Beach Cottage White Paint, DIY & Old Treasure Hunting Finds

Fri 5th, Feb, 2010

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So this is one of the finds I recently came across while treasure hunting.

A find that I just couldn’t leave alone and one I don’t really need…but I mean how could I leave her? This, unfortunately, is, an Occupational Hazard in this game (and you can find other things I just *had to bring home, a roadside shabby old stool here and a wonderful one here!).

Does she not have Beach Cottage already written just about all over…??

I actually love the way the little drawer sits up above the legs with just enough room underneath for a nice rustic basket filled with rugs and blankets…she’s in desperate need of some love..a lick of fresh beachy white paint…a good old clean…

edited to add:  I don’t think I made this clear:  this is the before, found it like this in white, but pics make it look better than it is, it’s quite dirty and paintwork is patchy..so it will get the BC Treatment!


Someone cut her open at some point, she’s sporting quite a few knocks and bumps…showing age and wear, she is topped with a sweet-as little latch..and she wobbles just enough…


She speaks to me.  In Vintage Speak.  You speak Vintage too.  Right?



{ And talking about Vintage Speak, my daughter had a to do one of those, Hello My Name is things the other day, and she asked me what I would say… they then had to sit with a partner, find things out about each other and then give a quick intro on the other person…you know those scenarios, right?

Can I just say, I find something extremely cringe-worthy about these ice-breaker exercises…and if I ever find myself in one of those situations…which, I’ll have you know, I spend a lot of my life scheming to avoid, my heart sinks to my boots…}

So I thought we might have ourselves a little Beach Cottage Hello My Name is session

…’cos I could just about stomach it with you..


Hello, my name is Sarah.  I speak fluent Vintage. 

Vintage Beach.  With a French Accent.  


And my poor partner would elaborate like this…


Sarah likes to Treasure Hunt, twenty-four seven.

She is constantly on the lookout for vintage things. 

She loves old battered beauties, marked with love and time. 

The tattier the better. 

She has a strange need to bring unloved furniture into her cottage. 

You may find her, at any given time, doing the Vintage Treasure Hunting Dance.

Her cottage is old, unfinished, tatty, on the wrong side of town, but the right side of the world.

She’s loves the pureness & simplicity of white.

If you are not simple enough or pure enough & stand still she may paint you white. 

Her Beach Tribe, know and feed her love.  Though they roll their eyes a lot.

They bring her Vintage Finds to avoid the Beach Cottage Witch

She loves the Beach vibe…but only mixed with a Vintage Hue. 

She makes friends with furniture and nurses it back to life.


So c’mon Beach Chicks, how about you?   Do you speak Vintage too?


See you all another time…and yep I’m taking those coffee comments on board


you’ll find me Down Under, wearing a Witch’s Hat, painting things white and possibly doing a raindance…



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82 Responses to “Beach Cottage White Paint, DIY & Old Treasure Hunting Finds”

  1. Bella Casa says:

    I love the patterned door panels on this cabinet. You don’t find stuff like that built much anymore. And you painted it white…so you, Sarah. So how do you determine when something gets painted gray?


  2. Quinn says:

    I speak vintage! And I think this find is my favorite of all.

  3. Bella Casa says:

    P.S. I’d like to see a video of the Beach Cottage Witch doing the Vintage Treasure Hunting Dance. I’m sure there are others who share my wish :)

  4. m says:

    Too funny! I speak vintage book and I relate to objects and for that matter, people whose “binding is not secure”…”leaves are a smidge loose” & whose “edges show a bit of shelf-wear” ! ;} And your latest find is just enchanting!

    m ^..^

  5. Ruthanne says:

    Vintage – with a French accent! What a perfect way to describe a feeling I would love to have – maybe someday. At least I am trying to head in that direction.

  6. Linda Jacobs says:

    We have these new advisories at school and last week we had to do those stupid “get-to-know-you” games. I hate them and the kids did, too.

    But I love yours! It’s like a poem!

    Hello, my name is Linda and I like to turn life into poetry. I love old things with stories to tell.

    Great post, Sarah!

  7. Question – I guess I’ve been quietly reading your blog for some time….Take this piece for instance…Did you strip it then paint it? I guess everyone has an imaginary life tucked away…Your cottage would definitely be in mine…..

  8. This one’s a beauty-good find! We have no place to find any of the treasures you do and believe me, I am always on the look out. You know when your eyes are always wide open driving past an alleyway or trash day!
    Where will you be putting this? I just love it when you show us a new treasure – also, do you use the same color white for everything?
    Have a great day!

  9. Emma Angel says:

    crikey!!! i wish i could find something like that, she is adorable oxo

  10. Shar Yates says:

    Hi, I speak vintage, too. and, beach, and shells, and sand, and pretty, and cottagy, and family, and dogs, and nature, and ocean, and God, and life. But, not necessarily in that order. Your blog adds so much to my life, that I should also say that I speak “Sarah and A Beach Cottage” as well. Can’t wait to see your new piece when she’s done!

  11. Floss says:

    Bien sûr!

    je parle vintage
    tu parles vintage
    il/elle/on parle vintage
    nous parlons vintage
    vous parlez vintage
    ils/elles parlent vintage

    Lets parlons vintage toujours!

    (With apologies to Miles Kington and Franglais)

  12. Another Sarah find. She’s a beauty. Obviously, I speak vintage and white and I could go on and on…You know the drill…I’m Ginger and I speak mostly bring home any stray piece of vintage furniture in need of a good loving home and provide it the paint and shelter it needs! Sounds about right!

  13. Lorraine says:

    She is lovely Sarah and would definitely have come home with me regardless of what hubby might have said/thought ;-) I’m on the lookout for a beauty just like her.

  14. Kat says:

    That pie safe is SO pretty especially with a fresh coat of white paint…white paint cures everything!

    Hello I’m Kat and I speak beachy, vintage, quirky, handmade, much loved and overlooked things!

    My partner (ok my family) would say. Kat is a little nutty and can sometimes resemble a 13 year old boy with her humor rather than a 46 year old mom! She is silly, fun loving and kissy/huggy! She obsesses about cool “stuff” and keeps bringing things home that we have no room or need for, but we love her anyway and we continue to feed her “need” by giving her more things because we love her and she loves us! She can be brought to teas by a special card or a simple flower, but she’s also a tough cookie who can hang with the big boys. Oh, and she’s pretty darn cool too because she can sometimes kick out butts in Call of Duty!

    Kat :)

  15. Kat says:

    And did we mention that Kat also needs an editor…because she types more quickly than her brain can handle! Tears* and Our*…sheesh…she clearly needs more caffeine this morning!

    Kat :)

  16. Martha says:

    Yes, I speak vintage…mainly love me as I am vintage, because somehow I never manage to paint the way I planned. I never met an old cupboard I didn’t like. I have four in my small house, but could always use one more.

  17. jane says:

    i understand more than i can speak, but i’m learning! what are the “window panels” made of? tin? that is quite the find. i mean is this stuff just out there with a ‘for sarah’ sign on it on the side of the road? or are you skulking about tired parts of the city (are there any there?) for these treasures? you amaze me.
    i got the ok for the beadboarding the bathroom, but now mr.house is part of the project. could be good, or not. progress is slow.
    off to dogsit, with plain old but LOVED latte! jkj

  18. Cindy S says:

    Hi, people close to me know me as Cindy, I love old stuff. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just paintable and have pretty lines. I too hate icebreakers. But this is easy!
    I love your new find, it is gorgeous, I can’t wait to see where you put it and do with it.

    Hugs, Cindy S.

  19. Tami says:

    What a beautiful find Sarah!! You never cease to amaze me with these wonderful finds of yours…gee how I wish they left things like that on the side of our roads. ;o)

    I most certianly speak vintage and the great love I have for it. I would also say that I speak create, the need to make something out of nothing.

    Have a great day!!

  20. Therese Long says:

    I’m fluent in vintage. It’s lovely to know so many speak it too!!

  21. Jennifer says:

    It’s gorgeous, and looks so nice with it’s fresh coat. Yes, I speak vintage as well. I love vintage linens and wooden furniture.

  22. Vicki K. says:

    That is a wonderful cabinet. Even if you didn’t need it – you Need It. What will you store in it? I love its high standingness. Besides its good looks, it promises to hide and organize things – that makes my heart pitter patter.

  23. Melinda says:

    Vintage is the best language of them all…with French coming in a close second. Ah, the romance of them both! The new find is simply beautiful. I just LOVE the doors with their white tin (?) inserts. Another treasure lucky enough to make its way into Sarah’s lovely cottage – a great find indeed!

  24. Jeannie says:

    I think there is something to love or admire in everyone and just about every thing. People who feel a heart-tug for old objects are recognizing this fact, but I think they are also the type of people who appreciate that the little things in life are what enrich that life. A houseful of brand new furniture would not thrill me as much as finding something like that cabinet, then sprucing it up to make it all mine. Doing this shows an appreciation for the continuity of life, the passing of time, and the urge to slow it down – especially once one gets past age 40. I like to ponder who had my fiestaware and jadeite before me, what kind of lady was she, and would she be pleased to know that I love and appreciate her dishes so many years later. Same with my old furniture that has been re-born…it’s like a hand reaching from the past into the present and shaking mine.

  25. Autumn says:

    That’s just lovely. I’d be so dangerous if my husband didn’t reign me in and remind me that we’re in our little apartment for a few more years and have plenty of furniture already. I love the hardware on your piece!

  26. MJ Krech says:

    Love this find! Love your blog as well, Sarah! Thank you!

    I was born and raised in Michigan, a stone’s throw away from the sandy dune beaches of Lake Michigan.

    I now live in Missouri, far south of my beloved Michigan. Rarely visit anymore.

    But my dream has always been to own a beach cottage on a sandy Lake Michigan beach. This is only a pipe dream for me–never gonna happen–so I live my dream in your blog, Sarah, especially your beautiful whitewashed look, which triggers memories of bleached driftwood from the Lake Michigan beachy times of my youth.

  27. I love the new “find”. I speak vintage but my husband – not so much, so I guess we balance each other out :-)

  28. Nickki says:

    I love that pie safe–wish I could find things like that. I love vintage, especially books. And furnishings. And houses. I also love beach and sea and shells.

  29. DeAna says:

    I speak flutent vintage too and I think I learned it from my Aunts who have spoke it all their life.

  30. I love that cabinet!! I speak vintage with a southern country drawl!

  31. sue in mexico mo says:

    Very nice find! Love it. Love the tall legs. Is that tin panels in the doors?

  32. Sam says:

    that’s a lovely cupboard. I have to admit that I tend to go for the brand new rather than the vintage, but this is quite lovely and definitely suits you and your house!

  33. Sharon says:

    What a GREAT cabinet! I have spoken vintage for far too long…………house is FULL and I still look. oh well……..

  34. Pat@BPM says:

    Hello, my name is Pat and I AM vintage!

    I love that cabinet, Sarah and I just noticed the cove ceiling! Wow! Love it!

  35. Morning T says:

    You are too cute Sarah~ love this post and your new ‘vintage’ find! I’m with you on the dread of ice breaker exercises in any and every setting!

  36. Christy says:

    Love this cabinet! The love the fun texture detail

  37. Hi I am Marianne, I love all things vintage and like to call my house a nest.
    Great find, but can I just ask you one question that has been bothering me for weeks now?
    Do you still have room to walk in your tatty old cottage, or is it actually a castle? You bring home so many wonderful treasures, you either have no floor space left or you are secretly selling them of somewhere. Do you ship to Holland? Because I have my eyes on some or your finds….

  38. sheri howard says:

    You are humerous! I speak vintage/old/rustic/wood/used and CREAM! I do wish I had a beach cottage for the winter months! Thanks for sharing yours!

  39. Beautiful! You’ll have to distress the middles so the pattern shows a little more.

  40. michelle says:

    You are so funny sarah ! When your looking around for things do you ever wonder where you will put it . You find such great things but will there come a time you can’t fit anymore in your lovely house and what will you do . That seems to be my problem sometimes I see things but think I don’t have anywhere to put it .

  41. KIMBERLY HOLLY says:

    She is beautiful! I do speak vintage.

  42. Sue says:

    Oh my goodness, she is beautiful, where did you find her??Love, love,love!
    The last photo shows her true colours,ohhhhh metal panels, they are gorgeous!

  43. Kristi says:

    I definitely speak vintage. So many people just don’t understand my language too. Love the tall chest.

  44. Kathleen H of Indiana says:

    You have done it again! Gorgeous. I speak vintage and wish it were spring here so I could get going. There is always room for anything vintage. Can’t wait to see where it goes and what you do with it…of course it will be white. I have been hibernating and cleaning my nest this winter, dreaming of garage sales and making lists. You have given me plenty of ideas. Thanks Sarah.
    Kathleen H

  45. tbliss says:

    Hello Sarah, I speak, smell, see and hear all things vintage with a passion. Your cabinet is your best find so far this year and I love how the legs are high for a basket underneath filled with creamy white blankets.
    Have a great weekend,

  46. Brismod says:

    I speak a different dialect of vintage but that is a lovely armoire you’ve picked up.

  47. Krista says:

    You painted the glass!!!! It looks UNBELIEVABLE. I’m so impressed. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next.
    xo krista

  48. cherrie says:

    My name is Cherrie and I also speak vintage, though without the french accent,probably more fake Italiano.
    I love collecting old things.
    Even if I don’t need them. I can’t wait for this Sunday to be the first to check out our local hard rubbish collection.
    I want anything I find.
    Just because.

  49. LibraryGirl62 says:

    I speak my own weird Vintage dialect. Right now it is 70′s bamboo-like furniture-don’t know why or how, it just ended up that way! In the past I have a had a chair fetish and I still have a collection of cricket chairs-love’em! That cabinet is an awesome find!

  50. michelle says:

    oh my goodness sarah, i LOVE LOVE LOVE this piece. absolutely amazing! the details are fantastic….i want one…..

  51. Andi says:

    I like ‘she makes friends with furniture and nurses it back to life’. Of course you had to adopt this piece. It’s lovely. xx

  52. Tina says:

    Hi Sarah – I am a native Vintage speaker too and love your new cupboard, what a find!! You always inspire me to head off to my local thrift stores, so I have made it a Friday tradition ;) Enjoy your beautiful cupboard!! Have a lovely Friday – Tina x

  53. vintagefokus says:

    WOW! Great find!

    I am new to the vintage talk. With a lot of practice, I hope to be as fluent as you!



  54. Alicia says:

    You found some pressed tin furniture (or is this the one you already had when we were speaking about it?) Anyway I knew you would be a convert, its gorgeous!

  55. Do I ever know your language! I CANNOT drive by a thrift store without stopping JUST IN CASE there is something in there I might miss!! Good grief it’s crazy!! Love your latest find! It is sooo awesome & sooooooo you!! You are so fun ~ thanks for all your fun posts!

  56. Brigid says:

    I have a piece like this minus the cute legs in my barn waiting for some TLC-ultimate destination the master bath for some needed storage. I love the tin panels-can’t wait to see the end result-need some inspiration! BTW, my husband speak vintage>antique>fixer upper (its finding the time to get all of that fixer uppering completed!)

  57. I would have brought that home in a second! Great find!!

  58. Jenstc2003 says:

    I most DEFINITELY speak vintage, and we share that French accent, and our love for all things beachy!

  59. Alison Gibbs says:

    Oh Sarah what a fabulous find.
    Okay my name is Alison and I am GREEN with ENVY – you did find such a gorgeous piece that we would all love to have!!LOL

  60. Sally says:

    Love it my friend!! How I wish I could find a shoppe like the ones you go to!! I absolutely adore vintage items and am always keeping an eye out for them. Not with too much success, but one day my little ship will come in and I will find a to die for piece!! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful find. I love your blog so much!!! :)

  61. Victoria says:

    What an incredible find! She was just waiting and dreaming that she could one day move to Sarah’s Beach Cottage! I definitely speak vintage – I speak baskets/and roses/beaches and sunlight – but for too long I have whispered – Now I am talking out loud!! lol

  62. Kate says:

    Hello, I’m Kate. Fluent in vintage and a mad collector of anything between Edwardian to 40′s. Also like to collect Childrens’ books, especially 1930′s school stories and yes I do read them. I suppose my style is Enid Blyton meets Miss Marple by the sea with a bit of funky thrown in. When I get anything ‘new’ I always say that we’ve had it forever, or that it belonged to my Auntie Elsie. I once wrote a list of all of the things that I collected and was horrified at how long it was. Can’t do minimal but don’t like clutter. Oh, and I love anything green.

  63. Fluently! Good to know that I am now bilingual!! I love meeting others who know the language!

    That cabinet is definitely a keeper!! The legs, the hardware, the crown molding, and the patina are fabulous!!

  64. Heidi says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Yep, she’s a beauty! And you’ll only improve her.
    I think one of the reasons I love vintage is because I never had any relatives or ancestors to share wonderful old hand-me-downs. No Family treasures,(all destroyed in WWll) and so I find them out there in the world and bring them home with me! I create my own story about them and make them into my family’s treasures to be passed on someday. At least, that’s how I think of them. I love to imagine their stories, to get a sense of their history.
    It’s a lot more interesting to live this way, I think!
    Heidi – Heart and Home

  65. nancy philpott says:

    love the new piece! and yes i speak vintage!
    but i truly love how you express that in all your posts!

    you accomplish so much! makes me feel lazy!

    question- will you paint the interior???

  66. Jo says:

    Love the detail on the doors!

  67. Mel says:

    What a lovely find Sarah. I think shes a keeper. You find and revamp the BEST items ever. Mel xxx

  68. tracey richardson says:

    I too speak vintage…with some french…looovvve all ur finds. i tend to have withdrawal symptoms if i dont go hunting …op shops start only a 100 meters from my daughters school, a very handy cure fot this sick disease. am loving ur new find, looks awesome :)

  69. rachel says:

    OH…I LOVE her! What a beauty she is! Can’t wait see her when you’re done with her. :)

    I, too, speak vintage. There just something about a vintage piece. Vintage pieces have so much character….everyone of them has a story to tell. ;)


  70. Bev says:

    The pie safe is such a aged beauty . I wish I just had more time to treasure hunt. Speaking vintage would be right up my alley but my family already think I’m a recycling nut.

  71. Susannah says:

    Yep, fluent in Vintage speak, I hear ya!

    As if you could leave that find behind, that would be criminal!

  72. Patricia says:

    That is beautiful, I love it. I love the pressed metal panels in the door. They make it so unique.
    I haven’t seen one with those doors before. Lucky you, what a find!!

  73. For a long time I spoke Tuscan…warm earthy tones. Rhen with what started with a flood/leak..my floors turned in black slate, my walls a soft soft warm gray and my cupboards white. The accent colour is red .. a deep rich bold red. I am always looking for chippy old accents. My last trip to Ireland we went to the local auction (YOU Ms Batty would love it!!!!!). The last time hubby and I carried two LARGE white rusty CAST IRON roosters home to Canada.
    You can see a post about them here…

    Yeah..I speak Vintage. Now I just have to do the living room…trying to convince the hubby to paint the red brick around the fireplace LOL..yes..WHITE

  74. Daphne says:

    I’d luv to see your dance too he he he
    LOVE your new finds :)

    And i so agree with Jessica’s letter….i often think..mmm…what would Sarah say about this one he he he

  75. donna says:

    Hahahahha I just pictured some of us going on job interviews and saying our second language was “vintage” . To funny! Love your newest friend, sh’e very sweet! Where o where will she live?

  76. Dream Mom says:

    Oh, now this is quite a pretty find. I can just see it with the doors open and some pretty china in there. Sigh…

  77. Melissa says:


  78. Aaahhhh… you’re speaking my language girlfriend!!
    We are a strange lot – but very happy.
    Hugs ~ Kerryanne

  79. Fiona Jensen says:

    Wow, just love that cabinet.I adore pressed metal painted white and had hoped one day to have a kitchen with pressed metal.In our last house we had wallpaper that gave a similar effect. So where will this treasure live?

  80. This piece is so great! I love it!

  81. Alex says:

    Hi, can you tell me what the colour combination is for your paint? I too have been paionting everything in my house but feeling everything is too white. What is the beach white colour you speak of so I can tell my paint man at bunnings? Thanks. Your house is devine, I can’t stop looking at photos!

  82. PJ Kitty says:

    I love the beach cottage look and have purchased 6-8 pieces of furniture to paint. What are some of the best cottage white and/or off-white colors to use on wood furniture. Thanks.