Navy and Grey … for a new arrival.

Custom work is about 80% of my work load for sure. In the past years I have thought about limiting the amount of custom clients I take on… and I think I do that to a certain degree. For my mental health and also for my quality of work. But I have to say I enjoy bringing a vision to life. I feel like people that seek out a custom painted piece of furniture from me are looking for something really special for their home. I love being apart of that. It is sometimes much more work on my end design wise and hunting for the knobs and paper that they need to coordinate but in the end its always worth it. At this point in my journey, a lot of clients are seeking pieces I have already done or similar designs so I feel like I am still doing me… just tweaking the design a bit. I love the idea of living simple and small with pieces you really love. I am learning this even in my own home. Creating pieces that I will love forever.

With this particular project we were working together on a design for a new little baby boy. The new momma knew that she wanted navy and grey… so we pulled together some of my past pieces and came to the end with a navy highboy and a grey color block with navy bottom lowboy to match (but not match). The color block design was from a orange and grey piece I did a couple months back…


And here is the new grey and navy….



I used this adorable truck paper…  I didn’t have a  lot so the top drawer is actually old maps  (that also match the paper I used for the highboy).


And the matching but not matching highboy…




This client was a lot of fun. Mike and I met her husband to drop off the pieces last night and they are just the sweetest. Im so excited for their new addition.

Im off to pack for Portland. We leave tomorrow!


Dipped… my new favorite thing.


I bought a really great bedroom set a few weeks (maybe months) ago and it came with the cutest chair for the vanity. It was very similar to a dining chair but the back was a bit shorter than average dining chairs. I kept that chair in my mind while I painted both dressers and vanity… I kept thinking how cute it would be to dip just the back to accent how cute it was. I finally pulled it out the other day and thought I would do a quick project. It is so funny how sometimes the smallest projects turn into a point of major inspiration for much bigger projects to come.

After I painted the chair I was hooked and had to do a larger scale … the cabinet was a perfect choice because the wood is in great condition. Lately Ive been searching for different. I wanted to do something that would inspire me to try new and make one of a kind pieces that really motivate me to push myself creatively.




Maybe it was the contrast of the wood and white… or unusual design but I think its so fun.  I taped everything off carefully and primed first… I wanted a very bold white.  When I pulled the tape away after painting 2 more coats of paint the line was less than perfect so I actually sanded along the line with a nail file… great tip if you are looking for something to get in a small area that your sanding  block can’t reach. It worked perfectly. I then restored the natural finish rather than using stain. I lined the inside, to add just a little more simple character.

I think I might be on a dipping craze for awhile. This week I am hustling to finish 5 custom projects (some close to being done) … hoping to finish before we leave to take the kiddos to Portland before school starts up again. So excited to show them all the fun things we found on our last trip.

Happy Monday!


Matching White Bookshelves

Working with antiques, there always seems to be popular pieces that everyone needs and rare pieces to find… and they are usually one of the same. Matching pairs fall into that category.. it seems like whenever I stumble across a pair of matching nightstands they don’t last very long. So of course, if I find them I always, always buy them. Plus they are so fun to paint. These particular ones are a double WOW… mini bookshelves that MATCH. gah! The moment I found them I ordered paper… because the inside needed something really fun. I choose a great print from Spoonflower called  Navy Waves by mgterry. I like this one because it is subtle and modern but still pretty classic… slightly nautical. Mike said he thinks it looks like necklaces.. I like that too. The wood was mahogany and they had a leather detail on top, so I primed before painting and went with General Finishes Snow White, its a nice bright white and matched the white of the paper perfectly.




Pretty simple but fun makeover for you. I have a good and very busy line up the next few weeks. The shop is busy and my custom calendar is pretty full so I am excited to share more with you soon!


The Buffet That Started It All–special guest–Devon from Bride on a Bike

Let me start by saying my friends Devon and Jay are two of my favorite people. They are adventurers at heart, that are always out and about trying new things and exploring. They both have a huge passion for all things old and interesting. I always find myself captivated by their stories and in awe of their giving nature. When I heard the story behind this particular piece I thought it was so magical (more to come on that later). Devon had a really cool vision for this piece that I could not refuse. If you read my blog you are well aware of my feelings on white paint, partically white chippy milk paint. It is the absoulute hardest for me. A week does not go by that I do not get an email from someone trying white milk paint and getting just as frustrated. It’s a delicate balance to get the paint to chip but still allow the white to get really white and yellowing and bleed through is always a risk. So… When Devon asked for white and chippy, I cringed a little. I mean wanted this piece perfect!  But I was up for the challenge. The more you work with milk paint the more you figure out the tricks. 


Because she wanted it very chippy, I chose no prep at all. Mixed Snow White milk paint by Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co. and went to town. I babyed her, taking my time with each coat. To avoid an uneven look with the chippy parts I avoided sanding between coats. Around the second coat the paint started to chip…I was so excited to see that it was going in a good direction. I had no bleed through or moments of panic, thank goodness! I carefully painted over the paint that was starting to lift, in my opinion I feel that this is best instead of sanding because you get a nice clean look in the end. After 4 coats, I sanded well with a 400 grit and sealed it with Miss Mustard Seeds wax. This wax is so soft and easy to work with. It doesn’t yellow and goes nicely over any color.  I picked a really awesome Spoonflower paper in a yellow geometric print to line the drawers.



So I will pass it on to Devon now, I asked her to share this fun story of how this piece came to find them and all that happened next…. And here she is: 

 This is the story of a life changing buffet. 


It all started one night in late August 2014. I was having trouble sleeping and was wide awake when I shouldn’t have been,  killing time on my iphone app, Varage Sale until I fell asleep.  I saw this buffet priced at $100 and in Maple Valley, Wa. where we had lived for the last 7 years. It had been posted for over 8 weeks and I was about 30 people deep that were interested.  I sent a message to the seller asking if it was still available and scheduled a pick upfor  the following day.  Luckily my husband, Jay  happened to have that Friday off, which is very rare for him. Off to work I went that morning and he went to pick up the buffet I planned on buying, painting then selling.  When I arrived home that afternoon the buffet was in our garage and Jay was eager to get me to go back to meet “the nicest lady” and see her beautiful home and yard.  We ended up talking for hours and in conversation she mentioned that they were thinking of selling in the near future.  When we heard that we immediately looked at each other and our curiosity was piqued.  She kindly gave us a tour of the home and large yard. We saw a beautiful green pasture, turquoise pool, barn, wood shed, garden and lovingly cared for home. My head started spinning.  On our way home I was calling my mom and dad nonstop until they answered. 


The next 2 weeks were a whirlwind.  We brought my parents over to view the house and see if they loved it as much as we did. Our good friend Vicki a realtor met with us to give us the comps on our homes and talk to us about putting both our homes on the market.  We presented an offer to the sellers of our “dream home” and eagerly anticipated their response.  They agreed and a plan was put in action. Jay and I would sell our home, my mom and dad would also sell theirs and we would buy this property together.  The plan was to renovate the daylight basement into their home and Jay and I would live upstairs.  


The next 3 months were packed with showings, lots of packing and purging, loan documents and the excitement building until we could move into the new house.  We could not have asked for a kinder more patient couple to be buying from.  Both our homes sold in good time and we all moved in together.  


I sometimes can’t believe how we got here. So many random things had to fall into place.


The house was not listed for sale. 

The buffet on Varage Sale had been on there for weeks and it had a lot of interested people but Every. Single. One. Of. Them. Didn’t. Follow. Through.

Jay struck up a conversation that led us going back that same evening to look at more furniture and talk for hours.

My mom and dad also saw the potential in this property and jumped right in.


Words cannot express how peaceful it is out here in the country. We have two and a half acres, room for animals, room to paint and work on projects and to relax. Breathe. Unwind. You name it, my soul is content here.


So this is why the buffet needed to stay with us. My mom thought it would look nice in our entry.  Jay and I moved it in and agreed it looked at home there.  I sent a picture to my dear friend Amanda and asked if she would paint it for me. Luckily she agreed and I am so honored to have this chippy buffet in my forever home. She created it from the heart down to the smallest of details.  The vintage glass knobs that she picked for it, the drawers were lined and she even noticed that one of the doors wasn’t closing properly so she and her darling husband fixed it. She created a piece that will be in my family for many years to come.


So that is the story of how this buffet changed our lives for the better and also became the most expensive piece of furniture we have ever purchased second hand.




Thank you for taking the time to read about Devons lovely buffet, it was truly a pleasure to work on and I am beyond thrilled she asked me to be apart of their story. Check out Devon on Instagram @brideonabike and Facebook to follow along on her journey of awesomeness. 






Before and After–An Empire Buffet in White Glaze

I really wanted to write up a post on this buffet because I feel like the process was so fun and very easy. I have been couch bound this week with a horrible cold and I finally feel ok enough to write a little something. So first things first… these empire style pieces are awesome. I love the chunkiness and curves in their character, it is by far the best to paint. However they are endangered and getting harder and harder to find. So when I do, I like to do something different and exciting. I have been really into General Finishing lately, probably because my friend Alison started selling it in her shop. We are always chatting about fun combos and experiments to try. The team at The Modern Cottage Co. is really awesome about that. We run things off of each other and even support what seems like crazy ideas. I did a paint demonstration there this Saturday and I was telling the customers that came to watch that you should try not to limit yourself to the instructions on the back of the can. Use what you read as a guideline to the “rule of thumb”. Experimenting and making mistakes will make you a better painter and artist. Its ok to try layering and different techniques to see what the outcome is. With that being said be careful, you still want to take care in your prep and sealing. I came across this glaze in Winter White by General Finishes. I kept wondering what it would look like over a pretty Oak finish? So when I found this buffet it was a perfect marriage to my vision. This product is super easy to use and almost gives an effect of white wax. I could see this being a great layering product over paint.
The glaze is applied by brushing it on and then wiping the excess away, leaving behind a pretty translucent finish. My prep work was really just a simple light sand with 220 grit and I sealed with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Semi-Gloss. I later went back and just rubbed the glaze in certain spots to enhance the white. This was a great way to create a driftwood look, and really did take under an hour to apply.






image6 This one is for sale! $495. 😊I might try to gather some photos and do a post on the Pearl Effects next (which is what I used in the demo)… that was a lot of fun to work with and a very unique product. Have a great Thrusday! 



Before and After– Chippy Love

I wanted to do a quick blog post on the Driftwood chippy dresser, it is such a fun one. Something about this color never fails me. It has a great way of being slightly different every time, which is kind of a great surprise. When I found this piece my heart did a little happy dance, because there is nothing I love more than pieces like this. The detail that went into some of this furniture is just unbelievable. We live in an IKEA world, where furniture is just not made (or appreciated) with this much love anymore.
Within an hour or so of posting this one I had emails asking for a custom paint job… and because it was a Driftwood (Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co.) request I was ok with changing my direction. I knew I could still make it my own. I ordered bone knobs (as requested) similar to some of my past projects and lined the drawers with some fun contrast map paper. Because I was really looking for a chippy appearance and the wood was in perfect condition, I did not do any prep work at all. There is a better chance of chipping if you paint in a high heat area… so after two coats I turned on my fireplace and watch the paint pull away so nicely. I let the paint dry over night and in the morning I did a light sand with 220 grit followed with 400 grit to smooth out the finish. Then I sealed it with a High Performance Top Coat by General Finishes. The finish on this piece turned out really pretty.

10947168_438990132926845_1156963445107785136_n I have a few really cute projects lined up and I am hoping to get one finished up this weekend. I got my Spoonflower order in today and like always I am beyond thrilled with the prints that I chose. Now I just want to paper every single piece I have.. paper and knobs inspire me most. They make me start to spin ideas in my head of what colors and textures I want to pull together and see highlighted. When it doubt I do an order… makes me feel good.

White and Chippy

I have always wanted to do a really chippy white piece and in my opinion it is one of my biggest challenges. I think its my need for good coverage. I want the white really crisp. White can be a very translucent color (with milk paint even more so) and I don’t like to see brush strokes or wood showing through in parts that are not intended. Thus it is difficult to get the nice white coverage but still allow your chippy to get…well chippy. I did not prep the body of this piece at all, because I wanted the milk paint to work its magic and the finish on the dresser was perfect. I did do two coats of spray Shellac on the top only because I needed to sand out some water rings and I didn’t want to worry about bleed through. I mixed up Light Cream by Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co.
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I did two coats of paint before the paint really started to chip away. In my opinion… after the paint starts to chip if you sand it off and continue to paint you will essentially be prepping those chippy parts to hold the paint, and you risk an uneven surface..if that makes sense? I try to paint over the parts falling off, whipping my brush as I go. With each layer of paint it still lifts in the same spots. With lighter colors it seems to always be harder because you need more coats to get good coverage in the areas that are not chippy. Am I losing you, yet? I think every painter has a system though and something that works well for them. Its never right or wrong. Just what works best for that artist. When you get milk paint to do its thing though… it is so beautiful not matter how you got there. Here is some progress shots of the dresser when I started to finally sand away all the flaky goodness…
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I have to admit… I was sending photos to my friend Alison, sort of laughing at myself as I got closer to the end. The milk paint really took over… but as I put the finishing touches on, it really started to fit just perfectly though. No matter how much I work with this paint it surprises me every time, and I love that.
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I sealed it with Miss Mustard Seeds Clear Wax, because its so smooth and easy to work with and looks fantastic over any kind of milk paint.

Im so glad I stuck to challenging myself with this one. It feels good to do something different, and I want to continue to push myself everyday.

Just maybe not with white paint for awhile.

Amanda 🙂

Layered Milk Paint Dresser

I finished up a beautiful dresser this week by layering different shades of milk paint and I think it turned great! It is a nice way to get dimension to the look of the paint. There are a lot of reasons why I love to paint with milk paint. It challenges me a bit sometimes but you can create a really authentic unique patina. With that being said… it can be temperamental and it takes patience but the end result is worth it!  With this piece in particular I knew I wanted to paint it Driftwood by Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co. from the start. I love the way this color looks over a deep mahogany. In my head I kept thinking of this buffet I did about a year ago. This piece was one coat, I used it to sort of create a wash over the warm wood.

Here was the paper (from Spoonflower by Elvie & Co.) and knobs (online wholesaler source) that I picked out for the project.

The layering idea sort of came as I went. I started with a spray shellac by Zinsser. Which is a great way to “prime” your wood before painting. Then I did two coats of just Driftwood. I was going to stop there. But I decided I wanted a look with more dimension, maybe even weathered. So… I mixed a small amount of Buttermilk milk paint by Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co. into the Driftwood and and painted another two coats of the lighter shade. I sanded well with a 400 grit between each coat to get a really smooth finish. I then finished it with a last coat of just Driftwood and sanded really well to get all the layers to come through. If you have ever painted with milk paint before you know that it sands really well with hardly any work. I sealed it with clear wax from Maison Blanche Paint Company and then buffed really well. I typically only do 2 maybe 3 coats of paint depending on the piece, the layered effect does take more coats.. but its fun to try!


It was hard to get the photos to capture the true patina and color variation so you will have to try some layering and see what you think. I think you can get this look using all kinds of paint… use your imagination and creativity. No limits! Have a great weekend. 🙂


Papered Furniture

There was lots of fun painting for me this week. A few weeks back I did a huge order with Spoonflower with loads of great projects in mind. I love to use paper to accent my furniture by lining the drawers but sometimes the paper is too fun to hide inside. It’s a fine line for me when I do this, I always want to make sure that it makes sense for that piece and that the paper I chose is not too busy. I want it to go with the design rather than be distracting. I could have spent at lot more time and money …paper is such a huge weakness for me!

If you follow me on Instagram (username: ferpieandfray) Then you saw some of the great prints I ordered!


Here is a dresser I finished using the cross paper…







With this guy I wanted to do something fun with the inlay squares on the drawer fronts, this pattern by Pencilmein on Spoonflower is perfect! I love the simplicity of her modern design. The milk paint from Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company adds to the character with the chippy goodness. I love milk paint, it’s so fun to work with, and black is easy! It paints so smoothly with great coverage. I got a lot of emails after this piece asking my process so I thought I would break it down here for anyone that is curious.

With a piece like this where the squares are inside I measured the retangle within the drawer and measured the amount of space between my cuts and the pattern, so the design was centered with retangle where I placed my paper. I then brushed a very thin coat of Mod Podge on the drawer making sure not add to much and smooth as much as possible. A foam roller works best. Then I placed the paper from one side of the drawer pressing hard and smoothing as I went. Your goal is to avoid air bubbles under the paper. I used a credit card to smooth out any that snuck through. This part is very important. If you do not get them out the bubbles will harden and stay that way. Eek! I then brushed another thin layer of Mod Podge over the paper. One trick is to wait until that layer is almost dry and smooth out any imperfections with the tip of your finger. I wait until it’s completely dry and then do 2-3 coats of Country Chic Tough Coat. Here’s another piece I did yesterday…







It’s such a fun way to add character and play with furniture a little bit. I’m off to paint a black empire today…I love empires.