Friday, April 11, 2014

A Pop of color...Mixing Paint!

 
So many choices!

 With all the products and colors available these days it is almost guaranteed that you will find the color you are looking for!
One of the questions I get asked the most is" can I mix the Paints?" .....Yes you absolutely can! for this bookcase I wanted to tone down this beautiful Bright Turquoise called Shoreline  from American Paint Company.  I simply added a small amount of white mixed really well and voila! the perfect Pop of color for this fun Bookcase!
                                             I mix colors all the time! I should really start a recipe file.  When customers ask what color something is I will be able to tell them!!

So to answer one of the most asked questions....Yes feel free to mix your Paint!!
Have fun Paint something!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Grain Sack Ottoman

 
This small Ottoman had seen better days! However it is the Perfect size!
So I decided to give it a new look! 
 
I admire people who can pin a whole piece of furniture and take it off and sew.
 
 
Not me! I have to do it piece by piece! 
                                                                                                                                                              I  
 
I pin it inside out, sew it, turn it right side out, fit it
 Try it on again.....
Pin it!
 
Inside out again...
 
and yes I even drew blood!
  Very exciting as it begins to look finished!
 
I love the small cut and rip approach! a nice straight line for the hem!
 
I kept the pleats to the corners as I didn't want it to be to "puffy" !
 
I reversed the denim and used the "wrong" side as the right side!
which complimented the texture of the grain sack!
 
 
 
 
 It really is the perfect size!
 As much as I would like to keep it.....I will be bringing it into the shop! It felt good to pull my machine out and sew for a change.  I have a few custom window treatments coming up so stay tuned for more fun with fabric!
 


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Image Transfers

Some exciting new products to try!Transfer Gel from Homestead house
 
 
First I used some milk paint to freshen up this stool!

I had printed a couple of different graphics in "reverse" off of http://thegraphicsfairy.com/ in preparation of  testing out the transfer gel

For the Seahorse I decided to transfer him on a shingle left over from our roof! After applying the Transfer gel to the shingle I placed the printed paper image side down on to the shingle.   I then rubbed it to  make sure there weren't any air bubbles 

Then set the shingle aside to dry!
 
 
It is hard to see in this picture but if you look closely you can see the reversed image on the stool
  To Apply the transfer gel I just used a paint brush and covered the entire area of where the image was being placed. And then again rubbing the paper to make sure there were no air bubbles!  The hardest part of this process is the drying time! 6-12 hours! I of course started to pick before the recommended time was up! Don't rush it! I noticed I was loosing a lot of the details in the label.  I had to force my self to leave the shop and let it set over night.

 The next morning when I came back I dampened the paper with a wet paper towel and started to remove the paper to reveal the transfer!
I found when I was able to get the paper to roll like this, it exposed the transfer with minimal ink coming off!  The harder you press the more you smudge!

I occasionally would add a little more water to keep the paper moist so it would continue peeling off!

 

 I then used a sanding block and ever so gently sanded some of the paper back.  This also helped add a little distressing! When most of the paper was removed I sealed both transfers as well as the milk paint with Miss Mustard Seed Hemp oil!
 

 All in all I am very Happy with this product and can't wait to use it on other projects! I just have to make myself Walk Away and give it the time it needs to dry!!
So Fun!

                                                                                                                                                                             I think the shingles will make cute outdoor hangings for the summer!



thegraphicsfairy.com

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Painted Piano Transformation

 
Today's Blog post is written by a Customer who tackled her project with amazing results!  At times I know she was frustrated but she managed to trudged through it.  I think it made an amazing difference! I appreciate Alison sharing her experience and admire her for tackling such a big project from the get GO!

 
The Painted Piano Project
Alison Demong
 
 
It was time to turn our neglected playroom into a more family-friendly room, and I was excited to start all over with a new color scheme and furniture.   The only problem: What to do with the old, ugly piano that we picked up for free years ago, that would be an eyesore in the new room.  My designer friend Wendy Callahan suggested:  Paint it!  Seemed like a cool idea, and Ive painted a few pieces of throw away furniture before with decent results, but Im no artist and I knew it would be a big undertaking

 
I googled painted pianos and came up with some VERY cool results that were inspiring.  The ones I liked best were high-gloss, crazy bright colors, total statement in a room.  Awesome.  But then came the YouTube videos of people painstakingly taking apart the piano bit by bit, fully sanding in their huge warehouse garages and applying layer after layer of latex paint with lots of sanding in between.  Ummm. no way.  Not happening. And now Im discouraged.   About this time a friend from Scituate recommended that I talk to Tami at Simply Vintage who uses and sells Chalk/Clay Paint - a perfect product for painting old furniture.  No priming, no sanding. ?? Really?!  Sounded too good to be true.
 
I met with Tami and learned that chalk paint is very versatile and easy to work with, but it might  be hard to get that high-gloss uniform look that I really wanted.  Was it worth trying, since anything would be an improvement over what I had?!  YES!  I let go of the dream of the high-gloss standout in favor of a muted color that would blend in the room and make the piano sort of disappear. 
 
 

I started with the bench since that seemed manageable.  With Tamis help I chose "Smoke Signal"  and it is a beautiful grey color.  The first coat of chalk paint goes on very deceptively as it looks all streaky and like its not really covering, and then it dries and looks solid but lighter.    After the second coat I felt satisfied that it covered well.  The trouble is you cant really tell the true color of the paint until you seal it, as it will darken up.  I knew there were several options for sealer, most popular is a wax, but I went for the easiest route:  Polycrylic. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
But unfortunately, when the polycrylic dried, there seemed to be a brownish tinge to the paint color in some places which baffled me.  It wasnt horrible, it looked a little antiqued, but it worried me.  I brought the bench to Tami who thought that the wood had bled through the chalk paint and was pulled up through by the polycrylic.  Her suggestion was to apply a coat of Shellac to the piano first to seal it and prevent bleeding.  So much for no-priming but I figured I had to do it since I was worried about the unpredictability if I didnt.
 
And so began the process of me scrubbing down the piano with a cleaner (I actually used Fantastic with bleach which was probably not an awesome choice because it gave me a headache, but I had used Trader Joes Next to Godliness on the bench and I dont think it got it clean enough) and then applying a coat of shellac.  Shellac went on quickly and easily  - phew.
 
Next I worked on the side of the piano that no one would see because I wanted to play around with coats of paint and sealers.  In these photos, the piano is in my office next to the living room because I had wallpaper going up and needed to get it out of there for a while.  I painted two coats of chalk paint, and then sealed the top portion with polycrylic.  It looked good but I wanted to try the wax that most people use with Chalk/Clay Paint.  Tami gave me a sample of that, and also hemp oil.  In this one photo the right hand side I used the wax and then I used the hemp oil on the skinny bottom section and that one weird square on the left (why the square!??  I dont know! I  guess I was worried the bottom section wasnt big enough to give me a good read on the oil!)  

 
 
My opinion was that the wax was REALLY hard to work with - very streaky, I didnt know how much was enough or what I was doing.  It did mellow out when it dried, but I knew it was not for me.  The hemp oil was crazy! I kind of liked the dark color but I was nervous about how it would dry over time - would it continue to lighten up? Who knew. I am not Ok with unpredictability.  I had my answer:  Poly was the way to go for me.
 
 
Now time to tackle the rest of the piano.  I moved her back into her spot in the new wall papered room to get me motivated to FINISH the job.  And yes, the jury is still out on whether I was either totally brave or incredibly stupid to tackle the job right in the new room with new wallpaper inches away!
 

 




 
 

 
 
 
The front/bottom panel popped right off which was so lucky and made my life so much easier as I was able to lay it flat and paint it on the floor.  Then I just did my two coats all over the piano and applied the poly.  These photos are taken after the second coat, before it was completely dry.   The most annoying part was behind the keys - I used a kids watercolor brush which was not a great tool but I was too lazy and cheap to buy the right thing.   My first go at it was rushed and jagged, but another day I went back over it slowly and evened it out.  Dont look too closely - it aint perfect thats for sure.   Also, I have to tell you that there is STILL some brownish tinge to the color after the poly is applied why?!  I did the shellac! I think that if you are looking for a very solid color when painting over dark wood, you may have to go with three coats.  It may *look* covered when the 2nd coat is dry, but the poly really brings out the imperfections in your paint job and you can see where coverage wasnt perfect. 
 


Overall I feel that chalk/clay paint was the right way to go for me as it did not take a ton of time, and the result is really nice - even if its not the high-gloss result I originally imagined.  I love it!  If you have an old ugly piano looking for a facelift:   go for it!   If I can do it - so can you!
 
 
Gorgeous! I love the finished piece! and your room is Stunning!! So Happy to be a part of this Project! Thank you for sharing!!



Sunday, March 9, 2014

Painting Workshops







Workshop at Pinehills

Workshops are a great way to test out different products and help build confidence before you tackle a project!
I recently had the opportunity to do a presentation and "mini" workshop at a local Community.  A group of approximately 30 ladies got together for an evening of painting fun!  and many have since started projects' of their own!
 With these three tables I was able to give examples of Painting and waxing as well as a finished product!
          For our hands on project we painted these wooden frames! sealed them with clear wax and inserted the pre painted Chalkboards!  
So everyone went home with a "boost of confidence" and a "Prize"

Workshops are available at the shop! with both American paint co. mineral base chalk and clay paints
 And Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint!
Plan a fun night out or an afternoon of hands on painting experience!
                                                   Stop by the shop or send me an e-mail!