Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Sister's Sanctuary

Usually, I can't wait for the weekends so that I can work on whatever furniture is waiting to be painted. On a typical Saturday, I sit with my coffee alternately watching my puppy and the birds having breakfast, then hit the garage sales/flea markets, and come home to work on whatever piece is waiting in line.

This weekend, however, I had been to a garage sale in my sister's neighborhood, and decided to stop by. I've been wanting to photograph her garden and deck for ages, and this time I had my camera. None of my furniture got painted this Saturday, because once I sat down, I didn't leave for quite some time. Here's why:

The best thing about my sister's deck is the hummingbirds....there's dozens of them! They are so used to my sister and her husband, that they typically fly right in front of their faces, and chatter to them. I'm just not quick enough...I couldn't get any pictures. However, they have multiple birds and other wildlife...check out this woodpecker!

My sister put out some peanuts to coax out the chipmunks...

So...can you blame me for not getting to work painting??

What did you do this weekend?

Mona Kay

Saturday, June 18, 2011

From plain old brown to Paris Grey Fabulous!

After falling in love with Annie Sloan paint, and making friends with Patty Seaman of Classic Wall Finishes NJ, I couldn't WAIT to try the paint on furniture for my own home. I had purchased some gorgeous pieces at an estate sale a few weeks ago, and after I lived with them for a while, I decided that they definitely needed to be lightened up.

While the pieces I have painted so far have needed NO priming, sanding, or other prep, this unit turned out to be a nightmare of an exception. You can't see it here, but the original stain bled right through the first coat of Old White. I stopped painting, and opened and applied a coat of water-based sealer...and the stain bled right through again. UGH!! So I went to Home Depot and consulted the people at the paint section, who advised me to use an oil-based sealant. Unfortunately, this meant working outside, as the fumes are terrible...and it was 90 degrees here in NJ. I waited until 7pm and then hauled it outside and gave it two coats with the oil-based...I ended up wearing my spray paint respirator because the fumes were terrible, so a word of advice...NEVER use oil-based sealant in an unventilated area!! After that, applying the Old White on the inside, and Paris Grey on the outside was a pleasure! The only pain in the neck was removing all the hardware and taping up the glass doors. But...NEVER get in the way of a determined woman who wants a piece of furniture painted!

I wanted to add some detail to the Paris Grey frame so that there would be some contrast with the doors. First I sanded some areas to distress them, then used Valspar Mocha glaze (Lowes...can't find it at Home Depot), and wiped it on with a rag, using a light touch and a new portion of the rag when it got too dark. That looked very nice, but I wanted more. I experimented with mixing Old White paint with Annie Sloan's Soft Wax (I love this stuff), and wiped this on the frame, not too heavily, working quickly before the paint portion dried. I was thrilled!! Here are the results:

Remember that little bench?

That's a story for another post :)

I am linking to "Show off your cottage Monday"