Thursday, December 11, 2014

Discovered by Fate, Inspired by Downton: A Table Makeover Story




Today I'd like to share a few stories about this special little table...how I happened upon it, why I bought it, what inspired the makeover and where it's headed next!  If you just want the details on paint colors and finish, feel free to skip ahead!
 
So here's the back story on this sweet piece...  One Friday afternoon last summer, after a long morning of disappointing estate sales, I decided to make one last stop before calling it quits and heading home.  The listing read "Farm Sale."  I plugged the address into my GPS and started driving.  It was much further out of town than I had anticipated and I wondered if I was just wasting more gas and time.  When I finally pulled into the field designated for parking, and glanced across to the spot where treasures were sprawled out and a few shoppers were picking through, I began to feel hopeful.  It was a big sale with lots of furniture, a stack of vintage suitcases, a sea of shiny silver plate and all kinds of other little things that make my heart skip a beat!  As I got nearer, I recognized a familiar face.  It was a fellow dealer from Camas Antiques, a very kind woman whom I didn't know well but had visited with a few times during my painting demonstrations at the store.  It didn't take me long to figure out that this was her farm and her treasures that were for sale!  We visited for a moment and then she kindly directed me over to a beautiful little table with the kind of details that make me swoon!  She said that she had previously thought of me and how I could breathe new life into this piece with Chalk Paint®!  She wanted me to take it and told me to name my price!  I was thrilled.  Of course I filled my truck with several other treasures from her sale, but this special little table and how fate brought me to it really left me feeling blessed that day!   
 
 
It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I actually started painting this little gem. For the longest time I really wanted to hold onto it and I knew that if I painted it, it would be on it's way to the shop and sold before I had a chance to enjoy it!  But then, I started making plans to put together a very special window display for the antique store.  And with a vision in mind, I knew what this table was destined for. 
 
 
On Sunday January 4th 2015, the much anticipated season 5 premiere of Downton Abbey airs in the U.S.!  This is my inspiration for the window display, this sweet table and pretty much every other project I've been working on for the past few weeks!
 
I am so excited to announce that in conjunction with the January window display, there will be a Downton Abbey themed event on Friday, January 2nd in downtown Camas!  Check out our event page on Facebook for more details!  If you're local, and a Downton Abbey fan, I hope you'll join me for what's sure to be a lovely evening that will get everyone in the mood for the premiere on Sunday!
 
 
Now, onto the table makeover!
 
 
After 2 coats of Pure White Chalk Paint® had completely dried and given perfect coverage to the once dark table, I added a wash of French Linen to highlight all of those beautiful details.
 
 
    Once I had the wash just how I wanted it and it was dry, I applied a coat of clear wax.  I did not use dark wax this time around as I felt the French Linen wash provided just the right amount of aging.  The last step was to accent the beautiful raised design along the table's edge with French King Gold Gilding Wax, purchased at The Purple Pear.  Because, if it belongs in Downton Abbey, it's got to have some gold on it, right?
 
 
I am loving my gold wings recently purchased at Camas Antiques, the latest addition to my Christmas décor.  They worked well as an accent for staging my special little table today.  When not being used as a photo prop, they hang from the mirror on our mantle. 
 
 
  Here's our precious little Basil dog looking very cozy as he napped beside the tree this afternoon! 
 
Thank you so much for your sweet visit today!  Stay tuned for more Downton Abbey inspired makeovers and news on our upcoming event!
 
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 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How To Turn Discarded Cabinet Doors into Works of Art!

 
I recently brought home several cabinet doors from our local home salvage store.  I wasn’t sure at the time what I would do with them, but at just a couple of dollars each, I decided I couldn’t pass them up.

Weeks later I found myself dusting those cabinet doors off with the intention of creating some seasonal art to sell in my booth at Camas Antiques using Artisan Enhancement’s Image Transfer Gel.  I discovered a few copyright free vintage images I loved on The Graphics Fairy website and began to devise a plan!


The first step was to choose the images that would fit well on each door.  I emailed the images and the sizes I needed to the UPS store.  I asked them to print a reverse image of the graphics that had text on them.  Image Transfer Gel works only with laser printed images.  Most businesses use laser jet printers, but I learned the hard way that you can’t always assume so.  Be sure to clarify that your images are being printed on a laser jet printer when you order prints for image transfer.

 Once I had my prints in hand, I chose the paint colors for the doors that I thought would best compliment each image.  For the “Winter Girl” that I am sharing in this tutorial, I layered Coco over Duck Egg Blue and distressed the edges before proceeding with the image transfer.

 
I then trimmed the image so that it fit exactly onto the raised part of the door where I wanted it transferred to.

 
With my standard paint brush, I brushed on an even coat of Transfer Gel where I wanted my image to be. 

 
I immediately laid out my printed image, face down onto the wet Transfer Gel, smoothing out any air pockets with my fingers.  Once the paper is completely adhered to the surface, it must dry for several hours.  I find that it works best to let it sit overnight.

 
The next day I wet the back of the paper with a damp sponge and began to carefully and slowly work away the paper pulp with my fingers.
 
 
It’s important to know and remember that the image is supposed to sit on top of the Transfer Gel, so if you rub too hard and rub away the gel, you will also rub away the image.  I strongly recommend practicing this process once or twice on a sample board before attempting to transfer an image onto a surface that you have gone to a lot of work to prepare.  As tempting as it may be, don’t use the scrubby side of that sponge to remove the paper!  Just roll the paper pulp gently with your fingers, and do your best to be patient with this process.  It will be well worth your effort!

 
I took several breaks during the paper removal process, allowing the leftover pulp to dry now and then so that I could see which areas still needed work without going back over places that were complete.  Eventually the image dried and there were no more cloudy white areas. 
 
 
I did end up with a few spots where I overworked the surface and rubbed away a bit of the image.  I actually didn’t mind it and added a bit more of that wear intentionally around the edges to make it look as if the image had been painted on the door ages ago and was naturally worn and distressed. 
 

I decided to do add a little gold to the recessed area of the door to offset and frame my image.  I applied Artisan Enhancement’s Leaf and Foil Size to the areas where I wanted to see the gold.  This product is extremely sticky and not easy to wash out of brushes, so I have designated this small brush specifically for Leaf and Foil Size. 
 
 
After waiting about 20 minutes for the Leaf and Foil Size to set up, I cut a strip of ArtisanEnhancement’s Brushed Gold metallic foil and laid it over the Size, shiny side up!  Let me say that another way, because people have a tendency to do this the wrong way.  Put the dull side of the foil down onto the tacky Leaf and Foil Size. 

I then used a dry paint brush to burnish the foil into place.
 
 
Next, I peeled the foil away to reveal a lovely stripe of Brushed Gold.  Because I wasn’t absolutely precise with the application of the Leaf and Foil Size, I ended up with a bit of gold in a few places where I didn’t want it.  I was happy to find that it wiped off easily with a damp cloth.
 
 
The areas that I wanted to remain gold then needed to be sealed.  I chose Artisan Enhancement's Clear Topcoat because I wanted an overall matt finish on my board.  If I would have been looking for a shinier, glossy finish I would have used Artisan Enhancement's Clear Finish.  With my Top Coat brush, I applied a very thin layer of Clear Topcoat over my entire board, including the transferred image and gold foil.  The following day I brushed on one more quick, light layer of Clear Topcoat and my cabinet door turned Christmas art was complete!

 
Obviously this project could easily be created for any time of year.  In fact, even a laser jet printed copy of an actual photograph could be transferred onto a prepared board for a very unique and special way to display family memories!  What a wonderful idea for a handmade gift!
 
 
I just had to include this piece in my post as well because I loved how it turned out.  This cabinet door needed another element in addition to the image transfer.
 

Using a beautiful stencil from Artisan Enhancements and their VP Antico product, I created a raised relief and accented it with a tiny bit of brushed gold foil.  I walked through the process of creating a relief with a stencil and VP Antico in my Artful Storage post if you would like to read more about that technique.
 
 
This was such a fun project and one I can’t wait to do more of!  With a discarded cabinet door, any laser printed image and a few great art mediums from Artisan Enhancements, you can create your own unique work of art!  Consider the possibilities! 
Now, go create something beautiful!

 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 kind 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
 What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants 
 

 

 

 

 
 

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!
 
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 
 

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