A One of a Kind Floral Cow Skull Tray/Wall Hanging Decor

I’ve been on a kick creating stencils lately of farm animals on my Silhouette machine. My latest project has become my favorite! 🙂 I also tried a new staining technique on this one. I will definitely be using this technique again.

I started with a plain new pine board. Danny, my husband and partner in our world of painting and creating, had previously cut a long pine board into 9 x 11 1/2” boards, sanding and rounding the edges. Some we will make into cutting boards, but this one I wanted to make a tray that could also hang up and be used as a wall decoration.

My idea was to give the board a natural, white washed look. I created a coffee stain with used coffee grounds, vinegar, and a steel wool pad. Here’s the tutorial I used: https://www.familyhandyman.com/woodworking/staining-wood/how-to-stain-unfinished-wood-with-used-coffee-grounds/?_cmp=stf

This worked well to darken the wood and bring out the grain. I would have liked for the wood to have been a little darker. When this dried, and after 3 coats, I still thought it would be a little darker but it was fine. I let the solution sit for 24 hours after I mixed it. The next time, I think I would let it sit several days.

After drying, the board was ready for the white wash, I mixed our brand of chalk-style paint Missouri Limestone Paint Company (MLPC) “January” with a little water, painted it on, then used a damp rag to rub it in and wipe it off. I let that dry well and it was ready to stencil.

I really liked the look of the end result – I will be using this technique on a small table top next.

It was now time to stencil. I found an SVG image I loved on Etsy from HeyLena Arts and purchased it. https://www.etsy.com/listing/744390593/cow-skull-svg-floral-wreath-svg-boho-svg?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=floral+cow+skull+svg&ref=sr_gallery-1-3&organic_search_click=1&pro=1

I uploaded the SVG file to my Silhouette machine, traced it and cut it out, using Contact paper. I find this is a cheap and easy way to cut stencils. The Contact paper adheres nicely and is easy to remove. I also use clear Contact paper to transfer the stencil to my project. Press n Seal will also work as a transfer.

Then I did all the “weeding” (picking out the areas of vinyl) for the dark area of the skull. I stenciled those areas with MLPC “French Roast”, a dark brown.

For the flower area, I decided the best way to finish that would be to hand paint it, so that’s what I did. I am no artist, but I did learn to pretty much stay in the lines when coloring in elementary school. ☺️

The MLPC colors used: Crepe Myrtle, Farmhouse Green, Cornflower, Radio Flyer, Sour Green Apples, English Bluebells, and MO Buttercup.

Once all the flower area was dry I sealed front, back, and sides with Varathane water-based Crystal Clear Polyurethane in Satin Finish. I used 5 thin coats for durability. This piece may be used as a tray so I wanted it to stand up to hard use. (It was so pretty out I did the sealing on my deck. I had my book and coffee handy and read while my sealer dries. It only took about 10 minutes for each on this day.)

Now it was time for the handles. I remembered seeing a DIY on Pinterest for creating handles out of strips of leather. I happened to have the perfect belt made of genuine cowhide that I thought would be perfect! I had purchased it at Goodwill some time ago to create handles for a suitcase dresser, so used it for this project instead. I cut two strip of 8” each and we attached them to the edges of the top and bottom of the board using vintage wood screws.

This beautiful, floral cow skull tray/ wall hanging decoration is now complete! I absolutely love how it turned out!

Here are the other projects I have recently completed.

This is a charcuterie/cheese board
Wall decoration

Chalk-based Paint Q and A – A Recorded Live Video

Last Friday evening, I sat down to do my first Live Video on Facebook.  After stressing pretty much all day about it and primping like I was getting ready for a first date, I was ready.  It seemed almost too easy to set up so I was a little worried.  I got in about 5 minutes early just to make sure I knew what I was doing and 30 seconds later, I got the message that I had a poor connection and the little hamster wheel just started spinning.  Great!  I’ve had enough experience with technology, though, I just canceled it and started over.  That time I connected and it was smooth sailing (kind of) the rest of the evening.

Another lesson I learned was that there is evidently a rule that says you can only do an hour. Oops…didn’t know that.  One hour in and people weren’t wanting to leave, so I did 45 more minutes.  I also learned you can stop after an hour.  Wait 5 minutes, then reconnect.  I’m glad I didn’t do that and I’m glad Facebook didn’t cut me off, recorded the whole thing, and didn’t put me in Facebook jail for not following rules.  Whew!  Live and learn.

The biggest thing I would do differently would be to actually use the laptop sitting in front of me.  I was so stressed about it failing the first time, that when I saw the comments start coming up on my phone, I was so relieved, I didn’t think to start it on my computer.  In fact, I remember wondering why I wasn’t seeing it on my computer.  So, I spent the whole time leaning forward peering into the phone to see that tiny little print.  LOL

But once into it, I really enjoyed it.  There were a lot of questions and I was able to share a lot (although it was hard to share when questions kept scrolling through).  I tried to go back to see them but there were some I missed.  I did go back after and answered them on the recorded video.  It was also a little bit fun to “have the floor” so to speak with no one interrupting and me not talking over anyone else.  LOL

It was a great experience, all in all, and I will do it again.  In fact, one viewer suggested doing a live video during a painting class we have coming up on September 30, so we will be working that into the class.  Stay tuned for an update on that.

It is also important that you create an Event for a live video, usually about a week ahead of time.  Then people can join it and will be reminded when it is time for the live video.  I did this quickly, so I only had the event for the day.  I had so many viewers and reached so many people by sharing it with the online course I’m taking and the instructor shared it with one of the other groups she admins.  That was extremely helpful.  I also shared it in the groups I’m in that allows that, on my personal page, and on Instagram.

So…..are you ready to view my very first Live Video.  It really was like having friends come over on a Friday evening.  Too bad I didn’t think to serve wine. LOL .  I do want to warn you that sometime after the first hour, someone asked me to show something I had painted, so I grabbed my phone and tripod and took them on a tour of my living room.  LOL.  I was afraid I might have made them seasick.

And remember.  Be kind.  I am a newbie at this.

 

Restoration Hardware Look? Yes, Please! A Driftwood/Old Barn Wood Technique for Wood

My husband and I (SharSum Paint) are distributors of a brand of chalk-based paint out of Ozark, Missouri, called Missouri Limestone Paint Company.  Even better, we personally use the paint we sell and, through our business, teach classes to others on how to use it.  As a result, I’m always on the lookout for different techniques to try out and share with others.

Yesterday, I was on Pinterest, naturally.  I came across a tutorial on creating a driftwood/barn wood effect.  What was really interesting was how the author referenced the final result being reminiscent of “Restoration Hardware” furniture.  I had to learn more!

Old barn wood is all the rage right now. Here’s the excellent tutorial showing the method they used and was what gave me the inspiration to try my own version: http://cececaldwells.com/barnwood/

Of course, I took a little liberty with the tutorial and substituted our paint brand ( we all have our favorite brands, right?) and changed it from using a stain/sealer to using liming wax mainly because I wanted to try out liming wax. varathanewaterbasedstainsealer If I were going to do this on something like a kitchen table, I might use the method in the tutorial, or possible do the wash, then the drybrush, making sure to blend it in, then seal it with stain/sealer as the final step. I will try to get a sample using stain/sealer later.

I couldn’t wait to try this so this morning bright and early, I got started. Of course, I didn’t take a before pic of my piece of wood, but it was a new piece of pine, I believe….light in color. Anyway, it had some good grain in it. I also looked at the tutorial again and noticed there were quite a few steps listed to get the result of driftwood/barn wood…..the restoration hardware look. 1. gray paint wash 2. stain/sealer 3. dry brush white and 4. seal again. I decided I could create that look in 2 steps…(The older generation reading this might find this statement reminiscent of “I can name that tune in 2 notes”!)  : )

I remembered that liming wax will give the whitewash effect the dry brushing does. I also wanted to use wax rather than a sealer.  What is liming wax? It is basically a white wax – a clear wax with an added white pigment that gives a white grained finish, a white washed faded effect to your bare or stained wood or painted furniture. Liming works best on either open grained wood such as oak, pine or ash but is also beautiful on ornately carved furniture where the white wax will settle in the crevices and give a soft worn look (like antiquing with dark wax but cleaner and more gentle). Originally, lime was used for this technique, which is pretty caustic. Using a white wax will give you a similar look but it is safe to use  and at the same time will also protect your furniture and make it smooth to touch. What is even better is you don’t have to buy liming wax. You can make your own. I used the Briwax toulene-free clear wax we carry at a local store in Sullivan, Missouri as well as at our other locations in Bourbon, Cuba, and Rolla. I added a little Missouri Limestone Paint Company “January’, just eye-balling the amount…..I would say maybe 3 parts wax to 1 part January to start, and then stirred it up. It looked nice and white after stirring. Briwax is so easy to apply and buff. Not much elbow grease is needed at all. It does have a chemical smell, however, so I would make sure to work in a well ventilated area.

Here are the steps I used.  The finished result is below although the picture doesn’t show how truly beautiful the board is after this technique.

1. I poured a small amount of Missouri Limestone paint Company “Gray Goose”
into a small cup. I had another small cup of water. I dipped the brush into the Gray Goose paint, then dipped it in the water. I applied this thinned down paint to the whole board, adding more paint and dipped water as needed to cover. I let that sit for a few minutes, then wiped it off lightly with a wet cloth (I use baby wipes – they work great). I let that dry and then reapplied. The two coats is what darkened the wood more and then I didn’t need a stain.  I also didn’t need a poly sealer as I wanted to use wax to seal.

2. Then came the liming wax I made (see above). I did apply it with a round brush, really working it into the grain of the wood. I let it sit about 30 minutes or so and then buffed it out. I did two applications of this as well.

That’s it! Only two steps!   On a piece of furniture, I would go ahead and do one or two more coats of clear Briwax  for more durability.  Watch this site soon for a “Restoration Hardware” type piece of furniture I will be painting using this technique.

Here’s a photo of my finished board.  The photo, though, does reflect how truly beautiful this technique is.

driftwoodtechnique

Here are some picture frames.  They were raw oak.

But wait!  There’s more!  Here is my first finished piece – The Restoration Hardware Look – already sold!  I am 100% in love with this look.

Stay tuned for a post on my version of this technique using a stain/sealer.

August 27, 2016 Make & Take It Class

Spirals Art Gallery & Studio:  Cuba, MO – next class is scheduled for September 17, 2016.  Click on the Spirals link to learn more!

Our 1st of many DIY chalk painting classes was a success! Sharon and Danny Sumner of SharSum Paint gave a great classroom lecture and then we all turned to the studio for hands on painting. The group painted everything from kitchen cabinet doors, a desk, and cubby, to tv stand, floor lamps and shades!

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Upcoming Class – September 17, 2016

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

Gift Emporium in Sullivan is Carrying our paint now!

Gift Emporium & CAFE’  – 228 South Highway 185 – Sullivan, MO  63080

is now carrying SharSum Paint’s chalk-based paint from Missouri Limestone Paint Company. Be sure to stop by Gift Emporium to see the beautiful display of paint Michelle created (right by the font door) and purchase a jar or two or three. : )

display_GiftEmporium_Sullivan

We guarantee you will love it! Missouri Limestone Paint strives to keep prices reasonable and we want others to enjoy painting with chalk-based paint at a price we all can afford, so a 6 oz. jar is only $5.99 and a pint jar is just $15.99. The color chart is available there and we can order even more awesome colors. Just let Michelle know what other colors you’d like to see. BriWax and a paint starter kit are also available for purchase. Be sure to enter our contest on our SharSum Paint facebook page, if you haven’t yet, to win a 6 oz. jar of paint. You must Like our page and tell us whose pic is on the profile. : ) You also must be able to pick up your prize if you win. Contest ends when we have 200 Likes. Thanks!

If you would take our Interest Survey (see the menu on our website) and let us know the color choices you’d like to see, we can make sure we stock popular colors.

We will be scheduling some Make and Take classes soon, so watch our Facebook page and our website at http://sharsumpaint.com for upcoming classes.

Be sure to click on the link on the upper right of this page to follow our blog to keep updated on what is happening next with SharSum Paint.  We hope to make the paint available in several counties surrounding Sullivan soon.  In the meantime, check out Gift Emporium and CAFE’ and our paint display there!