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About Me - The Woman Behind the Blog

Updated: Feb 24, 2021

Vintage & Varnish Blog | About Me | Kelly Barker | The Woman Behind the Blog | Painting Furniture | Refinished Furniture | DIY Blog

I have always loved art and the freedom of expression it gives me. I feel a special kind of calm when I am up to my elbows in paint; exploring colours, patterns, textures and layering different palettes. I especially love incorporating art and design into my home.

There's a running joke in my family about my collecting scraps of wrapping paper as a kid. Every holiday, I would cut out hundreds of little squares of wrapping paper and save them so I could mix and match the pieces and collage them into my own little masterpieces, I had BAGS of the stuff. I still hoard craft supplies but I've since graduated to paint, stencils and out dated furniture!

By 13 years old I was "painting" furniture with anything I could get my hands on. I actually painted my night stands, by hand, with glitter and nail polish. I don't remember my mom ever scolding me for this, she has always been so supportive! At 15, I started thrifting old furniture and painting it with acrylics. My style has always been eclectic and my teenage bedroom was a wild combination of red, purple, leopard print and desert camouflage.

I purchased my first home in 2010 and with my moms help and an endless supply of cheezies, I completed my first major home renovation. What a dump! I bought a 1200 sqft. townhouse that was completely original to 1972. With at least 15 years rental property damage, a bug infestation and a budget of only $10k, I had my work cutout for me! I had only three months to complete my renovation and I was working a full-time job so with a Home Depot DIY book in hand my mom and I got to work - I don't think I've ever survived on so little sleep! With the support of my family and friends, I truly transformed that space and am proud to say that 5 years later I sold that little townhouse for the highest ever purchase price in the complex, at the time.

Here's a peek at some of the before and after shots of that gem!


I definitely have a strong love for all things DIY - if I don't know how to do it - I want to learn. I also love knowing that by recreating, salvaging and upcycling I am helping to minimize the waste in our landfills. So in 2015, I decided to turn a life long passion into a full-time job! Recently, I watched an episode of Bull, where Michael Weatherly talks about "balcony people," those people who cheer and applaud you, who give you love and support, unconditionally. I am lucky to have many balcony people in my life, those around me who make Vintage & Varnish possible. My husband - Mr. Vintage & Varnish - is my sidekick and partner and helps me with more projects than I could count. My mom, my first ever balcony person, who has encouraged and supported my passion for as long as I can remember. I also have many sisters and girlfriends who rally behind me, as well as two wonderfully creative kids who love getting messy with me.

I hope that in sharing this blog, my knowledge and my creative journey I can encourage you and be one of your balcony people. If you feel inspired to DIY some art and beauty in your own homes I love seeing what you've created - #vintageandvarnish - you can also comment below and let me know what advice you'd love to learn from me!

Vintage & Varnish Blog | About Me | Kelly Barker | The Woman Behind the Blog | Painting Furniture | Refinished Furniture | DIY Blog

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