Category Archives: Design Tips

A Great Project to Start Off the New Year – Chalk Painted Furniture!

It’s been very popular for a few years….have you tried it? Chalk Paint? You see so many vintage shops selling old furniture that has been redone in chalk paint; and pop-up weekend shops carry many chalk painted pieces. I have bought a few and love them. Purchasing the finished product always seemed the easiest to me.

BUT……I have a vintage round coffee table with caster feet that I love and when I purchased it almost 20 years ago it was the very popular sage color. 

 

I have been so tired of that color (besides it being a bit dated) but I never wanted to get rid of my favorite coffee table. It is complete with raw wood nicks and dings and I love the imperfection of it. 

So I FINALLY decided to do something about it when I saw a dining room table done in chalk paint at a client’s home. It was stunning!

There are many brands of chalk paint and I am not pushing one over the other and will tell you only what I used. I visited a local store that carries vintage finds already re-done but that is also is a leader in teaching people the technique of chalk painting. This store carries the Annie Sloan brand of chalk paints and accessories which is one of the most well known and original chalk paints.

The first decision I had was what my base color would be….that was easy enough. Old World White. Not a bright white but rather a soft white but not cream.

The next decision was a bit tougher, deciding the wax color. All chalk paint needs to be wax protected and sealed and a clear wax will keep your paint color true to the original. I however wanted a worn rustic timber look but in gray rather than brown.

So I selected black wax. SCARY!

The nice thing about chalk paint is that you don’t have to do anything to the surface you are painting. NO  SANDING NEEDED! I never paint anything I have to sand down first, that is why I have always been a Spray Paint Queen, just point and press the button.

I must say Chalk Paint is just as easy. Just paint it right on.

 

 

The wax was a bit trickier but all in all WAY easier than I expected. The wax goes on a little tougher in that it really is a wax…..like shoe wax. Not like polyurethane which is what I was expecting. The wax needs to be worked into the wood a bit.

HUGE TIP: Don’t over apply the wax. When they say less is more they really mean it. The wax should feel dry almost immediately and I didn’t get that part. Mine was tacky to the touch even an hour after applying it so I had to go back and wipe some off. No big deal but still, you can save yourself some work.

 

 

Next was the most challenging part which was applying the black wax over the white to just give it a very soft appearance of a gray wood grain. It went so much better than I expected! It took me a few tries with the brush to get it exactly how I wanted it to look but then it clicked right along.

Tip #2: Buy the brushes, at least the wax brush. I felt like I needed to take out a home equity loan to buy them but they really are worth it.

The nice thing is if you get too much wax on your piece you can wipe it right off and try again. I did end up getting too much on one area and not getting it off as quickly as I should have but it’s where my tray goes anyway so who cares. 🙂

 

 

To keep it short and sweet……I LOVE MY TABLE! It turned out better than I imagined and on my first try! I thought I would be repainting it 3 times for sure.

So try Chalk Painting….I think you will like it!

 

 

 

 

What is LVT/LVP? You will want to know!

If you are building or remodeling a home, there is a chance that you may have come across these abbreviated letters. But many of my clients just starting the process get a blank look when I say “Have you considered LVT?”

LVT stands for Luxury Vinyl Tile. When I mention the word vinyl I sometimes see a horrified look on my client’s faces with flash backs to the large linoleum rolls of flooring from the 60s. That is NOT what I am talking about. 

Many times LVT is used as a catch all for all vinyl flooring but there is a difference based on style.

Luxury Vinyl (LV) comes in many styles and colors. It comes in long planks (LVPLuxury Vinyl Planks) of different widths for the appearance of real wood. It also comes in 12″x24″ rectangles for the appearance of ceramic tiles (LVT). These rectangles can be grouted for an even more realistic tile look. You can even find luxury vinyl that looks likes stone.

 

 

 

Luxury Vinyl continues to improve and many times I have to get down to feel the flooring to determine if it is ceramic tile, hardward, or Luxury Vinyl. Of course real hardwood and real tile will add more value to your home but many times these products are not the best choices.

Vinyl plank flooring is the perfect flooring solution for busy households, basements, bathrooms, and even kitchens. It has the natural, stunning look of wood, without the risk of water damage because it is waterproof! I installed LVP in my laundry room and I LOVE IT!

 

 

It not only looks like rustic wood, my wash machine could flood and the flooring could sit in water for days and not be harmed.

 

 

AND is is super easy maintenance in a room that is high traffic for St Bernards. 🙂   

 

 

Please do your homework. Some vinyl sheets or planks are only water resistant….not waterproof. Many of the peel and stick variety you find in the big box stores are only water resistant.

A FABULOUS article about Luxury Vinyl from one of the best flooring experts in the Country is The Flooring Girl’s Blog Post. Check it out!

I installed LVT in my guest bath. I chose not to grout it as I didn’t want the maintenance of scrubbing and keeping grout clean. The best thing about LVT is the low maintenance so why complicate it?

 

 

 

LV is made in layers with it’s primary component being PVC vinyl. This makes it makes stable and flexible. Luxury wood vinyl planks also, unlike hardwood, have an extremely hard, durable wear layer. Created under great heat and pressure, the many layers of luxury vinyl tile make it extremely durable and stable. Luxury vinyl tile is extremely durable and stable, with little to no upkeep.

Vinyl flooring typically lasts anywhere from 10 to 20 years, and thus isn’t considered quite as durable as linoleum. But who wouldn’t replace their flooring after 10-20 years anyway? The styles will be totally different.

So if you are remodeling, building or updating your home for selliing, it is worth your time to discuss LVT/LVP with your flooring specialist to see if it is right for you.

 

Turning Junk into Jazzy Treasure!

Well….okay it maybe wasn’t actually junk but it was buried under a pile of old rusted pails and tools when I found it. I wish I had a picture of it that day as I found it.

Anyway…I saw a very ‘rustic’ table sitting outside of an antique store that was basically blocks of 2 x 4s nailed together with an old picket fence nailed to the back.

Here are a couple photos once I got it home and cleaned up.

 

 

 

Nothing pretty that’s for sure. It technically was put together to be a gardening bench. A old rusted shovel and bin attached to the back for the dirt.

I painted the base “Smokey Blue” by Sherwin Williams and left the picket fence top distressed in white. I spray painted primer on the dirt bin and shovel and then a couple coats of white paint.

It has turned into the best beverage station on my patio! I have used it a couple times now for entertaining and it not only is the perfect size, it adds charm to my back yard.

 

 

The old dirt bin has become the best place to hold napkins. And the old rusted shovel now holds a cute message.

 

 

Keep your eyes open to the piles of ‘junk’ you see at flea markets and antique stores. One person’s junk is another person’s jazzy treasure for sure. This is my treasure!