Weekend Reading

By Kate Riley February 3, 2019

Greetings from Down Under! I’ve been having such a fun time with my brother in Australia, I spent a few days in Sydney and now I’m in Burleigh in Queensland, visiting with my expat cousins. Today we’re vising a wildlife sanctuary then will hang out with Aussie friends watching the Superbowl, it’s becoming a thing here now!

The thing I love about coming to Australia (this is my third visit) is meeing the people (always so kind) and discussing the similarities and differences between our countries, and also observing the cultural nuances, phrases, and perspectives. Do you find that to be your favorite thing about travel too?

I’ll be home on Wednesday then back to work, meanwhile some favorite links spied around the web….

Love the shelving and open design in this black + white kitchen.

Fascinated with these wool textile wall hangings.

Things to do on a plane if you’re bored.

Great tutorial on how to install cement tile flooring.

How to overcome gym intimidation.

A brave story of self love.

What drawing an X says about your personality.

How to be an artist.

Easy Fix: Spray Painting Furniture

By Kate Riley January 30, 2019

A reader wrote to me a few weeks ago asking about furniture makeovers and my favorite paints for those projects since I used to do a lot of those. I haven’t done so many in the past years but I did turn to an old go-to easy fix product to refurbish a bench.

I’ve used spray paint before to give an old piece of furniture a new look (remember this chest and these nightstands) and it’s been almost five years since I revisited this topic so I’m back today with a refresher. The steps are still the same, and I think the products and colors have gotten even better.

There’s a 5 x 5’ corner of my studio’s kitchen that fits a small table and chairs where I eat lunch and where I share coffee breaks with friends and family that stop by to visit me during the day. I’d love to have a cushioned corner bench in here someday but for now I don’t have the time or cash to invest in that so for now I decided to simply refurbished an old bench that was sitting on my balcony collecting dust.


I like to use spray paint on smaller pieces of furniture or light fixtures because I know I can get a smooth finish without brush strokes if I follow certain steps. It’s how I got this bench with chipping paint to look new again in a beautiful shade of olive green.

Here’s a peek at its condition before I started, notice lots of chipped paint!


You’ll want to sand any piece with chipped paint which is what I did here: I used a coarse sanding wedge then followed it up with my orbital sander where there were stubborn spots that needed more advanced smoothing.





All spray painting needs to be done in a well ventilated area, I prefer outdoors on a semi cloudy day when the temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees. You need a totally clean surface too because moisture or debris can cause cracking or bubbling of the surface. I hosed off the bench, wiped it down, and let it dry outdoors for a few hours before I began.



The key to spray painting is thin coats! I used two cans of Krylon’s Satin Italian Olive, a thin coat all over the first round, a second thin coat in the second round, and a third light touch up, allowing an hour of drying time between coats. The spray paint guns are something I consider totally necessary, they eliminate finger cramping and help you guide the paint along the furniture for a smooth application.


If you encounter a drip here or there, use your finger to wipe it and come back later to touch it up with another light layer of spray. One of my favorite tips, any oil based paint can be easily cleaned off your hands using vegetable oil! No mineral spirits needed. :)



For an even more detailed step-by-step on spray painting furniture, see this post from five years ago, it’s the same process!



Meanwhile I’ll just enjoy my *almost free* olive green bench in my cute little breakfast nook space. Wanna come over for coffee? :)

Lately on Instagram (@centsationalstyle)