Sunday, October 28, 2012

Books and Art

We are readers.
There's nothing more pleasant than sitting in a cozy corner
with a cup of tea and a good book in hand while the fire warms the room.
This is where you'll find me
when there's not a paintbrush in my hand.

A while ago, I began building a gallery wall --
not of family photos, tho' that would be nice, too,
but of paintings and prints that appealed to me.

It's nice to surround yourself with things that make you feel content.
My wall is an assortment of sentiment and inspiration.
Some painted by my husband's mother, others by local artists,
one found at an antique shop and one purchased at Home Goods!
Earlier in the year, I found these two paintings at an estate sale.  
It was the last day when prices were so low
a person would be silly to resist the impulse to buy.

These two paintings caught my eye.
I knew they'd be a perfect addition to my gallery wall
once they were re-framed.



Do you see the difference new matting and the proper frame make?
The original thin silver frame was too contemporary
and the wide double matting overpowered the painting.


 The new matting is narrower and shows more of the ladies,
while the brown frame relates to the colors in the watercolor.

These pieces soon joined other favorites in my reading corner.
And you can see there's still a spot to add one more piece!

Designers will tell you to lay your grouping out on the floor,
or make paper templates to test the layout on the wall before you pick up a hammer,
but I chose a much more casual approach.

The frames touch each other, filling the wall from corner to corner.
Linked together they make a stonger statement
 than if they were placed individually around the room.
Nothing matches - neither frame, matting, nor subject.
If anything unites them, it's color -- muted, muddy color.

But I like it that way, random, and oddly off kilter!



Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dining Chairs and a Detour About Town

With the holidays approaching,
I find more and more opportuntites to paint furniture,
as ladies think about freshening their homes for their guests.
Miss Nancy dropped off  6 dining chairs
 and asked for a slight change in color.

The creamy yellow color fit into her former home,
but not her new one.
She still enjoys her French Country style, 
but now prefers a cooler palette -- 
 less yellow,  more linen and off white.

Panda White (Sherwin Williams)
 is a great color for these chairs. 
A brown glaze was lightly applied
for a vintage look....
and now that I look at the photo,
I think more is needed!

What a nice surprise!
Miss Nancy just sent me a photo
of the table and chairs in her kitchen.
There was also time this week
for what I call a "creative holiday."
This is a day spent seeing the sights in another town;
the architecture, the ambiance,
chatting with the shopkeepers,
 and being inspired by their creative spirit.
My friend Sherry and I drove to Holly,
where our first stop was the 
a cluster of boutiques within a boutique.
via Liora H. of Yelp
The shop is filled with wonderful hand-made items,
from textiles,
to painted furniture,
lovely decor items,
and ceramic ware.

 Everywhere you looked there was a feast for the eyes.
We had a yummy lunch next door
then wandered through
My Sweet Holly,
a charming shop filled to the brim with
enticing designs.

Before we knew it, our little holiday was over ---
but we're already planning the next one!
Maybe we'll be in your town.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Painting More Oak Cabinets - a Black and White kitchen

This week's project is near and dear to my heart --my own kitchen!
I've painted many kitchens for my clientsand now it was my turn!

Our kitchen was last remodeled when Golden Oak was the rage.
It was then I learned how passionate men could be about wood. 
 At the time, I voted for new white kitchen cabinets.
Both Dearly Beloved and the Carpenter (why did he get a vote?)
 were in favor of oak, so oak it was. 
Fast forward.  Years pass. Updates and changes were made. 
Granite countertops.  Crown molding.Travertine floors.  New hardware.
Despite these changes, WE STILL HAD A 1990's KITCHEN.

Here's what it looked like just a few days ago.
Enter the Realtor.
(yes, we're thinking of selling...)
Her advice:  Paint the cabinets.
It's a small investment, but will help the house sell more quickly and for more $$$. 
That did it. 
The Realtor was talking in terms Dearly Beloved could relate to.
All my blathering about color, the morning light and ambiance, was a foreign language to him.
Money talks. So I painted.

Who knew a few gallons of paint (and some new appliances!)
could make a woman so happy.
In celebration of our new 'old' kitchen, we went out to dinner
--- let's keep it clean at least for a day! 
What colors did I use?

Tricorn Black and Spanish White by Sherwin Williams.
This white is not pure white. 
It's creamy,
chosen because it relates  to the warm colors in the granite and the stone floor.

The right white for your home might be different.
Thinking of painting your own cabinets?

Here's how I tackled the job -- maybe this will get you started.

1. Take the doors off.  Paint both sides!
Yes, it's extra work,
 but you want this to look really nice when you're done, don't you?

I left the shelves and interior of the cabinets natural --
but did vacuum up the toast crumbs and cereal bits!

2.  Remove all hardware.
Number each door.
  After taking off the hinge, I write the number in that hidden space,
then cover it with a piece of painters tape
and make quick map of where I started numbering.
When the project is complete, you'll know which door goes where.

2. Clean, sand, de-gloss
 Don't forget to remove the dust before painting.

 3. Prime 

I like Sherwin Williams bonding primer.
 BIN-White Shellac by ZINSSER will seal any discoloration from wood tannins.

4. Paint Points

These little pyramids make painting doors a breeze.

5. Use Satin sheen paint

Oil or Latex?  Your choice. I prefer latex enamel for durability,
and finish with 2 coats of clear polyurethane.

6. Place drawers into a trash bag.

If your drawer fronts aren't removable and you are spraying your paint,
try placing the entire drawer in a trash bag to protect the inside of the drawer from overspray.

7. Brushing vs. Spraying
Both work well.
 I brush cabinet boxes, but spray the doors and drawers.

  How to avoid brush marks?
Add Floetrol to your paint.
This is a paint conditioner  that gives latex paint the leveling performance of oil.
  It minimizes brush and roller marks to make your paint job look better with less effort.

You may like to try a foam brush.

Oak has a strong grain.
To some extent, it will always show.
This can be an advantage
 because it camouflages any brush marks.

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