Hi, I’m Sharon Hankins – a furniture painter & restorer who loves to up-cycle and repurpose old neglected pieces and bring them back to life again. My blog was created for thrifty DIYers and home renovators to encourage them to make transformations in their own homes, with educational tutorials, tips and inspirational makeovers.
What a fun day we had on the first International Milk Paint Demo Day held by Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint retailers all over the world.
I decided to take part, and even though I’m mostly an online retailer and blogger, I still hold painting workshops in my local home-based studio and they are lots of fun!
So our Milk Paint Demo Day – 27th January, 2018 – was held at 10am and as advertised, I went LIVE over on my Facebook page so that others who weren’t able to attend, could join in with us.
You can see the Live right here – it’s only just over 30 minutes long and I’d love to know if you learned a thing or two after you watched it! You can leave me a comment right here at the bottom of this post.
If you’ve used Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint before, you’ll know how easy it is to mix up.
And so my 2018 began … “Yes, we do have a space available, would you like to come in tomorrow and have a look?”
Wow – my simple enquiry was beginning to look like a reality. I had been tossing over the idea of having my own little shop or at least a rented space in an antique centre for some time, but the timing had never been right. It either seemed like too much hassle to make it all happen, or I had other things I was focussing on in my business.
Well 2018 rolled around and after some thinking and bouncing basic business ideas around with some family, I decided I’d make some more enquiries.
Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash
When things begin to align …
I don’t know about you, but I love it when a plan comes together! Especially one that seems to be divinely orchestrated. You see, a part of the back story is that right before Christmas, a boutique where I had some of my furniture on consignment, suddenly closed down and asked me to come and pick up all my things. Eek! You mean, NOW – the week leading up to Christmas?
Yes, now. So Marty & I made the trek in his work van and lugged home all the furniture & decor items and stacked it in my workshop! Ugh!
The other major deal about this whole saga was that we are trying to get our house ready for sale in the near future, and even with the furniture items I did have at the consignment place, I had a whole lot more furniture strategically placed throughout my home, waiting to be sold, either via ebay or my Facebook Marketplace ads. Not a great look when you’re trying to sell your house, right? Take this random dresser in my entryway for example:
The crazy thing is, believe it or not, I was not even thinking about the above two dilemmas when I enquired about the booth space at the Antique Mall – I was simply thinking, “I wonder if this is something I should pursue this year” … duh!
So of course, Marty & I went and checked out the available space, and everything just felt “right”!
Problem #1 solved: – I’ll have a place for all my painted furniture to go.
Problem #2 solved: – I can “declutter” my house ready for sale.
I’m a little excited about finally having my own little “shop” to sell my wares and am looking forward to showcasing some of the beautiful paint colours of the two brands I carry (Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint & Fusion Mineral Paint) on the painted furniture pieces that will be displayed in my booth. For those wondering if I’ll be selling these paint lines from my booth, yes, I have been given permission to sell furniture paint from here, however, I’ll be starting out slowly, and won’t be adding them immediately. I’ll let you know when I do, though. But by all means, if you’re a regular customer and it would be more convenient for you to pick up paint from Camp Hill, I’d be glad to meet you there with your order. Please message me to make this arrangement (email@example.com).
I have an awesome husband – just sayin’ – and he’s super keen to help me make my space all pretty! We have some fun plans for the partition walls between my booth and the adjacent ones, as I am able to do what I like to decorate these. So stay tuned for more about that.
Meanwhile I have been busy measuring out an area in my workshop space that equals the same as the shop space, and seeing how much furniture I can squeeze into my booth. Painters tape comes in handy for times like this.
All the fun details:
For those who are local to Brisbane area, I’ll be upstairs in the Camp Hill Antique Centre & Tarte Café, so make sure you stop by and if I happen to be there in my booth, please come and say hello! If you remember the Woolloongabba Antique Centre in Brisbane, well this is the same business, new location at 545 Old Cleveland Rd, Camp Hill.
They have a cute 50s diner style cafe at the entry, so it’s a great place to meet up for a coffee and cake and browse through the 70 or more dealers that all have a space in this amazing centre.
I’ll be setting up shop next Tuesday (23rd Jan, 2018), and I look forward to sharing more about this new venture with you on the blog this year, as well as on my social channels – if you’re on Instagram I’ll be posting stories, for sure – along with our Facebook page & Facebook group.
Meanwhile here’s a little taste of what to expect at the lovely Camp Hill Antique Centre:
Meanwhile on the home front …
As I said, we’ve been busy doing a few reno’s to get our home ready for sale (another 2018 goal). After 2 of our now adult boys left home in the last 18 months, it’s time to downsize!
One of the major projects we completed before Christmas was having a new fence built on the corner frontage of our 1/2 acre block. It was a huge job and the fencer who built it was a trooper, working in our Queensland summer heat!
Marty inspecting one side of the new unpainted fence.
And then, if you’ve been following me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll have seen the posts of our big day of spray painting the entire fence inside and out! It was a perfect day for painting – no wind, no humidity and some nice cloud coverage, and no rain. Here’s a little video I posted on Facebook:
So that’s a huge kick start to our 2018 – what are your DIY plans for 2018? Leave your comments below – are you painting more furniture? Doing any house reno’s? Let me know what’s happening in your neck of the woods!
And if you’re new to my blog, you can subscribe for weeklyish updates on our “I Restore Stuff” happenings. Come and join me as we learn new tips and tricks for painting & DIY fun!
Evonne has been a long-time customer of I Restore Stuff here in Australia and recently posted in our Facebook Group about a pigeon hole cubby she had upcycled. I asked if I could share about her makeover here on the blog and she agreed.
Evonne mainly paints furniture for her own personal use, but she has a crafty business, VonneBears, building the cutest miniature bears and other handiwork – meet Pierre, for example:
A Pigeon Hole Cubby Shelf
Here are the pics Evonne added to our Facebook group and her explanation of the process she took to create an extra special look for this cute piece.
Evonne says, “I had bought these old pigeon holes ages ago in the hope that it might help better organise some of the little bits around my craft room (and I just love old pigeon holes ) But sadly, they weren’t as helpful as I’d hoped, as I kept losing things in them and it’s hard to see what’s up the back. So I asked hubby to make me some simple drawers for them.”
“A far more honest before – ugh, what a mess!” Evonne admitted.
She wanted to tie in the colour to a picture that was on a wall in the same room:
Here are the painted drawers, and I think she got pretty close with her custom colour combo!
Typewriter help …
“A little help from “Corrie” our antique typewriter was just perfect for the labels,” she said. I have to agree – perfect!
Don’t you love this finished look? I love how she kept the original wood and just painted the new drawers. Such a lovely way to make the pigeon hole cubby all tidy!
You can find Evonne via her website vonnebears.com or Facebook business page, VonneBears – a cute page with a vintage vibe where she shows off her miniature bear creations and her talent for bobbin lace!
Just look at this cuteness! Click on the image below to see more of these little guys and their friends. You’ll also find Evonne’s handiwork on Etsy HERE if you’d like to purchase any of her bears, or HERE for other creative pursuits.
What about you?
Have you tried mixing custom paint colours? Why not jump over and join our Facebook Group and share your furniture painting makeovers HERE.
Also, if you have a Pinterest account, we’d love you to PIN the following graphic to any of your painting, DIY or craft Boards:
Well, it’s Christmas Eve, the presents are being wrapped and I’m remembering this time last year to very different temperatures during our visit with family in North Carolina, USA!
But alas, no snowmen here or Jack Frost biting at our noses. Down Under we’re experiencing high humidity and temps here in Sunny Queensland and the fans are running full tilt. No air-con in our house, so we’re getting creative with ways to stay cool. Looking forward to some time at the beach next week!
The Christmas Song
If you remember early December I had recorded a fun Furniture Painting version of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas“. I had recorded 2 songs at the time, but after the big effort it took to create a video clip for the last one, we almost ran out of time to make a second video to go with this song.
Anyway, no big furniture painting puns in this clip … just a bit of Christmas cookie baking with my girls, eggnog sipping and singing about “folks dressed up like Eskimos” while sweltering by the Christmas tree! Haha. I hope you enjoy it …
The Christmas Song - I Restore Stuff - YouTube
Let me say a big thank you to all my subscribers, readers of my blog and fellow DIY’ers! Thanks for sharing, downloading, sending messages and for many of you, sharing your own unique tips and tricks for the things you create and do!
I look forward to bringing you more exciting DIY projects in 2018 and some extra tips and tricks in the area of Social Media and Blogging for those of you with your own Furniture Painting business.
Have a wonderful time with family and friends, and stay safe this holiday season.
PS. Below are a few links to my most popular posts this year just in case you’ve missed any of these cornerstone content articles along the way. Some are older posts, but they have continued to be “most read” content in 2017.
I get asked questions occasionally about the tools and various items that I use in my business, and there’s a long list of “things” that keep “I Restore Stuff” rolling. However, here are some of my favourite that I’d probably consider my staple items for what I do.
(*Some of these items contain affiliate links so that you can find where to purchase them if you so choose. All opinions are my own and I only share about things that I truly do love and have tried and tested.)
Sanding – I have already put together a blog post about the different types of sanding options that I use, which you can read in more detail here: How to Choose a Sander for Your Furniture Project. But one of “my favourite things” in this category is the Sandi Hands Sanding Glove. They come in a variety of types and sizes, from the Ladies Cotton glove (pictured below) to the more sturdy Tradesperson glove. So easy to use – hand shaped sanding grits of various sizes stick to the gloves via velcro which can easily be changed out as you require a finer grit for each project.
Great for getting around curved surfaces like chair and leg spindles.
Unfortunately these are not available worldwide, but you can find them in Australia HERE, or in the UK/Europe HERE.
Stain Blocker – This problem comes up a LOT in furniture painting forums. What to do about the dreaded “bleed through” – ie. when tannins from the wood or underlying surface start to bleed through your newly painted surface, often in a pink or yellow tone. Especially noticeable coming through light or white colours. I shared a post about how I dealt with bleedthrough as well as “resist” (where the paint tends to bead over your surface that you are trying to paint on) while working on this old wardrobe. You can read about it HERE.
To combat this issue, about the only product I have found to be truly successful in preventing bleedthrough occurring through your subsequent layers of paint, is Zinsser BIN Stain Blocker. It’s something I always have on hand in my workshop!
I use this white one (above) as an undercoat for troublesome pieces, and that way, I can tell if the bleedthrough is still occurring. You can use the clear shellac version also, which might be good for darker pieces, but as I said, I find the white version shows up the bleedthrough better. However, I only tend to use the Zinsser BIN if I already notice bleedthrough beginning to occur after I paint. It doesn’t happen often enough for me to warrant using it each and every time I paint something.
Ultra-Grip – this product is by Fusion Mineral Paint and is brilliant for using on high gloss surfaces that would normally resist your average furniture paints, like some metal surfaces, high gloss, laminate, glass and so on. Ultra Grip is painted on or rolled on with a microfibre roller, and dries clear. It is best applied thin and sparingly to avoid brush stroke texture showing through to your paint layer.
A good brush! – It didn’t take me long to figure out that in this trade, the tools you use make a BIG difference to the outcome of your painted piece, and a good paint brush is no exception. I remember using brushes from the hardware store, and other small chip brushes. But then I tried my first Cling On! Brush – oh, my. It was like chalk and cheese, really.
O35 – A medium-small head oval brush perfect for general painting. Large enough for bigger areas but small enough for small sections.
I had already painted the first coat on a single bed, when I remembered I’d ordered and received my Cling On! brush. So I quickly went to find it. I was using chalk paint for this project and noted that the info that I was given about these particular brushes stated that you dip the brush in water first, then flick the water off so that the bristles are damp, not too wet. I dipped it in my pot of Chalk Paint and away I went – literally painted the bed in half the time I had taken on the first coat and with such ease, gliding across the surface. The filaments are so soft and tapered, and the best part about them is that they pretty much clean themselves after rinsing the excess paint off with water, standing the tips of the bristles in water, all the paint comes off and falls to the bottom of your container of water within an hour or so.
Good Quality Paint – If you’ve been following my blog any length of time, you’ll know that I’m also a retailer in Australia for a couple of paint brands. I honestly wouldn’t sell them if I didn’t think they were awesome – Haha!
Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint was one of the first specialty furniture paints I began using even before it was brought into Australia. I love the old world, worn and chippy patina you can achieve with it, and the fact that it is made up of only 5 ingredients, is eco-friendly, VOC free and I could go on! You can use the search bar at the top of my website, type in Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint and see a range of makeovers and tutorials I have posted about on using this lovely, natural paint product. It comes in a powdered form, and mixed with water, it’s as easy as grabbing a paint brush and painting as normal.
Fusion Mineral Paint is an acrylic water based paint made by the same parent company that Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint is made by – Homestead House Paint Company. They pride themselves in providing products that are environmentally safe, non-toxic and top quality. For more about Fusion, visit their website here.
Fusion’s Clear Glaze mixed with Ash creates a beautiful glaze over the Pebble colour.
Glazes – there are a range of finishes on the market now, and so many different ways to enhance your painted furniture pieces. Glazing is one of my favourite things I’ve learned how to do. If I was to be really picky, I wouldn’t put “glazes” into the “finishes” category, but more like a “bling” or “effects” category. But I’m really enjoying the results you can get using Antiquing Glaze or especially a Clear Glaze (which you can add ANY colour to, including metallic paint). You can see how I created the look on the above coffee table HERE.
Metallic Waxes – Gah! So many beautiful waxes out there now … and more coming – like Fusion’s metallic waxes being added to our online store (for our Aussie readers, or find your nearest retailer on the Fusionmineralpaint.com website). I’ve listed them in my favourite things, not because I’ve used them yet, as they are only brand new to me, but because I can tell already they are going to be a favourite! LOL. These can add the most amazing glamour to a pretty ordinary painted piece of furniture. Used sparingly, the metallic waxes are applied similar to other waxes, then wiped and buffed to a shimmery sheen.
I look forward to sharing some more of my “Favourite Things” posts soon.
Are you a blogger? or a vlogger? or are you growing your social media business pages? Stay tuned for my Favourite Things list on all things technology and videography!
Post any questions you have about video gear, social media apps or plugins below and I’ll do my best to answer them in future posts? Or, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh boy, you guys, I had this big grand Christmas idea of something that would be totally fun, but now that I’ve done it, I’m feeling TOTALLY vulnerable and fearful about putting it out there! Can anyone relate?
Well, here goes …
Pin this image to your Christmas Pinterest board.
For years I’ve had the thought of actually recording a Christmas song or two. I was a singer in a former era of my life … well, I say “was”, but I have recently joined the choir of our new church, and enjoying re-gaining my courage to sing in front of people again. But to be honest, it’s a bit daunting when you haven’t sung “properly” for years and you try to get back in the saddle again. These old vocal chords are a bit rusty and ‘aint what they used to be. Haha.
But, alas, I went for it.
Not only did I record a Christmas song, but I totally re-vamped the lyrics of this little number and made it totally relatable to many of my fellow Paint retailers and Furniture painter sista’s out there. I hope you get a happy kick out of it, and if it brings a smile to your dial, or a “Oh my, she’s crazy!” – then I’ve accomplished my mission.
See if you can pick out a ‘lil mention of a couple of names of owners from my favourite paint brands somewhere in the lyrics. (wink, wink).
Anyway, without further ado, I present to you: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (I Restore Stuff Style)
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - I Restore Stuff Style! - YouTube
As noted in the credits, I’d like to thank the wonderful staff and various booths at the Camp Hill Antiques Centre & Tart Cafe for allowing me to film in their beautiful antique warehouse. It’s such a great place to hang out, so if you’re ever in Brisbane, do go and check them out and you MUST stay for a beautiful cafe dining experience in their vintage diner (great coffee, too)!
Huge thanks to my wonderful husband, Marty, too, who always cheers me on, gives great, creative direction and makes crazy ideas come to reality. I love working together with him on these fun projects!
My daughter, Tori also helped on set in my workshop AND with the post production clean up – you’ll see what I mean if you’ve watched the clip. (eek – Fusion Mineral Paint – the name says it all). Thanks to my two girls, for not being too embarrassed by your mum’s silly ideas.
How’re your Christmas plans going? What projects are you working on? Feel free to comment below, or join me over in my Facebook Group: I Restore Stuff – You Can Too. I’d love you to share your work with our community.
It’s been a little while since I’ve posted on my blog and I have the BEST excuse in the world, just wait and see.
When Marty & I knew our 25th Wedding anniversary was coming up in November this year, we chatted about where and how we might want to celebrate such a great milestone. I must’ve hinted at cruises for about a year before, but was truly happy going anywhere together. Just getting away from work/business, and having a break together was going to be amazing no matter where we ended up.
But then … a couple of months out, Marty started acting sneaky and told me to book off a certain 2 week period in my calendar and not to ask any questions … Hmmm. Okay then. So I TRIED so hard not to snoop and be a sticky beak, but I sure was just the slightest bit curious.
All right then, I was a great BIG bit curious, and began to suss out the kids a little bit and even brain-stormed with friends of ideas where we may be going. Would you believe, my kids (age range 14-21) knew all the details, but did not let on ANYTHING!
My ideas running around in my head were:
a cruise off the coast of NSW/QLD, or maybe some islands;
a trip to Melbourne to see our 2nd son, who lives there now;
a trip to Tasmania or New Zealand, perhaps?!
I was not prepared for the surprise ahead, and the best way to give you a taste of the surprise factor and how I reacted, is to give you a behind the scenes look at how it unfolded …
The Surprise - YouTube
Oh My GOODNESS!
I know, right?! So over the next few weeks I hope to show you some of what we saw and some of the places we went – MANY of them furniture and antique related. There was SO much I loved about these beautiful places.
But amidst those posts, I am back into the swing of things here at home after our whirlwind trip – we’ve even had a graduation in the family in the last week, also.
So I’ll be looking forward to sharing more painting tutorials and tips and sharing new products with you. OH, I also have something special I’ve been working on behind the scenes for Christmas that I can’t wait to show you!
Who’s decorating for Christmas already?? Are you a December 1st person, or do you sneak in a little decorating in November?
Would love you to add a comment below!
PS. In other exciting news for our Aussie customers, we have just added the new S50 Cling On! Brushes to our products here available for Australia wide shipping! Limited supply currently but more on order, so get your Christmas wish list in! (more about the new S50 at this link)
I know someone is going to ask me quantities, but there really isn’t a hard and fast rule. Really, all you are doing is tinting the glaze with the paint colour. You’ll see me demonstrate this in the video further down in this post. For the large table, I probably used approximately 1/4 cup of Clear Glaze to do the entire table (maybe less), mixed with only a tablespoon of Ash colour.
3. Paint on the Tinted Glaze
Using a paintbrush (I used my Cling On O35 or similar) dip into the glaze mixture and brush over the surface of your furniture piece, getting into all the details.
4. Wipe back the Glaze
Using a lint free cloth (eg. Blue Shop cloth) wipe back the glaze going along the direction of the grain if you are doing a flat surface, or just wipe back as much as you can from the detailed areas across the surface of the details. You want to leave the dark glaze in the nooks and crannys.
This is an optional step to add further highlights to your piece. The dark glaze sits in the details, and the lighter dry brush colour will highlight the high points of your details and the edges of your piece. you’ll see this in detail in the last part of the video.
I used Fusion Mineral Paint’s Lamp White (an off white with grey undertones). Dip the tips of your paint brush into the paint and wipe off all excess paint onto a paper towel or card/paper. This is drying off the paint from the brush so that it is barely there.
Then gently drag your brush across the surface of the furniture piece. I show you how to do this in the video below.
6. Allow to dry
Glaze has a longer open time than paints or some finishes. This is so that you have more time to work with the glaze and move it across your surface. It can be reactivated with a little water if you have applied too much and it begins to dry. Leave the glaze at least 12-24 hours to dry completely before adding any extra finishes to the surface. Once fully dry, you won’t be able to activate it again with water.
7. Optional: add a finish
Fusion Mineral Paint has a built in topcoat, so there is usually little need to add a top coat like a wax or poly. But for those surfaces that are going to get some harder wearing, like the table-top surface, you can certainly add a wax or some Tough Coat Wipe on Poly.
And that is it! Super easy to do, and if you didn’t get to see this on my Facebook page, live, here is the replay for you to follow along. And I’ve added some images of the finished look at the end of the video.
Adding Glaze to Furniture - YouTube
Close up of top surface with the glaze covering the surface.
If not, have you thought about starting an account for your furniture restorations? Instagram is such a visual social media platform, which is great for showcasing your beautifully staged furniture and decor pieces. You can always start slowly, and build your audience, learning as you go. Or you can jump right in and do an online course to kick start your way through a new-to-you social media platform.
Check out Tracy Harris’ Instagram course and info over at Mum’s with Hustle if you’re keen on learning more – this isn’t an affiliate link, I simply enjoy listening to Tracy’s podcasts, and have been a part of a couple of her Instagram Challenge courses and have found them really helpful.
Have you started using Stories?
If you are already on Instagram, have you started using their Stories feature? I’m loving using this feature lately – it’s a great way to show a little background and personality behind the scenes of your business. So if you’re on Instagram, come and check out my stories along with my Instagram feed – you can search me by using: @irestorestuff. And if you have an account for your furniture makeovers, I’d LOVE to check out your feed too, so please leave your Insta handle in the comments below this post!
So as the title of this post suggests, here are my top 5 picks of some of the accounts that I follow, in no particular order. (click the title of each to take you directly to their Instagram accounts)
This was a no-brainer … anyone who knows me will know that I follow Miss Mustard Seed’s blog and love her Milk Paint, so her Instagram feed has been a part of my regular newsfeed forever. She’s also started using Instagram stories a lot – and this is a great way to take a peek behind the scenes a little, and enjoy some of the goings on at “Mustard Seed Head Quarters”. Marian has been sharing some of her art/painting techniques and style in her stories, so if you love art, you’d enjoy some of these peeks at her #100meadows paintings and more.
Instagram is such a visual social media platform – it always has been – so the ones that stand out to me the most, are feeds that are full of visually appealing furniture, decor and home inspiration. Vebeke Design is no exception when it comes to furniture and styling eye candy worth following. You’ll also see some of her lovely photography featured in Miss Mustard Seed promotions lately.
If you jump over to Donna’s Funky Junk Interiors Insta feed OR her Old Sign Stencils account, you may recognise some of the stencils that I’ve used in my projects, signmaking & furniture makeovers! Yes! Donna is the creative designer behind the Old Sign Stencil range, some of which I sell here in Australia on my site. I love her style and her ability to create the most AMAZING decor out of … well, … JUNK!