I Heard the Call

From the day Rusty Romance opened I heard one similar statement – ”Where is the Chalk Paint?”

The business that had occupied my space before me had been a chalk paint haven, selling chalk paint and chalk paint accessories, and even teaching chalk painting classes.

My customers’ want for the product and their desire to be able to purchase it locally rang out loud and clear. I was on it!!

I have been making my Chalk Paint, using my own “Secret” Formula”, for years, and now I had the opportunity to share it with my community! I rolled up my sleeves, burned the midnight oil and Rusty Romance Chalk Paint was born!

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Over the years I have worked hard to find the perfect colors: A cream that wasn’t too yellow, a white that wasn’t grey or blue, a pink that wasn’t too Pepto-colored, etc. I believe I have achieved just the right balance and I hope you do to!

My Rusty Romance Chalk Paint line features 19 curated colors, lovingly crafted for the perfect finishing touch to your unique piece.

I put my paint to the true test in my own store. I have a tiny bathroom in the back of my shop that was painted in a very old high gloss paint. Nothing would stick. It left brush marks and was an overall mess!

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I used an 8 oz. jar of Longview Haze, which is a lovely medium grey tone, and the result was far better than I could have dreamed – one coat, full coverage, no brush marks and a lovely soft matte finish!

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I painted the cute shabby table in my “40’s Farmhouse” green, and the old wood floor I did with a durable outdoor patio paint.

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I love the end result! Just a cute simple little bathroom that is clean, fresh and charming!

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Stop by and we can chat about Chalk Paint!


2017….Off like a ROCKET!

When I started Rusty Romance in the middle of 2015 it was the first step to a dream realized. I knew I was embarking on a journey with a steep learning curve but I was ready for the challenge!

My end game was to have my own retail space. My past career left me prepared for what having my own brick and mortar location would be like, so off I went in search of the perfect location. I toured many empty buildings and tried to visualize the beauty that each unpolished gem held but something was missing. I then came across an alternative plan…maybe I could join a Co-Op. Sharing space with like-minded people who share my same interests would be exciting! Not only would I be surrounded by creative people and years of combined expertise but some friendly competition too!

My thought process…1) Approach a Co-Op owner. 2) Ask nicely. 3) Pay your rent. 4) Become an overnight success…EASY right?! WRONG! I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods but in mine….it’s HARD. I was shocked when I was told time and time again that there were very long waiting lists for a space of my own. It could be up to 2 years just to get my foot in the door! Surely, that couldn’t be right? So, I put my name on the lists, MANY lists and waited (not very patiently).

Tick…Tick…Tick… fast forward 16 months! I had all but given up and was ready to throw in the towel when I hit the LOTTERY! I had clawed my way to the top of a list, I got a space. I could see it all so clearly, it would be spacious and lovely. Do you know what I got? I got a CASE and a promise that if it went well I could get a space. UGGHHHH!!! Dejected but determined I decided to make it the prettiest display case in the history of display cases. I got it ready for Valentines Day and I crossed my fingers.

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My Valentine Case

It did well right away and was well received by all the vendors. Within 2 weeks a space came open and it was mine, ALL MINE! I was over the moon and moved into my Vintage Themed space right away.

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With my new space doing incredibly well I was hooked! Can’t I have just one more space…pleeaassse??? I began to stalk my fellow vendors like a jungle cat watching for signs of moving boxes. I think I scared my neighbor, he fled in the night and in the middle of February I got my 2nd space!

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My Primitive-Themed space

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Now I was really making some progress! Enough so that I was starting to see my garage floor again, inventory was moving out rather than in for a change!

Be careful what you wish for….if you are patient enough you just might get it. I made it to the top of the list at another Co-Op in a neighboring town. This one needed a little love so with some paint, a chair rail and a fairly awful stenciling job, it was ready to go!

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The end result… my Elegant Antique Space!

2017 truly took off like a ROCKET for Rusty Romance and I am anxious to see what the rest of the year holds. I am so blessed to be able to realize a lifelong dream and for my family and friends who support me every step of the way!

Happy March to you all!


A Story Indeed!

So, here is what this plucky little secretary taught me, but first I have to go back in time a bit.

I had the opportunity to work with a “Seasoned Vet” of the antique hunting profession. Together we came across a small home hosting a few large antiques that were up for dibs. I was extremely excited and felt fortunate to have stumbled across such good luck! She shook her head and said “Pass”. Being shocked and confused by her rejection, she explained, “These pieces have been trapped in a house for years filled with cigarette smoke, that is more than just patina on those pieces. You could never resell them.” I sadly and slowly followed her lead and we walked away.

Now fast forward…I come across this Vintage Heritage Henredon Secretary. She is a lovely piece, sturdy with great classic lines and charming wire front doors. The price is great and I happily load it up thinking all it needs is a good dusting… until I get home. By the time I get home my vehicle smells like the inside of an ashtray and I know I have my hands full now!

I am an eternal optimist. Surely all it is going to take is a good cleaning. There isn’t anything soap and hot water can’t fix, right? WRONG!


The light color is the writing desk that had been safely pushed in over the years. The dark portion is the damage that years of layers and layers AND LAYERS of nicotine can do.


I tried Windex…. It barely made a dent in the layers!


Very hot water and soap, LOTS of Soap! What did I get, a slightly softer sludge type consistency that now releases the smell of cigarette smoke like a demented diffuser!


So lucky they haven’t created Smell-o-vision yet. Trust me!

Now fully understanding why my “Seasoned” friend passed on the earlier opportunity of great antiques at a “Too good to be true rate,” I seriously contemplated just walking away from this project.

That just isn’t who I am though. Oh no, I refuse to give up on something. Go big or GO HOME! Bring me my orbital sander! I am taking this piece down to the bare wood!


Are you kidding me? Look at the sanding disc! They just kept getting gummed up and I had to keep throwing them away…went through 15 Discs but I can see the light at the end of this very long tunnel.


At this point I have stopped counting the number of hours I have into this and look at it simply as a well learned lesson for the future…sniff all future purchases no matter how crazy you look doing it!

Smell is all but gone now. Just to make sure it doesn’t come back, a thick coat of KILZ primer followed by 2 coats of homemade Dove Grey chalk paint. This old girl has been through the wringer. She deserves a treat so I add charcoal grey accents and a hand painted scroll pattern on the pull out writing table.


I refurbished a matching chair and recovered the seat with a fluffy charcoal fabric to finish the look.





Project complete and I feel very accomplished! I learned a lot, will never regret the countless hours invested and have new-found wisdom.

Good News! This piece sold right away to a lovely older lady who said she had been looking for a piece “Just like this one for a long time”.

She was just waiting for me to find it, rescue it and bring it back to life!

Happy Hunting!





My EPIC DIY Project: The Final Phase!!

Well, if you are like me the Holiday got away from you! There was so much fun, food and family to squeeze into such a small window of time. I hope your Holiday was as wonderful as mine.

Before we rolled into the Christmas season I wanted to share Part 3 of my Massive DIY Project!

When we left off I had just finished painting the tile, painting the room, re-finishing the fixtures, adding flare and new color to the vanities as well as replacing the old hardware. I CAN see the finish line!

There are many tuitorials on how to frame out an outdated Contractor mirror so I didn’t drill down too deep on the cutting process for this wood. Purchase yourself a good miter box and saw, measure at least TWICE and cut once.

The trim wood is super affordable and easy to cut. Once you have your pieces cut it is important to paint them before installing them. Trust me…paint them first, it will save you a lot of time and touch up work.

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Make sure to paint the under side where you will be adding your adhesive. You can see this side in the mirror reflection so make sure that you paint the ends as well.

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Once your trim has dried thoroughly you are ready to install!! Almost immediate gratification, I love quick drying projects!

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I can’t recommend this product highly enough! Power Grip truly ROCKS! I was skeptical when the label stated “Set in 10 seconds” but it did not disappoint! Using my caulking gun this was a breeze. It gives you just enough time to get each piece in place before you can no longer move them.

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On my Vanity mirror I had a very odd angle so I knew going in that there would be some creativity needed in making this look finished. Of course, there are seams at the corners.

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I again used my caulking gun and a tube of your basic paintable caulking to fill and smooth.

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In the deep seams at my challenging angle it took three coats until I got it just the way I wanted. There was some dry time in between layers but it turned out well and was ready to paint in no time!


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I am so pleased at how these turned out!

You know when people say “Saving the BEST for last?” Well, that was not my intention here; mine was saving the HARDEST for last!

Let me refresh your memory….the tile in this massive shower is done! My issue is that I didn’t want to do the shower floor with the tile paint. As wonderful as this epoxy paint turned out I wasn’t confident that it would hold up to the amount of scrubbing I do in my shower. So, I searched for an alternative that would give me the high-end SPA retreat feel that I was going for.

At first I fell in LOVE with the idea of Teak. Imagine a gorgeous Teak floor in a shower? I was starry eyed until I talked to a local Exotic Wood Distributor who quickly brought me back to reality when he quoted the price! GOOD GRIEF!!! What they did recommend was a Brazilian Hard Wood called Massa that has the same waterproof qualities that Teak possesses at a fraction of the price. Massa was only $2.30 a foot, the most expensive part was paying them to cut and ease the 3-inch 14-foot pieces.

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I placed my order and waited impatiently for 2 weeks. While I was waiting for my order I did some clean up on the shower floor. I didn’t want the over painted white epoxy showing through the slats in the wood.

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This was much more time consuming than I anticipated. I went through a lot of razor blades and elbow grease! Don’t let my smile fool you – I was not having a great time. It was worth it though!

Once my wood arrived I sealed the wood with this amazing oil:

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You only have to oil the wood once every 3 to 6 months. You simply wipe it on, massage it in well and wait for 30 mins.

Make sure when you are purchasing your screws go for stainless steel screws or deck screws. Something that will resist rust from the constant moisture of the shower.

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This exotic wood is VERY HARD! Many drill bits were sacrificed in the making of this flooring before I figured out the best way to go about it. Start each screw hole with a bit slightly smaller than the screw you will be using. Finish the top of your screw hole using a much larger drill bit leaving a space big enough to flush set your screw heads.

Once you have this portion of your floor done I would recommend protecting your investment of time and energy. Use a clear waterproof caulking on top of each screw hole.


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I then added waterproof feet on the underneath side to stop any possible slipping and to raise it up just a little more off the wet shower floor.

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Because of the shape of my shower I had to make two separate pieces, one for the main portion of the shower and then a smaller piece for the shower entry.


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The end result is exactly what I was hoping for. ACTUALLY, it turned out much better than I anticipated!

Now that all of the work is done it is time to show off the Before and After pictures on this project! ( This is my favorite part…when it’s DONE!


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This home now has a lovely spa retreat! Thank you for following along throughout the process. What will the future bring? (Hint: I’m feeling kitcheney!)


My EPIC DIY Project !! PART #2

If you read Phase #1 of my EPIC DIY Project then Thank You for joining me through Phase #2!

Patience is not my strong suit so while I waited impatiently for the Epoxy Tile Paint to dry (The longest 72 hours EVER, I swear!) I took the time to push on with the other steps in my Bathroom remodel.

I always look for ways to make my projects cost effective and this one was no different. I didn’t “Hate” the existing Towel Bars, Towel Rings, Toilet Paper Holder or Door Knobs I just hated the brassy gold color. So, I chose to re paint them using Rustoleum Brushed Nickel Spray Paint. I have to say, this worked like a charm! It gave me just the look I was going for and only cost $4 to repaint all of these!

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Goodbye to the BRASS!

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The change is simply amazing!

I looked at replacing the fixtures on the Roman soaking tub but the prices were over $200 and I didn’t like the style any better than what I already had so…more spraying!

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I chose to paint the walls in an elegant Silver Sage color leaving the doors, moldings and window trim in the Classic White.

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I love how the sage pulls the color from the outdoor in through the large windows surrounding the tub.

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No more white walls for me!!

The Vanities were the trusty OLD American Light Oak…little style, very boring lines and I wanted them to look rich and warm.


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I chose a deep brown paint, which I made into chalk paint. I like the feel and sturdiness of chalk paint and knew it would be a good choice for a room that gets a lot of use and humidity.  I lightly sanded the cabinets first then wiped them down and painted.


I also wanted to add some detailing to the vanities.

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This is a wood applique that you can purchase at Home Depot for around $10. A couple small nails and it was ready for paint.

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I added a coat of Anne Sloan’s Dark Wax to the finished and dried Vanity and it is complete! Lovely!

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I found these really great brushed nickel drawer pulls at Home Depot as well. They matched everything so nicely and they were on sale. Yippee!

I am really pleased with the look of the room thus far and can’t wait to complete it. It is really coming along nicely.

In my next BLOG I am going to show you how to frame out those awful Contractor Mirrors to create a custom look.

Thanks for Reading!


My EPIC DIY Challenge!

Part #1~

Yes, you read it right, Part #1! I have taken on many a challenging DIY project in my life but this one was the largest and definitely warrants multiple BLOG posts! SO, that being said, here is Phase #1!

I am lucky enough to have a HUGE master bath but what I really have is a Master Bath that time warped back to 1991! Awww, yes…to say it’s “Dated” is an understatement. Example…. Check out this BEFORE picture.


Note the peach colored ceramic tile with lovely burgundy and grey floral accents. Complimented with an especially painful dark tan grout. To top it off… the Brass fixtures! So much GOLD!



I researched for about a month, greedily reading every BLOG and DIY post I could find on how to give an U.G.L.Y bathroom a much needed facelift.

I kept coming back to the same few and realized that these brave DIY pioneers forged on through the fumes, the pain and the uncertainty to find bathroom beautification. Their pain has not gone unnoticed, it gave me the naïve confidence to embark on what I am about to show you!


Tile, I’ve got A LOT of tile, two Vanities, a Roman Tub with a tile surround and a BIG walk-in shower. I knew this was going to be a massive undertaking but I couldn’t live with the peach, not one second longer!

I researched the few products out there that claim to do this. After you read the reviews…you learn there really aren’t that many with decent enough reviews to be contenders.DIYc1

I chose to go with ToughTile…

This product has steps for a very detailed prep cleaning but after reading the other DIY Warrior’s stories I chose to follow their prep plan.

Let me start by saying you will NEVER have cleaned more at one time! I will say this MANY times but it is true and I can’t say it enough…IT IS WORTH IT!


  • Bucket of warm soapy water
  • Spray bottle of diluted Bleach solution
  • LimeAway
  • Soft Scrub
  • Steel Wool
  • Disposable Gloves
  • FROG Tape
  • Respirator Mask (A MUST HAVE!! Trust me!)

Step #1~

I started off by wiping down all of the tile surfaces with the warm soapy water solution. I used Dawn Liquid Dish Soap, it truly “Gets the grease out.”

Step #2~

Spray your tile with the bleach solution and let stand for 10 minutes. Wipe down and then rinse thoroughly with clean water. You do not want to combine any bleach with the next step.

Step #3~

Spray everything down with the LimeAway to remove any tough soap scum and build up. Let this stand for 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Step #4~ (Tired of cleaning yet??)

With your Steel Wool apply a fairly thick coat of soft scrub to your tile and Scrub, Scrub, Scrub in a circular motion. Not only does this get rid of any remaining dirt but it also helps to roughen up your tile so that the Epoxy will adhere well.

(Remember…The PREP is WORTH IT!)

Step #5~

Rinse VERY well with clean water. You want nothing left but clean sparkling tile and grout! From this point forward avoid touching the tile with anything that could leave residue. Keep your gloves on so that the oils from your skin don’t get on your SUPER clean tile!

Now that you arDIYde clean and ready to really get going use your FROG tape to tape off any surface you don’t want White. (NOTE: **This paint is an Epoxy and DOES NOT come off easily once it has cured.)

Note the mask I am wearing. This is WRONG! I learned the hard way that this ToughTile is TOUGH alright! Tough to smell and tough to breathe in!




Use this mask~~


This is the correct mask! I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having THIS type of mask! The fumes in this product are..quite shocking! I thought I was a tougher than normal girl but the fumes are strikingly strong!

From this point you can follow the direction that came with the product on the best way to apply the Epoxy. My advice to you is that I was too frugal on my first coat, I could and should have done it thicker. It is truly self leveling (Awesome!) as advertised.


This is the picture of my first coat, note how thin it is. You could be a little more generous and be safe. I was covering up a darker tile and grout so depending on your current color you can play it by ear.

Once your first coat is in place the hard part begins…PATIENCE. I hate waiting and literally “Watching paint dry” is painful for me! ** Note, do not make the mistake I made! I started my project later in the evening then realized that the second coat has to be applied within 3 to 4 hours of the first coat. What that meant to me is that I was starting my second coat at midnight! Ugghh!!


This is what it looked like after the second coat. I was super excited until it dried! RATS! I had some thin spots and some brush marks that were just not the white painted perfection I was hoping for. What to do next??? I called the VERY helpful customer support line and got a lovely woman who explained to me that I MUST wait the 72 hour curing time before applying a third and final coat! She also told me that if I wanted my tile to cure to perfection the room temperature must be a minimum of 75 degrees because ceramic tile runs cold by the nature of the material. (GOOD TO KNOW!)DIYi

I added a small space heater and a normal box fan to the space, closed the door and waited impatiently for 72 painfully LONG hours!

DING, DING…Time is up! YIPPEE!! I applied the third coat and that made all the difference in the World! Now 72 more hours…..UGGHH!

Love the look after the 3rd coat! WOW is it bright in here now! Almost done!

No, the fine tuning to ensure perfection!

You may see some tile lines and grout that look like this. I had a few spots like this and they were an easy fix. I could have left them but why? I had already invested so much time and I really wanted to make my DIY project as perfect as possible.



I grabbed a tube of Supreme Paintable Silicone Waterproof Caulking and my handy dandy Caulk Gun and went to work!









The Devil is in the details. This not only looks more finished but will help to ensure that moisture stays out.









Shower before.




Shower After

Just a sneak peak of the end result to the “Tile Project”. I don’t want to give too much away before the final reveal.


I am thrilled at the total transformation simply changing the tile made. It is so clean and pretty!

I can’t wait to show you the rest so watch for my next installment!