Blue Peaches Furniture - Jessica
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am the owner of Blue Peaches Furniture, a company devoted to restoring old pieces of furniture with clay based paint. Updating old furniture is really the eco friendly way to go, and pieces were built with much better quality in the olden days - with actual wood! It also provides customers with unique, one of a kind pieces that no one else will own. I retail Country Chic paint and products that are Canadian owned and VOC free.
My background is in Human Resources, and I graduated with a B.Comm from the University of Guelph. Prior to starting this company a year ago I was working in HR. I had a good job, but was getting tired of it, so decided to take a “temporary” break to think about what I wanted to do next. During that time, I started painting furniture since I found it relaxing and gained satisfaction out of transforming an old, unloved piece of furniture into something beautiful. I didn’t have room for the furniture so I sold them online and within 24 hours I sold all my pieces!! I was so surprised! I kept painting more and realized that I do something that others seem to appreciate. The company just snowballed from there. It’s literally a dream come true!
There are so many furniture paints to choose from! What’s the difference and why do you use Country Chic?
There really are a number of paints to choose from which is a tribute to how popular this trend has become of restoring old furniture! Each paint has a unique texture and it really boils down to personal preference. What I love about Country Chic is that it is completely chemical free - even the colour pigments - I believe that’s the only paint that can truly make that claim. This is important to me as several of my customers have young children and I want to ensure that I am providing them with safe products. It’s also Canadian owned, which is very important to me as I love representing Canadian-made products. Aside from those awesome attributes, it’s amazing quality paint! Its rated the number one paint in North America for a reason! It goes on within one or two coats and has a very rich look and feel with tons of beautiful colours! It also has natural waxes, glazes, metallic creams and paint brushes!!
Do you remember the first piece you worked on and what was it?
The first piece I worked on was a piece I did for myself. I loved the look of antique painted furniture, so I purchased an old dresser and painted it. I remember being so proud of how it turned out! :) Looking back it was really poorly done, with bad technique. I’ve come a long way since that piece. But I loved it, and it was a lot of fun to do.
What is your favourite item to transform/paint?
I’m most drawn to furniture from the early 1900’s. Vintage dressers or buffets. The quality of those pieces were amazing - built with solid wood, typically hand carved with unique designs on them. There was a lot of love and time put into those pieces and they were built to last. They weren’t designed in a cookie cutter factory with pressed wood or laminate like our furniture is built today. Once paint is added to them they really look like beautiful, unique pieces - and the best part is the cost for one of those is similar to or less than the cost of an IKEA dresser.
Where do you find your pieces?
I find my pieces all over the place, from Kijiji, to Facebook. That’s actually the most time consuming part of my job, is finding hidden gems. Often I will travel great distances to find the perfect piece. Unfortunately there isn’t a secret, magical warehouse somewhere filled with beautiful furniture.
What was the coolest project you worked on/ the oldest?
I really find them all cool!! It’s the variety that really attracts me and keeps it fun and interesting. Since the pieces are so old, they are all unique with a variety of carvings/ styles. They can be updated in so many different colours/ designs that they all end up completely different. I think that’s the beauty of refinished furniture as I find the trend is going away from matchy-matchy furniture sets. With antique, refinished pieces, you can have a variety of beautiful, unique pieces in your home and it makes it look really elegant and eclectic.
What is the process from start to finish?
The first step is finding the furniture. The furniture I find is usually in rough shape since I try to find pieces that were headed for the landfill, and give them a new chance on life. So the first step is usually repairing any damage. I give them a good clean and then its ready to paint. Country Chic paint is very easy to use and requires minimum prep. It goes on with one or two coats and you don’t usually need to sand or prime your pieces. It makes the actual painting part a breeze. Then I usually either distress the pieces, or add waxes to give them unique, vintage looks. I will always seal a piece as well - even though it’s not required with the paint, I like to make sure it will be beautiful for decades and decades.
Your favourite neighbourhood in the city and how do like to spend your day off?
My favourite neighbourhood is Hintonburg by far! I’ve lived here for 13 years and have watched it transform from nothing to this beautiful community of local businesses and restaurants. I really value supporting local as it’s what makes our community unique. Hintonburg embraces those traits wonderfully!
In my spare time I usually hang out with my partner Matt - and relax with a glass (or two) of wine!
Tell me about an item that you worked on that you got attached to and was hard to let go?
I literally get attached to all my pieces! I only do pieces that I love and would want for my own home. If I’m finished the piece and don’t have the struggle of wanting to keep it for myself, then I’ll redo it. My philosophy is, if I love it,- then I’m sure others will too.
What are your future plans for Blue Peaches Furniture?
I anticipate there to be several exciting plans for the future. I was just invited to be the exclusive retailer of Country Chic Paint within the Ottawa area which was a huge honour. I will be introducing workshops in the near future to give lessons on a variety of painting techniques. The workshops will range in skill level and touch on various DIY projects. Something to do for a night out with friends! So a lot of changes coming up that I hope others are excited for as well!