Mid-century Modern up-do

My sister called me recently because they’d been out looking for a new dresser with her adult son. They weren’t finding what he really wanted – never mind the fact that most of it was made of pressed board – so she decided to call me to see what I had. The only dressers we had in our stash at the time was a set of MCM chest and dresser – solid wood. We went back and forth about sizes, colors and what we could do. I sent over several Pinterest pictures of what my dressers could look like with an up-do.

He settled on the 9-drawer dresser. Trust me, it wasn’t pretty and I wasn’t sure if a young adult could understand my vision but we got it all worked out and I began the project.

I started with my usual prep of a thorough cleaning inside and out, removed all the hardware and legs then lightly sanded it all down. Now I could really see what I had to work with. The top needed some wood filler due to the fact it had been scooted around upside down on a garage floor. Once the filler was dry the dresser got another sanding and cleaning. I have no pictures of all of that because it was pretty darn cold outdoors and I just wanted to get it done and indoors.

It’s the first time I’ve worked on MCM and managed to save the look of most of the wood. It was also my first time for working with Benjamin Moore’s Advance in a satin finish as well as Minwax Gel Stain. I’m pleased to say I would use both products again without hesitation. The gel stain was so easy to apply and it covers a host of imperfections.

The dresser is all done now and ready for pick up next weekend and I must say I am very pleased with the final product. It’s solid and pretty darn heavy and it’s been updated with a modern twist for a very nice young man.

If you’re local to Livingston County or the Lake Orion area we would be happy to give you a quote to freshen up a piece of furniture for you. We also have our pieces for sale in The Vintage Farm House in Holly.

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Farmhouses and wildflowers

What’s with this weather this year? I’m waiting for it to warm up just a tad so I can get out in the garage and get going on some new projects. Rachel is having the same dilemma. We’ve both been painting what we can indoors but then I have to sacrifice the living room and even though the old guy doesn’t complain about it I know he’d rather not have furniture sitting around on drop cloths. What’s a furniture flipper to do?

29510879_2157446414484571_3985685348218575703_nI’ve been working on small paper-crafting items and signs for the new booth space Rachel and I moved into in January. We have a great space in The Vintage Farm House in Holly that we just love. Lots of wall space for those hand-crafted items and plenty of floor space for our furniture. Rachel has found the cutest metal signs and décor that we’ve added as well. Be sure to visit Holly and check out our new shop in The Vintage Farm House soon. We’re usually out there on Wednesdays or Thursdays restocking so stop and say ‘Hi’ if you see us there.

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Rachel and I were kicking around some thoughts the other day and decided to change the name of our business to more reflect how we operate nowadays. How do you like ‘Salvaged Wildflowers?’ We use so much color in our salvaged furniture pieces that sometimes our booth looks like a field of wildflowers – of course, we could sometimes refer to ourselves as salvaged wildflowers too! When we wrote it down we knew it just fit!

We’ve made the changes on our Instagram and Facebook page, but Facebook wouldn’t approve the new name so we have started a brand new page! Please visit our new page – Salvaged Wildflowers – and give us a like and leave a comment. Hope to hear from you soon – and if you know where Spring is please tell me!

 

 

Booking custom painting orders for 2018

You know that piece of furniture that serves its function, but every time you walk by it you just wish it would go away or that you could somehow hide it? Maybe its the sturdy little side table that is just the right size to sit next to the sofa but the color is so off? Or the china cabinet that just looks so very dark? I can fix that!

I’m getting back into custom painting and scheduling orders for 2018. Can you believe 2018 is right around the corner! After the holidays is the perfect time to freshen your home furnishings. I can help you fall in love with your pieces again!

Let me break down what goes into custom painting your piece. We usually begin with you contacting and sending me photos and dimensions of the piece or pieces you want refurbished. We’ll go back and forth with a few questions so I can get an idea of what you’re looking to have done – Pinterest photos are great helpers for this step. I’ll then send a preliminary quote (this may change once I see the piece in person). Quotes can sometimes change due to repairs, finishes, etc.

When everything is agreed on, the furniture can be delivered to me and contracts gone over and signed.

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This custom job begins with two dark side tables and one TV console.

This is where my fun begins! Before I begin any painting I thoroughly inspect the piece and fix any repairs that were agreed on. Each piece is then thoroughly cleaned and lightly sanded and left to dry overnight. Primer goes on it the next and its left to dry overnight, then lightly sanded and cleaned.

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These pieces have been cleaned, sanded and primed.

The day after that the piece gets its first coat of paint. That coat also sits overnight to dry and is lightly sanded and cleaned the next day. Then the second coat gets applied and left to dry. I’ll add a third coat if need be the day after that.

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This piece has its first coat of paint.

Once the paint is dry, any specialty finishes, such as white-wash, glazing, distressing, etc., go on next and its once again left to dry overnight. The final step in this process is to protect the piece with a wax or liquid sealer. I really prefer to keep the pieces for another few days before they’re picked up because I know as soon as you get the piece home you want to use and decorate it. Paint and sealers usually take about 28-30 days to fully cure to the point of them being able to be used, so its best to put the piece in its place and just sit and admire it for a few weeks before putting it to full use.

It should be noted that painted furniture is no different than unpainted. It can be prone to nicks and scratches, just like any other piece, from toys, pets, wet glasses, hot coffee cups and everyday life. I always recommend the use of coasters and placemats. But, mind you, a painted piece of furniture properly finished will hold up just fine and look pretty while doing it.

Contact me through a private message on our Facebook business page for a custom quote or to have your questions answered.

 

 

 

 

 

Making new paint look old

I love the look of old, aged and worn. It shows in my scrapbooking and mixed-media projects and I’ve managed to carry it over to my furniture pieces that I redesign.

I’ve tried to do clean and neat – honest I have. It just doesn’t work for me. It never feels finished. So even though this vintage cabinet looked so dang cute once the paint was done I knew I was going to distress it and add some age to that new paint and stain.

This little guy was pretty darn sturdy but the back flap was loose and when I removed the door from the cubby the framing on that was loose as well so I realigned everything and glued, screwed and clamped all the pieces back together.

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The next day everything was tight and good to go. After a good sanding and cleaning the piece was ready for paint. I used a mix of Behr and my Pixie Dust Paint Company additive to mix my own chalk-type paint.

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I painted the entire cabinet in the green paint and used white stain on the drawers and door.

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To get that aged, worn look on the new paint I apply Dark Umber furniture wax, which is a dark wax from Vintage Market & Design. I do not use clear wax first. I apply the dark wax directly to the new paint and you can see how in my video.

This vintage cabinet is solid and sturdy and has years of life to give to somebody. It’s available and you can find the info in our Etsy shop and on our Facebook page: facebook.com/gdoorstudio.

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The ups and downs of change

Did you miss us? I know it’s been ages but everything seems to be falling in place and getting back on track and I really miss sharing our adventures with all of you. Please continue to follow along and hopefully we’ll all have a grand time once again!

So…the Studio closed in November. Our landlord decided to retire and put the building up for sale and it sold rather quickly. The new owners are remodeling and I’m sure it will be really nice when done, but I just couldn’t face the thought of moving once again so after Rachel and I discussed it, we opted to shut the doors on the Studio. We’re continuing with our refurbishing and painting and we’ve rented booth space in Holly at The Shops at 101.

The move and closing was long are arduous. I didn’t want to just put it all in storage without sorting it so the old guy and I lived with boxes stacked in our living room, dining room, spare bedroom and garage for several weeks. messy-2

I sorted each box before moving it to storage. Donated several car loads of items to the Salvation Army and Scrap Box, gave stuff away, and trashed some until I could finally walk through my house again.

I’ve been busy with custom painting as well as painting items for our booth. And through it all we celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year and tax season. We helped Rachel and Kevin lay a new floor, cut and nail trim and organize the basement, giving her a space to paint. Rachel came and spent two days this week so we could move from one storage unit to a larger one for my painting. And I cannot wait to just be able to go and paint!

I really didn’t think I’d be done in time to decorate for Christmas but we made it and had a really nice holiday with family. We got news that our son, Kevin, was moving from Oregon to Tennessee, which is wonderful because now they’re only a days’ drive away!

Yes, I miss seeing everyone who came to classes and sharing our everyday lives and stories. I’m trying to keep up with you all through Facebook, stamp club and book club and any way that I can. Hoping to see more of you when the weather improves.

There have been changes all around, that’s just the way life goes, and I tend to go with the flow. The old guy and I are adjusting to me being around all the time and him telling me how to cook! I’ve always loved cooking and have been doing quite a bit of it lately, but he keeps trying to offer suggestions – last night I had to tell him I was cooking and he could leave the kitchen. But, seriously, it’s going very well and I like that if the weather sucks I can stay home and indoors!

Some of you had seen the king-size sleigh bed I was working on just before closing the Studio. It turned out beautifully and the customer just loves it. I asked her for a photo and I was blown away when I received it! We don’t always get to see our pieces in the clients home so this was a real treat. And, if you don’t believe a little paint can totally change the way you look at your furniture, this may make a believer out of you.

This is what I started with. It was so large I had to ask the old guy to come down and help me turn it around and lift it to the table.

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It all had to be sanded and cleaned thoroughly before any painting could be started.

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Then, because of the dark wood (and we were taking it to white) it all had to be primed then 2-3 coats of paint.

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But just look how beautiful- straight from a magazine!

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So stick with us on this blog or follow us on Facebook. We’re doing away with the email newsletter which comes through Email Contact so the blog and Facebook are your best sources to keep up with us for general news. For custom quotes contact us by private message through our Facebook page or text or call me at (517) 518-2464. We can also be reached through our email: thegreendoorstudio@yahoo.com

Take care and welcome back!

Through the years

On September 7th, Green Door Studio will have officially been open for 3 years. We started out on this crazy adventure after I was laid off from my job. I had always dreamed of having my own business, and my mom was out of her mind enough to be a willing participant. Since then, I have gotten married, moved around, had other jobs, quit working, and became more involved again in the business. Mom has been the consistent face of the business, and has worked her butt off to make it what it is today.

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Mom and me on opening day, September 7, 2013.

We went from having a fairly empty shop:

to having a very crowded shop:

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in a brand new location:

This journey has been a whole lot of hard work, but luckily we’ve had wonderful friends and family helping us along the way, from one location to the next. The most amazing of all is my dad, who helps us with pretty much everything.

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(I’m a little surprised he hasn’t disowned us yet.)

While we do paint furniture in our own styles:

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we also do custom paint jobs with either your furniture or our unfinished furniture:

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and large variety artsy classes, which are always a great time:

and we have a great selection of home decor and accessories:

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We have also recently become a stockist for Pixie Dust Paint Company, carrying the company’s full line of mineral paint additives and all-natural, vegan-friendly finishing waxes.

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Our three-year celebration begins Wednesday, August 31st and ends Saturday, September 3rd. On Saturday, come enjoy light refreshments, creating a fall-themed tag, and discounts including 10% off purchases $50 or more or 15% off purchases of $150 or more. (Sale excludes custom-paint quotes, classes, and previous purchases.) Discounts are valid Wednesday-Saturday. We will be spilling out into the parking lot, weather permitting, with every piece – finished or unfinished – that we currently have at the shop, in storage, and at our houses.

Candy Scraps will also be a vendor on Saturday, so come check out her garden-themed pieces and more.

Green Door Studio is located at 6105 Grand River Ave, Brighton, MI 48114. Our phone number is (517)-618-7700. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

 

In it for the long haul

I’m whooped! The back aches from all the driving and I have a garage full of treasured finds that will need to go through some intense cleaning tomorrow.

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The old guy, my friend, Cathy, and myself spent the day traveling West on US-12 for the annual Heritage Trail Longest Garage Sale. It was our first time and we’ve already discussed plans to attend next year’s sale.

14030830_10207113953352552_1222459977_nI drive an Equinox so space is at a premium and we make every inch count. It takes a lot of skill to load so much stuff into such a small space but we’ve got this.

The old guy was relegated to the smaller portion of the split back seat as Cathy and I manned the front – me as driver, and she as spotter. We make a good team and the old guy tends to find the good stuff we miss so it all works out.

We were told the crowds were lighter today than Friday and Saturday and it sounded like the vendors all really enjoy the weekend and the crowds.

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Did you see those windows in the back seat? What a find! Enough for a class – six, six-pane windows and they’re in great shape! It will take a few buckets of hot soapy water to be able to see through the glass, but then they’ll be already for a great class.

vertical mirror with detailAnd mirrors; the old guy spotted so many beautiful mirrors. I think we came home with at least four and they’re all just gorgeous and very, very old. The silver is worn off one or two in all the right places; can’t wait to get them cleaned up to see what they really look like.

At our very first stop Cathy found a large coffee table (similar to the run she ran over recently. Yep; she really did – just ask her about that one).

We met some really nice people along the way and seen some things we just can’t un-see. It was a really enjoyable day and the weather was perfect.

Cathy and I prefer to eat where the locals hang out instead of the typical chain and a lovely couple manning a sale recommended Saucy Dog’s Barbecue in Jonesville. The place was really hoppin’ and once the food arrived we realized why! Casual dining but really good food – with homemade potato chips!

me and den at saucy dogs

As long as I get a lot of cleaning done tomorrow you’ll find the new stuff moved into the Studio come Wednesday. I’ve got the perfect mirror for you!