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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Painted Couch

I don't love the idea of painting upholstery.
I also don't love stained upholstery.
Or tufting. 
(doing it...I  DO love how it looks)

So, what's a girl to do? 

(Paint or Embrace...those were the options!)

Initially, I simply lived with it
The sofa resided at our store, for relaxing

It's not for sale, so I wasn't terribly concerned about it
but it was starting to drive me NUTS
that it had water marks in random places
(we scored it for $20...the house it was in had a HUGE roof leak!)

I figured, what's the worst that can happen?
I could ruin the couch.
No biggie in this instance, right?

So I painted it...

I couldn't get behind painting the seat cushions, so those will have new covers made
(in grey denim!)
We'll add some grey denim throw pillows to tie it all together

I used Amy Howard Home One Step Paint in Atelier
(the PERFECT grey)

I did dilute the paint down by about 40% or so...
enough to make it spread on easily without running all over the place

It took less than one can to do the whole couch
(the back and sides are all upholstered)

The most time consuming part was those tufts...
I used a smaller brush to make sure the deep openings were covered
and I had to make sure I got paint under the folds, too...

The frame, of course, was super fast. 
I painted that first with undiluted paint

I left the sofa to dry for about two hours
(it might have been dry sooner but I didn't check)

At this point, it felt a bit like you'd expect painted fabric to feel
sort of rough and not really pliable

Here is where I was REALLY nervous!
I applied carnauba wax (clear)
with a clean rag

I did so LIGHTLY and really buffed it in

After about 20 minutes, I went back and BUFFED the entire sofa
(frame and all)
with a buffing brush and HOLY COW what a difference!

Now, it is similar to a thick canvas or oilcloth
Not exactly the velvet I was hoping for,
but for less than $30 and a few hours of my time,
I'm really happy w the results

I sat in it today and it's perfectly comfortable...
and I did NOT end up with wax or paint on my clothes

Overall, I would not say I prefer this to proper re-upholstering...
but in a pinch (or on a tight budget!)
this was a really great solution! 

Thanks for dropping by!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

French Grey...

A friend sent us a photo of this chifferobe,
and asked if we were interested in purchasing

Clearly, the answer was a resounding YES!

This old girl was in fairly rough shape...
lots of dings, dents, a dirty interior
but all the important stuff was there
(like the hardware and the key!)

We selected French Grey Milk Paint
(a bluish, greenish grey...gorgeous!)

I always forget how much I love Milk Paint...
I tend to be lazy about mixing, etc
but I am always really glad I did afterwards!

I really love how this color changes based on the light...
it goes from a soft blue, to a pale grey, to a light duck egg

 Milk Paint chips and cracks naturally, 
giving an authentic aged patina that is really difficult to mimic with other products
(and isn't that hardware gorgeous?)

 We highlighted a few details with white and the effect is lovely,
 don't you think?

 Can't believe the key is still around!

More yummy details!

As always, the drawers and interior has been cleaned and re-stained

The armoire portion of this chifferobe features a metal rod for hanging clothing,
and behind the smaller mirrored door is a little cubby,
 perfect for storing whatever you'd like to put there!

This was a really fun project, and an unusual piece of furniture

You can find this in our Etsy Shop

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

High Performance Lacquer Spray 101

We LOVE the look of Lacquered finishes...
but they can be tricky

Kenny enjoys using his spray gun with enamel paint,
but me? Not so much

It's the "cleaning" part that gets me...
I am not a strong "cleaner-upper"
which is REALLY bad with a spray gun and oil based paint!

I've tried using Rustoleum's lacquer spray with mediocre results
I'd never attempt it with a large piece...
the nozzle doesn't offer a large enough fan of spray
and there always seems to be TONS of overspray

Up until now, I've stuck with hand painting using high gloss enamel paint

24hrs between coats, and the last dresser
 I did took EIGHT coats of paint

Enter Amy Howard Home's High Performance Lacquer Spray...

I started out small, doing shelves, mirrors, candle sconces, etc

Feeling pretty confident, I tackled a larger mirror

It turned out textbook I felt REALLY brave and decided to tackle a dresser!
Here's the thing...spray paint works great on smaller projects,
 or projects without many large, flat surfaces

Tackling dresser tops, sides, drawer faces...that requires a certain degree of skill
(skill I did NOT think I possessed, by the way!)

Spray paint can be streaky, uneven, and of course, there is the dreaded over-spray
that comes from moving too fast, too slow, being too close, being too far away
spraying too heavy, spraying too see what I mean?

It's a delicate balance!

I had every belief that I would be repainting this dresser when my spray painting
went horribly awry...
but it didn't go awry at all!

OH, happy day!

Thrilled with the results, I tackled a desk
(ok, after I sprayed a gazillion smalls!)

I feel like my technique has gotten better with every project, 
although I do still have some trepidation
with that first pass!

Kenny has given me some GREAT tips that have helped so much...
so I'll share with you what I've learned


1. Choose your subject well- the piece needs to be in GREAT shape, or you need to repair any loose paint, chips, dings, dents, etc...lacquer magnifies every single flaw and unlike a distressed finish, the flaws don't add to the charm!

2. De-grease the surface- I prefer to use Simple Green.  Make sure whatever you use does't leave any residue behind, and ensure that it is COMPLETELY dry before you begin spraying

3. ONLY spray in a well-ventilated area- Lacquer smells like, well, lacquer. Spraying a big piece or many pieces at once? Wear a respirator.

4. Protect the things around you- there will be some over-spray (much less than with other brands we've used). Cover up things you don't want to have to dust off later. 

5. Read the instructions- hold the can 4-6" away from your project (yep, it's right there on the can!)

6. Start spraying OFF your project- begin spraying a bit off the project (into the air, basically), moving onto your piece. Finish spraying OFF your project (again, into the air). This prevents build-up at the start and end areas

7. Move your arm in a straight line...pretend you have a robotic arm.  Don't arc (you're not making a rainbow!) and keep your arm steady

8. Overlap- don't leave unpainted gaps. If you see a gap between your rows, fill it in now, not later. Going back later can lead to a streaky finish 

9. Maintain a steady, moderate speed- too fast and you'll have over-spray (sandy paint), too slow and you'll have drips...just go nice and even. Practice on cardboard first

10. TA-DA..stand back and admire your awesomeness!

A few other things worth noting:

Did I mention to shake your paint?? 

If you get a drip, LEAVE IT ALONE! Don't try to fix it while wet.  You'll just make a mess.  When it's dry, gently sand it out and re-spray that area. The WHOLE area, not just the little drip area.

This seems like a no-brainer, but let each coat dry before applying the next. Think of it like nail polish...if you keep globbing on more polish, it never dries right, chips, and wastes a bunch of polish.  Same thing with lacquer.  

Thinner is better.  Not so thin it's streaky...but going too heavy will lead to drips, streaks, and problems with drying

One last thing...if you have NEVER sprayed before, or have sprayed but haven't had much luck, don't try to tackle a dresser, or desk, or table right away...bang out a few smaller items first to hone your technique.  You'll be glad to have the added experience, plus BONUS, you will have cool accessories lacquered to match! 

Have fun and happy (spray) painting,


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hollywood Regency Glamour

We have had this dresser set listed as a custom for a few weeks...
it was living dangerously!

Since we are head over heels in LOVE with One Step Paint in Black,
we jumped right in with these pieces

Here is the before
(this before makes it look WAY better than reality!)

While cleaning this dresser and removing the drawers,
we discovered it was made in Sweden...a first for us!

The entire body was covered in Black One Step Paint
with only the center panels contrasting in white

 (mirror obviously isn't's black and it's gorgeous!)

The hardware features silver leaf with a touch of black

Behind the door, three lingerie drawers are clean and simple

(the areas that look mottled are really shiny from the wax...hard to capture on camera)

On top, we wanted a "little something"
that would add to the graphic impact
without being too fussy

The nightstand we opted to keep very simple and classic

We're really pleased with how this set turned out...
Simple and classic, yet it has great impact

If you haven't tried One Step Paint from Amy Howard Home yet,
what are you waiting for?  
Go for it! 

Kenny and Michele

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Driftwood and Fluff

We pulled this sweet Lingerie Chest out of storage
for a client

She changed her mind, but since it was already out,
what the heck, right?  
It was going to get painted sooner or later...
nothing wrong with sooner!

 We used Dixie Belle Paint Company's Driftwood and Fluff
sealed with wax

See that gorgeous shine and shimmer?
We added Mica Powder from Amy Howard Home
to the adds a lovely pearlescent glow

We gilded the original hardware
(notice how the Mica Powder shimmers in the light! Love it.)

Can't you just see this in a room with a white dresser
and perhaps some mirrored nightstands?  
Glam and Gorgeous!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Seaside Lacquer

In typical fashion, I did NOT get a decent "before" photo!

You can pretty much imagine where this piece started, right?

It's come quite a long way, baby!

 and of course, the fabulous hardware!

This is a new product for us, and we're smitten!

It is called High Performance Lacquer Spray
and it retails for $18/can

The color is Seaside, but it's available in a virtual rainbow of hues

We've tackled smaller projects with this product
but we were hesitant to do a large piece

Typically, spray paint isn't well suited for large, flat areas
(like the sides and top of this dresser)

We also worried it would take 6 or 7 cans to finish it...

So here is the run-down:

We cleaned this piece with Simple Green to remove any residue

We gently sanded the surface and wiped clean
(literally, we're talking a ten minute sanding job...nothing major!)

The trick to spray paint is to keep your flow level and even
overlapping a bit as you go

Make one pass, then STOP spraying
Begin spraying again and repeat the process

Dry time was super fast
(we are used to 24hrs between coats...this was more like 24 minutes!)

As you can see, the coverage is wonderful

We did three coats on this dresser
and used three cans of Seaside Lacquer

We hope we've inspired you to try something new!
We're sure glad we did...

Kenny and Michele