Monthly Archives: September 2013

Blushing Bride

Blushing Bride

I always thought it would be fun to be the creative genius behind those clever nail polish names that Essie or OPI boasts. So when the time came to create a custom color for a VERY special customer, I started dreaming of an unforgettably catchy name…

One week prior, when first approached by aforementioned client, we were asked to paint a small, round side table to feature in a newly decorated living room.  A pinkish, plum color was requested to coordinate with her reading chair.  So I consulted our Annie Sloan color wheel and we decided upon Henrietta.  Well, once painted and paired with the fabric, it was clearly a no-go!  I knew my incredibly stylish customer wouldn’t approve.  That’s when the highly scientific experiment began.  It was obvious we needed more of a brown hue to tone down this fushia color! Enter Coco and Paloma (stage left).


So I broke out the Mason jar to begin crafting my concoction.  Now those who know me well, know that I like to plan but loathe fractions (really anything dealing with math).  To stumble upon this perfect color, I needed to measure it in parts. But what do parts really mean? With a little help from a consultant (Google) I decided that 1/8 cups sounded like a perfect “part”. In the end, the winning mixture was 3 parts Coco, 2 parts Henrietta, and 1 part Paloma.   I don’t have extra measuring cups for paint just lying around the house, so I measured it out with water first, then poured each “part”  in the jar and marked it with a Sharpie.  The marks showed me what to pour the paint up to, so I had the perfect amount (not bad for a mathematically-challenged gal!)  After the three paint colors were in, it was time to shake that jar like a Polaroid picture.

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This was the first time that Made Lovely attempted to create our own homemade color with chalk paint and I was a bit nervous.  Would the colors truly blend together?  Would the paint stay the same the creamy consistency that makes Annie such a joy to paint with?  The answer- 100 percent YES.  So after giving it a good second coat in this new color, it was time for clear wax and distressing.  The result was pretty good… almost there but still not perfect for this lovely customer of mine.

DSC_9261 So, I cracked open the dark wax and starting rubbing.  The key to dark wax is to work quickly.  Once it’s on, it will settle in.  A “Karate Kid”- wax on, wax off motion is my application of choice.  I am not going to lie, I do get butterflies in my stomach every time I first streak on some greasy, dark wax to my freshly painted pieces.  Thank goodness, nothing with Annie Sloan paint is final.  If you decide that there is too much dark wax in a place, a simple reapplication of clear wax over it and a little bit of elbow grease will remove most of it.  So, wax on, wax off… It was ready for it’s debut after the dark wax was applied. DSC_9274 What do we call this gorgeous Made Lovely color?  Plum Putty (no…  not enough purple for that name) Meg’s Mauve (no… Mauve is too blah and out-dated).  My friend and partner in crime, Marie suggested Blushing Bride… After all, it is the perfect marriage of colors she explained.  Brilliant!  So, it turns out that naming new nail polish colors isn’t in the cards for me.  That’s okay- who needs three jobs anyways? 😉

Here’s the finished project in its new home.  Our happy customer shared these pictures… so glad you like it Mom!  XOXO

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Wishing you all things lovely,



Favorite Client Ever!

Favorite Client Ever!

My darling niece, Amelie, is three. She is adorable, smart, girly, a great big sister, a little bit bossy ;), and loves the color purple. So for her dresser rehab last weekend shades of purple was the obvious ombre choice. In my last blog I talked about the old Malm Ikea dresser I was going to work with for this project. Saturday afternoon I headed out to Palatine with Noah, the dog and a bike in my small car. I was ready to work and knew I only had a short time to complete this project. My wonderful bro-in-law, Keith, moved the dresser to the garage for me and it was ready to go when I walked in their door.

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Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the condition I thought it was in, which meant there were a few more steps than I was anticipating before the painting began. There were scratches and some of the laminate (?) was missing. The back was also not nailed down, so I got a new nail and took a couple swings and fixed that little dilemma. My sister, Susie, sat by amazed and told me how it had been like that for years. I know I’m pretty darn amazing these days. 🙂

photo 17melie 1

I got to work sanding and after consulting my sister, decided to just pry the rest of the laminate off of that side. I used a flathead screwdriver if anyone is interested. Luckily, that end of the dresser is up against a wall in Melie’s bedroom, so if it didn’t look great no one would know, well with the exception of all of you, anyway. Then, I asked Keith for a rag to prep the dresser for the fun part- painting, duh! That is when I witnessed him grab a pair of jeans and cut this for me.


Ok, a little odd, maybe I should get them rags as a housewarming gift? Luckily, it turns out denim works just fine wiping off dust and dirt from a dresser. 🙂

Remember when I told you about this miracle in a can? Well, I cracked that baby open and started rolling away. For this project I used a 4″ foam roller, which happens to be my new best friend. Love is an understatement for how easily and smooth the primer went on. I even had a guest painter for the job. Although the entire time she told me, “I don’t want white. I want purple.”

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Before long the dresser and drawers looked like this. Note the cutest photo bomb ever! That’s Ian, my 5 month old nephew! Love him!

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I think this is the point that I went inside and saw this:

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Must be nice!

When I returned to the project I painted the dresser white. I have to say it was pretty easy- too easy in fact. I was giving myself props for putting multiple costs of primer on the dresser because it sooooo helped with coverage. While the white paint was drying, I started the two bottom drawers.  I invited Melie to help with the purple.

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This dark color didn’t go on as easily and after two coats still looked like this.

purple drawer

I started to worry a little about the coverage with a dark color and would have loved to put a million coats on all at once, but I was patient and gave the drawers time to dry between coats.

Wait time was hard. Did I mention I only brought one roller? Keith suggested I use a plastic bag and pull off the foamy part and just put another one on. I took his advice and moved on to the next drawers. I thought to myself instead of just “winging it” like with the drawers I did for my craft room, I would be more technical this time around. I got creative and cut myself this from my water bottle to use as a measuring cup.

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Genius, right? Well, nope. I ended up just using it as a scoop. I carefully mixed white and purple and painted the next two drawers. I loved the coverage once again. I also decided they would be the top drawers because they were pretty light. If you are attempting to paint over laminate and white primer, light colors are easiest and most rewarding! I got another plastic bag for the rolly thing and haphazardly mixed more paint and painted the last two drawers. Before second coats, I took very fine sandpaper and lightly sanded away any chunks of paint or other elements that may have fallen onto the drawer. I decided this time I’d ask Susie for a rag and she gave me this:

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I tell ya, they use the darndest things for rags around that house. 🙂

I got into a groove, switched out the foam and repeated the process several times. And eventually it looked like this!

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When the painting was done, I sat for a little while admiring my work! The next day I applied two coats of polycrylic  sanding between coats, and declared it another Made Lovely project in the books!

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Overall, this job was one of my favorites. I love the fact that it is in Melie’s room and my youngest client to date was happy with the result.💜

photo 14Wishing you all things lovely,

Ombre attempt #1

Ombre attempt #1

It’s been an exciting day! Today was day 2 of students coming to school for a half-day, which means lots of plan time in the afternoon for us teachers.  Whoop! However, the most exciting part of my day is my son asked some lucky girl to Homecoming today.  His first dance in high school.  EEEEK  After getting home I decided on this humid day to work on this little number for my craft room.

ombre before

Can’t you see it with all kinds of odds and ends stored in each drawer?  Maybe I’ll be an organized crafter.  A girl can dream, right?

So back on track. I wanted to do this piece with ombre drawers.  There are several reasons it needed to be done this way.  The biggest one was that I told my sister, Susie, that I would paint my niece’s dresser.   Susie requested I find/paint/figure out something to do for a dresser in Amelie’s new bedroom now that they’ve moved to the ‘burbs.  Melie already had a Malm Ikea dresser.  You know the one, straight lines, three drawers…  Well I decided why not make use of that dresser and paint it ombre?!  Genius right?  I’d seen several ombre dressers on Pinterest, so surely I could do it!   I didn’t want to “experiment” on Melie, so I took a short walk out to my garage to look at the tons of furniture I have piled up in there waiting to be made lovely. And voila! My craft room drawer towery thing spoke to me.  Then, I remembered that couple weeks ago when I was reading a magazine in a waiting room I came across a coupon for a free Valspar sample size paint.  No one was around and the coupon was begging me to use it, so I helped myself.  Last night I pulled out that coupon and headed out to Lowe’s to choose a fun color!


I decided to ask the paint guy for some advice for painting Ikea furniture.  This is when mystery man jumped into our conversation and gave me all kinds of advice!  Mystery man used to sell chemicals for paint so he seemed pretty legit.  I also learned that a lot of paint is made in Chicago. So there’s your fun fact for the day!  I ended up buying this which will apparently stick to anything!


He also suggested a roller instead of a brush.  So here’s hoping Melie’s dresser is all kinds of lovely!  I post pics later 🙂

So it’s now Wednesday and I’m scheduled to paint Melie’s dresser on Saturday.  Tomorrow Noah has a game and Friday night I work concessions at the big Geneva/Batavia varsity game.  I had no choice but to do my practice piece today!  Because doing it weeks ago would have been too easy. 🙂

I started with one drawer in the coral-ly color I chose.  Then it was time to start lightening the paint.  I decided I didn’t need to buy new white paint because I had this!

behr 2005
Yes, it says 2005, which means it’s not even my paint but the people who lived here before me!  But, hey, I’m all about being green.  Now, this is where things got interesting.  If I were Meg, I would be doing some kind of measuring and planning ahead of time.  But, I’m me.  And I don’t “do” math.  And trying to figure out how much paint to mix together for 5 drawers seemed less fun than actually painting and figuring things out as I go.  Plus, was I going to use my measuring cups to measure? I don’t think so!  I did this drawer and then added some really thick white paint and did a second drawer.

two drawers

Then it was time to add white again, but I added too much so I did this.

paint on fingers

I know, very official.  Then I kept adding more and BAM! had five different colored drawers.


I went back inside and got the rest of the towery thing and decided to take a picture so you all can see the kind of mess I’m living in.

dining room

Check out the tub to the left- those are my old Cabbage Patch Kid dolls my parents delivered to my house last weekend. Not sure where to keep them yet, so the hall seems appropriate 🙂

My dining room is now a painting/storage room.  The dining table is halfway in the living room, I have one too many china cabinets in there, an extra table from another part of my house that I would like to get rid of, but I use to keep supplies on, and a few other small painting projects hanging around.  I’d like to say that everything is confined to this one room, but my craft room isn’t in better shape and let’s not start on how my car hasn’t been in the garage for weeks!  Anyway…. here is the finished project!


This was taken at night, so it’s not the best quality. I assure you all the drawers are different shades!

It matches nothing in my house, but will store so much. 🙂   Wish me luck this weekend with Ombre attempt #2.  Stay tuned for pictures!

Wishing you all things lovely,


Custom Orders R’ Us

Custom Orders R’ Us

I know… Number one writing no-no, avoid cheesy clichés and word plays as the above title.  I couldn’t help myself.  You see, when Marie and I started Made Lovely we hoped to build enough “street cred” to gain custom orders and paint for customers with specific furniture needs.  And here we are, five custom orders in and a handful waiting in the wings…  It all started with our adorable pre-teen girl’s bedroom set.

julie setWhen, Julie contacted us via Facebook to purchase this set and asked if we could paint a family heirloom headboard to match, we were over-joyed!  Our very first commissioned job… It grew from there to a custom order desk in rich Olive and French Linen paint for an old friend.  (The best part of all these custom orders is trying out new colors, like these beauties!)



Next it was a coffee table that was in desperate need of a makeover due to some little hands that had added their own “distressing” over the years.  This beat-up beauty received a couple of coats of graphite and some dark wax for character.  Check out the before and after!

before tableDSC_8982 DSC_8977

And then to a fiddle-back chair that needed a minor face-lift.  After some gentle distressing and an application of French Linen, it was good to go!


We have one last order in the works and it is quite a delicious one.  This commissioned dining room table has led a rough life.  It was rescued at a neighborhood garage sale, and Marie has been busy sanding, puttying, re-sanding, and applying Primer Red for a soon-to-be pleased customer.  Here is a sneak peak… Check out those claws.


As these hot days wind down (mercifully), Made Lovely will continue to stay it’s cool self and debut original pieces in spectacular new shades.  Coming to a favorite blog near you… Paloma, Pure White, and Old Violet.  Stay tuned!

Wishing you all things lovely,