How do you stop painting the furniture you already painted?  I don’t know the answer to that!  As new techniques and new products come out, I want to try them all!

I recently bought some of the new to me Iron Orchid Designs products and I had to try them on one of my ‘keep forever’ furniture pieces.  So here is the top of the dining table makeover.

Here is what the top looked like before

I used the Heirloom Traditions All in One paint in the color Polo.  The stamping was done with a custom color of half Manor House and half Cobblestone.  And here is a close up of the stamping.  I combined several of their stamps around the edge and wreath design in the center.  I also tried out their new craquelure stamp.

I also finished it off with the Heirloom Traditions Weathered Wood Antiquing Gel.  So check out the whole table with the antique paint finish on the legs that I showed on my last post with the new painted top.


While waiting for other kitchen renovations to get completed, I decided to make a change to the dining room table.

I recently ordered some new goodies from Iron Orchid Designs, molds and stencils, so decided to use them with some of the Heirloom Traditions Paint left over from painting the kitchen cabinets.

This table was given to me by a friend and it was the first project I ever did with chalk paint.  I had used a DIY paint formula using plaster of Paris.  You can find that recipe in my post about the chair makeover here.

Table Before It’s New Look

You’ll  see that we aren’t done with our kitchen renovation/new floors projects so there are tools and stuff all over. Don’t judge.  lol I’m no good at staging.

So, the process/experiment was to see if I could develop a nice old, chippy patina using the Heirloom Traditions All in One paint and some cheap crackle finish.  I have to say, the regular Heirloom Traditions paint does react with the crackle finish, the All in One, not so much.  But I did manage to get a chippy finish I am happy with.

So here are the products I used and I will list them at the end of the post for you.

Paints used for dining room tableI started with applying a light coat of the Heirloom Traditions All in One in Polo.  I wasn’t trying to get a complete coverage, just to have a dark base to start with.  This is on the leg of the table.

One coat of the color PoloOnce dry, I applied a coat of Artminds Crackle medium.  This is a Michael’s Art Supply store brand.  It is not expensive which is why I used it.  I wanted to see if it worked.

When that dried, I brushed a thin coat of the Heirloom Traditions Chalk Paint in the color French Toile, leaving some of the Polo exposed, especially in the crevices.  The French Toile is was* one of their regular paints, not the All in One.  It crackled beautifully.

Crackle finish on dining room table with chalk paintI waited until it was partially dry, about 15 minutes, and added another layer of the crackle medium using the brush to lift off some of the crackling, creating a chipped paint effect.  Let this dry.

Stipple on the Heirloom Tradition Manor House All in One.  Go back over areas that are drying and re-stipple without adding more paint. Again this creates a crackled and chipped effect.  I forgot to take a pic of this before the next step, but you can see what it does here.

Close up of Finished Application

This is a comparison of the effect, new paint on the left, old on the right.

Comparison of before and after

Once dry, I applied the Heirloom Traditions Weathered Wood Antiquing Gel in the crevices where dirt and dust would normally accumulate.  I applied this with a 1 inch artist’s brush and wiped back the excess.  The Antiquing Gel is very forgiving.  If you put on too much, take a damp rag and wipe it off and start again.

On my next post, I will show you what I did to add some love to the apron of the table and table top with Iron Orchid Designs molds and stamps.


Here are links to the products I used.  The Amazon links are affiliate links where I might make a few pennies if you purchase from them from here. (Links are for 8 oz size jar, other sizes are available.)

Heirloom Traditions All in One Paint in Polo

Heirloom Traditions All in One Paint in Manor House

Heirloom Traditions Chalk Type Paint in French Toile *(It appears the regular type chalk paint in French Toile is not available.  I have included the link here to the All in One in that color.  I am confident you will get the same end results even if it doesn’t crackle as well. Just use the same stippling application I used for the Manor House instead)

Heirloom Traditions Weathered Wood Antiquing Gel

Artminds Crackle Medium (available at Michael’s stores, not an affiliate link)

If you really want a crackle finish, I would suggest using the regular chalk type paints instead of the All in One.  However, you would have to seal it with an acrylic finish or a wax when done.


This is a sneak peak because I’m no where near done this kitchen makeover and you know the saying, “It gets worse before it gets better?”

That’s where I’m at right now.

But I wanted to show you what an impact painted cabinets can make.  I decided to try Heirloom Traditions All in One Paint.  I usually make my own chalk paint, and I will probably continue to do so for small projects.  But for this, I wanted a professional product that would hold up on cabinets.

I was hearing great things about this paint. It has the primer, paint and top coat all in one product.  I can say that I am really impressed.  I used the color Cobblestone, a warm medium gray, on the top cabinets and Polo, a dark rich navy, on the lower.  I also used their Weathered Wood Antiquing Gel which I have used on other projects as well.  Their brushes are great to work with and are very well made.

I also replaced the hardware and used pulls from D. Lawless Hardware.  They have a great selection at very reasonable prices.

So take a look.

Chalk type painted kitchen cabinet.

I did a little distressing with the Cobblestone paint and added the Weathered Wood Antiquing Gel here.

Updated Painted Cabinets

Polo is such a rich color and the Weathered Wood Antiquing Gel created a degree of interest to it!

Updated painted cabinetsUpdated painted kitchen cabinets

These cup pulls from D. Lawless Hardware are just gorgeous!


Here’s a reminder of what these cabinets looked like before, just your run of the mill builder grade yellow oak.

Kitchen cabinets before renovation

So  much more to do, and I will keep you updated on the progress!

****This post contains affiliate links.  I only link to products I have used and like.  If you purchase some of these products from the Amazon links above, I make a small monetary gain which helps me with my stay at home business.*****

#heirloomtraditions  #dlawlesshardware

Now that this little guy has been safely delivered to his new home, I can share him with you.

I’ve been influenced by the holiday season and created my version of the Rat King from the Nutcracker.  Except he is more of a mouse than a rat, but who is quibbling about rodents?  Serious Sir Simon has a smirk on his face, not taking his role too seriously, standing straight at attention to respond to your requests.

I tried a new to me technique for creating this bespoke art doll and I really liked it.  I still wanted a doll that was somewhat posable, but I didn’t want the complications (read that as time consuming) of ball joints.  So this little 8 inch guy is made with paper clay head, hands and boots with a wire and batting body. His head is covered with faux fur.  He has limited posing capabilities, but his tail is posable.

He wears a handmade, vintage velvet coat with gold bead buttons, a vintage ribbon sash and shiny boots.

Definitely more of these little guys to come.

Thanks for checking out this little guy!




Before air fresheners and even scented candles, how would you make a house smell good?  Pomanders and sachets were the usual items created to freshen up the stale air and ward of illness.  Many herbs have disinfectant properties, cloves being one.

In the 1800’s, citrus fruits were a luxury, as with the pineapple in Colonial times, resulting  in the pineapple becoming the symbol of hospitality.  Only the wealthy merchants could afford and display them.  Spices were also an expensive commodity.  Decorating with these items meant you were doing well.  It was normal practice to decorate with your special goods for the holiday season when you had company dropping by.  We do that now, don’t we?  Taking all the good stuff out when friends come by.

I’ve been wanting to try creating the citrus pomanders for some time.  They are not expensive.  For a few dollars you can make several.  I had some whole cloves languishing in the cupboard for a few years.  I just don’t use them for much of anything.  I used lemons, but oranges can also be used.  That, and a little time, are all you need.

I used the tip of a paring knife to mark a little X to help with inserting the whole cloves creating simple patterns.  I could also use a skewer or anything with a point to start the holes to make the process easier.  Maybe you can come up with some more creative patterns in your lemons! Or cover the whole thing.

The concept is as the lemon dries it will release the oils into the air.  Enjoy!

This mixed media project started with a curbside find.  Poor outdated little thing!  In the picture, I have started with a coat of artist white gesso on her

How many times might you have looked at one of these 1980’s cast offs in the thrift store?  Well, I thought I might be able to do something to her to give her a lovely make over.  With Christmas coming, I got to work.  I did a cut out on my scroll saw to accommodate a miniature frame, creating a shadow box effect for a Tim Holtz Idea-ology Birdcage.   I used a mixture of Delta Ceramcoat navy and Gleams 14k gold acrylic paint to create my own version of a colored metallic paint for the base color which created a shimmery teal color which made me happy.

Today, after a mixed media application of a sculptured head that I wasn’t completely happy with,  a variety of materials; Creative Paper Clay used in an Iron Orchid Design casting (on the head piece) and vintage buttons castings, several Artminds laser cut wood scrolls from Michaels, beads, microbeads, rhinestones, a Vintaj brass bird whispering in her ear, and bits from my collection of cast offs, with metallic gold highlighting and Thicketworks DIY rust paste, I’d say she was looking a lot better.

Isn’t that rust paste gorgeous?

So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key

Eagles-Already Gone

It’s been some time since I made a post about our DIY renovations.  There’s a reason for that.  We are slow.

But, today I’ll show you the painted faux bricks on the kitchen walls.

I’ll admit, I’ve grown a little weary of French Country shades of grey.  My Pinterest  page is full of the rooms of white and grey, but I just can’t make it work with the items my husband and I have collected over the years.  Sorry, we like color.

I started with some paints that I had in the basement left over from painting my bath.  That was before I found French Country, it’s more of a Tuscan feel.  The colors, available at Home Depot, were Behr’s Chai Spice, Warm Earth, and Home Decorator’s Collection Chenille Spread, which is an off-white. I also used some Valspar’s clear glaze,  and Mystic Sea paint available at Lowes, but any paint glaze would do.  For the base coat, I mixed one part Chai Spice and three parts white primer and rolled that on.

Making a Faux Brick Stamp

I created my own brick stamp using, of all things, adhesive backed craft foam cut into brick shapes and adhered to a piece of cardboard.  This worked really well.  The bricks are about 3 x 5 and 6 inches.  I staggering the ‘bricks’ for a realistic effect, measuring so the staggering is the same distance on each row.  That way, the bricks will ‘fit’ together when you stamp on the wall.  I left about a quarter inch between the bricks to represent the mortar.

I distressed the edges of the foam using the edge of a scissors blade and added some distressing to the inside of the rectangles by scratching with the end of the scissors.  This gives your stamping an uneven impression, which is what you want.  I made other stamps of various sizes to fill in spots which the large stamp didn’t reach, and one with bricks side by side for the top of the doorway.

Remember when you stamp on the wall to leave the quarter inch space between the bricks to represent the mortar.  I eyeballed keeping the rows straight, and I did a pretty good, but if you’re not comfortable with that, use a straight edge and level to draw a few guide lines on the wall before you start.  Start at the top of the wall and work your way down.

Stamping the Walls

Put a bit of the Chai Spice and Warm Earth in a paint pan. With a mini roller, roll on both colors at once.  It doesn’t matter if they mix.  You want a variety of color going on your bricks.

Roll and stamp, and sometimes you can stamp twice with one roll, giving a more subtle coloration.  If you feel the color is too dark, no worries!  The next step takes care of that.

Adding Subtle Textures

Once the bricks are dry, add a layer of white wash.  I used about a quarter cup of Valspar clear glaze mixed with about three fourths cup of Chenille Spread, and used a natural sponge to wipe a thin coat of the mixture on the wall.   Pounce with the sponge to give a slight textured look.  This will be very subtle.  Don’t go for big details.  Each layer adds more to the look.

When dry, using a 1 inch flat artist brush, I went back in with the Chenille Spread/glaze mix and added a fine line to the top and one side of each brick, blending in with the existing whitewash in the mortar line.  Decide which side of the brick would be facing the light and do the same side on all the bricks.  Highlighting and shading add depth.  With a small piece of natural sponge, shade the opposite side and bottom of some bricks with Warm Earth and Chai Spice on some other bricks.  Again, a very small amount of paint and a light touch.  If you find you got too heavy handed, as I did, go back and lighten it up by applying a small amount of Chenille Spread/glaze mix on a small sponge.

Also, pounce more Chenille Spread on the areas of your bricks that didn’t fully stamp to simulate weathered whitewash.  You can add as much or as little as you like.

The colors still appeared too uniform in color, so I took a stamp I made of one brick, rolled some of the Warm Earth and randomly stamped a few bricks, repeated with the Chai Spice, and then with the Chai Spice/primer mix.  This should be done sparingly!  I also intentionally did not press on the whole stamp on some of the bricks so they only partially stamped.  Back up frequently and look at your wall to determine where you think it needs some variety.  Don’t overdo it!

Making It Real with Patina

After all that is done, I used a small amount of Mystic Sea on my small sponge and added tiny pounces of it here and there to represent a bit of lichen growing on the bricks.  You can use any light blue or green color that is to your liking for this.  That color is just what I happened to have.

Here is a before and after of the progress so far.

My next post will give you an update of the cabinets painted with Heirloom Traditions All in One Paint!  Love this stuff!

This was a long post!  Thanks for hanging in there and reading it!