Showing posts with label spray paint. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spray paint. Show all posts

23 Apr 2013

A Happier Ceramic Owl

This is going to be the week of the simple projects.  Seriously.  This one, and the other project I am going to post this week, are both about 10 minute projects.  We've been busy over the past few weeks so all I've had time for is quick little makeovers.  BUT, even though they are quick, I think they still make a pretty big impact.  The best part though is that I am totally in love with both of them.  Easy things make me happy!

Back in the fall we went garage sale-ing in the snow one weekend where we picked up a ton of good stuff including the hexagon end tables, Ferdinand and a ceramic owl.

Ferdinand and the owl

I've been hanging on to the owl for months just waiting for a space for him.  I also couldn't decide on colour for him (maybe it's a her??), so I had to stew on it....for months. 

He's actually been sitting on my desk right near the computer for a while just staring at me.  He started to freak me out a bit.  He was too stern.  Some lightening up was necessary. 

You know what happened next, right?

It starts with an S and ends with a T.  2 words.  Clearly I am no good at charades because I couldn't come up with a 'sounds like' phrase.  (I even googled it!).

The answer is Spray Paint....in case my clues weren't obvious!

I primed him with a coat of Rustoleum Primer Spray Paint and then gave him 3 coats of Painter's Touch High Gloss White.   

The primer is key here.  I find it saves a ton of time with ceramics and prevents drips by giving the gloss paint a surface to grip onto.  Totally worth the time and money.  My other spray paint tip is to use a Comfort Grip.  

Rustoleum Comfort Grip
Mine looks just like this one.  I bought it at The Home Depot, but I've seen them in most of the home improvement stores. It makes SUCH a difference.  It saves your finger from cramping, but mostly it makes a much more even and smooth spray as it maintains constant pressure.  Worth the $10! 

Anyhow....after being hit with some spray paint I then added a bit of neon cording to brighten him up a bit more.  

Spray Painted White Ceramic Owl

Less stern looking?  I think so.

Spray Painted White Ceramic Owl with Pink Cording

It's hard to be stern when you are balancing on a hot pink perch!  

The pink is some cording that I had left over from my DIY Yoga Strap.  I bought it at The Home Depot in the rope section.  I just wrapped it around and hot glued the end.  Totally removable if I decide to change the colour down the road.

Pink Cord

My poor ceramic animals....they start out all manly and dignified and are then glammed up with something florescent or glittery.

This guy has taken up residence in our basement bathroom.

Basement Bathroom with Spray Painted Ceramic Owl

I have him on top of the toilet for now, but he might move once I finish things in the awkward corner beside the toilet.  Is it weird to have an owl behind you while you pee?  I think maybe, just a little.

Basement Bathroom with Spray Painted Ceramic Owl

Basement Bathroom with Spray Painted Ceramic Owl

So tell me.....do any of you have an owl like this?  If so, did you paint it?  Since I bought mine I've seen the exact same one at multiple sales.   Will it freak people out if I leave him on the toilet?


P.S.  Our town is hosting a dog photo contest and the top 3 winners get a gift card to The Bone & Biscuit, which is a great little pet shop.  Diefenbaker is in the contest and we'd love to win since he goes through A LOT of food and the gift card would be a huge help.  The contest is based on Facebook 'likes' on his photo.  I'd be super grateful if you have a minute to vote for him.  You do have to be logged into Facebook for the link to work.   Thanks friends!  Vote here.


26 Mar 2013

Teal Vanity Chair (and my thoughts on Liquitex Spray Paint)

A couple of weeks ago (maybe it was more like 3 or 4) I stopped in at the thrift shop in search of a vintage scarf.  The scarf was for a project that I didn't end up doing, but what I did find was this chair.

Vanity Chair Before

I looked at it for a while thinking that it might work in our main bathroom.  We bathe Fin every night, and usually it's 2 adults, a great dane and a little girl all shoved into a small bathroom.  I've wanted a little chair to put beside the tub for 2 years now, but haven't been able to find anything tiny enough.  After sitting in it and thinking long and hard about the space we had, I ultimately decided that it was too big and left it at the thrift shop. 

After I got home I told Mr. Swell all about it and how I was sad that we didn't have a bigger bathroom.  He asked if the chair would work with the vanity I had painted.  Since it wasn't selling,  um....YES!  It would totally work!  Brilliant.

As a quick refresher, I painted an old vanity back in the fall thinking that it would sell super quick.  I loved it and figured someone else would too.  Well, it didn't sell.  I posted it on Kijiji week after week and nothing.  I had 2 people come look at it and decide that it was too small for them.  I had another 2 people say they were coming to get it and then didn't show up (nothing drives me more mad!).  As much as I wanted to keep it, we just didn't have the space.

Milk Paint Dressing Table

So, back to the thrift shop we went.  (Actually, Mr. Swell went).  Luckily the chair was still there, so for $19.99 we picked it up.

I had been wanting to try out the Liquitex spray paint for quite a while, and this was finally the perfect project for it.  Liquitex is sold at Michael's (although I am sure there are other places too) in the painting aisle with all of the acrylic paint.  It's more expensive than hardware store brands, but with a 40% coupon I managed to pick up a bottle for just under $10.

I went with Veridian Hue Permanent 7, which is a nice mellow teal colour.

Liquitex Spray Paint

A couple of things about Liquitex Spray Paint....

It is water based, not solvent/oil based like most other spray paints.  It hardly smells at all, which if you spray paint quite a bit like I do, is a total WIN!  I usually avoid spray painting in the house, but I did this piece in the basement and it didn't smell up the area at all.  (On a side note....I am sure that Liquitex would advise to not paint in small spaces - just because it doesn't smell doesn't mean there aren't fumes.)  

The major suckey thing about this paint though is that it has to be held upright while spraying.  Ugh. Annoying.  I did my best, but it's impossible to paint furniture without tilting the can a bit.  After doing the first coat I held the can upside down to blow out the nozzle (as suggested on the can).  It seemed to work, but when I went back to do the second coat the nozzle was plugged.  I fooled around with it a bit and got it working again....but not for long.  It clogged again.  After many attempts at unclogging it I finally used a nozzle from another can of spray paint that I had.  It worked, but not as good as the original nozzle (it stuck in the 'on' position which meant that I couldn't stop and start spraying....and had to move FAST).  I imagine that you can buy extra nozzles, but I was being lazy and didn't feel like going to the store.  

Aside from the clogging issue, I loved the actual paint.  It covered amazingly well and the colour was fantastic.  The other thing I LOVED is that it was a matte finish - sometimes I just don't want everything to be shiny.

Moving on....are you still with me after that aside?

After I spray painted the brass, I then reupholstered the seat.  Apparently before the lovely navy blue jersey fabric that was on it there must have also been hot pink at some point.

Chair Pad

I cut of piece of drop cloth fabric to fit and then pleated and stapled my way around the circle.

Upholstering

The little button for the middle was actually bolted through the wood and attached with a nut at the bottom.  When I unscrewed it, I saw that the fabric was just wrapped around and then held on with an elastic.

Chair Pad Button

Strange, but it worked.  I cut another square of drop cloth and then gave it a few coats of spray paint.  Once it was dry I used the same trick again and secured it on with an elastic, and then reattached the button to the seat.

After everything was put back together the chair looked A LOT better!

Refinished Vanity Chair

Refinished Vanity Chair at A Swell Place to Dwell

The colour is really cute, right?  It was totally unintentional, but it's almost an exact match to Fin's teal dresser - which is good to know in case I want to spray paint something to match in her room.

And just because I felt the need to stage it a little bit.....

Refinished Vanity Chair using Liquitex Spray Paint

Staging a chair is actually a bit of a challenge!

Once the chair was painted and reupholstered, I was excited to try it with the dressing table.  I sat myself down and spun around....and my legs hit the middle drawer.  Ugh.  The chair was too big!  (clearly I should have tested this BEFORE!).  

Mr. Swell cut the centre piece of the chair down for me, but even after it was as low as it could go, it was still too tall. 

So, after freaking out a bit, I made the decision to remove the middle drawer.  My trusty assistants got to work sawing out the drawer supports. 

Fixing Vanity

As you can see in the photo above, I also spray painted the handles, changing them from red to teal.  I wish I had done teal all along as I love how it looks with the chippy white - it feels more authentic.

Thankfully the surgery did the trick.  Once the drawer was removed my legs fit under no problem. 

Milk Paint Vanity and Chair.  www.aswellplacetodwell.com

We decided to not remove all of the supports in case someone wants to put the drawer back in one day.  It would be easy to add a cross support so that the drawer could still slide in.  

I did end up having to mix some more milk paint to cover up some areas that hadn't shown before, but it was a quick 5 minute fix.

Milk Paint Vanity and Chair.  www.aswellplacetodwell.com

Milk Paint Vanity and Spray Painted Chair with a Liquitex Spray Paint Review  www.aswellplacetodwell.com

Milk Paint Vanity and Spray Painted Chair with a Liquitex Spray Paint Review  www.aswellplacetodwell.com

Vanity and pretty chair

I fell in love with the vanity all over again.  I really did want to keep it....if only we had more rooms!

I posted it on Kijiji with the chair and within 2 days it was sold, for double what I was asking before.  Gotta love that!  The $20 chair made all the difference. 

So tell me, have any of you tried Liquitex spray paint?  If so, what are your thoughts on it?

P.S. Whenever I post pictures of my pallet shelves I get questions about them.  Yes, we made them.  The full tutorial is here.

P.P.S. I really hate that the heat register is always in my furniture photos! 

TDC Before and After

19 Nov 2012

Milk Paint Dressing Table

I think I need to start giving my furniture names.  This little dressing table has some serious personality now so I feel that it deserves a name.  How about Gertrude?  She's a little bit old fashioned, but still has some spunk, especially when she goes by Trudi (plus I love Trudi on Mad Men and all her spunk).  She's traditional, and it takes a little effort to reveal her layers.  (Any Gertrudes out there who fit this description???).

If you follow me on Facebook you've seen this gal take a journey.  I found her on Kijiji a few weeks ago and jumped on it so fast that the poor lady selling it didn't know what had happened.  Before the end of the day Mr. Swell had  picked her up (such a great guy....he drives all over town to pick up my finds) and she was sitting in our living room.


She was pretty good to start with, but there were a few places that needed some help, so I figured this was the perfect piece to finally try milk paint.  My original plan was to sand down the top and drawers and restain them, then paint the rest of the piece.  

I did all the sanding and staining, but it just wasn't looking good.  The first problem was that it was really cold out, and I was doing the staining in the garage.  I don't like to expose Fin to any sort of fumes, so I try and do as much as I can in the garage.  As much as I had the heater on, I still don't think the stain dried correctly and I had some weird cloudiness happening.  After doing 3 coats of stain it was still blotchy and wasn't up to my standards.  So, on to plan B.  Gertrude was going to get painted from head to toe.

Milk paint is different than latex paint in that it comes as a powder.


I chose to go with Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in Ironstone, which is a slightly creamy white.  I mixed up the powder with some warm water in a plastic cup.  I was expecting it to mix well, but it really didn't.  It was lumpy and still sort of separated even after 5 minutes of stirring (summoning the patience to stir for 5 straight minutes was a challenge!).  I decided to just sort of go with it.  Not much to loose.  I figured if it didn't work I would just sand it off.  

Milk paint doesn't require any prepping, which is awesome.  No sanding or priming is required.  Just wipe of the dust and get painting.  Here's the thing though....milk paint has a personality all its own.  You can choose to add a bonding agent, but if you don't then it will chip and peel all on its own.  You have no idea when you start if your piece is going to completely cover, or if it's all going to all chip off.  Talk about a challenge for this Type A girl.  A lesson in going with the flow for sure!  I decided not to use the bonding agent and just see how things went (while holding my breath the whole time!!).

I propped Gertrude up on some paint cans in our front entry and got painting (this paint is non-toxic, so it's fine to paint inside).  The milk paint was actually very milk like.  It had the consistently of milk (i.e. very drippy), and I quickly learned that not having much paint on the brush was the way to go.  Here is how she looked after 1 coat.


I have to be honest, at this pont I was a little worried.  It looked very streaky.

Some areas started peeling right away.  


I carefully brushed off any really loose chips before I brushed on the second coat.  

I ended up doing 3 coats to get the coverage that I wanted.  Thankfully the paint completely dries in about an hour, so I was able to finish all of the coats over the course of one evening.  Here's how it looked after the 3 coats.



The places that you can see are chipped did so all on their own - no encouraging except to remove the peeling paint. 

After I did 2 coats on the middle drawer, I noticed after about an hour that it was bubbling like crazy. 


After I brushed away all the paint chips I hardly had any painted surface left.  I used a sanding block to scuff it up and painted it with another coat.  Thankfully that coat stuck.  It actually provided a really unique look of layer upon layer.

The next morning I used a sanding block and lightly went over the whole table.  More paint chipped off.  Strangely enough, the top of the table had absolutely no chipping.  I am guessing that is probably because it was fresh stain and I had sanded it a bit before painting.  To give it a bit of a weathered look I used the sanding block to scuff it up.  One thing that nobody told me is that the milk paint dust actually smells like sour milk.  It was a very odd smell to have wafting through the house, and made me not want to drink milk for a while! Non-toxic at least.  So consider yourself warned....if you you don't like milk, then milk paint might not be for you.


Once everything was sanded and then wiped down again I waxed it all using Minwax Finishing Paste Wax. 

The hardware was my next challenge.  I had filled the holes in the drawers and had fully intended to find some nice new knobs.  After all of the painting though, you could still see where I had filled the holes.  Because the milk paint isn't totally opaque, it covered different over the wood filler than over the veneer.  So, knobs were out because you would have still been able to see the filled holes.  I decided to work with the handles that came with it.  The lady we bought it from told me they were brand new. 


I sprayed them with a couple coats of Painter's Touch Apple Red, and then used a sanding block again to distress them just enough so some gold showed through.


Ready to see Gertrude now?


I really love how she turned out.  The way the paint chipped just makes her look so authentically old.  See the two bottom panels on each side.  They are identical, but on one side it chipped a tonne, and on the other side there is hardly any chipping.  Talk about milk paint having a personality all it's own.

How about a few more chippy photos?










I should mention that the finishing wax made the whole thing completely smooth.  So although it looks like it's rough and will continue to chip, it's actually completely smooth and just slightly glossy.

As per usual, I am tempted to keep Trudi.  If only we had a bigger house!  She's up for sale now.  If you are in or around Edmonton and are interested in having Gertrude in your life please drop me a line.

I have promised Mr. Swell that this is my last furniture project before Christmas.  Our weekends for the next little while are jam packed, so I am going to try really hard to stick to my promise.  I might have to block Kijiji from my computer for a while.




9 Nov 2012

Heads or Tails?

This was the little project that couldn't.  I tried, and tried, and tried to make it work, but these little animals were having nothing of it.

I decided way over a month ago that I was going to make some fun magnets for Fin.  She loves playing with the magnets on the fridge and rearranging them a million different ways.  The poor kid had to play with free magnets from the dentist and pizza place.  The least her mother could do was make her some decent toddler worthy magnets.  I had seen a few pictures of plastic animals that had been cut in half and then had magnets attached....so they were little heads and bums.  Seemed simple.

The first challenge was actually finding the animals.  I seriously must have looked at 10 stores for plastic animals.  Finding animals that were solid (not hollow) and reasonably priced was a challenge.  I finally found a pack of them at the dollar store.  They were a little more comical looking than I would have preferred  but I just went with it (like I had much choice!).


I took the little guys out to the garage and performed a little animal surgery.


Sawing through plastic animals is not an easy feat.  There was a lot of swearing and a few band-aids involved.  A veterinarian I am not.

Eventually I ended up with 3 heads and 3 tails.


I have no idea why the lion head is not in the picture above....it was probably the start of things going downhill and I didn't even know it.

Once I had the animal halves, I then used a sanding block to lightly buff the raw edge to remove the plastic shards.  Then I used hot glue to attach some little disc magnets.  So far, so good.


Cute, right?


Next up was painting these suckers.  Since they were for a little girl, I wanted them to be a fun colour (surprisingly enough, I didn't even care if they matched the kitchen).  I had some purple sparkly spray paint sitting in my craft cupboard that had been included in a $1 Michael's grab bag.  It was a sample size, so I figured it would be perfect.  It was a brand I didn't know, but I didn't stop to think too much about it.  

I laid out all of the animals and sprayed away.  An hour later the paint still wasn't dry.  Oh well, I figured it was some weird kind of spray paint and it would need overnight to dry.  After work the next day I checked on my animals and they still weren't dry.  Crap.  Clearly this was 100% grab bag junk.  

A few days later (when they still weren't dry), Fin and I took a trip to Home Depot to pick up some hot pink spray paint.  Rustoleum florescent pink.  I have used Rustoleum spray paint a hundred times and it always works.  When I got home I gave the very sad looking animals a fresh coat of hot pink.  Then it  all went horribly wrong.  In my head I thought that a fresh coat of paint would just cover up the wet purple paint.  Huh? Dumb.  When the hot pink paint started to crack, I knew this had just gone from bad to worse.  Then I made it WAY worse.  Since everything was still wet, I figured I would just try and wash the paint off and start from scratch.  The hot water didn't do much, so I pulled out my trusty magic eraser and gave that a go.  This is where you cue the gong.


It's like a badly sunburned elephant missing his bum.  So sad. Please note the pieces of magic eraser stuck to his ears.  Ya.....the horrible paint actually ate through the magic eraser. The worst part is that then I went to yoga that night and the pink/purple mixed spray paint that was stuck to my skin came off of my hands all over my yoga mat.  I still haven't even attempted to clean that.

3 animal heads and 3 animal tails took a little trip to Trashville.  (I used a steak knife to pry the magnets off first....super safe activity!)

Give up then?  Oh no!  A few days later I hoofed it back to the dollar store to pick up another pack of animals.  Once we got home Fin spotted the pack of animals and wanted to play with them.  I figured what the heck, she can't wreck them, so I opened the package and gave them to her.  That night I went on a hunt to find the new animals so that I could start surgery again.  I found the giraffe.  That's it.  No elephant.  No lion.  Seriously?  We tore the house apart and nothing. 

At that point I needed an animal break. 

Almost a week later, we went out for a little walk and lo and behold there were the missing animals - in Fin's Chariot stroller.  The places she manages to squirrel things away....

Ok, back on track.  This time I asked Mr. Swell to saw the animals for me (so that I could save on band-aids).  I resanded and attached the magnets again.  Then came the painting....again.

This time I went straight for the hot pink.  After 2 coats I had this....


What?  The coverage S.U.C.K.E.D.  Someone throw me a life-line here.  

I had already spent enough money on these suckers (2 packs of animals, magnets, hot pink spray paint), so I was not spending any more money on new paint.  Enter my trusty gold Valspar spray paint (as seen here and here).  The coverage on this spray paint is amazing.  I figured if anything was going to work, it would.

And guess what? It did.


Not hot pink like I had imagined, but good enough.  Fin would just have to deal with the gold (like she cared).

I put them all on the fridge and waited for Fin to wake up from her nap.  I was so excited for her to see them when she came downstairs.  



Here's the thing....they were still sort of sticky.  I had let them dry for 2 days after the gold, so I convinced myself that they weren't really sticky and it was just the feel of the plastic.  After moving them around a bit though, and then taking the pictures, I noticed that I had gold finger prints all over my camera.  Ya, they were bleeding gold.  I carried on.  I figured they'd stop bleeding after a while (dumb, dumb, dumb).

Fin spotted them as soon as she walked into the kitchen.  And instantly fell in love.  


We played with them for a good 5 minutes (that's a LONG time in her universe), and then she moved on to other things.  That's when I noticed that there were gold streaks all over the fridge.  Upon further inspection, she had gold on her face and all over her fingers.  I am sure I would not win mother of the year for allowing chopped up plastic animals to bleed gold spray paint all over my daughter.   

3 more heads and 3 more tails took a trip to Trashville.  Weeks of work (well, off and on for weeks) for 5 minutes of gold covered play.  

2 minutes later our fridge was back to this....


And she was just as happy.  


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