…building a business: as good as it gets

Before kids, I used to watch Barefoot Contessa. DH and I used to get a kick out of when she would say “Use good Mayonaise” or “Good heavy cream” or “Good dark chocolate.” But, as snooty as it sounds, there is truth to using “good” ingredients.


You are only as good as your materials. If you work in water colors or fabrics or wood or clay or food or whatever your craft is, then you know there is a difference between good quality materials and inexpensive materials. It’s worth experimenting with both so that you know yourself the difference between the two. When you are first starting out, you will not want to spend the money on pricey materials, but the quality of your work will certainly suffer. Cheaper materials will always handle differently.


This is true for the Chalk Paint that I use and it’s also true for the furniture that I resell & repurpose. When I first started out and wanted to build an inventory of furniture I would take on most everything. There were raw pieces that I loved and a few that I just wasn’t crazy about. I remember painting a little side table and thinking I just don’t love this. It was too plain, too simple and there was no character. I made an unconscious decision not to use my paint and time on anything that I did not love or want in my own home. I can seriously say that anything that I sell, if I had the room, I would put in my own house.


Take a minute to think about what you are working on. Would you want it, wear it, use it, eat it? Would you represent it in your own space? If not, then don’t sell it. Use materials that are of the highest quality if you plan on selling your product. Buyers are smart and will know if you’ve cut corners or are not selling something worth even looking at. If it means selling less because it’s expensive or more time consuming to put out quality, then sell less. Your name & your business are only as good as what you are putting out there.

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…painting cane tutorial

Hi Friends.

So, I had 2 new clients bring me cane pieces to refinish and as I was working on them I thought it may be helpful to do another, short tutorial on what I found to work when refinishing a textured surface like cane. There actually is a technique to it because if you go to heavy with your paint, you run the risk of ruining the piece.

Here’s what I started out with:


A local interior designer, Caroline McCandish, brought these over for me to refinish for one of her clients. Gorgeous chairs!



And another new client brought over these twin headboards she found on eBay! I know, I was jealous too:)

A few things I’d like to point out when painting cane.

1. Start with the extremities; the solid wood/legs/arms/etc.

2. Use a smaller brush

3. Wipe paint after dipping

4. Work in a very light, circular motion so as not to let your paint clump.

If you put on too much paint what will happen is that all those little holes will fill and the lines/crevices will fill. You will take away from the texture, consistency and overal look of the piece. You want to work lightly and do a few coats for coverage. You want to keep the lines while covering them with your paint. Go slowly & deliberately.


IMG_1716This is after the first coat. You will notice some brown places if you look closely. Let dry and go back in for another coat, working in your circular motion.



The coverage really depends on your taste and/or your client’s taste.

Here is the video tutorial. Hope it is helpful. PS – Thank you to all my friends/reader that have stuck up for me on YouTube. Most people are lovely, but there are a few haters of chalk paint that somehow still watch my work & feel the need to yell at me 🙁


…Q’s from tutorials answered

You all are the best! The feedback has been so postive and lovely. Thank you for taking the time to let me know that you are rooting for me. Love to you all.

I wanted to answer some of the questions that I received from readers on the tutorials. Here goes:

“Annie Sloan waxes before she sands. Have you reversed it for a reason?”

Why, yes! It’s due to my lovely children & time management! I personally like to let my wax cue on the piece overnight so it’s not as gooy. You cannot sand over gooy wax because all those little sand particles will just get swooped up on the piece and look muddy and gross. I sand beforehand because it’s one step that I can check off and then I can immediately clear wax the piece without having to wait. I’ve learned alot about efficiency as a mom of 3 and this just works for me!

“Did you ever do a second coat?”

No, I decided not to do a second coat on that dresser because she didn’t want me to. I thought the piece was looking interesting with the dark wood coming through. I thought she wanted to be more on the shabby side. Some pieces don’t, however. If you have a light wood piece of furniture I would suggest doing multiple coats. If it is a lighter piece of wood, when you sand that will come through and may look less antique.

“What if I want to paint the hardware?”

Go for it! A piece can look really cohesive and lovely with the hardware painted. If it’s brassy & ugly paint it!

Do I need Annie Sloan brushes?

Well, yes, kind of. The process will be much easier and your work smoother if you use the right tools. Yes, it is an investment as the brushes run about $40 each for the paint brushes as well as the clear wax and dark wax brush. The materials are not cheap per say, but you will get the best results with the right tools.

Got questions? Post and I’ll answer.