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.
More from our trip to the USA – Emmett, Idaho.
Aunt Ellen (holding a picture of her dad when he was little), with Marty & his sister, Paula.
Antiques & collectables galore as we stepped into Aunt Ellen & Uncle Dave’s house on our recent trip to the USA (see why we went here). During our travels, we spent some time in Emmett, Idaho, where Marty and his sister were born. Their parents were also born here, along with their immediate families, and many of them still live here!
Aunt Ellen is Marty’s Mom’s younger sister, and it was a joy to spend some time with her and Uncle Dave in their adorable house filled with antiques and collectables.
Check out the antique cash registers above – both with a unique story or two to tell, I’m sure. Much like Uncle Dave, who could point out anything in the house and tell you where it came from and who it belonged to – I’m pretty sure he has bragging rights of being the one who has collected the most out of their combined stash of vintage treasures!
Those cash registers were sitting by the front door to greet us as we walked in, and I’m sure Uncle Dave made some joke about paying our way before we could enter. Haha. Well, that IS an Australian $5 note I spy on the register to the right …
Just a kitchen hutch FILLED with collectables by the dining table!
Let’s take a closer look at this hutch for some hidden gems … like their vintage toaster collection:
Some old scales …
I love their old stove that has been beautifully refurbished with a fresh enamel coating in vintage colours. It was the original stove from Marty’s Grandparents home.
I told you it was just like visiting an Antique Shop! I love the vintage boxes and tins she has in her collection.
An old telephone or two, strategically placed throughout her house …
Uncle Dave had a story for each of these vintage cameras … and don’t you love the Abe Lincoln wood box, along with the bust at the back of the shelf?
Washboards of every kind – copper, glass and tin!
Ellen found a great way to display their collection of vintage kitchen utensils on this old door.
This gallery wall is a beautiful feature in the lounge room with a lovely arrangement of vintage frames and pictures.
This vintage light shade hangs from the lounge room ceiling, lighting up the corner where the telephone sits on a lamp table.
Outdoor antiques & collectables
I just had to add these tulips here – I LOVE tulips in the spring and they are prolific in parts of the USA that we have visited or lived over the years. These are scattered along the fence line of Dave & Ellen’s back yard, front garden and could be seen in neighbors gardens along the streets of Emmett.
This old sundial sits in the back garden among the pretty flowers.
Along with this old cast iron stove that brought back fond memories for Marty & Paula who remembered making mud pies outside in this very stove, growing up around their Grandparents’ farm.
Among some old advertising signs outside on an exterior wall, is the family name sign from the old “Shoemaker” farm.
We were blessed with such beautiful weather everywhere we went. It was so lovely to connect with Marty’s family in Emmett, and then more family later in Seattle.
I hope you enjoyed this small tour of Aunt Ellen & Uncle Dave’s place. I know many of you love antiques and collectables like I do, so it was fun to browse and take some pics to share with you all.
Do you have something particular that you love to collect?
What would be your go to antique or vintage item if you were to “Pick” Aunt Ellen’s house?? Leave your answer in the comments below.
I first came across The Mercantile, via Instagram, after following one of their beautiful vendors, Kim, from In Sweet Time, NC (@insweettimenc on Instagram). When I knew we were going to be in North Carolina visiting family last month, I checked in with my S.I.L. if we could make a trip to meet Kim and see the store where she has a lot of her pretty pieces!
I was so excited to meet both Kim (In Sweet Time) and store owner, Jenny (The Mercantile) in person!
L to R: Jenny (The Mercantile), Myself, Kim (In Sweet Time)
Kim has been a Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint retailer for a number of years and in fact, if you’re a MMS fan, you may remember Marian Parsons took a trip to visit family late last year and stopped in at Kim’s booth to hold a MMS Milk Paint demo along with a meet & greet. Here’s what Marian wrote about her visit to The Mercantile.
In Sweet Time, NC
Kim’s booth, “In Sweet Time” is just beautiful and filled with treasures that I could have easily filled a shipping container with and whisked back home with me – in fact, the whole Mercantile itself has such a lovely cohesive look to it. The store owner, Jenny has done a fabulous job of communicating her vision for an aesthetically pleasing vintage store, to her vendors! It ticks all the right boxes for a beautiful collection of vintage furniture & homewares to suit farmhouse, industrial & cottage styles.
Here’s a little tour of some of the beautiful things we saw in The Mercantile, Knightdale, North Carolina.
I love this metal bucket collection, for example!
Filing card drawers always seem to get my attention!
A perfect statement piece of wall art to capture your gaze as you walk in the store!
I’m sure I could find a place to hang one of these in my house. Rusty metal farmhouse decor on a large scale here.
I’m sure your imagination will go wild with ideas for this collection of doors, windows and other hangable things.
There is plenty of natural beauty among the rugged and the rustic.
I love this idea below, of putting a rustic wooden frame in this antique roller skate for display.
These antique sleds would be such a rare find in Australia where we hardly see any snow, especially where I live in Queensland. To see so many in one shop was kinda out-of-the-ordinary for me.
Workspace at The Mercantile
Off to one side of The Mercantile, is a workshop space where Jenny and her helper can paint away the hours while the store is quiet. I loved the fact that we could watch her work while we browsed the store, seeing some of the pieces she was working on.
I hope you enjoyed this little taste of The Mercantile, and if you’re ever in North Carolina, it’s a fantastic place to visit and find a unique piece or two for your home.
I was so blessed by these beautiful ladies who gifted me with these. Kim handed me a signed copy of Miss Mustard Seed’s book, Inspired you, and Jenny wanted me to have my very first piece of Ironstone! This pitcher is large and heavy … but it safely made its way carefully wrapped in my carry on suitcase, several flights all the way back home.
I can’t wait to find the perfect place for it in my home & fill it with flowers or other pretty things, reminding me of our trip to The Mercantile.
I also wanted to remind you about our upcoming workshop if you are in the Brisbane, QLD area!
A great idea for Mother’s Day gift – grab your mum and book in to our 25th May 2019 workshop! Click here for all the details:
For other workshops and product updates, get yourself on our email list to be notified when new workshops or products are added:
Leave this field empty if you’re human:
I’d love to hear about your favourite antique store finds! Let me know in the comments below:
I’ve been busy painting in the USA! Well, also visiting with family, but wait till you see what fun we’ve been having with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.
This week, Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint turns 7 years old! I first became aware of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint while following Marian Parson’s “Miss Mustard Seed” home decor blog about 7 years ago.
NOTE: Marian (aka Miss Mustard Seed) is having a giveaway to celebrate 7 years of her milk paint line. More details of how to enter HERE.
I remember falling in love with the beautiful patina and aged effects that Marian showed us with this new paint line that she was going to carry. I couldn’t wait to try it for myself, and at that time, the brand was only new to the USA & Canada, so it hadn’t reached us Down Under here in Australia yet. But I did find one seller who was able to ship me some samples to try here. And then as providence would have it – my sister and her family were taking a trip to the USA, and so I put in my request for her to bring me back some of the cute little brown boxes of Milk Paint in a few different colours!
I still have those original packages here as a reminder of my first love of painting with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.
Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint original packaging.
My first colours I bought were Boxwood, Mustard Seed Yellow, Flow Blue and Tricycle. Having the experience with Milk Paint that I do now, I would probably not have chosen Tricycle to be my very first Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint trial run. Haha. If you have not used Milk Paint before, each colour can be slightly different in it’s performance and mixing ability because the colours differ in the pigments used to create the paint powder. Tricycle Red, with it’s high red pigment content tends to be very very light and wispy and tricky to mix into the water, taking a little extra time for the pigment to saturate. It all worked out in the end, and as you’ll see in my original blog post, and my first tutorial video (wow, now that’s going back a few!), I made a few rookie mistakes, and had a bit of a laugh at getting the formula totally wrong!
Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint Mixing Ratio
Back when Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint first came out, the ratio they gave us for mixing was a little different than it is today. Below is a copy of the cute little card that came in every box, showing the ratio as 1.5 parts warm water to 1 part milk paint powder.
Today, making it more simplified, we mix an equal parts ratio of paint powder to water. Either way, I still tend to go by the “feel” of the mixture and the consistency – looking for a steady stream of paint coming off your brush like pouring cream – not too runny, not too thick.
My first Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint Tutorial – don’t laugh!
Here’s a look back at my first Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint tutorial using, of all colours, Tricycle, to makeover a display cabinet:
And here’s the accompanying video tutorial, which you’ll also see in the blog link above, but I’ve added it here for you just in case you wanted to go straight to the visual.
How to Use MMS Milk Paint - Tricycle Red (Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint) - YouTube
Painting in the USA
As I type, I am still in the USA, visiting with family and will be attending a business conference at the end of our trip. See blog post here for details of my trip.
While at my sister-in-law’s house in North Carolina last week, she had me paint two of her pieces in Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint. Paula has a beautiful home in Farmhouse style and loves the rustic chippy look, so she was happy for a distressed look on both pieces.
The 1970s TV Cabinet
The first piece, this 1970s TV Cabinet belonged to my brother-in-law’s mom, who passed a year and a half ago. He wanted to keep this piece to remember her, but Paula knew it had to have an update in order for it to fit in to their home.
Well, with a little help from Miss Mustard Seed’s Luckett’s Green and some black wax for the details, here is the fabulous results.
Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint – Luckett’s Green with black wax
I’ll be creating a more detailed tutorial in the future when we have time after our trip to edit some great video footage Marty took for me during the process.
I just love how the milk paint naturally crackled over the patina of the original finish (below), especially with the addition of the black wax. *Note: colour is a little off in this image due to lighting conditions.
The Bombay Chest
This piece has had my attention since the last time I visited Paula for Christmas 2016. It has such beautiful carved details and ready for a change of colour to fit in with their home.
Using Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, Paula chose Outback Petticoat for this piece, and said she didn’t mind a bit of chipping and aging. Well, I’m glad, because this one had a surface that was ready to resist any paint!
I prepped well, by scuffing the surface all over with my Sandi Hands sanding glove, and wiping down well. Additionally, I added a little bonding agent to the mixed milk paint, to help with adhesion – I didn’t use as much as the bottle suggests, and in hindsight, maybe should have used a little more. But both Paula and I were happy with the beautiful finish!
I painted the top in a matte black chalkboard paint that Paula had on hand as I didn’t bring any black paint with me from Australia. I also added black wax, creating more depth in all of the details, as well as toning down the orange a little to fit in with the other terracotta colours going on in their living area. What do you think??
See all that chippy goodness on the side?
I hope you enjoyed these makeovers. As I said, I’ll be editing video once we get back to Australia, so stay tuned for those. Painting in the USA with my sis-in-law has been a blast!
We’re really enjoying our time here, visiting with family and seeing a lot of where Marty and his sister grew up on the farm in Emmett, Idaho. I’ve been posting a lot of stories on Instagram and Facebook if you want to see some more of things I’m seeing on our trip.
Freezeout Lookout, Gem County, Idaho
Don’t forget to enter the Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint giveaway! Details HERE.
We’ve all been there … one minute you think you have everything under control in your business, then next minute, our “to do” list is a mile long and we feel like we’re just treading water – the overwhelm is REAL. One of the things that I have learned over the years is that quite often we can make life so much easier on ourselves if we would simply hire help! Seriously, have you considered it? There are some tasks that you are probably trying to do right now that are causing you stress, frying your brain, and if you’d just give that task to someone else, you could actually get on with your creative things that you love to do that are bringing in your income!
Other creative business owners have asked me: How do you do all the things you do in your business? Well, I’ve learned the secret of hiring out some of the tasks that were contributing to my overwhelm. And you know what? I’ve discovered the great rewards that come with delegating these tasks and at the same time, creating valuable opportunities for the people I’ve paid to help me.
If you struggle with the tech side of things in your business, this is a must. I started out many years ago on a free Blogspot site with Google, but graduated to a paid domain/Wordpress site with a nice theme. I had no idea what I was doing at the time, so I hired my tech savvy nephew, Jake, to build my site, get it up and running and to teach me the basics so that I could eventually add product, add blog posts, and all of the things! It was so much easier AND quicker than trying to figure it all out myself.
Another technical area you can get help with is automation: i.e. setting up your email systems, organising landing pages & opt-in forms, setting up auto payments for ecommerce, automating membership sites, and basically anything that will assist your workflow to become more automated. Many of these things can be done by a V.A. (see number 3), or possibly a website developer, but when you can find a business like The Automation Girl, who specialise in exactly that, you can get a whole lot of systems in place at once for your business.
2. Logo Design/Branding/Graphic Design
If you are ready to get a bit more professional in the whole presentation of your business, this is something you may want to hire help for. You can have a logo designed for a small fee on a site like Fivver.com or you could hire a professional graphic designer like my daughter, Amber, (proud Mum plug!) or my friend Megan from Happy Splat Designs (below).
3. Virtual Assistance
A V.A. (Virtual Assistant) can be a valuable asset to your small business! The role is usually made up of digitally based tasks that you could easily give to someone else to do. Most virtual assistants will list the tasks or programs/apps they are most familiar with so that you can choose your assistant according to the areas you most need. I’ve just recently hired my talented niece to do some of my social media tasks, especially my Pinterest boards using Tailwind. This has greatly helped boost my blog traffic via Pinterest, as well as freed up valuable time for me in the “office”, to get on with more fun stuff – like painting furniture! A shameless plug here for Stefanie’s beautiful work if you’d like to check out her site – she’s actually offering some beautiful Canva templates for Pinterest at the moment! (below)
Here are just a few examples of tasks you can get done by a V.A:
social media posts,
creating graphics & flyers,
typing up articles & blog posts, editing,
filtering emails & answering some.
If this is an area that you find yourself either bogged down in, or it’s beyond your expertise, hire help now. I’ve done our own bookkeeping in both my husband & my businesses for the last 25 years. Things have certainly changed in the area of bookkeeping and record keeping in that time! So firstly, if you haven’t moved to the digital era of online accounting software like Xero or MYOB, do yourself a favour and get onto it. These systems, along with their apps for mobile devices, allow you to do your bookkeeping anywhere in the world where there’s internet. I haven’t had to physically visit our accountant for the last few years, since they have access to all our records online, making the whole system more streamlined. But again, if this is even sounding too much for you, find a bookkeeper who can get you started, teach you the basics of record keeping and keep you up to speed with your business financials – it’s just good business.
5. Workshop Assistance
What are some practical things in your creative business that you could do with an extra hand? For me, it was things like: sanding; prepping furniture; sorting stock; tidying the workshop; receiving and putting away wholesale orders. I hired my best friend’s son, Eric for the last 2.5 years. He was homeschooling at the time, and came for 4 hours on a Tuesday to help with anything I needed him to do in my workshop. What students do you know that might be keen for some part time work on the weekend?
6. Online orders/Shipping
Do you sell product online? Having customer orders come in at all sorts of hours, can become overwhelming if you don’t have a system in place. Is it possible for you to pay someone to come in and pack orders one day a week and make it your “shipping day”? If your orders come in via email, flag them or print them right away, set them aside for your designated shipping days or times. Make sure you let customers know about your shipping days on your website in your Shipping policy so that customer expectations are clear. You could also have your assistant unpack and price your wholesale orders that come in, arranging them on your shelving or storage space.
7. Shop Assistance
Do you operate an Antique booth like I do, or perhaps a shop space of your own, or do you regularly have a market stall? Having someone assist you with re-stocking shelves, pricing merchandise, tidying or re-arranging your space, can make your work so much easier and more efficient. If you are doing markets, you could hire help and have someone assist you during set up and pack down can greatly reduce the time taken to get everything in order and ready for the next market stall.
What do you think?
I hope you have found this list helpful and that it at least has you thinking of ways that you could save yourself both time and money in the long run by getting some extra help.
Work smarter – not harder! This is a great key to moving forward in your business and seeing it grow. What areas can you think of that you might be able to hire help and ask for assistance? Set yourself a goal to make it happen this year!
Don’t forget, I do offer one-on-one mentoring sessions if you think this is an area that you might need help with. Book in here:
Unfortunately, I didn’t take any before pictures of this queen bedroom suite makeover, but imagine a mahogany or red-ish toned 80s varnished wood similar to the dresser and tallboy I have done in previous makeovers in the example pic below.
I treated and painted this bedroom suite with the same process I used for the above dresser, and you can read more about that process here:
I explain to you exactly why I used Fusion’s Ultra Grip on these pieces in the above post, and you’ll find a handy prep chart to help you decide how much prep you may need for your own piece of furniture.
You can also see some behind the scenes video of painting this queen bedroom suite, on my Instagram account in the Highlight stories on my profile under “Bedroom Suite”. Click here to see: Sharon’s Instagram Profile
Setting up a “Bedroom” in my Workshop
I had to take pictures of the queen bedroom suite after I’d finished it, so that I can list it, post about it and all of the things you do when you paint furniture to sell. The best area to take pictures in my place is my workshop space. There’s a lot of natural light streaming through the high windows, but it takes a bit of effort to make it look more like a “bedroom” than a workshop!
In the image below, I took this high shot with my iphone just to show a bit of an idea of what I was working with. You can see the window into my husband’s video editing suite behind my Logo sign hanging in the window frame. Hmmm, I had a think of how I could make this look a little better.
I went hunting around my house for solutions and got to my son’s old bedroom with charcoal grey curtains and thought – perfect! I found some brackets, attached them to the wall, and took the whole curtain rod from his room with the curtains hanging and dragged them over to the window for a much nicer backdrop for the photo shoot!
If I could do a re-take, I would have put another rug at the foot of the bed to take away from that workshop flooring! Don’t look too close or you may even see paint streaks along the floor!
I gathered some “props” from around the house for the bedsides, and I’m happy with the how the pics came out.
One little highlight I did add was a little white wax in the carved out detail on this bedhead. It’s subtle, but effective.
I switched out the white pillow for the charcoal DREAM pillow part way through the shoot for a different look. Which do you prefer? Let me know in comments. I think I’m leaning towards the clean white look of pillows.
Now, I just have to list it on my local marketplace. I’m currently in the USA visiting family, so will do that as soon as I’m back in Aus!
Let me know – Do you style and stage your furniture pieces to photograph them nicely to sell? Or do you just take a few quick snaps and list them?
It can really make all the difference to your sales as well as your advertised price point, if you make an effort to stage well and take good quality pics with plenty of natural light. Book a time with me if you think you’d love some help with this side of your Furniture Painting biz!
For some more great tips on staging and styling your furniture for sale, check out my video with Prue from My Decorator who took us through a great example with some fantastic tips:
How to Style Furniture for Photographing to sell online - YouTube
I’d love you to use this image to pin to your favourite Pinterest board!
Here’s How I Painted & Stained one!
I’ve been loving the black farmhouse table look for a little while – the mix of rustic wood and black or charcoal creates a cozy feel for the dining room. I’ve seen this combination of black and wood in several of Chip & Joanna’s Fixer Upper homes over the years, like the “big country house” seen below.
I found this old weathered farmhouse table on Facebook marketplace earlier this year and thought it would be perfect for a black farmhouse table makeover.
I scrubbed and sanded the table. The top was a little warped and was already split in one section.
Marty helped me to remove the entire top to repair it.
Repairs to the Old Farmhouse Table
Let’s just say there was a whole LOT of glueing and clamping and nailing going on … AND the ratchet straps. You’ll have to see my Instagram story highlights for more details. LOL.
That left the base of the table free for me to paint. I used Fusion’s Coal Black on the base which only needed a clean, no sanding necessary as it was weathered and porous enough to hold the paint well.
Painting the Base
Base painted in Fusion’s Coal Black
Staining the Top of the Black Farmhouse Table
There were so many putty holes and fill spots that I decided the best stain colour to use for this table was going to be Ebony – Fusion’s Stain & Finishing Oil in their black colour.
The SFO Ebony covered really well and I loved the grain of the wood, but I wanted to show off that grain even more …
So here’s where I’ll show you some video of the process with some helpful tips for you if you are staining using the all in one SFO.
In this video I’ll show firstly, the staining process I used, but then after it has dried for a day, how I sanded it back along the grain to reveal more timber with the Ebony stain still sitting in the grooves of the timber.
Staining an Antique Farmhouse Table in Black Ebony Stain & Finishing Oil - YouTube
The Finished Look:
Pin this image to your Farmhouse Pinterest Boards!
So many emotions rolled into one blog post – the joy, the sadness, the anxiety, and the thrill! How can there be so many feelings related to travelling to the USA in a couple of weeks? But we’re just visiting … not moving there, so don’t panic!
If you’re up for a chat, grab a coffee or a cuppa tea, and let’s dive into how this trip unfolded, what we’ll be doing over there, and all of the things.
Me on our last trip to USA in 2016.
My USA Connection
My husband, Marty is from the USA, born in the small town of Emmett, Idaho. He moved with his Parents and older sister, to Australia here, when he was about 10 years old – so he’s pretty Aussie-fied now! But he did move back there as a young adult, and then we also lived there for a period of time when first married – in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a little bit, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana also. But since having all our kids here in Australia, we have only been back a couple of times over the years – the last time a few years ago, when we took all four of our teenagers across the ocean for a huge family holiday. It was so good for our kids to all connect with their USA cousins, and get to know each other, as they are all similar in age.
Marty’s sister’s family and ours together for Christmas. Our kids first American Christmas and first time seeing snow in their lives!
Our main reason for this trip, is to travel with Marty’s Dad back to his home town in Idaho, for a special memorial service for his Mom, who passed away here in Australia early last year. I wrote a post dedicated to Marty’s beautiful mom, here. 2018 was a huge year for Dad – the loss of his wife of 58 years, then he needed triple bypass surgery and a long recovery time post op, till he was given the all clear to travel. So he and Marty were finally able to set some dates for this year to travel back to spend time with family. It will be great to see cousins, Aunts and Uncles and family friends that Marty and his dad haven’t seen in decades. We’ll also be spending Easter across in North Carolina with Marty’s sister, Paula & her husband and family, and we’re so looking forward to that.
Painting Project with my USA Sister!
My sister-in-law in North Carolina, USA, has been hinting for at least a year or more to come help her paint her Bombay chest, among other furniture projects she has. And what was once a distant dream of “that would be so much fun” is now becoming a reality!
Paula would be the first to tell you she doesn’t really do “DIY or crafty” – don’t get me wrong, she’s an amazing decorator and her house is always beautiful AND she’s an AMAZING cook! So we kinda have this unspoken deal – when she comes to visit us, she cooks us amazing food. When I go visit her, I paint her furniture! Done deal, sista!
Oh, and she’s a GREAT shopper! So we do plan to hit up some home decor stores, Antique Malls and I don’t think I could visit the USA without being inspired by the towering aisles of a Hobby Lobby store.
Equipped for Business!
When Marty & his Dad began making plans to take this USA trip, it was originally going to just be the two of them. Here’s where the story gets interesting and I’m not sure where you stand on spiritual things, but I can only describe this part of my trip as Divinely a part of God’s plan due to the little “signs” and prompts I was getting as I questioned whether I should actually go or not.
At the same time that Marty and his dad had settled on travel dates and began to research tickets, my business coach, Jennifer Allwood announced that she would be having her very first live event in Kansas City the first weekend in May! I have loved listening to Jennifer’s podcasts and have received so much benefit out of both her business Creator’s Roadmap Course and her Inner Circle Coaching group, that my ears pricked up at the idea of a live conference – and you guessed it, the dates coincided nicely with the dates Marty and his dad had chosen.
I may share sometime, details of the many little “miracles” that helped make this trip possible for me to go along too – like the day after Marty & Dad decided on dates and I sold my French Provincial Sofa set that had been sitting on Marketplace for a year with NO enquiries! Sold to a Pastor from a large church who was refurbishing their offices and said it was exactly the style they’d been looking for! The sale would cover my extra airfare across to Kansas City and accomodation for the conference! Some of the small miracles were just a little too coincidental to be anything but God looking out for me and letting me know this trip is what I need to be doing right now. Both for my business, and for quality time with family who we rarely get to see.
I am so honoured to be actually serving at this conference as Volunteer Coordinator, and cannot wait to meet and hang out with a bunch of like-minded women in business. PLEASE let me know if you are going to Jennifer Allwood’s Equipped Conference – I would SO love to meet any of my readers who will be there.
That heading is just to remind me – “Don’t Stress!” – because I tend to get a little anxious about things – like travelling a million miles away from my kids; or worrying about who will do all of the “things” while I’m gone. Which explains my reaction in our Anniversary Surprise video when my husband told me where he was taking me for our 25th Anniversary a year and a half ago. Here I was thinking we were going on a little cruise somewhere close – no. Marty is all Mr. Casual chill-out guy, but MY little head and heart do this crazy battle between “everything’s going to be fine” and all the “what if’s”. Can you relate?
One of my favourite Bible verses I learned growing up was Philippians 4:6,7 which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
So that’s what I’m leaning on, and I know that all of the “things to do” will still be here when I get back, or they WILL get done while I’m away. My kids are no longer “kids” and two of them have already left home, so really? What do I have to worry about? I guess I’m finding myself in that emotional transitional phase of womanhood/parenthood where my babies have all grown and are slowly leaving the nest. It’s not as easy as it looks to just let go and let nature take its course after so many years of putting every ounce of parental wisdom that you ever learned from anywhere, into practical use on these little humans. But I’m learning to worry less, pray more and still give wisdom when wisdom is welcome or needed.
And I do have some good helpers to pack any orders and re-stock my Antique booth at Camp Hill while I’m away, so there’s THAT. See a short video below of my booth at the Camp Hill Antique Centre:
A Tour of My Booth At Camp Hill Antique Centre, Brisbane. - YouTube
Here’s a little tour of my booth at the Camp Hill Antique Centre in Brisbane!
Be sure to follow my travels on both Facebook and Instagram (especially my stories) – I’ll be flying over in a couple of weeks!
My Favourite Tools of Trade:
I often get asked about the tools I use both for the techie side of my business and also tools I might use in my DIY projects. So I collated a list of some of the things that make “I Restore Stuff” run smoothly, and you can find it right HERE.
But maybe your old cane furniture is from the 80s or 90s and is in need of a desperate update?! I had a friend from church ask me for tips on painting her cane outdoor setting recently and so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share with you some of the things I told her.
*I’ve included a replay of a live Facebook video below with more explanation.
Here’s one easy peasy method that I tried on this cute toy chair I found at my local thrift store (op shop we call them here in Australia).
Materials I used for this Cane Furniture update:
your piece of cane furniture
Fusion Mineral Paint – Raw Silk (you could use any grey paint for a grey wash or a white paint for a white wash)
Cling On Brush or any old brush if you don’t want to use your good Cling On.
Here’s the basic method I used, but you’ll get a better idea along with detailed explanation in the video below.
dip your brush tips into the paint colour of your choice
smoosh the paint into all the crevices of the cane – working only a section at a time being careful not to allow the paint to pool in any areas. If pooling happens, your brush has too much paint on it – use another dry brush to lift and spread this pooled paint around.
with the dry lint free cloth, wipe away the wet paint from the area you have worked on. The paint will sit in the cane crevices and give a slight white-washed appearance to the surfaces.
Tip: if you want a lighter look, you can wet your cloth and more paint will be removed.
remember to work in sections so that the paint doesn’t have time to dry before you remove the excess.
How to White-wash your Cane Furniture - YouTube
Here’s the finished look:
Close up of white wash on cane furniture toy chair.
I hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial. Know a friend who wants to try this on their cane furniture?
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Pin this image to save to your Pinterest Boards!
Essential Stencil has you covered AND you can enter the coupon code IRESTORESTUFF at the checkout for 10% off your order! Click the image below to head over to their awesome range of high quality stencils!
Pin this image to save to your Farmhouse Pinterest Board
FREE full tutorial video at the end of this post!
Farmhouse Sign Pinterest Boards!
I have been eyeing off the beautiful Farmhouse signs on Pinterest featuring brown wood trim that provides a rustic border to the white sign with black lettering. Like some of these I’ve collected in my Farmhouse Signs Pinterest board below:
Click this image for my Farmhouse Signs board on Pinterest.
So when Essential Stencils sent me some of their most popular sign stencils to try, I knew I needed to gather some supplies and try making the signs I’d been planning in my head. AND, guess what?! They have given me a coupon code to share with you all to receive 10% off your purchases with them!
So be sure to use the code: iRestoreStuff when you go to check out at Essential Stencil website.
Essential Stencil Farmhouse Sign Stencils
With a great range (and constantly growing) of lovely stencils to choose from, Essential Stencil have made sure their product quality is top notch!
Made of eco-friendly 10-12mm semi-transparent, flexible mylar, these durable stencils are rugged enough to reuse over & over.
Prepping your Farmhouse Sign Boards
I used ordinary plywood for my sign boards. It’s about 1.5-2cm wide and I cut the signs approx 45cm x 19.5cm to fit the stencils nicely.
I used two coats of Fusion Mineral Paint white called Picket Fence to lay down a white base.
Essential Stencil sent me two of their Farmhouse Sign style sets, the first set I used contained the words: THANKFUL, BLESSED, GRATEFUL. These would make great Thanksgiving season decor, but I say they’d also be a great reminder all year round to appreciate so much in our lives.
NOTE: I also want to point out to my Aussie customers that Essential Stencil is a USA based company, but DO ship to Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Germany! I received my order quite quickly here to Australia – I was very impressed. I think it took less than a week to arrive.
Using painter’s tape, secure your stencil down both sides of the stencil. You can add additional tape top and bottom if you think it needs, but you really only need a little to keep the stencil in place while you work.
I have a number of stenciling tutorials that I have written along with video tutorials on my best stenciling tips, and I do find the best explanation is to show you visually, so you can scroll down to the video in this post, where I’ll show you the full demo of the making of these Farmhouse signs (including the wood trim finish around the edges).
Two keys to good stenciling include:
having a very dry brush – dip it, wipe it on the edge of container, then wipe it off on newspaper or cardboard until very little remains on brush
swirling versus stippling – each person has their own preference, but I tend to use swirling for a better coverage and quicker application (see this in the video)
If you follow my tips above, you’ll have nice crisp lines and no paint bleeding under the stencil.
Wood Trim for Sign
Once the farmhouse signs were stencilled, I added the wood trim.
I started with a length of Tasmanian Oak sourced from my local Bunnings hardware store here in Australia. You can use any oak, and depending on your personal taste, you can choose a totally different width trim than I did, but my Tassie Oak trim was 3cm x 1cm.
I measured the width of the sign board and cut two exactly the size of the width. These will be the short edges.
Then I cut two long edges adding the 1cm to each end (to account for width of the trim), to make sure they were going to sit flush at the edge as shown in my video in this post and in the finished picture below:
No fancy pants mitred corners here – just pure rustic farmhouse charm!
The second set of Farmhouse Sign stencils I received from Essential Stencil were these words: WELCOME, FARMHOUSE, GATHER. Perfect for an entryway, dining room, kitchen, living room, mantle – you name it – wherever your people gather! I think they’re adorable!
My Full Farmhouse Sign Video Tutorial
As promised, here is a video tutorial I made for you to get the general idea of how I created these signs, along with my best stencilling tips for you to try out when you purchase your own stencils – don’t forget to use the coupon code “IRESTORESTUFF” for 10% off your Essential Stencils!
If you have any questions after the video, please ask in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!
How to Make Farmhouse Signs ft. Essential Stencils - YouTube
Don’t you love these stencils??
Check out the full range and don’t forget to use coupon code IRESTORESTUFF here for 10% off your order:
To create this “antique basket” look, you may already have an old cane basket laying around the house for this project.
You know the good old 80s cane baskets?
But first, if you haven’t already had a flick through Jamie’s gorgeous book, take a peek over hereon Amazon, because you can take an “inside look” and see all of the projects listed on the CONTENTS page and a few examples of Jamie’s French Vintage decor projects!
Here’s a cane basket I had on hand, and so it was a perfect fit for my first French Vintage Decor project.
And here is the look we’re aiming for as per the Image on the left page of Jamie’s book.
For the “how to”, I’m going to show you the replay of the Facebook Live I did showing the step by step process.
I explain as I go, so keep the sound up, and if there are parts you want to skip over, you can.
How to Antique A Cane Basket to Create an Aged Patina - YouTube
My finished “Antique” Basket
My only regret in the process of doing this project, was not following Jamie’s instructions carefully enough when it came to really pushing your brush bristles into the crevices of the cane to get a better coverage. You can see my little peeps of the old orangey cane showing through.
Other than that, I LOVE how this turned out! Such an easy makeover to baskets you can pick up for so cheap at your local Op Shop or Charity Store.
What about you? Have you tried any projects from Jamie’s book? Have you painted cane before?
Please leave me a comment below – I’d love to hear from you.
PS. Next, I’ll be featuring Essential Stencils (see below) in a really exciting Farmhouse sign making project, so make sure you are on my list to get the latest posts and product info – scroll down to sign up!