…armoire & peeling chalk paint

It’s so fun to meet clients that come to me saying, “I kept your article from The Washington Post in the hopes that I would need your services.” The article was really a turning point in Blue Egg Brown Nest and one that I will always be so grateful for.

Marie brought me this beautiful armoire.


Looks innocent enough, but this piece came with a challenge. It is actually not wood, but some type of laminate. In my experience, this is not a problem. However, there was something about the surface that did not like my Chalk Paint. This is what happened.


What is that?! That is paint peeling, people. In all the years I have refinished furniture I have NEVER had peeling paint. I was nervous.

The first thing I did was contact my stockist to see if there was something amiss with this batch of Old White. I have read about this happening. Nope.

DH to the rescue. We talked about how we were going to go about fixing the issue. I emailed my client and gave her the heads up that we were going into surgery. I striped off the paint that I had applied with a paint stripper and DH took an electric sander and gave it a once over. We then did several samples and several coats to make sure the paint stuck.

It did. Phew.

It seemed that there was something on the surface of the laminate that was not letting the paint adhere. It could have been a stain or some type of poly, I am not sure. But, the problem resolved itself by sanding down a layer.

Here is the end result.




This armoire looked like the hundreds of pieces that I have refinished, but offered a new challenge in the peeling paint. Just a reminder that every piece of furniture can offer a new challenge and it’s an opportunity to work through and produce something lovely.



…favorite things friday: slate pots

I’m crazy for these slate pots! I usually only see terracotta, which I only like the look of when it has some pretty, aged moss. These, however are so appealing to me.




Aren’t the special?! I love that they are straight as well. I am not a huge Terrain shopper because the site is rather pricey, but these are a good deal. In fact, I love most of their planters. It’s a good resource for Spring!


…the secret to sanding

I’m going to share a little secret about sanding furniture that I’ve learned after sanding hundreds of pieces. As you know, I paint and then sand (before doing any of the waxing). I do this for a few reasons. If you clear wax before you sand then you run the risk having all the dust stick to your waxed surface if it’s not completely dry. It can be a real mess. If you sand BEFORE waxing then you can take your dry brush and wipe down your piece before waxing. Trust me. It works much better.


The other reason I sand at this point is so that I can target any areas where I may have a drip mark or the wood has an imperfection. I sand these areas. If the sanding/distressing looks good then I leave it. If the areas looks like it needs a touch up then that is what I do with some paint.


Sanding these areas is killing two birds with one stone. You are distressing and cleaning up your piece at the same time. It makes me feel like I am really looking over the piece and making sure all the areas are deliberating sanded.

I will warn you, that if you have lots of drip marks you really should just sand down all of them and re-paint. I’m talking about little areas, not full surfaces.


…blue egg q&a’s

Here are your Q&A’s! Got questions? Email me at cbensten@blueeggbrownnest.com

Did you post the right before picture of the console?

Yes, you are right, I completely flaked and posted the wrong raw before piece! It’s called being a mom and working with only half a brain most days! Here is the correct before photo:


I am wondering how to make the hide and seek TV closure.  Do you still make them?  

Due to my work load, I am not making the screen right now. But, check back!

How is Fiona? I loved talking with her when I came to drop off my chairs.

She is much better! Thank you for asking. She still loves to wear her neck brace for a bit of drama :)

My wife and I love the kitchen floor plan of the Cedar House and how it opens to a great room. Are you able to share the floor plan specs? We are looking to build a custom home.

Email me to discuss. cbensten@blueeggbrownnest.com

Just found your blog and love it.  We’re moving into a new home next month and so naturally I’m shopping for everything.  Do you have any other Vintage Circus Horse…$159 (shipping is $24.33 to most places in US)  for sale? 

I wish! Those were are treasure and I was only able to get 4 to sell before they were discontinued! I’m always on the look out though.


Something I don’t recall learning on the tutorial is discussion about whether or not the clear wax completely protects the (ASC paint from ever rubbing off onto clothing is someone sits on the furniture–say if heat or perspiration are a factor.  Can furniture painted and sealed with the clear wax be in direct sun indoors – under a window, etc.?  I have a bad memory of being out on a power walk one hot summer evening, and stopping to visit friends, they invited me to sit at their table to have a drink and chat.  I realized I’d begun to stick to the chair since I was hot and sweaty, and got up to discover I’d damaged the varnish on their wood chairs. Anyway, I wouldn’t want to have a painted chair and have any paint come off on me or a guest.  Does complete coverage with the clear wax protect from this?

Oh no! That is a bad memory. The clear wax WILL melt in the sun. If you are putting your pieces outdoors in direct sun do not use the wax. It will melt just like candle wax. (It will then dry after melted when the sun goes down, but still, who wants that?) Your painted pieces will wear like outdoor furniture does over the years. It will need to be touched up, but the paint will not stick to anyone’s dress if it is NOT waxed!

I was looking at the beautiful chairs you painted for a client in Paris grey.  They look really amazing. However my eye went immediately to the little holes in the front.  They look sort of familiar to me as (heaven forbid) woodworm holes.  I am a collector of antique furniture and I have dealt with these since I started collecting in Europe.  Once I almost lost one piece as I had no idea. 

Interesting. I never think of real worms when I see worm holes. I always think of it as a design element. I will do some homework on it! I LOVE the way they look.

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