Tuesday, October 30, 2012

5 Simple Must Have items for painting furniture

This post came about in a funny way.  After losing the same items over and over in my garage, I began to think that I am unorganized and beyond hope.  I decided to solve this little problem by making sure that I had at least 2 of my “necessary” items on hand, so that when I really needed them, I could put my hands on at least one.  Yes, I know “everything in its proper place…”.  But, this works for me –okay?  

So what are these items that I am constantly using and always losing?  They are so basic, it’s almost silly to post about them,  But, I’ll bet there’s at least one person out there like me who needs to go ahead and buy 2 just in case one is ummm…misplaced :)

For painting furniture, these are my go-to items:

1- Purdy Cub paintbrush
Yes, there are tons of other paintbrushes out there, but for me and my small hands, the cub is my BFF.  And if you take good care of it, it will last for a long, long time.

purdy cub
image via

2-  Plastic Scraper
This simple and inexpensive tool comes in various widths.  Buy several; they are cheap.  They are great for scraping off excess paint after sanding and for getting the goo off left over from labels and stickers.
plastic scraper
image via

3- Paper plates
Again simple and inexpensive.  I almost never use the paint trays that they sell at the home improvement stores, unless I’m using a roller.  And that’s really ,really rare.  So a good ole paper plate does the trick for mixing colors, thinning paint, and providing a disposable palette.
paper plates
image via

4- Drop cloth
Yes, you can use old sheets, towels, blankets, etc. to paint on.  I have done that and still do sometimes.  But in my experience, nothing beats the drop cloth!  The seams on a drop cloth are weighted just a bit.  So, as you are painting that end table, a big gust of wind doesn’t come along and blow your sheet over the freshly painted side of the table causing it to stick.  Don’t ask me how I know!  The big box stores charge quite a bit for drop cloths, but I’ll tell you a secret.  Shhh… If you are lucky enough to have a Big Lots in your town, buy your drop cloths there.  They are half the price.  And if you are really frugal like I am, you can cut off one whole panel or at least six inches or so along one side to get crafty with.  Make yourself a banner like this Candy Corn Banner

pumpkin bunting

5-Baby wipes
What can I say, painting is messy, and I like to hide the evidence- quick!  No really, baby wipes are wonderful to have on hand, because they stay wet all the time and are portable and handy.  I buy the generic- whatever is on sale type.

image via

Okay, I’ll bet you are really ready to tackle a big ole painting project now huh?  Doubtful, but I did want to share a few of my favorite little things that keep me going as I paint all kinds of furniture with different kinds of paint.  There are so many other cool tools out there, but these top 5 are “must have’s “ for me to even get started.  Maybe I’ll talk about paint next, or how to choose a good piece of furniture…. keep reading along.

Share:  What are your favorite painting “tools” ?  You can leave a comment here on the blog, or on my Facebook page.  I’d love to know what you find invaluable.  A few of my Facebook friends have already chimed in.  Go check it out.  And “like” my page to keep updated.  You never know what I may come up with next….


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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Yellow Sunburst Dresser

stenciled sunburst dresser

So, how do you like her?  Ain’t she a beauty?   I’m not shy!  I worked hard on this baby!  I wanted her to stand out! 

My before pictures stink, as always.  No need for e-mails or comments stating the obvious.  I always rush right in to get rid of the ugly.  It’s so hard to remember to document the ugly.  But here’s what evidence I have of the before.  Not bad… just old and brown.

dresser before.jpg

But see those “indentations” around the knobs?  I loved those things!  They were screaming for attention!  So, I painted the body of the dresser with 2 coats of Annie Sloan’s Old White.  I painted the drawers with 2 coats of Annie Sloan’s Arles.  And I stalled… and waited… and searched Pinterest for inspiration.  Nothing.
I read a quote on Miss Mustard Seeds blog about this time that said
“there is almost always a point as I’m working on a piece of furniture when I hate it and want to haul it to the closest thrift store just to get it out of my sight. I resist that urge, though, knowing it’s going to look amazing in the end”
This was me at that moment!  But hey, if MMS didn’t give up, I certainly wasn’t going to!
I got out my sanding block and roughed up the edges of the body and drawers, which I will say brought me GREAT JOY!  This piece sanded so easily!  Mostly because of the chalk paint, but also because the piece is old and solid maple with no finish to speak of.  It was like butta…
I used Annie Sloan’s clear and dark wax on the body of the chest, and then I stared at those drawers….  I repainted the pulls with my trusty Oil Rubbed Bronze.  Can’ t live without that stuff!

Then I remembered that I have a Silhouette machine!  Hello???  I went into to the 99 cent Silhouette store and shopped ‘til my heart was content.  Well, I actually spent like $3.96, but I was sure that something I bought might work as a stencil on those drawer fronts.  I played around with sizing and cutting etc.  I finally found what I was looking for.  (Take THAT Bono!)  I cut it out on heavy cardstock and used it for a stencil.  I then spent the next 27 hours (more like 2 hrs, but my back was killing me), hand stenciling those “flowers” around the drawer pulls.  SO WORTH IT! 

To finish off I sanded the drawer fronts and flowers and sealed with dark and clear wax.

I’m in furniture love….

Hey! Don’t let that fabulous scale distract you from the dresser!  That’s for another post.  Stay innn the moment….

stencil flower dresser.jpg

Now, I’m off to hate another piece of furniture ‘til I love it!  Honestly, that really is how it works.  For me and Miss Mustard Seed :) !  Catch you later.


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