How To Hire A Painter

I have had my business of Decorative Artwork since 1992. Over the course of those years I have worked with many painters from different areas. The majority of the time things went well for the client. And for myself as well. But, I have run across some disasters too. Here are some tips for hiring the right painter for your project.

#1…..Get References! Don’t expect a quote over the phone. And for big projects, hopefully you could actually see some of their work. Here’s an example of what could go wrong. –
I had a client a few years back that needed their 2 story family room painted. It needed some patching and in some areas on the ceiling there needed to be drywall tape replaced. My client got the name of a painter from someone she didn’t know but she told me the guy was excited about the job and didn’t mind working on scaffolding. I finished my decorative painting before the painter and his buddy were done. But I had to go back the next day to be paid. When I went back my client was almost in tears. The painters had “finished” and they had been paid. Well, she brings me in to show me what they had done to her family room ceiling. They had used blue painters tape instead of drywall tape to fix the areas that needed it! And the tape was starting to peel off. She had called the painter to discuss it with him only to find out he had left town.
That is the worst I have seen. Most painters are reputable and trustworthy. But…..
Get References!

#2…..When you do find a painter you can trust, if they say they need a deposit, give it to them. After the economic downturn I’ve known contractors that just don’t want to run a tab at the paint store anymore. Probably holds true for many trades.

#3…..I think this may be as important as #1. Let them do their job. Don’t be underfoot and try to keep children busy with other things.

#4…..Pay promptly. Times are different now.

As I said I have worked with many different painters over the years. And now I only recommend one painter. If it doesn’t work for the client then they are on their own finding one. The painter I recommend is
Rick Wehrman….I have known him for maybe 20 years. I not only recommend him because he is a great painter, ( his son right along with him, and sometimes his daughter as well), but they are great with customers. They go in and do their job and do it well. For me, it is important to have a good rapport with the painter on the job. It makes my life a lot easier.

I finished up a portion of a large project with Rick and crew. Here is an example of how he makes my life easier.
The client wanted their foyer tray ceiling done. If I did it it would mean bringing in scaffolding, hiring someone to put it up and then take it down again. Rick has done bits of faux finishing for me before so I asked him if he would take it on and he said he would. The faux that was to be done in the tray in the foyer was the same one that I had done in the dining room tray ceiling.

Besides having good work done, the foyer tray ceiling was less costly because Rick uses an extension ladder to do them. Saves a great deal of time as well. The photos in this post show the tray ceiling in progress and then finished. Doesn’t it look great?!

I hope you consider this the next time you are looking for a painter. It could save you heartache and money.

Have a great week!
Doris

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“The Chair” Reveal

Remember this chair? This is my Goodwill find. I paid $7.00 for it. Here is what is printed under the seat –

I mentioned in an earlier post about how I was put off by the “gazillion” staples in the blue velvet chair I had come across. I finally caved and decided to tackle it. I loved the process. I love the chair. Of course, there are things I wish I knew before I started. One thing I recommend …….do not try to rush it.

My original plan was to recover it and paint the wood. But seeing as it was going to involve more work anyway, I decided to strip the wood and do a finish on it that I have been wanting to try.The finish is done in layers. This is something I have always found with paint – the wonderful effects you get when you layer paint and glaze and top coats. The first detail photo is one of the wood details. I added a little Warm Silver metallic paint to accent the design.

The arms of the chair have detail too. The design works well with the type of finish I applied.

And……finally…….”the chair” completed –

What do you think? The fabric choice surprised me. I don’t ordinarily lean in this direction, design and color wise. But when I saw this one it just seemed to belong to the chair.

Would I do it again? Right now I say no. But with time passing and if I came across the right piece, who knows? It definitely gave me a new respect for upholsterers.

On another note, I went to the Kane County Flea Market yesterday. Best around in my book. This year I am looking for 2 old screen doors to turn into displays. I will be checking at the Morris Markets as well which run from May to October.

Have a good day everyone!
Doris

Chalk Paint II

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Yay! Once again I am posting pictures! 4 hours later and a bit of frustration to mix. I am reposting the initial one with the photos added. A little update though, I have not heard back from the health food store yet as to whether or not they can order the calcium carbonate. I will call them this afternoon before I head to work. Also, Dixie, you had asked what type of brush I was using and I said my 2 1/2″ angled sash brush. I am still doing so for the most part but I did try a sponge brush for the flat surface of a piece and I was duly impressed by how smooth the finish came out.

So glad to be back to it! I am taking some new photos of some other pieces and will be posting on them shortly.

I have had the chance to work with the calcium carbonate mix of chalk paint and I must admit it wins hands down. Not to say that when in a pinch I won’t use the Plaster of Paris type. It is just that the CalCarb is much smoother. You hardly even know that it is mixed into the paint. It dries a little more slowly but not much. And it seems that there is less of a chance for brush strokes. Speaking of which this is another area I would like to address.
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I tried brushing the two different chalk paints on with two types of brushes. A sponge brush and my usual 2 1/2″ angled brush that I use for pretty much everything. The sponge brush wore out much more quickly than usual, especially with the PoP varity of paint. I think maybe the chalk dries it up. Both types of chalk paint went on just fine with my angled brush (I guess I should be calling it a sash brush) and it washed out quite easily as well.

The Calcium Carbonate is a little more expensive but you don’t use as much and I think it balances out actually. It didn’t come packaged like I thought it might. It was simply in a plastic bag. Not sure what I was expecting but that wasn’t it, lol.

Here is the recipe info for

Calcium Carbonate Chalk Paint

2 parts paint
1 part Calcium Carbonate
or
2T Calcium Carbonate mixed with 1T water and added to 1C of paint.
or
8T Calcium Carbonate mixed with 4T water and added to 1qt of paint.

The mix should be about the consistancy of pancake batter.

As with the Plaster of Paris mix, a flat finish paint should be used that does not have a primer already mixed in it. Once again, I want to mention that I had already bought paint that had a primer in because I didn’t have that bit of information. I am continuing to use it and have had no problem. Just know that ideally get the one without primer and be safe.
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The pieces shown here are ones I am working on for a market. The chair, painted in a cool gray and then glazed is getting an updated fabric for the cushion.
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The stool also has a small cushion that I am updating. I will be distressing this stool today.

You won’t believe the piece I got at Goodwill for $10.00. It’s a gem. I got it finished and will be photographing it today.

Oops, one thing I wanted to add – if when done painting for the day and you have extra PoP chalk paint, it will keep. You will most likely need to add a little water when you go back to it, but just stir again and it will be fine.

Have a good day!
Doris

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.
vases

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

Faux Finishing 101

Glaze

Good morning! Today I thought I would chat about water base glazes that are used for faux finishing. Maybe you have been wanting to try your hand at it, maybe you would like to understand what your professional faux painter is talking about, or maybe you are just interested in the process. Whatever your reasons are, I hope that you will find this interesting and helpful.

I specified water base glazes because there are some decorative artists still out there that prefer to work in oils. Water based paints and mediums have come a long way, therefore I prefer working with them over oil based paint. There are several different brands of glazes, the two that I prefer are:

Dutch Boy Dimensions Technique Glaze (available at Menards)
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and

Faux Effects Aqua Creme (available at most fine paint stores)
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So what is the difference? Cost and dry time. The Dutch Boy Technique Glaze is about $30.00 a gallon and the dry time is a little longer than for paint, thus giving you a little time to move and work the paint. I use it mostly for Old World Washes. BTW, the Technique Glaze is really the only Dutch Boy product that I use. The Faux Effects Aqua Creme gives about an extra hour to move paint which is quite a benefit when creating specific finishes. I use it mostly for Colorwashes and when glazing furniture. However, you pay for the extended dry time. Aqua Creme runs about $28.00 a quart. A little does go a long way though.

There is another difference. The Dutch Boy product has a bit of a sheen to it when it dries. The Faux Effects does not, it dries fairly flat. That doesn’t matter really when you are working on something that will end up varnished.

Below are a few sample boards that I have created for a client and will be delivering tomorrow. The first one is an Old World Wash…
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it has what we call “movement” to it.

The other is a colorwash done with Aqua Creme…
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It has a more even feel to the overall look.

I am also making a sample to paint their kitchen island. What I have found best is to get a piece of moulding (this one I got from Home Depot, where they sell it by the foot), and paint it as I would the piece to be finished. On this one you may be able to see how I used different strengths of glaze over it, in order to create the right look for their kitchen. I prefer to use the Aqua Creme glaze on furniture myself. I like to be able to work the glaze a little longer in order to have the correct amount staying in the grooves and corners.
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So, I hope this has been informative and maybe even inspiring. If you have any questions or concerns about a current or future project I would be happy to answer them. And, who knows, maybe you will want to try your hand at a new project during these winter months.

I hope that your day is filled with sunshine!

Sweets For The Sweet!

Good morning all!

Now that the Superbowl is over and the Seahawks have won,(big time!), and everyone has celebrated their favorite team, we are on to the next fun event of February. No, sorry, Groundhog Day was yesterday as well. I am talking about Valentines Day. The first thing I think of when I hear Valentine’s Day is not flowers it is Chocolate. Those who know me know that I am not really a lover of sweets. But, on occasion, it can be a good thing. And chocolate can usually take care of that. I came across this recipe that I haven’t made in a long time so I thought I would bake up a batch to take to Charlie, my grandson that lives here. They are not only really chocolatie and delicious, but as you can see, they look great too! The recipe is as follows:
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Rich Dark Kisses Tiger Cookies

1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/2 C. Cocoa
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
About 48 Hershey’s Rich Dark Kisses, unwrapped
Powdered sugar

1.Combine granulated sugar and oil in a large bowl; add cocoa, beating until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to cocoa mixture, beating well.

2. Cover; refrigerate until dough is firm enough to handle, at least 6 hours.

3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. grease cookie sheet. Shape dough into 1-inch balls (dough will still be sticky); roll in powdered sugar to coat. Place about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake 11-13 minutes or until almost no indention remains when touched lightly and tops are cracked. Immediately press Kiss into the center os each cookie. Cool slightly. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack and cool completely.

As you may be able to tell, this is really a variation of the peanut butter milk chocolate Kiss recipe. But I think it stands on its own quite well, don’t you?

One of the things that I really like about this recipe is that the only thing I had to go out and buy was the Kisses!

I am going to be working on sample boards for a client for the next few days so I thought I would go over some faux finish techniques. Sound good? Anything in particular that you have questions about?

Hope you all have a great week!