Favorite Paint & Stain Products

I want to get this out in the open before I begin, that this post is in no way sponsored or affiliated with anyone.  Which means…I was not paid to promote a product, or given it free, in exchange for a review.  These are just a few of my favorite things that I have been using and want to share!

If you don’t already know, my husband and I build farmhouse style furniture.  I have been redoing furniture for many years, but when the pieces became too hard to acquire, the natural transition of building them came about.  So I have used many different products over the years and these are some of my favorite right now!

My favorite stains, hands down, are made by Rustoleum under the product name Varathane and can be found at Home Depot.

Let me just tell you why I love this stain sooooo much!  It is super pigmented, has lightning fast drying time, and you can apply poly over it after an hour!  If you are like me, I don’t like wasting time and try to wrap up my projects quickly.  While I do use oil based stains, you do have to add drying time of AT LEAST 8 hrs…and who has time for that?!

Now let’s talk about polyurethane.  The secret to poly is not over brushing it.  I ALWAYS use my Purdy paint brush to apply my poly,

70b9992a-d8ff-4051-92ec-8f9b32b12b1b_1000but any good quality brush will work.  My poly of choice is Varathane’s satin polyurethane.


It comes in all sheens, but my preference is to use satin (especially on my farmhouse table tops).  I love this poly because it is really hard to mess it up!  Just use even brush strokes, do NOT over brush it, it self levels, you don’t have to sand between coats, AND you can reapply your second coat within a few hours!  So you can literally have a piece finished in 24 hrs. with 3 coats of poly….total win.

Let’s talk about paint.  I have used so many different types of paint over the years that I can’t even begin to list them all…my story is similar to Goldilocks and the Three Bears!  I finally have found some that are just riiiiighhht.  I love BB Frosch chalk paint powder to paint over furniture that is getting a makeover.


The reason why I prefer this product, is because it is a powder that you add to your flat paint.  You read that right….you pick your color and add the powder directly to your sample paint from Home Depot (less than $4 at your local Home Depot at the paint counter) and VOILA!  Best chalk paint ever!!  Just remember that with chalk paint, you have to apply a finishing coat i.e. wax, polycrilic, oil…to seal it.

My paint choice for painting raw wood is Valspar’s furniture paint which can be found at your local Lowe’s Home Improvement in the paint department.  042397609534It used to be sold by the gallon, but they have since discontinued it and only sell it by the quart.  This makes me sooooo sad!!  This paint is oil enriched, creating a hard finish, self leveling, and no brush marks.  Seriously, it is the most amazing paint!

Next I will share my favorite products/tools that I use, that just make life easier for the DIY’er.  I am so excited to share about our home remodel, furniture builds, and other fun stuff!  Is there anything you want to hear about?  If so, leave me a note in the comments!

Pantry Refresh

I have been working on a little pantry refresh over the past few weeks.  One of the finishing touches I wanted to add to my new open shelving, was labels for my baking goods.  IMG_2504I bought cheap Anchor Hocking jars (1 gallon size) at Walmart, but wanted to make them a little more farmhouse-y.  So I scoured Pinterest and found Kristine’s amazing labels from The Painted Hive.  They are free also, but in .pdf format, which didn’t work well with my Silhouette Cameo.  So I typed mine up in my Silhouette Studio Software and then cut them onto black permanent vinyl. IMG_4066They were a little difficult to weed and I may have lost a few dots for my i’s, but I am ok with that!  Imperfections are a part of life and if anyone gets that close to my canisters to point it out, then they probably need to go home anyway! Hahahaha

And now for the eye candy!  I absolutely love them!





Such a perfect addition to my open shelving and I will always be able to visualize how low I am running on my ingredients.

I am making these labels available for all Silhouette users.  Please don’t sell the file or make a product to sell.  These are for personal use only.  Happy cutting, my friends!

Canister Labels


We did it!  We bought a foreclosure!  Now what?  It was exciting, overwhelming and downright mentally exhausting to think of all the changes that we needed to do just to make the house livable.  Not even pretty.  That would come later.

C_UsersGaryDesktopTxSizedHomeOriginal House photos1

Here she is in.  In all her shrubbery, outdated fixtures, peeling paint, overgrown trees ranch style disaster.  From the pictures it doesn’t look that bad, but trust us….it was!  It was, still is, a Texas sized renovation at its finest.  Before we were even able to move in we had to bring the house up to FHA standards.  Which left us with another month of living in an apartment, with 5 children mind you.  Let us show you what we started with prior to any changes that were made.  Que pictures…(don’t judge!)

Front Yard

The house sits facing a cul-de-sac with us sitting highest on the block.  There is no fence, but 0.4 acres worth of trees and shrubs.  The house sits smack dab in the middle of the lot.

Side House


This is the rear entry driveway/garage.


Side view of the house.  Red Tips, Boxwoods and found out too late, Poison Ivy, were planted all along the perimeter of the house many years ago.  We now hate shrubs.


This is a picture of the peeling paint, and original incoming electrical to the house.

And these were just the outside photos.  The house had sat vacant for 2 years prior to us winning it in a bidding war.  Yay us!

Prior to moving in, we had to have the no fun things done to bring the house up to FHA standards:

  1. The exterior wood trim scraped, sealed and repainted.
  2. The incoming electric service had to be brought up to code replaced and the main electrical panel $$$.
  3. Smoke detectors installed.
  4. Create a drainage path away from the house.
  5. Fire rated door replaced at the garage entry into the house.
  6. GFCI’s added to all wet areas.

So our electrician is named Mike, he is our new best friend, and we send Christmas cards to each other!  HA!

This is ONLY the beginning of our love/hate relationship with this Texas sized home reno.  Many tears have been shed, but it truly is a labor of love trying to make a beautiful home for our family.