Friday, August 24, 2012

Long post: my worker bee team~a french desk~chalk paint tips

 Team Maison Decor is gearing up for the second shop~
Colin has been the backbone of helping me day in and day
 out since late April when I opened Maison Decor in Malden.  
He has gotten so good at painting furniture, and what is really 
great is that he loves painting now, like I do. 
Its pretty zen~you get in a zone and picker came by yesterday and I got 4 more pieces 
from him including the best thing I have picked up to date...
but I'll be saving that one for another day. 
(Cliff hanger, right? I got that blog tip from Betsy Speert!) 
 Justin will be running the new store, Maison Decor Boston. 
 He has been commuting to Malden and continuing his training with me, 
while we gear up for that opening in just over a week.
 The latest addition to Maison Decor is Damon.  He has been a 
pleasant discovery, and I have begun training him as well~if you happen to
 come to Malden, you might get a chance to see Damon.  
He is a sweetheart and is learning the ins and outs of my wonderful 
Chalk Paint™.  He flashed his fingers at me, and I had to snap 
a pic as it is sooooo Annie Sloan logo-ish!

 I set Damon up painting a second set of wood plank 
samples in all of Annie Sloan's colors.
He is very diligent, but is new at painting~just goes
to show all you beginners can do this too!
 Look at all those samples...Tip:  we wrap brushes in foil until 
the second coat, as this paint dries in 15 minutes!!  If you are gonna take 
a break from painting, wrap your brush up so it doesn't get crunchy.
 Colin is using his favorite color, Old Ochre on the new french desk.
 I want to add some touches of Versailles and gilding to this 
piece so this should appear all finished very soon.
 Here is the first coat of Chalk Paint®. 
  How does it look?? Not too great?  
The reason I am showing you this shot is because this is how your first 
coat should look~total amateur hour! I want to see the brush strokes, 
with a light coat...not a big thick heavy first coat. Your second coat 
will go on so nicely and cover those bare areas from the first coat.
 Colin in the zone....
 The piece Justin is working on is the Lions head chest~we were 
taking off the hardware and removing all the drawers to find this 
broken bottom panel on the bottom drawer.  Sometimes you get 
these little challenges and set backs...but we removed it and will 
replace with a fresh cut piece of luann that will slide into place like a glove,
 and then anchor it with small brads. You can get luann at Lowes or 
Home Depot~so take the time to do it right, and you will be happy you did. 
This piece is going to be straight up Graphite~and it is going to 
make a handsome chest with that original Lion's head hardware.
 You can see the edge of the chest here...if you walk in our shops 
you will catch things being painted and decorated with stenciling or gilding~
its the perfect time to see how Chalk Paint goes on, or watch us wax a piece. 
 This petite settee with the lift up bench was done in Provence. 
I adore this cheerful blue!
 I romanticized the church pew ~its waiting to be 
waxed today and then headed to Beantown!

 I found this solid wood carved horse head that was made
 into a lamp 60 plus years ago...well my picker 
found it and I think its amazing!
Its pretty neat~can you imagine this in a study with a great lampshade?
The wiring is beat, I have to enlist Mr. MD's help to rewire it.
 Loaded up with new brushes for the shops...I added a fine
 stiff white bristle brush to the line
and its been excellent for gilding work, lettering, or when trying to 
add Chalk Paint™ onto a defined 
space, like the French desk that I will be detailing. 

 Of course the Ultimate Wax Brush is just that~
 I had completely sold out last weekend~
and am glad to say they are back in stock!
I recommend washing your wax brush when you are retiring 
it from use by using Dawn dish washing
detergent and very warm water, rinse and pat dry 
with paper towels, then air dry. 
When I am doing a project I keep it moist and supple
 by storing it in a neoprene glove.
 Hey look at this darling itty bitty coffee table! It has a lift off glass top~
I would love to decoupage a map 
or something on the table top, but Justin had a better suggestion. 
We will print off some old images of the Boston neighborhood where
 Maison Decor will be, and just place them under glass. 
That way if the buyer would look to customize the table
 for their own look it won't be a permanent fix.
 Oodles of clocks are arriving today~this one is getting its wax job 
this morning and will be shipping out soon. I have a custom order
 for a wedding gift clock (cool idea!) and two more in the pipeline.  Colin
suggested we paint up a bunch and have them on the 
tall walls in Boston, and I think its a good idea.
The boys brought in a few pieces yesterday~I have not been
 in the shop since last Monday.  The floors came out a bit spotty 
because we used the eco-friendly water based polyurethane 
and they dry so quickly that a haziness can result...but overall
 I think they look great! Behind the buffet cash station
 you can see the sink area~I plan to skirt it with burlap.
My idea is to stencil this burlap first...
another first for me with Chalk Paint®.
So thats the latest from my neck of the woods~
have a great weekend and if you go to the SOWA vintage market in 
Boston this Sunday on Harrison Ave, stop in and say hi!
We are right next doors!


  1. Oh Amy you go girl
    Where do you get the energy for all of this!!
    Whew you are amazing!!!
    Can't wait to see the stenciled burlap

  2. always love seeing your progress! why do I live so far away?

  3. Looks like a fun place to shop! Too bad I live so far away!

  4. It sounds like you are really busy, Amy, but also that you are having a lot of fun! I'll bet it's been wonderful working with your boys. Who knew it would become a family business! : ) All the pieces look great. I'll be looking forward to seeing that piece in Graphite and the desk when it is done.

  5. Amy every time I see a post I am more and more tempted to jump in my car and make a day trip to Boston! I am not kidding.....seriously gorgeous things going on over there, and looks like you have an amazing team behind you. I love seeing the transformations you are taking on...truly gorgeous!!!!!

  6. Hi Amy,
    It's so much fun reading about your store progress. I know you are so proud of your young men.


  7. i hope all this is as fun as it looks. because it looks like playing store from where i'm lazily sitting at my laptop!

    so much lovely reported here!

    best to you, amy.


  8. Can't wait to see the burlap stenciled! Love the picture of your son with wings--I bet you are feeling like your sons are your angels right now. I know you are so busy--thanks for keeping us informed. I love your posts!

  9. Amy, I love, love, love the lions head dresser. Can't wait to see how it comes out. Also love the provence bench - such a fun, happy color! x

  10. Amy it is all coming together and what great pieces you are getting!! Cute help as well! I wish I lived in the area!

    Art by Karena
    2012 Artists Series

  11. Gosh, I wish I didn't live on the West Coast. I just love reading your blog; you are a true inspiration. I was wondering about the brushes you had in the box that looked like they were labeled "petite brushes." What are those used for?

  12. It looks gorgeous! I'm ready to come back again!


  13. Pssssst, Justin your wings are showing.

  14. You inspire me every morning when I open your emails. Not only my creative side gets inspired but my personal side as well. It is great to see how your family is involved in everything you do. You are a Great Inspiration to me.

  15. Debbie, the petite brushes are for using dark wax if you are an occasional dark waxer and don't want a big expensive brush. I will be adding all my brushes to my online store soon. The petite brush is nice and stiff and it is great for adding the dark wax into the nooks and crannies of very ornate carved decorative trim areas on furniture.

  16. Amy!!!! You are a chain!!!!! :D Congratulations, my friend. Sorry, but with my FIL's death, I have not been blogging very much this past month or so. You are a tease! I want to know what you bought from the picker dude!

  17. You certainly have so many great things going on at once...what I call a "very good busy"....and most of all you are thoroughly enjoying what you do...and because you are so passionate about it..the success will follow you always...Can't wait for the "cliff hanger" result!


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