Sunday, April 29, 2012

Grand Two Story Ceiling

Some people think ceilings should just be ceiling white. Those people are wrong. If you've never seen a ceiling finished in a soft metallic decorative finish or faux finish, you may feel the same way. Once you've done one ceiling, you want them all done. It's highly addictive, like cocaine or heroin. We've considered adding warning lables to our business cards. Warning "Women who are pregnant or nursing should not have a faux finish in your home, because you will want more and more and then you won't be able to send your baby to college". OK, maybe I'm exagerating. We're not that expensive and it's fabulous to have your entire home done....tastefully.
Ceiling before
So this client has a two story ceiling. She wanted a metallic finish to reflect some light and to lighten the walls. This is the dramatic transformation.
First layer of tan silk paint, brushed randomly
This is the final ceiling with a ragged glaze of a slightly darker color silk paint. Very subtle but it definitely makes an impression when you walk into the foyer. I will be making some changes in the following months to my blog. I'm getting closer to my goal to be able to revel my special vendors. If you have do-it-yourselfer friends and family, please encourage them to follow my blog and comment as they like. Most of my products, I don't buy locally, so it will be a tremendous resource for those looking to get professional results on their own.
You can see more examples of my finishes at Thanks so much for following and sharing!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Vintage Turquoise Console and Side Table

Console before
Turquoise is one of my favorite colors these days, and it it HOT in the interior design world. I scored this awesome vintage 70's console. Perfect to finish and post for sale! The side table was done in the same color, but was for a custom order. I decided to try a new awesome European paint on the market. I goes straight over most surfaces with no sanding or priming! How awesome is that! It's finished with clear or tinted wax instead of polyurethane or varnish. Here's the before pictures of each piece.
Side table before
Applying second coat
 I didn't sand, but I did wipe down both pieces. The first coat of chalk paint went on easily, but didn't quite give the coverage I wanted. I let it dry overnight before putting on the second coat. This is a photo as I am appling the second coat. You can see the coverage on the first coat was pretty good. 
I love the detail of this console. Very heavy ornate trim. A perfect piece for distressing and "glazing".
Here's the side table with both coats completed.
I used their recommended wax. Since I wanted to "antique" the look on these pieces, they have to be clear waxed first. This seals the paint so that the colored wax doesn't absorb unevenly. I used a small brush to get the wax into the grooves and used a t-shirt clothe to buff the flat surfaces and spead the wax evenly. Waxing was a very different experience for me. It seemed a little more labor intensive than a traditional paint and glaze finish. May be it's just something I'm not used to. I let the clear wax dry a few days, before I could distress the finish. This is achieved with a rigid sanding block and 100 to 120 grit sand paper. I hit the edges and high points in the detail. I even added some within the body of the flat areas.  
Once the distressing was complete,  I mixed a little raw umber with my wax. They actually make a tinted wax, but a little wax goes a long way, so I thought I'd just tint my own. Using the same technique, I brushed the tinted waxed into the grooves and used a soft cloth to move it around and give the pieces an aged look. For the side table, I added a fern stencil to the top. I added some warm silver metallic to the clear wax. 
Fern Stencil
The warm silver gave a very subtle accent to the top of the table. A very nice, unique accent on a popular pop of color, on an otherwise boring table.
The console turned out awesome too. I really wanted to paint the handles red, but decided a bronze paint would be more universally appealling. "Universally appealling"....such an ugly phrase. Maybe I should have done red...   I would love your opinions and feedback! I love hearing from you all!
Completed vintage console
Completed side table
The product I used on these pieces can be purchased locally in Charlotte, NC at Great Walls Supply. Check out their website!  And as always, the console is currently for sale in my Dilworth Blacklion store on East Boulevard, and online in my Etsy store

Monday, April 16, 2012

Elegant Dining Room Transformation

One of my clients recently retired to a lovely ground floor condo. The only problem was that there is no window in the dining room.
Dining Room Before
So while many dining rooms are beautiful with rich, bold colors, that wasn't an option for her. We decided to stay neutral and light, and pull in a metallic finish to reflect any available light.The ceiling is a fabulous, simple finish in one of my favorite metallic paints. It's not Las Vegas shiny, but instead leaves one thinking of the shimmer of fine silk. Simple and elegant for any room. Our first ceiling layer is brushed on randomly.
The second layer is mixed with a bit of glaze and smooshed around with a rag.

The walls are done in a similar neutral color, but in a metallic plaster. The first layer moves along much better with two people. One person trowels on a thin coat in 3' X 3' sections. The second person, wearing gloves, creates a stried vertical pattern using their fingers.

Once complete, the wall has very slight vertical texture.

The next step is also done in a metallic plaster in a lighter tone than the base layer. This is scraped on tightly with a spatula. This is the finished wall!

The finished room after pulling tape.

To see more finishes like these, check out my website at

Silver Leafed 1900's Chest of Drawers

As you all know, I love to bling out some furniture! I found this fabulous old chest of drawers that needed a facelift. (Or maybe just a little "faux-tox".) 

As always, I wasn't sure what direction I wanted to take it. After weeks of consideration on how to revamp this piece, I decided "I yam what I yam, so I'm going silver foil with a slight tarnished look". I call it champagne leaf, because it's not bright silver, but a slightly warmer version like the color of fine champagne. The final picture is at the end but photos do not do this finish justice. It just glows with beauty in person! I sanded this piece in preparation for a tinted primer. I wanted little "cracks" of color to break through the silver in random areas, as well as where some of the square sheets come together. For me, the distressed feel adds to the beauty of the silver leafed finish. Some prefer a totally solid silver finish as well. To save a step, I used a brown tinted primer.
Brown primed dresser drawers

I then added my leafing size on this. Size is what dries sticky so the leafing sheets adhere to the surface. Oil tends to level and give a smoother finish. I use a water base since I prefer that aged, imperfect look. This goes on milky, but dries shiny and clear.
Dry size for foiling
Once dry, I added the silver sheets one at a time. Silver leafing is very shiny!

Once this step was complete, I added a chocolate toned oil glaze to tweek the silver tone. The hardware was in  decent shape, but I decided I just wanted it to be gloss black. I sprayed with a glossy black that was for direct to metal finishes. The final product!! Would love to hear what you think!
Antiqued silver leafed 1900's dresser

I currently have this dresser in my Blacklion Booth in Dilworth  and in my Etsy store online
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