A Chantilly-based furniture business shows you how to bring old furniture into a modern setting.
By Anjelica Michael
Do you have old or heirloom furniture that needs a pick-me-up? If you are a newbie and don’t know where to start, Twisted Sister’s can help you with that. Sisters Tammy and Carolyn are in the business of upcycling and DIY furniture transformations, making something old into something that will make you say wow. While the sisters sell their furniture at Carriage Consignment in Aldie, they also hold workshops here so you can also learn how to revamp a piece of furniture in a hands-on environment. In these small classes, participants learn how to use Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk paint, which is a favorite of the sisters. We caught up with Tammy Irby of Twisted Sister’s to get to know her business and more about the workshops.
How did you get started with your business?
“It all started when I decided that I wanted to update the décor in my home from darker tones to lighter more airy tones. I did not have the budget to buy new furniture so I decided to see if I could paint some of my existing pieces. When I went online to do some research I discovered this whole community of people painting with ‘Annie Sloan’ chalk paint and ‘Miss Mustard Seed’s’ milk paint. I never knew you could refinish furniture without striping or priming it first, but with this paint you can. You just start painting. You can even paint on glass, plastic or metal with it. It’s like a miracle in a can.
Since I never do anything small, I decided to buy some cheap pieces on Craigslist for my dining room to practice on. I bought a 100-plus-year-old Jacobean-style table in terrible shape and then found six chairs and a long buffet and tall china to match. I went to work re-creating them. They turned out amazing.
I also discovered that the old stuff was better built and there were way too many pieces of old furniture going to landfills because of how they looked. Then it hit me that my sister and I could do something about this and maybe make a little extra cash on the side. So that is how ‘Twisted Sister’s Furniture’ was born. We then teamed up with Carriage House Consignments in Aldie, to sell our furniture in their store. They are one of the few exclusive sellers of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in our area. They also sell furniture there and we often buy pieces from them to paint. As it turns out we really love it and have a real knack for picking great pieces and re-creating them into real gems. I am sure everyone has a family heirloom or old piece around that could use a facelift. It’s so much fun and super gratifying at the same time. You can find us in the garage most days rocking out to tunes and painting away.”
What can someone expect from your drab to fab lessons?
“They can expect to acquire a strong knowledge of how to mix and use Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, Furniture Wax and Antiquing Wax. They will transform their own piece from ‘Drab to Fab’ in one day and leave with it finished along with their new skills.”
What can you suggest to someone who is looking to refresh an old piece of furniture?
“Don’t be scared, come to our workshop. We will teach you what you need to know to get started, but we have to warn you that it is addictive. Everyone that learns wants to go home and paint everything in their house.”
What was your favorite piece that you have transformed?
That’s a really hard question. It seems like every piece we do next is our new favorite piece. But one that really stands out is an Empire 19th century buffet that we re-created with ‘Miss Mustard Seed’s’ milk paint in the color ‘Boxwood’. We then used a special secret technique to redo the top and doors which we will share with our workshop attendees.
Twisted Sister’s Furniture
26085 Wendell St. Chantilly, 20152
The next workshop will be held on May 10. Classes are small and early registration is required, find more details here.