Red Licorice Kitchen – Part 1

Red Licorice Kitchen – Part 1

One of the things about owning a store is that you barely have time to decorate your own home. Everyone assumes that you have this amazingly decorated house, which in reality there just isn’t any time or energy left to do such a thing. That was one of the many reasons that I decided to close the retail store and focus on commission work and to work on my own home.

The first task on my long list of “to do’s” was the kitchen cabinets, which looked like this….Really bad 1980’s faux wood laminate. This is actually the built-in china cabinet, I’m still working on the main cabinets. Since this is a farmhouse I wanted barn red cabinets, so I used Primer Red (note that this is a color, not an actual primer) a base color and then used a wash of Emperor’s Silk to make a deep, luminescent appearance. For the shelves and backboard of the cabinet, I used a progression of Florence that I mixed with Cream to get just the right western turquoise color.

Of course I used Chalk Paint™ Decorative Paints since I used to be a retailer for the line and have the a lot of training with this product. Even though I no longer carry the line, I still believe that there isn’t another product on the market that is more suitable for painting kitchen cabinets. I have done several kitchen jobs over the years, using everything from oil to latex and Chalk Paint out performs all the other, especially on laminate.

Step 1 – Remove all cabinet doors and drawers.

Step 2 – Remove all hardware.

Step 3- Clean each door and the actual cabinet itself. I used Clorox wipes to clean the laminate. I used brake cleaner to clean the hardware.

Step 4 -
Even though Chalk Paint™ is a no prep, no prime paint, this is laminate so I wanted to use every precaution possible. I used Zinsser Bulls Eye Water Based Primer which is tintable and I mixed it with the Chalk Paint™ colors that I wanted to use.  The reason I wanted to tint the primer was so that if the paint was scratched it wouldn’t be stark white primer showing through.

Step 5 – A complete coat of Primer Red and the custom Florence color was applied straight out of the can, without thinning it with water. I wanted to add some texture to the paint since I was going to be using a lot of dark wax.

Step 6 – After the Primer Red had completely dried I created a wash of Emporer’s Silk by adding water to the paint. This coat needed to be very thin and almost transparent so the there would be a variation of color. This is what creates the depth and also once it is waxed the different colors will catch in the light.

Step 7 – I applied the 2 coats of clear wax, buffing between each coat.

Step 8 – As I like to say, this is when the magic happens…dark wax. This is the final and most crucial process in creating the variation and depth of color for this technique. I worked in small sections and very quickly practically scrubbing the wax into the paint. This is where the texture of the paint comes into play. That texture will “catch” the dark wax and make a variegated/antique look.

NOTE- in Part 2, I will address why, in my opinion, wax is the best option for a kitchen.

Step 9 – All of the original hardware was spray painted satin black and reinstalled. Let me tell you, paint works wonders on dated hardware and it saves a bunch of money when it comes to kitchens, which typically have 30 plus pulls. That could easily cost $200 in new pulls. I sprayed the hinges and even the screw heads so that everything looked shiny and new.

I am sorry for the poor picture quality, but these were taken with my iPhone. I haven’t located my good camera since the move.

Check back for Part 2, which will include more photos of the main wall of cabinets and the huge island. I will also give an idea of what this job would cost in time and money to DIY and what I would charge to do a job like this.

Until then…tootles. I’m hittin’ the beach.

Our New Home – The Farm

I have so much to share with y’all about the farm and the house, that I almost don’t know where to begin. I guess I will tell you a little about the farm first. It is a sustainable 100% grass-fed meat farm with cattle, chickens, pigs and turkeys. We are not the caretakers of the farm, but merely just leasing a property that is located on the farm. The operation is very intriguing to me since I was raised on a farm. Of course, when I was young I didn’t appreciate farm life all that much, as I wanted to be a big city girl. I guess it’s that time in my life when the cliché about going back to your roots is starting to apply.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of the farm.

We have only just begun to explore the 480 acres of pasture land.

Nature happens all the time around here, so there are several pregnant animals.

This is Honky the Donkey – He earned that name, although I didn’t give it to him, but he makes an excellent alarm clock. I found out that he loves red licorice so of course I had to buy some. He can spot me waving it in the air and he knows what it is. He will take off running toward me hee-hawing the whole way.

This is Brownie. I know, I know…the names are just not very original, but I didn’t name them. She is very pregnant and I just can’t wait until there is a little foal running around. The horse farm next door has had a foal born each week we have been here. I love watching them get their legs.

The chicks are irresistible! Sorry Steph, I’m talking about the real baby chicks.

Mr. Turkey got his feathers all ruffled and started chasing me through the field. It’s probably the first time I screamed like a little girl in a long time.

The girls checking out the farm with their cousins. This is what kids should be doing instead of playing on the computer.

Although there aren’t any horses on this farm, all of the surrounding properties are horse farms. This guy and 4 of his friends visit with me every day. It really is the highlight of my day.

Our property is very wooded and secluded. We have old Hammock Oaks all over the place and tons of Pine trees.

See the little platform in the crook of the tree. The kids love to sit up there.

This is right outside of my kitchen window. I call it the stairway to heaven tree.

Well that is all for today…I have been working away on the painting the kitchen cabinets. I will start to post pictures this week. It is amazing…Of course I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint so you are going to want to check out that post. I will give a lot of tips and tricks.

Until then…Happy Trails…Denna

My Next Great Adventure!

As many of you already know, we have closed the Mount Dora store. We originally were trying to sell it and we had a serious buyer, but as the old saying goes “shit happens”. We had grown very tired of the brick and mortar/ retail aspect of the store. It really took me away from what I loved, which was furniture painting, junkin’ and decorating. It also took me away from traveling to find all of the cool stuff that I painted and decorated with. Basically, I lost myself and after a lot of stressful days and sleepless nights we decided that it was best that we sell/closed the brick and mortar and go back to being a working studio and occasional sale operation.

The Farm

At the same time that we were trying to sell the store, we had found an amazing new home over an hour away from the store, but closer to our Ocala bail bond office.  We moved back to Marion County, which we absolutely loved and missed so much. For some reason Ocala just seems like home. Our new home is located on a 480 acre working cattle ranch and is surrounded by some of the most beautiful horse country I’ve ever seen. It’s just what I needed…to disconnect for a while. I will take the next couple of months to work on the house and do lots of painting. I will be blogging about all the projects around the house and cool things about the ranch.

What’s To Come

We plan to do a lot of shows around the country, but we also want to host our own show or barn sales. We hope to have our first barn sale in September here at the ranch. We will have other antique/vintage vendors, great food and live music.

Where To Find The Products/Artists That Were At The Store

Painted Furniture from Blue French Horn by Marcia Malloy can be found at When Pigs Fly on Donnelly St.

I will keep you posted on the others as the find new stores to call home.


Bohemian State Of Mind

I have always lived an unconventional lifestyle. I have always been a little on the fringe of the social norm. Only in the last few years have I become comfortable with how different my notions of  the good life are from the status quo.  A traveling gypsy lifestyle would suit me just fine, as I could wander around the world hunting all of the beautiful things that make me happy.

Lately, I have been longing for the open road and craving the exploration of new places along the way.

This is how I envision that my life should be…if i were still young, wild and free…

I would be cruising down the open road to destinations unknown like this…

via here

Visiting bohemian artist friends with houses like this…

via here

Glamping in something like this…

via here

Soaking up the intellectualism of free thinkers, within a place like this…

via here

and dreaming that I was still young and cute enough to pull off a look like this…

Here is to being young, wild and free…D

The NEW High Falootin Junk Headquarters

Have you seen our new digs? We reopened in our new spot last Tuesday and we have been so busy that I haven’t had time to post until now. The build out of the new store was a lot of work, but so worth it. We love our new spot!

Here are some photos of the build out process .

In my last post I mentioned that I really wanted to rip out the carpet and get down to the concrete so that I could paint it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. After 3 days of scraping up felt paper and glue I nixed that idea

I really wanted to feature the chalk paint on the floor, so I had to find a quick and easy alternative to having new concrete pumped in or wood flooring put in only to paint over it. I decided to use a technique that I had installed during my trade show days. Plywood cut into 4×4 squares and laid with the grain going opposing directions for visual interest.

I then created a wash by adding water to Graphite Chalk Paint and painted the plywood. I really wanted to have a lot of highs and lows in the finish to create a finish that looked time-worn in some areas.

I then stenciled these paisley patterns on the floor with various ASCP colors.

We also built out the bay window so that I could double my floor area in that space and create not only storage underneath, but a great merchandising surface on top. By the way that is Aubusson, Versailles and Duck Egg Chalk Paint on the walls.

I love corrugated steel. It creates so much texture and it really brightens up small spaces.

After one and a half weeks of running the store during the day and building out the new store at night…Wha La here it is…

I hope y’all will stop by and check out the new digs!

Too -Da- Loo


Movin’ On Up

Oh I have so much news to share with y’all. First of all I wanted to share the new artwork for the store. This was painted for us by the fabulous Amy Sellers. She owns the Tree Frog Artisan Boutique which is located in the same building that we are in. She is amazing and we are so happy that she painted this for us.

So on to the really BIG news…we are moving…but not far. Just up to the space in front of our current shop. Now we will be directly on Donnelly Street and will be able to take advantage of having a nice big window to display. We are also “Sloaning” the walls and floors and by that I mean, not only are we painting the walls and floors with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, but we have been doing so by hand with a 2 inch brush, otherwise referred to as “Sloaning” because that is the way Annie likes to paint. I must admit that this seems like a daunting task for walls, but I actually think it is easier than rolling it on.

So this is what we had to work with…

We had to rip the carpet out cause it was pretty yucky and also because carpet, paint and me do not play well together. I have spilled more than one can of paint on the floor. So the idea was to get down to bare concrete. That idea was nixed after day 3 of scraping the felt paper and glue off the floor. Plan B is now underway, but I have to leave you hangin’ on those details…

As for the walls, well they were covered in something that resembled a public bathroom than had gone uncleaned for many years. It was the most grotesque yellow and brown faux finish ever. I am gladly covering it in many shades of Chalk Paint and from the second that Duck Egg Blue hit the wall… happiness ensued.

Since I can’t share all of the details of the interior build out just yet, I will give you some other news to chew on for a couple of days.

We will have the new Annie Sloan Craqueleur later this week, as well as the Annie Sloan Lacquer. Maybe some Antoinette too…just for you PINK girls.

ALSO, remember that this weekend is a Renninger’s Extravaganza weekend and there won’t be another one until November so y’all better come to town. I might even give y’all a sneak peak of the new store.



Holy Cow!!! It’s 2012


Whew! What a year 2011 was. So much has changed in one year and yet I see 2012 being a year for even MORE possibilities. I have this uncanny and completely accidental way of meeting soooooooo many people with the most amazing talents. It truly is what keeps me moving forward.

As many of you might already know, I have a small store in Mount Dora, FL that specializes in painted furniture, antiques, vintage goodies, as well as new home decor and fashion accessories. Within the small town of Mount Dora I am surrounded by so many other amazing artists and entrepreneurs that I can’t help but be inspired and to be pushed beyond my comfort zone. I will admit that having a store in the downtown Mount Dora area keeps me so busy that I don’t have enough time to blog or keep up with my Facebook page, but I have at least 50+ people a day walk through my door. Between helping customers, painting furniture and pickin’ for the next great score, I just fall short on the social media side. It’s not that I don’t love my long distance followers, but I have to ration my time and I  feel strongly about giving customers in the store the full experience.

So what is in store for High Falootin’ Junk in 2012? Well, we have all kinds of ideas and plans. The biggest plan is to house the retail store, working studio and warehouse under one roof. This plan is in the works and will (crossing fingers and toes) be a reality in 2012. It is so hard for us to share the whole concept of what we do in the 550 sq feet retail store, especially when we have 2500 sq feet of warehouse space pack to the rafters with good ol’ junk that we want to share.

It is hard for us to show every side of what we do with such a small retail space and we do a LOT! We have many different styles that we focus on and we will admit that we did stray from our original (and personal) style of the mid century and industrial style and went some what off course with a lot of French styles. We view this digression as another quixotic moment or a journey which let us explore other realms of our design styles (I do have multiple design personality disorder). I love the lines of the French styles and I appreciate it and will continue to procure the style to resell, but it isn’t where MY heart is…which IS truly in Mid Century and Industrial design mixed with a rustic/farm element. (that sounds dangerously close to Retro Cowboy, lol) Anywho…we hope that our future space will be able to accommodate all of the styles we enjoy in separate vignettes, but until then I will just have to mix it all up in one teeny tiny space.

We will also be starting the workshop series back up this month, so make sure that you check our online store for the dates and to reserve your spot for the furniture painting workshops.

Too-da-loo for now…


Gobble Gobble & Black Friday!

Why should the big stores have all the fun on Black Friday?

So in the spirit of BIG sales this little store is going to work some magic on price tags.

We’re Gonna have a High Falootin Sale. 

ALL furniture will be 30% OFF 

Selected other items such as jewelry and small decor items will be marked down 20-40% OFF.

So while y’all are recovering from eatin’ all that turkey, we will be workin’ away and burnin’ the midnight oil to bring y’all some great High Falootin Savings.

Have a great Thanksgiving and we will See Ya Friday!