Video tutorial #1! {Chalk painting a chair}

Hi guys! Last week I finally jumped on the video tutorial train and cooked up a couple how-to videos! I've had a lot of interest from the sweetest clients and friends to organize a chalk painting workshop. With summer schedules being so difficult to juggle I decided to put together a couple video tutorials instead to help get those visual learners started.

For my first tutorial I decided to paint a chair. Chairs are one of the most common pieces to refinish as they are found all over the place, often quite cheap, and are easy to throw in the back of the car. However, they are also one of the trickiest pieces, in my opinion! There are so many angles to cover on a chair; getting even coverage can be difficult and tedious. But through a couple simple techniques, painting chairs doesn't have to be so painstaking!

I hope this video, and the ones that follow, are helpful and easy to follow. Please, please, please send feedback!!! I'd love to know how I can improve my tutorials. And I also want to hear what you'd like to see! If there's a specific area of refinishing that you'd like to get some visual guidance with, (or even a specific type of piece you'd like to watch getting painted), let me know! Following this video I have one coming up for waxing a chair, (and it's much shorter).

Thank you for stopping by!


This post was published under Chelsea's Garage, now affectionately known as StyleMutt.

Paint on, Wipe off - How to get a weathered finish

If there is one kind of literature that I just completely soak in, it's information regarding refinishing techniques. There is so much out there in the world of refinishing furniture. So many ways to make an old piece come back to life. I learned a new way recently from the talented Christen at Blue Egg Brown Nest as she tried out a new technique from Annie Sloan, creator of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Waxes and author of her new book, Color Recipes for Painted Furniture.


It's probably one of my favorite techniques as it creates a rich, weathered, time-worn finish. The steps are simple. 

1. You need a piece that has good texture and grain - nothing smooth! 

2. Using Old White chalk paint, brush the paint on in a small-ish section, wait about 30-ish seconds, and use a soft cloth,  like an old t-shirt, to wipe it off. 

3a. Touch up areas that you feel need more paint with a fairly dry brush - dipping in just the tip of the brush and wiping off any excess.

3b. Touch up any areas that you feel have too much paint and it's too late to wipe off with a fine sanding sponge. You can soften any thick areas of paint this way.  

Christen demonstrates this technique on her blog using an oak pedestal table. Coincidentally a very, very, kind client recently asked me if I had any use for a lone oak pedestal table that was taking up space in her garage. She and her husband were anxious to just get it out. Lucky me, indeed!!!

Now, this table was almost perfect for trying this weathered technique. The only issue was that the top surface was sealed fairly smooth. The sealer was coming off in areas, but I didn't have as much texture up top as I would have liked. I ended up favoring a really chippy, time-worn finish on the top rather than a soft, whitewashed look, (which I was able to achieve on the pedestal base as there was plenty of texture down there). I did a lot of sanding to the top to remove paint. Now it looks as if it's seen years of love and family gatherings! As you can see in the pictures, the top has a gorgeous sunburst design, so I followed the direction of the wood with my painting, wiping, and sanding.

With the leaf. Seats 6-8.

Weathered Oak Pedestal Table

62 x 30 with the leaf, 38 x 30 without the leaf


Alright, enough about my newfound refinishing technique. Here are some real highlights of our week.:)

I don't blame you one bit if you move on at this point. I get it.

Doctor date with my under-the-weather daughter. Doesn't she look ill? ;)

(we were both happy to be out of the house together without the boys!)

Silly mirrors in the waiting room

I don't just have one, but TWO superhero sons. Though, Superman won't do much good with that paci and his finger in his bellybutton...

Won't be long until they're joining the kids they watch board the bus every morning with their "pack-packs"

If this is a foreshadow of what's to come, I am totally okay with that!

First sunglasses and they couldn't be prouder of themselves. 93 cents at Walmart for a few priceless smiles and giggles.

Kids not available for sale. Not today ;)

Last thing; if you happen to have an open weekend coming up and are somewhat local to Northern Virginia, check out the Luckett's Spring Market! Saturday and Sunday, 10-5, shop hundreds of home decor vendors outdoors and in. Admission is $7, (worth every penny), and there will be something for everyone - not might be, but will be! 


This post was originally featured under Chelsea's Garage, now affectionately known as StyleMutt.

8-sided beauty

I posted recently about how much I am drawn to versatile pieces. That's becoming an increasingly strong criteria when I'm out shopping either for our home or Chelsea's Garage! When I came across an octagon accent table several months ago, it was a no-brainer! I love that this piece could be moved here and there; up against a wall, tucked into a corner, or smack in the middle of a room. It doesn't matter because it's finished all the way around! I've got several floating pieces like this for the May 4 sale and they might be the ones I am most excited about, (see the end of this post for details)!

When I have the opportunity to refinish a piece of furniture, I always begin by asking myself what the goal is with the piece. Is it a plain and ordinary piece that can be turned into something unique with some fun painting techniques? Or is the piece already interesting enough that I want to keep the makeover somewhat simple? For this octagon table I really wanted to play up the shape and let the details speak for themselves. I used two contrasting, but soft, colors side by side to enhance the unique quality of this piece.

So happy with the final look!

Aren't these doors exquisite?! It's actually one door; the whole things opens from the right side, (you can see the hinges on the left)

Trim in Annie Sloan's Duck Egg, panels in Annie Sloan's Country Grey.

{This piece will be available for sale at the May 4 Chelsea's Garage sale}

Chelsea's Garage Spring Sale!

Saturday, May 4


Herndon, VA

I've got coffee tables, bookshelves, dressers, consoles, buffets, accent tables, mirrors, storage cabinets, desks, chairs, and a few home accessories. Guests will be greeted with complimentary refreshments, so bring some friends, come to shop or just to peruse, and have a lovely time!

Open to the public! Please contact me at for the address. 

I would love to see you there! 


This post was originally featured under Chelsea's Garage, now affectionately known as StyleMutt.