“Just A Little Paint…”

Jan. 21, 2020

By Jessica Patullo

Recently, we posted a “before and after” pic, and someone mentioned “it’s amazing what a little paint can do.”  This got me thinking, this would make an interesting topic for our blog, as most people who don’t refinish furniture on a regular basis have no idea what refinishing furniture actually entails.  So I thought I’d take you through a project!


This old cabinet was found in the back of a shop, hard to tell in the pic, but the left side door had no glass in it, the veneer finish was peeling and chipping off all over the place, it was in rough shape, cast off and forgotten.  These are exactly the kind of pieces I enjoy working on! I knew I had to have it!  


Once I got it home, I got to work, initially, after taking the cabinet doors off, I thought maybe I could patch the areas of peeling veneer with wood putty, I tried this, but more veneer kept chipping right off. 

After previous experience with removing veneer, I found a heat gun to be very helpful to loosen the old glue and allow me to scrape all the veneer off. So I laid it on its back and proceeded to scrape all the veneer off the front of the cabinet, and then sanded all the old glue off for a smooth surface.  


I cleaned the whole piece and started to work on staining the inside of the cabinet, it has a beautiful wood grain, and I wanted to highlight it.  So I sanded and stained the inside and the shelves (not pictured). This then was allowed to dry and then a topcoat was added. The piece was then cleaned again after being sanded smooth, and a coat of stain blocking primer was applied to the outside and the cabinet doors, I prefer Dixie Belle BOSS!  it’s amazing, it stops also the dreaded “bleed through” that you sometimes get when painting pieces lighter colors. 


  During this time I also took the cabinet with the broken glass to a hardware store to have new glass cut to fit.  The doors were painted then with 2 coats of paint, for this specific project I used Fusion Mineral paint “Champlain” which is a perfect creamy white, Dixie Belle is also another high quality paint that we frequently use on our projects.  The doors would not stay closed, as the locking mechanism no longer worked, so I installed door latches.


  This is one of my most favorite makeovers I have done, from starting with a sad, dilapidated old forgotten cabinet, to a piece that could be used to store treasures and become someone’s new heirloom.  

These are the type of pieces we proudly supply at Painted.  Our shop goes the extra mile to update pieces, modernize, make the needed repairs, update the hardware, properly prep, and thoughtfully restore.  We don’t just “slap some paint on” and bring it to the store and selling it for a “steal,” like some other shops, who also claim to have the “same quality” furniture as you’ll find at our shop.  Check out our pictures, follow us on social media, stop in for a visit, and you’ll see the difference. We sell amazing accent piece; pieces that will last you years to come. We spend time prepping and refinishing, staining, sanding and all while using high quality products.  Come visit us, you will see the difference, we are open every weekend, Thursday through Sunday. Come on it and say hi, we love to talk “paint.” 

Stay tuned… 


Blog #3 – Meet a “shop girl”      

I’m Jessica, Jess, Jess’s Mess Designs, vendor #9 at Painted in Elk River.  My main job is an ER RN at a local suburban hospital. I also paint furniture and make signs on the side as my “fun job”.  One of the benefits of being a nurse and working 12 hours shifts, I guess, is the extra days off during the week, which I gladly spend working on my favorite projects.  My husband and I live in the Elk River area with our four kids, all of whom are now in school, which again, gives me more “me time” to work on my projects!   Creating beautiful things for Painted of Elk River has been a dream come true for me that has slowly evolved over the past few years into some of the pictures seen above, which are a few of my favorites, but it’s so hard to choose.  At Painted, we strive to provide you with phenomenal one of a kind “show stoppers”, and those quality pieces that you can walk by every day that make you smile.  I’m looking forward to sharing future posts with you and taking you “behind the scenes” for pieces you will find in the store, to really show you how much time and hard work, and love we put into these pieces that you love so much!  No “just slapping paint on” for me, you’ll find quality painting with much attention to detail.  My passion is helping to restore vintage and antique pieces to their glory by accenting their amazing details and character with paint and stain, and usually new hardware as well!  Stop by and visit me at the store sometime and let me know what you think, and stay tuned for some fun “behind the scenes” looks at some fun, one of a kind pieces!  Until next time—Jess


Blog #2 – The Sage Buffet

This weekend I snagged a buffet with shelving unit – I’m not loving them together so I set the shelving unit aside and started on the buffet. Below is the before pic – not a terrible piece to start with!

All materials I used for this project are for sale at Painted! in downtown Elk River.

For whatever reason, I decided this one was going to be Dixie Belle Paint, Dried Sage and found an inspiration photo. First step was to take a 150 grit sandpaper and swipe the entire piece. I washed with a spray of White Lightening and finished with a wipe of 100% water. Then a quick coat of BOSS on the top.. Next I applied an even coat of sage paint on the entire piece. I used the Dixie Belle Mini brush which has synthetic bristles for easy gliding motion and minimal brush strokes. My second coat I used spritzing water to thin out the paint and guarantee an even coverage.

Although the sage looks great, the details get lost in uniform color and the piece is slightly boring. This is where I start getting nuts! To summarize, I added black, gray and terracotta paint to help pop the details and become much more interesting. I’ve added a heavy duty topcoat to the top of the buffet and spay waxed the rest. We are ready for knobs and pulls!

with just black dry brushing
After gray and terracotta – we’re just waiting for the pulls and knobs.


Blog #1 – who am I?

Wow – I can’t believe I got this technology to work!! Even if I have no followers right now, I’m practicing. I won’t bore you with senseless banter! I am a former Target HR guru who couldn’t stand the commute and had a hard time with making everyone happy, so I quit. I now spend much more time with my daughter and very funny fiance; and reinvested myself in my real estate career while painting furniture. Can you believe I’m a creative?!?!? I’m hoping I find others like me along the way who can relate to my story because we have a lot of venting to do!! To answer the question, who am I…. I guess I’m not 100% sure – a mom, pseudo wife, REALTOR, artist, business owner, scrapper, daughter, sister, the list continues for a mile!

I opened my own store almost one year ago! It’s been very well received and successful, but not without a lot of stress! My analogy for first year in business: you get knocked down, you get back up, you get knocked down, you get back up, you get knocked down, you get back up and so on and so on! If you think it’s easy, let’s talk (insert LOL emoji). I am the custodial engineer (janitor), the creative director, the CEO, the CFO, a vendor, a buyer – sheesh – I’m everything! I am down to about 12 vendors now – I believe in quality, not quantity. People have hated me over the last year – People have loved me. I constantly think about managing money and how to generate more revenue. Follow along as I work through tutorials on making old stuff look cool and while I stand on my soap box crying because we’re not profitable enough on February 9th, 2018 (again, insert LOL emoji). Thanks for reading – this is about to get real!

This is me looking like a professional REALTOR at a coffee shop – what you don’t see are my warm up pants! Maybe don’t judge a book by the cover – I look a little more put together than I was that day.