Hello to my wonderful MD readers and a big welcome to new visitors! Today I am SO excited to share a wonderful person and a wonderful business with you. Welcome Krizia from Oak+Olive! I met Krizia on Craig’s List. We were both cruising the personals…HA totally kidding! I was in the furniture for sale section and found one of her amazing pieces. I tracked down her website and being the stalker that I am, I emailed her. Told her I had a big crush on her work and here we are today.
Krizia is making a guest appearance on Mission Decorate to share a few tips and secrets about what she looks for in buying pieces to refinish and how she then selects paints to turn old into beautiful. If you have even considered refinishing furniture this is a must read! And if you are lucky enough to live in the Madison area you can join her at the Vintage Holiday Soiree on Friday, December 13 at Atwood Art Studios, 2716 Atwood Ave from 6-9pm. There are details for the event invite at the bottom of this post. I am so sad not to be able to join you all at this event but I will be on my way to places warmer in the Caribbean. But without further ado, let me introduce to you Krizia….
So here I am writing about Oak+Olive for the very first time and I’m so excited to share some fun tips with you! Let me introduce myself…My name is Krizia and I am the one behind Oak+Olive. I am a furniture refinisher. I decided that I LOVE interior design, I love furniture and the feeling that I get when I’m surrounded by the things that I love. I’m obsessed with comfort and beauty, so I strive to combine those two things at all times. I am always inspired, sometimes it hits me like a ton of bricks! I read magazines, blogs, flip through catalogs, go to flea markets, visit interesting shops-ALL of it gets the wheels turning. Then I’m off, either to the store or to my basement to put my inspiration into good use!
I’m not drawn towards any one style. I like such a variety of styles from modern, to farmhouse chic, to rustic charm, to completely glam. I like to mix and match styles so that there is interest, richness, and feeling to a room. I can hardly stand a room that is one particular style, it feels stale!
My favorite part is searching for pieces, I get so excited when I can get out there and hunt! When I look for pieces, there are certain characteristics that I am drawn towards. On the modern side, I love pieces that have clean lines, no severe decorative accents, just straight corners, straight lines, and sleek. I love to refinish these pieces because first, they are the easiest and second, I think they have the biggest bang as far as contrast between before and after. These pieces are great for bright, fun pops of color. I love that you can take an old square, bland piece of furniture and make it shine with paint and a change of hardware.
Here is a fun mid century side table that I completed. I knew right away that I wanted a bright and fun color for it…
Here is one of my newest mid century pieces…
Sometimes I’m completely drawn towards antiques so I’ll seek out pieces that have interesting characteristics or details that I am able to enhance. I love antiques because they are so solid and will continue to last many more lifetimes. They carry with them this sense of history and they often add a feeling to a space that cannot be created with any old mass produced piece.
Here are two antiques painted with milk paint…
Here’s a combination of vintage with a modern but shabby makeover (does that make any sense?). I found these great bentwood chairs and painted them in milk paint. After drying they chipped quite a bit so I just went with it. Then I decided to dip the legs in paint to add a dab of modern fun!…..
I always like pieces that are what I consider glam. I LOVE campaign style anything, they are amazing pieces of furniture and I am beyond thrilled when I get to repaint them! The brass hardware stops me right in my tracks….
If you’re interested in finding pieces for yourself to work on always scour Craigslist, search thrift and consignment shops, search flea markets, and antique stores. Look for pieces that need a little love, that could really use some reviving and will make a statement in your house. Try to find pieces that are structurally intact but don’t pass up a piece if it’s missing a little veneer, that’s what wood filler is for!
Open the drawers, check out the backside, see if there is an odor, is it wobbly, do the drawers slide well? These are always things that you may not notice off the bat, but once you get it home you’ll quickly find out if something’s up and usually those things can be the biggest headache.
Take your time! I can’t stress that enough! If you are feeling frustrated, anxious to get it done, irritated that it’s not going how you want it to then take a break. It is better to leave it for another day when you’re refreshed rather than rushing through and making mistakes. On the flip side, do try to get it completed in 2-3 weeks or else you might lose interest and there it sits for the next 12 months!
Now I want to talk a little bit about different paints. Depending on the piece you are painting and what you want the overall look to feel like you may want to consider a few different paints.
I certainly use my fair share of latex paint on projects. It’s probably the easiest to use in terms of application. You do need to do some legwork to prep the piece for paint, but it’s completely doable. I like to use latex when I want a solid, uniform color. So for those modern looking pieces this is usually my choice of paint. I don’t think you always need to use a top coat on latex paint unless it is a piece that will be frequently used. A top coat such as Minwax Polycrylic will be great if the piece has heavy traffic. If it’s a piece that will sit without a lot of frequent use then forget the top coat. Choose a satin or gloss finish for the paint for wipe-ability (I prefer satin as it’s glossy enough for me).
Here’s a piece that I used latex paint on (one of my very favorites!)…
I like chalk paint, but I do not love chalk paint. I think it’s great on certain pieces and adds a shabby chicness that you don’t get with many other paints. Shabby chic is great on rustic farmhouse pieces or primitive looking pieces. It is a thicker paint that can be watered down to achieve a thinner, wash look if you want. It’s also easily sanded to create a distressed look, it can be layered and chipped for a really rustic look. The great part about chalk paint is that there is zero surface prep before application and it is a self primer that will work on many different surfaces, not just wood (think glass, metal, etc.)
Chalk Painted Bentwoods….
Milk paint is quickly becoming my favorite paint of choice. This is another paint that does not require any surface prep. However, you can prep the surface with a light sanding if you want better adhesion. There also is a bonding agent that can be added to milk paint that helps with adhesion if you don’t want the chippy look. If you DO want the chippy look, do absolutely NOTHING to the surface, let the paint dry and you will start to see some areas where the paint will crackle and lift up. It’s not always the same for every piece so the important thing to know about milk paint is….go with the flow!! If it chips and cracks, awesome and if it does nothing that’s perfect too, either way the piece will come out great. If you do not want any of that going on then use the bonding agent and prep the wood with a light sanding, then you’re good to go!
Both chalk paint and milk paint are sealed beautifully with wax. Prepare to build up some muscles in the process!
A couple pieces finished with milk paint….
There are so many different ways to finish a piece and it’s totally up to you! Go with your gut. If you can see the piece finished in bold red or pitch black, maybe stark white….go for it, you will be happy you did. Feel free to add fun additions like stripes, stencils, decoupage, new hardware, or lined drawers. They’ll increase the uniqueness and probably your love for the piece.
Then, show it off!!
Here are some sources that can help you get started:
I hope this brief overview has answered some of your questions, but always feel free to contact me if you have other questions! Also, if you’d like to see some of my pieces up close and personal please join me for my first ever event with Amber Whitehouse, the Vintage Holiday Soiree on Friday December 13 at Atwood Art Studios, 2716 Atwood Ave 6-9pm! Click below for the invite!