Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Just a reminder that ... WE'VE MOVED!! :)

Hi all my lovely subscribers,

Please, if you haven't already, jump over to my new blog/website at


and subscribe on the right hand side of the home page.

I don't want you to miss out on all the awesome stuff I've been posting about ...

like the Tea towels to Cushion Tutorial HERE

or the Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Makeovers like this recent one: May Colours of the Month

See you all over there - LOTS of great TUTORIALS, MAKEOVERS, INSPIRATION and

well ... you get the picture!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

New "I Restore Stuff" Website and MORE ...

Hi all my lovely blogger subscribers!

Here's the great news: -  I Restore Stuff is in the process of building our new website and we'd love you to come and have a look around.


You will notice all my old blog posts will still be found over here, so you can search any that you liked in particular, or view a recent one you may have missed.

The only downside is I can't automatically bring all my lovely subscribers over to the new place with me! So here's what you'll need to do:

1. Click the new website link: www.i-restorestuff.com
2. On the right hand side, enter your name and email to re-subscribe to my blog.


I have just uploaded a new blog post after a busy day at my sister's house today, painting an antique pantry cupboard with her. She has started to preserve her home grown fruit & veggies and needed a space to store all her wonderful jars of fruit.
This piece we found via a friend of mine, was the perfect fit...

Jump over here now to see the results:


The other exciting thing that will be happening on our new website is that you will be able to purchase Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint products in my online store (Australian residents only).

We are hoping to have this feature up and running within the next week.

I look forward to seeing you all over there.
Don't forget to subscribe when you get there!
I don't want you missing out on any of the new blog posts.

Thanks for continuing the painting journey with me!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint and a Little Bit of "Crazy"

"... make the space to do the things you love to do."

Somewhere in the chaos of life: running kids to school, helping with homework tasks, working another job, running a business or two, cooking dinners, and grocery shopping ... I find some space to create. It might be in between folding washing and sweeping floors, but when there's something I really love to do, I make a space for it.

It's been a great week so far! I'm getting ready for another Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint Workshop here in Logan/Brisbane next weekend. (Email me for more info if you're interested: sharonhankins3@gmail.com)

"... usually I just tell you the part that actually involves what I did to the piece of furniture ..."

And so this week I thought I'd take you through the process of re-creating the look for this rustic coffee table, but usually I just tell you the part that actually involves what I did to the piece of furniture.

But if I let you in on a little bit more of how I find time to actually do this stuff, maybe it will inspire someone else to make the space to do the things you love to do too.

So here it is:

Picture this random table sitting in a market stall ... 'cause that's where I found it.
No, I wasn't spending a leisurely Sunday morning at the markets. I was actually on my way to Church!
What? Yes, way. 
In fact, it was after dropping a son off at church early to run through the song set with the band (he plays guitar) ... I had about an hour to spare and I'd known of some good markets nearby which often have pieces that are great to upcycle. So, my girls and I raced there, grabbed a few items including this table and a few picture frames, and we were back in plenty of time for the 10am service!

So I get it home, but I'm busy till about Wednesday, after I finish working my Monday to Wednesday job. I have just picked up the kids from school, and during my half hour trip home, I'm half listening to the kids talk about what went on at school today (I really do listen - I multi-task listen :)  ) ...
when my mind starts to wander to thoughts of that coffee table and what I'm going to do with it.
Before I know it, we're home and kids are piling out of the car. I'm wondering what we're going to have for dinner tonight, but at the same time (I multi-task think as well ... c'mon, you know you do too) I'm wondering if I could possibly just whip the sander out and give that table top a quick sand back.

I go for it. Dragging the stuff outside and about to power up the sander when my neighbour appears in her yard next door and our eyes meet. Now, I know I've got to speak to her, cause it always pays to get to know your neighbours better and we hardly EVER talk ... so we chat for another 1/2 hour ...
and I finally get to my sanding. Sanding took about 1/2 hour, and then the solution of what to have for dinner became the quickest thing I could find to cook in the house that night, which I can't even remember! Probably spaghetti! Thankfully I have helpful girls who gave me a hand. YES, it was spaghetti, because I now remember that one of the girls had a plate of spaghetti that slipped off the plate as she carried it to the table and the ENTIRE dinner ended up on the floor! NO kidding! HA HA. (you've got to laugh at this point, right?) Well, the dog thought that was AMAZING, and helped clean it up, no problem (mopping can be done later...) and I had made extra dinner, so we just dished up some more. Oh well ... no use crying over spilt ... spaghetti!

After dinner I really wanted to get back to this project. You know how it is when you set your mind on an idea and you can't wait to see how it turns out?
The boys did the dishes, and the girls got busy with homework, so I quickly got out some paint I had left from another project - Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint - Trophy (also one of the MMSMP colours of the month for March)
I added some water to dilute it to a "stain" type consistency, and began to apply it with a paint brush, then rubbing it off with a chux rag as I went in sections. You can see the contrast between the very blonde wood, to the Trophy colour stain. Trophy is normally a greyish silver, but used as a stain as I did here, it has a brownish tinge to it.

Here it is after staining the whole top surface:

See the difference in colour to the original varnished wood (below) which I am about to paint another colour. The Trophy colour stain does look a little greyer in this pic below.

At this stage, it was time to put the younger one to bed. So I did that, then came and applied one coat of MMSMP Eulalie's Sky - a beautiful pale blue, aqua colour. (Lighting doesn't show true colour here).

Then I got a call for help to gather ingredients with my daughter who is doing year 9 Hospitality, and making Lemon Tart tomorrow. WARNING: If your child decides to take this subject there are some pros and cons. On the pro side - we get to eat the food she brings home, and it's always delicious! 

The downside is that you always need to buy extra strange ingredients that you don't normally have in your pantry ... like cardamon pods, vanilla bean (yes, the actual BEAN, not just vanilla essence!) And they aren't just making "Lemon Tart" ... no, its a dessert dish, so they also make an Orange Comfit (saucy stuff) to go with it, which involves soaking oranges overnight and all sorts of crazy stuff happening on the stove, and then before I know it I'm helping her make pastry and I'm asking, "Are you supposed to do ANY of this at school tomorrow??" Eesh! What is with that? 

Anyway, back to the coffee table ... after the Hospitality ingredients are "gathered" (meaning 1/2 cooked and gathered) ... I finally get to the second coat of MMSMP Eulalie's Sky.
I also finished the top with two coats of MMSMP Hemp Oil, rubbing it in with a lint free cloth.
This wood and paint were quite porous and soaked up the first coat really well. So the second coat (applied the next morning) gave a more lustrous finish.

BUT, I thought I mixed up enough Milk Paint powder for this little table. I can usually estimate pretty well, and had measured out one scoop (about a tablespoon). I know, hard to believe it would only take a tablespoon of powder. Well it ALMOST did! I was so close, that on the second coat, I got to the very last leg, and just thought I could stretch it, using every ounce left in the jar and on the brush, but I couldn't finish the very base of the one last leg! HA HA - we have to laugh, or we cry right?
So at this point, it was quite late, I gave up, went to bed and came out the next morning and mixed a tinsy bit more to finish off the leg!

I sanded back to distress the base and gave the whole piece a covering finish of Hemp Oil the next morning ... and here she is all pretty!

It still looks all shiny in some of these pics, because the Hemp Oil isn't dry yet:

Some close ups of the finished top:

So there you go! 
... and that's how we roll here sometimes at the Hankins house!

I hope that gave you some insight into how I get things done! Please don't tell me I'm alone, or are there other crazy, seemingly disorganised paint-aholics out there who just grab any mad chance to paint a piece of furniture? Or are you super organised and plan things out well in advance for a "painting day" setting everything else aside?
I do have some days I can do that - but it seems lately, I'm painting between life.
But it's nice to have quiet painting moments to reflect, sing, pray and ponder - because that's my breathing time, my relaxation time, down time, "me" time. And we all need some 'o that!

Happy Painting lovely friends!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint, Luckett's Green Stool with White Wax

Today, I'll show you this cute stool makeover, but first, some news ...

Exciting things are happening here at I Restore Stuff!

Today, Marian from Miss Mustard Seed, announced her Australian and New Zealand retailers on her blog (see link HERE). I Restore Stuff is happy to be a part of Miss Mustard Seed's team of international retailers.

Veronica, from www.refinished.com.au is our Australian and New Zealand distributor, so if you are a retail store and would like to stock MMSMP, contact Veronica. She'd be happy to hear from you.

L: Veronica, from Refinished  R: Sharon, from I Restore Stuff

If you are in the Brisbane, Logan, Gold Coast and surrounds, I'd be happy to help you out with any MMSMP products you are interested in.
We are currently still getting our store based website up and running, for online orders, but if you do need to order product, please email me at sharonhankins3@gmail.com and I can send you an order form.

We are also holding MMSMP Workshops to let you know of the many amazing ways you can use Milk Paint to create an authentic vintage or antique look for your furniture.

And now for today's furniture makeover:

I love to paint little stools!
They are such an easy "first timers" project too. If you have never tried using Milk Paint, these are a great blank canvas to start your furniture painting addiction!

Today I wanted to try a new (to me) finish that I hadn't tried before in this way.
Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint product line includes a white wax which is used as a decorative finish and looks fabulous on pieces that have fine detail. Similar to using a dark wax, the white wax stays in the creases and gives a really pretty finish. Abbe from All Dolled Up shows a great piece if you click HERE, to show you what I mean.

But for this little stool, I wanted to try using white wax as an overall finish to change the look and colour of the finish.

I started by painting with one of my favourite MMSMP colours: Luckett's Green.
I gave it two coats.

It's a beautiful vintage green straight from the 1950s era like those vintage bench top appliances your grandma probably had.

I distressed the edges and gave it a light sanding to reveal some small sections of the underlying wood ever so faintly.

Then I introduced the MMSMP White Wax, rubbing on with a lint free cloth (chux are great for this).
Below you can see the corner section I worked on first to see the difference in colour it made.

Here's a close up of the side panel after the white wax was added. 
It created a lovely soft wintery mint green.

Then I finished by buffing out the wax, with a back and forth motion. You can see here, I've buffed the left side only...

And here is the finished stool. I like the colour created here.

Happy Painting everyone!

Remember you can subscribe to this blog, and you will find some great video tutorials via my Youtube channel if you need further inspiration.
I'm also on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Antique Cupboard - Blake & Taylor Furniture Paint Transformation

When a client brings me something like this and asks me to "do my thing" ...

... I'm usually up for the challenge. Even when you open the cupboard doors and see the checkered contact paper that's been added to this antique cupboard about half way through its lifetime.

This cupboard had been in their family for many years, belonging to Grandma and handed down to a sweet grand-daughter who is having her bedroom re-vamped ready for high school.

So here was step one: Sanding!
I got out the heavy duty belt sander for this one and planned my attack. The paint was a glossy heavy duty coat over another shade of green and maybe even cream under that. A few coats over the years!

SAFETY TIP: Always wear a dust mask and goggles when sanding - especially old pieces of furniture which may contain lead paint.

A great shabby chippy vibe going on right there!! We could stop here and people would go crazy to just have it like this:

But this wasn't the look my client was after, as she was wanting something "white, a little distressed, and maybe that aged look". I showed her something that I had already done in these kind of colours like the dresser I finished over HERE (click link). She loved that look, so that's where we were headed.

She also sent along this old kitchen drawer which also came from Grandma, to do up only if I wanted to or had time to. Okay ... like I'm going to say no to painting something in my workshop.

So I took out my can of Blake & Taylor Furniture Paint in Aged White:

After one coat:

And then two coats:
Great coverage! This was taken after distressing the edges.

And then some dark wax to finish of with an aged appearance. I used Blake & Taylor's Dark Beeswax.

These were taken before I found a cute knob for the door with the key. The cupboard has an inside latch on the left side, but the right side just had a key hole, but no key, so kept coming open by itself.

The inside, where the blue checkered contact was stuck to. After peeling off the contact, the surface felt a little tacky to the touch as you could imagine after years of having sticky on it.
But after just one coat of Blake & Taylor's Aged White, it created a smooth surface once again and you would not have any idea that it was once tacky.
I decided to just stick with the one coat of paint as it left it with a great white wash rustic appearance inside.

And look at the little drawer I painted to match. Almost like they were made for each other!
Sits on top of the cupboard just nicely and almost transforms this little combo into a dresser!

And here's the little knob I found to go with it. I love the antique cracked porcelain look.

Another happy customer!

I'd love to hear what you've been up to, so please drop me a comment below, or hit subscribe and receive my blog posts to your email inbox.

Happy Painting!