Monday, June 13, 2016

It's not Grey Poupon...

It's Fresh Mustard and it's from the Country Chic line of paints and it's the perfect colour for a statement piece in any room because it blends well with both traditional and modern decor. Let's start by taking a look at what this piece looked like before it's makeover. I apologize for the hard to see photo - this was the seller's photo because I forgot to snap a proper "before" picture.

I saw this piece come up for sale on a local Facebook sales group and ended up driving 40 minutes away to pick it up because I wanted to do a painted base with stripped and stained wooden top, but those plans fell through when I saw the sideboard. It was advertised as solid wooden piece but when I got there I noticed that it most definitely was not. This piece is made entirely MDF and it had and abundance of scuffs and blemishes. I usually try to stay away from MDF products because they can be tricky to repair and hard to get paint to adhere to, but this piece had potential and I was armed with a new pint of Fresh Mustard All in One Decor Paint that I was itching to try so...I brought it home anyway.

I took my time sanding down the raised bits where some water damage had occurred and then sealed the spots with tough coat to match the smooth texture of the rest of the piece before I tackled it with paint. I then painted 3 coats of the Fresh Mustard (all in one decor), sanded and lightly distressed everything before adding a thin layer of Furniture Glaze in Smoky Quartz. For those of you that have MDF pieces to refinish, I highly recommend the Country Chic All in One Decor paint and glazes. They painted over and adhered to the surface beautifully :)

When I brought the piece home, I noticed that one of the knobs on the cabinet doors was damaged so I replaced both of them with rubbed oiled bronze knobs that I had on hand. They worked well with the sideboard but weren't an exact match so I rubbed a little bit of Metallic Cream in Pocket Watch on the high points on the knobs to help blend it to the rest of the hardware. It was subtle touch and it made such a big difference! Lastly, to complete the makeover, I put a protective layer of Natural Wax and buffed it to a smooth, silky finish. Now who else is ready to go bold and beautiful with some Fresh Mustard paint? :)

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Rustic Farmhouse Cabinet

Happy Thursday! Today I'm breathing some life and colour back into an old fir cabinet. Here is what the cabinet looked like before I started.

This was just a simple cabinet constructed of fir and had a drippy coat of chocolate brown oil paint on it. Some of the cabinet on the interior was never sealed so over time it started to accumulate odors. Before I started the painting I sanded down the drips in the oil paint and did some minor repairs. I then washed it down with soapy water to make sure the surface smells and dust were washed away because let's face it...nobody wants to store things in a smelly cabinet.

Before I painted, I took my Beeswax Distressing Bar and rubbed it along the edges of the cabinet and then lightly into spots on the cabinet that might see some natural wearing over time like at the bottom of the cabinet where things like brooms and vacuums might cause a little damage over the years, etc. I then took my can of Sage Advice (chalk style) and painted every inch of the cabinet to seal the wood and any leftover odors in.

Because I'm not sure what this cabinet will be used for, I sealed the entire interior with Tough Coat so that it stays pristine and so that the wood was entirely sealed to prevent any odors in the future. I really I love working with waxes so I used the Natural Wax on the exterior of the cabinet. This allowed me to keep the existing soft green of the Sage Advice and to have that beautiful buttery smooth finish that makes my heart skip a beat :)

I adore pieces of furniture with a touch of whimsy added to them so I took the opportunity to add some gorgeous coordinating fabric to the backing board. To do this, I removed the backing boar from the cabinet, cut the fabric to size and added some Krylon spray adhesive to permanently adhere it to the back. I then nailed it back on to the cabinet and trimmed up any stray bits of cloth.

I did the same for the drawer liner and added some new black ceramic drawer pulls. This tied the whole piece together and created an updated shabby chic cabinet.

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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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