Creating Your Masterpiece

By Kate Riley March 14, 2011

Let’s start off this week with a huge thank you to all of you who donated to The Alma Project.  We are overwhelmed at the positive response and amazing support!  We’ve worked up a list of projects to get started on, and will be reporting regularly on our progress.

I also spent the weekend adding a few touches of spring to our family room, including sewing up some new pillow covers for the sofa, and giving my coffee table a fresh coat of green paint. 

painting coffee table

I love paint.  I love working with paint.  I find it so therapeutic to find a piece like this coffee table above that I found in a thrift store.  Two years ago I painted it a mustardy tan color, but on a whim, decided I was in the mood for spring green.  How fantastic is it to take a found piece and transform it to make it work for your home?  Oh the satisfaction!  My friend Shaunna shares the same passion.  

I met Shaunna in Nashville earlier this year, and we spent several days together, talking about our families, and what motivates and inspires us.  I was so excited to hear Shaunna was putting the finishing touches on her ebook ‘Creating Your Masterpiece’, and at last it is available for purchase! 

Shaunna has years of experience refinishing furniture, and has finally gathered all her best tips in one truly inspiring resource, filled with her invaluable insight! 

shaunna book cover

I am so proud  of Shaunna’s book, which is why I agreed to be a part of the team behind selling ‘Creating Your Masterpiece’.   

In her book, Shaunna expresses so many of the sentiments that I share.  She touches on the importance of vision, and finding inspiration in what matters most to you!   The thrill of digging for buried treasure, dragging that found piece home, and then making it truly yours. 



having an antique quote

Here is a glimpse of the practical information you’ll find within it’s 200+ pages:

What to look for when you spy a piece you love (like dove tail drawers) and when to walk away

Shaunna’s best tips on all the necessary prep work, including stripping, sanding and patching flaws.  

When to use oil based primers and the best brushes to use.

The different techniques for staining, whether it’s a distressed or rustic finish you love, or a refined stain.  

Techniques for dry brushing and white washing.

How to create a layered paint finish with tricks like the ‘resist technique’

The best three sealants for your finished masterpiece. 


brushes 2


imagination quote


glazed dresser


Creating Your Masterpiece includes 203 pages, 226 photos, and 3 video tutorials and you can view the first 11 pages for free!

Purchase and download this resourceful guide for $11.99 here:

Creating Your Masterpiece

ebook button

Shaunna puts it best:

eye of the inspired quote

Whether you’ve never refinished furniture before (but would love to begin!) or have been fixing up pieces for years, I believe you’ll be as inspired as I am !!

Disclosure: I receive a small portion of the sales of ‘Creating Your Masterpiece’  as part of the affiliate program. 





  1. I totally feel you! I love, love, love taking a sad little piece of abused furniture from the thrift piles and making it happy again. I spent my whole weekend on several refinishing projects too. :D

  2. It looks amazing!

    Do you know if the book explains the colors or just the brands? As I am living in Europe, the paint brands are totally different and many of the products that you have does not exist in Sweden yet… Would love the book, but I have found that many advises on paint refers to brands…

  3. Hello Red House!

    On some of the last pages, Shaunna tells her six favorite paint colors and the brands too, so yes, they are specific to brand. There’s an inspiration gallery at the end showcases about 20 different pieces all with different paint colors and levels of distressing or glazing.


  4. I may have to add this to my book list. We are creating a new office space and it’s officially my room. I plan on using the space to display my DIY projects. I am hoping to try my hand at refinishing furniture. Thanks for the post!

  5. this would be perfect for me I need to check it out. I’m good with fabric and I’ll paint but I having figured out distressing or even know the words for all the other cool techniques I see everyone else using, but I’d love to learn

  6. I’m loving that shade of green you showed on the table!
    I’m so very happy for Shauna, she has a heart of gold!

  7. Hello Kate,

    Wow…what a treasure trove of information!!!! Sounds like this gal knows her stuff. Thanks for sharing Shauna with us.

    Janet xox

  8. I love that green…so soft and springy! Sounds like the book will have lots of helpful information for those who paint!

  9. This looks like a wonderful new book to add to anyone’s collection – pretty pictures, helpful and informative! Thanks for sharing and BTW: Your table is looking great in green for Spring!

    :D Lynda

  10. A while back I had purchased an antique piece for my dinning room. I had originally wanted very badly to paint it, but due to the husband and a few other voices I decided not to touch it and have since been staring at thinking “you could be so much better”.. ah.. someday I will paint it.. this post has certainly inspired me to seriously reconsider my request.

  11. Perfect timing! I have about 5 pieces that I want to repaint or refinish this summer… now I have a great tool and time to read up! Thanks for sharing, Kate and congratulations, Shauna!!

  12. I need this book! I do NOT know when to walk away. We’re in the process of making over our living room (and blogging about it) and I keep buying all my “must have” finds. The problem is, I can’t afford them all. If I only I truly knew when to walk away, I’d probably have enough extra cash to buy those shoes I fell in love with today. Ha!

  13. I bought this book, no regrets! Shaunna is wonderful and the book is real eye candy, in addition to lots of great info and video explanations.

  14. Speaking of creating a masterpiece, you spoke a while back about creating your own custom piece of artwork on canvas. How is it going? I can’t wait to see what you come up with!! I know your techniques will give me the inspiration I need (they always do) to create one of my own for above my fireplace.

    Love the BOOK also!! Is it available in bookstore or only online?

  15. Hi Jennifer! ‘Creating Your Masterpiece’ is only available online, it’s an eBook, but about that canvas . . . I’ve made a lot of progress. It’s about 80% done, I’m just struggling with this one section, I need more inspiration! Will post all about it soon!

  16. I love the coffee table’s new look? What paint color/brand did you use? THANKS for the inspiration!

  17. Love this. I’m inspired. Love the wall color too. Could you share the color /brand please?

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