Before and After Furniture Makeover Using Decoupage!

Before and After Furniture Makeover Using Decoupage!

I have been wanting to decoupage a piece of furniture for some time now. After watching what seemed like a hundred You Tube videos, I decided to finally try it myself. I chose Sandrina Rice Paper Decoupage, by Decoupage Queen to use on a dresser I found recently. It is a large design that will perfectly cover the entire front of the dresser. Considering the only decoupaging I have ever done were on small boxes, this was going to be quite the challenge.

I purchased this dresser on Facebook Marketplace a few weeks ago. I cleaned it up and then filled in veneer that had chipped off.

To prevent any bleed through, I put three coats of Kilz primer on.

I love this Decoupage paper and was really excited (albeit nervous) to try it!

As I mentioned before, I watched dozens of YouTube videos on how to decoupage. Each had their own way of applying the paper. I chose to use wallpaper paste because it gives you more placement time. I knew I would need that!

After trying a few ways to place the paper, I settled on centering the rose and then cut off the excess on top.

Everything was ready to go. I applied the wallpaper paste and started to lay the paper. Right off the bat I knew I made a mistake trying to put the paper on with the dresser standing up. It was impossible to control and the paper started to rip.

I called for my husband (if I am honest screamed for him) to come and help me lie the piece down. We laid it down and I went back to work. And he was only too happy to go back to what he was doing. I can be intense when something is going wrong. He is the best husband!

Once I had the dresser down, it was much easier to handle. I also cut the paper to work one drawer at a time. The second mistake I made was trying to use my hands to smooth the paper. I could not get the wrinkles out and was getting frustrated. At this point I decided to just go for it and used a chip brush. It worked great and really smoothed it out.

All in all, the decoupage experience was successful. I was able to repair the torn paper by using extra pieces of paper and decoupaging over it.

I was a little afraid of having to decoupage over the molding. This is where I really thought things would go south, but they didn’t, and I am really proud of the way it came out.

I let the decoupage dry overnight and the next day I put three coats of Polycrylic water-based polyurethane to seal and protect.

Next step was painting the dresser base.

I chose Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in CoCo.

It looks like cocoa.

Using a round brush I went every which way to add some texture.

For detail work I used a small brush moistening the brush to help the chalk paint go on smooth.

I was extra careful as to not get chalk paint on the decoupage around the drawers.

To add depth, I did a ragging technique using Annie Sloan chalk paint in Olive, Coco and Chateau Grey and Waverly chalk paint in Celery.

You simply add color to create high and low lights.

Then use a damp cloth to tap the paint, taking some off, moving it around, until you like how it looks. I liked the results, but after it dried, I felt it was to gray for the decoupage paper design. I mixed together Annie Sloan Olive and Old White and water to create a wash. I brushed it on and wiped it off leaving a pale green glaze that now perfectly complimented the design.

I let it dry overnight and added clear and dark wax to seal and age it.

The finished piece! I can see this piece in a bedroom, foyer, office, garden room, really anywhere.

I was able to keep original hardware. I just added a little Rub N Buff.

I would call that quite the transformation!

Easy DIY Decorating for Easter!

I have seen Easter egg trees in magazines and on television and have always wondered where the idea came from. I did some research and found that it originated in Germany and is called Osterbaum, meaning Easter tree and it symbolizes new life.

This is a picture of a decorated tree. The eggs are blown and hand painted.

I decided to take this tradition inside and make my own Easter tree. However, the eggs were not blown nor hand painted eggs.

I used pussy willow branches that were purchased from Wegmans supermarket to shape the tree.

I put a large foam brick in a flowerpot to hold the branches in place.

I placed branches in the pot and then stepped back to check it out until I was satisfied with the result.

Once branches were set, I started on the faux eggs I was going to hang. I did not want to glue them to the ribbon, so I used a needle.

I put the needle through the ribbon and pushed it into the egg.

Then hung it on the tree.

I tried to hang the eggs, so each side was balanced.

Love how they look with the pussy willow branches.

I had left over Easter grass from last year and put it in the pot to cover the foam brick.

I also brought out the bunnies I purchased at Good Will a few months ago. The Easter egg tree looks amazing reflected in the mirror!

I will take tulips over roses anytime. They are just as beautiful and last a lot longer.

They are so cute!

Trying Something New with Re-Design Prima Decoupage Papers!

I was watching Kacha’s YouTube channel (you should check out her channel she is amazing) and she referred to herself as a Furniture Artist. I had never heard that term before, but when I looked back on my body of work, Furniture Artist seems like it fits well for me too!

This week I started work on an antique dresser. My plan was to decoupage the front of the dresser and paint the rest with Chalk paint. Two things happened to put a kibosh on my plans. The dresser needed more work than I initially thought, and after researching decoupaging, I found that it needs to be done slowly and methodically. What I am trying to say is there will not be a reveal this week.

So, with that, I will share what I have done so far!

The dresser has great lines and is a very solid piece.

As I started to clean it, pull out drawers and remove the hardware, I began to see just how much “love” it needed.

I washed the dresser down with water and a capful of lemon-verbena all-purpose cleaner. I had to change the water three times before I was finished.

I removed all the hardware. They are gorgeous!

My husband sanded the top for me since my allergies were acting up.

There were a few pieces of molding that needed to be glued back into place.

On the top of the dresser some of the veneer was pulling up. I used a cabob stick to push the glue underneath. Then placed some books on top to keep it in place while it dried.

In other areas the veneer was completely off. I filled those spots with spackle.

Because the dresser has dark wood, I painted it with three coats of KILZ primer to prevent bleed through.

It took longer than I expected, but it is ready for the next step. Decoupage!

This is the decoupage design I chose.

It is big enough to fit the entire front of dresser. Maybe I should have started smaller?

Cross your fingers next week a decoupaged dresser!

Furniture Makeover: Antique Secretary Desk Before and After!

I am excited to work on this secretary desk. We had one in our living room when I was growing up. Even then I wondered how it would look painted.

I chose Annie Sloan Olive Chalk Paint, because it is a beautiful color, and I thought it was the right vibe for the secretary desk.

Always stir your Chalk Paint before using it to get the true color.

I was not a big fan of the hardware. They look like the Batman signal to me. I removed the handles and center pieces and filled in the little hole marks.

The handles left marks. So to smooth it out, I sanded this area as well as the spackled holes.

You won’t see them once they are painted.

Once prep work was done, I began painting.

I really love this color, so rich!

Oh yes, I had to paint the inside too!

I am not going to lie, this was a bear to paint.

It took three coats. Did I say this was a bear!

I plan on putting a transfer on the drop door.

I let the desk dry overnight. The transfer needs to be applied to a clean dry area.

I learned about re-design Prima from YouTube. They have a variety of items. Transfers, decoupage, stencils, etc. I decided on re-design Prima ‘Somewhere in Paris’ for the gold detailing.

The transfer comes in three parts. You can use it all together or each separately. I used just the top part.

The transfer goes on before any wax or topcoat. Simply pull off the backing and center the transfer. Once placed, use the tool that comes with transfer and gently rub until it releases.

Next, I used Annie Sloan waxes to add depth. I always put clear wax on first. It allows you to move the black wax better.

I ordered new hardware from Amazon. I love their simple elegance. I added some gold gilding wax to pick up the gold in the transfer.

Using Rub’ n Buff, I put some on my finger (you can also use a small brush) and wiped it on the handles.

A little goes a long way.

I also highlighted some of the detailing inside the desk with gold.

The final touch of gold went around the outside of the drop door. It really made the transfer stand out.

I did not stop there. I added re-design decoupage paper in washed damask to the sides of the drawers.

This was the first time I have done that, and it will not be the last!

I am very pleased with the results. It feels so good to be refinishing furniture again! Next week I think I will do it again. I see a dresser and maybe decoupage

Going Back to My Roots!

A couple of years ago I took a hiatus from refinishing furniture. I had gotten myself into a creative rut. I took the the time to learn new techniques, push my boundaries and hopefully become a better furniture artist.

I had been toying with the idea of refinishing a piece of furniture using some of the techniques I learned. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to start with when the decision was taken right out of my hands. I had been looking for a French Writing Desk for my office and I finally found one. It needed to be refinished and I went for it. I don’t know if it was the new techniques I tried or forgetting how satisfying working with furniture can be, but my creative juices were ignited again, and I wanted to do more!

So, I went on Facebook Market Place and found two pieces, a secretary desk and an antique dresser.

I was hoping to find another French Writing desk, but I came across this old secretary desk instead. I really liked the lines and thought it would be perfect for refinishing.

There are few dings, but nothing major.

I will most likely replace the hardware.

The inside is in great shape, just needs a good cleaning.

I also filled in some holes on the top with DryDek spackle

I have a lot of ideas running through my head on what direction I want to go with this piece. I do know that I will be going out of my comfort zone and am excited about the prospect.

The dresser I purchased is a little bit worn, but I like the shape and I wanted a dresser with a flat front.

It definitely needs some love, but I’m up for the challenge!

Next week Secretary Desk reveal!

Iron Orchid Design Molds and Updated Frames! – Part Two

This week brings more office updates, but not as many as I had planned. My youngest son, who has been working remotely and living with us for over a year, just achieved his goal of relocating to the Sunshine State. He received a job offer in Tampa, Florida and I am extremely proud and excited for him. Because the offer came in so fast, I have put most of my energy into spending time with him over the last two weeks.

I was, however, able to finish the other two picture frames for my office.

My son even jumped in to help! How great is that!

Here is Kevin pushing the air-dry clay into the mold.

He pulled the clay out of the mold like a pro!

Once the air-dry clay was dry, I painted the frames with with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White.

I lay it on thick to fill in any small cracks.

I really love the mold design.

This paint is easy to use, but it really smells bad!

Once they were dry, I sealed them with Annie Sloan White Wax.

The zhuzhed up frames look amazing in my office.

Another thing checked off my office redesign to do list!

Upcycle A Picture Frame Inexpensively!

My office refresh is coming along wonderfully. I love the direction it is taking but I am coming to realize that many of the items I had in my office may not work anymore.

A perfect example would be the three “La Vie Parisienne prints I have. The prints still work, and I love them, but the frames are too plain. I priced out new frames and they are anywhere from $40-$70. Neither are what I wanted to spend.

Not to worry If I can’t buy them, I will tweak them instead!

I was looking for prints for months. I really wasn’t sure what I wanted, but the minute I saw them I knew they would be perfect.

I got these frames at Michael’s and they worked fine before, but not anymore.

I thought about how I could embellish them and came up with Iron Orchid design Molds and DAS air dry clay.

The molds are easy to use, and the designs are beautiful.

Work the clay into the mold then take a putty knife and scrape off the excess clay.

Making sure to push down to get into the mold detail

I forgot to get a picture of the clay coming out of the mold. I got this picture from the Iron Orchid Design website.

Hot glue clay mold to the frame.

The pieces do not reach all the way across. I had to piece them together.

I took small bits of clay and pushed them into the seam on the corner.

Using a brush, I smoothed the surface and worked it into the design.

When I was finished you could hardly tell that it was pieced together.

Once the molding was all on, I let it dry completely before painting.

I painted it with Anne Sloan Old White Chalk Paint.

The paint also helps to fill in any cracks that happened after drying.

It looks good like this, but I wanted to add some gold accent to complement my desk

I used Craftsmart Premium Gilding Paint in gold.

This stuff is stinky!

The finished frame. Just two more to go!

The before and after really shows the dramatic change! I am loving it!

Part Two Office Refresh: French Writing Desk Before And After!

My office refresh is coming along nicely. This week I tackled the French Writing Desk I purchased on Facebook Market Place. If I say so myself it came out pretty terrific!

The desk is nice, but it needs a little something, something! I started looking for inspiration online and found a few options.

Serene Chair 0

This is the one that spoke to me! Mine does not have the same embellishments, but I am pretty sure I can recreate something similar.

I had already given it a base coat of Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint. Next, I used Aubusson Blue as an undertone for depth and French Linen for richness.

Aubusson Blue

French Linen

I was not a fan of the cut out on the top of the legs.

I filled them in with spackle.

Once they dried, I sanded them down ready for painting.

You cannot even tell they were there.

It isn’t a French writing desk without some gold leaf.

Adding the gold highlights really made the piece.

Love the tone of the Aubusson Blue under the French Linen chalk paint.

After everything was dry, I used Annie Sloan waxes in clear, dark and white.

I always start with clear wax. It gives it a base so the other waxes blend better.

The waxes take it to the next level!

I touched up the hardware with Rub & Buff in antique gold.

Before and After.

Desk complete! Next, paint the walls and work on bookshelves!

Home Office Refresh: Part One!

We had a renovation about a year ago which included a new office for me. I love having my own creative space. However, the more I used my office I realized the layout was not working for me. I had tried moving my desk every which way in the office only to come to the conclusion it was just to too big for the space. The size of the desk also prevented me from adding much needed storage. Ultimately, I knew I would have to replace my desk in order to properly use my office.

With the decision made, I went in search of a new desk and storage solutions. Since I was making changes, I also decided to repaint my office, making it a total refresh!

After several weeks of looking, I was finally able to find what I was looking for on Facebook Marketplace…a French writing desk and two bookshelves for storage.

Part One: Office Refresh!

This is the desk I found on Facebook Marketplace. The size and the price were just right!

I am not sure what I want to do with it yet, so I cleaned it up and took off the hardware.

I also prepped it using Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint so it would be ready when I decide which direction I want to go.

I found two shelving units that are a little different in style, but the same height. I plan on making them look like one cohesive piece.

It is already more spacious after removing my original desk and bringing in the smaller one! I can’t wait to see the finished product!

Next week Part Two: Office Refresh

Tips On How To Find Artwork On A Budget!

I love making changes in my home. Zhuzhing this, tweaking that, adding, taking away, moving things around, you get what I mean. But alas, making changes usually involves spending money. To offset my creative self and the fact that it means spending money, I had to become very proficient in stretching a dollar. I began hunting for bargains at Good Will, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. I also refinished furniture, learned to sew and even picked up things off the side of the road (don’t judge, I found some really great stuff there).

So, after changes were made to our home during our recent renovation, I was again looking to stretch the dollar to fit my budget!

The changes made to our home were great. It gave us a lot more room and wall space, but I did not have enough artwork to fill it up. I tried looking at all my favorite places, Good Will, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace to no avail. I was at the point of giving up and resigned myself to wait for warmer weather and garage sales. But by happen chance, I was looking on Etsy and saw some downloadable prints. I really did not know much about them, but the price was good and got even better when they had a fifty percent sale. I ordered three different sets of prints. Once the payment cleared, I received the download. I transferred them to a flash drive and brought it to Kinkos to have them printed. Kinkos prices were fantastic and ready in one day. I also purchased some frames from Michael’s. They were having a buy one, get one free deal. Wait until you see how they came out!


Black and white florals.


Color florals.

Of all the prints, the one on the right was the only disappointment. The coloring was dull, and you could not make out the design. I was very pleased with everything else.

The prints were too large for the frames.

I placed the mat on top of the print and traced a line.

Then cut them to fit.

The gray wash frames look great with the prints.

With your download, each print comes in either, 5×7, 8×10, 11×14,16×20 or 18×24. These two landscapes are 8×10’s.

This print is a 16×20. I had the frame from another piece of artwork I had done at Michaels. I went back to Michaels to get a mat and it cost twenty dollars including reframing. Bonus!

I used templates to figure out where to hang the art. It also helps with placement of the nail.

Love how this vignette came out!

I hung this print in the foyer.

I decided to hang the landscapes in the hallway to the kitchen instead of over the television.

Overall, I was very pleased with the quality of the prints. I will be hanging more once I decide on the size I want and get more frames. The great thing about this is I have the downloads forever!