Weathered Wood Dining Set

Do you guys get that high when you complete a piece and stage it for photos?? That’s where I am right now! I picked up this incredible dining set off Facebook marketplace. It caught my eye because of the pedestal base and the interesting chairs, it was a heck of a deal too! Ignore the fruit on the top…yes, hand painted fruit ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ‹

I don’t do many dining sets, my workspace just doesn’t accomadate them. A dining set must be fully assembled to redo a table top. I work in half of my two car garage, so you can imagine, things like dining tables and huge hutches are just impossible.

I needed this one to stage a home for sale, so I snagged it. At first sight, my mind ran to that one Pinterest pic we all have saved. You know the one, the Restoration Hardware look with the same pedestal base? That was my finish inspiration!

Materials list:

1. Dixie Belle white lightening cleaner

2. Dixie Belle drop cloth

3. Dixie Belle gravel road

4. Dixie Belle hurricane gray

5. Dixie Belle Caviar

6. Dixie Belle gator hide top coat

Order your Dixie belle products here:

Dixie Belle Order link

The set was in really good condition, really no damage to fix. I started by removing the chair cushions and cleaning well with Dixie Belle white lightening. The first step in this finish was a clean coat of Dixie belle drop cloth. I did 2 coats for even coverage and to get rid of that fruit. ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ“

I let each coat dry overnight. The next step is a thin streaky coat of Dixie Belle gravel road. Gravel road is interesting because in the container it is a deep gray with a slight brown undertone, but when thinned, you can really see the brown in it. I accomplished this by misting my surface with water and brushing on a thin layer. To get more streaking, so the white would peek through, I came back with a dry paint brush and brushed through it again.

I liked this as a start, but it needed more. Layers, Layers! Once this dried, I put a clear coat over it just to preserve this base as I added more colors. After the clear coat had dried, my next step was a wash of Dixie belle hurricane gray. I did the wash by misting my surface with water and putting on a thin layer of the gray, then wiping it back to preserve the streaky look. This toned down the brown and added a nice gray tone.

By the time I got done with the wash on the table and all chairs, my first piece was just about dry. I grabbed a wide and course wallpaper brush and started dry brushing in streaks of caviar. I like the coarse brush because it gives texture to the dry brushing. I did all pieces with streaks of caviar, then came back and dd the same thing with drop cloth to do add streaks of white.

The thought behind the layering of colors is that weathered wood would have unevenness and variation in color, maybe traces of old paint in spots.

The seats were covered in a hideous red and olive striped fabric, it had to go. I stripped them down and found beautiful woven seat bases underneath. This set is incredibly well constructed. I had a vision in my head for what the fabric should look like. I found this Waverly upholstery fabric at Joanns and loved that it tied in the grays and beiges with a nice botanical print and even hints of metallic. I covered all chairs using a staple gun, clean folded edges, and even a base to hide the seat construction, no detail left undone.

In the end, I think I out RH’d, Restoration Hardware! The whole process took about a week, working on it for a few hours each day. This set is solid wood, really nice quality, and has a modern, neutral finish. What do you think?

Blended Blue Buffet

I’m supposed to be moving in a few months, we are building a new home, but my garage is a warehouse of furniture waiting for its turn in line. I can never resist a good piece, despite strains on my production ability ๐Ÿ˜. I overpaid for this buffet months ago because I love the details on it and it is in spectacular condition. I have a similar piece saved in my inspiration on Pinterest done in a gray/blue with gold accents. The holiday times were a bit slower than usual so I pulled out some pieces that had gone a while with no orders to do my own thing.

Products used for this look:

1. 8 oz Dixie Belle paint in stormy seas

2. 8 oz Dixie belle paint in vintage duck egg

3. 8 oz Dixie belle paint in driftwood

4. Black glaze

5. Dixie belle best dang wax in Clear, black, and brown

6. Gold guilding wax

7. Gel stain

8. Dixie belle Gator hide top coat

9. Dixie belle White lightening cleaner

Get your Dixie Belle Paint for this look here:

Dixie Belle Order Link

After a good cleaning with white lightening, I chose a blended look for this piece to add interest to the otherwise flat faces on the front. Blending adds softness and interest where there may be none. I chose a graduation of blues, 3 similar shades from dark to light.

I did two blended coats on this piece, each done exactly the same so that I have two coats of each color over each other. The base coat is blended with a bit less precision knowing that it is just a base.

This video shows paint blending in action using the same 3 colors:

paint blending technique

After two blended coats, I coated this piece in clear wax to seal my paint, now for the detailing. I started with black glaze, just to get into the low points of the acute details on the doors and carvings, wiping it back bottom the surrounding areas for a clean, dark line.

Glazing video

I came back right after glazing, once it had dried to the touch, and added gold guilding wax. I applied the guilding wax with a small artists brush and a steady hand. Guilding wax on its own is very durable, but I added another coat of clear wax to seal the glazing in.

Guilding wax video

After a second coat of clear wax I added brown and black wax accents, smearing them outward from the dark glaze, to great a more shadowed effect.

The top on this piece was gorgeous, a beautiful, clean piece of wood. I stained with two coats of no pain gel stain in espresso and coated in gator hide. The perimeter of the top is framed in intricate carved detail that would have been impossible to strip, so I painted that portion, glazed the crevices, and also coated in gator hide

The hardware is all original. I cleaned it well by soaking in white vinegar over night. It cleaned very well, but to make the gold coordinate, I hit the hardware with a bit of gold guilding wax as well. The gold on the piece was a bit harsh, so I distressed it back a bit using fine steel wool to expose the blue underneath as though it had been finely guilded ages ago, but worse for the wear.

Rustic Red Re-do

I picked up this 9 drawer dresser with great detailing and hardware off of Facebook marketplace. I’d had a few bites on it for different colors from my stockpile of unfinished pieces but finally got an order for it in a rustic barn shade of red. It was just the perfect dimensions for my customers space.

Products used for this piece:

1. 8 oz. Dixie Belle paint in rustic red,

2. Dixie belle gator hide top coat

3. Gel stain

4. Black glaze

5. Dixie Belle best dang wax in Clear, black, and brown

6. Dixie Belle white lightening

Order your Dixie Belle Paint for this look here:

Order Dixie Belle paint here

I’ve learned a lot since I started buying pieces of vintage furniture. I am much pickier now than when I first began. I prefer to avoid repairs as much as possible. If I do find pieces in need of repair, they are usually simple, not complete restorations. Repair work can add so much time to refinishing and it is in my best interest to spend a bit more money and get better quality pieces. I’m a huge fan of vintage hardware, there is nothing else like it. Hardware is like old costume jewelry made just for your piece. It has character and style that can never be duplicated by a modern pull. I always strive for complete vintage hardware, but on occasion its just not there and the piece is worthwhile enough, either because of price or style, to find a replacement.

Just my luck, this one had both missing hardware and some much needed repairs, plus contact paper! Ugh!! ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

My thoughts on lining drawers: If they are clean and in good condition…leave them alone! Once a drawer is lined, it will likely always need to be lined. I only line drawers that need it to hide discoloration or damage.

My customer wanted a wood stained top. No big deal, I love them too and do tons of them. Upon stripping the existing finish off the top, I found that at some point in its life, someone else had refinished the top, and not very well. It’s not very common to find solid wood tops on pieces I’m working with. After the 1950’s the days of 1″ thick solid wood tops are long gone, that’s when veneers came into fashion. Most modern tops are a combination of a cheaper variety of wood, pine maybe, and a more exotic veneer over that. Still all wood, just a combination of materials, very common, and still very refinishable.

During its last makeover, someone had sanded through the veneer on this top into the wood underneath. Veneers are generally very thin, fractions of an inch, and need to be sanded very cautiously, over sanding destroys the veneer. My gut sunk, this needs to be stained wood, but has a huge flaw in two spots! My first instinct was to sand them smooth, add a bit of wood filler, and gel stain over the top. Gel stain is a thicker, more opaque option. It’s sits on top of the wood, can be used over existing finishes, and can be very camouflaging. The problem I ran into was that the filler took the stain very differently and the repaired portions were still just as visable. I used mineral spirits to wipe the gel stain back off and sanded the wood filler back too the damaged wood. I decided to use the gel stain over the damage as is, layer it for deeper coverage, and could always faux paint spots to match if needed. I did 3 coats of dark gel stain and got great, even coverage. Note to self, staining damaged veneer is better than wood filler.

Dixie Belle offers two shades of red that could have worked for this, barn red is a bit more true red and rustic red is a shade darker. I chose the rustic red. My local retailer only had the rustic in an 8 oz container, I was a bit nervous about coverage. I got two coats of beautiful coverage from an 8 oz container, with paint to spare! If you’ve ever painted a wall in your house red, you know that it can take several coats to get even coverage. I’ve found with Dixie belle, even the scariest colors for coverage (white, yellow, red) have no issues whatsoever!

After two coats of rustic red, I added distressing around the edges just using my power sander, can’t go rustic without distressing! The top got several thin coats of gator hide top coat applied with a sponge and the body got clear wax. I accented the details with brown and black waxes but chose black glaze to get into the fine carvings on the center drawers.

I was missing two small knobs. Matching vintage hardware is the bane of my existence. It is a challenge to say the least. Sometimes new hardware can be used as a great accent, a modern touch on a vintage piece. These glass knobs from hobby lobby were the perfect size, similar in shape to its original counterparts, and added a bit of charm. When I delivered this piece, the vision came together perfectly. The room has a country farm table with various wood colors and black chairs so the dark stain worked flawlessly. It fit right under a window perfectly. I love seeing them in their new home and a vision come to life!

Pretty in Pink Dressing Table

It wasn’t so pretty when it started but I was drawn to the uniqueness of this piece. I haven’t done one before, it has great hardware, and the mirror is a great detail. The bottom drawer needed a new drawer bottom cut, my husband wanted to put it out to the curb, no way!! This size is pretty petite, has a feminine feel. My first instinct on this was pink, but I didn’t listen to my gut, tried to do something feminine, but not as traditional, and I went with green. I had just gotten a great shipment of fusion mineral paint that I was overdue to dive into.

Fusion mineral paint is my go to for smooth, refined finishes. It is a water based acrylic, self leveling, with a built in top coat. It just does sophisticated looks better than any other. It is not a chalky style paint like Dixie Belle. With these two in my tool box, I just about cover all of my needs.

The one thing I hadn’t tried fusion for is blended and more distressed finishes so I wanted to give it a shot. I initially dug into this with Fusion mineral paint in Brooke, park bench, and homestead blue, an epic combination even though they didn’t end up on my final piece.

Im trying to adapt to doing Facebook live videos, they are intimidating, waaayyy out if my comfort zone. For some odd reason, sometimes people just like to watch me paint, lol. I know there are techniques that are easier seen and sometimes techniques are hard to describe in words. I set up my camera and started on this.
You can tell I am questioning myself and that is a sure fire sign that I am missing the right direction. My standard for creating pieces is “would I put it in my own home”, and this didn’t meet that standard. I can’t sell something I wouldn’t see in a room in my own house. My brain demands symmetry. I try to do the messy, drippy, distressed, boho type looks made popular by “The Turquoise Iris”, I love her work, but when I do it, it just looks messy. Even my messy finishes need to have balance and symmetry. I prefer a softer, more blended, and less abstract look.

After doing this live, I ended up back in my garage at 2:00 a.m. repainting it pink, but a single color isn’t enough, it needed more. Pink and gray are a popular, yet still feminine combination. I used Fusion mineral paint in English rose and Little lamb.

I did the top in English rose and the bottom in little lamb. Choosing a point roughly half of the base I brushed the colors into each other using vertical brush strokes, letting the line appear random. I used my Staalmeister angled sash brush to get into the crevices of the top.

This piece is chippy, it had a life before this. Sometimes the piece determines if it should be distressed or left “clean”. I sanded the edges back with a power sander. This is where the green undercoat started to peek through. My mistake turned out to be a happy accident! There is nothing that can’t be fixed in painting. Being an expert doesn’t mean not making mistakes, just learning to recover from them!

After a coat of clear wax over all, I added a dark glaze to the english rose portion, just to “dirty” up the pink a bit. It got into the corners and nicks on the dresser top. I then used Fusions silver wax to add some shimmer to the gray portion. I used fusion espresso and black waxes along the drawer edges to create a shading effect.

The hardware on this had great old patina. I let it soak overnight in vinegar and just wiped them clean, but not enough to remove the patina. It worked with the worn look of the piece. I have a gold mine, a box of old vintage wallpaper, a lot of pinks and florals, and one petite floral print was perfect for this. I cleaned the drawers well, and then used a heavy duty spray adhesive to lay the paper. Once in, I trimmed the edges with a razor blade. 

My neighbor popped in and mentioned that the mirror would be great as a chalkboard. Hmmm, the back of it was a flat piece of wood and the mirror lifted out and could be used backwards. I sanded the back of the mirror smooth and gave it 3 coats with a can of spray on chalk board paint. 

In the end, despite reworking, I’m thrilled with the simple beauty of this piece. It’s soft and elegant as it was meant to be! But you didnt think the story of this piece ends in a pretty pink package with a bow on top, right? Nope. This was incredibly popular and a customer bought up this beauty, to be delivered along with another piece she’d ordered. My husband loaded them up, we removed the drawers and mirror, he left it standing and strapped it in. 

The piece was fairly light without drawers, and left standing, it fell out of the truck bed on our way to deliver ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ. Devastating!! Thankfully it fell into dirt and the dresser top got most of the damage. It cracked the top, but the mirror holder stayed in tact. A new top will be cut and this piece will be better than before, with a little bit of attention!

Christmas Eve Green and Gold

When I was asked to do a Facebook live for Dixie Belle I was super excited, or terrified…maybe a bit of both. I chose the Christmas Eve slot because I thought it would be a fun thing to do for the holidays, I’ve been loving all of the holiday staging out there. 

It was kind of an open door. I could fill @25-30 mins of whatever painting content I came up with. A blessing and a curse. I wanted to come up with something that was engaging, helpful, easy to teach, but still an impactful finish.

I’ve done small FB Lives on my own page with @4,000 followers, a few minutes at most, but this was 30 minutes on a page with 90k followers! As a new brand ambassador, my biggest fear was disappointment.

I tried to think of things I like when watching a video

1. Is it concise and to the point, not too much chatter or down time?

2. Is it teaching a technique or idea that I would actually want to try?

3. Is it entertaining, full of engagement?

4. Is the presenter prepared or winging it?

I wanted to come up with a look that was holiday inspired and allowed me to use a new product. Green and Gold was perfect, allowed me to use the Dixie Belle gold metallic base and top coat. I may have gone a bit more elaborate on the finish, but I needed to keep it as something I could teach easily on camera. 

The Bombay chest was an easy choice because the piece itself is interesting and eye catching and the size was right. I originally was going to do a small toy chest on camera but found this accent table that was the right size and simple in shape. 

My garage is usually stuffed full of furniture. The day of the live we moved a bunch of it out into the driveway to clear out the garage. We set up a clean white back drop in the garage. I put the finished piece on a table to make it visable and used my Dixie Belle paints to accessorize it. My husband connected two furniture dollys so I could rotate the sample piece. I bought some photography lighting on FB marketplace for $20 to make sure my lighting was adequate, even put my logo on an apron to wear on camera.

Im pretty high strung so this was all I could think about for a week beforehand. Not sure how people do this all the time. I prepped my piece by doing each side in the next sequential step. When it came time, my stomach was in knots, it’s LIVE, no redo. There was a clock in front of me so I could watch my time. It actually went by surprisingly fast! Once I was painting everything seemed to flow, painting always calms me down a bit, it’s where I’m comfortable.

Im so glad to have this under my belt. I feel good with the outcome. You can hear what I’m saying, the up close shots are good, and hopefully the techniques were helpful. I hope to do more of these in the future…but not too many…because they make me freak out.

This piece needs no tutorial, because the whole process is on video! So watch here and duplicate this look at home:

Order your Dixie Belle products through my affiliate link here:

All in all the final look is very rich, regal, and holiday inspired

Classic Gray Jacobeanย 

This Jacobean style cabinet was brought to me by one of my best customers. I love her because she trusts me enough to tell me a color and let me transform her pieces. I honestly enjoy doing projects for her. This piece had been refinished prior to me getting it. The finish was well done, a multi colored teal and metallic, coated in poly, but some of the details were lost in the color and we were going for a more classic look, she gave me gray.

We looked at several colors and settled on Dixie Belle paint in hurricane gray and using drop cloth to make specific details pop. I started by giving the existing poly finish a light sanding, just enough to touch the surface. The painted finish was in good shape, no chipping or peeling, so I could go right over the top. I gave it a good cleaning with Dixie Belle White lightening and removed all of the hardware. 

Use my Dixie Belle affiliate link to order your products and follow this look yourself!

We wanted to leave some portions of the piece done in wood tones as a nod to the pieces past. I started by using citri strip on the two center medallions. I chose citri strip because it is gentle enough to not damage the surrounding areas, thick in consistency to not drip, and water based so it’s easy to clean off any residue. For wood tops I usually use harsh chemical stripper like jasco or kleen strip, they are just more effective. I sanded the medallions and left them to be finished later.

The goal was a warm gray , we didn’t want to go to dark, so I mixed a bit of burlap into the hurricane gray, roughly a 3:1 mix, but in poor habit, I always just eyeball custom mixes. One coat gave great coverage, no traces of the blue undercoat whatsoever. The second coat gave a smooth and polished finish. 

First coat:

Second coat:

Next came adding the contrasting white details. I chose dixie belle drop cloth because it is a warm white, not to stark agajnst the gray. I chose some prominemt details on the front that were symmetrical and few enough that it was not overbearing. These were painted with an artist’s brush and a steady hand with two coats, careful to keep the edges clean, but knowing glaze would hide flaws in the crevices. I then gave the entire piece a coat of clear wax with the exception of the wood medallions.

After waxing I started on glazing. Glazing is a tedious process, a lot of applying and removing, but pieces like this are destined for glaze. Those fine details come alive by giving them definition. Glaze is a semi liquid that finds the low points and wipes off the high points. It is water based so it can be thinned with a spray if water to get as subtle if a look as you want. I always wax under glaze to keep the paint from absorbing it, and again over the top to protect the glaze.  

Before glaze:

After glaze:

The centers were ready for stain. I think this step really made the piece take shape. I hand sanded around the very edges to remove any final traces of blue and applied stain with a brush, careful not to get any on the surrounding white trim. I let the stain dry over night and then gave it several light coats of gator hide with a brush and light sanding in between. 

The final step was Dixie belle best dang wax in brown and black just to give shading to some select spots. The hardware had been coated in rub n buff before I got it. I wanted to restore it’s original beauty so I soaked them overnight in vinegar, and scrubbed with an sos pad.  Underneath was a hammered, coppery finish that almost looked like mother of pearl. I love vintage hardware. It is like classic jewelry made just for the piece. 

I cant get enough of all the holiday staging right now. I used a red rag wreath and some pine clippings from our property. This piece is so classic and classy in its new finish. More importantly, the customer loved it, she dropped off 3 small tables and sent me pics of it in its new home!

Brushed Metallic Mahogany

I have a weakness for this style of furniture. Popular in the 1950’s and 60’s, these solid mahogany pieces get me every time. Classic Hepplewhite pulls, the name Drexel, I pick them up every time, and sometimes over pay. I found this treasure on offer up. They also had a hutch that I wanted but just had no room for. 

The piece itself was in really good condition. It still needed refinishing from blemishes in the original finish. My initial vision for this piece was as a holiday piece, done in soft metallics, staged in silver and gold, Perfect! Well, if anything, this piece is evidence that the best laid plans don’t always work out as planned…sometimes they work out even better!!

I started on this one by cleaning it thoroughly with Dixie Belle White Lightning. You’ll remember from my last post that I hate prep. I cleaned this piece and stripped the top alongside the mermaid blues piece, then set it to the side. Cleaning is a chance to go over the piece with a fine tooth comb. I found all of the areas that needed a bit of sanding and sanded them out. These mahogany pieces are notorious for bleeding. The tannins in these old, garish, red stained pieces bleeds through chalk paint without fail. I usually handle bleed by painting a coat, seeing if bleed occurs, if it does I seal with a coat of shellac, then apply my second coat. Two coats are needed anyway so this assures I do not do an extra step. However, on this piece, I anticipated bleed, especially where I’d sanded the old finish back, so I applied a coat of zinsser spray shellac before any paint.

My only experience with patina paint was putting a faux copper finish on a few pieces of hardware, so I didnt really have an idea what to expect on an entire furniture piece. That led to my naivety in what the final look would be. Here are the Dixie Belle paint products I used (along with pearl glaze not pictured) order here through my affiliate link and follow along with this look!

Knowing I was using metallics and they generally don’t have as strong of pigments, I coated the piece in chalk paint that was similar in color to the metallics. I used Dixie Belle paint in burlap for the top, where I intended the pearl to go, and Dixie Belle chocolate at the bottom where I thought the bronze would go. You can tell from my final look, the color boundaries changed later and it worked fine

Hard to believe this is what it started as! The patina paint says to apply a coat of metallic, let it dry, then apply a second coat and patina spray while that is wet. Here come the metallics! I pictured something imperfect, not a smooth ombre, but a more random transition between the colors. I noticed while applying the patina metallic that random directional brush strokes gave it a brushed metal look. Interesting! I’m going with it!

This is literally the step before applying the 2nd coat and patina spray! You can see how much the patina spray transforms the color. The paint has actual metal flakes in it, and the color comes from a corrosive process of the metal in the paint, caused by the spray. This glossy bronze is not going to last long! You can see the randomness of the brush strokes, short and random, blending the bronze into the burlap. 

I’ll try to explain this next step as best as possible, I didn’t do a video here because I had no idea what to expect. Without using the paint, it’s hard to describe what happens. 

I applied a second coat of the bronze, literally copying the look above, the pearl portion is not a patina paint. I did half of the face at a time and then the sides on their own. Once I had a coat of bronze, I started with blue patina spray. My first thought was just as an accent along the corners. I didn’t want a dripping or runny look so I brushed the spray into the paint using the same short random strokes. 

I added a coat of Dixie Belle Paint in burlap to the top and used Dixie Belle pearl glaze to create a metallic for the top. As the two colors met, I brushed the bronze paint, the patina spray and the pearlized burlap together. The patina paint and spray were more sparse up here so it reacted only where the bronze existed. 

I wanted more variation on the bottom so I added some Dixie Belle patina paint in copper to the drawer centers and green patina spray and brushed that into the bronze/blue areas. That created a slight highlight around the hardware.

The key to this look is the randomness of the brushing. It is a messy, almost industrial look. The patina spray was more reactive in some areas and less in others, depending on how I’d brushed, and that was beautiful. 

I was really nervous after this step. Had to walk away from it over night and see what the spray produced. This is what I went to bed to:

The next day there were some spots of heavy turquoise residue from the corrosion process. I wasn’t a fan of those, they brushed away under a coat of wax. Dixie Belle Gator Hide would have been great over this finish, but I’m a wax girl ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the soft, smooth texture of a good coat of wax. I have waxed pieces in my home that get daily use and it wears great. I applied Dixie Belle Best Dang Wax in clear over the entire body. 

The hardware was soaked in white vinegar overnight and wiped clean, but I did not scrub the old patina off. I left the brass darkened and added a bit of bronze rub n buff to make them more uniform.

I added just a hint of Dixie Belle Best Dang Wax in brown and black along all of the drawers edges for a bit of extra “grunge”. These up close shots really show the randomness of the paint strokes, how the colors blended, and the spray created it’s own colors. Literally no hint of the strong metallic bronze or copper left. 

In hindsight, I should have done this step on camera, but hopefully the words and pics show that the patina paint comes alive on its own! Keep it random and unexpected, that is what a genuine, corroded look would be!

Here is the final piece! Since this was intended to be my holiday piece, I couldn’t let that go. Now it is a dark, stormy holiday instead. A bundled on the couch with hot cocoa kind of piece, and that says holidays to me! I staged with wooden trees to accent the blues, a gold starburst mirror to show the metallics and a nod to the era of the piece. 

Happy Holidays from Brushed By Brandy!