Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Swinging~Paint Brushes, Ceilings to Furniture!!

Working vacations are more work then vacation, but oh so good to get projects complete before the Texas heat sets in. Yesterday, we began the second of our to do's on the list~~ and it was to paint the garage ceiling. The first project is finished on the patio and I will share that another time.

So while BG started painting the ceiling (which is a huge undertaking seeing that he has so much stored in the overhead rafters) I began to paint a new coffee table I found for the library/family room. I'd been on a treasure hunt for some time searching for just the right size, shape and design. Well~~~~ I finally found it and couldn't wait to get this little gem painted and in it's new home. A great find for only 20 dollars. It came home with me quick!!

So many of you asked about the hutch I painted and posted a few posts ago, so here is a little first easy lesson in painting furniture.

First, to start, this wonderful and sturdy table is an Ethan Allen from the early 70's late 60's. It had beautiful clean line details, perfect for the room and to coordinate with the other pieces already there like my old hutch from the real early 60's brought from my parents home.

When painting furniture pieces I am a big advocate of prepping the piece first and using the right paints. There is nothing worse then taking the time and effort to paint, only to have it chip or peel off due to lack of preparation or proper paints. And, I am a big fan of brush on painting. There are only a few items I will spray paint and that is probably something in iron with tiny details and holes. LOL~~ So to get started, I first give the piece a good sanding to remove any residue, wax and dirt build up.

Once finished with the sanding, wipe the dust off with a tack cloth before priming the entire piece.
Next we prime with a quality Kilz, let dry and brush on your color. In this case, I used one of the custom colors I love which is a light ivory or soft off white in a FLAT finish. Please save yourself the trouble of using a gloss like or enamel paint on furniture. It really does not do well, chips easily and takes long to dry. You can always add varnish if you want or need a piece to shine. Believe me, use FLAT paint!
Another custom color I use a lot on furniture is Raw Cotton. It is lighter and nearly white. When painting or priming it is best to work in one direction with your brush. This gives a nice uniform smooth appearance.

Between coats of the final color I like to do a light sand to keep the surface smooth. Using very fine sandpaper works best~~ or a piece of a brown paper bag like a grocery bag, works like a charm. I know it is hard to find traditional brown grocery bags from the grocer these days since everything is plastic, but you can find lunch bags in the dollar stores or Walmart and those work nicely. Remember you are not taking paint back off at this point, just keeping the paint smooth while painting. Always sand in one direction with the grain of the wood or brush strokes.

Well, let's check on my BG and see how the ceiling is coming along.

Once the table is completely dry, I like to do a light sanding on the raised areas or around the edges to distress the entire piece. Here is the time to use restraint, and not overdue the sanding. Just a little wear showing through of the old table color is best. At this point, wipe off the dust again and you are finished. Sealing with a water base varnish in a matte or satin finish for this step works best. One coat should be enough, but I have been known to go with two coats to finish. An item that gets lots of use would be well to have 2 coats. You can also brown bag sand again between sealing coats to keep the surface pretty and smooth.

Now the table is dry and let's go place it in the room and add a few pretties to display.

The sun is really causing a glare, but I will try and show you this view.

As you might be able to see this room is decorated in blue's and off white with toile and blue willow as an accent. The wall color is a custom color called Churchill Maple, like a light tan. I really love light furniture against this color. You can go in any direction with your accents too. We enjoy this room for reading, watching TV and just relaxing. The TV is behind the pocket style doors on the builtin's. I guess I am not a fan of seeing the TV screen in a room, if at all possible to hide it. Not much you can do with a big screen in a room though. No room for one of those here~~ which is probably a good thing.

Well, I think we are going to enjoy the new table. The garage ceiling is finished too and looks clean and nice. Now, it's time to cross one more project off the list!

I just want to say a word about painting furniture. This project today is easy and great for the first time furniture painter to get started or the seasoned painter.

As for the hutch in the previous post, that style of painting takes a bit more time and practice. For that project, I did everything like I have shown here, but after the custom color was painted, I did an all over glaze to tone down the bright finish. Since my home has other areas with a french or tuscan style decor, the very light finish just doesn't work for those rooms. The liquid glaze I use is clear and I add a bit of burnt umber paint till I get the amount of color desired. It is better to start off with a little adding as you go. Once you have the amount of umber you need you are ready to brush on the piece and then wipe off before it dries. The piece will still be light but take on an aged look perfect for the tuscan style.

I also did a floating of paint technique on the hutch which does take practice to learn. Floating color is done with a wash brush and applied to the edges to give an aged appearance. You load a flat brush with paint on just one corner tip of the brush and the other side with water. Work it through on your palette and then apply to the piece. With practice it is fun to do and rewarding when you can see the aged look achieved. Lastly, a water base varnish finish is brushed on to protect the surface.

I hope you will try painting something for your home. It really is addicting once you get started, and after all, it's only paint. Antique collectors scream at my NO FEAR of painting furniture, but really, unless you are going to sell a valuable item you would not want to de-value it by painting, however, if it is yours to do what you choose. Hey~~~ I say PAINT IT!!!!!!!!!!!

See you again soon, I'm back to swinging those paint brushes.
Blessings and Blue Skies.

p.s. My Spring Giveaway Drawing is June 1st. Still time to comment and follow to be entered and mulitple comments count. Good Luck!!! Click HERE to see the gift someone will receive!

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