Beginning Anew & A Giveaway!

This past year has been one of great joys and great sorrows for me personally. The birth of our very first grandchild (he’s a wee bit camera shy, but suffice to say-and this is my totally unbiased opinion- that he is the cutest baby in the whole world…) followed by the incredible wedding celebration of our son to his lovely bride, were both the happiest of  occasions.

Let's Dance 2016

But, those extraordinary events were overshadowed by the diagnosis, illness and subsequent death of my mother,

Mom Green Sweater

(their beloved grandmother and great-grandmother) who passed away recently at 89 years young from cancer. To say that the events of the past year were overwhelming is an understatement. Each presented its own set of unique demands and daily challenges, and each was equally important in its own right. So, during that time, blogging was most definitely not in the forefront of my mind. Getting through each day, surviving until the next dawn broke was about all I had the time and energy for…and so it had been some time, until quite recently, since I had put “pen to paper” to write my stories. But time marches on, as they say, and life settles down, and we move forward…or in this case, backwards…to a time when I was happily painting and sawing and sanding and DIY’ing and sharing it all with you on social media.

Vintage Americana Heart Logo

In the past few weeks, I have started (and finished!) some new projects, remembered to take photos

Hail to the Whale Finished Logo

and share them on social media-which, in itself, was pretty amazing! So, I am finally beginning to re-furbish and re-love the pieces that have been lying dormant in the basement…and the barn…and the shed during this long and lonely winter. Loving this sweet little side table I recently re-did but completely forgot to write about.

IMG_0037

But I do have one problem. I recently moved my blog server back to WordPress.com (a long and frustrating story for another day). But with that move, I was not able to bring all of you, my lovely readers along with me! Those of you who had joined the ranks of my blog followers over the past few years will no longer receive my blog posts…unless we take action…so I need your help! If you wish to continue receiving email notices of my blog posts and DIY escapades (and, remember, we never, ever, EVER use your email for any other purpose : ), and I hope that you do, you need to click on this link to the home page of my blog https://countrydesignhome.com/

Blog Home Page

scroll down to the right side of the screen until you get to the line that reads “follow my blog”. Fill in the little window your email address, click send, and you will receive a confirmation email from me via Word Press. Just hit confirm, and you are done! Now, I know this is a pain in the neck and you are thinking, “well, this is a pain in the neck”, so I am going to sweeten the pot a wee bit. All of the email confirmations I receive by April 15th will be placed in a random drawing and one lucky person will win a $50 Amazon.com gift card…as a personal thanks from me to you…

Amazon Gift Card

…because we can all use a little fun news on Tax Day, right? So, thanks for understanding, and thanks for being part of my life and allowing me to share my stories with you…and I am hoping that we can now we can finally begin anew. Susan xoxo

 

Hail to the Whale!

Coach and I, well, we just love whales. I am not certain how it all began, but I can say that one of our very first “all day” dates took place in lovely Mystic Connecticut. In Mystic Seaport, it is all things nautical, and I suspect perhaps that day spent touring the Charles W. Morgan (the last wooden whale ship in the world!)

Charles W. Morgan

the Seaport Museum and the Mystic Aquarium, all the while basking in the glow of young love, might have sparked the beginning of a life-long passion for those majestic denizens of the deep. So, I paint a lot of whales…on trunks and planks and tables, pretty much any flat surface.

Whale Porch Table

After all, who can resist a gentle, giant creature with a hint of a smile-especially when decorated with the American flag? Recently, Coach came upon a stack of old cabinet doors (well, it might not have been recently, it’s just what has surfaced in the barn most recently.)

Hail to the Whale Before Cupboard Door

They were simply painted creamy white, or so we thought. Until he started to sand the edges and behold! This amazing teal blue emerged.

Hail to the Whale Black Background

Sometimes you have in your mind what color scheme to use on a piece, sometimes the piece dictates the palette. In this case, there was cream and teal and a country red color…perfect for an American Flag Whale! I went with a black background for greater impact and contrast to the flag whale itself. For the flag colors, I mixed paints until I came up with the exact shades of teals and reds that matched the existing colors on the frame. I have, in my workshop, perhaps 50 or so of those little Behr sample paint pots

Behr Sample Pots

that you get at Home Depot for a couple of bucks…in a multitude of colors. These are my go-to samples when I am mixing paints-economical and plentiful…and if I mix a color I really love, I just use the color match app to have them mix whatever amount I need! Once I painted the background, it was a pretty simple process-I used a whale stencil

 

Whale Stencil

for the overall pattern in cream, then taped off the stripes, and added the red.

Hail to the Whale Taped Stripes

Now, I know there aren’t 13 stripes- he was just too narrow and it looked too tight, so I went with a more interpretive look.

Hail to the Whale Star Field

After that, I added the star field using a stencil I cut out with my Cricut Air machine.

Cricut Gold

Do you have one of these?? If not, you need to hustle over to your favorite craft store and buy one, like now! If you do crafts, or scrapbooking, or make signs or stencils or just about anything where you need to apply graphics, this is your go-to machine. See this little square of stars?

Star Stencil

By hand, that would have taken me hours to cut…and then a few more in the ER getting stitched up from the X-acto knife thumb slice… With the Cricut, it took maybe ten minutes to design and cut the stencil. Simply incredible!

Once the whale had dried, I added the matching stars in the four corners. Upon close inspection, you can see where I allowed the faint outline of the original hardware to remain.

Hail to the Whale Hinge Detail

I think it gives the piece character to leave the blemishes there for everyone to see. After that, it was simply a matter of a topcoat…and I went with my go-to favorite: Flat Out Flat by General Finishes. **As a side-note, when you paint on this topcoat, it initially appears milky white,

Hail to the Whale FOF Wet Finish

which kind of freaked me out the first time I tried it. But, once it dried to a clear, softly glowing finish, I was sold. So, the whale is now finished and ready for his new home.

Hail to the Whale Finished Logo

This is the wall grouping that greets visitors at my back door, but alas, he’s not staying put.

Hail to the Whale Wall Grouping Logo 1

He’s migrating north to the Barn at Todd Farm where he’ll have a whale of a time with some other pieces I have recently completed. Have a “whale-y”great Wednesday, everyone! Susan xoxo

 

Fun with Fabric Footstool Painting!

I have wanted to try painting a fabric something for quite some time now. But I had never found just the right piece that I could paint (so that if I really messed it up, I could recover it myself…) So, along came this floral footstool- quite solid and sturdy, but somewhat dated with its pretty pink floral brocade fabric.

Painted Footstool Before

I thought, what the heck, it is worth a shot…so I grabbed my can of Annie Sloan Old White and got to work. Now, apparently there is not much of a trick to painting fabric, other than a few simple tips to ensure a good outcome. First, wipe down the fabric and make sure there are no greasy or oily spots. Then, just dampen the fabric (not wet, just damp). The brush style really doesn’t seem to matter- just make sure its big and soft and bristly (is that even a word?) so you are able to smoosh (that is definitely a word) the paint into the fabric.

Painted Footstool Annie Sloan Old White

It took three layers of paint to completely cover the textured fabric with an even coat of the paint. This is the fabric after one coat. Flowers still blooming!

Painted Footstool One Coat Annie Sloan Paint

Once I laid down the first, rather heavy, coat of paint and really worked it into the fabric, the second and third coats were simply to even out the white color. I am certain that a darker paint would only have required two coats, however. The legs, also dark in color, required three coats as well.

For the design, I decided on the French ticking stripe look that is pretty popular these days. Taping it off was a simple matter of proper measurements, and making sure to tuck the tape down securely along the edges to prevent the paint from bleeding. (Note the happy red frog in the background watching over me? My new reality…my family room is more land of flashing plastic than country living inspired these days : )

Painted Footstool Painters Tape and Measuring Stick

Extra tucking into the folds of the welting ensured a nice, clean edge all the way down.

Painted Footstool Taping Welting

For the stripes, I used a pot of Behr paint that I mixed myself- I am quite enamored with all things Fixer Upper right now, and this gray was a pretty close match to one in Joanna’s new paint collection (which, by the way, I am also dying to try. But I am waiting until her new chalk line debuts…). So I painted away, making sure that I brushed away from the tape edges, not into them to prevent bleeding under the tape.

Painted Footstool Gray Paint

Once I pulled the tape off to reveal the stripes, well, this is starting to look pretty sweet, right?!

Painted Footstool Pulling Tape

There were a few areas where the edges weren’t quite clean- and me being Type A perfectionist, I went back and cleaned those up with some AS paint on a small brush.

The next step was to sand it down with some 500 grit sandpaper to smooth out the finish. Apparently, with a smooth fabric, it gives the piece a silky finish. However, with a raised fabric, you need to be careful because overzealous sanding can cause the paint to be removed from those textured lines. So, I switched to a wad of super fine steel wool, and that did the trick. Woops, forgot the picture here…Sanding the legs to give it a bit of a worn appearance was all this piece needed to complete the look.

Painted Footstool Sanded Distressed Legs

Next up, the finish. According to the Annie Sloan book(s) I have, painted fabric should be finished with a coat of wax to ensure durability. But I didn’t have any on hand, and I am not sure I liked the idea of a waxy finish on fabric that little hands were going to be touching, so I wasn’t quite sure what to do. Luckily, Amy Chalmers from Maison Décor (our local Annie Sloan aficionado) came to my rescue with some tips on finishing the fabric footstool. So, no need for wax-so I went with General Finishes Flat Out Flat Finish-my personal go-to finishing product!

Painted Fabric Footstool W/ General Finishes Flat Out Flat Finish

It gave the stool a soft vinyl look- not shiny, but kind of glowy (I know, I am just making this stuff up now) Without the finish, the white would have turned yucky pretty quickly, of that I am certain (sticky baby fingers provide a kaleidoscope of colors and textures : ). But with two coats of FOF, this stool should stand the test of time- even in the nana-nursery- where it is currently residing by the rocking chair. Baby grandson is in the “crawling and pulling himself up on any surface” stage, so this is soft and sturdy and safe for all sorts of baby boy shenanigans.

Painted Fabric Footstool Finished in Nana-Nursery

So, there you have it. Fun with Fabric Painting 101. Would I do this on a chair? Not sure, but it would be worth a try, compared to having it slipcovered or re-upholstered, which costs more than a pretty penny (or a can of paint). I guess we will see how well it holds up in the Nana-nursery. And, now, in honor of St Patrick’s Day, a blessing for you: Irish BlessingHappy St. Patty’s Day Friday everyone!! x0x0 Susan

Sprayin’ It Pretty with HomeRight

I have had this little end table beside my bed for quite some time now. HR Sprayer Tented Table BeforeSince the day I purchased it, I have loved the style, but not the color or the rough-textured finish. I always had the notion that some day I would change it, but never had the time or energy to paint all those little divots in the finish! So when I was offered the opportunity through the Fab Furniture Flipping Contest to Spray It Pretty

Fab Furniture Flippin Contest Poster

to try the HomeRight Finish Max Fine Finish Sprayer, this was the project that immediately popped into my head!

So it went from this:HR Sprayer Tented Table Before

to this: HR Sprayer AfterIn about an hour. ONE HOUR. Amazing. Here’s the how-to:

  1. Received the sprayer,Home Right Paint Sprayer
  2. opened the manual and read it in its entirety. YOU NEED TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS.
  3. HR Paint Sprayer ManualThey may seem wordy and somewhat complicated, but once you follow the steps, you will be happy that you did.
  4. Set up a mock spray tent in the basement with a large plastic tarp and some duct tape. I had no idea how far the spray would splatter, so I encircled the table and left an opening in the front.
  5.  Grabbed a mask (these are from the dollar store. Best $$ you’ll ever spend!) and donned my safety glasses. HR Sprayer Dollar Store Mask
  6. Chose this pretty Rustoleum Chalked Paint in Serenity Blue. HR Sprayer Rustoleum Chalk PaintI figured if it was going to be next to my pillow, it should be serene.
  7.  Filled the sprayer according to the instructions. I did not need to check the thickness of this particular paint, because it was pretty thin by chalk paint standards. But they show you how to do that in the instruction manual-if its too thick, it won’t spray.
  8. Tested the sprayer on a piece of cardboard (per the instructions). Note the cloudy, soft edge. This prevents that striped look you often get with spray paint cans. HR Sprayer Test Card sheet
  9. Tested one drawer- it took- I don’t know- 30 seconds!? HR Sprayer Drawers Before and AfterWoo Hoo! Off and painting. So easy, just pull the trigger and move back and forth over the piece until it is completely covered. All those crevices filled with paint in an instant. If I saw a spot that wasn’t quite dark enough, I went back over it until the entire table was finished with an even coat of paint. HR Sprayer at WorkAnd, unlike an aerosol spray paint, there was no “paint cloud” and no odor! The paint didn’t go on any surface that I wasn’t spraying directly. And NO DRIPS!! This thing is magical!
  10. I could not remove the knobs, they were somehow attached with whatever that texture paint was. But I wanted some sort of contrast, so I added some Martha Stewart Metallic Pearl paint to the knobs. HR Sprayer Table Metallic Knob
  11. Cleaning time! This is super important! If you don’t pull it apart per the manual and clean out all of the pieces, the paint will dry inside and render the sprayer useless. So, I used warm soapy water and cleaned each piece. HR Sprayer WashingBy the time I was done, the table was dry!
  12. Once the piece was dry, I decided to add a stencil to the top with the same metallic paint I used for the knobs. HR Sprayer Project Martha Stewart Metallic Paint
  13. The piece is done and back in its spot. HR Sprayer AfterTook an hour, tops to do the entire thing. I can’t wait til the weather warms up so I can start using it outside- so many pieces to paint- this is going to be fun! Many thanks to the HomeRight Company, who make all sorts of great products for the DIY enthusiast, and to the Fab Furniture Flipping Contest for providing the tools I needed to make this project a reality! Hope you are having a great day everyone. xoxo Susan

Saltwash Blues

Have you heard of Saltwash paint additive?

Saltwash BannerNo? Well, I hadn’t either until I was introduced to this product for this month’s Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest. Amazing stuff made with real sea salt that creates a worn, rustic look on any piece! You mix it with any paint type and color, smoosh it on literally anything that accepts paint (wood, metal, plastic, you name it, it sticks). Then you paint an overcoat, allow to dry, sand it and stand back and admire your truly transformed piece! In this case, an old wooden trunk that had seen (much) better days,

Old Trunk Paintedtransformed into this gorgeous sea worthy trunk in various shades of blues.

Finished Trunk Staged LOGOHere is the how-to:

Find an old piece of furniture that needs a bit of TLC to bring it back to life. In this case, an old trunk that had cracks and dents. I had already started a transformation by painting it silver, but I wasn’t in love with it. Once I received the Saltwash, it was an easy decision to use it for this project. I Coach (yes, Coach got into the act with the project : ) painted the trunk with several shades of blue, covering all of the metal and wood and canvas surfaces.

Painted Trunk TopMix the paint with the Saltwash until is is the consistency of cake frosting.

Saltwash Mixture FrostingTaped off the wood slats because I wanted them to appear dry brushed but not textured.

Painted TrunkDabbed on the Saltwash Blue Mixture any where I wanted to have the textured surface, then allowed to dry. The trick is to dab it on thickly and heavily. The beauty of it is that is does hide any cracks or imperfections!

Dabbing Thick Paint on TrunkPainted on a lighter coat of blue over the textured finish and allowed to dry. Already looks pretty awesome right?!

Overpainting Trunk TopcoatSanded down everything, including the wood and metal trim (which allowed the original silver finish to show through)

Saltwash Trunk Sanding off Top LayerFinished with a spray coat of matte acrylic. Here is the finished trunk in beautiful shades of Saltwash Blues. (but you can use any color you wish- the Saltwash has no color in it!)

Finished Trunk Staged LOGOFor more outstanding transformations by this month’s sponsors, click the links below:

http://www.thirtyeighthstreet.com/2016/06/saltwash-coastal-inspirations-fab.html

http://www.58waterstreet.com/2016/06/fab-furniture-flippin-contest-saltwash.html

And if you might be interested in joining the Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest, click this:

Fab Furniture Flippin Contest Poster

Have a great week leading up to the 4th! I will be out of blogging range, but will be back with more flipping fun projects when I return.

xoxoSusan
Compensation Banner 500

 

Bling It Up With Country Chic Paint

This month’s #Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest was sponsored by Country Chic Paint.

Country Chic PaintThe theme: #BlingBling featuring Country Chic’s Metallic Cream Paints. Now, pastel and blingy is typically not in my wheelhouse, as I am pretty much a rustic, country kind of gal. But this challenge was SO FUN!! I chose a vintage waterfall night stand cabinet as my project piece because it had lots of trimwork and details, perfect for showing off the bling.

Vintage Art Deco Night Stand Trim

And I picked these particular two colors because, well, they are just gorgeous. They are Elegance Country Chic Paint, a soft gray-green pastel hue:

Country Chic Paint Eleganceand Silver Bullet: a metallic cream paint that leaves a bright, shiny finish.

Country Chic Paint Silver Bullet This was the before: a sad, scratched and worn little brown night stand that Coach and I picked up at an estate sale for a couple of bucks.

Art Deco Night Stand BeforeWhen I look for a piece to refurbish, I always have that moment of “should I or shouldn’t I paint?” I didn’t hesitate to paint this piece because there were cracks and chips and gouges and unmatched pieces.

Vintage Art Deco Night Stand SideUnsalvageable, in its former condition, really. But this is the after:

Vintage Art Deco Night Stand Staged LogoPretty and blingy and so freakin’ cute! Here’s the how-to: per the instructions that arrived with the paint, I cleaned the whole piece, then primed it with a coat of blocker/sealer.

Vintage Art Deco Night Stand PrimedThe body of the cabinet was painted with Elegance– this is a very smooth, rich paint with great coverage and deep pigments. It leaves a very flat, chalky finish that is smooth to the touch with no chalky residue. LOVE. The luscious Silver Bullet metallic cream paint had the appearance and texture of silver marshmallow fluff-YUM. Brushed on thickly but smoothly, filling in some small cracks and evened out the finish. Vintage Night Stand Painted Country Chic PaintI then used it to paint the tarnished and worn metal handles as well. It adhered just as well to the metal handles as it did to the primed wood.

Vintage Night Stand Art Deco HandlesTwo coats of the silver cream and I was finished with my piece. Or was I… In order to take this to the next level, I decided to add some real bling to the wood trim.

Bling StripA bit of bedazzling

Vintage Art Deco Night Stand Closeupand a final coat of matte finish poly was all it needed to bring this little night stand back to life. Thanks to the Country Chic Paint Company, who provided each of the contestants with the paints and supplies necessary to transform our pieces. And, of course, thanks to the ladies of the Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest

FFFC main graphic updated (4.9.2016)who never cease to amaze me with their skills-both with painting and transforming furniture and with their organization of the monthly contests! To view some of the other great Country Chic transformations, click the links below!

http://www.sweettearefinishing.com/2016/05/may-fab-flippin-contest-with-country.html

 

http://www.slightlycoastal.com/diy-metallic-furniture-chair-makeover/

Have a great long weekend everyone! Hope yours days are touched with a bit of bling : ) xoxo Susan

Hello, It’s Me.

Hello…..it’s me. I realize it has been awhile…I must have thought a thousand times…that I needed to write something. But it has been a crazy few weeks and time has just slipped by while life has taken over. Today I stop and exhale…for just a brief respite before I dive back into reality. Its funny how the things that you believe are so necessary for creating a happy and fulfilling life can, in an instant, take a back seat to the truly important things…love, friends, family, life. Today I proudly announce the arrival of our precious grandson, Declan, who made his way into the world 1 month ahead of schedule. He is a wee lad, but is absolutely perfect in every way.
Declan and Mom Original LogoCoach and I, along with his mommy and daddy and our collectively amazing extended families, are over-the-moon in love and are so excited to see the changes in him every single day as he grows bigger and stronger. He is surrounded by so much love and caring from both near and afar ( Bartlet the Frenchie is still not quite sure what’s happening, but he’s getting there too : ).

Bartlet Living Room CloseupSo please bear with me for the time being…my posts may be sporatic, but I promise there are many good things to come.  Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone! xoxo Susan

Kitschy Coral Coastal Cupboard

Kitchy Coral Coastal Cupboard Logo ViewHello everyone! A couple of weeks ago I mentioned my participation in the “Fab Furniture Flippin Contest”, where each month, contestants are provided with paints and products to create a unique project and win prizes! For April, we were provided with 2 quarts of Pure & Original Classico Paint in our choice of colors…well, today is the big reveal! This project was not without much angst and frustration, as I stumbled along the way quite frequently, but I am so happy it is finished and sooo kitschy cute! The inspiration for the furniture flip was this vintage wallpaper Coach picked up awhile age that I had been hanging onto for just the right piece to transform.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Vintage Wallpaper InspirationJudging from the colors and the cartoon-like illustrations, I am thinking it was from the 60’s or 70’s, but I am not quite sure. What I am sure about is that 50 year old wallpaper is quite brittle and tears super easily, which wreaked havoc with my overall design plan! But here is the flippin’ how-to:

This old simple cupboard was hand-made of plywood with a rough finish.

Coral Coastal Cupboard BeforeIt had been painted multiple times, with the final coat being a dark hunter green with some (I think they were supposed to be) celtic designs painted on the doors and side panels. First  I , OK, Coach sanded it to remove the white designs as they were thick and raised. Then I pulled off the chair rail molding they had put on the base front and added some baseboard trim to the front and sides, followed with painting the cupboard body in White. The nice thing about this particular paint brand is that although it has a matte, chalk-like finish, it requires no waxing or final coat of poly for protection.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Base MoldingThe paints colors I originally chose did not quite match my vision, so I ended up ordering a couple more colors for contrast and accents.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Pure and Original PaintsI know, you’re thinking “yikes- that’s a lotta color”- but just wait and see : ) The doors and interior were painted in Nautique, (no primer needed, BTW, but I will disclose that covering the celtic designs with the White required an extra coat or 2…)

Coral Coastal Cupboard Pure and Original Paint Nautiquea yummy green- blue, and the body was painted in White. I had originally planned to wallpaper the back panels with the vintage paper, but I didn’t have much and it just kept tearing. So I saved two pieces and used them for the door panels. So then I had planned to use bead board for the back panels, but the piece, being constructed of plywood, was already super heavy. So I chose my favorite faux beadboard wallpaper and used that instead.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Interior Backing Beadboard WallpaperI wanted to match the coral color in the wallpaper, so that’s where the other two paints, Lipstick and Clear Amber came into play.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Salmon Pink MixtureMixed with the White, I matched the color perfectly

Coastal Coral Cubboard Pink Paint Mixtureand painted the wallpapered back panels with that, along with some trim I used to frame out the wallpaper panels that I had glued with some Wunda Size onto the doors panels.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Glazing Mixture for TrimOnce the coral dried, I mixed the White with a small amount of satin glaze, painted it over the pink, then wiped it off quickly with a damp rag,

Coral Cupboard Glazing Beadboardleaving the white glazing in the grooves and detailed areas, softening the overall color and giving it a more vintage appearance.  

Wallpaper Panel with TrimThe original top was just a low arc which was not really visible. To amp that up, I cut out a piece of old pine

Coral Coastal Cupboard Decorative Top Pedimentand painted it the Nautique, then glued and screwed it onto the original arc.

Coral Coastal Cupboard Completed Beadboard and Painted Top(In this pic you can see how the glazing softened the coral paint color on the beadboard) But the new top looked just a bit too plain, so I added a glazed coral starfish as the crowning touch!  

Kitschy Coral Cupboard StarfishAnd finally, I spray painted the hardware copper so it would go with the coral, 

Copper Painted Hingesand added some vintage white porcelain knobs to the doors.

Coral Cupboard Door DetailSo there you have it, from dark green drab to whimsical coral and aqua fab. I know that these 70’s colors aren’t for everyone, but for me, I feel that they honor the vintage wallpaper and bring this dingy old cupboard back to life. 

Kitchy Coral Coastal Cupboard Side ViewThanks to #Pure&Original Paints who provided the gorgeous paints and colors…if you’re interested in trying out this amazing paint, click on the link to the right on this blog. And a huge thanks to the hosts of the  #FabFurnitureFlippinContest

FFFC main graphic updated (4.9.2016)


for giving me the opportunity to enter this challenge!  To check out the transformation magic that they did with their paint choices click here:

http://www.thirtyeighthstreet.com/2016/04/fab-furniture-flippin-contest-pure.html or

here: http://www.sweettearefinishing.com/2016/04/pure-colors-original-elegance-april.html

Have a flippin’ fab Thursday, everyone! Susan

Compensation Banner

Flippin’ Fab Pure & Original Paint USA

Fab Furniture Flippin ContestThis month, I am participating in the #Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest, an event featuring some of the best furniture flippers in blog-land. This contest is the brainchild of the bloggers from Evey’s Creations and Anastasia Vintage, both of whom love design, DIY and bringing new life to old pieces. Evey was even on one of my favorite DIY shows- Flea Market Flip! I had read about the contest a few months back, and since I am a devoted furniture flipper, I was eager to get started, so I submitted my application.  Of course, that was before the broken foot incident, which temporarily put me on the sidelines, but I am finally primed and ready to participate in this month’s contest. Which is this: each month, a theme is chosen, and different companies sponsor the contest, providing either supplies or prizes to the flippers (that’s me!). We are allowed to choose any item to work on using the products supplied, and we have approximately 3 weeks from start to finish to paint, stain, decoupage, sand, wax and finish our chosen pieces before photographing them for submissions for judging. Once the judging is completed, a winner is announced, and its on to next month’s flippin’ contest! It was my good fortune to be selected as a contestant this month, because I have now had the opportunity to sample an extraordinary paint from Pure & Original Paint USA,

Pure & Original Paint Boxeswhich was created in the Netherlands and is now distributed in the US through Luxury Dutch Importers, LLC. This paint...well, the only word to describe it is luscious…the colors are simply soft and natural.

Pure & Original Paint Spring PaletteIt has a creamy and smooth texture, brushes on like a dream (even with a not-very-new-brush)

Pure & Original Paint USAand get this, does not need any finish. Even though it has a matte appearance, there is no waxing or varnishing or polyurethaning needed, because, unlike other chalk paints, it does not leave a chalky residue mark when you touch or scratch it. It actually dries to a rock hard finish that can be used both indoors and out…amazing. And the brush cleaned up easily with just water. So, before I started working on my contest piece, I decided to give the paint a test run on a simple brown console table. I cleaned it, did not sand or prime it, just painted with two coats of Nautique Pure & Original Paint

Pure & Original Paint Nautiquethis beautiful green/blue color that caught my eye when I was choosing my 2 cans of free paint provided by Pure & Original for the contest- there are 140 to choose from!  The finish is a lovely smooth matte, but I decided to sand it just to see what would happen. Instead of just sanding off entirely, the paint had already cured and adhered to the wood finish, so the sanding exposed the now “stained” wood grain for a stunning effect.

Pure & Original Wood Grain Closeup BlueThe more I sanded, the prettier it looked and the smoother it was to the touch. And still no final coat needed. Wow. So now I am off to prepare my actual contest piece, with the addition of a few more colors. I will keep you posted as the work progresses. In the meantime, if you are interested in reading more about Pure & Natural Paint USA, click the pic below:

Inspired By ColorAnd, if you are interested in sampling this fabulous paint, you can do so by using this link- : https://www.pureoriginalpaint.com/usa/?ref=118  (I love this paint so much, I’m now an affiliate for Pure and Original Paint USA) A special thanks to the FFFC Team at the Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest for allowing me to participate- this is going to be so much fun! Have a great weekend everyone! If you’re looking for me, I’ll be in the painting workshop : ) Susan 

Vintage American Heart Sign

Awhile back, I received this large wooden wall-hanging of an elephant painted on some slats.

Vintage Americana Heart BeforeIt was free, and free is good, but the graphic was just a bit too brown and black for me. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE elephants, but it just seemed a little colorless and blah to me. I have had it hanging around in the workshop for quite some time, literally painting over it a dozen times with all sorts of blues and grays, awaiting some inspiration to hit me.

Vintage Americana Heart Dry Brushed BackgroundGenerally, I find that when all else fails, go with the American Flag with its bold colors and simple but striking graphics. So, stars and stripes it is! But, it was essentially a square, and of course, our flag is a rectangle, so I had to come up with a shape…a star? the map of the US? a rectangle? a heart : ) So I left the background as it was…dry-brushed with multiple shades of grays and blues and added the heart shaped design.

Vintage Americana Heart Red White and BlueThe easiest way to create a symmetrical heart of any size? Take a piece of paper (in this case, a newspaper because of the size I needed), fold it in 1/2, then draw out your shape on one side. Cut along the edge of the folded paper, and then when you open it up, voila!  A perfectly proportioned heart!

Vintage Americana Heart Newspaper PatternOnce I traced the heart shape onto the wood with some chalk, it was simply a matter of taping off the 13 red and white stripes…

Vintage Americana Heart Patternwhich was not as easy as you would have imagined…while leaving one block for the dark blue star field.

Vintage Americana Heart TemplateOnce the stars and stripes were completed, I stenciled in the stars…quite badly as it turns out.

Vintage Americana Heart Stripes and Star FieldBecause of the curves of the heart shape and the spaces between the slats, it was impossible to fit all 50 stars into the field in rows, as they are on the real flag. So I painted over the first go and tried it again.  I taped off the edges and winged it…just stamping them wherever there was an open space…not symmetrical, not perfect by any means.

Vintage Americana Heart StarsThere are a few states hanging off the edge…hello, Alaska and Hawaii! And there are a few states missing representation…then again, aren’t there a few states that are threatening to secede from the union if a certain candidate wins this year’s presidential election? But you get the general idea, right? Then I added the graphics above and below via my reverse chalking method.

Vintage Americana Heart Chalking PatternThat was the easiest part of the entire piece! Once I was reasonably happy with that, I sanded the whole thing down to give it a distressed look,

Vintage Americana Heart Sanding Stars Distressingthen finished with a coating of Krylon spray matte varnish

Krylon Matte Finish

(of course, that was a few days ago, when it was 60 outside, so I could spray it, as opposed to this morning’s temps, which are hovering in the 20’s). This graphic could easily be applied to a wood palette- another great project idea! Vintage Americana Heart LogoHave a totally terrific Tuesday, everyone (even if you’re buried in snow…) Susan

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