Archive for July, 2012

Greige Week – Go-To Greiges – Part 1

On Sunday, we talked about greiges and undertones.  And, the explanation of what composes a greige helped explain why it can be so hard it can be to find that perfect greige.  I highly encourage you to read that post if you haven’t.

“Greige” is a term coined that represents a mix of gray and beige.  Essentially, it is a warm gray.   This week, I’ll have bloggers share their favorite greige(s) with my readers.  Today, we have six awesome bloggers sharing!  And, more will share on Wednesday and Thursday!



Benjamin Moore’s Rockport Gray

It’s a darker moodier greige, so because it’s not as light and airy, it’s a little more smoky and sophisticated – especially when paired with crisp white trim, and accented with some happy pops of color to keep things interesting




Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

I just completed the search for the perfect greige for my living room. It can be a challenge, I practically cleaned out the paint stores of their gray swatches. In the end, I chose Revere Pewter.


LOVE how the color turned out. It’s the perfect gray for our home. It has more of a brown undertone to it which warms it up and keeps it from looking blue, green or pink when up on the wall. The paper swatch can be a bit deceiving so I definitely recommend purchasing a small paint sample and seeing it up on a couple different walls. Also (I’d recommend this with any paint sample) watch how it changes throughout the day based on the amount of sunlight the room gets before you make a decision.

Another gray I’ve used in our home is Martha Stewart Nimbus Cloud.


This gray has a blue undertone to it. It works really well in my daughter’s room with the turquoise and pink accents. I gave it a shot in our living room and it ended up being too cold against the black and yellow, so I’d recommend using it in a room that has other cooler colors in it.



Restoration Hardware Stone

My go-to greige is Restoration Hardware’s Stone. It is the perfect blend of gray/beige and makes a great backdrop for any room in your home. I have used it in my personal home as well as homes of my clients.




Benjamin Moore’s Edgecomb Gray #HC-173

I used it in a project in Brooklyn and we were thrilled with the results – the color adds warmth and atmosphere but is not too strong. One of my favorite paint tips is using the same color twice or more in a home, but cut it with Ben Moore Super White in some spaces. Here we used Edgecomb Gray at full strength for the entry and then again in the nearby dining room, but mixed 75% Edgecomb Gray with 25% white. That way the rooms flow beautifully together but you can have more intensity of color where you want it!

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I also really love Stonington Gray #HC-170 by Benjamin Moore for a gray that has a bit cooler hue but still works with sand and beige tones and Perfect Greige #SW6073 by Sherwin Williams, an obvious name I know but it’s true!


Simple Details

Cymric Silver by Ralph Lauren

My favorite Greige is Cymric Silver by Ralph Lauren, and almost identical, but more widely used Benjamin Moore’s Pashmina. I used Cymric Silver in my son’s room and just repainted after seven years (definitely a record), and all I could think of while I was covering it up was, “I love this color, where else can I use it?”

Both are warm grays, almost a light taupe.

This dining room is grasscloth, Cymric Silver is just beyond in the foyer.

This photo from Traditional Home reads more cool.

Ralph Lauren Cymric Silver TH09 Amy Bergman   Traditional Home Mag  Gorgeous dining room design with gray grasscloth wallpaper, white wire chandelier, arched doorway, glossy black round dining table, white Tissage Chandelier, Urban Electric Co. Olga Sconces, baker turquoise blue tufted chairs with nailhead trim, gray & blue circles window panels curtains and vine rug.  Ralph Lauren Cymric Silver

A truer representation in my home.

Another greige that I like is Pashmina by Benjamin Moore

Paint Color- Benjamin Moore Pashmina, Curtains - Ikea and


Oatbran by Valspar

I love this color in my home because it makes my space super light and fresh. I have a lot of windows downstairs and when the light hits this wall color is makes for the perfect neutral backdrop! As you can see in the photos below, sometimes it’s a gray and sometimes its more beige. Which makes it the PERFECT griege in my book!!  You can check out more here on my projects page!

Oatbran by Valspar

Other favorite grieges…Sherwin Williams Realist Beige and Behr Ultra Mineral!

I hope that gives you a few good places to start when finding that perfect color for your home.  What is your favorite greige?

Time to confess – how many paint samples have you gone through when choosing that just right greige?

More go-to greiges tomorrow!

Part 2
Part 3
Favorite Greiges by Brand
Tried Some Ben Moore Greiges on My Wall
Paint Color Suggestions, Listed By Color  (greiges are on here listed by light greiges, medium to dark greiges and grays are listed separately)



Greige Week – Greiges and Undertones

This week is greige week around here.

What is “greige”?   According to the dictionary, it means unfinished or raw.  In the decorating world, it refers to the range of colors that encompass all the variations of grey mixed with beige.  Greige can be very elegant and serves as a great neutral backdrop.  It is the “it” neutral right now.


Grays and greiges are now synonymous with style, sophistication and elegance.

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Gray Horse 2140-50 by Benjamin Moore

Today we will break the color greige down.  Then, Tuesday through Thursday, we’ll be hearing from a number of awesome bloggers about their go-to greiges.

Stone Harbor 2111-50 by Benjamin Moore

Let’s talk about gray and then beige.  Gray is any mixture of black and white.


That said, most grays include more than just black and white.

What’s with all this undertone talk, then?

Color can be added to a mixture of black and white (gray), and the undertone of the added color(s) may be almost indistinguishable to the eye, thus still appearing gray, as long as they are not the dominant color.


The more of the other color you add (above, that color is blue), the more obvious the undertone becomes.

The undertone can be any color, but to stay on the gray side of the scale, the color needs to remain cool, so that means the dominant color needs to be either purple, green or blue, like the original black and white had.   Most of the time, in the end, though, multiple colors are added, with one being the main undertone, keeping it on the cool side.

Remember greige is a mix of gray and beige, right?  So, let’s talk about beige next.

Now that we covered gray as being black and white, maybe with a cool undertone.  Beige is basically any version of light brown which has a warm undertone naturally.

To make brown you simply add complements from the color wheel.  It’s all based on the primary colors red, yellow and blue being mixed with something across the color wheel from itself.  Remember, in the example below, purple is still a mix of two primaries (red and blue).


Adding any two complementary colors together always makes a brown.  But, adding different combinations of those complements is what creates different undertones that can be predominantly yellow, red, or orange.


What else is in beige?  White.  White serves to lighten up the brown to a beige.


Beige has white plus red and/or yellow plus blue, in general.

Now about greige…  It’s simply a mix of the gray that we talked about earlier with beige.

Since we have all the other colors already in the beige mixture, to get greige, you simply add black to a beige mixture (the white part of gray is already present).


So in a nutshell, greige is white, black and some combination of the primary colors that dominate on the warm side (brown).

And, now, all that undertone crap starts to all makes sense, huh?  It all depends on what colors are being added to it and in what quantities.

To review:

1.  Gray.  Cool with a blue, purple, or green tint.


As discussed above, gray contains one of three undertones – purple, green or blue.  Green based blues generally appear the most neutral on walls.

Blue based greys are most commonly used and are the coolest.  Many start here and end up using a gray that is less blue as these undertones can quickly come out making a room read blue rather than the intended silver.

Purple toned grays are used least frequently as they easily clash with other tones such as wood tones.

2.  Beige.  Warm, with a red, orange or yellow undertone.


3.  Greige.  Warm but contains black.


When you are looking at a color, you need to look at the subtle undertones to determine how well it will play with other things in the room.

Now you can see what makes up a greige.  And, due to all the colors that can be involved, that’s why it’s so tricky when choosing grays, beiges and greiges.  Darn undertones.  They have to go with the other elements in the room and the undertones need to not be too dominant so the color still appears neutral.

Ask what the predominant colors are when you have them mixed.  And, try holding the color up to a pure white and a blue.

Zircon 7667 by Sherwin-Williams

And, be sure to also consider the saturation.  If you like a color, but want it lighter, you can have it diluted.  How dark do you want your greige?  I like mid-tones as they contrast trim work, show in photos, but don’t overpower a room.  You?

What else is there to consider when choosing a paint color?

Lighting. The lighting in the room – are the bulbs warm or cool?   The lighting from the windows – natural light doesn’t cast yellow tones like a bulb would.  Yet, flourescent lighting casts cool blue tones.

What are you placing with it?  If you have a blue ceiling like I do, that will also affect how other colors appear in the room.

For these reasons colors can read very different in one house to the next as well as from one room to the next. And, it can get frustrating.

How do you determine undertones of paint colors?

Did that help in understanding greiges and undertones?  Was this boring?

On Tuesday and Wednesday we’ll have some of our favorite bloggers sharing what their go-to greige is!  May give you a good place to start!

Have you embraced greige?


Thank you to 10 rooms for the Color Theory information that I tried to re-iterate for my readers.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Q&A

While I’m on the topic of Annie Sloan paint products, here is the Q&A that I promised.  I hope I’m not wearing some of you out with this painting furniture topic.  I just always like to supply my readers with as much info as I can.

First, though, let me thank my panel of experts who so graciously answered all of my questions:

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Katie from Wildwood Creek

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Melynda from Nod to the Past

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Anneke from This, That and Life

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Cassie from Primitive and Proper – green is painted with CeCe Caldwell Paints

Wendi from Thelma and Louize

And, a reader – Ann Wilson.

Those ladies (above) have all done multiple pieces using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) and know what they are talking about!  Thank you for sharing your knowledge with a newbie.  Below is Q&A style information on the ASCP process that I got from them.  Enjoy.

I also read posts from Miss Mustard Seed and Perfectly Imperfect for further information.  What can I say?  I’m an information junkie.

When you use ASCP, do you prime or sand?  Is it difficult to cover a dark wood that has a poly on it?
No priming or sanding needed on any piece.  It will work on just about anything – mdf, plywood, metal…  On a side note, I have heard of people needing to use primer, like Kilz, if something is ‘bleeding’ through. This hasn’t happened to me yet.

How many coats does it take?
It depends on what color of chalk paint you’re using. I’ve had most go on smooth in one coat, but Olde White, for example, has always come out showing lines and 2-3 coats.  It also depends on the look you’re going for.  ASCP actually looks nice on furniture with sealers like poly versus raw wood.

I heard waxing is difficult?  Is it?
There was a small learning curve for me when I first used it.  Waxing can be difficult, and while I don’t do it much anymore, you can seal it with polyurethane, polcrylic, or spray lacquer.

See this video about waxing.

Do small areas at a time.  If you find u have too much in an area, apply some mineral spirits lightly and it will smooth the area out.

How soon after painting can you wax?
You can wax as soon as the paint is dry to the touch, and it dries very quickly!


ASCP-002-3 ASCP-010-2

Can I put a second coat of wax on right away?
You can add a second coat of wax shortly after the first, just make sure it does not feel tacky.  In other words, let the first coat dry out a bit first.

How long do you wait after waxing, before buffing?
You can buff when the piece is no longer tacky.  I usually wait 2 to 4 hours to buff.  You can wait overnight.

When can I sit things on the piece?
It does take a while for the wax to cure. You run the danger of scratching it if you sit on it too soon, as the wax might still be soft. Not sure that it takes three weeks though, but to be on the safe side that would probably be good.

At least a few days, but up to three weeks to be safe.

How do you clean the wax off of your brush?
Cooking oil, then soapy water.

How do you get paint and wax off of the glass?
Just like with your brushes.  If you didn’t tape it off, then put cooking oil on first (without getting it on the paint).  Soapy water on after that.  Water to rinse.  Wipe dry.  Gets it all off.

General Tips
- I keep a little bowl of water and dab my brush in it to keep the paint smooth and ez to roll on and into those corners, etc.

- If you have an area that u find the paint is showing “oranging! Rusty colors”, stop trying to paint over it and you need to seal the furniture with a sealer. Before the paint color will look right. I used to keep trying to paint again, and it just looked like a grease spot every time on that part.

- If you happen to use white paint, be sure to buff with a white cloth.  Trust me on this one.  I used colored rags on other colors of paint with no problem.  Just be sure to use a white cloth on white paint.

- I purchased a small waxing buffer machine and use it on items I want to be shinier. I love it! Annie herself told me if I wanted that look to apply wax, wait one day, and buff it with a machine and it would shine and she was right!

- Adding clear wax over dark wax helps get off too much dark wax ore to lighten it.  You can do this up to a couple of days after.

- Be sure to buff with a clean cloth.

- For a very light version of the dark stain, try clear first and then mix a bit of dark with the clear for a second coat.

- You can mix the wax with any color of paint or wax that you want for a different look.

- Don’t hesitate to add water if the paint seems thick or you need to make it stretch further.

- If the wax is tacky for over a few hours, try buffing again.  Buff hard!  STILL tacky – try a very very very light wipe with a cloth damp with mineral spirits.

Check out yesterday’s post for additional tips.

imageimage image

Note, Cassie at Primitive and Proper now makes her own chalk paint mixing plaster of paris in with latex paint.  You can also mix paint with calcium carbonate or unsanded grout.

Do you have any tips to add?  Have you made your own?  What’d you use?  How did it turn out?  I’d love to hear more about your experience with chalk paint, especially ASCP.


P.S.  Sweet Ashley at Attempts at Domestication (entry 5) won the Panyl giveaway!  Congrats!

My Take on Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) is a big deal right now.  Why?  No sanding and priming required.  It’s one of the easiest ways to revive furniture.  The idea is that you can finish a smaller piece in a day, though curing time for the wax is up to 3 weeks.  The reason many hesitate to buy?  It’s expensive !  Almost $40 a quart!

I already own two pieces (that I bought already refinished) that are painted with ASCP. My tv stand, done by Thelma and Louise, is more distressed, see below.


ASCP-004-2 ASCP-001-2

While my dresser, painted by Nod to the Past, is more smooth and sleek.


I love these two pieces, so I wanted to try this magical ASCP myself.

I purchased a few paint colors, waxes and a brush last week.  And, after playing with the AS products in my spare time (between clients and late at night), I probably spent 15 hours painting this piece.  At least.  Maybe more.  So, I thought, I’d give you a beginner’s take on this paint, after having spent quality time with it.  Maybe my experience will help work some of the kinks out for you!

Here is the finished piece that I painted, though I’m waiting on new hardware to arrive since one piece is broken.


And, with the light off?  Note that the two glass shelves are not put in and the piece is not stacked yet since the wax is still drying and curing.  That’s right, I finally got out the good camera an snapped a few photos for a more accurate color.


I used Aubusson Blue and Pure White on the inside which I later mixed in some black with the white to turn it gray and repainted the inside gray.  I then covered it in clear wax for protection.  I added the dark wax for some distressing on the exterior of the pieces.



Today’s post is about my overall take on the products that I used.  Tomorrow’s post will be a Q&A format with all the questions I asked along the way – there were a lot!

Overall Impression

I loved the paint.   It went on smoothly for the most part (will talk more about the white paint below).  The wax did its job and when applied well, gives a nice finish.  The paint stuck to the glossy clear coat that was on the piece with no problem and no need for sanding or priming, as promised.  It’s very forgiving, so don’t be afraid to mess up.  You can paint over mistakes.  I’d use it again.

HOWEVER, I would not paint a piece this large on my first go around.  Nor something with an inside that requires you to be an acrobat to paint.  Sheesh.  Mistake.  Took too long to practice on a piece of this size.  And, too much paint.  Just buy a piece like this.  Want to buy this one?  Ha!

Details and Things I Learned

1.  Paint Coverage.

I heard that even though this paint is expensive, it’s rich pigment means you don’t use much and you can expect it to last a while.  I think that is true, but…

In my case, I used a lot of product… almost all of the Aubusson Blue, Pure White and waxes.  Here is why.  This is just SOME of the layers.  You can see that the Aubusson Blue varies by light and by wax.


Let’s just say this thing is coated and protected!  And, that my hands hurt and have no grip left.

I used about $170 worth of supplies for this little project, plus the cost of the piece.  I’m just trying to break even when I sell it.

But, this, my friends, is why I don’t mind buying already painted pieces (like the gorgeous ones at the top of the post).  It can be worth it.  Having said that, if I knew what I was doing, I could have probably just used 1/2 a quart of the blue, 3/4 of a quart of the white for full coverage and maybe 1/2 the clear wax and 1/4 of the dark wax – max.   But, instead, I blew through it all, which is my fault.

In an ideal world, it should be 1-2 coats of paint, then wax…  distressing and buffing if wanted.

So, yes, ASCP did cover well, but I just happened to do a lot of coats!  So, I’m telling you this in case you “practice” like me and run through a lot of very expensive paint and then need to still sell at a reasonable price.

The Pure White (and I hear, all whites) did not cover  as well.  You may be able to see that in some of the pictures above.

I had to do about three coats of the white for it to look solid.

2.  Waxing.

The paint dries quickly.  Once it’s dry, you will want to was so the paint can’t scratch.  I bought the brush.  Buy the brush.  It’s expensive but helps with the process.  Here is a link to a video on how to wax.  I did what she says to do and it worked for the most part.

Rub it in with the brush, then after you get wax on a small area, wipe it with a cloth to take off the excess, but wipe it aggressively, don’t be afraid of taking off too much.

If you want to do the dark wax, it’s best to do the clear wax first and then the dark wax.  It gets pretty splotchy when it goes directly on to the paint.

It is a little smelly, unlike the paint.

You will ruin cloths on this part.  So, be prepared for that.  Don’t use anything you don’t want to throw away.

Wax may be slightly tacky for a few days.  Don’t put anything on it.  And, don’t really put much on it, even if it feels completely dry, for a few weeks if you can help it.  They say it takes three weeks to cure.

If the wax is really wet/ tacky, you didn’t wipe off enough.  It should be almost dry, but very slightly tacky when you are done.

Even the clear wax will deepen the color.  It gives it more depth – as water would darken unfinished tile – think of it like that.

It’s best to wear a mask and gloves.

I’d probably check out a wax that cures faster next time – I hear Minwax and Fiddes are good.

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3.  Colors.

The colors are limited, but you can mix them.  However, be aware that if you do mix them, it’s important you have enough to finish what you are doing.  It’s almost impossible to hand mix the exact same color twice.

Some conclusions?

Well, I think it’s worth trying.  I think if you like the color choices she has and a slightly distressed (not 100% perfectly smooth and lacquered finish, yet professional) feel, this is a good choice!  It’s worth the money and time saved from sanding and priming.  But, if you aren’t sure about color and may keep repainting like me, I’m not so sure.

I’m not always this uncertain, but was learning to use the product.  In my entry – just painted that piece once in one color!  But, hey, I like to think a little pain for me is helpful to my readers at times.


(Not painted with ASCP.)

Most reps that sell this paint do offer classes, though they aren’t cheap – so I guess you could take a class or buy a bunch like I did and just work for hours…

More soon, Q&A style.  I will share all the questions I asked along the way and answers that I got from my panel of “experts.”

Did this info help?  What questions do you have?  Have you used ASCP?  What is your take on it?


Fun Finds – HomeGoods and Home Consignment

Here are some recent items I found while out shopping for clients.


Phone-852 Phone-837 Phone-840

Phone-828 Phone-853

Phone-842 Phone-843 Phone-854

Phone-858 Phone-861 Phone-862

Phone-551 Phone-553 Phone-556

Phone-558  Phone-549 Phone-506

Phone-507 Phone-508 Phone-512

Phone-516 Phone-518 Phone-525

Home Consignment

This store has two locations and was so crowded that it was impossible to take photos or see all of the items.  They consign items, sell new items and hand crafted items.

Phone-669 Phone-680 Phone-682

Phone-686 Phone-690 Phone-692

Phone-697 Phone-699 Phone-701 

Phone-704 Phone-706 Phone-711

What finds have you come across lately? 


My Adventures with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint So Far

Today I’ll show you the stages of this project, where it’s at (not finished), and ask for your thoughts on some things.  Another day, I’ll do a Q&A on Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and then another day even, I’ll show the actual process of painting it.

2012-07-23 10.47.08

I bought this piece from Craigslist.


It was a piece inherited from a grandparent and then not wanted.  I know, it needs work, but I liked the fretwork lines on the bottom, as of course, they match my faux bamboo fretwork, as well as the fretwork on our coffee table.


I saw potential in the piece (hutch and buffet/ china cabinet).

So, I went to work cleaning it off, knowing I wanted to paint it.  But you have to know yourself, right?  I know I hate sanding and priming.  What product allows you to skip sanding and priming?  Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint (ASCP)!  It will go right on top of clear coats and stick like a dream – I had heard.

So, I figured it was time to try this ASCP and see what I think.  After all, it’s been all the rage lately.

If it’s so great, why isn’t everyone doing it?  Well, it’s expensive.  Almost $40 a quart.  Not a gallon, but a quart!  However, you are saving on primers and time on sanding…

First step was deciding on a color.


I was thinking a blue.  Maybe white inside.  I threw up this quick (rough) mock up drawing with ASCP’s Duck Egg blue on my Facebook page to see what readers thought.


I told you – rough.  I’m sure a child could have done better, but the point was it was quick.  But, I really like to get a visual on where I’m going when possible.  Many times, I can picture things in my head, but not 100% of the time.

Not too bad.  I also liked the colors Provence and Aubusson Blue with dark wax.  See, that’s another piece of the puzzle – will you do a protective coat in clear wax or dark wax as each affects the paint differently.

I went to Revival in Bee Cave and bought the Duck Egg, Pure White, and Aubusson since they didn’t have the Provence.  I also bought the dark and clear wax and a brush.  And, I got started on the hutch.

I saw this as practice and me just getting to know the paint and waxes.  Let me tell you, I’ve painted and waxed over this thing so many times…  I figured it only helps if I distress – there will be under coats to peek through.  Let’s see some of the coats.


How do you think it’s looking?  Remember the before?


And, so far… (Note that these are all just photos from my phone.)

2012-07-23 10.47.08

Remaining questions -

1. Should I leave the inside white?  Or, do a light gray?

2. Should I stencil the back with another color such as gray or remove the glass and put chicken wire?

3. On the bottom, should I just do all blue with clear and then dark wax or add some white?

Haha, enough questions?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.



My New Favorite Austin Store

I decided to try Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on a hutch and buffet that I bought.  Why?  Well, it lets me skip priming and sanding which I hate, but that’s another post.  In my quest to purchase some, Wendi from Thelma and Louise pointed me to Revival.  What an awesome store!  The owners kept finding cool stuff and finally just started a business where they could buy and sell what they find.  I wanted to share some photos from the store with you.



You can click each image to see it larger.

Phone-561 Phone-565 Phone-568

Phone-570 Phone-571 Phone-574

Phone-577 Phone-588 Phone-597

Phone-599 Phone-602 Phone-604

Phone-605 Phone-606 Phone-608

Phone-609 Phone-614 Phone-613

Phone-617   Phone-610 Phone-620

Phone-622 Phone-624 Phone-631

Hope you enjoyed that little tour.  Check out their store!

Be sure to enter the Panyl giveaway if you haven’t!  It’s easy to enter and if you win and you don’t need them, gift them to someone who does!


Entry Update

I posted here about how I was painting a dresser for the entry.  I wanted to update you on how that is going.


It looks a little splotchy in the photo.  It’s not.  Must be the photo processing.  For whatever reason, it’s really tough to capture the exact accurate color of this piece.  It’s sort of a slight navy with a metallic sheen.



Love her in a metallic blue.  After sanding, I used what I had on hand to paint her – ceiling paint from the family room (blue) and some white pearl to give it a metallic sheen.  Then, I finished it with a poly spray. How about a few more photos?

I’m playing around with the lamp and books, as well as the mirrors.


The sunburst is there as a possible thing to hang on that wall. 


The vintage mirrors laying on the floor are also possible things to hang over the dresser, though I can’t find just the right configuration yet.  And, ironically, the image below with just the bottom of the dresser showing may be the most accurate in color.


How was it before?  Well, I was playing around with this chair.


But, decided on the dresser, as it flowed better with the surrounding rooms.  Note, the entry door is to the left of the dining room.  There is a hall between the dresser and dining room.


Again, here is the dresser.


How about a closer view of the paint color and metallic sheen?


What do you think?  I still have work to do in the entry, clearly.  But, it’s coming along!  As we all know, this stuff doesn’t happen overnight, but how great would that be?!