Kitchen Cupboards in Annie Sloan Paint

tellico new house 022This was the original kitchen when we bought our little nest in Tennessee. I had a vision. And this is how it rolled out.

bedroom green & kitchen 005Then we had the big house additions and overhaul. Walls were removed from the right of the front counter. Can lighting instead of track.  I always wanted a tile back splash and white cabinets in this house, but we waited  2 years after we put in the new granite and white granite sink in and all new appliances. I had this wallpaper from a previous home, so I added it to brighten things up. My cabinets are a white wash  solid oak. The color was a very pinkish grey. So after discovering Annie Sloan paint, I decided to redo the cabinets. One thing I swore I would never do again after painting the cabinets in a house many years ago in oil base enamel. What a job that was. Annie Sloan needs no prep except a clean surface. You use a clear or dark wax when finished. So I started with Annie Sloan Pure White.

DSC_0011My granite has white, black, grey and brown. I forgot ot mention that we put in the marble back splash a few months ago. So the painting started.

DSC_0009Again…what a mess. I think the worse room to tear up is the kitchen. I completed these two banks of cabinets to see how I liked it. Plus, I am trying to do things at a little slower pace. I have to remember, I’m retired. I have the time. I actually did do a practice board and it looked pretty good.


The completed look was nice. You can sort of compare the original cabinets on the right to the new one.  But… I hated them. If anything, it should have been a light grey rather than brown detail, but I wanted pure white. I went back to my Annie Sloan store and told the owner my plight. She was surprised it darkened that much, but the wax can does tell you that it will. Polyurethane will also darken the chalk paint. So she advised I use this product that she carries called ” Artisan Enhancements” by Aloha Coatings. I bought the Clear Topcoat Sealer. So back to square one. But no problem. The wax had cured almost a month and she said the chalk paint would go on without any prep once again. That is the big reason I love this paint so much.

DSC_0234 I used two thin coats of sealer on the completed paint and the finish is wonderful with a soft luster. I am very happy with the cabinets now. Even with the restart, I went through 3 quarts very slightly thinned Pure White. The paint can be very thick and they tell you that you can add a little water if needed. It goes on like butter.  I used 1 1/4 cans of the top coat. Love this stuff and my new cabinets.



Isn’t she pretty. It was kind of a dark day when I shot this. But it really is a pure white. The back splash is a white grey marble. I used a brushed nickel hardware.

DSC_0237That white spot above the cabinets is the new socket for the lighting we had done above the cabinets. I will get that painted yellow soon. My yellow isn’t really that bright in real life. It’s a happy color.

DSC_0235So happy…and happy its done. By the way all the products are water and soap clean up. Can’t beat that. Also low VOC. You can check out Annie Sloan paint  here. Check around for a store in your area. The owners have to go through intense classes to carry the products.

Classy Cupboards

I talked earlier in the year about our plans to stay put renting our current home, a townhouse, for another year or so, but have goals of organizing and investing in improvements like furniture in lieu of flooring and paint like we’d be doing in a house of our own. For MONTHS I’ve had my eye on this versatile cabinetry at West Elm. The key thing about these pieces were that in a future home, they could be stacked or set side by side for pretty much any purpose- dining room storage, living room, office, bathroom. So, knowing we badly needed storage now and thinking long term, I just kept coming back to these same pieces. Primarily for this spot under our TV in the living room where this pathetic stick table with no cover and cords galore (=eye sore and baby strangle hazard) continued to loom. This was one of those spots where you just throw it together post-move in and think ‘I’ll do something else here later’ and then a year goes by and somehow your night table is still a cardboard box (also true story– a box from crate & barrel, but still…).

TV area before

So splurge I did recently, with a 15% off West Elm coupon and some real big kid furniture arrived a few weeks ago. Today I’ll show you how we prepped the new white cabinets to hold all our electronics mess for under the TV. Chad found these slick furniture hole finishers with little caps so you can cut holes and have a finished look in the end. And he got a circular cutting bit for the drill (sitting next to its packaging here).


We marked two spots where we needed cord holes through the back, just above the level of the shelf things would be sitting on so they would be hidden from view in the end. The new bit was a breeze and we popped two holes through without much trouble.

hole cutting

clean up holes

You can see how these plastic inserts polish off the rough cut holes so they have a ‘meant to be there’ look. And you can always place the caps in them to shrink the space or just cover them up if you no longer need the cord access in the future.

capped holesIn the opposite solid-door cabinet we finally have a place to store games and videos that were still packed in boxes in the basement. So we’re looking forward to having access to these again and it helps with our continued battle to move more stuff OUT of the basement when possible.

game cupboard

The next step will be to accessorize and slip some kind of covering to camoflauge the cords that are still visible. But isn’t this about 110% better? And besides looking better, all the excess cords are tucked inside safely so there’s no baby vs. cord hazards. I chose the glass front doors for the right side so the remote controls can talk to their different boxes inside and all our games and such are hidden nicely away behind the solid doors on the left. Perfect! I’m so excited to have real furniture below the TV. Now I can actually start paying attention to what we’re watching instead of staring down the stick table.

finished TV area furniture

Annie Slaon Paint Project


Well I finally get to start my first furniture project with Annie Sloan paint. I have been wanting to use this stuff after all the hype I have heard on blogs. I did buy a  little mini jar to paint one of my cigar boxes and it was like “buttah”.  Annie Sloan is a line of chalk paint and wax that requires NO PREP. Its hard to believe, but she states that is will cover just about anything. It’s tough stuff and gives such a soft look. I was really excited to try the wax. I would love to do my kitchen cabinets in it, which Annie Sloan highly recommends, but we’ll see how this goes. I painted all my kitchen cabinets many moons ago in another house and swore I’d never do that again. We’ll see. This was a black headboard that we got Lindsey for her twin when she went off to grad school. So now I plan to use it in the extra guest room. This is one coat of Annie Sloan Versailles color. It’s wonderful to use. It is $36.00 a quart, so I hoped it would cover well. I will do another coat.


Normally I would be painting in the garage, but since we are 45 or more inches of rain over the norm for this year so far, we are getting a bit of humidity, so I opted for my studio. Here is the start of the chest I got for $40.00 at an estate sale. It was really clean and the joints are tight. It will be great extra storage for linens and whatever else I add.


 I cant believe I was wearing a Sloans Hardware shirt to paint with Annnie Sloan paint. There is no connection. This is the first coat on the chest.


I completed everything and still have a little less than a 1/2 quart left. It dried nice and I love the wax finish. I brushed on the wax with a cheap Home Depot brush and hand rubbed it until is was a nice sheen. It dries pretty quickly and I will definitely use this paint again. Here is the furniture in the room.


I am really happy with the color. I completed my quilt that was intended for our king size bed and thought I would just finish it as a twin quilt. That was my inspiration for color of the walls and furniture. I’m happy I can use my vintage ladder in this room. I’m not done with the decorating details yet and the headboard needs to be attached to the frame, which Roger is doing as we speak.



This is going to be my Tennessee critter suite 🙂 That is the quilt that I blogged about making last year. The owl picture is on the left wall and was a picture I took up in the mountains after a deep snow. I was thrilled with this gift of opportunity. He just stared at me long enough to take the picture and off he was.


My mom gave me this lovely alabaster lamp that was in the house that they just bought. I was drooling and she said I could have it. So I bought a beautiful silk shade and I think it works perfect in this room.


I love this Annie Sloan paint and would highly recommend it. It’s so cute, I may have to sleep in there once just to see how it feels. If any of you have a furniture makeover project, please send it to us so we can see the before and after.

Y’All Ready for This?

Get ready for some craziness!

OK, so this intro may be a little over-dramatic, but our dining room is definitely the most dramatic room in our little casa. So, here is what has been evolving in what was actually our first home project- the orange dining room. Chad’s favorite color, on my top 3 and a good friend to my favorite, lime green. So why not mix it up in the dining room? After we moved in, we were working with this, a pretty blank slate with a touch of robin’s egg blue… plus a little grad-school’esque furniture.

When Mom and Dad were here not long after our move-in, Mom helped us test a few different shades of orange and gave us the encouragement to go for it!

By the time our visit had passed, we finalized our choices: Glidden Pumpkin Patch for below the chair rail, and Glidden Juicy Cantaloupe for above the rail. Do you think we are crazy yet? I hope not! Let the dining room painting party begin! We used Glidden paint and not yet having any idea how to paint properly having more experience with different paint products and tools, we did not prime, nor did we buy paint and primer in one.

For future reference, especially with red and orange tinted paints, I would highly recommend my current favorite, Behr Premium Plus paint and primer combo. And I may just try straight up priming with a grey based primer in the future as a base under vivid orange or red colors. It will just reduce the number of coats in the end.

AND you just must get the best little edging brush out there. I picked up two after the folks at Young House Love were raving about this handy little brush and it was the best painting supply purchase ever! Not only were these brushes the least expensive I’ve bought at about $4 each, the nylon bristles clean better than any other and make the painstaking task of edging brilliantly smooth. I never use tape because it’s quicker for me to just edge in a smooth motion than tape and worry about lifting the tape before the paint dries over it. So, after our bright painting party, we had a fab new orange room.

At this point, we were not digging the black wrought iron because it looked a little Halloween-ish. We have been a little torn over the wood… I think in the future I’d love a white/orange combo, but for this room, the woodwork was good quality and coordinated with the built in china cabinet so we wanted to keep it. Plus we were kind of digging the retro Brady Bunch vibe of the dark wood and orange combo.

This inspired me to be on the lookout for a mid-century buffet to span that long empty wall and provide additional storage. Finally I found my match on Craiglist for $65! We lightly sanded the finish just to help remove grime and scuff the surface thoroughly. We started the buffet re-do actually upon another visit from the parents. Dad helped me out by sanding up the surface.

And Mom got to help with this one too. She recommended we apply a wood restorative product to deepen the color a bit and just recondition the wood to its original look instead of attempting to refinish the whole thing. I admit, I was a doubter, but it turned out so great! This was a fairly quick, afternoon project and the wood turned out beautifully with just this one simple step. I’m so glad I didn’t try to fully sand down and restain. We could always do that in the future if we wanted to go with a different color stain, but this was just right for the current dining room. Good advice, Mom!

Not bad at all for one afternoon’s work! I never imagined with how dingy it looked when we picked it up that the wood would look this great (well, still missing the drawers but you get the picture). Notice the white window pane inserts in the back of the garage? That’s part of the living room project that had just commenced at the time I got this buffet.

We left the buffet in the garage for the rest of the day, but moved it inside by night to finish drying out of the humidity. It was still off-gassing a bit, so we left the windows open some for a day while everything dried completely.

On the same visit from Mom & Dad, we ladies sewed up the new curtains for the dining room (and living room) from the dandelion fabric I ordered from I so adore these little green dandelions! AND Chad spray painted the black table base to coordinate as well (my trusty husband always the official spray painter in our household). Finally a little lime green to befriend the orange walls. Smile.

I also hung a couple black and white photos on one wall with oversized mattes and white frames to help balance out the color saturation in the room. These were photos of Ollie and another one of us, but from a distance, taken during our engagement photo session by Louisa Podlish, the awesomest photographer ever!

We also picked up 4 sleek modern white chairs from IKEA for just $30 a pop on sale. What an upgrade that was from our beechwood folding chairs. Very glad to have those college-apartment purchases replaced finally.

So we were finally looking a bit more put together, but I was growing to dislike this wrought iron chandelier by the day. So I was keeping my eyes peeled for a great new fixture!

Did I mention how I love these sweet dandelions? The white backdrop of the curtains nicely balances against the orange walls and I love the little pops of lime green.

I started fishing through my stocks of plates to come up with a large wall-decor concept. I liked this hanging plate arrangement so planned to put this on the wall over the buffet.

I haven’t yet gotten the flanking plate racks sprayed to add on either end (still on the list!), but did get this pair of frames on sale at Michaels and then filled them with craft paper for a backdrop to a pair of coordinating (free!) clippings from a fabric ad in Veranda magazine. Gotta love free art.

Next I found my big break on Joss & Main and got the last of these pendant shade lights to replace the dark and heavy chandelier. Love it!

And the new view from the kitchen…

And all dressed up for dinner…

So come over for dinner and dine in our cheery room, enveloped in my and Chad’s favorite color pairing- orange and lime. I’d love to find a great rug for this space, something that doesn’t compete with the color already on the walls or the pattern of the drapery, but holds its own at the same time. Plus I want to hang some blinds– maybe a bamboo roman shade– at the top of each window to complete the tall window look I started with the near-ceiling mount of the curtain rods. It’s always a never ending list! But that’s why home design is so much fun– you’re never really done. Smile.

Just saw this post over at Centsational Girl using the Restore A Finish product I used on my buffet. She did an AWESOME white paint job on the outer case and left the drawers wood. My buffet may meet the same fate some day!!! So cool…

Estate Sale Finds

My girlfriend, Caroline, and I are starting to have junking and yard sale shopping trips. We are always on the lookout for something that works in our homes after we put our magic touch on it (magic in our eyes). I never cared nor had the time to go to yard sales before, so there’s another fun thing to do when you are retired. The introduction of HGTV has turned me into even more of a DIY nut. Anything can be changed in my eyes.

Well I came home with a $10.00 chair and a $3.00 stool from this great estate sale. Caroline found a darling rectangular table with brass claw feet that was scratched and in need of a little veneer repair. My chair was solid but desperately need to be upholstered. The little stool was an old oak with narley divots. So we got together in my garage one day 2 weeks ago and painted our furniture. I have never upholstered before, but had watched my parents do it a time or two when I was young. So I knew to remove the old stuff and use it for a pattern. It had horse hair for the cushion and it was crumbling, so out it went. The rest was covered in new batting which kept it in place. I used fresh over the old and bought foam to replace the horse hair.

Soooooo we had read about the use of Milk Paint. It takes practically no prep and is a very old fashioned paint that is made with lime in it. You get a little more of a rugged finish.

I like the idea of a little bit of streaks because it fits my cottage feel I have in my home. So we purchased Milk Paint and went to work. So I got the chair done in several coats of a creamy white. Milk paint comes in powder form, so you mix it with water as needed. The thickness is up to the painter. It has an organic smell to it, which goes away once dried and it dries very quickly. The first coat needs bonding agent added if there is already some finish on the furniture. So all I did was wash the wood, give it a quick rub over with a sanding sponge and start painting. Only the first coat needs the bonding agent. Paint as many coats as you want…I did 3 then I painted a finish coat of Milk Paint Sealer. It gave the chair a nice soft sheen.

Then the real fun started. I had picked up some free fabric sample books at our quilt guild meeting that were in the color scheme of my home. We always have a free table at our guild meetings and it’s always crowded! I had a plan to cut up the fabrics from these books and make my own quilted upholstery fabric.

The chair is actually done and I am planning to enter it in our quilt show in October in the category of “other.” Here are a few of the in-process pictures.

It will be fun to see what people think of it. I’m keeping the final photos under wraps until the show. I have since glued hot pink fringe and gimp cord over all the stapled area. It looks so cute. I am very happy with the outcome!

As for my stool, I just gave it a cute cottage paint job. So here are the end results!