{tricks to make furniture look more expensive}

Designing on a dime can be difficult given the price of furniture and interior décor. However, with the help of a little bit of paint, your old, outdated furniture can be refurbished to look like you spent the big bucks without putting a dent in your wallet!

Here are a few ways that Hirshfield’s paints can transform your furniture and accentuate your space.

before and after painted coffee table

Voila! The power of paint.

Above, a simple and cheap coffee table has been completely transformed with a new coat of beautiful turquoise paint and decorative metallic corners. Adding a pop of color is a fun and easy way to incorporate color into an otherwise bland room, while also recreating a piece that may have gotten sent to the dumpster.

painting furniture

Staying true to the modern feel with a paint compromise.

Add some accents to an otherwise old and outdated end table. The after photo of the project above shows that a little bit of white paint can add sophistication and completely make over an old piece.

Freshen up your furniture or thrift store finds with Cottage Paint from Hirshfield’s. Your color selection is limited to the 1,300+ colors found in the Hirshfield’s fan deck. Head over to Pinterest for color inspiration and ideas from DIY’ers all over the world.



Have you seen these very cool fretwork panels called O’verlays? Attach a fretwork panel and turn a plain piece of furniture into the focal point of any room. They are made of a lightweight composite and are paintable. They can be used on windows, doors, mirrors, furniture, and more.

There are so many ways that paint can transform your home. Get the look of expensive, luxurious furniture without having to make any sacrifices by purchasing some paint at your local Hirshfield’s and make your home the beautiful haven you’ve always desired.

Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.

{bits & pieces: dip-dyed furniture}



Anyone who’s ever wished that ombré and color blocking would fall in love and procreate will be very excited about the advent of a new trend in color-dipped furniture. – Jennifer Hunter on Apartment Therapy

Love, love, love the dip-dyed look! It looks super easy as far as DIY projects go. Dip-dyed pieces lend a playful feeling to a room and a fun way to add a touch of unexpected color to a room. The two chairs from Mobel Pobel (first photo) look so lovely; they’re like pieces of artwork on display.


These country baskets and bags turn modern with a dip in a bath of white paint. Pastels would look amazing against the natural reeds and grasses.


 The desk was painted black and the legs were left natural and unpainted.


Uncertain about dip dying? Chopsticks would be the perfect starter project.

pinkThe one and only wonderful Washi Tape imitates the painted dip-dyed look.


This table is painted with Cottage Paint and the legs are dip-dyed with Benjamin Moore’s Molten Metallic paint.

Hally's, Parsons Green, London                                         Dip-dyed pastels – über cool!

Soooo, what do you think? Are you in? I solemnly swear to back this trend to the best of my ability! Test the waters by picking up a small piece at the thrift store and see what happens. If you don’t like your first attempt, paint over it and try again. Happy painting!

1 & 2.  Mobel Pobel
3. Martha Stewart
4. DesignSponge
5. Poppy Talk
6. Poppy Talk
7. Hirshfield’s
8. thekitchn

{benjamin moore color chats}

I don’t know if the phrase “the devil’s in the details” is truly applicable to this post, but if you look around your home, are there small painting projects you can do in a couple hours that will give your home fresh unexpected pops of color? Over at Color Chats, Leah Rosch is offering up colorful ideas in Kitchen Refresher Course: 7 Quick Color Makeovers.

It’s not what you can do with a quart of paint, but what a quart of paint can do for you! Big impact for a small price.

{cottage paint}

furniture collage2 copy

Hirshfield’s is excited to announce we’re adding a new product called Cottage Paint, to our line of decorative paint finishes. Cottage Paint is a clay-based paint that dries to a matte finish. If you’re looking to update an old piece of furniture, this is the product for you.

From the Cottage Paint website:

Cottage Paint is a clay-based paint that dries to a silky matte finish and remains porous and easy to sand or wet distress when dry. We didn’t invent this paint, it’s been around since the frescos in the Sistine Chapel! We did, however bring it up to modern environmental standards by removing almost all of the VOCs in both the bases and the pigments.

1. Cottage Paint dries in about 15 minutes to one hour. I’m not joking. BUT for a rule of thumb – never do more than THREE applications of anything to a piece per day.
2. It adheres to just about any surface you can think of: Wood. Plastic. Metal. Brick, Melamine…
3. It requires NO sanding, priming or stripping. NO prep work – just a CLEAN surface. We recommend using TSP to get it good and clean.
4. It can be distressed as soon as it is dry using a damp cloth or fine sand paper. 
5. Cottage Paint does not roll or peel like latex when sanded, and appears as if the paint has truly worn off over time.

People get really excited about the “no prep” aspect – but use your judgement. I was working on a chair with a high-gloss factory finish, and I took five minutes to scuff it with sandpaper to assure maximum adhesion. Use TSP to clean the piece making certain it is clean, clean, clean.

Cottage Paint offers a clear wax coat in three different sheens for a protective finish. For a tougher finish a varnish top coat can be applied. Also, included in the Cottage Paint products are colored waxes which give your piece of furniture that aged antique look.

cottagepaintx copy

The standard Cottage Paint line has 24 colors. But wait…There’s more! Drew, Minneapolis Institute of Fine Finishes, a/k/a The Plaster Center, developed  30 additional colors for the Cottage Paint line. In addition to the extensive palette of pastels and brights, imagine all the color possibilities you have just by adding white to a color.

Join us at Hirshfield’s Eden Prairie store on Saturday, March 16, 2013.  Ongoing demos are taking place from 10:00 – 2:00. Cottage paint and two DIY decorative plaster wall finishes, Sedona and Moiré, are being featured. Hirshfield’s Maple Grove will be the next store showcasing the products, so stay tune for more information.

The Edina store and The Plaster Center stock the Cottage Paint, with the following stores waiting to be set up:

Baxter, St. Cloud, Shakopee, Wayzata, Edina, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, Coon Rapids, Roseville, Apple Valley, and Woodbury.

We appreciate your patience as we set up the remaining stores. If you have questions about the product, please contact The Plaster Center at 612-374-0221 or Hirshfield’s Edina at 952-927-4647.

P.S. I used Créme Brûlée as the top coat on a piano bench and I put a sample of Schumacher’s Chiang Mai Dragon, in the Aquamarine color way, next to it. What a stunning combo. I could totally see an accent wall in the Schumacher paper with a Créme Brulée buffet placed in front of it. You could charge admission, it is that lovely.  A $2 piano bench and $200+ a roll of wallpaper; a perfect example of mixing “high and low.”

{painted furniture}

Whether you’re operating on a budget, looking to give your furniture a new twist, or trying to add “pop” to a room, painting your furniture is a fun DIY project that gives you the ability to accomplish all or any of these things!

Ombre shading is a big trend in clothing, decor, even hair. You can adapt the look to painted furniture by adding a soft gradient to an update an old dresser. Using a fan deck, grab a sample pot of each color and paint away! Typically the top drawer, dresser top, sides, and feet are all the lightest gradient color.



Don’t forget: where there is paint, there can be stencils! Forget the fusty, country blue geese you may be envisioning. Adding a contemporary stencil design is a great way to add fresh style and personality to your painted furniture. These old wooden chairs turned “wild berry” are a great example. We highly recommend you take a look at the before and after pictures, too.



Using a bright color on a once-basic colored piece adds focus and style. For instance, this kelly green cabinet is the perfect amount of accent to a black and white foyer. The before and after on this project is quite remarkable as well.



If instead of a new and bright look, you’re looking to age or distress your piece, look no further. The Pretty Handy Girl blog does an excellent job explaining different techniques and methods to perfecting a worn look.



If you’re ready to give your furniture a little makeover, but aren’t quite sure where to start, the paint experts at Hirshfield’s are always excited to help you get your project going!

P.S. Soon, very soon, select Hirshfield’s stores will be carrying a specialty paint for use on all your best junking pieces. Stay tuned, my pretties.

Hirshfield’s is your local Minneapolis-St. Paul paint retailer. The paint experts at Hirshfield’s are here to help you with everything from window-treatments to paint colors. Hirshfield’s manufactures paint right here in Minneapolis.

{friday finds: faux bois 2012}


knack studio

Heincker Design

Bachman’s Ideas House Spring 2012

Christopher Kane


Verde Azul

DYI – Centsational Girl

House of Turquoise – Garrison Hullinger

Lars Contzen

Benjamin Dhong – Decorpad

Faux Bois hand towels

Heincker Design

Duralee available at Hirshfield’s Design Resource

Faux Bois paper – Hirshfield’s Design Resource

Faux Bois (from the French for false wood) refers to the artistic imitation of wood or wood grains in various media..

Apartment Therapy:  Looking to add a bit of natural, woodsy whimsy to your decor?

Elle Decor Trend Alert:  This traditional rustic motif is suddenly hip, showing up in glamorous new guises and unlikely colors.

I have been crushing on faux bois for two long years, and it’s all my fault the relationship hasn’t moved forward. I practiced with my graining tool on the white Hirshfield’s sample boards, bought a $2 piano bench, but could never decide on a color combination; I waviered between hot pink and a more neutral color combo, like Lindsey from Everything LEB  used on her nightstand. Plus, no one else seemed to appreciate or get excited about faux bois.

In 2012, everyone has embraced the classic, and sometimes retro look of faux bois. You can see from the images how faux bois works with any decorating scheme in your home, adding yet another layer of pattern and texture to your room. It’s all about layering. And it’s time for me to pick up the graining tool and move forward.

P.S. Not all our stores carry the graining tools; if interested, leave a comment and I will be happy to locate one within our system.

{friday finds: ombré}

OMBRÉ– om-bray {French} for having colors or tones that shade into each other – used especially in fabrics in which the color is graduated from light to dark.

Bits and Bobs - Ombre Cakes

Jessica Sprinkel - Pretty In Pink

Attic Magazine

You’ve seen it around. Fabrics, hair, clothing, cakes, and now furniture. Doesn’t the gradation of color remind you of a paint chip? Attic Magazine has a great post showing older dressers transformed into modern beauties. A can of paint can make a room, or piece of furniture, come alive again. This is my kind of project-giving new life to an existing piece of furniture, for not a lot of money.

Here are some other fine examples of the look of ombré.

Trapped in New Jersey

Trapped in North Jersey tells how she gave her dresser the ombré look. She’s right when she said, her lighting wasn’t very good. This is the Benjamin Moore color Autumn Red 2087-40 that started the project. You can’t tell on-line but it is a very pleasing medium pink.

2087-40 Autumn Red

Madigan Made lent the ombré look to her craft storage space.

Vanni Archive-Photographers

I love the subtlety of the color gradation of the tiles.

What’s your opinion on ombré? Is there a place for the look in your home? You can certainly keep it in mind when you are out thrifting and find a piece of furniture you cannot leave behind.

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