Month: June 2017

How to Give a Mass-Produced Item a Custom Look {Easy Makeover}

*This post may contain affiliate links*

If the “bones” are right, the price is right, and you love it, get it!  That’s always been my shopping philosophy because an item’s color can always be changed.  I applied this logic to my guest bedroom and most recently, my Mora clock.  And that’s exactly what I did with a pair of wall sconces that I recently picked up from Amazon.  That’s right – time for a little makeover!

I’d been looking for wall sconces with a bit of a French flair to them, but found that most were either 1) out of my price range or 2) looked like they were trying to hard to say “Pick me!  I’m French!”  I stumbled across these Savoy House beauties and immediately loved their shape, but I wasn’t too thrilled about the finish.  I didn’t really love the harsh contrast of the black arms against the base and everything looked very mass-produced {which of course, it was!}.

The solution?  Paint it!


I posted on Facebook the other day asking your opinion about what I should do.  You guys had some fantastic ideas!  Eventually, I decided that based on where I want to install these, I’d paint the black metal arms brown, and add some brown highlights on the rest of the sconce.


I used CeCe Caldwell Texas Tea for the arms, and Annie Sloan Dark Soft Wax to bring out the details.


From afar, the difference is subtle, but just enough to take it from mass-produced to truly one-of-a-kind!


This was actually a super easy project to do and I really have the patience of a gnat {is that a thing? Are gnats impatient??}, so I just quickly dabbed on the dark wax and wiped off the excess.  Really, it couldn’t have been easier.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s a look at how easy the process is:



I think the new look will work well in my entryway, which is currently only lit by one small, overhead recessed light.


For more ways to repurpose items to make them work for you, you can check out {THIS POST}!



So as you shop {or shop your home}, keep an eye out for things that really speak to you, even if they don’t look quite right, and think about how you might be able to alter them to be a better fit for you.









The BEST Outdoor Hanging Lantern & Sconce Sets

I’ve been searching for the perfect outdoor hanging lantern for my home for at least a month now {seriously}, and I’ve done so much research that I figured I should share my findings with you to save you the time and trouble!

I’ve been obsessed with the look of gas lamps for a while now and love their classic styling.  My goal was to find a light that had the look of a gas lamp, but was electric.  I also needed both a hanging lantern and a wall sconce, so it was important to me that I liked the look of both styles, not just one.  I swear I must have searched every online site and store available and discovered that finding the perfect light was no easy task!  I’ve narrowed down my top 10 favorites for you, grouped by price bracket.  Some products may contain affiliate links.

Here’s a recap of my search criteria:

  • The look of a gas lamp in electric form
  • Hanging lantern AND coordinating sconce
  • Clear glass {not bubble}
  • Bronze, aged copper or black finish



As you might already know, everything for outdoors seems extraordinarily expensive, whether it’s furniture, accessories, or in this case, lights!  While there are quite a few inexpensive options, what you’ll find is that their finish or quality often doesn’t match that of the more expensive lights.  Even so, I was able to find a couple that met my criteria, like the Morgan light from Wayfair.  I like the detail the light has, which many in this price bracket are lacking.  I also think the brass adds a bit of interest!




There are plenty of lights to choose from in this category!  Pottery Barn has a nice selection, although their inventory is somewhat limited.  Their Classic Indoor/Outdoor pendant is a basic, but timeless light with both lantern and sconce options.


I also love the Federal light from Shades of Light because to me, it has one of the most authentic looks of a gas lamp that I found.



I have expensive taste and found many, many light in this category that I loved, but this just isn’t the category that I shop in.  I’ve narrowed my favorites down to two, of which, this is my #1 pick.  The Lois Hanging Lantern has a yoke mount with a gorgeous copper lantern with rivets.  It definitely has the look gas lamps still found in the French Quarter today!



Here’s my full Top 10 List with links to each below.

12 345 678910



I’m in the process of redoing my back porch, a project I’ve waited 11 years to tackle!  I picked a light from the Medium category, but it hasn’t yet been installed.  I’ll update with pictures as soon as it is!








How to Use Dark Wax {Video Tutorial}

If you’ve ever hesitated to paint a piece of furniture because you don’t want it to have a new, freshly painted look, dark wax might be just the product you need!  Applying dark wax, {also sometimes know as Aging Cream, Antiquing Wax, or Brown Wax} to painted furniture helps give it an aged appearance, but also changes the color of the paint a bit, too.  So let’s learn what dark wax is, why you’d use it, and what the secret is to getting a nice, smooth finish, which I”ll share with you in…..a video tutorial! I am completely camera shy, so this is a huge step for me.  I hate having my picture taken, let alone being in a video, but I really wanted to show you how easy it is to use this product, so this is my very first video {and possibly my last}. :)


Can you spot the difference between these two sample boards?


Learn to use dark wax like a pro!



I’m going to refer to this type of product as Aging Cream because I’m own CeCe Caldwell’s product and that’s the name of this product for that particular brand, but no matter the brand or what it’s called, they all have the same basic purpose.


Why & When to Use Aging Cream {Dark Wax}

Aging Cream is particularly useful if you want to tone down a painted color and give it a more muted look.  This is great for a painted piece that looks to stark for your decor or for a color that is just a bit too bright for your taste.  It also can give a cooler tone paint and warmer appearance.

Aging Cream is also a good way to give a painted piece a distressed look, even if you can’t {or don’t want to} actually distress the piece.   Distressing a piece brings out a lot of color depth to a piece, allowing the bottom color to show through, but also lightening the paint in some areas, so the painted piece has a lot of color variety.  If you’re hesitant to distress, or don’t want the bottom color to show through, Aging Cream can help bring out some depth of color without wearing away your paint job.

Lastly, Aging Cream helps to accentuate the details of a piece, particularly carved areas, curves, and grooves and on older pieces, these are beautiful details to highlight!  Below, you can see that I let more of the dark wax settle into the crevices of my Mora clock.


How to Use Aging Cream

First, let me start by saying that a little goes a long way!  It’s always better to use too little and add more later, than to use too much and desperately try to wipe it off before it dries!

Second, there’s a secret to getting a nice, smooth coating of Aging Cream without looking streaky.  Here’s a side-by-side comparison of a smooth application, versus a streaky.  Both pieces have been distressed, but do you see how on the left, you can’t actually see the dark wax because it  has formed a smooth coat on top of the blue paint?  Whereas on the right, you can actually see streaks of the wax as it was applied {which actually looks a bit like it’s been dry brushed with dark brown paint.}

Learn how to achieve a smooth finish with your dark wax!



There’s no right or wrong, it’s a matter of preference, but if you want a smooth look, there’s an easy trick to creating this look!  Watch below to learn the secret and see how easy it is to achieve a smooth finish!


Click to Watch the Video!


Easy peasy, right?  And in all honestly, it’s a lot of fun to work with because it’s so satisfying to see a painted piece transform.  Just remember, you an always add more, but it’s difficult to take off if you put on too much, so just add a little at a time until you get the look you want.  I only used a small amount on the table below, mostly to town down the color of the paint, as opposed to giving it an aged look.  If I ever decide to add more, though, I always can!


Happy painting!