“Wide Open Acres”

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Wondering where the name came from?  The paint color! The paint I used for this piece was called “Cheyenne Green” by Benjamin Moore paints.  This was a custom order, and they had picked the color, and it is one I will definitely be using going forward!

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The piece needed a tremendous amount of love, but it had solid bones and beautiful character.  The couple delivered it, I sanded it down a bit to rough up the old finish.

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Sanding, prepping, and cleaning left me with a beautiful exposed wood piece.  It was ready to be painted.

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The piece was so dry that it took three heavy coats, but once it dried in the last coat covered it real well.

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I asked the couple if they wanted the piece distressed, and it wasn’t something that had crossed their mind.  I said there was some incredible detailing on the piece that should be highlighted with some very light distressing.  By distressing the piece, the character was pulled right out!  Signed, sealed, delivered, here is the finished product:

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“Be Our Guest” Dining Room Makeover

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My dining room has been done for a while, but I haven’t had time to take photos, upload them, and all that jazz.  Anyway, now I am ready!  So when I first bought the house, the dining room was a very very olive green color.  I may have liked a shade of this color had it been a nice one, but after seeing this color I knew instantly I was going to cover it!  Here is what the dining room looked like before:

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Not to mention that there were a hundred holes in the wall from things that were hanging on the wall.  It took some time to patch and sand, but it got done…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce the room was patched and ready to go, I start painting.  I picked a nice taupe/beige color.  It’s Benjamin Moore’s Shenendoah Taupe:

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I liked that it was a nice neutral color, and knew it would look nice against my dark espresso colored furniture.  I re-used the curtains from my old house, because I loved them.  They are a damask pattern with earth-tones running through it.  I purchased the coolest chandelier from an Etsy dealer.  It is so rustic, it looks like it spent the last 100 years in the ground.

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I picked up a truly adorable sign at Vintage Thymes in Norwood, and I hung it above the dining room doorway.

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Since I don’t have a ton of kitchen cabinet space, and I packed my side server pretty well… I had no place to put my wine glasses, martini shaker, ice bucket, wine etc….  I had been on the hunt for a while for a nice cabinet to use for this, but I didn’t want anything huge or bulky.  On a whim, I found a cabinet at some warehouse! Randomly… but it worked out in my favor!!!

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I may paint it at a later date, but it serves its purpose for now.  I was able to put all my wine glasses away, and put my martini shaker and ice bucket on top.  It needed a little something, and I had just the thing!  I had gone to paint night with my mother a while back, and painted my own version of “Chat Noir.”  I knew I would use it in the house eventually, but didn’t know where.  Instead of using the colors red, yellow, and black in the traditional print, I chose to use blues, creams, black, and white.  The colors work well with my color scheme.  I put it on top of the wine bar as a finishing touch.

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All that’s left to do? Have a feast fit for a king and fill my wine cabinet with lots of yummy wine!

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“A Bright Idea!”

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Sometimes it takes me a while to come up with a catchy/clever name for my blog post, but this time around it came to me pretty quickly.  I completed a custom order desk for a young girl in high school.  She reminded me a lot of myself- organized, school oriented, diligent, and above all she knew what she wanted.  I met with her and her mother to see and consult over the desk.  It was the young girls great great great grandfather’s (I’m pretty sure that is correct), and it had been sitting in the basement for 17 years.  The young girls parents had planned on doing it, but life happens, and it never got done!  The desk was in rough shape to say the least.  It has been painted years ago, but the paint had semi peeled off, and the bottom legs were missing chunks of wood:

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The daughter and her mother asked if I could try to fix the missing wood pieces, and I was obviously up for the challenge.  I probably went through two containers of wood filler.  I had to build up the filler, sand it down, shape it, and repeat.  I did the best I could.  These pictures don’t look so hot because its wood filler, but with the finished product you can’t even see the difference!

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Once the piece was sanded and prepped, it was finally ready to be painted.  The girl picked two colors, a nice cream white for the base and a nice bright yellow for the top (hence my “bright idea” blog title…. I know I know, I’m good!).

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The desk was completely transformed, it was nice and smooth and freshly painted.  I ever so slightly distressed the detailing of the desk so that it would highlight the intricate work.  The craftsmanship on this desk is incredible, and the creamy white wasn’t doing those details any justice.  The light distressing truly completed it.

We hit a speed bump when it came to the hardware though.  So strange, usually antique pieces don’t have hardware that is standard hole to hole, it’s usually all weird sizes.  Well we ordered some beautiful hardware, but when I went to put them on, they didn’t fit.  We ordered 2.5″ because that is what I measured, but I was off by .5″… how could that be? I didn’t think to measure other drawers because why would they be different? So the mother and daughter went on hunt and found enough 3″ handles to finish he piece right? Wrong. When I delivered the desk, and I was putting on the hardware some of the 3″ handles were too big, and I was right back a the 2.5″ hole to hole spread.  What the???  Yeah, well it turns out that the bottom drawers are a 3″ spread, and the top drawers are 2.5″  so very strange.  Anyway, the pictures below are of the finished piece, but hardware is missing on the top drawers.  The mother and daughter were going to take the time to find a matching set.

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Upcycled Heirloom

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So my mother has had my great grandmother’s picture frames in the shed for as long as I can remember.  When I moved into my first house I took them with me, trying to figure out what to do with them, but instead they stayed in my basement.  When I moved to my new place, and saw the master bathroom with double vanity sink, I knew instantly I would transform the old frames into matching mirrors for the his and hers sink.  Here is what they looked like before:

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They were definitely roughed up, but a little bit of patching and love I knew it was fixable.  Years and years of dust and grime had built up on the frames.  I decided it needed a good cleaning, but was afraid to use anything harsh on them.  I stuck with good old dish soap and hot water.

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It was an instant improvement!  The chips that were on the frames needed to be patched.  I used wood filler, and did my best to shape some details in it, which proved to be difficult.

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I decided to use Rustoleum spray in antique bronze.  They came out awesome!!! Once they were all cleaned, patched, and painted, I brought the frames to Wayside Glass to have mirrors put in them.  I was honestly a little nervous that they would not be able to put the mirrors in the frames because they are so old.  However, they managed to do it, and they came out wonderful.  Thanks to my wonderful boyfriend, they were hanged perfectly and they completed the whole vanity look.  Here is the finished product.

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“Worn by the Sea”

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One of my returning clients wanted me to re-finish a very old piece of hers.  I loved it the second I saw it.  It was a five drawer dresser, all original hardware, on wheels, and even had cute little key holes:

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The piece definitely needed some luvin’.  The inside’s of the drawers had fabric tack-pinned in them, and it looked as though it had been there for 200 years!

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My client loved the two tone look I had done on a bedroom set, and thought it would look great on the dresser.  She picked her own colors, and we discussed that the lighter color on the drawers with the darker color on the outside would look best.  Since the hardware fit perfectly, and were quite beautiful, I decided to spray them with good old reliable Rustoleum.

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I used my new paint spray gun (yes, I finally have it down ….), and I think the piece came out awesome!  We talked about distressing it ever so slightly to give it that beach look because her house is right on the water in Quincy, Ma hence the “Worn by the Sea” title, fitting I think.  Here is the finished product:

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Apothecary, Quite Contrary!

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I finished this custom order for a client yesterday. It was for a very nice couple- the piece is the woman’s grandmother’s. They needed the piece to be updated so it would go with their home decor. I appreciated the fact that they wanted to keep this heirloom out so it could be seen, and continue to be a part of their lives.

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The piece was in great condition. It had some minor chips that I was able to fill. It had a very thick coat of poly on it, and I knew I had to sand it well and rough it up so the paint would adhere. Many times I paint the inside of the drawers as well because it gives the piece a wholesome finished look, but I noticed this piece had been done before and they left the wood inside the drawers natural. I felt it was best to keep it the same way. So like Magiver (remember that show?), I used trash bags to tape around the drawer, so the overspray would not get inside the drawers.

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This was a custom order, so the couple picked the color.  They chose Olympic Paint’s “Rum Raisin.”  It’s a nice bold color!

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The prep work was done, the piece was patched and sanded. The two decorative points in the front were chipped so I re-pointed them. With my spray gun I painted it and sealed it.  We left the original hardware on there: adorable porcelain knobs.  Finally this is what it looked like when it was all finished!

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Sleeping Soundly…. Finally!

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WOW, I didn’t think this bedroom set would EVER get done. There were so many problems, I went through two paint guns, and had to purchase another one just to finish the job! Although I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out. I had done some staging for a lovely couple who was moving to North Carolina. They had this 1940’s bedroom set that they weren’t taking with them, and we made arrangements to have it Renewed Reloved. The bedroom set was in wonderful condition, it has really been taken care of over the years.

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I love the original hardware on this set, and knew I was going to keep them untouched.  Ok, so begins the sh*t show.  I lightly sanded all the pieces so the paint would adhere nicely.  I used colors that I had left over from painting my own house.  I try not to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint if I can help it, no offense.  I used “Mesa Verde Tan” for the outside, and the drawers were down in “White Down,” both by Benjamin Moore.

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At first I painted the entire end table “White Down,” but I thought that it was just so boring, and didn’t do the set any justice.  However, I liked the dark original hardware against the off white. I loved the “Mesa Verde Tan” that I used for my master bedroom, and thought it looked really good against the off white.  So there you have it- a two tone set.  So I set up shop, ready to paint.  Little did I know that I would soon have a mental breakdown.

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Honestly, every time I tried to attempt to paint this set somethings went wrong.  Both my paint guns stopped working.  Finally the new Wagner one I purchased did the job.  It was a long battle, and a big under taking, but when all said and done I think it came out incredible (yes I am patting myself on the back, but shush).  Check out the finished product.  All of which can be seen and purchased at 23rd & Bird located inside the WinSmith Mill in Norwood, Ma.

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Official Business

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I sort of branched out a bit on this piece.  I wanted to highlight details, but still keep the piece masculine.  I really don’t think the man wanted a whimsical romantic desk in “French Linen.”  This desk is huge and very executive like, and I wanted to keep that tone.  Thanks to my dear friend Liza, we heard over to Watertown to pick it up.  The lady who had the desk had her handful with two beautiful children, and she tried to give us a hand lifting it and moving.  In the end, Liza and I went beast-mode and loaded it into the truck.  The thing ways a ton!  So here is what I was working with:

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The hardware was in great condition, so I knew I would keep those.  The top had some very deep scratches, and I knew that I didn’t want to paint the surface, I think that would take away from the business look.  I decided to sand it down to the bare wood.  This process always takes forever, especially when the finish on top has a lot of sheen and stain.  So finally once it was done, I  was looking at the front of the desk, and thought “what am I going to do here?” I felt that if I painted the whole base it would like BORING.  There is wooden trim around each drawer, so I thought that I would sand that down to bare wood too to highlight the raised wood.  The surface was small and skinny so I went to one of my favorite tools:

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It’s real an awesome little sander to get into tight grooves, and there are a variety of adapters.  Although it really cuts through quick, and if you aren’t careful it can take a chunk out of the wood…. been there, done that!  So after I sanded the top and the  outlines of the drawer, washed it all down here’s how it looked:

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Ok….. now what.  So far this desk has been a lot of work, and I haven’t even painted it! I decided to stain the top and outlines around the drawers with Minwax “Red Mahogany.”  I knew the stain would soak in the wood grain, and look really nice when finished.  Ok, stain done, check.  I chose Annie Sloan Chalk Paint  in “Coco” because I was just so over sanding and since the desk had a bit of a glossy finish to it, I needed something to cover well.  I chose “Coco” because it has both feminine and masculine undertones (good for both hubby and wifey in the house), and felt that it would look really good along side wood stain.  After two coats of chalk paint, and polyacrylic sealant… and days later, I finished.  I absolutely LOVE LOVE the way it came out.  Highlighting the trim was definitely the way to go!

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The sides also had raised wooden outlines, and I kept it consistent with the rest of the desk! I think it added that little extra “POP” of detail!

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Lastly, here is the finished top.

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And, BAM- there you have it!  Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RenewedReloved

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LIGHT @ the end of the tunnel

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FINALLY.  I finished the lamps for my family room.  I purchased the lamps for my old house.  They worked really well there, but don’t quite fit in my French country cottage themed family room in my new house.  Theywere a deep red, here they were before:

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All of the colors in my family room now are creams, beiges, soft blues, soft yellows… you know, all those shabby colors.  I really was torn on color.  I wanted to paint these lamps, because they are almost new, and I’m trying to design on a dime!  Waste not want not, right?  I was torn between three colors:

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I immediately eliminated “Provence” it was just too bright.  I was worried the “French Linen” wouldn’t come out right- it tends to look different when paired with certain colors.  So there you have it, I was going with “Paris Grey.”

The lamps covered really well, and two coats later- BAM here’s what I got:

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But I’m a pain in the a$$ and something just wasn’t working for me.  I wasn’t “feeling it” as I always say.  I felt that the burlap shades (which I wanted to keep) was fighting the grey blue of the lamps.  I think it was too much of a contrast.  So I debated what to do…. dry brush with “Old White,” “Antique Glaze,” “Dark Wax,” or distressing.  I really waited almost two weeks because I was afraid to make a move.  Well, today I decided I need to man-up and do something so I could get some damn light in my family room.  I feel like Helen Keller feeling my way in the dark.  Sorry for those of you who find that comment offensive, but it’s true.

So today I kind came up with my own little experiment.  I took Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in “Coco” and sort of dry brushed it on.  I would put a bit on, and then wipe it off.  I kind of shrugged my shoulders, and thought to myself “eh, I’ll keep going.”  I figured if it was a total disaster I could always just repaint it and start over.  Once it dried, I liked it, but again it felt like it was missing something.  I know, like I said, I’m a pain in the ass!  I decided to mess around with dark wax, and diligently worked quickly so it wouldn’t set in too much.  I loved the way it came out.  I took a total chance, and it paid off.  The “Coco” and the dark wax completely tamed down the dusty blue, and the lamps now compliment the burlap shades.  Checked that off my list!

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Just to give you an idea of what the “Paris Grey” looked like alone compared to the finished product, here you go:

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Lastly, here are more pictures of the finished product:

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Cookin’ Up A Storm!

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I can’t believe this project is finally done!! I have finally finished all the cabinets, frames, hardware, and have hung them up!!!  I have posted along the way- from cleaning, to painting, to sealing, and to cleaning and spraying the hard ware.  I am finally able to unveil the finished product! I really am so happy the way it turned out!

Here is the before:

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After all the hauling ass, here is the AFTER:

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Pretty damn good, huh?  Now I just have to get a glass cabinet for my dishes to put on the wall, and put up the backsplash!