Thrift store dresser redo with paint and stencils

A few years ago, I bought this wooden dresser at a thrift store for $80.


The picture was taken after I had already removed most of the drawers and started stripping off the finish. I have to admit, $80 is a little salty for me for a thrift store purchase. But this was a solid wood piece in great condition, made in the U.S.A, with dovetail drawer construction.

I knew it would work perfectly as a buffet in our dining room, so I immediately stained the piece to match my table and chairs.

Buffet with lampsFast forward to last week. I was feeling like that dresser was looking a bit dark and heavy in the room. So I decided to give it a second makeover, because I’m crazy like that. 😉

I scrubbed the dresser and drawers down with a deglosser first to help remove any wax residue and prepare the wood to take paint.


For this project, I used Americana® Decor™ Chalky Finish paint. I chose a mixture of two parts Lace to one part Everlasting.


I applied the paint using my HomeRight® Finish Max Pro Fine Finish Sprayer, giving everything two coats of the chalky finish paint.


I’m notorious for grabbing whatever is within reach to help me out. 😉


After the paint dried, I used my orbital sander to smooth out any rough spots and give the edges a distressed look.


In addition to not requiring primer, I’m impressed with how beautifully this chalky finish paint sands down. The finish on this piece was as smooth as glass when I was done.

The next step took my distressed dresser from a furniture piece to a work of art.

I mixed up equal parts of Americana Multi-Surface Metallic™ paint colors in Chocolate, Champagne and Gold. (Americana Multi-Surface paint is available at Michaels.)


I chose the Royal Design Studio Springtime in Paris stencil, placing the dresser on its back so I could easily lay out the stencil pattern and apply the multi-surface paint. This paint will adhere directly to most surfaces and is self-sealing.


Here’s a look at the piece after it was stenciled.


I applied a coat of clear creme wax to protect the finish and waited for that to dry.


Finally, I buffed the piece with a soft cloth and reattached all the hardware. Done!





I think this “‘new” buffet helps to brighten up the dining room a lot. What do you think?

Don’t forget to visit the DecoArt® Multi-Surface website for more crafting ideas and inspiration.

Special thanks to the folks at DecoArt for sponsoring this post and providing the paint needed to complete this project. As always, all opinions – and sweat equity – are 100 percent mine. 

Holiday home tour

Today I thought I’d share some of the Christmas decorations we’ve got going on around here. Believe it or not, this is the first year we’ve added a live tree to the decor, which makes a total of three trees in our house right now. Whew! However, one is in our daughter’s bedroom and that space is not fit for pictures, so you won’t see it featured in this holiday home tour. 😉

I’ll start with our dining room. I decided to go with primarily red, green and gold accents.


I really wanted to incorporate some plaid napkins this year. I got the ones you see in the pictures online from World Market (with a 10 percent off coupon). Plaid seems to be having a moment right now.


I went with a traditional look in the dining room, which means I also tried to incorporate some traditional treats for dinner guests, including this bowl of mixed nuts.


Every year, I have a vision of what I want the main rooms in our house to look like for the holidays, based on inspiration I see in magazines and online. Of course, the vision in my head is often not how things turn out. But at least the basic idea is achieved, hopefully. I’m calling this year’s dining room “Chevy Chase Traditional” because it reminds me of decorations you might see in his home in that movie. Would you agree?

Moving on to our living room, I went for more of a natural, rustic look.


This is the room with the live tree. Gosh, a real tree is a lot of work!


The mantel includes my DIY wooden tag ornaments as well as my Pottery Barn knockoff DIY birch candles and eBay snowshoes.

Flocked-mini-Christmas-tree Birch-candles-on-mantel Snowshoes-on-mantel Wooden-reindeer Santa-and-sign

If you’re interested in where I got any of the other mantel decorations, I have a detailed post here.

We displayed our Christmas village on the TV stand in the living room.


My favorite decoration by far is the tiny nativity set I got while on a mission trip to Guatemala.


In the kitchen, I try to keep the counters pretty clear so there’s plenty of room for holiday baking. 🙂 I focus mainly on decorating the area above the cabinets.




I try to dress the staircase because it’s the first thing people see when they walk into our home. I’m still in awe of what a difference my poor-man’s wainscoting makes in our entryway.


Speaking of thrifty transformations, it still makes me smile every time I look at our front door. It is amazing what some paint and hardware can do!


For details and jaw-dropping before and after photos of our front door redo, click here.

Before I go, I want to remind you that Duluth Trading Co. is giving away $200 worth of gift cards on the blog right now! To get your paws on one of them, hurry over and enter to win here.

Happy holiday decorating!

Thrifty Thanksgiving tablescape

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and, for once, I’m trying to get ahead of the decorating snowstorm that hits our home during the holiday season.

Today I thought I’d show you the thrifty Thanksgiving tablescape I whipped up using some yard stuff, some yard sale stuff, some new stuff and some craft stuff.

My vision began with a cream-colored, tab-top curtain. I got a set of four of these panels for $1 at a yard sale. I cut off the tabs, folded one of the panels in half and cut it down the middle.


Then I hemmed the raw edge of one of the halves by folding it over and sewing a quick straight stitch all the way down the length of the panel.


After hemming the panel half and ironing it flat, it magically transformed into a table runner ready for some stencils. 🙂


I used the Royal Design Studio Falling Feathers Fall Stencils along with some fall-colored craft paint to create my Thanksgiving table runner.


I’ve found that using a good stencil brush, offloading excess paint from the brush, and using an up-and-down pounding motion to apply the paint helps create crisp, defined edges.

I also stenciled a few wooden tags I picked up in the craft section at Walmart. They are meant for labeling canning jars, but I think they also make great name tags at place settings. 😉


After everything dried, I put together my Thanksgiving tablescape.




For the centerpiece, I used my DIY driftwood candle holder, made out of a stump from our backyard. Learn how to make your own here.




What will you be DIYing (besides the food) this Thanksgiving?

Special thanks to the folks at Royal Design Studio for allowing me to review the Falling Feathers Fall Stencils at no charge. As always, all opinions (and sweat equity) are 100% my own.