Using Gel Stain On Already Stained Wood




I have been dying to try out the gel stain sold by General Finishes for quiet some time.  I needed something small to use it on, so that I could see how well it works.  So often people want to re-stain their cabinets, but that can be an extensive and tedious job.  My hope was that the gel stain would prove to be the perfect solution for bringing outdated cabinets to life, as well as other wood treasures.  I love the idea of using gel stain on already stained wood instead of sanding down to the naked wood.

My sweet (and very trusting) friend had a unique magazine rack that she wanted updated, and gave me carte blanche with it.  Said friend and her husband have a beautiful home and exquisite taste, so I spent some time thinking about how to refinish it.  Here is what it looked like when I picked it up:



It’s such a unique piece, I was excited to revive it.  This was the perfect piece to try out the gel stain on, so I headed down to Woodcraft here in San Antonio, and picked up the supplies.



I decided on the Candelite color.




Part of the success to using stain over the previous stain is sanding.  After a thorough cleaning, I gave it a light sanding all over using 220 grit.  I wiped it down again, making sure to remove all of the dust from sanding.

I then began applying the gel stain with a lint-free cloth.




The great thing about stain is that you don’t have to be an expert to apply it.  The only thing you need to know is use a clean, soft cloth and don’t stop moving.  If you leave it sitting for too long without rubbing it in, you will have weird marks that you won’t be able to get rid of without sanding.

The gel stain takes a little longer to dry, which worked to my advantage.  I started to apply the second coat while the first coat was still sticky, creating a more aged look.  If you prefer an even tone, then wait for the first coat to dry before applying a second one, if a deeper tone is desired.

Be sure and rub the stain into all of the blemishes so that it adds more character.

gel-stained gel-stain-on-wood


To add a little interest to this piece, I decided to add a some color using General Finishes Milk Paint in Basil.




I put a couple of light coats on the bands of the magazine rack, and then sanded it once it dried. 






I love the detail on the back…



I’m thrilled with how this product works, and can’t wait to use it on some bigger projects!  And I’m really excited to deliver this refinished magazine rack to my friend.

Peace & Love,


70’s Chair Makeover




Welcome back to Makeover Monday! While out antique shopping a couple of weekends ago, I ran across a chair that I loved immediately.  It wasn’t cute as it was, but I knew I could turn it into a piece that fits my style.  So, for less than $12 I came home and gave it a facelift!  And since I had everything else I needed on hand, this 70’s chair makeover didn’t cost me anymore that.


The before.



The after.  I used one of the many coffee sacks I had at home to cover the seat, using some black fabric underneath the keep the white vinyl from showing through.  The seat was in good shape, so I opted to leave the vinyl in tact and just put the fabric and burlap over it.

I used Maison Blanche chalk paint to change the color of the wood, starting with a coat of Crème De Menthe.  Then, I followed that up with a coat of Sugar Cane from the same company, a light 220 grit sanding and a coat of clear wax.  I was very happy with the results, which aren’t quite magnified in the pictures.

farmhouse-chair-makeover burlap-chair-cover

70-to-farmhouse 1970-to-farmhouse-chair

I haven’t decided where it’s going yet, but it’s definitely a keeper!

Peace & Love,


Painting A Trunk




Welcome to the first Makeover Monday with Her Hippie Heart!  Starting today, I will be sharing tips on making over everything from, found “treasures” to entire rooms.  Make sure that you’re subscribed so you don’t miss out on all the things featured here!

Have you ever thought about painting a trunk, but weren’t too sure how it would turn out?  Or maybe you’ve never thought about painting a trunk, but you’re ears just perked up?  I’m kind of  paint junky, so it always occurs to me to paint stuff, but the painted trunks turned out to be a total win, in my book.

The trunk that I’m featuring today was beautiful all on it’s own.  Well-made, with gorgeous detail.  Some might find it painful and even wrong to paint such a stunner, and I do understand that.  Some people are purists…loyalists.  I heart you.  I really do.  But I just can’t help myself!  I NEED to find out what will happen if I dab a little paint on there.  It makes me happy.  But please, all of you purists, keep fighting the good fight!  Don’t let us painty types get our hands on everything!! 😉  Here she is before: (please, DON’T ask me why the pic is sideways, because I just.  Don’t. Know.)




And here she is after: (FYI, I used Cobblestone by Maison Blanche Paint Company)




Now, I didn’t get a bunch of action shots on this piece, but once you learn how easy it is, you’ll forgive me.  I hope.

First, pick a paint color and start brushing it on the trunk.  Don’t try to cover it completely, just get a first coat on.




Then, when the first coat is dry, do another coat just like that, applying circular and long strokes with your brush.  If your satisfied with that shabby look (like I was on this piece), then stop there.  For a more finished look, keep adding coats until you’re happy.




On this piece, I painted over everything – the metal, wood & hardware.  Then I took 220 grit sandpaper, and lightly sanded it by hand until I achieved the shabby look I wanted.  I absolutely LOVE how the detail on the metal edges popped out!




This wasn’t the first trunk I painted, but it’s certainly my favorite so far! Here’s another example of how you can bring a trunk to life:




I showed you mine, now show me yours!  Send me some pics. 🙂

Peace & Love,






How To Makeover A Chair Using Maison Blanche Paint

Mason Blanche ChairOver the weekend I went to a furniture painting class and learned how to makeover a chair using Maison Blanche paint.  I’m always interested in learning new things and trying new products, and this experience did not disappoint!

The Burlap Junkies out in Pipe Creek, Texas host Painting Parties to teach people how to give new energy to an old piece of furniture.  It’s an afternoon of food, fun and new friends that you can enjoy with or without wine.  Your choice.

I signed up for the small furniture painting class early in May, and thought I had plenty of time to find a piece to take.  However, time got away from me and I found myself a few days away from the event with no piece.  Never to fear though, the Chair Junkee is here! Sweet Claudia (a.k.a. Chair Junkee) partners with Lisa from Burlap Junkies to make sure that no one leaves empty handed.  The best part is, the price of her chairs (which are well priced), include reupholstering! She saved my bacon by having this beautiful chair available to purchase.

Now, on to the how to…

Because of the fabric I had picked out, I decided on the Coffee Bean chalk paint from Maison Blanche.  With the chip brush, I applied a quick coat of paint.

Mason Blanch Chair

And then another, and then another (because of the dark shade of paint).

When the paint was thoroughly dry, I took a 220 grit piece of sandpaper and created a well-used look, allowing some of the original wood to show through the paint.  After the sanding, I applied a clear wax with a chip brush

Mason blanche Chair

When the clear wax had been buffed with a rag, I then applied a product called Lime Wax.  I was pretty excited to use this because I had never heard of it before.  It ended up being the magic to this piece, creating a truly aged look by putting a greyish white into all of the grooves, including the grain of the wood.

I have to admit, I had not been happy with the color of the coffee bean alone, but with the lime wax, it was spectacular!  Here is the finished product:

Mason Blanche Chair

While I worked, Ms. Claudia recovered my seat with the fabric I brought.  When I finished the chair, she screwed the seat on and it all tied together so well!  I couldn’t have been happier with the result.

If you’re in the San Antonio Area, be sure and check out the Burlap Junkies and the Chair Junkee on Facebook!

Peace & Love,



How To Update an Ikea Dresser

Tarva MakeoverSince moving into our new (old) home, my husband has been in need of a dresser.  And since I love to paint furniture, I thought it would be easy to find something sleek that I could make look rugged and manly.  However I was having a hard time finding just the right thing until I saw some Ikea dresser make-overs on Pinterest.  I’m always up for a trip to Ikea, and after looking through the catalog that I had on hand, I knew the 6-drawer Tarva would be perfect. So, here is how to update an Ikea dresser (one of a zillion ways, I’m sure).

Now, I won’t lie to you.  While a piece of Ikea furniture is going to save you some cash, assembling it will cost you the better part of a day and a fair amount of your sanity.  There will be moments that you want to scream at the pudgy little Ikea guy on the instructions, who is surely mocking you, and curse the store as a whole for not writing out the instructions.  But persevere, it will be worth it.

Tarva Makeover

Sadly, I didn’t get a bunch of great pictures of the process I used to makeover this dresser, but here’s how I achieved the above look, step by step:

  1. Assembled the piece (Grrr…).
  2. Painted all the drawers white.
  3. Sanded the drawers with a 120 grit, making the wood bare in spots.
  4. Went over the drawers with a natural colored wood stain.
  5. Went over all the drawers again with an ebony wood stain.
  6. When the stain was COMPLETELY dry, I used 150 grit sandpaper to sand them to my desired look.
  7. Stained the top of the dresser with ebony.
  8. Painted the sides and legs with Coco from Annie Sloan (I just purchased a small container).
  9. Sanded the top of the dresser with 150 grit sandpaper.
  10. Put Annie Sloan clear wax over the entire piece.
  11. Lightly sanded over the wax with a 220 grit sandpaper.
  12. Spray painted the wooden knobs with hammered pewter.
  13. Dabbed a bit of Coco chalk paint over the spray paint on the knobs.
  14. Screwed the knobs to the dresser.

Tarva Makeover Tarva Makeover Tarva Makeover

My husband loved the way his new dresser turned out, and the pictures certainly don’t do it justice (bad lighting).

The cool thing about a raw piece of furniture, is that your options are limitless!  So use your imagination and come up with a one-of-a-kind piece of your own.

Peace & Love,