The Blithewold Chair {Before & After}

Last September I lined up outside the Blithewold Mansion Carriage House waiting excitedly for the Blithewold Furniture Sale to begin.  Unfortunately I slept in longer than I should have and was farther back in line than I would have liked!

Carriage House

Not surprisingly, my friend Rachel Duchesne (a very talented Interior Designer) was in line ahead of me and we both commiserated about not getting there sooner.


Source: Blithewold

Blithewold Mansions, Garden & Arboretum is a beautiful waterfront estate in Bristol, Rhode Island and is one of the finest garden estates in New England.  The property boasts a “forty-five-room English style manor house filled with antiques and artwork, all chronicling the rich social history of the lives of one family over a span of more than eighty years.”  Blithewold is a special property that has been protected from commercial development and is enjoyed by visitors year round.  I count myself among the lucky ones to have been married there!

All furniture from the  Barn sale belonged to Bessie Van Wickle McKee and  was being sold “as is” with the proceeds benefiting the conservation of Blithewold’s permanent collection.

Bessie Van Wickle McKee
Bessie Van Wickle McKee
Source: Blithewold

As advertised, the furniture included chairs, daybeds and sofas with the prices reflective of the current condition in the hopes that the pieces would be restored for future enjoyment.  The lucky purchasers would have a rare opportunity of owning a piece of Blithewold history.

By the time Rachel and I made it to the door, many of the larger pieces had been spoken for but there were a number of chairs still available for sale.  I found this upholstered piece in need of some love and attention and, after Rachel and I tested it out, I brought it home.

Blithewold Chair Before

Several months went by and one of my customers came for a visit–she was on the Silent Auction Committee for Blithewold’s Annual Gala and she wondered if there was something that Sea Rose Cottage could contribute to their major fundraiser of the year.

I thought about the chair and contacted Rachel to see if she wanted to collaborate with me to have the furniture restored and ready for a new home in time for the event.  Rachel generously offered to help and also to offer some design consultation time for the winner of the silent auction.

We considered all the beautiful fabrics from Annie Sloan’s European Fabric Collection (available at Sea Rose cottage of course!) and decided on Gigi–the 100% cotton Belgian Ticking fabric in garden colored pinks and greens.  Very fitting coming from the lush estate and in keeping with the Art in the Garden event theme!

Gigi_Fabric med

For a modern twist, Rachel smartly suggested using a horizontal stripe rather than the traditional vertical positioning of the ticking stripe fabric.

We considered Annie Sloan’s gorgeous paint color palette and decided on an equal mix of Old White and Pure White to achieve a creamy white finish for a bright and cheerful look.


Rachel suggested we work with Patriot Upholstery who also generously provided in-kind support to help make this project a reality.  After painting the chair it was off to the Upholsterer to work his magic with the beautiful fabric.

Blithewold Chair Doorway pm

It was a great collaboration and so wonderful to see the finished chair restored to its former glory and back in its original setting!

Blithewold Chair Garden View_large

 At least until it finds its way to its newest home!

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Free Waxing Clinics – August 2014

Free Waxing Clinics & Q&A Session


Sea Rose Cottage is offering three free 45 minute waxing clinics during the month of August, 2014.  Space is limited so registration is required.

You will learn the ins & outs of working with Annie Sloan’s Soft wax.  We will cover application methods, do’s & don’ts and tips & tricks for getting the best results when waxing painted and wood surfaces.  The clinic will cover application and use of clear, dark, tinted and gilding waxes.


 Thursday  August 14th, 3 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – CAPE COD

 Thursday, August 14th, 4p.m. – 4:45p.m. – CAPE COD

 Saturday, August 16th, 5p.m. – 5:45pm – BRISTOL

We will also be hosting a Question & Answer Session on Thursday, August 14th at our Cape Cod location from 5p.m. – 6p.m.  No registration is required for the free Q&A Session.

To register for the free wax clinic, follow this link to our Workshops Page.   If you want to be notified of future events please follow/subscribe to the Sea Rose Cottage Blog or Follow Sea Rose Cottage on Facebook.  That way you will be notified as soon as future workshops are posted.

Please call or email if you should have any questions: Tel 401-254-1166 or to

Thank you!

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Finding Silver Pennies Giveaway

We are so pleased to help celebrate a special anniversary for our friend Danielle Driscoll of the Finding Silver Pennies Blog!

Danielle Driscoll

Danielle Driscoll

Danielle first visited Sea Rose Cottage almost 3 years ago to find out more about Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan.  Her blog was just 3 month old at the time.  It has been wonderful to follow Danielle’s journey and all of her amazing furniture transformations chronicled on her blog.  Personally it has also been particularly gratifying to get to know Danielle and her sweet family over the last 3 years.


Today is a special day as Danielle is celebrating her 3rd Blog-iversary.  My how time flies when you are painting up a storm!  To celebrate, she is hosting a fabulous Giveaway including some of her favorite things.

SRC Give no cell2pm

We are joining in the fun and have put together a special Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Starter Kit, including 2 of Danielle’s favorite Milk Paint colors and $100 Gift Certificate to Sea Rose Cottage with a total value of $250.


The kit includes Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Eulalie’s Sky (above) and Ironstone, of course!

SRC Give Closepm

Hop on over to Finding Silver Pennies to enter and to find out about the total Giveaway package valued at over $420.

This giveaway will stay open for two weeks and end on August 17th 12PM EST, the winner will be randomly selected and announced on Danielle’s blog on August 18th.

Good luck!




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Closed for Vacation July 20-25th, 2014

Sea Rose Cottage’s Bristol location will be closed for vacation Sunday July 20th – Friday July 25th, 2014 and will re-open Saturday July 26th from 10am -5pm.

Online orders placed between Sunday July 20th and Friday July 25th will be shipped Monday July 28th.

Sea Rose Cottage at Simply Vintage of Cape Cod in Centerville, MA will be open all week:  Mon-Sat 10-6 and Sunday from 11-5.


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Closed July 4th 2014

Wishing you all a wonderful 4th of July!  Sea Rose Cottage will be closed Friday, July 4th and re-open Saturday, July 5th from 10am – 5pm.


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Annie Sloan’s Smooth Finish Flat Brush

Finally the paint brush you have been waiting for to achieve a smooth finish with Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan has arrived!

Annie Sloan Flat Brush New

The FLAT BRUSHES feature advanced synthetic fibers for the ultimate silky finish.  They are designed to work specifically with Chalk Paint® to achieve a smooth modern finish.  The brushes are shaped to hold a lot of paint and apply the paint evenly, eliminating brush marks.

The comfortable handles are pre-drilled so the paint brushes can be hung to dry.  Both are light weight, the small brush weighing under 2 ounces and the large brush weighing just over 3 ounces helping to avoid hand fatigue while you paint.

Annie Sloan Small Flat Brush

Chalk Paint® is a versatile decorative paint that was designed  for a variety of finishes (wash, textured, impasto crackle, etc).  It is important to use the right tools and techniques to achieve your desired result.


For a smooth paint application be sure to use the right brush and paint more traditionally in the direction of the wood grain or the previously painted finish.


Since the paint was designed to thicken as it dries (to show more texture and brush stroke) it is helpful to keep the paint ‘open’ while you work for the smoothest finish–especially on a hot summer day!  This can be done by introducing water into the equation either by thinning your paint with water, working with a damp brush, or lightly tipping your brush in water each time you re-load it with paint.

For smooth sailing, order your Annie Sloan Flat Brush today!

Price: $14.00






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Sea Side Book Party

Sea Rose Cottage is thrilled to be hosting a book signing party for our friend and Rhode Island author Elyse Major celebrating her newest book–Seaside Tinkered Treasures!

Elyse_91 copySM

Elyse Major
Photo Credit: Marisa Bettencourt

The party will be held Saturday at Sea Rose Cottage on June 14th, 2014 from 1 p.m – 4 p.m.


The first 10 people to buy a book and get it signed will receive a swag bag filled with goodies from near and far!  Check here for all the swag details.


The party will include nautical-inspired nibbles & sips, a craft buffet where guests can tinker & try their hand at some of the charming creations from Elyse’s book.

ship in a jar

We will be chatting and crafting up a storm!


Sea Rose Cottage will also have a special pop-up sale on Dash & Albert Rugs and Throws—all 10% off during this special event.


A heartfelt thanks to all the Seaside Book Party Sponsors & Contributors!

Alayne White Spa
Beckett Media
Cottage Industry
Finding Silver Pennies
The Greenery
Harbor Bath & Body
 The Knotty Dog
Pat & Toot
Piper Brown Photography
Revival & Tea at the Belvedere
The Speckled Egg
Sugar Pink Boutique
Tinkered Treasures
Two Orange Cats Jewelry


We hope you will join us for a fun and festive afternoon at Sea Rose Cottage!

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Step Back Hutch {Before & After}

We have been playing musical furniture in our house a lot lately.  My favorite hutch found a new home in our dining room.  While the cabinet has made a world of difference in its new location, it has left a gaping hole in our kitchen!

Kitchen Wall

Lucky for me, I found the perfect sized Step Back Hutch at Simply Vintage of Cape Cod.  It came from an old kitchen in Osterville, MA and is thought to date from 1910-1930.  Surprisingly it has a solid one-piece backing (the top cannot be removed).

Hutch sv before 6

Although the size worked,  I hesitated because I thought it was a bit primitive looking and the hardware looked out of place.  I wanted something more farmhouse style and was not quite sure if a paint and hardware update alone would do the trick.

hutch sv before3
I sketched out a plan in my Annie Sloan Workbook to help visualize the changes without any distractions.  Sorry for the terrible rendering but it gave me a quick idea that the piece would work!
Hutch Sketch2
Once in place,  I cleaned the cupboard (with help from my Mom and one of my willing daughters) and removed the old hardware using wood filler to banish the holes.
Hutch Before
I found left over cabinet drawer pulls from our kitchen renovation (classic bin pulls from Pottery Barn) that would be a perfect fit for the larger drawers.  For the smaller drawers I  decided to use file-label draw pulls in a matching finish.
file drawer pulls
The plan was to paint the cupboard with Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan.  The exterior and shelving would be painted in Old White with a pop of color planned for the shelf backing and the inside of the drawers.
I decided on a custom color mix using Provence (2 parts)  Florence (1 part), and Old White (2 parts).
custom mix
This is the in-progress version (before wax).
Hutch During
I  love how the Old White brings a more unified look to the hutch while the custom color brings the piece to life.  Next, the hutch was finished with Annie Sloan’s Clear Soft Wax and the new hardware installed.
Hutch After Open
For a more streamlined look, the cabinet door hardware was eliminated.
Hutch After Closed 1

After a short respite at Simply Vintage of Cape Cod, this freshly painted hutch is back in service as command central in our kitchen.

Step Back Hutch After 3

Hopefully it will keep for another 100 years!

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Painted Weathered Sign Tutorial

I found this great wood sign in need of a little color.  Lucky for me it already had an interesting texture from layers of paint built-up on the surface. 

Eat Sign Before

I decided to paint the sign a more appetizing color—Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Tricycle Red.  I also planned on distressing the painted finish to give the sign a weathered look.

Tricycle-Collage1 Photo Courtesy of Miss Mustard Seed

The white surface would probably require multiple coats of red paint to get full coverage—typical of most bright red paints over a light base.  Since I would have to use multiple coats of paint anyway, it was a great chance to make the project more colorful.  I started by painting the sign a dark red color using Primer Red Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan.

Primer Red Paint

Once dry, I painted over Primer Red with Provence Chalk Paint® –not trying for perfect coverage.  The combination of paint layers and a more gentle approach to distressing the paint will allow me to avoid revealing the ‘original’ white finish later.

Provence over PR

When the surface was dry, I ran a wax puck over some of the edges of the sign so it would resist the Milk Paint allowing some of the underlying color to show through.


Photo courtesy of Miss Mustard Seed

I mixed up a batch of Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Tricycle (the perfect Americana red color!) and painted the sign being careful not to overwork my brushstrokes.  

Tricycle Milk Paint Mix

Taking a cue from resist/textural techniques used in watercolor paintings (often achieved with salt, sand or sawdust), I quickly sprinkled sawdust over areas of wet paint varying the amount I used from heavy to light. 

Sawdust Distress

The sawdust absorbed the watery Milk Paint and, once removed, gave more of an eroded look to the finish.

Letter a

As the sign dried, I rubbed the areas of dried paint and sawdust working the particles off the surface (at least most of them!) 

Rustic Distress

I also removed some of the sawdust in the wetter areas to work off larger amounts of paint for a more rustic appeal.

Sign Edge Detail

I carefully scraped the edges (where the wax puck was used) and lightly sanded areas to create an aged effect without revealing the white paint underneath.

Eat Sign Close Up

The sign was sealed with Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Wax and Antiquing Wax.  The wax really brings out the rich redness of the painted finish!


Bon appétit!


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2013 – A Year in Review

Looking back on 2013, it was a fun and event-filled year at Sea Rose Cottage!


In January we welcomed in 2013 with a new product line from Artisan Enhancements.  A favorite is the Pearl Plaster medium which adds a pearlescent quality to a variety of painted surfaces.


A beautiful example is Victoria Fonseca of Revival & Tea at the Belvedere‘s work on a feature wall in their new Tea Room.  She used the Pearl Plaster and our Moroccan Trellis Stencil with amazing results.  Pictures cannot do it justice, on your next visit to Bristol you will have to see it in person!

feature Wall pearl plaster

All year we enjoyed mixing up custom colors in the shop, made much more efficient with the introduction of our new paint bar!

 Paint Bar

Our favorite color match was pedal car pink.


Late Winter and early Spring brought the planning for and the the kick-off of Art Night Bristol Warren!

Final_logo with new color copy

As a 2013 business partner Sea Rose Cottage was so proud to host talented local Artists throughout the year including Kelley Carey MacDonald (April), Kathrine Lovell (May), Joan Daly (June), Stacey David (August), Lauren Enjeti (September) and Jane Lavender (November).

Black Pug Profile

Black Pug by Kelley Carey MacDonald

Our workshop schedule was full this year and we had a wonderful time exploring paint and color with all of our attendees.  We enjoyed customizing private workshops for several painterly groups as well.  We hope you learned from us as much as we learned from all of you!


May had us prepping for our last Brimfield Show (for now) at the New England Motel Antiques Market.   We were happy to have finished our set-up a little early and were able to venture out for a little shopping.  I picked up some vintage letters from HGTV’s Cari Cucksey of the Repurpose Shop who was partnering with Worthpoint for the May Show.

Brimfield 2013 Cari

It has been quite an adventure participating in our favorite antique show the past several years.  We had a great show and great fun with all of our friends!


In June we partnered with Simply Vintage to bring Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan to Cape Cod.  It was amazing to host free demonstrations to a packed house at our new location!  We will be moving with Simply Vintage to a bigger location in Centerville, MA in January.  Check here for more details.


We were lucky to get away for a bit of training and development ourselves this year.  April found us in New Orleans for the Annual Annie Sloan Stockist Conference.  It was great to see Annie Sloan, Lisa Rickert, and oh so many more!  The hospitality in New Orleans is unparalleled and we came away with a wealth of new information to put into practice.

ASU Stockist Conference 2013

Annie Sloan Unfolded Stockist Conference, New Orleans 2013
Source:  Annie Sloan Unfolded

September found us at Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Retailer Training in Ellicot City, Maryland.  A highlight was meeting Marian Parsons of the Miss Mustard Seed Blog.  She is  as delightful, authentic and inspiring in person as she is in blogland!

Marian Parsons

Marian Parsons

Marian was joined by three talented ladies Jennylyn Pringle, Abbe Doll and Laura Cote Destin.  Needless to say I was so busy learning that I forgot to take photos but Marian has a nice recap here.  It was great to spend time with this creative and energetic group, to catch up with some old friends and to meet some new ones.

Abbe and Jenny LynnAbbe Doll and Jennylyn Pringle

We were able to spend a wonderful day in September with our friend Sally Barker at Counting Sheep Antiques in Berlin, MA.  Sally hosted a 1-day workshop bringing the Artisan Enhancements Team to New England for some specialized training.  We spent a creative day along with our fellow Stockists learning from Michelle Delgado and Stinelli Castaneda O’Leary.

Michelle_DelgadoMichelle Delgado

In November we celebrated Sea Rose Cottage’s 3rd Holiday Preview & Book Party with friends & special guests author Elyse Major of Tinkered Treasures and home & lifestyle blogger Danielle Driscoll of Finding Silver Pennies.  It was a fun and a festive event and a wonderful way to celebrate the Holiday Season!  Danielle featured highlights of the evening here.


Holida Preview Book Party Nov


December allowed us time to sneak in our last and favorite project of the year.  A painted subway car dresser!  As of this writing, the dresser is still available for sale with all proceeds being donated to the One Fund Boston.  More details here.

Subway Dresser Sideview After

It is true it takes a village to raise a child, but also to run a small business!   Behind the scenes every event, every trip and major undertaking required much support from friends and family for which I am eternally thankful!  Looking forward to more adventures in paint and color in 2014. Wishing you all the best for the New Year!



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