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A blog about thrifty DIY, furniture makeovers, decor and design for the home with a farmhouse cottage lakeside feel.

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    Today I am sharing the second dresser that I painted with General Finishes Lamp Black Milk Paint.

    GF Lamp Black is such a pretty black and a really easy product to use. It only took two coats for complete coverage and the paint goes on smooth and levels really well. Later I will share the three large pieces that I painted with one can. I tried to get the GF Top Coat but after a 45 minute drive each way, the supplier I normally buy from was out of Top Coat and Lamp Black. Lesson to self: call ahead! I was disappointed but ended up using Varathane poly in satin.

    This three drawer pine dresser was part of my original bedroom set that I bought when I was 19. It is a well built solid wood piece with dovetail drawers. 

    Eventually the dresser ended up in our oldest son's room (keeping it real with the cattle brochures and junk on top before he changed bedrooms.) The finish was well worn with lots of knicks and scratches so I didn't feel bad painting the wood finish.

    Our previous night stands in our bedroom were too short for our high bed so I am using this small dresser as a night table. I am really enjoying it's new look and all the extra storage space. I chose not to distress it at this time but I will probably change out the porcelain knobs.

    I still have the double cannonball bed and a night table that are part of this set and they will be going in our guest room after I paint. If I end up finding a matched set with the right dimensions, this dresser will return to the guest room. We had a 3 way room switch recently (oldest son to basement bedroom, youngest son to oldest son's room, and guest bedroom from basement to youngest son's room. Confused lol?) 

    I shared the other dresser I painted GF Lamp Black for our room. Yesterday I patched the walls and I will be painting soon. I was going to make a white denim slipcover for the headboard but now I am considering making a wood headboard. Baby steps, and we really need new flooring, but it is coming along.

    Linking up to the following parties...

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  • 03/30/15--06:00: Spring Dining Room
  • The snow is still melting and it is cold here but some sunny days have inspired me to lighten our home for Spring. Today I am sharing our dining room and an Easter tablescape.

    Our dining room is simple and is starting to reflect the rustic farmhouse/lakeside feel that I am working towards. Our dining room table and chairs are not as orange as they appear in this light. One day I would love to add some white slipcovered chairs and a rug. We recently centered the light over the table and that makes it look much better but we still need to shorten the chain.

    Our cabinet is filled with white dishes, some mercury glass and few favourite pieces. I plan to paint my black buffet and hutch for a less distressed look and to cover the more orange tone of the stain. It will be a more solid black. The little boxwood wreathadds a pop of green and inspired the Spring tablescape.

    The dining room walls are painted Benjamin Moore Simply White and the far wall that acts as the hall to other rooms is BM Revere Pewter. I like white and grey as backdrops to all the white, wood and black that I use.

    I love that the ceilings are smooth since our oldest son stripped the popcorn texture. Blue and turquoise are my normal accent colours but I like the fresh green that I added using items we already own. The only newly purchased items in this room are the boxwood wreath and a bunch of white tulips from the grocery store for $5.99.

    The green chargers were on clearance at Michaels for 75 cents each. The simple white plates are caterer's plates that I use for buffets, parties and bbq's. They were very inexpensive, are sturdier than paper or foam and we can put them in the dishwasher after a big crowd, 

    I only had four green napkins so I used two white ones on the end settings. The curtains are several years old and I sewed them from simple tone on tone striped cotton. I also sewed the table runner using moire cotton left over from the wedding dress my sister sewed for me.

    I bought the tulips yesterday and they are just starting to open. Maybe it's because I was an April baby, but I do love Spring and tulips.

    The crown mason jar filled with speckled eggs inspired me to fill some little numbered galvanized pots with faux coloured Easter eggs. I didn't want to go to the store to buy basket filler so I made some from cardstock and burlap.

    I sold the white and turquoise jelly cupboard that was in this corner. We would like to make a long buffet-like table for the wall opposite the china cabinet. For now I am using a little pine table that I recently painted.

    I still need to add some art or decor to the walls but I haven't figured out what.

    The opening in the wall adds light to the basement stairs but the partly open concept with limited wall space in this room makes it a challenge to arrange things on the walls.

    Pussy willows, bunnies and a nest add some Spring and Easter touches to the little table.

    White tulips are my favourite. In fact white flowers in general are my favourites. Does that make me boring lol ?

    Thanks for stopping by! I will be sharing some basement stair way progress and a before and after on the little pine table later in the week. 

    Linking up to the following parties...
    Show and Share at Coastal Charm
    Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

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    Have you ever had one of those projects that you gave up on because it just wasn't working out? I gave up on this little table for a year before taking it back out and trying one last time to finish it. I am kind of impatient sometimes.

    I have painted a variety of furniture pieces using many different paint brands and even homemade chalky like paints using latex and plaster of paris. This was my first time using Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint. I bought a package of Ironstone powder, MMS bonding agent, and a little battery operated mixer. 

    I started by cleaning and lightly sanding this little pine table. It was a kijiji find with dated stenciling and a worn finish.

    After watching several videos and reading up on the do's and don'ts I mixed up my first small batch. I tried it on a small area but I made it too watery and lumpy so I ended up dumping it out and starting again. For the next batch I used the little electric whisk. Too bubbly and watery. In my frustration I ended up breaking the safety lid off the bonding agent container. My third attempt was better and I painted two coats on the table. I had to work out some small lumps but at least I didn't make it too watery this time. The lessons here: don't throw out a batch, keep working on it, let any bubbles settle a bit, you can always add a little more paint powder or a little more water, and most importantly don't be impatient like me! Due to my impatience and inexperience with the product, I put the table away for awhile. Okay, just over a year. 

    We have been organizing and selling/purging items in our home recently and I decided to give this little table one last chance. There was only a bit of the Ironstone MMSMP left in the package but it mixed up nicely this time and there was just enough to add the last two coats. I skipped the bonding agent this time (remember I had broken the safety lid off and couldn't open it.)  There were only a few tiny spots of chipping and cracked paint so I helped with some distressing. I also very lightly hand sanded any small bumps. Finally I waxed it.

    The waxing gave it a super nice feel and finish. I plan to buy a glass knob on my next visit to the hardware store.

    For my Spring Dining Room tour I added a black knob from my stash. I may end up selling this piece but for now it displays a simple Easter vignette.

    My intent in sharing my mishaps with the product is not to complain, but to explain that a bit of practice and patience certainly helps. I wish I had not gotten frustrated because I could easily have finished this little table a year ago. I could probably have painted more than one piece with a whole package too. Ironstone truly is a lovely colour. 

    Happy April friends! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit. Have you ever had a furniture painting project not work out? Were you able to rescue it?

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    Black is one of my favourite colours for painted furniture. This past week I updated this solid oak buffet and hutch with Fusion Mineral Paint in Coal Black.

    I had been wanting to try Fusion Mineral Paint. Next Time Around in Cambridge, Ontario sells Fusion and the owner emailed me a picture of a similar cabinet done in Coal Black. She suggested leaving the buffet top, beadboard and shelves in the original oak. 

    I also kept the interior of the lower section oak as it is in great condition.

    Fusion is supposed to have a very durable finish with no top coat needed so I was able to finish this fairly quickly. I used most of the container of paint probably due to the grain in the solid oak.

    This is the before, a very solid piece that we got off a neighbour who had it listed on kijiji online classifieds. It is a great size for smaller spaces.

    New hardware was added to update it even more.

    I added back a vintage scale and a few ironstone pieces. The kitchen table was moved for better photos but it is back in place now and I will share a few photos tomorrow.

    While the black better suits our style, this piece is for sale. I am looking for an industrial style metal shelf unit that is wider and shallower to better fit this small eat in space in our kitchen.
     Have you tried Fusion paint?

    Joining these link parties..

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    Today I am sharing a farmhouse table that I have been working on. I love farmhouse tables. 

    First I started out with a base coat of ASCP Provence and then ASCP Old White. I waxed with Annie Sloan soft wax and distressed in just a few places to let the Provence show through.  

    The before was part of a two piece open hutch that I picked up for $25. The dated forest green hutch part was damaged around the crown moulding and too short. I didn't like the curved front and flush back of the butcher block so I ended up just using the table base with drawer.

    It was easy enough to unscrew the butcher block top and cut some pine planks for a new top. Some sanding, then I used Minwax wood conditioner. Finally I stained them with Minwax Early American, added 3 coats of poly and used the same pocket screws to re-attach the top.

    I haven't found the perfect knobs for the drawer so I am using these iron ones for now. We moved the big white office armoire upstairs to my hobby room so I am keeping the table in this spot for now. 

    We get soooo much light from the skylights, windows and patio doors in this area of our family room.

    The turquoise beads were originally a strand of red wood Christmas beads that I spray painted turquoise. The aqua mason jar holds flowers clipped from our Rose of Sharon bush. 

    I think this farmhouse table could easily be used in many different locations in our home. It is the perfect height for a small desk or sofa table.

    It perfectly suits the rustic farmhouse / lakehouse vibe I am striving for in our home.

    Thanks for stopping in! While I haven't been busy on the blog recently, I have been working behind the scenes organizing and maintaining our home, just nothing overly blog worthy. I am enjoying being off for the summer, spending lots of time with family, and reading into the wee hours of the morning. Later in the week I have a pair of barstools to share that I picked up for $5 and painted. Hope you are enjoying your summer. Hard to believe summer is half way through!

    Sharing with...

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    Barstools are handy for extra seating and make great easy to move side tables. 

    We will find lots of uses for this wood and white pair of barstools with grain sack inspired stripes.

    I sanded down the tops and used Varathane Wood Stain in Early American and then painted the stripes with General Finishes Lamp Black Milk Paint. The tops are protected with three coats of Minwax poly. The bases are painted with GF Snow White Milk Paint and waxed with Miss Mustard Seed Antiquing Wax and Annie Sloan Soft Wax. Yeah, quite a few products there but I like using what I have on hand for these almost no cost projects. The GF milk paint goes on so beautifully although without a primer the Snow White needs three coats. I discovered that the antiquing wax works better on projects with more raised details but it did help 'age' the bright white. I used painters tape for the lines, 'aged' the stripes with a wet paper towel and removed the tape almost immediately.

    The before was a simple but sturdy varnished wood from a garage sale ($5 for the pair.)

    The white, wood and black suits our home so much better and is versatile enough to use in any room in our home.

    It is a rainy day here today so I photographed them on our kitchen table under a skylight. We are using one bar stool in our living room beside my favorite knitting/reading chair for my water or iced-coffee and the other in our family room beside the leather recliner for our guys' cell phones while they watch tv. Handy and they don't take up as much space as a full side table.

    Our home is truly a work in progress and done on a tight budget but it feels good when even little projects like this one that cost $5 (and supplies on hand) fit my design style. Thanks for visiting!

    Sharing this with....
    Vintage Inspiration Party at Bliss Ranch, Villabarnes, My Salvaged Treasures, Organized Clutter and Knick of Time
    Five Star Frugal at A Tray of Bliss

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  • 08/17/15--10:13: Pedestal End Tables Makeover
  • This weekend I painted two different but similar pedestal end tables for our living room.

    We have been using a round pedestal table on the window side of the couch and I was happy to find a similar sized table with a square top for the other end of the sofa.

    The round table needed repainting so I primed both with Zinnser Cover Stain and then painted them with two coats of General Finishes Snow White Milk Paint. Finally I protected them with a poly topcoat.

    I like that the side tables are the same colour and a similar but not matching style. I sold the large round pedestal coffee table even though it was a favourite piece. It was too big and heavy for our small living room and three pedestal tables seemed a bit much.

    Tomorrow I will post a late summer living room tour. I have some changes planned for Fall and didn't get a chance to share an early summer tour. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you can come back to see the full tour.

    Joining the following link parties...

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  • 08/18/15--05:30: Summer Living Room Tour
  • Before I make some minor changes to our living room and decorate for Fall, I thought I would share some photos of our white, grey and turquoise living room in late summer.

    Our white slipcovers need washed and I am trying out an IKEA billy bookcase but this is our smaller front living room as it was this weekend. Our living room doesn't get a lot of light so the white walls really work in this room (Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls although the rest of our main floor is BM Simply White and Revere Pewter.) 

    Yesterday I shared the makeover of the pedestal end tables. We sold the large heavy pedestal coffee table. It was a favourite piece but was quite big for this smaller (10' x 14') room. 

    We moved the wood dresser and mirror to try an IKEA billy bookcase but I'm not sure if this will stay. Maybe two bookcases would look better? I am thinking of using the  farmhouse sofa table I painted or possibly bring back the wood dresser

    We have a family room and a basement sitting room for watching TV so our front room is more for visiting and where I often read or knit. I use a white set of string lights in the window at Christmas and decided to add them back but first I stuffed each light into a little natural rattan ball. They look so pretty at night.

    I like wood and galvanized pieces mixed in with the whites and there will be more of this in the changes I have planned. 

    Our living room is open to the front entry and dining room. The galvanized pots in the wood crate on the ledge hold our assorted glasses and sunglasses, easily accessible from the hall table on the other side. 

    We had a lot of rain the other day but I rescued a few hydrangeas to fill a pitcher on the coffee table. The grey and white buffalo check pillow covers are IKEA and I made the floral and grain sack inspired pillow covers.

    I stuffed big 26" feather inserts with simple white pillow covers into a $5 galvanized wash tub (but first sprayed the interior with a sealer to keep any bits of rust off the linens.) When we have family gatherings the young people often end up sprawled on pillows on the floor.

    A moss ball in a little urn is on the black plant stand neear the window. I like using black in all the rooms in our home.

    And this is a dark photo of our 5 year old girl Remington, a chocolate Lab. She is one of the reasons I love my white slipcovers (and leather in the family room.) We are puppy sitting my sister and family's 5 1/2 month old Labradoodle for a few days so I won't be getting too much done haha. These girls are neighbours and see each other a lot, but they are still getting used to each other. Thanks for visiting today!

    Linking up to the following parties...

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    I finished a large chalkboard for our kitchen and I love how the pine stained frame looks with our Simply White and Revere Pewter wall colours.

    After painting and selling several buffet and hutches I have finally figured out that I prefer this wall in our kitchen with a lower storage piece. I have plans and bought the wood to make a lower sideboard/shelves. That leaves me with wall space to decorate above the future storage piece.

    I wanted a big chalkboard for this area and made one using pine planks and a piece of white board. Four coats of chalkboard paint and I will season it with chalk soon. The chalkboard measures 28" x 45" overall. I stained the pine with Minwax Early American (that looks darker and less orange in real life) and gave it one coat of satin poly.

    Besides making the sideboard shelves I also plan to make a tall and narrow cupboard (sort of like a chimney cupboard) to use for a broom, mop and a few cleaning supplies. It will go to the right of the chalkboard next to our patio doors. Our laundry room is upstairs near our bedrooms and there is no mudroom in our home so finding a storage spot on the main floor for a broom etc. has always been a pain. There will be items on the shelves below the chalkboard and I am thinking of adding some ironstone platters or plates above the chalkboard. Would that look too busy? 

     I hope you have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

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  • 09/23/15--18:33: Our Fall Farmhouse Kitchen
  • Today I am sharing our kitchen with some simple Fall decor. Last week was hot and humid here in southern Ontario but after heavy rains on Saturday it cooled down quite a bit. Fall is definitely in the air. 

    Our home is 17 years old and we are the original owners. The kitchen is the same age and I hesitated about taking full photos. While I would love all new cabinets, appliances and hardwood floors, that is not in our near future. Instead I am learning to be thankful for what we have and I am doing small projects as time and budget allows. 

    Late last year we painted our main floor, including our kitchen, Revere Pewter and Simply White. We use the eat-in area of our kitchen regularly so I kept the decor simple. The chalkboard I made last month got a quick message and I added a simple arrangement to the farmhouse table. 

    The ironstone platter and plates above the chalkboard add a bit of interest while still being neutral

    I sold the aqua barstools last year and replaced them with this pair of black metal barstools. I like that they are light and tuck in out of the way. I hope to add some chunkier corbels to the breakfast bar.

    I would like to make a narrow sideboard-like shelf for under the chalkboard and a tall narrow cabinet (similar to a chimney cabinet) in the corner for our broom and mop. It drives me a bit crazy that our builder didn't include a pantry or broom closet. 

    On the table I used a linen runner from a few years ago (simple linen tea towel by the metre and I only had to sew the ends.) I love using neutrals in our home and pulled this little centerpiece together without buying anything new. I used a small wood cabinet door painted ASCP Old White as a base then added the last of my hydrangeas, a berry wreath, pinecones and the faux pumpkins. The pumpkins were the typical orange plastic variety that I painted. 

    The open shelves have stayed the same for some time now. I used to change the shelves each season but lately I prefer the simplicity of the ironstone pudding bowls and my collection of aqua CROWN canning jars.

    Our family room and eat in area of the kitchen are flooded with light from a pair of skylights, patio doors and a wall of windows in the family room. This seems to make the windowless work area of our kitchen darker, especially in late afternoon. We added the board and batten several years ago.

    The framed photos are some I took on a relative's dairy farm. This is the farm where our 18 year old son keeps his Jersey cow and calf. 

    I love to bake and have glass canisters with metal scoops to keep our flours, sugars, and oatmeal handy (I need to add whole wheat flour and white sugar to the grocery list.)

    The work area of our kitchen is not fancy but it works well for us. I plan to change the brass knobs to black soon. I added the trim detail to the soffits above the cabinets and still need to finish caulking and painting it.

    I'm hoping to add some kind of backsplash. Bringing some wood to this end of the kitchen would be nice but I may just use beadboard or shiplap since we aren't replacing the counters. New light fixtures are on my wish list as well.

    There isn't a window above our sink so I added a mirror for a little interest. I originally painted this vintage garage sale mirror turquoise but recently changed it to grey.

    I always enjoy bringing out this framed Autumn cross-stitched piece from several years ago.

    There are only four drawers in our kitchen so this crock works well for storing wooden spoons and cooking utensils. The last of the rudbeckia in a vintage milk bottle adds a bit of colour.

    I painted the bakery sign but got a little crazy with the distressing. It needs a touch up.

    I used stamps to make this tag and added it to the basket on our fridge. The basket stores bags of chips.

    Well that was quite a few photos and lots of projects I still want to do but probably the most I have ever shared of our kitchen. I am working on embracing the imperfect :)  Thanks for visiting! 

    Sharing this at...
    Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
    Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
    Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home

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    Welcome to our suburban southern Ontario home. While my guys were up north on Sunday I took some photos of our dining room decorated for Fall. Okay, a lot of photos. 

    I like using neutrals in our home and love the Benjamin Moore Simply White walls (the wall opposite the window is actually Revere Pewter as it is also kind of an open hallway/traffic path from the front door through to the family room.) Whites with wood plus lots of black and grey are my preferred colours.

    We have a very tight budget for decor so there are mostly handmade, garage sale, kijiji and clearance items mixed in with a few purchases. We had the farmhouse table and Windsor chairs made after we got married 23 years ago and I'm pretty sure the light fixture was Home Depot full price.  

    I pulled the table back a bit for this full shot of the pine Mennonite made buffet and hutch. I am thinking of painting it a solid black. The cabinet is filled with white dishes. I love collecting white pitchers and have a line of them on top of the hutch and some inside on the shelves.

    The small boxwood adds some texture and a bit of colour. I am feeling the need for more greenery and plants in our home and need to work on this. 

    The pumpkin covered soup bowls are from HomeSense a few years ago. The trio of candle holders have a stained glass look to them and my favourite scented candles are baking related (maple, brown sugar, cinnamon, pretty much anything that would make a good dessert lol.)

    The pine farmhouse table is simply set with painted grey chargers, white dinner plates and thrifted 'The Friendly Village' bowls. 

    I love the wavy glass of these lanterns. A few pinecones and painted pumpkins are scattered on the layered table runners with a wood berry garland.

    Oops, I just realized I forgot the cutlery! So not a pro at tablescapes lol. 

    But I have sorted through my collected plates and napkins and narrowed them down to my favourites. Now I know what filler pieces to keep an eye out for. 

    The grey chargers were originally shiny green post-Christmas clearance chargers (90% off at Michaels.) I spray painted them with grey primer and then finished with grey chalky paint and wax. 

    I would eventually like a rug under the table to break up the wood tones.

    The opening in the wall lets light into our basement stairway. That is our small front entry and front door beyond.

    On the weekend I moved this extra little bookcase in here until we make a long rustic console table for this wall. I shared more photos and details in this post.

    I took these brown transferware plates down when I painted the main floor last Fall but brought them back out recently for either side of the window

    I sewed the curtains several years ago from cotton sheeting fabric with a narrow tone on tone stripe. Our dining room tends to be a bit dark despite the white walls so this weekend I put clip rings back on the curtains to allow them to open more fully.

    So that's our rustic farmhouse dining room with some simple Fall decor. Our Canadian Thanksgiving is next weekend but since we host 11-20 on average our dinner is often buffet style. Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a chance to let me know you were here!

    Sharing this with...
    The Scoop at Stone Gable, Worthing Court, Confessions of A Plate Additct, and Cedar Hill Farmhouse
    Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
    Be Inspired at Elizabeth & Co.

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