Dining Room Makeover Before & After


When a piece of furniture doesn’t look quite right in a room, it bothers me every time I look at it. I recently had this decorating dilemma with a sideboard that was handed down to me from my great-grandmother. I loved the piece, but the finish didn’t fit with my decor.

I tried to fix the problem myself with Annie Sloan chalk paint. I actually should’ve known better, as I not at all savvy with paint. But so many of my friends are working wonders with Annie Sloan paint, so I gave it a shot.

The photo below (at left) shows the outcome, which was not what the look I was hoping for.

My not-so-great paint job
My not-so-great paint job

The finish was too black, flat, and chalky looking. I am not sure what I did wrong; I worked on the piece for hours. I lived with the piece for months but finally decided to call on someone to do it right.

I turned to my friend Lisa Davis to do the job. She has done every paint project in my home–from glazing and faux finishing walls to updating and distressing furniture and artwork. She is talented, savvy, and as sweet as pie. She mixed her own formulation of paint and glaze, and this is how the sideboard looks now (below).

After: Lisa's Paint Redo
After: Lisa’s Paint Redo

Lisa gave the sideboard a “Habersham” look that I love and that really makes the detailing stand out. She also painted the picture frame to make it more subtle and not so brassy. By painting these two pieces, the entire wall is transformed. I couldn’t have been happier with the end result!

I replaced the sideboard’s dark bronze knobs with these antique looking crystal ones from Hobby Lobby. The total cost to replace the hardware was less than $25, a great bargain that make a big impact. The crystal knobs tie in perfectly with the crystals on the wall sconces flanking the frame.

Lessons learned?

1. A little paint can go a long way in transforming a piece of furniture, a wall, or an entire room. It is a far more money savvy way to update decor than is rushing out to buy new furniture.

2. I will never again waste time or money trying to paint furniture myself. This is not my area of expertise, and I would do far better calling in someone at the outset to do the job right the first time.

3. The cost of paying someone who knows what she is doing is well worth it. I was able to keep a family heirloom while making it fit with my personal style and decor. In my book, that is money well spent.

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