Neon || 2018 Flip List Item No.7

Guys!  I made a thing.  Well technically I made two.  Besides a new dresser, I've got another 2018 Flip List item to reveal:


Item No.7: Experiment with Neon


You were expecting me to do a neon paint treatment werentcha?  Well I'm not ruling that out just yet, but when I set this goal in mind I actually really wanted to DIY a neon sign.


I started researching my options and I found out there are actual kits for the stuff!  I decided to order this super affordable one from Urban Outfitters.


The kit instruction were very easy to follow and basically just involved lashing the neon rope to wire which I twisted into the word "Mutt" for obvious reasons.  It does have a very subtle hum when it's turned on (like the kind you can only hear if you're under 30 years) so it's a good thing I'm creeping up on the big 3-0.  HA!

Switch gears with me really quick and let's talk about the other new kid in the room: this white and walnut dresser.


The drawer fronts were in great shape so I really did debate highlighting the wood grain, but I was seeing a very specific vision for it in my mind so everything but the legs got painted a glassy white.


The original dresser did have some damage to fix - the big undertaking being the mystery gnaw marks in the left front leg.  Normally, I would putty that in and slap on some paint but I really reeeeeeeeally wanted to keep the base wood so I had to hand paint the filler with some acrylic paint to match the rest of the wood grain in the leg.


Can you tell?


I love the contrast of the dark legs against the white enameled body - a luxury finish!


You might actually recognize the unusual pulls on this piece from another StyleMutt refinishing project.  That's because this long-and-low is actually from the same line as that tallboy I did last spring.  Just like I did with that piece, I kept the original brass pulls as is 'cuz I mean, they are just. that. yummy.


As for the styling, I wanted to punctuate the bright neon sign with some bright-colored art like that enchanting Laura Gunn gallery-wrapped canvas print (cue all the heart eyes!).  Accenting with my usual quirky décor also seemed like a natural fit.


And if you're looking for a beautiful dresser to anchor your space, drop me a line (aka just shoot me an email) to discuss our pick-up or shipping options. 

White + Walnut Sideboard
Now Available for Sale
60"W x 18"D x 30.5"H

If you are interested in this piece or a custom order like it, email me at to ask about availability and our shipping policy.

Two down, five to go.  Catch up on the 2018 Furniture Flip Bucket List:

Before + After ||Warning: Graphic transformation details ahead||

Guys. (well, mostly gals). When I saw this piece on Craigslist recently I tried to do a handspring and almost twisted my ankle. No joke. That's how much I loved it, had to have it, wanted it yesterday.

Please note that is NOT my garage, it's the seller's pic. Not that I have any right to pass judgement on a messy garage... Anywho, pretty epic piece, right?!

And after some TLC and socialization with the world outside of a garage, here's our beauty after!

This makeover had it's highs and lows and I'm not going to spare you any graphic details. Consider that fair warning!

To start, I texted my go-to-gal, Cate, and shared an up close pic of this piece's freckled veneer. That is, indeed, veneer - but it's in SUCH amazing condition that I knew it could stand its own. However, it had freckles! It looked like my arms and legs in July - COVERED in freckles! Fine on people, not furniture. Cate suggested dulling the freckles by rubbing the piece down with a gel stain, and it worked!! 

That Cate; she's one brilliant chick! Love running things by her for her opinion and advice. She never fails. Seriously, I think she's batting 1,000 - every pitch I throw she swings a home run idea!

After I stained the body, I was ready to tackle the shelves and cabinet door. I wanted glossy white but was really not interested in using my highly praised Glidden Trim Door Furniture paint. I love that stuff but it's seriously thick, and trying to get it inside every corner and crevice was going to take a lot longer than I have patience or time for. So I tried this:

Gave all drawers and door a coat of Rust-Oleum Paint & Primer In One. Worked beautifully as a solid first coat.

Here comes my favorite part - I tried for the first time Rust-Oleum's Gloss Protective Enamel, (in white), and it's like the SPRAY FORM of my beloved Glidden paint! It's oil based, sprays even and lays thick. When all pieces were dry, they were so smooth and solid - you couldn't scratch if you tried.

Luckilly, I had an opportunity to test this most amazing paint after this happened:

Some bird out there is patting the feathers on his back for this near bullseye. Don't set pieces out to dry under a large tree, folks. Lesson SO learned! To clean, I ran a high pressure hose over this while simultaneously scrubbing with a thick bristle brush. I figured I would have to start from scratch and re-spray this piece. What a pleasant surprise when the water just beaded up and trickled right off and the bristles made absolutely no damage to the finish at all! I am so pleased to say it is now squeaky clean and Rust-Oleum has made me a die-hard fan for life! Amazing product, Rust-Oleum; bravo!

Last to tackle was the awesome custom hardware. This piece would have no other hardware. There are wooden 'notches' made just for these pulls to fit around, so it's already a perfect marriage. They were pretty dirty and dingy, so I cleaned them up and gave them all a coat of Rust-Oleum metallic gold spray paint. They looked a little plastic-y afterwards, though. So, I grabbed a can of dark wax, (by Annie Sloan, but you can find dark wax in most hardware stores now), dragged a thick artists brush around in the wax, and dabbed it into the crevices on the hardware. I covered each piece thoroughly, then took a paper towel and just 'blotted' to remove any excess wax. I let the wax cure for a day before adding the hardware back on the piece

Love the authentic look that the wax adds! Beautiful, isn't it!

Cleaned up nice didn't it. ;)


So excited with how this piece turned out - it made a marvelous journey with a little crap along the way, but all the best journeys have their fair share now don't they.

This pieces is now available for sale in the DC metro area!
69"L x 30"H x 17.75"D
You can email me at if you have any questions or want to snag it!

Thank you all for stopping by!

Staging Smart: Why it's important ||Plus a fresh piece revealed||

Hi All! With each year that I've been refinishing furniture, I learn something big. Early on, it was basic refinishing techniques. Then I started to discover my own style, and began applying technique to a particular look. This past year what I learned had less to do with the process of refinishing a piece of furniture, and more to do with the community of those sharing the same passion. 

Cate and I are still in the process of building StyleMutt and are in no rush to achieve every last one of our hopes and dreams for this small business. It's a brick-by-brick process and we are OK with that. But, the first thing we wanted to accomplish together was defining what StyleMutt would be. We desire for StyleMutt to be a helpful resource to its readers; a welcoming place to find inspiration, tips & tricks, and enjoy being a part of a community with similar interest.

With the furniture refinishing boom growing more popular each year, we see even greater importance in pulling together to share helpful information. Rather than simply share the 'Before + After' photos of newly refinished pieces, we'd like to share new tips and techniques that we're learning as well. There is a lot of information for how to refinish furniture floating around the web, but we'd like to extend our focus to include how to refinish, market and sell your furniture, if that is what you desire to do. With so many talented creatives refinishing and selling furniture, it can be difficult to make your work stand out and move your inventory at a comfortable pace. We have by no means perfected how to market and sell our pieces, but together we have sold around 225 pieces over our combined 7 years of experience, and have learned a few significant things that we feel help our pieces move.

To begin, we'll be using a few posts to discuss staging, starting today!

One of the most important things you can do for a piece you've put time and work into is show. it. off. Bring it inside wherever you feel you have the best lighting, and create a beautiful scene around it. Careful not to let the piece get 'lost', but don't be afraid to add a lamp, a stack of books, a vase of pretty flowers - simple items that help show your piece in context. I specifically like to show versatility with pieces I refinish. A dresser can serve as an entryway catchall, or a dining room buffet. A console table can function as a desk. Try staging your piece a couple different ways to show potential buyers that your piece would be a multi-purpose investment for their home. 

Here is an example of a piece hot out of the garage and currently available for sale, that I staged two very different ways:

This mid-century modern china cabinet could serve as a library in a study or living room, or as a traditional dining room storage piece. Help potential buyers to see value in versatility. Don't you? I know for me personally, I'd rather put my money into something that I could move around and use differently someday, rather than something that's going to be a one-trick pony forever. Take photos in both settings and share both when you post your piece to sell! 

Here is the mid-century cabinet in my living room:

mcm cab1 DONE.jpg

And in the dining room:

And don't forget the close-ups so folks can see the details that give your piece additional character!

It's can be difficult to imagine how a piece of furniture might look in your home or where you'd place it, especially if you're only looking at pictures of a piece in someone's garage or sitting on their driveway. Make it easy for people looking at pictures of your piece to really see its potential. Proper staging and a dash of versatility, (when possible), go a long way. It takes effort, yes, but if you feel your piece is worth $X, take the time to make it LOOK worth $X! If it doesn't look fantastic in your pictures, it will be hard to convince people to take the time to see it in person. Just my two cents. :)

Two-Tone Mid-Century China Cabinet
Please contact if interested in a something similar!

Thank you all so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!