A Winthrop Style Secretary – Should it Stay or Should it Go?

I just can’t keep myself from picking up a paintbrush before Christmas. Last week, my childhood friend came to visit for a week (I’m fond of saying my best friend since 4th grade).  She was the one who introduced me to chalk paint in the first place. Now, she wanted to see me paint the Winthrop Style Secretary (Lammert’s Furniture in St. Louis – possibly around 1940’s) that had been sitting in my hallway for months.  I had purchased it at a resale shop and just hadn’t been able to decide how I wanted to paint it.  It did need painting on the outside and some work done on the drawers and pull down.  But the inside was really in pretty good shape and I wanted to leave it original if I could. So, what color would go with the wood and would be a neutral color that would fit in with just about any decor?

With my friend Cindy’s help, we decided on a new color I had asked Missouri Limestone Paint Company to mix.  I wanted a linen color and they came up with exactly what I had in mind…and named it “Vintage Linen”.  It is a gorgeous color and looks beautiful next to the wood on the Secretary.  I also made a glaze with French Roast and lightly glazed the feet and the finial and area around it.

We decided to paint it right in the hallway, so we put down some plastic and got started.  Since the lighting there wasn’t the greatest and it was a small space to work in, she was my assistant and held a flashlight and was quick to let me know if I missed a spot.  : )

I really become attached to pieces once I’ve painted them, and this piece was one that really makes me want to keep it, especially since it does fit in my living room nicely and blends in with my decor.  Once I decorated it with my snowman collection, I really fell in love.  I do have it for sale for $250.00, however, I’m perfectly happy if it doesn’t sell.  : )

Now for some pics!

originalsecretary secretary_snowman1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Even though the inside was in good condition, there were several spots and scratches.  My magic stain/sealer by Varathane (water-based) took care of that and restored the beautiful wood finish. It also refreshed the wood on the doors and the fretwork.

I think this one might be one that stays!

Update:  I didn’t have time to get too attached as it sold quickly.  : )

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TIP OF THE WEEK: THANKSGIVING HOLIDAYS – Creating a Barn Wood Look With Paint on a Farm Table Top

You can create a barn wood like look on a table top using Missouri Limestone Company chalk-based paint and a stain_sealer. I have a step-by-step tutorial here to show you how!

For previous TIP OF THE WEEK click here.

The tip of the week is a little late thanks to Thanksgiving holidays. One of my sons and his two sons ages 4 and 17 months came to visit the week before Thanksgiving so need I say more.

My tip of the week for the Thanksgiving holidays shows you how I created a barn wood look on a table top. Plus I get to share the final results of the farm table set.  This is one of those projects I sure wished I had #1 – a garage to work in and #2 – that my dining room was big enough for me to keep it.  I posted pics of the progress and that generated so much interest, I sold it the day I finished it, so others liked it, too.

 

I did manage to get some time in to finish the huge farm table set I started (hoping to finish before Thanksgiving) the day after so that wasn’t too bad.  It took a couple of mornings getting up at 4:30 am to work on it before the little ones were up.  I really needed to get it out of the basement before everyone got here so we could get to the bed.  I was thinking we might have to sleep on it.  It sure was big enough. LOL

TIP OF THE WEEK

How to create a barn wood look with paint and Varathane’swater-based stain and sealer (I call this my magic stain).  I love it!  I debated about keeping this as my secret weapon, but I can’t do that.  I’m an educator and I just have to share what I have learned myself.  Hence the name of our paint company….SharSum Paint, a play of words based on my name Sharon Sumner (Share Some – get it?)

But first, some before pics of the table and chairs.

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The table and chairs were basically in pretty good shape.  We had to do some repair on some of the veneer under the table top and on the leaves and had to put the sliding mechanism back together, but this was a good sturdy set.

TIP #1:  Creating a barnwood type look on a table top.  I really didn’t know how this was going to turn out, so I did a practice piece and then decided to just go with it.  I really do love how it turned out and it is all due to my magic stain/sealer technique.

First, I gathered my supplies.  I used Missouri Limestone Paint Company’s chalk-based paint.  I needed Grannie’s Lace (an off white) Sunday Silver (a medium gray), French Roast (a dark brown) and Varathane water-based stain and sealer in Dark Walnut.

I painted the leaves and table first with the French Roast.  The pic shows a finished sample.

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Next, I used Grannie’s Lace and dry-brushed over the French Roast.  Then, just a little of the Sunday Silver dry-brushed, and even less of French Roast again.  I then did a light wash of Grannie’s Lace.  I took dry paper towel and just started rubbing that wash in.  Sometimes I rubbed down to the French Roast and sometimes even harder down to the original finish.  The picture below shows the dry brushing.  UPDATE:  I did another table top after this (see pics at bottom of post).  I didn’t bother using the paper towel and rubbing it in.  Instead, I did a dry brush technique on the other colors (adding just a bit of water – not much) and tried to keep the brushing as straight as possible.)  It turned out as nice, if not better, with much less work.

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The magic comes when I add the Varathane water-based stain and sealer.  I used Dark Walnut.  It somehow just blends everything all together and seals it at the same time.  You can see the white wash on the picture below.

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The more coats you put on, the darker it becomes.  I used 3 coats on this table and leaves.  I very lightly sanded in between coats.  The result was a very smooth finish.  The sealer has a little shinier finish than I like, though, plus I always want to have a really durable surface on a table, so I added two coats of Varathane water-based satin polyurethane, which toned down the shine.  Every single time I would walk past the table top, I just had to admire it and feel the smoothness.  : )

So, there’s your tip of the week.  And now for the finished farm set.  By the way, we made a bench for this table out of 3 complimentary chairs.  Check it out on a previous tip of the week.The lady buying the set loved the bench.  She has two little ones and one on the way and she said she was worried about the benches with no backs and afraid the kids would turn them over too easily.  She loved how heavy and sturdy the chair bench was.

finishedbench finished-table farmtableset10 farmtableset9 farmtableset8 farmtableset7 farmtableset6 farmtableset5 farmtableset4 farmtableset3 farmtableset1

The 2nd table top I did is pictured below.

 

 

 

A Coffee Bar from a Dresser

Yes, please.  I wasn’t going to pick up my paint brush until after Christmas but….I just had to.  I felt the need to de-clutter after Thanksgiving and it came to me that I should make myself a coffee bar.  The piece could be used to store coffee cups, coffee, coffee pot, crock pot, toaster, and whatever else would fit and clear up some space in my small kitchen.

I just happened to have a long, narrow dresser that I hadn’t been able to decide how to finish.  I knew I wanted to paint the drawers different colors due to the way the top drawer was made.  So, Danny dug it out of our shed and we went to work.  He cleaned it up and I started painting.

coffeebar-original

The piece (I call it a dresser, but not sure what it actually was) is made of pine.  The top was in pretty good shape except for a couple of gouges and scratches.  Danny sanded the top a little and smoothed it out and then I used my secret weapon:  Varathane Water-based stain and sealer in Dark Walnut.  I love this stuff.  It goes on so smooth, really brings out the wood grain, and dries quickly.  I used 3 coats, sanding lightly in between.  It dries pretty shiny, though, and I wanted to use the semi-gloss water-based poly on the rest of the cabinet so I put two coats of it on after.  The top is so smooth, with just a little sheen.  I love the distressed look of the scratches and gouges.

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After 3 coats of stain/sealer – pretty shiny

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After 2 coats of poly – really toned it down. Now has a nice soft, sheen.

Then, I wanted to paint the base gray to match my kitchen cabinets, which were Annie Sloan Paris Gray.  So, I took some Missouri Limestone Paint Company “Winter Gloves” and mixed in a little dark “Gray Goose” and it came out pretty darn close.  You’d never know they weren’t exactly the same.  I painted the drawers the same colors I painted my chairs in the dining room. (“Sour Green Apple”, “Old Tin Barn”, “Trading Post”, and “African Violet”) I also bought some gray printed burlap at Jo-Ann’s for the doors and my daughter-in-law, Daphney, suggested adding chicken wire.  I found that at Hobby Lobby.  The chicken wire was the perfect final touch!

I’m very happy with the results.  It’s probably one of my favorite things I’ve done….possibly because I get to keep it.  That didn’t stop me from thinking, “Hmmm…I wonder if people would be interested in buying this coffee bar?”  After all, I have a dining room set to match and I can always paint another table and chairs.  : )  Nah…..I’m keeping this.  For awhile, anyway.  However, you never know that else will come up that I may want to paint just for me. But best of all, it has given me some counter top and  cabinet space in the kitchen.  Yay.

Meet my new coffee bar: