Friday, May 26, 2017

Recipe Box Makeover

This recipe box lounged about for years, unpainted and forgotten.
I rediscovered it in a cabinet while cleaning the workshop.

Because painting is much more fun than cleaning, 
I put down the broom and decided to do this project IMMEDIATELY!

I painted the box with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint because it dries quickly 
and requires no priming.
A scruffy brush and a dab of black paint dragged over the white paint
 gives the box some character,
while the design on the lid is a portion of a stencil.

I thought about gluing a snippet of ribon around the base of the box......

,,,,,but why do that when you can paint the design?
I traced the ribbon onto the box and painted it with a liner brush. 
Here' s tip:
Adding legs to a plain box or tray creates instant personality.
The you see on the box, and the tray behind it,  are wooden doll heads from Michaels Crafts,
attached with Gorilla Glue.
The cute knob came from Hobby Lobby.  It was left over from another project.

In less than an hour, the forgotten box was sitting in the powder room.
Who knew cleaning could be so creative!


Friday, May 19, 2017

Bedroom Furniture Re-freshed

When a client offered me this bedroom furniture, how could I resist?
The curved foot board and the caning immediately grabbed my attention.
And the raised motifs.....simply perfect!

The furniture likely dates from the 1930's.  
It's solid wood with dove-tail joints and extravagant detail.
I could picture it it in a little girl's room, painted white.

You might ask why I'd want to paint these beauties, but guess what?
Originally, the set was WHITE. 
At some point the furniture was stripped and stained,
so by painting it white, you might say I'm actually restoring it!

  I decided to keep the wooden top because it contrasts nicely with the paint.
But I wanted to re-stain it with a darker color.
To do that, the top needed to be stripped.

What's the best way to strip away decades of wax, varnish and stain
without spending hours scraping and sanding?

My (not-so) secret weapon is MINWAX FURNISHER REFINISHER.

It cuts through old varnish and stain,  to reveal fresh wood underneath.
What could have been a tedious job, was done in less than 30 minutes.

Now comes a true confession!
Have you ever had an idea, but it doesn't work out the way you imagined?
That's what happened here.

First I painted the furniture a delicious Butter-Yellow.
BUT I didn't love it. 
The color detracted from the wood's beautiful detail, and the wood looked red. 
You may agree.
However, with paint, there are no mistakes, just extra work!

So, I shifted gears and mixed a mellow off-white color using
equal parts of  Annie Sloan Pure White and Old White Chalk Paint.

After sanding to distress the new paint, some of the yellow paint peeked through.
Ahh, this was so much more appealing.

The beds painted up beautifully, too.
Both are already spoken for, but the dresser and nightstands for sale.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Painting the Look of Weathered Wood - a Coastal Wall

Rather than move to a new home, my clients decided to renovate the lower level of their home
which opens onto a backyard oasis featuring a pool and lovely lake view.

Often, what I do is part of a larger project, so I rarely get to see things finished.
That's exactly what happened here.  I'd love to see how it all turned out. 

The homeowner has a charming style.  
I'd call it "beach house glam" -- a mix of rustic wood and lots of sparkle!
My job was to paint the wood for her feature wall.
This was made easier because I painted the boards before they were cut and installed.

The wood is NEW rough-sawn pine cut into 4" to 10" widths. 
But how do you lay out so many boards at once?

We set up saw horses and work tables in the garage.
This way we could work with several boards at a time, then move them to dry.
Once dry, they were sorted by size and stored on the rungs of the ladders. 

The best part of this project was working with my Mom.  
She was visiting us for several days when this project was scheduled.
I told her there was no sitting on the sidelines!
There's work to be done.   Here's a roller -- go for it!
And she did. 

To get a scruffy, weathered effect, we first rolled each board with a base color, 
then randomly skipped on other colors with a roller or brush.
There's no right or wrong way to paint these boards.
It's all very un-structured.  
And what fun we had!
Thanks Mom for your help!

Each board was different, but the over-all effect on the wall was soft 
and reminded my client of beach glass.

Another part of this project was to paint the switchplate covers to match the granite and the tile.
It's all about details!


......and Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Chalk Paint on Fabric: a Pair of Chairs

These parlour chairs once were in my mother-in-law's living room.  When the house was sold, our daughter wanted them for her own home.  How sweet that she wanted the chairs as a remembrance of her Grandmother, but gosh, their Victorian style and velvet fabric seemed stuffy for a young person.

But daughter is like mother.  We like what we like, and happily surround ourselves with things we love, or treasure, or that make us smile.  So, it shouldn't have surprised me that she wanted her Grandmother's chairs.   We both knew a little paint and new fabric would give them a fresh new face.

Uh-Oh!  Ourr daughter accepted a new job out of state, and I had no time to re-upholster the chairs.   Instead, I turned to Chalk Paint.  Yes, you can use Chalk Paint on fabric.

Here's how it worked for me.

This photo shows how one coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint changed the original chair color.

I lightly dampened the fabric and used thinned paint applied with a chip brush to get started.  Because the fabric is velvet, it absorbed the paint -- and it took a long time to dry before additional coats of paint could go on.  If we only wanted to lighten up the green fabric we could have stopped after one or two appications, but NO, we wanted a white background and the green had to disappear.

It took a LOT OF PAINT to get to this stage.   You may wonder if the paint makes the fabric is stiff, or if it cracks.  Nope!   Sanding between each coat of paint keeps things soft and pliant.  

Finally, the fun could begin.

 The yellow paint is  DECO ART- Chalky Finish.  I chose it for its compatibility with the chalk paint base, and it worked like a dream.  One coat coverage!  There were a few places where the yellow paint bled under the stencil, but a with a touch of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, the edge cleaned up beautifully.  That surprised me. 

The dots and chevron make such a fun, young statement on these vintage chairs. I'm lovin' it!

Chalk Paint requires a coating of WAX to finish and protect it.  Two light coatings on both the chair frame and the fabric finished this project nicely.  Now they are off to their new home!  On time, too!


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