Showing posts with label DIY projects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY projects. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Milk Paint Tip: Easy Chippy Technique

It's another rainy afternoon here in STL, so I thought I would post this sunny piece I just finished. Well, almost finished. I also wanted to share a chipping technique I accidently discovered {although, I'm sure I'm not the first to do this}.

So, here's the before. This dresser came with a taller "brother", but I've painted them differently and don't plan on them selling together. Both are unique pieces and I wanted them to have two different looks (I'll share the other piece in a later post).


It was in pretty good shape when I got it. A little chipping veneer, but not bad. I loved the tall legs and old caster wheels.

I'm not typically a stencil/script person, but I wanted to try something new. I picked up the stencil below from a nearby shop, Dawn Lynz Surface Design. She does amazing work and has a great selection of stencils.

I used MMSMP in Mustard Seed Yellow and stenciled the writing in Ironstone {I carry both of these colors in the shop!}. It's finished with furniture wax.


I love how sunny and light it turned out. I think it would look cute in a nursery (as a changing table) or in a dining room as a buffet.

I had already painted the "brother" to this piece, so I knew I most likely wasn't going to get any chipping. Which I wanted. However, my laziness to just use hemp oil or a wax puck outweighed my desire for chippiness. But, decided to just let it go.

For the stencil, I had to tape it on with Scotch Tape to hold it in place. And, wouldn't you know, when I removed the stencil, a bit of paint came up here and there.

Almost like chipping!

So, I applied it in various places all over the piece. Any "chipping" you see actually came from where I applied the tape and then ripped it off! I did this before I waxed (the wax will seal the paint in and you most likely won't get this effect).

Miss Mustard Seed Yellow Dresser
Red Door Furniture Co. Dresser in Mustard Seed Yellow

While this method might be a bit unconventional --- it worked! I would love to know...what painting techniques have you accidentally discovered and now love?

Monday, May 12, 2014

How To: Host a Succulent Bar

Like everyone else, I've been a bit obsessed with succulents lately. I brought a few that I planted in vintage containers to Vintage Market Days last month and they were a hit. Trying to think of a fun way to bring people to the shop for some spring shopping, I came across the idea of a succulent bar. We supply the succulents, soil, rocks, containers, etc. and customers could stop in and put together their own potted plant. Leaving the mess to us!

This would also make a great addition to a birthday party or gathering. It's a fun way to get creative and plant something of your very own (without having to buy more supplies than you actually need).

Here's a few tips to get you started:

Note: If you are able, check out a wholesale nursery that sells to the public. I headed to the St. Louis Floral Market or Florist Row to pick up our succulents. It was my first time and I was completely overwhelmed. The nice folks at Baisch & Skinner helped me out and got me all set up. The selection was much better than what I would find at Home Depot or Lowe's garden centers (and better prices).

1/ Choose a selection of small, medium and large succulents. Depending on the size of containers you will be using, your guests could pick just one succulent or several. Make sure to have a good variety on-hand.

2/  Get creative with containers! I searched for a few weeks, curating a unique selection of containers. Popular planters included milk glass, vintage tea cups, vintage trays, and newer mercury glass candle holders.


3/ Give a little guidance. We hosted our succulent bar as a special event at the shop, so I printed up a la carte price sheets. The cheapest potted succulent went for under $10. Depending on the container, they went up to $50. I picked up some tips while I was at the floral market, and I offered those up as customers put together their plants. {hint: over watering seems to be the #1 killer of these cuties).

4/ Don't forget the details! Put out some gardening gloves, small scoops and shovels and mini watering cans! Give your guests all the tools they need to dive in!

5/ Have fun! Many of the people who stepped up to the succulent bar just happened to wander was a fun surprise for them. Mother's Day was right around the corner, so alot of pots were put together with Grandma and Mom in mind. It was definitely messy, but that was the point!

DIY Succulent Bar

Succulent Bar

The succulent bar was a huge hit with kids (they loved planting in the vintage tea cups) and it was fun watching guests carefully select each item that went into their finished piece. Everyone not only left with a truly unique plant that they created, but a huge smile on their face.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

DIY: How to Get the Weathered Wood Look on New Wood

I'm excited to share this post today. About a week ago, we delivered a custom farmhouse table that Jeff handcrafted from an old door. The new owners, Stephan and Samantha, stopped by our shop back in February and just happened to be looking for a dining room table. Jeff talked with them at-length during their first visit and we were so happy when they emailed us soon after saying they wanted a table.

Picking the perfect door was easy...the hardest part was getting the color just right. We knew generally the finish they were looking for: the weathered Restoration Hardware look. I'm loving this look right now. Here's the inspiration:

To start off, we mocked up 6 different examples for S&S to choose from. We used a variety of techniques on a cast-off piece of their door. From milk paint stain to white wax to just orange wax.

Once they picked the finish, we then had to replicate it on the rest of the wood that was used on their table (Douglas Fir and Pine). Getting it all to match wasn't easy! We tested and/or used 6 different stains before we found the right mix. Here's what we did: 

Custom Farmhouse Table
For the door, we used Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in Curio as a stain (we mixed the milk paint and water at a 3:1 ratio). It gave us the look we needed on the door, but didn't have the same effect on the newer wood. (you can see below what we were going for and what the trim around the table looked like).

For the base of the table, I needed a stain to knock down the yellow tone of the wood. Rust-Oleum makes some great weathered stains and we settled on the Weathered Gray (they also have a Driftwood that we tested out).

Next up, I put on a coat of Minwax's Provincial.

As you can see below, it was a pretty good match. However, it had just a very light purple tinge.

I went over all of it again with a coat of Minwax's Special Walnut and that did it...a nearly perfect match!

Here's a grainy iPhone shot before the glass was on:

And, here it is delivered!

It looks gorgeous in their new home and I can't wait to see the chairs S&S pair with it! (My photos don't do it justice!)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

DIY: Steel Wool and Vinegar Wood Stain

We are in home project overload right now. We're closing on our new house on Wednesday (YAY!) and it's a mad dash to get everything ready. One of the things on our to-do list was to freshen up our computer desk. We picked up this table several years ago at an antique's already been thru a couple of makeovers since we brought it home. Here's what it looked like when we bought it:

I've been wanting to try a steel wool and vinegar stain for awhile. And, once the table top was completely stripped down, I knew it would be the perfect piece. There's tons of tutorials and "recipes" out's what we did:

 1. Soak steel wool (we used medium) in a jar of vinegar. The longer it sits, the rustier it will get and the darker the result. This is what it looked like after one week:

 Here's the table top all sanded down. Nice, smooth and bare.

2. Use a paint brush (or cloth) and brush on the rusty vinegar mix. Don't forget to shake it up and get all the "good stuff" that settles at the bottom.

Here's what it looked like halfway thru. What a difference!

3) We let the vinegar stain soak in and wiped it down. The finish looked duller -- but, definitely looked like aged wood.

 4) Then, we applied one of our favorite wood conditioners/finishers: Howard's Feed-N-Wax. It's made from beeswax and orange oil and really brings out the wood and deepened the color.

5) Next up was Annie Sloan's soft clear wax (for extra protection)...and here's the finished look. The base and legs were painted with ASCP in Aubusson Blue, with Paris Grey underneath. I waxed it with liming wax, however I don't think it had much of an impact.

I'm totally loving it and will definitely be using this technique again. Super cheap and super easy!

Steel Wool and Vinegar Stained Table

Steel Wool and Vinegar Stained Table

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

From a First-Timer: Three Tips for Using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

This post first appeared on my other blog, Vanilla Bean

As promised, here are my lessons learned, or three tips, for getting started with using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint. I'm not going into a ton of how-to detail below...MMS and others out there do a great job of giving milk paint tutorials. The tips below highlight the biggest "pains" (for lack of a better word) I had. I'm just the average furniture painter...with some projects under her belt. Looking to branch out. So, here we go...

1. Watch Miss Mustard Seed's video tutorial. Alot.

I watched the first tutorial three times. Okay...maybe four. But, that last time was solely just to hear that catchy little intro music she has. The videos are helpful and reassuring...mixing your own paint can be scary. And, the texture is unlike any other paint. It's best to be prepared... 

2. Use a mason jar to mix your paint.

At first, I tried the "mix in a plastic cup" method. There's a couple possible reasons why this wasn't working for me. I put in waaaay too much water. Like a 3 (water)-1 (milk paint powder) ratio. Due to the lack of a nice wooden stick like MMS uses, I used a knife to stir the paint. Then the end of my favorite wooden spoon (may it RIP). I'm also a very impatient person. After mixing for what seemed like 5 agonizing hours, I still had this:

So, I put the proper amounts (1:1 ratio of milk paint powder and warm water) in a mason jar and shook away. I added a tad bit more water (technically, the suggested ratio is 1 part powder to 1 1/2 parts water). MUCH better. While the texture of milk paint is alot different than other paints (it's grainy), it was smooth, mixed and much easier to paint on.

Super cute jar you won't see a trifle in later this week.

 3. Throw caution to the wind.

For the most part, once you put milk paint on, you don't know what's going to happen. While MMS does have a bonding agent that prevents the chippiness; for me, the purpose of buying this paint WAS the chippiness. The paint on your piece might chip and flake off easily. There might not by any chipping at all. Or, there might be a little. With a some effort. But, that's what makes it so fun.

The dresser below was stained and looked like it had a layer of poly on it. I didn't sand it. I barely cleaned the dust off it. In some areas (mostly the sides), the chippiness took alot of work with a putty knife (and even then, I barely had any). There were areas on the top and on the dresser drawers where the paint cracked and were easier to chip off with the putty knife. It wasn't an easy took some work. But, I know that was just this piece. Other people have different results. Which is the cool part about this paint.

Also, once the milk paint was dry and adequately flaked off, I was freaking out a bit. I used the color Tricycle. It was a dull red. I was a little mad. Look at the drawers below. Dull!

I finished the piece with Annie Sloan's dark wax...simply because I had some on hand. MMS  has a whole line of finishing products that I look forward to using soon. I should have known from my experience with chalk paint, that once the wax is applied, the real transformation begins.

The colors popped. The chippiness stood out. And, the entire piece is sooo smooth.

I was in love.

{Please standby for an obscene amount of photos of the same dresser. It's mandatory}.

Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial

Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Tricycle

Miss Mustard Seed Tutorial Tricycle

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Tricycle

So, that's it! Here's the before and after. Technically, this piece is slated to be in our closet (Mr. VB thinks it's a shame). I'm starting to think so too.

If you haven't jumped onto the milk paint bandwagon yet, I hope these tips help you! I would love to hear your thoughts on your first time with milk paint!

City Farmhouse
The 36th Avenue