife, simply fill in the imperfections and spread it out thinly until completely covered. Take fine sandpaper and sand it until it is smooth.

Sometimes I don’t repair the imperfections if I’m trying to create a piece that looks really worn. I think it brings character to a piece of furniture that you simply cannot replicate with paint.

Wipe Clean –  Clean off the surface with a lint-free rag, followed by a tack cloth to ensure every speck of dust is off your furniture. Sometimes I even vacuum the piece if I can’t get all the dust off.

Prime –
You will need to use an oil-based bonding primer for this step. This enables you to skip stripping your entire piece of furniture before painting. Apply two thin coats and allow enough time for it to dry in between. I usually wait 20 minutes. After priming, sand it down one last time with 220 grit sand paper and wipe off the excess dust.

Now, you’re ready to paint!



Dip your paint brush halfway into your paint, and wipe off its excess paint. Begin by painting the edges and grooves of the piece.

I usually use a foam roller for the large, flat sections of furniture (you can use your paint brush if desired). While using a brush, make sure you paint in long strokes, moving in one direction. Apply the paint thinly to avoid drips and uneven layers.

After your first layer is complete wait for it to dry for a good 4 -6 hours. Afterwards, sand the piece down thoroughly with fine sandpaper to smooth out any uneven areas.

Continue painting 1 – 2 more layers using the same process, allowing the proper amount of time to pass before beginning a new layer.


The last step in the process is to properly seal your piece. I use three different types of sealers (and again there are many different schools of thought on this).

Wax: I use paste wax by minwax often, because it creates a beautiful hand-rubbed finish.

Lately, I have also been using annie sloan clear wax, which is amazing. It is really easy to apply as well. Apply wax in a thin layer, allow it to dry, and then buff the piece to allow the shine to come through.


Wipe on Polyurethane: On pieces of furniture that will have things placed on it often, like kitchen tables, coffee tables, etc. I used a wipe on polyurethane on it. I never use this on white or light colored furniture, however, because it will yellow over time.


Polycrylic: If I want a gloss finish, or I have a light colored piece of furniture that will be used a lot, I use polycyrlic. It’s a little weaker than wipe on poly, but it will not not yellow light colored furniture, creates a slight gloss finish, and still protects well enough.


Make sure you apply 2-3 layers of each protectant and allow it to cure for the instructed amount of time.

There you have it. A basic tutorial on how to paint furniture. After you get these basics down, there are so many other things you can do – from distressing, glazing, experimenting with speciality paints, and more.

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Entertaining: 10 DIY Wedding Favors

I never really realized how expensive a wedding is until I started planning my own. There are so many costs I never imagined in every small detail. With this in mind, I am hoping to do as many DIY projects for my wedding as possible. Your wedding favors are an easy way to cut costs by going DIY. Here are 10 DIY wedding favors you could use for a wedding or even a special event:


Repurposed Dresser Before & After

I have really been needing a sideboard for my dining room for awhile now, and when I found this dresser for 15 dollars on Craigslist I knew it was perfect. It came to me in really rough shape, and smelled like it had been in someone’s basement for the past ten years. I threw some baking soda in all the drawers and let it sit for a week or so before I started its’ makeover.


 This piece really needed a lot of work. Veneer was chipping off all over the place, and there were dents and scratches all over it. I decided to keep all the dents and scratches on it in order for it to look really aged.

I took all the drawers out and completely sanded the entire piece. Then I primed both the drawers and frame and let it cure for a couple of days. The most important step when repurposing furniture is to ensure you properly prep the piece. Unless you are using Ann Sloan chalk paint, you mostly always need to sand and prime.

After my prep work I painted the entire piece a bright white.


I wanted the piece to look aged, so I decided to go with my favorite aging method: glazing. I used an old, cheap makeup brush to paint each drawer with tinted glaze.

Afterwards I wiped off the glaze with a damp rag, then repeated this process with a dry rag. Everyone has a different method of glazing, and this is what works best for me. I focus on small sections of a piece of furniture at a time.

I sealed the piece with a wax, and added new hardware from Hobby Lobby on the bottom two drawers. I kept the original hardware on the smaller drawers.

I love how it came out!

Here is a close up shot of the repurposed dresser where you can see how the glaze ages the piece. I also took a piece of sandpaper and distressed the decorative accents.

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10 Must Read Tips From Top Designers

I love reading about interior design. I love writing about interior design. While I do know a thing or two about decorating, and all my articles on decorating are thoroughly researched, I am far from an interior designer.  I am just an incredibly passionate hobbyist. Top designers spend years in school and internships before they call themselves a professional interior designer. This being said, they really know their stuff. I love reading their thoughts and opinions about design.

I just read an article in the most recent issue of House Beautiful, “101 Designer Secrets.” Four pages of quotes from top designers about their biggest tips on decorating- um hello, this is my Christmas.

Here are 10 of my favorites:

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with any of the above statements? What are your favorite tips?

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Dry Brush Painting Technique & Rustic Inspired Cutting Boards..

I have been playing around with the dry brush painting technique on some smaller objects before I implement them on any of my furniture pieces. I had some old, beat up cutting boards I bought for a dollar a few months ago that were perfect for practicing.

I love dry brushed pieces of furniture, because they make any piece look old and rustic. You don’t have to pay as much attention to dings and scratches while prepping if you are planning on dry brushing, because these imperfections will only add more character to the piece.

This is how my project turned out:



In order to dry brush you only want to dip the very end of your brush in paint. Below is actually a little too much:

Afterward, you need to dab off some of the excess paint until it is essentially dry (hence, dry brushing haha). I just used a paper towel:

Then I lightly painted the surface in short back-and-forth strokes until the entire cutting board was covered.

I decided to add something extra to make them stand out a little more. I found some numbered stencils and used a brownish grey paint I had leftover from another project. (When stenciling, I almost always use a sponge brush. I didn’t have one on hand for this project, but made sure to lightly coat the brush and dab the paint on).


I took a small piece of 80 grit sandpaper to distress the numbers on each cutting board. You can see all the old knife marks and scratches on the cutting board in the picture below. I wanted to accentuate these blemishes, and dry brushing is a perfect way to do so.

What I love about dry brushing is that it is nearly impossible to screw up. It’s not suppose to be perfect. If you find any section you don’t like on a piece you’re working on, simply sand it to blend it in better.


Do any of you use the dry brush painting technique? What kind of method do you use?


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