« while you were out… »

November 27th, 2014


in mrs. jones’s previous work life at a bank, we took phone messages for one another on pink pads like this:


at the studio, the girls did not leave me a message while i was traveling for a couple of days. instead, catherine, margaret, and jessica re-did a dresser…their message apparently being ‘let’s get on with it!’ here’s the before, from our favorite neighborhood junque shop:


and the after:


after a good wipe-down, they applied two coats of chalk paint® by annie sloan in one of our favorite colors, provence.


because the front of this piece is so flat, it’s a perfect canvas for some pattern. using old white chalk paint® and lisboa tile from royal design studio, the girls created a terrific look. {a little low-tack adhesive spray on the back of the stencil keeps it in place while you’re working, and we love the faded look you get when you offload most of the paint from your stenciling brush and pounce the paint on with a very ‘dry’ brush.}


a coat of annie’s soft clear wax seals the paint and gives it a beautiful feel.

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« when in rome »

November 5th, 2014

when in rome...

the jones boys recently helped clean a friends’ attic in exchange for a few pieces of furniture…a fantastic deal (for mrs. jones, at least.) one of the chests was something a novice woodworker had made, and after much puzzling, we found that each drawer only fit in one particular spot. when we finally had them right, i said ‘that’s it – we are numbering these drawers!’ to which charlie brilliantly said: ‘mom…what about roman numerals? that might look cool.’

so with a little help from my lovely friends at maison de stencils, roman number templates were soon in our mailbox.

1 through 5 in roman, please

we used chalk paint® by annie sloan: first, a layer of aubusson blue, covered by a coat of graphiteold ochre for the stencil, chateau grey for the insides of the drawers, and then clear and dark wax to seal the paint and add patina. this was a piece in progress when we held a waxing workshop at the studio, and the attendees challenged me to see how far a quarter-cup of wax would go…

a quarter-cup'll do ya

using the best brush in my arsenal, the annie sloan large waxer, i was able to get the whole dresser done with less than the allotted quarter-cup. (just ask…there were plenty of witnesses.) because the brush doesn’t absorb any wax – the way a cloth does – and the bristles are made to firmly but gently sweep the wax into the paint, you can use a very sparing amount and have an easier time of buffing with a totally gorgeous result.

after applying the clear wax, we rubbed the edges gently with 220-grit sandpaper, ‘easing’ the paint back for a bit of distressing…i had already softly distressed the stenciled pattern.  then we brushed on a coat of dark wax that we had added a tiny bit of aubusson blue chalk paint® to, to further tint the dark wax, making it cooler and black-ish.


(we left the knobs ‘as is’ for contrast and warmth.)


one final hint…when waxing, it’s easy to forget to let the wax dry overnight and then give it a good buffing, or polishing. but that’s when you bring up the gleam and bring the paint to life! a nice buffing also helps harden the wax and melds it together with the paint – a key step when using chalk paint®.

Image 4

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« red desk for a red sox fan »

October 29th, 2014

toy boat, toy boat, toy boat

it was a pleasure to paint a desk for a budding young man of letters, whose parents are clients of lovely designer {and friend} susan hughes simpson. they were inspired by a plaid chair in his room, and asked us to re-do a piece from their attic. catherine began by mixing chalk paint® in emperor’s silk with a little bit of primer red, applying two coats. once those were dry, susan sketched out the way she wanted the ‘plaid’ to translate to the desktop, and we taped the lines off and filled in with chateau grey and country grey. a coat of clear wax, buffed to a sheen, seals and protects the paint.

red desk, all done.

detail of the plaid


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« old/new/old doors »

October 10th, 2014

barn doors…all done

mrs. jones has had to be away from custom work for just a bit, but a project for a wonderful neighbor was just too good to pass up. two doors down from the little pink house, an extensive renovation has been under way for several months. my neighbors had found some yummy old doors in new orleans, but the existing paint was a shambles – falling off in chunks – and had to be professionally stripped. the doors arrived at our studio bare, clean, and ready to go, but my lovely clients really wanted the crusty, crumbling look back again.  chalk paint® to the rescue! using paris grey, old white and graphite, plus a secret (!) ingredient, we were able to (almost) replicate the look of years of weather upon layers of paint.


a layer of wax on top of the paint gives it some protection, but we left it barely-buffed and matte for a more authentic weathered look.



they’ve designed a bar/storage area to be hidden behind the doors, mounted on a track, barn-style. i love their minimal-and-clean-but-rustic-and-textured-kitchen.



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« paloma chair »

June 16th, 2013

paloma chair, after

mrs. jones’s summer interns have been hard at work helping her get caught up on projects at the studio…thank goodness!  here’s a chair that was treated to a makeover with annie sloan’s decorative chalk paint® in paloma.  the before:

chair, before

charlie added lots of texture as he laid on two coats of the paint…great brushstrokes that caught the dark wax when we applied it.

paloma chair detail
side detail of chair

the finishing touches were gilding wax and a seat re-covered in annie’s normandie toile (which in real life is a much more
beautiful blend with paloma…the photos don’t do the fabric justice.)

gilded touches

(if you’re interested in annie sloan’s new fabrics, just come by the studio to take a peek.  we have samples on display, and can have your special-ordered yardage within a few days.)

front detail of chair

charlie thinks that normandie is my favorite fabric because it has an adorable goat in the design…there may be something to that.  i do so love a goat.

full frontal


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