Ask Me Anything!!!

I was checking out one of my most favorite blogs yesterday, In the Fun Lane, and she had a post called “Ask Away” – she was giving her readers a chance to ask her any question – about anything and she would answer – fun huh?!  Then the cute Sarah from Cozy.Cottage.Cute (she has the cutest old house!!) was also inspired by her and did the same post.  Well, guess what?  I think its a great idea, so im going to totally copy and do it too!!

So, i will answer any question – whether it be about painting furniture, my house, my kids, decorating – whatever!!  Just leave the question in the comments and i will do a post this weekend answering the questions!!

And since i only get to my emails once a week once a month – maybe now is a good time to ask those questions!!


Ask Away!!  – sheeesh, i sure hope i get some questions!

66 replies
  1. April
    April says:

    I can tell that refinishing furniture is a passion for you. I was just wondering if it has turned out to be a lucrative business as well? My MIL reupholsters furniture and has for several years and made a modest living (extra income) at it. I would love to have her teach me the trade before she retires (in about a year). I just wonder if you think the furniture refinishing and upholstering business is a good one to get into. What are the pros and cons?

  2. Kayce Steadman
    Kayce Steadman says:

    How do you like your Graco Fine Finish Sprayer? Would you recommend it? Also, Do you spray your pieces with Urethane before you add glaze, so that the glaze won’t adhere to the paint?

  3. Jen F
    Jen F says:

    Spray paint & wood projects…how do I go about this? Sand or not to sand, prime or not to prime, HELP!!!! All the way down to the drying process and sealers! Thanks!!!

  4. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    Do you spray or use a brush on your furniture for painting? If you use a brush what kind do you use so it doesn’t leave the brush marks behind? when should you prime a piece of furniture?

  5. Jamie
    Jamie says:

    I absolutely love your stuff! I have a couple questions: your chalk board mirrors that you redo, do you replace the mirror with wood or do you paint the mirror itself? I love painting stuff myself but I’m afraid of oil based paints and finishes because of the clean up and it’s so hard to get out of my spray gun, What are your tricks? Last one, I need to redo my kitchen table and I’m hesitant on what finish to use and would you spray it or hand brush it? Thanks so much for always sharing your amazing work and talent!

  6. Tracy
    Tracy says:

    Love your stuff! Wood filler….thoughts, love it (favorite kind?), hate it (what do you use instead?) Thanks!!

  7. Cynthia
    Cynthia says:

    I am getting ready to paint some old doors and while I want them to have a fresh coat of paint- I don’t want to totally lose the ‘old’ look. Do I just sand the new paint? Use vaseline or something to keep edges from receiving paint? This piece will go outside so do you have an outdoor varnish or something you’d recommend to seal the piece?

  8. Nichole
    Nichole says:

    You often list applying a coat of poly as a finishing step in your furniture transformations. How exactly do you do this? Is it brush on or spray on? What is your favorite kind and how durable is it?

    Separately, what would process/products would you recommend for refinishing a stair banister (not the spindles, just the hand rail)? What finishing product would be needed to keep it from feeling sticky or gummy over time as many hands glide along it?

    Thanks so much for this opportunity to ask you questions – love it and love your projects!

  9. vickie
    vickie says:

    How and when did you discover your passion for refinishing? I often wonder where this creativity comes from? Where do you get inspiration for a project?

  10. Keni Farnwalt
    Keni Farnwalt says:

    I recently painted an old bench that was previously painted. When I did the glaze all my new paint pulled off. Should I prime it & then paint? I usually don’t prime if I’m distressing.
    Thanks for all your help.

  11. Holly
    Holly says:

    LOVE that you did it too! Now it feels like a big show and tell with all my favorite people. After we answer the questions I will have a link for every blog that joined in so we can all learn about each other.

    My question is what is your favorite find EVER?? I know that is a hard one for treasure hunters LOL.

  12. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    I have a table I recently striped and sanded. I want to use the table outdoors, but keep the soft natural distressed wood finish. What type of a wood conditioner, stain, finish, or wax would you use to protect the table. Its going to be under a covered patio and will get limited late day sun.

  13. Brandi
    Brandi says:

    I am thinking about trying the wax. I know NOTHING! Where can I get it, how do you do it, and what exactly does it do for the furniture?

  14. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    I love your work so much that it has inspired me to do it as well. I have done a couple of pieces for my own home and would like to refinish and sell some more. My question is how did you go about selling your furniture when you first started out? Craigslist? How did you get the word out about your beautiful pieces for sale?

  15. Brittany Reichmuth
    Brittany Reichmuth says:

    Hey Sausha! We haven’t spoken in a long …um…while! :/ Sorry! I actually got pregnant, and had a baby! His name is Tate, 6 months old now! my hubby and I so in love with him! And I see you’ve been busy too! I’ve been revisiting your blog a lot more often lately, and I’m so happy to see how well you’re doing!!! I’m actually getting into this business as well, since I’m a stay at home mommy now, and I can go as slow or as quickly as I have time for! It’s been a long time coming, but I sold my first 2 pieces last week. (yippeee!) I’m working on my third. I want to try a different technique. I’m thinking distressed cream on the bottom, and painted black on the top, with modern hardware, this dresser is tall, and hardy and huge–borderline “gaudy”. lol I just can’t seem to find on your site “how I paint”…the link on your home page sidebar isn’t working. :( I’m so bummed! I’ve looked through a lot of your work and I see you tell what the color is, and what primer you use, and usually what you top it off with. But, I’m looking for what finishes you use, for the different project types…raw wood, stained wood, stained wood and so forth…do you use semigloss or satin for your first coat of paint? And what are the different primers you use? I think I saw you sued SW alot! :) Do you recommend them, verses LOWES or Home depot?
    Thanks for taking the time to answer this! :) I really hope you are happy and healthy, and thriving!!!! Take care,

  16. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    Hi Sausha,

    I love that you have your own shop to work on all your pieces. How did you find it? I live in Bloomington, MN near Minneapolis and I’m trying to find a similar set up but I don’t know what to look for. Can you recommend what to search for to find a suitable workshop space with a sink, bathroom and big enough work space?

    I currently work out of my garage but it has barely any light and it’s been 90+ degrees out plus humidity. I’m afraid it would cost too much to retrofit the garage to accommodate for summer and winter weather, plus we’re renters. I work on vintage windows and turn them into home decor so I don’t necessarily need a lot of space, just a big enough space with the ability to control the temperature.


  17. Rhonda
    Rhonda says:

    Hi Sausha!

    When you switched over from showandtell to sweetpickins, your website layout, template, etc changed… What software do you use for your website? Did you design your website yourself, or did someone else design your header/backgrounds for you? Do you maintain the website yourself?


  18. paula dulaney
    paula dulaney says:

    I recently came across an old vintage 4 pane window frame w/window sill and i would like to strip it and add a shelf to the window sill part and do something with the finish that still leaves it vintage. What would you do? i just now am getting to strip it.

  19. Alyssa
    Alyssa says:

    Hi Sausha!

    First of all I want to say that I LOVE all of your furniture! I am blown away every time I see one of your new projects! My question is, how do you get the wood parts or the distressed parts of your furniture so dark? I’ve tried using a walnut stain mixed with glaze rubbed over
    the paint, but even then, it just doesn’t get the rich dark wood look that yours has.


  20. Shannon
    Shannon says:

    How did you get started? What advice would you have for someone who wants to get started? lol Thanks a bunch!

  21. Kat
    Kat says:

    I have 2 questions:
    1.) If a customer wants a piece painted black, what’s your go-to paint? (color, sheen, brand, etc)?

    2.) Will you come to by house and redecorate for me? Heck you don’t even have to DO the projects, just tell me what do do. (The correct answer is: “Of course! I’ll catch a flight first thing in the morning!”)

  22. Emilee
    Emilee says:

    what is the secret of picking the different kinds of paint ( semi gloss,flat, gloss) to go with the piece of furniture? For example if I wanted to paint a piece to make it look vintage would I want it flat or shiny?

  23. Kitty
    Kitty says:

    Hi Sausha!

    I am in love with your entryway dresser! I was wondering if you could give me the dimensions of the dresser, so I can try and build one myself?



  24. Mari
    Mari says:

    I’m decorating on a very tight budget. Craiglist has been my best friend. Picked up some gorgeous bedside tables that you can tell are super high quality. The ‘shine’ is coming off and there are a few water marks. They could stand to be restained. If I want this to be an heirloom piece should I trust myself (as never having done it) or take it to a professional?

  25. Christine
    Christine says:

    Hi Sausha!

    I want to have a focal wall (about 12′ long in the entry) and use wood planks or new pine boards made to look like old bard wood. What would you suggest as a paint technique to ‘age’ the boards to that greyish/brownish/beigy color of old bard wood and still have some paint chippy color in it as well (barn red).

    Any suggestions would be appreciated!!!

    Love your blog and your work!!!


  26. Erin
    Erin says:

    I have an ornate gold mirror that was my great grandmothers. I think sanding would be a nightmare, any suggestions on how to refinish

  27. Darci Laidlaw
    Darci Laidlaw says:

    I bought a super cute, curvy, old fashioned coffee table and 2 matching side tables for cheap that I want to revamp. They are solid wood and the tops are beat up a bit, so I’m sure I have to sand. I’m a total beginner and I’m going to just use spray paint. I want to try and do them in your style…with a little distressing, perhaps glazing too. Can you walk me through the basic steps and suggest products? I do have an electric sander, my hubby’s a contractor. :) And also…what are your most popular colors of painted furniture that people request or buy? I’m going to finish each piece in a different color…I’m actually only going to keep just one side table for my daughter’s room, and I will probably see if I can sell the other two. I just need some practice. :)

  28. Tresha Terrell
    Tresha Terrell says:

    Where do you find most of your pieces? What is a good price to pay for a dresser in order to make a profit after materials and time?

  29. Jeanne
    Jeanne says:

    I can’t tell you how excited I am that you are doing this. You are probably both flattered by the number of questions and regretful as there are lots to answer. I have been stalking your blog for a while and I have been wanting to email you with a couple questions, but I know how busy you are and I didn’t want to add to your plate. I can certainly relate to super busy.
    Anyway, I was one of the first visitors to this post but wanted to wait and see what others asked so that I didn’t use up my questions. :) Turns out…my main questions have been asked. Liking your spray gun? Darkness under your distressing? Latex? Flat, semigloss, eggshell? But mostly…how did you first begin? Where did you first sell your first pieces and how did you get your name out there and grow enough to being able to leave your job? I have sold a few pieces via craigslist, and I am about to start a blog/website, but I’m a bit concerned that I just won’t have the client base for my “business” to take off and maybe I should focus more on it being a hobby. I’m also a little intimidated to even offer custom work. Can you relate? Have you been there?
    I love all your work! You are very talented! You should be proud of yourself! :)

  30. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    Hi Sausha,
    I have followed your blog for a long time and love your work. I have a few questions.
    When you spray a piece do you leave the doors on ( like an armoire)? I assume you remove drawers but do you tape off all the edges before spraying? The last question is regarding your paint scrapers. I would like to know in more detail how to use them effectively. When you scrape the edges do you push or pull the scraper? Do you have to scrape over the same area multiple times or does the paint pull off on the first scrape. Do you have to sharpen the scrapers frequently and how do you do this? After scraping to you run over the piece with sandpaper or go straight to glazing?
    Thank you for answering everyone’s questions.

  31. Jaye
    Jaye says:

    Hi! I just came across a Theodore Alexander coffee table at Habitat for Humanity. It retails for $2800 and I got it for cheap. Only problem is that it has a crack all the way across. Researching found that it is made of Asian walnut with a solid wood overlay. What would you do to fix the crack? I think that it cracked due to tempature/humidity changes.

  32. Linda Van Baale
    Linda Van Baale says:

    will you answering this questions online?? There are so many good ones and I can’t wait to read your answers.

    Thanks, Linda

  33. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    I love love love your work. I have an oak table that I want to paint and put on my porch during the summer and bring it indoors during our nasty Idaho weather. What kind of a finish/sealer would you use? Thanks so much for answering questions! You are awesome!

  34. erica
    erica says:

    how do you seal your projects? i once used a poly that made the paint turn a yellow color, so i’m not sure if i did it too thick or what. and also, how do you apply it? paintbrush or paint gun? i love your work btw!!

  35. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    First things first…you are awesome!! Okay…now that’s out of the way…here’s my question: What is your favorite paint color for trim work in your home? Thanks. :)

  36. Marica
    Marica says:

    Hey Sausha,
    I have 2 questions for you…
    first, how do you clean your sprayer? In my shop I also have a utility sink and have such a hard time spraying into it. LOL Do you use any kind of lube on your sprayer?

    I am also curious how dark your get your primer tinted, and how you get them to do that for you? No One in my town will tint it that dark. It’s frustrating.

    Thanks for doing this, girl, you are such an inspiration!

  37. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    I already asked a question, but have another if you have time. I have not found anywhere that will tint a primer dark brown. They all indicate that the primers are not designed to hold that much tint. Can you please tell me what the primer is that you use (both the Lowes one and the similar product you now use from Sherwin Williams) and what the colour is that you have it tinted to. Also, do you use oil based stains overtop of latex paints when you glaze and does it dry properly so that you can then put water based poly over top? I thought that the stain had to be able to penetrate the wood, and I didn’t think you could use a water based poly over an oil based stain. Thanks!

  38. Teresa
    Teresa says:

    When you use Sherwin Williams paint, which one do you use? Is it Pro Classics or one of the others? Have you used their samples? If so, how do you think it holds up?

    Also, how many coats of paint and protective finish do you normally apply?

    Thanks for doing this. I can’t wait to see your answers!

  39. Susie Ayala
    Susie Ayala says:

    Hi, I’m new to your blog and loving it! With all the different paints available… latex, oil, chalk, milk… what is your favorite and most used? Also, what do you prefer for antiquing a piece… glaze, dark wax, or a stain? Thanks

  40. Erin
    Erin says:

    Cannot wait for you to answer all these questions,there are some good ones. I live in Utah as well, what is your best place to find old furniture locally?

  41. Melinda
    Melinda says:


    I love your blog and your work. I just panted an end table in white raisin because of your pictures. I have one of those 70’s dresser that I was trying to figure out what to do with, and your conversion inspired me, however I am a little lost for color choice, I have sage green walls…any suggestions? Thanks for posting all the great pictures, it has inspired me to look for furniture I can dress up :)

  42. Megen M.
    Megen M. says:

    Hi Sausha! I have been a faithful follower for over a year now and I absolutely LOVE your work! So my biggest question is…..HOW do you get your dark tinted primer?!
    I have been to numerous stores on numerous different occasions in hopes to find someone who can mix me a dark tinted primer, and i have had NO luck…they either tell me “its not possible” or i end up with a super light tan…. I even tried to go to SW and follow your 411 (SW primer tinted to dark brown) with no luck at all!! so how is it done? What’s the exact kind of primer that you use? Is there a special process that they need to do to achieve that dark tint?! Please help- im desperate to get me some dark tinted primer!! Thank you!

  43. Janet Fonoimoana
    Janet Fonoimoana says:

    Just discovered you. Wow! I’m enjoying everything you have.

    I am currently restaining our kitchen cabinets and I need some advice. I sanded the base cabinets and restained them, and now my husband and I think the stain is too dark. Oh no! I sure don’t want to resand them! We purchased new cabinet doors and will stain them ourselves. I’m wondering if maybe I can keep the base cabinets dark, and then have the doors a lighter color. What do you think? Or I was thinking of using a light stain on the cabinet doors, and then use the same gel stain I used on the base cabinets, mix it with glaze, and go over the doors with it. How does that sound? Our new floors are light hardwood, with some darker color flowing through it. Our new granite will be black with “lava” flowing through it. I’m a little worried I’ve got too much “motion” going on, and would prefer the cabinets to be a solid color, but I have to figure out how to make the dark stain on the base cabinets work. I SOOO don’t want to have to sand them all over again. Oh, one more question. If I do decide to combine the stain gel and the glaze, do I have to apply a light stain to the cabinet doors first, or can I apply the stain gel/glaze directly on unfinished wood?
    Mahalo plenty! I live in Sandy, Utah.
    Janet Fonoimoana

  44. Allison
    Allison says:

    Do you use your sprayer to prime? How do you clean your sprayer? Thanks for doing this post, this will be a great resource when you’ve answered all these questions!

  45. Mollie
    Mollie says:

    Hello! I have been interested in re-finishing/re-purposing furniture and was hoping your advice could help me get started. I have a few questions and I apologize if they are redundant.

    1. What equipment do you use or would you recommend for stripping/painting etc.?
    2. What are your top 10 must have products?
    3. What other blogs are you a fan of?

    Thank you for all of your inspiration!

  46. Tish
    Tish says:

    I want to paint my kitchen cabinets and I was wondering what is the best way to do this so they won’t end of chipping. Thanks.

  47. Mona
    Mona says:


    I love your stuff, I am going through all your post for the second day, I spent here hours. I am so inspired. I have a room with light brown furniture, the wardrobe, two dresser and table, but I so overwhelmed with all the post you have here, that I am starting to be lost. I do not know how to re-pained my furniture. I do not want it this brown. But maybe I am not sure to paint it whole. I definitely want it cream/white. But I was thinking maybe one of the dresser I will paint the whole thing, the other just the drawers, on the table the drawers maybe paint some application on the top, and the wardrobe has the doors kind of embossed, so I want to put some applications – I like birds – some owls maybe. I want to do the application in grey and some green-blue-greyish color, maybe some stripes on the table like the beach table you did, I also want to look chippy, so I will distress it with sandpaper. But the thing is I do not know what kind of paint I should buy. Do I have to use first primer and than top coat? and do I have to than use some clear poly or something on top, this is really unclear for me:). Thanks for your help and thanks for your amazing inspiration!

  48. Mona
    Mona says:

    Another question from me. Yesterday I went to our pain shop. I live in a small town in Slovakia and they do not have so many things to choose from. On wood they have paintsystem based on water thinning or syntetic paint system. Which one should I choose? The syntetic have bigger color palette to choose from and she told me, I meam the saleswoman, I do not have to use thinner if I do not want to.

    • Mona
      Mona says:

      and I forgot, should I use than something on top, I will send, prime, top coat, and some finish is necesarry? I want to paint doors on my wardrobe, drawers on the dresser and table and maybe draw some aplications such as owl on the sides of the dresser, or maybe some stripes on the top of the table.

  49. Mona
    Mona says:

    So I did pain a small table… came out great. But I also wanted to painted my furniture, I started with table – it is light natural brown, I started with the drawers, and after the third layer it still is not what I thought. When I painted the table, you can not see the brush strokes with the darker blue. But with the white on even on the light brown, and after three layers you can see the brush strokes, I do not know why. I am going to distress it the sides and corners with abrasive paper, but the strokes still in the pats where I will not distress it will be visible. Have you always used gun for painting, or maybe on the beginning alsa a brush, did it happen to you too, I am doing something wrong, or it is normal that the strokes are visible, it is not just one beuatiful compact layer.

  50. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    I bought a broyhill attic heirlooms dining table. It has seams between the boards on top of the table and it has been made to look distressed with knots and scratches in the wood. These are sealed at the factory with some sort of black greasy waxy pasty substance (in the cracks between the boards). What is the substance and where can I get some of it because apparently as the table has stayed in our house for a few months the wood is drying out some and the seams are cracking apart and I’d like to fill the open seams with whatever the black substance is to help the wood retain its moisture and such. What do you suggest?

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      ohh – i have no idea!! What about just treating the wood with tung oil – that would re hydrate the wood as well as protect it. You can get that @ lowes or home depot


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