COVID-19 Stay at Home Activities and Things to Do

The artisans at the #rustandrefindartisanmarket are hunkering down and getting creative with ways to bring our product, tutorials and project kits to you…either by curbside pickup, local delivery and/or shipping.  We, like the rest of the world, are pivoting. And, we are mastering our own stay at home activities, too.

Michele Of Vintage Revival Design Co.

Michele of Vintage Revival Design Co.


Vintage Revival Design Co Stair Painting

Stair Painting

Michele of Vintage Revival Design Co.has been painting her front door and stairs using Wise Owl Paint Products.  She is the Wise Owl and IOD retailer at the market, and has been working on adding workshops and tutorials to her repetoire.  So, not only is she using her time wisely by updating her home, she is combining that effort with a tutorial for you.  Want to try at home?  Follow her  Vintage Revival Design Co Facebook page for updates and to see the video on how to paint your stairs, check out her tutorial here How To Stamp and Paint Stair Risers.

Katie of Katie Did Designs

Katie at home painting.

Katie, Katie Did Designs has enjoyed “the blessings of #stayathome” by having time to do things she normally wouldn’t…like taking an oil painting class online from Miss Mustard Seed and she got to enjoy that time with her daughters.  Learning and Enjoying family time…another two-fer!  I’m sure you’ll see some of her new talents in the shop, soon, too!

Art a la Katie Did and Family

Cathy in action behind the scenes

More catchup on the behind-the-scenes for Cathy, Forever and Always Vintage who is enjoying painting and upcycling and taking the time to stage and take photos.  Let me tell you, all these extra steps in bringing our product to you take so. much. time.  And, alas, hate it or love it, the time at home and mandatory restrictions are allowing some serious hunkering down project catch ups.

Maria Morga Art

Maria of Morga Studio Is in her home in DC …painting.  Well, that is her “job”…she’s our resident Fine Artist and has been spending time in her studio painting.  She’s also getting to enjoy a bit more time to ride her bicycle…at a safe social distance, of course. Check her  Painting in Action



Seaglass Workshop

How to create a Seaglass effect on Glass

And, yours truly?  I have enjoyed time off with my daughter and her boyfriend, who are both seniors at the University of Tennessee, but here taking their online courses. My husband is “hunkering” in his basement office and I see him only slightly more than normal since he seems to be (and probably is) working harder than at his away office.  I am cooking more.  Probably having a little more cocktails.  And, working on my online website shop, catching up on painting project pieces, social media-ing more for our customers to bring pictures of our product to you since you can’t come to us, and have been working on how-to videos like this second Saltwash Seaglass workshop. I am a Paint Couture PaintSaltwashGeneral Finishes , and Howard Products retailer.

Check it out here. Saltwash Seaglass How-To

We hope this finds everyone as well as can be expected.  Safe, healthy and adjusting to quarantine.  We small businesses are getting quite creative in bringing you craft/workshop kits, paint and DIY supplies to help with your catch up projects, and antique, vintage and home/seasonal decor to update your homes that you’re spending so much time in!  Just get in touch with us…we will do what we can to help you.  Follow us on social media….we are updating daily.  Our Etsy/website shops, Facebook and Instagram, and email.  We ship, deliver locally (some free, some we use a very reliable local delivery company), and curbside pick ups are available, in addition to by appointment viewings.  We are allowed up to ten, but have kept it to 2-3 max in our shop for the safety of the artisans and our customers.  We appreciate and thank you for shopping small and local. And, we’d love to know what you’re doing to keep busy, your projects, and what you’d like from us to help you!

Until the next time, smile and make the quarantine life as much fun as you can.  And, prayers for your health and prosperity.  B

Paint a Wood Frame with Saltwash and Paint Couture

Like everyone else in the world today, life has thrown me a bucket of worms…or should I say a bucket of COVID-19 set-backs.  And, like everyone else, we are forced to pivot, adjust and hope we see the light at the end of the tunnel soon.  But, I have seen a lot of goodness out of all this darkness, and one is that with those pivots, I am forcing myself to catch up on a back log of projects (aren’t we all?) and now that I have a little more time (or so it seems, but really I am spending more time adjusting and catching up, but I digress), I am trying to learn how to do behind the scenes stuff…like website updating and emails, inventory, paperwork,  how to videos and so on.  One such video on my list, was this How to Saltwash® and Paint Couture a wood frame, which I got to play producer, director, editor, actor (well my hands acted…didn’t they perform well???) and special effects crew.  It’s very “J.V” as my husband likes to say when something or someone isn’t completely up to par.  But, I think it turned out pretty well considering this over-50, non-techie capabilities (or lack thereof).

One of other pivots that a lot of us small businesses are doing (especially for us in this retail world) is being more creative and making products more available to our customers in a variety of ways, from curbside pickups, online shopping, Facebook lives, and offering virtual workshops or DIY kits.  Two of the products I carry at Rust and Refind are Saltwash®, which is a sodium additive that you add to any paint, and Paint Couture Paint.  So, I decided that since I am offering the kits, why not offer a how-to video?  Saltwash Frame How-To Saltwash and Paint Couture Wood Frame KitFor this video,  Saltwash® and Paint Couture paint is being used, and it’s the paint included in the Saltwash® Frame kit available for sale on my website via Etsy shop and at my shop.  It can be shipped, delivered locally, in addition to being available for curbside pick up.  Super fun and easy project to do, and makes for great beach or cottage home decor.  We offer in store workshops, as well, AND can work with you virtually at this time if you need any guidance and person-to-person extra tutorials.  The frames will have added wood appliques (not seen in this video), and you will get a choice of two Paint Couture colors.  The base coat color will be your Saltwash® coat that you will mix according to directions (1:1 ratio usually, a little less powder if using chalk paint) that gets troweled/dabbed on full coverage, and the second color of paint is the paint that goes on after the Saltwash® coat is dry.  The fun begins when both coats are dry and you can scrape off, sand off with sandpaper, sand block, or a sander.  I prefer a scraper since I like my projects to be chippy and I usually apply the Saltwash® coat thickly and chunky.  This creates a chippy, beachy, weathered look on any craft or home decor project.  The kit includes sandpaper and/or blocks but the scrapers and spray topcoat can be purchased online or any of your local hardware stores like Home Depot.  Paint Couture also offers brush on topcoats, too (available separately).  These frames have a backboard mat that can be painted, pictures added to, decoupaged, or chalkboard painted to create a mini-chalkboard (as seen in this video).  There are amazing Saltwash® video tutorials available on line, too… Check them out at Ilovesaltwash.

I hope you enjoy this project!  Until next time, smile and make life fun.



How to Create a Dramatic and Personalized Powder Room

The “Throne Room” aka powder room.  It’s that one small space in everyone’s home that can be completely neglected or over the top!  You have a captivated audience for a brief time so why not captivate them?  Big and dramatic design can happen in small spaces.  My own powder room is Venetian plaster in a dark milk-chocolate brown, gold metallic ceilings, chandelier (of course), Italian art, and a small mirror collection (see why below).

Before the added mirror collection. My small mirror wall, inspired by Mimi.

Recently, I added  several more mirrors to complete what I had always wanted to do but somehow never did until now, since we’ve inherited my husband’s mother’s estate.  My husband and I have been dealing with this the last few weeks, and I’ve gone through her home and taken pictures when I could because I always admired and loved her home and design style and I wanted to have photos to remember.  Even though she had a bit more flair for the dramatic and formal, two of her powder rooms were my all time favorites.  The powder room on the main floor has walls lined with pink FABRIC and decorated with over 30 gold framed mirrors of all shapes and sizes, which was my inspiration for my own powder room (aka guest bathroom) here at home, and to which I’ve now added her mirror collection.

Mimi’s Wall of Mirrors

I’ve replicated the layout as much as possible, even though she had the mirrors on three walls, I’ve only added them on ONE (the initial mirror collection I personally had is on another small wall near the sink).  Sadly, I didn’t take many pictures of that room…we had limited time to clear out the estate and there are a lot of emotions happening…lt’s difficult disassembling a home, especially what was your parent’s home for 30 years.


The complete look!  Homage to Mimi.

I did, however, manage to take pics for THIS powder room on her lower level.  This is my favorite room and we’ve called it the Turkish Throne Room for years.  I am going to completely replicate it here at my home in another bathroom.  Yep…another post on that.

The Turkish Throne

Family Collections and Inherited Pieces Add to Your Home’s Story!

I wanted to share this because I obviously love a well-decorated bathroom and because I hope it helps someone dealing with their parents’ estate.  Although we’ve had just under two years since my MIL’s passing, and over 15 for my FIL, we never felt the complete “closure” because their estate remained in tact with my MIL’s husband, who lived in the home until now.  We felt somewhat disconnected, I think. But, in bringing treasured memorabilia, photos, some decor that remind us of “all things Mimi and Pasham”, and in setting up small vignettes of those treasures here in our own home, we feel that Mimi and Pasham are back home with us.  My husband is happy and when we see these things every day, it brings a smile to our face and we think of them more.  I don’t think one needs to turn their home into a museum for their loved ones, but it’s just another way to personalize your space with family collections and meaningful ways for your home to tell it’s story!  So go ahead, be brave and brilliant in that one small space….and strategically place those mirrors.  :o)


Until Next Time…Smile and Make Life Fun!  B




Setting Up a New Home, First Home, or a Blank Space

Mama Daughter along the Pacific Coast Highway

I’m back from my two week “work vacation” in California!  It was a wonderful time with my daughter and I call it a work vacation because she needed me out there to help her set up her first home (which meant a lot of grunt work taking out cabinets, painting furniture, and so on), but also so we could spend some mama-daughter time touring where she will now call home for the next few years.   I posted pics of our adventures on Facebook and Instagram.

From Bare Bones to Foundation.

That was my goal in helping my daughter, Ashley, by going from a bare bones space to a good working foundation to help her continue forward. The initial enthusiasm and instinct is to try to buy as much as possible and fill the space as much as budget (or credit cards…be careful here) will allow.  But, with only a couple weeks of my visit (and that split with travel), we had to be expeditious and budget-conscious with our set up and purchasing.  We were able to obtain a few basic foundational pieces that would be the start. The rest will come over time…she has a great aesthetic and idea of what she wants.  My biggest guidance to her and anyone is:Read More

Color, Texture, Balance

Design buzz words that help bring a space to completion and in creating a boho vignette usually means baskets, fabrics, rugs, leather, wood, greenery, and a multiple mix of bright colors.  Interpretation of BOHO varies, of course, from the college dorm use of tapestries, furs, dream catchers, salt rock lamps and so on, to a very sophisticated Ralph Lauren or Genevieve Gorder  approach with high end or mid-century leather, international accessories, brass or brushed gold elements, vintage rugs, and much more.  My daughters love Boho and I’ve been itching to get out of my norm of neutral and subtle colors and styles, and so my vision of Boho started with the vintage Kantha throws and the Kantha scarves and Oohlong jewelry.  I then added rugs, painted the dresser as the base of the vignette, and incorporated a few other elements.  The vintage Kantha throws, the Kantha scarves, the vintage Turkish rugs by  and the IOD Transfers by on the dresser all bring in color and texture to the space by offsetting the solid, base colors of the  antique dresser.  The wood urn lamp and baskets are a calming, neutral and natural textural contrast while the chandelier, jewelry, gold Italian wood tray, and the gold gilding on the dresser add the bling and glitz.  Loving the new boho corner at Rust and Refind!   The only thing missing is the greenery (usually an essential element in boho design) but with no natural light in this corner of the shop, they don’t do very well (and maybe, JUST MAYBE, I’m not a very good plant caregiver) ;o) #bohochic #bohovibes . Come in and see us this April 5-7 weekend for our artisan market, open Friday 10am until 5 through Sunday 12-5!

Top Five Antique and Vintage Shopping Spots in the DC Area

Call it the Macy’s vs Gimbel effect (hopefully you all get that analogy) or just mere goodwill and sharing, but I am a huge supporter of other artisans, small business and yes, even my “competitors”…and I use that term loosely because I honestly don’t view them as such; we are all so different but yet the same if that makes sense?

The reason I’m sharing is not because I think I am an influencer, nor to get any “points” but because in this age of social media and online shopping, I am still amazed at how many of our customers have not heard of some of these, and, I hope to help urge you to shop local, small, and Brick and Mortar (B&M). There are several small businesses I and many of us support as well that sell online and out of their homes, but few have the overhead or offer the social/shopping experience that a lot of us in this industry work tremendously hard at providing for our customers. (Please no disparaging comments about this…as I said, I do support them, but this is about supporting the B&M) I won’t digress on that…sounds like another blog post for another rainy day.

So, with that being said, here are my faves. They are and have been on my list because

  1. I shopped there since I’ve lived here and before I even thought of having a creative business and they’ve rarely disappointed
  2. they are great sources of inspiration
  3. the people are great and promoters of others via word of mouth, social media support and/or are hubs for creatives and other small businesses that are too small for stand-alone B&M or prefer the market circuit
  4. the product is great and
  5. close proximity.
The Old Lucketts Store

1. The Old Lucketts Store – Lucketts VA

The Biggest and arguably the grand-mama of vintage hip (yes, that’s their tag line) of our area is The Old Lucketts Store. I remember my first visit here with a friend and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. And, to add to that, my first Spring Market? Oh my word…with over 200 vendors for three days? Seriously, a market on steroids. They’ve added a Design house that customers wait in line to get into, have 35+ dealers/vendors, and they host several smaller fleas, their Groundhog Day Sale, and two larger events (the Spring Market in May and the Christmas November Market) where outside vendors are invited to participate and sell their wares.

But the Spring Market is the biggun…and for three years now they no longer host at their location, but at the Clarke County Fairgrounds in Berryville, Virginia. It will be my third time vending at the Spring Market (plus a few other markets there), and I and the other artisans of the Rust and Refind Artisan Market are happy to be vendors at this event for the first time together. Open Daily and for other special events.

Gypsy Faire Vintage Marketplace

2. GypsyFaire Vintage Marketplace – Lothian MD

GypsyFaire has a special place in my heart. These special group of ladies helped inspire me to open my own shop….they have a business model that I wanted for the Rust and Refind Artisan Market, they work together beautifully, have quite a following and a line waiting for entrance, and their energy and aesthetic is so charmingly refreshing.

Open once a month (the first non-holiday Saturday and Sunday of each month), they offer primarily painted pieces they recycle/repurpose, accessories, industrial, architectural salvage, retro jewelry and clothing, and more with a definite boho-gypsy vibe.

Rust and Feathers (Picture found via Yelp)

3. Rust and Feathers – Leesburg, VA

What can I say? They have RUST in their name. :o) . I discovered Rust and Feathers several years ago while doing my “vintage circuit” when the building was just a building but something NEW was going in. I anxiously awaited their opening and was in love instantly. They have changed some of the dealers since the beginning, but there’s always good vendors and good stuff!

You may recognize one of their largest, Ekster. I have teased them on social media that we need to have some kind of RUST expo (go ahead and research all the creative businesses with RUST in the name. Seriously, it’s a THING). They are open daily except Tuesday and are a multi-dealer and consignor shop.

Chartreuse & Co.

4. Chartreuse & Co., Frederick MD

I have a soft spot for Chartreuse & Co. Owner Virginia and husband Chip moved in to her grandparents home and converted the barns on the property to host monthly barn sales with a couple outdoor vendor events a year (their Spring and Fall markets that host outside vendors in addition to their regular dealers). I absolutely love love love the location, the product, the feel and vibe.

I have a few special vendors that are my faves here as well and whom are good people. When I visit, their spaces are the ones I tend to gravitate to and almost always buy something. I was happy to be a vendor at one of their Fall markets and felt that they spent special care in attending to the guest vendors. Watch out for their special tag sales where you can get great things for even greater prices, and they also sell several products on their online shop.

Sweet Clover Barn

5. Sweet Clover Barn, Frederick MD

I discovered Sweet Clover Barn quite by accident before Facebook was really a thing in this business and not a lot of people I knew had heard of them yet. I quickly added Sweet Clover to my Lucketts and Chartreuse circuit when shopping and always liked the charm and varied product at this artisan market. Make sure to visit their “Cottage” in the outside back of this converted 1900s barn, which changes designer themes monthly. Open once a month and over 30 vendors.

Rust and Refind Artisan Market

+1 = Rust and Refind Artisan Market, Aldie VA

How can I not include our very own Artisan Market? Years of looking for the right building, the right timing and the right group of talented artisans finally produced this Rust and Refind Artisan Market in July 2018. I am hoping you add us to YOUR list of favorites. Nestled in a little corner on the outskirts of Aldie, VA and located near our favorite BBQ, Hammerdown BBQ, we have been working hard at creating a one-stop artisan market that includes interior designers, fine artists, sign-makers, furniture painters, and antique, vintage and home decor and gifts.

We offer Paint Couture the Collection and Wise Owl paint products, Saltwash products, custom painted furniture and services, DIY group and private workshops and much more. We open monthly (first full and non-holiday Friday, Saturday and Sunday weekend), Wednesdays for paint sales and consults, and by appointment. We also invite guest artisans and sponsor several outdoor markets. Please consider supporting us by both visiting us at market and liking/following our social media.

You can find us at:

So, there you have it. My top five antique and vintage places to shop in the DC area to find good deals, get inspiration and that are located in charming towns, near wineries and can be destination “drives” in the country. There are so many more …perhaps another blog, or feel free to comment and add your own. Please help the small and local businesses by sharing, word of mouth, and shopping at their locations or their online shops (many of us do have that capability as well). *I am not affiliated with nor compensated for the top-five picks .

Until next time, Smile and make life fun! Brenda

Rust and Refind Blog

Coming Soon!!

A new blog posts where we will be sharing information about the shop, classes, new items, and any tips, tricks and techniques that we think you would love to know about!

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Washingtonian - Best Vintage

Featured in Washingtonian’s “Best Vintage”

13 Places to Shop for Vintage Furniture in Washington

Washingtonian Magazine – August 2016 – “Best Vintage” (open article)
By on August 9, 2016


Washingtonian - Best Vintage featuring Rust and Refind - August 2016

Rust and Refind

After a career in the military, Brenda Potts has brought a globally minded approach to her antique and vintage finds—inside Mt. Vernon Antique Center—with an emphasis on European styles. She paints many of her pieces, too, transforming items such as fence pickets into signs and stairway balusters into lamps. She also handles custom work. 8101 Richmond Hwy., Alexandria; 703-619-5100.

See it in the magazine below | Download PDF


Washingtonian Magazine - August 2016 - featuring "Best Vintage" Rust and Refind Washingtonian - Best Vintage featuring Rust and Refind - August 2016


Washingtonian - Best Vintage featuring Rust and Refind - August 2016



Here is Geoffrey. Yes, I do name some pieces. Geoffrey got his name because he’s painted in Flannel Gray, which reminded me of the men’s cologne made by Geoffrey Beene. So, Geoffrey it was. Imagine him near a leather chair, cognac or bourbon in hand. Now I’m going British. Geoffrey is a vintage weiman table that had leather inlay totally destroyed. Lion head pulls, a single drawer. He will make his appearance at Rust and Refind today.

– Brenda