Barcelona Orange Bedside Tables

My latest project was updating two matching bedside tables–straight from the 1970′s.  The old surface was a faux ”green oak”  laminate veneer.


My hope was that a fresh update with Chalk Paint® would help usher the furniture into the modern era.

I decided to banish the faux oak laminate with Annie Sloan’s bright and bold Barcelona Orange Chalk Paint ®.


Provence Chalk Paint® will be used inside the drawers for a special touch.

Provence_OpenLidFirst I used Annie Sloan’s Graphite paint to cover the faux wood grain of the veneer.  This allowed me to achieve better coverage overall.


Next I topped it off with Barcelona Orange.


The paint was sealed with Annie Sloan’s Clear Soft Chalk Paint® Wax.


The jewelry-like drawer pulls were updated with spray paint in oil-rubbed bronze.

File Oct 19, 5 10 36 PM

It is amazing how the power of paint can transform such outdated pieces!


Once timeworn and lackluster, these fun & functional side tables have fresh modern appeal!


Thanks to Barcelona Orange!


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!

Mixing it up with Pearl Plaster & Chalk Paint®

I mentioned in an earlier post that Artisan Enhancements Pearl Plaster is now available at Sea Rose Cottage.  Learn more about the magic of Pearl Plaster or purchase here.

Pearl Plaster adds a lustrous, pearlescent quality to furniture and wall finishes.  In its natural state, its shimmery pearl color is just fabulous!

What is also fun about Pearl Plaster is that you can tint it with Chalk Paint® too!  The general rule of thumb is to use 10-15% Chalk Paint® to Pearl Plaster.  Be careful not to thin it down too much.

I was working on a project over the weekend and ended up tinting the Pearl Plaster with a custom mix of French Linen & Paris Grey Chalk Paint®.  The color had a modern zinc-like feel.

After I saw the result,  I became curious about the many Pearl Plaster color variations that can be created with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan and her rich color palette.


While I didn’t mix all of Annie’s 30 gorgeous colors with the Pearl Plaster, I did pick out a few of the more saturated ones.

Like Aubusson Blue and Florence…

Provence and Emile

and Graphite and Old Violet.

I used 1 Part Chalk Paint to 10 Parts Pearl Plaster for my mixes.

I love the beautiful shimmering light blue-grey of Aubusson Blue  & Pearl Plaster.
 The light sparkling spa-green color created with Provence is just exquisite,

and with Graphite, Pearl Plaster creates a wonderful modern silver-grey finish.

Mixing it up with Pearl Plaster and Chalk Paint® is a great way to extend your metallic color range!

How would you mix it up?


Before and After Picture Frame

I picked up this gold picture frame at the local Thrift Shop with plans to experiment with some fun products including Chalk Paint™ decorative paint by Annie Sloan and her Crackle varnish (Craqueleure) just to name a few!


First I painted the surface with Provence Chalk Paint.™  When it was dry, I wiped some of the surface area with a damp rag to reveal hints of gold underneath.  Then, I lightly dry brushed the surface with Cream Chalk Paint.™

Now onto the next step….I applied Annie Sloan’s 2 step Craqueleur over the dry surface to give the frame some interesting texture.  Janet from The Empty Nest Blog gives a wonderful tutorial on the 2 step process here.

Once the two step crackle is applied and has dried, it is hard to detect the fine crackle pattern before antiquing it with Annie Sloan Dark Soft Wax.  Once you apply and wipe off the excess Wax, the fine eggshell crackle is revealed.

I used some Gilding Wax in Empire Gold to lift the color and bring highlights to the surface.

After the Wax had dried but was still tacky, I applied Aging Dust to the surface to give the frame a time worn feel.

I love restyling picture frames and mirrors!

  It is a fun and easy way to update your furnishings and enjoy a custom hand  painted finish for years to come.

Meet Florence at Sea Rose Cottage’s Next Workshop!

Introducing Annie Sloan’s beautiful color Florence!  Released as a limited edition in Europe, it will soon be available in the U.S. and Canada.  It is a beautiful addition to the historic palette of Chalk Paint (TM) decorative paint colors now available in the U.S.

Florence is a rich jewel green that looks great by itself or over Annie Sloan’s Provence (pictured middle, right below).  The possibilities are endless!


Work by Annie Sloan, photo by Christopher Drake.


The color Florence is inspired by malachite, a copper mineral that was historically used as a pigment in paints until about 1800.  The beauty of this natural stone continues to be reflected in fashion and home decor in a variety of ways.  Learn more about Annie’s color inspiration here.

Photo Credit Dlloyd at the English language Wikipedia


Florence is debuting at the Haven DIY and Blogger Conference in Atlanta this Thursday & Friday June 21st and 22nd!

Haven Conference 2012
If you are lucky enough to go, please visit the Annie Sloan Unfolded Sponsor Booth to take your chance on some fun and fabulouse giveways!

Our first shipment of Florence is arriving Tuesday.  Please email if you want to reserve a quart or sample.

Florence will be featured as a bonus sample finish during Sea Rose Cottage’s next Restyle-Your-Furnishings Workshop scheduled for Thursday, July 19th!  Follow this link  for a full workshop description and to Register Now.  Class size is limited to 6 participants, spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Happy Painting!



Painted Wicker Garden Chair

To paint or not to paint?  This is a question I often ask myself.   I love chippy old finishes on furniture and the characteristic dings and scratches that make them unique. Regardless, I’m almost always tempted to paint them.

When I found this vintage wicker stool I wasn’t quite sure what to do.

Then I came across this old green skirted wicker chair.  The chippy finish seemed busy and distracting in comparison.

 You can barely detect the woven diamond pattern centered on the back of the chair.

I decided to paint the chair in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint —a mix of Old White and Provence thinned with water.

I didn’t attempt full coverage of the paint over the wicker.  I like how the original green color peeks out in places.

To paint or not to paint?

Sometimes the answer to that age old question is an emphatic “Both!”

If you are lucky enough, others will agree!

Linking up to:
Furniture Feature Fridays

My first guest post!

I am so thrilled to be featured on Kelly Bernier’s Fabulous Blog Restyling Home By Kelly!  Check out my guest post here.

Restyling Home by Kelly

Sharing decorating advice, design inspiration, color
selection help and hints & tips I’ve learned along the way.

Kelly is a talented designer who helps to make homes happy with color selection and room makeovers in a day using existing furnishings.  What a great and inexpensive way to update your home for the holidays!

I am always in the restyling mode and love to use her blog as a resource.  I especially love all her insights with color and how she generously shares her restyling tips and tricks.  Check out her post on the 60-30-10 color rule–it is one of my favorites!

 Jim Howard



Green-ish Blue-ish

“Green-ish blue-ish” that is how my youngest daughter describes the color I have grown fond of the last few years.  Even though red is just as high on my list, she insists that I can only have one favorite color in my house and I’m told it is not red.  Well I guess I can’t fight that wisdom!  I kept this new rule in mind while pondering my next project—painting a pair of 8-year old hutches.

Let’s just say I wouldn’t normally take on a project of painting two hutches at once for the fear that they would be left abandoned in some sort of half-painted frozen state.  Maybe I would make it all the way through 2 coats of primer, one on each hutch and then lose my steam.  Perhaps there was hope I could get a first coat of paint color on at least one of the pieces (in between dance recitals and soccer games)–dare I say two?  No way.  

Thanks to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, my thinking on tackling such a project has completely changed!   No need to  prime or prepare– I think this paint was made especially for me!  So I dug right in, fearless in my approach not only because the makeover candidates were from IKEA, but the Chalk Paint is so forgiving that worst case scenario I could quickly paint over something if I didn’t like it.


I decided to first paint the cabinets in a wash of Annie Sloan Old White Chalk paint diluted with water and then over that coat with a more elegant green-ish blue-ish (Provence mixed with  Duck Egg blue and water to a consistency of a cream).


After the paint was dry I lightly sanded the finish and then applied one coat of of Annie Sloan Clear Wax.  While I was at it, I changed out the toile fabric with something more neutral with the look of linen (canvas drop cloth).  


Green-ish Blue-ish it is!

It’s a sign!

I had my eye on a vintage wooden “paint supplies” sign at Robin Jenkins Antiques for longer than I care to remember.  I really, really wanted to buy it and hang it in my workshop but had to forgo it since there were other pressing needs at the time (like a new lock system for the van—ouch!).  Of course in the pecking order of priorities, replacement of our ratty old living room couch scores much higher than “really cool sign” for my studio.  I was sure that someone would come in and snatch it up long before I was in a position to buy it. 

Fast forward several  months later and my Mom was on the hunt for the perfect birthday gift for me.  At the same time, I was exploring the possibility of being a Stockist of Annie Sloan Chalk Paints.  Having given up the search for the elusive gift, my Mom decided to ask me if there was anything  that I really, really wanted for my special day but wasn’t in a position to get for myself.  The answer was a resounding “YES !”  Checkbook in hand, I raced over to Robin’s to see if the sign was still in the back of her shop.  As I opened the door there it was —a sign!  My sign!  ( ratty couch =0, really cool sign =1).  Robin helped me get the sign to its new home.  Hanging the sign was added to the very bottom of our very long  ”to do” list which seems to come with the territory of living in an old house.  I was still just as happy to be its proud new owner!

While I loved the sign “as is” I thought it could use a little love and brightening up.


Enter Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in my favorite color -Provence!

The sign is now appropriatly hung in its place of honor in my newly restyled workshop/retail space.  The last time I looked its brother, a Hardware &  Tools sign, was awaiting adoption at Robin Jenkins new shop space in Tiverton Four Corners.  Suddenly I’m feeling very maternal!