Sad to FAB, table refresh.

One of my followers from my Facebook page contacted me to see if I wanted to buy a table. For $20. Ummm, yes please!! It was a fun and unique piece. It had chippy yellow paint and messy stained top. But such a fun shape. So much potential.

I loved the shape of it. Those legs! I couldn’t wait to transform it. But, the table sat in my workshop for awhile. I didn’t know what colour to go with. After a couple of months, I finally decided to use special walnut stain on the top and Inglenook Fusion Mineral Paint for the base.

I love how it turned out. It took awhile to sell but it found a happy home. Thankfully… ’cause it was going to be mine!

Side note, I ordered a light kit to help me with my furniture pictures. Since my workshop and staging area are in an unfinished basement, good lighting is lacking. Here’s a couple pics to show how the light kit improves photos. The first photo, taken without the light kit, the wood top doesn’t shine. Everything is yellowed. With the light kit, the wood looks so much better, the colour is on par and the photo is much better.

I got mine from Amazon and it was worth the $45!

Back soon with some quick before and afters!

Laurena ūüėČ


Blue Slate side table

I found this side table at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I couldn’t pass it up. ¬†Great price and loved the shape.

I wanted to use a new paint colour I just bought.   Fat Paint in Blue Slate.   A nice blue grey.

I sanded the top down and stained it with a dark stain. ¬† There must have been a wax or oil applied on the wood, the stain didn’t absorb too much. ¬†But luckily it was a happy accident. ¬†It looked rustic and less orange. ¬†I loved the result.

The stained top with blue slate looked awesome. ¬† Here’s the finished piece!

It didn’t take long to find a home for this one. ¬†One of my lovely cousins grabbed it up. ¬†I love keeping my furniture pieces in the family!


Bye bye bunny

In the fall, I worked on 3 pieces for a client.  Two side tables and a pine chest.

One end table would be painted Paris Grey, the other Paloma, both ASCP.  Originally she wanted the table tops to be refinished and stained but the wood  was not great for refinishing.  The tables had great character and would look beautiful painted and updated.  I just simply painted the tables and sealed with Varathane with a satin finish.  And replaced the knobs.

The pine chest looked like it would be an easy redo….but those darn bunnies threw me off!  I sanded down the top and got rid of the tole painted bunny.  There was a clear outline left underneath.  I was skeptical and nervous that stain wouldn’t cover it up.

I used wood conditioner and let it soak for a over 15 minutes.  Then applied two coats of Provincial stain, allowing the first coat to soak in for 15 minutes at least.  My client didn’t want the top to be stained too dark, so the second coat i only left on for less than 10 minutes.  Luckily, after just one coat of stain, the bunny was barely there!  Now after staining and varathane, it’s totally transformed.  The base of the chest was painted in French Linen ASCP.  Love that colour.  Especially with a stained wood top.  Beautiful!

I love all of the finished pieces.   What a difference a little paint makes. Hoping to post more projects I’ve worked on so far this winter.   So stayed tuned in the next couple of days! 

Boxwood antique desk

I picked up this flip top desk a few weeks ago. ¬†I loved the shape of it and how versatile it could be. ¬†It’d be a perfect for an entry way, hiding things away or for use as a desk in a living room.

Right away I knew I wanted to paint it Boxwood MMS milk paint. ¬†I love that colour and have only used it on my shutters I painted last fall. ¬†It’s such a beautiful green. ¬†And I’ve been itching to paint with milk paint lately. ¬†I’ve been doing a lot of things with AS Chalk Paint. ¬†I love that paint but it doesn’t give the same look as milk paint does.

Here’s some hints with mixing milk paint.

I grabbed all the supplies needed: milk paint, extra bond, water, plastic jar, whisk, and a measuring cup. ¬†Side note, I don’t have running water at my work shop so I bring water in jugs and hot water in a¬†thermos.

I measured out the milk paint powder with the measuring cup.  Before adding water I used the whisk to break up the chunks in the powder.  It will make it easier to mix with the water and have less clumps.

Now the powder is finer…

I added the same amount of water as milk paint powder. ¬†And stirred with a whisk until well mixed and no clumps. ¬†If it’s too watery add a little more milk paint . ¬†If it’s too thick, add water. ¬†It should be similar to milk.

I then added the extra bond, (same amount as water) and stirred well.  I allowed the milk paint to sit before painting.  It allows the paint to thicken up and make sure all of the colour to be absorbed.

While the paint sat, I prepped the desk for painting.   I lightly sanded and scuffed up the piece, just to give the paint something to hold onto.  Then cleaned up the sand dust and allowed the desk to dry.

After one coat of paint, the piece¬†may look a little ‘wonky’ and imperfect. ¬†But after two coats, it looks beautiful! ¬†Trust me, don’t let the first coat of milk paint scare you away. ¬† ¬†Adding the extra bond allowed the milk paint to bond well to the desk . ¬†There wasn’t much chipping. ¬†If you want chipping and more of a surprise in the result, skip using the extra bond.

After the paint dried, I lightly distressed and waxed it. ¬†Here it is…

flip top desk after 29flip top desk after 3flip top desk after 6flip top desk after 8flip top desk after 26

I love this colour. It turned out slightly different than when I used it on my wooden shutters. ¬†But it’s lovely all the same!

Hope the quick tips on milk paint helped.  Milk paint has scared me before but I love using it now.  Such a fun process. And so many beautiful colours to choose from or create yourself.


Refreshed set of tables

I recently was asked to redo a set of tables, a coffee table and two side tables.  A fellow furniture refinisher had passed along my name to one of her clients and I am grateful for that!  I knew the tables would be a fun project.  I just loved the shape and details on the legs.  They definitely had potential to be pretty again!



 I was a little bit nervous whether the wood top on the coffee table could be refinished.  But I sanded the top down, the wood grain was beautiful!


After one coat of paint on the base and the coffee table was¬†starting to shape up! ¬† The raw wood looked¬†nice¬†with the painted base. ¬†Since the plan was to stain the wood, I was inspired to search for a piece of furniture¬†that I could¬†redo in the future and¬†leave the top bare wood. ¬†That style is¬†beachy and fresh. ¬†And something I haven’t done yet. ¬†I just love the look!


Anyway, back to the coffee table… on this table the wood grain wasn’t shining without stain, so I was excited to see how it would look once stained. ¬†After a coat of Provincial, it looked pretty good! ¬†I just love that¬†wood grain.



Even the side tables were looking better with just one coat of Old white!

 Love all the curves!


I did a couple coats of Provincial minwax stain on the coffee table top, leaving the stain on for 20 mins each time.   I painted a few coats of Old White ASCP on the table base and end tables.

I love the look of white furniture, but painting them white is a little painful. ¬†No matter how light the wood is, it seems there’s always a little peaking through the paint. ¬†I made sure to do 3 coats of paint and a touch up coat. ¬†I also had some bleed through on the coffee table, but I used Shellac on those spots and painted over with the Old White. ¬† Shellac works like a charm!

After lightly sanding the chalk paint so it was smooth like buttah and antiique the edges, I applied a coat of wax.  On the wood top I did 3 coats of Varathane in satin finish to make sure it was durable.

Here’s the sneak peak after the two¬†coats of stain and paint. ¬†It’s amazing how the curves were highlighted! ¬†Loved it already.


And here are the tables in their home!  I just love how they turned out.  And even better, the client was pretty happy with them!




The tables were a lot of work but its worth it for me to make someone happy with their home. ¬†That’s one big part of furniture refinishing that I love!

I’m taking a break this week, but hoping to tackle a couple desks next week.

Laurena ūüôā

A Chair for Charity

Around this time last year I refinished a¬†bench¬†and put it up for sale, with the aim to donate money to a charity.¬† I advertised the bench on my Facebook page and mentioned that the money¬†would go to¬†an animal shelter in the South Shore, SHAID. ¬†The shelter is a great spot and some of my favorite fur friends came from SHAID. ¬†When I chose the fabric for the bench, it was a total coincidence the colours I used matched those in my parent’s home. ¬†My Mom saw the bench, texted me that¬†she loved it…and it was sold! ¬†Easiest sale ever. And we were able to make¬†a good donation to the shelter. If you’d like to make a donation, either monetary or food/supplies visit here.

It was fun to¬†refinish a piece of furniture¬†and donate to charity.¬†So, my plan is to do a “Chair for Charity”¬†once or twice a year. ¬†This year¬†I¬†had intended on doing it in the spring and fall. ¬†But with the 2 month strike at work,¬†I wasn’t able to in the spring. ¬†But no excuses now! ¬†¬†I just purchased a beautiful chair and¬†will reupholster¬†it soon.



I’ve decided to donate towards Paws Fur Thought. ¬†It’s¬†an organization that pairs service dogs with Veterans and First Responders who suffer from PTSD. ¬†The therapy¬†and comfort that service dogs give to those with PTSD is inspiring. ¬†There are¬†so many people who have benefited from having service dogs. ¬†I admire the oraganization for helping people who otherwise would have a difficult time. ¬†I have several military members and first responders in my family and group of friends. ¬†This¬†service could help them at some point or their coworkers.


The organization takes donations through the Royal Canadian Legion and Mental Health Foundation of NS.  If anyone would like to make a donation to Paws Fur Thought, please click on one of the following links or contact your local branches.  (Mention the donation is for Paws Fur Thought).



I will be back soon with an update on the chair.¬† And hopefully be able to post the before and after….once I get some other projects finished of course.

So much to do, and not enough hours in the day for paint to dry!

Laurena ūüėČ

Classic polka.

This weekend I finished a cute chair for a client.  I mentioned the chair in this post about Bar Keepers Friend.  The frame cleaned up beautifully!  There are still a couple of imperfections in the metal, but it looks so much better!

Here’s the before…

DSC_0686 DSC_0681

And the chair frame after cleaning…


Now that the frame is sparkling, I started working on the chair seats.¬† There were three layers of vinyl on them.¬† It’s always tedious to take the old fabric off and to remove the staples. ¬† But its a necessary evil to make the chair look like new. ¬†After removing the fabric and old padding, I sprayed the wood with a deodorizer and let it air out on my balcony. ¬† Luckily, we’re having a very mild November here in Halifax.¬† So being able to work outside is great!¬† What a change from last fall!¬† I think I was in¬†hibernation mode this time last year.

Reupholstering the chair was pretty basic. I used a few layers of batting as the new padding and stapled on the new fabric.  I used upholstery tacks to cover up the staples on the back of the chair.  Before attaching the seats to the frame, I marked out the spots where the screws would go in.  I then snipped through the fabric and batting to make it easier to put the screws in.

Here’s the final result!!





I love the result.  And even better, my client was over joyed with the chair.  The polka dot fabric was the perfect choice.  I hope the chair will continue to be a treasured hand-me-down for years to come.

No matter how many pieces of furniture I work on, I am in awe what some paint or new fabric can do. Sometimes I hear a song when I look at the final piece. Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t she lovely!” comes to mind, especially for this chair. So sweet!

This chair is one of my favourites!