Dye Stain, Java Gel & Water-based Stain Comparison

Adding a Bit of Pizazz I have a lot to share with you today – and I’m using several different products and several different methods and techniques to try them out and let you know what I’ve learned or discovered. NOTE: Most products listed are affiliate links.   So here we go. First up: Let’s look at the differences between three different General Finishes stains: Java Gel (my personal favorite), regular water-based stain, and dye stains. If you’ve not used General Finishes dye stains, order some and check them out. They are water-based and super easy to work with. So here’s the deets: After prepping the piece, I painted the body in Loganberry from Chalky Chicks and topcoated it with matte CrystaLac water-based polyurethane. I left some of the wood parts that were had a nice grain and spiffed them up with Wise Owl Lemon Verbena salve, a gift from … Read more

Upcycled Antique Window Wall Decor

NOTE: All red hyperlinks are affiliate links for your convenience.*   UPCYCLING AN OLD WINDOW I found an old window at a salvage warehouse and thought it would make a good addition to my living room walls. The only problem was it was old, dirty and falling apart. But I had a plan. I could see it all spiffed up and shiny new even though it looked like this: I paid $12 for it and asked DH to load it up. He shook his head and took it home for me. See, DH can’t envision like I can, so he often wonders how I can make something like this look good enough to use for decor. Fortunately he’s willing to help and has knowledge from past experience that helps me transform a piece. Reglazing The old putty was in bad shape so I had to scrape it all off (which … Read more

A Bit of Couch Table Glitz

Every time I flip a piece of furniture, I wish I could find a permanent spot for it in my own home. I think this is common for anyone who turns an old out-dated piece into art. We put our heart and soul into it throughout the creative process. It’s something that you must experience before you understand. It’s even hard to see it go out the door when it sells. You feel like a piece of yourself is leaving. Of course the cash in hand is great as is the thought that someone else will enjoy your creation. But still. It’s an emotional moment. I find it quite funny that we would get so attached to a “thing”. But it’s true. A piece of ourselves goes out the door each time. Here is the before. We got it from our favorite shop in Door County here in Wisconsin. We … Read more

Darbi the Guest Master Night Stand – I Got to Keep This One!

A Night Stand Named Darbi Occasionally I get to keep one of my projects. It’s super hard for me to watch my pieces go out the door when I sell them, but I comfort myself when I look down at my hand holding the cash! LOL This one came from a consignment shop we visit every couple of months. I thought it perfectly fit my daughter’s description of a side table she was looking for and the $12 price tag fit the bill too. But of course, “Best laid plans of mice and men,” as it turned out it was too tall. So sad for them, yay for me! It now sits next to our guest master king size bed.   Here it is before:   White is a Fave of Mine I used (affliliate links) CrystaLac’s white satin and this was my second time using Retique It with the … Read more

Can Furniture Become a Piece of Art?

#sponsored ART- noun plural noun: arts; plural noun: the arts 1. The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be works produced by human creative skill and imagination. creative activity resulting in the production of paintings, drawings, or sculpture. 2. The various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance.   The 10 Foot Amish Table Had to Go For years we ate as a family of 17 at a 10 foot Amish made oak table with 4 leaves and claw feet. It suited our purpose, but when we went from a huge brood to an empty nest, that table became obsolete. We bought it in Shipshewana, an Amish town in Indiana for half the price anywhere else. Isn’t it funny hnow a treasure can turn into an albarross when it no … Read more

Antique Door Hall Tree Part 2 – The Seat

#sponsored The Second Part of My Upcycled Hall Tree Project. First I painted a door for the back drop of my hall tree. See it here: Antique Door Hall Tree Part 1. Now I’m showing you the seat part I’ve attached. It was an antique radio base that I found at an antiques estate sale. The Before   MATERIALS (RED indicates affiliate links for your convenience) Old Fashioned Milk Paint Snow White Old Fashioned Milk Paint Marigold Yellow Old Fashioned Milk Paint Salem Red Scotts Rags General Finishes Gray Gel Stain General Finishes Gel Top Coat – Wipe On Polyvine Wax Finish Flat Varnish Renaissance Innovations Paint Brush   Thinking Outside the Box Since it has a flat back, there are few uses it could be upcycled for – it’s a perfect fit for a hall tree. I cleaned and sanded it, then white washed it with Snow White Old … Read more

“From Messed Up to Dressed Up” An Accent Table Update

“Clarissa” Just before I opened up my new membership site, Furniture Flipping Forum, I put together a three day course showing how to take an all wood accent table “From messed Up to Dressed Up.” It was a big challenge because it was in very rough shape to begin with and took longer to prep this piece than anticipated. The old varnish was thick and all crackled with parts falling off because it was so old and dried out. Pieces were falling off and there were gouges and loose veneer.     Every time I look at it I stare in wonder how something so unattractive can be turned into a masterpiece. But when you learn the steps, it can be done with a bit of elbow grease and know how…with lots of patience. If I hadn’t planned on providing this three day course to those interested in Furniture Flipping … Read more

“Augusta” Coffee Table Opts for an Old-World Style

#sponsored Different Products, Different Techniques, Same Old-World Look Augusta, a long coffee table, was originally part of a trio – her children were refinished in an old world style but with different products. See Cora and Nora’s transformation here.   I only have one before picture and it’s of Nora, the matching end table:     Augusta and her 2 matching pieces came home with us from an estate sale two summers ago. They were crammed into our van, taken home and sat in our basement for more than a year waiting to be given new life. No one else wanted the three pieces. I set my price, made my bid and got them easier than I expected.   I had no problem envisioning how I wanted them to look. From the start knew I would split them up and do some experimenting. The first set, the end tables, Cora … Read more

Steam Punk Mixed Media Nightstand for DH

#sponsored   While shopping at a Restore in MI We happened upon their 50% off furniture day. I found a three drawer nightstand that would be perfect for my DH’s (darling hubby) side of the bed. I already had one that I had repainted for my side of the bed and he had my mom’s little antique table that wasn’t nearly big enough for him and all his junk…all his precious possessions.   He needed drawers to hide all his stuff, so this at $20 fit the bill.   And of course I have to start with the before:     There is so much to tell about about this one. Lot’s of improvisation, creativity, and experimentation was called for, and I’m glad it turned out well because it was for my DH’s Christmas gift.   I used a ton of resources for this project – I’ll list links below, … Read more

Using Java Gel on a Table Top

Java Gel for the top of an antique parlor table that we got at an estate auction.. I heard all the hype about General Finishes (aff link) Java Gel. People kept saying it’s the best thing since sliced bread. I had to try it. And now I’m in love. I fell hard and I fell fast. I’m not the type of DIY’er that jumps in with both feet and throws caution to the wind. I walk around a project sometimes for weeks before I attempt it. I need to know exactly how and what – I don’t want to mess my piece up. I won’t proceed until I’m fairly sure how to do it and do it right. So, to help you with your first attempt at using a new product, this new product, I’ll give you a line by line tutorial that will allow you to jump in where … Read more