Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Antiqued Crackle Tutorial

 
A pair of red spray painted paper maché rocking horses caught my eye on one of my recent thrifting adventures. Immediately I had a vision of one of those gorgeous old antique wooden rocking horses with the lovely crackled paint.  It was then that I knew I had a couple of fun new canvases to work on!
 
 
The first step was to paint an “undercoat.”  I used a custom mix of 4 parts Pure White to 1 part French Linen.  Once that was completely dry, I grabbed my Artisan Enhancements Easy Crackle.
 
 
Easy Crackle creates a beautiful, natural looking aged crackle.  It has no VOC, which I love.  Brush it on for linear cracks or stipple it for a more irregular crackle.  I chose to brush it on in some places and stipple it on others for this project as I feel the variation creates the most organic overall crackle finish.
 
 
It is important to apply the Easy Crackle liberally, not so much that it’s dripping, but a thick enough layer to make it effective.
 
 
Once the Easy Crackle has completely dried, you are ready to apply your top coat of paint.  I chose to use Old White.  As you brush on this coat of paint, it is so important not to overwork the surface.  The cracks start to appear very quickly, and brushing back over them will ruin the effect.

 
You can see how the soft grey base coat shows through in the cracks.  Notice that I didn’t try to get full coverage with the Old White but left some of the crevices grey as well.  I think this really adds to the natural looking aged patina.
 
 
The next step was to antique and enhance the crackled finish with one more technique.  Scumble by Artisan Enhancements is a transparent, tintable medium that acts as a glaze over painted surfaces.  You might remember me using it in my Artful Storage post a few weeks ago.
 
 
I love the versatility of being able to create any color of glaze that I could possibly want just by mixing a little paint into the Scumble product.  In this case I used French Linen.  I started with about 1 part French Linen to 5 parts Scumble, brushed it onto an area of the horse and knew immediately that it was going to be too subtle for this finish, so I added a tiny bit more French Linen and tried again.


 This time it was perfect.  I used my paint brush to apply the Scumble mix, wiping off the excess and smoothing it out with a wet wipe immediately after.  I have also used a damp sea sponge for this step and even stippled off the Scumble in areas for a very different effect.  In this case the wet wipes were handy and helped me achieve the smooth, glazed finish I was after.  Scumble has an open time of approximately 15-20 minutes, which means there is sufficient time to play with the glaze and get your finish just right before it dries completely.  If the color or look isn’t working for you, you can wipe it off with a moistened rag and start over!


I was so happy with the effect of the French Linen tinted Scumble and how it brought out the features in the horse’s face as well as the beautiful cracks created with the Easy Crackle product.

 
After having painted the rocking stand in French Linen, it was time to seal the entire piece in order to protect its new finish.

 
Clear Topcoat Sealer by Artisan Enhancements is a no VOC, non yellowing sealer.  Very little product is needed to create a protective coat on your finished surface.  I used a Topcoat brush from Artisan Enhancements for the application and you can see what a small amount of product I actually loaded onto my brush each time I brushed it on.  If I were sealing a piece of furniture, I would wait 24 hours and apply a second coat.  For this decorative piece that I don’t expect to be handled much, I was comfortable applying just one coat of sealer.

 
Once the Clear Topcoat Sealer had dried, I added a glittered snowflake to the horse’s neck.  A little sparkle is always welcome, especially during this time of year!


 
This pretty rocking horse with it’s new antiqued, crackled and glazed finish went straight to Camas Antiques to be a part of my Christmas display.  The second one is in the garage awaiting it’s transformation and I plan to create this exact same finish on it…and then I just might hold onto it and enjoy it in my own home for a while.

 
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 for your sweet visit!
 
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
 
Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda
 
 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Unique Secretary Desk to the Rescue!

 
With just a few days left to prepare for our Holiday Open House at Camas Antiques, I sold a large buffet out of my booth and was left with a big gaping hole!  Because I have limited furniture storage space, I rarely have pieces waiting in the wings for this kind of emergency!  Thankfully I remembered that a friend of mine had this unique secretary for sale!  She had offered it to me weeks ago when I wasn't really in the market for a piece of furniture to paint.  With my fingers crossed, I contacted her to see if it was still available!  It was!  My husband and I picked it up the next day and I went right to work painting it!
 
 
The fact that this piece already had unique details on it's own and didn't need any repairs or alterations really worked in my favor.  I had a limited time frame to get it ready for the Open House. 
 
 
Two coats of Old Ochre, some light distressing and Annie Sloan's Clear and Dark Waxes was all this piece needed to lighten up the darkness of the wood and give it an updated look.
 
 
I chose to just paint the two small drawers inside and leave the rest of the interior the original stained wood finish.  I really love the contrast of the dark wood next to the Old Ochre color.  Not having to paint and wax all of those little mail cubbies really saved me a lot of time as well! 
 
 
I lined the insides of the drawers with vintage book pages, a look I have always loved.
 

 This sweet rocking horse decoration was another paint project I recently completed for my booth at Camas Antiques!  Sometime in the next few days I plan to share a tutorial on how I created the finish on it!
 
 
I finally invested in some real German glass glitter and have been having a ball creating Christmas ornaments and gift bags with it!  I love how these sweet ballerina ornaments turned out.  I've always thought it would be fun to have a Nutcracker ballet themed Christmas display.  These ornaments are as far as I got with that theme this year, but maybe it's something I will further pursue in the future.
 
 
Here is my booth all decked out for Christmas!  There was so much more I had intended to do, but just couldn't quite get to it all!  We had a real blizzard this week with snow, wind, icy roads and everything!  I actually felt very fortunate to make it to the store to set up my display at all!
 
Thank you for your sweet visit!
 
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, November 6, 2014

Colonial Style Frenchified



 
A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine asked if I would be interested in some furniture that she was just about to post for sale on Craigslist.  Lucky me!  Of course I jumped on the offer.  She and her husband even insisted on delivering the pieces to my home!  Well I think that was the easiest furniture purchase I have ever made!  Right away I knew that I wanted to put a French spin on this traditional Colonial style desk, mirror and chair!     
 
 
For this soft grey I mixed approximately 3 parts Pure White to 1 part French Linen.  Each piece received 2 coats of this custom mix.  Next, I accented details with Old White and Gold Gilder's Wax.  I really would have loved to trade out the hardware for some French Provincial pulls, but it just wasn't in the budget for this piece.
 
 
After some light distressing, I sealed the new finish with Annie Sloan's Clear and Dark waxes.
 
 
The desk and mirror had plenty of detail but the chair was lacking.  I paid a visit to my very dear friend Phyllis at The Purple Pear this week and picked up a few appliques including this lovely pair of flourishes.  Another friend had commented that the mirror that came with the desk and chair looked like it had wings!  I thought to myself, "how fun would it be to add a set of wings to the back of the chair?"
 
 
As you may have noticed, I trimmed up the appliques just a bit to make them more wing-like.  I am pretty much smitten with my Frenchy applique wings.  I will be on the lookout for more furniture to add wings to!
 
 
The desk top was almost pristine and a really nice, thick piece of mahogany...no veneer!  I just lightly sanded a few spots and gave it a good coat of wax. 
 
 
These pieces will be on their way to Camas Antiques next week for the big annual
 
 
I can't wait to give my booth a fresh and festive overhaul!
 
 
 Thank you for your sweet visit!
 
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, October 30, 2014

Applique Painting and Hydrangea Drying...Fall Crafts!

 
Weeks ago I purchased this large, amazing applique from the Purple Pear.  I knew I was going to put it on one of the paneled pocket doors I had sitting in the garage.  I also knew that I would have a lot of fun highlighting all of the wonderful detail with my little paintbrush! 
 
 
 I loved how the applique turned out but I felt like the door itself needed something else.  Well, after living with it in our family room for several weeks now, I have decided that adding anything else would only detract from the beautiful applique.  So, here it is!  It is done!  Finito!
 
 
The Purple Pear has a great selection of quality appliques in beautiful, historic designs.  This one is so large, ornate and heavy!  However, it was incredibly easy to apply!  I used an epoxy glue that I happened to have on hand and it worked perfectly!  I wanted the applique itself to take center stage on my door, and boy does it ever!  The door was painted in Pure White and glazed with a 1:3 mix of French Linen and Artisan Enhancements Scumble product.  The urn was painted in Old Ochre and then I used a variety of colors for the flowers including Old Violet, a mix of Burgundy and Old white and a mix of Olive and Old White.  I highlighted the details on the urn and flowers with Gold Gilding Wax, also purchased at The Purple Pear.
 
 
In addition to painting, I have been having fun with dried flowers on these chilly Fall days!  Drying hydrangeas can be tricky, but I have learned that the key to success is cutting them right at the perfect time!  I cut my own hydrangeas too early this year and they shriveled right up.  A couple of weeks ago, my mother in law and I ran out into her garden and cut all of her hydrangeas.  I brought them home, re-cut the stems and put them into vases of water on my dining table. 
 
 
They have dried beautifully and in the most amazing shades of pink, green, purple and blue!  So, it seems that the trick is to cut them at the right time...later in the Fall, when they are already showing signs of drying on the plant itself.
 
 
Last week I put together a few dried hydrangea arrangements and took them to my booth at Camas Antiques.  These are my favorite Fall decorations this year!
 
I am now looking forward to pulling out the Christmas decorations!  Too soon?  Nah!
 
 
The Holiday Open House at Camas Antiques is coming up in just 2 weeks!  For more details, visit the Event Page on Facebook!
 
Thank you for your sweet visit!
 
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, October 23, 2014

Artful Storage: Retro to Romance Suitcase Makeover


 
Old suitcases make wonderful and unique storage pieces for anything from craft supplies to treasured mementos.  With a little imagination and a few art supplies, they can be as beautiful as they are useful!  I have painted many vintage suitcases and trunks over the years, most of which I have shared with you here.  This time I decided to forgo my standard striped luggage look for a more artistic, romantic style.  After all, what could be better than a beautiful piece of art that doubles as storage?

 
This makeover started with 2 coats of Antoinette.  Once the paint was completely dry, it was time to get artsy!

 
I love this Floral Scroll stencil from Artisan Enhancements!  Artisan stencils are unique in that they are cut on a thicker, heavier stock which makes them great for creating raised relief designs with products such as VP Antico, Fine Stone and Pearl Plaster.  For this finish, I chose VP Antico, a synthetic polishing plaster by Artisan Enhancements with a neutral base. 
 
 
After attempting and failing at creating stencil reliefs with everything from trowels to kitchen spatulas I finally discovered this fabulous tool called a color shaper from Artisan Enhancements!  It works beautifully for pushing thick product through stencils! 

 
I started by taping the stencil into place with a few pieces of painter’s tape.  And yes, I cut a couple of corners off of my stencil!  It was necessary in order to work around the handle and closures of the suitcase and still be able to lay the stencil flush against the surface.  I scooped some of the VP Antico product out onto a plate and gave it a good stir before slathering it over the stencil with my color shaper.  This product reminds me of a very thick frosting, and applying it feels a bit like frosting a cake.  As soon as I had covered the stencil evenly with the VP product, I lifted the stencil straight up to reveal my beautiful raised design!  Depending on how thickly you apply the VP Antico, it can take up to a couple of hours to dry completely.  I find that this works to my advantage because it gives me time to fix any smudges and even enhance and manipulate the design a bit.


 While the product was still pliable, I used my small paint brush to add a little texture to the design and give it a more custom look.

 
Because I have little patience and always seem to be pressed for time, I hit my VP Antico designs with a blow dryer to speed things along.  I knew this would create a little bit of crackling and I welcomed the additional texture!  Within a few minutes, the reliefs were rock hard and I was ready to move onto the next step!
 
 
Scumble by Artisan Enhancements is a tintable glaze like product.  I mixed approximately 1 part Coco to 4 parts Scumble to create a soft brown glaze that I then stippled onto my paint surface with a small sea sponge.  I love the silky finish this product has as it dries.
 
 
The Coco Scumble mix really gave my paint finish the antiqued look I was going for, but I wasn’t done with it quite yet!

 
I mixed a second Scumble concoction, this time with Old White and applied it over top the Coco glaze.

 
On the right you can see how the Old White Scumble mix lightened the overall look and gave it another layer of dimension and complexity. 


Once I was happy with the new finish on my suitcase and the Scumble glaze was completely dry (less than 20 minutes!), I sealed it with Artisan Enhancement’s Clear Topcoat Sealer.  This product is a No VOC, exterior grade sealer that dries to a matte sheen.  I used my Topcoat Brush, also from Artisan Enhancements to apply a thin layer over the entire suitcase.  Artisan Enhancements recommends waiting 24 hours before applying a second thin layer for optimum protection

 
The little Samsonite plaque above the suitcase handle popped off easily with a small screwdriver and I happened to have this label frame from the craft store which seemed to be the perfect replacement.  After sifting through some old ephemera for inspiration, I found the word “gratitude” in an old Hymnal and cut it out to put inside the frame.  It wasn’t the word I thought I was looking for but somehow it worked for me.  I like it!

 
Who knew an old, discarded suitcase could be turned into something so lovely and useful?  Think of the possibilities
 
 
I love that I was able to create this pretty piece on a stormy day in the comfort of my warm kitchen without exposing myself to any harmful toxins!  Artisan Enhancements has a wonderful selection of No VOC artistic mediums to take your paint finishes to a new level without the harmful chemicals present in traditional products!

Thank you so much for your 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