I’ve been a decorator for decades. And I’ve seen beautiful things end up in landfills. It breaks my heart! I want to talk to you about ways to rescue and restore things you think have lost their luster. I’m so guilty of not using what I have to the best and not thinking of ways to restore them to be something more beautiful and more useful than before! Let’s give our once lovely things a second life. Today let’s talk about the rescue and restore philosophy.

Today is Practically Speaking when you and I have a little heart to heart about anything decor!

As a decorator, I love to bring you home decor items that are on-trend and easily accessible to you. That’s part of my job. And knowing you as well as I do you love a beautiful, well-appointed home. 

I’m not saying you should not enjoy new and beautiful things but there are probably lots of things in your home you could rescue and make them over to live another day or decade in your home! There have been so many times I think I’m giving away or getting rid of something only to repaint, restore or transform and love it!

The $$$ we waste on home furnishings is sad, really! As a “Maker” it is my mission to help you stop spending money on home decor you don’t really need and start looking at tired “stuff” in your home as opportunities for creating something that is one-of-a-kind!

There are so many easy (and I’m not talking easy for me but not for you) peasy ways to rescue and restore home decor headed for the trash heap!

Look at these beautiful, silver leaf topped architectural pieces. Did you notice the band of silver around the bottom too!


I found these at my local Pottery Barn years and years ago. They were not exactly what I was looking for but I could not pass them up because they were on a super sale and I loved their shape. They are HEAVY and cracked and rough in areas but that shape, oh, that shape.

I used them for a while and they ended up in the basement and got lost.

And got lost for a long time. Recently, I found them again and was determined to do something with them and use them.

My go-to way of rescuing almost anything is to paint it. And my favorite neutral paint is BISCUITS AD GRAVY (use my #813524) from A Maker’s Studio. So I gave the body of these pieces a few coats of Biscuits and Gravy. And gave them a soft luster with Light Antiquing Wax.

And then I silver leafed the tops and bottoms of them. And I LOVE to gild anything! You cannot get this look from a spray can!


Many of the things in the image below have been rescued. The mirror came out of the bathroom in our home before StoneGable. I found the chippy shutters at a vintage store. The books are old ones I covered with burlap (and they are still readable) and of course the gilded bookends.

What is in your home you could rescue? Old books ready to be tossed? A wooden chair that could be given a new color? A frame that could be gilded? A tray? A table? I’ve even repainted doorknobs, drawer pulls, and switchplates! 

The cost of supplies to change a look or make an item one of a kind is very little! But the satisfaction is priceless!

If you LOVE the idea of painting furniture and other home decor but don’t know how you are in luck! I can show you and point you to many, many fabulous YouTube videos to help. I am also ready to walk you through each step of a project you joyfully tackle!

Here is a fabulous video by our founder Amy Howard…


You can see more videos on A Maker’s Studio channel HERE. BUT let me warn you… this is ADDICTIVE! And you will start thinking of all the things you can save in your home!!!!!

Also, join me on A Maker’s Studio Facebook page and check out all the fabulous things you can do with “stuff” you have! Request to join!

And if you are ready for a change and would like to talk to me about being part of my Maker’s team I’d love to chat. NO PRESSURE! Just info! Leave me a message if you want to chat!

There is no project too small or too big to tackle! Just look around your home and make something old and tired beautiful again!

You can go to A Maker’s Studio HERE. Look around and see what we have. And if you see something you love please use my #813524.

Can you think of one thing in your home you would love to rescue and give it new life? Tell me about it in the comments!


You might like to follow me on Pinterest and see what I am finding to pin every day HERE.


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  1. Frances Hurst says:

    We don’t throw anything away! LOL Redoing and repurposing things is so much fun to do, plus it’s a chance to make decor changes without spending much at all. Silver leaf is the best—Love using it. Our headboard was made by my husband, sort of a framed narrow shiplap look. The frame is stained dark, but the shiplap is silver leafed. Just the best look. Paint and silver leaf can work miracles.

  2. Oh, my – loved this post ! I have spray painted so many things to give them new life. Love the hammered look….did lamps, candlesticks, trays….I painted an old lampshade deep burgundy and it turned out great, too. Love doing old books…did some in black and the put silver sparkle letters on the spines for Halloween – “Spells, Brews, and Potions” !

  3. Julie Briones says:

    Love the Biscuits and Gravy color… and the fragrance of the paint, and texture, is amazing! Love what you did with the big ol’ finials! 😉

    1. You are right Julie, when I paint something my whole office smells like Vanilla!

  4. Loved the post!!!! I am interested in learning more about Makers studio.
    Thank You ,
    Have and awesome day!!

  5. Some great tips, and your remade objects are stunning. While its fun to redo some of my old pieces, I also donate things I have outgrown or am tired of (that are in good shape) to my local animal rescue, hospice and Salvation Army thrift stores. This keeps things out of the landfills, helps support worthy causes, and lets the new owner tweak to create something they love.

  6. cindy hattersley says:

    Always good to give things you have a little zhushing! I have those same pediments and they still reside in my lakehouse bookcases!

  7. Love the finials and how you gave them new life.I am always repurposing things with spray paint, going more neutral and black in this home.Just painted buffet lamps matte black and distressed them for a guest bedroom.

  8. You mentioned painting doorknobs. Were these typical Kwikset or Schlage? If so, did you sand first? What type of paint did you use? Any assistance would be helpful since I am contemplating painting my 28 year old “antique brass” doorknobs and hinges.

    1. You can paint them any rescue and restore paint. What a great look!

  9. Cecilia from Georgia says:

    I like my chandelier over my dining table but wish it was a different color. The original color of the metal was gray so I rubbed some gold stuff on it and got the look I was after. However, that was 20 years ago!! I might try guilding it for a more delicate finish….hummm. It looks hard. I will watch your video and see if I can manage it. Thanks for the idea!!

  10. Mary Beth says:

    You peaked my curiosity about the Maker’s Studio and the Amy Howard products that are available. I am searching my heart for my second career as I am planning to leave the world of physical therapy after more than 30 years and I just feel my creative spirit trying to burst out.

    As far as a project that I would love to rescue. That would be two vintage pine nightstands/end tables that belonged to my husband’s family. We received one years ago, and now have the second. Of course I had used a dark gel stain on the first and they no longer match. They flank our antique spoon carved walnut bed with off white matelasse coverlet and shams, with a dark sage/dusty green, mustard, and dark poppy red accent pillow and bench cover. I’m wondering if there is an Amy Howard paint that would look lovely on the nightstands! I am very, very open to ideas!

  11. These look gorgeous! I love doing this type of work on my items also. I want things that are unique and beautiful in my home and create what I want.

  12. Wow– love these! And the silver leaf!! I have never used silver/gold leaf–but I can SEE the difference!! 🙂

  13. Thank you all of your inspiration!! Love your blog!!

  14. Debbie Wade says:

    Love this! Thanks for sharing! I am looking to paint and restore a very large mirror frame! Would love to have your thoughts on what paint etc. to use
    To make it look like Mercury! Thanks in advance for your help!

    1. Hi Debbie, I know there is a paint called Mirror Ball that is supposed to look like Mercury glass, but I think it is flat. Have you thought about silver leafing it? Beautiful!

  15. Can you provide us with a tutorial to cover books with burlap? Thank you.

  16. Deborah Pierce says:

    Hello, I went through your website and ordered the stain gel for my dining room table. Loved the gel look but the sealer didn’t go on so well. Have you used the matte sealer? I contacted customer service and someone contacted me, and I apologize if it was. She said I should have used a roller which the directions did not indicate that. I have sanded it and restained. I really don’t want to try the sealer again. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for your help.

    1. Oh!!! Never use a roller with sealer. It will leave a spotty or bumpy finish. Glad you liked the gel stain! It is fabulous!

      1. Deborah Pierce says:

        Thanks for responding. How do you recommend applying the sealer over the stain? I had used a sponge brush. It was a gloppy mess.

  17. Mary Huddleston says:

    Did you use a kit with silver leaf sheets? Source?
    I have used the little jar of silver you rub in with your finger to silver black frame indents for prints of black and white photos I took in Paris . That just made the frame! Would love to try sheets.

      1. Mary Huddleston says:

        Ordered silver leaf and paint as well! Thank you so much!

  18. Yvonne, your bookends turned out beautifully with A Maker’s chalk and silvering!!! Love this silver… When I redid a small Hobby Lobby cabinet about a year or so ago, I used gilding and silvering to bring out the French style detail. This silver is just beautiful! I’ll take a look at A Maker’s line. 🙂

    Thanks and enjoy your renewed items,
    Barb 🙂

  19. Yvonne Rivera says:

    I love your decorating style and I will be using your tutorial on painting to update some pieces in my home. I would like to know how you painted your mahogany chairs.

    1. I used Annie Sloan paints. It was so long ago I forget. I think it was white and country gray. Sorry I can’t help more.