Wednesday, February 25, 2015

All the Charm of an Antique Dresser, Minus the Spiderwebs!


Pictures can be deceiving.  The photo that drew me to this majestic dresser posted on Craigslist was somewhat dark and grainy.  After making a quick call to the seller, I was on my way to look at what I thought was an old oak dresser.  Yes, I should have asked more questions before I got too excited but was worried that taking the time to ask questions would give another buyer a chance to say, "sold!  I'll be there in 10 minutes!"  It happens, a lot!  Used furniture sales are very competitive these days!  

So, I was a little disappointed when I arrived to discover that the dresser I had driven across town to see was a reproduction.  However, the drawers were dove-tailed and the piece was solid and clean.  A pretty dresser with great bones and drawers that opened and closed without needing any TLC!  So what if it wasn't old, I decided it was a perfect candidate for paint.  What a treat to not have to do any repairs, vacuum away cobwebs or scrape finger nail polish out of drawers!  I just hauled this big heavy dresser home, did a quick wipe down and got to work!


The color is a custom mix of 1 part French Linen to 1 part Old White.


I painted out the wood carved accents in Old White.  After a coat of Clear Wax, I used Annie Sloan's Dark Wax to further age and bring out the details in the carvings.

I removed the hardware and painted it in the custom soft grey mix and then waxed it just as I had the entire piece.  I considered painting the hardware in Old White like the carvings but decided that it would be overkill.  Sometimes less is more, as they say.


I have a confession to make.  I absolutely despise waxing the insides of cupboards and drawers.  I am not a contortionist.  So, even when I've chosen to seal a piece of furniture with wax, I find Artisan Enhancements Clear Topcoat Sealer to be ideal for sealing any paint finish on the interior of the piece.  Just brush it on, let it dry for 24 hours and apply a second quick coat.  No more standing on my head to buff out wax on the top of a cupboard's interior!


I am really loving how this piece transformed.  It may not be antique but I think it now has just as much charm and character as any 100 year old piece pulled out of a decrepit farm house, minus the mold, mildew and spiderwebs!

Thank you for your sweet visit today!

Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda





Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
 Friday's Unfolded at Nancherrow
 Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants



Sunday, February 15, 2015

Art with Dimension, Purpose and Old World French Style!


Old wooden silverware boxes make great canvases for playing with artistic finishes. They can
generally be found at estate sales or thrift stores and once completed, you have a one-of-a-kind work of art that doubles as useful storage!

Consider layering several techniques to create a finish with plenty of depth and interest. Do
you love an Old World look with French flair? Let’s walk through the layers of art finishes
used to create the weathered French Postcard look on this old wooden silverware box.


This box was first painted with 2 coats of Old White. The script used for the background can
be found here . The image was emailed to an office supply store with the request
that it be printed in reverse, on a laser jet printer with specific dimensions to fit the lid of the
silverware box. With the white border cut away, the image was ready to be applied to the
painted box. For a more rustic effect, the Transfer Gel was brushed onto the lid of the box
with a crisscross motion as opposed to a smooth application. The image was then applied,
face down onto the wet gel and any wrinkles or bubbles were gently smoothed away.


After having dried overnight. It was time to remove the paper fibers and reveal the transferred
image. The paper was dampened with a kitchen sponge and rubbed away, not being too
careful to preserve every bit of the transferred image, as the rough spots only added to the
rustic finish. In fact, heavier rubbing around the edges of the piece helped eliminate the clean
edges and enhance the old world appearance of the French letter.


With the background in place, it was time to add dimension to the piece with a raised stencil
and Artisan Enhancements Fine Stone. Fine Stone is a plaster product with aggregate
texture and has no odor or harmful chemicals so it’s safe create with indoors along with all of
Artisan Enhancements art finishes and sealers. The Paris France stencil, also from Artisan
Enhancements was set in place and the fine stone was troweled over-top using the color
shaping tool. As soon as the stencil was covered, it was lifted straight up from the surface to
reveal the raised image on the box lid. The excess Fine Stone was scraped off the stencil
with the color shaper and returned to the container for future use.


Once the Fine Stone had completely dried, Scumble, a tintable glaze-like medium was mixed 5:1 first with Coco and Burgundy and applied just to the raised stencil relief. After being brushed on generously, the glaze was carefully wiped away with a damp sea sponge.


A second tinted Scumble glaze was then applied with a mix of 5 parts Scumble to 1 part
Graphite. This glaze was also applied to the entire box and then wiped away for a subtle aging effect.


Once the Scumble had dried, the stencil was laid back down over the relief and Old White was stippled on with a stencil brush to further highlight the design.


The result was a weathered, raised Paris, France passport stamp with just the right amount of
shadowing created with layers of tinted Scumble glaze, highlighted with Old White.


The Fine Stone Stencil Relief added a special artistic touch to the aged French letter and
dimensional quality that looks complicated but was actually very easy to do!


A thin layer of Clear Topcoat Sealer by Artisan Enhancements was brushed over the completed art finish. Twenty four hours later a second coat was applied for optimum protection. Clear Topcoat Sealer is an eco-friendly, high quality sealer that dries to a protective, clear matte finish.

What was once a discarded, boring brown box is now a beautiful piece of art to hold special letters and photos or maybe to sit on the coffee table for storing remote controls. Take this idea and run with it! The possibilities are endless with Artisan Enhancements and with eco-friendly products, you can create a masterpiece in the comfort of your home without exposing yourself, your family or the environment to harmful chemicals!

Disclosure: This is an Artisan Enhancements sponsored post, however the opinions and ideas expressed here are mine and I will only ever promote products that I enjoy using and feel may benefit my readers.

Thank you so much for your sweet visit!

Happy creating!

Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda




Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
 Friday's Unfolded at Nancherrow
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

How to Create an Aged Vintage Wallpaper Finish


If you love the look of peeled back layers, layers of paint, paint that’s been worn away to
reveal pieces of beautiful old wallpaper, you are likely to appreciate the finish created on this
little chest of drawers!


This project started with a dark, dated piece of furniture and a roll of vintage wallpaper
purchased at an antique show. Whatever paper you choose for your background, whether it
be wallpaper, fabric or even scrap booking paper, take it to any printing business that uses a
laser jet copier and have color copies made in the size and quantity you will need for your
project.


Once you have prepped your surface with a good cleaning and a coat of paint, (Paloma was
used for the base of this piece) cut your image to size, brush on a coat of Artisan
Enhancements Transfer Gel and lay your print, image side down on the wet gel.


Gently smooth out the paper onto the surface, working out any air bubbles with your fingers.
It is best to let the gel dry overnight before proceeding, however you can speed up the
process with a hairdryer.


The next step is to dampen the paper with a kitchen sponge and work away the fibers with
your fingers. Work slowly and carefully as too much pressure may rub away the image.


Once all of the paper fibers have been removed and the finish is dry, apply a generous coat of
Crackle Tex. Crackle Tex is a great medium not only for adding crackle to a paint finish but
also for the texture it provides. It allows for a top coat of paint to be pulled off in places to
reveal layers below, all while adding an authentic looking chippy finish.


When your Crackle Tex layer is completely dry, apply a coat of paint right overtop of it. Louis
Blue was used here. Be careful not to overwork
the application of this paint layer as the wet
paint will quickly start to reactivate the Crackle Tex.


Within moments, cracks will begin to appear. At this time, you can grab your lightly damp sea
sponge and start distressing. Push the sponge down into the paint and then lift it off.
Remove as much of the top paint layer as you like until you are satisfied with the overall
finish.


After allowing this layer of paint to completely dry, it is time to add a glaze to create yet another layer of interest to the finish. Scumble is a transparent, tintable glaze-like medium.

Start by brushing on a quick slipcoat of untinted Scumble, straight out of the container. This will create a good workable surface. While your slipcoat dries, mix 5 parts Scumble to 1 part paint to create your tinted glaze. Old White was used here to soften the overall appearance of the piece and to add the look of an additional layer to the finish.

 

Scumble has an “open time” of approximately 15 to 20 minutes, which means that you have
plenty of time to work with the glaze and create a finish you like before the product starts to dry.


As soon as your Scumble glaze has dried, you are ready to seal your finish. Clear Topcoat
Sealer by Artisan Enhancements provides a durable, clear, matte finish and has no VOCs or
harmful chemicals which are often found in other sealers. Brush on two thin coats, allowing
24 hours dry time between each application.
Have fun creating weathered, chippy, finishes with Artisan Enhancements Transfer Gel,
Crackle Tex and Scumble! Consider this look not only for drawer fronts, but for doors,
cupboards, wooden boxes and more! The possibilities are endless!

Disclosure: This is an Artisan Enhancements sponsored post, however the opinions and ideas expressed here are mine and I will only ever promote products that I enjoy using and feel may benefit my readers.



Thank you so much for your visit today!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda




Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
 Friday's Unfolded at Nancherrow
 Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Blank Slate Dresser...All Prettied Up!


Talk about a blank slate!  This little dresser didn't have much going on when I brought it home from an estate sale a week ago, but I knew it had potential.  It was vintage, sturdy and the drawers opened smoothly.  No repairs or major overhaul needed...just paint and some accessories to pretty it up!


I am always on the lookout for pieces that could be transformed by the addition of a beautiful applique.  I have a sweet friend with a large selection of amazing, reasonably priced appliques not far from me and I am always looking for an excuse to visit her and her lovely shop!  The Purple Pear on Glisan in Portland, OR is my source for appliques and she offers them on her website as well, http://www.purplepearshop.com/


She does not yet have all of her appliques loaded on the site, but she recently posted this collage photo on Facebook and I know she would take a phone order as well.


I also bought the lovely new knobs from The Purple Pear, a huge improvement from the original metal pulls, I think!


For paint, I started with a custom mix of Provence, Old White and Olive.  After applying two coats and allowing them to dry, I went over them with a coat of Old White, wiping it way in places as I went along. 


I finished off the look with both clear and dark wax after some light distressing around the edges.


This lovely piece dressed up in her beautiful new finish complete with romantic applique and sweet drawer pulls is ready for a new home!
  

But for now she is sitting pretty in my booth at Camas Antiques!

Thank you so much for your sweet visit today!

Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda



Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
 Friday's Unfolded at Nancherrow
 Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Safe, Eco-friendly Artistic Finishes and Sealers


Several years ago, inspired by my favorite decorating books and DIY blogs, I decided I loved the look of hand painted furniture and wanted to give it a try. I soon discovered that as pleased as I was with the end result, I didn’t really enjoy the creative process. The products recommended to me at the paint store had strong chemical odors that left me with a burning sensation in my lungs that seemed to stay with me for hours even after having walked away from a project. I worked late at night while the kids were asleep because it was the only time I could escape to the garage. I did my work in the garage to keep from exposing my family to the harmful chemicals in the products I used. My creations had to spend a few days in the garage to “off-­gas” once they were completed, before coming into the house. Even then, I worried about my children playing around and eating off of these finishes created with products that were laden with ingredients known to cause potential health risks.


Imagine my excitement when I discovered Artisan Enhancements sustainable, eco-­friendly no VOC art finishes and sealers! These products have changed everything for me. I no longer have to worry that creating beautiful finishes on surfaces in my home, for my family or for resale are causing harm to the environment or people I love.


I just gave my little girl’s table and chair a makeover, which I will share the details of further down in this post. Being 2 and very stubborn she required the bribery of a lollipop to cooperate for this photo shoot. It didn’t occur to me that the lollipop would go from the table to her mouth and back again during the course of her little tea party, but it did. Watching her play, it was so comforting to know that she wasn’t ingesting any harmful chemicals from the finish on the table that I had recently created.


The fact that I can create right in the middle of my home, on the kitchen island no less, has really changed my life. I am no longer stuck out in the cold, uncomfortable garage alone, in the middle of the night to do my work. With a busy toddler at my side most hours of pretty much everyday, it is absolutely essential that I am able to work where I can be near her. I couldn't do it if I thought I was exposing her to any harmful odors in the process.


This busy toddler has a birthday coming up. We have decided to start working on her “big girl” room for this particular birthday, so I have several painting projects underway. Her little chair and drop-­leaf table were painted in Pure White and a custom mix of Antoinette and Old White.


I added a bit of detail to the table with a beautiful scrolly stencil by Artisan Enhancements.


Artisan Enhancements Scumble product is a tintable glaze medium. I recently learned that when mixed with Pearl Plaster, it creates an iridescent pearlized glaze! I used a mix of 2 parts Scumble to 1 part Pearl Plaster.


I just love the effect of the pearl glaze, especially over these pretty pastel colors. Artisan Enhancements’ 45mm Topcoat brush works well not only for sealing your finish, but for applying a smooth coat of glaze as well.


Clear Finish, an all natural, no VOC, water resistant varnish is ideal for sealing shinier finishes. Both Artisan Enhancements sealers, Clear Finish and Clear Topcoat Sealer are perfect for sealing those projects that will be used by and/or around children. Baby cribs, high chairs, and other surfaces that small children come in contact with should be sealed with a product free of harmful chemicals. Artisan Enhancements sealers are not only VOC free and sustainable but easy to use and very durable as well.


I love being able to create beautiful finishes in the comfort of my own home. I couldn’t do so if I thought I was exposing my family or the environment to harmful chemicals in the process. I am so thankful to have access to products that make it possible for me to do what I love to do and be present for my family at the same time! 




Thank you so much for your sweet visit today!
Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda


Disclosure: This is an Artisan Enhancements sponsored post, however the opinions and ideas expressed here are mine and I will only ever promote products that I enjoy using and feel may benefit my readers.



Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
 Friday's Unfolded at Nancherrow
 Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants 

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Downton Abbey Drawing Room Desk


The first piece of furniture I purchased last year and tucked away for the Downton Abbey window display was this very large, ornate desk.  I am afraid I don't have a before photo to share, but I can tell you that it was a faded, light oak piece with a tiny round brass knob and the carvings were all but lost in the dull oak finish.  Not an antique, but a good quality piece most likely from the early 90's, I loved the details on the legs and the overall curvy, majestic lines.


Two coats of French Linen provided a completely new look for the oak desk.  I accented the beautiful leg carvings with a custom mix of Old Ochre and Old White.  After applying both clear and dark wax over the entire desk, I used Gold Gilding wax to further highlight the details.


A more substantial and gorgeous drawer pull found at The Purple Pear in Portland replaced the former small round knob that had seemed so inadequate for such a large and ornate piece of furniture.

I have just learned that the desk sold this week!  Thankfully the woman who bought it has graciously agreed to let it stay in the window until the end of the month when I take down my display.


If you follow me on Facebook, you've most likely seen these photos already, but I wanted to go ahead and share them here as well!


The Downton Abbey window displays will be up until the end of the month.  This was such a fun way to start off the new season of Downton Abbey!  Are you watching?  Are you loving it as much as I am?


On the Friday before the season premiere, we had an event in downtown Camas where customers came dressed in vintage attire, wore tiaras, discovered their aristocratic name, drank tea and tested their Downton Abbey knowledge with trivia about the show.  I even had the theme song playing in the window display to get shoppers in the mood for the new season!  It was so great to see other Downton Abbey enthusiasts join in the fun!


You may recognize a couple of projects I have shared here on the blog.  I wrote tutorials last month on how I created the Downton Abbey Drawing Room Doors and also for the Concrete Finish on the Resin Lions.


I also created a series of photos featuring some of my very favorite quotes from Downton Abbey.  These were printed, mounted and hung on the walls of the window display.  I hope to also offer them on Etsy sometime in the near future, either as prints, posters or downloads.




Did you miss the post about my Downton Abbey Servant's Quarter's window display?  Find it here!


I love pulling inspiration for projects, displays, art and decor from favorite TV shows, books and movies.  Downton Abbey offers so much beauty and history, not to mention fabulous entertainment!  I have enjoyed it so much over the past few years and was thrilled to have had the opportunity to share my love of Downton and the abundance of inspiration it supplies me with!

Thank you so much for your sweet visit today!

Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda



Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
 Friday's Unfolded at Nancherrow
 Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants