Archive of ‘DIY’ category

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!

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!







How to Paint a Mora Clock

While this post details how to give a Mora clock a makeover with paint, let me get straight to the moral of the post.  If you find something that you love, with great bones {structure}, and the price is right, but the color or finish is wrong, don’t be deterred!  The shape, size, and price are much more important in decorating than the color, because with a little paint, it can be transformed….

I was browsing one day, searching the keyword “French”, when I spotted this beauty {affiliate link: you can find it HERE}.  My heart skipped a beat.  Okay, so she isn’t an authentic Mora clock, but she sure looks it!  The color wasn’t at all my style, but the price for such a large clock was within my budget, so I bought it and anxiously awaited its arrival.  When she finally arrived, I was in love!  Is this solid wood?  No.  Is it hand carved? No.  Does it have mechanical movement?  No it has a battery.  Does it matter to me?  NOT.ONE.BIT.  Her shape is lovely, she keeps exact time, and her pendulum swings in perfect rhythm.  Her color?  Well that’s a different story.


The clock has a dark brown, almost black, crackle finish with gold highlights.  There’s also a white powder dusting over certain parts.


This color might work in some homes, but it was just too dark for mine, so it was time for a change {pun intended}.  :)

I first painted a coat of CeCe Caldwell’s Myrtle Beach Sand.  This step was just in case I wanted to do some distressing, because I didn’t want the black finish to show through at all.


Next, I painted two coats of Annie Sloan French Linen mixed with Old Violet in a ratio of 4:1.  You can see that at this stage, before distressing and waxing, the paint has a very flat look to it.



I then decided to highlight the trim with CeCe Caldwell’s Antique White.  Ready for the final result?  {And there’s a glimpse of the new rug I scored on Clearance!}


After painting the trim, I covered the entire piece with a light coat of CeCe Caldewell’s Aging Cream, wiping most of it off but leaving it darker in the corners and crevices.


Here’s the clock face before:


Here’s the after:


The final result is a blue gray color that looks differently depending on the light and depending on what else is in the room.  Here in my dining room, it looks more blue than gray.  This isn’t actually where I’m going to put the clock, as the dining room is just too tight for yet another piece of furniture, but I do like how it looks!


And 10 minutes after I took the picture above….I decided to change the look….again….


To be continued…






P.S. – If you want to purchase one for yourself, you can purchase it online from Target HERE.

How to Shop Craigslist Like a Pro

If you follow me on Facebook, you might have noticed that from time to time I post some of my favorite Craigslist finds.  When I’m on the hunt for something, I check Craigslist EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Seriously.  It might sound extreme, but when you’re looking for a bargain or a hard-to-find item, persistence usually pays off.  Some of my favorite things in my home are from Craigslist, like all of the furniture in this room!  {Which didn’t come from the same seller and didn’t start out black.  You can see the Before HERE.}



Here are my tried-and-true tips for finding the best things on Craigslist, while avoiding scams and headaches.


Search By Owner

There are two categories of sellers: Owners and Dealers.  Unless you’re looking for something new or a good price on a closeout item, choose Owners.  Owners are everyday people looking to get rid of something they own and you’ll find that they typically have better pricing and more unique pieces.  Dealers, on the other hand, are businesses who are looking for new ways to attract customers.  At times, searching Dealers does pay off, though.  For example, if you’re looking for outdoor furniture toward the end of the season, searching Dealers might land you a good deal if a business is trying to move inventory before Fall!


Use Multiple Keyword Searches

Sure, you might know that piece of furniture is a Duncan Phyfe table, but not everyone does!  Start your search with specific keywords for what you want, but if you don’t find what you’re looking for, do the search again using more generic terms.  You have to think like a seller – what would they have put in their ad?  That’s what you need to search for!  So you might start with Duncan Phyfe table, then try pedestal table, vintage table, etc.  The results you get for each search depend on what the person listing the item put in their ad.  If they weren’t specific, the item won’t come up in your search result until you expand your keywords.  Sure, this process might take some time, but if you follow the next step, it’ll go a lot quicker.


Use Gallery View

Search results can be viewed in either List, Thumb, Gallery or Map view.  Ignore Thumb and Map because neither are useful.  Really, just focus on Gallery because it provides a large picture of the item that is for sale so that you can immediately skim the page to find what you want.   This will save you a ton of time clicking into ads that sound good and then turn out not to be at all what you want.


Sort Your Results

By default, Craigslist sorts your results based on items that are most relevant to your keyword searches.  This is typically helpful, since if you’re looking for a “bench” chances are you mean a piece of furniture, not a seat arrangement in an old car that’s for sale.  Once you’ve completed your searches and feel you’ve seen everything there is to see based on relevancy, the next time you do your search {which could be the next day}, try sorting based on Newest first.  If you’ve already seen everything that was posted in the last couple of weeks, there’s no need to look at the same ads all over again when instead, you could just look at what was posted since you last searched.  The caveat, of course, is that you have to do your searches within a day or two of looking at the relevant listing; otherwise, you’ll be too far behind in the listings and are likely to miss something.


Check Garage Sales/Estate Sales

Search the Garage Sale area of Craigslist for upcoming sales in your area by date and location, but don’t search by keyword.  Items for sale in the Garage sale section of Craigslist are very rarely also posted in the For Sale area, so these items won’t have come up in your other searches.  Typically, people holding garage or estate sales won’t list all of the items they’re selling, which means keyword searches aren’t useful.  These listings do usually have pictures, though, and that’s what you should focus on.  You can quickly scan the pictures in Gallery view to see if they’re selling the type of items you like.  If so, click the link and view more pictures to see if you can spot something you might want.


Search by Decorating Style

If you’re not looking for anything specific but want to see if there’s a good deal on something that fits your decorating style, search by style and see what comes up!  Sellers tend to include an item’s style in their description whether it’s French, Italian, Industrial, Modern, etc., so being open to find anything that fits your style can land you some good deals!


Choose Your Categories Carefully

Once you enter your search, you’ll need to refine your results to the categories that you’re interested in. For example, when I search “French” items from all categories come up in the results {like French door refrigerators and French press coffee makers}, but I’m more interested in furniture and antiques,  so I uncheck all other search categories and focus on just the categories that are relevant to me.


Expand Your Search Area

If you’re willing to drive a bit to get what you want, look at the Craigslist ads in other areas or cities!  Taking a vacation road trip? Check areas along your route – you’ll be passing through anyway!

Use Caution When Negotiating

People selling on Craigslist are not professional retailers; therefore, they are not accustomed to negotiating when it comes to pricing.  If you see something that is exactly what you want and the price is reasonable, buy it.  If the listing is new, chances are you aren’t the only one contacting the seller and if you start out offering a lower price, you might just put yourself out of the running!  Plus, sometimes Craigslist sellers get offended and won’t sell to you based on principle, even if you make a full-price offer later!  Best not to make the seller mad.  Of course, if you truly feel something is overpriced and you’re willing to lose it at its current price, make an offer!  This is especially true if a listing has become stale {usually a week or more old}.


Use Google Earth

If you’re picking up something big and need to rent a truck, or you live in an area where certain parts might not be safe to visit alone, check Google Earth to get a detailed look at where you’ll be going for pickup.  You might find that the streets are too narrow for a truck or the house sits atop a big hill!  Best to know exactly what the pickup situation will be before you head out.



Other sites that are really up-and-coming when it comes to shopping for used items include Nextdoor and Facebook sales groups based on the area you live.  The FB groups tend to be closed groups that you will need to ask to join, but type in your area into the Search bar and see what groups are available where you live!







P.S. – In case you’re wondering what keywords I use when I search Craigslist, it really depends on what I’m looking for, but my current list is as follows:

  • French
  • French Country
  • Wire Cabinet
  • Cabinet
  • Hutch
  • Bench
  • Settee
  • Linen
  • Restoration Hardware
  • Crystal
  • Cane Chair
  • Grandfather Clock {I’m really looking for a Mora clock but just in case the seller doesn’t know the term}
  • Ironstone
  • White soup tureen {in case they don’t know it’s Ironstone}
  • Coffee Table
  • Console Table
  • Sofa Table

And here are some of my finds:




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