If you love gorgeous furniture makeovers, California sunshine, and adorable corgis, then you’re going to fall head over heels for September’s MMSMP Featured Artisan! Everyone, meet Annie Looysen of Simply Chic Furniture & Interiors!
Annie started painting furniture back in 2011, a year after she got married to her husband, Chris. Annie and Chris needed a table to set a bird cage on for a pair of finches they had just welcomed into their home. She was able to find an old table that needed some work and she wanted to make it her own. Annie had never painted before, so she did research and watched a lot of YouTube videos. She bought all her supplies and surprisingly enough, the process was fun and her table turned out great! Unfortunately, Annie and her husband had to find a new home for the birds, which meant her table didn’t really have a use anymore. Annie decided to sell it along with a matching chair she found at a garage sale. She put the set up for sale on Craigslist and it sold within 3 days! Annie thought she was on to something!
Looking back, she remembers how she prayed that God would give her a hobby or passion for something that she would truly enjoy. She had always loved to paint and do crafts but she wanted something more. God more than delivered, and Annie wouldn’t have believed in her wildest dreams that she’d be painting furniture full time!
Almost a year ago, Annie was working a job and sitting at a desk. Her job wasn’t creative in any way and she wondered if this was all she went to school for. Annie’s father also passed away during this time, and it caused her to put her whole life into perspective. She started to think deeply about whether she was happy with her career choice. She was working on furniture part time while maintaining full time hours at her other job. Sometimes, she would actually come home and sell furniture on her lunch break! She knew that her father would have wanted her to be happy, so she got brave and put in her two weeks’ notice. Annie felt incredible and terrified at the same time. Now she was solely responsible for her income, which is a feeling a lot of entrepreneurs have when they first get started. Annie was fortunate to have a good number of customers asking her for custom pieces – almost to the point where she couldn’t keep up with demand!
Eight months later, Chris was laid off from his job. Annie said that God completely provided for her because that month was the busiest she had ever been! While he was job hunting, Chris was able to make her workshop more efficient, help with furniture deliveries, and help Annie move a huge bedroom set so she could paint it. (The folding cabinet pictured below will be getting a makeover soon, so keep your eyes open on Annie’s blog!)
Chris also helped Annie rescue a piece of fence that her father painted years ago. It was picked out of the weeds at her parent’s home and now serves as a beautiful backdrop for Annie’s Milk Paint photos.
Annie started using Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in 2014. She was at her favorite antique store, Deja Vu, in Old Orcutt. One of the vendors, Seashells & Sawdust, happened to sell MMSMP and Annie saw a piece painted in Kitchen Scale. It was love at first sight! She had to know the brand of paint and where the beautiful color came from. She was hooked and Annie only painted Kitchen Scale for a couple months afterwards on everything!
Here’s an example of one of her gorgeous Kitchen Scale pieces.
This dresser was painted in a custom blend of two parts Kitchen Scale and one part Grain Sack.
All of the intricate details were painted in Grain Sack.
We can see why Annie loves using this color!
Even though Annie didn’t have any hands-on training with our Milk Paint, watching Marian’s YouTube videos were enough! Annie taught herself simply by using the paint and through a bit of trial and error.
Annie loves the fact that Milk Paint contains no VOC’s and has 5 simple ingredients. It makes for a healthier painting environment for her and she isn’t passing anything toxic on to her customers. She also loves how our paint comes to life after a finish is applied.
Annie’s favorite MMSMP product is our Beeswax Finish (which happens to be September’s Product of the Month!) The Beeswax Finish is the perfect product to ensure you get a chippy look. It eliminates the guess work of whether or not your piece will chip.
One of Annie’s favorite tricks for mixing our Milk Paint is to strain it with a metal sieve to remove all the solids from the bottom once it’s mixed. This helps her eliminate any sediment and keeps her finishes super smooth and consistent. For more tips on mixing MMS Milk Paint, watch this video:
One of Annie’s favorite quotes is, “An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” (Edwin Land) When you are being creative, Annie doesn’t believe there are any mistakes. (We second that sentiment!) Failures are opportunities to learn and grow. This lesson was learned through a rather funny story of her first project using MMSMP. She was making over a 60’s French provincial desk with plastic feet. She painted Milk Paint on and stood in amazement as all of the paint fell off! Annie didn’t realize that she needed to prep smooth and glossy surfaces or that the Bonding Agent would have helped with that particular project. Looking back, she can laugh about it and we’re sure some of you have had this happen to you!
One of the most important things Annie has learned from MMSMP is how to give up control. Yes, you read that right! Annie shared that she was so incredibly particular and everything had to be just perfect – no paint missing on any of her pieces. Our Milk Paint gave her the freedom to let go and allow the piece and paint to do whatever they want to do. Annie is learning how to be more free and creative with her makeovers.
Annie’s absolute favorite piece she painted with MMS Milk Paint is this dresser.
The piece had a lot of missing veneer, but Annie knew it had tons of potential. She was excited when a customer wanted her to custom paint it. It humbled her that the customer had total faith in her to make it look amazing. They wanted it painted in French Enamel with a heavy distress.
The new look really brought out the beautiful Hepplewhite handles, which weren’t really noticeable before.
Today, Annie is a proud merchant at Deja Vu and you can see her gorgeous booth in person if you’re in the Old Orcutt, California area! You can also follow Annie’s makeovers on Instagram. She also posts adorable photos and videos of her two corgis.
This is Rosie.
And this handsome fellow is Wrangler.
We’re pretty much obsessed with them!
Do you know a local artisan who is using Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in beautiful and unique ways? Let us know! We’d love to feature them here on our blog. Send recommendations to Jenn Baker at [email protected]