Tuesday, October 30, 2012

NEW diy Chalk paint recipe

Updated DIY Chalk paint  

SO after much research I have revised my formula for DIY chalk paint. I now use Calcium Carbonate in a powder form. I buy it at my local health food store for like $5.99 ( see pic below). Here is the new formulation. BE SURE YOU MIX CALCIUM WITH A FEW DROPS OF WARM WATER BEFORE ADDING TO PAINT, don't use to much, make more of a roux. 

1 cup of calcium carbonate to 1 quart of paint. 

Add more for a more chalky look. You can add up to 2 cups if needed. I never really measure but once you do it a few times you know the look you're going for!! This will last much longer in the can then the other formulas. 

 OLD RECIPE please use the new recipe!  :Ok Folks! I love Maison Blanche la Craie, ASCP and CeCe Caldwell.  
However, I wanted to see if I could make it myself. I chose two recipes I found on-line. One was called for plaster of Paris and the other unsanded grout. 
WOW, the difference is amazing! I used one 8 oz  sample pot from Home Depot in yellow and 1 table spoon of unsanded grout. Then I used 1/4 cup plaster of paris to 8 oz sample pot of off white paint. I mixed them in a glass pickle jar. The plaster of paris mixture is thick and has the chalky look and was still movable after a week of sitting in the glass jar. The unsanded grout is more grainy and turned to a sold after 1 day of sitting in the glass jar. It looks like jelly and smells VERY strong like chemicals. This eco freak will not be using the grout mixture, it stinks and was burning my nose hairs!!!! 

SO my choice is the plaster of paris mixture. I did not paint anything really big, just an old cabinet door with this mixture but it turned out really good! It went on in 2 coats and was still chalky looking but not to much! 
cost for plaster of paris (4 lbs)  was $6.99. 
1  8 oz sample pot of  flat paint was $2.97 

cost of 1 quart of Annie Sloans paint, $38.95 

 My DIY chalk paint recipe 
1/4 cups of plaster of paris to 8 oz of paint. 

Paint on, My friends. 

This is the plaster of paris recipe 
This was painted with DIY plaster of paris paint 
unsanded grout recipe "stinks" 
DIY chalk paint
Annie Sloan chalk paint 

Saturday, October 6, 2012


The next workshop will be October 14, 2012 from 1-4. You bring a small piece of furniture to paint and finish it during the class. The cost is $100 everything is included. we will have a small break for snacks and drinks!

please call Connie at 405-249-9324 to get signed up. payment is due at the time of registration. If you need to pay on the day of the workshop please call and let us know!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Painting workshop

NEXT WORKSHOP is August 4,  (THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL) from 10-1 cost is $100 and lunch and drinks are provided!

workshop dates:
AUGUST 18* from 10-2 cost $100,
SEPTEMBER 8* from 10-2 cost $100

*Please email me to reserve your spot for a future date. I do require payment at least 2 weeks before the workshop date. I can take credit cards over the phone or meet at my shop in Bethany if you prefer to meet and pay with cash!

I am so happy to announce that Mia Bella Designs will be hosting painting workshops twice a month. I am doing one on a weekday so moms with kids in school/MDO can come and one for working people on the weekend. I will also be hosing one just for VENDORS.
My workshops are all inclusive, they include detailed instruction, hands on learning. You bring something small to paint and finish it during the instruction period. I will also be providing lunch and plenty of drinks.

Learn how to:
1. Clean the piece to get all the old oils and gunk off.
2. paint using several different types of paint including latex, chalk (CeCe Caldwell)  homemade chalk paint, and enamel.
3. how to distress using a orbital sander and a sanding block
4. how to glaze using oil based glaze and Ralph Lauren Glazes
5. how to add a clear coat

I will also go over my favorite paints, paint brushes and other secrets that will save you time and money!

The vendor class is for vendors only and you MUST own a business in the furniture field or antique filed!

This teaches all the items listed above in the regular class and.....

1. painting furniture for re-sale
2. pricing your items to sell
3. color choices that are hot and sell the best
4. best places to buy used furniture

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chalk paint dresser and night stand! "SOLD"

I used chalk paint on this dresser. As usual I used both CeCe Caldwell and Annie Sloan. I love using chalk paint, it only took 2 coats of paint! I DID NOT wax it. I was feeling lazy so I just put a coat of poly on instead.... looks great. This is currently for sale at the Feathered Nest Market. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

DIY laundry soap

So I decided to make my own laundry soap. Every time I went to the store they were out of Super washing soda, I went tonight and bought 3 boxes!  After researching different recipes I decided to change a few things. I HATE the way the fels naptha smells. I was told by a friend that the smell doesn't stay on the clothing. But I did not want to smell it every time I had to wash clothing! 

I found about 3 recipes that I like and changed them up a little. First I busted out my handheld electric food processor ( the perk of working for Williams-Sonoma for a long long time) I use this to grate big blocks of cheese. It worked great for the bar soap. I used 3 bars of Yardley soap that I got for $1 at Dollar tree. Then added the borax, super washing soda and baking soda. here is the recipe I did a triple batch. 

2 cups of soap flakes ( I used 3 bars of grated Yardley bar soap) 
1 cup of borax
1 cup of super washing soda
1 cup of baking soda 

It said to use 1 tbs in a front loader washer and 1 cup for a top loader. I used more then a tablespoon. My Brain wont allow me to do that so I used more... ha 

UPDATE: after using this a few times, I am not happy with the overall smell once the clothing is dry. So I am adding a small amount of regular soap with it. This works SO good on making dingy clothing look new again. I have a zebra sweater that I LOVE, it was looking a little gross and dingy. So I soaked (using the soak setting) it in my DIY laundry soap in the washer and it looks brand new!! 

Clean on, My friends! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Homemade fabric softener recipe

So I love to make things cheap or free . I hate spending money on stuff like fabric softener! 
I found a recipe on pinterest and wanted to try it. It called for 6 cups of water, 3 cups of vinegar and 2 cups of suave conditioner. I didn't want to go back to the store AGAIN for conditioner so I went to my teenage daughters bathroom and "borrowed" what ever looked old or un-used! 
I found a plethora of half used conditioner bottles. I picked the ones that smelled the strongest. 
I used my old "name brand" fabric softener bottle to put the home made stuff in. I measured the water and vinegar out in a measuring cup then funneled it into the jug. I was having a hard time getting the thick conditioner to go in the small opening of the Fab softener bottle. SO I mixed it with some HOT water to water it down.... then added it to the other stuff!

It seems to work just fine. you don't notice any vinegar smell at all once its is mixed together. It is not as thick or strong smelling as the name brands. But for $1 I sure cant complain. I didn't really measure it when I did laundry, I just filled up my little fab soft thingy in the top of the washer! 

6 cups warm water 
3 cups vinegar 
2 cups of good smelling conditioner 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DIY chalk paint

Updated DIY Chalk paint  

SO after much research I have revised my formula for DIY chalk paint. I now use Calcium Carbonate in a powder form. I buy it at my local health food store for like $5.99 ( see pic below). Here is the new formulation. BE SURE YOU MIX CALCIUM WITH A FEW DROPS OF WARM WATER BEFORE ADDING TO PAINT, don't use to much, make more of a roux. 

1 cup of calcium carbonate to 1 quart of paint. 

Add more for a more chalky look. You can add up to 2 cups if needed. I never really measure but once you do it a few times you know the look you're going for!! This will last much longer in the can then the other formulas. 
I do not recommend plaster of paris or grout formulas. They are highly toxic, stink and I don't want any of you breathing that crap!! 

Paint on, My friends. 

unsanded grout recipe "stinks" 
DIY chalk paint

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Chalk painted armoire!

This is my Armoire that holds all my paint and supplies. Its HUGE, I bought it back in 2001 when it was still cool to use them for your large "tube" TV. I hated the color and have been wanting to paint it for years, ok, for about 5 years! Once I discovered chalk- paint I knew I wanted to use it on this beast. Its solid wood but it does have a smooth veneer. 

I started by cleaning the entire thing with TSP, especially the inside where the TV once was and there was a this gross black film ( it may have been from my past soy candle obsession) ! I used a Chalk paint I can no longer discuss. I waxed in with clear wax then used my good ol' oil based glaze. This is a little tricky because the oil based glaze sticks really well to the wax so rub fast or it will stick and be very hard to get "the look" you want.. It will look more like dirt over paint.  It turned out great, I am still not sure if i want to keep it or use it for display at the shop.  Either way, I love it.. its so cute now!!

Paint on, My Friends!

before glaze

after, its been distressed and glazed 
Bottom: after, glazed and distressed 
before glazing and distressing
after, distressed then glazed
Before, and look at that GIANT tub TV!! so gross! lol
Here she is!! All done and put back together.. Now I just need to put hundreds of cans of paint back in! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vinegar kills weeds?

This is so not about furniture, but I like to share my Eco tips that I have been doing for years.
I hate those ugly sharp broad leaf weeds. I also hate using toxic spray to kill them. So after a little research figured out regular cheap vinegar kills them! I'm Sure my neighbors think I'm crazy when I'm outside pouring it on my weeds, But it works... I buy the gallon size at local Sam's club. It is only a few bucks and Eco friendly!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fight of The China Hutch!

Funny sorry about this Beautiful China Hutch. I went to my local auction to see what they had that I could paint. I saw this beauty, I was so gonna get this! I started bidding and there was someone to my right bidding also. I couldn't see who it was so I kept on going. Finally, I get a good look and its one of my own vendors at my shop. I love this lady, she is so sweet. So I stop bidding and let her win!  I apologized to her for bidding against her. She reassured me it was no big deal, she didn't see me until it was to late . A few weeks later she found me at the shop and said she wanted to sell me the hutch. WHAT, WAIT, is she serious!! YES, I want to buy it, she sold it to me for the same amount she paid! See being a nice person has its advantages! 

I painted this is a deep black with heavy distressing. Also has new knobs. The whole thing has a clear coat and the top has 2 coats. This is the first hutch I have had that has a hinged swinging door on the bottom, my theory for this, is to be able to fit large casseroles or platters under there!! 

Paint on, My friends! 

$499 at the Feathered Nest Market 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Painting Furniture

I have been painting as long as I can remember. I didn't start out painting furniture, I started painting with fabric paint with my Grandma JJ! Remember the "puff" paint?   I would paint little wooden boxes or material that she was making into a quilt! My Grandmother was very artsy, she always had me drawing or doing something fun. This included garage sales, Lots of them. I would always find something to "fix up". I remember in the 4th grade we had to make a kite, well my dad and I made it and I painted a little duck sitting on water next to a baby duck! My teacher made me call my parents and we had a meeting about it. They said there is no way I was the one who painted that, and I would not be able to get full credit for the project! While they were sitting "discussing" this issue I busted out my notebook and drew the stupid duck again, they got very quiet!

I guess its always been with me. The ability to see things and make them "better"! I used to go to friends houses  ( around the age of 9) and ask why don't you paint the wall this color or Fix that table and re-cover those chairs. Im pretty sure my friends parents thought I was a snooty know-it-all, but I was doing it in the name of all things pretty!!

When my daughter was born I started painting all kinds of cute things! I painted her little toddler sized bench with hand painted flowers and other shapes! That was the same year I had this weird addiction to the "Vine" stencil.  Above every door in my house was a random ivy stencil in green! I thought it was so COOL! Now my daughter and I both love painting large wall to wall damask with  stencils.  SO much nicer then the "ivy" of the late 90's!! Now she is 16 and painting her own furniture!

So to sum it up, I have been truly painting furniture since I was 18, thats a long long time and a lot of experience. I once messed up some ready made shelves from Lowes, but what I didn't know is they were MDF.... the paint would not stick!  DUH!!! I think I ended up throwing them away! So for the past 16 years I have learned from my mistakes and perfected the art of painting wood! I read other blogs/websites  about painting furniture and I agree with most of them, but there are those that make me cringe. Especially when they recommend a crappy product or advise you NOT to clean the wood before slappin' on that first coat of paint!

I currently paint anywhere from 10-20 pieces of furniture a month and have for over 2 years now!! I love what I do, its my thing and I love the freedom to be creative and make a good living doing so. I cant stress enough the two most important steps in painting a piece of furniture....

1. TSP the wood, it gets all the oil and grease off. It preps the wood to accept the paint and allows it to stay on!
2. Use a good paint, I have said it before, BEHR paint with primer is the best, Natura by Benjamin Moore is my Second Fav. Its also zero voc. I also like chalk paint, Annie Sloan and CeCe Caldwell.
I use Benjamin Moore Super spec low lustre for all things black... It goes on a Hunter green and dries a BEAUTIFUL  deep rich black!

one of my first pieces when I started this company, I still have it! 
Paint on, My friends!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Yellow and Gray bedroom theme!

My Daughter changes her room colors more then anyone I know! a little over a year ago I painted her dresser a beautiful lime Green with a dark glaze ( see pic below). She also Painted her walls Lime with a pink Damask stencil. It was SOOOO cute, but she gets on pinterest and wants to change her whole theme AGAIN. This time she did Gray walls and yellow furniture.. I will be making her curtains out of a funky gray & yellow fabric as soon as I find some!! 
She painted this dresser all by herself I only instructed how to use chalk paint. It took 2 coats and a light sanding on top. She also wants me to "make" a cool headboard covered in the same funky fabric we pick for the curtains... I have never made curtains before but what the heck, It cant hurt trying! 
We did this dresser in chalk paint because it was previously painted and glazed and I did not want to paint 15 coats of regular paint over it.. the chalk paint went right on. WE did use TSP to clean any funk off, from being in a Teenagers room! 

Paint on, My friends!! 


Sunday, March 4, 2012

How to paint a large mirror!

This is one of those tips everyone contacts me about! I paint a lot of mirrors for dressers. when I first started this business I HATED doing it! I hated taping off, so I didn't! then I would spend hours using a blade to scrape off the paint that I got on the mirror!

SO one day I was using some scrapbook paper to place up next to the wood so I wouldn't get paint on the mirror. I was so shocked that it fit right under the  wood on the mirror, so I started using thick card stock type paper every time! my favorite is good old note cards, I even get my kids "used" ones from previous school years and use them. On this mirror I used old business cards that I made 2 years ago that I no longer use!! I know, great idea!! I am all about making life easier! If they move around while your painting, add a few pieces of tape or double up the cards.

Paint on, My friends!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Smoothing out Chalk Paint

I bought this great dresser and 2 night stands at my local thrift center. It had a very shiny top and deep scratches. I didn't want to sand it down so I grabbed my Annie Sloan chalk paint and started painting. But wait, I did clean it with TSP first because it was previously "oiled" and I was NOT painting over that crap! It took 2 coats of Provence. I wasn't happy with how rough it felt, I am known for my furniture being smooth and soft, so I sanded down the top to make it smooth. Ok, I sanded down the whole thing by hand (with a sanding block 220 grit) !  It is so smooth now, I also brushed on clear wax then right after did a light brushing of dark wax and ragged it off for a nice antique look. I think I have figured out chalk paint now. I wont use it on everything but stuff like this its perfect! Look at the shine on the top of the dresser... thats what I was going for and it only took me a month to figure it out! The white on the drawer is a mixture of CeCe Caldwell white with Benjamin Moore Natura flat, I have no idea of the color it was an "oops'. I didn't have enough of CeCe's left so I just added it for the chalk-y look!

Paint on, My friends!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Say NO to sanding dust!!

I am the one who is inside my house during the 110 degree summer days sanding a dining table. I know your thinking, "how could she?" we'll, I have a great trick to catch all that stupid and annoying dust! The type of dust that is gritty and scratches when you try to wipe it off! I looked, and looked for a machine that would attach to my sander that would suck up the dust. At one point I'm embarrassed to say I duck taped the hose attachment from my Dyson to the sander!! After thinking and thinking, I thought why won't my shop vac work... The silly hose is to large for the sander opening thingy. Then when I was having tile work done in my daughters bathroom.. He had a cute little shop vac... I took it to see if it would fit my sander exhaust opening... Cha Ching, perfect fit! It just needed the smaller hose opening. No fitting or anything needed.. The suction from the vac holds it on to the sander. Please note, you must must use the "fine dust" bags, or it blows out the back after it gets full. They are about 9 bucks for a package and they last a long time. I bought mine at lowes, it's the 5 gallon, and of course the best sander ever was purchases at home depot!
Paint on, my friends!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Furniture Sliders and Drop cloths!

Ok, I must share this secret! I love furniture sliders, so much so I have them everywhere, even in the car for deliveries. I bought some a few years back to scoot furniture around my house without having the whole family helping me.  I hate drop cloths, they are thin and any amount of wind or breeze blows them on to the wet paint, and I always seem to slip on them because they are like walking on ice. SO, instead of using drop cloths I use sliders on the feet of what I am painting. It allows me to scoot stuff around while I am painting and still sit or stand in the same place. Yes, this will give you large muscles.....ha!
Notice my fancy sliders under the legs of this handsome table!!

I  have perfected the art of not getting paint on the floor, but if you must use a drop cloth I highly recommend using those cheap vinyl out door tablecloths. They are strong  and you can use them over and over. Plus I always get mine after a Holiday and they are only a few bucks!!
Paint on, my friends!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Oil based glaze over Chalk paint & wax, GASP!

Ok, SO I have been working ALL day! I was so busy being a chauffeur to my lovely children I didn't get much work done last week.
I painted a drop leaf kitchen table late last week, it looked great but was missing something! I used CeCe Caldwell's paint in VINTAGE WHITE and MEMPHIS BLUE.... white was on top, blue on bottom. I waxed it and let it sit a few days in the garage because I wasn't happy with the way it looked yet. Today, my mom said " that table is missing something" I was like, great now I must do something.
I spent a few min sanding it down to give it an aged look, then I did the unthinkable. I grabbed my good ol' oil based glaze and started brushing it on. I had never used oil based glaze OVER wax for chalk paint. It started to stick to the wax and was "setting" so fast I couldn't rub it off fast enough. I started to panic yelled at the kids to get me more rags. After the full blown panic, I was done. It looked great, better then I would have thought! SO just note if you want to do this, act fast and rub hard!!
 Paint on, my friends!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Best paint for Furniture!

So many people ask me what my favorite paint is. I have tried many, ok probably more then many, over the years and continue to go back to 2 brands. My first favorite is BEHR paint w/primer. It goes on in two coats (usually)! 

my second favorite is Benjamin Moore, Natura zero VOC paint.  The only reason I bought this paint was because it was on the "oops" section in my local paint store. It was a pretty off white so I thought for $2.50 what could it hurt! So now I check often to see if they have any oops in that brand, because we all know I am not paying full price!!

My favorite chalk paint is Annie Sloan's, hands down! 

I have NEVER told anyone this, but for all my black French tables I use Benjamin Moore Super Spec in black, I have used both oil based and water born... water born is not as pretty as the oil but I am so tired of the oil based clean up and smell! and if it is cold outside that oil based paint will take days to dry., good luck with that as you are picking tiny hairs and lent out!lol

Paint on, My friends!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Battle Of The Chalk Paint!

I have been doing a lot of painting with chalk paint lately, I wasn't sure at first but now I am sold! I started out with a chalk paint I cant discuss and really liked it. Then painted a few things with CeCe Caldwell's paint. I LOVE them both ... the paint I can not discuss is thicker and goes on smooth!  I love the way CeCe's smells it smells natural. I will post some pictures of the items i painted and the paint I used!

Paint on, my friends! 

This bed was painted in Memphis blue CeCe Caldwell's chalk paint and waxed! It is so much better then the previous  dirty looking white with gold trim.