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Welcome to my blog. As an interior designer, design is in my blood. Design affects how we live, how we function. It can have a profound effect on our happiness and productivity.  I wish to inspire you with my stories about great, good and not so good design. About exteriors and interiors. About colours and art. In short, the things that we surround ourselves with. 

From Ugly Duckling To Glamorous Swan (II)

From Ugly Duckling To Glamorous Swan (II)

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Ok, you have decided to repaint a piece of furniture. So, what do you do next? It is a good idea to make sure you have all the right tools at hand. See the list below to go shopping, unless you already have those things in your box. If you are repainting an already painted piece, make sure you check that there is no lead in the old painted surface. Typically paint made before 1978 contains lead. Not good! If you find there is lead in the old paint, you are wise to remove the old lead paint according to safety guidelines. For stained and varnished furniture ('the old wood look') follow the procedure below.

Shopping List:

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  1. TSP  (Trisodium Phosphate) Solution
  2. Clean rags
  3. Low tack masking tape
  4. Sandpaper and sander (low/80 and high/120 grit)
  5. Fine grade wood filler with putty knife
  6. Latex primer. Choose a grey primer for dark colours and a white one for light colours.
  7. Water-based paint. At a minimum use a semi gloss. For extra lustre use a high gloss.
  8. Brushes & rollers
  9. Water-based glaze (optional)
  10. Varnish (check with your local paint supply store if the paint of your choice requires and additional top coat of varnish.
  11. Mask to protect against fumes and dust.



~ Wipe down the entire furniture piece thoroughly with the TSP solution. 
~ Remove any dirt, grease or other residue. 
~ Let dry completely.

~ Remove any existing nails, old hinges and old door/drawer pulls. If the piece has a weakness (a wobbly chair for instance) or if something is broken, fix this before starting the refinishing. Fill scratches or wholes with the wood filler.

~ If working with seating, remove the seat if possible.

 ~ With the low (80) grit sandpaper roughen the original surface of the wood to ensure paint will adhere better.

~ Use the masking tape to tape off any parts of the piece you either don’t want to receive the new finish or anywhere you wish to apply a different colour paint.

~ If adding decorative details, such as mouldings, this is the time to do just that.

~ Prime your piece with the  primer and let it dry overnight.

~ Lightly sand using the 120 grit sandpaper to smooth away any rough parts. Wipe away the sanding dust with a damp cloth. Dry thoroughly.

~ Using the roller for large areas, paint in the colour of your choice. For difficult to reach spots use an angled brush. A brush also works better for small areas. Make sure that you check with the paint store that you purchase the right type of paint. Paint stores give excellent advice. Paints have so much advanced in the last few years that zero or low velocity paints (VOCs) are easily available. Zero velocity paints do not smell and are tolerable for people with allergies. Even low velocity paints are much less harmful than regular paints.

~ Let dry thoroughly (follow the manufacturer’s recommendations or ask your local paint store).

~ Apply a second or third coat if necessary. A richer and deeper colour is achieved when apply more than one coat. Jewel tones often require two or even three coats like emerald green, peacock blue or deep reds and purple.

~ Another way to achieve a depth and luminescence to the piece is by applying a glaze over the final paint coat.  A glaze is a translucent film that is applied to the final coat of paint. Light bounces off the glaze which creates the additional depth of the paint. This is an optional step in the finishing process. Before using a glaze I recommend you experiment a bit with it to ensure you get the right results. Most of the time, applying two or three coats of paint will do the trick of getting that rich look. A glaze should only be used on a semi gloss paint, never a matt one!

~ If any areas have been taped off, remove the tape when the paint is still tacky.

~ Again, let dry thoroughly.

~ Apply a top coat if the piece is a high traffic one. The varnish will protect the paint coats and the durability of the item is increased.
~ Have fun! The end result will be so rewarding!



I want to mention that there is also a liquid sander deglosser available. It is applied by brush, super easy! This deglosser is a chemical product which when applied to a surface will prepare that surface to receive a new paint coat. The chemicals in the liquid provide a gritty surface for the paint to adhere to. This type of prepping is much easier and a lot less time consuming. Two things to think about: (1) it is a chemical product and working with it requires ample ventilation and (2) it is more costly than using good old sandpaper!  The liquid sander is available in hardware and paint stores.  Above you can see an image of a liquid sander available at Amazon.


IDEAS FOR PAINT COLOURS (Note all colours are Benjamin Moore)


#2067-60 Windmill Wings    #819 Southern Bell     #2054-30 Venezuelan Sea




2033-10 Yellow Green             350 Sun Valley                283 Calla Lily 



#2009-60 Pink Sea     #2008-50  Delicate Rose      #1348 Razzle Dazzle


#2077-10 Magenta      #1357 Bottle of Bordeaux     #2072-30 Purple Lotus



#OC-24 Wind's Breath     #OC-27 Balboa Mist            #1601 Hearthstone


#2134-20 Iron Mountain      #2124-10 Wrought Iron      #2120-20 Black Iron

Above colours are some of my favourite colours in the Benjamin Moore Paint Collections. They have a freshness and vibrancy. The colours can be matched to another manufacturer's colours. Keep in mind though that any colour matching will not produce identical results, since each manufacturer uses its own chemical formulations. 

Take a look below to see what someone did with their old filing cabinet. Isn't this a great idea! Those old ugly filing cabinets always find their way to a thrift store, or the garbage dump. Removing the drawers and giving it a new lick of paint makes it fun to look at. You could really use your imagination with colours and make it super fancy with stars, twirls, plaids, stripes etc. Great way to store those pesky garden tools in your garage or garden shed. Looking pretty!


Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

I would love to hear your stories! Let me know and send me some photos so I can post them.

In.Love.Again......Nope, Not What You Think It Is!

In.Love.Again......Nope, Not What You Think It Is!

From Ugly Duckling To Glamorous Swan (I)

From Ugly Duckling To Glamorous Swan (I)