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…
And here is the new grey and navy….
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).
And the matching but not matching highboy…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
This piece had my heart from the beginning. I love little mini buffets like this, maybe because the options are really endless for the design and function. Every time I score one of these babies… I always seem to paint it right away, because I just cant wait! I met the sweetest couple today that came over to buy a dresser. I was telling them about how weird and silly it is that I get so attached to the pieces I work on. I really do. I put a lot of thought into the detail and design and I love meeting people that get that. It feels nice sending my creations to their new homes where it will be appreciated and loved. Each piece is a piece of time that has a long story of places they have lived. Even though they are only with me for a short time, I would like to think that I am fixing and restoring and maybe adding a little beauty before I send them on to another home.
This one had a number for repairs that needed to be done. I drove 2 hours round trip to pick her up AND I paid to much for the condition…but I have no regrets. With certain styles, its worth it and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I chose General Finishes Milk Paint in Antique White, beautiful Anthropologie knobs and Spoonflower paper. I actually did a very subtle hint of gold on the legs too!
Here she is….
This was so much fun to work on. The details really do make the piece. The Anthro knobs and beautiful Spoonflower paper (artist:@ivieclothco) match so well. This paper is a perfect blend of fresh and modern and still subtle, I just love it.
I have another really pretty empire buffet to work on (hopefully this week). My studio is a horrible mess and I work best when its clean and organized, but yet I am very messy when I work. You can imagine my struggle… its so very real. 😉