Sunday, April 25, 2010

Making Change

While I don't count myself among those who fastidiously recycle
 and fret about their carbon footprint,
re-designing and painting furniture just might be my peculiar way of recycling.

Taking an old, out-dated piece of furniture
 and giving it a new life is immensely satisfying. 
Not only does painting make me smile and feed my creative hunger,
 but, it triumphantly proclaims "one less cast-off in the landfill." 
Who knew I was saving the planet, one piece of furniture at a time!

Here's another rescue.



The cabinet belongs to Miss Joyce, a Book Club friend
 who will use it a guest bedroom.
 Those flowers definitely needed to disappear!
The bedroom is painted cottage white,
with crisp white linens and a mountain of pillows. 
 One of them became the inspiration for the cabinet.


Miss Joyce made the color selections. 
 In less time than it took for us to enjoy a cup of coffee, she had chosen the colors. 
 I sat back in awe as she confidently scanned the fan decks and made her choices. 
Now that's a practiced eye for color!

But before painting comes sanding and priming. 
 These steps aren't my favorite parts of a project, but preparation is so important.
  Soon there was a smooth, new surface to work on.

Several coats of Sherwin Williams QUIET BROWN #7515 went on.
 While the cabinet dried, I began to work on the drawers.
Let's paint them just like the stripes in the pillow. 
With everything lined up, measured and taped, the fun begins.

To keep track of the colors, I wrote them on the underside of the drawer.
 But the new paint looked too fresh, too new, too clean.
 Miss Joyce favors a  weathered, vintage style.
A light sanding scuffed up the new paint.

Slip the drawers into place and add the knobs and we're ready to deliver. 
Just in time for weekend company to arrive!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

1+1= 2 Cute Lamps!

There were lots of fun projects this week!  Among them was this project, a lamp make-over.  This was especially fun to do, because it was a joint effort with my talented friend, Sherry, who dressed up the lampshade, while I supplied the painting.

A project like this can easily be done by anyone.  You may already have a stray lamp in your home that you'd like to play with, or if you are a super-shopper, you might just find a bargain at a local store or resale shop.

I snagged this pair when they were on sale, which made their purchase even more enjoyable.  The shape of the lampshade caught my eye, and the size was just right for a little girl's dresser of bedside table.   But, the color-- green-- was not what I wanted.


A coat of primer gave me a clean slate to work with.  Let's use PINK.....its so girly!


You'll want to visit your paint or craft store to look at their selection a spay paint.  Chances are there is a color for your project ready for you to use.   A can of spray paint makes short work of painting an object with lots of nooks and crannies. 

Now we're ready to go.  Using the shape of the lamp, I first highlighted some of the detail, then added a few details of my own.  But not a lot of painting because I knew the fancy shade would be the star of the show.  A few quick flowers, dots and stripes and we're finished.



While I was busy painting the lamp bases, Sherry was in her workroom magically transforming the shades.

We worked separately, not knowing what the other was doing -- only that we each were using pink. I was excited to see what the lamp would look like when we brought the two pieces together.   It was a pleasant surpise.

I'm including a few of Sherry's photos from her portion of the project, but please visit her blog to see the all the steps.  She's a great teacher! 

Any one of these trims would be cute, but only a keen eye for design like Sherry's can pull them together with a wonderful result.  And of course a glue gun is a must for this job!



So maybe that lamp you don't have a use for any more, can be given a new purpose in life with a little paint and some trim.    Have fun!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring is in the Air

Today was a glorious spring day when staying indoors was impossible.  So I set up a table outside and began a simple project, spraying a few frames.  The largest frame held a mirror, the two smaller ones, whimsical paintings.

These were for a friend who recently moved home after spending several years in South Africa.  Currently she is feathering her new nest in a lovely blend of neutral colors - cream, white dove and taupe, with a dash of muted blue.  It's a peaceful and calm oasis dotted with family treasures and wonderful objects gathered during her time abroad.  

She called and asked me to help with a few details.  Would I stop by to gather up some picture frames that needed to be painted, and could we also talk about some ideas for re-doing a dresser in her son's room. 

The frames were ornate with deep moldings and embellishment.  Their antique gold and silver leaf no longer fit into her home, but with a little paint, they could be used again.  My friend suggested painting them in a simple glossy color that would fit her new home's style.

The day itself  was pretty enough to be a picture!

Normally I would remove an item from its frame before painting - but the mirror was not cooperating, so I left it in place.  I masked the edges and put a shield over the glass to protect it from paint.

The first step was to prime the frame,

then to paint it, using high gloss Charcoal Grey. 

You can see I used paint in a spray can.  One can did two frames - for the economical price of less than $3.00.  Who can dispute the value in redecorating with paint!  

After drying in the sunshine, the tape was pulled and the paintings put back  into place.  I'll take them over to my friend's home later in the week.  They'll look much better in her home, than in my yard! 

If you have a variety of mismatched frames, a can of spray paint will work magic.  United by color, even the most oddly assorted frames can look like they were made for each other.  It's a transformation that is simple, economical, and fun!    There are so many colors to choose from, you're sure to find one that fits your home.  So go ahead, paint something wonderful!

Painter's Tip:  Benjamin Moore now offers Custom filled spray cans.  Any color from their fan-deck! Any sheen!  Any product! These cans are great for switch plates, light fixtures, shutters or even picture frames.  

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