Make Old Furniture Look New

wood dresser

Use a solution of three parts oil to one part white vinegar to give the old finish a mini facial. It can make old furniture look new.

Sometimes you can’t paint a piece of furniture, because it’s too pretty, or someone you love likes that old brown dresser just the way it is.

You don’t have time or space to refinish it, and you’re tired of staring at that beat up old piece.

Make Old Furniture Look New … Without Paint

Painted Furniture is great, but too much of it in the same room looks, well, bad. Balancing out your painted pieces with good old fashioned brown furniture is the key to evolved, old world style French/Swedish/English Country style interior. It’s fun to play around and find just the right mix of different paint colors, finishes, and old brown pieces with great patina.

Speaking of patina, wood furniture can be charming, antique furniture, or it can just be old wood furniture.

I think it was Annie Sloan who said that the French would paint any wooden furniture, unless it were very special, indeed. That is pretty much my philosophy.

If something is just old wood furniture, it’s better off being painted with a lovely, interesting finish. But if you’ve got something truly special, even if it’s just special to you, that’s a different story.

He Likes the Wood Look

Painted furniture can add so much charm and interest. But, you will run across that furniture piece that you just can’t paint, for whatever reasons.

In my case, my boys don’t want painted furniture in their bedroom, not really. They prefer the wood look.

Family Baggage Heirlooms

And then I also have a few things that have come down from grandparents. Nothing fancy, but I have a feeling if I were to paint them, I might make some people upset.

I have never stripped, sanded, and refinished a piece of furniture. I don’t have the time, and I’m scared of the chemicals.

All-Natural Refinishing to Make Old Furniture Look New

If you feel the same way, but you’re sick of staring at that old finish, try this all-natural furniture refinishing solution: three quarters cup oil (I used olive oil) and one quarter cup vinegar (I used distilled white vinegar).

I got this tip from Miss Mustard Seed in her book, Inspired You. It’s tucked in there, just like an offhand remark, but it’s really brilliant. It might not be full on furniture restoration, but it can be as exciting a change to your old piece as a fresh coat of paint and furniture makeover.

I recently gave this a try on a beat up old dresser from the 60s and set of nesting tables from the 40s.

They’re both good quality, solid wood. I was really pleased with the results for such a minimal effort. The wood on these old pieces now looks silky smooth and moisturized. They’re both a bit darker and a bit shiner. It really did make old furniture look new.

This little mini facial didn’t remove any stains or imperfections, but it did perk up my pieces and make them look cared for and shiny.

Here’s the video I made about treating furniture with this oil and vinegar solution. If you like reading better, I wrote it all out and added the pictures, just below the video.

He Doesn’t Want It Painted

Did you ever have a piece of furniture that you just didn’t want to paint?

Or, that your little boy or husband didn’t want you to paint?

That is my situation with this dresser. it’s an old pine dresser probably from the 60s. We’ve had it for many years and as you can see it’s very dirty. It’s got grease spots and watermarks, all kinds of stuff.

I have suggested painting it many times and my husband and my son always say, “no no no no I love that dresser!” Now it’s going to be my son’s dresser. So what to do?

Oil and Vinegar Facelift

Hi, this is Kathleen from Old World Farmhouse and today I am going to take a solution of oil and vinegar and try to clean up this dresser. I like to make old furniture look new, but I do not want to get into refinishing. I just don’t have time or patience for all of that mess.

I read in Miss Mustard Seed’s book, actually, that you could take a solution of oil and vinegar, if your wood furniture isn’t in too bad of shape, and just kind of rub that in to clean it up, instead of going through the whole mess of refinishing.

Old Pine Dresser Looks New

I thought I’d give that a try today on this old pine piece and see what happens. Okay so here I’ve got three quarters of a cup of olive oil and a quarter cup of white vinegar. I’ve just got this little blue microfiber cloth that I’m mixing into that. It feels very oily and it doesn’t smell that great. I’m just gonna – I’m just gonna get started and see.

I hope that this is a “good enough for mom” solution.

Here is the finished result after I wiped it down with one quarter cup vinegar and three quarter cup of olive oil. It’s definitely looking happier now. It didn’t take away these little weird marks that I have no idea where they came from. But of course, I wouldn’t have expected that. The wood looks less thirsty and miserable than it used to for sure, and you can see a little more of the grain coming out.

The sides look great.

By and large, I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out.

wood dresser

It didn’t take away the markings on the top. The water stains, so see like there’s a big ring stain it did not take it away.

But it definitely looks better than it used to, especially from the front.

Really Old Tables Look Silky Smooth

These wood nesting tables are really old. They’ve been passed down from my grandparents to my parents and now to me. As you can see, they’re very worn, they’ve got water stains and i was thinking of painting them, but somehow I just can’t bring myself to do it. I guess because they’ve been in the family and I don’t want to make anybody mad.

wood nesting tables
wood nesting tables

Also I have sentimental memories of seeing these in our house growing up. I’m going to try the same technique on these tables that I did with that dresser upstairs. I’m going to take my solution of a quarter cup of vinegar to three-quarter cup olive oil.

Here are my nesting tables after being rubbed down with a solution of vinegar and olive oil. They’re definitely looking a lot happier and less thirsty now.

brown nesting tables

This is how the tables look after 48 hours of drying. After I wiped them with the oil and vinegar solution. Wow the difference is remarkable. They’re darker and just less tired out looking and they’re like, smooth and silky to the touch.

brown nesting tables

Now I’m gonna go upstairs and see how my dresser is doing after being let alone for 48 hours. Let’s go. The pine dresser 48 hours later.

wood dresser

It’s no longer wet like it was. It’s still a little greasy to the touch but I think that it’s going to absorb in time because in other spots it’s perfectly dry now.

Let’s look at the top. Still pretty gnarly, but just soft and silky, less thirsty, and all in all I’m enjoying its worn and weathered look, instead of thinking that it just looked sad before. It’s like i gave it a little facial, a little maybe not even as much as a facial. I just bought it some nice moisturizer.

Thank you so much for watching this video. if you found it helpful could you help me out by giving me a thumbs up down below and please check out my blog at oldworldfarmhouse.com for resources on French, English, and Swedish country styles as well as old houses. Thanks again.

More Resources For Dirty Wood

If you’d like more resources on cleaning wood, check out my post, Can Mineral Spirits Clean Waxed Floors?. If you’d rather make over your wood furniture by painting it, check out my posts, Get The Swedish Country Look With Chalk Paint, and Khaki Green Paint Colors for French Country Style.

How to strip wallpaper with three simple tools

old wallpaper

It is totally possible to strip wallpaper with three simple tools.

We show you how to scrape off gross old wallpaper with hot soapy water, paint brush, wallpaper scorer (optional, just use the side of the 5-in-1 tool if you don’t have one) and a 5-in-1 tool.

We are using the instructions from Mr. Aubrey of “Aubrey’s Absolute Decorating.” His YouTube channel is full of some of the most useful and clear instructions I have ever seen on all manner of home improvement projects. I must have watched every wallpaper removal video on YouTube and his is the best.

Here is the link to his tutorial

Supply List

plastic dropcloth

wallpaper scorer

big cheap paintbrush

5 in 1 Tool

Plastic Bucket

Ajax, Dawn, or other liquid detergent

In this video, I’ll show you exactly how to strip wallpaper with three simple tools. If you’d rather read, I’ve written it all out just below the video.

How To Strip Wallpaper With Three Simple Tools

Hey what’s up YouTube this is Kathleen from the blog and YouTube channel oldworldfarmhouse.com and this is my son. We are going to be stripping the wallpaper off of his bedroom walls today. Very ugly, old, extremely old wallpaper. I’m gonna show you how to strip wallpaper with three simple tools.

I’ll link below. I – I have watched a ton of how to remove wallpaper videos and my favorite one is from Audrey’s ah Audrey’s Aubrey’s Absolute Decorating. He’s got really clear directions. They’re great. I have followed them for stripping this room. They are the best I’ve ever seen.

Wallpaper Scorer

I’m just going to show you how I’ve taken his directions and adapted them to our situation, so let’s get started! The first thing we’re going to need is a wallpaper scorer. You can get these at Lowe’s, Home Depot, hardware stores, whatever. They’re not expensive at all. I can’t remember how much this one was, but definitely under ten dollars.

I’m gonna show you how – well, Lars is gonna – Lars is gonna show you how. It’s really fun, it works all right. Okay so you just go over your walls in a circular motion. I think Mr. Aubrey said, you know, do about, I don’t know, two feet or so at a time. No more than that. The reason that you’re going over them like this is to create little cuts in the paper so that the water can get behind there and soften the wallpaper. There, buddy you’ve got your section scored.

Hot Soapy Water and Wide Paint Brush

You want to get a bucket of very hot water with a couple drops of – Mr. Aubrey calls it washing up liquid because he’s English, but you know I have Ajax in here, and a very wide paint brush.

This is a cheap, four inch wide, you know, plastic bristle or something. What you’re going to do is just kind of dip your brush in the water – oh and I should mention, to protect your floor, throw down a drop cloth. This is a plastic one.

You know some water is going to drip, and if you have an electric outlet or something, tape it over. In his video he actually goes and turns the power off before he does the wall because there’s like an electric socket right in the wall. I’m working on a wall that has no electric on it, but when i get over to where my electrics are I’m definitely going to turn the power off. You’ll see why in a minute.

You take your brush, and he recommends, you know, soaking the paper in kind of an arcing motion. So, not up and down, but like – like a little rainbow back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, and not a very wide section, you know two feet or so at a time, because otherwise it’ll dry before you get a chance to come over there with your scraper.

Then you wait two or three minutes, go do something else, come back and repeat on the same section again. Paint it with the water again. Mom what happens when you don’t wait? Well if you don’t wait, then you have more work. Like, if you want it, you’re like, I just don’t want to wait! You want to get in there with your scraper and start lifting the paper up, it’s going to be much harder because what the – what giving those three or minutes or so does is soften the paste. The water softens the paste, so let the water work for you. Let the water do the work. Um, okay then you wait another two or three minutes.

Then you do a third time. Coat your wall with water, always waiting two to three minutes in between.

Lift With 5-in-One Tool

Okay, so we have soaked our paper three times, waiting two to three minutes in between each soak with water, and now we are ready to lift it off. A good tool to use for that, show one Lars, this is from Lowe’s. It is a five in one tool. A very sturdy little thing that would be good. I have also been using this puppy from time to time if i can get good big pieces up with it.

Now Lars is going to demonstrate how to gently loosen the paper from the wall with the scraper without damaging the paper – not the paper, we don’t care about the paper; the plaster. We don’t want to damage the plaster underneath.

We do not want to have plaster problems if at all possible because plaster problems are a big big headache. All right, Lars, so get your little tool in there and show them how it’s done. Just slip it under the paper, and it will come off and then you can just take it off with your hands, like this. And voilà. And then what, just keep going, keep going, until you have gotten all you want for that day or that time done and if there’s this stuff you can just learn how to lift it with a tool. You can just go like if it’s small spots, just that’s what I do, yeah, show them with the paper. It’ll fall off, but this you can just push it, not too hard, not too gentle.

And then, and just keep doing that until you’re done. Okay, so that is where we are with our wallpaper stripping. It’s really part one, because according to Aubrey in his video, after you’ve got all the paper off, you have to go back and kind of take your scraper and scrape very gently the entire room to get the glue residue off. Otherwise, when you go to paint, the paint will stick to the glue and, you know, dry and look like a – an awful mess. He said lizard skin, I believe.

So we’ve got to go over it to get the paste off and then over again with water to wash. I’ll make separate videos for that when we get to that point. But for now, we are signing off, bye!

If you’re looking for more information about stripping wallpaper, check out my post, How Hard Is It To Steam Off Wallpaper?

French Vintage Inspired Laundry Hamper

French Vintage Inspired Laundry Hamper

The lowly laundry basket can be an object of vintage, chic, even French beauty. The metal laundry basket probably is the best at effecting this lovely vintage look, but a cloth-covered, industrial style container on wheels can give the same effect. Here are two options for a French Vintage Inspired Laundry hamper. Both cheap, chic, sturdy, and large enough to hold three or four loads of laundry.

wire laundry basket
Photo by Andy Fitzsimon on Unsplash
wire laundry hamper
cloth laundry hamper

I don’t exactly know what vintage French laundry baskets look like. They might, at one time, been made of wicker or rattan,

woven laundry basket
Photo by Cecilia Rodríguez Suárez on Unsplash

Chic Wire and Cloth Laundry Hampers

I actually used to use a large basket as a laundry hamper, until the bottom rotted away because of leaving damp clothes in there. I bet that’s why they started making plastic ones. Your average plastic laundry basket does not have vintage, chic beauty. I guess that’ why I used a real basket.

Wire and cloth are more practical. The wire and cloth baskets, or hampers, can give a chic, “I’m going to the laundromat in Paris in the 1960s feeling.” I don’t know if French people going to the laundromat in the 1960s felt chic and stylish, but these types of laundry hampers or baskets are a great way to add some attitude to your laundry room décor.

Here is the video about two practical, big, inexpensive, and très chic options for a French vintage inspired laundry hamper.

If you prefer to read, the transcript follows right below the video.

Transcript

Hey this is Kathleen at oldworldfarmhouse.com and today I wanted to talk about chic French laundry hampers, so let’s go!

I always wanted a laundry hamper like these ones, like when you went to the laundromat, if you went to the laundromat back in the day with the cool wheels and the baskets. So vintage and sweet. There’s just something so, like, urban cool about it. Um, I just love them they’re like, poetic.

laundromat
Photo by Bianca Jordan on Unsplash
red laundry basket
Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash
white laundry basket
Photo by Anca Gabriela Zosin on Unsplash
metal laundry basket
Photo by Autri Taheri on Unsplash
green laundry basket
Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash
girl in laundry basket
Photo by Kaitlyn Pixley on Unsplash

Laundry Hampers to Feel Like 1960s Paris

So I wanted something like that for my house, and I didn’t want to like, you know, steal one from the laundromat. And I don’t know where they source them from. There’s probably some supplier where you have to buy like a thousand at a time. I don’t know.

A few years ago I read an article on Apartment Therapy. It was a tutorial for this laundry hamper.

It said, you want a laundry hamper that makes you feel like Jean Seberg in 1960s Paris, but you can’t buy one, so you’re going to have to make one. I was hooked. I was like, I want to feel like Jean Seberg in 1960s Paris when I do laundry. So I marched myself out to Lowe’s and I got chicken wire and this little wooden thing and some little wheels on casters and I followed the directions and I have been using this as my laundry hamper ever since.

wire laundry hamper

Vintage Industrial Style Laundry Hamper

Since I made these hampers, I actually made two of them, I’ve always kind of looked around for budget chic industrial laundry hampers. And I never really found anything that I thought was any good, design-wise or price-wise. Until I recently found this cool one by Seville Classics. And it is actually really reasonably priced. And I’ve been watching it for a while, and it was on sale on Overstock for like 60 bucks. No shipping charges. But I’ve seen them often for about that price, and I put it together.

cloth laundry hamper

I just wanted to do a quick video and share with you these two really budget-friendly options for a chic 1960s-in- Paris style laundry hamper so you can feel fabulous while you’re doing your laundry. Because I know I like to. I will definitely link out to the Apartment Therapy tutorial they did on this one.

French Vintage Inspired Laundry Hamper Made From Apt. Therapy Tutorial

I just want to show you, um, how it works. So this is from the Army-Navy store. It’s a laundry bag that just lifts. When I take this downstairs to dump it in our laundry I just lift this out, dump the laundry in, and then I bring it back and I put it back into its wire container. You don’t actually want your clothes touching the wire because, you know, they’ll snag. Um, yeah, and then it just kind of rests in there. For a while I had one that had a drawstring top, and that worked really nicely, too, but it wore out finally. And then you can also, I just i pull it around from place to place like that.

I can’t remember exactly how much I spent when I made these. I made two of these back in 2016. If memory serves, I think they each cost about $20 in raw materials from Lowe’s. And then of course buying the liner is going to be an extra expense depending on where you get that. It could be any soft laundry bag.

French Vintage Inspired Laundry Hamper – Industrial Style

And then if you don’t feel like doing all of that DIY leg work, this is the cute little Seville Classics industrial style laundry hamper. it – like I said it was about 60 bucks on Overstock.com I’ve seen it for sale lots of places, including you can buy direct from Seville Classics, which is pretty cool. I just assembled this the other day. I am a completely hopeless klutz when it comes to assembling anything, just ask my husband. I got this together in under 10 minutes. It was super easy, and I love – I am loving it. I love the look of it. The wheels glide nicer, there’s no pokey metal things. So as much as I love my DIY project, I’m also really fond of my Seville Classics.

So there you have it, if you’re looking to feel chic and Parisian when you do your laundry, here are two great budget friendly and super practical options for laundry hampers. They’re also really big and hold a lot of stuff.

I hope you enjoy this and I hope you get some use out of it. Happy folding!

If you love things chic and French, you’ll also enjoy my other posts, Soft French Country Color Palette and French Country Style: Give Your Furniture Parisian Patina.

Soft French Country Color Palette

green, blue, drab color palette

French country style can look totally different depending on which French Country colors you are drawn to.

This post is about a soft French Country color palette of greens, blues, and khakis. Before we get into that, let’s examine the many interpretations of “French Country.”

French country colors could be warm, cool, muted, bright, or soft. They could be a delicious range of cool light blues or a gorgeous array of warm, deep reds.

Or just the reverse – deep warm blues, light cool reds. A French country interior could have layers of bright colors, or soft, muted whites and creams. French country colors are not restricted to a single side of the color wheel.

French Country Farmhouse

French country design and French country décor, can mean rustic elegance, with bright French blue, red gingham checks, and scrubbed, unfinished pinewood.

blue teapot, yellow bowl
blue door, red flowers
Photo by Michael Kroul on Unsplash

French Country House / Paris Country

Country French style could also mean shabby chic, with variegated light greys, whites, and creams, subtly distressed paintwork, toile fabrics in white or light blue or grey.

grey toile, silver bowl
Delicate crystal and toile is one interpretation of French Country style.
grey stone building
Photo by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash

French Provencal

French country could mean the South of France, evoking the French countryside with the colors of lavender, ocher, terra cotta, and olive, heavily distressed paintwork for a rustic patina, traditional Provencal indiennes cotton calico fabrics sprigged with flowers or cicadas, the symbol of Provence.

stone street
Photo by gerti gjuzi on Unsplash
lavender field
Photo by Thomas Despeyroux on Unsplash
red plaster wall
Photo by Clémence Taillez on Unsplash
green shutters
Photo by Chantal Garnier on Unsplash
blue shutters
Photo by Auriane Clément on Unsplash
outdoor fabric market
Charly Pn on Unsplash
blue flowered fabric
Provence Fabric Tradition Navy
blue cicada print fabric
French Blue Cicada Fabric
Vence Gold and Blue Allover Fabric

There’s so many different ways to take French Country style, so many places to find inspiration, including gorgeous works of fine art.

French Farmhouse/French Provencal Colors

I developed this soft French country color palette from this beautiful painting, “The Balcony” by French artist Edouard Manet. I think it’s a bit of mix of rustic French farmhouse style and French Provencal style . I’m just riffing off of the many beautiful French country styles. I think it’s important to be inspired by, but not slavishly imitate, the beautiful French styles.

three people on balcony
The Balcony, Edouard Manet

This palette could be used in a French country bedroom. I think it would be a beautiful palette for a French country kitchen, or maybe even a French country living room or dining room.

In my case, I was simply looking for an interesting paint color, or preferably many French country colors. I’m trying to create a French country home for my family. At the moment I am focusing on bringing French country style into our home by painting furniture. I think painting furniture is the quickest, and most fun, way to add a certain French je ne sais quois to your home.

Here is the video I made about creating this color palette and how to use paint to get an effect like the one on this dresser. If you prefer to read, the transcript follows just below the video.

Please check out my post, How to Paint Furniture French Country Style, for a more in-depth explanation of the wax resist technique I mention in this video.

Here is a supply list for the project, too.

You Will Need:

Dropcloth https://bit.ly/3yoIFGc

Paint Brush: https://low.es/37cXqQd

Painters’ Rags: https://bit.ly/3yjWUMn

Wax Candles: https://bit.ly/3yivBlw

Minwax Paste Finishing Wax: https://low.es/3yoJwqo

Wax Resist Tutorial: https://youtu.be/qunRqgDkrek

Sherwin-Williams Paint Palette:

Cocoon: https://bit.ly/3xibuT5

Cyberspace: https://bit.ly/3BWIT9s

Ionian: https://bit.ly/3BWJ1Wu

Grandview: https://bit.ly/3ihmyMc

Patience: https://bit.ly/2Vfz0TL

Farrow and Ball Paint Palette:

Salon Drab: https://bit.ly/3yhDgk3

Railings: https://bit.ly/3ifmX1n

Verdigris: https://bit.ly/3ig5aHy

De Nimes: https://bit.ly/3xhbtig

Matchstick: https://bit.ly/3A4cH2p

Transcript

My jumping off point for this dresser was the painting “The Balcony” by Edouard Manet. I always like to find a piece of art as an inspiration for how I’m going to paint something and in this case it was the balcony i love the different blues and greens and whites and how they all come together in this painting.

three people on balcony
The Balcony, Edouard Manet

Soft French Country Color Palette

I just eyeballed the colors in the Edouard Manet balcony painting and I used what I had on hand, because it was a way to use up odds and ends of paint. If you would like to recreate something like this, I am going to give you a proper – properly color matched color palette for this balcony painting in Farrow and Ball colors and also Sherwin-Williams. But these are the ones I used. I had some Valspar in Sea Swell. I had Pure White from Sherwin-Williams. Cocoon from Sherwin-Williams. Lounge Green from Sherwin-Williams. Parisian Patina from Sherwin-Williams. And a little bit of Downpipe from my beloved Farrow and Ball.

Thinking Outside the (Paint)box

I read online that Manet was criticized for this painting, because the colors clashed and didn’t match and didn’t work together. And then, when you look at it, of course, um, it’s just gorgeous. It’s all these blue greens and then there’s these blacks and charcoals and a little bit of white and even some khaki. And it’s just – it is a really unusual and interesting combo of colors, and i think it’s just beautiful. So I had a lot of odds and ends of paint that I wanted to use up, and I liked the idea that it might not all work and it might get criticized at the Paris Salon for, you know, not being quite right, color-wise.

Wax Resist is Perfect for Soft French Country Color Palette

For this dresser I used the same wax resist method that I talk about a lot in the “Ballerinas in Pink” dresser video. I just would paint a color and then go over it with my wax puck, and then paint another color, and then go over with the wax puck, and then paint another and go over, and so on and so on and so on.

Experiment with Joy

I just had a lot of fun experimenting. I wasn’t sure exactly how it was going to turn out, and there were definitely a few moments where I decided it was hideous and I was sorry i had even started. But that is very common when I think you’re doing any DIY there’s always a moment, I think I read that first in Miss Mustard Seed’s book; there’s always a moment with a project where you just want to throw the whole thing in the garbage and you’re convinced it’s hideously ugly.

But just push past that moment, the best is yet – is yet to come. And I’m actually, you know I-I like how it turned out a lot and I i hope you do, too.

Farrow and Ball Soft French Country Color Palette

green, blue, tan color palette
Farrow and Ball Color Palette

Here is a palette in Farrow and Ball colors color matched to The Balcony by Edouard Manet. Farrow and Ball Salon Drab, Railings, Verdigris, Des Nimes, and Matchstick.

Sherwin-Williams Soft French Country Color Palette

green, blue, drab color palette
Sherwin-Williams Color Palette

And here is a color palette in Sherwin-Williams paints color matched from the Edouard Manet painting “The Balcony.” Sherwin-Williams Cocoon, Cyberspace, Ionian, Grandview, and Patience.

Other Posts You’ll Enjoy

If you like French Country Style furniture, check out my other posts on painted furniture. The full wax resist tutorial is with my post, How to Paint Furniture French Country Style. You might also like French Country Style: Give Your Furniture Parisian Patina.

If you like creating lots of interest with layers of paints, you’ll enjoy my post, Painting Highlights and Lowlights With Chalk Paint.

Swedish Country Color Palette

two half moon tables, striped rug

Swedish interiors are famed for delicate, layered, neutral color palettes. “Swedish country color palette” make me think of soft, natural color palettes incorporating wood, white walls, bright but light colors. These seem to be the province of Scandinavian interior design.

Carl Larsson painted hundreds of pictures of his beautiful Scandinavian home, painted and decorated by himself and his wife, Karin, who was also a gifted artist and artisan. I think Larsson’s paintings of his Swedish country home are a trove of inspiration for Swedish interior design, Swedish country interiors, Scandinavian decor, farmhouse style, painted furniture, Gustavian furniture, Scandinavian furniture, Swedish style and design.

If you love Swedish Country style, Karin Larsson is an interior designer you want to follow! And happily, her husband Carl left us a gorgeous record of her creativity.

Please enjoy the video I made for you about creating a Swedish Country paint color palette from a gorgeous piece of classic art.

If you prefer to read, I’ve posted the transcript right after the video.

Transcript

Hi, this is Kathleen from oldworldfarmhouse.com and today I wanted to take a Carl Larsson painting and pull out a beautiful Swedish Country color palette based on the colors in the painting. In Farrow and Ball paints and also in Sherwin-Williams. So here it is. I hope you enjoy.

So we’ve got this beautiful painting, At home in Solsidan, by Carl Larsson. It’s a painting of his home and it’s got a beautiful color palette. I pulled out a white and a gray and a red and a blue and a green.

Swedish Country Color Palette
At Home in Solsidan, Carl Larsson

Sherwin-Williams Swedish Country Color Palette

In Sherwin-Williams, I matched the colors to the following. I’ve linked each color here for easy reference.

paint color swatches

Farrow & Ball Swedish Country Color Palette Palette

if you wanted to do this in Farrow and Ball colors, I’ve linked each color here for easy reference.

white, red, green, grey, blue paint swatches

I hope you enjoyed this video about creating a Swedish country color paint palette based on a beautiful work of art. If you like Carl Larsson’s painting, you would enjoy my post, Swedish Country Style: 13 Key Elements to the Look, and my post, Get the Swedish Country Look with Chalk Paint.

Gold Painted Frames: from Cheap to fab

green wall, gold framed paintings
The Breakfast Room, Calke Abbey, Phil Sangwell, United Kingdom, Wikimedia Commons

Gold painted picture frames add beauty for pennies. Chalk paint, spray paint, acrylic paint, latex paint, craft paint, even milk paint or genuine gold leaf can work beautifully over inexpensive frames from the dollar store, Walmart, yard sales, or Goodwill. I love to paint picture frames because it’s a quick and easy way to add interest to a room. Painting an old frame is a perfect way to start that gallery wall you’ve been dreaming of. Start with one painted frame and add on as you find more, or go out to your thrift store or dollar store and buy all the frames you want to fill up a wall, and paint them all at once. If you’re lucky, you might find some charming antique frames and thrift stores or yard sales. If you’re not so lucky, metallic paint can do a great job. Paint will stick to an old wooden frame easily. It will work great over metal frames, too. But don’t pass up plastic frames. Paint can turn blah plastic into a beautiful frame.

I wanted some gold painted frames for my new cozy English style library. I had some old artwork in the form of posters, but posters were not going to fit my home décor vision.

Here is the video I made for you about turning cheap plastic frames into gold. If you prefer to read, I put the transcript right after the video down below. I added a supply list, too, for easy reference.

Supply List

For this decor project, you will need:

For this decor project, you will need: A picture frame. Or picture frames. I used these from Walmart:

https://bit.ly/3woMPvX

https://bit.ly/3xlF7nC

Canvas drop cloth

https://bit.ly/3yorB2D

Paint brush. I used this Purdy angled brush.

https://bit.ly/3htMbI1

Damp cloth

https://bit.ly/3hu1bp7

Sandpaper or sanding block

https://bit.ly/3dF2dNW

Valspar EE2015B, Driftwood, Interior Signature, Semigloss, Base B

https://low.es/3wa9Yln

Valspar Brilliant Metals Aged Brass

https://low.es/3wa9Yln

Transcript

I wanted this room to look like that picture of Calke Abbey, this one here where there’s these big beautiful oil paintings and gorgeous antique gold frames. Only problem is, I don’t have big oil paintings and I don’t have gold painted frames. So what to do? Can I turn these super cheap frames from Walmart into something that will look like a million bucks in my new English country house library?

Hey, this is Kathleen from oldworldfarmhouse.com and today I am going to try to make the cheapest frames I could find at Walmart into something that looks like a beautiful, aged gold frame for my new library. So let’s get started.

Prepping the frames for gold paint

These are a little different from other frames you you you work these corners until the glass pops out. Okay yeah, okay perfect, so yeah you just you go around each corner and you just kind of push and then your glass comes out.

And it’s got a little cardboard back. I’m going to paint over my little uh, glass front frame. I’m gonna get the edge and then actually I am also gonna paint the side. When you are painting these kind of frames make sure that you paint on that edge and then also on the inside because just a little bit of this inside vertical side does show when you put your picture and glass in. I found that out the hard way by putting in my picture and glass and seeing that there was a little black line, so I had to take it all out – and it was a big mess – and go back over it.

Oka,y my 20 by 30 frame. I already went ahead and put the poster in there that I wanted in there because the plastic doesn’t seem to detach from the black frame. And I just didn’t want to, I tried to pop it out and it didn’t seem to want to go, and I didn’t want to run the risk of cracking it. And if I get any paint splatters I’ll just, you know, scrape them off. Or wipe them off with a bit of paper towel.

I am going to take a little sanding block and just kind of go over this super shiny plastic because i think that might help it grip a little better.

Basecoat is essential for metallic paint

So the first thing I’m doing is painting the base coat driftwood semi-gloss, which is what you’re supposed to paint as the base coat to the Valspar Brilliant Metals Aged Brass. And it’s going okay on this super shiny plastic. It’s – it’s covering about as well as I would expect. Okay, so here is the frame after two coats of the Driftwood color base coat. It has stuck to the plastic pretty well. You can still see some of the black plastic frame shining through, but it’s nothing that I’m worried enough about to go over it a third time. Pretty – it was easy – I didn’t get any drips on my plastic, I mean my glass. I just used this, I think it’s a two inch Purdy angled brush, and I was able to stay on that edge and avoid getting on the plastic altogether, which is nice, but i had a rag here just in case. This is how it looks after one coat of the driftwood base coat. It sticks better to this plastic because it’s not as shiny as that other plastic and I don’t – I’m not even going to go over it a second time. This will be good enough. I’m trying to use just the corner of my brush so i don’t get the plastic. The laziest picture frame painting, just wanted to do a quick project. But no, seriously I think on these poster frames the plastic’s not even meant to pop out, you know, they’re just, they’re very, very inexpensive. This one was six or seven dollars.

Gold Painted Frames

And here are the finished products. Here’s the fatter frame with the – that was that shiny plastic and now it’s gold, not too shabby.

gold painted frame

Of course it’s the same paint as I used up there on the trim, and again here’s the two Bruegel posters with their faux metal frames. The narrow little gold around the edge. I think they look pretty good.

two gold painted frames

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If you’re interested in painting things to give a rich effect, you’ll enjoy my post French Country Style: Give Your Furniture Parisian Patina. If you love English Country Style, check out my post, English Country Style: A Cozy Home Library Color Palette.

paris cafÉ bed: FRENCH COUNTRY STYLE

red table and chairs

My son and I were inspired to paint this “Paris café” bed to be like these beautiful chairs and tables at this Paris café. Enjoy the video. If you prefer to read, the transcript follows below.

Transcript

I call this the Paris café bed because I got the idea for the colors from this beautiful picture of a café – outdoor café somewhere in Paris.

This was a bed frame that we got for free and my son saw it and he said, “I want that bed:” because he’s on the top bunk and he’s tired of being on the top bunk. So I said, well okay, why don’t we paint it? because it was pretty ugly and he loves red.

So he said he wanted to paint it red and I had some odds and ends left over of red paint, so we just got that out.

Paris café bed red paint colors

The colors that I used were actually Porter Paints Wet Coral for the main part the orangey red, and then the darker red trim is Olympic Paints Red Gumball. It was a very flat paint so then I waxed over that with Minwax paste wax and then the Valspar Brilliant Metals Aged Brass which I have a whole bunch of. We added a little metallic shimmer.

Now if you don’t want to get a headache running around after all those paints and you just want to go to Sherwin-Williams, I color matched them to I would say Sherwin-Williams Gladiola for the orangey red and Sherwin-Williams Antique Red for that darker red trim. And then of course the Valspar Brilliant Metals Aged Brass stays the same.

If you wanted to do this with Annie Sloan paint I would say Emperor’s Silk would be great for the brighter main red and then Primer Red for that darker red trim would be what I would recommend. So here it is, the Paris café bed. And my son, who’s something of a Francophile, is loving it.

If you like this video, please consider giving me a thumbs up down below. Thank you so much for watching. I can’t wait to make more videos about French, Swedish, and English country styles. Bye.

If you like French Country Style furniture, you will probably enjoy my posts Khaki Green Paint Colors for French Country Style and French Country Style: Give Your Furniture Parisian Patina.

French Country Style: Give Your Furniture Parisian Patina

I used this beautiful picture of a fountain in Paris as a jumping-off point to paint several dressers with Sherwin-Williams latex paint.

green copper fountain
Photo by Vitor Pinto on Unsplash

Check out the video for the full tutorial. If you prefer, a transcript of the video follows below. I have also included a supply list with links to make it easy to find everything.

Supply List

You will need: Your furniture piece

Sherwin-Williams Parisian Patina, Captivate paint line, Flat (any paint line or sheen would work)

Sherwin-Williams Lounge Green, Emerald paint line, Matte (any paint line or sheen would work)

Paint Brush. I like Purdy brushes.

Minwax furniture paste.

Wax brush or rags.

Adhesive Size

Copper Leaf

Gilding brush

Transcript

I usually think of Paris as a warm gray but I love the idea of it being a patinated oxide oxidized copper um like some of the roofs or the metro sign or the fancy fountains in Paris and the name of the paint actually gave me the whole inspiration for the project and I love the idea.

Hey this is Kathleen from oldworldfarmhouse.com and today I am cleaning off some furniture that I got off Facebook Marketplace. So I’m mixing four tablespoons into two gallons of warm water. I got these two dressers and nightstand and a bed facebook marketplace for free and they are – they need – they got a really rough paint job with a lot of drips that need to be sanded off and they also kind of smell like maybe mouse pee. So the first step is just for me to take my Dirtex solution, it’s this pale yellow, the more Dirrtex you put in the darker it gets. This is the concentration, four tablespoons to two gallons of water, for furniture. I think it should be fine and I’m just going to wipe it down, all over inside and out. What this stuff is on here, something really gross, yes definitely some kind of animal pee, but the Dirtex should take care of it. Um, Dirtex is a little different from TSP and that they say explicitly on the box you do not have to rinse, whereas with TSP you’re always having to do a rinse. But um, I might go over this twice, because it’s pretty gross. Okay, while I’m out here I’m also going to take off all the hardware with a screwdriver.

Okay, so now we are standing the rough paint. There’s a very rough paint job with lots of marks right here with 60 grit paper. Okay we finally got these pieces cleaned up and we are ready to start painting. We are using Sherwin-Williams Parisian Patina and I’m probably going to do some accents in Lounge Green.

I’ve got one of my favorite helpers here, my daughter stirring the paint, and I’m just testing out from the lid with my Purdy trim brush, which is pretty much my favorite thing to paint with, and we’re gonna just get started painting upside down. I have painted this whole piece in Parisian Patina and now I am adding highlights with Lounge Green to give it that look like copper gets on a building where it’s oxidized all over green, and then in some areas it’s, you know, just a little greener like where it sticks out, like it’s elbows or something. So I have the – the barest minimum amount of paint on this brush like it’s – it’s so dry that I couldn’t possibly get it any drier and here’s my ridge and I’m just gonna – just the – the tiniest suggestion of more oxidation on the corners, even though I realize it’s obviously wood, so it’s ridiculous, the wood wouldn’t be oxidized, but the overall effect will be – will be cool, you’ll see. So yeah, it’s the teeniest bit of dry brushing, brush, brush.

Let’s see here I had to load up my brush again, and it wasn’t quite as optimally dry so I’ll probably just go and touch that up with my other brush to cover it maybe when it’s dry.

I really don’t want anything but the barest hint.

Today I am going to be waxing my pieces with Minwax Paste Finishing Wax in Natural. Waxwell brush, trusty brush, and I’m just rubbing this on. I – the paints I chose were very, uh, one of them is called Flat that’s the Captivate Parisian Patina in their Captivate which is their kind of, their budget paint line, and I got that in a flat, and then Lounge Green, which is this lighter green color here, is in the Emerald Matte paint so it’s very matte, and i think that rubbing it with the wax is going to give it a nice, that nice, you know, hand rubbed look. So again I’m just pressing and pushing it into the paint. I want to do a very, very thin layer. The Minwax furniture wax, um, is a good budget alternative to the Annie Sloan clear wax. It might have a slight more bit of yellow to it but I don’t really care about that. I’ve never really, I don’t think it’s noticeable and it’s ten dollars for one pound versus I can’t remember how much you get in a tin of Annie Sloan, um, slightly less and it’s – it’s slightly more, so it’s a very good product. But uh, I am just as, you know, I – I love going into Sherwin-Williams and being able to pick out any color and getting that kind of inspiration and knowing that I’m paying so much less. I don’t have to wait for it to come in the mail because I don’t have a stockist near me for Annie Sloan, sadly. Um, so yeah that’s what we’re doing, and then here’s the top. My little girl was helping me and she has run off. So you can see there how it – it is slightly yellow but when you rub it on. I – this will be the final step. I think that I will only wax these pieces once. They’re not going to be getting a lot of hard wear. If I was being very responsible I might wax the top twice because we might set – inevitably set glasses and things like that on there. And I am waxing over these handles. I copper leafed them and I am waxing over them to seal them. That way the copper leaf is not going to patinate as it ages. It’s going to stay bright.

And today I’m going to show you how to copper leaf drawer handles. I am going to copper leaf all of these metal drawer handles for my new french dressers and the first step is to paint all of them with size. Now this one I got on Amazon. Speedball Metal Leaf. I have used this so far on eight or nine handles and four clawfoot tub feet in my bathtub, and I still have quite a bit left. I just got a little whatever cheapo brush. You dip it in your size and then you paint all over and it looks kind of white. Some of these are half done already because I was leafing them and I ran out of copper leaf so now I’m going back. But it looks white. It’s kind of hard to see, because these handles are white, but when you paint it on, it’ll look white and then you go away and you wait 30 minutes or 45 minutes or so until it is completely clear and when you come back and it’s clear, it will feel sticky and that’s the point when you start to attach your leaf. This is copper leaf. You can do gold, brass, silver, there’s all different colors. It has dried nice and clear and it’s time to put on the copper leaf. I bought this from Amazon. It was, I think, eight bucks. Um, it’s, they come in all different price points and all different, uh numbers. This is one of the smaller uh, sets of leaf, and it comes like this. There’s a leaf and then there’s a piece of tissue paper in between each each leaf like that so what you do is you just, and you place it, whatever it is you’re leafing, wanting to leaf. And then you take a brush, you can buy a special brush, you know, made for copper leafing, that’s what this is. It’s kind of nice because they’re soft and that’s what they’re meant for, but if you just want to use like a little kids paintbrush or anything that’s soft yes, like, oh, my daughter’s right here off screen. This is just like a Crayola crayon brush. This would work fine because all you’re gonna do with it is just push gently you just you’re pushing it on to the size and the excess leaf, you know, you just kind of brush away, you brush it off. It comes off,

And then you have your, and this is a little part I missed, so I’m going to, I’m going to take this little bit and lay it on there and just again take my brush and push and then whatever isn’t directly stuck to some size it just comes – it comes right off and you can brush it away and use it on another, uh thing or you know if it’s too small, discard.

And here is the finished product. I did two dressers exactly the same way with the Parisian Patina and Lounge Green highlights and the copper leafed handles, and one nightstand and I’m painting the bed a totally different color for my son. So I’m very pleased with how this turned out and I think it does have a Parisian patina.

Painting highlights and lowlights with chalk paint

painted green and grey table

After that initial coat, a great way to add dimension and interest to painted furniture is to subtly layer another color or two on top. But please, no sanding! It’s too much work. In this YouTube video, linked right below here, I’ll show you how to get that layered look, no sanding necessary.

If you don’t want to watch the video, the transcript follows right here below.

Transcript

Hey this is Kathleen from the blog oldworldfarmhouse.com and we’re back with our Gustavian Swedish style table. So I have covered the whole thing in one coat of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Duck Egg Blue and now I’m going to go back over and dry brush in some highlights.

Using a paper plate as a palette

So I like to put my paint on a plate when I’m brushing on the highlights or if I want to mix colors. I’m going to brush on some highlights of Paris Grey into this Duck Egg Blue. And I’m going to do that for a couple reasons.

One is, one coat – come over here and I’ll show you – one coat doesn’t fully – fully cover. You can still use brush marks still where you could touch up, and instead of going over that again with another coat of Duck Egg Blue I’m going to take this opportunity and touch up or brush on highlights in Paris Grey to give it some more interest. But I also have a little Duck Egg Blue on my plate, and obviously my brush is
full of Duck Egg Blue paint.

Dry brushing highlights and lowlights

And I’m – I’m just gonna blend them together on the plate and then kind of touch up my piece. and I am just, doing this um, just by instinct and just kind of what I want as far as what I would imagine I want it to be, a little shadowy or have a little highlight.

I learned this technique from this wonderful blogger who sadly doesn’t blog anymore, Leslie Stocker, um she still keeps her blog up though, I believe, and she taught me this.

Sanding technique for highlights and lowlights

Instead of – Annie Sloan recommends painting in two colors and then sanding back so that you see, um, the base color underneath the top coat and then maybe some of the wood if you like, as well, but the sanding is – is very time consuming and then of course you end up wasting your paint and then you sand the paint off and it’s kind of frustrating especially because her paint’s kind of expensive.

Leslie Stocker, her method is just to dry brush on highlights and just avoid sanding all together and I love that because it saves me time, saves me money, and I – I do think the effect is pretty much the same, having done both I – I really think the effect is the same. So I just wanted, I want to kind of highlight these rosettes because they’re interesting and then back here I missed some spots so the brown is poking through so I’m just gonna stipple with my brush, get some gray in there and I’m just gonna go around the whole piece with my plate and just use it as a palette and get some green in with the gray. So I don’t want it to be, you know, really blaringly obvious, “hey hey here’s a highlight!” But just, you know, just a little bit of subtle variation and change and that’s what I’m going to do around the whole piece.

More DIY Resources for Swedish Country Style

If you’d like to know more about Swedish/Gustavian Country style paint colors, check out my video here. I’ve also got a video on how to get nice, thin coats of wax over your chalk paint for an irresistible hand-rubbed patina, and if you’d like to complete the Swedish Country look on a side chair, check out my video on how to make simple tie-on chair covers.

how to wax your chalk painted furniture

grey and white kitten sitting on blue green neoclassical table

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure.

The final step when using chalk paint is to seal your paint work with furniture wax. In this YouTube video linked right below here, I show you how to get a nice, thin coat that dries properly and will give your piece that irresistible hand-rubbed patina.

If you don’t want to watch the video, the transcript follows right here below.

Transcript

Hey this is Kathleen again from oldworldfarmhouse.com and I’m going to show you how to seal your chalk
painted furniture with a coat of clear wax.

Wax brush options

This is chalk paint wax in clear by Annie Sloan and I have a round wax brush from Waxwell that I’m using. I got years ago. If you do not have a round wax brush you can use an old rag um and that works fine. The wax brush just helps it go a little faster. I’ll link to some places to find wax brushes. Annie now makes her own wax brushes,
which she didn’t back in the day when I got this one. You can also get them at Walmart. Waverly has some and other places.

Sources for wax brushes and wax* (*affiliate links)

How to get a nice thin coat that will dry

Waxing, when I first started I tended to way over do the wax. The key to wax is thin coats and the bad news is, in my opinion two coats or three coats are better than one, and it’s bad news because it is a little tedious, but the brush helps it go fast and it seals your piece and it gives it a beautiful patina especially after you rub it
and buff it when you’re done.

So I just barely touch my brush into the wax get some
on there, and then just go and rub it in, kind of like I am rubbing hand lotion into my hands and you want it to absorb to that point. You don’t want it to be really greasy because if you lay it on real thick and you think, oh it’s just going to dry or something, uh-uh it
doesn’t really work that way. You just want to put on the thinnest of coats and really work it into the paint with your brush.

How long to let it dry in between coats

Then you’re going to want to let it dry overnight at least,
so we’re talking like, I would say 12 to 24 hours depending on the kind of weather and humidity where you are. 12 to 24 hours in between wax coats, and if you have the patience to put on two
or three it’ll really go much better towards the sturdiness and durability of your paint job as well, as there is this – in my opinion – this ineffable charm that comes from the patina of a hand
rubbed painted piece of furniture. So as you can see I’m just – I’m not being shy about really pushing it into the paint. And that is that!

More DIY resources for Swedish Country Style

If you want to know more about Swedish Country Style chalk paint colors, I’ve got a video about that here, and if you’d like to learn how to add layers of time and character with chalk paint, I’ve made a video on that as well.

Get even more Gustavian Swedish Country Style in your home with my video tutorial for making some tie-on slipcovers for your dining room chairs.