Facelift for Mission Bench

For the past two years I have hated how tired my mission bench looked. I had some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint leftover and decided today was the day for a new paint job. I will probably apply a second coat tomorrow and then coat it with polyurethane when the paint has completely dried.

I love the new color and when I get some accent cushions, it will look even better. The color is called “Louis Blue”.

My kitchen is under renovation for another few weeks so I am keeping busy in the garden with projects I never seen to get to.




Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

My decorator, Johanne told me about this paint last week. I decided to paint my Boos Butcher Block and then one thing lead to another.

I ended up painting the butcher block, baker’s rack and kitchen table in the color called Coco. Of course as soon as I finished the table, the chairs looked tired so I was back to the store for more paint. I used French Linen for the chairs.

I must warn you this is addictive.

The paint is a joy to work with.

I may end up back at the paint store next week to tackle my bedroom vanity. They have a gorgeous blue color I have my eye on.










Facelift for Wicker

I was about to sell this wicker desk and chair when my decorator suggested that I give it a fresh coat of paint and recover the seat cushion with the same fabric we used on the drapes in the guest room (where the desk resides these days). We had more than enough fabric for this project. She also suggested a trip to Anthropologie for some new knobs for the drawers since the original ones had seen better days. One of the knobs I think I had been renovated by my chocolate lab, Rufus a few years back.

I bought brilliant white spray paint for this job and washed and dried the wicker before painting. All that was required for the seat cushion makeover was my staple gun and some pliers to remove the old fabric and staples and of course the fabric. I used the old piece of fabric as a template for the new fabric so I had the right size for the cushion.

This only took me a few hours and look at the “before and after” photos.






Recycle Reuse

Easter is coming up this weekend and I decided to make a new arrangement. I had the remnants from the hostess gift I received a few weeks back which was posted on the blog.

I purchased tulips and hyacinths and here is the result.

Bring out your inner florist this weekend and do your own arrangement!






Another Project

Today I went to the fabric store to purchase some fabric to recover the vanity bench in my bedroom so that it would match my new Roman Shades which I made last summer. I came across this beautiful provencal fabric and immediately thought “table cloth and napkins”.

My sewing leaves a lot to be desired, but with a good iron and a simple singer sewing machine, I made the table cloth and matching napkins in less than two hours.

If I can do this, anybody with a sewing machine can do this.




Tragedy to Triumph

For those of you who loved the mirror on the July 8 post, the mosaic was made from the plates from this pattern. It is called Jardin des Fleurs by Bernardaud.

It was available only through Willilams-Sonoma about three years ago and has since been discontinued. I was able to pick up some pieces from ebay and Replacements Ltd. in the past, in case you are interested.

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Tragedy to Triumph

About eighteen months ago my vacuum had a collision with my sideboard and I lost five dinner plates. I saved the plates in the basement because I just couldn’t stand to throw them out. My eldest daughter had done mosaics in the past and when an artist friend of mine suggested I make a mirror with the remnants, I jumped at the chance.

I purchased a mirror, adhesive and grout from Home Depot. I then gathered a hammer, two bricks, gardening gloves, a small off-set spatula, spray bottle for water, painter’s tape and a paint stirring stick.

Below are the steps we used to create our mirror.

1. Break the plates into even-sized pieces choosing the most colorful pieces. Refer to photograph
below to see how this can be done using two bricks and a hammer.

2. Working one section at a time spread the adhesive and then place the tiles in as even a
pattern as possible (small shards were great for filling in gaps).

3. Let it dry for seventy-two hours.

4. Mix the grout with water until it reaches a consistency of peanut butter (following directions on box). Before applying the grout, carefully outline the area you wish to grout with painter’s tape. Apply the grout over the tiles as evenly as possible. Using dry paper towels, quickly remove any grout that was covering the tiles. As you progress, it will become important to use your spray bottle to lightly spritz any grout which will inevitably start to dry over the tiles (time is of the essence!) * Note: When removing excess grout, be careful not to remove any grout from between the tiles – the goal is only to remove the grout that is covering the tile pieces.

5. Put the mirror aside for about seventy-two hours in a dry, dust-free area.

6. Remove painter’s tape carefully. At this point, it may be necessary to clean up some of the
grout that may have slipped under the tape. This is done easily with a butter knife.

7. Get out the windex and hang up your work of art!












Vanity bench

I called this my $10.00 fix. About once a year my vanity bench gets really tired looking. Somehow I manage to get some type of lotion or make-up on it. It only takes about a yard of material, some pliers, a screwdriver and a staple gun.

I unscrew the seat cushion from the frame while it is upside down on my kitchen table. Put the screws in a small bowl and remove the old staples with a pair of pliers. Throw the old staples in the garbage along with the old fabric.

Place the seat cushion centered on the fabric and decide how much overlap you need to cover the seat adequately. I like to leave about an extra two to three inches. I can always trim it later. I then wrap it like a gift pulling as tightly as possible on the fabric and staple around the outside edges. I usually start on the long sides and then make the neatest possible pleats on the four corners. If you make a less than perfect pleat on the corner, just remove the staples and try again. If some of the staples are not flush with the fabric and seat, use a small hammer to push them down. If you have an extra pair of hands it helps. One person can use the stapler while the other holds the fabric down as tightly as possible.

Place the freshly covered seat cushion back on the frame and trim the fabric if it is covering the screw holes so you can re-attach the frame with the screws.

This technique can be applied to any chair with a removable seat cushion.

In case the order of the photographs is confusing, the top photograph is the “before”!