January 30, 2013

Old Cabinet Makeover and a Tiny Glaze Tutorial

Hi everyone, it's a dreary day in Florida today.  I'm holed up in the office trying to get some stuff together for taxes.  I'm off work today and we have 100% rain chances all day, so there's not much painting getting done.  Instead, I'll share with you a makeover from earlier this week.

This was for a client who had an old oak, welsh cabinet that she wanted refreshed.  The pic on the left below is the after picture.  The one on the right is the before.
As you can see this was originally a tan-ish, brown-ish, grey-ish color before.  The piece itself was really cute, but the paint job made me cringe...layers of thick gloppy paint slapped on.  It's like fingernails on a chalkboard when I see a paint job like that.  This client wanted a bit of a gray finish to this and wanted it to feel refreshed.  Another before:

 She had seen some work of mine done with a custom grey color that I created and then had color matched through Benjamin Moore.  To get started, I sanded this piece down REALLY well.  With all the crevices on this one, I opted for my paint sprayer.  I gave it a coat of primer (tinted to match the paint) and two coats of paint.  That was followed by distressing to bring through some of the natural wood and just a hint of an old paint layer in yellow.  Next was glazing.  Glazing can have different effects.  It can be used to really make certain details pop (like on the drawer detail below) and it can also take on the appearance of a shadowy antiqued look when used where two pieces meet up (like on the bottom doors below).  I used a tintable glaze by Valspar.  I tinted it with 75% brown and 25% black acrylic paint...the cheap stuff.  No need for paying lots for the paint used to go in the glaze.  I use a foam brush and really work the glaze into the crevices of the piece I'm working on:
 Then I use a dry rag to wipe off the majority of the excess glaze.  I follow that by using a damp rag to really manipulate the glaze and blend it in in certain areas and remove more of the glaze in some areas.  I do this until I've achieved the look I'm going for.
 After paint, distressing, and glazing, this piece got a good coat of clear wax for durability and protection.  It also just gives it a perfectly polished sheen look!

I hope my client loves this one as much as I do!

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January 26, 2013

More Graphite Love

It's been a busy week here.  However, I've had some AMAZING painting weather--thank you Jesus!!  Just a quick little before and after for you.  Well, technically, you're seeing the after then the before.  Good thing we're not getting technical here!

This wardrobe came in the base thrift/consignment store I work at.  This is a pretty nice piece for what we usually get in there, but sometimes I get lucky and get something great like this.  Also, I'm typically not drawn to lighter color pieces like this.  But, I remembered a chest and nightstand that I had done in Graphite for a customer that turned out really great.  So, that was my inspiration for this piece.  The Annie Sloan Graphite seems to work really well against this color of finish.

 Thanks to ASCP, this piece required no sanding.  Also a bonus for me...this piece was clean to start with.  All I did is give it a light wipe down with damp rag to get started.
 I did two coats of paint.  I often get asked if I paint by hand or use a sprayer...the answer is both! Generally it depends on my mood and the finish that I'm going for or the piece itself, but this piece was so square/flat/straight lined so I hand painted it.  I really enjoy painting by hand...kinda therapeutic for me.  I know, crazy, right?  I suppose it's a good thing I enjoy it since it's sorta the business I'm in!!
 After the two coats of paint, I used my electric sander with 220 grit paper to distress the edges of this piece.  I then lightly sanded all the flat surfaces (also with my electric sander) for that silky smooth feel that this paint gives you.  My usual warning:  at this step, if you're a newbie to this paint, you'll likely think you've messed up and ruined the whole thing.  The color will change.  The texture will change.  And you'll be scared.  No worries...the wax will fix it all!
 The entire piece got a coat of clear wax and then I buffed it by hand.  This piece only lasted about a day until it got a new home...I just love it when pieces move that fast!
I'll leave you with a picture of me and my assistant with our sad/poutty faces on because we are missing the man of the house.  Deployments stink!

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January 16, 2013

Florence Saves the Day

Hello!  I know you kids think I fell off the face of the earth. But I didn't.  Really.  I've been painting away.  No slacking on that part, just on the blogging part.  Aaaactually, I've got exciting news which is partly to blame for my lack of blogging.  I'll soon have a website.  I've had the domain name for a while, but did some work in the past few months for a talented web genius who in turn is working on my new website for me.  The new site should be up and running soon and the blog will then be hosted there.  There will be before and after galleries, tutorials, the blog, items for sale, and much more.  Be on the lookout for updates about that soon.  Hopefully very soon.

Until then, I guess you're due some new do's, right?  So, without further wait, here you go:

Look at this little beauty....NOT!  This was a two-piece set Craigslist find.  After going to the house, loading them in my car, and paying them their money, I started to doubt myself.  I starting thinking...I probably shouldn't have paid $2 a piece for these things, let alone the amount I actually paid, which is more than usual for me.  But they were sturdy and all the drawers worked good -- always a plus in my books.

They were painted a very nasty black paint that was super sticky to the touch.  It was peeling on the top...which was in fact an ever dreaded laminate top, not the "100% real wood" which was advertised.  Ugh, so here's what we had after a bit of sanding:
Since I was going to use ASCP, I didn't need to give this piece a major sanding, but I did sand it some just because I couldn't bear the thought of knowing the old, nasty, sticky paint would be underneath the pretty paint. I sanded the top down completely to the laminate and used a 60 grit paper to rough it up a bit.  And behind it there are the ears of my faithful partner in crime:
 I used Florence by Annie Sloan.  Too bad that this color never shows up very true to color in my blog posts.  The picture with the can is closer to the actual color and any of the others.  This is not a blue paint, but for some reason, my pics always come out blue.  It's a beautiful perfect shad of turquoise in real life.
 Here's a couple pics after one thin coat...you can see it looks kinda streaky:

 Oh, and here's a full shot of my faithful little assistant guarding the furniture.  I just love this little guy:
 Here's after two coats of paint and some distressing.  I used my sander with a 220 grit paper to go over the entire piece.  This is the trick to using chalk paint.  It obviously feels very "chalky" once it dries, but then once sanded, it becomes silky smooth.  I gave the edges a bit more sander love to obtain a distressed look.  You can see in the pics below a chalky or dull look in some areas.  You will get this as you sand, but once waxed it completely goes away.  I always stress that this is the scary part.  You will think you've messed your piece up once you start sanding, but wait until you apply the wax and you will be thoroughly pleased, I promise.
 For these pieces, I used Minwax Paste Wax in Natural as my finisher.  Neither of them started with all their knobs, so I combined what there was between the two in order to make enough for one.  Then I used some knobs I had on hand for the other.  I just metallic silver spray paint on all the knobs.

 Here's a close up of the distressing...again the color is off in these pics:

 And here they are ready for a new home!
Hopefully someone is actually reading this and you didn't all give up on me ever posting again!  By the way, Happy 2013!

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