Friday, January 28, 2011

painting tips

1)  I always have oil based primer on hand, especially for laminate surfaces like floating wall shelves or for covering wood like this oak mantel.  No sanding required!  Spray paint formulas are faster, but thinner in coverage.  I like brush on formulas for surfaces that will get a lot of wear and tear.  If you’re bored or curious, awhile back, I wrote up a few tips on refinishing with oil based primer and paint
2) I keep two kinds of water based primer around, basic white for wall projects like priming our wainscoting, and deep tint gray for painting darker pieces like this blue chalkboard table
. ,,,
3)  .I love white paint in all finishes, so I keep several shades of basic white in my garage cabinets, including flat finish for ceilings, eggshell finish for walls or furniture, and semi gloss for trim and cabinets.  I also have clearly labeled all the different paint colors in my house
I keep an unhealthy amount of spray paint in my DIY cabinet.  It’s an addiction and I’m not embarrassed to talk about it.   You never know when the mood will strike to change the color of a picture frame to make a jewelry holder, or transform a free brassy chandelier.  I follow the Boy Scout motto: “Be prepared to spray paint”.     
4)  I’m still working with high quality brushes since I haven’t decided which kind of professional sprayer to purchase.  As a result, paint conditioners are key for me for refinishing cabinets and furniture.  Penetrol is for oil based (alkyd) primers and paints.  I used it to refinish my kitchen island and the finish is so smooth, you simply cannot tell it was painted with a brush.   Trust CG on this one.  Floetrol is for latex paints and I used it on thegray blue dresser in my foyer. 
These two favorites are not paint thinners, they are conditioning additives available at larger home improvement stores in the paint department.  They practically eliminate brush strokes and drag in your paint, plus they lengthen your drying time just long enough to get a smooth finish.  I love these conditioners, and won’t paint furniture with a brush without them anymore.
5) Polycrylic is a great protective finish for painted pieces like this dresserthis credenza, or even this lamp covered in silver leaf. 

Finally, I do keep an extremely large stash of acrylic artist and craft paints lying around as well, just in case the ‘so you think you can paint’ mood strikes, like last weekend when I fancied myself an artist and mixed a bunch of paints to begin a large abstract. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Heart Punch Valentine's Day Art - Version I

Craft punches are really addictive. I just can't stop. I started with one craft punch (a butterfly). Then I got two more during the holidays (small and large tags). And now I've gone and bought my fourth one (a heart). 

Since I'm giving away two craft punches for my 400 Followers Giveaway (400? Woah.) I thought I'd share a little Valentine's Day craft that you could make for just about anyone. I made mine for Alex. I know that he is really going to appreciate a hand-made gift that's got pink, white, polka dots, and hearts. But what can I say, that's just the kind of wifey I am. Heh heh heh.

This little craft is based on the 3-D Butterfly art that I already did, as well as some art from someone's Etsy shop that I saw once and loved. I thoroughly enjoy stealingtweaking other people's fabulous ideas.

Oh yeah. This is Version I. Version II is in the works.

I bought a white, 11x14 picture frame from Michaels when they were 50% off.

I bought a double matte from Michaels with a 40% off coupon.

I used some sticky foam dots that I already had (from Michaels) as well as the Martha Stewart craft punch. (That I also bought from Michaels.)(With another coupon.)(I'm a freaky coupon clipper.)

I found a tattered old copy of one of my favourite books from when I was little. Okay, it's still one of my favourites and I read it to my class every year.

I punched out a bunch of hearts from the book, making sure to find cute words. I was going to punch out the word "stinkbomb" as a joke but I decided to stick with the cute theme. I ended up using 34 hearts with print on them and 1 scrapbook paper heart.

I arranged them on a background of white scrapbook paper using the grid I made last time. I saved the grid as a PDF so if you'd like to use it just leave me an email and I'll send it to you.

Reproduction Vintage Locker Baskets-tutorial

I adore the look of vintage locker baskets.
But I have never seen them in Las Vegas.
 I've looked at buying them online, but when you add shipping costs it gets pricey.

So I was pretty excited when I found these at Homegoods.
The colors were all wrong though (unless you wanted them for Christmas decor :).
Time to get out my paints!

How do you like me now?

First I sprayed them with Krylon gray primer.
Next I watered down some acrylic paint, Folk Art brand, color Dove Gray.
I brushed it on and then wiped some off with a dry paper towel.
Finally I brushed on some Minwax stain in Dark Walnut, then quickly wiped it off with a damp paper towel.
(Let each application dry before adding the next.)

I think they look like the real thing!