Rock-a-bye Baby Doll

I bought this wooden doll’s cradle for my daughter, Amélie, more than a year ago, for $10 at a Kelowna thrift store.

I don’t know if it was handmade, but it was in brand new condition, and while she had yet to discover the world of dollies, I had a hunch that it would be a much-loved piece of furniture down the road.

I knew right away that it wouldn’t stay as it was – as sweet as it looked in the natural wood. But it took me close to a year to decide on which direction to take. You see, I’m not much of a furniture restorer or remodeler or whatever you’d call it (see? I don’t even know what they’re called). But I was excited about the prospect of playing around with a little bit of paint and giving it a new look.

Last spring, I finally took the plunge, bought some paint and applied it to a small collection of furnishings (a stool, a desk, a window frame and the cradle).

Working at it in snatches of time, it ended up taking me the whole entire summer to complete the project (hopefully I’ll get faster)! But I’m pretty chuffed with the outcome.

I went with a shabby chic look, to compliment the rest of her (slowly evolving) bedroom.

Everyone, from me to Amélie to her little collection of baby dolls seem happy with the result. And I think I may have caught the bug. I can’t wait to get my hands on more furniture to paint. Next up? A headboard for my son, Oliver’s, bed. Stay tuned for that story (hopefully this one will take me less than a year from start to finish)…

For anyone interested in trying something similar, here’s what I did to get the look:


Brown paint (C-I-L Dimensions Acrylic Latex, Stockbridge Brown)

White paint (C-I-L Dimensions Acrylic Latex, White Pearl)

Foam brushes

60 grit sandpaper


*Paint a coat or two of brown paint, using a foam brush, on your chosen furniture. Make it thick enough that you can’t see any wood underneath.

*Once dry, paint over with the white. You don’t want it too thin, but bear in mind that if it’s too thick, it will be harder to sand. Allow to dry.

*Using the sandpaper, rub over the sides and edges of your furniture to rough it up and let the dark paint peek through.

*Apply a little bit of watered down brown paint over the entire object, to give it some patina.

*Place casually in your home and admire deeply every time you pass by.

– Words and photos by Lori-Anne Poirier

P.S. It’s Good Life Wednesday over at A Beach Cottage, so we’re linking up!

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  1. Soooo cute! Great job distressing it! And the photo of your daughter is absolutely adorable…. 🙂

    xoxo laurie

  2. That is so lovely, well done! Can we see pictures of the other projects too?

  3. So precious, really!!! You did such a great job and your explanation is very detailed and inspiring. I’ll be viewing antique shows a bit differently now and trying to see what treasures I can pick up with a little paint applied by me. Thanks so much for sharing!

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