Click on plus signs below to reveal Brandy's answers!
How long have you been refinishing furniture?
I did my first piece in 2016 using cheap craft store supplies and knowledge from reading whatever sparse blog posts I could find at the time. It sold, so I did another. Soon after I started getting custom orders and a customer suggested I make a business name and Facebook page. A year later, I was contacted by Dixie Belle.
Tell us how you got started?
The first pieces I did were a bedroom set that tenants left behind in our rental, it was beat up, but solid wood, and I had nothing to lose, it was either going to the curb or I could make something of it. I've always been on the crafty/artistic side so this was a great way to express that on huge canvases. My hobby has turned into a booming little business.
Do you refinish for personal use or do you sell?
I sell my pieces. Most are done as custom orders from my stockpile, where I work alongside the customer to design finishes and they are sold before I make them. I do have several of my favorite pieces in my own home, with a couple special ones stashed for my space, when I get time.
Do you have a favorite furniture style that you like to refinish?
I really like the hollywood regency style. Slightly more ornate than mid century, but still very clean and symmetrical. Empire style has my heart too. Similar in that they both are fairly simple, with just the right amount of curves.
What paint medium is your favorite?
I really enjoy water based paint. Whether its a water based chalk style paint, or watercolors, I love the way paint moves with water to create gradations. Wax is a close one for me too. It creates smudgy effects, similar to working with oil pastels.
Do you have a favorite piece you've refinished and why?
The pic on the bottom was a piece I did early on and sold it. It haunted me as "the one that got away". For a long time, I knew I wanted to recreate it, but it had high standards to live up to, so I procrastinated on it. I redid this Drexel Drexel Duncan phyfe style buffet this last winter, it's in my dining room now and I love it just as much.
Overall, not exclusive to furniture refinishing, what is your favorite color?
My eye is drawn to blues. My house is a deep shade of blue, my bedroom is a midnight blue. Maybe because I have 3 boys?? My favorite shade in paint is stormy seas by Dixie belle.
When you aren't refinishing furniture what do you enjoy doing?
We are building our own home on a 5 acre lot we bought a few years ago. We moved in when it was just a shell and have been doing all the finish work ourselves. DIY and designing is my passion.
Do you have any tips you would like to share?
Investing in the right tools makes a huge difference. Quality brushes DO make a difference. Every paint brand has its strengths and weaknesses, don't hesitate to pick up different brands and know the differences to see what works best for your style. The proper paint for your style and look will make your job so much easier!
Don't be afraid to put yourself out there, share your work, ask questions. The painting community is a very supportive one. Everyone has an opinion, and thanks to social media, they are eager to share it. Take that feedback, positive or negative, and use it to become a better painter. Let them tell you what you do well and expand on that.
Immerse yourself in learning. There are so many resources available out there, youtube, facebook, instagram, etc and plenty of painters willing to share. Watch videos, read blogs, study photos, and most importantly, experiment! There is no point you cannot recover from with a new coat of paint
Don't try to paint like someone else. Take those techniques and adapt them to your style. Do what you do best, perfect that. I think of it like putting an outfit together. We are all given the same basic "wardrobe" of techniques. Its how we combine them and wear them that sets painters apart.
Your finish is only as good as your prep. Learn how to "read" your piece, analyze what it needs before laying paint on. Create a mental flow chart, "if this, then that". Know what products are available and when you need them.
Do you have a favorite Zibra Paintbrush and why?
Yes!! The palm pro and 2" chiseled wedge are my favorites, although they are soooo soft I almost hate putting paint on them
OUR PODCAST FEATURE WITH BRANDY KOLLENBORN!: Learn more about Brandy, her pieces and GLEAN FROM HER EXPERIENCE AS SHE SHARES TIPS & ADVISE!