French Linen China Cabinet {Asheville Furniture Painter}

Just finished this 1930’s vintage mahogany china cabinet in French Linen with clear and dark wax.
I love to paint dark pieces of furniture, especially mahogany, because when you sand the chalk paint back there is such a contrast with the wood and paint.
The detailing of the furniture really shows through.

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I have also learned to shellac these pieces because if you don’t the red tannins will bleed through.




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French Linen has  become a favorite of mine lately.
It does help that gray is a hot seller right not.
After sanding china cabinet for over an hour to get the surface really smooth I waxed with a mix of dark and clear wax.
Even though I love working with Annie Sloan waxes and paint I am not a purist.  I have been using Johnson’s Past Wax and mixing it with ASCP Dark Wax lately and I kinda like the results. The bonus is that it is not nearly as expensive.

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Fortunately this piece had all the original hardware and the scroll work on the glass doors was in excellent condition. This is a good thing, because honestly,  the scroll work is a PAIN in the rear to paint.

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To add more character to the finish I used a small paint brush to paint dark wax into all the corners and crevices.
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Hope you enjoy it.

Mid-Century Modern Dresser in Florence with Clear Wax by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (Asheville Furniture Painting)

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A fun dresser for a preteen girl,

A little funky and modern. Dog not included. Maybe. Depends on the day.

Love the original hardware. They look like drop earings.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Florence and waxed with clear wax. Very light distressing.

Annie Sloan French Linen Chalk Paint and Maison Blanche Lime Wax {Before and After}


vintage stock furniture french linen chalk paint and Maison Blanche lime wax (1)I found the multi use cabinet at an estate sale. A piece of furniture that you would think would be very common place but I had never seen before.

I wonder if it was used in the kitchen as a jelly cabinet or in a living room to store valuables? It does have a lock on it but of course I do not have the key.vintage stock furniture french linen chalk paint and Maison Blanche lime wax (2)

I had to seal the top with shellac prior to painting because of some scratches that went through the finish. This era of furniture is known for bleeding through the paint if it is not sealed before hand leaving orangish red blobs all over the paint. vintage stock furniture french linen chalk paint and Maison Blanche lime wax (5) After using Shellac on the cabinet I painted it with Annie Sloan’s French Linen Chalk paint.

After painting  I sanded the entire piece with a fine grit sanding block using a little more pressure on the edges to get the wood to show through.

I then used  Min wax Finishing Wax over the entire surface and buffed until smooth.

The final coat is a Lime Wax by Maison Blanche. By using this Lime Wax it gave the surface a lot more dimension and interest.

This color in the past has never been a favorite of mine but I painted a secretary a few weeks ago using this same technique and I kinda fell in love with it.
vintage stock furniture french linen chalk paint and Maison Blanche lime wax (6) This paint is so smooth to the touch that I just love running my hands over the surface. So smooth without being shiny.

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Maison Blanche Magnolia Paint, Changing Table or Bathroom Vanity (Asheville Furniture Painting)

A pure white dresser that is painted in Maison Blanche’s Magnolia with clear wax.
I do not usually use this color because it is so finicky. It needs to me on the right piece because it is not very forgiving.
I have applied to to other pieces that I have painted and ended up redoing it with a color.  Maybe it is just because I like color on my furniture.
Who knows.
vintage stock furniture pure white chalk paint maison blanche (1)I had considered leaving the drawers in the natural wood because it was a pretty Birdseye maple.vintage stock furniture pure white chalk paint maison blanche (4)
And sure there are people who are shuddering at the fact that I painted it.
But they will get over it.vintage stock furniture pure white chalk paint maison blanche (5)

I do think that it would make a pretty changing table in a nursery.

I wish I had been into painting when I was decorating my nursery for my little ones, it would have been much easier and affordable.

But 17 years ago we were not doing fun stuff like this.  You had the traditional changing table and you would not have dreamed about using old furniture.  That would have been pure crazy.

And I do like the original hardware but if you wanted to glam it up for a little girl it would be easy to do.vintage stock furniture pure white chalk paint maison blanche (3)

When your little one is no longer in diapers and can be used as their dresser.
Who woulda thunk?




Annie Sloan’s Country Grey Sideboard Before and After (Asheville Furniture Painting)

A Federal style  sideboard that has seen better days.
Not too terrible, just a lot of normal wear and a little missing veneer.
I guess if your between 70 and 80 years old you have earned the right to a little wear.vintage stock furniture chalk paint (11)

The first thing I did with this piece is to scrape off the loose veneer with a putty knife, but there was a section that was re glued and was proving to be too stubborn to peel off.  I used a hair dryer on high heat aimed directly at the section of veneer that I wanted to remove.  The heat softened the glue and allowed me to scrape off the last bit.
A little glue remained on the wood but with a little sandpaper it came right off.
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After I paint a piece I always sand it smooth, I don’t like a bumpy finish.  A lot of people do, I don’t.
So when I sand the furniture I wanted other colors to come through and not just the color of the wood.
With this  piece I did a rough coat of Duck Egg Blue all over  and then added random spots of Coco and Pure White. These colors compliment Country Grey which I used as the top coat.
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It doesn’t look pretty and it is not completely covered but it does not need to be.vintage stock furniture chalk paint (7)

Some of the paint is thicker  and this will make it a little raised when I paint the final coat of Country Grey.vintage stock furniture chalk paint (8)

Below is the sideboard drying after I have completely covered it with Country Grey.  

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The before…..vintage stock furniture chalk paint (3)
And the after.vintage stock furniture chalk paint (10)And  the after with a dog that would not get out of the way.





My Desk: Before and After

My desk space has been a work in progress since we moved into this house 3 years ago.
I think this is the 4th desk that I have attempted to make work and I think I may have finally found the right fit.
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This is an old Cypress board that was in my grandfather’s garage for at least 75 years. It is from the old water towers that would line the railroad tracks.
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Story has it that he was going to use it in a boat.
Who knows.
Not me,  that is for sure.
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It is a very rough cut slab that is 12 feet by 3 feet.
A hefty chunk of wood.

My husband and I moved this baby from Minnesota to Virginia in the middle of the winter. Our trailer was only 10 feet long so it hung out a little bit.

It sat in our garage for 4 years while I tried to figure out what to use it for.  Birds made a nest on it.

Then it made the trip from Culpeper, Virginia to Asheville, North Carolina via moving truck where is sat in my basement for another 3 years.
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It is a huge piece of wood.   I had a few woodworkers suggest cutting it.

That was not going to happen.

After a lot of thought I decided to head to Habitat for Humanity to see if I could find a base for the desk. I figured that built in cabinets that were made for desks would work great. Thankfully I was able to find two cabinets that were exactly alike and were file cabinets with drawers.

Perfect size, perfect height.

More importantly perfect price…$15.00 each! Score!

As a trial run to see if it would work I placed the top on the base and used it for about a month.
It was exactly what I wanted.

After a month of using it and getting a lot of slivers it was time to sand it down.
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I ran lots of different ideas of finishes through my mind while I was sanding.
Sand it all the way down?
Just knock the big stuff off and keep the character?
Stain, no stain.
Sand one side, leave the other.

By the time I had sanded for 5 hours.

And used many pads of 60 grit, 120 grit, 220 grit sand paper I ended up sanding it smooth.
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Sanding can be kind of mesmerizing when you start to see the grain coming though.

Unfortunately Cypress wood does not have that pretty of a grain. But the feel of such smooth texture kept me going.

By the time I was done sanding I had decided to stain it Honey by MinWax.
I figured it would be a nice light color, nothing too dark.
And I had a whole quart of it in my cabinet.
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No final picture of the after the sanding stage. Sorry.

When I was done sanding and wiping it down with mineral spirits to make sure the surface was really clean I was ready to stain.

Remember I said that I had an entire quart of Honey stain in the garage.

I don’t remember when I bought the stain and I was quite surprised that I had an entire quart but did not question it.

I should have.

I should have tested it on a small piece of wood.

I should have listened to myself when I thought…hmmmm, seems kinda dark?

I should have and I didn’t.

I was being impatient because I wanted to see it done.

After I made the first swipe of stain across the freshly sanded board did I then remember….This is a mixture of stain I made from Mahogany, Ebony, Honey and some other color I had left over.

This IS NOT going to be a light color.

Oh, well.
A lot more color that I had planned.

But it works OK.
And the finish is very smooth.

No more slivers.


Wrought Iron Chalk Paint by Maison Blanche (Asheville Furniture Painter)

Wrought Iron paint by Maison Blanche is really a nice color to work with.
It gives you the dark black color without having to add tint to make it really black.

If you have used other black chalk paints you know what I am referring to.

Annie Sloan’s Graphite is a dark gray, almost black. Which is fine if you want to finish with a dark wax to get the darker color and a little color variation in your finish. I finished a maple cabinet in my kitchen with Graphite and dark wax and you can check it out here.  I really like the finish on this piece but it does require a little more elbow grease.

With the Wrought Iron I am able to use clear wax.

Neither are wrong. Both give a great look.

Because I used a flash in these pictures the light has bounced off the surface giving it an ashy appearance. In person these color variations do not exist.
I was hesitant to use these photos because of the light reflection and it does make it a little unattractive but oh well,  Here they are.

Desk in Country Grey and Duck Egg Blue { Before and After}

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My latest thrift store find is this beat up mahogany desk that had seen better days.
The top was pretty scratched up, there was mold growing on the sides and what is an old barn fresh piece of furniture without a few mouse droppings.
Everything that was wrong with it could easily be fixed.

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I first sanded the top with my orbital sander and started with 80 grit sand paper.
Then 120 grit
Finished with 220.
The top was smooth and perfect.
I love being able to sand down a piece of furniture and see the original wood come through.vintage stock furniture chalk paint maison blanche (4)

I wiped it down reeeeaaaal  gooooood.
No I did not  use a tack cloth, I am bad about that.
But I did use my leaf blower to blow all the dust off.vintage stock furniture chalk paint maison blanche (5)

I then stained the top with a mahogany stain.
When I am staining I like to use an old t-shirt that has been cut up and folded, I feel like I have better control over how it is applied.
I then use another piece of t-shirt to wipe of the excess. This is done several times to get any stain that has beaded up.
This is an important step because if you do not remove the excess it will never completely dry and remain tacky.
I know this because I have made the mistake.
It will eventually dry I told myself.
Never happened.

After it has completely dried, about 24 hours, I bring it into the house to apply the top clear coat.
By bringing it into the house I do not have to worry about Betty/Martha hair floating onto my perfect finish.

I have started using General Finishes Gel Top Coat and I absolutely LOVE IT!
You apply it with a rag and wipe it on. EASY PEASY with no dripping, bubbles, streaks nothing.
Just love it.
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Once I have finished applying all the top coats I then start on the body of the piece.
I painted this one with Country Grey by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on the main porting of the piece and used Duck Egg Blue on the drawers.
Sanded the paint by hand using 150 grit sanding block and finished it off with clear wax.vintage stock furniture chalk paint maison blanche (7)
The refinished top makes it look like a brand new piece of furniture.vintage stock furniture chalk paint maison blanche (8)

I was able to use the original hardware.
Always a bonus.vintage stock furniture chalk paint maison blanche (10)
And now it is finished and ready for a new home.