Sunday, March 23, 2014


I'd like to introduce you to The Beast (although I should probably rename her because she is anything but beastly now).

The Beast was entrusted to me recently by my roommate and friend (let's call her "The Gov"). The Beast was gifted to the The Gov with a rich legacy... of storing things (see below).

While this legacy was quite noble considering the absurd lack of storage in the house we live in it was time to give her an update and hopefully find her a new home. Until then, she will be a more aesthetically pleasing addition to our basement.

I have been eyeing The Beast for quite some time itching to put her under the paintbrush so I went into this with a semi clear vision. Nearly 75% of the time my initial vision is not at all what the final product ends up being and The Beast was no exception. I'll save those photos for another post.

For this project I decided to go back to my roots and use good 'ole latex paint rather than the boutique paints I have been using lately. The outside is Behr Premium Plus with Primer in Graceful Gray and the interior is a custom mint green mix from leftover paints. Note to self: make sure you mix enough of a custom color when working on a project. Metallics and Rifle Paper Co. are my latest obsessions and this was the perfect piece to implement both. 

Amazingly, Behr's paint + primer makes it super easy to give your piece a quick update. I thoroughly wiped her down and started slapping on paint. I put 2 coats of each color, used Modge Podge to adhere the Rifle paper to the back, sponged on the ombre dots using metallic gold paint, 2 coats of water based poly on as a protective coat and voilà! Well, maybe not just voilà. This was actually my most labor intensive project yet, but that had more to do with the sheer girth of The Beast than it being a complicated process. That and being creatively stunted one or 10 times but again, that's another post...

Here are a few Before and Afters:


Photos of The Beast post makeover. Sadly, she was so large I had to take photos in the basement so the pictures really don't do the colors justice. Either way, she's a beaut if I do say so myself.

I'll leave you with this photo as a cautionary tale of what happens when you leave your projects unattended. Roommates will make mischief. 

Courtesy of The Roommates

Playing in the background while working:
  • Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors
  • Patty Griffin
  • And several episodes of Parenthood which is not a great idea because painting is not conducive to sobbing uncontrollably. Such a good show.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


I was going back through photos of all the pieces I have worked on over the past couple of years to give you an idea of my style. I came away with two things.

The first being I have no idea what to label my style. My heart belongs to the super chippy, primitive milk paint look, but I love to experiment with all colors, paints, and stylings of furniture.

Second, my pieces have come a long way in both quality and presentation. I'm particularly amused by my attempts at staging in the beginning.

Feast your eyes.

The first piece I sold! She was the one that reignited it all.

Christmas lights? Why the heck not? Its amazing the difference between how things appear in your head (or a magazine) and how they appear in reality.

I clearly did not understand white balance at this point. Thank goodness for friends that are willing to explain cameras. 

Oh, boy. This is all kinds of rough. Maybe that is why she now acts as a pantry in our kitchen.

Shout out to my girl, Mindy! Mindy Project anyone?

Can you believe I found this piece on the side of the road?! One man's trash...

Getting better.
You can also see I finally got my hands on a better camera.

Mint Green. It's a recurring theme in my work.

The first large piece I tackled. She now resides with a couple in Dupont Circle.

This is painted using CeCe Caldwell's clay paint. Earthy paint smell? I  want to bathe in it. 

What I like to call my Galactic Chic piece. A custom piece for a friend's home office.

This screams Anthro Baby to me. Is that a thing at Anthropologie yet? 
It should be. Hipster moms would go berserk.

This is my favorite staging. The gun was a last minute addition by none other than my Dad.  Its an antique that has been passed down on my mom's side of the family. I was reluctant to include it, but ended up loving the addition. Sadly, I'm pretty sure this is the most masculine piece I've ever done. I should really change that...

My favorite piece. Ever.
Antique hutch refinished in emerald green milk paint without bonding agent.

A wedding gift for a fabulously creative couple late last year. Talk about pressure!

This is a picture of my room to give you an idea of my personal style. The lines are bit too clean for me at this point. I need something really beat up and aged to balance it out.

Latest. Now at home in Burke, VA.

This is actually the first time that I have sat down and looked at my progress from beginning to present. Humbling is the first word that comes to mind. Also, a quote from Zechariah, "Do not despise small beginnings." (Zechariah 4:10)

In other news, I am beyond excited for you all to see the latest piece that I have been working on. She's a beast. A big, beautiful, bodacious beast.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Where to start...?

I'm great at starting things. I've tried nearly every hobby at least once. It's the seeing it through to the end that I'm not so good at. Writing? Check. Musical attempts of all kinds? Check. Several sports? Check. Some might call this Attention Deficit Disorder (probably accurately so), but I prefer to think of it as sampling.

I spent years sampling all kinds of interests, passions, hobbies, and dreams to find That Thing that would become My Thing. My Thing that would finally show me what I was created for. 

I finally stumbled upon it when I was in college living on a student budget. I needed some basic pieces of furniture before I moved into my new place. I'm about to date myself, but IKEA wasn't the big deal that it is now so I experienced some serious sticker shock when I started shopping around for new pieces. I had this silly mindset that new is better than used (because, ew...). I grew up with a mom who dragged me to flea markets, thrift, consignment, and antique stores. She was the one who suggested that I take a look at these places. I was happy about the prices I was seeing, but in serious dislike of the outdated or down right ugly look of the pieces. Alas, bargain hunting runs through my veins and I wouldn't be deterred by their sad, sad state. I figured (after thoroughly sterilizing) I could slap on a couple coats of paint, make them look presentable, and be done with it. So began my passion for furniture restoration.

She was a side table. And honestly, not one of the better pieces I've done. I painted her creamy white with a loud lime green underneath that showed in the places I distressed. It was two hours that I worked on that piece, but I enjoyed doing that more than anything else I'd ever dabbled in before. I did a few other pieces here and there in college that people responded to, but it wasn't until two years ago that I had a lot of time on my hands when I found myself unemployed for six months. One can only be rejected so many times a day before you begin going crazy. As a way to counter the Chinese Water Torture that is unemployment in your 20s whilst living with your parents I decided to focus on refinishing furniture. It was a cheap hobby that filled the hours in my days while also making me happier than I'd ever been sitting behind a desk.

At the encouragement of friends and family I began posting before and after pictures just for fun, but found that people got really excited about what I was doing. Fast forward a couple years, countless cans of paint, innumerable number of trips to Lowe's, and hundreds of ruined manicures (seriously, why do I even try?) later and here we are. Not at the end. I haven't finished yet. I'm just beginning.

Excited and honored to have you join me on this journey.