Shabby Chic kitchenette: REVEAL TIME

Today's post is all about the before/after pictures of one of the most challenging make-overs I've done to date.  The piece is a 75 year old kitchenette that has been passed down in the same family all these years.  And now, it has been totally made-over and is being used to store essential oils!  Are you ready???



Elbow grease was the key ingredient for this one!  I want the piece to last many many more years, so I did thoroughly sand and prime the entire piece before painting it.  Now it has a smooth and fresh finish.  

If you missed the introductory post on this piece and would like to see a little more about the process of its transformation, here is the link:  Kitchenette

I found some cute vintage fabric to line the drawers (see my post on more ideas for fabric use in your home HERE), the door, and the backdrop of the piece. Originally, the piece had two small doors on the top, but, I suggested we remove the doors to show off the cute shelving and the fabric lining the back of the piece:

Here are the doors I removed (this was after stripping several times):

Can you believe at one point this was how the whole kitchenette looked during its renovation?   The center of these doors had some sort of paper decal on them.  After stripping twice, the result was a tacky and very stubborn surface, so I will be adding fabric to these as well....along with a fresh coat of paint (or two!). Speaking of these doors, any ideas for what I could make with them?? 

What a fun little piece.  The best part is the history behind it, and the fact that it struck an emotional cord with the owner's mother, Arlene! I guess she was very happy to hear this little piece was getting a make-over.  And Carla loved it, stating "It's adorable".  She even sent me a picture of it all stocked up in her home:

It looks awesome doesn't it?  I love Carla's cute accessories for this space.  Carla, this room looks different than the first time I saw it.....have you been doing a little decor shopping and prepping for your "new" piece of furniture!  I love it.  

Do you have an old, I mean REALLY old, piece of furniture that looks like it has seen better days?  Believe it or not, even those kinds of pieces can be transformed!  And the reward when they are priceless!   I hope Carla enjoys her kitchenette for many more years to come, and maybe someday, her grandchildren, or even great grandchildren, will use it as well! 

Happy Feet anticipating the potential of this piece......

Happy Feet anticipating the potential of this piece......

Happy Feet enjoying the outcome of a touch job done! 

Happy Feet enjoying the outcome of a touch job done! 

Thank you Carla, for entrusting me to this task!  It was a joy to transform your little kitchenette that holds such strong family history! 

75 year-old girls' kitchenette: Preview

This week it is an honor to begin working on a "family" piece built many years ago, 75 years ago to be exact!  Carla, its owner, used the piece when she was a young girl, and before that it belonged to her mother, Arlene!  It has served multiple purposes over the years, but now, Carla wishes to have the piece refurbished to house her essential oils.  This is the perfect piece for something like oils, as it is small and dainty, like oils are! 

The Piece

The piece is 100% wood, with approximately 7 layers of paint on it.  Maybe 8.  Even a little spray paint in there.  That's ok though, because it means it has received plenty of love and attention all these years!  I've said this many times before, and I'll say it again;  these are the BEST kind of pieces to rescue.  

Below was my first close look at the piece, and as you can see, my toes are doing the happy dance in anticipation for what this little cabinet will become! 

At one time, the piece was used as a planter, hence, the dirt you see in the drawers! 

At one time, the piece was used as a planter, hence, the dirt you see in the drawers! 

How does one begin to tackle a piece in this condition???

Elbow grease!  But an electric sander will help get the job done. While it won't remove every last spec of old paint, it will remove layers, which will provide a much smoother surface to work with. 

After priming the piece, then the fun begins.....

Style & Color 

Carla requested a shabby/distressed style for her cabinet. She wanted color in the room where the piece will be, and found some color inspiration on Pinterest.  We looked at paint samples and she chose "Lakeshore", a beautiful teal hue.

Because I cannot resist taking a photo of a newly opened can of paint, and sharing it with you, a photo of that to come....

But first, some cleaning and prep work....

Stay tuned for sneak peeks on the kitchenette this week!  You can see those updates on my blog, and other social media like Facebook and Instagram!  If you are on Instagram, follow me at  

Do you have any old pieces of furniture around your house that could use some serious TLC? You don't have to tackle it alone! See these links for tips on getting the job done:  

13 Must-have staples for your next painting project

How to Distress Furniture using Vaseline

Painting your furniture: glossy finish

Painting not your thing?   Contact me for a free consultation to view your piece and receive an estimate.   Just click below and I'll be in touch!     



Armoire: Shabby Chic & Fantastique REVEAL

This week marks the one year anniversary of Novo Decor Co. and today's post is a GREAT way to kick off the week!  It's reveal time for Sara and Brian's armoire!  Love reveals! 

The Story

I met Sara and Brian this past winter during our sons' hockey season.   Sara asked me to take a look at an armoire they wanted to use in their guest bedroom.  Since their guest room has no closet, the piece would be perfect for serving that purpose. Sara and Brain recognized it's potential for great storage, but they also knew it needed a new look!  Here's what Sara said about that:

"We thought of painting it ourselves but just don't have the time right now."

And that's when Sara reached out to me!  Finding the time is often a barrier that gets in the way of tackling projects like this!  Maybe you can relate?  The good news is, there is a solution.  I was happy Sara and Brian sought my services to help them achieve their goal.  

 Here is what the piece looked like before I started working on it: 

Serving a variety of storage purposes over the years, and surviving four military moves, this armoire has made its way to Sheboygan, where Sara and Brian currently live. They wanted to blend all their things when they moved in together, and this armoire was something they knew they could definitely use. 

The new look?  Sara knew what she wanted:  Cream color, shabby chic.  Based on that request, I drafted up two ideas and two price points.  Sara and Brian chose an option, and less than a week later the piece was shipped over to our place (thank you Brian!). 

The Process

The piece was purchased from a "naked" furniture store.  It was natural pine.  Since shabby chic was the desired look, layering with paint was necessary.  The piece had to be primed and painted in a darker color FIRST.  This had to be done to create the base (darker) layer, so that when the cream colored paint was painted over it and sanded, the darker color would show through.   Here is how that looked.....

from "naked" to shabby chic......

1. Prime the sections that will be painted in the darker color. Why prime?  Priming helps adhere paint to wood.  That way as you sand away the cream colored paint, the darker color will remain.  I also primed the interior (shelves) before applying the paint.  The interior of the piece was not distressed, but simply painted using the same cream paint as the exterior. 

2.  Paint over the primed sections with the darker paint (two layers)

3.  Lightly sand to create a smooth surface

4.  Apply Vaseline to edges and any areas where the darker color is desired (when you sand the cream colored paint, these are the areas where the darker color will show through)

4.  Begin application of the cream colored chalk paint.  (light and fast strokes). Sand.  Paint a second layer, sand. Continue layers until desired coverage is achieved.

more painting and sanding....

5.  Once the piece was evenly covered in the cream chalk paint, distressing came next.  I used a fine grit 220 sand paper to lightly sand the entire piece, with more aggressive sanding (still using fine grit paper, but applying more pressure when sanding) to achieve additional distressed sections.   The areas where the Vaseline was applied sanded off easily and quickly. 

6.  Wipe down the entire piece with tack cloth, or a clean lint-free cloth to remove all dust from sanding.  The surface must be free of particles for the next step which involved application of protective topcoat. 

This armoire could very possibly provide shelter for 3 small mammals, maybe 4.  Reminds me of a cabinet I painted last year.....that post to come! 

This armoire could very possibly provide shelter for 3 small mammals, maybe 4.  Reminds me of a cabinet I painted last year.....that post to come! 

and finally the last step....

7.  Apply Polycrylic.  Polycrylic is a protective topcoat necessary for preventing finger prints, scratches, and marks on your painted surface. Two coats is recommended.  I waited 24 hours between layers of topcoat.  

Steps 1-7 were also done to the doors, which I detached from the armoire before beginning the project.  After the whole piece was painted with topcoat, it was time to re-attach the doors and all the hardware!  Tip:  Always label your hardware so you know what goes where!  Re-attaching hardware in new locations can make a difference in how doors close, or even line up! You may have to purchase new hardware if the original pieces are in poor shape. 

For an added touch, the drawers were lined.  I also painted the backdrop and drawers of the piece in a different color, for some contrast.  

Glass knobs replaced wooden ones....

Shabby Chic & Fantastique! 

The piece looks new, fresh, and different.  Just what Sara and Brian were looking for.  Thank you so much guys for asking me to do this for you!  Hearing what you had to say about your new piece puts a giant smile on my face..........

"We love the armoire!  What an amazing transformation!" 

"We were excited to have you do it for us"

"We are more than impressed!"

Are you contemplating a painting project?  Get started at the link below!

13 Must-Have Staples for your next Painting Project