Friday, September 19, 2014


I stepped out of the “furniture” zone a couple of times this summer to play with TOYS!  I came across this little unfinished barn set at an estate sale on the day that it was half off…and it had to come home with me.

Red Hen Home toy barn before

I thought it needed a little color!

Red Hen Home toy barn 2

I wanted it to look as if it had been well-loved over the years, so I first stained all the pieces, and then used the “vaseline trick” to make the paint chip off in places.  I also let my 10-year old daughter paint some of the details on the cow (the udder) and the chicken (the eyes and feather details).  She had a great time doing it! 

Red Hen Home toy barn 1

She was not particularly happy that I sold it!


The other treasure I came across was this dollhouse at Goodwill.  It was definitely dated, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a TRUE antique.  All the windows were missing the “glass,” and some of the railings by the front door were missing.  The inside wasn’t in bad shape, just out-of-date.  The outside, however, had a TERRIBLE paint job!  The trim paint had been splattered everywhere, even on the shingles.  Amd the green color wasn’t working for me.

Red Hen Home dollhouse collage

Re-painting the dollhouse was a much bigger challenge than I had anticipated.  There seemed to be miles of trim!  I also had to go over many of the shingles where paint had splattered on them.  Then I “glazed” the trim to make it look a little more worn—it was OK if it looked old, but not sloppy, you know??

Red Hen Home Dollhouse

I didn’t touch the inside at all.  I rather envisioned this little dollhouse as being a conversation piece/focal point in someone’s home.  In fact, if it had fit in my little alcove in my living room, that home would have been MINE!  Alas—it was about 4 inches too tall!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

(Tap, tap, tap…) Is this thing on??

Holy smokes, friends…it’s been a while.

I didn’t really intend to take a blogging break after I hit “publish” on my last post in May…but that’s exactly what happened. 

The summer…with it’s pre-and post-summer activities…ended up being completely overwhelming for me, and something had to go!

It was overwhelming in a good way, don’t get me wrong…there were just SO many activities crammed in to a short space!  And I keep thinking, “Now that the kids are back in school, things will settle down…”  Well, I’m still waiting on that!

Lest you think I’ve completely ignored the furniture business, I do have some evidence to the contrary!  I participated in the Ruffles & Rust Barn Sale during August, and it was a ton of fun (and a ton of work).  I had some additional activites/obligations come up this summer that made getting ready for it a challenge, and I know those will be repeated again next summer.  I told my daughter several times as we were hauling and setting up, “Remind me that I can’t do this again next year!”

But by the end of the day, I was thinking…  “Aww…I really want to do this again next year!”

The jury is out on which side of my personality will prevail!

Red Hen Home Barn 2

I don’t have individual pictures of many of the pieces I took to the show, but I intend to show what I do have over the next few weeks.  Today you just get the big picture!

Technically I only rented a 10x10 space, but there ended up being room to spread out…which was fine by me, as I had PLENTY to bring!

I was EXTREMELY fortunate that almost ALL of my big pieces sold this time!  I had a running mantra in my head as we were hauling and setting up…  “Please don’t make me haul this thing home again…”

The gray buffet in the above picture was probably the heaviest piece…and it was one of the first items to sell!  Hallelujah!

Red Hen Home Barn3

Whoops…this picture is a little fuzzy!  I was proud of myself that most of the signs I made (at the last minute) came from my stash of cupboard doors.  I also took several lazy susans…I have a weakness for them when I come across one at a thrift store!

Red Hen Home Barn 4

The other side of my “booth”…

Red Hen Home Barn 1

I was able to spread out both width-wise and across the aisle!  I think I had at least DOUBLE the amount of stuff that would have filled a 10x10 space!  That’s the danger when furniture is your first love!  We thought this space was very feminine and girly…it may have been my favorite part.

I want you to know I have appreciate those of you who sent sweet notes worrying about me, or asking if I was going to continue blogging.  It meant a great deal to me!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Union Jack Dining Table

I feel lately as if I have been “jack of all trades and master of none.”  I’ve had a million things going on at once, and it doesn’t seem like I’m FINISHING anything.  Or…if I am finishing anything…I’m not doing a very good job of it.  Ugh!

But am I popping in this afternoon to show one thing that IS done and that I AM happy with!

Red Hen Home Union Jack Table 1

A couple of months ago I purchased a table at a thrift store because it was on great, chunky turned legs. 

Red Hen Home Union Jack before 2

It wasn’t as big as I wanted it to be, so I pulled off the legs to use for another future table project.   You can see the top wasn’t in great shape, but it was certainly salvageable—so I did just that!  I stripped and sanded it down to bare wood.

Red Hen Home Union Jack before 1

I built a new table base out of stock lumber.  I’ve  had some questions about what the underside of my tables look like—here’s a peek.  I put in some cross-braces of 2x2’s to hold everything square and sturdy.

Red Hen Home table base

I also played around a little bit with my table legs, cutting each with a single taper.  I really like how they turned out!

Red Hen Home tapered legs

Then I got a little crazy with painter’s tape!  Sorry; I didn’t take a picture of that part!  I used a reference picture, a ruler, and a straight-edge and pretty much “winged it.”  This is how it looked right after two colors of stain were applied (Minwax Dark Walnut and Mahogany).

Red Hen Home Union Jack Table 9

The next day I stained the whole thing with that custom gray-brown mix that I am fond of.  As much as I liked the bold colors—there were definitely spots were there was a little bit of bleeding under my tape.  The new stain helped blur the boundaries a little bit, as did distressing the heck of of the whole thing!

Red Hen Home Union Jack Table 10

And this is what I ended up with…

Red Hen Home Union Jack Table 8

Red Hen Home Union Jack Table 2

Red Hen Home Union Jack Table 4Red Hen Home Union Jack Table 5Red Hen Home Union Jack Table 6

My kids are the biggest fans of this table (mostly because they’re big fans of Dr. Who and Sherlock) and keep asking, “Can we keep it??”

I am tempted…but I’m afraid not!  So hopefully it will soon find the home of another Anglophile to reside in!

Red Hen Home Union Jack Table 7

Linking up here:

  Elizabeth & Co.
Primitive & Proper  
Friday Remodelaholic The Scoop!
Funky Junk’s Saturday Night Special The DIY Show Off
Miss Mustard Seed
Beyond the Picket Fence  
Knick of Time
Common Ground My Repurposed Life
  Mod Vintage Life

Friday, March 21, 2014

Two-Tone Table, revisited

My love for farmhouse tables continues unabated, but I took a little break from that style this past week or so.

When I showed you the Wide Farmhouse Table I made for my friend Stacy, I mentioned that I had previously refinished another table for her, but it was looking a little worse for the wear after a few years with a family of boys!

My job was to make it beautiful again.  What do you think?

Stacy's Table 005

Here’s what it looked like when I got it:

Stacy 004-1

stairs 035

And here’s what it looked like after the first re-finish job:

chocolatetable2 003

After some good hard family use, there were some real problems:

PicMonkey Collage

Not sure why my cell phone photos look a little blue!  Anyway, there was chipped paint, naturally.  And then the finish on the top of the table went very cloudy in places.  I blame an inferior polyurethane I got from Ace Hardware (sorry, Ace), as that is the only time I’ve ever used it, and I hated it even then!  I actually still had the same can in my stash…I have now gotten rid of it

photo 4

I chose to use CitriStrip to get rid of the old poly, rather than sanding it down.  There really was no need to go back to bare wood, as I still liked the original colors underneath.

Stacy's Table 009

I did, however, refresh the color with a new coat of stain before putting on the polyurethane.  This time I used three coats of Minwax Hand-rubbed Polyurethane in Satin, followed by one coat of paste wax.

Stacy's Table 003

The chairs got a light sanding, and then I repainted with oil-based paint this time.  It tends to be a little more long-wearing, I think.  I recovered the seats in this pretty fabric.  You know I’m a sucker for typography!!

Stacy's Table 001

I love how the leaves on this table tuck away neatly underneath.  Pull them both out, and you have another 30” of table space!  Such a great feature.

Stacy's Table 002

I adore the legs on this piece…

Stacy's Table 006

I am so glad I got to be the one to give this set a THIRD life!

Stacy's Table 010

I have to say…it really looked gorgeous in my dining room!  It was hard to let it go…again!

Stacy's Table 011

What do you think??  Is there room in your life for both rustic farmhouse tables and beautiful antiques?  There is in mine!


Linking up here:

The Inspiration Exchange Elizabeth & Co.
Primitive & Proper  
Friday Remodelaholic The Scoop!
Funky Junk’s Saturday Night Special The DIY Show Off
Miss Mustard Seed
Beyond the Picket Fence Coastal Charm
Knick of Time
Domestically Speaking
Common Ground My Repurposed Life
  Mod Vintage Life

Monday, March 17, 2014

Charcoal Farmhouse Table & Aqua Benches

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have gotten a sneak peek at some of the furniture adventures I was up to last week!  Bought some, sold some, and did a lot of hauling in between.  Hopefully the ones I kept will be showing up here on the blog one of these days soon.

In the meantime, I have finished up another farmhouse table for my friend Kim.

Kim's Farmhouse Table 007

This one is similar to Stacy’s table, although not as wide—but I did cut off the rounded edges of the stock lumber (with my table saw) for a smoother top.

Kim's Farmhouse Table 001

Kim wanted a dark grayish-black color for her table, and I think we ended up with a pretty good charcoal.  This was achieved by first staining it all with Rustoleum Black, then a layer of Weathered Gray (well rubbed in), followed by another very light coat of black with an almost dry rag.

Kim's Farmhouse Table 004

I built two benches for her as well (the plans are out of Ana White’s Handbuilt Home book).

Kim's Farmhouse Table 009

I made a DIY chalk paint with the leftover paint from my daughter’s bedroom makeover.  After distressing, I wiped Rustoleum weathered gray stain over all.  It helped color the exposed raw wood, and dulled the color of the aqua a little bit.

Kim's Farmhouse Table 002

I really like how using some of the same stain over the painted benches makes everything “go” together!

Kim's Farmhouse Table 003

It was fun to step away from the brown stains for a little bit!

Kim's Farmhouse Table 012



Linking up here:

The Inspiration Exchange Elizabeth & Co.
Primitive & Proper  
Friday Remodelaholic The Scoop!
Funky Junk’s Saturday Night Special The DIY Show Off
Miss Mustard Seed
Beyond the Picket Fence Coastal Charm
Knick of Time
Domestically Speaking
Common Ground My Repurposed Life
  Mod Vintage Life