DSC_0823I love the look of Country French Furniture because it expresses a subtle sophistication and a romantic aura with all the curves and bends.  French Country furniture commands attention and gains loving glances over and over again. It stirs a a feeling of something from the past and brings a sense of comfort home.  I discussed the antique mirror in my last blog you may enjoy going back to read it or get some suggestions on how to secure a old wooden frame.  The console table caught my attention because of its country French style with curvy legs, body curves, and how the bottom joins together in a big statement! IMG_0715 I believe the table is late 1980’s or 90’s.  It was one that needed new life and finishing the mirror frame just brought the two pieces together like they were waiting to be paired.

I decided on using Annie Sloan’s French Linen Chalk Paint as the console table had a smoky tinted glass top. The beveled glass top is tinted a faint smoky brown and I knew with the color of paint and using dark wax to age the piece that it would all come together nicely.  I did hand paint primer on the table first.  I let dry for 24 hours and then painted using my Annie Sloan oval paint brush for the first time.  I loved it!  I’m still attached to Purdy though. 🙂  I did two coats of chalk paint.  IMG_0734I let the paint dry 24 hours and began to lightly distress the table till I got the look I was aiming for.  I then wiped down really well and let dry.  I clear waxed the whole piece two times and then using the dark wax I rubbed on and off till I got that nice aged patina look.

I love picture frames and so wanted to include a couple that were ornate but more simple to go with the total look.  I hand painted the frames the same way as I did the furniture pieces.  I purchased black cardboard easel backings so that the frames could rest on the table. This Furniture Grouping is for sale.  Please contact me or my Etsy shop.  I will custom paint your furniture pieces that need an up-do if you are live in my area.  Thanks so Much!DSC_0826DSC_0830DSC_0831

DSC_0823This Fabulous French Country Furniture Grouping is an Up-do with a mix of the past and 1980’s.  I search for furniture pieces that speak to me to paint.  I found the mirror before the table and from what I can gather it was attached at one time to a dresser and probably had a little swing action. IMG_0697 I loved that it had its original beveled glass mirror.  It has the age spots to verify and the IMG_0700weight.  One part of the frame had been glued quickly so I knew upon purchasing I would need to be re-working the frame and making sure it was securely and aesthetically pleasing.  I was up for the challenge because I loved the carved design on top of the mirror! Upon opening the back of the mirror I saw that the previous person had glued the mirror in which is a no-no.  It was time consuming as I worked on pulling the glued away from the wooden frame and carefully from the back of the glass mirror. I then lightly sanded frame.  I removed old glue from crack on the front of the frame and re-glued the frame.IMG_0705 IMG_0724I took a soft cloth and wrapped it on corner as I lightly hammered the frame back into proper position. After the wood glue dried, I took wood filler and in each section of the frame filled in on both back and front of frame where needed.  I used my handy clamps and was off to another project while the frame set and dried.IMG_0719IMG_0720

Now that the antique wooden frame was all solid and put back together it was time to paint.  I originally thought I would hand paint the frame white and distress for a bedroom mirror.  My mirror got intersected so to speak with a French Console Table that I purchased right around the time the mirror frame was ready for paint. IMG_0729 I place the two by each other and felt a match was made.  I rather enjoy when that happens as I like to decorate and place things in a beautiful orderly way!  I decided to use Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in French Linen color.  You do not need to prime your furniture pieces before you use chalk paint, but I almost always do.  I hand painted primer on both the mirror frame and the console table.  Read my next blog for continuation of my Country French Furniture Grouping!  I do custom painting on picture frames and can ship in the U.S.A.  I can quote you on painting furniture pieces you already own if you live in my area.  Thanks!

This fantastic carved wooden arm chair find was to be the beginning of unique and individual chairs for our dining room table. On an early March afternoon, my daughter and I went to one of our favorite antique malls especially to look for chairs.  We found this beauty early on in our shopping and IMG_0379with thoughts swirling in my mind I continued walking the aisles that eventually led us back to this chair.  The owner happened to be in his stall-like space and told me a bit about the chair.  It was a antique from England and was solid wood that was hand carved and the craftsman paid attention to detail.  I asked for a lower price, but I was told he had just lowered it a week ago.  I could see a line drawn through the older higher price and would have even paid that because this chair thrilled me.  We purchased the chair and were excited that we now owned the first chair that would go around our dining table.  My daughter’s idea was to find six chairs that were each unique and I would paint them a dark color and paint and distress the oak farm table like I had planned .  We were strategizing how to gather at our table since our beloved man had passed on.  We thought if it could look different we could gather again.

The chair was one that thrilled my senses of sight and touch!  It was beautiful everywhere you looked with all the perfect curves, raised designs on legs, carved filigree back, and claw and ball feet.  This was the kinda piece I wonder about… What was the person like who designed it? Who actually carved the wood and put it together?  Who was the original owner and what room did it grace? Who sat upon it with regular familiarity?

This was the first chair found and as my decorating friend, Michelle, declared we had found the best chair first and how would another chair even compare! She was correct in her declaration.  We searched many shops, estate sales, yard sales, ads, and in a year found nothing else suited to sit next to this chair or around our table.  We finally gave up on that idea and I put my hands to work on this inspiring elegant chair.  I began with cleaning the chair well as it had white spots from age forming so I used my favorite Zinsser B-I-N primer that blocks stains and seals the wood.  I primed once and let dry for 24 hours.  On the can it says it dries in 45 minutes, but I find that when painting a piece of furniture I want to make sure that I do not need another coat of primer and that my paint will adhere well to the piece.  We each form our habits on painting and ultimately do what works best from our experiences.  This chair and I were not parting ways so I choose the color agave based on my bedroom quilt and accent colors.  I next painted the chair with my 1 1/2 inch Purdy brush. IMG_0399 IMG_0400The paint made the chair details pop which was satisfying to see. My appreciation for the person who created this chair grew as I painted.  For those of us who paint and distress you know what I mean when I say I couldn’t wait to take sandpaper to this chair.  I painted two coats of agave and let the chair dry 24 hours between each coat. I love the Purdy brushes because you can just rinse with a little dawn soap and warm water.

For this chair I decided to use the wet sand block to keep the really smooth to the touch finish.  I dipped my medium sanding block in water and began to move my hands in circular where needed and straight lines on other places until I achieved the look I was aiming for.  Sometimes the furniture  piece tells you and this chair was speaking as I moved a long.

Next, I wiped down the chair and clear waxed the piece to seal the paint.  After a couple days because of my schedule I used Annie Sloan dark wax lightly which gave me the final color I was desiring. You can see that white streaks are also showing through that is from my primer and I like the added benefit of using primer. See the next blog for finished chair.  If you live in my area I will paint your furniture just contact me for details and quote. Thanks!IMG_0406IMG_0407IMG_0409IMG_0408

 

DSC_0766I was in the process of up-doing my oak farm table when I began searching Craigslist for dining chairs.  Let me first tell you that my neighbor and I went to a local furniture store and searched their large floor rooms with my shared concept of dining room chairs in our minds.  To our disappointment, we left sticker shocked and no where close to the concept.  I enjoy purchasing re-sale furniture for many reasons but love when you happen upon a piece that speaks and is timeless. Treasures that fill you with wonder and appreciation and stir curiosity and bring forth welcoming feelings from the past are my favorites.

Remember in an earlier post I commented on being content to wait for my vision of what our dining room could look like one day?  I had looked on and off for chairs out of four of our eight years in Texas.  I imagined high back carved wood with soft cushions.  Kinda like the Bennet’s chairs around their table in Pride and Prejudice, the version with Keira Knightley, the idea was old world style.

The same day we visited the furniture store, I found incredible chairs listed for sale on Craigslist.  I took my laptop next store and showed my neighbor the listing photos.  We both loved the chairs and began wondering if they were still available and how would we get them to my house etc…  I inquired through email if the chairs were available and bravely asked for a reduction in price.  The owner of the chairs explained that they were brand new chairs that did not fit in her dining room as planned by a decorator.  She loved the chairs too, but needed to move them and search for new ones.  She wonderfully worked with me on the price and with my neighbor’s help we figured out how to move eight rather large chairs to my home. IMG_0555

I do believe God gives you gifts and I do not think it was by coincidence that I had started painting the table and searching for chairs when I did.  These chairs were way better than my imagination and had arrived just on time as planned.  I do have to say I felt a bit sad for the woman I purchased them from as they didn’t work out for her, but having said that, I know the right ones will eventually grace her dining room. Also, it helped that she was really interested in selling them and having them gone from her home. I do believe these chairs were meant for me and sometimes God uses others to bless us when they do not even know it.

The wooden carved chairs have the old world appeal with comforts of today in both back and seat cushions. They are lovely to look at and fit around our table like they belong.  I now wanted to get us back around the table like we belong!

I’m happy to say we are eating at the table which for us is a huge accomplishment in our grieving process. Today my youngest brought her sewing machine to the table and stayed for about an hour.  Thank You, God!!! You will restore the places that have been devastated. (Isaiah 61)  I will paint your furniture if you are in my area and interested contact me for a quote.

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DSC_0723        We live in Texas and the month is August so I decided to work on my project indoors.  I laid wide thick mil plastic under my table as I was going to be painting and IMG_0639sanding indoors.  At the Whimsey shop where I purchase my Annie Sloan chalk paint the woman told me to turn my chalk paint can upside down for 30 minutes before I paint especially since I purchased the paint a year ago.  This will let the paint stuff that thickened at the bottom spread through the paint and I can use less paint with better coverage.  You do need to make sure lid is tight on can.  Others told me before they paint they always turn the can upside down for 10-15 minutes.  I shake my can a bit too and stir with paint stick before I apply.  I decided to paint our farm table Old White by Annie Sloan.

After I laid the plastic down, I cleaned the table surfaces well and let dry.  The great thing with chalk paint is on many projects you do not need to put a primer on first. This red oak table did not need a primer so I just opened my can of paint and began to paint.  I love Purdy paint brushes and used the 2 inch nylon/polyester brush for this table.  I have shown the Annie Sloan oval brush in the photo.  I look forward to trying that one out. I painted the table legs and sides first and then the top surface.  My table has three leaves so I purposely opened the table as wide as it would go and put DSC_0727sections on with space in between and painted. My first coat of paint was on the table so I washed my Purdy brush with warm water and a little Dawn soap so it would be good to go for tomorrow.

Chalk paint dries fairly quickly so I could have done my second coat the first day.  I really am particular about the projects I take on and the waiting times in between coats of paint and wax.  The next morning I lifted the leaf sections from the table and laid on the floor.  I pushed my table together and secured it with lock and with the helped of my eldest we managed to flip the table over so I could paint the table legs properly. This was my second coat for the legs and while they were drying I moved to the sections I had lifted off and painted the sides and surface again.  I waited a couple hours more and IMG_0543then we flipped the table back upright and I painted the sides and then the top.  I was now done for this day and the table had 2 coats of chalk paint.  Usually people say they paint 1 1/2 coats with Annie Sloan’s paints.

DSC_0728DSC_0731For this project I wanted the look of A Lot of distressing so I used my fine sand block and dipped it in a container of water to begin the process of wet sanding.  You just move the block over edges and it pulls the paint off and with wet sanding it really pushes the paint into the wood and leaves the piece feeling smooth and your hands glide over the wood surface.  In wet sanding you immerse the block in water and squeeze excess into container.  When block dries you re-wet it and repeat the process. You will have to clean off block with water when it gets too coated with paint and change out container of water with fresh when it gets too murky. In areas where I wanted more distressing I just kept working the sand block over the same area.  Because of my schedule I sanded on and off for three days to distress the piece how I wanted it. Next, I wiped the table clean and free of sanding dust and removed the plastic from under the table.  I vacuumed and again washed down the table from sanding and dried it with a soft cloth.  I purchase Cavalier Mills all purpose handy wipes from our dollar store.  I get 10 wipes for a dollar and they are lint free and scratch free cloths.  They are great for wiping a furniture piece before you start the waxing process.  I always paint first, distress, and then wax.   DSC_0783 I used Annie Sloan’s soft wax and wax brush to get the wax on and into my table.  I used circular motions with wax brush and decent hand pressure on top surface of the table.  I put on a rubber glove and took an old mis-match white sock and applied the wax by hand on legs and sides. You do have to take the approach of less is more when applying wax. When the table was waxed I waited again.  I wait between 12-24 hours for coat of wax to dry before I begin buffing with my Cavalier Mills cloth.  I love the sheen that appears from using the AnnieSloan soft wax before you even begin to buff. I then added wax to spots I felt could use a little more and re-did the table top surface.  I wax in circular motion or with grain of wood.  Again, I buffed and then let sit without being touched for 48 hours.  I believe it takes 21 days for wax to completely harden.  The wax is important to seal the paint in and protect your wood surface.  I put three coats of wax on the table top since it will be used with food and drink.  I was now finished with hand painting, distressing, and waxing my great oak farm table. Read my next blog about the fabulous chair find!

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