Monday, October 24, 2011

Nate Berkus is My Sugar Daddy

Let me preface this by saying, I used to think Nate Berkus was my boyfriend. I was wrong. Nate Berkus is my Sugar Daddy.

In July, on a day that was hotter than the Hot Place none of us wants to end up in, my friend Kim and I went to an estate auction. Outside. In Kansas. It was approximately 425 degrees outside and miserable.

But the furniture was so cheeeeep that I thought that it may be worth the possibility of my children being raised by a single father if I didn't make it out alive. It's ok, he's a good Dad.

While I was waiting for the auctioneer to auction off the mile long table of glass and other things I unfortunately know nothing about, I met Mildred, she was 74 and sweet. We sat on a broken couch and talked about nothing and Nate Berkus. In Nate, we had common ground and a mutual love. She loves his fashion and bargain hunting tips and I love his furniture makeovers.

I also love that he provides for me. I can't tell you how many jobs I have done that have begun with the words "On the Nate Berkus Show...." I just kind of love him.

I told Mildred that Nate was my boyfriend, that he comes over 5 times a week for an hour. She kindly explained to me that he was not my boyfriend, he was my Sugar Daddy. If he was my boyfriend, I could see him anytime and call him whenever I wished.  A Sugar Daddy comes over much less often and provides for you financially.

 Being a nice Christian girl, a Pastor's Daughter no less, I have never had a Sugar Daddy before. I think I like it. Thanks Mildred.

It was at this relationship defining auction that I bought this table for $5.00. Five Dollars! See why I stayed? The coolest thing about this table is that the center section SPINS!

The least cool thing about this table is that it weighs at least a million pounds. It took 4 of us to load it into the back of my van. I think I might take it apart, there may be gold bricks inside.

My husband decided that we should keep this one, it spins, it is dude furniture. Since I knew it was staying, I decided to play a little more than I might if I was selling it. The look I was going for was Grungy French "Found-in-an-old-French-barn-after-a-fire".

The best choice I have ever made, (aka My Husband), chose the Annie Sloan colors Olive and Arles. I have had an unopened can of Arles sitting on my shelf for a few months waiting for the right piece, today was the big day. I opened it and it looked like, well, it looked like snot.

Something was seriously wrong with this paint, I shook it up and even stirred it with a shim (my favorite stirring stick) and it was still watery. In a flash of brilliance, I thought maybe I could speed up the thickening process by microwaving it, in a microwave safe bowl of course! Not really brilliant after all. It was just hot and drippy.

I wiped it off and started again with ASCP Cream. A little tame, but it could work.

Because it was a little lighter than I was going for, I dry brushed a little of the watery Arles over it and squirted it with a water bottle and rubbed and blotted it until it was aged looking and darker.

Most of the time, I hand sand because it is a finer finish to me, but for this one, I busted out my palm sander with a 220 grit sanding pad. When I am working with an electric sander, it definitely takes more of the paint off, exposing the wood underneath.

Because I don't always follow Annie Sloan's rules and use wax, I used a water based urethane to finish it and then glazed it with Valspar's Asphaultum glaze and re-coated with urethane twice because I know where this piece will live. It will thank me later!

 So here she is in all of her "Found-in-an-old-French-barn-after-a-fire" glory. A little crazy looking, but she fits in here.

And here are the socks my son stashed on the other side. Just keepin it real.

And thank you Nate Berkus, for being my Sugar Daddy and not my boyfriend. I think this could work.

I am linking to these parties:

Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday

Primitive and Proper

Perfectly Imperfect

Nifty Thrifty Thursdays

Restored it Wednesday

Beneath My Heart

Funky Junk Interiors SNS

Between naps on the porch

Friday Redoux

Wow Us Wednesdays Pin It


  1. Great finish work... love that look and what a great find too! And the socks... my daughter sometimes decorates my furniture like that too.

  2. I love that piece! I talk about Nate all the time too--like he is my friend. My kids call him "Mom's gay boyfriend" --I think I like gay guys better anyway. My husband feels no threat with me being smitten with him.

  3. Beautiful! Just beautiful! Did you check into why your paint is so thin? I need to follow up with the gal I purchased my dark wax from. I've battled with it since the day it arrived and thought I was doing something wrong. Then, my sister came over the other day and I saw her can. Completely different consistency. I'm not sure if mine was of an old batch or got stuck on a hot truck, but mine was NEVER like hers. Anyways... your pieces are truly best I've seen.

  4. PS... Can I share your sugar daddy? I just adore him!

  5. Shelly, I would be delighted to share my Nate! I think he has enough love to go around!

    I haven't really looked into the paint issue yet. The shop I buy it from is super nice and I am sure she will make it right. I had the same problem with another color early on and I just left the lid off for a couple of days and it was fine. I think I will just exchange this one though, the evaporating bugged me, like it was money wasted.

  6. it looks beautiful! the colors are so earthy, rich, and warm! love it!

  7. I love the colors and the table, it turned out great!

  8. This looks absolutely amazing. I love the colors you ended up with. I have used ASCP Arles too. It is a strange bird. I did a lovely French Cabinet in it, but had to use a bajillion coats to get it to look right. You are hilarious, I should get to know Nate better, we are only "acquaintances" at this point. I heard he shares his love with millions of us though.

    Laughing even harder at the socks stored in there. The before pic in your garage? Yes, we have that cooler, and all that same sports and kid junk. The socks could have come from my house. I find them in our upstairs play room, on my cute Coffee Table down here, on my bathroom counter, you get the picture. Boys, the like to stake out there territory with smelly socks.

  9. My Arles was watery too. So was my Antibes Green. I left the lid off over night and now the Arles is perfect and one of my favorites. The Antibes Green needs to be left off if I am going to use it again. Love this though!

  10. ha! Love it! Kids are great--I always have to check all the drawers in the furniture I sell for stached treasures. Thanks for sharing!

  11. How awesome is that!!! It turned out just perfect and I love the story behind it! COme over and share sometime for Treasure Hunt Thursday!

  12. Too funny! I love how the table turned out!

  13. Can I be your shopping partner?! I love this table, you did a great job!

  14. Fantastic story, and your reward for being so kind is the $5 table, that was perfect before, but you took it to another level. The contrasting leg color, the shiny finish, is store-worthy. Enjoy your gorgeous, new laundry hamper!

  15. Love it but I'm upset I thought Nate was my boyfriend-LOL I do love me some Nate. I had a can of Chateu Grey that was weird almost oily on top and I emailed from the ASCP site. Annie emailed me back and gave me some tips-shake the can really good and place upside down for a day. I actually let it sit for several days and it worked. She explained to me that sometimes in the shipping process it seperates or something. Lisa

  16. Love the table and your humor. :)

  17. Jo says: Well done. Love the French feel. I grew up with real white french furniture and it does turn that funky yellow color after years. Just wish chippy was in style back then and I could of played in the house!

  18. Histerical post! Almost spewed coffee all over the computer! And nicely done on the french fire barn look. Pulled it off nicely!

  19. I love the painting technique you used! I am a new follower!

  20. So beautiful! I love it! And what a GREAT deal!

  21. You're hilarious, I've never had a Sugar Daddy either. Great job, and love the "keeping it real" socks in the other side.

  22. LOVE it! great work, if you find another sugar daddy like Nate, please send him my way ;)

  23. You're hilarious! I LOVE this piece! What a find! But what a beautiful 'after'!

  24. What an awesome find! I truly enjoyed your very entertaining story to go along with the makeover. I love the transformation AND the fact that you did it your way (breaking the ASCP rules). I am a new follower.

  25. LOVE the makeover! And I'm so jealous of the fact that you found it for $5.00!

    I've written several tutorials on chalk paint, and I addressed the problem with the Arles paint after experiencing it myself!

    I'd love for you to pop in and check it out!

  26. Sorry for all the explanation points in my last comment. I seriously have a problem. :)

  27. That was a great story and a fantastic deal!

  28. TOOOO funny! Mildred is a HOOT!

    Sugar Daddy it is-- he INSPIRES you, and inflames your passion for furniture-- it's ALL good!

    Great piece!

    Visiting from Savvy Southern Style's WOW linky party :)
    Suzanne in NW Illinois

  29. I am cracking up too! Even read your lines abount sitting with Mildred on a broken couch and the sugar daddy part to mu husband bc I was laughing so hard!

    Your piece turned out great!
    So glad I stopped by here today!

  30. Girl you are sooooo funny! I love reading your posts and the fact that I actually get good advice in the process is just icing on the cake! I love the table and never woulda thought to put those two colors together. You rocked it!

  31. Chrystal, I found the same table--but for $40! And the spinning part is very fun!
    I L-O-V-E your finish--so beautiful!
    I'm making mine into a round island for my auntie's small kitchen (by building up from the current top with butcher-block). --I'd rather keep it for myself, but I promised : (

  32. oh yay!! You linked it up! I am featuring this tomorrow at my party. I love this piece so much, I even day dream about it! Isn't that pathetic???

  33. GTC! Thanks so much, what an honor! I love your blog ~ Your furniture is lovely and you make me belly laugh! Shoes in the oven? Why haven't I though of that?

  34. If Nate only knew how many of us consider him our sugar daddy:) Love your table. I am longing to get my hands on a piece like this. Thanks for sharing and glad I found your blog.

  35. I'm a new follower and this table is fabulous! GREAT Job! Can't wait to see more projects from you! :) Jodi

  36. another fantastic find and finish! and you crack me up!

  37. You are off the chain and so is this piece.