9.7 2010

Our Painted Black Front Door.

 I hope you all had a fabulous Labor Day weekend!
It was busy here. After our trip to Coronado I was motivated to paint our front door black.
This house was one of my color inspirations: READ THE REST //
8.14 2010

Painting laundry cabinets, day one.

This project is five years in the making and words cannot express how glad I am to finally be doing it.
Yesterday was spent prepping and priming.
I did it all by myself, and slept like a baby.
It was a good opportunity to pull out the appliances and realize that yours truly is not as good a housekeeper as once thought.
I’ll spare you those images.

An entire month was spent researching which paint products to use, talking to just about every paint guy in town, and getting a different answer from each one. I almost went with an oil-based primer so I wouldn’t have adhesion issues down the road, but at the last minute I took the advice of one guy who told me that XIM water-based primer will stick just fine.
I chose Krud Kutter to clean and degloss, which I like better than TSP because you don’t have to rinse it off. But, it didn’t touch the really sticky residue. Mr. Clean did the trick. 
Everything is primed, and ready for paint today.
Hopefully, tomorrow is glazing day.
I hope you’ll check back to see the progress!
6.18 2010

Fruits of the Spirit Table

This is the first time I’ve ever added decorative painting to my furniture, and I think it turned out really cool! Once again, I couldn’t get the lighting to cooperate to really show the true color.
I had some serious buyers remorse when I couldn’t decide what in the world to do with this table. I picked it up because of the chunky base. I knew it needed to be stripped so I could start with something fresh. I almost always strip the tops of my furniture because I like an extra smooth surface (unless it’s going to be really chippy and rustic). Somebody had applied lots of glaze to disguise a badly damaged table top. It needed more repairs than I was prepared for.
I decided to paint the edges black, then the whole thing creamy white. After I gave it an antique glaze and distressed the edges, thought it was a little boring and that it needed some words around the circle to make it sing! My mom-in-law was visiting at the time, and she gave me the great idea to do the fruits of the spirit. How fun would it be to sit around those words with your family every night? (Thanks for the idea, Mom!)

I printed the words in the font I wanted on the computer, then shaded the back of the words with pencil and traced them onto the table. I used a paint pen for the edges, then filled them in with paint and a tiny brush. After they were dry, I faded them out a bit with a damp cloth. Because the paint pen didn’t fade like I wanted, I couldn’t fade the words as much as I had hoped.

The base is so nice and chunky, and it will be easy to move chairs around it.

After 6 coats of acrylic polyurethane cured, I wet sanded it so that it is smoooooth to the touch. It looks and feels like glass. You can kind of see in this picture how smooth it is after polishing the final finish.
1) If you want to fade out your paint, I wouldn’t recommend using those acrylic paint pens. Use the bottles, dilute them with a little water, and use the tiniest brush you can get at the craft store. You will be able to outline your words or shapes nicely with a little patience. If you mess up, use a wet paper towel to remove the spot and start over.
2) My favorite tool for distressing edges is a razor blade. It is super fast.
3) Ben Moore Stays Clear in satin is the best topcoat I’ve ever used. It is made for wood flooring so it’s very durable! I let it cure for a week after applying as many coats as I can in a 2-day period so I can hand rub the finish for a super soft finish. I wet sand with soapy water (very soapy and wet, drying off as soon as I can), starting with 600 grit wet-dry sandpaper wrapped around an old, soft sanding block. I advance to 800, 1000, 1500 and even 2000 depending on the look I want. The higher you go, the shinier it’ll be. Don’t press too hard; just let the suction-cup feel do it’s thing. The key is letting it cure. Maybe a week is over-kill, but when it comes to curing, the longer the better and I don’t like to rush it. I don’t want all my hard work to be ruined by being impatient!
4) I like to store my foam rollers in ziplock bags and then in the refrigerator between coats so I don’t have to rinse them out.
Products Used:
Paint: Behr paint and primer in Cottage White, black paint for the edges (I had leftover Ben Moore Ironclad latex in black). 
Glaze: Normally I use burnt umber universal tint, but I used up some leftover brown glaze from another project (General Finishes Van Dyke Brown).
Words: Black acrylic paint from the craft store, thinned with water, and the tiniest brush I could find.
Topcoat: Ben Moore Stays Clear, satin. 6-7 coats applied with a foam roller in 2 days, not worrying about lap lines or roughness because the wet sanding takes care of all of that.
Tools: Foam rollers, chip brush for applying glaze, razer blade for distressing edges, wet-dry sandpaper in 600, 800, 1000, 1500 from automotive store.
6.8 2010

My Love of Milk Paint


Someone asked me to clarify what milk paint was, so I thought I’d write about it because I do love working with it. Milk paint has been used for hundreds of years, and is zero V.O.C. While you can still buy natural milk paint made with casein, I haven’t done so…yet. I think I might try it, but it has to be mixed from a powder, stored in the refrigerator, and it expires in 2-4 weeks. This website says it is a textured paint which will show brush and lap lines that can be sanded. I do run 0000 steel wool over my painted pieces most of the time, anyway, so I may try it one day. The colors are very earthy and beautiful.

I’ve been really satisfied with an acrylic milk paint product by General Finishes. I buy it at my local Rockler store. It goes on so smooth, better than any latex or enamel I’ve used. I can put on several coats in one day, one right after the other, because it dries instantly. What’s different about it than some of the other popular paints is that it dries nice and hard. I don’t like how some of the others feel (rubbery) and like they need a month to fully cure.

I’ve used Antique White on the table posted above, Lamp Black on this roll top desk, and I just bought Brick Red for a bench I’m doing. Antique White needs to be thinned a little bit. For the white table (and black desk), I just used a foam roller and I love the look of it. After I got enough coverage, I distressed it, then put on one coat of topcoat (two may have been okay or better) to have something slick to work my glaze over since this paint is FLAT. (Scrubby sponges are great if glaze dries too fast and you want to take more off.) Milk paint is very chalky, and when you use Lamp Black, it will even look chalky white when you rub your hand over it, but that all goes away when you topcoat everything at the end.

Milk paint can be purchased at woodworking shops or online:
I hope this helps! Let me know if you try it. I’d love to hear what you think!