Thursday, May 19, 2016

And Why Not?

Hello lovelies! I'm back again with something a little bit different for you...OK, maybe something a lot different! I know what you might be thinking. "Why did she put octopus tentacles on a headboard?" Well, the answer to that my friends is why not? :) The idea for this actually came from a few different things like the fact that I live on an island on the west coast of Canada and the paint colour I used is one of the new 2016 Spring/Summer limited edition colours from Country Chic Paint called Sea Storm (All in One Decor Paint). Put those together with the desire to add a little trendy design element to a rather plain headboard and there you go! It was also inspired by THIS octopus dresser that I painted last year.

Onto what the before looked like:

Now I'm thinking that this was someones Pinterest project gone severely wrong! It had 2 shades of white, 2 shades of pink underneath, one cream colour and 2 shades of green spray paint, one of which was glossy and made the "lace" look like alligator scales in the light! Scary, I know!

I originally purchased this headboard second hand as a project piece for my own room and 2 years later, it still looked like this (sadly, I did use it this way but kept my bedroom door closed so as not to scare away any guests). I have many project pieces in my house and I unfortunately always get my personal projects pushed to the back burner in favour of other projects, but thankfully, none so as "interesting" as this! :) Anyway, I purchased a cast iron headboard for myself the other day so it was imperative that this headboard get its makeover now so it can go to another home.

I started out by filling in some of the larger blemishes on the headboard, sanding and then washing it all down. I decided to try my hand at some of the All in One Decor paints this time and I think that I'm in love! As I mentioned earlier that this is called Sea Storm and it covered over the 4+ layers of spray paints in one solid coat of paint and then some spot touch ups! I was so impressed at the coverage! I then added my tentacle design in Vanilla Frosting (Chalk Style) and gave it a final sanding before I put the finishing touches on it.

With the Country Chic All in One Decor paints, you don't need to put a top coat on them, however I love how you can age a piece with the Antiquing Wax so I put both Natural Wax on and the Antiquing Wax. I used both waxes because I wanted to tone down then intensity of the Antiquing Wax to preserve the beautiful colour of the Sea Storm paint. I then buffed this up to a very soft sheen and it's now ready add a little whimsy to someones coastal decor themed room :)

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Red Baron Strikes Once Again!

Today, I'm back with a bold and fun dresser for you. This waterfall dresser started out with a few veneer blemishes, a chip or two missing from the corners and some structural issues with the drawers but overall, it was in great shape and was the perfect candidate for a fresh new look.

When I buy a piece of furniture for painting, I generally have and idea of what I want to do with it right away but this one left me with a million possibilities. Whenever I come across a waterfall dresser they always seem like a blank canvas because the overall appearance of the dresser is usually fairly plain. Because of this, they are my favourite to add something fun to :)

It just so happened that my package of Country Chic Paints containing a pint of Devotion (chalk style), a pint of Vanilla Frosting (chalk style) and a few other paints arrived the same day that I sat down to watch the Peanuts movie with my daughter. While watching the movie,  I had a "light bulb" moment during the scenes of Snoopy vs the Red Baron in the movie. You see where this is going don't you? ;)

For those of you who may not know, the Red Baron was a German WWI  fighting ace named Manfred von Richthofen who is credited for more that 80 air combat victories before he was finally shot down. He did fly other aircraft but he is widely known for his all red Fokker Dr.1. He was also Snoopy's chief nemesis in the Peanuts movie ;)

Now that the history lesson is over, back to the dresser. Devotion is a beautiful colour. I love red and this is the PERFECT shade of red for me...and also for the Red Baron. Reds in general take more coats of paint to get solid and bright coverage, so I put on 2 coats of Devotion and then an additional 2 coats that were watered down slightly for a smooth finish.

I wanted to make it like the Red Baron was flying right at you so I modified a blue print image of the Fokker Dr.1 and painted it on the dresser with Vanilla Frosting. I kept the original draw pulls to keep with the integrity of the waterfall dresser but painted them in devotion so that they were slightly camouflaged and didn't draw your eye away from the tri-plane.

Once everything was painted, I did a final sanding and put a coat of Antiquing Wax on for protection and to tone down the contrast between the Devotion and Vanilla Frosting paints. This dresser turned out exactly as I was hoping for and would definitely be a statement piece in any room.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Cobblestone Chic

I'm finally back again to show you these little pair of matching dressers that would be the perfect addition to any little girls room. These started off as an inexpensive pair of pine dressers with a really dark stain that had seen their fair share of fights...and lost.

They were pretty beat up and every square inch of these had dents and grooves that refused to be sanded out so they received some wood filler and a slightly shabby/worn look with 2 coats of Country Chic Paint (chalk style) in Cobblestone.

  I had originally thought of adding some accents and highlights in Vanilla Frosting, but once I got these coated they were so pretty so I left them as is. To modify the look of the dresser a little bit, I removed one of the pulls from the top drawer and added some wooden appliques that I picked up from Home Depot. 

 The brass drawer handles that came on these dressers just so happen to be my least favourite to work with but pulls can be expensive to replace, so I cleaned and painted right over them instead. This is something I rarely do but it made such an impact to the dresser and changed the look entirely. I was really pleased with how they turned out :)

Because I didn't add any Vanilla Frosting to the front, I thought that I would have some fun with the sides of the drawer liven them up with a punch of Full Bloom. The combination of these two colours is so feminine and because of it's versatility I think that Cobblestone may just be my new go to colour!

To protect the dressers everything was finished off with Antiquing Wax. I love how it deepened the colours and picked up in all the little dents and grooves. I wasn't able to hide them but it certainly helped to make them look like they belonged there. I also made sure to leave wax in and around the wooden applique and handles to help define them :)

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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Seeing Gray

Hi everyone!  This little rocking chair was another custom painted piece and the paints were mixed specifically to match her nursery. Lazy Linen was too light, Pebble Beach was too dark so this rocker is a half and half mix of both Country Chic paints and came out to such a beautiful grey.

Let me start by showing you the rocker in the "before" stage. My customer had just picked it up from a Facebook Sales group and while it doesn't look too bad from the photo, looks can be deceiving...and were. Trust me on this. The rocker was most likely used outside once upon a time ago and was originally sprayed hunter green and then had a quick and sloppy coat of white oil paint on it that had chipped in various spots. No problem, right? Not for my brand new sander. Well, I was wrong. I tackled it with 220 grit to smooth our the old brush strokes and drips but the friction of the sander actually melted the paint and it clung to my sand paper and balled chunks. I was horrified! With all of the missing oil paint, my vision of a beautiful baby bottom smooth finish deteriorated quickly! Short of stripping this rocker to the bare wood with chemicals I had to figure out another plan.

My client wanted a rustic finish but absolutely no hunter green or white showing through. She wanted it solid grey but somehow old looking so I painted the chair out in my custom mix of greys and then very lightly sanded with 400 grit while holding my breath. It's a whole other ball game when trying to make fresh paint look rustic and NOT sand through the layers of paint. 

Sometimes if you get too vigorous with your wax brush when applying wax, you can remove the paint by accident. Because I wanted to avoid any white coming though I went with the glaze option to highlight all of this nicks and imperfections in this rocker. I picked the Country Chic Paint Graphite glaze because it worked well with the grey without making it appear dirty. It made all the imperfections seem like they were meant to be there and aged the rocker just a bit. The glaze made it go from freshly painted to well loved and a bit more sophisticated.

I finished off the rocker with a top coat of Tough Coat so that I can be used without worrying about the damaging the finish especially since the little guy who will be using it, isn't quite 1 yet. So let the drippy, sippy cups, smashed food and baby goo begin! 

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"E" is for Elephant

Today I get to bring you something a little bit fun! How about some sweet nursery decor? I recently had a customer contact me with a photo of an adorable nursery sign that featured a baby and mother elephant on it and said "You are the best thing about me". The text was split up among the elephants in various fonts and while she really loved the sign, she wanted to customize it for her baby. She was hoping that I would be able to recreate something similar but but wanted to add an additional elephant, reverse the order of the elephants and text to say "The best thing about us is you" and as well as customize the colours to her nursery.

So far, this is the biggest art piece that I have worked on. Unframed, the base of this wooden sign is 16" x 36" just to give you an idea of the size that she wanted to hang above her crib. Her nursery is done in unfinished wood accents with various shades of grey and light blue so she wanted her sign to coordinate.

To tackle this large piece of art, I broke out some of my Country Chic Paints in the colours: Lazy Linen, Pebble Beach, Cobblestone, Harmony, Simplicity and Icicle. I ended up mixing some of the paints together to get the colors to the matching shades of the computer mock up that I had sent my customer before she confirmed her order. The custom tints worked beautifully! The added benefit of using chalk paints on a piece as large as this instead of acrylics is not having to add as many coats of paint to get the perfect coverage :)

Here is how I mixed the colours to match. The base of the sign was painted with a custom mix of Harmony with just a hint of Pebble Beach to keep with the grey tones. The baby elephant was painted with a mix of Lazy Linen and Simplicity to brighten it a little so it popped against the medium tone background and "Momma" elephant was painted with Pebble Beach with a little bit of Lazy Linen added. "Poppa" elephant was straight up Cobblestone and the text on him was Cobblestone darkened with a bit of black craft acrylic paint which mixed together beautifully. The text on the baby elephant is done with Icicle.

I had so much fun experimenting with these colour mixes! The nursery colours combined together make a very soft and peaceful palette for her new baby and this sweet elephant family will fit right in. Since she wanted to keep the painting simple, I avoided any distressing and went with the Natural wax finish to keep it protected for many years to come.

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Monday, February 8, 2016

What Was One Is Now Two!

These sweet little bedside tables came a long way from the children's sized waterfall vanity that they once were. You know the kind. The unwanted vanity with the broken mirror that had 3 sloppy coats of of paint, complete with thick drips, brush strokes and a family of spiders thrown in for good measure? *SHUDDERS* I really know how to pick them! Now in my defense, this was a facebook shopping group find with a crummy smart phone photo from a distance and Mr. PPS picked it up for me. All that said, I still have a soft spot for trash to treasure pieces.

When Mr. PPS arrived home with this I have to admit that my heart sunk a little when I discovered that the bottom drawers were jammed in tightly. When I finally got them opened (with quite a bit of prying) my heart almost stopped with the discovery of the family of spiders! I can handle rats, snakes and any other kind of creepy crawly...but I draw the line at the 8 legged variety!

I purchased this piece with the full intent to separate the ends for bedside tables. They did need some patching after cutting them apart and some glue to secure the decorative feet. If I'm being honest, this was never a quality built piece to begin with...and it most likely was stored outside in a carport for sometime. Needless to say that it needed a wee bit of help.

After taking care of the structural issues, I started layering on the paint. I started with Marzipan Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and then adding Ironstone right over top. I purposely crackled the paint with a hairdryer and then distressed it gently to reveal the layers of paints. I knew that I would eventually arrive back to the the blue, so I tried to pick some coordinating papers to decorate the drawers with so that it all blended together for the finished product.

These papers are from an old designer paper pack from about 6 years ago. Once upon a time ago, I used to make a lot of cards so these came in handy just hanging around my craft room :) I glued them down and sealed them with modpodge and then waxed the entire table with a custom tint of dark grey wax to fill in all of the nooks and crannies and to highlight the crackled paint. The final step was the inside of the drawers - they were sanded and cleaned/conditioned with Hemp Oil so that they were fresh again. Some new hardware was added and now they have a whole new persona :)

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

I Dared To Try...

Years ago my parents had restored this Duncan Phyfe style table and had given it to me when I moved into my brother's basement suite. They did a phenomenal job and it really was a beautiful table, but when we bought our house 14 years ago, I never managed to find another spot for it so it sat in the garage. I'm a pack rat by nature and it kills me to get rid of anything sentimental but I have come to the conclusion that I'm never moving (therefore saving myself from ever having to come to terms with my pack rat hoard) so rather than tripping over this table around my workspace anymore, I decided to give it a face lift and sell it.

As much as it pains be to paint beautiful wood, it really was a treat to work on such a lovely surface! If you have ever seen some of the things that I have done it the past, it usually involves saving something from the trash. Now getting back to the paint. Country Chic Paint was giving away free 4oz samples to try so it was the perfect opportunity for me to step outside of my comfort zone. I rarely try new paints because because I love my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and my Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint, AND I have splurged in on new paints in the past and have been sorely disappointed.

I chose the colour Lazy Linen and was really impressed at the coverage. Most of you know that when you take a lighter paint to a darker surface, it generally looks awful and you have a horrible sense of foreboding and envision many, many more coats of paint in your future. This stuff mostly covered in one coat and if I was feeling thrifty, I could have gotten away with only a coat and a half. Because I didn't know the capability of the paint, I wasn't willing to risk it so I added a second coat and then added some decorative flowers done in Annie Sloan Old White.

It's a little bit hard to see because I was going for a very understated design, just enough to bring out all of the femininity in this beautiful table. I knew that I would definitely be stocking up on some of these paints as I was sanding the table. The paint sanded down so smoothly, was able to cling well to the areas that I needed it too and allowed me to distress easily with both a wet cloth and 220 grit sand paper. I was also able to thin the paint down with sandpaper for a slightly worn look without all of the paint coming off (which was brave of me because the original surface had a sheen to it and I didn't prep the table with sandpaper beforehand). This is a big thing for me because when I have tested other brands, the paint either comes off completely or refuses to budge so this is a huge win!

If you were on the fence about trying this particular brand of paints then I say splurge away! I still have half of the 4 oz tester pot left after painting 2 coats on this table.  I will definitely be hitting up my local retailer for more colours and I adore the fact the Country Chic company itself is only a 35 minute drive from where I live. As a small business owner I love it when I can support local companies :)

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