Friday, June 28, 2013

New Poppy Reveal

This dresser has been sitting in my storage for a while. After I have purchased and brought it home I noticed that the veneer on the top two drawers was in a rather bad shape so I lost my desire to work on its transformation right away. So one afternoon, after I couldn't ignore it any longer, I got to work to remove the chippy veneer. It actually didn't take long before the smooth wooden base was revealed and after some sanding both drawers looked like new.
The colour is a result of mixing several cans of leftover paint. Knobs are original to the piece and in good condition and instead of replacing them completely I decided to jazz them up with some contrasting paint colours.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Few New Pieces Have Their Temporary Home at Wild Bird

Last couple of weeks were somewhat challenging, a lot of work and very little time to play. I did however manage to squeeze in a few pieces and drop them off with the lovely ladies at Wild Bird. Anna and Page have such an amazing eye for styling and they always make sure to bring out the best out of every piece. Wild bird is located at  622 Mt. Pleasant Rd. in Toronto.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Upcoming Project

Japanese paper for my next project

I bought a sad little desk with a formaica top the the other day. I don't really enjoy painting formaica and decided to take an alternative approach and paper the top surface. Here is the paper pattern I chose. The paper is a special order and I should be getting it today then I can tackle this little project tomorrow or at some point this weekend. Hooray to that!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Furniture Painting Tutorial as Featured on Crafted Spaces

Hi Everyone,
here is an encore of my furniture painting tutorial as featured on the Crafted Spaces blog. This blog is curated by ever so talented Yvette-Michelle Cottle Darby and there you can find tips on all sorts of crafty projects. Yvette-Michelle is also a moderator on her podcast series where she chats with other artists, crafters and makers about their work and life experiences.

No matter how easy a job may seem, if you want to do it right you will need to put some effort into it. The same goes for painting. The secret lies in good preparation. Make sure that you work with quality tools, starting with paint, brushes and sealants. Bad quality materials will make your job far more difficult and the end result may not be up to your standards. Also, don’t forget to take your time, work at your own leisure and most importantly have patience and have fun!

Project piece
Painter’s tape
Sand paper, potentially paint stripper
Primer (optional)
Paint tray
Rollers and brushes
Jazzy hardware (optional) 

TIP: If you are a novice, chose a smaller project, like a small desk or a stool with straight lines. The simpler the lines are, the greater your chance at success. 

Step 1. Make sure that the surface is well prepped. Remove all the hardware and if you won’t be putting it back then fill all the holes with the wood filler. With drying the filler may contract a bit and create a dimple in the surface and you may have to repeat the process two or three times. Once the filler is dry and firm sand it off to create a smooth surface. If you want to make sure that the spot where the hole was closed in will not show through; close your eyes and go over the entire surface with the tips of your fingers, if you can not feel the difference then you have done a good job. Sand the entire piece, and then sand it some more. Remove all the dirt, tape off the areas that you wish to protect, and prime if necessary. (I rarely use primer and only when I want to repaint the piece that has been previously painted with oil paint. You need to ask for a special type of primer at the hardware store, the kind that allows transition from oil to latex.) 

TIP: Sandpaper comes in different grit designations - the lower the designation the coarser the paper. For most jobs using 120-grit paper will do, but for surfaces that require better sanding I will suggest 100 or 80-grit. For more information on grit sizing, click here. You can also use paint stripper on pieces that have several coats of paint. If you opt for that, make sure you wear gloves and protective clothing. 

Step 2. Once your surface has been thoroughly prepped and cleaned it is ready to receive the first coat of paint. I usually put two to three coats of indoor latex paint or furniture formula latex paint. Different pigments are mixed with different bases and colours like red and yellow will require more coats to ensure even coverage. You can use a small foam roller or a variety of brushes for your job. While rollers do a great job on larger surfaces, brushes are excellent for cutting in all the corners and crevices.

TIP: When purchasing brushes, talk to the sales people, describe your project and they will be able to give you a good advice. In my experience, foam brushes tend to leave less brush marks and cause less drips than their “hairy” alternatives.

Step 3. Between coats, I sand the surface lightly with a 120-grit paper to make sure that the next coat of paint adheres better. Wait for the paint to dry completely before applying the sealant. If you are going for the distressed vintage look, use the sand paper to distress the surface in places where it would get most wear.

TIP: I do not use mechanical sander at this point as it does not allow for much control, but you may find that it works for you. In the course of years I have experimented with different distressing techniques. At times I use steel wool (never on light surfaces as it leaves grey residue - I learned this the hard way). I also used turpentine and my bare hands, but if you are just starting sand paper is the best option. 

Step 4. After you have achieved the desired look, you can proceed with protecting the surface. There are a variety of options out there of which I use the following two:

1) Clear water-based polyurethane finish – it dries quickly, provides good durability and does not yellow over time. This finish is best for high traffic surfaces like tabletops.

2) Paste finishing wax - protects and adds lustre to any stained or finished wood surface (using wax finish will give your furniture a much softer look). In addition, wax protects the surface against moisture and humidity. You can also apply wax over polyurethane finish. 

Step 5. Add your hardware once the polyurethane or the wax has been applied. 

TIP: Wash your brushes, paint trays and rollers thoroughly after use. It will save you some $$ and a trip to the hardware store. 

Et VoilĂ ! This concludes our furniture painting tutorial. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

In the Works - Pink Dresser

I love the colours popping in this picture. My lovely garden in the late afternoon sun offers a great backdrop to this piece and its softness is contrasted with a bright and edgy drop cloth that it sits on.
I have spotted this little gem almost a week ago but its overall condition, that included peeling veneer, did not justify the price. Initially I decided to pass on it but when the price came down I decided to scoop it up. Even though the veneer was generally loose there were still some stubborn spots that required a bit more effort. I am always so eager to drip brushes in the paint that I regularly forget to take the before picture to show you the sorry state a lot of the pieces come in.
A few coats of soft pink and Pinterest inspired pulls will transform this piece and and give it attention it deserves.

Monday, June 3, 2013

State of the Garden - June 3

When we returned from our trip last week, the first thing I noticed is how everything got lush and green while we were gone. The same goes for four garden. Our 'lawn" went crazy and weeds started to take over. A day of yard work brought things under control (somewhat). My lawn will never be as pristine as some, I don't care for leafy intruders and dandelions and what you see in the pictures below is as good as it gets.
As you can see there are still a few empty pots and spots that need to be filled. I may pay a visit to the garden centre today and select a few more perennials to add to the mix.

Little pots mounted on the fence will house my herb garden. I still have to add a few.