Private Painting Class

May 11, 2017 – What a great night last night with a fun group of women.  I have serious workshop envy with the shop we painted in last night.  Full bar, huge sinks, bathroom, lots of space, tables, you name it, it was there.

The items brought in to paint were unique and it was fun to see the ideas ffor the pieces forming and final projects.  We may be doing a repeat here this summer.

old school desk – remember these? Missouri Limestone Paint Company “Cupboard Green” on the seat blends well with the rusty legs. A “Cupboard Green” wash on the back brings out the carvings. : )

See the ratchet piece under the top. This table adjusts in height. Very clever. Painted with Missouri Limestone Paint Company “Clothesline” and then distressed, it is beautiful!

This was a family heirloom that needed a new look. Painted with Missouri Limestone Paint Company “January” and “Cupboard Green” then distressed, it will look great in a farmhouse styled space.

This unusual piece is an antique plant stand of some kind. Just one coat of Missouri Limestone Paint Company Rural America brought out the wood grain beautifully. A little more distressing and wax – it is now a stunning piece of art.

This table base is painted with Missouri Limestone Paint Company “Grannie’s Lace” and is now waiting for a new table top.

A private painting class and one at Gift Emporium

After some nice weather teasing us with spring, we’ve had interest picking up for painting classes once again in February and March.  Our latest was a private one March 24, 2017 and we traveled all the way to Boss, Missouri.  We had a lot of fun with 8 people (including a 3rd grader who is used to following directions and did great!  What a sweet little girl!  She couldn’t wait to try out the dry brush technique.)  It was held in a gym at a church so we had plenty of room to spread out.

Scroll past the March class photos to see all the projects from the February 25, 2017 class.  It is always fun to see all the old come to life new again.  Loved these pieces that were brought in.

Boss, Missouri Private Class:  March 24, 2017

Before photos:

During:

After:  Their projects turned out great!  I missed getting a pic of the finished plant stand, but it turned out having a great rustic look with using “Old Tin Barn”!

Gift Emporium Class on February 25, 2017

Some Before and During:

A few After Photos:

 

A Coffee Bar from a Dresser

Yes, please.  I wasn’t going to pick up my paint brush until after Christmas but….I just had to.  I felt the need to de-clutter after Thanksgiving and it came to me that I should make myself a coffee bar.  The piece could be used to store coffee cups, coffee, coffee pot, crock pot, toaster, and whatever else would fit and clear up some space in my small kitchen.

I just happened to have a long, narrow dresser that I hadn’t been able to decide how to finish.  I knew I wanted to paint the drawers different colors due to the way the top drawer was made.  So, Danny dug it out of our shed and we went to work.  He cleaned it up and I started painting.

coffeebar-original

The piece (I call it a dresser, but not sure what it actually was) is made of pine.  The top was in pretty good shape except for a couple of gouges and scratches.  Danny sanded the top a little and smoothed it out and then I used my secret weapon:  Varathane Water-based stain and sealer in Dark Walnut.  I love this stuff.  It goes on so smooth, really brings out the wood grain, and dries quickly.  I used 3 coats, sanding lightly in between.  It dries pretty shiny, though, and I wanted to use the semi-gloss water-based poly on the rest of the cabinet so I put two coats of it on after.  The top is so smooth, with just a little sheen.  I love the distressed look of the scratches and gouges.

coffeebartopwithstainsealer

After 3 coats of stain/sealer – pretty shiny

coffeebartopwithpoly

After 2 coats of poly – really toned it down. Now has a nice soft, sheen.

Then, I wanted to paint the base gray to match my kitchen cabinets, which were Annie Sloan Paris Gray.  So, I took some Missouri Limestone Paint Company “Winter Gloves” and mixed in a little dark “Gray Goose” and it came out pretty darn close.  You’d never know they weren’t exactly the same.  I painted the drawers the same colors I painted my chairs in the dining room. (“Sour Green Apple”, “Old Tin Barn”, “Trading Post”, and “African Violet”) I also bought some gray printed burlap at Jo-Ann’s for the doors and my daughter-in-law, Daphney, suggested adding chicken wire.  I found that at Hobby Lobby.  The chicken wire was the perfect final touch!

I’m very happy with the results.  It’s probably one of my favorite things I’ve done….possibly because I get to keep it.  That didn’t stop me from thinking, “Hmmm…I wonder if people would be interested in buying this coffee bar?”  After all, I have a dining room set to match and I can always paint another table and chairs.  : )  Nah…..I’m keeping this.  For awhile, anyway.  However, you never know that else will come up that I may want to paint just for me. But best of all, it has given me some counter top and  cabinet space in the kitchen.  Yay.

Meet my new coffee bar:

 

 

 

TIP OF THE WEEK: November 3, 2016 – Steampunk Decor – Who Knew?

For previous TIP OF THE WEEK click here.

I have to admit, before I started painting furniture I had never heard of Steampunk or Steampunk Decor.

steam·punk
ˈstēmˌpəNGk/
noun
a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.

Steampunk incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. Steampunk decor will then have elements of machinery and the elegance of 19th century design.

I found this article does a great job of explaining Steampunk and Steampunk Decor.

http://www.impressiveinteriordesign.com/steampunk-interior-design-style-decorating-ideas/

Here’s what came up with a Google Search on Steampunk Decor.  Browse through some of these links to get an idea of the look.

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=steampunk%20decor 

For previous TIP OF THE WEEK, click here.

Why am I so interested in learning more about this unusual interior design? I have a customer who really likes this and looks for pieces that will fit. So, I made it my business to find out…and you know what? It’s pretty fascinating stuff.

I’ve done a couple of pieces now for him. I call it a Steampunk type look. Not exactly the real deal, but reminiscent of true Steampunk.

The first piece was a marble top coffee table. The middle piece of marble was missing and had been replaced with glass. I painted the table black and bought a piece of fabric from Jo-Ann’s which featured some of the colors of Steampunk and included images of a map, post office stamps, etc. I covered a thin board and stapled it on the back. I put it under the glass (it fit fine as with the board and the glass, the width was just about the same as the original marble and ended up with a cool, Steampunk look coffee table.

steampunktablesteampunktable11

Then, this cool clock came to me through a friend and I thought it would really be a statement piece. I painted it black and an out of date nautical clock has now been elevated to a Steampunk look. My customer loved it and purchased it on the spot.
nautical-clock

I’m kind of liking this Steampunk Decor.

TIP OF THE WEEK: October 17, 2016 – Four Chairs and a Bench

Previous TIP OF THE WEEK

What a week we’ve had!  This week Danny and I worked with our friend, Michelle, to come up with a beautiful dining room set for a customer.  Michelle had the table and chairs but the customer also wanted a bench, preferably a church pew.  We had the task of staining and re-covering the chairs and finding a church pew or something like it.

chairsstainedforcustomerRepairing, staining, and covering the chairs – no problem.

chairsstainedforcustomer1

But, when it came to finding a small church pew, we were soon out of luck and time.  Danny had often talked about trying to turn chairs into a bench after we saw one, so we started thinking about finding some chairs and trying that. Michelle found us 4 chairs and we were off to Pinterest to learn how to make one.

We saw a  lot of chairs made into benches but many of them curved, due to the shape of the chairs.   And then we found what we were looking for! There were no detailed directions, just this simple paragraph and we had our “ah-ha” moment.  http://www.robomargo.com/bench.html 

KyLady wrote:  “We shortened the front piece on the middle chair and attached it to the corner of each of the outside chairs. If you do not shorten the front piece of the middle chair the bench would not have a straight front and back, it would curve since the fronts of chairs are wider than the backs. The only legs removed are the front ones on the middle chair, the other legs are the original chair legs. All you actually use on the middle chair is the entire back and the front piece.”

At first it didn’t sink in because we didn’t understand what she meant by shortening the front piece and attainspirationbenchching it to the corner of each of the outside chairs.  And then we got it.  Notice the middle chair has no front legs.  Removing them allowed the chairs to sit right next to each other.  This made the middle chair the same width in the front as in the back.  You can see in the photo it is narrower than the other two chairs. The front piece KYLady mentioned is that piece the arrow in the photo is pointing to.  That piece was saved and shortened and added back on so all 3 chairs would be the same in the front.  “Ah-ha”!

So now Danny was ready to start.  We only needed 3 of the chairs for the bench to get the size bench we wanted.  The fourth was still used, bench-3though. You will see how in the the photos below.

You can see the gap when the front legs were still on the middle chair in this photo.

In this photo, Danny has remobench-4ved the front legs of the chair and both the side and front pieces and has glued and clamped and screwed the middle chair to the other two.  He screwed them together right under the top edge and right under where the seat would go.  He shortened the saved front piece to fit the space in front, and then added dowels (and holes) to fit them together and glued it in place.

Rebench-6member that fourth chair? The back legs were broken on it anyway, so he used them to create beautiful curved sides for the bench. That was Michelle’s creative idea!  He cut them off even with the back of the chairs using a straight cut and then glued, clamped and screwed them on. He also cut a 1/2″ piece of plywood to fit, then sanded it for smoothness.

We were now ready to paint.  We used, of course, Missouri Limestone Company’s chalk-based paint in “Grannie’s Lace”, the brand we distribute and love to use!

With a little dry brushing of some water-downed Varathane water-based stain and sealer, we highlighted the embossed design on the front of the bench.  We added some fiberfill batting to the board, covered it with fabric and screwed it in place underneath. We sealed it with poly and the result was a beautiful bench.

Danny did a great job creating this work of art, don’t you think? The customer was thrilled!  She said she liked it even better than the church pew she had been thinking of originally.

Danny’s ready to make more as soon as he finds more chairs!  Be sure to contact us:  sharsumpaint@gmail.com if you’d like a custom made bench for your house.

bench-11 bench-12 bench-1bench-2

TIP OF THE WEEK: October 12, 2016 – My Secret for Using Water-based Polyurethane

Previous TIP OF THE WEEK

Note:  This is a long post, but hopefully it will save someone else hours of research to learn how you can get a beautiful, smooth finish on a piece of chalk-based painted furniture using a water-based polyurethane.

You’ve painted a piece of furniture with your chalk-based paint and now you want a durable, smooth finish….which polyurethane do you use and how do you apply it?    When I first started painting, these were my concerns…so I started researching.  I knew I wanted to use a water-based polyurethane.  This is the one I found to be the best:  Varathane Heavy Use Formula.

varathanepolyWhy this brand?  There are several reasons:

  1. No odor
  2. Easy Cleanup
  3. Fast Drying – although sometimes a little too fast so you have to work small areas at a time
  4. Satin finish
  5. And this is the most important – Crystal Clear – it does not turn yellow on light paint

 

As I started painting and sealing more and more furniture I started noticing that I was having difficulties in getting a smooth finish….not all the time, but more often when sealing over dark colors and after painting very old furniture.  It was very frustrating.

So, back to the Internet for more research.  I found others having the same problem.  I searched and searched and finally drew some conclusions from all the research.  Here’s what I found:

  1. Water-based paint raises the grain of the wood, creating an uneven surface
  2. The poly doesn’t go on smoothly when the surface is uneven
  3. Very old furniture is sometimes very dry and really soaks up the paint, creating an even more uneven surface

I found there was a solution to that problem.  It is called “sanding sealer”.  Who knew?  I had never heard of that before.  I do use shellac sometimes, especially on older furniture to seal in musty or smoke odors, on red woods such as mahogany, oak pieces to seal in the tannins, and wood with knot holes when I don’t want them showing through.  I still use shellac for that purpose even though it is not water-based, as it dries in about 15 minutes.  It even comes in a spray can.  I use it to spray the inside of the pieces.
varathanesandingsealer

Varathane has a sanding sealer also.  Yay!   It cannot be found in my hometown, however.  It can be ordered online from variious places.  But, when unavailable, I also use Minwax water-based sanding sealer and have had good results.

So what does sanding sealer do?  It basically fills in the spaces around the raised grain and creates a smooth surface.  It also works as a sealer on odors like the shellac.

A word of caution when using sanding sealer.  Please use a thin coat and make sure you sand it afterwards.  If you put it on too thickly, it will turn yellow and you don’t want that.  So….thin coats and sand afterwards.  Always!

I now use sanding sealer on all my older pieces before I paint. I also always use it now after painting just because I want the smoothest possible surface before using the polyurethane.

How do I apply the sanding sealer?

  1. With a good synthetic brush (Purdy is a good brand) apply a thin coat of sanding sealer to your piece of furniture.  I just use it at this point on only the older, dried out pieces.
  2. I let this dry about an hour and then with a very fine 320 grit sandpaper, I lightly sand (with the grain). You will see it creates a powdery dust.  That is what you want to see.
  3. Do I apply sanding sealer once or twice?  That depends….sometimes I work with very, very old wood that no longer has a good finish.  Then I would apply the sanding sealer.  If still in good shape with a good finish, I apply and sand only once.
  4. After sanding, I wipe all the dust away with a wet paper towel and then wipe down with a dry paper towel.

The finish on my older, dried out piece is now very smooth.  If it doesn’t feel very smooth, then I would apply the second coat and sand again.

Now my paint goes on smoothly and doesn’t soak in, so I’m saving paint here, too.

In the past, after I’ve painted my piece of furniture and allowed it to dry, I would start applying the polyurethane.  Sometimes, it would go on perfectly and sometimes I would become frustrated because no matter what I did, it would start “gunking” up or leave a very uneven finish.  I would apply it very thinly, going only in one direction and not go back and forth and only work in small sections, but still would not be happy with the results.  This wouldn’t happen all the time, though, so that’s why I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong until I did my research.

The next application of the sanding sealer is where the magic comes in.  I now use the sanding sealer with ALL my pieces of furniture I paint after applyng the paint, even it I don’t use it before.

Steps for applying sanding sealer after using chalk-based paint:

  1.  Apply the final coat of chalk-based paint and allow to dry.
  2. With a good synthetic brush (Purdy is a good brand) apply a thin coat of sanding sealer to your painted piece of furniture.
  3. I let this dry about an hour and then with a very fine 320 grit sandpaper, I lightly sand (with the grain). You will see it creates a powdery dust.  That is what you want to see.
  4. Do I apply sanding sealer once or twice?  On painted pieces, I usually just do the one coat.
  5. After sanding, I wipe all the dust away with a wet paper towel and then wipe down with a dry paper towel.  If it feels nice and smooth you are ready for the poly.  If not, you may want to do another application of sanding sealer and sanding.

Why all these extra steps using the sanding sealer when it takes so much longer than just painting a piece and putting a sealer on it.  Because I want a quality piece of furniture when I’m finished.  I hand paint my furniture and I want it to look the best it can.  If that takes a little more time and care and less frustration, then I don’t mind it.  That is a much better solution that sanding down a “gunky” mess and starting over.

The first time I applied the poly to a piece after using the sanding sealer, I was ecstatic!  The poly literally glided off my brush (and again….I used a quality synthetic brush to apply the poly).  I didn’t have to worry about it going on too thick.  It went on thinly all by itself, just like magic.  I was able to go back and forth a little and then when I was satisfied with that, I ended the small sections I worked with going in one direction.  I lightly sand in between coats of poly with a very very fine steel wool.

I usually use 3-5 coats of poly on the top of my pieces for durability and two coats on the rest of the piece.

You will be amazed at the difference the sanding sealer makes.  I now recommend using  the water-based sanding sealer and polyurethane when sealing furniture painted with our Missouri LImestone Company’s chalk-based paint.  It is well worth the extra time.

 

 

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.