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!

DSC_0815Beautiful Farm Style Wooden Painted and Distressed Picture Frames are For Sale on Etsy at my Abundant Trove Shop.  I have always had an appreciation for great craftsmanship and style.  Several of these vintage wooden picture frames were purchased at yard sales in the country.  We were at a typical chippy white paint farm house on an early Friday morning.  We enjoy talking to people almost as much as searching for items to buy.  People have stories to tell and I think many like to know a little about who is buying the belongings they are parting with.  The dusty, wooden frames looked like they were just pulled from storage as an after thought and were scattered on a beat up table with no price.  I immediately loved the quality and charm of these wooden beauties that just needed some TLC to come back to life! After selecting our items carefully and talking a bit we were given an agreeable price and were on our way to the next sale.DSC_0813

Gathering these frames brought joy to me and I felt delight in the whole Up-Do process.  I love the look and feel of quality wood and paint just seems to go on so much better and even waxing is a pleasure.  I really enjoy Annie Sloan Chalk Paints so used French Linen on this frame set.  I did prime the frame with a paint brush as the frames were older and I didn’t want any odors or stains to come through.  Also, the paint really adheres to primer wonderfully.  I did hand distress and wax each frame for a cottage chic/farm style look and durability.

DSC_0814These pretty hand distressed frames would make a great addition to a family room or bedroom.  You can stack against a wall on a shelf. I always show a photo lay out of my idea as I chose the frame sets. DSC_0812 I normally chose odd numbers, but six was right for this grouping.  They are for sale for $79.00 plus shipping on my Etsy shop or you can contact me as well.  I do custom painting and you can order a set of frames from me contact me with your details and I can quote you.  Thank You!!!

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.

DSC_0737

IMG_0591

 

DSC_0721                                                                                                                           We purchased a beautiful oak farm style table in Minnesota that kept us gathered whether we were eating, crafting, homeschooling, visiting etc.  It was a center focal point in our cozy, open floor plan and our lives as it created space to live and thrive.  I cannot think of one day passing without sitting around the table doing our familiar family routines.  My fondness for this table  (really the memories of the people gathering) has grown over the years and the heavy solid oak table was moved with us to Texas in 2006.

One memory that upset me terribly became a endearment to me with time.  It involves my younger daughter with seriously thick markers that were Sharpie permanent and a Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer Christmas coloring book.  She was sitting at the table busy working on her picture with a red marker going to town on Rudolph’s nose. I noticed she didn’t use a placemat and to my fear when we lifted her drawing there was a big red nose surrounded in black engrained into the oak table.  This child had the habit of outlining all her drawings in black to help her stay in the lines not so wonderful at this moment! My poor little one realized the damage done as I could not contain my anger.  Asking her questions that really didn’t matter now and finding it difficult to hold back my frustration/anger I left the room.  My husband  never really said a word to our daughter.  He listened to my frustration and asking for any solutions to remove the nose.  He helped scrub the table for me, but actually he was more amused by the situation and so rightly put “things” in their place.  It was a non-issue to him and that man taught me that day. I told my daughter that each time I scrubbed it was coming off and we all have accidents and make mistakes and how great was it that when company came the placements covered the nose.  I’m sure she didn’t care about the company part and placements but was relieved to see her mother back and honestly letting go.  Who would have known that as the years went by endearment to that nose would grow.  I didn’t worry about covering it up and every once in awhile someone would comment or inquire and we would just laugh. I found that with every scrubbing it faded more and then I felt like I was losing something that I had come to accept and even cherish because it was made by my daughter’s hands.  After meals I began wiping more lightly by that nose.  Occasionally when taking tea breaks my glance would capture the nose (now more like a blob) and my reward would be the smile forming on my face.  IMG_0156

Not too long ago I was helping the same daughter stamp her mission cards with a rubber ink stamp of a cross.  I placed the stamp ink side down on the tabletop not thinking and surprisingly with no pressure placed on the stamp the table now bore a bold purple cross with scrolls.  My daughter and I just looked at each other, smiled, and then laughed.  I tried scrubbing off the cross but had the same results of the fresh nose.  I didn’t feel too bad as we had been down this road before and I had been seriously wanting to paint the table for three years.  This added to my motivation, but I do want to say I like the idea of the cross and nose not being gone just covered by paint.

When we moved to Texas our kitchen table did not fit in our kitchen so it became our dining room table.  Again this piece of furniture was a focal point in our daily meals and activities. I like to decorate and felt the spindled chairs were not quite right for a dining room setting, but since we did not have a budget to purchase chairs I was content to visualize what the room may look like one day.  I loved the simplicity of the farm table design and could imagine high back wooden chairs with soft seat cushions beckoning myself and others to linger. We are a family that gathers round the table and when my husband passed away from cancer we stopped gathering.  It is painful to be reminded that someone is missing, eating felt like a chore, and it was uncomfortable for each of us without seeming to get better.  We began bringing plates to couches in the family room, our bedrooms, and small table in kitchen.  I thought about painting the table so that the room could look and feel different.  The goal of grief is to get to the other side and I desired for us to be found comfortably at that table again. The girls thought it was a good idea and we began a search for unique wooden chairs that could replace the spindle ones.  Our search ended with one chair and my neighbor jokingly said you found the best one first how ever will another compare.  She was right.  With no more chairs found  and Annie Sloan chalk paint purchased it would be another year before the table would be painted. I didn’t even know the day had arrived to paint until I brought my youngest home from having her wisdom teeth removed.  I was held at home and had some anxious energy and remembered the paint and before I knew it my eldest was helping me lay plastic under the table.

TIME TO PAINT–Read next post for my process of hand painting and distressing the farm table.  IMG_0639