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Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in Blog, Chalk Paint, Reader's HMCP Re-Do's | 0 comments

To start your weekend, here’s another Feature Friday from one of our SI Reader’s.

A big thank you to Josie from GTA (Greater Toronto Area) Ontario Canada for emailing me and sharing these beautiful before and afters!


“Hi Denise,

I am a faithful reader of your posts and adventures in furniture refinishing.

Without gushing too much, I wanted to say that I am a big fan and have found your website and blog to be the most informative and interesting of the research sites that I’ve scoured on the net and that, my friend, is ALOT!

I saw your recent post regarding SI reader projects. I wanted to send in to you a couple of my recent projects. 

So far, every piece I have done has remained in my house :) I am not in the furniture restoration business (at least not yet). I just have a love and a passion for furniture (especially antique).”


Josie - French Provincial Before

French Provincial tx

Josie - French Provincial b&a

Josie-B&A Grey Dresser

Buffet in Progress txt

Josie- Buffet in Progress


“The Broyhill buffet was found on Kijiji for a steal at $ 65.00.

It was in pretty rough shape, but I just knew I could make her look pretty again. I think part of the reason why it was so cheap (in addition to the damages) was because it was missing a handle AND that it had to be carried down from a second story apartment…..thank goodness my hero husband was there to save the day. When I got home and started taking the piece apart, low and behold, the other handle!

I have to admit that I was very intimidated by this piece.

I couldn’t find any reference information regarding its composition anywhere on the internet. It looked like it was made from composite – a very well done composite wood material. I filled in all of the holes and started sanding. For the primer, I used a tinted Zinsser primer. 

I have used chalk and mineral paint on some other pieces I’ve put in my house but with this one, it just didn’t seem right for the piece. I took advantage of SW paint sale and went in with my graphite BM colour and had them colour match. I applied three coats of the paint and three of varathane (for extra protection)

It truly was a labour of love and I am so happy with how well it turned out. She looks lovely in my front room. Now to shop for accessories!!!”


Josie - Blk Buffet -After


Thanks so much Josi! Love your before and afters and hearing the story behind them.. and oh…the buffet DOES look amazing in your front room!

… and to you my dear reader – remember, I always love seeing a good before and after so keep ‘em coming!

Enjoy your weekend and treat yourself to something fun … you deserve it! :)

Denise x


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A Whole Lot of Chippy Goodness

A Whole Lot of Chippy Goodness

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Blog, Distressing Furniture, Milk Paint, Painting Furniture | 22 comments

Milk Paint is a lot like me. If given the opportunity, it will ALWAYS do it’s own thing… and I couldn’t be more THRILLED with how this piece distressed itself!

There’s a whole lot of chippy goodness here!

Restyled in a chic-chippy finish using a 50/50 custom mix: Miss Mustard Seed’s Mustard Yellow and Old Fashioned Milk Paint’s Buttermilk.  I’m loving this soft buttery glow.


yellow milk painted dresser


Numbered drawer details were transferred on using my office ink jet printer and regular old wax paper.


milk painted dresser w numbered drawers


Milk Painted Chippy Dresser


The gorgeous top is stained with General Finishes Colonial Maple Gel Stain and top coated with Minwax Tung Oil. Next time I promise to wipe my finger prints off before shooting this close up…lol.


milk painted & stained top


milk painted & stained dresser


Finally, the entire dresser was protected in three coats of General Finishes High Performance Water Based Flat. PERFECTION!


milk painted chippylicious


fan book and frame


bathing ladies


If you missed yesterdays post where I show how I repaired this dressers leg (and the before pic) you can see it here.

Also, I’d love to hear what you think of the chippy look in the comments below.  

Have an amazing day and happy painting!

Denise x


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Furniture Repair – Bondo vs Wood Filler

Furniture Repair – Bondo vs Wood Filler

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Blog, Furniture Repair, How To Tips, Product Reviews, Quick Tip Tuesday | 6 comments

Happy Tuesday to you!

Today’s QTT is more like a full blown tutorial on How To Use Bondo as Wood Filler… and how I think they compare. Even though this post isn’t really ‘quick’, it’s a follow up on last weeks Quick-Tip-Tuesday and I can’t wait to show you this amazing dresser leg repair!

So let’s get right to it… Have you ever passed up on a gorgeous piece of furniture because it was flawed or damaged? Maybe it was perfect in every way but it was missing veneer. Maybe a drawer corner was knocked off? Or possibly a hunk of wood was missing from a leg? Like this one!


Furniture Repair - Bondo&WD40


No worries… I’m learning imperfections like these are EASY to fix!

I’ve used Bondo on a good few furniture projects and the truth is, I’m blown away by how well Bondo repairs small AND large missing wood pieces and/or veneer!

For instance, I wasn’t 100% sure Bondo would fill this entire missing leg piece.




My original thought was to use some wood shims and wood glue to fill the majority of this missing leg, and THEN use a wood filler or Bondo to patch the rest of the repair. Then I thought – screw it. I’ll find a way to re-create the straight lines of the leg… and I’m sure the Bondo will be strong enough. I was right!

Buying Bondo

There are numerous brands of “Bondo-Type” products but what you’re looking for is a putty used for automotive repair and filler. All-Purpose Bondo’s are best. Just as the name suggests, these products can be used on wood, concrete, tile, automotive repair etc.

The price of Bondo is in the $15-$20 range versus a brand-name wood filler which you can buy for between $5-$10. Bondo is a little more costly, but as you’ll discover below, well worth it for the time it saves and the durability it provides!

Mixing Bondo

Mixing Bondo isn’t difficult but I’m not going to lie… it’s a whole lot of smelly! Make sure you work in a properly ventilated area and read the safety instructions.


bondo putty - furniture repairs


Bondo comes as a putty and includes a separate colored cream hardener. Once they are mixed together, the hardener activates the putty with some sort of chemical reaction. It’s important to mix thoroughly until it’s consistent in color.

Mix both together on a clean non-absorbent surface like plastic or glass. I’ve designated this glass frame for mixing my Bondo. I’m not sure why, but I read mixing on cardboard can absorb and change the chemical balance of the product.

mixing bondo 4 furniture repair

For a golf size blob of putty, I mixed in a one inch line of hardener.  If you mix in more hardener, it will dry faster… it may even start drying during your repair. Be sure to follow the mixing instructions!  Because it dries so fast, there’s a short amount of time you have to work with this stuff – unlike Wood Filler where you can pretty much take your time.

Applying Bondo

You can apply Bondo with a putty knife or with the same tool you use to apply wood filler but the consistency is different. Bondo is more wet and gloopy….I know, not the most professional terminology there…lol.


fixing furniture leg w bondo


To create a straight edge which may be required for some larger repairs, use any sort of firm flat surface. I used paint sticks and clamps to create a perfect edge by following the natural line of the leg.

Check out last weeks Quick Tip Tuesday to see what I use so the Bondo doesn’t stick to my paint sticks!


furniture repair w Bondo

furniture leg repair w Bondo


Unlike wood filler that may need to be applied in a few coats, Bondo has NO shrinkage. As long as you fill in your repair generously, only one application of Bondo is needed.

Dry Time

The biggest advantage of using Bondo over a regular wood filler is the short dry time. Wood filler can take hours to dry and require more than one coat. Bondo dries in less than 30 minutes and only requires one coat!

This means more projects in less time.

Shaping and Sanding Bondo

Bondo dries super hard and doesn’t sand quite as easily as wood filler. Removing any excess Bondo BEFORE it’s 100% dry will really cut down on your sanding efforts.


shaping bondo furniture repair


Here I’m skimming and shaping down the excess Bondo with my putty knife. This was about 12 minutes after applying it. It had set but wasn’t fully dry making it pliable and easy to shape.

After I removed the excess following the contour of the original leg, I let it sit for another 10-15 minutes until it was totally dry before I sanded.


sanding bondo furniture leg


Starting with an 80 grit on my orbital sander, I worked my way to 220 grit for a perfectly smooth finish. Voila!


Use Bondo to Fill Wood


Painting & Staining Bondo

Bondo and other similar type products are made for painting – not staining. However, 3M has come up with Bondo Wood Filler that does accept stain… how exciting! If any of you have tried staining with this Bondo, I’d love to hear your results!

furn leg repair with bondo


This piece has been painted and you’d never know the leg was broken!

I can’t tell you how many perfectly imperfect pieces I’ve passed up because I had no idea how to fix them. Seriously, Bondo has become a game changer when salvaging furniture. It’s easy to use, saves me time, and provides a heavy-duty durable fix!

I’d love to hear all about your Bondo adventures and repairs so leave me a comment below.  Or if you have any questions… ask away! 

Catch last week’s Q-T-T here – and if YOU have any tips you’d like featured on the SI Quick-Tip-Tuesday-Series, feel free to send me an email!

Make sure you drop in tomorrow to see the FULL REVEAL of this dresser!

I absolutely LOVE this chippy primitive look and hope you do too! I promise to make tomorrow’s post short and sweet with plenty of gorgeous pics! :)

See you tomorrow and have an amazing day!

Denise x


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Amazing Non-Stick Bondo & Filler Repairs

Posted by on Aug 18, 2015 in Blog, Furniture Repair, How To Tips, Milk Paint, Quick Tip Tuesday | 3 comments

Hi everyone… happy Tuesday to you!

Yesterday I was in the hospital for a minor out patient procedure. Thankfully the procedure was only exploratory and the end results – perfect! Yaaay… one more thing off my mind! Although the sedation drugs they administered were a wild-ride while on them, I’m feeling a bit wiped out today.  Soooo, Quick-Tip-Tuesday is going to be short and sweet. But I promise, it’s still a real gem when working with Bondo, Wood Putty, or Plastic Wood to repair missing pieces of your furniture!


When using ANY type of filler to re-create a corner or straight edge, clamp a smooth flat piece of scrap wood sprayed with WD-40 under your repair.

WD-40 is an excellent lubricant that prevents fillers from sticking…and makes it easy to remove once the Bondo or Wood Filler is dry!


Wood Repair -WD-40 and Bondo

Furniture Repair - WD40 + Bondo


I’m milk-painting this piece now (she’s going to be mellow-yellow-gorgeous!), so I’ll share the full details on this wood-leg repair in my next post!


Furniture Repair - Bondo&WD40


Do you have any Bondo or Filler tips when repairing furniture? I love all your comments, questions and suggestions so keep ‘em coming! 

Catch last week’s Q-T-T here – and if YOU have any tips you’d like featured on the SI Quick-Tip-Tuesday-Series, feel free to send me an email!

Enjoy your day and have fun with your next project!

Denise x


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How To Whitewash Wood Furniture

How To Whitewash Wood Furniture

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Blog, Chalk Paint, Distressing Furniture, How To Tips, Milk Paint, Painting Furniture | 11 comments

I recently finished this Shabby Chic French Provincial Dresser in a Whitewash Painting Technique. Loving this finish! The top has a bright and airy feel with the natural wood grain showing through. The painted body (which was also washed) shows off this dressers distinct ‘shabby’ details.

Even though this paint technique looks like you have to know what your doing…  guess what…you really don’t! If you’re a DIY’er who can water down paint, brush on and wipe off, you can whitewash wood and get amazing results!


whitewashed wood dresser top


Here’s an easy step by step tutorial::

Step 1 :: Clean and Sand

This was the second salvaged piece M-M-M found curbside. You can  see the first one here. Anything curb-shopped requires a really good cleaning! I used TSP and warm water which cuts through dirt, oil and grime beautifully.

After it was clean and dry, I sanded the entire body with 220 grit to scruff it up and give it some tooth. Because this dresser was large and heavy looking, I lightened it up by sanding down the wood top. Starting with 80 grit on my orbital sander, I worked my up way up to a finishing sand with 400 grit. Super smooth wood surface!

Step 2 :: Paint

I painted the body of this dresser with 2 coats of Miss Mustard Seed’s Luckett’s Green, and then let the milk paint completely dry.


dresser ready for whitewash


Step 3 :: Watering Down Paint to Make Whitewash

For the whitewash wood effect, I used a  DIY Chalk Paint watered down in a 1:1 ratio. {ANY water based paint will work}  Approximately 1 part paint to 1 part water… aka 50/50 mix. To create the wash on the painted body of this dresser, I used a 2:1 ratio of latex paint and water… or approximately 2/3 paint to 1/3 water.

whitewash recipe ratios

This thicker layer of wash only required one coat to create a nice effect over the Luckett’s Green. You can easily adjust how much water you add in relation to the thickness of your paint and how opaque you want your finish.

Tips  ~ Mix a small batch and test it in an inconspicuous area. Then adjust your whitewash recipe with more water or paint as needed. If you’re unsure, try working with a 1:1 ratio because you can always apply a few coats of wash to get your desired effect. Also, you don’t want it too thick because the thicker it is, the more challenging it becomes to wipe off.

Step 4 :: Brush or Roll On The Paint

Once you have your whitewash prepared, apply it to the furniture working in smaller sections. A paint brush or roller will work great. This dresser has a large top so I worked on 1/4 of the top at a time. Painting the full length in strips also works really well. Whichever way you choose, work in manageable areas because you don’t want the wash to dry before you have the chance to wipe off the excess. I forgot to take a pic of applying the wash to the dresser top. But the exact same method is used when applying the wash over a painted surface or a wood surface.


How To Whitewash

Wiping off Whitewash


Step 5 :: Wipe the Wash Off

Working quickly, I used a slightly damp shop cloth to wipe the wash off the painted drawers and body.  The shop cloth worked okay for the wood top but I switched over to a large dampened sponge which I find works better on a large surface.

Tip~ When you wipe off the wash, always wipe in the direction of the wood grain!


whitewashing furniture


Step 6 :: Let Dry and Repeat

After letting the first coat dry, see if you like your finish. If it’s not quite enough for you, repeat the washing technique and add a second or third coat for more depth. I repeated the above process 3x because my wash was watery and I really liked the added dimension each additional coat gave.

Step 7 :: Lightly Sand (optional)

After the layers of my wash were all dry, for a professional smooth finish,  I lightly sanded with a 400 grit then removed any dust before applying my topcoat.

Step 8 :: Apply Your Topcoat

Once your furniture has had time to fully dry (and optional sanding), apply your preferred topcoat. Wax, Polyurethane or Tung Oil can be used depending on how much durability you require and the look you’re after.

I used General Finishes High Performance Flat for this French Provincial as I wanted maximum durability with a barely there sheen. Once your topcoat is dry, add on the hardware and compliment yourself for a job well done!


salvaged french provincial

white washed french prov dresser

whitewashed wood dresser


White washing can really brighten up a piece of furniture and add interest and depth whether you use it on raw wood or over paint. And it’s not just for furniture.

This paint technique works on almost ANYTHING – wood, brick, plastic, terracotta, fences, fabric… even hardware!


french prov whitewashed handle


I may get experimental and try different colors. Grey, blue or yellow might be interesting.




Have you tried white washing your furniture? Have you used any different colors other than white? If you have any questions or tips, leave a comment bellow.

Have a great day!

Denise x


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Feature Friday – SI Reader Redo’s!

Feature Friday – SI Reader Redo’s!

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in Blog, Painting Furniture, Reader's HMCP Re-Do's | 1 comment

Happy Friday everyone… let’s do something a little different today. You all know I love featuring other furniture painter’s work. Bloggers, boutiques,shop owners and home businesses have all been shared here on the SI Blog and my FB Page.

Showcasing other peoples work is motivating… but let’s be honest – these are professional furniture painters! Painting furniture is what these talented ladies DO for a living. They’ve spent time crafting and honing their skills. Their furniture is stunning, the staging is perfect, and before and after pics are remarkable. As encouraging as it is to see their work, I know some of you may DOUBT you can do this too. I know this because a few years ago, I felt the SAME WAY!

That’s why today’s feature is all about YOU!

Some of you SI Readers are mailing in some beautiful before and afters incorporating the ideas, paint recipes or tips and tricks you’ve found here on the blog! You’re inspiring me…  and I think it’s about time I share some of your creations so you can inspire others too!

Let’s start with Tracy from Montreal. Here’s an email Tracy sent me along with a few of her DIY Chalk Paint creations!


“Hi Denise, We’ve communicated before (blog) when I asked for your advice and expressed how grateful I was for your generosity in sharing your valuable tips.

I have been collecting old pieces for a while but kept putting off starting on them, partially out of fear and also not knowing how to go about it, what colors to choose etc.

Well, I just want to say that I have started and thanks your encouragement, tips and advice, (your blog & FB page that I read religiously), I have completed a few pieces. I’ve been using combos of homemade chalk paint, paint with primer, waxes, matte urethane, antiquing glaze.

The best advice you’ve given is “just try it”!”


Side Table 1 Before (1)


SI Feature - Lace Stencil Table

Lace Stencil Text

lace stenciled table top -close up


Such a great idea. Turn a plain table into a statement piece with a lace stencil! Here’s another project of Tracy’s below. An impressive before and after mirror redo. Love the detail the antiquing glaze brings out!


wood mirror before (1)


diy chalk paint mirror

Painted MirrorText

diy chalkpainted mirror closeup


The next few redo’s are from Julie B. I love the way she’s restyled this Barrister Cabinet… and her painted and stained desk… gorgeous!


barrister cabinet make-over


painted and stained wood desk (JB)


This dresser of Julie’s has been painted with MMS French Enamel with a DIY Wax tinted with Annie Sloan’s Pure White.


Before-Milk Paint Dresser

milk painted dresser after SI


I love a good before and after just as much as you all do so keep ‘em coming!

And I really hope Tracy and Julie have encouraged you to “JUST TRY IT”!

Enjoy your weekend – and don’t forget to treat yourself to something fun and relaxing… you deserve it! :)

Denise x


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