Bringing a Garden Bench Back to Life!

This garden bench had good bones. It just needed some paint and the boards refreshed and I knew just the way to do it.

First of all – the paint. Our Missouri Limestone Paint Company chalk-style paint is perfect for the cast iron metal on this bench. It actually only took one coat of our gorgeous dark green color called “Evening Shade”. It also needed no sealer. Our chalk-style paint, when used on metals like this, cure naturally with the heat and the sun baking it in.

Yes, we ship!!! You can purchase all of our 45 colors in 16 oz. jars through our online distributor, Connie Mathews of Winston Home Designs.

The whole project took less than two hours, even when you have a cute little helper. ūüôā

Next – the wood. The wood was in really good shape, just bleached out and dry. Wise Owl Salve in White Tea scent to the rescue! We don’t sell this product ourselves, but I love it and have used it to rehydrate wood and as a sealer on several projects. It comes in several wonderful scents! I purchase mine through a fellow painter in Massachusetts. I was fortunate to meet Sarah, of the Princess and the Peacock, while on a trip to visit my cousin, who lives about 30 minutes from her shop! I’ve linked her name to the Wise Owl Salve section of her online shop.

I tried to show in the photo below the difference the Salve makes in bringing the wood back to life!

The Salve is so easy to apply, then let it soak it, and buff. And Yes, you can use it on furniture left out in the weather, and we do have some weather here in Missouri. The bench may need a reapplication of wax down the road, but it only takes a few minutes so that isn’t a problem.

And that is all there was to it. This bench now looks almost brand new and holds a prominent spot in my front yard under the trees.

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











originalsecretaryinside secretaryinsidefinished






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. ¬†: )


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 Рa garage to work in and #2 Рthat 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


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.

original-top originalbase originalchairs


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.


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.


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.


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.




Getting ready for a Vintage Artisan Fair

SharSum Paint will be a vendor at the Vintage Artisan Fair in Eureka, MO on October 1, 2016. ¬†We will be demonstrating Missouri Limestone Paint and will (hopefully) personally have quite a few painted and vintage items for sale! ¬†Our niece, Elizabeth, has been busy painting with our Missouri Limestone Company’s chalk-based paint, too, and we will have her items for sale also.

We worked¬†on furniture repairs and painted outside all day yesterday. It was so nice outside! ¬†Here’s a sneak peek at an end table I’m working on for the fair. It will have an oval one to match. They will be available at the fair, if I don’t break down and sell them before. Shabby chic distress. Missouri Limestone Paint Company “Winter Gloves” dry brushed over the solid oak table. Drawers are painted with “Winter Gloves” then a coat of “Front Porch”. Distressed with steel wool to produce gray shading. Finished with Briwax. Waiting for painted hardware to dry. Ready to start the oval one to match. But not today.




Here’s a few more items we plan on bringing (if they don’t sell first!

spigots 1880ssofatable groupofitemsforfair

spigots farmcabinet1 waterfallset vintage-chairs

Shabby Chic Desk/Hutch Set

My Shabby Chic Desk/Hutch¬†has been one of my favorite projects so far using our Missouri Limestone Company’s Chalk-based paint. ¬†I personally paint furniture to sell¬†with¬†this paint we distribute through our¬†SharSum Paint¬†company¬†and really fall in love with some of the things I paint.

You can read through the transformation below, or if you are in a hurry and want to come back to this wonderful piece of writing later, just scroll to the bottom to see this Shabby Chic Desk/Hutch Set in all its glory!

I really, really would love to keep this one but just don’t have the room in my house. ¬†As of now, it is for sale. ¬†Like it? ¬†Pay my too low asking price of $215 and the shipping charges (which would probably be astronomical) and it’s yours! ¬†: ) ¬†I’ve often wondered how individuals on sites like ebay and etsy ship huge pieces of furniture. ¬†I can just see me wrapping this up in brown paper and taking it to our local hardware store for UPS pickup.

Seriously, I do have it for sale on Facebook’s Marketplace. ¬†If you are looking for projects to paint or have something to sell, this is a great place to do it. ¬†Marketplace somehow finds all the swap sites on Facebook (according to your desired location setting)¬†and puts them in one place . ¬†You don’t even have to a member of those sites. ¬†I have bought and sold several things through Marketplace. ¬†I love this service! ¬†P.S. ¬†I just noticed this set has¬†been viewed by 509 people in the last two days. ¬†Wow!

But first, the history of the desk/hutch. ¬†I found this set on one of the swap sites. ¬†It sat smack dab in my living room for months! ¬†As you can see a floor lamp is on the desk at this point. ¬†I would look at that huge hutch and think, “How am I ever going to paint those little letter cubby¬†areas” and then get overwhelmed with how huge a project like this would be.

I couldn’t think what I wanted to do with it, so I finally sold it to my friend, Michelle, who carries our paint in her store and paints projects right along with me. ¬†We call ourselves Lucy and Ethel. ¬†Funny thing, that’s not the first time a friend and I have had those nicknames and I always seem to be Lucy. ¬†Hmmmm.

But then…..a previous customer who had¬†bought a desk from me earlier for one of her daughters contacted me and wanted me to find and paint another for another daughter. ¬†Sure! ¬†No problem. ¬†I knew just the desk. It even looked somewhat like the one she bought earlier.¬†She probably wouldn’t want the hutch, but I¬†sent a quick text to Michelle to see if she still had it in her stash and back it came. Only catch was, I had to take the hutch back, too! ¬†I sometimes feel we spend more time shuffling furniture around than actually painting. ¬†ūüôā ¬†So then it was back in the living room again.

Now, to find inspiration for the desk. ¬†I started searching and came upon this awesome blog. ¬†Would you believe this lady had the same exact desk I had? ¬†Not only was it painted with an absolutely beautiful shabby chic¬†look, she even had a tutorial on how she did it!! Her blog is called “How to Nest for Less” and her desk tutorial can be found here. ¬†Thank you, thank you, Erin!

Erin’s painting idea was genius! ¬†Dry brush distress right over the desk as it is. ¬†I painted the desk first and realized that it just had to have the hutch. ¬†However, both pieces would be way too big for this little girl’s room. ¬†I happened to have just finished another smaller desk/hutch in a blush pink¬†and suggested this one instead to the customer. ¬†She loved it for her daughter! ¬†SOLD! ¬†I’m going to paint a chair to match and….she is also buying a dresser to match the desk set she bought earlier. ¬†It was a good week for furniture selling.

Back to the Shabby/Chic desk set. ¬†I now had the desk completed, with new knobs (actually clear resin knobs I found at a yard sale and painted “Vintage Coral” and pulls spray painted silver with the wood part painted “Vintage Coral”.


I was ready to tackle the hutch. As I was painting it, I decided to take the cork board off and paint it. ¬†I had researched and found it was best to shellac it before painting, so Danny (my husband and partner in all of this) used our handy dandy Zinsser Bulls-Eye Shellac on it. That worked like a charm and the paint just glided on. ¬†Then I figured it would be easier to paint the back if it was off. ¬†When it came off, we discovered the shelves and letter cubby things all slid out and I was able to paint each piece separately!!! ¬†Yahoo! ¬†And I’d been so stuck on what trouble that was going to be.


Corkboard – shellac first


hutch without back


letter cubbies came apart

I finished up the hutch and if the desk looked pretty before, once we put the hutch on top the transformation was amazing.  This set is officially GORGEOUS! I added a shabby/chic chair to match and it was ready to sell!  Oh and did I mention, the hutch has a light?  Right now, there are two people interested in it, so it is going to sell quickly, I think.  But maybe not too quickly.  I like looking at it as it sits in my crowded dining room and going over every once in awhile and sitting at it and running my hand across the top.

I do believe I’m a little obsessed over this project.

Are you ready for the reveal?






Projects are Endless, Using Chalk-based Paint

My chalk-based paint of choice is Missouri Limestone Company because, as you know by now if you’ve been reading my blog, I love it so much I’m now selling it locally! ¬†So, when I see an idea using chalk-based paint, I just substitute with my MLP!

As I’ve said before, the projects are endless when using chalk-based paint! I was just checking facebook before leaving to get my plant at Lowe’s for my newly painted plant stand and saw this idea. Well, yes! Missouri Limestone chalk-based paint would be perfect on concrete pavers.‚Ķ/g10‚Ķ/decorative-paint-ideas/‚Ķ

My project for last night was to paint my wrought iron plant stand. There was no rust flaking off, so I cleaned this old thing¬†up then gave it one coat of Missouri Limestone Paint’s “Homemade Ice Cream”. It now matches my newly painted front door. I know exactly what plant I’m going to buy for it in the morning at Lowe’s. ūüėć I have plans now for my wrought iron set.

Update: ¬†Here’s a photo of my new look for the front of my house. ¬†The wrought iron furniture is painted and the set turned out great!


For even more projects using chalk-based paint, be sure to follow my board Chalk Paint Projects for inspiration as I’m always adding new project ideas there.¬†

Essential Oil Tip for Refinishing Drawers

As I was finishing¬†up my¬†“Ombre”¬†desk set re-do, I thought about my collection of essential oils.The drawers of the desk were in very good shape and had no odor whatsover. However, I’m into essential oils and I have an oil from Young Living called Cedarwood. I decided I would wipe down the drawers with a mixture of water and about 10 drops of Cedarwood. I thought that might be a perfect scent for a wooden drawer, right? It smelled so good, I put a little oil on q-tips and put one in each drawer for awhile. I love opening the drawers and getting a faint whiff of Cedarwood. You might try a favorite scent in the drawers of something you are working on or purchased. ¬†Another tip…..if your drawers do have an odor, paint or spray a coat or two¬†of Zinsser water-based shellac to seal in odors such as smoke or a musty smell. ¬†These odors won’t penetrate through the shellac. ¬†This works on stains, too.

Q-tip dipped in essential oil and placed in drawer for a short time.

Q-tip dipped in essential oil and placed in drawer for a short time.


A Desk Gets a New Life and a New Home

One of the things I absolutely love about our Missouri Limestone Company’s chalk-based paint (besides how easy it is to use) is the look of the final project. ¬†I recently found an older solid wood desk from a company called American Drew. ¬†I had never heard of this company, but looked it up and they make quality furniture.

I decided I wanted to make an “Ombre'” desk, using different shaded of gray. ¬†So I painted the base of the desk with Missouri Limestone Paint’s “January” (white)¬†then¬†gave it a wash of “Winter Gloves” (light gray). ¬†I painted the top and the bottom drawer “Gray Goose” (dark gray), the little band around the top and the two top drawers with “Winter Gloves”, and the middle drawer “Sunday Silver” (medium gray). ¬†I love the color names! ¬†Click here for a neat trick using essential oils in drawers!

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I also had a nice solid yard sale chair that had been painted black so I painted right over the black using the same “Ombre'” color scheme. ¬†I recovered the chair seat with a piece of laminated fabric I bought at Hobby Lobby.

The final touch was an old brass-plated desk lamp I bought at another yard sale and painted it with “Indigo” (navy blue).

I sealed the whole set with 3 coats of my favorite topcoat Varathane Crystal Clear Water-based Polyurethane after my research found this recommendation.  I purchased it on Amazon and at Menards. because I could not find it locally.

The “Ombr√©” desk, chair, and lamp are in their new home. The 9 year old owner is said to be very¬†excited. I love¬†making people happy with our paint and projects.

Ombre Desk in it's new home - 9 year old owner is said to be very excited. : )

Ombre Desk in its new home – 9 year old owner is said to be very excited. : )

Projects Painted and Sold Using Missouri Limestone Chalk-based Paint

It’s been awhile since I added sold projects, so thought I’d update and add a few.

This has to be my favorite piece I’ve sold. It was shipped all the way to Virginia. This was a watercolor technique I came up with, staining the wood with a paint wash. Read all about the Rags to Riches story of Sir Albert on my blog!

The unassembled parts of a hutch we recently finished for a client. Too big to put back together in my house. Don’t you just love the decoupaged knobs and drawer sides?

This dining room set is one of my favorite ones we’ve painted and sold.

Another favorite set.

We even paint and sell jewelry boxes.

Yes, this pink one is really a jewelry box.

This one was actually a gift. It is a memory box I made for my sister with a vintage photo of my mom and her sisters decoupaged on the top. Have a photo of your own? We have more jewelry boxes. We can copy your photo and make one for you!

This client owned set was just what she was envisioning. We even painted books to go in the basket we painted for one of the nightstands.

We paint and sell smalls, too. Like these vintage sewing machine drawers.

We have turned several Queen Ann captain chairs into colorful, whimsical works of art. This one we donated to my grandson’s kindergarten classroom.

Love how this one turned out!

We had fun with this set. Client purchased it to donate to a heart charity auction.

We painted a bunch of these cute little vases. Can paint these with your color choices. I love filling mine with fresh blooms from my yard.

This is a cute little cabinet we reinvented with a farmhouse look, custom painted with client color choice. We can do that. Just ask!!

This was a little bench I painted with Missouri Limestone Psint Company’s January and Crepe Myrtle. Stencils were cut using my Silhouette Portrait machine and contact paper.

This is another piece I really hated selling.  I was so wishing I had a 4 season room.  I would have kept this little table set in a heartbeat.


This 1880’s sofa table is very long. ¬†It really needed a paint job so we gave it one. ¬†I distressed this piece with vaseline. ¬†: )


The original use for this spool was for electrical wiring a Lowe’s. ¬†We transformed this into a little table, just perfect for a beach house. ¬†I called a friend who had just purchased a beach house as a second home. ¬†She thought so, too. ¬†It is now happily content in its new home. ¬†: )


I had this waterfall set and custom painted it for a customer. ¬†She wanted the dresser to be gray with some of the wood still showing. ¬†The wardrobe’s inspiration was from a piece she saw on Pinterest. ¬†We even found the same exact vinyl design on Amazon.


Another Steam Punk look for a customer that loves the look. ¬†The middle piece of marble was broken on this coffee table and had been replace by a piece of glass. ¬†We covered a thin board with this map fabric from Jo-Ann’s and it fit perfectly under the glass. ¬†Gave it a black paint job and sealed it with poly.


This was such a fun project!  This dated wooden nautical clock was blah, until I turned it into a Steam Punk look with a little black paint and wax.


Love Pinterest. ¬†That’s where we got the idea to take chairs and turn them into a bench. ¬†The bench is 3 chairs put together. ¬†We used the back legs of the 4th chair to create the sides. ¬†This bench sold with a table and chair set my friend was selling. Love how it all turned out.



This is one of my first “restoration hardware” looks I did. ¬†I really enjoy trying out different painting techniques.


I loved painting the gray ombre desk so much, I painted the dresser that matched it the same way. The lady that bought the desk snatched up the dresser right away.ombredresser

I didn’t sell this one. ¬†This is my front door, and my wrought iron furniture I have in my front yard. ¬†The door is metal. ¬†I did this about 3 months ago and still haven’t sealed it. ¬†I’m not sure I will. ¬†It is holding up well.


This hutch and desk was a drab, yellowish color and had seen better days.  Painting it with varying shades of pink made all the difference in the world.


This is one of my all time favorite pieces.  I would have kept this one if I had the room in my house.  finalpicfinalpicatnightdeskhutch3

We had another client who had 6 chairs that needed painting.  We took that project on and delivered them back home this past week.  They look gorgeous with the dining room table that was handcrafted by the husband.  A beautiful set at the fraction of what a new one would cost.


Painted chairs – Missouri Limestone Paint – January

This little vanity table was a family heirloom. ¬†It had been “antiqued” by the client’s grandmother back in the 1960’s. ¬†Read more about that here. ¬†The client had admired the Ombre desk I had completed and so the vanity has the same type of look, with the addition of a stencil to give it a french-style look.

desk set

Ombre Desk Set – painted in varying shades of gray – Missouri Limestone’s Chalk-based Paint – Winter Gloves, Sunday Silver and Gray Goose. Lamp is painted with Indigo.


Desk Lamp – Painted with Indigo


Ombre Desk in it’s new home – 9 year old owner is said to be very excited. : )


Piano/Storage Bench – painted with Trading Post

pet bed

Pet Bed – upcycled from a drawer – Painted with Coal Shovel

Lamp painted with Vintage Coral.

Lamp painted with Vintage Coral.

Spigot Planter

Spigot Planter – painted with “Clothesline”

Easter Candy Jars

Easter Candy Jars


Small Tilt Table – Painted with Grannie’s Lace

cupboard green_memories

Memories Photo holder – painted with Coal Shovelv


Spigot towel rack painted with “Clothesline”


Small Detailed Cabinet Рpainted with Dark Roast on top (with poly sealer)  and Zinc on bottom (with clear wax and dark wax in detail area)


The small table is sitting happily in its new home. Looks like the colors go perfectly with the decor in the home.

A Cinder Block Bench

Great idea for making a cinder block bench, but I would paint it with Missouri Limestone Chalk-based paint. It is perfect for outdoor projects like this.