Tuesday, September 30, 2014




The beams in this great room were just boards and stained a medium brown.
 Also, they had a shiny clear coat of sealer on them.
My client wanted them to look old and asked me to paint them to look like dark old beams.
I primed, then painted the base coat.
Then, I streaked a lighter brown and gray with my brush and a rag.
Last, I painted knot holes to make the beams look a little more authentic.
Because I wanted them to look old and dry I didn't paint a sealer on them. 
 A clear coat sealer would have made them shine.  
A low sheen sealer would have made them shine a little bit and that, to me, does not look old.
It was a lot of work to paint these beams.  
Especially since I was painting for so many hours above  my head.  
The new darker beams were a dramatic change for this beautiful room.
This room was dark and the beams really did look like they might have been old wood.
My clients were very happy with their new old beams.
Oh, and I textured, painted and glazed these walls to look like old broken plaster.
And, I painted the ceiling the base coat color that I used on the walls under the glaze.

Saturday, September 27, 2014



Several years ago, my client asked me to paint this tuscany finish on her kitchen cabinets in her new home.  The cabinets had a pickled/white washed finish on them and that just didn't work with her furniture and kitchen decor.
 It was a beautiful cozy kitchen with the new warmer cabinet color.

Recently, she called and said she was ready for a change.  She wanted me to paint her cabinets again and this time she wanted them to be very, very light.
Such a contrast!

This is her new chandelier that I shared with you in the two posts before this one.

And, this is the smaller chandelier that I shared with you in the earlier post.
She had painted this one a dark green to go with her tuscany kitchen.  This time, she asked me to repaint it in similar colors and finish to match her beautiful new chandelier.

This is her kitchen after I finished painting the lighter colors.  
Finally, she can start redecorating her new kitchen.
I know it will be beautiful!

Look at this bowl.  Isn't it fabulous!!!
My client told me the artist is in her 90's.  I don't remember her name.  Can you imagine the time that went into this delicate work! 
 Those are the colors that I LOVE.

This is a close-up of the new finish on her cabinets that wrap around the large room.
I painted a lighter off white and then glazed with a little bit darker off white and wiped off with a rag.
As I usually do, I made several samples before I started the work and this is the one that she approved.  I had to make sure the colors I chose would go and blend well with her backsplash and her granite. 
 Choosing the right shades of color is really important for the best look in a room.

This is a picture of the finish that I painted on the kitchen island.  I painted the same technique that I painted on the other cabinets.  The only difference is the distressing on the island, only. 
Not sure if you can see that I painted the inside of the open shelves of the other cabinets a little bit darker off white.  That is the color I used for the under coat of the distressing on the island.

Years ago when I painted the tuscany finish on the cabinets, I also textured the walls in several of her rooms.  I used sheetrock mud and a 5" or 6" broadknife.  I love the textured look and I love doing it, too.  It's a lot of work and the mud is heavy.  It really changes the look of a room.
I loved working in this beautiful home, again. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014




The two white distressed chandeliers in the post before this one are in this kitchen with the new off white colors that I will show you in the next post.
But, I wanted to show you the "before" pictures.
This is the tuscan special finish I painted for my client several years ago.
The cabinets were pickled/white washed oak.  She showed me the look she wanted, I made samples and she approved.
I loved the finish on these cabinets!

I used a gel stain and lightly distressed the finish.
My camera flash made them look kind of orangey.  In real life, they were a little more brown.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2014

I just found a picture that is closer to the actual color of the cabinets back then.  Not sure what happened with my camera, but this is better.  I do love the technique that I used, just not those orangey overexposed shots.
Also, I found this picture of her wine rack that I painted.  In her new kitchen, she had a cabinet door and drawer removed and had the carpenter build this custom sized wine rack. 

 I brought it home with me and painted it here.  Thank goodness, I was able to do that.  I've painted a lot of wine and plate racks and had to paint them in place and that is NOT easy!!
NOW, back to the original post:

This is such a beautiful, very large kitchen!  It wraps around in three sections.  I'm showing you the middle section.

I don't usually get to see and take pictures when everything is neat and back to normal.
Glad I got to take these pictures, though.
Because a few months ago, she called and said she was ready for a change.  She said she still loved this tuscan finish, but she was ready to have EVERYTHING painted in very light colors.
Before, she had me paint, texture and faux most of the walls in her new home in dark colors.  
Because of my schedule, I could only do the kitchen cabinets, this time.  She wanted the lighter colors and a little bit of distressing, again.  It took me about two weeks to do all of those layers.
Most of the finishes I paint take from 4 to 7 different layers.  That means I have to hand touch and paint every inch of those cabinets 4 to 7 times.  
It is a chore, but I do love what I do.
Especially when I'm finished and the client is happy.

Sunday, September 14, 2014



A few years ago, I painted the kitchen cabinets in my client's new home.
She wanted a darker, warmer tuscany finish.  I painted most of the high walls and ceilings and textured and faux painted several of the walls.
  A few weeks ago, she called and said she was ready for a change.
This time she wanted EVERYTHING to be painted in very light colors.
Because of my schedule, this time I only painted the kitchen cabinets and another painter painted all of the walls, ceilings and woodwork.

Back in the tuscany days, she painted this chandelier for her breakfast room in a very dark green to go with the tuscany feel of her new kitchen.
But, for her new lighter colors she purchased a fabulous huge chandelier for the kitchen and since this smaller one is in the same room, she wanted them to be similar in color.  So, I painted, distressed and aged it with off whites and browny colors.

It looks really nice with her new colors and the new chandelier.
Those red lambrequin window treatments will be covered with new fabric.  I saw some samples and they WILL be beautiful!!  
My client does her own decorating and I love her taste.  To me, it's artsy and unique.

In this picture, I had already started priming.  I almost forgot to take a picture of the "before" green.
It looks very different now, doesn't it?

And, here is her fabulous new chandelier.  It might look small, but that's because her walls and ceilings are very high.  This chandelier is 46" wide.  It just "made" her kitchen.  Her kitchen is large and cabinets spread out and the chandelier pulled everything together.
Very large and beautiful!

A close up of the finish on the new chandelier.
Next post I'll show you her "before" tuscany kitchen and then the new kitchen.  They're very different, but both beautiful in her home.


Through the years I've painted lots of chandeliers.  
When a client is changing her decor or if she just wants a change, it's sometimes easier and less expensive to paint than to replace.  To replace you have to shop and purchase and then pay an electrician to install it, hoping he's able to get it right the first trip.  It costs money if he has to come back.  But, sometimes the wiring or other things need to be changed, thus prolonging that hourly charge.  In home improvement I can do a lot, but for electrical and plumbing I always call a professional.  
It's so much easier for me if they can bring the chandelier to my studio.  I just hang it from the ceiling, low enough for me to stand on the floor to paint.  Sometimes they're huge and I do need a ladder to work on them. 
But, if I need to paint it in place in my client's home I do the same process that I would in my studio.  I just have to be more careful about covering everything around the area. 
 First, I dust or vacuum the best I can.  Then, depending on the finish I will prime or just sand a tiny bit, very lightly.  It can be very tedious, especially if there is a lot of crystal and other decorations.  Then, you use a tiny or medium sized brush and start painting, distressing, aging, etc.  
At the end, you need to make a decision about sealing the paint.  Sometimes a sealer will change the dull look you wanted and make it shiny.  Many times, I just use an eggshell paint or acrylic craft paints.  They will dry to a hard finish.  Nothing is going to be banging or hitting your chandelier, so it really doesn't need major protection.  The main thing to remember is that with most painted surfaces, you need to be careful about using solvents because they can soften and remove the paint. If that happens, just touch it up.  If you need to use a solvent on the crystals or glass, just spray your product on a cloth and wipe.   If you keep it dusted, I think your finish will last a long time.
Make it beautiful!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Not to be paranoid, but I'm going to be prepared.
It's almost September 11, and I remember how scared and confused I was back then on 
September 11, 2001.
I eat mostly fresh and frozen vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc.  Rarely do I eat anything out of a can, except tuna.
But starting in 2001, I began storing a good supply of canned goods and non perishable food in the back of my pantry, just in case.
As I'm putting the cans in the pantry, I always use a marker to write the date on them.  After a few months, I give all the food to someone before the expiration dates and start buying and stocking my pantry, again.
Oh, and a good supply of water and bathroom tissue are very important items on that list of supplies. 
If something were to happen (ever) I think we would only be isolated for a very few days and I feel that I am prepared.
Are you?
Do you even think about it?