Bedroom / Furniture makeovers / Projects / special effects

Vanity almost finished!

Jan 2

I am winging my boudoir.  I purchased all the supplies to have a table with a skirt and as time is passing I am changing my mind on practically everything. You see, I live by the 10 minute rule.  If I am 100% sure about it but don’t put it into action immediately I am subject to change it. A woman’s prerogative!

I intended on finishing this vanity with this chair and putting a skirt of some sort on it. First it was tulle, but I put that on the other table and I don’t want my room looking frou-frou, then this silky stuff, but now?  I am thinking no skirt.    I paid about $45 for both pieces, which for me is a lot.

IMG_0624  IMG_0625



My colors were originally going to be the colors from Pantone’s 2015 colors of the year but guess what?  Here  it  is damn near the end of January and the colors are still not in the stores.  Maybe they changed their minds on the palette?   I been working with a color consultant at Valspar who has been great in helping me pick my second choice colors. For the vanity we opted on a teal color.

My walls are Cherry Mocha, my table is antique Burgundy, wall trim brown, ceiling white, bed frame  black leather and furniture cherry…so why not throw some teal in the mix to brighten things up a bit?

I started out by stripping the desk.  I used Savogran SuperStrip.  On the directions on the back it said it takes 15 minutes but on the front it has various times ranging from 15-25 minutes.


I applied a generous coating on the table and within a minute I heard the paint snap, crackle, and pop…I was happy as hell when I saw all those bubbles and heard all those sound effects.


Y’all I hate prep work.  Hate it.  But that crackling sound had me thinking this is going to be a breeze. When I scraped off the paint this is what was left.  HUH?  That’s it???


I used my spatula to remove the stripper and in the process I got a splatter of it on my arm and it stung like crazy. Cool water stopped the sting fast and no evidence of a burn.   Whew! I only let the solution sit on the vanity for 15 minutes, like the directions said, so I reapplied  it and left it on for another 20 minutes.  It still did not get most of the paint off and I am guessing only sanding will get rid of it. I bet this paint is FULL of lead!!


I washed the table down with TSP and left it alone while I worked on the chair a bit.  I used gorilla wood glue and put it on all the loose joints then rigged  a strap set together to hold it tight.  I let everything sit for two days for no special reason except  I was not feeling well and I decided not to push myself.


I looked at it, took the straps off and was pretty satisfied the chair is fixed and then everything sat for another 3 weeks.   I could not make up my mind on anything and I was not feeling like sanding.  I never sanded anything down to the bare wood before yet I  dreaded it.  This post is only going to be about the vanity.   The chair will be covered later, if I even use it.  I am over this chair!!

January 24:

I put 60 grit sandpaper on my sander and got to work and I was on a roll!  I was sanding my happy butt off and just when I was thinking “huh, this is kind of fun”, the darn thing shut off and died on me just like that.  I don’t know why,  I think I burned the sander out.  Not sure how, but thank God the fuse was not blown because the electrical box is outside and I am not going outside in the pitch black.  The perils of living in the country, feels like bears are always waiting to devour me any second.  Anyway,   I had another sander (somehow I have three) of which I did not have any extra sandpaper for but I was able to finish the top and take off the shine on the legs with the 150 grit paper that was still on the sander.


As you see (above) the water stains are not going anywhere but at least the top is nice and smooth.  Good thing I was planning on painting and not staining.  Oh and I did this in the house so immediately after I finished I pulled out the vacuum and vacuumed as much sawdust up that I could but it’s still everywhere y’all AND it blew into 3 rooms.  My house looks like a dust hellhole right now.  Footprints on the floor like I have ghosts, dusty handprints on furniture. I know that was stupid BUT in my defense?:

  1. I never did this much sanding before
  2. I never did it in the house if I did and
  3. I thought that little bag on the back of the sander was going to catch the dust.  NOT.  But…I know now.

I primed the whole thing.


I tested a stencil technique that I am going to use with this felt heart I got from the dollar store.  Did not like it so I reprimed over the test.

IMAG0523 IMAG0525

I painted the vanity  with Valspar Exotic Sea as recommended by my consultant.


I love it.  That  tape you see on the top is there because  after I opened the paint I could not get it opened again without something to help grip the top.  For some reason all Valspar cans and bottles are like that,  once you close it, good luck getting back in it.

After seeing the paint dried I decided I did not want a skirt and now I want  to do some decorative painting.  I am still learning so don’t be too critical of my work but by all means feel free to pass on  tips.  I painted the drawer front in brown checks that was oops paint so I don’t know the name but it looks like melted chocolate.



Jan 25:

Later I felt like I should have done the checks diagonally but I am not doing it over.  I did the outside and inside of the drawer Heirloom Red.  My surprise color.

IMAG0537      IMAG0538

I decided to try and work on my techniques so I can be just as good as Mackenzie Childs.  Here is their work…


Yeah yeah yeah, I know I have a ways to get to their skill level but practice makes perfect.   Their style is a bit over the top in eccentricity but I love many many elements of it and my style, if you have not already guessed,  is a tad bit eccentric and definitely eclectic.

Jan 26:

I masked off any areas I didn’t want painted and  used Martha Stewart Craft Metallics in gold.  I love this paint as it has a true gold leaf look to it.  I also used a soft sable brush. I put my paint in an old olive dish.

IMAG0528  IMAG0530

Paint, let dry, remove tape

IMAG0531  IMAG0532

look for places that need touching up and use a smaller brush to do so.


Don’t forget to look at the piece from all angles.  Nothing worse than to think you are finished only to find out you missed spots.  Ask me how I know


And every time I think I am finished I go back again.  After letting it dry several hours under the fan I turned the table on all angles and fixed all the missing spots I could find, and there were plenty.  I also added some stripes on the front legs, a gold band on the leg tips (I think they call this a color dip) and some dots on the back legs.  I used the brown and gold for this.  I wanted the stripes to come out gold, brown, gold but the colors are so muted you can’t see it like that


IMAG0541 IMAG0541

Jan 27:

I decided I was going to paint some flowers on the top.  It has been a while since I did any color blending but basically I used a 2″ wide angled paintbrush (a Purdy brush), started with the brown, added gold on the toe of the brush (the longer tip) and heirloom red on the inside heel and swirled my ass off.  I could not take a photo because time was of the essence here.  I used a paint pen in black to make seeds in the center and an outline here and there then blended again with the gold and a small paint brush and dabbed the black to mute it a bit.  It was really loud.  I alternated the main colors in the  flowers… I used brown as the major color on the first flower then red as the major color and on another gold as the major color.  I also added my initials but I wish I did not do it in black.  Too stark and in my face!!


I forgot to mention that I added some plaster of paris to the brown paint to give it a tad bit more body.  2 tbl paint, 1 tbl plaster of paris and 1 tbl warm water.

I am thinking I need some leaves now.  I am scared at every step  because I can potentially mess it all up and have to sand it down and start over.  I am going to sleep on it (whether to continue messing with it or not).  It’s still missing that oomph factor to me although when I put the poly on it, the table will really pop. And what you can’t see is everywhere that gold paint is there is a certain shimmer to it and I love the way it accents the flowers.  My options are:

  1. Leave as it is and put a coat of poly on top and be done with it
  2. Try to paint some leaves on it then poly it and be done with it
  3. Mask the flowers off, lay some Eucalypus leaves on the table or some Japonica Pieris leaves (which have buds on them right now) then spray paint the table the entire table top only.  Have you ever seen that effect before?

eucalyptus pieris

When using fern leaves it looks like this

fern I will be using a using antique bronze  spray paint

or I can mask off the flowers and put lace over it, and spray antique bronze.  I think I have a lace in my barn that has poppies on it.  small ones.  The effect is like this


I will be thinking on this tomorrow but I am leaning towards the eucalyptus.  No… I will be thinking on this today since its 3AM…no… it’s  3:41 AM yikes!!!  what was I thinking staying up this late??

Jan 29th

I slept on it last night and decided I would do the paint technique with the leaves.  I found a bush outside where the leaves were delicate and it had berries on it.  I cut them off the bush before I went to work and I put them between two boards and weighed it down all day with the leg of my coffee table.    My projects make me nervous and this was no exception.

I used wax paper to trace my flowers making sure I made a mark on each so I would know how to place them and I would know not to glue the wax paper upside down (and then the cutout won’t match the flower).

IMAG0548 IMAG0547

I sprayed the paper with 3M general purpose adhesive.  When you spray the wax paper let it sit for 30 seconds before putting on your surface and remove within 30 minutes of placement so the wax paper is not bonded to the surface  permanently.

IMAG0550   IMAG0547

I placed the leaves and berries on the table, threw some drop cloths over the furniture  and sprayed the table in short light bursts.




I was using Valspar metallic paint.  Not sure of the color the cap looks black but I know I had several antique bronze so I am thinking this is that.   I sprayed in very short bursts. I did not want the paint all over the house nor did I want the leaves shifting.



The whole house smelled like paint so I directed the fan outside and opened the door for a bit but not for long because I think I have a possum who made a nest somewhere on my porch.  I didn’t want him sneaking in the house.  Those things are DISGUSTING.

When I removed the wax paper and leaves I liked how the leaves came out and realize I could have done without the flowers.  I had to do a lot of touch up work to the flowers but I will have to wait and see how it looks when it dries to be able to tell if I like it or not.  Right now  I would have liked it just fine with just the leaves and no flowers.


Do you have the nerve to go this far with a piece of furniture?

2 thoughts on “Vanity almost finished!

Feel free to comment here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s