Sunday, August 17, 2014

Chippy Old Paint

Have you lusted after vintage architectural elements,
drooling over a weathered column or an old window frame? 

Occasionally you'll find them at flea markets,
or in a salvage shop,
like this one I came across recently in an Ohio shop
........with a hefty price tag,too.

 My client has been looking for just the right piece of salvage for over a year,
but never found the "right" one.
Ultimately she decided to purchase a new one.....
and ask me to could paint it "OLD" for her. 
She bought this beauty from Wholesale Millwork.
Its just the right size for the wall above her bedroom window.

So, out came the  brushes, blades, sandpaper and paints
and I ended up with this!
It's chippy and flakey with just the right amount of "OLD."
Honestly, if I had a place for it in my home,
it would never leave me!
Surprisingly, it didn't take long to do.
The layers are slip-slapped on randomly
in any way that pleases your eye.
It probably took longer to dry, than it did to paint it!
Because I like to encourage you to have fun with your DIY projects,
let me share a How-To with you.
1. Tickle on some PAINT, leaving some of the background showing.

2. Mix paint into PLASTER.  I used what was on the shelf, a pre-mixed plaster from
DuRock, that already had grit in it, but you don't need this product for success.

Toss some sanded tile grout into drywall (joint) compound along with your paint.
--it's fine like that.

 Opt for no texture.  Keep it smooth if you'd like.

3. Slap-dab the tinted plaster onto the wood.  Smooth it out in some places,
leave it rough in others.
Use as many colors of paint as you wish.

I went back an added some deeper blue-green over the taupe plaster.
This is the UGLY STAGE!

Let everything dry.

4.  Apply CRACKLE MEDIUM according to the directions on the can.
Be patient and wait for it to set up.

5.  With a roller, apply the final coat of paint.  This is your finished color. 
Don't fuss, or worry too much about coverage.
You want this to look OLD and JUNKY

Watch the cracks form as the paint dries! 
It's magic.

6. With a paper towel or rag, blot some of the cracked areas before they dry completely.
 You'll see more of the colors underneath.
Let dry.

7. Seal with a clear coat of Polyurethane.

8. Add dirty brown glaze on top if you'd like.

I always seal the paint before putting on the antique-glaze
because it allows me to wipe off the excess easily
without effecting the painted surface.

And then it was time to put it on the wall.



Sunday, August 10, 2014

Knotty Pine to White Kitchen

Lots of painting going on! 
Some utilitarian, but with great effect.
Some more creative and artsy.
First up, the utilitarian project --
giving a tired knotty pine kitchen a fresh look
by painting the cabinets white.
The new wood floor matched the cabinets
making the entire room too orange.
You might agree.

But painting the cabinets white makes a dramatic change!
Suddenly the room felt lighter and brighter.

 Sherwin Williams AESTHETIC WHITE #7035 is a cool, off-white
with a whisper of grey-green in it.
We chose it because it looks wonderful against the granite and stainless appliances.
 Next week, a glass tile backsplash and new lighting will be installed.
My client is excited for her "new" room to come together!
The walls will be painted, too. 
But what color?
We needed a color that would complement the solid surfaces in the kitchen,
PLUS unite the adjoining rooms, 
one GREEN, the other TAUPE with NAVY. 
We looked at several samples and found 
Benjamin Moore REVERE PEWTER (HC #172) was the perfect choice.
It's light grey with very subtle green undertones - neutral, but never boring!
It's dark enough against the new white cabinets,
but doesn't compete with the bolder colors in the nearby rooms.
For this client's home, Revere Pewter is the ideal transitional color.
I suggested she use it in the hallways and foyer
because it would unify her entire house. 
Hope she will.
Yes, every project has its aggravations quirks.
Have you ever purchased new knobs
only to discover that the screws are too long?
That's what happened today.
brought to you by Mr. Great Paint --
who now thinks he has a career as a hand model!
(So, am I the only one who didn't know how to do this?)
1.  You will need - pliers, a nut to fit the screw, a screwdriver and small crescent-wrench
2.  Attach the nut onto the screw to the depth of what needs to be taken off.
3.  Place the edge of the pliers against the nut and crunch off the excess.
4.  Wind off the nut.  
Use the screwdriver for leverage and grasp the nut with the wrench.
5. Rotate it back and forth until the nut moves freely.  
(it will be difficult at first)
       This re-aligns the threads of the screw...
6. And it's ready to be used!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Color Test

Jackson Pollock -
I'm working on kitchen cabinets this week
and there aren't any finished photos yet,
so let's have a little fun.
If you love color as much as I do,
you'll enjoy challenging yourself
with this Color Test.
Each of us has a unique ability
to distinguish subtle variations in color.

How good is your eye?
Let me know how you do.....



Sunday, July 27, 2014

Grey & White Nursery

Baby J. will be here soon.
His parents are so eager to meet him,
and I was delighted to be asked to help with this special room.
Our Mom-to-be had an idea,
but wasn't certain know to translate it onto the wall.
 She wanted a white tree in the corner behind the crib,
 but wondered how it would work
because as you can see in the photo,
 the room has angles and slopes to navigate.
No problem. 
 My "Low-Tech" overhead projector
would get the design onto the wall. 
 We adjusted the design on the wall
until we found just the right spot. 

From there it was simply a matter of tracing the design
and painting inside the lines!
Here we go!
Little blue owls (like the one hanging on the crib) and a bird house
added a touch of color to the grey and white scheme.
So very, very cute!

I really like the crib floating in the middle of the room,
don't you?



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Picket Placemats

I'm not a crafty person. 
Artistic, yes. 
Crafty, no.  
Oh, there are clever people
who make their own lipstick from crayons
and cute little bracelets from buttons,
but I'm not one of them!

However, my creative itch
does beg to be scratched occasionally,
so when something looks interesting,
I have to try it.
A few months ago,
I jumped on the burlap and ruffle bandwagon
and made this table runner.

While I was at it, an old wooden lazy-susan
got a splash of simple black and white checks.
Continuing with the rustic table top theme, 
I decided to make........
Gosh, what would you call them?
Trays? Chargers?
How about Picket Placemats?

I stumbled upon this clever idea
 at Claire Gillam's She Knows.
Thanks for the inspiration;
you provided me with an evening of entertainment!

Here's how I made my Picket Placemats.

The mats are made from 15" red cedar wooden shims.
The shims are readily available at any Big box Store
and cost $3.98.
Two placemats can be made from one bundle.
What could be more economical?

I lined up 12 shims,
then used 3 shims across the back to brace them.

Gorilla Glue held everything together.
The 2x variety dries extra fast --
letting me assemble 8 mats very quickly.

Adding 4 shims on the front, created a frame.
Once the edges were trimmed, 
I sanded the wood to soften the edges
and prevent slivers.

White-washing the wood gives a distressed Picket Fence look.
I recommend sanding after painting
 to eliminate any roughness. 
A clear cost of poly to finishes it off nicely
and makes the placemats easy to wipe clean. 

Once dry, it was time to set the mats the table.

True to form, anything new in the house
has to be thoroughly investigated
by Murphy,

who decided these placemats were just right.

 With her stamp of approval,
 I'll use them for a  "gal-pal" luncheon next week.

Tied up with ribbon or twine,
and a set of napkins,
wouldn't they'd make a great gift?


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Room al a Mondriaan

When a designer brought me this inspiration photo,
I was intrigued.
It reminded me of Mondriaan's paintings,
but with more color.
Her client's son wanted all four walls colorfully striped,
but we worried that might be overpowering.
We compromised on two walls
and painted the other two walls his favorite color,
bright green.
To begin, the striped walls were painted Charcoal Grey.
Then the painters tape rolled out.
Lots and lots of tape.
The design was finessed to fit the scale of the room better,
and I freely admit that I grumbled a lot about
the red paint that didn't cover well.
After 5 or 6 coats of red, the room was done,
and the result was perfect for him.
(note:  new bed linens are on the way!)
What did I learn on this project?
I came a way with a sense of satisfaction
knowing that a child's vision had been fulfilled.
He wanted something bold,
and thanks to a Mother who understands,
this young boy's room fits his personality just right.
Have fun Scotty!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Lamps 1 and 2

Usually, I'm not looking for anything specific
when I'm poking though estate sales
but if something interesting appears,
who am I to refuse it a ride home? 
This beauty caught my eye recently.
It's not my normal purchase - or style,
but it seduced me.


With it's distinctive woven metal shade,
the lamp vaguely looks mid-century modern.  
I like its texture and color and size -- a whopping  32" tall.
The base is silvery-gold, almost like mercury glass,
but I suspect it is pottery with a metallic ceramic glaze.

I'd love to know more about it,
so if you recognize this style, please let me know.

This vintage Lucite boudoir lamp came from junk shop
 and now is on the bathroom vanity. 
 However, before it could make its debut,
it needed a new shade. 
A treasured friend, Sherry,
taught me how to re-design a shade.
No one does it better than she,
but I'll give it a try.
Work along with me.
Here's her tutorial.
Heat from a hairdryer releases the old trim.

Then, cut away the fabric from the frame
and use it as a pattern for new fabric.

A glue gun holds the new fabric firmly in place
and snippets of trim finish the edges.
Love my new little lamp!

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