Lately I have been a little obsessed with vintage wallpaper, which I find preferable to work with on my projects rather than printed craft paper. Wallpaper is made from heavier stock which doesn’t tend to tear or buckle, many rolls are pre-pasted and they have a durable finish. Plus, you get a lot of paper on those rolls, which can be a bargain if you can get them cheaply enough. The grandmother’s cupboard that I featured last week was papered with a vintage check kitchen wallpaper,
Trouble is, there aren’t any stores in my area that carry wallpaper in-stock any longer! Wallpaper in general is making a resurgence in home decor, but everything has to be ordered from those little sample books. But that takes days…and when I have that perfect finished piece in my head…I need that paper and I need it now! The one wallpaper store in my town that had an entire second floor devoted to in-stock wallpaper, literally rows and rows of rolls and rolls…has recently closed : ( So when I started the search for another wallpaper source, I called around all of the paint and decorating shops in my town and the surrounding ones as well. Turns out, it’s not lucrative for shop owners to devote floor space to old wallpaper that they may or may not ever sell. Until…I happened to be driving past the paint shop in town where I buy all of my Benjamin Moore paints and supplies. I am in there all the time, have looked at their wallpaper books, but never noticed any stacked rolls in the shop. But on a whim I stopped and asked if they did, indeed, have any old rolls hanging around and sure enough…I hit the mother-lode!!
The upstairs room (that clearly is used primarily for storage) was filled with boxes of dusty old rolls of stripes and plaids and toiles and florals…just what I had been searching for. Like a kid in a candy store, I just couldn’t decide on which one to choose, so I bought 5… for $5 per single roll…such a bargain! And then went back a few days later and bought another french toile…but I saw quite a few more that I know I can use somehow…somewhere…sometime…so I’ll definitely be back!
but it really just needed a face-lift rather than a full-on makeover. I cleaned it, lightly sanded, repaired and glued the drawers and door, then painted it with two coats of Benjamin Moore Saffron matte finish paint, then dry brushed in a cross pattern with a lighter creamy gold called Putnam Ivory. Dry-brushing just gives the wood color an extra dimension.
Oftentimes when Coach is pickin’ at estate sales, if he sees Ben Moore paint cans for sale he grabs them because he knows that is my paint of choice for our home. These two gallons probably cost a couple of dollars, but well worth the money spent!
I measured, then cut the toile paper to feature the rooster and chick in the center. This paper was not prepasted, so I used Elmer’s Glue-All to affix it to the door panel.
Some wallpapers, like the green check, don’t really have a direction, but these birds would look a little silly standing on their heads in a meadow…So I cut another piece and glued that over the first piece. FAIL.
and recut and papered the roosters, this time right side up. A couple of hours of wasted time I’ll never get back…stupid birds. Today’s DIY Tip (I know, you want to take a tip from me, the person who pasted the roosters upside down?!) When you apply wallpaper to furniture or walls, sometimes the paper will bubble up in places and you need to smooth it down to ensure a good bond with the surface. You cannot use a trowel or hard tool because it will scrape and possibly tear the paper. A good trick is to use a roll of painters tape, rolling on its side to smooth out the ripples and bumps. It’s firm enough to allow pressure but won’t harm the surface of the paper.
then waxed the entire piece with Americana Creme Wax.
You just can’t find those old wheels anymore unless you take them off another piece of furniture or find them on Ebay for a small ransom. The vintage brass hardware was absolutely gorgeous…you just don’t see pieces with this amount of detail…
…but one of the drawer pulls was broken…so I replaced it with a similar one from my workshop…the shape is not the same but the style and patina still have that Parisian Flair. So there you have it: a Vintage French Toile Wallpapered Commode.
After I had posted my DIY project of the stenciled Paris hamper last week,
I received many emails regarding my own methods of stenciling. When I write my posts, a lot of times I assume that the folks who are reading them have a good grasp of some DIY how-to details, so I just mention them but skip the gritty details. But, I am discovering that oftentimes they do not quite understand… MY BAD. So, I am happy to share some tips and tricks for a great stenciling project outcome. These are not official or the rules of stenciling, but they are just my own observations and tried-and-true methods following years and years of practice. So here are the tips for my Secrets of Successful Stenciling:
1. You need a good stencil. You can cut them yourself or purchase them online or at your local crafts store. Recently, I have purchased quite a few of these Paris-inspired stencils that I just love.
2. Your stenciling surface must be clean, smooth with no bumps or holes. It can be painted or stained, but not with a high gloss paint and no shiny finish coat such as wax or polyurethane. My piece is an old cupboard I had painted in a matte Benjamin Moore color called Saffron. Painted it with two coats and allowed to dry.
3. Place the stencil face up on the surface, measuring if you need to do determine the exact placement, then tape it down.
4. You need a stencil stippling brush (or whatever you call this kind of brush that is thick and has a blunt surface.) They are available in different sizes, but I typically use a fairly small brush, I find that it helps to control the stenciling process.
5. Use a matte paint (chalk paint is perfect for this). I have found that this produces the cleanest and sharpest lines on the stenciled surface and it doesn’t “bleed” under the stencil. “Bleeding” is when excess paint sneaks under the stencil and ends up looking like blotches along the edges of the design. Once the bleed happens, you need to stop immediately and remove the stencil and clean the underside of all errant paint blobs with a damp cloth, then allow to dry before you proceed.
6. Put a very small amount of paint into a bowl or non-porous surface. If I am using a small can or jar of paint, I often will shake the paint can, then remove the lid and use the paint on the lid. It is more than enough and provides a flat firm surface to dip your brush.
8. “Pounce” the surface of your stencil, covering all of the cut outs. Pouncing is when you hold the brush straight up and vertical to your surface and repeatedly dab it with the tip that has the paint on it.
Because you only have a small amount of paint on the brush, this means that the process is tedious and repetitive. As the brush runs dry, you re-dip into the paint, remove most of the paint onto the newspaper, then continue pouncing until the entire stencil surface is covered. If you start to get bored and want to just add more paint on your brush to get the process moving more quickly, DON’T. Just wrap up your brush, cover the paint and walk away and return after you have a cup of tea or watch some HGTV. You can’t hurry this process by globbing paint on the brush…that’s how you end up making a mess.
9. Once you’ve covered all of the design with the paint, lift one corner of your stencil to make sure you are happy with the overall effect.
If not, then tape it back down and re-pounce over the areas you wish to darken. If so, then carefully lift off the stencil and allow to dry. If you do have any “bleeds”, take a damp Q-tip and clean it up before it dries. If you are adding more designs to your piece, make sure one section is completely dry before starting a new one, or the design will smudge.
10. Once your stencil is finished, you can distress it by lightly sanding it. Otherwise just add a coat of wax or your favorite finish. As you can see by the photos, as you continue to use the stencils, the paint will build up on the surface and clog the smaller cuts. I clean mine with a damp paper towel. Don’t rub hard and don’t bend or crease the stencil! Once that happens, its time for a new stencil. So there you go! A hopefully helpful DIY tutorial on the secrets of successful stenciling. Hope you have a successful Monday, everyone! Susan
My latest project was a fancy remake of an old wood hamper Coach and I picked up for $3 at a resale shop called Junk In The Trunk-cute name, huh? These wooden hampers were popular back in the olden days and the condition of this one certainly showed its age. But, this was a heavy, solid wood piece with a particle board lined interior with holes for airing out your dirty laundry. A little paint, a little glaze, some stenciling and some burlap…the hamper went from this
1. Cleaned hamper thoroughly, as it had been hanging around outside the shop so it was quite dusty. Fortunately, since it was outside, it didn’t smell musty (also maybe because it has all those vent holes ” ).
2. Painted the body of the hamper with two coats of Annie Sloan French Linen
( I mean, really, what else could I use??) a rich, deep neutral color.
Allowed to dry. DIY tip: If you have a little “mouse” sander like I do and you’re working in your PJ’s and you run out of the little pre-cut sandpaper and don’t want to get dressed to run to the store to buy another package, here’s a simple and cheap solution. Take any sandpaper, cut to size and just stick on the surface with some duct tape. Doesn’t slide and works perfectly in a pinch.
4. Taped off the edges of the top to leave them stained, which created a “frame” for the top stenciled picture. Painted a layer of Folk Art Crackle Medium on top of the gel stain,. Allowed to dry.
5. Painted a coat of Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint
6. Lightly sanded, then stenciled the top with this Paris stencil from Americana.
I used black because I wanted to co-ordinate with the Paris fabric with black images on it. Americana has a whole line of these French Typography stencils which are so pretty! And sooo much less expensive then the online typography stencils… these are $6.99, and if you happen to have a coupon at Michaels…
7. Added a coat of Americana Creme Wax in a clear finish to enhance the colors and the wood edge. Allowed to dry, then buffed for a soft, glowing finish.
8. Since I knew I was adding the burlap to the front, I wanted to tone down the gray color of the piece. First I sanded the trim just to distress a bit and enhance some of the tiny brass brads, then added a coat of Americana Creme Wax in a medium brown color.
This brought out the golden tones which I knew would work well with the burlap. Painted on, wiped away wherever I didn’t want it to stay, allowed to dry. Buffed. HINT: If you put too much on or it starts to dry too quickly, you just take a damp cloth and wipe it off.
9. I found this Crafty Cuts French print burlap at Michaels. 1.5 yards for $9.99, use a coupon= cheap!!!
Before I cut the burlap, I ironed some fusible backing on to the reverse side. Burlap frays very easily and the more you work with it, the more frayed it becomes. By ironing on the backing, it stops the fraying and keeps the edges clean.
Make sure when you iron this stuff that you avoid the fusible glue, or else your iron will look like this, and Coach will not be happy when he tries to iron his shirt (yup, Coach does his own ironing : ) Hmmm. Wonder if one of those shirts cost $10…?
If you do not have one of these, you need to go get one immediately, along with the cutting board with all the measurements on it. These save a lot of time and effort when you are trying to cut straight lines, whether its for paper or fabric. But not wood, it doesn’t work for wood.
11. I originally tried using decoupage glue to affix the burlap, but it just didn’t stick. Burlap has a rough texture and requires something a little heavier. So I went with Elmer’s Glue-All, which worked beautifully. It does say Glue-All, after all…read more
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