Looking for unique furniture and décor for your space? Thrift store shopping is an inexpensive way to upcycle unique finds, paint them and seamlessly incorporate them into your space . Click here to find out what upcycling is and why you should do it. No need to feel awkward when someone asks where you found that amazing dresser; upcycling is on trend and here to stay. Savvy shoppers are hitting thrift stores to find tired but unique, fine quality furniture. Upcycling is being featured in top design magazines and Interior Designers are now incorporating upcycled and repurposed décor into their client’s spaces. Ready to jump into this trend and hit your local thrift store? Check out my 3 tips on how to get the best furniture and décor finds to help get you get started.
1. Shop Often
One of the many great reasons to hit your local thrift stores is there is always a constant change over of items. Sometimes you will walk out with nothing but the more often you go the better chance of finding that perfect piece.
Before- Curved legs, amazing hardware and gorgeous details made this desk an amazing find.
After- Painted in FAT paint's Skyline, Gull Grey, FAT glaze and Gold Leaf, transformed this tired desk into a showstopper.
A great example of this, is this desk. I walked into my local thrift store just as the staff were walking this piece onto the floor. The curved legs, brass accents and stately shape of it….had me close to jumping on top to claim it even before they placed it on the floor. Even though it was tired and the finish was damaged it was so unique I grabbed it as soon as it was priced and wanted to high five everyone in my vicinity. I walked out feeling like a rock star!
Before- This was not the prettiest piece but something about the details really stood out for me, I could see the potential for a fun slightly kitschy lamp.
After-Painted in FAT Paint's Robyn's Egg and white wax gives this lamp a fun coastal feel.
Before- The hardware was so fantastic that I had to buy this dresser.
After- Fusion Mineral Paint Park Bench was the perfect colour to make the hardware the focal point.
2. When You Find It Grab It
I have learned this lesson the hard way. You find something really cool but take time to contemplate it a little more. This is basically a big green light for the person behind you, to grab it while you contemplate. It can be very frustrating losing a great find, considering that unlike big box stores there is not another one just like it sitting in the back. If you are not sure about purchasing it, make sure to take the item or tag with you until you decide, it will save you from losing that amazing piece.
Before- This dresser needed some love but the gorgeous details would be amazing painted.
After- Painted in a muted blue with patina wax accentuate the details and gives it a warm well worn feel.
Before- The legs and the sleek handles of this outdated Gibbard Mid Century is what stood out for me on this dresser.
After- The vibrant green make the legs and sleek handles a stand out.
3.Look Past The Finish
One important thing to remember when you are thrifting, is to not get stuck on the finish or its current state. It can be difficult, you will find some interesting things when thrifting but when you look past the terrible colour, the scratches or the horribly dated faux finish, you can open yourself up to finding amazing furniture. If you are new to the upcycling scene, a great way to build your thrifting skills is to stop and take a moment to focus on what is unique about it; the curve in the leg, the fabulous hardware, the ornate details or the shape of the piece is perfect for a technique you have been wanting to try.
A vibrant orange and gorgeous chinoiserie decoupage takes this dresser from tired to sleek and comtemporary.
Onnce you have found that perfect but tired piece, you can seamlessly incorporate it into your décor by painting it. I love using FAT paint and Fusion Mineral Paint to refinish my finds, no heavy duty sanding or priming is necessary. Check out what Chalk paint is here and what Fusion Mineral Paint is here. If you are not sure where to start with your project, take one of our courses or workshops to give everything you need to get going. Check out our youtube videos for helpful tips. We love talking about upcycling check out our TV segments on CTV Morning Live and on Daytime Ottawa. Happy thrifting!
What is the difference between FAT Paint and Fusion Mineral Paint and which one should I use on my project?
You have decided to tackle the tired dresser that has been sitting sadly in the basement, but uncertain what paint to chose? My two favorite brands are FAT Paint and Fusion Mineral Paint. Both are high quality, easy to use and Canadian-made…which we love. FAT and Fusion paint are very different paints but you get amazing results with both.
FAT paint is a chalk-style paint that adheres to most surfaces without needing to prime or a heavy duty sanding. FAT paint dries super fast; typically within 30 to 45 minutes depending on the humidity. FAT paint being porous needs to be protected with either FAT wax (which is soooo easy to use) or FAT Clear Coat to protect and seal it. Click here to see a video to find out when to use Wax or Clear Coat and here to see a video on how to apply Clear Coat. Click here to read our blog to learn more about FAT chalk-style paint.
Mid Century Modern console painted in FAT paint Casacadia, Lemongrass, Shop Door and Can't See Me Camo
Dresser painted in FAT paint Navy State of Mind from the Amanda Forrest Collection
Fusion Mineral paint does adhere to most wood finishes but I recommend using the Ultra Grip first on furniture that is veneered, laminate or metal (always do a test spot first somewhere inconspicuous if you are not sure) click here to see a video on how to apply Ultra Grip. Fusion has a built-in top coat, that’s right… no topcoat or wax is needed and is self-leveling when applied properly. Click here to read our blog to find out more about Fusion Mineral Paint.
Fusion Mineral Paint Park Bench is the perfect contrast with this gorgeous hardware
Mid Century Dresser painted in Casement, Azure, Little Lamb, Copper, Renfrew Blue, Little Teapot and Laurentien.
So which paint should you use for your project? Both paints will transform your tired furniture but I have a few points for my clients to consider when they are deciding. Fusion does not require a top coat but needs a few hours in between coats to ensure it fully dries. FAT Paint dries typically within 30 minutes and requires either their FAT wax or Clear Coat. However, one of the most important points to consider is finding the perfect colour for your furniture. Both FAT paint and Fusion Mineral Paint are high quality, easy to use paints, are Canadian-made and have gorgeous colour palettes that you can’t go wrong with. Check out Fusion Mineral paint colours here and FAT paint colours here.
Can’t decide between a FAT and Fusion colour, then use both!
This hutch has been paint in FAT paint Gull Grey and paired perfectly with Fusion Mineral Paint Metallic Pale Gold
This is a question that I get asked often by my clients. What is Fusion Mineral Paint and can’t I just use wall paint instead to refinish my furniture? You can, however using Fusion makes the process much faster and no heavy duty sanding or priming is needed. Fusion is very versatile, high quality product that leaves a beautiful finish.
Mid Century Modern Gibbard Dresser painted in Fusion's Casement, Little Lamb, Little Teapot, Renfrew Blue, Copper and Laurentien with a strained and stained stripe in the middle.
Fusion is Canadian made, has no VOC’s and has a gorgeous line of colours that work with any design style. Click here to see Fusion’s colour palette. No priming is needed when using Fusion, just a quick prep and you can get to the good stuff…painting! Click here to see a video on how to properly prep your furniture before painting.
After painted in Little Lamb
Fusion has great adhesion on wood but when painting veneer, glass or metal surfaces use Fusion’s Ultra Grip first. Ultra Grip is similar to a primer to help your paint adhere but dries clear, perfect if you are looking to distress you furniture.
Creating Seaglass out of thrift store glass. First using Ultra Grip for good adhesion and Fusion Mineral Paint
Fusion goes on quite smooth when using a good quality brush and can be almost self-leveling if applied properly. One of the great qualities of Fusion that gets my clients excited is that it has a built in top-coat and requires NO waxing or top coat! That’s right! Fusion typically requires two coats of paint with a recommended drying time of up to 12 hours (depended upon the humidity) but once you have applied you final coat your done. You now have upcycled a tired piece of furniture into a beautiful work of art! Click here to find out what is upcycling and why you should do it. Fusion is quite durable but if you are looking for more durability for higher traffic areas such as dinning room tables, chairs or kitchen cabinets try Fusion’s Tough Coat wipe on matte poly.
Fusion has a fantastic range of products from high quality brushes, metallic waxes, stencils, glazes, everything you need to really up your furniture refinishing game and create the perfect piece. Click here to see Fusion’s line of products. So that tired piece that you have sitting in the basement that you don’t know what to do with…Fusion is the perfect solution. Click here for our location and hours and stop by to see Fusion’s products to get started on your project. Interested in a workshop? Click here to see and register for our workshops. Happy painting!
You have probably heard how fantastic chalk paint or chalk-style paint is and have wondered why you can’t just use a latex paint to paint my furniture? You can, but using chalk paint (chalk-style paint) will make the process faster and so much easier. There is no priming or heavy duty sanding needed…so you can get to the good stuff faster.
Chalk paint has a matte finish, transforming imperfections on older furniture into character. Chalk paint (chalk-style) is versatile, giving you the option of creating a sleek modern finish, rustic, coastal, any style can be achieved. Found something you love on Pinterest? You can most likely replicate it using chalk paint. It dries quickly, between 30-45 minutes depending on the humidity and typically requires 2 coats. Chalk paint is porous and needs to be protected with either a wax or a top coat to seal it. Click here to see a video of when you should apply wax or top coat.
After. Painted in FAT Paint's Skyline with a wash of Gull Grey, FAT glaze and sealed with Clear Coat
One of my favorite chalk-style paint to use is Canadian-made FAT paint. It has great coverage and was so easy to use that I decided to retail it. FAT paint has a great selection of colours that are on-trend and work with any design style. To see FAT paint’s gorgeous line of colours click here.
FAT waxes are easy to apply and FAT Clear Coat offers a durable finish with a beautiful sheen. Click here to see a video how to apply your clear coat. If you are looking to upcycle and transform a tired piece of furniture then try out FAT paint on your next project. Looking to learn some furniture refinishing techniques? Click here to check out our workshops. Happy painting!
Whether you’re a Furniture Refinisher or have a loved one who is, we have you covered for the holidays. Here is a list of 10 items that would be the perfect gift for the beginner or veteran furniture refinisher in your life.
1. Good Quality Brushes
Having a good quality brush is must when painting furniture. Using a cheap brush will show in your work and can be uncomfortable using for long periods of time. Using a good quality like a Staalmeester or Fusion’s blue synthetic brush gives you amazing control, soft bristles leaving a smooth finish and holds a lot of paint so you don’t have to keep dipping into the paint can. You can never have too may brushes. Prices range from $17.99 to $43.99.
2. Brush Cleaner
Keeping your tools of the trade in tip top shape is very important when investing in good quality products. Fusion’s brush Cleaner will keep your paint brushes clean, conditioned and a longer life. Fusion’s Brush Cleaner is $9.99
3. Fusion Metallic Paint
Who doesn’t love a little bling! Fusion has an amazing line of metallic brand ranging from a gorgeous shimmering pearl to aged bronze paint. No topcoat needed! Fusion Metallic paint $22
4. FAT Clear Coat
FAT paint clear coat is perfect, almost eggshell finish for your FAT paint furniture when a more durable finish is needed. on pieces like coffee and dining room table or other high traffic pieces that you are painting. Clear coat is non-yellowing and dries quickly. Click here to see when to use Clear Coat and click here to learn how to apply clear coat. FAT Paint's Clear Coat $30
Decoupage medium is a great product to have in you toolbox. With Fusion’s decoupage gel you can add beautiful paper, napkins and even fabric onto your furniture. Decoupage $12.99
6. Iron Orchid Design Molds & Paper Clay
Iron Orchid Design products are amazing and will up your refinishing game. IOD’s have a great line of transfers and molds that can be applied easily, transforming your furniture and giving more options in your refinishing tool box. Prices range from 9.99 to 65.99 . Click here to see more of IOD’s products.
7. Extra FAT
FAT paint’s Extra FAT is a great product to use when you are looking to add texture to furniture or décor. Use it to create a rustic texture, coastal sea crusted look or even make it into a putty to repair damaged molding on the other wise perfect piece of furniture. $14.50
You can never have enough paint! Canadian made Fusion Mineral paint and FAT paint’s have a beautiful palette that works with any style. Whether you are looking for neutrals, smoky greys, or a bold pop of colour, Fusion and FAT paint have the colours you need. Click here to see FAT paint's colour palette and click here to check out Fusion colours
A workshop is a great way to continue to build on skills, learn new ones and get inspiration with other like minded people. Whether you’re a veteran painter or just starting out, our workshops at Bluebird Upcycled Style has several workshops to get you going! Click here to check out our workshops.
10. Gift Certificates
If you are still not sure what to get for that special someone, a Gift Certificate is always a great option and can be providede in any dollar amount. Click here for our location and hours.
Whatever you decide to chose for yourself or your special someone, these products are some of the best to have in a furniture refinishers toolbox.
Fall is here and we are loving Pantone's warm luscious colour trends for this fall. Deep moody greens, rich smoky navy and gorgeous contemporary pink that are all over interior design right now.
Buying furniture or painting a room in a colour trend can be expensive and a long term commitment. I do not recommend purchasing a $10,000 couch in a colour trend unless you know you are going to love for years! If you are still craving to have some of these colours in your home, we have an easy way to indulge without the expense or commitment. Upcycling a tired piece of furniture or finding a unique piece at your local thrift store is a fantastic way to start. If you want to learn more about upcycling click on the link.
The FAT Paint Company click here for more info and Fusion Mineral Paint click here both Canadian companies that carry gorgeous paints that require minimal prep, no stripping or heavy duty sanding. To learn more about FAT chalk-style paint or Fusion Mineral Paint click on the links. Don’t know where to start? Here are a few examples of transformations using similar colours to Pantone’s fall trends. Incorporating these colours will definitely up your decor game this season. Check out our segment here from CTV Ottawa Morning Live talking about Fall colour trends.
Fusion Mineral Paint's Cranberry
Deep, warm reds are all over design right now and are perfect for Fall. Fusion’s Cranberry gives you that cozy warm feeling you get when you are sitting by the fire. This deep warm red is so versatile, gorgeous on classic pieces, rustic or would be fun and unexpected in contemporary furniture. This little occasional table was the perfect piece for Cranberry, transforming it into an elegant classic piece with a wash of Fusion’s Coal Black to make all of the beautiful detail pop.
FAT Paint Navy State of Mind from the Amanda Forrest Collection
Navy has been tagged one of the season’s hottest colours and this rich classic colour is here to stay. Navy will bring a touch of elegance into your space, it’s like that black dress every women has in her closet. I upcycled this tired, outdated console and transformed it into a statement piece. Looking to get this look? Use Celebrity Interior designer Amanda Forrest’s line- Navy State of Mind from The FAT paint Company.
Fusion Mineral Paint's Little Lamb
Grey continues to be on trend and is here to stay. Grey is a beautiful neutral colour that offers depth and can be paired with contrasting bold accent colours like teal, oranges,yellow and greens. Fusion’s Little Lamb is a warm but deep grey, elegant but versatile. It can be easily incorporated in most spaces, used on contemporary or Mid Century furniture. This tired french provincial dresser needed some love and was upcycled using Fusion Mineral Paint in Little Lamb with Fusion’s Pearl and Bronze from Fusion’s Metallic Collection.
FAT Paint's Juno
Pink has been front and center in design lately proving it’s not just for little girl’s furniture anymore. Juno is always beautiful on curvy, feminine furniture but I especially love it when it is unexpectedly used in a more contemporary style. This dresser was painted with that in mind with FAT paint in Raven on the bottom with a heavy dry brushing and Juno on the top of the dresser for a bold contrast.
FAT Paint's Cascadia
Celebrating FAT paint’s 5 year anniversary, they have introduced Cascadia, picking up on the gorgeous trend of deep smoky greens this fall. This rich colour adds a luxurious feel to any piece. I transformed this tired Mid Century Modern console and added a fun graphic pattern using FAT Paint's lemongrass, Can’t see me Camo and Shop Door...a little nod to colours of that era. This colour is so versatile and can be used with any style- rustic, modern or classic furniture.