Tulip Pillows

Hello there! Besides showing you the results of being inspired by images of flowers, I have a tip for all of you sewers and crafters.
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The new look of colorful and for the most part floral pillows are quite eye catching. I don’t see how a person can not notice them. The majority of what I have seen being current trend is the use of the color of the year, Radiant Orchid. In one way or another I see this repeatedly on pillows, furniture, walls, etc.

Pillows are a simple and effective way to add a splash of color to any room. And simple to make! All you need for 2 19″ pillows is a yard and a quarter of fabric, some paint, and some pillow stuffing and away you go!

I chose straight white fabric because of the final result I have in mind that also includes making slipcovers for my sofa and chair (that will be in upcoming posts). So keep in mind when choosing your fabric what the final look is that you are after. I wanted that pop of color so the paint colors I went with are a middle value blue, a dark green mixed with white, and alizaron crimson mixed with white. If you have never heard of alizaron crimson, it is an artist color that is also available in craft paint. (And looks suspiciously like Radiant Orchid). I added a little more fabric extender than originally called for because I wanted the paint to stay extra soft.

As far as the stuffing goes, this is where the tip comes in. Because of being involved in a last minute project I needed some stuffing, and quick. I realized that I had a couple of bed pillows from the dollar store laying around, and low and behold they were made of the same stuffing that I had been paying at least double for at JoAnne’s fabrics or the craft stores! Check it out, for about $2.00 you can get enough stuffing for 2 pillows!
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All I did for 18″ pillows was to cut out 19″ squares of fabric. You will need four, two for the fronts and two for the backs. I choose to paint pillows before putting them together. You sew the pillows right sides together leaving about a 3″-4″ opening for turning it right side out. Stuff the pillows with enough stuffing to make them plump, and then hand sew the opening that is left. Oila! How easy is that? I have already decided to do a couple on a fabric that has script on it. I love that look. I think I will either paint birds or maybe hydranges on them. Or, I could try a stencil. I will talk you through each step in that post. Right now I want to just get you thinking about it.

So, yes, I do have alot of creative ideas going on in this brain. And yes, oh, the projects I have in mind! I just have to keep reminding myself that they don’t have to all be done this week!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/184886997/original-handmade-hand-painted-floral?

I hope you are having a good week!
Doris

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Shabby Chic Bud Vases

You may have seen these around, but did you know how easy they are to create? Simple. First of all you need to get yourself to Goodwill. They usually have a good supply and several styles of bud vases and cheap too.

At your favorite art and craft store you can pick out the colors of paint that you want to use. I used white, pastel pink, blue and green. It doesn’t have to be the kind of paint you use on glass, actually it may be better if it isn’t. I used standard craft paint for mine.
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The main thing is to make sure the vases are clean before you paint them. If they really need it rub them with alchohol to remove any residual dirt.

I put 2 coats of paint on mine using a small craft brush (a foam brush would work as well). Once they have dried thoroughly, usually overnight, they are ready for the next step which is sanding.
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A medium grit sandpaper works best. When sanding the vases you don’t have to sand too hard to get the raised surfaces clear of paint. They should look a little rough, that’s part of the charm. Once I had them sanded I took a look at them and decided I wanted to tone the color down a little and give them a little more of a distressed look. I did this by mixing a little of the white paint with a little glaze medium and brush it on. I immediately wiped the glaze down leaving it to sit in the crevices. Let dry overnight. (You don’t have to buy a whole quart of glaze for the distressing, the craft stores sell small bottles of it in the craft paint aisle.)
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You can use them as individual bud vases or you can do as I have done by putting them in a grouping with an assortment of flowers. They would make a nice addition to an Easter arrangement too!
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Have fun!
Doris
https://www.etsy.com/shop/dcartwork

Painting Cabinets Part Deux

Good morning!

It’s going to be a good day ladies and gentlemen!

We’re on to the second phase of Painting Kitchen Cabinets. At this point the kitchen island has been sanded and has a coat of primer on it. Now we are ready for paint. I applied 2 coats of a cool white (it happens to be their trim color) with a 4″ roller and a brush, drying thoroughly between coats. The paint I choose to use on cabinets and furniture is an interior eggshell finish. I have tried the paint that some companies specify for furniture and have never been happy with the results. I do, on occasion, use milk paint which has come back into popularity.
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Let the second coat of paint dry overnight, insuring a smooth application of glaze.

The glaze I choose to use for furniture is Faux Effects AquaCreme. It stays workable longer than other glazes on the market. You may want to test first and see what ratio of paint to glaze that you want to use to get the amount of color that you are looking for. What I did when creating a sample for my client was I went to Home depot and purchased a small piece of moulding. This way they could see how the glaze will look on the hills and in the crevices. I used approximately one part paint to three parts glaze.

When applying the glaze I brush it on and wipe it down with cheesecloth. Menards has the most economical cheesecloth in packages. I, however, if possible, prefer to get it on a bolt from a fine paint store nearby. It has a better feel to me and already comes cut into sections. If you get the packaged kind you will want to spend a few mintues cutting into useable pieces, say 12″-18″ long.
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I applied the glaze in an area that got the most natural light so that my clients could get a final look and okay the glaze color before continuing. I then continued around the island covering all the newly painted areas.
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This needs to dry at least overnight and even better, 2-3 days before applying the finish coats.

This is a closeup of how the glaze looked.
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Next week the final product will be posted. Go out and have a good day everyone!
Doris

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Hello there!

Have you considered painting your kitchen cabinets and don’t know where to start? Or maybe a furniture piece? The basics are the same for both really.

I have been working on a project lately that I will be posting on over the next couple of weeks. My client wants her kitchen island changed from a manufactured dark cherry finish to an offwhite with a gray glaze over it. This is a before photo:
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The transformation is quite dramatic. They have actually been working on changing their entire kitchen including my redoing the walls from a green faux finish to one with more neutral tones. New drapery treatments are being made as well.

I can’t stress enough that prep work is essential and well worth the time and effort.

For starters, if you are going to paint cabinets make sure that they are clean and free of grease spatters. This will help the paint layers to adhere to the wood (or whatever material they are made out of).

Remove the cabinet doors and drawers if you are able. (If you can’t remove them they can still be painted it’s just a little trickier.) While you are removing them, and this is important, mark or number which piece goes where. From experience I know what a difficulty it can be if they are not labeled.

Once everything is set in place all of the surfaces can be sanded. Now, they don’t need to be sanded to bare wood, they just need to have a little tooth to them so that the primer and paint will adhere.

All set to start? Is it safe for me to assume that you have taped off and laid out dropcloths? If you need help with that then leave a comment here and I will reply.

I applied the primer with synthetic brush and a 4″ roller. It goes on easier and smoother than just brushing the whole thing.This is what it should look like when finished:
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And with that you are well on your way to having a new facelift for your kitchen!

Have a good weekend everybody!
Doris

Easter Is On Its Way!

Yes, Easter is on its way, but first we get Spring, glorious Spring. Many of us are counting the days to fair weather.

Easter makes me think of many things, one of which is coloring Easter eggs. Such wonderful memories I have of when my children were young and we would spend hours decorating eggs.

This is a newer version of the traditional egg.
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Do you remember how I had mentioned another way to use gold leaf a few posts back? Well, this is it.

The most difficult part to this is actually blowing the eggs clean of yolk and white. The only way that I have thought of that may make this a little easier is if you have a small air compressor, like those used for airbrushing. So how does one do it? You poke a whole at each end of the egg and you blow through them to empty the egg. By the way, the egg is certainly useable, I save them for scrambled eggs or for a recipe calling for eggs. Sound easy? Think again. Getting the hole large enough to get the contents out yet not crack the whole egg is the trick. I was able to make the majority of the holes about 1/8-1/4 of an inch. Rinse them thoroughly and let dry overnight. I patched the holes with a little drywall mud and lightly sanded them when dry.

Next step……chose your paint colors. Here I used not only an assortment of pastels, I used the Color of the Year from pantone called Radiant Orchid (and a shade lighter and darker). Once the paint is dry, I used 2 coats, you are ready for the next step.
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Remember the gold leaf sizing? Also called adhesive? You will want to get that out and a fine paint brush. (Try to find one at a reasonable price as you will be tossing it when done). As you can see from the pastel ones I painted on the adhesive in a couple of designs, stripes, curly cues, scrolls, hearts, etc. The Radiant Orchid ones I used curly cues (you basically make a “c” and continue wrapping it around itself).

After the adhesive dries clear, you can lay a sheet of gold leaf over the egg, rub it down thoroughly and with a soft brush, scruff off the excess.

The solid gold leaf eggs I painted the eggs red and black and then applied adhesive to one side, let it dry, apply gold leaf, turn it over and repeat. Why red and black? They are traditional color bases for gold leaf.
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Have fun with them if you are going to give them a try. Maybe use an accent color that you have used in your home. If you prefer, the eggs may be purchased at my Etsy shop, which is –

https://www.etsy.com/shop/dcartwork
Have a good day,
Doris

Faux Finishing 102

Basecoating

Whether you are going to do a faux finish or if you are just planning on painting your walls, you will need a good basecoat on the surface.

For faux finishing the best type of paint that I have found for a base is latex in an eggshell finish. When I say eggshell I am not talking about the color eggshell, I am talking about the sheen of the paint. An eggshell finish is in between a flat and a satin. Satin can be good to use, but not necessary, and you can save your pennies to be used elsewhere. There are the matte finish paints out now, but they are too close to a flat finish. The reason that you need a bit of a sheen is so that the paint can move easily. However it doesn’t mean that the more sheen the better. If you try using a semigloss or more you will find your faux to be a little “slippery”.

Some painting tips that I have used over the years is, number one….have a good paintbrush. A fellow contractor had told me about the kind to use and I seldom use anything else. It is a 2 1/2″ angled brush. I believe it is also called a sash brush. Most brush companies make this size. I go with a nylon/polyester one for use with all paints. I am picky, though, about whoich 2 1/2′ brush I choose. I want one with a more slender handle. Maybe it’s just because I am a woman, but I find it to be more comfortable to use, especially if I have alot of painting to do.
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Tape is another important item. Tape sure isn’t what it once was. You go to buy a roll of tape and you may find a whole aisle of just different types of tape. Yes, the blue tape is best to use when taping off for a paint job. For me, I have found the regular blue tape to work the best. The ones that I have tried that are especially for painting just don’t stick well for me and the paint then goes under the tape and onto the moulding or cabinet or whatever. Defeats the purpose.

As far as rollers and roller covers go, I tend to go for the lighter weight. The rollers themselves have lasted me a long time. I know that when it comes to the roller covers some people use specific ones. I tend to go for the less expensive and then just throw them out after I have finished a room. They are usually only good for one coat. The more expensive ones can be washed out and reused.

Along with the rollers come the paint trays. I use the liners with the trays and discard them after each use. They will keep your trays in good shape and longer lasting. I have found that repeated washing of the trays causes them to rust.

Dropcloths are another important material item as well. Here again there is such a variety. I find the cloth ones to be way too heavy and then you have to go to a laundromat to wash them in their larger washing machines. The plastic ones are a pain if you ask me. To me they are only good for covering furniture. The dropcloths I have found to work the best for me are the paper ones that have a nonabsorbent backing. They can last a long time when treated right. They are relatively lightweight too.

If you were to ask 5 different painters/decorative painters you would probably get several different answers and solutions. To be honest I would like to suggest that if you are hiring a professional let them do their job. They most likely have found what works best for them. And this is what they do, they are going to me more knowledgeable on the subject.

So does this officially fit under the Faux Finishing category? Yes, indeed. If you aren’t doing the basecoating yourself you have to make sure that whoever does do it used the right kind of paint. And learning about the materials involved may lead you to have a new respect for the people in the trade.

Good luck to you if you have a project in the works or are thinking of one in the future!

Gold Leafing

Hello there!

I thought I would give a lesson in gold leafing. This is something that can have spectacular results, and, surprisingly, is not that difficult to do. It can be a little messy but in a good way. I’ll explain that later.

The materials that you will need are an older paint brush (you will end up throwing this one away) or purchase a small spongebrush. You will also need sizing adhesive and the gold leaf itself. This is a synthetic gold leaf, which is more common and alot less costly. I would suggest you find a piece to work on on the smaller rather than larger side. When you are comfortable with that you can move onward to something larger. Maybe you would like to practice on a foamcore board as I am showing here. Or have you been wanting to jazz up a frame? That is a good project with easy results.

You also will need paint in a color that you would like to have show through in areas. Black and red are the most common, but any color will work. Don’t go to any great expense with this for starters. A small bottle of acrylic craft paint will do just fine. I am using black.
Basecoat the piece or sample with 2 coats of the craft paint. When thoroughly dry, using your old brush, apply the sizing adhesive. it will be white in color but dries clear. I will tell you that when it dries it is quite sticky, so beware.

After your adhesive has become clear, you are ready to start the fun. The gold leafing comes in 4″x4″ sheets. Remove one and apply it to the adhesive. Here I have kept them in a straight order but you may choose to angle them or tear them into pieces. Now, this is where the little messy part starts. the sheets of gold leaaf are quite thin and fragile. When clients have asked about it I tell them to think of butterfly wings and you almost have the delicacy of gold leaf. It will tend to float around in pieces if allowed to. The sheets will invariably tear somewhat, don’t worry about that. If you notice in the one photo you can see straight lines of black showing through. In the next photo not so much. That is because I went back in with the broken pieces and filled in some of the area. I like to leave small background areas to show through. it breaks up the straight lines and also can give it more character, I think. A good thing to use to help put it down is a small brush. Here I have used a mop brush, but an inexpensive chipwood brush will work just fine. After you have applied as much gold leafing as you want you will need to burnish it. All that is is taking a rag (old tshirt is good, or soft paper towel, or even kleenex), bunch it up a little , and rub the surface, ideally in circular motions. You will be able to see the difference even though it is subtle.
Here are photos to get an idea of what the process would look like, and then I added an elaborate vestibule ceiling that I completed.
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Behold! Your own gold leafing!

In a few weeks I will be using gold leaf in another project that is for Easter. I think that you will like it!