Navy and Grey … for a new arrival.

Custom work is about 80% of my work load for sure. In the past years I have thought about limiting the amount of custom clients I take on… and I think I do that to a certain degree. For my mental health and also for my quality of work. But I have to say I enjoy bringing a vision to life. I feel like people that seek out a custom painted piece of furniture from me are looking for something really special for their home. I love being apart of that. It is sometimes much more work on my end design wise and hunting for the knobs and paper that they need to coordinate but in the end its always worth it. At this point in my journey, a lot of clients are seeking pieces I have already done or similar designs so I feel like I am still doing me… just tweaking the design a bit. I love the idea of living simple and small with pieces you really love. I am learning this even in my own home. Creating pieces that I will love forever.

With this particular project we were working together on a design for a new little baby boy. The new momma knew that she wanted navy and grey… so we pulled together some of my past pieces and came to the end with a navy highboy and a grey color block with navy bottom lowboy to match (but not match). The color block design was from a orange and grey piece I did a couple months back…

IMG_4614

And here is the new grey and navy….

IMG_5389

IMG_5391

I used this adorable truck paper…  I didn’t have a  lot so the top drawer is actually old maps  (that also match the paper I used for the highboy).

IMG_5390

And the matching but not matching highboy…

IMG_5394

IMG_5393

IMG_5392

This client was a lot of fun. Mike and I met her husband to drop off the pieces last night and they are just the sweetest. Im so excited for their new addition.

Im off to pack for Portland. We leave tomorrow!

xo
Amanda

Dipped… my new favorite thing.

IMG_4868

I bought a really great bedroom set a few weeks (maybe months) ago and it came with the cutest chair for the vanity. It was very similar to a dining chair but the back was a bit shorter than average dining chairs. I kept that chair in my mind while I painted both dressers and vanity… I kept thinking how cute it would be to dip just the back to accent how cute it was. I finally pulled it out the other day and thought I would do a quick project. It is so funny how sometimes the smallest projects turn into a point of major inspiration for much bigger projects to come.

After I painted the chair I was hooked and had to do a larger scale … the cabinet was a perfect choice because the wood is in great condition. Lately Ive been searching for different. I wanted to do something that would inspire me to try new and make one of a kind pieces that really motivate me to push myself creatively.

IMG_4929

IMG_4940

IMG_4939

Maybe it was the contrast of the wood and white… or unusual design but I think its so fun.  I taped everything off carefully and primed first… I wanted a very bold white.  When I pulled the tape away after painting 2 more coats of paint the line was less than perfect so I actually sanded along the line with a nail file… great tip if you are looking for something to get in a small area that your sanding  block can’t reach. It worked perfectly. I then restored the natural finish rather than using stain. I lined the inside, to add just a little more simple character.

I think I might be on a dipping craze for awhile. This week I am hustling to finish 5 custom projects (some close to being done) … hoping to finish before we leave to take the kiddos to Portland before school starts up again. So excited to show them all the fun things we found on our last trip.

Happy Monday!

Amanda

Matching White Bookshelves

Working with antiques, there always seems to be popular pieces that everyone needs and rare pieces to find… and they are usually one of the same. Matching pairs fall into that category.. it seems like whenever I stumble across a pair of matching nightstands they don’t last very long. So of course, if I find them I always, always buy them. Plus they are so fun to paint. These particular ones are a double WOW… mini bookshelves that MATCH. gah! The moment I found them I ordered paper… because the inside needed something really fun. I choose a great print from Spoonflower called  Navy Waves by mgterry. I like this one because it is subtle and modern but still pretty classic… slightly nautical. Mike said he thinks it looks like necklaces.. I like that too. The wood was mahogany and they had a leather detail on top, so I primed before painting and went with General Finishes Snow White, its a nice bright white and matched the white of the paper perfectly.

IMG_4509

IMG_4511

IMG_4585

Pretty simple but fun makeover for you. I have a good and very busy line up the next few weeks. The shop is busy and my custom calendar is pretty full so I am excited to share more with you soon!

xo
Amanda

Sweet Mustard Buffet + Summer Days

Summer is in full swing and around my house that means planning fun days for my kiddos while trying to get in a little (just a little) time to paint. This summer has been a little easier than  I thought.

I really like a good back stock of furniture, it helps with my creativity and is very helpful when working with clients. But that usually means my studio (a 2 car garage) is full, at least it has been this past Winter and Spring.  A few weeks ago we reorganized and played the stacking game. It cleared a lot of space! It is so nice painting out there again. It feels like my own world, even if its not nearly as organized as it used to be. So for the past two weeks I have been able to play with the kids and  work for a bit throughout the day. Its working nicely.
I feel like with most shades of yellow its important to put on a few extra coats and pay some attention to coverage. Its a harder shade to get right. Speaking of shade, this is my first time using this particular one… and I think Im a little shocked myself because of WHAT shade it is! Its Miss Mustard Seed’s –Mustard Seed Yellow. I ordered it a few months ago…Ive been eager to try new shades and explore some newness altogether.  I was really happy with it! My usual go to Mustard is a bit darker so it was a slight change but much softer. I really enjoy Marian’s color palette in general, I am so drawn to her greens and have used them quite a bit in the past. This yellow is a perfect mix of soft subtle cottage-y yellow with a bold mustard tones.

IMG_4365

IMG_4361

Paper is a huge part of what I love about painting furniture. I think its so fun to open a piece and see a fun pattern inside, and it really cleans it up and makes it feel new. Im working on a little more info for you on this topic so stay tuned. This print is one I ordered a long time ago from Spoonflower.com (more on that later too).

IMG_4362

IMG_4363

I live a bit in the country here in the Pacific Northwest, down the street from my house there is a gravel path about a half mile long leading to our favorite lake. Most summers we spend our days swimming with Clementine in the water. This summer has been idling in the 60’s somedays and we are lucking for low 70’s, so we haven’t been able to enjoy it as much. But between coats of yellow we ran up there and took the dogs off leash and let them play. Charlie is growing fast and testing Clementines limits of patience.  Here is a very quick post I did a few years ago when we took Clem to the lake to swim. IMG_4311

IMG_4315

I actually really love the low temp summer we are having… It’s like Fall or an extended Spring. I have some fun pieces planned for the next few weeks! Have a great Sunday!

xo
Amanda

Empire dressers really are something special. Just like buffets, sometimes they are hard to find while other times I feel like I can get them pretty easily.  I love them because the bones are so detailed and over stated so you can really do any color and create a pretty neat statement piece without doing any over the top designs. With this piece I wanted to just do a simple clean light grey. The paper was one I ordered a long time ago and had in my stash, Audrey thought it was pretty so we went with that.

IMG_4040

For about the last year my studio has been stacked with my back stock so I have been painting in my dining room. Plus its so cold out there! I got in another huge delivery and reorganized the space and ended up with about a 1/3 of my studio back. Which was kinda odd, considering I added 15 pieces!  I was so excited to paint in there again. I have shelving with all my supplies, it always inspires me to try new things and create different designs. Its like a personal Pinterest board in my own home. Im excited to take it back over. This piece really shines in person. the lines are clean and smooth but still has a aged feel.

IMG_4060

IMG_4066

IMG_4067

I called Mike on his way home on Tuesday and asked him to grab flowers (and ice-cream). Having flowers around the house make me happy, and I just needed that this week. When he came home with hydrangeas I cringed because I am not great at keeping them alive. I mean Im not great with any greenery but Im particularly bad with hydrangeas. But I recently read a post from She Holds Dearly about how to keep them fresh. I am happy to report it is Friday and they are still alive! Thank you dear friend for your advice. (Sarah took my paint class over a year ago and she is so delightful).

This past weekend I went to Snohomish, WA with a good friend that told me I HAD to visit. Such a great town, filled with antique shops, artisan food, and handmade ice-cream. We had so much fun taking it all in. Among other treasures, this cute little metal hand came home with me. I liked how odd it was and its perfect for my little photos.

And finally those flash cards that say “beautiful daughter ” hang on my daughters door … and it makes me smile every time because raising girls is SO full of heart. Her and I are working on kindness, and empathy. I want her to grow up with love in her heart for others. Even if its hard. Even if it feels better not to. I want to teach her to not be a victim but to have understanding for everyones journey. I think even as an adult I am learning with her. Learning to grow my heart and faith in people. Love, is really important… to pretty much everyone.  She is such a beautiful girl. Hope you all have a happy weekend.

xo
Amanda

Oyster Grey Desk

This piece was a fun one to work on. I want to say I had this desk for over a year in my backstock. I had stacked it in the back and kinda forgot I had it. A few weeks ago I did a major “summer” clean in my studio and was instantly inspired when I say it again. I’m glad I saved it for the right time. The Real Milk Paint Co. Oyster Grey seemed to be an excellent choice. I’ve been kinda obsessed with their paint lately. I work with milk paint a lot and this one mixes really nicely and I love the coverage. I had some left over from the milk paint class I taught a few weeks prior and knew I loved the perfect cool grey hue. I don’t have a before of this piece but really all she needed was a good light sand and I used a spray Shellac to block the bleed through on the top. I always like to work up a little “design board” for myself to see how the paper and knobs will mesh with the paint colors. It gives me a visual of the project. 

  
I can’t even tell you how much I love this shade. It’s like my long lost grey soulmate. I’ve been searching for it my whole life. Ok… Maybe just a year or so. But it really is perfect. And I only needed two coats. Knobs are Anthropologie (on sale) their knobs are worth the splurge especially if they greatly impact the piece. Paper is Spoonflower artist: Leanne Hatch. 

   
    
 

I think the grey tones down the ornate details and kinda simplifies the overall design. I’m excited to paint with this color again… It’s such a good one! 
Amanda

Before and After– A 2fer The Sweet Little Desk and Black Armoire

I have to tell you I have been blown away by the amount of support for my little business last week. I have been selling a lot more from home lately while maintaining a pretty good stock at The Modern Cottage Co. I finished 3 pieces for sale (and 2 for a promo…more on that later) and each piece sold within a few minutes or hours of being posted on my Facebook and IG. It’s amazing to me that people are following my work and get excited about what I do. I had a few “pinch me” moments and  I’m so grateful for continued growth and the supportive people around me!  I have a few “before and after” photos for you..first up the armoire. 

 
This piece would have looked amazing any color. It’s bones are beautiful and I love pieces with drawers hidden on the inside. It’s a great opportunity to paper or paint something fun. I wanted to keep it simple with basic black and have a coordinating paper inside. I chose Pitch Black from Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company. You get the classic color with a milk paint choice but you still get character in the chippy patina. The awesome scallop paper is from Spoonflower (@littlearrowdesigncompany). 

   

  

   
  

    

I honestly did no prep work other than cleaning the piece. The wood was in good condition and I wanted the milk paint to do what it does best. I sealed first with Maison Blanche Dark Wax (this continues to be a favorite, I love this stuff). I waited over night and went over the whole thing again with clear wax.  

My next piece was originally going to be green but I kept reaching for this awesome deer print (also Spoonflower @Sparrowson)and I thought Driftwood (OFMPC) would be a good match. 

    

I did 2 coats of shellac on this one and mixed a little Light Cream milk paint with Driftwood. I like it slightly lighter.  

   
  

  

Have a great week!! 

Xo

Amanda 

Before and After–A Mini Buffet 

When I bought this piece, I was a bit torn on what to do with it. I was deciding between a vibrant rich blue and coral. For me the most perfect pieces are usually the ones that are the hardest to paint. 

  

They will look pretty in any color and the options are endless! I really wanted to paint in Apron Strings again (by Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint). This color is so fun, it’s sorta a peachy pink and paints like water colors. It takes longer to sell, maybe because it’s more feminine and a little taste specific. I knew it would be risky but artistically I was really drawn to it. So glad I listened to that, it ended up being a piece I am really proud of (and it ended up selling within just a few hours!) woot! 

The drawers are lined with Spoonflower paper (by: littlesmilemakers) and I used General Finishes Satin Finishing Wax to seal. 

Here’s what she looked like before..

  

And after….

   

  

  

  

  

This piece was a fun one, I was surprised by the response and sweet comments from my Facebook and Instagram feeds! What a lovely community of fellow painters and friends. Fills my heart! 

With the support of Alison at The Modern Cottage Company I have decided to start offering paint classes. I really enjoy talking paint and thought it would be a lot of fun! We posted the first Painting 101 class for May 9th and sold out within 24 hours!! So we are scheduling another intro class for May 30th. This class will cover the basics of prep, painting and sealing of a vintage chair that they get to take home. I’m looking forward to planning a number of other classes including a Mommy and Me and Milk Paint. One that I am really looking forward to is a creative class. This class will cover Mod Podging paper, different waxes, glazes, General Finishes Pearl Effects, layering, rub n buff, etc. I get emailed a lot about some of these things and I think people will have fun playing with some of the techniques. It’s really about being creative and making it your own. Hope you are having a fantastic weekend! 

Xo

Amanda 

The Buffet That Started It All–special guest–Devon from Bride on a Bike

Let me start by saying my friends Devon and Jay are two of my favorite people. They are adventurers at heart, that are always out and about trying new things and exploring. They both have a huge passion for all things old and interesting. I always find myself captivated by their stories and in awe of their giving nature. When I heard the story behind this particular piece I thought it was so magical (more to come on that later). Devon had a really cool vision for this piece that I could not refuse. If you read my blog you are well aware of my feelings on white paint, partically white chippy milk paint. It is the absoulute hardest for me. A week does not go by that I do not get an email from someone trying white milk paint and getting just as frustrated. It’s a delicate balance to get the paint to chip but still allow the white to get really white and yellowing and bleed through is always a risk. So… When Devon asked for white and chippy, I cringed a little. I mean wanted this piece perfect!  But I was up for the challenge. The more you work with milk paint the more you figure out the tricks. 

  

Because she wanted it very chippy, I chose no prep at all. Mixed Snow White milk paint by Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co. and went to town. I babyed her, taking my time with each coat. To avoid an uneven look with the chippy parts I avoided sanding between coats. Around the second coat the paint started to chip…I was so excited to see that it was going in a good direction. I had no bleed through or moments of panic, thank goodness! I carefully painted over the paint that was starting to lift, in my opinion I feel that this is best instead of sanding because you get a nice clean look in the end. After 4 coats, I sanded well with a 400 grit and sealed it with Miss Mustard Seeds wax. This wax is so soft and easy to work with. It doesn’t yellow and goes nicely over any color.  I picked a really awesome Spoonflower paper in a yellow geometric print to line the drawers.

   

     

So I will pass it on to Devon now, I asked her to share this fun story of how this piece came to find them and all that happened next…. And here she is: 

 This is the story of a life changing buffet. 

 

It all started one night in late August 2014. I was having trouble sleeping and was wide awake when I shouldn’t have been,  killing time on my iphone app, Varage Sale until I fell asleep.  I saw this buffet priced at $100 and in Maple Valley, Wa. where we had lived for the last 7 years. It had been posted for over 8 weeks and I was about 30 people deep that were interested.  I sent a message to the seller asking if it was still available and scheduled a pick upfor  the following day.  Luckily my husband, Jay  happened to have that Friday off, which is very rare for him. Off to work I went that morning and he went to pick up the buffet I planned on buying, painting then selling.  When I arrived home that afternoon the buffet was in our garage and Jay was eager to get me to go back to meet “the nicest lady” and see her beautiful home and yard.  We ended up talking for hours and in conversation she mentioned that they were thinking of selling in the near future.  When we heard that we immediately looked at each other and our curiosity was piqued.  She kindly gave us a tour of the home and large yard. We saw a beautiful green pasture, turquoise pool, barn, wood shed, garden and lovingly cared for home. My head started spinning.  On our way home I was calling my mom and dad nonstop until they answered. 

 

The next 2 weeks were a whirlwind.  We brought my parents over to view the house and see if they loved it as much as we did. Our good friend Vicki a realtor met with us to give us the comps on our homes and talk to us about putting both our homes on the market.  We presented an offer to the sellers of our “dream home” and eagerly anticipated their response.  They agreed and a plan was put in action. Jay and I would sell our home, my mom and dad would also sell theirs and we would buy this property together.  The plan was to renovate the daylight basement into their home and Jay and I would live upstairs.  

 

The next 3 months were packed with showings, lots of packing and purging, loan documents and the excitement building until we could move into the new house.  We could not have asked for a kinder more patient couple to be buying from.  Both our homes sold in good time and we all moved in together.  

 

I sometimes can’t believe how we got here. So many random things had to fall into place.

 

The house was not listed for sale. 

The buffet on Varage Sale had been on there for weeks and it had a lot of interested people but Every. Single. One. Of. Them. Didn’t. Follow. Through.

Jay struck up a conversation that led us going back that same evening to look at more furniture and talk for hours.

My mom and dad also saw the potential in this property and jumped right in.

 

Words cannot express how peaceful it is out here in the country. We have two and a half acres, room for animals, room to paint and work on projects and to relax. Breathe. Unwind. You name it, my soul is content here.

 

So this is why the buffet needed to stay with us. My mom thought it would look nice in our entry.  Jay and I moved it in and agreed it looked at home there.  I sent a picture to my dear friend Amanda and asked if she would paint it for me. Luckily she agreed and I am so honored to have this chippy buffet in my forever home. She created it from the heart down to the smallest of details.  The vintage glass knobs that she picked for it, the drawers were lined and she even noticed that one of the doors wasn’t closing properly so she and her darling husband fixed it. She created a piece that will be in my family for many years to come.

 

So that is the story of how this buffet changed our lives for the better and also became the most expensive piece of furniture we have ever purchased second hand.

 

XOXO

Devon



Thank you for taking the time to read about Devons lovely buffet, it was truly a pleasure to work on and I am beyond thrilled she asked me to be apart of their story. Check out Devon on Instagram @brideonabike and Facebook to follow along on her journey of awesomeness. 


Xo

Amanda 

 

 

 

Before and After–An Empire Buffet in White Glaze

I really wanted to write up a post on this buffet because I feel like the process was so fun and very easy. I have been couch bound this week with a horrible cold and I finally feel ok enough to write a little something. So first things first… these empire style pieces are awesome. I love the chunkiness and curves in their character, it is by far the best to paint. However they are endangered and getting harder and harder to find. So when I do, I like to do something different and exciting. I have been really into General Finishing lately, probably because my friend Alison started selling it in her shop. We are always chatting about fun combos and experiments to try. The team at The Modern Cottage Co. is really awesome about that. We run things off of each other and even support what seems like crazy ideas. I did a paint demonstration there this Saturday and I was telling the customers that came to watch that you should try not to limit yourself to the instructions on the back of the can. Use what you read as a guideline to the “rule of thumb”. Experimenting and making mistakes will make you a better painter and artist. Its ok to try layering and different techniques to see what the outcome is. With that being said be careful, you still want to take care in your prep and sealing. I came across this glaze in Winter White by General Finishes. I kept wondering what it would look like over a pretty Oak finish? So when I found this buffet it was a perfect marriage to my vision. This product is super easy to use and almost gives an effect of white wax. I could see this being a great layering product over paint.
IMG_1674
The glaze is applied by brushing it on and then wiping the excess away, leaving behind a pretty translucent finish. My prep work was really just a simple light sand with 220 grit and I sealed with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Semi-Gloss. I later went back and just rubbed the glaze in certain spots to enhance the white. This was a great way to create a driftwood look, and really did take under an hour to apply.

image1 

image2 

image3 

image4 

image5 

image6 This one is for sale! $495. 😊I might try to gather some photos and do a post on the Pearl Effects next (which is what I used in the demo)… that was a lot of fun to work with and a very unique product. Have a great Thrusday! 

 xo 

Amanda