How to Create Paint Color Sample Sticks Using a Silhouette Portrait Machine

We own a franchise for a brand of chalk-style paint and currently consign it in 6 area locations. We also custom paint and are always needing color samples to show clients. We have a large variety of colors and have tried various ways to create color samples with no success as it is so time consuming.

Until today.

I happened to see an advertisement from a big name paint company show up on my Facebook feed. Imagine that! They were advertising a 12 by 12 inch piece of peel and stick vinyl featuring their paint colors. You could peel and stick it in various places to see how you’d like that color on your wall. Ingenious idea! And I had one of those infamous “Aha” moments!

Peel and stick vinyl??? Ha! I have been using this for years. In my world it is called contact paper. I use it all the time for stencils. I have noticed that our paint shows up well and adheres very well to the vinyl when I stencil.

Today, I realized I could create paint sample sticks in bulk with a piece of contact paper, my Silhouette Portrait machine, jumbo craft sticks, our paint, and our label maker to neatly label the colors.

So, first I created a template that would fit well on the craft stick. I wanted to leave an area at the end of the stick to drill a hole so I could string all the colors together.

My original Silhouette Portrait Studio file I created held 12 cut outs, but I have since updated it to 18. I used a 9×12 sheet of contact paper. I figure it doesn’t hurt to have as many as I could fit as you never know when you’d need another paint color stick. My gift to you is sharing this file, saving you the time it took me to make the template. It is available to download as a Silhouette Studio file.Β  And for those of you who have a Cricut or other type of machine, here is the file in SVG format, too.

Paint Color Sample Stick Template – Studio 3 file

Paint Color Sample Stick Template – SVG file

You are welcome. πŸ™‚ These fit the jumbo craft sticks I purchased from Walmart.

To cut the file, I used the Silhouette cutting mat. My settings were: Silhouette Vinyl for the Material used (even though I was using Contact Paper), #2 for the ratchet blade, #5 for the speed and #3 for thickness. In the photo below, you can barely see, but it is there, the outline of my cuts.

Next, I painted the whole sheet with two coats of paint (to get good coverage).

Then, I just started peeling the cut strips off the backing. I didn’t need to use any transfer medium of any kind as they were small enough to just peel and stick on my jumbo craft stick. These came from Walmart. I just lined each one up on a stick and pressed it down. It adheres well. You could peel it back off, but for this purpose there is no need. I want it to stay put.

For the last step, I used our label maker to create labels for the color.

And there you have it! I have enough to start creating color sample sticks for all our colors for the 6 locations, one for a new wholesale client, a couple for us, and extra ones to have in reserve just in case.

This was such a quick and easy way to create paint color sample sticks in bulk. Now, onto making them for our other 40 plus colors. πŸ€ͺ


The Making of A Modern Gossip (Telephone) Benchp

Here it is! Our first project for the new year. This is going to be a process so keep checking back.

I thought I would be clever and do a sneak peek of this project on my Facebook page. ( I won’t tell you the time I wasted using an app to cut out this image, but I will tell you that I had a bad head cold and with all the talk on the news about the “2020” race, I typed 2020 instead of 2019 and then posted the image. Those are both good excuses, I think, so I am using them.πŸ€ͺ

A couple of my friends noticed and kindly let me know. One said it looked like I had a year to get it done. She could be right. Lol

So, after fixing the sneak peek, we got busy.

First things first. Preparation is the most important part when painting and refinishing furniture. Yes, you do need to prep to get lasting results.

1. We did a major cleaning on the piece and then my husband rough sanded the whole piece to break up the slick finish. Sometimes a piece will be so dirty, we will go through many rags before we start getting a clean rag. And we definitely don’t want to sand the disgusting dirt and grime into the wood. It is important to scuff up the existing finish if it looks a little shiny. This will help your paint bond. But it is true that you don’t have to sand or strip the furniture completely to use chalk-style paint. He did remove the desk top piece and completely sanded it down because I wanted to stain that piece. Then we cleaned again. We use a 50/50 mix of vinegar and distilled water for most projects.

2. Just to be on the safe side, we generally shellac pieces that are going to be painted a lighter color. We use Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac. It prevents bleed through. It also acts as an odor blocker. We use the spray version frequently to spray the whole inside and outside of pieces, just to make sure. We will take out drawers and spray away. The inside of drawers, too. This works great to block out musty smells and that old cigarette smell. Since this was a small piece, we used spray shellac all over. I recommend spraying outside and using a mask. When painting it on, I use a cheap brush and throw it away. Shellac also has an added feature of drying quickly. It also creates a good bond for chalk-style paint.

I couldn’t wait to stain that top! I made sure the last sanding was with 220 then cleaned it well and used a wood conditioner. The stain was a fast drying oil based stain by Varathane with a one hour dry time. Usually, with oil based stains, I wait at least 3 days to apply my Varathane water-based Polyurethane to make sure it is thoroughly dry. With this miracle oil stain, you only need to wait an hour and then you can use any Varathane Polyurethane. Since I am impatient, I liked that idea! It went on easily and evenly with a rag. I wiped it down with a clean rag, but there wasn’t much need. I did wait overnight to use Varathane Crystal Clear water-based Polyurethane in Satin Finish, but only because we were leaving for the evening. Otherwise, I definitely only would have waited the hour. I am very impatient. 😊 I applied the polyurethane with a slightly dampened car sponge (my applicator of choice right now) and it went on like a dream, using very thin coats! The water -based polyurethane dries quickly. I did one coat on the bottom and 5 coats on the rest.

And just look at this gorgeous piece of wood!

Now, before anyone says, “Since that turned out so well, why didn’t you just refinish the whole thing?” That would be a good question. I do try to save the wood when I can. But some pieces are just not in a good enough condition to save. This top was. The rest of the bench wasn’t. Plus, have you ever tried to remove old finishes from spindles and legs? That alone would have kept me from restoring this bench. We are not in the antique restoration business. We are in the furniture refurbish business. We sell a brand of chalk-style paint and love taking a piece of good quality, solid wood furniture that has seen better days and make it new again. We love offering our furniture for sale at a fraction of the cost of a new solid wood piece that I’m positive isn’t as well built as these older pieces were. That’s why they have been around as long as they have, even if they aren’t pretty anymore.

So, I will hop down off my soapbox now and get started painting the rest of the bench. My husband took it outside to spray the shellac and it should now be dry.

Just look at the gorgeous color I am using. We own a franchise and distribute this brand of chalk-style paint that originated in the Ozarks of Missouri. We are now authorized to produce it, too, and to come up with new colors. This is a custom color we created and named “MO Duck Egg!” I love this color!

My plans right now are to use a black chiffon glaze over it to give the piece dimension and bring out the detail. That could change, so stay tuned!

Did I mention I was impatient? I couldn’t wait to see how the glaze would look, so I tried it on the spindle that will go back under the desk top.

An important hint about glaze. Chalk-style paint is very porous and will quickly absorb the glaze. You then will not be able to move it around or wipe it off. You will first want to put a coat of poly over the paint. It will act as a barrier and allow you to manipulate the glaze. If you get too much somewhere, you can use a baby wipe (the kind without lotion) or a damp rag and wipe it off. After the glaze dries, you will need to seal it with a poly or wax or a sealer of some kind.

Oh, yeah! I will be using this glaze for sure. The brand is Glaze Couture – Black Chiffon

Now to start on the bench. I turned it upside down to start. I decided the bottom looked really nice so I am not painting it. I am painting just the edge. Note: the secret to no brush strokes when painting with chalk-style paint is thin coats. It will look like it is not covering. That is the way it should look. Also thin coats dry fast. Most people think it should cover just like one coat latex paint does. So remember: thin coats!

I will give everything I can reach two coats, then turn it over to do the rest. It looks like two coats will do it. Sometimes you will need to do more. Whites and reds tend to take more coats. It may take more coats than latex but with a drying time of about 15 minutes, by the time you finish the one coat, you are ready for another. You are rewarded with a brush free finish, that when sealed will look like it came straight from Pottery Barn. See my spindle again. You do need to seal most inside furniture. Chalk-style paint leaves a dull matte finish. Sealing it protects and finishes it off.

I don’t paint from my jars. You don’t want to leave chalk-style paint exposed to the air too long as it dries quickly and will start to thicken up. You also don’t want to contaminate it by dipping your brush in and not using the paint all at one time. So I pour it into another container. I usually use throw away plastic cups or paper plates. I also have started using something called FIFO bottles. These are self sealing plastic bottles restaurants typically use for things like salad dressings. They work well for me.

You will also see I wrap my brushes in aluminum foil so they don’t dry out whenever I am not using them for awhile.

The following photo shows what one coat should look like. You can see it isn’t covering at all.

That’s all I have for tonight. But keep watching this page for updates.

Back to painting – I have just finished the second coat of the MO Duck Egg. Two coats is covering just fine on this piece. I will be using a glaze so all is well. I’d this we’re to be a piece that I wanted to be sharp with no distressing, I would do a third coat. As soon as this dries in about 15 minutes, I will turn it over to finish painting.

I like to turn pieces upside down and do the legs first. That way I can see them better to paint and do not have to practically lay on the floor to paint them. I also like to raise the pieces up when I can. This one is sitting on an end table.

I use different brushes for different purposes, but for basic painting, you can’t beat the cheap 2″ chippy brush that I am using on this piece. The only problem is that it has natural bristles that shed easily, so you have to watch you aren’t painting bristles onto your piece. For new brushes, I pull on the bristles and fan the out several times. That seems to help.

And from this closeup you can see the 2nd coat has covered well with no brush strokes. I can get a look of textured brush strokes, but didn’t want to on this piece.

I turned the bench over and then put the two coats on the rest.

As you can see in the closeup photo below, two coats covered well. I also put the spindle that had been glazed next to the final coat and you can see how a glaze technique can give a piece an entirely different look. This is exactly the look I was envisioning.

It took about 6 ounces of paint to paint two coats on this bench. Tomorrow I will apply one coat of Polyurethane and then glaze the whole piece with the Black Chiffon glaze. I will let it dry well overnight and then seal it with two coats of polyurethane the next day. On some pieces that will get a lot of hard use, like the stained desk top or a table top, etc. I apply 3-5 coats for durability. But the bench won’t need that many.

That’s all for tonight.

Update: 1/8/19

I gathered my supplies yesterday for adding a coat of poly before glazing and then got to work.

I left one sponge intact and then cut the other up into smaller pieces. This will help get into the smaller areas of the bench with the polyurethane.

I ended up using the smallest piece of sponge on all the spindle areas and legs. I used the half sponge on the rest. The smaller pieces worked out well. Note: before using, I dampened the sponges, wringing them out well. I didn’t want them very wet. Just damp. The sponge brush, I used to wipe away any glaze that tried to pool around the spindles.

When the glaze dried, I then used a lint free rag to wipe on the glaze and then wiped it off with baby wipes how I wanted, blending it in as I went to get the look I wanted. I again turned the bench upside down to get to the legs easily.

Once the glaze dried, late last night, I sealed it all again with another coat of polyurethane.

The Gossip Bench is now ready and available for purchase. I have named her Ernestine, in honor of Laugh In’s telephone operator. One ringy dingy…..πŸ˜‚ The younger generation will not get that so here is a YouTube video just for them or anyone else that cares to reminisce. Lol

I hope you enjoyed following along and maybe learned a trick or two along the way.

Buffalo Plaid Technique- Painting it is Easier than it Looks!

I am in love with buffalo plaid. Is it popular in your area? I am especially obsessed in painting it. Yes, painting it!

Some time ago, I came across a photo tutorial for painting buffalo plaid from an online painting friend, Sara, of Surrey Lane Home. Sara does absolutely gorgeous work and is so good to share many of her techniques.

I always thought it would be a very difficult process, but Sara’s tutorial made it very easy to do.

All I needed was something to paint, my Missouri Limestone Paint Company Chalk-style paint (MLPC) that we sell and use to paint, some Varathane water-based Crystal clear polyurethane/Wise Owl Lemon Verbena Salve (I use both a sealer like the Varathane polyurethane or a wax like the Wise Owl brand or Howard Chalk-tuque wax on my projects) and some 1 or 2″ green frog tape and I was set!

First, I needed Sara’s tutorial:

Then, I painted my pieces by following her tutorial. I used a chip brush and did a dry brush effect on the lighter black areas for my projects.

Here’s my first attempt. For this project, which was a small set of two storage boxes, I used the 2″ green frog tape.

This is the only before pic I had of this project as I couldn’t wait to get started and forgot to take a pic of both boxes before. Oops!

Here they are completed! I sealed this with Wise Owl Lemon Verbena Salve.

For my second project, I had a jewelry box. I decided I wanted to give it a rustic, red/black lumberjack look and completely transform it from jewelry box to a storage container, too.

Here’s the before:

I had to get rid of the bright yellow lining first – in all those drawers! That was a big job!

Then, I used Missouri Limestone Paint Company Chalk-Style paint in Coal Shovel mixed with a bit of water to do a color wash over the whole box, except for the top.

For the top, I used Radio Flyer Red. I used the 1″ green frog tape on this one also. I then used Sara’s tutorial and Coal Shovel paint to produce this beautiful box! This one I waxed with Wise Owl Lemon Verbena salve.

And my latest project is one I am truly proud of. I transformed a set of nesting tables. The result was amazing. I was eager to share the evening ai finished them so I posted on my Facebook page and mentioned they would be available as soon as I had sealed them. They sold locally overnight, before I had a chance to stage and post them for sale on any online buy/sell sites. I sealed them right then! πŸ™‚

The transformation. MLPC Coal Shovel and January. For this nesting table set, I used the 2″ green frog tape. It is sealed with Varathane Polyurethane.

Have you painted buffalo plaid or are you now ready to try? Show me your projects in the comments. I’d love to see them!

Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar with IOD Stamps!

I recently was a winner in an Instagram Contest and won this fabulous prize package from Iron Orchid Designs (IOD).

I couldn’t wait to use something so I started thinking of ideas. I watched some of the videos IOD has on their site and noticed they had stamped some small muslin bags (at least I think it was their video. Who knows for sure. I watch a lot of videos. Lol)

I went to Amazon and ordered these:

Natural Muslin Drawstring Bags 3″ x 4″ | Small Ivory, Light Tan Muslin Bags for Party Favors, Baked Treats & Gifts | Safe, Non-Toxic, 100% Cotton Woven Bags w/ Drawstring Closure (Pack of 100)

I then searched Pinterest on ways I could stamp them.

I saw an idea for using them on an Advent Calendar and stamping them with the numbers 1-25.

Then, I saw an idea for an Advent Calendar that focused on children giving rather than receiving and knew that’s what I wanted to do! In today’s world, we need to stress kindness more than we ever have before!

This site even had a printable for 25 acts of kindness. I printed those and cut them apart so that part was finished in no time! Thanks for sharing this!

Then, I needed a way to display….the calendar type of Advent calendars and signs are seen all over the place. I wanted something different so I went to my jewelry box cache (yes, I hoard jewelry boxes to paint) and found the perfect box. It had a funky lid that just sat on top a box, with glitter and raised lettering featuring a newly engaged couple and knew I would never use that lid so discarded it and now I had a 11″ wide box that would work perfectly. Who knows? I may find a use for that lid someday. Lol I painted the box the trendy “graige” color with different layers of beige and gray and stenciled it. My box was now ready to hold 25 muslin bags with acts of kindness slips along with a little fiberfill to give them some definition.

I then used Missouri Limestone Paint Company chalk-style paint (we sell and paint with it) and stamped 1-24 with it, using the cool brayer that came with my prize to coat the numbers and the color “Cupboard Green”. I stamped 25 with the color “Bordeaux”. These two colors, along with the vintage type numbers of my IOD stamps, gave my bags a nostalgic feel.

I stuffed the bags with a little fiberfill, then added the folded up the slips and my Advent Calendar was complete.

Don’t you think it would look great with the French Country or Farmhouse style? Or with any holiday decoration? And…..what a beautiful way to reinforce how important kindness is to our children.

I Didn’t Know You Could Do That With Laser Water Slide Transfers! πŸ˜±

I bought some of this amazing paper on Amazon and have made several projects with it. I truly love this stuff! There may be other brands out there and I know they make an Ink Jet Style, too, but I’m still using the laser printer package I bought do I don’t know about the others.

This is just my experience from using this brand. Also no affiliates here. I get nothing when you click on the link. I am just providing it up front because you know you will ask where I got it. Lol

I want to show you my recent projects (still finishing up one and will update when it is finished) because they are just too cute!

There’s another reason, too. I am here to teach you something I didn’t know until I did an experiment. It worked perfectly! Don’t you love when that happens?

But first….my projects.

Actually, I did two experiments, but aren’t my Mason Jar Fairy Lights just too cute?

I ran out of Mason Jars and still had one transfer I wanted to use, so I raided my jewelry box hoard (yes, I admit it … I hoard jewelry boxes and Ok…. furniture, too). I have to! I sell chalk-style paint so I have to paint all these things …eventually, so in the meantime I hoard. πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

Told you!

I found the perfect box, but unfortunately it had a screen instead of glass in the door.

So for this experiment, I tried sliding the transfer onto the screen. It actually worked! Once dried, it stayed in place nicely. So I learned you don’t have to have a solid surface for the transfer to adhere.

Now for the whole point of this post.

I mentioned I use laser printer paper. I also only have a black and white printer so when I printed the transfer and slid it onto the first jar, it was very hard to see, both with and without lights. So, I got out my colored Sharpies and colored in the tree. It became very vibrant and now shows up very well.

But I had already put this transfer on the jar. What would happen if I colored it first? I tried that on the other transfer. Since it was a permanent marker, when I put it in water, it did not wash out! Yay, my experiments were a success!

You never know if something will work unless you try. And when it does, it is always good to share your discovery.

I will post my Fairy Lights Box tomorrow when I finish it.

A Vintage Portable Coffee Bar. Why not?

This all started with a Chalk Couture transfers. I have fallen in love with these! To describe Chalk Couture it’s kind of like screen printing with a washable chalk paste or permanent ink. With proper care, you can use them over and over. And… I have!

I have especially had fun with the “Wicked Chicken” transfer. I have used both the paste and ink.

I used the chalk paste on this one

This one was ink on glass. See my post on baking picture frame glass. I put this glass in a cold oven set for 170 degrees. I timed it for 45 ovens once tempwas reached, then left in oven until completely cooled.

A SharSum Paint Tutorial: Experiment on Baking a Sign Created with Chalk Couture Ink on Picture Frame Glass

This was ink on painters canvas. I heat set this with parchment paper and ironed on medium heat for 3 minutes.

So then, I was ready to try coffee mugs. I tried just one first. After allowing it to air dry for 24 hours (an important step) I put it in a cold over and preheat to 275 degrees. I then timed it, baking for 45 min. I turned off the oven and left it in there until it cooled completely. The next day, I put it through the dishwasher. It came out perfect! Yay!

I used ink on this mug

I was now ready to make some mugs to sell in one of my booths. I purchased dishwasher and oven proof mugs and got to work. First, I thoroughly washed them with soap and water and then cleaned with alcohol. Note: if you mess up, you have time to wash it off and start over. πŸ˜‰

So cute!!!

But, they seemed kind of lonely so I decided they needed a coffee bar to go with them, but not just any coffee bar. I decided they needed a portable coffee bar that could be used anywhere!

I love repurposing and I just happened to have purchased a vintage metal bread box some time ago. It was the perfect thing! All it needed was some cleaning up and it was ready to be transformed.

The top was the perfect size to hold the four mugs. I also just happened to have four round wooden coasters. I painted them (including the cork) with one coat of the chalk-style paint we sell. Missouri Limestone Paint Company I then distressed them with some sandpaper. I did not seal them. They ended up with a great farmhouse look. I forgot to take a picture, though. You can see them under the mugs in the photos.

I then decided the inside needed a liner. Dollar Tree to the rescue! I happened to see a very cool vinyl placemat that would be perfect! I cut it to size and voila!

But, what’s a coffee bar without the fixings? I included an apothecary jar of ground coffee and a 46 year old vintage sugar and creamer set. How do I know it is 46 years old, you ask? I know because it is what is left from my wedding china and today, October 28, is our 46th anniversary! I sold the rest several years ago. Some people register for their china. In my family, I shopped at Kroger for weeks for my mother so I could collect this china during one of their promotions. πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

Then, imagine waking up early in the morning, making coffee β˜•οΈ at your new coffee bar and then waiting for that first cup in the early dawn light and looking over and seeing the inside your coffee bar glowing in light that you turned on when making coffee. Yep! I found a small round light at Dollar Tree. The kind with an adhesive back and you press the center to turn it on and off.

The final perfect touch was adding the word “coffee” to the roll top. The Rae Dunn look has become very popular in creating farmhouse decor so I found a font called The Skinny and typed “coffee” in landscape font using Microsoft Word. I enlarged it to fit most of the paper. I printed it with a laser printer on water slide decal paper and cut around the word as close as possible, but leave a small bit of margin. If you’ve never used this as a transfer medium you have to try it. Wow! The transfer comes out perfectly and adheres well. It is amazing! You can clean when needed by wiping with a damp cloth. Here’s a YouTube video I watched when trying this for the first time.

Here is my finished vintage portable coffee bar! It is available for purchase at: Midwest Trading Post in Hermann, Missouri.

A SharSum Paint Tutorial: Experiment on Baking a Sign Created with Chalk Couture Ink on Picture Frame Glass

I have become addicted to Chalk Couture and like to create items to sell. I recently used just the chicken and created a set of mugs using the ink. They are dishwasher safe as I was able to bake them to make the ink permanent. I know this for a fact as I made one for myself first and put it through the dishwasher. Came out perfect!

I then thought it would be really neat to ink on picture frame glass and then have different backgrounds behind the transfers.

Here’s an example of one I did before I tried the experiment. It seemed ok, but I really prefer the durability of it being baked on.

I wasn’t sure picture frame glass would hold up in the oven so I searched high and low on the Internet for info on baking picture frame glass and couldn’t find anything on it.

I decided I would conduct an experiment. I chose to use a low temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 60 minutes.

The results show it worked for me, so I created this tutorial in case others have the same question and couldn’t find an answer.

Disclaimer: I don’t guarantee it will work for you. I am just a crafter, not an expert on baking glass, but in case you want to try it, just know if your picture frame glass blows up in your oven or something, it is not my fault, so don’t come hunting me down. 😁

So, now, here is my tutorial. Enjoy!