Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Painting primitive pine

Today wasn't supposed to be a work day but I stopped at the shop to catch up on a few things and ended up spending much of the day at Beach House. Jackie and I touched base, dealt with a little drama (yes, even at Beach House there is some drama behind the scenes), and I finished a piece of furniture. It's hard for me to see any day as productive, no matter what I accomplish, if it doesn't result in at least one new piece of inventory complete and on the showroom floor. I finished the primitive pine blanket chest/cabinet that I started a couple of days ago and wrote about in my last post. I posted a "before" picture and promised an "after". The piece turned out just as beautiful as I had anticipated. It is hard to go wrong working with primitive pine. It's easy to sand, easy to paint and it is so simple to distress. Every square headed nail that shows it's shape thought the paint is a mark of age, quality and craftsmanship-a true gem.

Friday, June 13, 2014

What are you working on today?

I get asked a few regular questions every day: 

Do you use chalk paint? 
Where do find all of this stuff?
What are you working on today? 

The first two answers never change. No, I don't use chalk paint and I buy all over. From Pensacola to Maine, there isn't a thrift store, antique store, or yard sale that I won't stop at. The answer to the third question changes by the day, even the hour. Sometimes I work on the pieces that are needed in the store. Other times my decision is driven by whatever piece ignites a creative spark.

I bought this chest from the back barn of one of my favorite antique stores. It was one of those pieces that was literally in pieces, sitting by the back door. It caught my eye and the price was right. I'm not sure what this piece is. It has a flip top like a blanket chest, drawers like a dresser and doors like a cabinet. It is square nail construction (signs of an early primitive), it is solid pine, and the storage potential is awesome. The top has been replaced, the left door needs to be re-attached and the corner has been chewed by Fido. THIS is a piece that ignites a creative spark.

I am so excited to work on it, to transform it into something beautiful! I'll post pictures when it's ready.

With a shallow storage area under the flip-up top, this piece is perfect for displaying pillows or a quilt collection.
Primitive pine is my favorite kind of wood to work with and this piece was a reminder of why that is. True antique wood (over 100 years old) is nice and dry with strong grains. This dry wood takes paint very easily but the stubbornness and persistence of the grain always works itself through the paint. You can see and feel the beautiful old lines of the grain through the paint. With only a light sanding the new paint achieves the perfect weathered and timeworn look of a true primitive.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Wooden Wall in the Family Room

I have been having so much fun with the DIY projects at Beach House that I put my house renovations on hold for a while. It's hard to believe that we've been in our home (renovating) for over 2 years already and the store is almost a year old! Motivated by Dave's retirement from the military last weekend as well as my oldest son's high school graduation, and the party I was hosting at our home afterward, I had to make some progress on the house. I didn't get as far as I would have liked, but I did make some major changes. My favorite project? It is most certainly the perfectly cottagy shiplap-look wood wall I crafted in our horribly outdated sunken family room. 

I used old pine fence boards for this project. They had been laying in the yard since last year when we started building a fence and never finished it. These are the same kinds of boards you see frequently at the store, we use them for walls, signs, and to make some furniture. I brushed each one different shades of aqua, white and grey. I sanded each board and put them together like a puzzle making sure each board was nailed into the stud. I decided to use rough  1' X 4" pine boards to trim out the door frames. Instead of replacing the doors, they got a new coat of white paint. 

There is quite a bit more work to do in the room but the wall is the perfect focal piece. 

Another board wall in my nice room.