Retreat Update

Last year around this time, I wrote about a 1799 manor house I was in the process of restoring, then as usual, the combo of me not being a great blogger and the insanity called my life got in the way and I never let you know how it ended up.




Well, it ended up pretty great. I officially started renting it out as a vacation rental and small wedding venue last spring. Since then we have hosted several weddings, family reunions,womens retreats, we have been photographed by countless wedding stylists,  we have been the site fun girlfriends getaways, and even on the cover of a European mystery novel! I am also excited to say it is being shown in the February issue of Washingtonian Magazine! That truly is an honor.




We’ve come a long way from an abandoned house!


To say it has been a learning experience would be an understatement, but all absolutely worth it. Nothing makes me happier than knowing this beautiful home, that had been left for so long is now filled with so many happy memories.


Here are a few pics, you can also check out or  #retreatatcoolspring on instagram to see a lot more photos, and check out February Washingtonian…WOW I cant believe I’m saying that!

Vintage Camper and Chicken Coop

We all have our hobbies…. Some of us play sports, or fish, or sew… but for Amy Whyte, lead designer at the Design House, she is at her most relaxed and happy when she is searching for vintage campers online. Actually not just when she is searching for them, but when she finally has the perfect score of a camper that has all the bones of cuteness, needs just the right amount of restoration, and is the right price.

Aahhh nirvana!

One of Amys most recent projects came about when we both were talking about getting some chickens so we could have fresh eggs.

Most of the premade chicken coops we found were well over a thousand dollars, which we couldn’t justify. Amy quickly found an old beat up camper advertised as “beat up camper…first $200 takes it”  perfect!

She told me to not even look at it when it pulled up…as I would probably have a heart attack.

It was dank…dirty…brown…overall pretty nasty…

But my job wasn’t to worry about the camper, my job was to find chickens that lay pretty eggs. So I spent my mornings at Southern states learning about Cuckoo Marans and Americaunas.

Amy, meanwhile, transformed that nasty camper into the cutest chicken coop you have ever seen. She recruited Henry to help gut the interior, scrubbed and painted the exterior, and reimagined the interior to be a chickens paradise.

Ladies and gentleman…


Coop1 coop2

 coop5 coop6


Amy Howard Painted Chair Makeover

LaDonna S. just sent us some great photos of a chair she was inspired to paint after she took our One Step Paint class at the shop.

“I enjoyed the paint workshop so much yesterday and was inspired to tackle my chair. I thought I would send you photos of the final product.”

lucketts chair 1 lucketts chair 12

“I did not add any design element to the fabric portion of the chair since the fabric already had a design element woven in which the paint highlighted.”

lucketts chair 123 lucketts chair 1234

Wow LaDonna, what a LOVELY chair!  We love how the Dust of Ages sits in the crevices and makes the chair’s carved details really pop out against the black paint and fabric….love it!


Want to paint with us like LaDonna did?  We have workshops coming up August 16 & 23. Call the shop directly during business hours @703-779-0268 to prepay and reserve your spot!

lucketts paint workshops

amy howard paint workshops lucketts

Kitchen cabinet makeover (with paint)

cabinet makeover luckettsCindy S. recently attended one of our painting workshops, and she tackled a BIG project — her kitchen cabinets!  Here are the details from Cindy…

I took on my 23 year old builder grade Merillat pickled kitchen cabinets…lucketts cabinets before

I used Selznick Grey and just the light wax.  (Here’s a photo during the painting process)

lucketts during cabinets


I love them and so does everyone else that sees them.   Love this stuff!

paint cabinets lucketts

I find myself looking at everything and asking myself what it would look like painted.

lucketts cabinets after

Wow Cindy, what a BEAUTIFUL JOB!


Want to paint with us like Cindy did?  We have workshops coming up July 26, and August 16 & 23.  Call the shop directly during business hours @703-779-0268 to prepay and reserve your spot!

lucketts paint workshops

amy howard paint workshops lucketts

Easy as 1-2-3

Amy Howard Paint…Easy as 1-2-3.  Find your piece of furniture, choose your paint color and wax, and get to work!   No sanding, no stripping, no prep, no joke!  We at Lucketts, can provide you with the tools to make it just that easy. Don’t believe me? Check out this beautiful 1920’s dresser. Our Amy decided to paint half of the dresser to show you what you can do with a beautiful piece of furniture in need of a little love. She used Amy Howard’s One-Step Paint in French Blue, Amy Howard gilding kit, light wax and the newest Amy Howard product; Dust of the Ages (all of which -except for the gilding kit coming soon – are available here at The Old Lucketts Store).

Step 1: Pick your Piece of Furniture.  Amy Howard is a strong proponent of restoring old furniture and so are we. Nearly 10 million pieces of furniture and accessory items are being discarded annually. So just deciding to paint an older piece of furniture, or finding something in your house that needs a little love, you helped rescue another piece from being discarded into a landfill! So pat yourself on the back. Way to go!

DresserBlog-1Step 2: Pick your Color & Wax.  Amy Howard has numerous colors to choose from! Just pick one that speaks to you and you can’t go wrong! For this project, our Amy chose to use French Blue. She then used the wax to add texture, sheen, and protection this piece.

DresserBlog-2 Step 3: Get to work!  Now that you have your piece of furniture and your color, it is justDresserBlog-2ba matter of pulling the trigger. Amy wanted to show you that you can turn a piece of furniture you wouldn’t think twice about putting in your home, to the one that steals the show!

Disclaimer:  Now, Amy did do a couple of steps that require a little more time to achieve this dresser’s finished look (she’s an overachiever like that). She took the gilding kit and highlighted some of the scroll work on the dresser, adding that warm golden glow that helps the details of this piece really stand out – rightfully so! She also used the Dust of the Ages – which is a powder you sprinkle on after you wax (but before it cures) to give it that grainy appearance that you find on some really antique pieces. But these are additional steps that don’t need to be done when starting out. You can stick to the One-Step paint and wax to achieve a very beautifully painted piece done by YOU.

Step DresserBlog-34:   Enjoy!  Wait, I know what you are thinking…”you said as easy as 1-2-3!”  Gotcha! Step 4 is the easiest one of all… for you to simply enjoy your “new” piece! It really is as easy as 1-2-3 thanks to Amy Howard and her amazing paint and paint products! Hope this inspires you to go and rescue a piece of furniture or some accessory to paint!

Happy painting!

Baby Grady’s nursery reveal

How exciting!

Pawleys Island Posh featured Casey’s nursery for baby Grady on their blog today!

Here are a few sneak peek pictures of the nursery decor – what a beautiful job, and so unique and timeless!

Photo:  Monkey Face Photography

Photo:  Monkey Face Photography

Photo:  Monkey Face Photography

Photo:  Monkey Face Photography

For the rest of the post and more adorable pics, visit the nursery tour on Pawleys Island Posh.

This nursery tour was originally featured on Casey’s blog, Small Town Stripes, which you can follow here.

Great job Casey!

The first coat of paint with a refinishing newbie

Our resident Texan is trying her {freshly manicured} hands at painting her very first piece of furniture!   Here is a little more about her adventure…

Hi y’all….my name is Melanie and I have worked at The Old Lucketts Store for goin’ on two years now.  I have had the pleasure of watching these talented ladies bring in what I thought was “junk” and turn them into whimsical, beautiful one-of-a-kind treasures.

I sat back with wonder thinking “Ya think I could do that”? After many months, I finally got the nerve to ask my co-worker and friend Heather if she might be interested in “tutoring” me on how to paint furniture.  

Here’s the little cupboard.  He was very dry from sitting in my sun room!  A perfect project for painting!

The paint aisle can be sooo intimidating for a first timer.  I won’t lie, there were a few {okay many} calls about what paint color and type of paint to get. I am definitely a “question asker” and thought I just might drive Heather crazy!!

I settled on Butternut Squash by Behr in a semi-gloss finish for the top coat.  We’re using Maison Blanche La Craie in Vanille as a base coat.

Thou Shalt Protect Thy New Manicure…

Look at the intense determination!  I’m removing the hardware before painting because I want to leave the hardware au natruale. 

Here goes the base coat.  What you can’t see is me asking “Can I mess it up?  What if I do? Can it be fixed? Do you ALWAYS have to use a primer? Does it HAVE to be perfect?”

{First timer tip:  paint WITH the grain of the wood like Melanie is showing here.}

Drips worry me.  Oops, found some!  Catch them while they’re wet and smooth them out — and it’s not a big deal!  Use long even strokes when painting and you’ll limit drips.

Here comes the butternut squash top coat!  After the base coat dried, I added my semi-gloss paint on top.  Again, be sure to work with the wood grain.

After everything dried, I added a coat of clear wax and the original hardware was put back on.  I’m sure I had that same concentrated look I had while taking the hardware off  :  )  

With a bit of nudging and encouragement on this cold and wet day at the shop, Heather walked me through the process. Guess what? I did it!!!  And here the cupboard is out in my sun room.  Success!

Thanks for following along with me.  After years of being timid about trying a project like this….AND succeeding…..I am HOOKED!!!


Tips for spray painting metal

We’re often asked at the shop how to paint different surfaces.

This week Heather decided to share some tips for painting metal, and tried out a new product in the meantime.

Here is a silver plated tray and teapot in a pre-makeover BEFORE photo.  They were tarnished and had some rust; polish couldn’t cure what ailed these two.

Here is how they turned out AFTER…

The most important thing to know when painting metal:  1) make sure your metal piece and paint are room temperature or warmer or the paint will not stick properly.

For the trays, Heather used Rustoleum Universal paint and primer in one (in white).  For the teapot, she used Rustoleum spray paint in pistachio.  We’ve chosen to focus on spray paint today, but we’ve also done this project using Kilz primer with Annie Sloan chalk paint (we love Chateau Grey and Antoinette Pink) and Miss Mustard Seed’s furniture wax on top to seal it.

The second most important thing to know when painting metal is:  2) be sure the paint dries fully before you do any distressing or try to fix paint drips.  Paint on metal will take longer to dry, so follow the directions and make sure you wait before touching anything or you will smear off the paint (not sand it off) and you will have to start over.

This tray is still way too wet to do start distressing.

So Heather took a break and baked some cookies.  And when she was done, she had a dry tray and some cookies!

NOTE:  it’s tough to see, but the cookies are sitting on doilies and the trays will not be for food use.   The inside of the teapot is not painted.  We’re planning on putting several of these trays on the wall in a grouping.  The details really pop out with a light distressing and will look really interesting on the wall over a desk or console table.

Optional, but helpful…Heather goes over the tray with Miss Mustard Seed’s furniture wax on top to seal it.  This product is all natural & helps protect the paint job.  Heather mentioned that Miss Mustard Seed’s furniture wax is one of only a few waxes that stays true in color.  Some waxes you buy in the hardware store will yellow the finish over time (not with all paint brands or waxes, but many times with the lighter colors like whites & greys).  This product has been her new favorite for sealing painting projects, especially when working with light colors.

Two more ideas for this project…
1)  You can use a fine grit sandpaper to sand off any details you want to distress and highlight.

2)  If you want to get a crackle on the finish, as the piece is drying, Heather placed the tray on a heater to get the cracks to form in the finish.

Thanks for stopping by today.  If you have additional questions about spray painting metal, just leave us a comment and Heather will try to answer them or we’ll do another full DIY post!

Tips for making and mixing your own chalkboard paint

Yes, you can make your own chalkboard paint.  But why should you?  Why shouldn’t you?  HOW do you do it if you want to?

We asked one of our veteran furniture painters, Heather, a few questions about how she was able to turn a tired side table in to a funky & cheerful nightstand.  

Here is a recipe and her thoughts and suggestions if you want to mix your own paint for your next project.

 Here is the nightstand before.  We shared this on our Facebook page and asked for painting suggestions.  I had to laugh.  A few people said it looked great as is.  This is what it looked like from the front….you’re right, not too bad in this pic….

Here is the one and only shot I took of the damage.  If you look more closely, it had scuff marks, dirt and STICKERS all over it!  I guess the “pretty filter” was on for the first picture!


So, if you’re going to repaint a piece, Heather uses a similar process with all her furniture, regardless of paint type.  You can see the details of her process here, here, and here.  First you need to do a light sand (especially if there are stickers), and clean the piece so it’s ready to accept paint.  Then use a primer (Heather likes to use Kilz) as the first coat.  Here is the piece after a quick coat of primer.

After you’re done priming, you are ready to mix your very own paint!

The Old Lucketts Store’s 
Recipe for DIY Chalkboard Paint
–  2 cups FLAT paint
–  2 Tablespoons UNSANDED grout
Mix well with a stir stick

You should now be able to paint, distress, and finish the piece as you would with other chalkboard paints.

Here are some helpful answers to questions we get at the store about working with this type of paint:

What are your tips for a First Timer?  Don’t be afraid.  If this is a first project, pick a small, manageable project & get a few quarts of FLAT finish oops paint at the hardware store.  It’s much, much cheaper and you won’t feel guilty while you’re learning to practice mixing & applying the paint.

How much paint do I need to mix?  Mix small batches at a time.  To give you an idea, the end table in this post was painted with 2 cups of paint (one cup per color; 1 coat of paint on this piece).  Mixing smaller amounts also ensures the unsanded grout mixes in really well.

Does the color change when you add the unsanded grout?  Does it get more pastel-looking?  Do I need to get one color darker or lighter than what I really want?  No.  If you follow the recipe, the colors should stay true. What you see is what you get.

Do I need to seal this or add anything after I’m done painting?  Yes, you do have to wax over your home made chalkboard paint ALWAYS.  Because you are using a flat paint, it will scratch and stain very easily with no protection.  

Can I store this paint?   Covered, this paint mix will last as long as your over the counter paint.  The grout will tend to make it thicker if it sits for a long time.  If this happens, you can add a tad bit of water to thin it back out (this is why it’s best to mix the paint in smaller amounts).

Why would I want to mix my own chalkboard paint?   If you want to mix your own paint (as has been done for hundreds, if not thousands of years), it’s a personal choice, it‘s fun, and there is a certain sense of accomplishment you get from creating a custom paint.  Commercially available chalkboard paints have lovely, proven & popular color palettes & formulas.  These brands have quite the following built up within the custom paint & finishing communities.   For DIY chalkboard paint, the color choices are only limited to your imagination – you can use any paint chip color or create a custom match color base – just mix in the unsanded grout.  Depending on the paint you select, it can also be less expensive than commercially available versions.

Is there anything else I should know?   Be sure to keep your leftover grout in a closed container and in a dry place or it could dampen & spoil.

Here is the super-quick side table after some home made paint was applied.  Simple, easy, and this project took the morning (which was mostly dry time in between coats).

Yes, you can distress your DIY paint like other paints.  Be sure to wax it though.

If you found this recipe, this post, and Heather’s tips helpful, don’t forget to pin this post and share with your friends!

Gentleman’s Chest Makeover

We have a new before and after for you this week….our gentleman’s chest makeover. 

No we are not talking about manscaping, we’re talking paint today! 

Today we are using La Craie paint in Franciscan Grey.   

Supplies List

Supplies list:  primer (optional; we used Kilz), La Craie paint in Franciscan Grey, Annie Sloan clear wax, 220 grit sandpaper, and one gentleman’s chest that needs a makeover!  

The Process
Gentleman’s chests offer both drawer and shelves for storage.  Heather wanted to paint this piece a manly grey.  She decided on Franciscan Grey La Craie paint from Maison Blanche Paint, which is a calcium carbonate-based paint.

1.  Clean your piece of dirt and debris.  Lightly sand the piece all over.

2.  OPTIONAL:  Apply a quick coat of primer (we used Kilz) – this should take about 10 minutes.  The reason Heather says 10 minutes is not because she’s a super-fast painter.  It’s because she wants to stress not spending a huge amount of time on this step.  A quick thin coat that does not have to be on every inch of the piece.  Another reason she does this step even though the product doesn’t require a primer, is she loves the look of the white showing through when she distresses it.

3. After the primer dries, apply one coat of Maison Blanche paint in Franciscan Grey.

4.  Let the piece dry fully (about an hour) and give it a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper all over to bring out the woodwork and to achieve a worn, lived-in look.

5.   Apply Annie Sloan clear wax all over with a rag. 

Here are a few pics of the chest (sorry about the quality, these were taken with a phone) snapped in the shop.  It’s now for sale for $359.

Thanks Heather, for sharing your before and after with us!

Our next project is a nightstand. This piece needs some help….it has scratches & the remnants of stickers stuck to the top of the finish.  We are thinking about doing something two-toned or going a little bolder. What would you do with this one?