Gold Dipped Drop Leaf Table Makeover

Over a year ago I bought this little number off of Kijiji. When I received it, the top had more damage to the veneer than I anticipated, and I knew it was going to take a big effort to update, so it sat… For over a year, until the right person just happened to notice it in this photo I posted on my Instagram.


You can hardly see it and it’s details on the left hand side of this photo but my customer had an eye for pretty things!

Here it is before I got to work, it really became a catch all in my garage… so neglected ūüė¶


¬†I have never stripped veneer off of furniture before, but I knew it could be a challenge. ¬†So I got out some high grit stand paper and a flat knife and began peeling. ¬†I peeled with the knife what I could and oh how satisfying it was to peel off a big chunk of veneer, but there were moments where I fully had to sand down the veneer – two and a half later I had finished just the middle section! ūüė≥
I missed taking pictures of this process, as I was fully focused on the grunt work.  But once I had it smooth and sanded, i moved onto sanding those legs.

I needed a break from the top, so after sanding down and prepping the legs I used my favourite gold spray paint and lightly added layers of gold, letting fully dry before each coat. ¬†Once the spray paint had fully dried, i measured and taped off where I wanted the legs to be dipped to and began painting the rest of the base. ¬†I primed each step with Zinssers stain blocker. ¬†When you’re tackling really old furniture it’s almost a guarentee that it will bleed, especially if veneer is involved and your bright white colour (or whatever colour you’re using) will dry to have a gross yellow look to it – and no matter how many coats of paint, it wont go away. ¬†So you’ll save paint, time and your sanity if you just use a primer/stain blocker from the get go! ¬†¬†The veneer was in really good condition on the actual drop leafs and since I was painting the whole thing I ended up leaving that veneer and just sanded it down. ¬†Although I was using chalk paint, sometimes it’s still necessary to sand furniture. ¬†I much prefer to sand down old surfaces to get the years of grease, and grime off rather than scrubbing it down! ¬†During this process there were a couple edges that I had to fill with wood filler and smooth out, but that’s a much easier process than stripping the veneer!

Here’s a quick shot of the table flipped and the coats of the stain blocker and fat paint. ¬†Being a drop leaf, I had to make sure the underneath looked just as pretty as the top! ¬†I did end up lightly painting the hinges too, but just lightly so that they wouldn’t lock up.

Once I flipped her back over, i finished the table tops using a couple coats of stain blocker and a couple coats of Warm White Fat Paint. ¬†I do use a synthetic bristle brush when using chalk paint – as a roller soaks up and wastes so much. ¬†So I do end up with some brush strokes. ¬†My secret to smoothing down brush strokes is using a slightly damp sanding sponge between coats. ¬†Make sure your paint is fully dry before doing so, and lightly sand over your surface wiping as you go. ¬†It creates such a nice buttery finish. ¬†I used multiple coats of General Finishes Flat Top Coat on the entire piece. ¬†It goes on so nicely and provides such a great top coat. ¬†It’s my favourite!
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I had the table finished for a couple days and it was just hanging out in my garage before i could deliver it and I thought it needed a special touch.  So I used my Silhouette Cameo to add a special little pop inside the drawer.

Please ignore my terrible garage shoes – i’ve stolen them from my hubby – and they’re awesome and terrible lol.
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Now this wonderful piece is in it’s new home over at Greater Goods¬†and it’s so perfect in this space. ¬†It was such a pleasure to make something for them to display so many local pretties on! ¬†This labor of love was 100% worth the work!!

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Retro Grunge Hutch

I’ve been really slack on my blogging game lately. ¬†I have so much to share with you all about makeovers and different projects and then another project comes up and blogging gets put on the back burner. ¬†Well this morning I figured I’d share my hutchmost recent furniture transformation.

A customer dropped off a hutch that she was less than thrilled about, she said it was boxy, boring, meh and ugly but hoped that it could be revived with a facelift!  Here it was before, she was right, pretty boring and boxy, but look at that retro goodness!  It was full of potential!

IMG_7232First I removed all the doors and gave the whole piece a sand down. ¬†You don’t have to sand down the raw wood, I’d still be there sanding if that was the case. ¬†You want to get as much of that glossy finish off so that the paint has something to stick to! ¬†Once you sanded it down give it a good wipe. ¬†I used a paint & primer so after it was dust free I got right to work. ¬†For big pieces like this with clean lines I like to use a roller (especially if I’m NOT using chalk paint – i find a brush is a better way to apply chalk paint.) you’ll get nice smooth application with no brush strokes.

So here’s the piece all nice and painted. ¬†Looks ¬†nice and clean and already was such a major transformation. ¬†But my client wanted some more depth… grunge if you will!!! ¬†I was more than excited to mIMG_7449ake that happen, and just knew it would give this piece that wow factor. ¬†I used Ralph Lauren Faux Glaze mixed with about a teaspoon of black paint and began the glazing process. ¬†Applying, then wiping off with a wet cloth. ¬†At some points to get the level of glaze I wanted on the piece I would just dry brush the glaze on. ¬†Here’s a picture of the difference!

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We loved the idea of adding some brightness to this dark piece, but it also needed to have some grunge to it!  (forgive the crooked picture!)
IMG_7457After everything was glazed and good, I added some General Finishes Flat Top Coat. ¬†It’s my fave! ¬†Here’s the finished project!!!

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Hopefully I’ll be back soon with some other projects I’ve been working on while prepping for a Christmas market! ¬†Have an awesome Wednesday!
xo Meryl
Inspired Findings

The Dirt on MudPaint

A few weeks ago I stumbled on the Instagram account @mudpaint. ¬†I’m not even sure how I got there, isn’t that the crazy web that Instagram weaves!? ¬†One follow leads to suggested users and clicking on hashtags and suddenly your liking a picture of a cat from a guy in Norway. ¬†Anyways, I ended up checking out Mud Paint and was so excited to see their beautiful transformation pictures and was almost giddy when reading about their claim for better coverage and smoother finish than other furniture paint on the market. ¬†I needed to get my hands on this paint! ¬†So graciously they sent some from sunny California to pretty sunny (not as warm) Calgary, Canada. ¬†As soon as my hubby got home I dusted off an old piano bench that I picked up from GoodWill a couple weeks ago and got to work!

I gave the top a light sanding as they suggest, but lIMG_1974et’s be honest, other peoples gunk freaks me out, especially when there’s crusty, old, stuck on gunk…. i just can’t handle it! ¬†I guess the quicker option would be to wash it off but I just feel better hiding behind a sanding sponge, and it’s the best way to prep your piece so it works out! ¬†So, I gave it a quick sand and THEN I wiped it down.

Here’s where I got a little excited. ¬†The¬†whole concept of just one coat on a piece of furniture kinda threw me for a loop. ¬†I guess subconsciously I put on quite the thick layer. ¬† It went on great and let me tell you the coverage was shocking. ¬†Really just one coat gave amazing coverage, just like they claim. ¬†I did touch up some brush strokes and likely didn’t wait the appropriate dry time. ¬†Here’s a pic after the one and only coat plus a couple touch ups – as you can see I hadn’t even painted the bottom of the legs yet, I was that excited about the coverage.

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To my surprise – and let me be real – delight – as the piece began to dry the paint began to crackle. ¬†This was super exciting to me, but also had me curious as to why, I didn’t expect it… thankfully it works for this piece, but I don’t think it was supposed to happen. ¬†So I just carried on and went onto distressing and finishing the piece.

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Even before I began to distress the piece I noticed the smooth finish. ¬†It wasn’t the same chalky, matte finish that most chalk paints have, this was smooth and only made smoother with my handy dandy sanding sponge! ¬†Distressing was a dream.

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WhIMG_2061o doesn’t love a pop of colour? ¬†I love a good ol’ drawer or compartment to sneak a little colour into a classic piece. ¬†I painted the inside of the piano bench with some homemade chalk paint – a go to when I’ve found a pretty colour of flat paint in the clearance section of the paint store!
I have been in touch with the sweet people who sent me this glorious MudPaint to see if they had any idea of why we got this beautiful crackle and I’m pretty sure that it has a lot to do with my eager beaver thick coat of paint I put on theIMG_2062 piece. ¬†A quick solution would be to lightly sand and reapply a thinner coat, but I decided to leave the crackles on this piece! ¬†I have a piece lined up to give another go with a more of a conservative coat planned. ¬†I’ll keep you all posted on what becomes of that!

Long story short….ish…. I’m super happy with this paint! ¬†I wasn’t sure if I could believe all the claims, but the coverage – amazeballs, and the finish – smooth as butter! ¬†The customer service has been great too! ¬†Thanks so much MudPaint, I can’t wait to get my hands on Charcoal Black next!!!

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What a Year

Well it’s been a while…. My bad. I was talking with my friend Dee who is a great blogger recently and have concluded that the reason I have such an off and on relationship with blogging is I crave for my posts to be meaningful. Not that furniture reveals aren’t but truthfully at the core of who I am I am moved by real life transformations. I think that’s why I love the idea of unwanted, unloved furniture that has been given love and attention and being turned into something full of potential and worth.
I’m still a little unsure of how I will merge the two, and sometimes I might not, I just know I need to get back on the blogging wagon. Writing has always helped me think clearly and understand myself more so as much as this blog is for you it might be a little more for me too :).

Getting to it. 2014 was huge for me. In moments it felt slow, others zoomed by (mostly that of which included my kids, how are they so big!?), I jumped into this small business thing – somedays with a lot of hesitations and insecurities but the saying is true – fake it til you make it. Anytime it came to pricing a piece that I poured my heart and soul into I would freak out, I would harass my friends and ask them what I should charge…. I just desperately needed someone to affirm that what I was doing was worth something! It was about halfway through the year that I was preparing for my first vintage market – it felt way too big for me to take on, I felt like I was in way over my head, I cried a lot (which lets be honest, is how I express every emotion), sure that I had set myself up to fail – after all I hadn’t even BEEN to a vintage market! It wasn’t until the day before the market that I did a mock set up and my stress had lifted. I did it! I was ready. The market was the most incredible experience. I felt so supported, so encouraged…. So capable…. I had faked it until I made it…. I suddenly had this confidence in my ability.
Isn’t that how life works. It’s in the trials, the moments of darkness, when you feel the most alone, when you feel challenged and insecure but have no choice to keep moving, keep going forward, and then suddenly you come out of it, stronger, braver and more alive. More aware of what you can actually do and accomplish! I wouldn’t change those tears for anything, those moments of “what did I get myself into!?” for anything. I took a risk, it freaked me out, but I pushed through and gained more than I knew I ever would!

Here are a couple pictures from the first official year of Inspired Findings! And here’s to bigger risks and opportunities in 2015!

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Side table Reveal and other ramblings

It’s officially summer and I’m officially busy! I hate that word, I’m all about the quote that says something like “stop the glorification of busy”. I don’t want to be the person who neglects relationships because of being busy and I do my best to have a good balance. But being a new business and having people interested in what I’m doing is exciting! My house is currently rearranged, housing pieces that are works in progress, I have paint and primer in places on my body that i’m sure I’m not even aware of… Don’t you love that… When you think you’ve washed it all off, and you go out and realized you have a big streak of paint on the back of your arm or in your hair!? Nonetheless it’s an exciting season around here! I’m so thankful to be able to do this and be home with my boys, sure that means projects take twice as long, but is wouldn’t trade it for anything!

I haven’t been as on top of this blog as I want to be (I sound like a broken record!). So I just wanted to catch you up on a project that I’ve recently finished!

This had been sitting in my basement mostly finished for probably a month, so yesterday while waiting for a different piece to dry I finished her up and took some pics!
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I used Benjamin Moores Rockport Grey with a white underneath, and did the opposite (grey then white) for the drawer and used my favorite little dremel to distress. I finished it with clear and then dark wax.

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You might’ve seen her sister who I did a few months ago in the same style just with a yummy mint color. They’re both a couple of my favorite pieces I’ve ever done!

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Well here’s to a great summer, busy with meaningful relationships, real conversations, quiet moments, lots of laughter, fresh air and washing paint off our arms! See you around here again, hopefully sooner than later!