Furniture Face-Lifts: Painting & Refinishing
Meet Barb Blair
Q. What led you to start your business?
A. I started Knack in 2007 with a sincere desire to transform the forgotten into the unforgettable. Plus, I wanted to work on my own for a flexible schedule that would allow me to spend time with my husband and two kids.
Knack, Greenville, SC
Q. Tell us about Knack.
A. My studio is a totally rad space that allows me to breathe and create comfortably. It’s located in a storefront situated in the Pendleton Street Arts District, which is an old mill village with architecturally fantastic buildings full of artists and designers. I love being right smack in the middle of all the action!
Q. Where do you find great furniture to make over?
A. I am a gatherer and a hunter, so I find pieces all over the place—estate sales, antiques dealers, resale stores, and people’s homes.
Q. How would you describe your design style?
A. You might call my style eclectic-modern—I like a clean, uncluttered look with a collected feel. My motto is “Live with what you love,” and when you do that, a look comes together to tell a very personal design story.
Chest of Drawers Before
Q. Tell us about your latest find.
A. A friend found a huge collection of antique chests at a warehouse sale here in Greenville and called to tell me about their Knack potential. I knew this Early American chest of drawers would shine after a little TLC.
Chest of Drawers After
Q. How did you go about this amazing transformation?
A. I sanded down the piece, filled in the cracks with wood filler, and then covered it in a bold floral wallpaper with metallic details. I custom-matched the paint color to the wallpaper and chose shiny glass knobs to give it a fresh new look.
What She Used
Wallpaper: Poppy (81/1001) by Cole & Son (www.cole-and-son.com), available through Knack; knackstudios.com
Paint: by Behr (behr.com), available through The Home Depot; homedepot.com (custom color matched to wallpaper)
Knob: mirrored glass, also available through Knack
Passion for Design
Q. What do you love most about performing furniture face-lifts?
A. The most rewarding thing about what I do is taking a piece that is worn out, dirty, and forsaken and turning it into something that is relevant, fresh, and frabjous (a treasured Alice in Wonderland reference). The power of seeing a transformation never gets old and applies to life as well as furniture.
Q. Any tips for wannabe furniture rescuers?
A. Stay away from paper veneer or particleboard furniture if at all possible. Solid-wood pieces are the easiest to work with and allow you to create the best finishes.