Tag Archives: refinishing furniture

Making a Real Estate Office “Pretty”: Part 1

A very good friend of mine, Dianne Scalza, just opened up a new real estate franchise – Exit Realty All Pro in Bay Shore NY.  Dianne is a colorful, dynamic and fearless woman and so when I saw her private office – all beige – I knew I had to feminize it and bring more color and “Dianne” into the space. Luckily, she asked me to help make it her own.

before picture of the real estate office of Dianne Scalza,

Before the transformation

…And we just had to do something about those glass blocks (with no budget to remove them. Tomorrow on the blog I will show you how we transformed the window!).

She needed some extra storage in her office but she didn’t want ugly file cabinets – so she brought along a bombe chest that she had purchased 10 years ago.  A bookcase was also a priority – so I went in search of something that would work in this feminization of a boring real estate office. I found just what was needed on Craigslist – for $60!

an antique bookcase and a bombe chest before a transformation

Before: The antique green bookcase and the bombe chest

Both of these pieces had some nice curves and sex appeal – but the colors were ugly.  So – I got to work.

The Bombe Chest

painting a bombe chest Napoleonic Blue


I used some Annie Sloan Chalk Paints to revive this piece – Napoleonic Blue and Old White.  Dianne loves anything nautical, so these colors really hit the mark. But I had to add some beachy elements to bring in Dianne’s love of shells and the beach.  So – I added this…

a revamped bombe chest done with Annie Sloan Chalk Paints

On my porch, ready to go to her office!

I added this shell and roses design to the middle drawer.  It’s a design called Shell Eloquence from Royal Design Studio – but I did something a little different than just stenciling.  I first stenciled the design in Old White…then I freehanded the rest of the motifs – adding some Dutch Metal Gold and some dark brown for shading. I also touched up the hardware with some Dutch Metal Gold. Here’s a closeup of the drawer…

Royal Design Studio Shell Eloquence with handpainted details on a bombe chest

Closeup of the middle drawer design

I waxed the entire piece with Miss Mustardseed’s wax to make it durable.  Here’s the chest in Dianne’s new office…


a revamped bombe chest done with Annie Sloan Chalk Paints and Miss Mustardseed wax

Additional elements added were a lovely blue coral picture that I found at HomeGoods (for $10), but it had a black frame, which I changed by adding some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and some shells – including a shell planter with a faux orchid.

The Bookcase

Being that it was a deep forest green, you really couldn’t see the lovely scroll work at the top of the piece, so I had to make sure that this was prominent.  You also didn’t really notice the wonderful paneled backing of this bookcase.  I don’t know what year it’s from but the panels had a lot of depth being that every other panel protruded a bit (a staggered bead board effect). I wanted the inset top and the back of the piece to stand out – so I created a custom pale blue paint color for it.  The rest of the bookcase was painted an Off White.

an antique bookcase revamped with off white and pale blue paint

During – right before antiquing

I antiqued the bookcase with some raw umber and dark brown glaze, just to bring back the history of the piece.

a revamped antique bookcase with off white and pale blue paint and antiquedMuch more feminine…don’t you think? So – please come back tomorrow when I show you how we transformed the windows!!!

Let me know what you think in the comment box below!

Linking this project to: Miss Mustardseed; French Country Cottage; Redoux Interiors; Liz Marie; Common Ground; Between Naps on the Porch; It’s So Very; Katherine’s Corner


Thanks for stopping by The Colorful Bee! Stay in touch and never miss a post.
*Subscribe to receive an e-mail when a new post is up, HERE.
8 Comments | Posted in Annie Sloan's chalk paint, interior design, Paint

Painting and Antiquing a Unique Coffee Table

I have always yearned for great studio space – but forever and a day I had to deal with little scraps of space to do my finishing and artwork.  First I had a basement (dreary and light starved), then my studio was in my garage (better space – but still light was at a minimum)… then finally I was able to take over the space that was formerly our family room.  It was a bit dark (northern exposure), so I put in 3 skylights and that helped a lot.  But still, I made the space as light as possible by having just about everything in it be a creamy shade of pale yellow – the floors, the ceiling, the sofa and the furniture had to be a light buttery hue so that the room felt more light filled and spacious.  My walls were treated with a fabulous authentic Venetian Plaster – and the shine from that helps to illuminate the room. To read about that finish (Venetian Plaster in general), go here.

But I had this great, spacious coffee table that I had found (and lucky for me it was on sale!!) and I always used it to spread out ideas for myself and clients. It’s a great size – at 51 inches long and 39 1/4 inches wide. But it was Dark – with a capital D.

a revamped coffee table during the transformation

Here’s the coffee table during the transformation!

I fell in love with it at first sight.  It was an old Tibetan door that was transformed into a coffee table. I used it in my new great room for quite a while until I found something that suited that space better. Then the table was ushered in to my “new” studio space in the family room.

Primer being out on the coffee table

Coffee table during the primer stage

With its dark finish, you really couldn’t see the great carvings – the scrolls and the birds –  in the metal inlays.  And, in my usual style, I had books and a vase of flowers on it at all times – so who knew it had this great character?

Coffee table primed and painted in an off white

My coffee table primed and painted in off white

So, in keeping with the pale color scheme of my new studio, I kept going with the priming and painting.

  • I used Benjamin Moore All Purpose Primer
  • Then 2 coats of Aqua Finishing Solutions Off White Setcoat as the base paint.
  • For the decorative metal parts of the coffee table inlays I used a smooth texture product called StucoLux Metallic in Pale Gold. I put in on with a chip brush and let dry.  Then I rubbed back with some fine sandpaper to expose some of the dark color underneath to antique it.
A close up of the finished coffee table with the StucoLux Pale Gold

Closeup of the coffee table inlay with the StucoLux Pale Gold

  •  Next, I antiqued the entire piece with a brown and gold glaze just to dirty up the finish.
  • For a protective coat, I used Benjamin Moore’s All Clear Polyurethane as the final coat.
Antiqued coffee table with project table in my art studio

How my studio looks today with the antiqued coffee table

I had a little trepidation showing my raw space where everything happens.  I am just not as neat and perfect as some ofthe other DIY design blogs – but I can only show you the reality (and this is on a good day!!!) of what my space looks like!

But – I love how the coffee table blends with everything in my studio (can you see how the project table above, which was white, now blends with the Venetian Plaster wall color?) I painted and antiqued everything with a similar baseboat and glaze. To read about how I antiqued the bookcase with faux leather inserts – that you can see in the mirror, go here. And, of course, that mirror was once black and I lightened, gilded and antiqued it!

The coffee table and the decor of the office work for me – right now.  Though I have my eye on doing some more transformations to the space – so stay tuned!  I don’t know why I am like this…but it’s in my blood to change things!

Sharing this with…

Miss Mustardseed

Thanks for stopping by The Colorful Bee! Stay in touch and never miss a post.
*Subscribe to receive an e-mail when a new post is up, HERE.
12 Comments | Posted in Benjamin Moore, Uncategorized