Roughed Up Nightstand

I hope you all are enjoying a little taste of Spring! I have some unknown plants starting to breakthrough the mulch and I’m excited to see what they will be..

First let me admit to you that I wasn’t planning on refinishing this, but I couldn’t sell it as is (trust me I tried)… I guess no one but me would be stupid crazy enough to tackle this mess! Let me show you what I mean…

So the piece doesn’t look too bad in this picture right? Nice nightstand, good lines, what’s not to like?



OK, so the top is a little roughed up, why is that so scary? Can you see all of the craters divots?


This is what it looked like under the paint. I used my orbital sander, with 60 grit paper, to remove the super thick paint and this is what it revealed… clearly someone had removed the veneer from the top of this nightstand and really hacked away at it (it was not my Hubby I promise)! The white areas are holes that they filled (and not well) with something…


Seriously! Why would you go through the trouble of filling the holes but not fill the holes all the way?! This is why the top looked so bad! They must have just gotten fed up with it…


I filled all of the gouges with my favorite product for hardcore filling and repairs. It’s a two part product, Minwax High Performance Wood Filler, and let me tell you it is fabulous to work with… it’s a little stinky and you DON”T want to get it on your hands, but with it I can fill deep holes easily and it also helps rebuild missing parts like “magic”!


After I filled the holes I sanded the top down starting with 100 grit and finishing with 150. I only finish to 150 when I am painting a piece, had I been staining this I would have finished with 220 but obviously staining wasn’t an option. I also added this little wood piece to the back where the original piece was missing… nothing fancy but it gets the job done.


I primed the top with a white primer then painted the entire nightstand in Provence Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I also lightly distressed, waxed and buffed the piece. The drawer front was in good enough shape to stain so I stained it dark walnut, waxed it with clear wax and buffed it…

Here it is now in it’s new home!


refinished nightstand

Just look at how nicely the drawer front turned out!

Refinished nightstand in Provence chalk paint

You can’t see any indentions or problems with the top at all…

Refinished nightstand in Provence chalk paint

I’m glad now that no one wanted this because I needed another nightstand for my daughter’s room and this worked out perfectly!

Before and after refinished nighstand

Thanks for stopping by… hope you come back again soon!

Until next time…

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A Little Bit About Finishing Dresser Tops

I had a conversation yesterday with Deb over at Confessions of a Craigslist Junkie about removing laminate from the top of those French dressers from the 60’s-90’s… you know the white slick looking topped ones… well she just painted this gorgeous dresser, top and all, I think it’s lovely the way she painted it, but I also knew that she had the option of staining the top if she had wanted to. I thought I’d share with you a few experiences I’ve had so a little information is coming your way!

The pieces pictured below I wanted to share with you so you could see how I removed the white slick laminate looking top and what I discovered underneath! You see I don’t really think it’s laminate at all, I think it is a type of “paint” or surface that is a specialty coat of some sort, but not laminate, I could TOTALLY be wrong here but you be the judge based on the evidence below… I have 3 examples of mine to share with you…

Here is your typical dresser from the early 80’s. It’s hard to tell in the sunlight but this was most certainly that slick looking white surface.

before french dresser

I sanded it down starting with 100 grit paper, then 150 ultimately finishing with 220. Using my orbital sander I didn’t have to worry about going with the grain of the wood… it just sanded down like any other painted surface and I was left with the top below… amazing right?

refinished striped french dresser top

This is what it looked like after some dark walnut stain and a coat of wax!

refinished striped french dresser top

This is the matching nightstand to the dresser above, same top, same process…


BOOM!! pretty solid wood underneath that gross surface.

refinished striped french nightstand top

All pretty now with a dark walnut stain and a coat of wax.

refinished striped french nightstand top

This one someone had painted the entire piece, but the white slick surface was just underneath this lovely yellow paint. I used the same process as before…

UF French Desk

GORGEOUS solid wood top, stained dark walnut and waxed! I kept this chest because I loved it so much I couldn’t let it go!

refinished striped french dresser top

So next time you walk by one of “those” pieces think about trying to sand down the surface to reveal the beauty beneath! I’m no expert and I’m certainly not saying every piece will turn out like the ones above, but it can’t hurt to try right? That is what I did and I loved the results!

Good luck and go sand something!

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Finishing Chalk Paint a New Way

I “discovered” a new way to seal chalk paint, instead of using wax or oil. Will I use this method every time? No, but sometimes the way you typically do things doesn’t work out… For example, this beautiful French chest over chest. Looks good doesn’t it?



Well after a coat of CeCe Caldwell’s clay and chalk paint in Pittsburgh Gray this is what it looked liked after it dried!!! WHAT! I had cleaned it really good what is this that is happening? It was EVERYWHERE too! I fooled around with a few options, but what I found that worked the best for me is Rustoleum’s matte clear spray, this stuff works like a charm for sealing wood so stains don’t show through. In the end it helped even out the paint finish so you didn’t see any of the crap “imperfections”.


I also had this pretty Dixie nightstand, while this is not a matching set to the chest the lines are similar enough that the pieces look great together.

Here they are after a couple of coats of the Pittsburg Gray and sealed with the Rustoleum Matte Clear spray. I used about 2 1/2 cans of the spray and applied 3 coats to both pieces.

French chest and nightstand painted CeCe Caldwell Pittsburg Gray

All of those weird spots just disappeared and the final finish is super smooth too.

French chest painted CeCe Caldwell Pittsburg Gray

I cleaned up all of the original hardware and sprayed it with Krylon Gold, my favorite gold spray paint, I just love the way the handles pop against the dark grey background.

Dixie nightstand painted CeCe Caldwell Pittsburg Gray

A pretty close up…

Refinished chest of drawers

I’m very happy with the final results!

Refinishing painting chest of drawers

Refinishing painting nightstand

I took this set to Orange this morning and while I was there I snatched up this awesome “Richmond” lumbar pillow for my office chair.

Cool pillows at Orange in Carytown

Thanks for visiting, I hope you come back soon!

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How to Upholster a Settee

Ok… so the story starts off like this…

I took an upholstery class last semester and reupholstered this fabulous chair seen here. I decided I wanted to learn more so I signed up for the following semester’s class and proceeded to find a worthy project… Luckily on a trip to one of my favorite stores I spotted this hot little number in all her nakedness…

empty sette frame

She was perfect (remember I said that), she had great lines (and lucky me) already had all of the fabric and innards removed… big time upholstery project here I come!

First things first, I cleaned her up and painted her with 2 coats of Old White Annie Sloan Chalk paint, lightly distressed, waxed and buffed her really good. Then off to class she went!

Painted vintage settee

Class was every Tuesday from 12-3 for 12 weeks, it took 10 weeks for me to get this settee reupholstered! While I know that sounds like a lot, there is a lot of waiting for the instructor as there were 9 other students in the class who also needed his attention.

So I’ll walk through the steps with you below, for most of them I have pictures (not saying they are good ones, but they are pictures) some of them I either was too frustrated to take out my camera or there was one day I totally forgot it… sorry Embarrassed smile Now for those of you who could care less about how I did it just mosey on down to the bottom of the post to see the “After” glamour shots… but for the very few of you who may need some of this information read on!

Step One:

Install the burlap webbing using a webbing stretcher and stapling it down. The straps were spaced about 2” apart and when installing the horizontal webbing weave it through the vertical pieces.

How to reupholster a settee or chair


Step 2:

Install burlap over all of the webbing, pull taught, folding it over at the edge and staple it down.

How to add webbing to furniture


Settee seat burlap photo up close.


Step 3:

Install the roll edging, this is installed to help cushion the edge of the wood when you sit. The roll edging is made this way, just trim it to size and staple it along the top front edge.


Step 4:

Cut to size and install foam. The instructor had me cut it into 3 pieces them glue it back together, not sure why, but I did it. Staple the foam down at the top edge so you get a nice “roll / pillow” along the edges.

How to replace foam on upholstered furniture

Step 5:

Cut out your decking (fabric that is under the cushion) material. Sew your fabric (about 4” for mine) and the decking fabric together. Lay the fabric upside down along the line (drawn to 4” from front frame) and with a curved needle sew it to the burlap, big stiches here folks.


Step 6:

Lay layers of cotton batting under both parts of the decking, pull the front part of the decking taught and staple to the front frame.

How to make and install decking on furniture

Now you have a beautiful deck! I had never done this before so I was really proud of myself at this point!

How to make and install decking on furniture

Step 7:

Bring the back part of the decking through to the back side, cut fabric around supports, pull taught and staple to frame.

Now for the back fabric… let me tell you this almost was the DEATH of me… more an alignment issue than difficulty.

Step 8:

Layout your fabric, three pieces cut intentionally to allow the fabric to be placed appropriately, pin the fabric pieces along the area where you want your piping / seam to be. Finding the EXACT same spot on each side to center… those suckers were a huge pain!

How to recover a settee or chair

Step 9:

Sew the panels and piping together and install on the back stapling along the top edge first. Hint: put in “place” staples in strategic areas to make sure you have it lined up properly then work your way from the middle place staple to the edge etc.

Once the top is stapled pull the bottom through the back, cut where necessary for structural supports, pull taught and staple along the back edge.

Doesn’t it look good so far?

See where the decking and back fabric has been pulled through and stapled…

Step 10:

Trim off excess fabric from decking and back and install burlap (same process as the front)


Step 11:

Install batting (not cotton) all along the back of the settee a few staples to hold it in place is all that is necessary.

Step 12:

Layout the 3 pieces for the back fabric, lay and pin them like you did up front. Sew the 3 pieces together, no piping this time.

Step 13:

Attach the fabric to the back of the settee with staples (using place staples etc.) and pulling taught. Once trimmed it looked like this! I felt like a freakin’ champion at this point!

How to attach fabric to back of settee or chair

Step 14:

After trimming the excess fabric, attach with hot glue some of the miles of double welt piping you made (oh, did I not mention I needed to make a crap ton of double welt, well I DID!)Careful here, the hot glue will burn your fingerprints right off your fingers! The piping will go along all of the edges where you stapled, front and back… it’s a lot, take your time, don’t get any glue on the fabric!

Ta Da! So happy…


Step 15:

Cut out your fabric for your seat cushion (we are basically making a box cushion with curves).

Step 16:

Layout fabric on the foam (mine is 5”) and trace.

Step 17:

Using this handy dandy foam cutter cut out your pattern. Hint: If you’re at home use your carving knife!

Yes! The foam fits! We made the box cushion (sorry no tutorial for that, easy to find one one on the web) with a 4”edge so that the cushion fits in it snuggly.

Here she is in all her glory! I’m THRILLED with how she turned out! It’s super comfy and a great neutral gray color!

How to reupholster a vintage settee

My “mad” double welt making skills are now a force to be reckoned with!

Vintage settee reupholstering

The back is just perfection!

Vintage settee reupholstering

The hardest area for me were these corners, which I am happy to say came out great!

Vintage settee reupholstering

Some things I learned on this project…

1. This upholstery stuff is HARD work and takes lots of time… which is why it is not cheap!

2. I suggest you take a class and learn how to do this the “right” way if you are interested in doing your own upholstery… but maybe you can figure it out by watching YouTube videos… not me, I needed a teacher for sure!

3. Just because the fabric has been removed from a piece don’t get too excited… this process would have been SOOOO much easier if I had the original fabric to use as a template. Keep that in mind!

Reupholstered vintage settee - a how to guide

So I know this was a SUPER long post, but if it helps just one person I will be happy! If you have any questions feel free to ask, I just may have the answer Winking smile

Until next time!

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Between Naps on the Porch, The Dedicated House, A Stroll Thru Life, Coastal Charm, Domestically Speaking, From My Frony Porch to Yours, French Country Cottage, My Romantic Home, Redoux Interiors

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Sometimes You Just Never Know

Sometimes I never know how a piece will turn out until I start on it… ok, if I’m really being honest I frequently have no idea how it will turn out, but I love the process of finding out!

This was a beautiful chest of drawers, but it had drawer front veneer issues which didn’t allow me to just refinish the whole piece, I needed to paint it, trust me on this one…


It came with a mirror too!

Here it is a Lucketts! The top I sanded down and stained Dark Walnut. I also added a couple of coats of Watco Danish Oil in Dark Walnut to put moisture back into the surface. I finished it off with a coat of dark wax… it truly came out GORGEOUS!

Stonington gray painted vintage chest of drawers dresser

See what I mean about the top? Look at that shine!

Stonington gray painted vintage chest of drawers

The cabinet I painted with a product I LOVE called Cabinet Coat, I painted my kitchen cabinets in it over 4 years ago and they’re still in great shape. My favorite paint store, Virginia Paint, carries it and tinted it for me in Stonington Gray. Yes, I know it may look white but it’s not… it’s just the lightest of gray… FYI the only “downside” to Cabinet Coat is that they can only tint it in light colors Crying face

Stonington gray painted vintage chest of drawers

I just have to show you a close up of the knobs… they are by far my favorite! I soaked them overnight in a solution of ammonia and water (4:1), brushed them with a soft bristle brush and rinsed them off. I think they are pewter… I’m a sucker for great hardware I know!

Beutiful vintage pewter dresser hardware

A soon-to-be Mom bought this chest at Lucketts, but she didn’t want the mirror because she was going to be using it as a changing table / dresser. So now I have the mirror left over if anyone needs one, it’s painted the same Stonington Gray, let me know if you are interested!

Thanks as always for stopping by!

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Linking up to these parties!
Between Naps on the Porch, The Dedicated House, A Stroll Thru Life, Elizabeth and Co., Savvy Southern Style, Domestically Speaking, From My Front Porch To Yours, French Country Cottage, My Romantic Home, Redoux Interiors, Miss Mustard Seed, Minettes Maze, Start At Home

Updating An Art Deco Buffet

This Art Deco style buffet is a doozy isn’t it? Would you have bought it… even if it was a “good” price… it looks quite beat-up?


Check out the damage that the top had suffered! I wasn’t sure if I could repair it or not…


But I tried & I was very happy that with some sanding, stain and oil it came out looking great!


I tried to pay homage to the time period, while also updating it. I thought that the Provence Annie Sloan chalk paint was the perfect blue for this piece! A light distressing and a coat of clear wax finishes up the painted sections.

After sanding the top I stained it Dark Walnut and then oiled it with Watco Danish Oil in dark walnut finishing up with a coat of wax for all of the stained parts.

Refinished Art Deco Buffet

Didn’t think the top would turn out this nicely did you?

Refinished Art Deco Buffet

I refinished and reused the original handles, which I really glad I did… they’re just perfect for this piece!


Whether you’re a fan of Art Deco or not I hope you like this little update! It’s amazing what a little know-how and some sandpaper will do to revive a piece that looks like it is on its last legs!

Thanks as always for stopping by!

Until next time!

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