Antique Store Counter – {Big Blue Goes Gray}

No, I’m not operating a roadside farmer’s market…
Antique Shop Store Counter via Knick of Time
Do you remember “Big Blue” that I showed you back in early March?  The poor guy has been sitting in my driveway next to my house ever since then.  I knew if I didn’t work on him soon, before I knew it, summer would be over and the weather would get too cold to paint him outdoors, so I knew I better tackle the project while the weather is nice.  Here he is, looking blue last winter.
Antique Shop Store Counter via Knick of Time
If you recall, his top was really warped and damaged and had laminate glued over the boards that I couldn’t remove.  I decided to just take the whole top off and replace it with new boards.  Since I planned to paint and distress the big guy, I didn’t want fresh, white boards showing through the distressing, so I stained the boards really dark first.

I gave them two coats of homemade chalk-style paint, in my new favorite color, Dover Gray.  After seeing how pretty it looked on the round cottage table I finished recently, I knew it would look great on this big guy too.

The sun was hot, so it dried really quickly and I was able to use my palm sander to distress them.  See how the wood looks more aged under the paint with the dark stain?

While I was working on the boards, my husband cut about 18 inches off the length of the counter.  There were two reasons for this.  First, it had two full panels and one partial panel across the front, so it looked a little off-center, and also because it was just so blooming huge, so removing 18 inches was still going to leave it being a little over 9 feet long.

Now both panels are centered on the counter.

Here’s Big Blue going gray.

And here he is after getting two coats on him.  You’ll notice that we removed all of the upper trim.  It will get reattached when the top boards get put on.  You’ll also notice funny white spots in this photo.  This is what happens when you have your camera sitting near your husband while he is sawing wood and sawdust gets on your lens, but you don’t notice it at the time.

I used my palm sander over the whole thing to “age” the wood, distressing some areas heavily.  I liked the distressing when looking at it in sections, but when I stood back and looked at the whole counter – it just looked fake distressed to me, rather than naturally aged.  I pondered for another day what I should do about it and decided I would do a wash of off-white paint over the gray and see if that helped it look more natural.

I brushed a light coat of white paint over the wood, a section at a time, then used a wet rag to wipe the paint all over the wood, so it filled all the grooves well.

I rinsed the paint out of my rag several times and just kept wiping off the paint, being careful not to remove all the paint from inside the grooves, until it looked the way I liked.  That’s the benefit of using old painted wood – it has lots of chippy areas for the top coat to cling to.  It almost has a zinc appearance now.

The original top was attached with square peg nails and I have a bunch of them that I sell in my shop, so we attached the new top with with them.  It looks more authentic to the age of the counter than using more modern screws would have looked.  We got all the trim put back on, but those panels seemed to need something else.  I thought about doing chalkboard paint inside them, but didn’t think black paint would look good, so I used more chalk-style paint in a creamy antique white for them.
Antique Shop Store Counter via Knick of Time
I also added a painted metal scroll over the panels.  Again, the panels still seemed to need something, so I tried chalk on them and it worked great.  I painted the word “AND” in the center and can envision lots of fun messages to write in the panels.
This AND That
This, That AND the Other
Hello AND Goodbye
Good AND Bad
Now AND Later
Keep Calm AND Carry On
Antique Shop Store Counter via Knick of Time

I let it dry overnight, then waxed the whole thing the next day.
Antique Shop Store Counter via Knick of Time
I’m listing it on Craigslist with mixed emotions.  I really want to keep it, but it won’t even fit through the front door of our house, so that’s out of the question.  It could possibly fit in one of the rooms in our outbuilding, which we are just starting to remodel, so if it doesn’t sell, it will have to go there.  Either way, I really enjoyed working on it.


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  1. Wow what a stunning piece.


    Creative Raisins

  2. Wow! It’s incredible Angie… what a project! Wish I lived within haulin’ distance 😉

    Oh, that and that I had somewhere big enough to put it… but I do love it!

  3. Looks great!

  4. It looks absolutely awesome!!!! I would find it hard to part with it too!

  5. Awesome piece of furniture Angie. You and your honey did a delightful job of restoring it. Glad you did. It would be nice to have a place to put it and enjoy. It will likely find a good home through Craig’s List.

    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  6. Wow- Angie- That is awesome. That is a gorgeous piece and you and hubs did a great job with it- xo Diana

  7. You and your husband did a wonderful job, Angie! It’s so cool, it would be hard to part with. You are going to make someone’s day when they see that listed on Craigslist! That last photo of you on top of it made me smile 🙂

  8. What a gorgeous piece and an amazing job accomplished!!! 🙂

  9. Beautiful! Enjoyed reading about the evolution of this masterpiece. It couldn’t be more wonderful!

  10. Another sweet piece Angie and beautifully restored! I love the spontaneity portrayed in the last pic. It shows you had fun with the make over and HAPPY with the results!:)

    *Big HUGS*


  11. I don’t want you to get rid of it either. As you age you might need the reminder to poop and pee.

  12. Angie, that looks fantastic!! What a wonderful piece! I don’t know……Poop and Pee might be just the ticket to sell that quickly! LOL

  13. Wow…that is one huge piece of furniture! It turned out gorgeous! You should keep it. If nothing else you could sleep on it 😉


  14. Oh Angie, that’s gorgeous! No wonder you don’t want to sell it! x

  15. What a gorgeous piece!!!!

  16. You never cease to amaze me. You sure know how to tackle the “big boys” and show them who’s boss. This is fabulous and I’m sure it will sell. Great idea to cut a little off of it, it’s still huge! Great job.

  17. Great piece, and the photo of you on top of it is wonderful!

  18. Great job on the patina you created. I would have a hard time selling this. You lok “mah-velous” posing with the counter! I would name it five and dime.

  19. dang girl…you find the coolest stuff!
    poop and pee….hahahahahaha

  20. what a huge beautiful cabinet. I can’t believe you let it sit outside in the snow! although it probably just added some lovely aging to the wood. great makeover!

  21. It does look great and would make someone a wonderful kitchen island

    I need to see where you live where the rivers meets, cario Ill ???

  22. Wow it looks great -if I had some place to put that I would grab it up from you -it would make a great bar in someone’s basement/rec room.

  23. I know you could get a good price for it, but it’s SO STINKIN CUTE!!! I’d keep worked so hard on this piece. Love the chalk lettering idea, too.

  24. love it angie! It IS huge! 🙂 y’all did a super job transforming this piece.

    loving the color and the chalkboards.

  25. What a unique and pretty piece! Love how you painted it!

  26. Is Blue still available. I’m moving my home décor sore to a great new location. I love the retail counter for my new space. Please let me know if it is still available.

  27. I am wordless, it is awesome!

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